Episode 26 – David Ingram – Founder Bring Digital

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Audio Transcript:

VO 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. And on the podcast today we’ve got David, from Bring Digital. Hey David, how you doing?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Morning, Chris. I’m great. How are you?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Fantastic, thank you. Hopefully, it’s morning where you are listening. If not, don’t worry about it, it’s a podcast. You can listen whenever you like. So David, first of all, you’ve been going for what? 10 years or so now?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

10 years this October. Yeah, the big anniversary this year.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Are you doing a massive party or is it going to be loads of Zoom screen boxes?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Do you know what, our MD is determined to get us together and do something special. Obviously, having canceled Christmas parties, not being able to attend awards together, the social scene of the agencies have been pretty dire the last few years. So I think we’re going to go big this October.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Fair enough. That sounds great. So, first of all, just in case there’s a potential client listening, or maybe a future member of staff listening, give us a plug. Tell us what Bring Digital does, why are you so awesome?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. So at Bring Digital, it’s a specialist ecom agency. We’re based up in Manchester. We do search and affiliates for retail brands, mostly UK based, but we do a lot of international work for those brands who are European, North America. We work with brands like American Golf, Beaverbrooks Jewelers, Yours Clothing. So a lot of pure player ecom, but also a lot of omnichannel as well, traditional brands that are going through digital transformation. So we’re a team of 45 people and based out of [crosstalk 00:02:18]

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

45?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yes, 45. We’re heading very close to that, very serious 50 number.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Sorry, sorry. That wasn’t shock as in like, “I’m surprised that you’re doing well.” That was shock because for some reason I thought … I don’t know why I think maybe on LinkedIn or something, I saw something like 20 staff or maybe that was a year or so ago. Actually, the last few years have been a blur.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Do you know what I bet it is? The classic case of an agency having a dodgy out of date website.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Something like that. Yeah.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

These really sad, practical things of not been together in the office as much, one of them has been that the photography we would usually take when a new starter joins just hasn’t happened. So our team page on the website is grossly outdated. So yeah, 45 as it stands today, which I’ll give or take one.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Well done. Well done on that one.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Thank you. Yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And just like a builder having half an extension on the house, or a mechanic driving a banger car or something like that, every digital agency, no matter how good they are at delivering for their clients often forgets to do stuff for their own website. So that’s on your MDs to do list, I think. So over the last 10 years, what would you say has been one of the biggest successes that you’ve seen in the agency?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, it’s a really good question. I think there’s the real practical successes, which I guess almost articulate the work that’s gone on behind the scenes. We won the eCommerce Agency Of The Year back in 2020, which funnily enough, Chris, I believe you were involved in the [crosstalk 00:03:58]

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And I’m still waiting for that brown envelope of cash.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Absolutely. Yeah, I definitely owe you a pint, or a coffee at some point on that front. So that was really nice. Not because an award in itself means anything, but it was a really great recognition of what we knew we had been working hard towards. So outwardly facing, yeah, I would say an achievement like that would be one of our biggest successes. But I think what led to that, the biggest and it’s less tangible, but it was the decision to specialize, to move from a kind of full service, “We do anything for anyone,” agency to a, “What are we great at?” What can we say we’re the best at? Which turned out to be search for ecommerce. And let’s really be bold in moving all our resource towards that.

That decision happened much earlier than 2020. But I think that has been the best decision we’ve made as an agency, the most successful decision we’ve made as an agency. And it accumulated in being recognized at the UK Commerce Awards as the UK’s leading ecommerce agency that year. That I would put down as the decision to specialize and then the recognition as being great at that specialism, was the biggest success we’ve had as an agency.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

It’s really hard, isn’t it? When you first start out, you want to be everything to everyone so that you can get as many clients in, because early doors you just don’t want to say no. And it’s really hard. How long did it take you guys to sort of really commit to the specialism side of things?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It was probably six, seven years to fully commit to it. And actually, say we’re closing shop at the front door to things that aren’t our specialism and we’re going to evolve the business. So we, for example, at one point we had a design and development arm that was doing digital build and design. There’s one thing saying we’re not going to front end specialize and say we’re specialists at design and development. But then to actually say, “We’re going to cut this arm off our business,” and you actually go through the logistical process of no longer offering those services … That was six or seven years. It was something I knew we should have done from probably year two, three onwards. But to make that decision, it’s so easy is to sit 10 years and pontificate about every agency should say no and learn to specialize. But as you mentioned, early doors, you’ve got to pay the bills, you’ve got to get the agency building up. So, unfortunately, most agency owners are in those initial years in the position where they have to say yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And how did you find with the team … Obviously it’s grown since you’ve made that decision to be a distinctly specialized business. But how did the team that you had at the time fare when you made some changes like that? Because it must be good for them to kind of know where they’re going and what they’re doing, but equally it’s a bit of a change.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It is. Yeah. And it didn’t come without turmoil. By definition, by saying we’re going to specialize in one area, it effectively is saying to the team members who aren’t specialists in that area, the agency’s moving on. So, we try to do those kind of conversations gracefully and respectfully, and hopefully we’ve done so without making any enemies. But in terms of being able to motivate the staff that were part of that future journey and attracted the right kind of staff, it was really, really helpful to say, “We are great at this and we’re going to strive to continue to be greater at this.” And therefore, if you want to come on this journey with us, and if you’re a part of this journey, that’s what you’re specialize in.

