Agency Collective Tales Podcast

Agency Collective Tales Podcast

Hosted by: Ellie Hale

We talk to agency owners about how they are overcoming the challenges of COVID19 and the current economic climate. Highlighting some of the best examples of agencies not just surviving, but innovating, adapting and thriving.

Episode #28

Marc Convey @ 23 Digital

23 Digital uses the latest film, image capture and simulation technologies to tell visual stories. They are masters of emerging technologies in visual communication, from filmmaking to virtual reality, drone scanning to timelapse.

During this episode, Ellie finds out about the future of video technology and how Marc’s agency is pivoting to meet new demand from clients. They also get on to discuss work/life balance – a hot topic within the walls of 23D’s virtual office right now.

Episode #27

Nick Boyce @ Pollenary

Nick is director of Pollenary, a performance marketing agency for e-commerce brands focused on Facebook and Instagram advertising. He’s also co-host of Facebook Ads Meetup London and a proud Dad!

During this episode we talk about how Nick started his agency based on remote working, the best way to approach recruitment at the moment (especially for a first hire!), and also how client performance has gone bonkers over the pandemic.

Episode #26

Susi & Katrin Owusu @ Smoke Creatives

Smoke Creatives specialises in print, digital and experiential to drive customer engagement, loyalty and sales. The agency was started by two sisters, Katrin and Susi Owusu. In this podcast, they chat with Ellie about how their agency started, plus dive into women in agencies and talk honestly about how to make things work when running a business with a family member.

Episode #25

Samson Owolabi @ Bearded Fellows

This week, Ellie chats to Samson Owolabi, co-founder of animation and video agency ‘Bearded Fellows’. In this podcast, he talks about the importance of a diverse workforce, taking on projects just for fun, and focusing on positivity. Samson has built his business with a purpose to grow and develop a creative network that encourages empathy, creativity and collaboration.

Episode #24

Claire Ritchie-Tomkins, Co-Founder of SQN

SQN, an award-winning integrated marketing communications agency working in tech sport and automotive. During this episode, we chat to Claire about women in agencies, the importance of diversity of experience (and not just gender), encouraging more women into STEM industries, and also what it’s like working with Formula 1 as a client.

Episode #23

Gavin Willis, Founder of SearchSeven

In this episode we speak to Gavin Willis – founder of the PPC agency Search Seven. They’re based in Brighton, and run on a ‘profit for good’ type of ethos. Their mission is in their name. Listen to the podcast to find out why. Also check out their #share77k initiative: https://www.searchseven.co.uk/share77k/

Episode #22

Simon Lucey, Founder of Hype Collective

In this episode we speak to Simon Lucey – the founder of student marketing agency Hype Collective. This time of the year is usually the busiest for universities with 1000s of events to attract potential students – however COVID has had a massive impact on the higher education sector. Simon and his  agency had to adapt quickly within his niche. We talk about their product innovation and how he found ways to keep his agency pushing forwards.

Episode #21

James Hakesly, Co-Founder of Cube

In this episode we speak to James Hakesley – co-founder of Cube Video. An award winning video production, animation and photography studio. They believe the best way to tell a story online, is through beautiful, relatable, insightful and compelling content that resonates with your target audience.

Episode #20

Jenny Stanley, Founder of Appetite Creative

In this episode we speak to Jenny Stanley the founder Appetite Creative – a creative technology agency. With a team of 23 people across three offices in the UK, Spain and Madrid – she is used to travelling 4-5x a week. However due to the current situation and the quarantine strictness in Spain, Jenny has had to shift like many of you to a purely remote working model.

Topics we cover in this episode:

  • Starting your agency with a 3 year old and the added drive to succeed that comes with that
  • Running offices from another country
  • Communication of teams in three different locations
  • Relationship with employees friends vs. manager
  • Creating a diverse workforce
Episode #19

Scott Jones, Founder of Illustrate

This episode is a recording we did on 29 April. Hearing back this episode reminds us how far we’ve all come in only two months. We speak to Scott Jones, founder of Illustrate.

Something that really stood out for me in this interview and has been a ‘make or break’ for a lot agencies during the pandemic outbreak:
1. The value of niching especially when it goes your way
2. Illustrate are an amazing WordPress agency with a team of 15 people, that has a niche particularly in the FinTech sector

Scott shares some really good insights on how their agency continued to grow throughout COVID.

