Oli Yeates is the founder and CEO of Clicky Media, a premier Google Partner digital marketing agency, with headquarters based in Chester. Before launching his own business in 2007, Oli studied Business Information Systems at the University of Chester. In this week’s blog, we have a quick chat with him and find out more about his business, Clicky Media…
Can you tell me about your studies here at the University of Chester and how they influenced your career ambitions?
Having grown up in various parts of the UK, I came to settle in Chester (the home of Clicky HQ) after studying Business and Computer Science at the University of Chester.
Knowing from the outset that I wanted to start my own business, I set out to ensure that I was doing all that I could to maximise career options. From web design, development and digital advertising, to the creation of CRM data capture tools, I went out of my way to get the experience I needed to realise my vision for Clicky.
After graduating, how did you progress your career?
After graduating, one of the major contributors to starting Clicky was my time at one of the very first Google Partner digital marketing agencies, working with some of the UK’s biggest brands.
In all of the invaluable experience that I was gaining, one thing that really stood out was the sheer volume of smaller companies that could not meet the £10K per month advertising spend threshold that the agency had set. Realising the enormous potential, it was at this point that I knew I had to go it alone. In 2007, I launched Clicky with a self-investment of just £500.
Was it always your goal to own a business, why/why not?
I’ve always wanted to own my own business, but this isn’t why I went alone. Working for small businesses really gave me an insight into how businesses work on a day-to-day basis. I found that I frequently spotted how people could improve their business and was keen to be the one making decisions.
I wanted to start an agency that would stand out from others, not cutting corners or compromising on standards, but delivering the best possible product. I had a great amount of self-belief and using my previous experience, I was confident that my business would be successful.
What advice would you give to any of our alumni who would like start up their own business?
I think it’s important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before starting your own business, whether that’s with a degree, work experience or additional courses.
Once you do start your own business, I believe it is vital to nurture the people that work for you and impassion them in a way that makes them want to get out of bed in the morning. Whether its catch up meetings to ensure everyone is happy, attending the latest industry talks, or simply taking new team members out for lunch – all these things encourage people to want to do their best. I love my job so much that I choose to do it. I couldn’t put passion into something I didn’t love and I want to empower my staff in the same way.
Can you explain what Clicky does?
Clicky is an award-winning digital marketing agency, which now boasts a team of over 40 staff through entirely organic growth. Clicky has a multi-million pound turnover and is recognised as one of Google’s most successful UK ‘partners’, managing over £8million worth of digital advertising spend a year.
Do you have any words of wisdom for our alumni who would like to work at a digital marketing agency, such as Clicky?
Web is a wonderful industry because the underdog wins nearly every time. Most of the best websites in the world are built by teams of 10 or less, with the big corporates failing to hit the mark because they stare at profit. True design, integrity and an honest approach to business will always be at the heart of everything that we deliver at Clicky, come rain or shine, and that’s what we look for in our staff.
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