Building a Digital Business Around your Lifestyle

Sam Charles Building a Lifestyle Business

So I had the pleasure of having Sam Charles on the podcast, I first bumped into Sam at Brighton SEO a few years back where she was a speaker and was impressed by what she had to say, I’ve kept a close eye on her progress ever since in recent years she has grown her business, whilst getting married and travelling the world which we all know is no easy thing to do.

Mentorship from Peter Jones from Dragons Den

Sam also won the opportunity to get some mentorship from Peter Jones from Dragons Den, which many of us would love to get, so I took time on the podcast to find out more about what Peter Jones was able to advise, whether that advice worked and there are many other useful bits of information on this podcast.

Transcript for this Podcast is below:

 

Speaker 1:
So, today’s podcast episode, I’m going to be joined by Sam Charles. So, Sam is from Cornwall down South. The owner of Float Digital, and has spoke at many events around, including [S Brightness Your 00:00:16]. We spoke together in Milan. Is that right Sam?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, that’s right.

Speaker 1:
In MB Summit, and you’ve done various other bits and bobs, so I’m sure for anyone that has any ounce of education in the SEO industry, will have heard you, or stumbled across you or something.

Speaker 1:
So, thank you very much for joining me. But for anyone who doesn’t know who you are, what you do, can you just give us a wee bit of a background of what you do, and just how you got here?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, sure.

Sam Charles:
So, thanks for having me on your show. So, I’ve been working in the SEO industry for about nine years now, but I set up to go freelance initially three years ago. I then set up my own company from there. So, I predominantly work in SEO, but I dabble in PPC a little bit as well, and that’s what our agency does offer, but that’s the other side of the brains behind the agency, which is my husband who does the PPC side of things. But yeah, that’s where my main focus is… Is on search. I don’t really look at any other parts of marketing. So as you mentioned, I’m always at conferences and things like that. Just trying to stay ahead really.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. Smart way to do it.

Speaker 1:
One of the reasons I wanted to get you on this show, and I think you would be a good person to listen to, is obviously… As I’m sure I do with you, and you probably do with many other people, you end up just… You see these people online doing different bits and bobs, and all I do when I see you is a hell of a lot of traveling. I know you’ve got married, congratulations by the way.

Sam Charles:
Thank you.

Speaker 1:
I’ve seen your pictures, and you went on some crazy honeymoon, which seemed like a bit of a journey. How long was the honeymoon by the way?

Sam Charles:
It was six weeks, I think in total.

Speaker 1:
Six weeks. A lot longer than the average person. But obviously for me, from afar watching you, you are the girl who started a digital agency, but does a hell of a lot of traveling. So, you are living the… And I know in this industry, we’ve got guys, the others, living the laptop lifestyle, and everything’s all good, and you just wake up, and you’ve got 10 grand in the bank that day, and all that kind of stuff, and you’re going away getting married. Six week honeymoon and all that kind of stuff, and that’s all good by the way, and as I say, I am jealous, I’m not going to lie [crosstalk 00:03:05]. But is life really that easy, or you know [inaudible 00:00:03:11]… Do you have the set up… Just a straight, honest question. Do you have the set up, that you can just stroll about doing that, or are you working like an absolute animal at night time to try and enjoy the sun during the day? Give us about a background how you operate? I mean, I’m assuming you don’t have your typical agency, where you’ve got like 10 staff based in Cornwall?

Sam Charles:
Yeah. It’s not your typical agency, and I think it all comes back to the reason that I decided to quit my job in the first place. So, three years ago, I was working long hours. I’ve always lived in Cornwall. I did move around a little bit, and lived in Australia and things like that, but I’ve never lived in London, and I’ve never really been one of those corporate people climbing on a corporate ladder. But when I was working in another agency, I was so tired and I was so stressed, and I was a SEO and PPC Account Manager, and I loved my job and I loved the industry, and all the people that I worked with, but I just found that I was so tired, and then when it got to the end of the week, all I wanted to do was sleep, and I was just wishing away the best years of my life.