Episode #18

Sam Booth, Founder of Just After Midnight

Today we’re talking to Sam Booth. He’s the founder of Just After Midnight. A team of 35 highly skilled people with a unique type of set up that focusses on providing 24/7. Managed cloud services, infrastructure and application support and DevOps.

Unfortunately Sam was one of the first 250 people who was infected by COVID. Thankfully he’s OK now.

Topics we cover:

  • The physical and mental impact of living with COVID for a month

  • The impact of it on his family

  • What kind of things they’ve put in place to support their team of the past months?

  • Productivity of staff

  • The changes he’ll take with him into the future

Episode #17

Sophia ‘Puff’ Story & Duncan Cook, Owners of 3 Sided Cube

Our guests this week are Sophia ‘Puff’ Story and Duncan Cook – the owners of 3 Sided Cube – an app development company and digital tech agency. They champion tech for good and work with some of the most well known organisations in the world doing good for our humanity.

Topics we cover:

  • Success guilt
  • Their successful project with Red Cross
  • The impact on your team’s mental health when working on purposeful projects – especially when negative news surrounds you everywhere
  • Their changes to working in the office
  • How to inspire the next generation of women to run their own agencies?
Episode #16

Sally Maier-Yip, Founder of 11K

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we talk to Sally Maier-Yip, founder of UK-China luxury lifestyle PR & Comms Agency – 11k. We are curious to find out whether there is such a thing as the ‘new normal’ in China – or if everything is back to the way it was before.

Topics we cover:

  • How to overcome the fear of public speaking and build self-confidence as an agency owner.
  • What are major differences between the luxury sector in the UK and China?
  • How her luxury retail clients have adopted to the current situation?
  • And finally her top tips for women running agencies or looking to start her agency.
Episode #15

Flavilla Fongang, Founder of 3 Colours Rule

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we chat to Flavilla Fongang about innovation through COVID 19, what motivated her to found Black Women in Tech and why she thinks diversity is so important for the 3 Colours Rule brand and for her clients’ brands. We also talk about her new academy and plans for the future.

Episode #14

Eimear McManus, Founder of Digital Works

Eimear McManus is our next guest on our Agency Collective Tales podcast. She is the founder of the agency Digital Works, who are a marketing agency that offer brand development, social media and content marketing services. “Bringing brands to life” in a personal, trustworthy and memorable manner is their mantra. Get ready for some great vibes, her energy is infectious.

Topics we cover:

  • Pitching for work via Zoom
  • Remote working when everyone wants to be at the office
  • Pricing your services
  • General differences between women and men in businesses
  • Onboarding new team members virtually
  • Her tips on how to build your confidence in the early stages of your agency
Episode #13

Becky Simms, Co-Founder of Reflect Digital

In our next episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we speak to Becky Simms co-founder of Reflect – an agency that uses a deep understanding of human behaviour to deliver great solutions and business growth through search engine and performance marketing.

Topics we cover:

  • What inspired her to start her agency?
  • How she inspires other women to run businesses?
  • Running an agency with your life partner
  • Onboarding new recruits during COVID
Episode #12

Lara Findlay, Co-Founder of GearedApp

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we interview Lara Findlay, co-founder of Scotland based app development specialist agency – GearedApp.

Topics we cover:

  • How is a tech agency fairing right now?
  • How honest should you be with your team and clients?
  • How friendly should you be with clients?
  • How can we support women in our industry?
  • How to overcome questioning yourself constantly as an agency owner?
  • What her network means to her personal development?
Episode #11

Louisa Dunbar, Founder of Orange Grove

In this episode of The Agency Collective tales podcast we are joined by Louisa Dunbar, a self-confessed web geek with a strong interest in human psychology and neuroscience. She is the founder of the agency Orange Grove – they focus on improving website conversion through applying concepts in psychology and behavioural science to their work.

We cover:

  • her disciplined approach to constantly posting great content on LinkedIn
  • gender gap in our industry
  • imposter syndrome
  • and taking risks with your agency
Episode #10

Beth Sherman, Co-Founder of Signify Digital

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we speak to Beth Sherman, founder of data centric marketing agency Signify DigitalWomen In Agency month continues here at The Agency Collective and we wanted to hear Beth’s perspective on the topic:

  • She shares her thoughts on the gender gap amongst agency owners.
  • How to build up the confidence to start and grow an agency as a woman.
  • Finally what has helped her to thrive with her agency.
Episode #09

Abi Dixon, Founder of Labyrinth Marketing

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we speak to Abi Dixon founder of Labyrinth Marketing – a marketing agency that looks to support the people behind the brands. They do this by consulting on marketing strategy but also by coaching individuals at their client’s business. She shares her homeschooling experiences during COVID, while running her agency. She’s currently in the process of writing a book (working title: The Whole Marketeer) – a book for in-house marketeers. How having children has spurred her to succeed in her business. Abi is simply an all around legend.

