In the Summer of 2013 I was working at the kitchen table (our first office), exploring further into my passion for web design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Fast forward 8 years and a global business exists with an extremely attractive client list and a portfolio of design work that makes me very proud. Are you starting a business and at your very own Jerry Maguire moment? Going out on your own is a brave step. Here’s our story and what we have learned along the way.
The things we think and do not say
Being in business is very tough. There are many days that creep up on you out of nowhere and set you back without warning. This much I was forced to learn, very quickly. It can be a very lonely job in the beginning. It’s tough out there! I love the good days, there’s lot’s of them, and thankfully I now take the tough ones on the chin. The customer isn’t always right, but you can’t run a business without them. You can’t do everything, you will need to learn to outsource and train people. These are just some of the things we think and do not say about being in business.
Definitely do not be average
Have a good look at the Buzz Philosophy and you will not be a million miles from the very early standards we set ourselves. We wanted to do things differently. Surprise people with creativity, get their attention, then our message will hit home and stick. Be the best we can be, and definitely do not be average. This was always the focus. The team we have built helps us to stand out. Take a look at some of the campaigns and designs Ben and Andrew have been creating in the last year on our portfolio and you will quickly see why.
I’m grateful that we go wrong sometimes
Were we talented enough to stick by these standards I set? I asked myself this many times. Consistency is hard when you are busy and growing rapidly, and so you have to ask this question. Along the way, we did not get everything right, but every time, we grew from it and learned a little more, and suddenly I look back and I’m grateful that we go wrong sometimes. This has made us what we are today. I’d say with confidence that all the successful businesses out there are the ones who made mistakes and learned from them.
I was extremely excited, that’s what I mainly remember
In 2014 we launched Local Buzz Marketing Ltd, a once London-based marketing agency with a great reputation, especially for training. The company came up for sale during a time when I was attending training at Buzz. At that time, the owner, Sean Beardmore, was about to take on a new challenge and decided to sell Buzz.
Andrew Perryman (A.P) and I purchased the Local Buzz Marketing and moved it to Cambridgeshire at the start of 2014. We’ve always been very lucky to have A.P. He guides us, and he does it in a great way. In the beginning, I was extremely excited, that’s what I mainly remember. Andrew had to re-focus me several times. My training ground was and still is invaluable. It’s good to have a few strong mentors.
I still keep in touch with Sean, the creator of Buzz. He’s a top guy, another great mentor and someone I will always look up to in the digital marketing world. I like to let him know what’s happening with Buzz from time to time and he’s always pleased to hear it.
Who’s with me?
I worked hard for the next year, networking, exploring every opportunity to win new business. From a standing point, everybody finds this tough, and sometimes very lonely ground to be on. This was my Jerry Maguire moment. “Who’s with me?”
We started winning business quickly. Right time, right place I always say but, deep down I know there were so many things that came together at the right time. Whenever I see a new start-up I realise they could be having a Jerry Maguire battle of their own and discovering how to win new business? And that’s also really how Buzz was created. We help those types of businesses to win business online. It’s not just start-ups we help, as time has passed we have grown and the majority of our clients are established brands, some that have been going for over 25 years. In the new digital age, a lot of people need our help.
We discovered what worked best, why it worked, and how to repeat it
When it came to winning new business, we had a lot of positive things on our side. One, we knew how to get ourselves in high-rank positions on Google for search terms related to our services. This is something we have had to re-learn over and over, such are the changes in SEO. Our own SEO worked for us. Our social media marketing worked for us too, as did our content. We discovered what worked best, why it worked, and how to repeat it. Every time we did this, we repeated it for our clients. We are always learning at Buzz.
You only get a micro-moment to impress on the World Wide Web
Success only goes so far when you are not positioned correctly. We had long been promoting our brand rather than our services, something that is now paying off. But a few years ago we still didn’t have quite the right message or look on our own website. What made us different? Nothing, to my disappointment. We knew we were different but explaining it in hardly any words was difficult.
You only get a micro-moment to impress on the World Wide Web, “You had me at hello”. A micro-moment for someone to get to know you and then become a long-term client is a fine art. When you start understanding this, you start talking differently. Once you do this your brand is beginning.
I attribute our growth and success to our ongoing pursuit of originality
In 2016 our team was beginning to grow at Buzz and we’d launched a small SEO and design office in New York. One year later and a chance meeting with my cousin, Tilly, we launched Buzz London. I attribute our growth and success to our ongoing pursuit of originality. When everyone is turning left, turn right. Put faith in that philosophy. It makes you stand out at crucial moments. What will we do next? Learn more, meet new people, spend more time with the ones we already work with, eat, drink, sleep, create, repeat. Something like this.
Show me the money!
What are my best tips for winning business online? Think about the micro-moments. This is going to be key once you grow your audience. When it comes to SEO, think less about keywords and more about user experience. This alone is going to directly improve your rank on search engines. The more time a user spends on your website the better. Your website needs to be fast and mobile-friendly for a good user experience. All Google really wants is for the person searching to have a good experience when they find you on their search engine. If this happens, you are contributing to the search engine. There’s a whole host of other SEO tips on our blog.
Remember, if you have something that people need, they will be searching for you and your services online. What happens when they find you? Are you different from the rest? Think like a customer, not a business owner. Good luck Jerry Maguire!
Blog Post by Jon Orchard.