The FCDC was at BrightonSEO and we were able to chat with some amazing folks, including the wonderful Andi Jarvis!
Andi Jarvis is the founder of Eximo Marketing. He runs intensive build-your-own-strategy workshops and a people development program to help marketers design, develop and implement an effective marketing strategy.
He has also spoken at events in the UK, USA, Slovenia, Ireland, Germany, Albania, and Macedonia.
In this BrightonSEO special, Andi discusses:
Name: Andi Jarvis
What Andi does: He is the founder of Eximo Marketing
Company: Eximo Marketing
Noteworthy: He has been in marketing since 2001, focused on marketing strategy since 2015, and running Eximo Marketing since 2017.
💡Transition from Diverse Jobs to Marketing Career
Andi Jarvis began his career journey with diverse roles like paper delivery, bingo caller, and mascot, showcasing his openness to learning and adapting to different situations.
These early experiences helped him develop communication skills, resilience, and a sense of hard work. His transition from studying Physical Education to entering the marketing field was influenced by his inclination toward sports marketing and his eagerness to learn from others
💡Recognizing When to Move On
Andi Jarvis shares insights on recognizing when it’s time to move on from a job. He emphasizes that staying in a role should be driven by factors such as consistent learning opportunities, salary that meets basic needs, or a combination of both. He advises against chasing only monetary gains, as continual learning and personal growth ultimately lead to long-term success.
Additionally, he discusses the importance of acknowledging when a job is causing more harm than good, particularly in toxic work environments characterized by poor management and micromanaging tendencies.
💡 Balancing Learning, Networking, and Implementing
Andi underscores the balance between attending conferences, learning from industry experts, and implementing the acquired knowledge. He encourages attendees to absorb one key takeaway from each talk and then translate that insight into actionable steps. The focus should be on improving incrementally rather than feeling overwhelmed by too much information.
💡Navigating In-House Politics
Andi delves into the challenges of navigating in-house politics and how they can negatively impact job satisfaction. He shares personal experiences of working in an environment where poor management and micromanagement led to disarray within the marketing department.
This discussion sheds light on the detrimental effects of micromanaging and emphasizes the importance of leadership that nurtures and shields employees, allowing them to focus on their strengths and creative contributions.
The Power of Strategy
Andi’s agency, Eximo Marketing, specializes in strategy and training for medium-sized companies. Defining your agency’s positioning and focusing on a specific segment of the market can set you apart and attract the right clients.
Creative Ways to Stand Out
When looking for a job or trying to make an impression, think creatively. Sending personalized letters or unique items related to the recipient’s interests can help you stand out from other applicants and create a memorable connection.
The Challenges of Freelancing
Freelancing might seem appealing, but it comes with its own set of difficulties. Freelancers often face rejection and emotional turmoil when clients turn them down. Going freelance doesn’t mean escaping problems; rather, it’s about trading one set of challenges for another.
Chima Mmeje 0:03
All right. Andi so basically, the format of the tech su story is that we want to hear the stories of marketers, mostly black and coloured marketers, how they got into the industry to inspire those who are coming along, they can be done.
And then by showing them the journey that got you there. So just run us off with any of the jobs or the jobs that you did from like when you were young, young blood coming up to Yeah, before I even got into markets.
Andi Jarvis 0:32
I haven’t gotten a market. I’m gonna start I think kind of jobs like paper on that shows you how old it is to deliver newspapers. People listen and listen to like, what’s a newspaper, but we’ll forget about them. We’ll move to when I was 16 I could get a proper part time job, right. Okay. And I got a job being a bingo, call it being go up and go call.
So you know, when when they do bingo. So just like eight number eight, and then you have to call the numbers out. And that was the guy. So it was like glue 44? Read 15 on the white number 12. Green 88 Right. So that was my job. And I think that’s why I end up doing a lot of conference speaking right? Because when you sit in a room of 500 grannies because it is just merely old ladies who come there, right? You got like, 500 grannies waiting on the next number.
There’s a bit of a thrill and a boost to that right. And you know, sometimes it was some serious money like 10s of 1000s of pounds sometimes. And you’re calling the numbers and pressing the button. So I used to love bingo calling, right? Absolutely loved it. But that was I worked in a bar as well. At the same time. I I always had lots of jobs, right? So the family we grew up in, there was four of us in a single four boys in a single parent family.
And we lived in a council house, right? So if you wanted money, you had to go and work for nobody, there was no money, money in your bank account or just take my card. And now you wanted some money, you went out and worked for it. So I did all sorts of jobs around that. But bingo, Carla was kind of my main job between sort of 16 and an 18. Except for in the school holidays in the summer, where a friend of a friend used to run a building firm.
So I went to work for his building firm, which was like the greatest thing ever, of construction work, construction work, just outdoors in the summer. Building floors, walls, it was just grateful, right, but hard, hard work. And the thing that makes you realise when you’re doing that, because in the summer in the UK, right? It’s not always great.
You get some lovely days, you get some miserable days. And people say to you like when it’s the rains coming down and it’s cold, it’s miserable. You’re just doing that thinking I need a job. That means I can sit indoors. That’s all are you less than you take from that is gone work indoors.
Chima Mmeje 2:42
Wow. Wow. So you’ve worked in construction? You’ve worked as a bingo. Caller. Yeah. I feel like you’re holding out on something.
Andi Jarvis 2:51
Because well, I actually put work I worked in bars, I serve paints, I serve meals, but I went to university. What did you study university? Well, I went to be a PE teacher I wanted to and I wanted to teach spot. Wow. I loved sport. I knew my results, I was sure that I was quite clever, right?
So I knew that I could go and be a teacher. So that’s why I went to university to do that. I’m going to study literally for years and be a teacher. But I had to work through university as well. And I worked in a bar which was okay, I worked what else did it work? I did a few jobs right. But the local rugby club advertised for a job. So I went for it. You know the mascot and the rugby club? Yeah, so like the person who dresses.
Chima Mmeje 3:35 Those are the whole gimmicks. That was you.
Andi Jarvis 3:37
That was me. Right? and amazing. It was the best money ever. Right? So I used to go with a team places I’d be on the team bus people like are you one of the rugby players. And then you put the hat on and boots on it. You’d go running.
Chima Mmeje 3:50
I knew you were holding. I knew that has to be like the coolest job among everything that you said.
