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Man bounces back from failure to set up successful digital marketing company

Man bounces back from failure to set up successful digital marketing company

A MAN is set to make millions after he was inspired to plug away by his father – who became a success despite turning down the chance to record with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Jon Payne, 46, felt an ‘abject failure’ after he lost everything to an unsuccessful business venture and had to move back in with his parents.

But his dad, David, who missed out on the possibility of advising and recording on Webber’s and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, taught him to be resilient.

Today Jon runs digital marketing company Noisy Little Monkey - which makes nearly £400,000 annual profit and has visions to grow into a multi-million pound agency.

Jon said: “For a couple of years I felt like an abject failure. I’d gone from living the high life and driving a brand new Mercedes to moving back home and having no car.

“But thankfully, having had a father who’s arguably been a bit of a failure, you get on with it. We celebrate our failures almost as much as our successes. I can’t remember my dad’s successes as easily because they’re not as funny.”

David’s failed record and publishing company led to bailiffs knocking on their door, the loss of two houses and all of his and his wife’s savings.  

His come back started with a successful picture framing shop, to which he added a successful marketing consultancy firm. 

Then at the age of 55, David decided to try acting. He now tours the US and the UK with his acclaimed An Evening with CS Lewis, recently performing at sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

David became an inspiration to Jon - instilling accountability, an appetite for learning and an understanding of how to turn adversity into opportunity.

David said: “The general attitude to failure - and our own attitude in particular – is usually overly negative to the point where we feel it’s the end of our world.

“At first I felt like that when we lost everything, but I gradually came to see failure as a door – a door that could open to new opportunities.  These were opportunities I could embrace, armed with valuable lessons I had learned.”

Jon, who started his working life as a shepherd working 18 hours a day for just £28 a week, is no stranger to hard work.

"The more I looked into it, the more I could see that Search Engine Optimisation SEO had the potential to be a lucrative business."
Jon Payne

He later found his calling in sales and became aware of the potential to sell through websites.

In 1999, he set up web design company 1Emotion with his friend, Tim Fairchild. It was during the dot.com bubble, but Jon admits they had been selling an over complicated product.

He said: “This was my fault and not because of the market. Outside forces may have had an effect, but if knew what I was doing I could have mitigated it and leveraged it for opportunity.”

The pair failed to make much money and agreed they should prioritise their friendship over business. Jon left in 2005.

Without the added expense of Jon’s salary and the delay in making decisions as a pair, Tim was able to make a success of the business – now called Bison Grid. And Jon, through Noisy Little Monkey, continues to be his biggest supplier of clients.

In the meantime, Jon moved back home and took on temping jobs for the next couple of years to make ends meet.

His family and wife, Nicola, pointed out Jon was good at getting clients’ websites to the top of Google rankings.  

He said: “At first I’d been too blinkered to see the opportunity. But the more I looked into it, the more I could see that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) had the potential to be a lucrative business.”

And in 2007, Jon set up what has since become Noisy Little Monkey, from his bedroom in Bedminster.

His driving motivation was to create a transparent SEO firm - which would not bamboozle clients with technical jargon.

Jon has gone from a one man band to a team of twelve. The firm now also offers support in social media marketing, web design, strategy and training.

The team plan to become a £5 million profit agency in five years, possibly expanding across the country.

But their main ambition is to make sure they keep their work fun. Jon said: “Noisy Little Monkey exists to make profit enjoyable – for both us and our clients.”

·         Noisy Little Monkey shares its experience and knowledge of the world of digital marketing via its blog. The whole team contribute useful tips, tricks and advice on all aspects of Inbound Marketing. Check outhttps://www.noisylittlemonkey.com/blog

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