Tramshed Tech: Hey Aled! Exciting to have your new venture Lumen SEO based at Tramshed Tech — amazing to think you've been part of the community since the very early days when we had Google Digital Garage based here. Welcome back!
Aled Nelmes: Thank you so much. It does feel proper full-circle and I kind of love that it started here. Google's Digital Garage was where I got hooked on supporting small businesses with their marketing so it feels almost poetic to be launching the agency here.
TT: Tell us more about Lumen and what you've been up to!
Aled: Sure, so Lumen SEO is a Marketing Agency which specialises in search engine optimization. I've been trying to find a way I can get small businesses competing on a large scale with the big corporates whilst retaining complete 100% transparency with clients. We've now got our 6th client on board and we're pretty much at capacity. My methods are tried and tested so its working and it seems like word is getting out.
TT: Let's rewind for a moment... You're a young guy with a wealth of experience and clearly passionate about what you do. How did you get started?
Aled: I actually started very safely. I don't believe in this "big leaping off mega-risk" thing which entrepreneurs are sold into. It began during my last job at an Online University where they trained me intensely in SEO and I kept getting calls from small businesses who had been let down by their current agency and wanted a service which they could understand what they're paying for. So I took on 2 clients after work to start making a name for myself, then around 4 months later I went down to 2 days a week at my job and took on 4 more clients. It was a slow and safe transition with little risk, and although its not particularly sexy or gripping, I like things that way in business.
TT: What's next for you? What are you aiming for in the next 12 months?
Aled: So the first goal is to take the agency full-time starting October, leaving my job completely. I then want to have 1 or 2 staff helping me with areas like copywriting and outreach before February/March time. After 12 months, I'd like to have a community at Lumen of well trained and nurtured staff and a confident client-base of small to medium sized businesses.
TT: 2020 has been a time of considerable challenge and adaptation for all businesses. What changes have you noticed in the world of digital marketing and SEO? What trends should we be looking out for?
Aled: It's been nuts hasn't it? It's nice to have been in the middle of it all, as you guys have. As far as SEO is concerned, its simply increased exponentially. Purchases of smart devices increased, searches per month increased, the average person's relationship with technology blew up over a few weeks. The kind of trends I expect to see now is a lot more specialisation and masters of a certain skill. Businesses have been shaken up and pushed into a kind of resource arena where they are now comfortable hiring someone on the other side of the world to totally outsource their marketing to, I don't think this will change or revert back because the remote workers have a new quality of life, and business overheads have dived. Anyone who is an expert in their field will soon be in-demand on a global scale, and I'm all for it.
TT: How are you finding it at Tramshed Tech? What excites you about being based in South Wales?
Aled: All arse-kissing aside. I love it here. There's an energy I haven't experienced anywhere else yet. Seeing the level of service pick up over the years here has been delightful, from being offered connections and support for specific business problems to the small things like getting offered a proper coffee on your way in. South Wales is an exciting place to be simply because the Government are pushing so hard to get Wales ahead in tech and its getting there. I'm finding myself explaining what SEO is to potential clients less and less. Businesses are switching on early and learning the lingo earlier than ever.