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Lindi Mngaza

Lindi Mngaza is the director and founder of Explode Social Media – a social media agency operating in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter – with aspirations of becoming the biggest social media agency in the West Midlands within 18 months.

EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE: Go to the gym at 5:30am. Come into the office around 8am. Check through schedules and dates, ensuring all the right posts are going out. Go through my calendar, looking through my sales pitches and sales calls for the day. Do research on these businesses, call them up, sell, close deals. Make sure that we are bringing enough business to sustain ourselves and grow, and that we are looking after existing clients in order to keep them satisfied and ensure they love us enough to give us repeat business.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW? It's that most businesses do social media themselves… and they do it badly. As a result, they don’t understand the importance of doing it well and how it can actually drive engagement, leads and sales – as well as ultimately improving their bottom line.

At a time when we all have our own Instagram channels or Facebook profiles, it’s increasingly difficult to get people to understand that social media for personal use and for business use are completely different.

AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES? For us right now it's emerging markets, like the CBD and vaping industries, as there’s a huge interest in them and a growing demand.

We love pharmaceutical and nutraceutical businesses too because we understand - having had a background with the MHRA - how to manage those sorts of clients and stay compliant for them. We also have some major focus around the food and drink market, as we have abilities to do fantastic food photography amongst other things from our offices.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? By being the most fun person in the room. By making sure that I stay engaged and know what they are doing, as well as understanding what they want to achieve on a personal level, it allows my business to facilitate and help them reach their goals.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST MEETING ABOUT, HOW LONG DID IT LAST, AND WAS IT PRODUCTIVE? It was with a client, Acre Pharma. We were talking about how we can grow its accounts, manage its social media profiles and help it launch some new products on social media before launching it on its website. It was very successful - it went unbelievably well - and I’m very confident that we’re going to close more business with them.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? I get between 15 and 20 emails, including appointments of people who potentially want to do business with us and existing clients who want to discuss their current service. In the morning, I go through as many as I can. I’m periodically responding throughout the day, so I don’t get a backlog of emails. I always ensure I respond to emails within 48 hours.

DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? Absolutely – work comes first in every capacity! If somebody wants to talk to me, whether that’s 6am or 10pm, I’ll pick up the phone and talk to them. I do make sure that I have a lot of downtime and I’m certainly not skipping out on having fun: the working day for me is from 8am-5:30pm with an hour for lunch. On a weekly basis, I’ll probably do 2-3 out of hours phone calls and meetings too.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Enthusiastic, engaging, a charismatic leader and somebody who is out there to go get it!

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? Probably doing the 2008 BBC Apprentice, along with growing the Allied Commercial Finance group from £1 million turnover to £10 million turnover as sales director.

ANY PARTICULAR FAUX PAS OR EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD PREFER TO FORGET? I used to work for MBNA credit card in the late 90s and I managed to blag my way in through reception into a board meeting to sell them credit cards... Despite a ropey start, I managed to turn it around and ultimately closed the deal without an appointment!

PET HATES? People who don’t want to give you a decision, mess you around, say they want to do something and don’t do it. I’m a straight talker and my preference is to deal with people who are the same.


HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? I like to go out with friends, drink, party, eat nice food, have fun and live it up!

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS COMMUNITY? The Birmingham business community is close knit: we know each other, we like to help each other out and if you know the right people and are in the right circle and doing good service – you can get a lot of referrals and your business just grows.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW. My father is from South Africa and my mother is from Jamaica. I have dual heritage and I am very interested in lost knowledge and ancient civilizations.

YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? The book I’d take would be The Secret by Rhonda Byrne;  the film would be Identity Theft by Seth Gordon; and the CD would be Ella Mai’s self-titled album Ella Mai.

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Nelson Mandela, Beyoncé, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa and Robert Kiyosaki.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT FOR YOUR LAST SUPPER? Jerk chicken, macaroni cheese, rice and peas with homemade coleslaw.


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