#ALB62 Natasha Conway
Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast #62
#ALB62 – Natasha Conway, the lady who creates ads that make people buy stuff
In this podcast, we will be chatting with our guest Natasha Conway, the lady who creates ads that make people buy stuff. Over 5 years Natasha has worked on hundreds of google ad words, Facebook ad accounts and successfully helped business owners and entrepreneurs generate more leads and more sales.
Tash runs her own company www.trafficsnap.co.uk and specialises in pay per click which has just celebrated it’s 4 year anniversary.
On her ‘About us’ section Tash states “It’s true. I love Google Ads, and that’s why, after several years working for a marketing agency, I made the decision to go it alone and set up TrafficSnap and I’ve never looked back.
Why? You’ve probably guessed it by now: because I love Google Ads.
I love the way that I can turn on a new campaign and start getting new leads for my clients within days.
I love the difference I can see in my clients’ businesses when they have a steady stream of enquiries to convert.
I love the power Google Ads has to allow an SME to compete with the big players in any industry.
And to be honest, I love helping my clients sell more stuff and forge a better existence for themselves and the people they love.
Back to the days of Floppy discs
Once Tash had finished college she started work as a legal secretary, in the episode she reminisces about the old days of paper files and floppy discs, she then progressed into a new role around online storage and it was whilst working here, her curiosity of online traffic and top performing websites was born. It was then an organic career journey taking Tash into pay per click roles, which she tells us was “her main area for desire’.
Searching for a new challenge
Tash has worked with the Entrepreneurs Circle within their premier service which she refers to as a “done for you” service of marketing. Tash was responsible for the pay per click service, which consisted of a team of 3 looking after 60+ clients. By her own admissions the roles that Tash was in left her seeking new challenges and working within this environment fuelled her desire of pay per click even more so. Tash could see first-hand of the struggles and challenges businesses were suffering, that could be enough for some people to perhaps walk away. But not Tash, seeing this just spurred her on even more and with that came the decision that maybe it was the right time to start her own business.
New York New York
Boxing Day 2015, whilst in New York Tash done a lot of thinking, self – reflection and came to the conclusion that there was more to life outside a role (although she stresses that there is absolutely nothing wrong with working within a role). This trip was a turning point and, on her return, a discussion with her partner over dinner took place and Tash handed in her notice. It was time to start her business! She does wonder if she had been at home that boxing day whether she would have come to the same conclusion but certainly doesn’t look back.
Find out more
Want to find out more about what Trafficsnap can offer, you can book a free 20 minute strategy call and of course enjoy the podcast.
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Tash – You just feel part of something like you got other people there, who are in the same position as you, who are thinking in the same problems as you, but also, I think it helps you build the confidence to be able to say, actually, maybe I need to think a bit differently about the business.
– [John] Hey everybody, it’s John Lamerton here, alongside my good friend and business partner, Mr Jason Brockman. Today’s guest is Tash Conway, and Tash makes ads that make people click through and buy stuff. Over the last five years, she’s worked on hundreds of Google AdWords and Facebook campaigns, helping business owners and entrepreneurs generate more leads and more sales. She runs her own company, Traffic Snap, and is pretty different to most agencies, in that she specialises in Paperclip. Tash, welcome to the podcast.
Tash – Hello, thank you, everybody, you too.
John – It’s great to have you on here, so, I’m going to delve a little bit into your background, so, five years, you’ve been doing AdWords, now?
Tash – No, I have been doing AdWords for longer than five years, I’ve been doing it for probably eight years now, but it’s five… Well, no, it will be, yeah, will it be? It will be five years, no, four years, with Traffic Snap, It’s four years this month. It’s my anniversary today!
John – Happy birthday!
Tash- Turning to 2020, I’m confused, what the year is, so four years,
John – Okay, so it was employed roles, but doing PPC from other campaigns.
Tash – Yes, so, I started off, straight from college, working as a legal secretary, so I was doing audio typing, for small solicitors, in a little village. Everything was saved on floppy discs, but I know that was a long time ago, and everything was paper files, so it was a very… very manual setup with everything that needed tracking, everything that needed recording anywhere. And, as I was in that role, I progressed onto moving the business to a place where they started to use online storage, everything was done, sort of online, and then getting the website built, and getting them leads to the website. So that’s really where my, I guess, desire to look at traffic, look at driving online traffic, looking at how you can get a website to perform better, came from. And then it just, it rolls as I’ve gone along, I’ve just progressed more into the path of PPC. Specifically, it’s all like Google and Facebook. Just because for me as an individual, I find my desire to learn about stuff, sits within those areas. So…
– Yeah, I think if you, it’s one of these things, if you are able to get traffic to a website, you can always turn your hands to any sector, any business, can you?
Tash – Yeah, it probably doesn’t shift you off, I’ve worked… So, when I very first started my journey with understanding about PPC, it was in business, so it wasn’t agency side, it was business side, so, I worked for an aerospace company, again, in a village local to where I lived. And they sold things like lubricants, greases, slosh paints, all of this sort of stuff, trade to…
John – Imagine a negative keyword list you have for that company.
Tash – Well, I think that didn’t keel over, it’s just got a lot of variables on it. So, we looked after the trade, well, I looked after the trade side of the website, and driving sales, so that was very much focused, in that industry, whereas then I moved onto, in a role, which was previous to me starting up Traffic Snap, where I was working, I guess, what you could class as agency side. So, I worked at a company called the Entrepreneur Circle, and they were a business that offer membership and business support to lots of different sized businesses around the UK. And they had a premier service, which was a done-for-you service of marketing, and they had a PPC section, so I ran the PPC section, working with them to get the results for the clients. But because that was varied to every different business, that was classed as, like, agency, I guess.
John – Would you have been looking after them?
Tash – Pardon?
