Episode 16 – Jaye Cowle – MD Launch Online

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Audio Transcript:

Voiceover Guy: 

Hello, and thanks for coming along to And We Have an Office Dog, the Digital Agency podcast where we talk to agency owner-directors and learn more about what makes them tick. From the things that make them similar, to the things they’d rather have known sooner. Where they’ve success and where they’ve learned some hard lessons. All will be revealed with your host, Chris Simmance, the agency coach, and he’ll be talking to a different awesome agency person in each episode, asking them four questions and seeing where the conversation takes us over the next 25 minutes. Okay, so let us begin. Over to you, Chris. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Thanks, voiceover guy. On the podcast today, we’ve got Jaye from Launch. Hi, Jaye. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Hey, Chris. It’s really nice to meet you. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

And you, and you. For those of you who can’t see this, because this is an audio only podcast, Jaye has brought her office dog to the podcast and he’s asleep on the sofa behind us, which is making us only want to talk about dogs. So maybe this will be a different avenue for the podcast. What do you think, Jaye? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Absolutely. Yeah, Biscuit is very chillaxed in the background. We’ve just got to hope that nobody presses the doorbell. In which case, he will spring to life. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

As much as I love my dog in the office, I had to pause a recording a couple of days ago because the door got knocked, and immediately obviously there’s an attack and the dog decides to massively overpower all of the noise cancellation. So firstly, Jaye, tell me all about Launch. Who are Launch, what are Launch, what do you do? What are you best at, how long have you been going? Everything. Give us a plug. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Awesome. Launch is a paid media agency for ambitious advertisers. That’s what we shout about. We love paid media. Internally, we talk about our mission to be the happiest paid media agency, and that means happy team, happy clients, and that all comes from having great successful numbers. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Fantastic. So, happy is a nice broad thing. My wife says I’m miserable, but I’m a very happy person. How do define what that means? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Well, I think that’s the thing, is that not a lot of people talk about happiness and what it means to them, and recognizing that for some people happy is about having a work life balance, for other people happy is about being pushed from a professional development point of view or working on challenging clients. So it’s about acknowledging that there isn’t a cookie cutter approach to it. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, absolutely. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

And that we are all individuals, and that’s the thing, the majority of agencies are just a group of human beings trying to do their best every day. We don’t have any proprietary tech that we own. We are just a group of brilliant human beings who try and do the best for our clients, who are also human beings. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

It’s wonderfully true. It really is, and I say this over and over again, agencies is like a formula type business. You put people in, you get results and things out, but you get the right people doing the right work and you get them happy and having that feeling of growth, and there’s a longevity there. So, how long’s Launch been going for? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

This is our 10th year. We’re going to celebrate in August our 10th anniversary, which is really exciting. So yeah, double digits now. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

And look at that, you’ve come to your 10th year just after a pandemic, which means you can all actually meet for your party. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Totally, and actually that’s something that’s important to us. We’re a hybrid agency. So half the team work permanently at home and the other half are in an office quite a lot of the time, well, when you’re allowed. In Exeter actually, we’re based in the Southwest. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

A lovely place. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But we get together four times a year, and that really is important for us. We’ve actually got, there was a social committee meeting this morning, a group of the team plan what we do. We do things, the usual beach cleans for charity, canal walks, and then we just get together and just spend time bonding as a team, which is important because we’ve grown quite a lot over the last couple of years. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah. I mean, there’s only so much you can get out of a little box on a TV screen or a computer screen. So yeah, meeting is definitely important. There’s something that you get from a human being that you don’t get through a screen, even if you are seeing the same head and shoulders, you’ve got a lot more to work with and you can really understand each other better. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, and I think that to begin with, when the pandemic first hit, we were able to rely on the bonds that we’d made pre-pandemic, and over a period of time, those start to wear thinner if you aren’t refreshing them. So that idea that you, well, that it’s a glass that you’ve got to top up every so often and make sure that you’ve got conversation beyond what you’re doing for your client or what numbers you’ve hit. That there’s conversation about how are things, what’s home like? 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Absolutely. So as with every podcast, we’ve got four questions and we’ll see how we get on. I think the first question is probably, I’ve got a good feeling about this. What do you think has been one of the biggest successes over the almost 10 years of Launch? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

I think that getting to the size that we are without, so we’re now, we’ve pushed past the million mark. We’re now closer to two million. We should finish the year on two million. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

