In the digital age, it is simply impossible to succeed without some kind of digital footprint. You can be a hipster movement that rejects modernity, but you will still need some kind of presence in order to make an impact with your chosen demographic unless they are individuals who absolutely do not rely on technology. However, for the masses, Googling a business or brand prior to committing is becoming increasingly common. In fact, it has become something to be expected, which is why you need something online to represent you and your brand. James Blake took inspiration from his experiences during the pandemic and decided to branch out as a digital consultant to help businesses gain higher visibility.
The entrepreneur hails from Belfast and has made an appearance in various prestigious online publications, namely Forbes and Yahoo, but he has also been featured in The Sun and Irish Mirror for his accomplishments. At 28, it seems like he has everything figured out. He is completely dominating the market by building a name for himself in the influencer industry and affecting growths with his efficacious marketing strategies. In 2019 alone, Vindicta Digital raked in over £20M in revenue for his combined clients.
No stranger to the world of investing and innovating, James Blake’s company stands out with Blake’s highly specialized skills in entering various markets, regardless of industry and service. He has a talent for converting leads into sales, which he attributes to his five years as a digital consultant for one of the UK’s biggest Google partners and his experience while working for an established and well-respected digital marketing firm.
“When people don’t understand something, they think that it’s magic, but the truth is that when you work in a specific industry for a set amount of time, you start to understand its inner workings. It’s hard to explain to the uninitiated, but think of a chef. In the beginning, cooking might look like a science, but as you go along and really learn the trade, cooking becomes second nature and you develop an intuition due to your intimate understanding of the culinary arts. It’s the same with digital marketing. Many people don’t quite understand it because it’s so new, but at the same time, they don’t understand it because they aren’t immersed in it.” James explains.
Blake’s affinity for digital marketing was not something that he was born with, but rather, his entrepreneurial tendencies helped grow and hone him in the direction of digital marketing.
“That’s business for you, you see an opportunity that others don’t, and you jump on it. But at 23 – which was when I founded my first business – I simply sought financial freedom.” James Blake’s first company was funded with just £500 but has grown exponentially over the years. 2019 was a notable year for the company as James Blake was nominated for Young Business Person of the Year Award and joined the Forbes Agency Council as well as the Belfast Chamber of Commerce.
When asked whether he’s satisfied with his accomplishments, James says that he is far from done and that he’s aiming for the stars and will not stop until Fortune 500 companies are his clients. He is also passionate about putting UK on the map of digital marketing.
A normal day for Blake can look overwhelming to most, but with a PA he manages to sort through all of his mail in the morning and during the day, he conducts meetings with clients and his team in order to keep the well oiled machine running smoothly. With such a full itinerary on a daily basis, it can seem a bit daunting, but Blake is actually afraid that he would turn complacent, so he tries to mix things up in order to keep things fresh and fun for himself and his team.
As a means of keeping himself on his toes, he regularly challenges himself and meets those challenges with gusto. During the height of the pandemic, he challenged himself to author a book called #DOMINATE which will be released later this year on audio and hardback. So what’s next for James Blake and his expansion of his digital agency? He is planning to take it global. And while he doesn’t have immediate plans on opening physical branches in America, he has been building towards it and considers it his next move.
For the time being, Blake contends himself by being a mentor and life coach to those who want to understand how digital media correlates with the real world and how digital marketing can help improve not only sales, but the brand as a whole. The 29-year-old is adamant that having an online presence is crucial to success and when the pandemic wreaked havoc across the world and squashed economies, Blake knew that he needed to do something about it.
When the pandemic first took off, it created a huge disconnect between consumers and businesses, because everyone was forced to stay at home. Business-owners who were able to convert their businesses to e-commerce flourished greatly but those that lagged behind shuttered forever.
“It was devastating to see shops that have been around for ten, twenty years just close their doors for good. When I saw that happening, I took the initiative to offer assistance to those that needed my help and helped those that were still struggling to adapt and embrace the digital wonders of today,” says the visionary entrepreneur and highlighted his efforts in building a more conscious community that understands the need for digital transformation, “Because a world of no business, is a sad world, free from innovation, creativity, and activity. Consumerism is what makes the world great, because it drives us to innovate and break boxes.”
To hear him put it like that, it’s clear that everything in business is tied together and while digital marketing is still relatively young, it is the obvious next step in organic marketing evolution.