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What I’ve learned from four years of building a start-up company

11 March, 2015

birthday candles

We are celebrating. It’s our birthday! jrc.agency is four years old this month. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients – past and present – for making these past four years so exciting and enjoyable.

A birthday is a great opportunity to both reflect and plan ahead. And we have some exciting plans coming together already for later in 2015, including growing our team and further establishing our presence in the Yorkshire digital sector – watch this space!

In the meantime, we thought it would be nice to reflect on some of the successes from the past four years and look at some of the statistics (even we were surprised when we sat down and totted up the numbers!):

  • We have worked with over 250 clients
  • In addition, I have trained over 100 small businesses in East Riding on behalf of East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • We have developed over 50 websites
  • We send around 14,000 tweets per year on behalf of our clients
  • We track over 30,000 keywords in Google on behalf of clients
  • jrc.agency now directly employs four people, and works regularly with 25 freelancers to deliver client projects.

Our latest success includes increasing a client’s organic visitors by 127%. In addition, we increased the number of this client’s keywords in the top five Google search results from 15 to 98 and the number on page one of Google from 30 to 208 (a 593% increase) – and all of this in the first month of working with them.

google search bar

Our amazing clients

We have been lucky enough to have worked with over 250 clients on social media strategy, social media campaigns, website development and ecommerce solutions, search engine optimisation (SEO), blogging and blogger outreach campaigns.

Recently, we’ve been supporting PR firms in London with some very exciting clients, working on digital marketing strategy for some of the UK’s biggest retailers.

In Yorkshire and the North, we’ve worked with some great people and organisations, including the region’s biggest B2B network Yorkshire Mafia and the multi-site serviced office space specialists Carrwood Park. In the fashion and events client projects have included developing a digital marketing strategy with CHS Group UK for the Conference and Hospitality Show and running digital marketing and blogging workshops with MODA. To support their expansion of veterinary practices across the North, we built White Cross Vets a new website and are now working with them on SEO and social media.

Nationally, we’ve worked with the Institute of Directors (IoD). We designed the Forward Reward website (a portal for Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) to manage pension auto-enrolment) and supporting software within a six-week time frame. It has been so successful that its functionality is being extended to offer services to companies on pensions but also all aspects of managing people including holidays, payroll and sick pay.

Thanks to Northern Lights PR, we have also worked with some high profile HE clients including Sheffield Business School and Bradford University School of Management.

Some digital marketing speaker highlights for me have included MODA, AMDIS (delivering training to 400 marketing directors for independent schools) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) talk I gave to charity leaders on social media and online community building.

Jonny speaking at MODA 2

Personal highlights and reflections

For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of this journey has been seeing all the hard work everyone has put in to the business and our clients’ projects coming to fruition. But whilst we are growing and expanding, we still receive great feedback from our existing clients who continue to recommend us for our friendly and innovative approach.

Personally, I’ve had some incredible experiences. Through Yorkshire Mafia and the Buy Yorkshire conference, I’ve met some inspiring people, including Alastair Campbell, Janet Street-Porter and Michelle Mone. Through the Institute of Directors (IoD), I’ve been to the Seabrooks factory to learn how they make crisps.

Alastair Campbell and Jonny Ross

Jonny Ross and Michelle Mone

What I’ve learned in the past four years

You can’t just set up a new business or ecommerce website from nothing then sit back and watch the money roll in. It goes without saying that you have to work hard. Not just at what you do (ie your core business), but also at getting yourself out there, meeting people, networking, talking, keeping the conversation going. Because no matter how good your product or service is, if nobody knows you, they won’t do business with you.

Whether you prefer to focus on offline networking or harnessing the power of social media, you have to be willing to do both. Embrace technology and utilise its potential. I managed to secure a client in Texas, US, because I used YouYube to engage with people.

I am an early adopter, and I strongly believe that early adopters get the most out of technology in the long run as they are up and running first. The sooner you play on platforms, the more followers and connections and contacts you will generate, the more fruitful it will be.

A huge thank you to everyone we have worked with over the past four years – you are all wonderful!

We’ll be announcing some exciting plans later this year so do keep checking back for details.

In the meantime, you can get free digital marketing advice, tips and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox by signing up to my blog.

  • […] this year, jrc.agency celebrated its 4th birthday. I mentioned back then in March that we had plans to grow our team and the business – and now […]

    1. […] this year, jrc.agency celebrated its 4th birthday. I mentioned back then in March that we had plans to grow our team and the business – and now […]

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