Creating a community of creative talent

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Exordi co-founder Tamsin Raine has built a platform that connects marketeers, brands and agencies to a network of the world’s best content creators. Interview by Emily Moore

IF, this time 12 months ago, you had told Tamsin Raine that in a year’s time she would have built a tech platform and ‘be managing and navigating the digital landscape’, she probably wouldn’t have believed you.

‘I’d have been terrified,’ acknowledged the Exordi co-founder, who joined Digital Jersey’s Tech Start-up Bootcamp earlier this year. ‘My background was in running and facilitating campaigns, not in technology.’

Because of that, Tamsin admits that there have been times over the past year when she has felt ‘completely out of her depth’.

‘However, Digital Jersey has done a brilliant job in facilitating a safe space where I didn’t feel stupid asking questions and where there was a constant support network including my mentor, Ed Prow, who has been fantastic,’ she said. ‘I think that sometimes we feel we shouldn’t ask a question because we should know the answer but the reality is that often we are winging it and that it is only by asking those questions and digging a little deeper that entrepreneurs become successful.’

Having co-founded Exordi alongside photographer Matt Porteous and London-based former professional skier Carlo Scaglia, Tamsin said that the idea for the platform derived from work that she was doing alongside a number of content creators, including Matt.

‘At its heart, Exordi is a platform which connects marketeers, brands and agencies to a network of the world’s best content creators,’ she said. ‘When I developed the concept for the business, I was already working manually with some of the world’s best content creators including Matt and [filmmaker] Tom Webster. We had built a strong portfolio of work, fulfilling projects for some big brands and organisations. I loved the day-to-day work but I wanted to find a way of doing what we were doing on a bigger scale so that we could grow our community of purpose-driven storytellers.’

Thus inspired, Tamsin, Matt and Carlo worked with a team of developers based in Sicily to develop the platform which she describes as being ‘built by creators for creators with creators’ needs in mind’.

‘Before Exordi came into being, brands would come to us, tell us their story, what they wanted from a campaign and then ask whether we could facilitate and produce it,’ Tamsin said. ‘Then would begin the process of finding the right creators to tell that story. Now, brands can enter their brief directly onto the platform and they will be automatically matched with the best storyteller for their needs.

‘Because we have a world-class community of content creators based all over the globe, the need for travel is largely eliminated, which not only has environmental benefits but also makes the campaigns a lot more cost-effective for the clients.’

As well as acting as a matchmaking service for brands and creators, Tamsin says that Exordi protects ‘creators who were often being done over by brands who didn’t understand the landscape of the campaign’.

‘Sometimes the filmmakers and photographers were seen as hobbyists, so I was often being “mum” to these amazing, talented individuals,’ she said. ‘The platform now does that for them, automating their contracts and ensuring that they are paid on time.’

There are also, says Tamsin, further advantages for clients.

‘Finding content creators isn’t always easy and they are not always reliable or quick to respond to messages,’ she acknowledged. ‘Exordi gives you that quick, easy way to find the right people for your campaign.’

While the platform is now at the minimum viable product stage, Tamsin – who also manages Studio M and is a co-founder, alongside Matt, of Ocean Culture Life – said that more than 100 content creators had already joined the online community, while five campaigns had been booked in the first few weeks of the year.

‘We are still testing the platform and have just opened up for a round of investment, so there is still a lot of work to do but, excitingly, not only do we have proof of concept but we are already generating revenue, which is always attractive for an investor, and we can show scaleability,’ she said.

‘I am really hoping to find a Jersey angel investor, as I am a local girl and Exordi is very much a Jersey-based business, albeit one which is already working across the globe. As the business grows, I would love to hire local people to join me, and I’m particularly keen to encourage more females to enter the tech space.’

As well as being keen to foster female technology entrepreneurship, Tamsin wants to stress the purpose-driven nature of the content which is at the heart of Exordi.

‘People who know us, and know about Ocean Culture Life – the community of ocean advocates we’ve built around the world – will know that our niche is purpose-driven storytelling,’ she said. ‘Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the community of content creators we have built at Exordi shares those values. As a result, although we won’t say no to a brand, if their message isn’t endorsed by our content creators, they won’t get a match.’

Companies whose values have matched with those of the content creators include Beautiful Destinations, Mars and the International Cotton Association.

‘We’ve got some really exciting jobs that we’re working on at the moment or have just completed, with projects having taken place in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Singapore,’ she said. ‘I’m also really excited that this summer we have a project in Indonesia which will be completed by an all-female crew, something which is even more remarkable, as only around 10% of photographers and filmmakers are female.’

And while admitting that she still has a lot of work to do to build Exordi, she says that she is beginning to enjoy the process.

‘It’s a constant battle and because you are so caught up in hitting objectives and targets, you often forget to look back and see how far you’ve come,’ she smiled. ‘I’m trying now to celebrate the little wins and remember that we are generating revenue, building a community and developing a business. Success is how you measure it. I put myself under a lot of pressure because I have a vision and am constantly in pursuit of that but I have to remind myself to enjoy the journey and the everyday as well.’

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