Sam Charles:
So, in my twenties, I figured I shouldn’t be doing that, and I’m really lucky that I love Cornwall. I’d decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and bring up a family here. So, I bought a house down here when I was 23, and that’s really lucky because it’s quite a cheap area that you can buy a house when you’re quite young. You haven’t got the problem like you would in London, where property is really expensive. So, I thought to myself, “If I could just quit my job, and just have maybe a couple of SEO clients, I could cover my mortgage, I could have a bit more of a chilled lifestyle, and I could actually enjoy the summers in Cornwall, and things like that.” So that was my initial plan, and I made a bit of money through my Blog anyway. Enough to pay my mortgage at least.

Sam Charles:
So, I thought, “I’ll give it a go, and just see what happens, and just start Freelancing.” As I started doing it though, I got a real craving for just winning more clients, and doing more exciting stuff, and growing the brand. So it kind of grew from there, but everything always drew back to the fact that I wanted to have more time, I wanted to travel, I’ve always traveled a lot anyway, and I wanted to have that flexibility. So, every time I’d made a decision, it was based on that, and my Business Mentor said, “You know, what do you want in five years? Do you want an office full of people? Do you want to open up in London? Do you want any of these things?” And it was never that, that I wanted. It was just as long as I could be happy and enjoy myself.

Sam Charles:
So I’ve kind of worked that out as I’ve been going along. But like you said, it’s been good. I’ve been able to travel. I think I traveled for a third of the year last year. So I went away around Europe with my husband. We went around for a couple of months in this van that we kitted out as well. But it’s not easy, and I think it’s just taking those opportunities, and those times where you can do it. When we went away in the van for two months, we had an internet connection, and we could work on the go, but there’s not a lot of point in traveling if all you’re going to be doing is working. So, it’s picking those moments where you’ve got enough money to do it, but you’re not too, too busy that you’re getting flooded with a big new campaign that’s snowballing through. So that’s pretty important, I think.

Speaker 1:
That makes a lot of sense, is obviously picking [inaudible 00:06:43] time, because… Now this is no joke. Every time I… Even if I go on a plane down to London, and this actually happened. I went down to London a couple of weeks ago to go and do a thing for SEMrush at the end of October, it was a one day event. Literally when I stepped on the plane, someone’s website blew up.

Sam Charles:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:
And, you couldn’t write this stuff. Every single time you want to go and do something, for me, something bad goes wrong. But as I say, you seem to do it differently, and as I say from afar, from the outside looking in, you certainly seem to be enjoying yourself, and seem to be doing good work, and it’s working for you.

Speaker 1:
Now I know people say, “Well, how does that work? Do you know?” And they’ll go, “Do you actually do any work? Is it all outsourced?” So, all of these kind of questions then get flung around when you live that lifestyle. Clearly you don’t, you know, the laptop’s just for show, and all that stuff. I’ve got friends that do it, and you know, I do it as well for a laugh. For me, delegation is a big thing. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I do work and eat everyday, bang, bang, bang. I’m not. That’s not me. I’ve done my stuff, my time doing that, and it’s about delegation processes. Automation in certain places. Is that something that you’re big into, or have your business structured around as well?

Sam Charles:
Well, it’s one that I like to delegate, and that I do outsource things, but I’m really hot on keeping the SEO process in house, making sure that I’m involved with it, and making sure that anybody I am working with on the campaign, that I can validate their skills. I’ve either worked with them in an agency before, or I’ve worked very closely with them, or at conferences, and I know that they will offer exceptional work and it’s no less. So, I’m very hot on that. It’s more kind of [inaudible 00:08:41] an internal marketing, the things that we have to do for our brand. Anything finance related, or anything like that. If there’s anything I can reduce the amount of time I spend in my inbox, those types of things, then yeah, we get VA’s on that, and other members of staff that can help take that load off.

Sam Charles:
And then we think, “As long as we’re giving the best quality to our clients, they’re happy, then we’re happy, and then they can just keep coming back to us.” So we’ve got a very loyal client base, which is great. And I think that is really important. To have that stress free lifestyle, whether you’re traveling, or even if you’re just running an agency and taking it easy. We’ve been taking it easy, essentially since we got married earlier in the summer. It’s just giving us that time to kind of breathe, and even think about our own brand and things like that, that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t have that support network. So, I think it’s just, yeah, finding the right people, and making sure that you’ve got a really strong team before you do go traveling, or you try and take a step back.

