Unity MD Pete Frost returns after a month away from the sofa of success to update Rach on the effects of awards success and how he has capitalised on the glory.
Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with The Awards People. Er, you recognise who’s with me. We missed him. We missed you last month.
PF: Did you?
RH: Yes! The Sofa of Success was not the same.
PF: Graced with my, er, my backside, was it?
RH: I’m not even going there. I don’t wanna, you know, the whole #MeToo thing happening. Let’s just say we missed you.
PF: [Laughs] Okay. Good, good, good.
RH: It’s Pete Frost, Founder, Managing Director, “God of All Things Digital” at Unity on his Sofa of Success. We say it’s his, but—
PF: Rented Sofa of Success.
RH: [Sighs] It’s getting its own fan base [crosstalk 00:56].
PF: Is it?
RH: It is.
PF: It’s because of the Facebook page, is it?
RH: I have people emailing me now going, “How can I get onto the Sofa of Success?”
PF: For a huge fee, I shall rent it out.
RH: Damn it, I should have said that. I thought, yeah. We’re filming on the 18th of October. Come on down.” [Laughs] Yeah, next time, I’ll go, “Well, for free for me, but Pete has a bottom charge.”
PF: A backside charge, yeah. A rear charge.
RH: There is a use per sit.
PF: Exactly, exactly. So even an IKEA job is, er, [indiscernible 01:23].
RH: Only. We can’t have an I only 01:25. It’s lovely. It’s very comfy. Thank you, IKEA. Er, so, erm, you missed last month ’cause you were really busy and shooting all around the country and doing deals and blah, blah, blah. So, I thought it would be really useful to catch up because last time we spoke, you’d just been dubbed, er, IoD Director of the Year for Non-Executive Director for your work with Norton Housing.
PF: Yeah. Yep.
RH: And you’d been do-dahing around with certain award parties for Niche Magazine, finding out that you’re a Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and all that good stuff.
PF: Yeah, yeah. Young. Young.
RH: Young. Very young.
PF: Validated young.
RH: Very young.
PF: ID-validated young. Yeah. On request, I can provide evidence.
RH: Right. Next time, I’ll tell you about all the passport, driver—birth certificate.
PF: I’ve had a tough graft of a life here. Weathered, weathered. But, yeah. Yeah, definitely still young. Definitely. Definitely.
RH: Rubbish. Rubbish. Good Lord. Erm, you are inching up to my age. Er, right. So, what’s been happening since then? How has the story developed? What, what kind of stuff, from a business point of view, has come out of the win, the, the finalist? I know that Niche hasn’t, er, declared yet.
RH: We’ve got another—
PF: Two weeks.
RH: – two weeks. [Squeals]
RH: Very excited.
RH: Another two weeks before that calls. But, you know, what’s been happening? Have you let it all go quiet and not done anything, or have you—digitalled 02:49 it out of the stratosphere?
PF: When, erm, we were at IoD Awards, we had the brochures. We had the magazines. So what I’ve tried to make a conscious effort of doing is as people were awarded, and as people weren’t, just making a note of who they were and things like that.
RH: It was. It was like a school 03:03.
PF: Yeah. Just to, just to try and maximize the opportunity.
PF: Obviously, a massive part of it being able to say I’ve got, you know, an award.
PF: And I’ve achieved the, the award. But the real, the real value is to say well, how do I turn that into paying the bills here, you know?
PF: How do I turn that into some revenue?
PF: And, too, I-, I’ve had three meetings with three other either finalists, winners, erm—yeah, finalists or winners from the IoD which is positive.
RH: Oh, yeah.
PF: And, er, I picked an account from it as well. The other two, I think, will, will, will, erm, will come in the next couple of weeks as well which is positive.
RH: Did ya’ hear that, chums? It’s not just about the, er, well, it’s not silver work, is it? It’s some beautiful glass—
PF: Glass work.
RH: – trophy, it’s about the opportunities. This is why we’re doing it. It’s not because Pete has an ego the size of Hong Kong. He doesn’t. He’s a very modest man. Erm, it’s not, as Glynis said, about, you know, erm, being, erm, narcissistic; it’s about business. And that is just brilliant to hear.
PF: Three meetings. One new account. Two possibles. Yay.
PF: And I, I think, actually, I probably, I, I, I think in hindsight, I could’ve done more with that, actually. I could’ve made more contacts with people and I think one of the things I will do is over the course of the next couple of weeks, pick the phone back up to people who were there—
PF: – and just say, “Look, you know. We met at the meeting.
PF: Really like to be able to get, get [crosstalk 04:22].
RH: Yeah. And especially the guys who will be going down to London.
PF: To London, yeah.
