Thrive on change (or 10 lessons in running a digital agency)



Sookio's Founder and Director, Sue Keogh, is talking this month at Digital People in Peterborough and CamCreatives about what she’s learned in her ten years of running a digital marketing agency. What wisdom does she have to share?

1: Get used to change

The industry changes. The people change. The clients change. The projects change! It’s up to you to define a thread that runs through this, what your constants are going to be.

I wrote a whole post on this when Sookio turned ten in June 2018, explaining how change is at the core of agency life, as opposed to when you work in-house for a large corporation where you might hear people exclaim, “But this is how we’ve always done things!”

Round here, it’s not. If you’re in a digital agency, you have to get used to change. Not just that, you have to get a buzz from it.

I guess it’s about maintaining more of a freelance approach, where you expect things to be that little more ad hoc, that little less set in stone, and thriving on it.

2: Refine your proposition

What do you offer, and what don’t you offer?

This was a turning point for us as an agency. It took me a long time to shake off the freelance mindset where you never work down, which was the result of a jolly period in my life where I was clawing my way back from double redundancy and trying to keep my career going round the demands of a small baby.

However, you get some jobs where you know inside it’s not the right fit. You start to meet other talented professionals and you quietly think to yourself…they’d do the job better than me.

You start taking on staff and they say things like, “Hang on, why are we doing this again?” Particularly when the sales pipeline starts to look healthy and you are in the position of being able to turn work down.

All of a sudden you realise you have choices over the work you do.

So it was at this point that I started to define us as a digital marketing agency which specialised in content. Boom. Got it. We work in partnership with, say, web development agencies or PR folk who can deliver the stuff round the edges, while we focus on what goes in the middle.

Everyone is much happier with this, and it helps us win work because we can say confidently what we’re about.

With the new Sookio website, we refined this still further and centred it around three themes of Grow, Create and Learn. We went for the more SEO-friendly headings of Content, Strategy and Training in the navigation, but behind the scenes, this is how we view what we do. In turn, this helps us stay focused on playing to our strengths.

Visit the blog to find out what else Sue has learned in her ten years running a digital marketing agency.

To read more information, click here.


Sookio is a digital agency based in Cambridge, UK. We help our clients communicate with confidence through quality content for the web and social media.

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