John – How many clients would you have been looking after? I mean, if…
Tash – Oh, I mean, across, so, Harriet was working with the EC, she would have an account manager, who would have a number of clients, and then there was me, Jo, and another lady called Cathy, who would be working to sort out the PPC side of it. So, we were working with, probably sixty plus clients, between us, but, you know, do you know, it was like, sixty plus clients, we were managing to deliver PPC, was all it was for. And it was that environment, actually, that kind of fuelled the desire within me, to want to do my own business, because I knew, there’s always been this thing in me, where I thought, I’d love to have my own thing, I’d love to do something that I’ve made, and that I’ve built, and I’ve always had that in me. When I’ve been in roles, where I’ve wanted to progress, progress, progress, and some roles are limiting, when you just don’t get to. And I always had itchy feet in jobs, so I was always looking for the next kind of challenge, I guess, and how I could face that challenge, and move on and challenge myself. And then, when I worked at the EC, because you’re surrounded, just by people who are growing businesses, facing challenges in the business, having success in the business, it was a… My expectation within the business wasn’t just built on me thinking, oh, I could have this ideal situation where I can generate income, I got to see the side of it, as well, where businesses were like, this isn’t very great for me, like, I need to make some changes, we need to move the business forward, otherwise it’s closing. Like, I got to see both sides of it, and still, even in that environment, I didn’t lose that kind of edge of thinking, I’d love to try my own thinking, if anything, it made me want it more, because I was having the conversation daily with people, I was seeing how they were challenging themselves. And I think, In that environment, especially with… So, Nigel, the guy who owns that business, he’s very down low and very straightforward, but very, you know, open to sharing experience, and you go to events with that business, and you get to see first-hand, all that sort of stuff. And I just couldn’t, in my mind, I was like, it’s kind of make or break for me, that I do it now, and I take the chance now, and see if it will work, or I don’t, and I went to New York in the December, I went on Boxing day,
John – This a holiday, or is this a…
Tash – No, it was a holiday. So it was at the end of 2015, and there was a lot of change going on with the EC, and, you know, I was open about this, when I was working there, you know, it was in my mind, well, I wanted to do my own thing, of course there was part of like, driving me to do it. But I went to New York, and it was kind of there, that I thought, I’m going to do it, because I got to see that there’s life outside of me just being in a role. Not that there’s any, you know, anyone who’s in a role, there’s no, that’s no disrespect to that, but for me, as an individual, that was my, like, almost turning point, you’re saying, I’ve got to do it now, and I can’t start the year, thinking that I’ve got this big desire to do it, and then not do it. So, as soon as I got back on the first day, I gave my notice, because I was like, it’s just, it’s got to happen, this has got to, this has got to happen, for me.
John – Do you think, if you’d spent Christmas at home, you’d have made a different decision?
Tash – I do think that, sometimes, I don’t know whether it was because, I know that, I don’t think it sounds like, romantic, or like, ooh, New York’s this and that, it’s an amazing city, if anyone’s ever been, it is, I mean, it takes your breath away, there was nothing like it. And I don’t know whether, if I was thinking, there’s more to life than me, and not, again, this is not disrespect to any roles I’ve been in or whatever, but for me, as an individual, it almost made me feel like, there’s more to what, there’s more for me, than what I’m doing now. I don’t know if you can understand that, maybe you can, as business owners, you have that feeling, where you’re like, I know that there’s something out there, that I’ve got to do, and whether it was the intensity of seeing what that place was like, that made me actually say, I’ll do it. Because that, I remember, I was there, I said to Ron, we were out for dinner, and I said, if you’re okay with it, because he’s in a, he’s, you know, obviously joint on a mortgage with me, I’ve got to run it past him, this is what I tell him, went on the way, our savings, but I said to him, like, I want to do it, I’m going to do it, are you okay with me to do it? And we’d spoken about it before, but I felt like, that I’d made the decision there and then, before even getting back, I was like, and I knew, for the rest of the holiday, I was almost buzzing about wanting to get back, to turn in my notice, to see if I could, like, do it. Do you know what I mean? I don’t know…
– Unfortunately, the thing is, you’ve got to get off that treadmill, and…
Tash – Yeah, yeah, I… Maybe I thought New York offered that chance, to have that, because they say, a lot of business owners, they get a lot of good ideas, and a lot of progression and clarity, when there are, and people often, I mean, well, that’s just an excuse for holidays. But I genuinely don’t think, I think, for a lot of people, it’s that, putting themselves in the environment, where they’re away from day-to-day stresses, because you do when you go on holiday, you just kind of kick back, relax, and forget about normal stuff, don’t you? And, I don’t know, if that environment allows for the creativity and the head space you need, to make those decisions. And maybe that’s what that was, for me.
Tash – I think…
Jason – Sorry, I was just going to say, well, once you’ve kind of made that decision, you know, you’re kind of going to move out of the employment, and into, kind of your own business, was there, wasn’t any kind of… Planned out, in terms of values, or better service that you’ve kind of been, that you were able to deliver, doing it for yourself, was there any kind of massive plan to move yourself forward?
Tash – Yeah, so, one of the things I definitely noticed, being working, kind of agency side, let’s call it, is that… Sometimes the focus, is about bringing volume of client, rather than, maybe, quality of deliverance, and one of the things that I’ve always, even now, been super keen to be able to deliver, is a quality of, like, experience for people. So, for the moment, it’s me in the business, so I do the account management side of it, as in, delivering the relationship building with the client, I also do the AdWords work, so, obviously, there’s a capacity that can only be… That I’ve got, because, it is just me, well, I say it’s just me, I’ve got a guy called Tom, who I also, who just part-time worked with me. But he’s purely like, he’s such a tech genius, he can spend hours just absorbing himself in an account, just looking at it, and just going through the metrics, which I can do too, I just don’t have the time to do it. So, he’s my resource, and helpful with me, and involved in the business, which, I’ve entered him into my clients, so everybody knows he’s there. But I’m saying, he’s, that’s his role, that’s, he looks after the tech side, he does all of that side of stuff, the bits that we want to do together, the bits that I want him to do on his own, whichever. But, in terms of my capacity, that was always going to be limited. Which, when I think about what sort of business model I want, that obviously has to play a part, too. But that was one of my almost things, that was… Concrete for me, that I wanted to not change, was the delivery of the service, the delivery of the relationship, and just making sure that I wasn’t flooding myself with too much, so that it ended up, I ended up sacrificing on being able to have the conversations with my clients. So, I’d like to think that that is something I still, you know, am conscious of, and passionate about, is making sure that we have that communication. And whether that be going forwards, whether that sits in the same model, as to what it is now, that would still be a key factor for me. Because I’ve just in, first hand, have so easily, a relationship can kind of dwindle, and how then, that impacts, you know, somebody wanting to continue using services, even if you’re getting great results, if somebody doesn’t feel valued and cared about, then that will have an impact on them wanting to use your services. So, that was one of my lot manning things from me, and also, making sure I was getting visibility on what was going on. Because we were talking, one week before the podcast, about, you know, how, there’s a lot of, there’s kind of, a lot of grey area, I think, sometimes, with AdWords, and people actually knowing, truly, what they get back from it. And AdWords love to create this optimism, that you’re getting x amount of leads, which you, you probably are getting the leads, but it’s about what the leads are doing, and whether they’re valuable to the business. So, my other concrete kind of benchmark, that wasn’t changing, if you know what I mean, was that I was going to be somebody who gives complete transparency, so that somebody could know, who it is, who they’re getting from their PPC. Rather than what, well, it’s a mix of both, what it is and who it is, though, is equally as important, as one another.
