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Pioneer of the Week : Andy Kinsey of SEO Andy

Thought Leader

Pioneer of the Week : Andy Kinsey of SEO Andy

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Name             Andy Kinsey

From              Manchester

Business        SEO Andy – SEO resources and services for small businesses.

Tell us 3 important things we should know about you.

  • What I do is controlled a great deal by my moral compass rather than just by a want such as to make money or to make something look good.
  • I didn’t finish my university degree. Life throws challenges at me from time to time and honestly, I can say not having a degree hasn’t stopped me. If you have the skill and determination it shouldn’t stop anyone.
  • I like to have a good laugh! I work hard and laugh hard, I believe anyone who puts in as many hours as most self-employed people do really do need to put aside a good few hours a month for a good laugh with friends or family.

Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?
SEO Andy was set up in 2008 and has been a team of just me ever since. The business began when a family friend asked if I would help them build their website - and I jumped at the chance. It all grew from there. I spent a year working in-house for a sports company as well as 2 years for a digital agency. But in 2014, SEO Andy again became the only business in my life and has grown pretty much ever since. When I returned full time to SEO Andy things began anew with a more targeted approach to working with small businesses, start-ups and social enterprises/charities – something I have a real passion for.

 

What do you love most about running your own business?
What I really love about running my own business is I can do it from pretty much anywhere, at any time. As I do this interview I’m in my home office, but I prefer to people watch and get inspiration from the outside world. The other great thing about running my own business is that I can create an idea and really run with it, all I need to do is check the data and go for it. There’s no need to wait for a greenlight from anyone other than myself. It makes life so much easier and means I can focus on the puzzle at hand - and making a profit!

 

Tell us about a challenging experience you’ve faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.
The biggest challenge I faced was that until I went full time with SEO Andy in 2014, I wasn’t really taken seriously as an independent consultant.

2014 was a full relaunch for me. I dropped having boring packages that most other SEO agencies offer and instead focused on what I could offer SME’s and social enterprises. I knew I worked best with them and knew that was where my focus needed to be.

 

What advice could you give to other startups about starting up in your industry?
My biggest piece of advice is focus on an industry that really interests you - what makes you buzz with excitement? Think about what’s exciting to you and follow that, make that your niche. There are plenty of businesses online today in pretty much every niche, so make sure you follow your passion project.

 

Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward?
There are two quotes from Steve Jobs that really make an impact on me: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me.” and “I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Put simply, Keep Going and Do Something Great – For Everyone!

Richard Branson is often quoted as having said “Do not be embarrassed by youIMG_2178.JPGr failures, learn from them and start again.” and he’s right, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistakes. SEO Andy has been known to be redesigned 3 times in a year before now because there were issues with the design or it just didn’t perform well. One client site recently relaunched and has gone from a few leads a month to 5 per day; it’s all in the learning.

 

 

Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it?
I have a home office; it’s my base. But I tend to go to coffee shops – I love coffee a lot! I also like to go and sit in client’s offices sometimes. There is often nothing better than immersing yourself in another business’ culture if you are about to write 15 pages of their website content!

 

What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?
I think the best thing anyone could have told me would have been that there is no such thing as an “overnight success” everything takes time and focus is how you will get to your goals.

The other thing I would say that I wish I had known is that you don’t always need to focus on making profit from transactions – if you can break even directly or offset it for a social enterprise or charity because of the social good they do, then it’s can be worth taking the hit to your bottom line.

 

Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?
I am a firm believer that we can all do more to help one another in business as business owners. We all want to thrive ourselves but few want to help others. SEO Andy is a resource about helping others, so my question to you is what are you doing to help other businesses? What social good are you doing in your community?

 

To be an entrepreneur… is to set your mind free to be creative and to run with your ideas, to persevere with them until you yourself are happy with them. Then to find a new idea, and do it again. It’s a cycle that never ends. Entrepreneurship is an addiction to which there is no cure.


If you want to connect with Andy, comment below or follow SEO Andy on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!