I doubt anyone ever dreams of becoming involved in the search industry when they’re kids. I certainly didn’t! But I think I’m very lucky to have found something that I enjoy doing, care about and occasionally, it pays well.
My Personal Profile
Let me tell you about myself. I have a wonderful small family and back in 2019, we moved from Greenwich to a small village called Stone which is between Aylesbury and Thame. We actually moved around the time we were finalising the shape of the MBO deal I did with Builtvisible.com’s management team. Less than a year later, Covid came along. We were lucky, everyone stayed well and eventually, we all got through it.
Throughout the Covid years, Builtvisible continued to do rather well, and to this day I sit on the board as a Non-Executive Director, holding a significant shareholding in the business.
But the time out from the real world (leaving my job, lockdowns, exploring our new home) gave me plenty of time to explore my interests. About 4 years to be precise!
In the time between leaving Builtvisible and now, I built a 10gH/s cryptocurrency mining farm. This taught me a great deal about dealing with the hardware, from repadding GPUs to keeping things cool and managing a large energy load (some 12kW/h)! Mining is a deeply technical subject and while mining is no longer profitable in the UK, I run Ergo and Bitcoin nodes in Ubuntu. I can also roll out Ubuntu Server via SSH and solve most “technical” problems with PCs. My deep interest in computing has taken me from hobbyist music (I enjoy playing with my Roland synth when there’s time) to sim racing, crypto mining and latterly, AI.
I’m an amateur racing driver holding an International C licence and take part in Radical, Mazda MX5 and historic racing in my prized 1964 Lotus Elan 26r. On my day I can usually put the car on the podium, every now and again. Of course there wasn’t much racing happening during lockdown, so I got very interested in sim racing.
Sim racing is a surprisingly technical challenge. Aside from learning how to handle a simulated car at racing speed, you’ll learn a great deal from assembly to Gaming PC management and performance. Critically, this experience birthed one of my websites: simracingcockpit.com
As an affiliate site, my sim racing hobby has turned into a part-time (and enjoyable) job. I’m an experienced affiliate marketer and love creating new sites to capture traffic in that space. Most importantly I have close relationships with a large number of manufacturers in the space who regularly ask me to test their equipment and assist them with their marketing strategy. I’m currently trying to decide between doing more website development for myself, going into business with a partner, or, something else.
I’m also a very keen fan of Star Wars, although I’m also very interested in physics and cosmology. You might be surprised to learn that I love gardening (it’s a great form of exercise and mentally, it’s very calming).
I love finding or creating new things and ideas and helping them grow or, bring them into existence.
The journey so far
Career-wise, a good 14 years of my life have been about my involvement with Builtvisible.com. I created that business from a bedroom in Mile End. Most weeknights I’d find myself at my PC working on the site and writing extensively on the subject of SEO. This naturally led to many opportunities for International clients, world travel speaking at conferences and many, many friends made along the way.
Builtvisible is now a £6m t/o company with some of the brightest minds on the front lines and at the helm, and naturally, I’ll always keep a special place in my heart for that brand.
I enjoy helping people of varying seniority from CEOs and founders to Front line digital marketers solve the kind of problems that cause barriers to commercial or professional growth.
I joined Overdrive on a 1-year contract to help bring some direction to that company. In a single year, we restructured a paid search and social agency, and invested heavily in nearly every aspect of the way the business is run, from forecasting to account management!
I made it quite clear to my good friend (and client!) (Jon Quinton) that I wouldn’t ask for a recommendation until we’d got Overdrivedigital.co.uk in absolutely tip-top shape. It took a year to help “turn the ship”. Jon’s team have now executed on all of the issues we decided needed some attention – and what makes me most proud is the fact the business is now so beautifully put together, everyone’s firing on all cylinders and we’ve laid some deep foundations for future growth. There’s an awful lot of commitment to expertise in their USP, and lots more.
As I end my time there as a Non-Exec, I got my recommendation:
Playing a founding role in the creation and build of Motorsport’s best-known resource; I established and grew significant brand awareness through audience growth in Google Search, and the branded Facebook page and grew the email list from 500 emails to 100,000.
The first version of the site was a content marketing driven retail-focused business that became dominant in the UK for most if not all Motorsport retailer keywords – for example, “racing helmets”, “racing gloves”, “racing boots” through a strategy of savvy category page optimisation and buyer’s guides.
Driver61 pivoted more towards sim racing as trading conditions (selling motorsport apparel) became particularly difficult after Brexit. Driver61 is probably one of the planet’s best-known Motorsport resources with a talented creative team (video / YouTube production) and development team (Troph.ai)
Before starting up my agency, I worked as an SEO in the travel space. It was a very high-pressure role because “SEO” accounted for around 60% of the entire company’s revenue. In 2009, the SEO channel’s contribution to company revenue was an additional £1.3m. I look back at that time as extremely character-forming; it was a very competitive vertical and the company itself had internal problems too. It’s where I mastered Excel, dealing with individuals at board level, and of course, I travelled to the US regularly to train and develop the SEO team based in the US.