John – Yeah, and when you want that return on your investment, that is always the key, but I think, knowing who and having that transparency down to the individual customer, just maximises that RRI, doesn’t it.
Tash – Yeah, well you, when you know who it is, like, with any marketing activity, I know there’s some, well… I say on there, there’s some, there’s tracking out there, for a lot of stuff, so we do, to a point, have options to know what’s going on, but I think, especially with something like AdWords, where there’s a lot of… I think sometimes, there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors around it, and there’s a lot of, sometimes, different expectations as to what you can get from it. I think, because of that sort of being part of it, then when you look at what you’ve got available to you, to give you the transparency, I think people just get a little bit lost. I think you can get yourself into a lot of rabbit holes to do with it.
John – I actually think that the smoking daggers are created by agencies, and actually listening to your quality of content, and quality of delivery, rather than quantity of volume, if you like. I think that is most traditional agencies, kind of deliver, is actually, hey, all these leads, you’ve got all this traffic, you get all this exposure, and that’s brilliant. And that’s the metric I’m going to tell you about, but what we’re not going to do is be transparent about it, and say, actually, this is the root of, that’s what you’re getting for that. You’re getting the number of leads that you’re looking for, but actually, the leads aren’t particularly great quality, but you’ve got actually, addresses, and that’s what you kind of aim for, and that’s what you pay me as, and agencies, do. I think, that’s the difference, I think, it’s like, it’s been, it’s, blame Google Ads, and the amenity between what you’re doing, and what, perhaps traditionally, you didn’t see is true for the clients.
Tash – Yeah, and I also think, so there’s, you’ll hear from a lot of agencies, as well, and this was another kind of, so, you try hard when you start your own business, I know, I know you’ve got, I’ve got experience with agency and in house. But I’ve never run a business before, either, so, when I’m sitting there and putting my own list of, kind of necessaries, together, which is conversion tracking, it’s making sure I don’t overload myself, it’s whatever, whatever. It’s very hard to know how that will stick, because, when you’re in a business that, you’re employed in a business, you almost feel like, if things messed up, let’s say, with a relationship, or whatever, you’re not just on your own, kind of dealing with it. You’ve got a boss, or you’ve got other parties involved, that can help problem-solve, you know, ways to deal with that, so, when you’re very, very first starting a business, it’s kind of, you don’t know what tolerance business owners would have in you being quite stubborn on saying, well, I want to be able to have conversion tracking for you. I want to be able to, you know, do this with you, because you know it’s in the best interest of getting the results, but, you, there’s no-one else to say, so what I’m thinking of doing, is offering x, y, and z, you know, do you think that would be suitable? You’re kind of on your own in that boat, and you’re like, well, I’ll try and do these things, but you don’t also want to scare people away. Because you’re thinking, I’ve just jumped ship, I’m on my own now, I haven’t got a pay date, there’s no salary date for me in this coming month, like, I need to make sure I generate some income, or, so that I don’t, I mean, you… With the best will, you can try and prepare yourself, with savings and stuff, but you also don’t want to be eating away at them, because, once they’re gone, as value, and you’re a bit, what do you do, kind of things!
– Don’t let me in, that’s it!
Tash – So, I was in that place, where I was like, I know these things that I want to be able to deliver, but then also, my experience with working agency side, and also, in house, in business, is that not everybody has the same thinking of you. So I think so differently about AdWords than what, in some way, from what I feel everybody else does. Because, I often find, when I bring business on-board, a lot of the early stages, is kind of educating, and it’s trying to help people. I feel like I’m always just trying to give people the transparent truth about AdWords, because, for me, just my nature, and who I am as a person, there is no other way of working, really, which is why I tend to steer away from just relying on the AdWords dashboard, for giving metrics. I’ve got other software, that gives complete transparency, and that’s part of making sure that, you know, you do deliver the results that people are looking for, because, as you’ve said, Jason, that, you know, I could send, I could set up an AdWords account, and I could send to business twenty leads a month, for whatever industry, whatever it is, and I could, at the end of that month, dig my heels in the ground, and say, but I’ve sent you twenty leads. Like, you know, if you’re not converting them, and that’s not my problem, you know, I don’t have to do anything about that, I’ve delivered your leads, I’m tying you in, you know, you’re tied in for three months, whatever, for working together, there’s that kind of, I think, that is an environment, in a lot of agencies, where you’re tied in for a certain amount of time, you’re not getting visibility on what your leads are, and, you know, what do you do? You don’t feel like you’re getting the quality, and you don’t feel like you’re getting the service that you’d want, but you’re tied in, so that, just how we, just to go back on another thing, so I don’t tie anybody in, because we can see, from month 1, whether it works or not. And again, that comes back to me, wanting to deliver that best-quality experience, is that, if we’re not delivering leads, I want us both to be aware of that, so we can both make a decision, I don’t want somebody to be sitting there, two months in, thinking, what’s going on? I’m not, you know, you’re telling me, that you’re getting me leads, I can see that I am getting leads, but I don’t really know who’s who, who’s from what pot, who’s the AdWords people, who’s the organic people, because I think, naturally, business owners, when they get good quality stuff through, and this applies with all marketing. You tend to have your own idea, of where you think these people come from, and all it takes is for you to make a miss-assumption, you know, that a good-quality order, has come from organic traffic, rather than paid, or the other way around, and you don’t know. Do you know what I mean? You got to have that visibility.
John – Yeah, and now, it’s really, I mean, with, I mean, the different field, perhaps, in PR, we did some PRPs, and it got national coverage, it was on TV, and all that other stuff, and from that point of view. The way our company went you know, and all these magazines, you know, I’ve got the headlines, you’re on, have I got news for you, you’ve got, you know, the first page of whatever it is, and you’ve done all this wonderful stuff.
