Reflect Digital – Star Business of the Month – August 2015

Becky CampbellReflect Digital Logo creative digital marketing agency

For as long as I can remember I was destined to do something in business. From an early age I used to copy my Kent Excellence in Business Award Winnerdad (a businessman) by using one of his old briefcases to carry my things around. As I grew older he used to refer to me as his personal assistant since I was always taking telephone messages for him from his colleagues when they called the house.

Despite having very good GCSEs and A level results, I knew university was not for me, to the consternation of my teachers although funnily enough not my parents! I was hungry to get out to work and start my “business apprenticeship”. Not a formal one but a succession of jobs that gave me the grounding in customer relations and management. The last of these positions provided me the inspiration to start my own business.

So what was this inspirational job?

Becky Campbell Reflect DigitalIt was an account manager for a digital agency that built and managed websites and the on-going digital marketing for these sites. I’d had account manager jobs before, but working exclusively in the digital world was like switching all the lights on. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised about this, my dad had worked in IT for 40 years! The more I researched and learnt about digital marketing the more excited I became by this vibrant and still emerging sector.

So in February 2011 at age 24 I took the plunge head-first into the unknown, handing in my notice and quitting a very well paid job. With just a £3k initial loan from my parents and working from the spare bedroom of my flat, Reflect Digital Limited was born.

Reflect Digital is the realisation of my dream to run a digital agency that cares passionately for its clients. We have “set our stall out” to play the long game; we want our clients to remain our clients this month, next month, next year and forever! We really want to be viewed as our client’s own digital marketing department showing them real ROI throughout the life of their website/marketing campaign. Understanding a client’s business is fundamental to getting results from their digital presence.

The one thing I believe you must have above everything else when starting a new business is passion! Bags of it! You are going to be living your work morning, noon and night, without that passion you will soon start to tire of the fight to get established. Also that passion is what is going to make you stand out and to be listened to by your new prospective clients.

How did I get my first clients for Reflect Digital?

My very first client was a City of London Law firm specialising in the technology sector, as I researched and learnt about this particular area of business I was able to appeal successfully to other law firms. This has led to us becoming quite a prominent name in offering digital marketing expertise to the legal profession in general. Technology companies were our second target sector and as the company grew and I had sales staff I encouraged them to pursue business sectors they were passionate about. This led us to winning Tottenham Hotspur Football Club as a client!

At first all of our development work, building websites, was contracted out to a third party company, which was the only option if I wanted to offer this service, since I can only dabble with a bit of HTML, I’m no expert! Bringing development in-house, which we started to do in 2013, has been a real challenge. In fact finding the right staff in general is one of the most difficult tasks you will face as you build your business.

Look after your employees…

Reflect Digital TeamYour employees will make the real difference with regard to how successful your business will be, running a business is a team event and you will need to know you have a solid core within that team. I have tried to make working for Reflect Digital special, I care about my staff and provide the best benefits that the company can offer whilst providing them the opportunity to develop their skill set and always encouraging further learning. We organise company days where we share thoughts about the direction of the company and have some downtime fun. My best recruit so far has been persuading my fiancé to join me as a director of the business. Paul’s skill set compliments mine and together we are the driving force.

Funding for a new business is never easy we found the traditional high street banks to be very unhelpful, fortunately for me my parents were able to extend a business loan when we needed to expand, this has helped tremendously with cash flow, something you will need to keep a very close eye on as your business moves forward. You can be amazingly successful but due to slow payment from your clients you can find yourself in difficulty when salaries need to be paid!

Having been a managing director of a successful technology company my dad has been a great source of advice and a sounding board for problems and ideas. I would encourage any new business owner to try to find a mentor that you can talk to. Having someone who has had experience of growing a small company to talk to is a real benefit in many ways.

Business Achievements, so far…

Reflect Digital Drum Search Winner2015 to date has been an amazing year for Reflect Digital, in March this year I was named as runner up for the Kent Women in Business Awards, Business Woman of the Year – which was a fantastic personal achievement, which I could not have done without the incredible team around me. Then in June we won a Drum Search Award for Best B2B SEO Campaign for our client Egress – which was amazing, as we were up against some of the biggest agencies in the country. June also ended on a high by being awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards – which was hugely unexpected against some really talented entrepreneurs.

It’s been four years since I started Reflect Digital and I’ve been amazed at the success we have had, we have literally gone from zero turnover to over half a million and from one person to a staff of 23. Now the fun really begins, we plan to organically grow the business to a turnover of £5 million in the next five years. This is going to be a very interesting journey.

Business Tip:

“Take time to ensure your recruitment process is designed to know as much about your new prospective employee before you extend the offer to join the team. You are going to need people who want the opportunity to do something more than just come to work. These people will be the building blocks of your company and together you will achieve great things.”

Kent Social Media – Star Business of the Month – April 2015

Kent Social Media – What’s it all about?Kent Social Media

Kent Social Media is the small and local business set up to help to grow other small and local businesses. Kent Social Media is a full service strategic marketing agency with one clear aim:

“To deliver targeted results across several key areas; web design, app creation, social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, content marketing, digital marketing and publishing niche content.”

