A student who started a social media agency is up for a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award

A student who started a social media agency is up for a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award

Growing up in Shetland, Gavin Bell’s dreams of becoming a high-flying entrepreneur seemed unrealistic.

But after winning a place at a business academy set up by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones and swapping his remote isle for the metropolis of Manchester, the 23-year-old began edging closer to his goal.

Thanks to the skills he gained on the prestigious course, Gavin was able to set up his own social media marketing agency, Blue Cliff Media, who have gone from strength to strength.

Peter Jones with Gavin Bell

In just a few years, Gavin has gone from a shy island schoolboy to one of Scotland’s top social media advertising consultants and counts Aberdeen Football Club and Meghan Markle’s favourite handbag company – Strathberry – among his many clients.

The self-styled businessman, whose company are set to turn over six figures this year, has been nominated for a Young Scot Enterprise Award.

Gavin, who helps businesses across the globe with their Facebook advertising and marketing campaigns, believes he was destined to become an entrepreneur. He said: “I started displaying entrepreneurial flair when I was a teenager.

“On family holidays abroad, I’d buy belts and then sell them on eBay when I came home.

“I set up my first website at 14 and started selling electronics from China. I’m sure I made all of £3 but the thought was there and stayed with me all the way through school.

In just a few years, Gavin has gone from a shy island schoolboy to one of Scotland’s top social media advertising consultants and counts Aberdeen Football Club and Meghan Markle’s favourite handbag company – Strathberry – among his many clients.

The self-styled businessman, whose company are set to turn over six figures this year, has been nominated for a Young Scot Enterprise Award.

Gavin, who helps businesses across the globe with their Facebook advertising and marketing campaigns, believes he was destined to become an entrepreneur. He said: “I started displaying entrepreneurial flair when I was a teenager.

“On family holidays abroad, I’d buy belts and then sell them on eBay when I came home.

“I set up my first website at 14 and started selling electronics from China. I’m sure I made all of £3 but the thought was there and stayed with me all the way through school.

“It’s assumed after school in Shetland you will go to university on the mainland but I didn’t fancy that. I spotted an advert for Peter Jones Academy in Manchester on Twitter, applied and got in.

“We had to come up with a business idea and run with it. Mine was providing personal trainers in a corporate environment like call centres. I met Peter at my graduation and he was so impressed that he invited me back to speak at the following year’s graduation.”

Gavin is pictured in his office in Edinburgh.

The former Anderson High School pupil added: “In 2014, I moved to Edinburgh because my original business idea didn’t really work but what it did show me was that personal trainers were not good at marketing themselves on social media.

“So I began by doing Facebook advertising for them and then moved on to other brands in the UK and across the globe.

“I do some work with sports teams. One of the most successful campaigns I’ve run is for Aberdeen Football Club. I helped launch their season ticket campaign on Facebook and sold 800 tickets, making £200,000 revenue for them. They went on to sell the most season tickets ever.

“I’ve also worked on a Facebook campaign for luxury Edinburgh brand Strathberry, who were thrown into the media spotlight in December when Meghan Markle carried one of their handbags on her first official royal engagement.

“I’m adding new clients all the time and am hoping to clear six figures this year. I am considering taking on staff in the future.”

Gavin, who has already scooped several digital business awards, has also become a well-known face on the vlogging circuit.

He said: “In 2016, I started a blog about a day in the life of a young entrepreneur and then I started vlogging.

“Some of my Facebook videos have had more than 200,000 views. They are mostly of me exploring Scotland. ScotRail have now paid for me to do a vlog.

“I also do a lot of public speaking and have spoken at conferences all over the world, advising folk how to make the best of Facebook advertising.

“I’ve come a long way from the shy island schoolboy I used to be.

“I feel extremely honoured to be nominated for a Young Scot Award and hope my story will encourage other young people to follow their business dreams.”

Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot, said: “Gavin is an inspiration. Many young people can be shy and it doesn’t need to stop you achieving your goals. We know there are thousands of stories of young people like Gavin across Scotland and we want to hear all of them.

“So nominate them for a Sunday Mail Young Scot Award. It can change their life and will make them part of this very special Year of Young People 2018.”

The Categories

Unsung Hero – sponsored by Solace Scotland

Young Hero – sponsored by Co-Op Food

Volunteering

Community – sponsored by the Scottish Government

Sporting – sponsored by sportscotland

Health & Wellbeing – sponsored by Active Scotland Division

The Arts – sponsored by Creative Scotland

Entertainment – sponsored by Scottish Citylink

Excellence in Education – sponsored by University of St Andrews

Equality and Diversity – sponsored by Standard Life Aberdeen

Environment – sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland

Enterprise

Year of Young People 2018 Champion of the Year

Enhancing Education – sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

To nominate please click here. Winners will be announced at our glittering ceremony at Glasgow’s SEC on November 30.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.