A Year in Review
With Agnes Media founder, Charlotte Ward.
As 365 days in business turns to a close, our founder Charlotte Ward can kick up her heels and look back at the wild journey that made up her first year as an agency owner. We sat down with Char to get a closer look at what has gone into building a successful media agency.
Did you always want to run your own business? What initially propelled you into agency ownership?
I had always wanted to run my own business from a young age, and this remained a consistent goal for me. Over the years I had many chats with colleagues and friends both in Sydney and Dubai suggesting we start our own agencies and whilst we all believed we could do it and be great at it, it never happened! I was too focused on servicing existing clients in my account management roles to budge just yet!
Then from the end of 2019 up until mid 2020 I freelanced, getting a taste for what it was like to work for myself after years in agency land. When I first dipped my toes into the freelancing world I didn't know what to expect, but before I knew it I was growing a healthy client base. It then became clear that there was a real opportunity to expand into an established agency with additional team members.
The rise of COVID-19 meant that organisations were shifting. Profit was ultimately the biggest focus, with vanity metrics like clicks and CTR being left at the door. Brands demanded more insight into their return on investment and acquisition-channels that could actually deliver results. This is when Agnes Media was born, a small, nimble performance media agency that could stand up against the big guns, providing quality client service and focused on driving better results!
How has Agnes Media evolved over the past year?
Agnes Media has been fortunate enough to transform from a one-man band at its infancy, right through to working with the likes of Active Super, Klarna to start-ups such as Zolo and Jace Legal. This growth was so unexpected that our core services within performance and acquisition required expansion into a wider media service offering. This led to partnerships with a range of media publishers, allowing us to extend the digital offer into offering offline planning and buying services, providing a total omni-channel experience for our clients.
Tell us about your proudest project over the last year.
It’s difficult to hone in on just one, especially with all the fantastic media coverage that has acknowledged our wins along the way. But in all honesty, I'm most grateful for the community Agnes Media has managed to build in media partner friends, clients and of course, internal team members.
What were your biggest take-aways/ learnings?
There have been so many! This year has been an absolute rollercoaster but I am so appreciative of the support I have received from my mentors, friends and associates. My biggest piece of advice to anyone managing a start-up or launching their own business is to leverage your network and seek out mentorship where you can. Trust me, it can go a long way!
Finding a work/life balance is also extremely important. I often struggle with this one but I try to incorporate a 'switch off' time in the form of exercising, travelling (when we aren't in lockdowns!) and enjoying time with friends. Managing expectations and boundaries with yourself and your stakeholders is key, so prioritise yourself!
What are you most looking forward to in Agnes Media's future?
Growth, growth and growth! We’d love to develop an even more expansive list of agency relationships and grow our client base; especially brands within the retail and e-commerce sectors.