Episode #08

Elise Jackson, Co-Founder of This Is Unicorn

We often talk about niching here at The Agency Collective. A topic of great debate. Shall I or shall I not? There is a lot of data that speaks for niching, especially when you are sub £5M turnover. However, right now and depending what sector you serve – the reality is – niching might be the best idea ever or your worst nightmare.

Since we’re trying to highlight as many motivational stories in this podcast, we’re going to showcase an agency today that has found incredible market fit – exactly at the right time.

The agency This Is Unicorn specialises on Amazon sellers & vendors – and is run by Elise Jackson & Giunlucca Trombetta.

Let’s find out exactly what they do for their clients and how COVID has impacted their agency.

Episode #07

Christian Gunn, Co-Founder of LoveGunn

In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast, we interview Christian Gunn. Christian and his co-founder Tom run a branding agency with a truly creative name: LoveGunn (named after the founders last names: Tom Love and Christian Gunn).

They’ve done some great work over the years. Most recently a rebrand of the social content agency Electric House coming up with the great claim “Can I Get A Watt Watt” that pays a tribute to their construction industry community OnTheTools and the 1998 Jay-Z song that appeared in the movie Rush Hour.

We were really curious to hear what an incredibly creative agency like LoveGunn works on during a pandemic. Join us to hear how they helped create Infotagion, which has been on a mission to fight disinformation contagion about COVID-19.

Episode #06

Madelyn Postman, Managing Director at Leidar

When everything kicked off a couple of months ago there was one agency that before everyone else had already packaged a whole new offering for their clients to deal with the crisis. That agency is the PR specialist Leidar. Run by Madelyn Postman, she originally founded her own branding agency Grain and later merged with Leidar.

There are definitely benefits in being part of a larger entity and having the resource to act fast in a crisis situation Is one of them. In this episode of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast we cover exactly what service they are now offering. How Madelyn is responding to the current economic conditions. From a new business, client services and team management perspective.

Episode #05

Andy Smith, Founder of Strategiq

Our next guest Andy Smith is the parachuter type CEO. He’s known to roll up his sleeves in tough situations – someone who thrives as an agency owner when it gets difficult. He’s lead his agency Strategiq – a performance marketing and Mailchimp partner agency – to one success after another and we’re uncovering how he’s dealing with COVID.

Episode #04

Flo Powell, Co-Founder of Midnight Communications

Flo Powell is the co-owner and joint MD of Midnight Communications, a PR and digital content agency based in sunny Brighton.

Midnight works with businesses, professional services firms and brands alike, applying our commercial nous to crack consumer briefs while approaching our b2b campaigns with creative flair. She joins us for another episode of The Agency Collective Tales podcast. Enjoy the show…

Episode #03

Simon Schnieders, Founder of Blue Array

Simon Schnieders is the founder of Blue Array – the largest pure play SEO agency in the UK. With a team of 40 people, Simon had to move quickly during this crisis to ensure every single one of his team members feels secure. Find out about Blue Array’s own marketing activities right now – as I know they are generally very strong in this department. Apparently one of their initiatives has produced 100s of high quality leads for them. Enjoy this show of The Agency Collective Tales Podcast…

Episode #02

Naeem Alvi, Founder of Notepad Studio

Notepad is a strategic branding agency specialising in helping ambitious SMEs to accelerate their growth. The agency was founded by Naeem Alvi. In this episode we talk about Sometime, which is a nonprofit initiative created in the wake of COVID19. It helps freelancers and professionals with time on their hands to solve thousands of creative challenges resulting from the Corona Virus Pandemic.

Episode #01

Kat Arney, Founder of First Create The Media

Our guest Dr Kat Arney is an award-winning science writer, broadcaster and founder of the agency First Create The Media. A communication strategy and content agency working with clients in the life sciences. Kat was a science communications and media specialist at Cancer Research UK before starting her agency.

She’s also an author and has written for the BBC, The Times, The Guardian, Nature, Mosaic, New Scientists and many more. She also hosts her own podcast: Genetics Unzipped.