Well, didn’t 12 months go quickly!
We’ve had a brilliant first year at novel, getting our teeth into some really exciting projects, building our client list and producing some outstanding results.
Let’s rewind to August 2018, where in our announcement post we said we aimed take a pragmatic approach to our clients’ objectives, and create strategies that help take their digital performance to the next level. We’ve certainly done that.
We also said the little things matter, and client relationships matter, both of which have played a bit part in our success this past 12 months.
So what have been the highlights of the last 12 months, and what lessons have we learnt as a start-up business?
- Shortlisted for a UK Search Award – being shortlisted for a national search award within the first few months of business was a big highlight for us. We didn’t win, but we’re positive the first award isn’t far away 🙂
- Building Our Clients – we wanted to help local businesses improve their digital performance, and we’ve taken on over 8 new local client projects in the first 12 months, which we’re very proud of!
- Gaining National Press – thanks to our impressive work with OOSC Clothing, the Daily Express asked to interview us, and give tips for other SME businesses aiming to challenge the big boys on Google.
- Generating ROI & Growth For Clients – For OOSC Clothing, we manage to double their SEO traffic and revenue in 12 months, following on from the case study that got us shortlisted for the award mentioned above. We’ve also seen good ROI from search and Facebook ad campaigns from other retail clients, for which we – and they – are incredibly happy with 🙂
- Giving Over £600 To Meningitis Now – as you’ll see from many pages on this site, we give 3% of all our client fees to charity. We’re proud to say we’ve given over £600 so far, and once invoices from July and August catch up, that will be even more. We’re hoping to pass the £2,000 mark by the end of our second year.
LESSONS IN THE FIRST 12 MONTHS
- Be Direct & Honest – if there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the course of our digital marketing careers, it is to be open, transparent and honest. So often in this sector – particularly SEO – it is very easy to promise results in competitive markets. We took this honest approach into business, and told clients at the start what would be possible and in what timescale. Thankfully we’ve hit the nail on the head every time so far!
- Take The Freebies – from the best business banking deals, to online accounting software, take the freebies whilst you can!
- Be Flexible – all to often in previous agencies, if you didn’t stick to the agreed client deliverables, then you would be stepping out of line. Digital marketing changes at a rapid rate. You need to be agile and flexible, and bend the hours and deliverables where required in order to generate results. Flexibility with man hours means we focus on results, not deliverables.
- Do Your Tax & Expenses Early – every hates doing their tax return. What we learnt is that keeping on top of financial admin, such as expenses and filing a tax return early means HMR&C can process your return, and give you an update of the amount due, well before the due date. That means you can plan and forecast accordingly. Boring point, but we’re glad it’s done!
- Don’t Be Afraid To Be Controversial – there’s no harm in voicing your opinion, regardless of how right or wrong that opinion is. Yes, we offer social media marketing and campaigns, but we also didn’t hold back in our assessment of influencer marketing last year. Blogs, and social media give brands a voice, so go use it.
- Practice What Your Preach – if you say you do successful SEO, do it for yourself. Same with social media and Google ads. Many clients have found us by searching on Google, and they have gone and referred us to other local businesses. If you work hard, be open and honest, and practice what you preach, it goes a long, long way.
So what does the next 12 months hold?
More of the same, but with more growth, both locally and further afield. We’re not aiming to be the biggest and best (just yet), but we just want to build steadily and organically, bring on more interesting client campaigns, and keep smashing it when it comes to results for our clients 🙂