Magicians Sometimes Reveal Their Secrets - How to make £40 become £100,000
November 10th 2021
Author Harry Robson
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Two Thirds Different was founded with £40. Relying purely on the continual reinvestment of profits from this £40, the Digital Marketing agency has turned over £100,000 in its first year. Although our story involves magic, there’s no trick. We’re just spellbindingly good at growing a business - yours and ours - online. Want to know how we did it?
You will need:
I) A Wizard and a Pirate
To begin our story we have to turn back time all the way to September 2009. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was in cinemas, the search engine Bing was invented, and our two Founding Directors had full heads of hair (or more of it at least). Two Thirds Different’s Chris Dillon and Sam Howard would meet for the first time at Winchester University, with the former studying Performance Management and the latter, Street Art. For the next ten years, they would use their natural understanding of a public audience in various colourful occupations, here in the UK and in Spain. Sam, a professional close-up magician, made cards dance through his fingers (and still does), while Chris spun decks as a DJ, eventually dropping anchor in Majorca with Pirates Adventure as the charismatic host of Gringos Bingo. Behind the velvet curtain however, both men were in the commercial engine room. Our Wizard worked as Head of Digital Marketing at Clapham Grand nightclub, and our Pirate plugged Pirates Adventure in the exact same role, on top of being the first and only customer service point for the huge tourist attraction. Being a magician and a swashbuckling show host might seem like elaborate secret identities used to conceal double lives as Digital Marketing experts, but in fact this our Founders’ experience with large physical audiences directly informed their understanding of virtual ones. Two Thirds Different, the company that Chris and Sam would go on to found, owes much of its success to their knowledge of who needs to see what, and when they need to see it. A fusion of this intuitive relationship with the general public and their technological expertise, would prove essential in the months to come....
II) A vanishing audience
‘You can’t save souls in an empty church’. Little did David Ogilvy (nicknamed the father of modern advertising) know how prescient his words would become. On the 16th of March 2020 not only did the churches empty, but the cinemas, theatres, clubs and just about everything else. Spain (where Chris was working) started to tighten its borders, and the Clapham Grand shut its doors. Crowds disappeared practically overnight. But as the lights went out all over the world, a light above Chris and Sam’s head switched on. Finding an audience (or “souls” as Ogilvy put it) for your online advertising would become ever more necessary if companies were to survive the global shutdown. Both of them understood that people’s businesses were their livelihoods, and that without the proper resources, time, or marketing nouse, they would fail to adapt expeditiously and ultimately perish. Something had to be done. With our Founders’ knowledge of social media advertising (Facebook in particular), Chris and Sam had an awareness of where the appropriate audience would be in the threads of the online web, and how to target them in a financially efficient and specific way. Just as the first wave hit, they had the foresight to form a digital marketing agency that would capitalise upon the incoming tide of potential customers on social media, as the average time spent by UK users on such sites would increase by a whopping 36% in the next month.
III) A moment of magic
A day later, at 9:42pm on the 17th of March 2020, a Google Document was created by Chris and Sam called simply “Marketing Company”. In the original blueprint for Two Thirds Different, you can find the desire to combine technological expertise with an empathetic understanding of its own employees, its clients and their consumers. “Customer Service” is in bold and underlined. You can also find, written at 5:28pm on the 19th of March, the need for a ‘f****** good name’. Hours later this prayer would be answered, as an ordinary sentence about ‘maybe 2/3 different brands’ was transformed automatically into ‘⅔ different’. Seeing the opportunity for the perfect name, “Marketing Company” became Two Thirds Different, and the agency as we now know it was born. Our name has proven to be usefully unique, as our website and its affiliates now fill the whole first page and a half of a Google search. In just over a fortnight later, on the 6th of April 2020, our Founders officially formed their first Digital Marketing company, with Chris Dillon providing a staggering £20 for its logo, and Sam Howard contributing an eye wateringly equal sum for the domain name. Since this exciting origin story, rivalling that of The Boy Who Lived, Two Thirds Different has turned over £100,000 in its first year, without a single penny of external investment. Solely out of money made from that first £40, Chris and Sam have grown a company capable of handling nearly 40 employees by this Christmas. They realised that if you got into the mind of the people buying your clients’ products, the clients themselves, and the employees who would be creating their campaigns, Two Thirds Different would aid rapid growth for both itself and the companies it served. The emphasis from the beginning would be on a tailor-made approach - an understanding that each individual employee, client and customer has their own specific needs. Advertising must be created as if ‘from one human being to another, in second person singular’.