RH: Er, we’ve got the big, national IoD, er, so all the regional IoD winners go down to the big national one, Royal Horticultural Halls. I’m really struggling with saying that, er.
PF: I’m sure it’ll be more on the, er, on the night after a few gins as well.
RH: Oh, actually, I might be more lucid. You never know. Erm, but, er, you know, that, that is an opportunity, isn’t it—
PF: Yeah, definitely.
RH: See you down there.
RH: Buy a drink at the bar or not. Erm, but also, I mean, 105 finalists. The vast majority of whom will be down. Some obviously won’t because of business or travel or holiday or whatever, but the vast majority will be down in that room. That is gonna be—
PF: Yeah, huge. Huge.
RH: That’s the room.
PF: Well, if, if the, if the East Midlands weren’t anything to go by, the nationals one will be, will be exceptional.
RH: Oh. Out of this world.
PF: Erm, yeah. And there wasn’t a person that you met at the East Midlands, erm, erm, you know, IoD Awards that you didn’t look at with some kind of admiration, some kind of inspiration because, you know, you do [indiscernible 05:18] networking events, and you can’t do business with absolutely everybody there. People have got different stage of business—
RH: Of course.
PF: – but all the people in that room, I, I honestly thought were people who had similar mindsets, who were ambitious, who were driven, who wanted to move their business forward. And, obviously, that’s what Unity is all about is, you know, generating leads and, you know, digital marketing. So, it’s about building more, and, and all the companies there were really receptive. So, I think in hindsight, maybe I could do a little bit more with that. You know, maybe I do need to maximize the opportunity a little bit more. We have been, erm, you know, I have been super-busy, which is positive, but there’s always more that, that we could do with it. So—
RH: But you’ve also got to enjoy the experience as well.
RH: The first, yeah, it was the first award that—
PF: Yeah. That we’ve had.
RH: Yeah. So you’ve got a sofa, but you, you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta let that kind of settle and enjoy it. You’re only human, for god’s sake.
RH: I mean, I know you’re a machine, but, you know, there is a human bit in there as well. [Laughter]
PF: Yeah, but the, the, the—it’s easier to develop business that way, wasn’t it?
PF: You know, by, by having the same people in the same room with the same mindset but for the similar awards—
RH: [Indiscernible 06:16]
PF: – the business development is a lot easier, and ultimately that’s what we’re here for. That’s what I’m doing.
RH: Yeah. Yeah.
PF: That’s why I’m, I’m keen to keep, keep looking at other opportunities for awards and things because it, it brings more business in. It helps my company grow. It helps the staff here grow. It helps—
PF: – you know, the business become a, a, a, a, erm, a better-quality entity.
PF: And that’s, that’s also what it’s for. The same as Glynis who said it’s, it’s, it’s not about egos. So, you know, erm, I don’t need it to stroke my ego. I want it to do it to, to, to make business-building easier.
RH: Build the business. Yeah. I was, er, talking to Sarrah. Sarrah, er, works very closely with Pete here, and I said I’m just gonna shadow you as work that room on the 18th because I need to learn some stuff. And she’s like, oh god, yes. I absolutely would.
PF: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
RH: So you might have a little Rach.
PF: A little follower.
RH: Ignore me. I’m just listening. [Laughs]
RH: See how it’s done. Learn from the pro, you know.
PF: Yeah. Yeah.
RH: Never too old to learn.
PF: But then, erm, last week, the interview for the final, erm, for the Niche Business Award was—
RH: How did that go?
PF: It was—I, I, I got back in about half four in the morning because I’d been to—we’d been away for a week to Portugal.
RH: I wondered where that was going.
RH: Been out all night [laughter].
PF: No, no, no, no. The flights were delayed and, yeah, all sorts, but, erm—
RH: Oh, no. Oh.
PF: – but I like to get some sleep on the plane. It was all right. So, but I had the interview the next morning.
PF: That was, that was more daunting than I expected actually.
RH: Was it?
PF: It was a ten-minute presentation I had to do—
PF: – on whatever I wanted to do it on. So, it was ten minutes in front of these, these seven panel, er, this panel of seven. Erm, I didn’t realise there was going to be seven people. I thought you should meet a couple of people, a couple of questions, a bit about who I am, that sort of thing. No, no. It was, it was quite, you know, it was quite dragon’s denny 07:53—
PF: – which was, erm, which was an interesting experience, so I was quite nervous for it, actually. I was quite nervous for it. Hopefully, that didn’t come across, but, erm, yeah, no. I mean, we’ll see, won’t we? We’ll see how well it went, erm, in two weeks. Yeah, in two weeks.
RH: I shall be following that feed. Following that feed. Good luck.
