In 2013 we moved to Italy for a new challenge for both work and a more wholesome day to day life. In the main we have achieved this, apart from the World costs crisis for everything this year, it has been financially beneficial and life enriching!
Leaving the UK meant leaving clients who couldn’t see the relationship working remotely and those that could. The clients that saw projects abroad, saw us as abroad, so we have travelled the world with them. There were, however, clients that didn’t see it working and so we struggled to find new work and here in Italy it is a very closed shop to new people, including new Italians, with the exception of some amazing individuals who we have come to know, we struggled to find a footing.
Roll on a few years and during the first lockdown where we had a dwindling client base with some closing their doors for good, we saw action was needed.
Remote working becomes a norm for many people during the pandemic, we had been doing it with atrocious internet since 2013 so not much of a physical change for us, but a major shift in the client attitude to it occurred. So, I started looking properly at website development and how we could get more clients to work with, as hopefully they had understood that we don’t need to be around the corner to them, to do a project in Singapore for instance when they were based in London.
Precious Covid funds spent in developing the site with various content and SEO professionals later, we started to build up a following on the site. Some targeted marketing didn’t necessarily work as I learnt the difference between selling services and products, but we settled on a formula that has, since late 2020, turned up some lovely clients and work, which has helped us to develop the business here in Italy.
We are not talking stratospheric numbers here but enough to keep us in new business on an annual basis. The work has mainly been for exhibition needs in Italy for foreign companies from the middle east and America with enquiries from Singapore and India for help navigating the Italian exhibition world. The SEO definitely works for certain elements, and we are constantly adjusting and changing out what does and doesn’t work.
One downside as exhibitions tour the world is, we only get them while they are here in Europe and probably won’t get them again until that exhibition returns to Europe, but even so, as we develop our relationships with them, we hope to widen our scope with these new clients.
Writing this blog, The Joy Of Sets! has also opened up our online exposure and it got us our largest client to date by a referral of someone who reads it regularly and suggested contacting us for a project here in Italy. It’s a revelation to me and I know it shouldn’t be as I use websites to buy things all day for projects, but when it happens after your own work, to your site, it feels great and very rewarding.
We are always tweaking our SEO to see what works and what trends we need to keep up with to make sure our services here in Italy are relevant to those who are looking. We are of course still developing our UK client base and still do a lot of work there and we are still doing in person meetings in the UK for UK clients.
So, many thanks for those who always refer us and those who have found us and to those who continue to find us, online and in person.