Speaker 1:
But would you say the key is using, or delegating, or using people that you already know, or is that you think the secret factor, because you know, at the end of the day we all want an easy life.

Sam Charles:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
And to do things, and we all struggle. We use dodgy VAs who don’t turn up, and don’t deliver, or they deliver garbage, and everything like that. Do you think the key part for you, would be just because you’ve said there it’s people you know deliver exceptional work. Do you think that’s the key component to your thing, or is there something else?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, I think so. I think it’s trusting those people, and knowing that they can deliver to either the same standard that I would, or actually even higher which can be expensive when you’re working with other people. It’s not as easy as being able to outsource to Indonesia, or something like that, and then getting it cheap and then being able to churn stuff out quickly. It’s not the same kind of process as that, which I know some people do, and they do get good results with it, and there’s other agencies that we speak to that work that way, which is fine. But for us to then actually have to go through work, and kind of fix it and things like that, it’s not really a process that works for us.

Sam Charles:
So, if we know the people, we can go meet up with them. Even if it’s just really quickly, just one afternoon, go and grab a cup of tea, check in, how are things going? It’s just creating a team. A team of people that you trust, and you work with, but then actually just having it more remote as well, and we do have a bit of a base in Falmouth, that we do all have flexibility where we’re kind of moving around, and it’s also great to be able to get the right people for the job too. You’re not kind of limited by where they are, and what other campaigns they’re working on.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. Oh that’s cool. As I say, I think it’s good to get that kind of insight, and as I say you do, do things differently, and it’s clearly very successful.

Speaker 1:
Now one other question, I want to ask you about your personal structure in agency, which I work with my wife, and loads of people ask the question, “How the hell do you make that a success?” You obviously mentioned that your new husband is the PPC guy within your agency. You know, these [inaudible 00:00:12:13]… What I was going to joke about, I would normally always fight with PPC guys, from an SEO point of view because they’re always doing what I would consider shonky work, and all that kind of stuff. Do you’s have those kind of fights in there? And then on a serious level, obviously you know, how do you find working with him? Is that something that’s sustainable ongoing, or do you have to get out and about, and go to a coffee shop, and get away from him. How do you handle that?

Sam Charles:
We get asked this all the time. It’s really funny. But actually we don’t really argue anyway. We tend to kind of raise concerns, and chat it out and then that’s about it really. So, I think both of us are quite easy going, and what I think really, really helps is that he stays in his lane with PPC, and I stay in my lane with SEO. I know PPC, I know how it works. I can run PPC campaigns, and things like that, but it’s not my area of specialty. It’s not what I do. I am an SEO, and it’s the same with Sam. He knows how it works. He could give a talk at a conference even, and yeah he knows what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t interfere with my work, and I don’t interfere with his unless we’re collaborating on a campaign, and a client’s got both of the services going, and of course like you would in any agency, you work together to share data and insights.

Sam Charles:
But otherwise, I think that works quite nicely because we’re both in charge of our own campaigns, and what we’re doing, and so we’re not really underneath each other or stepping on each other’s toes. So that’s really great. So I think in the longterm, so far, so good. But yeah, I think at first, I was a little bit perhaps apprehensive at the beginning. We didn’t know how it was going to go down, because initially as I was saying before, I just planned to be a freelance SEO. I wasn’t expecting to make any amount of… Obviously enough money to pay my bills, but I wasn’t expecting to make a huge amount of money, and I wasn’t expecting to grow a brand or anything like that. I was just taking each day as it came. So at first, it didn’t really seem like something we’d end up doing, but then it just made sense. Why both be freelance when we could just bring those two together?

Speaker 1:
Oh no, I’d say scaling up, and making it better. I think it’s a [inaudible 00:00:14:43]. I would certainly say anyone who doesn’t, or would fear working with their wife or husband, or whatever, it certainly worked out well for me. I don’t think I could trust anyone more than I would probably trust my wife either.