Andi Jarvis 3:57
Honestly. Right. So nobody knows it. Yeah, we went to Twickenham, which is a stadium in South London. Yeah. And because we got to the final week, Newcastle got to the final right. And there was 75,000 people there. And the opposition had a bunch of two mascots, two bears, and I was a Falken.
And we were supposed to go walking round. And like all our funds were one way or their funds or the other. Yes. So we were told go out, go move to your own funds. And then keep walking around and come back in. Oh my god, I’m walking one way and I get halfway down and someone shouts from the audience flash fly Why don’t you go and chin nose to which basically got hit them right.
So I turned around and I looked and I was like, okay, giving the thumbs up. And I set off down running. And as I’m running down, I could hear the whole crowd so 75,000 people Oh my god. But the thing is, I could two bears the other way, right? Yeah, they don’t know anything’s coming. They’re just like, this way. And I was I was really, really close.
I was like, What do I do next? What do I do next? I don’t know what I’m gonna do, right? So I’m running down and going, what am I gonna do is like, Well, I’m gonna have to hit them now. So I did like if you watch wrestling, who is a diving clothesline double knocked them both over stood up, did like an elbow drop with your uniform with my uniform on on the other and then went round cheering to the rest of God, they have no idea what hit them.
I ran off the pitch. And their guy who ran their media department for the other team. He was stood there, he was fuming. Looking at me, he’s like, that was disgusting. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen. You could have guys. I just took my hat off at this time. And I just looked at him and I went, you might have to bleep this. I just don’t
Chima Mmeje 5:52
know why we use my words. And that’s why so yeah, that was that was brilliant. That was brilliant. I’m now trying to find that connection. But I’m not seeing it like how do you go from studying PE in university, to being in mascots, to getting into marketing? Andi, there is literally no correlation.
Andi Jarvis 6:16
So there’s a link right? So the mascot is actually run by the marketing department in the rugby team. Because the mascot goes into schools, and it’s a way of getting kids to buy tickets. Oh, wow. See what the marketing team were doing in in the show because I liked that. And at the same time, I didn’t really enjoy a lot of the science stuff that we were doing. biomechanics, like how the body moves, I just found it boring.
But we were doing units on spot marketing and stuff. And I’m really loved them and I was a bit like, I think this is where I want to go. So I find I pushed Monday, sports marketing. And then on the back of that I left university and ended up working as an estate agent selling houses. Well, well, because I needed a job. But while I was doing that I was writing less licence for that. No, no, I worked for a company right.
So I didn’t do it myself. It’s a terrible job. It’s just basically it sounds great. It’s just telesales, this house is on the market, you want to view it. This house is on the market. It’s awful. But I was writing to all the sports club saying I’d love to be in sports marketing, this is my degree, will you give me a chance will you give me a chance, and one of them did. So I ended up working in cricket and professional cricket as the marketing assistant, wow. A year after I left university, and that’s where I got into market
Chima Mmeje 7:33
that now we see the correlation now from being studying PA, using that background in sports to getting into marketing. I think I don’t think anybody has ever heard of someone who went from being a mascots, to finding a way to turn that into a job in marketing.
Andi Jarvis 7:49
This is the career path that everyone needs to follow your local sports mascot,
Chima Mmeje 7:55
be a mascot and make your career. Absolutely. Alright, so how you you start at this job? Yeah, you have no skill in marketing. We’re getting down into the nitty gritty now. How do you develop those skills?
Andi Jarvis 8:10
So I’ve always, I didn’t realise this until I was maybe 10 years older, right? But I’ve always loved learning every time I finished learning, like finished university, and I was I didn’t want to go back and do what you had to do an extra year to be a teacher just didn’t want to do it. I was bored of it.
But within a year of leaving university, I was looking at signing up to do another course I’ve always loved learning. And I think a lot doesn’t mean school because some people hate school. What can love learning? Learning comes in different ways. Yes. But I’ve always wanted to know something else, right?
If someone tells me something I don’t understand. I’m the guy who goes and looks it up. You know, most people are just like, they should explain it. I googled, okay, oh, and then go down a rabbit hole. So I started this job. And I had, you know, I throw myself into things I’ll try. And I’ll try my best and ask questions. So I ended up, I was writing bits for the programme, I was making sure the programme got printed.
And if you try really hard and you do things, well, you get another opportunity. And I think if you’re teachable, and that doesn’t mean you have to do a university course. Yes. If someone’s teaching you something you listen, you ask questions, and you ask good questions as well. You know, I’ve always been that sort where people tell me something I’m like, Okay, but why? Why does that happen?
How do we know that? What’s the deadline on that? What if we want to do it a different way, and keep trying things and keep trying to put your own stamp on it? I think the trick is working out when you just need to get on with something and do it the way you’ve been told to do it. And when you’ve got the opportunity to go, I think there’s a better way. Because if you just try and do something new and different way all the time, people are just like this project needs to do really quickly. I’m not going to give it to him, because he will try and do it a different way.
And there’s times where you’ve just got to recognise I’ve just got to do this the way it’s always done because it’s the quickest point for me to be but there’s other times some jobs can be all when you can look and go. The way you’re doing this doesn’t work. There’s a much better way of doing this.
Here’s what I want to try And if you can get that right and get when you should be doing one on should be doing the other and you start doing those things. Well, the more of those you get right, the more chances people give you more chances that give you the more opportunities, you have to shine.
And you can kind of climb really fast. So when my boss left after a year to go to a better job, they promoted me to marketing manager. I’ve been there a year, I was like, shit. I’m out of my depth here. But the club were like, look, we know you’re young, we know you’ve got potential.
And we know there’s a lot of things you need to learn, but we want to support you because we can see you’ve got what it takes. And that was just because I threw myself into it. Right? You know, if you’re going to do something, do it 100%.
Chima Mmeje 10:38
Okay, still doesn’t answer the question. I like the part about learning about knowing when to try something new or not. But no, I want to go deeper into this, that specific marketing skills that you develop, because you did not have that before you started this job.
That’s something a lot of people struggle with when they go into a new job that they have no experience in. What are you doing to get the specific the specific marketing skills that you need to do your day to day job? So on a job that you’ve never had any experience before?
