This Student Beat 500 People to a Marketing Internship With a Twitter DM

Table of Contents Bickerton took the initiative to build Bartlett’s Wikipedia page to help drive…

This Student Beat 500 People to a Marketing Internship With a Twitter DM
  • Nathan Bickerton wrote a Wikipedia article for social marketing heavyweight Steven Bartlett. 
  • Bartlett offered him an internship within 10 minutes of Bickerton messaging to say what he’d done. 
  • “He identified a blind spot I had, created a solution, got it done and sent me a nice message.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Digital marketing graduate Nathan Bickerton, 22, networked on LinkedIn for more than a year to boost his chances at getting the job he coveted in public relations. 

But it was a Twitter DM that landed him an internship with Steven Bartlett, the founder and former CEO of social media marketing agency Social Chain. 

Bickerton messaged Bartlett, saying he had created a Wikipedia page for him to help with SEO for the imminent campaign for Bartlett’s book “Happy Sexy Millionaire: Unexpected Truths about Fulfillment, Love, and Success,” which was due to be released 13 days later.

Within 10 minutes of the message, Bartlett offered him the exact job Bickerton says he talked himself out of applying for only days earlier. 

“I offered this young guy a job 10 minutes after he sent me this message,” Bartlett tweeted out to his 100,000 followers. “He identified a blind spot I had, created a solution, got it done and sent me a nice message.”

 

The tweet, which received 1,000 likes, continued: “This one act stood out more than the 500+ CVs I received this week.”

Bickerton told Insider: “I didn’t even expect a response because I had 25 followers at the time and Steven had 100,000.” 

Bickerton took the initiative to build Bartlett’s Wikipedia page to help drive the new author’s book campaign

It took Bickerton four hours to create the page. But Bartlett’s tweet actually led to its deletion, as using the phrase “SEO” while sharing caused Wikipedia to delete it, thanks to its “no follow policy.” 

“You aren’t actually allowed to edit Wikipedia for SEO purposes,” Bickerton said. “So when Steven shared my message and mentioned the SEO aspect, that’s when it backfired and the page got deleted.”

Bickerton added, by then, the initial post had already gone viral, garnering huge attention. Bartlett’s book debuted at number two on the Sunday Times bestsellers’ list.  

But this followed a myriad of job rejections.

“I started applying for [public relations] jobs around mid-2020 because I initially planned to go straight into a job [after graduating university], but I found that when I was applying for jobs, that the lack of experience was really setting me back,” Bickerton told Insider.

He had worked part-time in PR while still a student, then worked for the UK government’s “test and trace” coronavirus program but was laid off in March 2020.

Meticulous job hunting

Bickerton shared with Insider that before the opportunity with Bartlett, he meticulously tracked all his job searches and applications on an Excel spreadsheet documenting every step of the process. He was diligent but his lack of experience had him at a disadvantage. 

“I thought I was putting a lot of effort in and it was taking too long really, it felt like it’s hard to distinguish yourself from the crowd,” he said. “Employers can’t see my personal branding efforts on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter on my CV.”

When he realized Bartlett was lacking a crucial part of any online presence, he saw an opportunity to create new content that he could use in his writing portfolio. 

“I thought it would get a few likes on LinkedIn if I’m going to be honest. Because of my background in PR, I know a thing or two about stunts on social media,” he said.

By then, he had 1,400 connections on LinkedIn and expected strong engagement from what he was sharing and because of Bartlett’s stature.

Building his online presence helped Bickerton half the way

When Bartlett reached out to Bickerton, he had spent more than a year cultivating this network. He was adamant that his job offer doesn’t make him an “overnight success.”

When he first began building an audience on LinkedIn, he started by trying various types of content, which was “hard because I was putting a lot of effort into the posts and I wasn’t really getting many likes,” he said.

But after experimenting and noting what worked — primarily inspirational stories and data-driven content — Bickerton began to see his brand grow. 

He attributes this work to preparing him to jump on the opportunity he saw with Bartlett. Bickerton begins his paid internship in London in May.