Interview with Andrew Dobbie
Andrew founded MadeBrave with £1000 cash and a 2 week old baby – very brave and as everyone knows, bravery always pays off. A photographer and Graphic Designer by trade, he has 16 year’s experience in the creative industry. We caught up with Andrew ahead of his appearance at our Industry Insights event on Aug 31.
You established MadeBrave in 2012 with just £1,000. How did you make it happen?
It was around the time that my son Finlay was born and I thought “If I don’t do this now, I never will” - so I just went for it. I think taking a leap (especially with Dad-fear on your shoulders) is the best motivation you can get and it just started to grow from there.
What was your initial visions for the company and how have they evolved?
Well, it was originally just supposed to me as a Freelancer for photography and design, but now MadeBrave’s a creative branding agency with a team of 30+ people doing branding, design, marketing and digital. So yeah, very different from the initial vision.
When did you realise you were onto something?
I think when I could pay my mortgage, get nappies for Finlay and do something I love every day I was like “yep, this could work”.
You’ve worked with some fabulous clients. What have been your favourite projects to work on and why?
I never really get to do the creative stuff anymore (our team of Designers have that covered) so it’s a real treat when I get to do that sort of thing. I’m a big whisky fan, so visiting the distilleries and shooting for the likes of Glen Garioch, The Ardmore and Springbank are definitely up there with one of my favourite projects. Partnering with Google for their Digital Garage in Glasgow was a big tick off the old bucket list too.
Your social media is off the charts impressive, with over 20k followers on Facebook, it must take up a bit of time to organise and develop. How important has MadeBrave’s social presence been in achieving success?
Social media has been great for us - it has helped with everything from winning us clients, to attracting talent and just getting our brand out there in front of the right people. Our marketing team take care of our social media channels alongside our wider content strategy - we treat it like we would any other client project.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for developing a killer social presence?
● Know your brand first. Social media is just another channel for communicating your brand, but you won’t be able to do that effectively unless you know your brand inside out.
● Have a plan. Social’s great for being reactive, but having a plan means you’ll be able to use it as a channel for meeting your wider objectives.
● Be social. The best thing about social media is that it’s just that - an opportunity to interact with your audience.
So many brands use it as a place to just push their own content and miss the whole point of being social.
What’s on the horizon for MadeBrave?
We’ve got a space in London, so working more in the big smoke is what we’ve got our sights on in the months ahead.
If I was to give you another £1,000 to start another company, what would it be?
Either a company that made a time machine so I could start more companies, or a lumberjack business called ‘Get to the choppa!’
Tickets for Industry Insights are free to members of the Society, more information and to book can be found here.