Andi Jarvis 11:10
So thing you got to remember is this is 2003. Right? So the first website I ever built, and I’m not a Website Builder, it was on MySpace. Yeah, that was probably in about 2006.
Chima Mmeje 11:23
Yeah, and I love right flashes, and
Andi Jarvis 11:26
oh, yeah, it was awful. It was terrible. Yeah, I
Chima Mmeje 11:28
Andi Jarvis 11:29
But this was that I’d been there two or three years before we even looked at that, right. So marketing was in digital marketing was updating a website and sending out emails, which is basically, if you can write and upload a picture, you can do all of that, right? So we were selling tickets to games. So we were writing brochures, we were direct mail.
So these things while they’re they’re a skill to them, right. And there’s a skill to doing them, well, they’re not overly complicated. Sending out direct mail is about pulling data, sorting it, deduplicating it, writing a letter right in a bit of print and sending it to people. It’s not the most complicated thing in the world. So because we had people in the business who had already done it, I’m learning from them.
The club put me on a course to do to do some marketing, churning. I mean, I’d had some marketing training, and now you’re getting there, they put you on a course, elements, it was like Marketing on a Shoestring. So it’s how do you market when there’s no money because we didn’t have any money, right. And then I spent a lot of time. So in professional cricket, you’ve got like 18 professional teams in the country.
And twice a year, we would all meet up, all the marketing managers would meet up. And because we didn’t really compete with each other, there was a lot of sharing of best practice. So I would go to that. And I would just basically, unusually for me, I would shut my mouth and open my ears, right?
And just, what are they doing? How are they doing it? How they’re doing it? And just I come back with pages and pages of notes from this thing? And I’d be like, Okay, what can we afford to do our club and start to do differently. So I just jumped in at the deep end, and just tried to work out how to swim. And it worked with some courses along the way.
Chima Mmeje 12:59
I think, I think one thing I just took from that is shut your mouth. And then listen, shut your mouth and listen, and then glean what other people say, what can I learn from this? And what can I bring out as imputes or as aptitudes rather, from what I’ve just said, that’s how you get all the notes that is going to lead to change? Yeah, fantastic. Andi,
Andi Jarvis 13:20
I had an old school teacher used to say you’ve got one of them. And two of these use them in that rip ratio. That’s sometimes a problem for me, right? There’s a lot of this one goes and not enough for that one. And that’s still a problem now. 20 years,
Chima Mmeje 13:30
I think that’s a skill that applies to everything in marketing, SEO content, walking in front of Team sales, anything at all is listening first. Yeah. And then taking that information. And then us doing something with it.
Andi Jarvis 13:44
That’s the key. All right. It’s like you can listen, and we’re here at Brighton. SEO right. And you can listen to all the people talking all day long and go wow, yeah, I learned so much of brightness. You’re not doing anything with it all. Today, holiday, right? That’s it. I know, love. There’s some good things out with that.
But you’ve had a two day holiday. So I when I even know when I come here. Every talk I go to and sometimes, you know, you go into a talk and you’re like, This isn’t for me, right? This is like, super, I’ve just been in a two talks about faceted navigation, right? The only thing I know about faceted navigation is if someone has a problem with it, they don’t call me.
Right, that’s the only thing is the right one. So this is not my bag. But I’m like, okay, there will be two things I can take from these talks. But I can use it to improve my world. Even though I don’t do facet navigation. So it might not be the hyper technical things. But there will be two things in every talk you can take.
So that’s one perspective yet because it look what how many talks we’re going to listen to today, that this week 20, maybe, realistically, if you take one thing from each of those talks, and then go through it on Monday and say, right, okay, which of these things can I implement now and you implement five things that make a difference
Chima Mmeje 14:54
that is successful? That’s success, right? Success. That’s success. Right? That’s,
Andi Jarvis 14:59
you don’t need it. You do need pages of notes. Sometimes you need to cut it off and go, Okay, this is the thing. But you don’t need to act on all of them. Sometimes you do sometimes you’ll sit in one of those talks. And you’re like, they’re reaching into my soul.
And they’ve seen all the problems on this website I’m working on, and you need to go and action and lots of them. But mostly, if you take one thing from every stop, do it, absolutely do it, and then go back and implement five.
Chima Mmeje 15:24
This is just brilliant advice. This is brilliant advice. Oh, this is so good. I’m like processing like, go to Events. Don’t just try to like, immerse yourself and just take everything because then you take notes in. But you listen, you listen, and you try to glean one thing that you can implement, because that’s the goal.
Implementing. And that’s I think that’s where a lot of SEOs and content folks fail. On one day, and the whole of next week, you’re gonna see people doing wrong asteroids, on everything that they had at Burton SEO, but you’re not going to hear anybody talking about what they implemented. And the results that came out of that. I have not seen that yet. I rarely ever see that. I rarely ever see that
Andi Jarvis 16:04
I’m gonna pull thread together for that. So but yeah, look, I think the thing is, right, we’re all on a journey to try and become better, right? Yes. The first you realise you don’t know anything, you start to realise there’s so much you can learn. So if you’re trying to start learning stuff, you got to realise that even you learn all the time all day, every day, by the day you die, you will still know nothing, right?
You’ll still know, a fraction of the world’s knowledge, right? That’s all you will know. So all you need to do is just to try and improve everyday, just try and do one thing to make yourself a little bit better. And this isn’t always about like life changing things. I’m not talking about getting up at 4am and hustle. Sometimes it’s just like, denim, I walk to work on this side of the street every day, and I’m in the shed and I’m cold.
I just got crossed and got that said, because the sun is shining. And it’s been nice, it’d be nice to walk to work, though sometimes those little things can just make a change. You just like, walk to work in the sun this morning. That was nice. And just those little bits can be quite helpful.
Chima Mmeje 17:04
That is so good. That is so I’m gonna quickly move on now to the next thing that you did after. Okay, this question is very important, because it’s also something that people struggle with. When do you know when it’s time to leave?
Andi Jarvis 17:17
How do you know when it’s time to leave? So interesting point. And this is I’ll tell you why. Because this becomes relevant to when
Chima Mmeje 17:26
you left this job. So the next one, when did you know it was time to leave this job and move to the next one? I’d
Andi Jarvis 17:31
been? I think, to answer that question specifically, right? You should stay in a job for for one of three reasons. Right? And I’m not going to tell you which one. So either you’re earning so much money that you that it just takes everything most pain away. Now, I know money doesn’t make all the pain go away. Yes. But sometimes there’s enough money.