IV) An opening flourish
“If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you being able to advertise anything else”. In May 2020, a friend of Sam’s from the wizarding world posts on Facebook about a problem with his Facebook ads. Sam leaves a comment offering to help, and after a short video call with both him and Chris, an infant Two Thirds Different solves the problem in the back end of his campaign within 30 minutes. As our founders refuse to accept payment for such a short amount of time, Sam’s grateful friend instead rewards them with an incredibly grateful recommendation on Facebook. The owner of a certain large magic shop saw this high praise, and hunted for the Two Thirds Different Facebook page. Already itching to grow his Facebook ad presence having moved his entire business online in the wave of the pandemic, the owner arrives from there at our then newly launched website. He is immediately referred to a live chat, and then jumps onto a video call with Chris and Sam. Our Founders made a proposal, and just three weeks later in June 2020, an only two month old Two Thirds Different landed their first major client. Fastforwarding to today, we have successfully converted 237 opportunities, serviced 166 paying clients, and are working for 43 of those on our current books. Since its foundation, Two Thirds Different has understood that generous service and free advice can work as an advert for itself, displaying its “magic show” with no charge for a ticket.
V) Some glamorous assistants
Our two Directors have so far been the main characters in this story. Sorry Mr. Dillon and Mr. Howard, but it’s high time we introduce some members of the team, without whom Two Thirds Different would not be where, or what, it is today. In August 2020 Emmy Luyindula became the company’s first official employee, beating hundreds of applicants to the position of Digital Marketing Team Leader. Shortly after, Ryan Horner, a friend and sales expert from Chris’ party boy days in Magaluf, was dragged kicking and screaming from the dance floor and taken on board as Head of Sales. Then in March 2021, the first round of workers from the government’s new “Kickstart” scheme were taken on, allowing Two Thirds Different to hire from a broader range of talent and experience. This included Jess Hooker, who is still with us as a Digital Marketing Assistant. Throughout the rest of the year, Two Thirds Different have taken on 18 kickstarters, and have been approved for 14 more. Our founders have maintained an excellent relationship both with the DWP, and internally between their young and fast-growing crew. Helped by Kayleigh Dillon, who became our very own Director of Happiness in May 2021, Chris and Sam have successfully nurtured an incredibly healthy interpersonal environment - certainly a feat in the difficult waters of the world of virtual work. One of the first things my fellow copywriter Indera said to me was ‘they’re all so nice here’. Chris, Sam and Kayleigh have repeatedly iterated the mantra that ‘when people are treated like with kindness, they produce their best work’, following David Ogilvy’s advice that ‘To be a good executive, requires that he be understanding, that he be considerate, and that he be human enough to be affectionate’.
VI) A crystal ball
From the very beginning, Two Thirds Different has been led by a tremendously high level of foresight. Out of the desperate situation that faced businesses last year, Chris and Sam had the intuition and ability to create something that could, and would, help. The type of targeted social media advertising at which they were so adept was not only far more streamlined in terms of profit, but also financially irresistible to companies with ever-tightening budgets. In one particularly lucrative ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), every £1 spent on a carefully aimed video pulled in over 1000 views. That’s a miniscule £0.001 per watch. It’s safe to say that our methods have been demonstrably cost-effective. There are three secret tenets woven together to form Two Thirds Different that you’ve read this far to find out. 1) People. The people who work for us, the people we work for, and the people they sell to. 2) Technology. An understanding that the world of Digital Marketing never stands still, particularly on the ever scrolling pages of social media sites. ‘You aren’t advertising to a standing army, you are advertising to a marching parade’. and 3) Success. The fundamental thing about a business is that it’s something you rely upon for financial security and prosperity. We are here to do it for our clients, just as we’ve done it for ourselves. Our ambition is to build something big enough to give back, to expand upon your Digital Marketing knowledge with free expert advice in the blogs to come, and learn from our experts as I hope you have from our story. That’s how you make £40 become £100,000.