Episode 19 – Andy Chadwick – Snippet Digital

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Audio Transcript:

VO Guy:Ā 

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.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Thanks, voiceover guy. And on today’s podcast, we’ve got Andy Chadwick. One of the two founders, is it founders Andy, of Snippet Digital.

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah, I think we wear many hats, but we’ll go with founders.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

So Snippet Digital and also Keyword Insights, which is your SaaS platform as well, isn’t it?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

That’s right. Yes, it is. Yeah.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Well, welcome to the show. Do you have an office dog?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

I don’t. I move around too much, so it wouldn’t be fair. But I would love to have a dog. I do love dogs.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

So, one day, who knows? So first of all, as with every podcast, the quid pro quo is you get to give me a plug of what you do, how you do it and what you’re best at. And you’ve got to do it twice now.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Okay. As in tell you right now?Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

One for Snippet, and then one plug for Keyword Insights.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

So Snippet Digital is, I don’t really describe it. I guess a boutique agency ran by Suganthanand and I. The reason us two came together is he is very technical, more down the technical side, and I’m more of a content sort of side. Doesn’t make sense. But I do more content, he does more tech. And so it seemed like a good partnership. We started Snippet with the goal of keeping it small. We only specialize in SEO, so we don’t really touch any of the other channels, but we work with some really big clients actually, who just focus on the SEO side of things. And the reason we’re able to keep our team small. I think we’ve got maybe 10 to 15 people of the top of my head. The reason we’re able to keep it small-Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

You’ve lost count already.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Well, I don’t know where you draw the line because quite a few of them are actually developers. And this is going on to my next point. The reason we’ve been able to keep Snippet so small is because we put a lot of time into developing tools to do a lot of the work for us. And some of those tools, some of them are public facing, some of them you won’t have seen before, but we actually do license a few out to other agencies. But some of those tools, they help keep us small. They help take a lot of the heavy lifting off.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

We span one of them out into a public facing SaaS tool, which other people can now use as well, and that is Keyword Insights, which helps you, I guess we use the phrase, turbo charge your keyword research, but it sounds a bit lame. So probably need to work on that. But it helps speed up your keyword search clustering keywords and getting content insights really quickly, which is what Keyword Insights does. But yeah, that’s why we started [inaudible 00:03:29]. We’ve actually got loads of tools. We’re only just starting to make them public facing.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

You’ve got to wait till they look good and also work flawlessly I guess, because you know how they work inside and out, but the second you put a front facing platform on it, you don’t want to be a help desk forever.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

That’s right. Yeah. And like I said, there’s two or three non-public facing ones that we do use internally, but we’ve actually started licensing them out to some of the other bigger agencies, which is exciting. And we’ve got every aim of try to turn them into a public facing tool as well. But, one thing at a time.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah, exactly. Well, I’m not so much a practitioner of SEO anymore, but I have used Keyword Insights when I think it was just on the beta launch. I can fully vouch for its efficacy. It’s very, very good.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Oh, appreciate it. Well, version two’s coming out next week.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Well, if I ever do keyword research again, shoot me. But if I ever do keyword research again, I may well try it out.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. Well, let me know, we’ll give you a free thing. But yeah, version two next week.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Fantastic. You heard it here. Although next week will be in five weeks time, according to the future. So as with every podcast, there’s four questions I’m going to ask and we’ll see how the conversation takes us. So first and foremost, what do you think has been one of the key successes that you’ve seen over the years that’s kind of brought you to the position you’re in now?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

As in the key successes that we’ve done?Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. It could be something that you’ve personally achieved. It could be something that Snippet or Keyword Insights has achieved, but something that’s kind of really stand out as a champagne clink kind of thing.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

It is the tools we developed. So it’s allowed us to stay small and we have some huge clients and it’s allowed us to stay small and still service those clients. But more than that, it’s allowed us to pitch with a USP to other clients. So it’s not just we’re another agency pitching for your work. It’s another agency, we’re pitching for your work. This is how much you’re spending with us and it’s going to go a lot further than it might otherwise do because these are the tools we’ve made and this is how it speeds it up. So it’s multifaceted. I think half of our staff are developers and the other half are actually SEO practitioners. And that sort of tells you the makeup of our company. We are actually splitting it out into a tool side and an agency company. So there will be two separate ones going forward.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

If you start doing work that’s repeatable, then anything repeatable can be automated to some extent. The minute we do something more than two or three times it’s okay, this is ridiculous. Let’s put some dev resource into it. [inaudible 00:06:22] Don’t get me wrong, there’s loads of money that’s been wasted in tools that just didn’t end up working well, but there’s three or four that’s landed and really sped up what we do as well as offered us a really good USP when we’re pitching to clients.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