Chima Mmeje 17:52
Yes, if you’ve
Andi Jarvis 17:54
been in a job where you’re learning all the time, right, and you’re learning new things, and developing, or a job where you’re doing both of those things. Now, what I’ve found is in my early career, I would say focus as much as you can on the learning one, because the money will come if you keep learning and keep getting better than money will come. Right.
And as long as you’ve got enough money, people with money say no, don’t worry about money. I hate it when you have that, right. But when he’s, it’s not like it’s not like a smell where it either smells or it doesn’t, right. It has layers to it. There’s a point where you don’t have enough money and everything shit, right? If you don’t have enough money for basics, life is shit I grew up with, like, I grew up in a house with four boys in a single parent house when there’s not stuff each ship.
But then there’s a hole but in the middle, right? Well, yeah, there’s always someone with more money than you. And there’s always someone as long as you’ve got enough. And you know, you could maybe go on holiday once a year. And you might not be able to go and buy the newest car, but you can have a car and you do all these things, right? If you just leave a job to go for an extra little bit of money and extra bit of money. You stop learning you just chasing money, stay somewhere, do a number of cycles in it.
So the job I was in worked on a year cycle. I’ve done four years of it. And I was like, I’m not learning anything else anymore. I just got married. And we decided we were going to travel the world for a year. So I was like, Look, thanks very much. I had a lovely time. I’m going and I left and we travelled the world. And it was great. I got back from that. And I went to work in a college because I decided I’d done enough in sport.
I went to work in Newcastle college for two years. And I loved working in education, right. But basically, I worked recruiting people for Teach. I wasn’t teaching okay. But the interesting thing was that was when I become a dad at that time, too. So Kara, who’s now 13 was just born. And everything changes at that point. And the college was a really political job. Like it was all about who had power and this and that and I hated it. I just Yeah, I hated it.
Right? It just wasn’t me at all. The money was good. So we stuck it out for a little bit and then after that was like right at this point, the money doesn’t matter. It’s not enough for the pain. It’s causing me I’m going and at that point I moved from England to Ireland. So I started again, and I started working in TV, not as a presenter, this has worked in marketing for a TV station,
Chima Mmeje 20:06
you worked in marketing for a TV station. Okay, now I’m going to go back to the job in Newcastle, because this is another part of working in house that we need to have more conversations about when you’re working in a job that makes you unhappy. And usually it’s because of politics. In house politics.
A lot of people who went freelance said they did that, because they couldn’t cope with that politics. I wanted to I wanted to just add a little bit of light about it. What, what causes this environment that makes people unhappy? I know, it’s a deep question that makes people unhappy because of because you have to impress somebody, and your and your skill is not good enough anymore, it now becomes who is your network? Who is going to put your name forward to a for a raise or for a for the next gig or for whatever it is? So why do we have this?
Andi Jarvis 21:03
The thing is it? If you’d have asked me this at the time, you’d have got a very different answer, you’d have got a very angry answer. Because all the problems were in my department stemmed from the director, she was a nightmare. She was a disaster, she made everybody’s life awful. And if you’d have asked
Chima Mmeje 21:20
management, so basically, management’s
Andi Jarvis 21:22
if you’d ever asked me that at the time, but I was angry with them. But as you get older, what you realise is that money doesn’t solve all problems I was had to be everybody’s on a different part of their journey, right? And what I realised later is she was under huge pressure because she wasn’t performing.
And what she did with that was make some bad decisions. So she thought the way to get performance and was to be a nightmare to everybody. No, actually, what I believe is that if she’d have said, Okay, um, instead of passing the the passing the stress down, if she’d have acted as a shield, because everyone who worked for so when there was three marketing managers, I was one of three, right? Every one of us has gone on a bigger and better things.
The marketing executives who worked for us have gone on to amazing things, right. So what that tells me is the people in those teams, talented people, yes, but we couldn’t do anything. Everything we did was shit in that team, not because we were delivering terrible work. This is fine. So because the the environment didn’t allow us to create it, right? So the director, what if you wanted to email anyone outside of your department, you had to ask her to come and read your email before you press send on it, and she’d get you to change it. So this would lead to
Chima Mmeje 22:39
get no but micromanaging.
Andi Jarvis 22:41
No one gave a shit about the work, because she knew she just wanted to see everything. But if she’d have acted as a shield, and just said, right, listen, we’re under pressure. We’re not doing enough stuff. I’m going to block all this out for you for six months, you’ve got the freedom now ramp it up and do what I know you’re capable of right?
We just smashed it out of the park. And we’d have taken all that stress away so that she micromanage than we all thought we were gonna get sucks. She was the one who got sacked. Yeah, eventually the Boss No, but by this time, I’d already got another job somewhere else, one of the other marketing managers removed most of the execs had already moved on. Everybody had gone from the department.
Chima Mmeje 23:17
That’s what always happens. People live people live. That’s a very good idea. Yes. I’m so glad we could touch on this because it’s something that is not talked about enough. You see, you hear a lot about it in house job, especially twice people to say,
Oh, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m gonna go freelance just so I don’t have to deal with this anymore. And then the reason is down to micromanaging and poor management. So basically poor management.
Andi Jarvis 23:39
But you know, the phrase, the grass is always greener on the other side, right? Yes, people go freelance. And think because there’s no boss. It’s like, it’s not that everybody has changed the boss. He was an asshole for the bank manager. Yes. So unless you’ve got a wedge of money saved up, you’ve suddenly made your bank manager and your credit card company.
And the number of freelancers you talk to who like who you’re working with? And they’re like, I’m working with these clients. I don’t really like them but I needed the money. So now you’re working with shit clients who are stealing all your moves, stealing all your time.
Chima Mmeje 24:10
I enjoy everything about you. Absolutely. A joy thief’s? That’s
Andi Jarvis 24:15
what they are, right? Yes. So what I would say is you got to go where you’re appreciated, and I understand the allure of freelance. But freelance is really hard. Very, and I’m not gonna say oh, we do it. So it’s easy, you know, so it must be, but it’s tough. One of the things that I was in agencies for seven or eight years, right, you pitch for work.
