My story starts in 2005 as I enter the final year of my Computer Science degree. I’d had a keen interest in Computer Science post completing my IT qualifications at college. I anticipated there would be a rising demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) within businesses and marketing; computers were evolving and at the heart of the Internet growth.
I wrote my dissertation on the impact of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for businesses - this led me to look for a local business who would be willing to permit me to use them as my case study - that company was Walls & Floors.co.uk. I proved real business success with one of their subsidiary websites.
As a result, they asked me to come on board full time - at the time my job role entailed publishing products, content and photography online - I was thrilled and enthusiastic to have a job within the online industry!
Fast-forward 18 months, I had the opportunity to become a manager and build my own web development department. Fast-forward 5 years and I headed up a team of 10 forward-thinking marketeers, combining art (creativity) and science (data), taking the company from strength-to-strength online - we were becoming market leaders, overtaking the competition - with development, technology and digital marketing at the forefront.
A digital transformation was happening, we embraced it and did not stop striving for more success; every day, every week, every month - we wanted to be the first, and we wanted to be the best. That’s exactly what we achieved.
My career advice, if a good opportunity comes along, take it - believe in yourself. In an interview show your willingness, display ambition, demonstrate your drive, articulate your passion and back it up with the expertise and/or experience you have - drop in your own facts and figures that prove your worth! Develop the confidence to lead, and lead by example.
Over a 10 year career at Walls & Floors I later became Ecommerce Director, completed qualifications to become a certified Google Partner, speaking at various Google Events in London, the website had won a prestigious industry Ecommerce award and had entered in to the IRX Top 500 Ecommerce websites in the UK - this is a true story of entering a company at the bottom, and exiting at the top!
My advice for CV writing is to keep it short and concise. Clear headlines, a clear layout demonstrating your impact and backing it up with positive stats. Show your experience, show your expertise and show how you’ve positively influenced businesses and people. If you've had successes, do not be afraid to amplify them - it may make you unique and stand out from the crowd. View my CV.
I kept my finger on the pulse within the industry by keeping up with my Google Partner exams (outside of business hours!), regularly attending leading Ecommerce industry events (such as Internet Retailing Expo & Technology for Marketing) to learn as well as building relationships, while subscribing to key industry figures and leading brands to hear about their problems, solutions and latest news. It’s also important to make sure you take yourself away from your desk and put yourself in your customers shoes - I regularly make sure I dedicate time to talk to customers and clients direct; listen to their opinions, listen to their challenges, their frustrations, analyse their feedback and aim to help them by making their journey easier online, and their experience a happy one.
After 10 years at Walls & Floors, I left the boardroom of a company now turning over £32m and created my own business consultancy - Ada Digital. I felt it was time for a change, time to experience something new, the right time to test myself with something different, a fresh challenge - using all my previous experience, digital expertise and industry contacts.
At Ada Digital I’ve found a new passion. A new energy and a further drive for creating success (and success for others) - I uncovered an additional gear I did not know I possessed. In the past 12 months the businesses has survived and thrived during a worldwide pandemic and itself is going from strength-to-strength - people and businesses need effective marketing solutions now, more than ever.
I’m still learning every day, and I love it - I've rediscovered a digital hunger, and I'm completely in control of driving the business forward - exploring new industries, meeting new people, studying new verticals and helping businesses flourish.
Launching and owning your own business has taught me a host of different dynamics compared to being a director - you’re the accountant, you're the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Office (COO), the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), the face of the company, the architect and the developer… You’re the dreamer, the visionary and the doer!
I may be the recruiter again soon... (message me if you are interested firstname.lastname@example.org).
The joy and buzz I get by identifying opportunities and helping a business grow via my business is unparalleled. It gives me an incredible sense of satisfaction and pride. I meet so many interesting, enthusiastic and passionate businesses and owners who just need the key to unlock and unleash their potential online.
My mission at Ada Digital: Empowering people to build their business online. Inspiring people to achieve business growth.
My final advice in today’s ever growing digital world for entrepreneurs, startups and growing SMBs - do something you love, find your passion, be the expert and do not stop striving for success. Keep yourself educated within your evolving industry - identify trends, explore developments, stay on top of technology and uncover insights. Listen to others, take all the advice you can from experienced professionals. Make sure in any businesses that your objectives align with the board of directors and owners.
Have a goal, and have a vision. Don't be afraid to pivot. Carpe diem.
Note: Why Ada? The name 'Ada' was an inspiration that remained with me since my first year computer science degree studies. Augusta 'Ada' Lovelace King was an English mathematician and the brains behind the first ever computer, developed by Sir Charles Babbage in the mid-1800s. Ada Lovelace was labelled the first ever computer programmer, and wrote the first algorithm for a computing machine. A pioneer of computing, Ada's mindset of 'poetical science' later paved the way for the digital world with her analytical engine. This understated inspiration stayed with me throughout my career - the underdog who inadvertently changed the world forever.