Sam Charles:
Exactly.

Speaker 1:
And there’s no bullshit. You can just turn around to your wife and say, “Listen, this is a problem, this needs dealt with. You know, we need to fix it.” And by all means have a debate, and then that’s it over with, and obviously maybe if you’re working with your wife at night, you have a more difficult conversation, but I think if you can… I think it works well. It worked very well for me. Maybe some husbands and wives have different types of relationships, but I would certainly say don’t dismiss it just on the off chat, because everyone says, “Oh no way, I couldn’t do that.”

Sam Charles:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
So, it’s been successful for me, and it’s great to see that you are successful with it, and as I say, I wanted to ask the question because I’m sick of people asking me it.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, and I mean it’s just doing it and giving it a go, and then realizing that actually, it’s so much nicer having the person that you love the most, and you spend all your time with, to be along with the ride with the successes, and if there is any failures then it makes life a bit easier.

Speaker 1:
And I think also in this industry, it’s good to have someone at home just to talk to that actually knows what you’re talking about. Imagine that your husband was a plumber for example, and maybe you’re needing someone to talk to about some crap SEO client that doesn’t understand that you need contents imported, or something like that.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:
And [crosstalk 00:16:21] talking about. So, I think it helps from that point of view as well. Not that you want to be chatting work all night, or anything like that, but it’s good to have a bit of an understanding of what each other does, I think. But hey-ho.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, for sure. Having somebody that you can talk to about things that are work related, and you can get things off your chest, and like you said, they understand and know what you’re talking about rather than being like, “Oh, I have to explain it. It’s not worth it.” I just can’t imagine it any other way now.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. As I say, it’s great that it works, and I think if it’s working well, and you’re having success and you’re leading the lifestyle that you’re leading, then long may it continue, fingers crossed.

Speaker 1:
The next thing I want to ask you about, and it’s something I’m not entirely sure of, the full background, and obviously you’ll be able to fill us in on that, but I’ve seen it from afar, was you won something to… You went to that mentorship thing to go and see Peter Jones from the Dragon’s Den. What was that all about? I’m quite keen to hear what that was, and obviously what happened? Was his advice good, and all that kind of stuff? So first of all, how did that come about?

Sam Charles:
Yeah. So, initially I saw an advert on television and it was a Sage advert, and it was Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den saying, “Win a half day mentoring session with me, just enter online.” And I thought, “Well I’ll enter.” I’ve never entered a competition, or an award or anything like that at this point. So I thought, “I’d give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s free. I copied and pasted some information about what we’re doing, and what the brand is, and my experience and why I’d like to win, and then I got a phone call from Steven Kelly, the CEO of Sage at the time saying that I’d won. So yeah, that was pretty amazing. I think the next two days later, I was on my way up to London to meet Peter Jones at a press conference. From there, I had a couple of meetings with his assistant who then helped prepare the session that I was going to have with Peter Jones in the coming months.

Sam Charles:
So that was really exciting, and then Sage got in touch and said, “Do you know what, actually we want to document all of this. We create videos about our clients and what they’re doing, and what we want to do is we just want to get some more information about what you’re doing, come to Cornwall and film it, and then when you do meet Peter Jones, we’ll be there to kind of come along for the ride, and film it, and document it.” So that’s what ended up happening, which was really, really excited, and then we planned for the session, and then I went and met Peter Jones up in Marlow, which is where his offices are. It was really, really exciting. So nerve wracking. But when I arrived, he was just so nice, so calm and relaxed, and really humble. So, he put me at ease pretty quickly, and we’d done all this planning ahead of the session as well with his assistant.

Sam Charles:
And he is saying to me, “You know, you can’t walk into a meeting with Peter Jones, and not have a plan of what you’re going to ask, what you need, what you want and all these ideas.” I put out this deck, put so much information in there and was wracking my brains, and then we got in there and he said, “Do you mind if I kind of lead the conversation, and I will have a conversation with you based on what I tell people when they were in Dragon’s Den?” And I was like, “I would much rather that, than me come to you and ask a load of questions. I would rather you kind of steered the conversation.” So that was quite a relief, because then it ended up being quite a different session to what I expected, and at first, because there was so much publicity around it, and there was so much filming, and so many… Kind of, the press event and all this photography, there was a part of me that thought, “Oh, is this just going to be all press heavy, and there was cameras all the way around this glass room.”

