As You See It Media
As You See It Media was set up in December 2013 by BBC TV producer and journalist, Tim Jones, when he took redundancy from the broadcaster after 21 years. Since then, Tim has developed the company into a full-service digital content agency, offering everything from video production to photography, copywriting and web design.
Most recently, Tim has expanded the business, bringing in his wife, Gail, to do the administration and forming a network of relationships with freelance cameramen, editors, designers, illustrators and copywriters. Throughout, Tim has maintained his journalistic routes, providing ‘story-led' marketing to clients, unearthing the unique selling points in a company or organisation and capturing the passion of the people who work within it to ‘sell' their products to others.
What they did
"I was lucky to leave the BBC with a redundancy package, so I could buy the equipment I needed to get going in the private sector. It was still a major task and a terrifying thing to do after so many years working for one employer. I had transferable skills: I am a fully-trained BBC journalist and cameraman, but I didn't know how to sell myself to business people who were talking a different language. I had to learn how to make my skills relevant to corporate marketeers and convince them that they wanted me to help them tell their company’s story to the world. It worked, though, and recently it became obvious that companies didn’t want to shop around for someone to make videos, someone else to take photographs, write copy, design a website and so on; once they had formed a relationship with us, they were happy to trust us with the whole lot.
So, we scaled up: calling on a network of trusted contacts from my days in broadcasting to help me offer a full digital content agency service. Offering more services means the ‘pool’ of work available is bigger. Collaborating with others means we don’t have to carry extra costs – we can skill-up as the opportunity arises, just as long as the client knows they will get our service to our standards in the end.” Tim Jones, Creative Director and Owner at As You See It Media.
What would they do differently?
“If I were to do the same thing again, I would have got my company up and running before I left the BBC. There is a great deal to learn about the bureaucracy of running a company, it can swamp you until you know what you can safely hand over to others. And I would have talked to my accountant before I did anything.”
Their proudest moment in business
“I have worked ‘Pro Bono' within my home town, Crickhowell, since 2015 to prevent a pub in the town centre to be turned into a national chain convenience store – something which would have decimated the independent and family-run businesses in the High Street. I led all the marketing, social media and campaigns. The town bought the building, converted it into shops and flats and let it to more independents. The Corn Exchange project was opened by the Prince of Wales, and shortly after that, we entered The Great British High Street Competition and won the UK title – Best High Street in Britain.”
Do they use Welsh in their business?
“We do use Welsh where it is required for a project, but I bring in a former colleague who is a fluent Welsh speaker to assist me.”
Describe the type of support (financial / non-financial) they’ve received from Business Wales / Welsh Government
When Tim set up As You See It Media which combined his freelance reporting/camera work with his interest in social media, Steve Maggs, a Relationship Manager at the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service, was brought on board to assist with broadening the company’s offering. This meant providing a turnkey solution to potential customers including filming of quality video content, photography, social media management, copywriting and PR, website development and graphic design.
With an impressive track-record in planning and implementing marketing campaigns and following the successful initiative that saw Crickhowell in Powys awarded the Best British High Street, Tim is continuously working with Business Wales and Superfast Business Wales to hone his social media and digital marketing skills as well as to acquire broader branding and marketing training. Business Wales is also helping him with human resources and skills/training issues.
Tim said: “The greatest asset that Business Wales have given me is a broader perspective on the business environment around me. Steve Maggs and the other advisers see so many other businesses in their travels that they can advise on what has and has not worked elsewhere. They have a network of contacts and are great at ‘breaking the ice’. While I have not taken up all the advice and courses that have been offered, it has been enormously comforting to know that they are available, and I am sure I will take up more as my company grows.”
Here are As You See It Media’s top tips for anyone else looking to start or grow their own business:
- get an accountant early to lift the burden of some of the bureaucracy
- prioritise – decide what really matters and just do that
- don’t ‘fire-fight’, stick to what’s important, don’t try to do it all at once and don’t try to do it all yourself
- try to understand what your client really needs – listen first, then talk
- don't panic, an opportunity is just around the corner