And I love the kind of automate or die style approach to quite a lot of things. I think running an agency of any size, whether it’s 50 people or five people, I think there’s huge value in automation. The price you often pay if you’d go too far one way is creativity. But then, it’s the doing tasks, isn’t it? I always used to think that if I click the same place three times in one task, I probably should build something that does that. Every agency’s got its fancy spreadsheets that are like 18 megabytes big, but very few actually build their own tools that actually do the doing piece for them. I guess you spend more time doing the thinking aspect of that then and getting the right strategies?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. That’s an interesting point. Keyword research was the very first thing that we prided ourself on, if you like. And we built a platform called keyword Decipher, which isn’t public facing. A few companies license it off us. So we did a keyword research once and it was I think two and a half to 3 million keywords for a really large-Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

It wasn’t Amazon was it?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

No, it was a very big job site. And with the amount of data we were putting through, including all monthly volumes and the charts to make sense of it just couldn’t cope. So we built Keyword Decipher originally, it’s built on the pandas framework and it’s just online and it can just easily cope with that much data. And it slowly span out to offer more and more features so that we can now just send a client a link and they’ve got all their keyword research on this link and they can pivot tables inside that. So again, it was trying to analyze two and half, 3 million rows of data was so slow and clunky that we just need to build something that’ll do this for us. And yeah, that’s one of our biggest USPs. Sped up what we were doing as well. And we can keep on building on it because it’s not a spreadsheet anymore. It’s something we can add to.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Absolutely. I saw something on Twitter the other day. An agency report which was a screenshot of one row of a spreadsheet which referenced something else, which was millions and millions of pieces of data. Don’t be those guys if you’re that agency by the way. So I guess if you could go back in time, you got a one shot time machine, you got 30 seconds when you land to talk to the younger, more spritely, potentially more hairy version of Andy Chadwick in the past. What advice would you give yourself?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

If they were starting an agency or staring out in SEO or?Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

If you went back in time and spoke to yourself.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Oh, give myself.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

It’s a big cliche and you hear it a lot and I’ve heard it a lot, but it’s only really started to come to fruition is knowing when to say no to a client or even firing a client. I know a lot of people talk about it, and it’s not even necessarily that they’re a bad client or a bad person. Sometimes they’re just a bad fit for what you do. In fact, there’s one example after I learned how to do this that Suganthan and I could always put our finger on. We had this client come to us and well, let me go back a bit first. I always think you need to offer value. And if you aren’t offering value, it’s not worth taking the money because then it brings your name down. And I like to think we’ve still got a very good name and I like to think it’s because we always bring value. And so like I said, sometimes you say no because they are a bad client, but sometimes you say no because you don’t think you can offer that value.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

There’s one really good example. I can’t remember who it was, but this client, again, a massive site came to Suganthan and I and they’ve got their own in-house team. And they said, look, we are getting hit with traffic drops left right center. Can you look at our site for us from a technical point and give us an indication of why? And we’re like, yeah, of course we can. We’re good at that. Let us know what you’ve done before to look into it.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Two weeks later he sent a massive Excel sheet of all the things they’d looked at and looked into and all the things they’ve done. Honestly, it was the most incredible piece of work I’ve ever seen. And we straight out went to them and we could have taken however much off of them and spent however long looking at it and then going back. And I’ve seen a load of these reports and I really dislike them. Sometimes we’ve had people come to us with reports from other agencies and it’s basically gone along the lines of, you’ve had these traffic drops because of an algorithm update. To fix the algorithm update you need to focus on your Eā€‘A-T. And it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean anything. And if I’m seeing that in a report, you need to tell me where my Eā€‘A-T is wrong. And don’t just put a little slide in there that says have an author bio. That’s not going to solve anything.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Anyway, so he came back with all the things he’d done and very conscious of not wanting to send a report back which said you’ve been hit with an algorithm update. Focus on your Eā€‘A-T. We were like, look, I’ve got to be honest. We couldn’t do anything any better than this. We can’t help with this. We don’t want to take your money. We don’t even want to look into it because what you’ve done is just so phenomenal that we wouldn’t feel comfortable looking to it. And he really appreciated that. But it’s knowing that we couldn’t add him any more value because just the work that he had done already, which is phenomenal.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

I think there’s something be said for the knowing to say when to say no piece. And there’s the, do they meet the values point? Do they help towards the purpose, the business point? And then, like you say, can you actually do something which is worth the money that you’d have to take off of them? And if you can’t answer yes to all of those, then sometimes it’s a hard choice to say no.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

And sometimes it’s difficult because sometimes you don’t know if you can offer value until you’ve delved into a little bit to see, which takes time. And that’s the frustrating catch 22. So I’m always happy to spend an hour or two, which I’ve been told by a few people’s a waste of time and not good business sense, I guess. But an hour or two, just seeing if we can find anything remotely worth chasing and going down that rabbit hole. And I do do that because I don’t want to take on something that I end up going, oh yeah, it’s an algorithm update.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

