Elite Creatives: Shanice Sawopa
The young entrepreneur on how her start-up secured big brands like Paul's Boutique and why it's at the forefront of a new wave of targeted marketing
Name: Shanice Sawopa
Company name: Elite Creatives
Date launched: 25/07/2015
Tell us what your business does:
Elite Creatives is a digital marketing agency that connects brands with digital influencers. As the world has shifted to social media, consumers now look to those whose opinions they follow to inform their buying decisions.
With this in mind, we created a platform whereby brands and digital influencers can integrate with the digitised generation and reach the right audiences.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea stemmed from witnessing influencer marketing myself through people I followed on my personal Instagram account. These people had a significantly large following and would advertise all sorts of products from apps to shoes, to jewellery and even tea bags!
The beauty of it is that it’s organic and just about anyone can be an influencer.
How did you know there was a market for it?
I knew there was a market for my business as marketers are challenged with trying to scale three major areas (reach, engagement, and consumer influence) and influencer marketing is a proven way to get all three!
The rise of digital influencers has created a world of possibilities and opened doors for businesses to connect with consumers more directly and organically.
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What were you doing before starting up?
I had just graduated with a law degree from University.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, from a young age my father always encouraged me to start my own business. And after having graduated with a 2.1 LLB Honours degree, I felt that now was the perfect time to get my hands dirty and launch my start-up.
How did you raise the money?
I self-funded the business and have bootstrapped its growth.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We work with both the influencers and brands, and figure out ways in which both can influence the current generation.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Plenty but so much opportunity exists for Elite Creatives because we’ve found a niche market that differentiates ourselves from our competitors.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Collaborating with Pauls Boutique, and having them as a base brand we regularly work with.
Since starting Elite Creatives, the feedback has been phenomenal! We’ve already had interest from huge brands like Whistles, Jaeger, Lindex and Debenhams, and are in discussion with Public Desire, and various agencies that represent the companies like Stone Island, Birkenstock, The FRYE Company, Superga…
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ready, set, get started!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Being at the forefront of this new paradigm of digital convergence. We also wish to be the go-to agency for businesses who want to learn about influencer marketing and the benefits they can accrue by utilising it.