You don’t win everything right. i We had about a 30% success rate at the agency. That’s fantastic. Oh, yeah, this is great. Other people like we’ve got third percent. Yeah, this is great. Well, that means every 10 seven people say no. Okay, well, that’s good. When I went solo, every single person I got rejected by felt like a knife through the heart, right? You’re like, well, they’re turning me down.
This is you know, I can’t blame the designer. I can’t blame somebody else for During the presentation, they had to bolt me on that didn’t throw you. Oh, that was awful. Like you’d be laying awake at night going, why don’t people like me? Why don’t they love me? Genuinely, it screws with your emotions. And then you’ve got a roller coaster, roller coaster.
And then you’ve got client problems, and you can’t just pop it off, you don’t have someone on reception. And you can just look at them and go tell them I’m annoying, right? You’ve got one phone, which is yours. They’ve got one email address, which is yours, they haven’t paid your invoice for three months, you need to talk to them, because they’re, they’re sending you a business.
It’s difficult, man. It’s really, really difficult. So if you think going freelance is a way to get away from problems, it’s not. I’m not saying don’t do it. It’s amazing. Good advice. Be aware, right, that you’re just moving problems from here to problems over here. Right advice is always probably good advice.
Chima Mmeje 25:59
All right. Now we’re moving on to your next rule now. And I think we’ve covered so many things between all of these rules is covered about really, oh, that’s the problem, right? We’ve got about bad management, we’ve got about covered about knowing when it’s time to leave a job, about the essential skills that you need to succeed.
And the soft skills that you’re going to need now are going on to your next role. What did you do after that? This is you now you’re not living in Ireland right now living in Ireland. So that’s when you started your agency
Andi Jarvis 26:28
right now? Yeah, well, this is before that. So I was on a year current year contract, and worked for this TV company. And my department was marketing and PR, the PR person went off on maternity leave really early in my time there and she was never replaced.
So my job instead of being marketing ended up being writing press releases, right? I shouldn’t I shouldn’t have said yes. But I ended up doing all the writing press releases. So 11 months into this contract, right? And I have a meeting with my boss and her boss to talk about becoming permanent. And I sat down and the room and I was like, I fucking hate writing press releases. How am I going to stop writing press releases?
I was like, I’m just going to give them an ultimatum. So we sat down and went, how do you think it’s going on? Well, listen, you’ve got me writing press releases, you’re paying me this amount of money every year. And to be honest, if you’ve got someone a graduate out of university, you can pay them half what you’re paying me. And they’d write better press releases, because I’m not a press release writer.
So this was kind of like part one, I thought, I’ll just let it hang there for a second, make sure they’ve got it. And then I’ll go. So what you need to do is, I want to do the marketing job. And I had all all of this lined up. So I’ve said my piece, I took a little pause just to let it hang just to make sure that they’ve got my point. And just as I was about to start speaking again, they leaned across the table, and Well, I’m glad you said that, because we’ve been thinking that too. So we’re not excited. Oh my god.
Chima Mmeje 27:48
Oh my god, I did not see that coming in. I did not see that coming at all
Andi Jarvis 27:54
at all. Neither did I. I’m sorry. I’m like, right. Okay. I’ve got a one year old daughter at home two year old daughter at home by this time. So alright, so she’s to my wife isn’t working at the time, right? I’m the only person bringing money into the house.
And I was like, so, like Japan, they were like, you’re gonna take your stuff now we’ll pay at the end of the month, we’ll pay holidays. And that’s it. I was like, I got six weeks money.
Chima Mmeje 28:18
Alright, Andi, you have to get them in. What happened was this.
Andi Jarvis 28:20
We had to we were renting at the time, right? We had to move in with my in laws, which if you’ve ever had to live with your parents in law, right, you know, I know. So it had to do that. And then had to find another job really, really quickly. And two things happened. One, there was a job that I was using when you read a job description, and you’re like, I’ve got for me. Yeah, I had absolutely everything.
And not just a little bit, I had it knocked out of the park. It was as if I’d written a job description for myself. I applied for it. I never heard back. And while I was applying for that job, I got a job in a digital agency. So that’s how I ended up in agencies. I followed up with this other job because I was like, the agency was great. It was fine. It was a social agency. We’re having a laugh. But I was like, Why didn’t I get this? Right? Because this is this is Ireland, Northern Ireland.
There’s not many black people in Northern Ireland, right? And I was like, I wonder if there’s a little bit of racism in this is this why they haven’t given it to me. So I got in, but it was a public sector job. And I just got an email back going. You don’t have a marketing degree. We didn’t even read your CV, you guys, you don’t have environment marketing degree was an essential criteria. So even though I had everything underneath, because basically in public sector, that it’s just ticking, the boxes across there doesn’t matter.
You don’t even go to the next stage. Nobody read anything else on my marketing degree. And that’s it. So at that point, I applied to go to university and I got a master’s in marketing took me three years part time, right, while I was working at an agency. So that’s what started that. So I went to university and I’m working digital agency, social media, Facebook in the early days Twitter when it was huge.
Facebook when it first started doing ads, it was just great fun. But the agency had been there two years I stopped learning. It went from being fun to just be in. It was a it was a mess, right? But the agency itself was a mess. There was no structures, no processes. It was like the Wild West. And while it was fun, it was just you could see what was gonna happen. You were just gonna circle so bailed out of that agency and went to another agency where I met Barry Adams, one of the best tech SEO guys in the world. News SEO goes.
Chima Mmeje 30:27
He’s a he’s a, he’s a contributor with the FCDC.
Andi Jarvis 30:31
Is Barry’s a good guy who does the right thing. So I’m a big fan. Barry taught me a lot. But after three months of working with him, he resigned to start polemic. So I ended up kind of me and a guy called nail and running the whole digital agency.
And we learned a lot while we’re doing that, right? We work with some great clients, we work with Expedia, we got to the European search award finals, we got UK search awards, came to Brighton for the first time I started speaking at events.
And that was a real my best learnings up to that point. Were at the cricket club when I first started, and that Tamara lab for five years there. And that was a brilliant time in terms of learning about SEO, we because they’d been a social agency, we launched this proposition. Well, so we do social and search. And it was just, it was brilliant. But that came to an end, the reason the marriage was important was that I was getting divorced at the time.
