Growing from a school enterprise, overcoming doubt from others and being crowned Young Freelancer of the Year 2018 helped Harvey develop his business. This is just Part 1 of an uplifting conversation, but we hope Harvey's tips and message will spur you on to also take the chance and apply for one our awards. The deadline is tomorrow, 5th April, it’s free to enter and it's definitely not one of those tediously long ones, so don’t miss out!
“If someone had said to me when I started secondary school aged 11, that in 2018, I'd be named Young Freelancer of the Year in a national competition, I would never have believed them.”
@Harvey Morton Digital
What motivated you to become a freelancer?
I started my business through a school enterprise competition which runs in the Sheffield City Region when I was fifteen. I was lucky enough to have lots of success in the competition whereby I went out to businesses and individuals offering on-call IT support and I decided to keep my business going after the competition had ended. I'm so grateful I had this opportunity because who knows what I might be doing now if I'd not set-up a business.
When my business was in the early stages, I had other part-time jobs working in IT support and sales, but as soon as I knew I could support myself and just work freelance alongside my studies, I decided to go for it and I've never looked back.
I love being freelance because you never know who you're going to meet and no two days are the same, that's what motivated me to work for myself - knowing I could work on my own terms with brands that share the same values as I do, and I find it so rewarding seeing my clients visions come to life.
Can you tell us about your business at the time you applied?
When I applied for the IPSE awards, I guess I was in quite a negative place. At the time, I had lots of people around me who didn't believe in me, and, I've had mentors over the years which I've realised have given me bad advice and caused me to make some bad decisions. I applied for the awards, because whilst I wasn't too confident in myself at the time, I knew I'd achieved a lot and I wanted to do something for me - regardless of the outcome. It's not very often I enter competitions, often the application process is too long, and, I know it's hard to shout about your own successes. However, I started applying for the IPSE awards, and, something made me hit that 'submit' button.
My business was going through a change when I applied for the awards - I wasn't happy with the corporate feel of my brand, and, was working to make changes to reflect all of the recent work I'd done, and with a focus towards the charity work I'm proud of too. Whilst I create websites regularly, and, manage clients social media pages every day - finding time to focus on my own branding is really difficult (any freelancer will know this), so, it kept getting pushed aside. I applied for the IPSE Awards knowing the prize would give me the boost I needed to be able to change-up my brand quickly, and, refocus the business on the services I actually wanted to offer.
Applying for the IPSE Awards made me feel really great! When you write down everything you've achieved on the application form, along with your future plans - it made me realise how far I'd come.
@ Nisha Haq Photography
We understand that you and your business have gone through some changes in the last year since winning the award, can you tell us a bit about your journey since being crowned Young Freelancer of the Year?
Since winning Young Freelancer of the Year, I've been able to transform my business. The prize money allowed me to [finally] bring in a graphic designer, and, copywriter who helped me to create a brand which felt more like me.
I also created a new website, with bright colours and a simple focus on my skills and personal approach to the world of digital marketing, as my clients often told me they loved my no-nonsense approach and personal service. I changed the name of the business from Harvey Morton IT Support to Harvey Morton Digital in late-August 2018 after spending a while working on my vision and direction. I wanted to focus on offering a premium level service, and, working with charities, SMEs and large corporate brands. I also wanted to showcase all of the charity work I've done, from speaking in Parliament regularly with Youth Employment UK, helping young people to move into their chosen careers to helping disadvantaged young people build up their employability skills with The Prince's Trust and The Diana Award, I'm really proud of how I've been able to use my own personal experiences to help others who were like me at school.
Since the launch of my new brand, I've received incredible feedback, and, I've seen an increase in the number of enquiries I get each week. The Young Freelancer of the Year title has also created so many opportunities for me, I now have businesses wanting to work with me as I have a title to prove I'm one of the best in the UK - it's crazy how much an award like this can boost your reputation.
@ Nisha Haq Photography
This is Part 1 of a two-part blog series, so do come back tomorrow to learn about how winning the Awards helped our Young Freelancer of the Year 2018.
If Harvey's words of encouragement have inspired you to also apply for the Young Freelancer of the Year Awards you still have time until this Friday, 5th April. Maybe you are going through a rough patch with your freelance business, but completing the application might just give you that boost once you consider just how much you have achieved and how you do deserve the award! We look forward to reading your applications!
Pssst, if you think you aren't ready to apply, chances are you already are!