Liberty Marketing is an online marketing agency set up by UWIC graduate Gareth Morgan (BA Business Studies & Marketing, 2003). We caught up with Gareth for a hint of his journey from early eBay entrepreneur to Online Marketing guru.
What made you come to UWIC?
When I applied, I had a small little thing going buying guitars from eBay in the US and selling them online over here. I needed to stay local, so I could keep that going, and I knew UWIC looked like a fun place to study. In fact, myself and a few friends kept going to Taffy’s bar after we’d graduated, it was a great place to hang out, play pool and get cheap drinks.
Did you know that Taffy’s has been replaced?
The world has lost something there. Such a shame.
I see that Colchester Avenue has been knocked down to build houses on as well. Don’t get me wrong, the new School of Management, where I am studying on the Twenty:20 Course, is much better, but the memories are still of Colchester Avenue!
Which lecturers inspired you most?
Terry Breverton had a publishing business on the side. He had experience of online retailing on top of the theory that the other lecturers had. He used to rant about Amazon taking all the profits…and with hindsight, now I can see that he was right.
Did you make any life-long friends while at UWIC?
I met my wife!
How did your career pan out once you graduated?
My first job was through Go Wales. A software company was looking for someone with a Marketing degree. I ran their online marketing for about 3 years, then moved to a finance company, as Marketing Manager, and then eventually set up Liberty in May 2008.
How did you find the transition from employee to Self-employed?
My parents are self-employed, so it was always part of what I had planned and seemed normal to me. But I had assumed it was going to be easier than it has turned out to be. It didn’t help that I started as the recession began to hit, although online marketing has shown growth year-on-year. I like the flexibility of working for myself, but it invariably means long hours. Things like cash flow management, accounting and HR don’t come naturally to me, so it can get quite frustrating. Guys like Richard Branson make it look easy!
Do you have any advice for our students graduating this summer?
Make the most of online marketing opportunities, and make sure you can convince employers you know how to use websites and social media. Blog, set up a website, promote it, keep a coherent twitter feed… Basically, university is not the place to be taught a medium which is experiencing such fast-paced change. You have to get on top of that yourself. Companies know they will have to train you up anyway, but you can at least arrive with the right attitude and basic skillset to impress them.