And some people are motivated by being the absolute best at a thing, other people want to be more generalist. And the great thing is by sticking our flag in the ground and saying we are going in the former direction, it helps us find those people that share that belief with us. And it lets people know who aren’t of that … who want to be more generalist, that this probably isn’t the agency for you and therefore, go and find an agency that is more set up for someone who wants a broader brush of skills.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Find someone that fits you. Yeah, exactly. It’s quite right. And like we say, it’s hard to say no initially, but once you’re used to it … And eventually over time because of the award win, because of the fact that pretty much all your messaging is very much focused on one thing, you get less and less leads that you have to say no to. And the ones you say no to you then can maybe point towards an agency which actually fits them. And you make some friends in the industry a little bit better.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Exactly that, yeah. It becomes very self-fulfilling. You do good work, you get a great case study, your messaging is about what one segment and you start to attract that type of work. I can’t lie and say even at 10 year point we still will get the occasional lead in where we think do we compromise because that’s a really juicy piece of work, or it’s a really big brand. We still have the discussions. And I will admit, I think even in the last 12 months, we’ve probably taken on a bit of work or two that falls slightly outside of that specialism. So it’s not an entirely binary decision, but it’s an ever evolving process. But like you say, just through the action, the decision to become a specialist, it just starts to attract that kind of work.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

So let’s say that you could … say it was physically possible. You could build a time machine, you could go back 10 years to the very beginning of the business when you founded it. What one piece of advice would you give the younger, more spritely, maybe less bearded, version of yourself?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It would be to circle back around the exact conversation. It would be learn to say no. I wonder how much opportunity we lost by going in the wrong direction those early days. I always say any agency earlier in journey … the one bit of advice I always give typically is around that, learning to say no, or choosing an area that you’re great at and saying yes more to that. So there’s that side of things. That six, seven year journey I mentioned, I would’ve tried to expedite it. And then secondly, I think it would’ve been leaning into my strengths more. So you mentioned earlier that we’ve got an MD in place at Bring Digital, that’s Justin. He was appointed back in 2019, so I think he’s bang on three years into his tenure.

That was me accepting that I’m great at many things, but leading a multimillion pound organization isn’t one of them. Both in terms of my skillset, my temperament and my interest. And therefore, there’s no shame in me saying, “Okay, I’m going to use some budget to go and fill that gap and I’m going to lean into what I am great at.” I think too many business owners in a broad sense, but also agency owners, feel they need to be all things to all people and they make themselves miserable doing it. They hold back their organizations at times by doing it. So I would’ve told myself, “You’re really good at client work. You’re really great at devising and executing search strategy. You’re very good at building strong teams. You are terrible at cashflow management. You have no interest in operational reports and dealing with accountants. Therefore, go and fill that gap with someone who can do it.” And I think the business would’ve grown faster and avoided a lot of real tricky times if I’d had that realization sooner.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. For me, I remember that same sort of moment. I think the hardest part was coming to the realization that in order for the agency to do any better than it was, I need to get out of my own way. And I remember that was personally for me, that was a really hard decision to make, even though I knew it was the right decision. There’s a huge cognitive dissonance there. How did you manage with that?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, that’s a massive … Ego hugely, hugely gets in the way because you’re the leader, it’s your business. You’ve built this and therefore there should be no one better to lead that organization than yourself. In your mind that’s how it should work. And that is something I did have to wrestle with myself. Can I be second in command at my own company? Can I accept that I’m never going to be the boardroom hero CEO that I probably imagined I would be when I started an organization. But the second you can leave the ego at the door, check out and go, “I’m going to go and do some things I’m really great at that add tremendous value to the business and the business is going to be better for it.”

I found it an easy decision then I would’ve expected. It’s not something I massively wrestled over for months and years. Once I’d clicked out that it’s going to be better for the business and it’s going to be better for me, it was quite an easy decision to make. There’s a certain point in the journey as well where the agency stops being yours.