Sam Charles:
I was like, “Am I going to be able to say anything?” But then actually for the next however many hours it was, I think it was about four hours, it was so insightful, so amazing, really motivating, and he just showed me a load of stuff that I don’t think I’d ever get access to, on how I can make pitches better, how we can really make our sales better, and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, super, super insightful, and really helped with pricing, and things like that too which is another thing I’d really struggled with, but because he’s worked with so many other companies, and also even SEO and PPC agencies, he could really give me an insight on how other companies were doing it, and how we could take from those learnings.

Speaker 1:
And so obviously when you say there, this stuff that you would never be able to get access to, obviously if any of us were go to Peter Jones, and try and get mentoring for half a day, it would either… He probably would tell us to bugger off, or [inaudible 00:21:41] $50,000 or more, or whatever. But you’re saying you’ve got stuff that you would never have access to. But I’m curious to know, is this just stuff that he just rolled off… It just rolled off his tongue, or does he show you stuff like, you know… How does he present that feedback to you, in terms of pricing? Obviously he’s got to have an understanding of your pricing, but does he then just go and say, “You’re undercharging. You should maybe be charging more.” How does he do that? Does it just come from his brain?

Sam Charles:
Yeah. So, he critiqued the website, he critiqued our pitch document. He gave loads of advice on how we could do it better. But then he showed how other companies were doing it, that he’d been working with, which is really, really helpful, and to see what their pricing structures looked like.

Sam Charles:
So he didn’t give away any of the company’s personal information or anything like that, but he was able to give us an idea of what kind of money we should be making, and what we can expect to achieve, and he said to me, “What is your ambition? Do you want to have this sky rise with a hundred employees? Do you want to be turning over millions?” And I was like, “To be honest, that’s not really where we’re heading for. It’s a lifestyle brand, and yes, we want to make more money, and we want this certain lifestyle, but we don’t want to be opening up offices all over the place, and working 14 hour days because that’s exactly what we’re leaving.” And he was like, “Okay.”

Sam Charles:
So it was kind of shaping around what we wanted, and what strategy we should be taking. So I think the main thing that was really interesting is having that business mentor, but just because he’s had so many different insights to so many different companies, and ones that are similar and so high grossing, he can give you a real idea of where you should be heading and steering you in the right direction.

Speaker 1:
So, for Peter Jones, did he say anything like, “Come on Sam, the business that you want to run is garbage. You could make a lot more if you just set up some offices.” Or was he totally like, “I get it. I think you’re doing the right thing with the business that you’ve got?” What was his approach like?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, he was more like, “What you’re doing is good, and for the type of business you want.” He was saying, “If I did want a big sky rise in London, with a hundred people working there, then the approach would need to be different.” And it was talking about how targeting the clients in the right way, and how at the time that I was targeting clients that were too small, and he was saying about how to shape the website, and how to have content that reads the right way, so you’re targeting people so that actually they’ll trust you with their money, and it was a lot to do with how you get people to trust you, and get them through that process and that sales process. So that was really interesting as well.

Speaker 1:
It’s amazing how that guy has that type of knowledge. Though as well [inaudible 00:24:53]. Just understanding how to shape a website. Now obviously, I’ve never met Peter Jones and guys like that, but it’s amazing to know that he pays that level of attention to business things. Do you not feel like that as well? I mean, this guy is insane in terms of… Obviously he works with massive companies and stuff, but I just never thought he would have been right down into the nitty gritty like that in terms of how to shape your website and stuff.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, I think it’s more looking at a broader way of branding, and how other people are looking at your site, and I guess from more of an experience angle. But there’s a couple of things that he mentioned about the site that wouldn’t be so good for the user, but then I was thinking in my head like, “Oh, is that because of SEO?” Which is a battle you’re going to have. So I guess there’s certain elements there, that it’s just taking certain bits and then seeing how you can use it to your advantage.

