The agency lessons and experiences that enabled me to launch to my own

‘It’s all about first impressions.” The experiences we have in our careers drive us forward and help us to carve out what we really want when we eventually start businesses of our own. We know what works.

In episode 4, Katie chats to Sam Booth, Founder and CEO of Just After Midnight about the incredible experiences he had in his early 20’s at an extremely successful agency in London, and the tricks he’s now taken into his own company a decade on. 

They share the pain of losing pitches but also the golden moments where you know you’re in the right place at the right time with the client’s you should be working with. Listen to the full episode to hear them pick each others’ brains about some of the agency world’s best kept secrets!

Word on the Street is sponsored by Just After Midnight, supporting your websites and applications 24/7. They provide managed cloud, 24hr monitoring and support and DevOps. Get a month free here:

Links & references 

Katie Street:

Street Agency:

Get in touch: [email protected] 

Sam Booth:

Just After Midnight:

Reading Room:

Episode highlights

“I wasn’t great at doing the university side of things. I had my BMW one series and a laptop and a phone and I just rocked around in my little suit thinking I was the bee’s knees.” Sam Booth

“So by the time I was 25, I was on the board of the London team, which was 120-130 people at the time. So it was me, the MD, and an Ops Director, and I was sort of thrown into that role and responsible for bringing in around £8 million.” Sam Booth

“One of the things that really attracted me to go into “Reading Room” at the time was that they had a really, really strong brand. In the market, they were well known, especially for winning new business. I don’t think a lot of other agencies particularly liked them for that reason.” Sam Booth

“Back then you could just rock up to a business selling a couple of items and say “If you have a website, you can open yourself up to the world!” It sounds ridiculous now but back then they were a new shop front.” Sam Booth

“I think agencies need to do this, both with their value proposition and also when they have the opportunity. I think because everyone’s very focused on creating the opportunity, they almost forget to do the brilliant conversion stuff that you were doing back then. That machine has to run perfectly, you know, understanding their business needs and understanding the individuals needs. If you can map back and make your solution work for those two things, then you’ve won before you even do anything else.” – Katie Street

“I would respond to almost everything very quickly. Because in the client’s mind, if you’re responding quickly and comprehensively and accurately and with extra detail and adding value at that point, their natural assumption is that is how that organisation is going to be working throughout the whole thing. So if you’re looking at someone doing a six month project for you, if they seem really together, then that’s gonna put your mind at rest.” Sam Booth

“A good tip for listeners; Always keep those relationships open. Don’t just forget about them. keep them warm. Keep them in your contact database, make sure you’re reaching out to them because you never know what might happen.” Sam Booth

“So at Reading Room, we never did a single event to my memory. We did a few tradeshows and stands. I found those have been the absolute best thing for us. Especially in places where there are a lot of companies saying similar things, you can say something different, and it catches the eye, and we can actually directly attribute success in terms of new clients to that kind of activity.” Sam Booth