And if you’ve ever been through a divorce, right? You outwardly people are like, Oh, Andi, how’s it going? You’re like, yeah, everything’s great, isn’t it? When you wordly inside your life? into pieces? Yes. I’ve got a microphone. My ex wife hasn’t. But there was times when she stopped me from seeing my daughter. This time, are you spending I spent probably somewhere between 20 and 30,000 pounds on legal fees to try and get back to access to see my daughter.
Just madness, right? Money I didn’t I didn’t have that, by the way that wasn’t just sat down was like, Oh, just take that out of my savings. I was credit carding it, I was borrowing it, I was second job. And I was doing anything just to try and make this happen. Right? It was off. And I just got to the stage where I was just like, I have to change something in my life, because I’m just not happy. I was just really unhappy. And I’d always had this idea that agencies didn’t do strategy, right?
I learned it that in my degree, and what agencies do when they mean strategies, they say, We will give you a strategy for the services that we deliver. And I was like, that’s not strategy. That’s sales, right? Which is not bad thing. I’m not criticising it, but it’s sales. A strategy for a client is what’s the best way to help you get to your customers. And I can’t tell you that if I’m in a digital agency that only offers SEO, PPC and social, because you’re not what Billboards, radio, and TV might be part of the way you should reach your clients. I can’t tell you that.
Because we’ve got an SEO team and PPC team and a social team that will need work. So I just have to tell you how to spend your money with me instead of where you should spend your money generally. So I always thought independent strategy consultancy was a thing.
And I just got to the point where the Tomorrowland when I spoke to the guy who ran the company, and he knew what I was going through, he’d been helping me various things. And I said, Look, I need to and he was like, Listen, you go with my blessing, just off you go. And that’s how XML started.
Chima Mmeje 33:21
Okay, this is what introducing new territory now, because you’ve just unlocked something that I didn’t even think was a problem. The limitations of digital marketing to just the online sphere.
And then when companies come to digital marketing agencies, they are limited by what they do. So they sell their services, as this holistic service, even when it might not be what you need. Yeah, I haven’t. I haven’t ever, ever thought about that. So
Andi Jarvis 33:57
Chima Mmeje 33:57
I’m just gonna ask you a quick question. You’re saying that outdoor advertising is not dead? is good? And are you saying that outdoor advertising is not dead?
Andi Jarvis 34:07
It’s not dead? It is 100%? Not dead, right? But it’s all context specific. Right? It depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what the research shows. But what does outdoor advertising gives you for certain things in certain places gives you huge frequency.
Chima Mmeje 34:23
What does that mean? He’s
Andi Jarvis 34:25
lots of people seeing it lots of times. So now if you buy a billboard,
Chima Mmeje 34:29
yeah, but but the thing with that, is that how many people who have seen that billboard are going to convert,
Andi Jarvis 34:35
but they see this is the thing, this is where they’re at different points in the journey, right? So what digital does really really well is bottom of the funnel conversions, right? So you’re scooping people who are in market to come and do something. What doesn’t often do is either switch people aren’t in a new market. So if you look at I’ve got a worldwide audience for this. Yes, right. Okay. So, in the UK, just you’ve got two companies.
One call kazoo one call centre right? I know. So and they’ve started by buying and selling cars online, instead of going into a shop and only being able to go within 10 miles of where you live, you can now access cars from all around the world and buy online. Buying a car online, people have said for 20 years, nobody would ever do, right? Why?
Because you want it’s a high touch purchase, you want to get anyone to drive it. So they’ve got an A guarantee they deliver the car to your door, all of these things, right. But it’s a market nobody had heard of before. So you can’t just do bottom of the funnel performance marketing and say click kazoo over click incent right? You actually have to tell people what it is. So they’ve done a huge amount of TV radio spots, sponsorship and outdoor to not to make the market.
And then while they’re making the market, they’re saying Why don’t you click cinch instead of kazoo. If you look at what TV does, right? If you turn a TV campaign on, do nothing different in SEO, all your place and all your rankings, almost always jump, your click through rate goes through the roof. It’s not done anything different in SEO. But when people see the SERP they go, Oh, here’s seven company, I recognise that one. And they click here. Yes. So that so billboards, ah, but but it’s a
Chima Mmeje 36:10
journey, it’s a journey absolutely builds that recognition that when you see them on sale, when you see them elsewhere, that recognition needs to converge on because imbues yourself so that’s brilliant.
Andi Jarvis 36:20
So it just depends on on where you are in the journey. And when it became really clear, I was at the agency, and we were in a meeting with a company who were launching a new insurance product for young drivers. So it’s really expensive to insure if your 17 to 25 cost of insurance is usually more than the cost of the car. Terrific.
And this company used to put the black boxes in that truck where you drive and because they track the speeds that can find out how safe you are as a driver. And if you hit certain metrics, it keeps your insurance premium really, really low. So they had this whole concept launching into the market. And they were the first ones into the market in Ireland with it. And we were pitching for the work. And we’ve done the strategy for it.
And I did in our internal meeting I said to the managing director at the time was like they need to do TV, they need to do really on the need to do outdoor because they need to talk to parents as well as kids because parents we are researchers from parents pay for this not just the kids are still expensive for the kids went through, it’s all the time and he just looked at me and he’s like, we don’t make any money.
If they spend like they’re, they spend all that budget, there is less money for us. So we’re not pitching that as a service. We want to pitch this as a service. And I just remember looking around going, I’m not going on that pitch. I’m not having anything to do with this anymore. So don’t believe it. And I left to start my own agency within two months.
Chima Mmeje 37:31
See that’s the thing yeah. A lot of people who go on to start agencies start it’s for two reasons they are dissatisfied with the way things are done. They want to fix it, and then do it the way they think it should be done. Yeah. And that is a wonderful box to be in because it means that you’ve identified a problem.
And you know exactly exactly what you need to do to solve the problem. And because once you have clarity, everything else falls into place. So you have clarity and what you wanted ximo to look like even before you started this, yes. And then you went and you created this agency, because it was very different to a lot of agencies that have seen more of a consultancy. Yes, yes. And now you started Zimo. How do you go about telling people?
This is what we do? Because I’m sure there must have been, like, some confusion on what you did, because I had eczema the first time and I was a digital marketing agency. And I’m sure other people have also made that mistake. So how do you clearly? What’s the word I’m looking for? In positioning? Yes. How do you position? So that’s a big thing positioning really badly
Andi Jarvis 38:35
for three years, right?
