How does one gauge success? Some would say it is achieving a certain status. Another might say it would be getting a job, mate, dream car or job. Many might decide to use currency as the truest litmus test for success. If a new division of business went from zero dollars to 2.3 million dollars in just 18 months, would you categorize that as a success? Well, that is exactly what today’s guest and digital marketing and advertising superstar was able to accomplish for the US-based company, ScaleLab, LLC, after they opened and entrusted him with a division in the United Kingdom. Today, I have the privilege of introducing you to Zak Lloyd, the Founder and Managing Director of Opulent Agency Ltd, in Birmingham, UK. While young in years, he has a lifetime of experience as an entrepreneur. I look forward to bringing his story to you, which will no doubt showcase why he and his company are on the leading edge of success in digital marketing.
Zak, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to share this time with me today. I’ve enjoyed getting to know about you and your work. The world is slowly starting to see some life coming back into it now that we are experiencing some reductions in the COVID-19 precautionary measures. And with that we are slowly starting to explore the new normal, which I am sure looks different for everyone. How are you doing today and how are things back home in your part of the UK?
Yes, so we’re doing well, we’ve had to adapt to changes with regards to our business model, and also how we acquire new clients. The transition to online for businesses is incredibly important, and it means there is an increase in importance for businesses to be using social media. This has, in turn, kept us busy, and seeing a lot more businesses turn to online stores and offering services online.
Being that you are in the digital marketing space, how has your business performed during this crazy COVID-19 environment of isolation and increased virtual activity? Why do you think it has performed as it has?
During COVID-19 we have seen an increased demand for businesses to utilize social media, especially with consumers having a lot more free time to scroll through socials. To help local businesses, we offered our services completely free for 3 months, and that went tremendously well. We felt not only obliged but also felt it was our duty to help businesses in the community keep afloat in these uncertain times.Providing this free service to businesses gave them the chance to gain access to our custom ad creation methods. Having access to our creation methods also gave them a great opportunity to see the power of Facebook ads, with no cost to themselves other than their ad spend. This in turn gave them a fantastic gateway into working with Opulent Agency, and being on the receiving end our fantastic results. This helped keep their doors open, revenue coming in and staff on payroll. It was a win for everyone.
That’s some good stuff right there. Offering free services to aid in growth.
I have some questions that will dive deeper into what you do and the impact that it’s making, but I’d like to give you a chance to tell us a little more about yourself before we get started.
I am from Birmingham, England and have lived here my entire life. I wasn’t brought up by an affluent family, so at an early age I made a decision to do my own thing, be my own person and pave my way forward. At the age of 16, I went to study atAston University Engineering Academy; however, I realized pretty quickly that I did not enjoy the school/classroom setting, so I ventured out on my own. I was able to capitalize on my background and understanding of business development & team management to make a go at my own business. So, with the entrepreneurial mindset in full-swing, even at the age of 16, I founded ZK Media. ZK Media was a YouTube digital talent network, and we quickly became known for our services and well-established links within the industry. From there, things really took off for me and my business ventures.
I have discovered already that you have a great passion for everything you do, including entrepreneurship. When you decided to not continue at university, you stepped out on your own, as an entrepreneur. Tell us more about the entrepreneur bug that bit you and how you came to realize your passion and niche in the digital marketing and advertising world.
I knew from the age of 11 that I was an entrepreneur. I used to sell sweets in school for a mark-up price. I always had the bug for making money. When I turned 12, I started an iPhone repair business and taught myself through YouTube tutorials, which allowed me to help friends and family repair their damaged electronics. As I mentioned earlier, at 16 years old, I used what I learned about the core foundations on starting a business to establish my own digital agency for YouTubers and Influencers. ZK Media was a success, and from there, things really exploded for me. Here I am today having developed a multi-million dollar franchise division, and founding director of the Opulent Agency Ltd.
At 17, and 12 months after launching ZK Media, ScaleLab, which is a massive US-based digital talent agency that works with influencers and creators, approached me about establishing and leading a franchised UK division for their company. I couldn’t turn that opportunity down, so I stepped out to launch ScaleLab’s UK division. Now keep in mind, I started the company with zero dollars in revenue, but with dedication and hard work, I brought it up to 2.3 million dollars in just 18 months. That really solidified my belief that I had something special going for me. I had a natural ability to set up a business, manage it and make money!
As a further testament to my entrepreneurial bent, I also actively invest in real estate and help other investors in finding investment properties that generate high returns in excess of 20% return-on-investment.
As I look back just a few years, I see how my passion and desire to excel at everything I did, paired with leadership ability, really set myself up in the perfect position to serve others and help my clients achieve success and amazing results for their businesses. I am meant to be in the digital marketing space. While working within my passion and purpose, I am able to impact people and businesses around the world...it doesn’t get any better than that.
You have obviously been successful in your own early-entrepreneurial ventures, with ZK Media, and created massive results for others, and all at a pretty young age, I might add. Now that you’ve been at this for a few years, how would you describe your ideal market and the clientele for whom you wish to produce explosive results?
We work with businesses that already have a solid base and foundation with at least a 6-figure annual revenue. We partner and work with them to create explosive results that exponentially increase their revenue. For example, taking a 6-figure business to a 7-figure business in a relatively short space of time. We work with a variety of niches, from e-commerce brands to brick and mortar businesses, such as restaurants and property agents. We pride ourselves in creating a top-notch experience for our clients, no matter their industry. We are results-oriented and ensure our clients get their money’s worth, and then some.
