From Garden Centre Workers to Digital Agency Owners

From Garden Centre Workers to Digital Agency Owners

Written by: Danny Daley ()
Categories: Digital Marketing

Have you ever been in a job just to pay the bills? Have you ever felt that your career is going nowhere and that you are repeating the same tasks every single day? Have you ever dreaded Sunday nights just because you have to get up for work on Monday morning to then spend the next 5 days of your life doing something you don’t want to do?

From a young age my brother Matt and I realised that setting up a business was our ultimate dream. The first bit of money we made was from selling our Dad’s plants on the driveway to passers by. He wasn’t happy when he arrived home from work to find that 50% of his garden was missing and his two young lads were jumping up and down on the wall with pockets full of coins.

A few years later we had both finished college and started a BA (hons) degree in Digital Media at the University of Brighton. During our summer breaks from University we were spending our days watering plants and carrying bags of compost to old ladies’ cars at the local garden centre. This motivated us to work hard so that when we finished our degrees we wouldn’t have to go back! In our final year at University we set up a small Digital Agency with the skills that we had learnt at Uni. We funded the final year of our studies after making £10,000 by designing and building websites. We both went on to graduate from University and decided to gain the experience needed in order to build a super digital agency in the years to come! Matt focused on Digital Marketing supporting Brighton based Digital Agencies with their SEO, PPC & Paid Social. I focused on Branding, Website Design and User Experience working for some London based travel agencies and software companies.

In November 2014 we both felt it was time to combine our skill sets and so we took the risk of setting up a business. Circulate Digital, a creative digital agency. When we told friends about our plans of setting up a business, we received a lot of negative comments. “Why are you taking unnecessary risks?”, “Aren’t you too young to be setting up a business?”,“Why don’t you just get a new job somewhere else?”. All this did was fuel us to put in the work and make it happen.

We had £2,000 each in our banks which, living in Brighton, would have lasted us roughly 2 months. We had no investments, no clients, no guaranteed income but one thing we did have was nothing holding us back! We did everything we possibly could to get clients which resulted in cold calling, handing out flyers, walking into shops and being asked to leave, it was difficult.

We would sometimes stay up until 3am planning the next day and figuring out how much longer our money would last us. As the traditional hard selling didn’t seem to be working we decided to take a slightly different approach. We focused on our own brand in order to showcase our skills and build relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs. After winning our first few clients and investing into our own brand, Circulate Digital then had a sleek new website which was ranking above other digital agencies in Google for local search terms such as “PPC Agency Brighton”. We even became Google partners!

We also started to generate some real success for our clients with one of them gaining a 40:1 return on investment. Things were finally looking up for the Daley Brothers. The news had spread about us and we started to appear in the local papers as the “Digital whizz brothers”.

Our clients were referring us for the great work that we had been doing for them, which then enabled us to take on our first office in Brighton.

Three years later and Circulate Digital now has clients all over the world and a team of nine split across our offices in Brighton, Sheffield & Barcelona. We are living our dream. We own a digital agency that is delivering huge success for our clients by spreading awareness about their products and services, improving customer experiences and making them more money online. We’ve even been to the House of Lords to manage the photography and social media for a client event!

So my advice is, if somebody tells you that you can’t do something, all you have to say is watch me… then call Circulate Digital to get your brand booming!

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