Af­ter 25 years at agen­cies I be­came a Bread­win­ner

Train travel is in­te­gral to get­ting out and Chris McCash, meet­ing peo­ple for founder of Bread­win­ner Agen­cies.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

The early morn­ings are ded­i­cated to get­ting my two teenage daugh­ters on the train to school. I re­sist the raised voice as much as pos­si­ble as I know it doesn’t work.

Af­ter some en­cour­age­ment we ar­rive at Ilk­ley sta­tion to the won­ders of North­ern Rail. To­day hap­pens to be one of their “on time” days, which is a re­lief.

The day starts with a break­fast event I run for clients called ‘How to Han­dle Agen­cies’.

I run th­ese at Plat­form and they are prov­ing very pop­u­lar. Mar­ket­ing clients seem to like some­one de­tached from the process pro­vid­ing hon­est ad­vice and giv­ing them tips on how to man­age a re­la­tion­ship.

The free Dan­ish pas­tries may also be a draw.

Af­ter this I check the in­box tsunami and see if any client leads have come in.

I use a blend of PR, dig­i­tal me­dia and di­rect cam­paigns to drive en­quiries from clients.

Prior to Bread­win­ner I worked in agen­cies for 25 years and this ex­pe­ri­ence has helped me de­cide the Bread­win­ner mar­ket­ing strat­egy.

I have a beauty brand this morn­ing ask­ing about a so­cial me­dia agency. I take a look at their site and quickly discover it’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to ac­tu­ally buy the prod­uct.

I find a po­lite way to ex­plain that maybe they need a spe­cial­ist eCom­merce agency first. It goes down well and I give them a few op­tions to con­sider. I’ve saved them a lot of has­sle and that al­ways feels good.

My next task is to fol­low up on a client that has started work with a Bread­win­ner agency.

They wanted a dig­i­tal agency to help them build and launch a site but found the mar­ket com­plex and con­fus­ing. I helped them run a short pitch and they chose a part­ner quickly.

I find out they are at the early design stage and it’s go­ing well. We dis­cuss the need to PR the new site and I sug­gest a few agen­cies that could help.

Next, it’s across to Manch­ester and rolling the dice with our trans­port sys­tem again. I rely on the trains so much, es­pe­cially as I work with clients and agen­cies in Manch­ester and York­shire.

I do feel that to com­pete with Lon­don our trans­port links across the Pen­nines need to im­prove.

The train jour­ney is, how­ever, beau­ti­ful and I put away the lap­top for a mo­ment to breathe.

A rest from screens is rare for ev­ery­one now so I en­joy the mo­ment.

I meet a client for a quick cof­fee and help them con­sider their mar­ket­ing agency struc­ture. They are look­ing for a new web­site but ad­mit their brand needs some work.

I have to think quickly about dig­i­tal agen­cies that are gen­uinely brand-led and help them un­der­stand how they can for­mu­late a brief.

We dis­cuss tar­get au­di­ence and how to ex­plain this sim­ply to agen­cies. It is very easy to fall into busi­ness lan­guage or de­mo­graphic de­scrip­tors such as “mil­len­ni­als”. I help them for­mu­late some com­mon-sense de­scrip­tions and they are re­lieved. Writ­ing briefs to agen­cies is not an easy task so I give some more point­ers and prom­ise a tem­plate by the end of the day.

A short walk back to Manch­ester Pic­cadilly and on the train back to Leeds. The view has to be sac­ri­ficed and the lap­top comes out.

A few of the Bread­win­ner agen­cies want to up­date their pro­file on the site and I help ad­vise them on the best im­ages to show­case their tal­ents.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing back in Leeds, I have a chat with Sam, my web de­vel­oper. I have had to learn a lot about Google an­a­lyt­ics since we launched in Fe­bru­ary but thank­fully Sam is pa­tient and he ex­plains it in lay­man’s terms. I don’t know how I would have grown to over 60 agen­cies with­out his help. If you are think­ing of start­ing up on your own a good web de­vel­oper is es­sen­tial.

To­wards the end of the day I re­turn to my own mar­ket­ing and fol­low up some calls from a mail­shot I did the pre­vi­ous week. I have a large data­base to man­age so have to keep track of th­ese us­ing a soft­ware pro­gramme that is both bril­liant and frus­trat­ing.

I send the brief­ing tem­plate and write my list for the next day. I still find lists in a good qual­ity note­book an es­sen­tial for the way my mind works. I get great plea­sure from cross­ing things off a list, I am sure I am not unique in that re­spect.

Re­turn­ing to the fam­ily to eat to­gether fol­lowed by the tra­di­tional heated dis­cus­sion over our Net­flix choice. I will lose but it’s the tak­ing part that counts, don’t you think?

I do feel that to com­pete with Lon­don our trans­port links across the Pen­nines need to im­prove.

CHRIS McCASH : ‘I rely on the trains so much.’

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