Currently, internet penetration in developing countries stands at 35%, and in Africa, one in 5 people use the internet today. You're probably wondering why I just stated that, Well, last week I had a chat with Russell Julius, who happens to be from an African city that I find perhaps the most beautiful in the whole world! It had my heart for two years, and probably still does. Wild guesses anyone? Think amazing weather, blue beaches, and of course a table mountain.

You guessed it. Cape Town! Anyway, the reason I felt I wanted and needed to speak to Russell is because like me, he has a strong love for Africa, but other than that, he really wants to grow into a strong contributor in terms of socio-economic development. As if that's not enough, he happens to be the Founder of a really cool cape town marketing agency called Spiral Social Media [SSM].

As I was chatting with him, I learnt that the coolest thing about SSM is that they don’t see themselves as ‘in competition’ with any other agency and this allows them to deliver unique solutions to their clients across all industries. Russell decided he’d illustrate this further to me, about how agencies view themselves as competitors to one another they are saying; “We do the same stuff, but here’s why you should choose me instead of the other guy” and in this sense competing for market share.

However, at SSM they engineer bespoke social media solutions which align with their clients’ business objectives. Luckily for the SSM team, this thinking takes a lot of pressure off them and allowing room for them to be more creative and deliver the best work for their clients whilst having genuine fun at work.

When we hear the word 'Tweet-chat', most of us will automatically think of the likes of SheLeadsAfrica, ICT Africa and Africa Leads to name a few. I was surprised to learn that SSM has the ability to run the most powerful Tweet Chats in South Africa, delivering extensive reach for any brand. They have been in operation for less than one year but have managed to achieve this by having forged affiliations with strong influencers and brands both locally and globally. This is a tip for all digital & social media addicts can adhere to!
…and, for those readers who haven’t fully believed me yet, the weekly non-profit Twitter Chat run administrated by SSM: Entrepreneur Chat, has been a trending regular occurrence in the Top 5.

The only way that SSM was able to become so successful is because when Russell founded SSM, it was after having personally experienced the frustration of trying to market products and services effectively with a limited budget. Upon exploring the social media sphere, he realized this was a game changer for all businesses shapes and sizes. This made him want SSM to come in and service these needs with bespoke solutions. After over a year, they have gotten into the UK market, and are open to African expansion in the next 18 months.

It’s no doubt that the saying “age is nothing but a number” rings truthful, because despite how young the SSM team is, that hasn’t stopped them from flourishing, they are a bunch of specialists who like brands, businesses and people to be themselves. With the vision of being the go-to for those who want to stand firm in their brand identity and carry that over into Social Media with some awesome story-telling!

Most readers might be wondering how many masters or specialties it would take to be so ambitious and successful at such a young age, and in Africa! Well, Russell had this to say: “Firstly, I’m pro-education (tertiary) so I think it’s always a good space to dive in, and to learn more about yourself and develop preferences. The more you know about yourself the easier it becomes to make decisions towards a happier life. Secondly, don’t follow my footsteps, or anyone else’s for that matter. Take lessons, listen and learn from people who have success in business or personal life (respectively). But at all times live your own story fully and fearlessly. Be prepared for growing pains though haha.”

In such a fluctuating marketing like Africa, of course I was interested to find out what else Russell is up to with his time, and he had a list of accolades as below:

  • Co-Founded: Jooste-Julius Marketing & Distribution - Sourcing imported goods for marketing and distribute to South African outlets for local consumers.

  • Special Features Presenter: Hashtag Radio - Conducting Interviews with business leaders and entrepreneurs on freelance basis.

  • Founder: CapieMall - Online sales solution to small businesses. No longer active.

  • Founder: Maverick Consulting - We develop a business from idea phase to a fully operational business and everything in-between.

The takeaway from this write up is to believe in your slay, and to find your own special ways to win at this life thing, because no one else is going to do it for you. Bless up!

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