Hello there! I’m Sam, and I’d like to take you on a journey through the journey that has shaped me into the agency owner I am today. My story begins in the Welsh valleys, where higher education and a conventional career were not initially on my radar.

A Valley Beginnings

I hail from the Welsh valleys, a place where dreams often stay confined to the horizon. The concept of university seemed impractical, given the limited economic prospects in the local area. The allure of a traditional career didn’t resonate with me either. But one day, a persuasive lecturer convinced me that the path to knowledge was worth the financial sacrifice, leading me to the transformative world of higher education.

University and Beyond

Going to university changed my life, I got out of the bubble of the Welsh valleys and realised there’s a much bigger world out there. I also met my now Wife in the first few days of university where we both agreed to persue our dreams to head to London.

Agency Insights

I left university and hired as an agency owners first in-house employee. This gave me invaluable experience into running an agency without the actual pain of owning one. I learned a tonne of knowledge and experience that, little did I know that this experience would prove invaluable later in life when I set up my own agency.

The Rise and Fall

The agency I worked for experienced a strong growth period hitting a team of around 8 people. However, eventually things took a turn for the worst and the founder decided to sell up to another agency. I transitioned with the clients to a new agency, a place where I learned a great deal about my specialty, SEO. I also met my future business partner at this agency. Yet, the toxic culture eventually led me (& him) to seek new horizons. This was a big learning for me and the impact a bad culture can have on the staff and the success of the agency. When we initially set up our agency my business partner and I set out to create a company culture the direct opposite to our experience at this agency.

Cultivating a New Path

My next move took me in-house at MADE.com, where I led SEO efforts across 5 international markets. The experience boosted my confidence in my discipline as I significantly contributed to MADE.com‘s non-brand SEO growth by over £20 million in just two years. While in-house was a great experience, I couldn’t shake the allure of agency life—the camaraderie, the diverse range of accounts, and the culture.

Building NOVOS

At this point, I knew there was a gap in the market. After having leading SEO agencies pitch to me at MADE.com and realizing their knowledge gaps within eCommerce SEO, I teamed up with my business partner to launch NOVOS. In under three years, we grew it to a thriving agency with over 40 team members, earning accolades for both our work and our strong culture.

A New Chapter

Our journey with NOVOS was nothing short of an adventure, navigating through Brexit, a pandemic, lockdowns, and economic uncertainties. In March 2022, we took a unique route by selling the agency to our own staff through an employee ownership model. We were the first agency in the sector to take this route and I’ll be writing a lot about this experience. It’s way to sell your business that not many agency owners are aware of but it’s a model myself and my business partner are very passionate about.

Life’s Whirlwind

The year 2022 brought more profound changes. Shortly after getting married, we sold the business, I moved into my forever home in North London and became a dad for the first time —all within the space of six months.

The Living House and Beyond

In 2023, I invested part of the NOVOS sale proceeds in The Living House, a virtual interior design company—a niche I’ve always been passionate about. Owning two agencies sparked a desire to share my experiences and knowledge with other entrepreneurs, leading to the creation of agnc.

the agnc: A Hub for Knowledge and Community

the agnc. which stands for Agency Growth, Network, and Community, is my platform for sharing insights gained from my journey. The concept of agnc. is to provide knowledge I wish I had access to when i was starting my agency adventure.

My aim is to provide a different perspective on agency knowledge, one that doesn’t just focus on the success of one agency but explores what works across various sectors and situations. This insight is coming from someone who’s still operating within agencies and not an exited founder or growth consultant.

Premium members can submit questions to me and I share my answers with the wider community like an advice column.

Join Me in This Journey

Over time I plan to invest or set up additional agencies, if you have an idea or concept you are passionate about then drop me a message I’d love to hear it. I can either invest, co-own/support or just pass you on to other people in my network.

If you’re interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas for future topics, or simply hearing more about agnc. please drop me an email at [email protected] or reach out to me on social media.