An award-winning Welsh entrepreneur is taking the creative sector by storm, with his approach to digital helping to pave the way for his success.
Damian Burgess set up Red Squirrel Marketing in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength, including winning international work, with overseas clients accounting for more than 20% of turnover.
His online marketing activity is generating the majority of his new business opportunities, with social media a key contributor. In addition, one of his blog posts attracted the attention of a USA-based business, which is now a retained client.
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Digital is the backbone of how we operate
The 32-year-old’s success so far has culminated in winning the Online Influencer Award at the Zokit Business Awards and he was also crowned Young Digital Person of the Year at the WalesOnline Digital Awards 2018.
And Damian believes none of this would have been possible without embracing digital technology across all elements of the consultancy.
“Digital is not just part of the service we offer, it’s the backbone of how we operate,” he said.
“Although I am tech savvy, I was seeking a fresh pair of eyes to look at my offering, as well as general business support. I approached Superfast Business Wales and attended one of its workshops, as well as receiving one-to-one advice and a website report.
1-1 advice helped me stay focused
“One piece of advice that really helped me was to pin down the main services we deliver and to focus on these in our marketing. It keeps content on the blog, social media, and e-newsletter focused and consistent. I receive approximately five new enquiries per week via Facebook and the emails send a lot of traffic to the website.
“I also received recommendations on keywords and SEO (search engine optimisation) to increase my visibility in search results. I now get about 12 enquiries per week via my site.
“My digital business adviser also assisted with implementing a cloud-based solution for file storage and back up. I used to carry hard drives around with me but now everything is on iCloud, which allows me to work remotely and across multiple devices. It’s made me more efficient and supports my aim of a healthy work-life balance.”
Video calls and instant messaging removes location and time barriers
Having the right digital infrastructure has also played an important role in Cardiff-based Red Squirrel Marketing securing new international clients in Sweden and Norway.
“Overseas work contributes just over 20% to our turnover,” he added.
“One of my blog posts was ranking really high in Google and was spotted by a firm in the United States. That led to a new business conversation and we have been working with them for about 12 months now.
“We use Facebook messenger a lot for instant communication, as well as Skype for video calls to discuss briefs and project updates. This removes any barriers there may be due to location and time difference. I don’t think we would have won those international clients without the systems in place to simplify communication.
“My next goals are to grow the consultancy further and to employ staff and move into business premises. Having the right digital structure in place will be crucial in achieving this.”
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