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The Organic Path to Success: Andrew Jenkins' Journey from Menswear to Social Media Expertise




Andrew Jenkins' journey into the entrepreneurial world is not just a story of business acumen and strategic foresight; it's about turning passion and past setbacks into stepping stones for success.


As the CEO of Volterra Digital, a specialized social media management firm, Andrew has carved out a niche in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing. Let me walk you through his story and share some nuggets of wisdom that could help you if you're looking to tread the path of entrepreneurship.


Back in 1995, long before the tech giants that dominate today's market had firmly planted their roots, Andrew dipped his toes into the digital world by launching an e-commerce business in menswear. “It was sort of organic,” Andrew recalls during a chat on The Unsure Entrepreneur Podcast. This early venture didn’t pan out as hoped, but it wasn't a defeat. It was a lesson. “What I learned from that whole process led to working for e-commerce software companies and just diving into the deep end of the emerging internet and e-commerce,” he shared.


From e-commerce, Andrew’s path took a strategic turn. After earning his MBA, he ventured into management consulting, which gradually steered him toward specializing in social media — a field still in its infancy back then. This pivot wasn't planned on business models or market predictions. It evolved from recognizing a gap between what companies needed and what they could actually execute in terms of online engagement. “After a series of engagements where we would go in and do some situational analysis, make strategic recommendations, and then watch clients not execute or do it quite poorly,” Andrew proceeded to create his own retainer-based, outsourced social media management agency.


To learn social media strategies for your organization, buy a copy of Andrew's book 'Social Media Marketing for Business' available online here.

This approach not only simplified things for his clients but also stabilized Volterra Digital’s revenue streams — a crucial move for any business. Andrew emphasizes, “The bulk of our revenue is predictable; I sign a contract with a client and they are coming into a minimum of six months with us.”


But it's not all business strategy and revenue talk. Andrew deeply values the independence his entrepreneurial journey has afforded him. “What I love most is the autonomy,” he admits. Having the freedom to structure his day, to work from anywhere, even from a hotel room in Cancun, and to enjoy life while managing a successful business is what makes all the hard work worthwhile, he says. However, he's candid about the challenges too, noting that the flexibility and freedom came with its own set of sacrifices and hard-learned lessons.


For those of you sitting on the fence about starting your own venture, Andrew’s advice is to start small and manage the downside, echoing a philosophy from one of his favourite books, Richard Branson's Losing My Virginity. “Dip your toe in the water, test some ideas,” suggests Andrew. With today’s digital tools, you can test a business concept with minimal upfront investment, a strategy that reduces risk while allowing for iterative learning and development.


If you’re intrigued and want to hear more about how Andrew Jenkins maneuvered through the highs and lows of his entrepreneurial journey, tune into his interview on The Unsure Entrepreneur Podcast.


[photo: Andrew Jenkins]

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