Chima Mmeje 38:37
Tell me the mistakes that you made and how you got it, right.
Andi Jarvis 38:40
Because what we do is a kind of a different ship for every client. So because strategy is not just one thing. So depending on where your company is in the journey, are you a new company? Are you a new company in an existing market, a new market, all companies, whatever, it can mean different things to the shape of the problem is quite different.
It’s not like someone come and go, and we spend 2 million a year on PPC, our role is is this and we want you to make it that that’s a really clear problem. But every company has a different challenge. So trying to position yourself as a company that can help with lots of different challenges just made us look like a mess. It just made us look like we did everything for everyone. So about three years ago, we refined the position to strategy times people equals performance.
Because we do a lot of training. And we do strategy work. And if you don’t have one of those two elements, you don’t get performance your business doesn’t go into you have a great strategy. No one to bring it to life doesn’t work. You have great people bad strategy, you go the wrong direction.
And that was the start of being able to refine it and to talk about it more talking conferences as well having conversations like this when people like oh, yeah, yeah. What do you do any like when people ask you that you just know I’ve not got this right. So we then sort of spent a little bit of time shaping it up a little bit narrowed who we work with.
So we work with basically medium sized companies now. So not start up. So are small companies where they’ve got like one or two marketers, they tend to have a turnover of 10 to 100 million ish. You know, I work with some small on I work with some bigger but
Chima Mmeje 40:09
generally spend on discharge deconnick payments, what you’re going to recommend,
Andi Jarvis 40:13
and they often have teams of junior marketers 1015 so important to do things, but then maybe only then they have agency relationships. Yeah, maybe only one senior marketer. So that senior market is really busy. They can do what I do. But they’ve also got to do yes, it’s like, ah, we can just get him to do that thing.
We’ve got all these people who implement it and the agencies to do it. When you get to enterprise level, like companies that turn over 500 million or more, right? They got 80 people, they need hyper specialists to fix this one problem. Their PPC performance has dropped, they need a PPC consultant to come fix it. That’s not me. Or their SEO thing. They need a tech SEO specialist to come in. And no, that’s not me, right?
When they’re tiny companies. They’re like, Oh, we have this. We need you, right, our social posts, and you’re like, No, that’s not what I do. So those medium sized companies just sitting there in the middle, they’ve got money, they’ve got people, they got time there, but they’ve got a lot of problems. That’s the key.
Chima Mmeje 41:10
That’s brilliant. That is that is just brilliant. That is just brilliant. All right. So I’m going to ask if you were to give someone who is starting a new business and advice on how to position quickly, yeah, what would it be?
Andi Jarvis 41:24
So the exercise I’ve come up with, right, which I actually did this for a client almost by accident, we were kind of stumbling our way through a workshop, but it wasn’t. The workshop was supposed to be about one thing ended up being about something else. I hadn’t prepared for it to be a positioning workshops.
I was thinking on the fly, right? And then I came out of that, and you know, when you just go? That’s genius. I was like, Why didn’t I think of this before? Right? So I’m gonna try my own idea. Genius. But so I just did it for myself, right? Really simple exercise. Get yourself a plain brown cardboard box, you order something from Amazon, you’ve got one somewhere right?
On the side of that, imagine that box has to sit on a shelf in a store, right? So you’ve only got the side of the box, not the big side, the thin side of the box, right? That’s what Kellogg’s cornflakes has to tell you how wonderful they are and that you should buy their product. They’ve got like, like the spine of a book, right?
That’s what you’ve got. Put the position of your business on there. As if you had to be sold in a shop on a shelf. Oh, damn, you don’t have me explaining it to you. You don’t have the SERPs. You don’t have the header, you vet your sales team. No one’s gonna watch your webinar, what is on there that is going to make that person pick it up, and then get into it.
Right. So what are you going to put on there? So mine would now say external marketing strategy times people equals performance. Now, you might think, Oh, that’s a bit vague. It doesn’t click to see. Yeah, you know,
Chima Mmeje 42:48
and that is because basically, yes, enough makes it curious enough, you’re like curious enough strategy
Andi Jarvis 42:52
and people. So if you think you’ve got a strategy problem, people problem, okay, might pick that up. But before because it’s not just strategy and people strategy, template equals performance. So you started working on this, and this gives me that. So if you’ve got a problem with one of those two, you might get a people problem come to me, I’m like, no, no, I can’t help. Does it need refining?
Always. But I can spend another six months refining it, or I can just get on doing and keep refining it as and when I get bit of time and bit quiet. So write it on the side of the box, what would you put on the box? Oh, my God, and then you’ll work out your positioning because you have to narrow the space down.
Chima Mmeje 43:28
This is so good. This is so fucking good. So really, as I am just mind blown, Andi, by a brilliant this is just really good advice. I’m going to highlight this as one of the clinically this is definitely going to clip. Okay, last question for people who are getting into marketing. Basically, our community, what advice would you give to someone who’s trying to find their first role?
Andi Jarvis 43:54
Okay, so but do what’s the first start where you are and use what you’ve got, right? And if you have a network, use the network, because you don’t have a network. Not everyone has a network. But you’ve got this network, right? Yes. So if you have this network, get in touch with this network and say, Look, this is what I’d like to do.
This is where I am. These are the things I’m after, because people in this industry are willing to help, aren’t they? Right? So that’s a good start. That’s not going to guarantee you a job or getting in touch directly with people. So there’s a phrase I use when nothing goes right, go left. So if nothing’s going right for you, you’ve got to be a little bit different. Right? So Carrie rose at Rice at seven Yeah.
She talks about how people have sent her off like a coloured in sneaker and this, that and the other and all sorts of stuff, right? Yeah. And look, some of the things that people have done to get them a job at Rice at seven have cost a lot of money, which not everybody has. But that thinking often.
So what’s everybody doing? Everyone’s emailing Andi to say Hi Andi, here’s my CV because Do you have a placement? Can I have a job with you? Right? Everyone sends an email like that. So if you send an email, what are you you’re one of 100 emails, written letter, or a printed letter or something like that. I don’t think I’ve had one letter from someone sending me a CV ever. Other than that, not ever, not in the last 15 years, right? Damn. So who’s going to stand out there?