I also sometimes set expectations, i.e, if someone’s asked for a traffic drop analysis or can you help us, I would say, look, it’s going to take us this long, or, I don’t know at this point, but we’ll spend this many hours on it. And just to let you know, I will come forward and say we haven’t found anything. And at that point you can decide whether to look on or not. So it’s being open as well with that. And I have had to do that once. Look, I’ve spent this long on it. I’m not going to just say it was an algorithm update. We just couldn’t find anything.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. The scary thing when you start an agency of any size with any scale, doesn’t matter what the client size is really, it’s if you say no sometimes, you might be taking food off the table, so to speak. And you’ve got to marry that up with the brave aspect of, can we do this? Does it meet the values? Does it meet the purpose? Is it something that we can actually deliver? So yeah, good bit of advice to young Andy. Would young Andy have listened to that advice?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Definitely not.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

[crosstalk 00:14:10] theme to that question.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. That’s why I’ve got into some sticky situations myself. But, there we go.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

So along that vein I guess, in the course of your history doing this, is there something that you kind of either regret or kind of wish you’d have done sooner over the years?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

A thing I regret? Because Keyword Insights isn’t my first business. I’ve had other businesses and that’s how I got into SEO and I’ve had failed businesses and every one of them I’ve learned from. No, I wouldn’t say there is.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

So in a sense you’ve taken losses, mistakes, issues and things like that and you’ve turned them into lessons and ways to do better in the future then.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. I don’t think you can regret anything as long as you’ve learned from it. It’s that saying, isn’t it. If you make a mistake, well, learn from it. If you make it twice then you’re an idiot. And I don’t feel as though I’ve ever made the same mistake twice. So I don’t think I’ve regretted anything. Oh, I’ve got a regret.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Here we go. There we go.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

It’s very specific. It’s not like an agency thing. It’s very specific to SEO. Actually, no, I can peel it back to make it more generic. The biggest regret I have, and it was the biggest pitch you’d ever done. And it was a global betting company. So, massive. And we did the pitch and I assumed wrongly that, well, it wasn’t even an assumption. Their website, and I can’t say any names, but from a technical standpoint, any SEO who’s been in the industry for more than two months could tell, even despite it’s a global company, the website is technically terrible. Which is outstanding at how big they are. So I was like, oh, this is going to be the best pitch ever because all we have to do is basically redo the website and it will go flying.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

So I went into the pitch. I hadn’t had any backup. The whole premise of the pitch was basically when you change your website, these are all the opportunities that will open up to you. We did the pitch and five of the developers in that room had been on that website for 20 years. And they actually had 70 in-house developers who’d been working on that site. So when they said, changing the website isn’t an option. So what else have you got? I didn’t have anything. Basically I think my lesson I learned from it was always present a best case scenario, but have backup plans.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

And I was a bit rude about it as well. I didn’t sugarcoat it. I was like, this technically is terrible. And I used the superlative terrible. And so I guess, two things. Frame it in a way where you’re not going to offend. Make sure you’re not going to offend anyone. And second of all, there’s always your best case scenario, but you’ve got to think of alternatives as well. Of course they couldn’t redo this whole website. So we lost the pitch and the guy we pitched to was very good and he called me back and gave me that feedback. But I knew the minute I said it and I saw the developer’s faces, I’ve really ballsed this one up. So I did have that regret.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. I think essentially, if I’m listening to this properly, what you’re kind of saying is not just the know your audience piece, but selling your services isn’t necessarily about being the smartest one in the room to prove the point. It’s showing that you’re capable of doing more than just the, like you say, the obvious bits. Because otherwise, why else would you be in the room?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. And adapting to them. This is ideally what you would do. If this isn’t possible, let us know and we’ll have to work within your parameters, should have been that pitch. Whereas it was, this is what you need to do is how I pitched it, which just didn’t go down well.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. It’s a lesson and thankfully you haven’t done it again, which is a good sign. So if there’s anyone listening right now, AKA in four weeks or so time, who is interested in starting their own agency, interested in starting out for themselves or has just started, what kind of one thing would you give them as a piece of advice?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

You hear a lot of these podcasts, you get some similar tips, one of which being, know when to say no to clients. That was one I hear a lot. But one that I’ve recently come up against and I’ve told friends of mine who’ve just started freelancing or whatever is, don’t just sign up to everyone’s Slack or Asana channel. It’s just unmanageable. And if you do, set the expectations. So I always say to my client, oh, can you join the Slack channel? Of course I will. But if it’s important, email me because I’m only going to check the Slack channel every now and again. I can’t communicate with you on that. It’s just not sustainable. And that’s, I guess, another lesson I wish I’d told myself before. Just to be up front with the clients, because when I first started freelancing before I went into the agency, I was on 15, 20 Slack channels. And it was so stressful because I couldn’t actually get into any work.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. And you’ve got that little noise that it makes that’s a bit like a [inaudible 00:19:57] ticking noise.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