– Traffic, it’s cool, mate!
Jason – Traffic into the website, looking and finding out what it was all about, but what we didn’t get, was any sales. No, no, we had…
John – One sale. It was actually, we tracked to a link to the daily man.
John – Yeah, so, we brought, you know, again, we had all of these, we’ll call it YITH, because it was the traffic, and that’s what PR kind of does for you, but actually, it didn’t result in anything, in terms of ROI for us. And, in terms of, like, money, and customers, and things like that, which we would, as a kind of, you know, that was our brief, really, was, we need customers, and, yeah, we got loads of coverage, and customers…
John – And it’s an award-winning PR campaign, that delivered one sale worth, like, £30.
– So then, there, that’s from your point of view, from, you know, Pay per click, you can do exactly the same, you can throw a whole load of money, and stuff, you get a whole load of traffic, but, actually, at the end of the day, if that doesn’t convert to whatever metric you need, like customers, or leads, or whatever it may be, and it’s just throwing your money away, really.
Tash – Yeah, but PPC is, anything that you do digital, you have got the best tracking available to you. It’s just that people either don’t know about it, or they kind of start off AdWords, and they think, I’ll pick my keywords, I’ll do my ads, I’ll, you know, they kind of isolate what AdWords is about, for them, they look at it as the keyword in that kind of scenario, and there’s a lot more outside of that. Which, you know, people can learn about, I’m happy to talk about, share whatever, but that cuts you off as well, from understanding what’s available to you, with transparency too, and, again you’ll find, you know, yes, you can deliver hundreds of thousands of impressions in clicks, but then, if that doesn’t deliver to what you want it to be business-wise, then, what’s the point? But, and then, there’s also the combination of looking at, you know, AdWords, the success of AdWords is dependent on ad work, a good AdWords campaign, and a good website. You know, I’ve had conversations with prospects in the past, where, you know, I’ve identified that we could potentially drive a decent volume of traffic, you know, let’s say that their, how their businesses is, as a model setup, you know, they do get, they’ve got a good conversion rate from lead to customer, that end of it’s set up well, we can set up the AdWords well. But the middle portal, which is like the website, the thing that delivers the lead, if the website’s also not in a condition, where, you know, it can do its job as part of it, as part of the process, then you’ve got two pieces either side that would be successful, but the bit in the middle isn’t. So, as somebody who’s delivering an AdWord service, you can’t just isolate yourself, looking at the AdWord side of it, and saying, well, as long as I build the keywords, the ads, the this, the that, that’s my kind of remit completed. You’ve got to consider the whole journey, and I also think that’s a rare thing, in that, even business owners themselves, they might not look at that whole journey themeselves, and say, you know, we want to get from a to b, but the middle pieces of this, you know, what do we need to do around it? And that, I think that drove me as well, to look at setting up the businesses, because, you are challenged, and you are limited, sometimes, when you’re in roles, because there’s certain processes that are already in place, and that’s great, just by going into a role of employment, you know, there’s things you can’t change. There’s things that, you know, are already in place, and one of the desires I had was, okay, if I’m going to make this work, and set this up, I think, sometimes, phone calls with prospects can be a bit challenging for them, because they probably don’t expect me to go down the avenues and ask the questions that I’m going to ask. Which is again, we find in my feet, in what people tolerate, and what people do. And I’ve got some people who have said to me on the phone before, can’t we just drive leads? Like, I don’t, they kind of can be frustrating, that I’m being a little bit, maybe intrusive, with what I’m trying to find out. But it plays a part in the journey, and you’ve got to understand that, because otherwise, you’re isolating yourself, just looking at the one bit of it. And, you know, that was one of the things when I was looking at doing the businesses. How can I get to understand the bigger picture of this? So that I know what I’m working with, so that I can, like, when I ask somebody what’s, when I go into the conversations, things like target cost per lead, because that can play a part in what you’d use, in bidding, strategy-wise, within AdWords. But also, so I know, I’m achieving a lead within a certain remit of cost, because that plays a part in margins, and profit and all of the rest. You know, I’ll ask that to a lot of people, and they’ll say, the other agency didn’t ask me, love, I don’t know why you’re asking me all this stuff. And it’s that education piece, where we need to start to help people to understand them. You can’t, excuse me, You can’t just look at AdWords as AdWords, it’s a part of the jigsaw of your business, and it has to be part of that process. So, that was, like, one of the things, that was key to me with the business, so as we’re going through this, I’m finding out there’s more that was actually key…
Jason – I know, we started off with one, and then with two, there were which is actually, I mean, you’re very kindly for a one-percent, it’s good if it’s getting a master class on Pay Per Click, that’s the…
Tash – Yep.
Jason – Thank you. So I want to come back to kind of the business aspect, obviously, with four years owned Traffic Snap, it’s four years owned, this month, which is which
Tash – Yep.
Jason – If you were to go back four years, is there anything you would want to put in place, in your business, that you didn’t manage to do, four years ago, that you would think, actually, that would have been a really good idea, from the outset?
Tash – Yes, and this is previously related good accountant.
Tash – Because my first year, when I started Traffic Snap, it went brilliant, and I think it was just because being in certain networks, as well, I mean, there was certain remits I had to follow, in terms of work, within certain guidelines, timescales, which I honoured and respected. But, so the first year, work went, like, really well, and I found an accountant, who lived around the corner. I mean, this isn’t PPC-related, but it’s okay to, like,
John – It’s business, if that’s what we’re looking at.
Tash – So, I found an accountant round the corner, and I went and had a meeting, and I was like, okay, so I need, like, a floating business started, and now, like four years on, I look back at how little I knew about stuff to do with, because I’m limited company, because that was advised. Again, from early on, to protect yourself, and also, just fill out structure for if you want to move forward and stuff, so I went limited, so, thinking about, like, self-assessment tax, court branching tax, all of that side of stuff, I kind of thought I knew it then. But I look back now, and I was like, I know nothing. So I went to go meet with this chap, the accountant round the corner, and I was like, okay, so I need, like, why wasn’t it within Stuart that Tom was prepared to pay monthly for an accountant? I was just being stingy; I didn’t want to. I wanted to pay somebody to do my end of year returns. That was what I wanted.
John – It’s to keep you legal.
