Meet the influencers: Sam Hurley

Portrait of influencer Sam Hurley

This month’s influencer is Sam Hurley, a lateral-thinking, people-focused digital marketer with solid experience in both agency and client-side settings. He now runs his own global personal branding and influencer marketing business: OPTIM-EYEZ.

Where did your story begin?

I began working (first without pay) for a UK e-commerce company when I was in my 20s—and quickly found that digital marketing was in my blood. Progression rapidly went from zero salary to essentially heading up the marketing department after the Marketing Director left!

The experience and confidence I gained led to me strategically applying for harder jobs during most of the five or six years I was employed—and each year, I advanced through the ranks all the way from junior to head of department at a range of companies, including brands and agencies.

The partnerships and collaborations with huge global agencies were especially rewarding, as their collective minds are so up to date and second to none. From the beginning, I soaked up as much knowledge as I could, and this undoubtedly helped me towards owning my own business.

Being able to connect with people has been the most important factor in my story of growth.

How did you become so influential?

I'm just a normal guy, but I worked extremely hard to make things happen.

When most others were in bed, I would be up working; working before driving to employed work, and again when I got home. I would even be working in my dreams! If you truly get excited about stuff like this, it isn't really work. It's an adventure.

I was always being creative. Always building relationships. Combine this with relentless dedication to your goals, and there is no stopping you.

Do you have any golden rules/ mantras for life or work?

Effective communication


Help others

What are your three biggest tips for building an audience?

1. Amazing education: Be THE source of knowledge

2. Systematic delivery: Producing material is just one third of the equation – distribute it cleverly

3. Eternal engagement: Your audience won't exist for long if you don't bother talking to them!

What are your favourite tools/software?

Wishpond email marketing software, Zest and Quuu Promote for content distribution, Buffer for link shortening and content scheduling and SEOprofiler, an SEO assessment tool.

What do you feel is the next big trend in social media and content marketing?

'The Uptake of Blockchain' is one to watch in 2019. If you're wondering how the heck blockchain has any involvement in social media and content marketing, stay with me.

Audience incentivisation: Reward your audience tokens (currency) when they engage, i.e. if they watch an entire digital ad.

Audience targeting : Blockchain enables a reliable search environment. (Check out BitClave.)

Data collection: What if data could be successfully shared but never actually transferred or even seen? Blockchain allows this to happen—a huge milestone amidst the privacy turmoil we know all too well.

If you buried your head in the sand when blockchain first made headlines, now is definitely the time to take note.

Catch Sam on Twitter and LinkedIn for cosmic amounts of helpful material on entrepreneurship and marketing.

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