Chima Mmeje 45:21
You have to okay, this is interesting, because we’re living in Gen Z’s world right now. Not a single Gen Z’s thinking about that.
Andi Jarvis 45:27
Do you know what Gen Z is? Don’t do, right? They don’t you know that, you know, the follow on that you have that you send messages in and look at tick tock time, right? That thing if you press some buttons, rings, and people talk to you on the other end, right? And you know what happens when that happens? Fucking magic. Right? Nobody’s rung me and said, Hi. And they look
Chima Mmeje 45:45
at you like you’re crazy. If you tell them to jump on a call.
Andi Jarvis 45:48
But this is what life is like, how do you stand out? Send me an email if you want. And I might read it. And I might get back to you. If I have time. Send me a letter, I’m gonna write back to you. I guarantee I will send you a letter back. You ring me, I’ll talk to you. Now, I might not have a job for you. But I’ll remember that you were the only Gen Z you rang me?
Chima Mmeje 46:08
Which is probably never gonna happen? Probably never.
Andi Jarvis 46:12
You got to remember, like recruitment. Any job is a numbers game. Right? If you are looking for jobs, if someone advertises an entry level position, you’re probably going to get 100 applications for that. Right. And this is why my job that when I went for they have to sift right, you have to find a quick way to go through 100.
CVS and getting down to the sticky notes. Yeah. So how do you find the ones that stick out? Well, straight away the one that came in via pores you’re going to read and the other 99 that came through via email, you’re scanning on a screen, probably at the end of the day, when you’re tired and the light glowing, and it’s dark outside and your eyes are getting tired. Or you get someone who’s letter Kim with a postman at 11 o’clock, and you’re like, oh, what’s
Chima Mmeje 46:52 going on with everything.
Andi Jarvis 46:53
So you don’t have to buy sneakers and send them to someone as a gift. I’m not saying you have to spend a lot of money, you just have to think and go right. Okay. What can we do? That’s a little bit different. I’m on I’m not saying I don’t have any jobs going right. So don’t get in touch with me.
But find out who the person is who’s recruiting, right? Look at what they said on LinkedIn and Twitter or Tik Tok or wherever, right? You don’t have Twitter, if they have Twitter, go and have a look at what they say. Because if you look at my tweets, you’ll see that I like coffee a lot. And you’ll see that I like spot, right?
If you ring me up and start talking to me about rugby league and recruitment, right? I’m listening, I’m in the palm of your hand, you’re like, This person knows me so well. And we’ve never met, because they’re talking about coffee with me and you know, like, but like, sometimes that little thing where you might say Andi talks about coffee a lot, right?
And you might go, Oh, listen, here’s maybe like a vote, not a vote for a coffee. But here’s like a coffee bean sent on a letter that says, I know you like coffee, and maybe we can brew this together one day, oh
Chima Mmeje 47:52
my god, that would be brilliant. Do those
Andi Jarvis 47:54
things that will just help you stand up. Now the only caveat I would say to that right is know where you’re going. So sending that to carry raw sending that to me sending that to a digital agency makes a lot of sense. If you want to work in digital in a bank, that ain’t gonna work for you, right?
Don’t just get lost. Yeah, it’s gonna get lost, but the letter might still work. But the gimmick here or here, I realised you like nice hearing. So here’s a nice hearing. It’s just gonna look a bit weird in a bank, right? So understand the setting you go into. But what I would say is do something to stand out from the crowd. It’s essential, and that might just be the outfit you wear right?
Chima Mmeje 48:32
This is my thing. Find your thing.
Andi Jarvis 48:35
Yeah. Everyone has their thing, right? Yes, everyone has their thing. But yes, because we’ve nothing’s going right. But it’s a really difficult time for people, younger people to get into the job market right? I hit so in my world I have a rule right anything more than a two week work placement has to be paid.
Someone says I cannot come into placement with you if so, and I’ve had people offer said I’ll come and do three months for free and I’ve gone back to them and said no. If my business can’t afford to pay you for three months, I don’t have a business or I can’t employ you. You want to come and do two weeks and you want to come and see what it’s like and sewer like a one week placement great two weeks okay.
So I’m not saying go and do free internships with people. I wouldn’t even advocate for that. No, I hate it. But if you can get a week somewhere even just to see what the inner workings are right, you know, so Oh, like do you do a week’s Can I do a week placement in this agency?
I’ve done some copywriting you know, and if you want to be a copywriter, write some copyright, put a blog up, write some copy, you can send it to people do the things that show that you can do the job if you can just make that difference and get in the door.
Chima Mmeje 49:42
brilliant advice. Andi, thank you so much for this. This was
Andi Jarvis 49:46
so impactful. Stopped I’ve been holding you back from your lunch for too long.
Chima Mmeje 49:50
No, no, no, don’t worry about that. I plan for this. Don’t worry about that. Thank you so much for doing this. If you if you want to connect it’s Andi Andi. How do they connect.
Andi Jarvis 49:59
So if Gen Z audience right? So I’m on Twitter. This is the thing that your grandparents use, right? It’s Andi with an I Andi Jarvis. So Andi Jarvis on Twitter, Andi Jarvis. was on LinkedIn, Instagram, which I know is kind of a millennial thing not Gen Z thing, but um Jarvis Andi on backwards on Instagram. Tik Tok, Tik Tok, marketing exi mo marketing we have tick tock tick tock.
There’s one video there, which I made and it is terrible. So it’s been parked, right? It’s been parked. So don’t try and get hold of us on tick tock because I don’t read it. But LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram on the three places, but please don’t like even if you just want someone to read a CV that you’ve got. I don’t have any jobs going sadly. But I’m happy to help if I can. If you want something amplifying tweet, retweeting or whatever to try and get you in the right places. Just
Chima Mmeje 50:48
please connect with Andy. He’s great. If you want to get into speaking. I think Andrew will be great to give you advice on that. So if you’re thinking of getting into the whole speaking gig, and he can give you advice on getting started he’s been
Andi Jarvis 50:58
doing this for many years. Yes.
Chima Mmeje 51:00
I don’t want to say I don’t want to say he has been doing this for years. That makes him sound old
Andi Jarvis 51:04
since one and two white number 12. Since my bingo calling days
Chima Mmeje 51:11
Alright that’s it. Thank you so much
Andi Jarvis 51:13
Thank you for having me.
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