The accidental business owner

Marc Shuttle's business Firebrand Video works with clients large and small
Marc Shuttle’s business Firebrand Video works with clients large and small

Jo Sealy from Waltham Forest Business Network talks to a Leyton creative whose booming freelance career morphed into a successful business

Marc Shuttle became a business owner more by chance than by design. He had been working as a successful freelancer in multimedia for a number of years, building his client base and working with other freelancers to deliver projects.

Realising that he needed more structure to the business, two years ago Marc decided to rebrand from Marc Shuttle to ‘Firebrand Video’, moving into a more formal set up with the help of a Virgin start-up loan to purchase extra equipment.

“I’d become a business without realising it!” explains Marc. “Initially we had focused on live events, with a little bit of video marketing thrown into the mix. But the more I attended networking events and saw what other video marketers were doing, the more I saw a real gap in the market.”

Firebrand Video works with small businesses on their digital marketing strategies, with a core focus on video content. It works with clients to combine all of their digital marketing activities – video, blogging, email marketing and social media – to support the growth that they are aiming for in their businesses.

The company has worked on a range of projects, from filming in some of the biggest arenas in the UK, including Wembley, to producing short promotional pieces for clients such as the mayor of London and City Hall.

Free mentorship and guidance from the East London Building Legacies programme has helped Marc to focus on the growth goals he has for Firebrand Video. “I’d been ‘winging it a bit’,” Marc admits. “However, the support provided me with a real focus on gaining new business in the last quarter of 2019, using the same strategies I use with our clients to get new leads.

“We managed to close two clients on 12-month deals which, alongside our regular roster of clients, has put us in a strong position for 2020.”

Marc works full-time on the business, with other roles going to freelancers on production days and consultants during strategy sessions. He’s aiming to bring on one other full-time member of staff within the next 12 months.

“That’s likely to be my wife – she’s currently one of our freelancers and is eager to dive in and bring her own clients when it’s financially viable. This will give me the opportunity to focus even more on networking and building business relationships, which has been hugely important to the success of the business so far.”

For more information about Firebrand Video:

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