PF: Yeah. Yeah. So, but I did about who, who I am, erm, the interests that I’ve got so the, the agency in Manchester, the agency in Leicester, and the charity, and then a bit about what my goals were, and, you know, they’ll, they’ll judge it on that really. So, but I’m up against a professional footballer, you know.
PF: That’s, that’s, er—
RH: That’s a big open category, isn’t it?
PF: Tough competition. It’s tough competition, yeah.
RH: But then he might’ve walked into the room and then thrown himself on the floor and gone, “Ahh.”
RH: I’m so [indiscernible 08:35].
PF: All the professional footballers out there, of course not—
RH: I have now completely offended.
RH: Doing very well today. I’ve upset the whole of Scotland, so, or and/or footballers.
PF: Oh, really. Entire Scotland.
RH: Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, Glasgow. Definitely.
RH: I was taking the mickey out of Pam Marr and then realised it was perhaps not a good thing to say.
PF: Pam Marr, who supports the business and works for you all the time.
RH: Pam Marr, Superstar.
RH: Yeah. That Pam. Yes. On holiday—
RH: – and I might have accused her of being a bit of a drinker—
RH: – which now I’ve just done again. So, hey, Pam. Love ya’. Er, yeah, so anyway, recruitment. [Laughter]
PF: Yeah, yeah. She won’t understand. She-, she’ll be drunk [indiscernible 09:15], so that’ll be fine. Don’t worry about that. Yeah. [Laughter]
RH: –talking of people. [Laughter] I didn’t say that, Pam. He did. [Laughter]
PF: Swiftly moving on. Swiftly moving on.
RH: So, yeah. Let’s talk about people.
PF: One, yeah, I mean, one of the things that has been a lot easier—so we’re, we’re growing quite quickly.
RH: Oh, yeah.
PF: Yeah, we’re growing quite quickly, and, erm, we’re recruiting for a few different roles. We’ve had—
RH: We’re not gonna lose the Sofa of Success? We’re not gonna turn into a desk, are we?
PF: No. No. No. No. Not in this room. Not in this room. Not yet. Not yet. There will always be a, a special place in this office for this, this desk, erm, this, erm, this desk, erm, this sofa. Erm, we—
RH: He was skating on thin ice, wasn’t he, on that?
PF: We’ve had an—we’ve had a lot of direct applications for jobs, actually, which is nice. Erm, you know, recruitment is something which is—can be quite costly for the business—
PF: – can be quite, erm, quite expensive, not just in terms of recruiting agencies, but in terms of actual costs, sort of, time, as well. Erm, and I think we’ve, erm, we’ve had three or four a, a, week actually, sort of, getting in contact with us from—people working for other agencies—
PF: – people working for our competitors and saying look, you know, what opportunities have you got here? Erm, some of them not quite right. Some of them, erm, we’ve taken on, actually. So, erm, yeah, we, we took on, erm, a young lady called Tonya 10:23, who’d, who’d found us through, erm, some of the work that we’ve done and then, sort of, saw all the story. And she came in and said, “Oh, I saw the award. Congratulations.” And all that sort of stuff.
RH: Did you expect that to happen? Had you thought about that?
PF: No, I don’t—Well, I mean, it’s on our social, so I supposed people would’ve seen it, but I didn’t expect that to be as valuable—
PF: – consideration for the people as it has been. Do you know?
RH: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
PF: So that, that, that added value that’s offered to our recruitment process certainly wasn’t expected. Certainly wasn’t expected.
PF: So, I’m hoping to, you know, to springboard that again with, erm, you know, any Leicester awards that, that we’ve got which will be really, really relevant. You know, the IoD is a big, big national, so we get interest from lots of people across the, across the UK, but, actually, a hyper-local one like, like the Niche Awards, I think that’ll just be another, another, sort of, springboard, really.
RH: Wow. That’s—that is great to hear.
PF: Really positive.
RH: And, and I do bang on about, er, the benefit to business in terms of the new potential client contacts—
RH: – easing that open door [creaking sound], getting in-ness 11:26.
RH: And, and, yeah, we’re very aware of, of how it can be positively experienced by the wider team—
RH: – but actually the whole recruitment side—
RH: – I don’t think we’ve really touched on, on, er, on the vlog yet. So, as always, you’ve brought something new to the Sofa of Success.
PF: Good. Yeah. Well, it has—it’s, er, we’ve, we’ve—the, the, the interest in our business from other applications as been notably increased. Er, I mean, we’re doing quite a few campaigns at the moments a few, a few—through a, through a few different areas—
PF: – but there was a direct correlation between lots and lots of social traction about the award, congratulations, and, you know, recognition—
RH: Ah. Oh.
PF: – and people actually becoming more interested in the business. There wasn’t, there wasn’t doubt, and we could see through analytics. We could see through the data—
RH: Yeah, of course.
