Jonathan Guy is Managing Director of Aqueous Digital, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Sutton Weaver, near Runcorn, specialising in SEO and PPC. Jonathan has been a Chartered Marketer for almost twenty years and has an MBA from Henley Management School. He is a recognised authority on SEO and Digital Marketing and regularly speaks at events across the country.
What’s the secret to your success?
There’s no secret here; it’s just hard work. Of course, working hard without a plan behind you is foolish so we spend a lot of time planning in our business to ensure that what we do is strategic, effective and adds value to our customers and ourselves.
Who in your life has influenced you most and why?
There are of course a great many influences across my lifetime however the most lasting has been my wife, Emma. Her belief, spirit and tenacity never fail to amaze me, and she has been the most amazing influence helping us to get to our current stage of growth. She’s the first person I talk to about any business challenge and her ability to find and execute long lasting solutions is wonderful.
What do you do for fun?
I like to spend time with my kids and I also enjoy bird watching and philately. In essence, spending time away from screens is the best way for me to relax!
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
You won’t go bust making a profit.
If you could have a 1 to 1 with anyone past or present who would it be with and why?
I would love to have been able to invite Sir John Harvey Jones into our business and ask his advice. His BBC TV series “Troubleshooter” was one of the things that encouraged me to run my own business.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry right now?
Perception. Too many customers come to us after having a bad experience with another firm in our space and overcoming the general perception that ‘we’re all the same’ is quite hard until they’ve experienced the difference.
Tell us about the most memorable client or customer that you have interacted with during your years in business?
Inconveniently for this interview, I can’t, as before we did any work with them I had to sign an NDA! Needless to say, they are a household name and the work we did helped get them the result they were looking for.
How is Brexit affecting/going to affect your business?
Currently there is no immediate impact however we are expecting and planning for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. As such we are assuming that there will be some knock-on effect but it’s hard to quantity what that might be. Given that we have already worked with companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and The Netherlands we already know that our work transcends borders. We don’t expect Brexit to change that significantly.
Where do you believe are the biggest opportunities right for your business and in your sector?
The biggest opportunities we can see are around helping businesses that already have a good existing audience, better connect with that audience. A lot of the work we currently do is around improving the digital assets a business has and making sure that their website answers the queries their existing and potential customers are asking.
How do you motivate your staff?
They are a pretty self motivated team so it’s not hard to motivate them. Our focus as a business is always on helping them become better so we spend a lot of our time training and developing people. They are really motivated by the feeling that they get from personal development and of course, it helps improve what we deliver as a business, so everyone wins.
What do you most enjoy about running your business?
It has to be the challenge. No two days are the same and as we grow the challenges change. In terms of satisfaction, it has to be the growth that we see in the people who work with us. And any customer who really makes it big definitely makes us happy!