A Week in My Life: Jonny Longden, Conversion Director at Journey Further
Jonny Longden, Conversion Director at Journey Further, shares what a week in his working week is all about...
Pretty much every day, my day starts by getting up with my kids, making them breakfast and getting them ready for nursery/school. Some people might see this as a chore but it's one of my favourite times of the day. I'm also lucky that I am a very early riser.
I travel to work by train. I'm at my most productive when I’m commuting as there’s a natural deadline to work towards. Monday mornings invariably involve catching up on a load of RSS feeds and writing a bunch of LinkedIn posts which I schedule to go out that week or beyond. I find this pretty therapeutic.
I'm incredibly busy at the moment and getting into the office is a bit like being swept into the rapids (in a good way). We’ve won a lot of new business so it’s all hands to the pump while we grow the Conversion team.. I’m lucky to have Sam, my extremely talented developer, to keep me sane. I’d be in trouble if he wasn’t here.
I have a fairly long call with a client before heading home, trying to get the rest of the week in order. I finish the day as I started, playing with the kids before bathing them and putting them to bed, which they seem to manage to stretch out a bit longer every day.
I am asleep by about 9:30.
On the way to work this morning I receive an RFP which is very exciting and would be a big deal if it came off. I knew this was brewing but the timing isn't great as I have holiday coming up, so I need to do some careful planning around how to respond.
Much of my day is spent delivering core work for clients; running digital analysis on various sites, setting up remote user testing, performing heuristic analyses etc - and ultimately working out what the most impactful experiments are that we can run.
We conclude a test which has been running for a couple of weeks which modifies the filtering functionality of an ecommerce site. It’s a success and results in a 15% uplift in conversion across the whole site so very lucrative to the client. This is the reason I love what I do.
At home, I manage to get the kids to bed and do some exercise. I am addicted to an app called Freeletics, which is a personal training app for exercise without equipment. It works for me because for some reason I have this absolute compulsion to do exactly what it tells me, no matter how hard it is.
Today I drive to Birmingham to pitch to a potential new client. I hate driving long distances and find it a massive waste of time as it’s not possible to do any work. The trip is definitely not a waste of time though, as I have a great meeting with the client which I am confident will convert to business.
I really enjoy presenting to clients as I’m so passionate about what I do. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from showing people there is a better way of doing web development. There’s no longer a need to guess what will work on a website, because the web is so unbelievably data rich. It's so rewarding to open people's eyes to this and get them excited about the possibilities.
I make it back to the office with some time to spend catching up with our marketing manager and discuss future plans around PR and events.
At home that evening, my wife and I suddenly realise that we are going on holiday in a couple of weeks, which results in a frantic bout of online shopping. We are going to Santa Eulalia in Ibiza, which is a regular family holiday for us. Most people are a bit surprised at that, given we take the kids, but Ibiza has a whole different side to it. It's an awesome place if rather expensive. Anyway, talking about holidays seems like a good excuse to have a glass of wine.
I work from home first thing and then attend my eldest son's school sports day before heading into the office. I have an easy way of prioritising things which is to ask myself what I would think was most important if I could look back in 10 years. It’s a no brainer.
I manage to do some much needed strategic planning and thinking about our growth on my train. I walk to the office in a positive mood, excited about what we are building.
In the office, I spend a couple of hours watching the results of remote user testing on a client’s site, which is time consuming but very worthwhile as it always throws up lots of new ideas.
In the evening I manage to read some philosophy, Heidegger, which is a hobby of mine but something I spend far too little time on.
Into the office early. My main focus today is getting stuck into that RFP, so I block out everything with headphones for a good part of the day. Whilst it's a time consuming process, it's a great opportunity to continually evolve your story about what you do and why, and the value it creates. I make good progress.
It’s the end of the week and I spend a bit of time chatting to colleagues over a couple of drinks towards the end of the day. I spent the first 12+ years of my career in agencies before a five-year stint client-side. The thing I always missed the most about agencies was the culture, which in my experience, is a lot like working with close friends as opposed to work colleagues. We put a lot of effort into cultivating the culture at Journey Further, so it’s a fantastic environment to work in. We have a good laugh talking nonsense before I head back to Harrogate to meet a former colleague for a few more beers.