Aaron Crewe, Managing Director and Founder of Novi.Digital.
Aaron was the 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the E3 North West Business Awards and works closely with groups including local Chambers of Commerce and the Virgin Media Start-Up Program to encourage SMEs to survive and thrive.
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How did you start out as a marketer?
The first website that I ever built was when I was as an early teen. At around 13 or 14 years old, I played guitar in a band at the time and decided to register www.theunsignedbands.com.
The aim of which to promote membership profiles of unsigned bands. I built a website and promoted on social media. I quickly reached the extent of my somewhat limited network of connections and realised that I had to needed to better understand how to get traffic to a website.
This lead me to quickly realise that understanding supply and demand was significantly more important as a baseline.
Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
The biggest challenge when first starting out was to enable clients to understand that results didn’t happen overnight.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
I picked up the phone and called my first 5 clients. A recruitment company, a hair loss company, a telecom company, a finance company and a tree surgeon.
Our rates were low, as I only had to make enough to pay myself. Gaining the first 5 clients was the easy part.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
One of the easiest ways to make success and generate an income is to sell your time doing something you are good at.
You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be able to provide the service more efficiently / productively and to a higher standard than the person paying you to do the work.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I find myself wondering what would have happened if I were to have started the company at a younger age.
With this said, would I actually wish to do so, absolutely not. I make a point of not having regrets for am.
How is your typical work day structured?
I plan my day ahead in my calendar, usually on the weekend and then again at the end of each day as things will inevitably change throughout the course of the week.
There’s no specific structure, as I find that applying too much of a rigid structure can be a hindrance rather than being beneficial. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life and with this in mind, I keep my days as varied as possible.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
Each and every day in business. There are no quick wins, especially with digital marketing.
Consistency of quality wins, every time.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
Don’t start with the design, start with questions. Understand the clients customers and go beyond simply what they want to achieve.
Of course, understanding the objectives of the client is absolutely crucial, but it shouldn’t stop there. Delve deep in to understanding what makes their company unique, why their customers use them and why many should!
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
Every single day. As a MD, managing multiple projects is part and parcel of the journey.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
Automation and machine learning using large data sets. It is most certainly the future of advertising.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
Read articles from multiple sources, watch as many videos as possible and ask questions. Then test everything you learn on a small scale to see what works.
After all, there’s no point in learning if you aren’t going to do something with it.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
This would have to be Novi itself. We have employed over 50 people from apprentices to managers during the last 12 years.
In doing so we have been able to enable people to have excellent careers in the industry.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
Jim Collins – Great by choice
What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?
Constantly iterate every aspect, including how you manage your time. Apply Ockham’s Razor to your work and choose the simplest solution.
If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.