Hello everyone thank you very much for tuning in!
Two years ago I started Fantasoft. It was one of the hardest choices that I had to make however it is also one of the best. Previously I had been working at Open Space Advertising, an awesome and honest marketing company based in my home town of Wivenhoe.
I have joined the company bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to be sucked into the world of marketing. Under Gary Hickman, I learnt a huge amount about how to market and also about ethics and morality within marketing, he is without doubt an exceptional boss, a talented marketer and I’m very proud to be able to call him a friend.
Working with the Open Space social media team was one of the best experiences of my life, it is one of the things that made me happy and one of the things that I definitely miss. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, one day redundancies had to be made. I chose to try and help the company by doing telesales which is probably one of the most soul draining experiences of my life. I did all of my usual work in advance and then proceeded to spend each day doing telesales, which ended up doing a lot of damage to me psychologically, but ultimately helped me to be more confident.
I decided that I would take redundancy and leave the company. I was reluctant to do this, However things have got to the point where it was necessary.
Once I left Open Space Advertising, I decided that I would try and get a local job, this went disastrously as I live in a small town, and in frustration I decided to build my own marketing company with the idea of selling services further afield. Up to this point my main experiences have been working with restaurants, so I decided that I would focus my marketing efforts on the restaurants niche, and wrote many articles on restaurant marketing, ensuring restaurant owners that I knew my stuff when it came to selling my products.
Being a paranoid person, I had previously created the Fantasoft website as a contingency plan if anything would go wrong and ensured I had a healthy structure supporting it, so it had racked up a little domain authority in the background. My good friend Dug hosts the website and without him, his advice, and his dedication as a friend, this company could not exist.
I am not a salesperson, but I was desperate. I started calling companies relentlessly, trying to pitch my sales and services, in much the same way as I had done in my previous job trying to sell Tesco oards with Open Space Advertising. This was absolutely horrible and it didn’t work very well, so, in despair, I started blogging like I’ve never blogged before. I wrote pages and pages of information, articles based around the subjects that were important to my company, my areas of expertise and providing advice for people who wanted to run the services I provided themselves.
Then fortune found me through a friend, a previous person that I had worked with had allowed my website address on his site for SEO purposes. Because of this I got to meet a really wonderful human being called Malcolm. Malcolm is an enthusiastic gentleman who runs a fantastic service that I always recommend local businesses to join called Locally Approved. Locally Approved is possibly the best directory that I’ve ever come across in terms of its sheer power and design. I absolutely love the way that it works and I also love the way that they look after the clients of their customers.
Malcolm was the first person to hire me outside of Open Space. For the first month I was struggling, but I was still working to provide services for his company and help come up with strategies and ideas to help increase their local reach. I worked for them for quite awhile in this capacity before we eventually went our separate ways.
By this time I had actually had 18 clients and I was struggling with my workload. It was then that I received some unfortunate news that one of my previous managers had passed away in a job which I did many years ago. Before I joined Open Space, I worked for a company called Bupa, as a care assistant. It was a good job but I ended up leaving over the fact that it didn’t seem to have any career progression for me and I am a very career minded person.
I went to talk to the manager of the care home to express my sorrow that I had lost not just a manager but a friend and I was invited to go and talk with people on one of the units and worked on. I went back to that unit and I realised how much working with these people had meant to me. I’d left telling myself that I wasn’t a great carer, that I wasn’t good at my job, and I had serious doubts about the future – but going back into that unit reminded me of the value that I provided for the people who lived there.
I ended up going back to work for Bupa and I currently work there full-time as well as running my business here. The first two years that I’ve been in business I’ve been hard but I’m looking to expand my work at the moment and continue working with the companies that I’m working with at the moment. I would like to give a special shout out at this moment to the people who have really made my year and made this company a success thank you all of you.
A Special Thank You to:
Gary Hickman, at Open Space Advertising, for teaching me how to be a marketer. Thank you, and best wishes to the entire team! Gary runs one of the most honest advertising agencies I’ve ever come across, and not only that he sure knows his stuff!
Dug Stokes, of https://frag.co.uk/ who provides my email support and hosts my site, and puts up with my insanely long voice messages! Without Dug, I’d be nothing as I was broke when I started out. He is one of the most human people I’ve ever met!
Malcolm Everitt, for being my first client after I set out on my own. Malcolm runs Locally Approved and is one of the most good natured and honest guys I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet.
Aisha Cahn, a brilliant artist and a wonderful friend. Aisha creates fine art and her work as a philanthropist in helping people all over the world is truly inspiring.
Steven Levy of Levy & Co, a top notch legal team who helped provide support for me on several occasions!
Samantha Cantrell of In for a Penny, who’s hiring me got the company through a nightmare of a month!
Adam (Josh) Evans, who runs DragonTech IT Services INC, and uses me for SEO/Web Design (and destroying his enemies!)
DeVan Curry, of Ancur INC, who has literally saved me THOUSANDS of pounds with ONE conversation. He helped me get my act together and stopped me being such an idiot when it came to spending.
Devan Gann, of Black Widow Creative for taking me on board the team as an SEO expert.
Sean Sayers, Tim Phillips and the original Fantasoft team. (Who were a gaming company.) Thanks for inspiring my childhood and bringing meaning into a kid’s seemingly worthless existence. I could not have made it through my childhood without Fantasoft’s games, and sadly New Centurions was never made. Ah well. Thank you all! (Fun fact, I was always annoyed at the fact Tim would never be there at 9.00 am when Fantasoft was apparently open, as a kid I didn’t realise there were time differences in the world. Ah the things we learn!)
For everyone else, I’m sorry if I haven’t got around to mentioning you! Just shoot me an email and I’ll throw you in there! It’s been a long year and I want to celebrate!
I’m a social media marketing specialist based in Wivenhoe, the CEO of Fantasoft and wannabe space adventurer.