Rags to Twitter Riches—Mark Shaw Becomes the UK's Mr Twitter
Three years ago ex-salesman Mark Shaw was a twice-divorced, unemployed bankrupt man owning only a bag of clothes.
Today he's the U.K's Mr. Twitter. He's frequently sought by the BBC and other leading media outlets, wanting his knowledge and opinions on Twitter. An increasing number of major businesses are calling on his expertise.
Last week Mark published his first book 'Twitter Your Business - A Beginners Guide to Using Twitter to Successfully Promote You and Your Business.'
I caught up with Mark to hear the remarkable tale of how a medical equipment salesman became one of the UK's leading Twitter experts.
It began in early 2008. Aged 42, Mark's circumstances had forced him to live with his parents. He discovered Twitter and decided to focus on learning how it worked.
Doing odd jobs for cash, he spent all the time he could tweeting and reading about Twitter. He grew, then cut, a following of tens of thousands. His account was suspended multiple time as he pushed the envelope of the permisable.
The result was an unrivalled depth of knowledge about how Twitter worked and, more importantly, how to make it work for business.
In late 2008, premier UK radio presenter, Chris Evans, wanted to learn about tweeting. He spotted Mark on Twitter and called him up.
That call put Mark in the spotlight. Suddenly journalists, themselves discovering Twitter, sought his advice. Mark's profile grew. He was invited to speak at conferences and seminars.
Mark Shaw now earns a living as a leading Twitter consultant and is rightly proud of what he's achieved. He's even prouder that he did it all through Twitter, supported by a blog.
"There were some dark times," he admits. "But I never sold my soul by trying to make a quick buck through Twitter."
Mark's very open about his future ambitions. He's looking to secure a regular Twitter column in a national newspaper, strengthening his position as the U.K.'s "go-to" person for Twitter.
He also wants a vacation. "I've not had a break in seven years." Would he log in if he was away? "I might just dip into into Hootsuite for an hour," he confesses.
Mark Shaw might yearn for a holiday but the U.K.'s Mr. Twitter wants to remain connected to the never-ending tweet stream that brought him a new career.