– Or what I thought I wanted. So, my first year… I was having the business, it was doing really well, I was like, this is great, I’m on, going on holiday, I was like, this is brilliant, I was so deluded, as to what, like I thought running a business was, and even a lot of people start off like this, I don’t know if I’ll make them as, I’ll look bad talking about this. But I’m also going to, like, talk honestly about it, because I do think people are in this situation, you start the business, it does well, you don’t really know the numbers behind stuff, you just see it generating, and you’re thinking, cool, I can like, I don’t know!
– Earnings is going up and… So, I was taking this…
– Must have been a bit numb!
Tash – I was taking this money out, taking my mom and dad on holiday and stuff, and then, at that point I wasn’t, now, I’m using QuickBooks, and I’ve got an accountant I pay monthly, she’s fantastic, like, I’ve got to grip with her. Like, I am very… And because of this situation, I’m very, very in control of my numbers, with my court tax, I’ve got it running to date, I’ve got protection in place, for like, with salary, savings, if I had, like, a quieter month, whatever, I’m very organised with now, but back then, I was just enjoying what was happening. And I had my end of year put together, with all of my paperwork, which, I look back now, I think, I had paperwork for everything, and now, like, I’ve got QuickBooks, it’s so much more efficient and better. And I, look, like I can see what’s going on, and I just have to send a picture into receive bank, and I don’t have to save these receipts in the box and stuff, and anyway, I had my end of year meeting, and he was like, so, your court tax for this x amount, and I was like, what? Like, what you mean? Because I had this spreadsheet, where there was like, money coming in, money going out, what’s left at the end, a percentage of that is called tax. So, he was like, yeah, so, depending on how you pay yourself, whatever, whatever, he was like, dividend is part of profit, he was like, x is part of profit, x is part of profit, and you’ll, what you pay, court tax wise, is whatever percent, is it 20% on profit? I think it is…
John – It’s going down 17% now. Oh, well, so, percentage on profit.
John – Only would’ve been 20, I think, about four years ago, yeah.
Tash – Yeah, so I was looking, and I was like, okay, that’s not the figure I’ve got! So then, I was like, oh my god, I owe the taxman! I owe the taxman, oh my god, like, the taxman’s not going to wait for anyone! And I know you’ve got a certain time to pay it. But it was all that in the very early days, where, I look back, and I think, if I would’ve just had a good accountant, then I could’ve, maybe I couldn’t have took the money out, and started going on holiday, whatever, whatever. I enjoyed that…
John – You did sort that out. If you’re doing things it’s on a monthly basis, then you’d have known, on a monthly basis, this is how much you need to set aside for your corporate tax, and you wouldn’t have gone, oh look, there’s eight grand sat in the bank! Let’s go to Barbados!
Tash – No, it’s true, you, until you understand, until you understand that and you forecast stuff, which only comes, and it’s funny, because, thinking about it now… And like, I can see why, I don’t know if this is a… Pathetic sequel, or whatever, but you can look, and you can see why people mess up with certain things, like, not mess up, but spend money. You can see why, maybe, just thinking about it, people with AdWords, account, when they don’t really know what they’re doing, they could waste money. Look, I had no guidance from an accountant, and at that moment in time, when I was starting a business, I didn’t bother replying anytime, thinking about the value of assigning an accountant, I just thought I could do it myself. And I would never do that again. And I loved that first year, because I had a load of fun. I went away, I enjoyed growing the business, and I just had a bit of fresh air and freedom, from being in the job, but I also learned such a valuable lesson from it, because my second year, I had to get a job, for a short amount of time. So, I was balancing the boat, because I had to save the money in the business to pay the court tax bill, but I also had to pay myself. So, from that learning, I don’t regret it, because I’ve learnt now, what I need to have in place. I probably would, well, what I would do is, if I was starting a business again, I’d get a good accountant, so I didn’t have to go through that stress, because I know, that in terms of size of business, you know, I’m not the size that a lot of other businesses are. But it’s still my income, and it still matters to me. And I’ve kind of learnt, from that, not just from the finance perspective, to put myself in control of what was going on. It changed how I view my business, so a lot of people could, and I’ve had conversations in the past, where a lot of people say, so you’re self-employed? Or, so you would, I see my business as a business, and whether that’s right or wrong, and what other views are on that, then that’s fine, because everyone’s entitled to think whatever, but I view my income, and Traffic Snap, as a separate entity, as a business. And so now, when I do things, I don’t, I think of it as Traffic Snap, and how a business would behave, and again, people might say, well, it’s only you, like, what are you on about? Like, you can see now, I’m at home, I’m not at the office. Look, I’ve got an office in Meriden, I share with, me and John know the businesses. So, that part of that was, because I had an office, that I rented myself, just on my own, it was a little room, a little pack, I was so lonely! But I have to have that mind-set, of going somewhere, and going to a business, which, for a lot of people, they can easily have a home office, and that puts them in that mind-set. But for me, to put myself in a mind-set of a business owner, I have to remove myself from my house, unless, like, you know, like, today, we’ve got meetings and stuff going on, and we were doing this recording, I was conscious of noise and whatever. But I have to have that mind-set, so, that’s another thing I guess I would do differently, is I would think of it as a business, rather than it just being me, generating this income, that I can do whatever I like with, because that was the path I went down. You know, which…
John – Back to Paul Enamely, who we had on a few months back, and I’m going to be telling Paul off, one-minute talks and towers with him, for referring to his air-quote, business. And I said, no, it is a business, you don’t need to do the air quotes. This is a real business.
