When I left school, the internet, websites and social media were far from being a part of everyday life, as they are now. Whilst I sometimes wish that i’d been able to jump straight into this magical digital world right from the off, what it did do, was allow me to hone my business, marketing and sales skills in the ‘real’ world, the world of face to face, the world of talking, writing and not staring at a mobile phone!!
I left school at quite a depressing time for our generation, unemployment was high, vacancies few and far between and I really didn’t have any aspirations other than maybe playing for Everton one day, but given my stature and more importantly lack of skill, I instead fell into a YTS apprenticeship with Marks & Spencer. After a further 20 years in the retail sector, in 2006 I felt it was time for a change. I had worked on the High Street, running departments and stores for M&S, Gap and River Island, before embarking on my own retail journey, with a couple of fashion and footwear stores, which sadly closed through various misgivings, mainly my obsession with buying stock!!
The internet was starting to take shape, Ebay being the first web beast and MySpace and Bebo were grabbing the attention of the few computer owners with the mindset to start creating and posting content, for the very few others to see it. I wanted a piece of it and after finding a website designer to work alongside, I set about selling websites to SME’s around the area where I had been trading.
Website? What’s that? How bizarre, looking back, to think that the majority of business owners in 2006 didn’t have a computer, so had no idea what a website was!!!! Welcome to the world of direct selling Phil!!
Fast forward to 2012 and Facebook was starting to encroach on many people’s lives. Mobile phones had enabled the internet to become part of our every waking moment. Facebook gave businesses the opportunity to get their content in front of customers and people who had never heard of them and it was FREE!! How exciting was that?
So we trialled using Facebook for a few website clients, who all saw an excited flow of old and new customers, coming through their doors having seen offers, new product launches etc pop up in front of their eyes on social media (as it was to become known). By the time Twitter came along, businesses were starting to sit up and take notice, but many were unaware of how to use it!!
With knowledge of the technical side of the internet, coupled with the know-how of how to make people stop and take notice of content generated which is then pushed into the relevant channels on the internet, will help generate new business for you whilst creating loyalty amongst your current clients. Most business people haven’t the time to give their all to marketing and that’s where my team and I step in, becoming part of their team, liaising with them, giving them focus on the important things, without having to press a button on their keyboard or mobile!!
Agency of Boom was formed with my business partner Rob Savage, together with a team of content creators and designers, to enable us to handle the flow of work coming in. We were at the time (and one of only very few nationwide even now!) the only agency who handle incoming interactions on a 24-7 basis, right here in the UK. We do not outsource any part of the job and our collective aim is to generate as many inbound enquiries as possible.
In addition to this, I find that many businesses owners, being over 40 and having missed out also on the digital age whilst growing up, thus feeling a real inadequacy in their role as leaders, being unable to manage and understand what is required in the exciting yet daunting world of the internet. So for this, I have developed a coaching and mentoring programme to help bring everyone up to speed, take away their fears and enable them join in the fun!
Let me sit with you, get to understand the pains you are feeling in business and see where our journey can take you.