Obviously in terms of ownership, of course it’s still yours. But it’s no longer your baby, it’s the baby of people who’ve been on the journey with you, and you’re as responsible to them as you are to yourself. And therefore, if my ego is holding back this business they … Maybe at that point 10, 20 people who had been through that journey with me to that point, I’m not just holding back my future growth opportunities and the business’ future growth opportunities, I’m limited in their careers through my own ego and my own insistence that I should fit a role that I’m clearly not meant for. So I found the decision easier than I expected. But there was some wrestling and some journey I needed to go through to get there.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

It’s a funny old one, isn’t it? Coming to it, everyone comes to these conclusions eventually gets there. So let’s say you did go back in time and gave yourself that advice. Would you have listened to it back then?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

That’s a really great question, because I would love to say yes. But I also had the arrogance of youth on my side, I was in my late twenties at the time. Would I have listened or would I have gone for it? I’d like to think it would’ve actually been a blessed relief for someone to tell me that. And potentially someone listening to this might feel like you don’t have to bear all the stress. You don’t have to do the stuff you don’t like doing. So I couldn’t say for certain.

There’s a part of me that thinks ego would’ve told older me to sod off. There’s a part of me that thinks younger me would’ve given me a hug and gone, “Oh, thank you. Please take these duties away from me,” because that’s the headline. If there’s things in your agency that you are not good at, or you just don’t like doing, there will be someone on the job market who is great at doing those things. Who will say they’re the most enjoyable things about a role for them, who will happily for a salary come and take them off your hands and free you up to do the things you are great at.

And hopefully, the fact that you’ve got an agency means the things you are great at add value, it should work better for everyone, including the business. I think that’s one key point. Sorry, I know I’m rambling a little bit here.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

No, no.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Something I’m really passionate about is the one thing that surprised me about this decision is I thought it would be a compromise on commercial profitability for the agency in all order to free up my own time, solve some of the issues I was having in terms of my enjoyment and effectiveness in the work. And maybe the longer term profitability of the business would be in a better place. So basically, let’s say we’re going to get a CEO in and we’re going to pay them six figures. I said, “Okay, let’s take our profit line, take those six figures off it.”

I’m going to save myself, time, energy, and happiness, but it’s going to cost me those six figures off the profit line. And that’s the compromise I was willing to make. What I found in reality was that not only did I not lose those six figures, the profit line … Well, it nearly did double in year one. So there was literally no downside to me making that decision. Commercially the business benefited. And of course, in retrospect, we got a brilliant operator in to grow the business. Why wouldn’t profitability grow with that? And I was able to go and do what I really well, which had been the reason the agency had grown in the first place. So we got a better leader for the business so the business was in healthier shape. Profitability went up and then me as an agency owner was massively happy, because all the duties that got me down, I was ineffective at, were being taken care of by someone who was great at them.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

The dream.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. I was soaring with what I was great at. So yeah, what a journey.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, it’s the dream, isn’t it? I guess the thing is everything’s easier to look at in hindsight.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

But equally, it sounds like for the most part, the right decisions have been made at the right times, I guess. On the converse side of this, what do you think you’ve done in the past that you kind of regret doing that you’ve learned deeply from? Or something which kind of through that lesson you’ve learned that has helped set you up for the success you’re seeing now?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. One phrase that sums up my biggest mistakes has been due diligence. I’ve rushed big decisions. Now that’s due diligence when it comes to recruitment, having a, “That’ll do,” attitude. You have one meeting with someone, “I’m sure they’ll be fine.” And then it not working out because you didn’t put the time and effort in to really understand that person’s motivation, skillset, temperament. Due diligence when it came to clients, that’s revenue, let’s bring them on. Due diligence when it came to even some of the larger strategic decisions, things like partnerships we’ve entered into as an agency, directions we’ve gone down in terms of products and service. And again, you’re right, Chris, easy to say in retrospect. But I think agency will move so fast [crosstalk 00:18:25] Digital as an industry moves so fast it can be really easy to be rushed into decisions.

And I don’t think I’m talking about when we’ve got a decision to make I should have sat on it for months. But I think I should have … I could probably list 10 occasions where just an hour or two’s reflective space and cynical thinking would’ve helped me avoid making some really costly mistakes. Costly in terms of wasted opportunity, actual physical resource, or cash, or even just think the damage we might have done to the brand, or to morale. Where if I’d just taken two hours cynical reflection and gone, “What could go wrong here?” Why might that person not work? Why might that deal not be the best one? What else could I do to make sure that client is going to be the right fit? I think I would’ve saved lots of heartbreak along the way if I’d just been that bit slower in making a few key decisions.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. There’s one book about decision making around there’s lots of changes … Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a really short book. But, that’s a good one when it comes to learning that things happen quick and you’ve got to be able to have resilience, but also move with the times and make some changes. But there’s another book, which is a hell of a lot more heady and I’ve never finished it actually, because I gave up. It was quite hard to read, so I listened to the audio book instead like a lazy person that I am. But it is called Thinking Fast and Slow. It’s what you just said is the summary effectively of that book.