Tash – Well, I think it’s so weird though, because I think, again, this is experience, four years into a business, is not, in any way, an established, like, I get that, like, it takes years to build businesses, and, you know, whatever Traffic Snap’s future holds, hopefully it does have growth in it, a little bit in, for, you know, the success, and whichever. But like, I definitely feel, when you first start a business, there’s a phase that you go through, where you almost have to feel like you have to keep justifying to yourself, that you’ve got a business, because, so I joined, as part, John’s part of, too, so it’s a mastermind group, I do result, which is, the guys who went over from there, I used to work with, the app I shared with them, so, the reason I, like, know of that mastermind group, is because, I’m around those guys, so I know exists. So, it was like November 2017, that I joined, as a private client, so, in the mastermind group. And I can remember, I went for my first meeting, and I was really intimidated. Even though we’re around these guys every day, and they’re my mates, as well as my business… Colleagues, whatever, I didn’t expect to feel that way, I thought that I’d feel quite relaxed, because I am around them often, and I went into this room, where these, all these are the business owners. And all of a sudden, I had this horrible, like, you know, when you leave school, and you’ve not been picked for the dance, like, oh my god, no-one’s picking me, what’s going on? It is this weird emotion that I’ve not felt for such a long time, because I think well, I’m quite competent, like with job roles, I didn’t have that feeling, I don’t know, so I went into this room with all these business owners, and all of a sudden, I was like, hit with this, I don’t know, feeling of, what if they don’t think I’m not a proper business? Or, you know, what if they don’t really take me seriously? And I feel like I went through a phase, where I felt I had to justify that it was just me, but like… You know… For fears, it’s not a long time, I’m still on my beat now, in where I want the business to go, and it, you know, I feel like a lot of new businesses or business owners do hit those phases, where they think, am I good enough there? Like, in comparison to whom around? Which, as they say, what do they say about comparison? It’s the killer of joy or something, I don’t know. That’s what I think I would do that time myself, is don’t compare yourself, but do what is right for you, if it suits what you want your life to be, right now, as long as I’ve got, now that I’ve got a track on my figures, and all of that sort of stuff, now I have less of that voice saying, are you good enough for the people you’re around? Because I think, I’m a nice person, I try and do the best job, people either like it or they don’t. Do you know what I mean? My business isn’t going to fit what they want it to be, because they’ve got their own business, that fits what they want it to be, so…
John – That’s what they’re going for, that, to be fair, they’re not worried about what your business looks like.
– No, they’re not!
Jason – To pick theirs up. They’re worried about the results that you give them, they’re not worried about what you’re up to, it’s a bit..
Tash – Yeah.
– Secondary school, I think you don’t like having to fit in with everybody in the crowd, but actually, you don’t need to do that, unless you kind of…
Tash – Yeah. But I do really think that something that people go through, I do, definitely, unless you, especially if you’re on your own, because you haven’t got that person to go, Tash, don’t matter what they think! Let’s do it together, we’re getting on with it! When you don’t have that and you are on your own, that you, I do think you naturally, as humans, anyway, we just tend to go, ooh, is this like, do people think, though, like, that I’m working hard enough, or am I good enough, or whatever, do you know what I mean?
Jason – I mean… That is, I think, a key thing, most people are worried about what others think about them. And the truth is, what others think about you is, they’re not thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves, and they’re worried about what others are thinking, about themselves,
Tash – Yeah, I know!
– They’re gonna think…
– But I don’t think anyone…
Jason – Massive business, they’re going to think I’m bragging about that, or, oh my god that guy over there’s got a better car than me, and oh my god, I’ve got, I built, they’re worried about themselves, and they got their own insecurities, and they’re fighting their own battles that you know nothing about.
Tash – Yeah, yeah, but you know, it’s true, it’s true.
Jason – The brilliant thing that you’ve done is you’ve created a business that works for you, and you’ve created, you know, your presence, which works for your clients, which is amazing, so, this is called the Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast, that’s what we’re doing here. And that is exactly what you’ve created, and you’ve got those pillars and base, you’ve got your values that you’d like to give to your clients, and that’s, you know, absolutely brilliant, and you’ve had lessons over four years, and that’s great. What’s the future, what’s the ambitious parts in it, looking like for you?
Tash – Hmm, well, that changes, and now… What was it, does it, I don’t know! In the very beginning, once I’d got over this worrying about what other people thought, kind of thing, and just became settled, with how I got, how I adjusted the business how I adjusted the finances, giving yourself that bit of, like, security, with that side of it. I think, once you get out of that, feeling of constantly feeling like you’re treading water, I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s always challenges, this is why I feel like a business suits me. Because, if I were in a job, in this timescale, I probably would’ve had about three jobs, because I get so itchy, what I feel like the business offers me, is challenge, that constant thinking and keeping on top of it, which, actually, what was I watching the other day, and it was talking about chaos… Somebody was saying, that a lot of people, naturally, in human instincts, shy away from chaos, because we think that’s how we should live, is in a chaos-free life, but actually, some people, the nature of them, thrive off chaos, but not to the point where you’re stressing yourself and it’s impacting your health, but having that… Having that chase, almost, to make sure…
John – I think you used to work with somebody, who used to thrive on chaos, didn’t you?
Tash – Yeah, well, that may be why, I was so, like, juiced, to try and get going, if you know what I mean, to like, do the business, but so, so I think I need that level of… Almost… It, maybe only being in grasp, to keep me going, to like, for me to feel, like, achievement, whether that’s going…
Jason – When you get a little bit of chaos, is good, as long as it doesn’t lead to self-sabotage, which…
Jason – And absolutely do, but if it, as long as it doesn’t lead down that way, then a little bit of chaos is good.
Tash – Yeah. So, when I first…
Jason – You hate chaos.
John – I do.
Jason – You love order, you love routine.
John – Yup.
Jason – But you don’t do chaos, whereas I prefer a little bit of chaos.
– Yeah. I think I like a mix of both.
– Now, let’s see Matthew solve that particular issue!
Tash – Yeah, I think I’m a mix of both. And I think, when I first stated the business, I was trying to move away from chaos, so when I was thinking about what I wanted it to look like, I was thinking, well, if I just keep it as me, if I’m the only person involved, then it removes the elements of additional chaos, that could come with expansion, or whatever, whatever. So, where I’d like the business to be, is potentially, is probably growing, in terms of maybe, bringing someone else on board, who could be part of Traffic Snap. So, I got me in the business in the moment, I’ve got Tom, who is my tech guy, who allows me to have more time to work on the business. I guess, maybe an account manager, coming in, to help, but that, I mean, this is the difficult bit, growing a business, isn’t it, is because I have certain expectations as to what I would like to be delivered, as a service from an account management perspective, which, I think it’s, you can never find you again, if you know what I mean, not saying I’m perfect, but you have expectations, and you can never find another you. So, the challenge for me, I guess now, where I’m at, thinking, I would like to potentially grow the business a little bit, is how could I find someone who could deliver the standards that I would like, from that side of it? But that is also a challenge of growing a business, is that you have got to go through those kind of finding your feet with stuff like that, to get to there, so, in the early days, you know, I was very keen to, for the… Again, that trying to shift away from chaos, make it so it’s just me, whatever, But I think, now, I’m in a place where, maybe I understand a bit more about me as a person as well, you know, four years is a long time for you to grow, and you know, I think, people are ever-evolving, and becoming, you know, other versions of who they are, just from life experience, whatever, whatever, and now I do, I guess, have the desire to say, well I would like it to grow, a little bit, just, again, keeping that quality, I don’t, I’m not looking to scale here, to twenty account managers, twenty tech people, in a year. That is not the path, I’m looking for small growth, I’m just looking for small growth that can still support and maintain the values that I have got now. So, you know, that’s to be continued, you know, what will it…
Jason – That’s brilliant, isn’t it!
