Creative Capes podcast

From 0 to the Fastest-Growing Start-Up in Advertising History | Natalie Graeme, Co-Founder of Uncommon

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What is the key to rapid growth? When is it time to expand your team? How should you approach a global expansion? 

In this episode of Agency Growth Stories, Natalie Graeme, Co-Founder of Uncommon – Europe’s fastest-growing start-up in advertising history, answers these questions and more, as she shares her experience of growing Uncommon from 0 to over 200 employees, working with global brand partners – including ITV, WWF, British Airways and SiriusXM –  and creating a memorable brand identity through ingenious PR strategies. 

Here is what we covered: 

00:00:00 - Intro: Who is Natalie Graeme? 

00:01:11 - Rapid Fire Question

00:06:11 - Early Days: The Formative Years of Uncommon 

00:09:55 - Uncommon’s Studio Model

00:14:35 - Uncommon’s Rapid Growth & Secret to Success

00:23:40 - Uncommon’s Global Expansion &The Strategy Behind It

00:32:23 - Growing Beyond 30 People: When to Hire and How to Structure Your Team

00:44:45 - From 70 to 240 People and How Your Role as a Founder Changes

Questions from the Audience

00:52:20 - What are the Most Common Mistakes of Agency Start-ups in The Early Days?

00:53:50 - How do you Control Quality and Production during Growth in a Joint Venture?

00:54:53 - How do you Manage Client-Side Delays and Keep Things Running? 

00:56:20 - How do you Balance Hiring Full-Time Vs. Freelance?

00:58:39 - How did you Secure Funds at the Start?

01:01:53 - How do you Select Clients? 

01:03:33 - Do you work with Retainers or on a One-off Project Basis?

01:04:29 - What was Uncommon’s PR Strategy at the Beginning? 

01:05:34 - What is the difference between your Studio Model and an Advertising Agency?

01:08:28 - How do you Get New Clients without Word of Mouth? 

01:12:13 - How Important is the Agency’s Brand?

Final Advice 

01:15:08 - What Can You Do to Look After Yourself as a Founder? 

01:16:50 - If You Could Change One Thing in the World, What Would It Be?

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