I started my first agency with my friend Rebecca Robinson in the summer of 2015 and called it XLR8 Digital. At the same time I  had lost all interest and drive I needed to make my first company work. It was a third level content sharing platform for students to share essays and solutions. I had raised €90k and had 15k student users with over 10k pages of first class notes, but I had issues scaling.

 

So before the investment money ran out, I started running social media pages for local pubs and restaurants with Rebecca- we charged €50 per week to keep their Facebook pages up to date with photos, party packages and offers. We had 5 clients at the time- so made €500 each per month, while I still worked full time on UniWink.  I have a Commerce degree with UCC and fell in love with Digital Marketing.

To be honest, we didn’t put enough thought into our branding, we just wanted to stand out and be bold.

After Christmas, I decided I wanted to go out on my own with the  agency, as Rebecca had a full time job, so I rang a lot of small local companies, and soon had 15 clients in February 2016- which made me a good monthly income. I called it Social Que, as I wanted to play on that fact that Social Media can turn followers into customers (queues in your store).  I had put a lot more thought into this brand message. I had a strong pink and dark grey logo, and I got it designed for €20 from Fiverr.com ( you have to pay more than a fiver if you want it designed quickly, and I never had patience). I rebranded because I wanted a fresh start and to communicate our offering – helping small businesses gain sales from Social Media.

 

Fast forward to a year later, February 2017, and I had 8 employees and our services now also included website design and Google Adwords. Our main issue at the time was our social media management offer; you don’t need a marketing degree to run a successful Facebook or Twitter page- you need a good camera, an understanding of your brand and customers and a bit of creative flair and cop on. Some of the companies we worked for, realised they could do it themselves after watching us run it successfully for 4-6 months, so we lost a few clients in the quieter months of January and February but luckily kept our core clients. Websites and PPC sales were booming for us and  I began revising our offering and realised the most value to our clients was in:

Creating a full digital strategy and execution to follow potential customers in their online journey from interest to purchase.

I wanted to stand out as Digital Advertisers for the full customer journey online. My target audience was changing with the digital world and I needed to adapt.

Social Que didn’t tell the story I wanted, that we are Digital Advertisers amplifying your company’s sales . So I waited for the Amplify Digital Conference to see if it would be the success I hoped for, and have the conference and agency under the same branding!

So here I am, from XLR8 Digital to Social Que, and my final agency name Amplify Digital. I have finally called my child the right name lol. Amplify Digital is my truth, my experience, my emotional investment into my clients and my creative direction. 

For anyone thinking of rebranding, I can only offer my experience as a small start up in Cork, Ireland. 3 things to keep it mind- Rebranding is important if your audience is changing, to stand out from competition and to reflect your branding story.

 

Sarah

@sarahamplify