Tash – What would that go? But that is where I would like to go, is just some small growth, in that respect.
Jason – I’m looking forward to seeing the path, that you’re going to have there, because it is, that tough challenge is… And it’s almost going back again, isn’t it, where, you know, I am the business, and now I need to replicate myself, I need to clone myself, and…
Tash – Yeah.
John – Actually, you know, hiring yourself, is the worst thing you can do, I think as your first hire.
Tash – Yeah, yeah well, who else was talking to me about that? They said, what you don’t do, is you don’t, so like, I was talking to somebody about working with your partner in your business, so like, you or you and your husband, or you and your wife, however that set works, whatever. But like, working with somebody who isn’t like you, because they can’t be, because you can’t marry yourself, I mean, I wouldn’t marry myself, just because I’m attracted to different things, but, in person, I’m distracted on what myself is, I don’t know, but somebody was saying to me, that, I think it was Dean, one of my new clients, we were at a Christmas dinner, and he was saying, what you don’t do, is you don’t put the person in a role that you would put yourself in. You put people in a role that is suitable to their traits, it’s suitable to their skillset. And I never, ever thought of it like that, I’ve always looked at putting somebody in the business, as an equal to me, as what I do, and actually, that might have been also part of a turning point for me in my thinking, is that when I understood it, that actually, you put people in a role in a business, like Tom, Tom doesn’t
Jason – I was just gonna say, you’ve already been down that path, by getting Tom into company.
Tash – He does, the tech side of he’s, his specialism, his skillset, he’s extremely, extremely talented, in working in AdWords, but he doesn’t want to do account management side, because he’s a tech guy, and you know, tech guys are brilliant, because, guys, girls, you know, they’re so into what they’re doing, that, you know, they don’t want to talk to people, and that’s cool. Because I can talk to people, an account manager can talk to people, but he can be so, you know, focused on what he’s doing, that when I started to think of it like that, I mean, Tom’s been around for longer than me having this conversation, he’s been around for a while now, testing him on, you know, stuff that I wanted him to do for me first and foremost, make sure he was at the standard I wanted him to be at, whatever, but, you know he is brilliant at what he does, and that’s because he’s in a role that is suitable to his skillset. And that would be my thinking around bringing someone else in who might be in an account manager sort of role, or whichever, is that I’ve got to bring someone in who’s of a skillset that fits the role I want, rather than thinking, I’ve got to find another me, because there won’t be another me.
John – Yeah, I think one of the best people I’ve seen, and obviously, this is a little bit easier in a larger organisation, but one of the best people I’ve seen about putting the right person in the right role, is Neville Wright, I think I was actually 37, I interviewed Neville, and the bet example I’ve got, that is, he hired this guy to flatten boxes, so Neville basically sewed a lot of prams and pushchairs, out of this shop in Peterborough. As a result of that, lots and lots of cardboard boxes, every day, needed flattening, folding, pumping in the skit, and he hired this guy to do that, flatten boxes, it was a minimum-wage job, that…
Tash – Yeah.
John – This kid was qualified to do.
Tash – Yup.
John – And then, one day, the computer broke. And the kid who could flatten boxes, said, All right, I can fix that for you. And he fixed the computer, and then, a couple of weeks later, the phone system went down, and the kid who was flattening boxes said, I know how to sort that, I can fix that for you, and, I think, about twelve months later, the kid who was hired to flatten boxes, became the technical director and the biggest shareholder in the business, created kiddiecare.com, which was sold for £75 million.
Tash – Oh my…
John – And that kid was hired for minimum wage…
John – To flatten boxes.
– Box-flattener. But I never did…
John – Turned down an opportunity, because you do not know what it would lead to.
John – Yeah, yeah, if you just look around your team, oh, my god, that person’s good at selling, get out there, speaking…
Tash – Yeah. Well, it’s funny because, so my husband works at Jaguar land rover, and in terms of their setup, as people who have to fit into, because, how they work, is it’s lots of little cogs, that make the big machine, in terms of people, to get that manufacturing process completed. And you know, you have got people who are specific to certain roles, who wouldn’t be transferrable into anything else, but in their little, not box as in literal box, that they go in, but generally, in their little segmented area of what they do, they can fulfil, and they, you know, and it’s people who, you know, it would be very easy for me, or for an account manager, to sit, to look at what a tech does, and say, god, how do you do that all day? Like, yes, I like working in accounts, but I also need that, I need other bits as part of it. Do you know what I mean, like with the account management side of it, like, you know, we all need different things, so if you can identify what drives that person, too, someone else might look at what that guy was doing, flattening boxes, and be like, oh my god, how do you do that all day? But that guy might be like, you know what, I love it, and I do the best job I can do, at flattening a box, like, I love doing that! And if you can find people who do that, which I’m sure you can, I think it’s setting an expectation with yourself, that you’ve got to be realistic with what you want that person to achieve, and if you can get, almost, even if, let’s say, to grow Traffic Snap, it was a setup of, I had a tech guy, or girl, I had someone who looked after purely the connecting of accounts, let’s say, that’s all they did, was connect the accounts, then I had an account manager, then I had somebody who did the copying for the ads, as long as everyone’s briefed, and we’re all on the same, and you’ve got someone overseeing, that everybody’s on the same page. Everybody can then, in their own little segmented way, do their job, and then, that will hopefully come together, as a joint project, do you know what I mean? You don’t need someone who writes ads, to create a monthly report and send it to the client, because they like writing ads, and they’re studying writing ads, and that’s what their passion is, is to write, you know, compelling copy for adverts. Whereas the person who’s going to connect all the accounts, they just want to connect accounts, like, they love that whole process of connecting accounts, it’s, they don’t want anything more, they just want to do that process, whereas the account manager, loves talking to clients, they love getting the picture, they love getting the objectives, and knowing what the benchmarks are, and you know, doing all that sort of stuff, I think if you can, not in an ideal world, because that won’t exist, but in a nice way. If you can find that fit, that is how I see Traffic Snap going, is having that fit, with the right people in the right places, because that also gives you the number of eyes looking at one account, which again, is a very rare thing, I think, a lot of agencies have an account manager, who also looks after the account. That’s okay if you have the right number of accounts. When you’re overfilled, and you’re over capacitated, that’s where we can start to go a little bit pink tongue. But then, if you’ve got a number of pieces in the puzzle, where we’re all working towards the same objective, but we all got different views, kind of thing, we’re similar in a lot of ways, in terms of what we want to achieve, but I think that’s also quite a nice setup. So, my, maybe I’ll be in form of that.
