This month we are in discussion with our newest members Find a Creative Pro.
Thank you to Editorial Director Richard Forsyth for taking the time to answer some questions.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Find began life as Find a Creative Pro, some six years ago. It was an online business network for creative freelancers to find work. It has since evolved into a strategic marketing agency for SMEs to find marketing solutions.The talent that came through our network was so good that we ended up putting together teams to fit the needs of different companies. We realised that a fixed in-house team is not always that flexible to the exact needs of a business, as there is a tendency to shoe-horn your solutions in, rather than beginning with the challenge and then working up to solutions.
So, with that in mind our biggest USP today is not so much that we handpick talented creatives for projects – which we do – it’s rather that we invest a lot of time into a strategic process to understand how a business ticks, defining its aims, identifying its customers and understanding what they want. Our focus is to ensure the right marketing provision delivers on wider business goals. Often, we find ways to improve a business and its sales, before we even get to the marketing solutions. It’s been said more than once that our methods make us like troubleshooters.
What service do you offer?
We offer an initial series of face-to-face meetings, going through our developed four-stage process, that ensures there is a definition of the client’s business aims, identity and customers. We need specifically to understand the sales process, because sales needs to have the right relationship with the eventual marketing provision, to be effective. These meetings can sometimes create revelations on how to restructure the business. When it comes to the marketing, we can cover the exact needs of the client, which might be PR, social media, eMarketing, film content, website building etc but it will be the right mix for that client, born from our process. When we transition from consultancy phase to marketing we have a retainer model – with an on-going marketing planner.
What made you choose this type of business?
I spent a great deal of my career editing national and international magazines and trade papers, before stepping into PR and Marketing. Today marketing is incredibly creative, with content being make or break for some companies. Business needs creativity, whilst it sits on a skeleton of numbers, it’s the creative side of a business that often keeps it alive and growing and making sense. My co-director on the other hand is an incredible problem solver and sees many abstract business challenges instinctively with an acute ability to find remarkable solutions quickly. We have worked with so many sectors and types of company now, we often identify common problems clearly. Initially, we realised we could be nimbler, more adaptable and offer a more complete solution than many agencies – and with less running overheads, offer more value.
What made you choose your current location?
We always had great pride in being a fully digital operation. We worked without need for an office and used Skype and Zoom for meetings with freelancers and clients and when face to face was needed we would book somewhere or visit the client. However, we are growing and we decided it was time to have an HQ for visitors and we now have people who need to work with us in the same space. Digital Mansion Corsham was too good to miss out on. It has some really nice spaces for meetings and there is wonderful vibe in the place which feels creative. A lot of our clients are within an hour or so drive, so it made sense to locate here.
Do you work locally or nationally?
We do work with clients around the country in places like Manchester and London but predominantly, our clients are relatively local B2B companies. We like to attract local companies as there is a close connection there from the beginning and we are all about relationship building with clients. We therefore attend many networking events and business breakfasts to meet the local business owners and get to know territories in the South West.
To what do you attribute your success?
We don’t force our solutions on companies. We listen to their needs and find the solutions that work best for them. If we were just selling one service, it might not be the right one for a business – so its important to figure out needs first and foremost. There are two directors in the company. Helen has a shrewd business mind and is a born strategist whereas I have a creative background and really enjoy finding the story in a business which will connect with customers. Our teams are all seasoned independent creative professionals, often running their own microbusiness. We oversee the whole process, so briefs, deadlines and workflow are managed. We listen, we have method and we work to goals.