That’s great. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

It’s about doing that without compromising what is actually important to us, which is that idea of valuing each other as human beings, having balance and being able to enjoy your home life and things outside of work, as well as an enjoying and being fulfilled from your job. So yeah, I’d say getting to the point where we’re now 22 people and having 22 awesome people on the bus. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, that’s brilliant. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

The Launch bus. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

The Launch bus. I think that, again, almost the thread that holds all this together is the people, by the sounds and things for you. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

[inaudible 00:06:38] and I’d say that is actually one of my biggest achievements in this journey this last 10 years, is convincing those people right at the beginning of the start of the journey to come on the Launch bus. I feel maybe it should be like a Launch aircraft or something. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Space ship or something. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But everyone always talks about the bus, don’t they? But convincing those people at the start. Danny, one of our senior people at Launch, he worked for Google and I relentlessly stalked him on WhatsApp to get him to come and work for us. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Brilliant. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Convincing someone to… 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

He was just the cleaner at Google, but you wanted him anyway, that was it. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, he just moved desks around, but being able to kind of talk to people about what the dreams for Launch were and that they could come and be a part of that. And he’s now been at Launch four years. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Look at that. I mean, the thing that quite a lot of agencies do well is the doing bit, don’t they? And over time they realize they need to do the leadership bit, and it sounds like you kind of got that secret source quite early on. A huge part of this algorithm of running people is leadership, and the underpinning factor is purpose, vision, focus, and everyone works towards the mission. It sounds like the mission is Launch. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Absolutely, yeah. One of the biggest business cliches in the world, but it is true, is always employ people who are better than you, as well. On one of your earlier podcasts, you were talking about if you’re practitioner, often the people who are [inaudible 00:08:24] practitioners, they’re great at doing what they’re doing, they’re brilliant at what they do, but they’re not always great at creating a business or leading a business. I was great at paid media, no question, but I found people who were even better than me, and then that meant that that gave me the confidence to drive forward a company where I could sell something that I knew we were good at, because I was employing people who were better than me. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But also, by employing people who are better than me, they could feel that they’re not being held back by someone saying, “Oh, no, you should do it this way. You should do it that way.” Instead, they’re being empowered. And that idea that you bring people’s best qualities out through your leadership and through the path of the company, which is Launch, is really important because then people leave every day feeling a sense of achievement to [inaudible 00:09:21] the next morning, which means they’re bringing then their best game. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Absolutely, and that’s the recipe for true transformational leadership, isn’t it? You bring people in who are better than you at the delivery, you help them still grow, there’s longevity in the role. Like you say, someone’s been there for four years, but you’ve also, I’m sure that the people who work for you when they want to grow, they know they can. When they want to do something different or learn something new, I’m sure they know they can, and a big part of that obviously comes from the top. So big success. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Yes, and of course, in a utopian world, there are never any challenges, but there have been challenges along the way. It is really hard if you’re a boutique agency. Our plans were never to be a billion dollar enterprise, and there will always be people along the way that work for you that maybe their career aspirations will outgrow the agency, or they need to spread their wings elsewhere. And I have to say, that’s the hardest thing that I deal with, is letting people go. I’m still very, very emotional, and if any of my team are listening to this, don’t ever leave. I love you all. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Well, I hope they do listen to it, because it sounds like they should reciprocate on that. So if you were to go back, I guess, 10 years and talk to the younger, more sprightly version of yourself, what one piece of advice would you give? You’ve got a machine that can go, just for 30 seconds, you’ve got to tell yourself something. What would it be? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

I would say that it would be to smash through the glass ceiling. I think I’ve self-imposed limitations. I’ve not dreamed as big as I could have done. I also think that 10 years ago, when I started the agency, coaching and support and peer to peer opportunities were a lot less. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, absolutely. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

I’m also going to bring the female card here. As a female founder, I started the agency in Cornwell, which is also challenging geographically. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

I mean, you only got the internet 10 years ago in Cornwell, didn’t you? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

To be honest with you, the internet was super fast in Cornwall, because they got European funding. So actually… 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Fair enough. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Cornwall had better speeds in London at some point. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Good old EU, thank you. Sorry, carry on. I interrupted. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But it was really challenging finding people to talk to about, I’ve never worked for an agency beforehand. I created an agency having never worked for an agency. That was challenging. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Wow. Yeah, I bet. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

