Oct 23, 2023

Home Working Heroes

At YouFibre, we know that you can achieve anything you want with access to ultrafast, reliable broadband. To celebrate the launch of our 8000 Mbps package, and inspire you to do more, we’ve interviewed a series of successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople to find out how they’ve made their fortunes from the comfort of their own homes.

Shoaib Ahmed is the Founder of Yello Hippo, a LinkedIn-first personal branding agency. In 18 months of trading, Shoaib has generated multiple six-figures in revenue, worked with 55+ clients and generated 115 million impressions across the content he and his team have produced. They're experts in building powerful brands on LinkedIn (for entrepreneurs and business leaders) that capture attention, drive business revenue and transform subject experts into digital thought leaders.

Shoaib was also named ‘North West's Young Entrepreneur of The Year’ 2023 and took home the 'Highly Commended' Rising Star award at MEN Business Awards 2023. He is a regular keynote speaker, Virgin Startup Mentor and host of REBELS by Shoaib Ahmed, his debut podcast.

We sat down with Shoaib to discuss his journey to success and why the ability to work remotely was pivotal to his career.

  1. How did you get to where you are today?

I studied Geography at university but always had a passion for marketing. So in 2019-20 I did a year in industry for a media agency in London. That gave me great hands-on experience in all areas of marketing - including events, social media, email, copywriting and design. A lot of those skills I still use today. I leveraged that experience to land a role in a branding startup after I graduated. In each role I had, I always went above and beyond my job responsibilities. The more you put into a job, the more you get out of it. I actively networked with people within and outside of my direct team, shared my learnings online (on LinkedIn), and spent a lot of time studying social media content creators. After using those skills and experience to build my own brand, I was able to amass a following of around 10,000 on LinkedIn (full of other like-minded entrepreneurial people, many of whom later converted into clients). The most important thing I did was believe in myself, learn from the best and then take action.

  1. How has the ability to work remotely benefited your career progression?

The ability to work remotely has changed my life. It's opened so many doors. My two employees work remotely (Charlotte in Newcastle and Gabriel in South Africa). I'm a bit of a digital nomad so this year I've worked from Manchester, Leeds, London, Northampton and even one month in Barcelona. Benefits include the ability to network with anyone (from anywhere) without worrying about commutes or costs! In fact, 50% of my clients I've never even met in person - who'd have thought that would be possible 10 years ago? Also, because I get to dictate where I work and don't faff about travelling each day into an office, I'm hyper-productive. I work around my life - which helps me optimise my routine every day.

  1. How do you build relationships with your team whilst working remotely?

One of my employees is based in South Africa. So if I wasn't able to run a remote business, I would have missed out on amazing talent and a friend too! I'm a super sociable person, so I'm always pinging messages to the team on WhatsApp, jumping on Zoom calls and scheduling non-work chats and catch ups too! My best bit of advice to build relationships with others when you're not physically sitting next to each other is to establish an open-chat policy. My team can drop me an email, DM or meeting link anytime. I'll be there. I make that clear. The key is good and transparent communication.

  1. What’s your advice for other people looking to build a career working remotely?

If you want to build a career working remotely as an employee, you need to make yourself a super valuable asset. So invest time honing your craft by taking online courses, gaining work experience in relevant subject areas and networking widely with people who are 2-3 steps ahead of you in their careers. And of course, build your personal brand - so your value as a professional is crystal clear! If you are great at what you do and can deliver results for companies, most won't care if you work in an office or from home. But remember, being able to work from home is a privilege. Don't expect employers to just hand it to you. You need to earn it and be trusted to do great work, regardless of where you do it.

  1. What does your ideal working from home set-up look like?

My ideal remote work setup changes every day! Some days I work alone from my kitchen table, other days I co-work with friends in coffee shops. That's the best thing about it - flexibility! If I need to do deep work, I'll pop my headphones on, grab a tea and work away for hours on end. But if I need to get creative, I'll use my whiteboard, stick some lo-fi beats on and be on non-stop brainstorming calls with my team. It varies and that's what makes it so great.

Check out more inspiring stories in our Home Working Heroes series.

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