From time to time, Oh So London features inspirational people who live in our city. And today I’m introducing you to entrepreneur Mark Pearson, a digital affiliate marketing entrepeneur who made his success through the website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk.
Today he gives us the lowdown on his entrepreneurial life, the future of digital, what he thinks about the blogging world and his life in London…
Hi Mark. Tell us about how you made it as an entrepreneur?
I’m a digital entrepreneur and I’m the founder of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk. I spent several years working with different business, from founding my own chain of gastropubs to my own online company that wrote messages on flower petals. But it was when I saw a niche in the market for online coupons that MyVoucherCodes was born. I sold it last year as part of a £55m deal and I have gone on to invest in 20 startups including the likes of Ve Interactive, Last Second Tickets and Playlists.net, bought by Warner Music Group in 2014.
Do you think London is an inspirational place to be for entrepreneurs?
London is the centre of the world! It’s the financial and cultural centre, so of course it is a natural destination for innovators looking to start a business.
Where do you live in London and what do you love about your neighbourhood?
I actually live in Surrey, but I commute into Soho every day. I love Soho because the restaurant selection is unbeatable. You’ve got something for everyone! Five Guys when I’m feeling indulgent and Mojo Café when I’m on a health kick! I’m not a coffee drinker but the hot chocolate from Tap is delicious! And we never run out of venues for after work drinks and dinner plans.
It’s great living outside of London being able to raise my kids in nature and escape from the bustle of it all. We’ve got a huge garden and it’s a great way to unwind.
What was the first job you had?
I grew up in Liverpool and my first job was working the till at my parents’ fruit and veg shop!
You’re someone who has made a huge success from digital affiliate marketing. What do you think of the way the blogging world has emerged over the past 10 years? Do you think it’s a sustainable career choice?
I think if you become an expert in your field, a blog is a great way to build a large following and express your opinion and that of your partners. And of course, people can make money through affiliate partnerships.
If you’re an expert, blogging is a sustainable career, especially using an affiliate in a vertical that can be monetized, such as fashion.
What would your 3 pieces of advice be for aspiring digital entrepreneurs?
1) Fail fast! Don’t be scared to drop it if it’s not working
2) Hire the best people you can afford
3) Work twice as hard as your competition!
What do you predict for the future of digital careers?
There is always a job for online marketing people as SEO and content marketing prove fundamental to any businesses’ success.
And of course, techies. Every youngster should be learning how to code for the future of the UK economy.
I was a chef before I decided to be an entrepreneur. I love creating things so I may have become a landscape gardener instead!
Who do you live with and what do you do when you don’t have your ‘business head’ on?
I live with my partner Aaron, our two-year-old twins Aimee and Luca, and our West Highland Terrier Lady.
My ‘business head’ is always on! When I’m not at the office, I’m meeting with startups and other investors, keeping ahead of the latest trends and building new ventures! (Watch this space!)
Tell us one thing people probably don’t know about you…
I’m scared of heights. When I went to the top of the shard I had to stay by the lift in the middle of the building!
Big thank you to Mark for taking the time to feature on Oh So London. If you want to find out more about Mark, check out the links below.
Until next time x
Check out Mark’s Facebook page