Ben runs Montfort, a digital, social and content marketing agency and has worked for agencies as diverse as Collins Dictionary and American Express.
Club Workspace sponsors the IPSE Awards and Ben became one of the newest members of Club Workspace Bethnal Green, which is based within The Pill Box. He was kind enough to take a few minutes out to tell us about his business and how co-working is working for him:
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a digital, social-media and content marketing consultant specialising in tech, media, consumer, mobile and charity sectors. I was awarded Young PR Professional of the Year and I am the youngest ever PR professional to be featured in PR Week. I also came runner up in IPSE's Freelancer of the Year in 2016.
Pitch your business in a sentence
Montfort runs digital marketing, social media and content marketing campaigns for some of the biggest and best technology, consumer, media, mobile, government and charity brands around the world. We're currently working with the likes of the UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International and Bang & Olufsen.
Give us a potted history of what you do
My background is in PR, where I worked at a Tech PR Agency and managed accounts for O2, the Financial Times and Evernote. I then went freelance in 2011, picking up a contract with London 2012.
This was a big first client to land and it has been a great addition to my portfolio. Just mentioning the brand seems to open up doors! Following that, I worked on a few Olympic legacy projects in London, then a six-month contract at American Express, running their social media in the UK.
With those two big names under my belt, I was firmly established as a freelancer before founding Montfort, my digital marketing agency, in 2013.
What client work are you most proud of?
Montfort has had a relationship with the UN Refugee Agency for the past three years, working closely with their team on its social media strategy and execution.
We love running our own small business, where we get to choose the work hours, location and clients.
Ben Matthews, founder, Montfort
This work happened to coincide with the refugee crisis in Europe, so it's been a fascinating time to be involved with UNHCR. They're an amazing organisation doing vital work, so it's fantastic to be part of that team.
Where do you see your business in a year's time? In three years’ time?
We love running our own small business, where we get to choose the work hours, location and clients (to an extent!). Flexibility and control have given us a fantastic work/life balance and set us up for an interesting career.
As to the future, we see more of the same, but improving our processes and expanding our presence where needed.
What's your growth strategy?
We're growing slowly and hiring to meet existing needs, rather than projecting future growth. While we have an established set of clients, monthly revenue can fluctuate depending on what projects are coming in. Growing monthly retainers are the focus, followed by project work.
What trends are you seeing in your industry?
In digital and social media in particular, there's always been a hunger to learn "what's next" in case brands are missing out on the next big thing. For us, that next big thing is video - indeed, it's already here. We've set up a Social Video service, where we create and distribute video that is optimised for social media.
Think the short, sharp videos you see on Facebook. There are different formats and conventions to work to when planning video for social media, so we're helping clients navigate that process.
Who would you ask (dead or alive) to be a dream member on your board of directors?
Steve Jobs - as a visionary and as a boss, he would keep us honest and focused on what's important to the business.
What's the best bit about being your own boss?
Choosing when and where I work - and who I work with.
What's the best thing about co-working?
Meeting new people for sure! My business is all about building relationships, so making new contacts and connections is key.
Find out more about Montfort, an international digital marketing, PR and social media agency, which uses Club Workspace Bethnal Green to conduct its day-to-day business operations.
Club Workspace Bethnal Green is a hidden gem, located on the ground floor of The Pill Box, a former pharmaceutical factory, just off of Cambridge Heath Road. With a dedicated Club host, an award-winning cafe to hand and excellent transport links, if Club Workspace Bethnal Green takes your fancy why not arrange a viewing and consider an innovative co-working environment from which to run your business.