Client Spotlight: School Speakers

This month we caught up with Claire Young who is the founder of School Speakers. It is an agency which specialises in offering inspirational talks and workshops to students across a wide range of subjects including STEM, enterprise, careers, social media, anti- bullying, sports and award events. Their overall aim is to raise aspiration and to inspire, motivate & educate young people! It brings real life experiences into the classroom and connects students with an array of outstanding role models.

The company recently celebrated it’s sixth birthday and has seen significant success in the past few years winning several awards recognising it’s contribution. School Speakers now has over 300 speakers working across the UK and internationally with schools overseas.

We have worked with Claire and the School Speakers team for a number of years now and it’s been a pleasure to see the brand grow and evolve.

Sum up your company in no more than 10 words.

School Speakers is an agency which offers talks, workshops and full day activities for students.

What was the initial inspiration behind School Speakers?

After appearing on The Apprentice, I was inundated by schools asking me to go and speak to their students. I quickly saw a gap in the market to make it easier for teachers to find great speakers who were experienced at talking in schools, had been vetted and checked that they were of high quality and that they were in line with their budget. Six years on, we now have over 300 speakers and work with thousands of schools across the UK and internationally.

What drives your business forward?

My ideas and energy drive School Speakers forward. I have great passion and love for my business and I am conscious that we need to constantly evolve so that we are offering students the best opportunities to inspire, motivate and engage in their learning.

What has been the most exciting moment for you, personally, since being at the company?

I have been very lucky to have some amazing experiences since starting School Speakers; winning Wakefield Business Person of the Year 2015, being nominated for the Queen’s Enterprise Awards twice, going to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party for enterprise work. But probably most importantly, being able to strike a good work-life balance around my young daughter Eva. It is also very rewarding to think that the work we do is hopefully shaping the future of some young peoples’ lives – speaker visits can spark drive, determination and open up their eyes to new ideas.

What is the biggest challenge for your business?

Cash flow! Making sure that people pay on time. As a business owner, cash is king and if the money stops - everything grinds to a halt. Keep on top of your finances.

How important is a digital presence for School Speakers?

The majority of sales enquiries come to School Speakers through a Google search and the website, so a digital presence is absolutely critical. It is the ‘shop window’ and allows people to find us, connect and, hopefully, book our services.

How did you first hear about Statement?

Statement was recommended to me via a friend. Word of mouth is by far the best form of marketing (and it costs nothing!).

When you initially contacted us, what were you looking for?

Help and somebody local. I wanted to be able to speak to someone face to face and build that relationship. We wanted a new website which was easy to update and manage.

What kind of comments do people make about your website?

Teachers love our website as they say that it is easy to navigate, it is simple to review speakers, eye catching and they like the fact that we have no advertising pop ups.

What's next for School Speakers?

In the next academic year, School Speakers will be working more internationally and also offering free events for students where we will bring several speakers together called ‘THE SESSIONS’.

You can read more about School Speakers’ website project by reading our case study or visiting their website and if you want to discuss your own project with us, please get in touch.

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