Meet Harris Williams from WISP Media & Marketing.
An extremely driven business owner, Harris took the lemons that life handed him after the Covid lockdown of 2020 and made lemonade in the form of starting his own business – something he’d always wanted to do.
Combining his skills of journalism and marketing, as well as his creative flair, WISP offers a unique full-service agency approach to media and marketing.
We asked Harris a few quick-fire questions to learn more about our member.
Tell us a bit about your background – your career to date, your experience… basically, how what you have done has got you to where you are today.
Growing up I always wanted to be a sports journalist. Being heavily involved in sport and having English as a favourite subject meant the role seemed a perfect fit. I’ve always been a quietly determined type and made it a goal to work at SKY Television (Crowd Goes Wild was the ultimate goal).
During my three-year stint at Massey University, I produced and starred in my own video with the Manawatu Turbos, and I sent that into CGW. They ended up playing it on their show for my television debut! I was able to leverage the exposure into work experience ops at SKY HQ in Auckland, which culminated in me securing a role as an assistant sports producer at Sky TV.
I worked at SKY for 1.5 years and was unfortunately let go during the first COVID lockdown, which triggered a mass company redundancy. Although I enjoyed corporate work lifestyle, I couldn’t shake the itch that to be best version of myself, I could be doing more.
It was from this point that I took the plunge. Why should I be relying on another person/business to create the future I’m chasing? I’m going to seize the moment and create my own future.
And that’s how it started. In October 2020, I started my business journey and have never looked back. Today we are WISP Media and Marketing and are here to make a splash. The sky is the limit.
When did you start your business? How long have you been operating?
I started my business journey in October 2020. I began under the name Ashe Creative and worked as an independent freelancer, and landed some massive roles, including a 10-month contract with Spark Sport. It was around October 2021 that I shifted my sign posts to creating a turn-key media and marketing agency, and started trading under the name WISP.
Why did you start your own business?
If you’re a young and ambitious person with big dreams, I believe that in many cases working for someone puts a cap on those dreams. You receive stability and security, but sacrifice unlimited opportunity and potential. I started a business because anything is possible running your own business. I love living in this space.
Tell us about your business: What services do you offer? How can you help our business community?
We are a full-service media and marketing agency that offers:
- Advertising and communications
- Marketing and brand
- Digital and social media
- Creative services and film production
- Journalism services
We have the capacity and connections to do the job across all these areas. We also love working local with local businesses and want to provide value.
What makes your business unique?
Our capacity for journalism and strategic film production is undoubtably a competitive difference in our business service line. My experience in television has helped give me a unique insight into how to tell a story. We offer the full-service experience, but with a few unique tricks up our sleeve and I love that point of difference.
When you first got into business, what is the one thing you wish people told you?
Understanding leverage, how to create it and capitalise on it.
In your first year of business, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The art of cold calling. This was the bane of my existence when I first started as I was unsure and lacked confidence. There were many challenges during my first year of business, so it’s funny how this is the first thing that comes to mind!
And now, looking back, what have been your biggest learnings?
That no problem is outside your capacity to solve. Changing my thinking from “I can’t do this” to “How can I do this?” was a simple, yet significant, learning step that forced me to think critically and positively.
What’s the one misconception people might have about your industry?
I think there’s a view out there marketing agencies come with a lot of ‘fluff’ and ‘feeling’ rather than data, measurables and metrics to justify a clients investment. I think that the advent of digital marketing has completely shifted that landscape. It still blows my mind how data and metric-oriented this type of marketing really is!
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your business?
That we are here. We are high skilled, talented, experienced, hungry, and we want to make a splash.
What are your goals (personal and professional) for the next six to 12 months?
My business goals:
- Employ full-time staff members
- Land an international client
- Double our revenue from last year
- Become a recognised brand in the Bay of Plenty market.
My personal goals:
- Play premier rugby again
- Learn about residential property investment
- Save enough money for an investment
- Run a marathon this summer.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
Playing golf, after work beers with mates, keeping fit, watching, playing, and chatting sport, playing music, mountain walks, reading, quality family/friend time.
If you could impart one piece of advice to fellow business owners, what would it be?
My advice would be to other young people out there who aspire to run their own business: The hardest part is pressing go and taking the plunge! Be daring, be sure of yourself and your big dreams and make it happen.
Our member profiles are a great way to give the business community a taste of who you are and what you do, so when they see your face at one of our events they won’t hesitate to make that all-important introduction.