Time for another Local Profile and itâ€™s the first male agency owner (Iâ€™m trying to show equality in the running order of these!) Andy Hill runs Dokoo Digital, a full service marketing agency based in Holywood, and he was one of the first industry leaders I met when I started blogging.
With over 10 years global marketing experience, a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, running the Northern Ireland Business Group on LinkedIn and being a co-founder of the Digital Exchange, I wasnâ€™t at all nervous to meet him!
But Andy is passionate, friendly and encouraging, and his confidence in his own abilities leads him to be open and enthusiastic in his mentoring of those “coming up the ranks.”
How did you get where you are today?
Iâ€™ve worked in Marketing for a number if years. I always knew in my mid 20s that I wanted to run my own business. After selling my share in an advertising agency a number of years ago I followed my passion and setup Dokoo.
What three tips would you offer someone just starting out?
1) Build a good network, no matter how good your business is you still need brand advocates to spread the word.
2) Never give up: itâ€™s amazing when you keep trying how many good things happen. Usually the biggest contracts or biggest wins are when you least expect them.
3) Donâ€™t sit behind your computer, get out and meet people and share ideas and work with like minding people.
Whatâ€™s a typical week like in your role?
Every week is very different, last week involved staff meetings on Monday and Tuesday then visiting clients in London on Wednesday and Thursday as well as pitching to a new client on Friday
What has changed in for the better and worse since you started in the industry?
At Dokoo we have seen a number of social media consultants appear in the market over the last few years. The majority of these consultants will train companies in how to setup social media profiles but very few show clients how to use social media as a sales tool. That is where we come in. We show companies how to turn their social media sites into sales acquisition tools. One thing Iâ€™m trying to bring back is story telling - the Northern Irish have always been great story tellers. With the opportunity of social media and other blogging tools people should be blogging more and going back to our roots as a nation of story tellers.
If you were hiring for an entry-level position, what would make a candidate stand out?
The best thing is someone who learns quickly and isnâ€™t afraid to step away from their computer and meet people. We have a number of people every week send in CVs but very few actually take the time to tell us why they would be a great asset for our company.
What is your proudest moment to date?
Iâ€™ve had many proud moments in business, winning contracts with companies such as Three Mobile and Natwest have been great success stories as well as winning awards along the way. Iâ€™ve also had many charities as clients and making money for them as always been a great feeling.
When you switch off (if you switch off!) what do you do with your own time?
I try to read as much as possible, the great Jim Rohn said that people should read a book a week as learning will help your business grow. I also enjoy playing golf and going to the gym.
You can follow Andy @FollowAndyHill and Dokoo @dokoodigital on Twitter, but be warned: he will expect you to leave your desk and go meet people!