Captivating new clients with creativity

“Vexillifer” might be one of the most unconventional job titles around, held by Elmwood owner Jonathan Sands. Jonathan’s 38 year commitment to his brand, combined with extensive experience as an advisory board member for ANDigital, demonstrate his comprehensive understanding of the agency world.

In this week’s story-laden Word On The Street, Jonathan details the ambitious strategies that helped him find projects worth millions at a cost of only £600, the importance of working relationships being a two-way street, and the 7 things you need to do to win every pitch.

This episode covers

  • Key qualities of staff that help agencies grow
  • Maintaining the right structure in your business
  • Demonstrating creativity to win work
  • Choosing the right clients to work with
  • Walking away from ill-fitting relationships
  • 7 things to win every pitch
  • Staying agile

Word on the Street is lucky enough to be sponsored by the wonderful team at Just After Midnight who are experts in uptime. Whatever the issue, whatever the time of day, they are supporting your websites and applications 24/7, while your team sleeps. Learn more:

Links & references (include in Blog Post)

Katie Street:

Jonathan Sands:

Elmwood Brand Consultancy:

Get in touch: [email protected]

Episode highlights (include in Blog Post)

“I eventually found this title “Vexillifer”, which is the flag bearer of a Roman legion. Romans used to have a flag bearer at the front of the army, and that seemed appropriate because I am the flag bearer. ” – 5:39 – Jonathan Sands

“There’s a quote by Jerry Garcia, and it said ‘It’s no longer good enough to be the best of the best, you have to be the only ones who do what you do’. I just thought that was really profound, so we’ve adopted that as an ethos.” – 8:37 – Jonathan Sands

“I hope there’s starting to be more of a collaborative, positive partnership attitude to the agency industry which, if you go back to the ‘Mad Men’ days wasn’t quite there. I certainly feel like there’s a bit of a shift, and I definitely think that agencies can do a lot better if we do play nicely in the sandpit.” – 18:12 – Katie Street

“Sir John Sorrell as he now is, and Sir Ken Grange as he now is, they took me under their wing – this kid from the north who’s not a threat. They mentored me and helped me, and I’ve never forgotten that.” – 19:01 – Jonathan Sands

“Actually, we’ve resigned two of our biggest clients in the past, just because they didn’t make us get up with a smile on our face in the morning. Life is too short, and you do your best work for people you like.” – 30:27 – Jonathan Sands

“In the agency world, there just isn’t room for those dictatorship leaders anymore. The people that are much more giving, kind, helpful and open; as an agency owner, you’ll do a lot better because people want to want to buy that.” – 34:57 – Katie Street

“Only work with people where you know there’s mutual respect, where it’s about integrity. Then they will become your best friends, and they’ll be clients for life.” – 46:20 – Jonathan Sands

“At the bottom of the Elmwood identity, you’ll find this strange word, which is called WIBSCAT. It’s seven letters, and it’s the seven things that you need to do to win a pitch.” – 50:27 – Jonathan Sands