That’s not to say we haven’t had extrinsic rewards, either. We grew at 33% in revenue, and every member of our team shared in that growth. In a highly competitive job market, our churn rate was 5% this year – meaning one person left. The first in three years.
We crossed the 20-staff threshold and strengthened the pool of freelancers we work with, most of whom are copywriters. We love the fresh experience and skills they bring, and we’ve included them in our cultural events, giveaways, and bonus programs. They are part of our team; it’s not just a simple transaction. Who wants that?
Other highlights this year include doing our first Out-of-Home advertising and guerilla marketing campaign, running ads on TikTok for the first time, launching a Swag Store, appointing a graphic designer, hiring a Fractional CFO, and getting our entire team together at our first in-person event, FireFest. Some of these are bright and shiny but not that hard to implement; other projects were difficult but went unnoticed. I’m not going to excite you about our Capacity Chart, but it’s on those foundations that an agency stands, on the often unsung work that is so important.
Sometimes, we got crushed. We lost two big pitches; one client canceled their contract after they changed their team; some creative ideas didn’t pan out; some announcements fell unexpectedly flat. Those all hurt at the time, and we learned some lessons. They still hurt, frankly. I share that because the highlight reels all have negatives. It’s how you respond and bounce back that’s important. Don’t quit, don’t give up. That’s the easy path, but it goes downhill.
I want to thank our clients for their support this year. And the Firebrand team for quietly crushing it. They are amazing, and it’s a privilege to work with them. That’s one thing I am happy to shout about.
Morgan McLintic is the founder of Firebrand. With over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, he advises clients about their marketing and PR strategy. Prior to Firebrand, he was the founder of digital communications agency, LEWIS in the US, growing it to 250 staff and $35m revenue.