And it’s a case of there are things you can think about that you think about fast and you get done because they’re decisions which have sort of low risk, but potentially quick or high reward. And then the higher reward, longer term decisions you need to put time in, but at a pace. And I remember my grandmother used to say to me, less haste, more speed. And so don’t rush it, but do things quickly, is the kind of the balance you need to make. Which is hard, isn’t it, in the agency world?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It really is, because these decisions need to be made or you feel the pressure to make them quickly and hastily, it’s the right word to use. And that concept of healthy cynicism. I’m a natural optimist, so when I have an opportunity, be that a hire, a client or some kind of partnership, my brain goes to, “Why would this work?” Lets look at all the reasons this could be great. So let’s say it was a potential brand that wanted to work with us. They’re a cool brand, that person seemed nice, they’ve they’ve got a budget. “Yeah, I’m sure that’ll work.” Rather than just having a bit of healthy cynicism and asking, “Why could it fail?” Well, they mentioned in the meetings they’ve got huge technical backlog. They mentioned that three agencies have failed for them in the last year, so maybe there are deeper issues we don’t know about. And a healthy bit of cynicism of why could this not work, just to counter balance my natural optimism, that’s really worked wonders.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Absolutely. It’s kind of the healthy cynicism, critical thinking, melded together into, “I’m not making this decision fast because I need to make sure it’s the right decision, but I’m making it relatively quickly because it has to be made,” which is fair. So if there’s any potential agency owners, potential agency leaders, thinking of starting a business right now, or they’ve just started out for themselves and they’ve waited all this way through the podcast of us rambling along for your one piece of advice, what one piece of advice would you give them?

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It would be around specialisms. I think that it’s becoming more and more prominent that agency world is slightly over commoditized. And with COVID, globalism means that there’s more players in the markets, so it’s even more saturated. And the agencies I’m seeing absolutely flying are the ones that are honing their specialism and really going for it. So we do X service in X market better than anyone else. And that’s the route we’ve taken as an agency. That took us from probably about one and a half million revenue to over 4 million revenue, just saying, “We’re doing X for X.” It makes everything easier. The people you hire become easier because you know you need experience in that space. Winning clients is easier because if a brand is sat in front of two agencies, one does anything for anyone and the other one does that service in that space and has a ton of experience in case studies to back it up, it’s so much easier to win.

And it makes delivery easier because you know the market, you know the service, you can process. So everything, it’s easier to deliver, easier to get results and more profitable deliver. So we touched on it earlier, of course in the early days you’re going to say yes when there’s a there’s money on the table, I get that. But the quicker you can get to the point of saying, “We do X service and X industry,” or something along that definition, the easier everything becomes, including the commercials. Profitability goes up because everything’s more efficient and you can charge more because you’re the specialist in that space. So that’s the golden piece of advice.

It’s not saying go out there today and start saying no to everyone. But I would say at least map yourself a journey. Even if you know now what your specialism is and where you want it to be, let’s say over a year or two years, “I’m going to get to the point where our entire branding echoes that message.” And we can say no for anything that falls too far outside of that message. I wish I’d known that earlier. I wish I’d done that earlier. The business point we’re at, at 10 years, I think we could have got to maybe in five or six if I had known that and followed that.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That’s incredibly good advice. There’s an argument for specializing on a skill base, and there’s also an argument for an industry base. The industry base, if you specialized in travel, you’d be screwed right now because of COVID. But if you specialized in ecommerce for brands that happen to include travel, then that’s great as well. You typically start an agency because you’re good at something in that agency space.

It might be technical, it might be content, might be PR, might be this link building and all those sorts of things. So maybe look to where you know you are great, because you’ve got to guide the direction of the business and know what good looks like in the first place. And then if it’s ecom, for example, like yourselves, then you can say ecom for these types of ecoms, as opposed to only hat makers or something like that, because you know that you’re going to do really well when there’s a windy day. That’s fantastic advice to end the podcast on. So thanks very much for coming along, David. It’s been lovely having you on.

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Been an absolute pleasure. Thanks for your time, Chris.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

No problem at all. Thank you. And in our next podcast, we have a different awesome agency leader to tell us their story along the way. Enjoy listening. Thank you very much.

 

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