Why Brand Ambition won’t rise at seven

Written by Sam

Having just won a raft of awards, and achieving a £2.5 million turnover in 16 months, the winners of the large agency of the year award (UK Search Awards 2020) started by Stephen Kenwright and Carrie Rose is admirable, but if you are reading this able to afford to work with them, then Brand Ambition probably isn’t for you.

To say the meteoric rise of Sheffield based agency Rise at Seven is a success story would be an understatement. The path to success takes many forms and I wanted to take time to explain why we don’t, won’t and can’t “Rise at Seven”.

So why wouldn’t we want to repeat the success of one of the north’s biggest agencies?

Big agency results.

Freelance Prices

To provide reliable SME marketing services, which at its core help to deliver a growing return on investment, to assist clients to grow.

We are affordable. Not cheap.

But if you get in touch, we will always leave you with something. Even if it’s just a bit of advice.

– Brand Ambition, Core Objective 2020

We’re not in the same markets.

Replicating the same level of success of another agency would be unlikely, Rise were a disrupter in a market that is saturated with large agencies, focusing on obtaining business from medium to large companies. This was never the Brand Ambition path. It’s not something we set out to do, but more to the point, we couldn’t do it even if we tried, our experience is focused on working with smaller companies, achieve amazing things on lower budgets.

It means we exclude large companies, we’re not interested in working with large brands. We love challenger brands, SME’s and start-ups. Our offering is tailored specifically to get the most out of smaller budgets. Just have a look at our work and our results.

We disrupt. But are focused on supporting smaller businesses at a price point that doesn’t replace hiring an internal team or damage the business.

We trust in Organic Growth. We are founded in SEO. We are SEO First™

One of the benefits of working with two experienced business partners is the understanding of growing a business organically. This is compounded by the fact in SEO, we’ve spent years working and waiting for the impact of results through organic results. This isn’t about slowing the pace. It is about minimising the disruption, allowing mistakes to happen and learning from them. Creating loyalty and trust with like-minded business owners and growing together.

Excite. Ignite. Explode.

Brand Ambition wants to be part of the companies we work with. It’s in our process. Whether we are sitting in your office or on a zoom call, responding to an urgent pitch. Working with you on your business growth strategy, or simply providing design assets to improve professionalism. We are Marketing Managers first with a team ready to support and deliver for you, and your company.

As one of our clients has just written in a review:

“It’s always great to find a brand that is strong in identity and creates quality work but to find one that mirrors your own ambitions and ethics and puts the same work into your business is few and far between. The guys have been a real rock for us in what’s been an awful year. Thank you.” Paul Cowen – Rum Razor Barbershop

We don’t want to compete in a saturated market.

When we wanted to understand what sort of agency we wanted to be, we did what we do best. We looked at the data and defined our market.

  • 0.01% of businesses in the UK have above 50 Employees and are not classed as an SME.
  • This makes 43,300 Medium and Large Businesses in 2020.
  • These Businesses spend between 1% and 10% of Turnover on Marketing.
  • They account for 48% of revenue generated in the country.

For us, fighting it out with other agencies, to work with one of those 43,000 companies wasn’t a viable option. Especially, not as a start-up during a pandemic.

So we honed our services around the market we wanted.

  • 52% of the country’s revenue is generated by SMEs. This was £2.2 Trillion in 2019.
  • 5.82 Million businesses are classed as small (0-49 employees) in 2019
  • 1.4 million of those Small Businesses have employees.
  • They account for £1.2 Trillion in revenue.
  • The average marketing spend in a small business is 12-24%.
  • This is an average yearly spend of £31,200 to £64,400.
  • That’s between £2,600 and £5,366 a month. We proudly come in less than that on all our one-off services.

A flexible marketing solution, that offers suggestions based on experience and provides services that solve specific problems and specific objectives.

Clarity and support through detail & understanding.

We are Affordable

Affordable marketing services means two things.

1. We will either do double the amount of work as some agencies for the same budget.


2. We will be half the cost.

This is based on the Clutch SEO List, you can find it here. Verified agencies on this list fill in their own minimum contract value, with the minimum being set at $1,000 (£750).

SEO Agencies in Leeds

Here are some of the top SEO agencies in Leeds and what they’ve written for their services. Full disclosure, the list contained a lot of outdated information, so this might not be as reliable as contacting the agency directly, but we know the information was provided by them.

