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A Day in the life of the Managing Director of a Digital Agency – Ollie Piddubriwnyj

June 10, 2016 - Sam Doyle

So, for those of you starting out as a freelance designer, web developer or other, with aspirations of one day building a team, and ultimately an agency of some form, with a recognized brand, this may well be for you. If you’re just nosey, well this may be for you too. Either way, for me it’s just nice to stop for a moment, and reflect on what actually happens in a day of mine, rather than me just refer to is as ‘a whirlwind’.

So, purporting to be some sort of sporty/fitness kind of a guy, I start my day by being woken up by my Sonos, playing my playlist of choice (currently, first song is Jamie xx- good times). Then I check my emails (well who in the digital world doesn’t), with coffee followed by some fasted cardio. A 4k run is pretty much all I can fit in in the morning now that I’m 40, but I can honestly say, the days I do run, I feel absolutely on it. So, Email, an espresso, 4k run, then a steaming shower and I’m ready for pretty much anything.

I try to be at the office anywhere from 7:45 to 8:15. It’s important for me to get that downtime where it’s just myself and Kate (Fifteen’s Client Services Director). This is where we can catch up and make critical business decisions without the normal day-to-day distractions.

Then from around 8.30 the rest of the team start rolling in. Natalie, Chris, Mikey, Luke…etc etc

By this time, I’ve planned my day, prioritized my to-do list, and I’m well into the whirlwind which is my day.

9.30 see’s my first client meeting at the office. Discussions about web development and digital marketing tactics is normally the case, with a couple of coffees all round and the opportunity to write a detailed proposal about how Fifteen can genuinely help a client succeed online.

11.00 sees me off to a prospective clients office. This time in Manchester to pitch to my previously written digital proposal to an eager director whos keen to boost his companies online presence.

I land at 1pm, am greeted by one of their team and taken swiftly into a board room with none less than 12 people seated there. Suddenly, the pitch has gone from a formal one to one, to a stand-up slide projector pitch in front of a dozen directors and stakeholders. Well, there’s nothing to keep you on your toes like being thrown in at the deep end, and that’s how I like it to be honest.

We’ve done the introductions, chit chatted about the week so far now it’s down to business. How can Fifteen help this particular client achieve their KPI’s online?

I can’t go into details about this particular pitch for obvious reasons, but I will say that it went well and if I got a buzz from it, then surely they did too. Well, no one fell asleep on me and trust me, that has actually happened. I promise. And if anyone wants to know the actual details then give me a call and I’m happy to share that with you.

2.30 sees me driving back though traffic so the best way to spend my time is to make all my calls. One to the office to see how things are going, one to Natalie who’s travelling back from an important digital seminar, with all the latest thoughts and tactics on SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing. Keeping up to date on latest online developments in an important part of Fifteen’s growth, and we couldn’t be without it.

The next call is to Kate, to congratulate her on winning a pitch (or tender as you may call it) for a new client. Then the rest of my time is spent answering my voicemails. Thank goodness for hands-free hey.

I had to stop for a coffee, if I’m honest, there’s probably 6 more coffees I’ve not told you about, but who’s counting. Coffee and Panini in hand and I’m back on the road.

5.15 sees me land back at the Fifteen office only really feeling half way through my day. Meetings out the way, this is the time I can get involved in what’s happening inside the agency.

I’m promptly called into a creative meeting for a new London client about the re-launch of their brand identity with Michelle and Lofty, Fifteens senior creative. We talk about brand positioning, tone of voice and culture amongst many other things before the meeting takes a turn to us sketching out ideas on a frosted glass window in the office. As a Managing Director I probably should not be quite that hands on, but as an ex-designer I find it really hard not too. I think creatively and sometimes the only way to get it out is to put pen to paper, so occasionally I do.

The meeting is then backed up by a reporting meeting for our own online marketing activity. A quick look at last months numbers and as its ours and we’d like to think we know what we are doing, we can make quick decisions on how to move forward for the next month.

6.pm and a prospective employee is sat waiting in reception for an interview with Kate, Sophie and myself for a position to join our team. This time, I’m on the other side of the table. I’m doing the asking and to be truthful it’s going well and we’re all impressed with what we’re hearing. We don’t put too much pressure on at first stage interviews. We simply need to understand if we feel the candidate can do the job in question and if they like us I guess. We’ll let you know how it goes for this particular candidate in future blogs I guess.

6.50 and I’m finally back at my desk. My priority is to call my two little girls before they go to bed, share with each other what we’ve done that day, tell them I love them and I’ll that I’ll see them tomorrow.

I have checked my emails on and off throughout the day but I still have 74 un-read. Well, I can’t go home until I’ve checked them so here goes. I quickly get them down to 18 things to do and add them to my to-do list (who’d survive without a to-do list)

7.20 and I’m out the door. That’s pretty much 12 hours, but for something you love its nothing really is it? As I’ve always said and you may have heard me say it before “if you enjoy your work, you’ll never work a day in your life”

I’m lucky to live just 10 minutes away from the office from where we’re currently based on the Nottingham Derby boarder. So time for a quick tea – leftover bolognese for me. Nothing fancy, just a quick fill.

Well, its 8pm and its still light outside. I think I’ll jump on the motorbike and go and get some fresh air for half an hour. What could be better than that.

Sam Doyle

Sam Doyle

Technical Director

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