John – Mm-hm.
Jason – I like the sound of that. So, Tash, you’ve been one of our 1%-ers, since, like, last year, how was the 1%, compared to you in your journey?
Tash – I definitely think it has helped towards my thinking around this topic, with expanding the business, because there’s a lot of people in the 1% who are quite courageous in action and stuff, that you could easily sit there and look and think, I don’t know if I want to do that. That might be too stressful, that might be too, whatever, and I think, definitely, with you guys, and the support you give, and the kind of views, and the different perspectives that everybody brings, it actually shows you that you sitting on your own, and thinking of something that might be a bit of a feat to overcome. But actually it’s possible, but you’ve just got to have the other perspectives, and the other views and the other guidance, to be able to give you the reality that you might be able to, like, move in that direction, do you know what I mean? The coaching cause, because they’re so open with people being able to talk about what they need to talk about, and the people you’ve got in a room, in terms of their experience, I mean, again, you know, without this voice creeping in, and saying, is my business good enough, is it big enough, whatever? You know, I’m in a room with lots of people, who have got lots of different-sized businesses, and sometimes the questions they ask, I would sit here sometimes and think, oh, wasn’t that nice, but I was too scared, because I feel like, you know, might be a silly question, whatever, it gives you that perspective again, of… You just feel part of something, like you’ve got other people there, who are in the same position as you, who are thinking in the same problems as you. But also, I think it helps you build the confidence, to be able to say, actually, maybe I need to think a bit differently about the business, maybe I need accountability, so that, like now, I know you’re going to ask me at some point, when I’m going to grow the business. Kudos for that, we’re going to have a timescale on that, aren’t we. It’s interesting, because obviously, you mentioned it just now, and it threw me back to a conversation we had, like, literally the week before you joined the 1%, where you said, if my business is only me, is it big enough, is my business big enough?
John – Yeah, I remember, we were having lunch.
John – Has your thinking on that changed now?
Tash – Yeah. Yeah, I want to go into business, that’s what I want to do, I don’t, like, again, like I say, I’m not looking to scale to whatever, whatever, but I definitely see the business go in a direction, where I would like to say, in a year’s time. You know, I would have a little bit of a different setup here, where, again, I like, when you say in how, about chaos and in an environment where people like chaos and previous roles, and stuff. You know, I’ve seen firsthand, as well, about hiring fast, hire fast, hire fast, hire fast, wouldn’t be the way I would do it, just because, some people do say, hire… What do they say, yeah, they say, at least if either way around, you hire slow, fire fast, or I don’t know, anyway. Like, there’s go…
John – I’ve heard of it, yeah.
Tash – For me, it’s not, for me, this growth isn’t about saying to myself, if it was in the next six months, you need to have found whatever, you need to have done this, you need to have done that, what it’s about, for me, is saying, if you can find the right sort of people who fit into the right pieces of the puzzle, that you want them to be, do it, don’t have the fear, do it. So, I’m not, what I’m not doing here, is saying, by, you know, six months’ time, regardless of the quality of the person, I’m going to have an account manager, I’m going to have whatever, what I’m saying, is my path now, is about finding, you know, these are the people..
John – Or the person.
Tash – The right people who can be part of this. And whether that takes me three months, six months, whatever, what I’ve overcome, is the fear of doing it, I feel. That, don’t get me wrong, when I’m doing it, I might be on a 1% call, saying, I’ll just hide for the day, I’m shitting myself, like, have I done the right thing? I’m on, I’m kind of on this side about that. That, naturally, could occur, and it probably will, because…
– But then, what you’ll find on that coaching call, you’ll have twelve, fifteen other business owners, who are new, yeah, I remember that, yeah, it is scary, yeah.
Tash – Yeah, and you’re crying, and like, at the end of the day, it will be okay, because…
Jason – It will be all right.
Tash – You face challenges, you overcome then, so, I don’t, in any way, anticipate this to be, like, a real romantic, like, way of hiring people whatever, but if I can get the right people, and put them into the right places, I think that would be an asset to Traffic Snap, I won’t see that as a sacrifice, I will see it as a potential to grow.
Tash – And that’s what my plan is.
John – Absolutely fantastic. Well, we’ll just wrap up today’s podcast. Absolutely brilliant, thank you very much for coming in and joining us, if anybody wants to hear a little bit more from you, or find out a little bit more about Traffic Snap, how is the best way that they can get in touch with you?
Tash – So, you can contact me directly, via my email address, if you would like, so it’s email@example.com, you can do that, or you can to my website, which is www.trafficsnap.co.uk, there’s lots of, the knowledge centre on there shares lots of information about the stuff that I talk about, that’s PPC-related, there’s packs on there, that you can have a look at, there’s a contact form, there’s phone numbers, there’s whatever, so, if you want to visit there too, you can have a look, and then you might get followed around by my remarketing, which will be cool for you to see, what remarketing is, so, do that then.
Tash – Fantastic, thanks ever so much for joining us today, Tash, that’s brilliant.
– You know, we haven’t even thought of remarketing, yeah, for a year.
Tash – Thanks for listening, once again, everybody, as always, you will find the show notes, the video, transcription, all the goodies, on the website, at bigidea.co.uk, where, if you pop your email address, then you can also get a free weekly big idea from us. Thanks again, and we’ll see you next time. Bye-bye! So, there we are, another episode in the can, how was it for you? Please let us know, however you listen to these podcasts, please leave a review, on that platform, let us know what we can do better, what you like, what you don’t like, and how we can improve, to make this show even better for you. We’ll see you next time.
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