Agency Minimum Contract Value Per Hour Rate Day Rate at 7.5 Hours Max Hours in a £7,500 Contract
Wildfire Marketing £3,700 £75 to £110 £562.50 to £825 49
Fractl £7,500 Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Modo25 Limited £3,700 Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Cefar £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Twentysix Undisclosed £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
90 Digital £750 £75 to £110 £562.50 to £825 100
Salt.Agency £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Jaywing £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Intermarketing £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Pixelbuilders £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Brass £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Parallax £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
ICS-Digital £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Brand Ambition £750 £50 to £75 £375 to £526.50 150


SEO Belfast

Brand Ambition is a Belfast based agency as much as it is based in Leeds. As a service, SEO is very different in Northern Ireland, the impact of small businesses and building relationships has always been, and will always rely on local search to be at the forefront of N.I. websites. With the constant battle against “excluded from N.I.” at the frustrations of users in the country, we understand the value of strengthening local knowledge with Brand Digital Marketing. Again, data was obtained from Clutch.co and filled in by the agencies themselves

Agency Minimum Contract Value Per Hour Rate Day Rate at 7.5 Hours Max Hours in a £7,500 Contract
Web Bureau £7,500 £40 to £75 £300 to £526.50 187.5
Search Scientist Ltd £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Smarts Communicate £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Digital Twenty Four Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
ProfileTree Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
RLA Group £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Element Seven Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Silverink Web Design Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Blue Monkee Digital £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Codefixer Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Made To Engage £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Thought Collective £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Bluegator Creative £7,500 £110 to £150 £825 to £1,125 68
Brand Ambition £750 £50 to £75 £300 to £526.50 150


We are business support, then marketing.

The last 2 years have had a profound impact on the demand for marketing services. Instead of the massive reduction on spend, recorded, and predicted by Marketing Week, The Drum, and a whole bunch of other reports, search trends report an entirely different story.

Instead of a decline, demand for SEO, Branding and Digital Marketing Agencies have seen increases that match or rise above the demand for traditional Creative services. This demand is driven by SME’s backing themselves, backing support from initiatives such as the LEP Network, FSB and the 23.5 million posts to #supportsmallbusiness on Instagram.

Mass unemployment has created a boom in new business registrations in 2020. In fact, according to the .gov stats, up to Q3 2020, there was an 8.5% increase in Business Registrations compared to the previous year, and 61% fewer companies dissolved (it is important to note that changes due to legislation during the pandemic have had an impact on the number of companies that would have normally dissolved.)

With this trend, Brand Ambition is backing innovation. We are backing the smaller businesses to thrive, disrupt and grow through adversity. Every business we speak to needs support, not just in marketing, but what they can do to disrupt their market and obtain valuable leads and turn them into customers.

This influence is driven into the products and services being used by these businesses and this is where our experience starts.

We built expertise in the software used by SMEs

The search trends for web platforms have changed alongside this evolution of small businesses, and more accessible building technologies create a new challenge for Search Engine Optimisers like Brand Ambition. Understanding the limitations of individual platforms and how to get the best out of them in a search engine is actually an increasingly valuable skill.

Most SEO companies are familiar with WordPress, but here is how WordPress has seen a decline in interest over the last five years, to be replaced by Shopify, Wix and other rivals.

For the first time in its history, Shopify interest outstripped WordPress this year. The platform is easy to use, easy to set-up and uses SEO at its core, but it needs setting up correctly and there is a piece of required knowledge on plugins that will ultimately improve your chances of ranking.

Wix is another company, that has been tarnished with the “Bad for SEO” brush. A quick Google search showcases the search volumes on this topic.

As a result of being burned by SEO companies not understanding the platform, they are paid to optimise or getting focused on areas they can’t actually fix, we’ve crafted strategies and experience to help us specialise in SEO for Small Business platforms.

Here are just a few of the platforms we have expertise in.

  • WordPress SEO
  • WooCommerce SEO
  • Shopify SEO
  • Magento SEO
  • Wix SEO
  • GoDaddy SEO
  • Square Space SEO

With this foundation of expertise, Brand Ambition ultimately prefers to work with platforms we are familiar with. Where we can source development resource to help make improvements and where we can confidently suggest improvements that will raise a business’s profile online.

We are Maven.

It isn’t just about campaign traffic, nor is it about the results of a single campaign (although we get those too), it’s about long-term relationships that show consistent quarter on quarter growth. This is something that we do share with the larger agencies in Yorkshire and Belfast. We believe in working delivering fantastic quality marketing services across a range of impactful and effective services.

We are not an Agency.
We are not Consultants.
We provide marketing manager services with outputs, at affordable prices.
We are Experts. We are Maven.

So how do we rise?

Brand Ambition is built on its name. We believe in Ambition. We trust in building Brands. The strength of thought. The power of recognition. The desire to drive something forward and the tenacity to see it through. We don’t measure our success alongside others (although it is very difficult not to at times). Our focus is working with companies to lift themselves, supporting businesses and driving revenue that allows them to grow.

As they grow, we will grow and that is the core of how we, at Brand Ambition will rise.

Find your Customers. Build your Brand. Increase Sales.

This article has been reproduced with respect to the agencies that employ tens of people in our cities and have seen significant growth. They all started on a similar journey to us and have achieved fantastic results with their clients. We mean no disrespect, but we want to instead highlight how we are differentiating ourselves away from this particular agency model.

I contacted Rise at Seven, directly prior to us posting this article and they weren’t bothered about us using them as a shining example of success in the industry.

They also confirmed they don’t work with small organisations.

Note: Credit to Tom Walsh, for telling me the tables were broken on Mobile. Cheers Mate.