Speaker 1:
Yeah.

Sam Charles:
But yeah, it’s interesting, a lot of the things. I mean, my head was just full of all these ideas, and all these things that he said that we should change on the site, and then I was just driving back down to Cornwall and I remember calling my husband on hands free, and just saying like, “You have to write this down, like my head is going to explode.”

Speaker 1:
I can imagine, even an hour with that guy would blow most people’s brains, nevermind the four or whatever that you had with him. So it’s amazing, and I hope that as a result you’ve seen a massive growth I’m assuming?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:
With the [crosstalk 00:26:42]. So, you have seen massive changes, and even, see when he was talking about pricing, and stuff like that, was he telling you to up your price, lower your price? Not that I’m asking anything personal in terms of pricing, but did that… Just say it was price that he was talking about, I would be curious to know whether it was up, low and did that actually work?

Sam Charles:
He was saying to up our pricing, which we’re doing gradually, and we’re doing that in a way that we’re only doing it when we’re adding more value. So we’re not just upping for the sake of upping, but the pricing that he’s kind of laid out, I think for us to get there is something we are going to have to do in stages. I think just to jump there, I don’t know how we would do that. So, it is a bit of a journey until we reach that point. But I think we went in there with our Cornwall prices that are modest, which has changed a bit now, but they were certainly modest at the beginning. Especially with the ambition just to be freelance, and he said, “Do you know, that is not what you should be charging.” Which I kind of knew, and I knew that we were competitively priced when I first started freelancing.

Speaker 1:
It’s-

Sam Charles:
Sorry, go on.

Speaker 1:
No, I was going to say, something I can totally relate to, because obviously I started out as a freelancer and I’m from Glasgow, and it’s not the same as London prices, and all that exact same thing, and I was always [inaudible 00:28:17]like, should I charge more, or how much can I charge more? And then you hear stories of guys in London charging X, Y and Z, and I didn’t feel comfortable with robbing people, is the way my mind was telling me. But business is business. The older I’ve got, business is business, and you’ve got to charge your worth.

Speaker 1:
It’s not about charging more. Making… You know, you’re probably at one point always going to have that freelancer thoughts in your head, but sometimes I think you have to shake that off.

Sam Charles:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
And just go [inaudible 00:28:52]. And it’s the only way you’re going to be hugely successful and have money, and I think is something as I say, I can totally relate to. I wouldn’t be comfortable if someone like Peter Jones said to me, “Listen, you need to up your prices here. You’re charging 10 times way too little. You need to charge your worth. You can’t just go and slap everyone’s prices up by 10 times or whatever.” I totally get where you’re coming from, from that point of view.

Sam Charles:
Yeah exactly.

Speaker 1:
But I do think that as SEOs, do we charge enough? There’s a lot of [inaudible 00:29:25] out there who are charging a lot more than us, and not delivering. So, if you’re delivering good work, you’ve got to know your value to the business as well, and what you’re bringing to a business, and look at all of that as well, because you’re not here to work for free. So yeah, no, it’s good to see that even taking bits of Peter’s advice has had a positive impact on your business, even though you’ve not put them all into practice, and I’m sure over the next few years, would I be right in saying that you’ve probably still got bits of his advice to continually add to your business?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, I think that’s it. I think there’s certain parts of the advice that we got out of it that are really helpful, but at this moment in time, we can’t quite implement, but it’s useful that we’re going to still have that input. A couple of years on, I will say, “Okay, we did reach that point now. Now we can change X, Y or Z. So yeah, it’s really insightful that we kind of looked at not necessarily just the next six months, or 12 months, we looked a lot further ahead from that, and how it would kind of shape the business.

Speaker 1:
So, a final question on Peter Jones. If you had to pay, and I’m just going to throw a random out there, and it’s going to be a high figure because it’s Peter Jones. If I was to say, “Sam, if you can muscle up 25 grand, and I can get you that time with Peter Jones again, would it be value for money?”

