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A Week in My Life: Richard Michie, Founder and CEO, The Marketing Optimist

Richard Michie

Richard Michie is founder and CEO of The Marketing Optimist, a Leeds-based digital marketing consultancy.

He founded the business in 2016, after more than 25 years working for a number of big brands both in-house and in agencies.

Starting his career in the 90s, Michie has experienced the rapid change in the marketing industry and now uses his traditional direct marketing background to provide a focused and measured approach to the digital marketing world.

As well as an expert marketer and CEO, Richard is also an avid public speaker and volunteer fundraiser for Simon on The Streets.

He shares a recent week in his life.

Monday

Monday morning, after school run, always begins with a team meeting over Zoom. We’re all remote now with people in Yorkshire, Northumberland and now Bulgaria. We went fully remote at the beginning of the pandemic and we’re not going back.

Following that call I’m off to see a client in Sheffield to take some candid photos of their team to use in their social media campaigns. We like to do things a little differently so this involved a Polaroid camera and some very shy clients. Photos always make people run for the hills.

It’s nice to get back to my home city too.

Tuesday

Got approval for a new video to go live for our Pest Control client, which is a tricky client to work on. Everyone begins to itch just thinking about it. You’re probably itching now just reading about it.

Next, I went along to a prospective client visit in Leeds, to talk about a paid media campaign.

Most of the afternoon was spent deleting emails telling me I could have 160 meetings in a week with their secret service.

We’re hiring a new social media exec so also had a good discussion with Jonathan Hirst from Network Marketing about who we need and what skills I’m looking for. Recruitment is really tough at the moment, but Jonathan is a trusted ally who’ll bring me the best candidates. It makes life much easier having someone who knows us well to give us a hand.

I tried watching Ahsoka tonight but I couldn’t get into it, so switched back to The Bear which is so intense.

Wednesday

An early start videoing a client interview over Zoom. Our telecoms client is spread across the UK and US so Zoom was the only way to record the video for their event. Early starts aren’t really my thing but we got the clips we needed to keep this project moving.

A client site went live, these are always nervous days. Everything always looks good on the development site, but until it’s live and has been sitting for a few days everyone is on edge. This site was a collaboration between us and the client, they built the site in-house and we supplied the SEO and copy. Working this way has its challenges but with enough planning, it’s come together nicely.

Thursday

Before work, while my daughter watched too much YouTube before school (have you seen Mr Beast? Where does he get the money from?), I write out a long LinkedIn Post to go live early on. I’m a big user and I like to post several times a day to keep my hand in as it’s a great opportunity to try ideas that can be translated over to client work. I take the pain of failures so they don’t have to. I now have a very bruised ego!

On this morning’s team Zoom, we only have two per week, we talked about how we can help clients with “invisible” products like software and services come to life. As a cross-discipline and now cross-cultural team it’s really interesting to hear new ideas and perspectives.

It was a big day today too as my 9-year-old daughter walked home from school halfway, so I took a break at 3 to get her and then on to Gymnastics at 4. The drive was improved by Elastica being on the radio “Make a cuppa tea, put a record on”. There are definite benefits to working from home.

Friday

Today is newsletter day on LinkedIn. As well as posting each day, probably too often, I’m beginning to do a weekly newsletter. I might even mention writing this as it’s quite a highlight of my week! With a few under my belt, I’m starting to see traction. Also, it’s less hassle than a podcast, everyone’s got a podcast these days.

We’re putting on an event as part of the Leeds Digital Festival. We’ve been involved for quite a few years now. So this afternoon is corralling the speakers into supplying their slides and doing some social and pitching for our event “Get to the Point” which is a night of speed presentations. It’s great fun and a real buzz to run but it’s bloody stressful beforehand.

Finishing the week with a family meal out. My stepdaughter leaves for University in Derby tomorrow, so there’s a few tears over steak in the restaurant.

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