A Week in My Life: Joe Gradwell, CEO, Campfire

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Joe Gradwell founded Manchester-based social marketing agency Campfire with former Social Chain colleague Alex Brown.

Having already surpassed its 2020 revenue target, the agency - which works with clients including Archie’s, UKFast and Missguided - is now targeting £1m in its first year having brought in new faces during the lockdown.

Here he talks us through a week in his working life.

Monday

Mondays for me, and most others, are pretty hectic. After waking up early doors and checking my feed for any updates (a morning scroll is work, honest), I’ll begin prepping for the morning of reporting feedback. Campfire produces bespoke, detailed reports for many of its clients, allowing them to have an immediate view on last week’s performance ready for a Monday morning.

With us being in lockdown, we needed to find a way to stay in regular communication, and so we have daily, morning, all-hands calls so that the entire time is aware of key updates. It’s here on Mondays where I’ll discuss with the team any anomalies that they’ve found as a result of any rapid updates or changes that occur on any platforms. This is the reason we’re always first to understand new developments and put them into practice.

My day is spent focused on encouraging new ideas and capabilities from the team. The evening is my time to explore opportunities for growth of the business, as well as in the gym, to keep a clear head.

Tuesday

Today was the day reviewed one of our most innovative social campaigns to date. We’re working with a client on a TikTok campaign based on mass-influencer and ambassador content creation. We’d anticipated strong results, but not as quickly as we’d seen. It's incredible to see.

For context, our top line target was one million views, it turned out we’d achieved that target in the first seven days!? I spent the rest of the afternoon working with the team on doubling down on our method to success, as well as deconstructing why this success happened, so that we’re able to create the formula for success in this arena.

Today felt like a good day so I arranged to meet up with my friend and grab a takeaway beer in Ancoats Square. The new normal.

Wednesday

This particular Wednesday was our month in review meeting with our senior team. In this meeting we discuss our performance for the month across all areas, our output, the team’s performance and happiness/development, new social changes and developments, business performance and new opportunities.

It’s in this particular meeting we discussed the rollout plan for our new branding, our content series and soon to launch podcast series - this meeting was a little longer than usual...

Again I’ll finish the day at the gym in our office before heading home. Feel extremely grateful that we have a gym we can use, it's managed to keep me slightly sane!

Thursday

Oddly enough Thursday was my birthday! I woke up to breakfast in bed, WhatsApps pinging in my ear and a busy day ahead. I feel extremely fortunate to say our team has doubled during lockdown, but what that also means is that half of our team have never met each other (or even myself) in person. Today was the first day we’d get that luxury. We’d organised a shoot day for our team to get new headshots for the newly branded website we’ve got in development.

Having the team in the office made me realise how much I miss being able to discuss, learn and laugh with this amazing group of people. We finished the day with a quiz (typical) and a team deliveroo (it seemed only right!).

Friday

This Friday was a day filled with interviews. This year has been a rollercoaster to say the very least, our business has grown quicker than we’d ever anticipated, and subsequently so has our team.

We’re still on the hunt for two more roles, and our Friday was spent mostly responding to all the applications we’d received and organising video interviews with those we wanted to speak too.

At Campfire, we focus more on the type of person you are rather than your qualifications. A strong work ethic, good will and kindness is a lot harder to teach than the inner-workings of social media... something we always keep in mind, and why we’re quite selective when hiring for our team.

I’ll finish this day in the gym in our office before finally heading home to enjoy some downtime over the weekend.