So I didn’t know what I was even really meant to do. I just knew that I wanted to help a group of clients, rather than just work in-house for one client, and I wanted to work as part of a team to be excellent. I felt that agencies were normally the leaders in excellence, because you’re only as good as your last clients, aren’t you? You’re only as good as your last report that you’ve done. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot of competition. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But it was hard. I’d go to Google events and I was one of only maybe, I don’t know, 5% of women in the room. And so finding other people that looked like me to talk to, but also finding people who shared the same values was hard. I was often in a room with agency owners who were all about what fast car they were driving rather than their people. I feel like I’m now sitting at the right tables. People are now having the right conversations that resonate with me about how important people are, and that wasn’t necessarily the same when I first started out 10 years ago. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah. I mean, naturally I haven’t had those same experiences, but I’ve been in rooms where I’ve seen that distinction, and the 5% and things like that, and I think over the years, everyone does better if there is a wider range of opinions, views, backgrounds, and that’s not just gender, that’s not just race, that’s everything from cultural upbringing and all sorts of things. I think one of the lovely things about the digital marketing industry I think is that you have to be good at change. Otherwise, you just don’t do well. I think over the course of the last 10 years or so, a lot has changed, and I think for the better, almost in every regard. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Absolutely, and [inaudible 00:14:04] from being outside of your comfort zone. Agencies are often outside of their comfort zone. In paid media, everybody’s talking about performance max, and is that Google just taking control away from the agencies. Well, you need to reframe it. Yes, we need to be outside of our comfort zone where, no, we won’t need to push buttons all day long, every more. We’ll instead be talking much more about strategy, about what’s possible rather than negging out search queries. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

God, yeah. Exactly. I mean, I remember the first agency I worked at, just on the search queries thing, my God, sitting there every Monday, I think it was, and we all had to sit there going through thousands of search queries. You end up finding some really random stuff. People are weird. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

That was literally my favorite task, was if I ever felt I was having a difficult day at the agency, I’d go into the Big Bloomers Company account. They’re still our client to this day. They sell massive pants. They’re one of my favorite clients to talk about, and doing the search query report for a company that sells massive pants is just, I used to sometimes just have a glass of wine, sit there chuckling away at the dirtiness of the internet. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Because this podcast doesn’t want to get banned on Spotify, we shall not talk about those things. So is there anything that you regret or wish you’d done differently, or maybe even sooner over the years? Something that’s done well now, but you wish you’d done maybe differently or sooner? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

I’ve been mulling over that question, and I don’t know if it’s a pro or a con with my personality, but I don’t often look back. Sometimes that’s a negative thing that you should take a win that you’re getting. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Depends [crosstalk 00:15:59]. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. But yeah, I’m not good at looking back and saying, oh, I wish I’d done this, or I wish I’d done that. Instead, I just move forward, and move forward with, because there are circumstances at the time that you block out and you forget. I do think that I need to celebrate wins more and I need to make sure that the team celebrate wins more, because when a client does say thank you, we should all just high five ourselves and encourage that client and to make them feel good, to tell us when we are doing a good job. I refuse to work at an agency. We have a, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this word on a Spotify podcast. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

You can try. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

But we have a no arsehole policy, and that comes to both, all sorts of people, whether it is a client or whether it is a team member, we have a no arsehole policy, and so making sure that we support each other, for everyone to say well done when those wins happen. So I’m not very good at looking back and saying I shouldn’t have done something, or I regret. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Okay. So to frame it another way then, is there something that you’ve learned the hard way, that’s helped you be as successful as you are now? So, not regret. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Processes. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah. I was going to say. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Processes. I created Launch on my own, I didn’t have a business partner. Listening back to Nicola’s piece, that was something that she regretted, not having a business partner. I don’t know whether I should have done it as part of a team from the beginning, but my weakest point of my personality is being a completer-finisher. I love starting tasks. I love coming up with the big ideas. I do not finish the job, so I perhaps needed to have somebody alongside me who is a completer-finisher. My husband even isn’t a completer-finisher. So we just have projects started all over the house that we never get done. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, you’ve got some half-done bathrooms and all sorts of things. I think that’s an overriding trait of people who run their own businesses, let alone whether they run their own agency, to be more visionary and more sort of forward thinking and trying to get some stuff started and finding someone to be that implementer to your visionary is often quite hard. I think as you grow, obviously naturally you need that person in the business to build a processes and to build the systems that drive that vision forwards. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

One of the things I found hard, I don’t know about you, is that once that person came into the agency, it was really hard to hear the word no. Like, “That’s a really good idea, Chris, but no, we’re not going to do that, because it’s going to either cost more than we’ve got, or it’s going to do something that we shouldn’t be doing, or we’re already really busy with that sort of thing.” I don’t know how you feel about that sort of thing. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

