Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Yes, I’m Harvey Morton – a 24-year-old entrepreneur and podcast host from Sheffield. I started my own business aged 13 before offering IT support to businesses and individuals aged 15 as part of a school enterprise competition. During this time, I juggled both my new work commitments and my education, completing my GCSEs and A-Levels while getting the company off the ground. I’m a Sheffield Hallam University Graduate and have received support from the SHU Enterprise Team to grow my business alongside my studies.
In the last few years, my reputation for excellence has continued to grow, picking up the IPSE National Young Freelancer of the Year prize (2018) along the way.
Following this achievement, I relaunched my flagship brand as Harvey Morton Digital, providing the key solutions to all the digital problems my clients face. I also make regular appearances as a public speaker at major events with focus on entrepreneurship and anti-bullying.
When I’m not working, I love to inspire other young future leaders as they begin on their own entrepreneurial journeys, as well as continuously engaging with the latest thought leadership in my field.
I wind down by indulging in some of my favourite hobbies. Alongside trips to the cinema and going to concerts, I enjoy relaxing with friends and family, working out and getting acquainted with all the best new restaurants and cafes. I can often be found walking my beloved border collie, Nelly.
What does your job involve? What happens on a typical day?
Each day can be different from the last, and that’s why I love being self-employed. Typically, I spend my time planning and crafting social media content for clients, but also offer website design and influencer marketing services too – so my time is spent juggling lots of different projects. I like to divide my days into segments because otherwise, it would be impossible to ever finish anything when my industry moves so fast. So, I might spend my morning writing content for clients’ social media pages and in the afternoon, chatting to influencers about upcoming campaigns or building a new website for a client. I regularly speak in schools and colleges too, so often attend events and talk about my entrepreneurial journey alongside my day-to-day work.
What’s great about what you do?
I love how varied my role can be – I get to work with a huge variety of clients from smaller businesses and start-ups locally to household names like JD Sports and BBC Bitesize. I love being creative and getting stuck into new projects, there’s always lots going on and I enjoy seeing my campaigns come together.
What are the toughest parts of your job?
As my job is primarily in social media, I can find it really hard to stay offline and relax during my evenings and weekends. Due to the nature of my work, I always have to stay up to date with the latest news and trends, which as everyone knows is generally quite heavy at the moment. Some of my work can be quite bleak, for instance, compiling money-saving tips for customers to navigate the cost-of-living crisis or engaging with individuals on my client’s social media channels who are struggling with their mental health.
Managing a number of social profiles means I always have so many notifications and it can quickly become overwhelming. It’s taken me years to get better at switching off!
What are the highlights of your career to date?
There are a number of highlights that spring to mind. My proudest moment was winning the IPSE National Young Freelancer of the Year prize in 2018, it was my first national award and felt like a huge stamp of approval for all of the work I’d been doing. Another huge highlight was being named Ambassador of the Year for Youth Employment UK, a fantastic organisation I volunteer with. I love supporting young people and speaking in schools and writing about my experiences is my way of paying forward what I’ve learned, so business owners, entrepreneurs, and young people can avoid the same pitfalls and achieve great things.
I always wanted to work in radio (and still do – it would be my dream job) and raising my profile as an entrepreneur has brought with it a number of media opportunities that have led me back to my first love, I’m really proud of that too!
What's been the biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
I’ve faced a number of challenges in my career to date, but I’d say the biggest challenge came when I started out running my own business. As I was so young (aged 15), so many people used to question whether I was experienced and qualified enough to deliver what I’d promised. It was a huge barrier to overcome, and I had to do lots of free work to build trust and demonstrate what I could do. Very occasionally, I still get questions about my age – but it shouldn’t be a barrier for anyone ever. Age doesn’t always translate to experience.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
My path into this role was somewhat unconventional, starting so young while I was taking part in a school enterprise competition. I always had a huge passion for technology, and friends and family would often come to me for help with computer problems or to set up their new devices – so that’s where my idea to set up offering IT support came from. Through my time in school and into sixth form, I developed an interest in social media and marketing, so that’s when I decided to diversify my offering and undertake work placement opportunities in the area. A lot of my skills are self-taught – but I still went to university and got a degree in Business and Enterprise Management to develop further and to back up my experience.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry in recent times? If so, what?
Yes – huge changes! When I started out in social media management, video content was always quite long form, and it was quite unusual for brands to put out so much visual content. Now with the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, we’re creating and consuming more video content than ever.
Given this colossal global reach and potential, combined with the ability to easily record and edit videos of up to three minutes in-app and then share clips to multiple platforms, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes are flocking to these platforms.
How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?
My parents always worked so hard, and while I had a really tough time throughout school and into sixth form and university due to lots of bullying, they always encouraged me to keep going and taught me the importance of being grateful for everything I had rather than being upset about anything I couldn’t control. I always channelled my frustrations into being creative and now I invest a lot of time into supporting other young people facing the same difficulties that I did in education. These early lessons from my parents are upheld in my company values!
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Everything will be ok! Keep going, stay in your own lane, and don’t compare yourself to others.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in your field?
Nothing is impossible! With hard work and determination, you can succeed – don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be creative and just go for it, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and be bold – the best marketing campaigns always come from taking risks.
Where can people find you and your work online?
You can find me at www.harveymorton.digital, @HarveyMortonIT on Twitter, and @harveymorton15 on Instagram. My podcast ‘The Social Sanctuary’ is available on all podcast platforms and at www.thesocialsanctuary.co.uk