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A Year In Review - Year 1

A graphic demonstrating a transition from year 1 to year 2. The left side is a whilst the right side is geometric shapes on a plain background

Where it all began

When I started my agency a year ago, I begin by simply labelling my first 2 years. Year 1 - Networking. Year 2 - Growth.

Most new business owners would have sat down and put together an extensive business plan that covered multiple sheets of paper. Perhaps that's what I should have done, but being an 18-year-old who hadn't run a business before, labelling my first 2 years seemed like a strong enough foundation to start a business.

I know my approach wasn't exactly conventional, but my hope was that this would provide me with the freedom to learn, discover what works and network without the constraints of a formal business plan.

Heading into Year 2, I wanted to have a network of people specialising in different areas that I could call on when I am unable to complete a task for a client. The phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know" comes to mind.

Fast forward to today, and I can confidently say I have achieved my goal of networking.

Here are some of my bigger achievements over the last year:

  • Became a Moderator & Group Expert of the Wix Partner Community

  • Became an EditorX Community Leader

  • Became a Velo Community Leader (The Wix DevRel team wrote a blog about me!)

  • Became Velo Certified (When I began exploring Velo in October, I could barely write any code)

I think it's safe to say, these achievements position me well for the future and have opened many doors to networking with amazing people I would never have imagined I would have been able to network with.

Whilst achieving these things has been amazing, it has sparked a lot of ideas, thoughts and reflections about where these connections and networks should be taken.

I'm still working on these thoughts, ideas and reflections. And they're open to change, however, they're at a point where I can share the overarching plans. These plans will provide the foundations for Year 2 (a business plan and refinement of Year 1).


The Dream (Our Mission Statement)

A logical place to start is with a mission statement. What is it that I want to achieve? Whilst I did label Year 1 & 2, my long-term goal is to build an agency working with medium to large businesses that realise the need to show their authority and expertise online.

So, The Dream is; to build digital experiences on Wix for medium to large businesses that go above and beyond expectations.

This dream provides a guide for the direction of the agency. And if the things we do, don't further this mission, then you can bet there will have been countless hours figuring out the reasoning behind it.

Through the lens of our mission statement, it's easy to assume that the way to achieve our mission statement is to simply start pitching for large projects. However, there is a large picture at play which I hope to address over the coming months (The Vision)

The Vision

So, here are the 3 things I am going to do this year in order to further The Dream.

Brand Realignment, Visual Identity and Website

When I started the agency, I "chucked together" a website. I didn't spend time on a visual identity as Year 1 was focused on networking. Sure, clients were, and have been important, but the main focus was on networking with other professionals and agencies.

One of the challenges with this approach is that the agency site has become a virtual playground for me to test out things I have learnt in a relatively safe environment. With this has come a disjointed identity; within the site itself, and the communication you see on social media and interactions with me.

What does this mean?

It means that whilst the current site we have is functional, it doesn't align with the mission outlined above. I believe there is a limit to its scalability and the direction it can be taken.

What is being done about this?

I've already begun a brand realignment project to create a visual language that all parts of the agency will follow. (Kinda like a rebrand).

The aim is to set the agency up for success in Year 2 by following The Dream. Here's a little sneak peek at what's to come.

What does this mean for you?

You don't have to worry about anything! In fact, I'm sure you're excited to see the agency grow. Over the next couple of months you'll begin to see things change, but rest assured it's still the same agency and great service you've come to know and love. Like a Hermit crab, we're upgrading our shell (our visual identity) to give us room to grow.

Social media, marketing and client relations

One of the things I want to work on this year is developing ongoing relationships with clients. Whilst I appreciate there may be clients that want a project completed and that's it, I know that repeat clients can be some of the best to work with.

Not only is fostering current client relationships important but bringing in new clients is equally important to creating a self-sustaining business ecosystem.

What does this mean?

Clients are the most important part of the agency. Without them, our skills and talents can't be put to use. That's why I want the agency to become (in most cases) an extension of our client's businesses, rather than something they use once and never again.

In addition, social media has and will continue to be an important lead generation tool. In order to further The Dream, I aim to develop the agency's social media presence and ensure every aspect of it is consistent with the brand realignment project.

What is being done about this?

As part of the Brand Realignment project, I aim to position the agency's social media presence as fun, educational and a great place for us to showcase what we do best.

What does this mean for you?

You're going to see higher quality content, and probably a lot of experimenting over the next few months to find out what works. While short-form content is the direction social media is taking, there is still a market for long-form content. Something I have always been interested in is creating content to help and support other agencies and I hope to create a few tutorials to explain some recurring questions I see from other Wix Partners.

Market Repositioning

Whilst there is definitely a market need for freelancers and small agencies building websites for mom and pop businesses/new businesses etc. this sort of business structure is not sustainable for the longer-term business goals that I have; growing an agency with employees while working with medium to large businesses.

What does this mean?

Over the next couple of months, you can expect to see some exciting things happen. Whilst I'm unable to employ my own team for projects, I am able to create specific outsourced teams that are perfect for each individual project. My long-term goal is to build an agency with my own employees, however, this is difficult while marketing myself as a freelancer rather than an agency.

What is being done about this?

The brand realignment project and social media marketing visions will provide the foundation for our market repositioning. There is also a lot happening behind the scenes to reposition ourselves within the market, but I hope over the coming months that you will see these changes appearing.

What does this mean for you?

The same great service but more of it!

Final Thoughts

This year is about growth, but growth is rarely smooth. So, you can be sure there will be things that are tested; some that may work, some that may not. But one thing is for sure; in order to grow and reach The Dream, I plan to stay focused on The Dream to build digital experiences on Wix for medium to large businesses that go above and beyond expectations and with your support, our best days will be ahead.

Here's to the future!

Noah Lovell

Noah Lovell - Web Designer

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