This combination has helped many of our clients to interact and engage with their customers on a much higher level.

We offer a personal, passionate & tailored service to each and every one of our clients, large or small.

Our team aim to define a digital strategy focusing on driving your businesses key commercial goals. Raising your profile, increasing efficiency, boosting revenue, reducing cost, training your staff or communicating better with your customers are only few business priorities that are important for all companies.

We provide local businesses with the support and expertise they need to avoid over spending with little return.

Meet Lucy Hall: The Brains Behind The Business

Lucy Hall Kent Social MediaHelping Small businesses is my passion! I come from a family of small businesses from Market Traders, antique dealers, to shop owners. I feel very lucky that I have always been brought up to know the value of business and running your own show! I’ve always been intrigued with entrepreneurs and the way they work and the reasons they do what they do. It’s not easy to run your own business and it’s very, very brave. Which is one of the reasons why I like to offer as much advice and encouragement as possible. It is one of the reasons why I started my business and the reason my own business has evolved just as the Internet has over the past few years.Lucy Hall Kent Social Media Theo Paphitis

By also running online projects – Such as – Pixiebo (online fashion boutique, Onesie Warehouse, Vintage and Upcycled which won the Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Award last November, Inside Maidstone etc – it has helped me to understand my own customers better and what they are looking to achieve. I have learnt so much over the last 12 years about sales and marketing – what to do, what not to do, who to listen to and not too. I want to teach start-ups and business owners everything I have learned so they can use these skills to rock their business online and be in control of their own customer’s online experience! Next I will be starting DIY Digital which is an online course website to help and teach small businesses to use the various digital mediums available to them.

Business Tip:

“Remember to be brave and don’t hold back. Strategy is important but so is impulse…If you see a Bandwagon it’s too late!”

Get in Touch with Lucy Hall – Kent Social Media

@LucysHall     @KentSocialMedia   Website    Facebook    LinkedIn

AM Marketing – Star Business of the Month – July 2014

AM Marketing Owner AmyAM Marketing, Digital Marketing, Canterbury, Kent McManus started her career in retail, managing a home and cosmetic store in Whitefriars, Canterbury. After developing a knack for marketing her store and products locally, she was headhunted by her first marketing firm at 22 years old and worked globally on health and beauty products with large clients such as Holland and Barrett, Amazon and Harrods. Her first product launch went on to win NBTY Europe’s New Product of the Year and New Innovative Product Awards.

In April 2012 at 24, she went freelance as a marketing consultant and landed a 14 month contract with DFDS rebranding the commercial areas of their new vessels and managing onboard marketing and communications for the Channel routes.  AM Marketing was born in October 2013 and this month features as our Star Business of the Month!

So Amy why did you start AM Marketing?

Amy McManus AM MarketingSince I was a child I have always wanted my own business. My parents had jobs which they regularly expressed a dislike for. They were (and still are) hardworking, honest people who seemed constantly under-valued and stressed. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story and after entering the job market I found myself in the same position.

I wanted to make my own business choices and make sure that those who worked for me were in an open, happy environment.

AM Marketing is an absolute joy to run and I love every single day. We provide marketing consultancy and management to large and small businesses; from local pubs to global brands. This includes strategy, digital, social media, PPC (Google Adwords), branding, websites, design, videos, photography and everything in between. We are particular specialists in PPC (Pay-Per Click) Advertising with all accounts set-up by our Google Certified and Bing Accredited Specialists. Our clients come from all over the UK (with a couple in US and Europe). As every client is individual with many diverse goals and requirements, we handle each account as such. Every proposal is bespoke to that client and their objectives to create the best results.

AM Marketing is a young company and I am a young entrepreneur. This can be a disadvantage when competing in the marketplace with larger and more established agencies. However, we tend to find that our clients prefer our lack of bureaucracy which allows their accounts to be more flexible. Regardless of our size and my age, the service we provide and results we achieve for our clients speak for themselves.

My business tip comes from my Dad:

“If you want to take the steps to start your own business, run a marathon, travel the world or anything else you could possibly dream of, don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t do it. If you’re prepared to work hard you can accomplish anything.”

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5 tips on writing a Press Release for your business startup

A clear and concise communications campaign can play a key role in the ultimate success or failure of a business start up, writes Charlie Vavasour, Managing Director of Ashford-based public relations agency Quantum PR.

Business survival is a highly debatable subject in the UK but it is often quoted that eight out of every 10 new start ups cease trading within the first 18 months. It is clear that gaining and then retaining customers is vital for any new business venture.

After all, a business without customers – which equate to income and, hopefully, profit – is not a viable business.

Communications, the means by which a business promotes its products/services to potential customers, should therefore form a key component in any start up’s launch plans and subsequent business promotion activities.

Through a carefully-crafted PR & marketing campaign, start ups can share core messages with target customers thereby generating the sales required to enable the business to prosper.

One of the most effective ways of beginning conversations between company and consumer is through the writing and issuing of press releases to local and trade publications, which can then be quickly reworked into blog and social media posts.

