Spotlight: Peter Murden
Name: Peter Murden
Job: Freelance Social Media Manager
Social handle: @peter_murden
What’s the story of ‘you’?
It would definitely be true to say I struggled in school. I actually nearly got thrown out for selling cans of coke in school after Jamie Oliver got them banned. But, I always had this deep seeded belief that I could ‘make something’ of my life, partly due to my parent’s and partly due to my default mindset.
I’m the kind of person that only does things their passionate about. I have always been passionate about politics, particularly issues surrounding social justice, and how technology can make our lives better. Also, I’ve grown up in the church and that’s still a big part of my life.
What is that you do now?
In short, I am a social media manager.
The long story is, in June I came back to Liverpool after living in Northern California for three years and after a few months of looking for work, a few friends approached me about various freelance work opportunities. For me, freelance was the dream because I really like being in control of my own life and not ‘having’ to work a normal 9.5. These opportunities centred around advising on and running of social media accounts for faith-based organisations. Since then I have started doing some social media training for small businesses in and around Liverpool. But like most freelancers, I have hands in a few different pies and I have recently started some events management.
Tell us about your day-to-day...
Every day looks different, which is something I really like being freelance. Most days you can found me at The Tempest building (where OH is based), usually on the phone or replying to emails. And of course, scheduling Facebook posts. I also have a few clients in the midlands so every other week or so I make the train journey to either Wolverhampton or Leicester.
I’m also a big fan of finding any excuse for a ‘work’ lunch, coffee or ideally a pint.
What skills are essential for your role?
Organisation – I think any job is 20% skills and 80% process. As a freelancer, I have no boss or colleagues making to keep me organised. I have to set my own priorities and schedule.
I also think you have to be able to see the big picture. Whether it’s in terms of where social media fits into the overall marketing strategy for a organisation or a business, or being able to get bogged day with the day-to-day ‘tasks’ and remembering what’s important for growth, both personal and professional.
Is Social Media Management always something you've wanted to do?
I think I’m doing parts of what I’ve ‘always wanted’ to do, but not others. For me, I’ve always wanted to run my own business, whiled at the moment I’m a freelancer. But I think that’s the entrepreneurial life, it’s more about the process than the destination, or the climb rather than the height.
But definitely, I’ve always wanted to work for mission-led organisations, which is what I mostly do. I’ve always wanted to help organisations improve their communications, which I’ve always wanted to do.
How did you get your foot in the door?
I was lucky, friends approached me about working for them and I knew I was reliable due to voluntary work I had done. So I guess I was lucky, but only because I’d put the hard work in.
Biggest lesson you've learned along the way - what is it?
That I have SO much to learn!
Has there been anything that has surprised you about the industry?
The opportunities and possibilities are limitless, but you have to be patient because all good things take time.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Just do something! The thing holding most people back is lack of action. And if you’re not ‘doing something’ because something is holding you back, go and do something about what’s holding you back.
If it’s lack of training, go and get trained.
If it’s your mindset, go and get counselling.
If it’s money worries, go and get a part-time job (I work at Tesco 10hrs a week to supplement my income whiled I establish my freelance business)