Sam Charles:
Yeah, I think so, because we’ve certainly made that back, in just return on investment on the implemented changes that we’ve made. So, for sure, just the recommendations, and the insight that he can give you, and all the experience that he’s got. For me, it was really, really insightful, and I do have a business mentor, he was great, and she’s really supportive. But having that fresh perspective from somebody who was so, so successful, and he’s so confident, and as soon as he looked at our business, our pricing and everything associated with it, he could just make sharp decisions on what should be done, and it was just really helpful to have that input.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. Oh, it’s great to hear, and great to hear it was successful as well. You never know from the outside looking at that, if it’s just a gimic, and a word full garbage, and you’ve probably got to spend five minutes with a guy. So it’s great that you actually sat there and you spend that time-

Sam Charles:
Yeah, absolutely. We ran over actually. I think we ran over by about 45 minutes.

Speaker 1:
You’ll maybe get an invoice in the post at some point.

Sam Charles:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
But nah, that’s cool.

Speaker 1:
So what does the future look like for you? I know you’ve done a few speaking events last year. I’ve not seen much of you this year though, in terms of speaking. I’ve seen you traveling lot. Is it just traveling, are you staying off the speaking radar, or dabbling a bit? What’s the story on that side?

Sam Charles:
So, we got married in April, and the idea was to not draw too much attention, or take on too many big campaigns before the honeymoon. We knew that we were going away for six weeks. It’s something that we really wanted to dedicate some time to. So we thought if we were going to go win some big campaigns, it’d be quite a bad timing for us. We did though typically, which is great, and it’s so, we got some good campaigns under our belt, which is really, really brilliant. But we didn’t want to take off more than we could chew. So, we were on the quiet front and then after the wedding, we played a lot of catch up, and we actually had a huge influx of sales just as we got back. It was quite good timing actually.

Sam Charles:
So then we’ve just been really, really busy growing the business, and then getting ready for the next stage of sales and pushing for some more growth, which we don’t usually do sales or marketing or anything like that. We’re really lucky that all of our clients come through recommendation mostly from people in the industry, which is amazing. But we do want to push it, and take it to the next level now.

Sam Charles:
So, the last thing we want to do though is give it that push before we’re ready. To make sure we can satisfy our clients, and we can take on that workload. We’re confident that we’ve got the capacity, we’re confident that we can deliver the work. We just want to make sure that all our processes are as tight as they can be. So we’ve been really working hard on our business rather than working too much on conferences, and being out there as much just so that we’re all ready, and then we had another influx of sales and campaign kickoffs, just as summer ended. So yeah, it’s been crazy and exciting, and a lot’s been happening, and I will be back on speaking at conferences now that we’re kind of ready, and in a strong position.

Speaker 1:
Good. Now, it would be good to see you back speaking again as well, I think, but you’re probably doing the right thing. Don’t do it all at once. I think you step in and out of that kind of stuff as and when you can satisfy the demands. I think you’re doing it all very, very smartly.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I love speaking at conferences and attending them, and there’s a lot of conferences I’ve been getting some FOMO, while scrolling through Twitter, and seeing everybody at different events, but at least we know now that we’ve got everything in place. So there was quite a lot of campaigns that I wanted to be here, and ready as they were kicking off, as we’re just going through that bit of growth right now. We’ve just taken on some more people as well, which is supporting our campaigns. So that’s really exciting. So yeah, it kind of frees up a little bit more of my time to do things that I enjoy, like talking at conferences.

Speaker 1:
Yeah. No, I’m sure you will get there next year, but sadly, we are to out of time Sam. But for anyone who does maybe want to follow you, chat to you, maybe reach out to you for your services, where’s the best place to find you?

Sam Charles:
Yeah, so on my Twitter, it’s @SamCharlesUK. That’s where I’m usually tweeting about anything industry related, or you can visit our website, which is float-digital.com, or email me on s.charles@float-digital.com.

Speaker 1:
Perfect. I’ll make sure… I always do a transcript anyway, so [crosstalk 00:36:17] the links will be below. But thank you very much for joining me, and I hope to catch up you at a conference soon.

Sam Charles:
Yeah, thanks for having me on your show.

Speaker 1:
Cheers.

 

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 17 years.

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