I don’t know. I think I agree with you that hearing no is difficult. I think I struggle with being slowed down. It’s a similar thing to no, which is, “Well, hold on a minute, let’s just do this first.” And then that means I can’t run away with whatever idea I’ve had. I’ve found coping mechanisms over the 10 years, and I now have got a senior leadership team, but it’s all very, very new. Only in the last couple of months. It’s new bringing all of these people into the fold and trying to distill what’s in my head down into systems and processes. It’s a journey for us. We’re still very much on that journey, Chris. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

I mean, no agency is ever finished unless you close it, or it becomes another agency. It’s one of those continuing never ending journeys in a sense, in a nice way, not in a, oh my God, we’re going to be doing this forever way, but everything becomes part of that journey. I think one of the things that I find quite useful is, so I run agency mastermind sessions and things like that, and quite a lot of the time when you have agency owners speaking to other agency owners who are different points along the journey, you start realizing that there are different parts of this, and it isn’t just this problem all the time forever, and so on. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

I think you mentioned it earlier, around speaking to your peers, and I think there’s a huge aspect of agency life that we kind of miss out, because we’ve got sort of blinkers on. We’re not sure, is it just us that are having this issue, or is it someone else, or is there a way out of this that isn’t just me thinking of it all by myself? I think that’s tough. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

And that’s the biggest advice I would give, I would echo that. Talking to your peers, that’s what completely transformed our business. In fact, because of the pandemic, because of COVID hitting and people pausing their paid media and therefore us taking a hit, everything came online. I was suddenly starting to be able to have conversations. I had more time on my hands, because most of our clients had paused. I was able to have conversations with agency owners all across the UK without having to travel anywhere. It was brilliant. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

People were very open and had much more transparent conversations, because we all had the same challenge. That’s quite rare, for you all to have this leveling experience, and people were much, much more sharing and much more transparent and honest in their conversations. And that was transformative for me, because it gave me access to have meaningful conversations with those same people. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah. Wonderful. I mean, I do the same thing, but in the metaverse. So everyone wears an Oculus Quest on their faces and we all meet in inside the metaverse, it’s the same thing, but a little bit easier, because in a sense you’re almost physically together whilst you don’t have to then travel miles and miles or you’re not a tiny little window in a screen. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

So, to anyone who’s listening to this podcast now who might be thinking of starting their own agency, or is just in the first few months of the beginning throes of running their agency, what one piece of advice do you think you’d give to them? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Niche. I wish that, I mean, we have a bit of a niche that we’re paid media, but niche-niche. Make it really easy for someone to say, “Oh, Launch, they do this.” 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Yeah, yeah. It’s almost the most recurring theme that pops up that no one does. Everyone says it, everyone wants to do it, everyone feels like they should do it. But there is the scary element to that, isn’t there? There’s the downside of that, and the work and the effort that goes into that. I had a conversation yesterday where someone, they do all of the marketing activities, digital marketing activities, but for the sector niche of franchises, rather than an individual practice for everyone. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

There’s many different ways of being niche. It’s about, from a niching down point of view, you can hone processes, whether it’s a deliverable or whether it’s a sector, you can hone down processes, you can essentially, in a good way, cheapen the cost of delivery whilst also maximizing the output that you can give to someone because you know them. You know who they ar, you know their pains, you know their problems. Absolutely. So, that would be your advice to an aspiring agency owner? 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

Yes, and I’m not saying that I’ve taken it myself, but that, absolutely. There’s a lot of agencies nowadays, so make sure that one thing that you are going to be absolutely brilliant at. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Brilliant. I mean, yeah, be brilliant at what you are good at. Be brilliant at what you can do. Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Otherwise, you do suffer and you do struggle in the longterm. Dog in the background there. So I think that, I mean, that’s fantastic advice. I think that it’s wonderful to try and niche down. The fear bit of that beast is hard, but it’s still part of the game. So thank you very much for joining me today, Jaye. It’s been wonderful to talk to you, and also sorry everyone else, but I got to see your dog. Thanks very much for coming along. 

𝗝𝗮𝘆𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁): 

It was really nice to speak to you, Chris. Thank you so much. I’ve been really enjoying your podcasts. 

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁): 

Well, as long as we get to a million views and I make a billion quid, and Joe Rogan’s following me on Twitter and Instagram, that’s fine. So in our next podcast, we’ll have another fantastic digital agency owner director, and until then, enjoy listening on. 

 

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