What can a client expect when they bring you and your company on as their digital marketing experts?
They can expect an agency that doesn't play by the rules, so to speak. We love to get really involved in understanding the business and using our creativity to launch out-of-the-box ideas for their campaigns. As a full-scale agency, we don’t just cover the advertising space. We offer sales funnels, bespoke content posting, web development; we’re your go-to agency for all your online needs. Clients can expect to get our best from start to finish!
With so many digital marketing agencies out there, there has to be something that separates you from others. Is there a secret sauce that gets the results that you’ve been able to achieve for yourself and your clients?
From an early age, I realized that I had a pretty relentless drive and determination for positive results. From my own business ventures and the work I do for clients, I take pride in ownership of everything that I do and put my name on. I aim for client satisfaction and do not stop until I get them the best return-on-investment possible. I am confident that clients get their money’s worth from the work that I and my team accomplish. I pride myself on retention over revenue and profit, which in-turn creates return clients and results that speak for themselves. I am very happy with the work I do and enjoy taking on new challenges.
Is there a particular project that comes to mind that you would call a true success story for you and your business?
YouTuber WillNE joined us when he only had 50k subscribers. Within a year, he grew to over 2M subscribers, which was an incredible achievement. We helped him not only grow his channel, but also increase his monthly revenue through the management of brand partnerships, copyright claims, and channel optimization.
Another success came when a sporting goods brand approached us with a desire to generate more revenue for their online store. They heard about us from an ad campaign we ran, then decided to reach out to us for our services. We instantly knew how we could increase their revenue. They spent £6,875 on paid ads, and over just a few weeks enjoyed a return just shy of £80k in revenue (11x ROI). This not only showed us the great potential that the brand has, but also the incredible power of Facebook ads.
There are many more success stories to share, but we look forward to creating new success stories for new clients, in addition to serving our existing clients.
Wow... that’s pretty amazing! So, what have some of your previous clients and associates had to say about you and your work?
Thanks for asking about that. We have some great testimonials, and I’d like to share just a couple with you.
"Zak has been one of the most proactive, professional, results-oriented leaders in our company. Through talent and hard work, he single-handedly grew ScaleLab's U.K. division into a force to be reckoned with. I can't recommend him highly enough!" - David E. Brenner CEO ScaleLab LLC
"I met Zak starting out my YouTube channel in 2015, I had literally no idea what I was doing but was referred to him by a friend to join ZK Media, the best referral I could’ve received. Starting out YouTube can be a daunting task but whenever I needed an answer to a question, Zak was always there. I could sit here and talk all day about how and what he’s helped me with... I’m still today with the very same network (ScaleLab now) he [brought] me into, so that should tell you everything you need to know about Zak’s ability and work ethic. Thank you for everything Zak. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you!" - HJ Doogan, Youtuber
"I've known Zak for many years now and he has always been someone I look up to. Since meeting Zak, we instantly clicked and he has opened the door to many useful contacts and opportunities for me. Zak is an extremely intelligent, hard-working and successful Young Entrepreneur who has an incredible mindset. Whatever Zak does, he is successful in and he has built fantastic businesses in his short time within entrepreneurship. I am amazed by the projects Zak is currently working on and the quick success he is having." - Suhit Amin CEO Saulderson Media
When we first spoke, I asked who inspired you the most and why. You responded pretty quickly... Elon Musk. Please share with your readers why he has been so inspirational for you. I imagine it has something to do with having a similar mindset.
His relentless drive to keep going and pushing the boundaries, that is something that I have always wanted to be. He’s just amazing! He wanted to launch a rocket and he did. He's also extremely educated, which is something I look up to massively. A selfie with Elon is one of my ultimate goals.
I like to end my guest interviews with a lighthearted question, but one that I think can give a great glimpse into what makes a person great and special at what they do. So, Zak, what would you say is your superpower and how does it help you in what you do?
I am a self-proclaimed Perfectionist, and that is pretty apparent when people see that I am a bit of a freak when it comes to details and presentability. I can pinpoint things others may read over. I like to go the extra mile, because I know just how important brand images are. You don’t want just anything to go out to your audience; it should be at a superior level.
Being a perfectionist serves as a blessing and a curse sometimes. It is a blessing when I see the final product and my clients are pleased with the results. Conversely, it is a curse when I consider the amount of time I spend on the pickiest of details. However, I take heart and comfort when I look at the end results and customer satisfaction as the final proof positive for my perfectionism.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank or give a shout-out to for their support along the way?
Yes, I do have a few special bits of recognition to give. I’d like to give special mentions to Harry Howells, for helping me to transition Opulent Agency’s focus more on the social media division of the business. I’d further like to thank Dan Reeves, who was the first addition to the executive team at ZK Media, for providing a great insight into further business development and supporting me throughout the business’ journey. And, last but not least, I’d also like to thank all the clients for having the trust and belief that we could consistently get them results.
It’s been my pleasure to get to know you and all that you and Opulent Agency Ltd are accomplishing in the digital marketing space... truly impressive. Before you go, can you leave our audience with the best way to get in contact with you?
Thank you for having me. I appreciate your time and it’s been a pleasure to share with you. I can be reached best on email at firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as on LinkedIn at Zak Lloyd and my business website is www.opulent.agency.