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Chelsea Hinton

Chelsea Hinton on amplifying your niche

By Chelsea Hinton

Director - Hinton Collective

Combining her two loves of music and marketing, Chelsea Hinton has tuned in to a specialist niche of promoting brands in the high-end audio and consumer tech sectors.

After sounding out the industry working in marketing for an audio manufacturer, Chelsea launched her own business stemming from her specialist industry knowledge in technology and manufacturing through to promotion, product launches and events.

Today, through her collective of sector specialists, Chelsea is being heard in the industry as a go-to marketing expert for high-end audio, music and consumer tech products and companies.

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Can you give us some examples of your clients and projects?

Several of my clients are British audio manufacturers and I work directly with the CEO or owners who are designing the products. I've got long-standing clients that I support with all their marketing as well as project-led work such as product launches.

I work with loudspeaker company Kudos Audio, turntable company Vertere Acoustics, and I’m also working with a new client called Zuma which develops innovative speakers built into in-ceiling spotlights.

Finding a niche that I really enjoy has set me apart from other freelancers offering outsourced marketing support and has helped me grow my business. You’re more likely to get recommended by industry peers that you’ve worked with before and many brands see you as an expert in your field so would rather work with you than pay an expensive agency.

Are there particular nuances when it comes to marketing the niche sectors of audio and tech?

People who buy expensive audio products normally fall into two camps, they either have a lot of disposable income and want the best audio system, or they are hobbyists that have grown up listening to their parents record collections but don’t necessarily have huge amounts to spend on hi-fi.

The marketing approach is different because it’s not mainstream tech and lifestyle all the time. When you’re promoting a £10,000 streamer, there's no point putting it in mainstream media – there's a whole niche world of specialist press and events out there that nobody knows about.

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What are the emerging new technologies and products?

Streaming technology is always developing and there are new features evolving all the time that will allow consumers to enjoy their music even more.

I’ve noticed more products focusing on more than just sound, they make it a much more immersive experience. For example, Zuma’s in-ceiling light/speaker incorporates a built-in wellness feature, so not only can you get great lighting and sound from the product you can also do dedicated meditation.

What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

I work with a collective of freelance specialists to support the work that I do for my clients, so I’d like to continue building that network so I can offer my clients even more value.

I’d also love to develop a cool product or service using some of my understanding, people I know in the industry, and my early access to the technology. I’ve got a couple of ideas that I’m working on; I would love to have my own brand that I could put all my heart and soul into.

"Finding a niche that I really enjoy has set me apart from other freelancers offering outsourced marketing support and has helped me grow my business."

What do you love doing outside of the business?

I love travelling: I spent about six weeks in Bali last year and I’d love to go to Mexico and Cuba this year if I can find the time.

I want to see the world and the beauty of being self-employed is that you can just have your laptop and internet connection and work from anywhere.

I also love cooking, socialising, and hiking – I try to go to Wales, the Lake District, or the Peak District about once a month with friends.

What do you enjoy listening to?

I’m not a typical audiophile muso but I think that’s a good thing because I can see things from the consumer perspective.

I absolutely love Lizzo, and I recently went to see her in concert; I’m a massive Beyonce fan – anything that makes me get up and sing along and dance.

I love music, but sometimes I don’t even know what I’m listening to – I just know that I love how it sounds and how it makes me feel.