A Week in My Life: Joe Gilliver, Founder, The Chameleon Agency
The Chameleon Agency is an external and internal communications agency which was founded by Joe Gilliver.
Offering a global network of event directors, producers, strategists, creatives, designers and more, the agency works with clients including PetMedix, House My Pet and Rejuvenate Bio, creating attention-grabbing campaigns from its base in Manchester city centre.
Its founder has experience working with leading brands worldwide, and has brought together a remote team with experience across sectors.
We found out what a week in his life looked like...
It’s 6am and the dog is howling, ready for a walk and not caring that his owners may appreciate a bit of a lie-in on Monday morning, especially considering he’s done the same at the weekend.
But as a person who's naturally lazy sometimes, it is a good nudge to get out of bed and start the week off on the right foot.
As quite an active person I enjoy the morning dog walk to help clear my head and prepare mentally for the day. Once back from the walk, if there’s time, I’ll head to the gym before settling down to start work around 8:30 or 9am.
Mondays are an important day for me. I feel like if I start the week on a good note and have a productive day, the rest of the week will follow suit. It is the day for setting up the week, getting everyone’s priorities in order on projects and planning for the two weeks ahead.
However, this Monday, I’m not fully feeling up to the day as I’m feeling the effects of the second day of a hangover. Those pesky friends always tempt you into one more drink and with every year I get older, the worse the hangovers get!
Two cups of coffee later and having trained at the gym however, I’m actually surprised at the amount of energy I have.
6pm comes and I’m glad to be able to log off, walk the dog again, sort my to-do list for Tuesday out, have dinner and then chill out and continue watching Peaky Blinders again in preparation for Season 6.
If you have a dog you’ve probably guessed how today starts. Dog walk again... followed by the gym.
This was a bit of a weird Tuesday. I didn’t book in any meetings - that’s because today was the day Barklay, the dog, had his manhood taken away. Which meant he needed to be dropped at the vet first thing and then picked up at some point in the day. So I decided to keep the day free in order to be able get him and also look after him once he was back.
It did make for a very productive day though. Not having meetings meant everything on my list from Monday I could work through.
I planned out the show for an upcoming virtual event - ensuring all the content, speakers, graphics, etc. was in the correct order. This was then sent to the production team who build the show in a piece of software called VMix before rehearsals.
I reviewed the strategy for a launch campaign that we are doing with a start-up. They want pet businesses to sign up to a new service they are providing, and have asked us to do the campaign to engage their audience. This means managing the strategy, creative direction and execution of the campaign, including ad spend.
For this particular campaign, I’ve brought on a marketing specialist who focuses on pre-launch and launch campaigns and a creative director who has experience and knowledge of the animal health industry. I’m going back through everything we've discussed and putting it into a full plan for the client - we’re going to do a video and content campaign that is supported by very targeted advertising.
As the campaign advances, we'll be refining the ad strategy and also update the creative to tie in with certain times of year, continually keeping it relevant.
I pick Barklay up, and give him some love and affection as he had a bit of a bad time at the vets and they struggled to get his IV drip out.
Then, onto finalising a presentation for something I’m doing tomorrow morning.
Today is rest day, so no training, and with Barklay still on meds he’s fast asleep at 6am. Makes a change.
What this means is a bit of a lie in every morning for the coming week as he recovers. More than likely though, I’ll use the extra time in the morning to get to the gym earlier and spend some time reading or doing some extra work bits.
Am I a workaholic? Possibly. Or, do I just really enjoy what I do and enjoy the challenge of my work? Absolutely. I don’t like wasting time at all. Which is maybe to my detriment, as a few years back I did really hit burnout level, which taught me that I need to step back from working to rest the brain and body.
Since then, I've had a much healthier work/life balance. But that doesn’t mean I won’t work a 50- or 60-hour week if needed. Sometimes it’s required. But if it is, I may take an extra day off the following week, or at least a half day.
Today I use the extra time to clear any emails received overnight and finalise my presentation for the networking event I’m attending. Every Wednesday morning between 10am and 12pm is dedicated to attending a weekly BNI networking event. At this particular one I’m giving a presentation to give the group more insight into me and the business.
The rest of the day is then spent running a virtual event from home. It’s a weird feeling running a virtual event from the home office. When live events were taking place, I was used to being in hotels and conference centres. Since lockdown I’ve mainly been used to helping clients reach their audience through TV style broadcasts from studios across the country.
Now I’ve done a few virtual events from home, and it’s a weird feeling not being near any crew who are running the broadcast but still being able to talk to them perfectly and run the show as if we were in the same room. Technology! What a life saver.
I kicked off Thursday with heading back to the gym before a busy day of meetings. And what a smorgasbord of meetings.
First, a one-to-one with a fellow member of BNI to get to know them and their business more. I’ve always been a bit against networking but I have to say this is the only group I’ve attended that is actually engineered towards helping provide referrals for people.
After a bit of chat, we go into what sort of people we're looking to be introduced to, and what questions are best to ask people we are looking to provide intros to.
Next up is a discussion with a new virtual event platform about a potential partnership. They have a great offering and have some clients coming directly to them, but they don’t have the skillset in-house to pull off the broadcast production side of things. So we’ve opened discussions as to how we could work with them on this and help plug the gap.
Then, a project meeting about an upcoming virtual event.
Last, but not least, I have a new briefing call. This comes through a very old family friend who's been seeing what Chameleon has been up to for the past year and decided to reach out. It just goes to show, you never know where briefs could come from.
He’s the Marketing Manager for a software company that provides very niche solutions within the warehouse, ports and terminals industry. They're going to be launching a new product to around 100 prospects and wanted to discuss some ideas. We’re now in the process of pulling together some thought starter ideas to give an idea of what could be done with different budget levels. Rather excited about this as it could be a really interesting campaign.
I finalise the briefing form from the call and send it to a Creative Director, send my friend some case studies, and log off before hitting the kitchen to rustle up a lovely dinner for my girlfriend and I.
I try to keep Fridays as free as possible from meetings so that I can wrap up the week and plan for the following one.
Today was no exception with just one half an hour meeting in the day. I spent a good portion of the day coming up with an example of how we could partner with the new events platform to deliver the broadcast/livestream elements.
Once this had been sent over, I tied up some admin bits that had been put on the back burner and then started cooking a roast dinner. Bet you’re thinking, a roast dinner, on a Friday!? Crazy - possibly. But more that there was a whole chicken in the fridge from last week that didn’t get cooked and needed eating. I hate wasting food so thought: why not, let’s have a roast!