Struggling with social anxiety, bullying and mental health issues as a young boy, Mr Clarke turned to social media as an escape and quickly grew his Instagram following organically to 200,000. Now, a published author and esteemed entrepreneur, Mr Clarke shared the tips and tricks of getting into the social media industry and how others can grow their income from their mobile phones.
Mr Clarke shared his inspirational journey to entrepreneurship in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk. “It’s a story of how I went from being severely bullied with zero friends throughout school to building a social media empire while dedicating time to supporting vulnerable people across the world,” he said.
Mr Clarke started at 13-years-old with a gaming page where he would post his own personal gaming antics which quickly garnered attention, receiving hundreds of thousands of views and went viral, much to his surprise.
“The first time I made a little bit of money on social media was a company that paid me to promote their gaming glasses on my page. It was about £100 just to post and share. I was about 14 at the time.”
He added: “It allowed me to treat myself now and again, but most importantly, it allowed me to help my mum out where I could. People loved who I was on social media, and I became very attached to that pretty quickly.”
Fast forward seven years and Mr Clarke has worked with international brands like TikTok and Sincere Sally, but despite his success he has never actually been trained or educated in social media and digital promotion.
“I trained myself through trial and error, learning algorithms of social media platforms. I predominantly worked on Instagram so I was just self-taught.
“They don’t teach you things like that (in school), they just teach the same stuff they have been for hundreds of years. They don’t teach the new advances. I think if it’s something that you want to do, it should possibly be something you do at GCSE level but it’s not something that should be forced because not everyone can do it.”
Social media is no longer Mr Clarke’s only financial endeavour. At only 20 he has created an investment plan that he believes will put him “in a fantastic financial situation” by the time he reaches his 40’s. He said: “I would love to encourage other young people to get more involved with investments as it’s important we think about our future as much as the present. If we take action today, then our future can be bright.”
Mr Clarke’s charitable side also shows in his donations to charities in Africa in both money and his own time, as well as his willingness to share all the secrets that gave him a career in hopes of building the same successes for others.
“I wouldn’t say I regret anything that happened to me in the past. I believe it gave me the dedication and willingness to succeed in life and the motivation to help others do the same. I aim to inspire others with my story. I hope young people can see from my experience that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long that tunnel may seem.”
Mr Clarke noted that those looking to make money from their social media platforms should look for ‘middle-men’ to make money through: “There’s a platform called Plug Analytics. Companies pay them to hire freelance marketers and influencers to promote their apps and companies. So TikTok would pay a budget to Plug Analytics and then people like myself would promote TikTok, then Plug Analytics would pay me. It’s a middle man almost.
“There’s many other platforms. Most of the top pages that you see on Instagram, the ones with millions of followers are usually with Plug Analytics. But you need to have a presence, a following, some sort of engagement online to get started in this field.”
He added that the basics every social media marketer should know are: algorithms, consistency and engagement ratio expectations.
“The algorithms are always changing so you may learn how to grow now but it will change in the future and it will be different from the past. So trying to learn what the algorithms look for to make content go viral. Look at what has worked and do the same but a bit different, put a twist on it.”
He claimed that, while clickbait is generally looked down upon in the digital sphere, a little honest exaggeration has never hurt anyone.
“It’s okay to exaggerate something but clickbait is usually dishonest so as long as you’re honest that would be the best way to avoid the incorrect clickbait. People will feel an instant interest,” he suggested.
“You want to keep active, if you post once and then a few months down the line your audience will lose interest because they’ve forgotten about you. Obviously, it depends on what you’re trying to grow, if it’s a personal page, a niche or a business but consistency is key to keeping an audience interacting with your content.”
Mr Clarke continued: “People think that ‘Oh you’ve got a million followers you should get a million likes’ but engagement rates are lower than 10 percent most of the time. If you have 100,000 followers and you’re getting 2,000 likes that’s still a good engagement rate.
“Always look to try and increase that and watch for patterns; what does well and what doesn’t.
“Just make sure you push out content that is doing well and you’ll see it grow over time.”