The noise. Yeah. And then because it’s Slack and it’s instant, if you haven’t responded in two hours they at you again. I’m not saying don’t join them. I’m saying if you do, tell them and be upfront from the start, look, happy to join it. I will check it infrequently. But if it’s important, please email me because you’ve got to understand, I’m freelancing or I’m an agency for 15, 20 different people and I can’t be checking all those channels at once.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Well, context switching is an absolute killer for any human being because we’re just not built for it. If you look at any agency website, almost all agency websites look the same. They say stuff like, we’re an extension of your team.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

[crosstalk 00:20:43].Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

If it says that, expect the client to think that and ask to add you to a channel and here’s your dedicated email address and all these sorts of things. And then you’ve got notifications coming out your backside. And the worst thing you can do at that point is say… Let them down sooner by saying no, we’ll do the email thing. If that doesn’t and work we’ll work out another solution, but I can’t join the Slack channel. I’ve had to set up a rule in my inbox now that anything that comes through that says Slack on it is just immediately deleted because I’m still connected to ones from 8, 9, 10 years ago it feels like. They’re just there. Connected to email addresses that exist anymore and all sorts of things like that. It’s crazy.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

So what would you say as the kind of final question here has been one of the most sort of powerful tools that you guys have used to grow the business? What’s the channel that’s worked best for you?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Do you mean to acquire a client or just like what’s-Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Well, growth in general, whether it’s that client acquisition or whether it’s just generally growing the business. What’s the most powerful thing that’s worked well for you?Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

So, COVID has made it quite normal, but we started from the onset with having a remote team all together. And I’ve seen it on job boards and I’m seeing it everywhere that I think people are struggling to recruit massively. And just being open to, well, basically everyone from anywhere is massively helping us. So our developers span from Scotland to United States to Ukraine. Our consultants go from Croatia to, well, again, Scotland, London. We’ve got some in America. And it was having that from the start and it’s working out how to employ tools to make that work for you. So Loom is a great example. We have briefs that we can basically push onto any of our freelancers or our actual staff because some of them are employed on a full-time basis.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

And everything’s templated in Loom video that can be templated. So you’ve got the strategy coming from mainly Suganthan and I, and maybe one or two others who’ve been in the SEO industry for ages. And then that strategy gets pushed. The strategy’s all formulated and then the strategy’s obviously made up of various deliverables and those deliverables have been templated in Loom videos or documents that can go out to staff all over the world in different time zones. So we can really, again, coupled with the tools we’ve made, stay small and deliver work without the problems of recruiting. So that really works well with us.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Having a really robust set of processes for any agency is fundamental. But I guess when you’ve got an agency where, not being flippant, the sun never sets on Snippet Digital because it’s everywhere. You need to be conveying clarity all times of the day and yeah, makes a lot of senseĀ 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. And where we’re not struggling, we’re solving it. But the caveat of that is keeping track of time and profit margins on those clients as well. We’re getting around it. I don’t think it’ll ever be perfect. That is the biggest challenge for us because they are all on different time zones and it’s difficult if four or five people are working on a client to work out those margins. But again, it’s getting processes in place for that which we’re in the process of doing at the moment.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

Process for processes.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. That’s exactly it. But that seems to be working really well for us. Just having a very diverse team from everywhere. And again, training them properly.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

If you’ve got people from everywhere, culturally everyone’s slightly different and certain norms are slightly different. So you’ve got to create some sort of baseline for clarity. Otherwise, your brief might be really clear to you, but not necessarily to someone else. And that’s tough, but you seem to be doing quite well with it.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

Yeah. And there’s always a QA. So someone spends the bulk of the task, it always goes to someone else to QA it as well. So there’s always that level of make sure someone is QA-ing your work rather than it just going straight to the client. Because again, I’ve seen that before where things have gone to clients and things are missed and it’s embarrassing. So there’s always another layer there as well.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

It’s tough. It’s tough. Well, thanks very much for joining me on And We Have An Office Dog, Andy. Really good to talk to you.Ā 

š—”š—»š—±š˜† š—–š—µš—®š—±š˜„š—¶š—°š—ø (š—šš˜‚š—²š˜€š˜):Ā 

No, thanks for having me much. Much appreciated.Ā 

š—–š—µš—暝—¶š˜€ š—¦š—¶š—ŗš—ŗš—®š—»š—°š—² (š—›š—¼š˜€š˜):Ā 

And in the next episode, we’ll have another awesome digital agency owner, potentially even Suganthan your counterpart, who knows? So keep listening and thanks for coming along.Ā 

Ā 

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