For a start up, the first press release to be considered is likely to be the official launch of the business.

Here are some top tips for how to approach this press release:

1 – Unique Selling Point

The press release should focus on the USP of the business – how the working processes or products/services differ from existing providers and, most importantly, what this means to consumers.

2 – Pyramid

The information contained in a press release should be ordered so that it fits into a pyramid; with the most important piece of information – the ‘news’ – at the top. The intro should be kept to around 30 words maximum and should grab the reader’s attention. This should be followed by further relevant information (see below) and also include company details, quotations, web links and contact details.


Every press release must contain answers to the following questions; Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. These answers will help substantiate the news and USP contained in the intro. Keeping WWWWWH in mind will make sure the release is comprehensive while also simple and straight to the point.

4 – “Quotes”

A good quotation can add extra depth and interest to a press release. It provides businesses with an opportunity to offer a greater insight into the relevance of the release to consumers; how the news will affect them. An independent third party quotation, perhaps from a customer, will also add authenticity to your release and ensure it is seen as more than a self-promotional piece of advertorial.

5 – Call to action

Make sure to include a direct call to action so that you can fully capitalise on the coverage gained. This could include a telephone number, website link, social media links and office location. This call to action is usually the last line of the press release.

For more information on how to build and deliver a tailored communications programme to meet the needs of your company, visit 

What’s all the #fuss about?

Everyone is doing it, our behaviour on social media is somewhat skewed to how we would behave off line.  So to start let’s have a bit of fun with this video:

Why do we feel compelled to self-market such things as our relationship status, new clothes, shoes, pets, kids etc. and why do we Like, Share, Feel Sad 🙁 Feel Happy 🙂 and #####! Social media is at the forefront of people’s minds and corporate marketing campaigns and it continues to grow. Some love it and some hate it, and there are even those that make a strong point of refusing to get involved. We are friends with people we haven’t been friends with for years and yet we share so much information, is this good? Or in some circumstances even relevant? Apparently YES! With over 1.23bn Facebook users and 175 million Twitter accounts, many businesses, singers and individuals can create a following at the drop of a hat.  It’s so easy to @connect, Like, Share, Comment and #discover.

Use of the #Hashtag 

Even funnier is the video after the one above with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, portraying the hilarious over use of the hashtag in social media. If you haven’t watched it, you must. They talk so quickly and it is reflective of the speed and intensity of some social online chats, it continues the point of how our behaviour online is different to that off line.

On a serious note, it is a fact that your social media messages will create more engagement and followers if you do utilise this marketing tool online. That is what the #tool was designed to do; compliment ideas, build trends and poke a little humour and creativity into our marketing campaigns.

Interesting #facts:

  • # was first introduced in 2007 on Twitter
  • # support was then utilised on Instagram and Google + in 2011
  • Fllickr adds # support in March 2013 on its iO5 app
  • As we know, the Super Bowl is a massive leader for marketing campaigns and some 50% of marketing commercials include #
  • June 2013 Facebook finally added # as an official search support

(Ref Social Media Today November 2013)

# Will help you build your brand, it can build campaign strength alongside relevant and unique content. Ultimately, it pulls in genuinely interested customers who are # followers. After all, 70% of people who are # followers are mobile users and 55% of your messages will be re-tweeted as opposed to those who don’t.

Recent Success

#SingItKitty is a brilliant example and the 3rd # success for mobile company where a girl is riding her bike with a cute singing cat to the song ‘We Built This City’. It’s an extremely clever and well thought out campaign that capturing:

  • Humour
  • Catchy
  • Viral
  • Pulls on emotions  (cat lovers, parents, 80’s generation, memories, children)
  • Interactive – Just logon to stick your own face in and see what happens…

Over To You

Now you have an idea of what’s involved and how many people use it, it’s your turn. Get practicing for your own company’s marketing. Play with it, see what works and what doesn’t work, monitor your analytics and enjoy. Watch your social messages generate engagement and follower stats grow – you will soon see a change.

DigitalBeans: Star Business of the Month – September 2013

Digital Beans Search and Social Marketing

Piperis Filippaios – Managing Director at DigitalBeans specialises in Digital Marketing with a strong focus on Search Engine Optimisation. The business which was originally called uTargeting was founded when he was just 22 and he has been working hard at it ever since. A very creative and hardworking individual showing true entrepreneurial spirit with his resilience to face any business challenge.


DigitalBeans was developed in response to supporting companies to grow their business online. Traditionally it started out with small companies and sole traders but the company is now increasingly serving larger clients ranging from manufacturers to shopping centres. The company’s success was recognised in the 2013 Kent Excellence in Business Awards receiving the status of Finalist in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category. The company is evolving and always takes into consideration any changing trends and adapting their services to meet these needs.

There is plenty of ambition with both DigitalBeans and Piperis. The aim for the company is to grow the business and size of the team, alongside growing other ventures Piperis is already involved with. Piperis hopes to be able to maintain this momentum and grow the number of companies he is involved with over the coming years.

Business Tip:

“Take the plunge and create your own future”

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