PF: – that, that is telling us that.
RH: It, it doesn’t lie, does it? There’s the IoD thing. There’s the work pre the IoD, and at the IoD, and after the IoD awards, and you, you—if you see spikes, then—
PF: Yeah, yeah.
RH: – it’s likely to be because of that increased engagement.
PF: Yeah. Yeah.
PF: So, yeah. Very positive, and—
RH: Tick, tick, tick. Win, win, win.
PF: Yeah, the—I mean, we’ve—I’ve put on—I, I, I held back on releasing that we were a finalist for the Young Entrepreneur, erm, to—because I, I’ve done it two weeks before the awards—
PF: – so whatever the outcome is, I can continue that momentum, I think, since I’m strategically. If you release it a bit too early, it loses that momentum.
RH: Great idea.
PF: Erm, and then it’s—you-, you’re struggling to pick it back up—
PF: – where actually it’s a couple of weeks away, we’ve—I-, I’ve put it on the socials. And again, that’s had really nice, positive feed—as it does, you know, the tone of voice that you use is important.
RH: Yeah. Absolutely vital.
PF: And then seeing how—what happens in a couple weeks’ time. If we win, it will just be another, you know, carrying on that, on that momentum. And if we don’t, then it will, you know, I’m sure we’ll get as much recognition through as possible.
RH: Well, yeah, like you say, quite often—winning is absolutely fabulous, but actually being in that room, being able to tweet that you’re in that room, that you are a finalist, it still gives that, “Ooh, yeah.”
RH: That—it’s that reminder. And he, and he won the IoD. “Oh, yeah.”
RH: It’s that whole thing. And we’re going to the finals. “Oh.” It’s that whole piece all the time.
PF: Yeah. It’s, it’s still a recognition. I think I said in one of the previous vlogs that people use things like Trustpilot and TripAdvisor and Checkatrade.
RH: Mm. Yes.
PF: They’re all external recognitions. That’s all they are.
PF: Positive or negative, they’re external, erm, erm, validations of your business.
PF: That’s what an award is. An award is another panel of people, other people, saying do you—erm, are, are you good at what you do? And, and if we’ve got awards coming in, then this is just another, another opportunity for us to say, look, other people are telling us this. It’s not just us.
RH: I wonder if you’ve had the chance to kind of think forward about the next ones because just how busy you’ve been and, and with the, the, the drama and excitement around the ones that you have won and are a finalist for. So you might not have thought about next ones going forward, but, you know, I’ll ask the question. Is there something that you’re kind of going, “Hmm. Keeping an eye on that one.”?
PF: I think, so I think local ones is one I want to look at.
PF: Yeah, I definitely want to look at the local, kind of 14:26, to see, to see what else is around. There are some industry ones as well—
PF: – which I think we really need to, we need to go for, erm, because the—both awards, the Non-Exec Director and the, the Young Entrepreneur, they’re, they’re—they can’t be possible without the team here—
PF: – and the team at the charity. They’re not possible.
PF: And I want to get that accreditation firmly tied in for the business.
PF: And, and the industry awards are great ones too. So there are some fairly bigger ones, erm, awards called the RAH Awards 14:57—
PF: – which are ones that we want to try and push forward for. Erm, I think certainly some categories there which we can look at.
RH: Mm-hmm. Do you want me to—you know, you’ve been really good to us. I joke about the Sofa of Success being mine and I having rights to it. But, yeah, at the end of the day, I have no rights to nuttin’ 15:12, er, this dude’s place, this dude’s sofa. Erm, as a thank you, why don’t I sit down and do some research and add some other suggestions in and pull that calendar together.
PF: That’d be perfect.
RH: And then, you know, if your team here deliver it, great. It’s not a problem. If I deliver it, great. No problem.
RH: But let’s do that research for you—
PF: Definitely. Definitely.
RH: – and see what the opportunities might look like for the next 6 to 12 months. And then, then you’ve got something you can go [click sound].
PF: Mark some cards. Yeah, absolutely.
PF: Yeah. It’s perfect.
RH: And then it just pulls it into that whole piece, doesn’t it?
PF: Ah, definitely. Yeah, that’d be really useful.
RH: Wicked. Yeah, right. Cool. Job for me. Er, do I have your number? You’ve gotta remind me. [Laughs] I have to write it down.
PF: In fact, I don’t know if I said last time, erm, I got asked to judge a award. Two judge—two awards I’ve been asked to judge at now.
RH: No. You never said this. Oh, what’re you judging?
PF: Er, well, one of them I can’t do because, erm, the time schedules just, just can’t work, and that was an industry—that was a big industry awards—
RH: Oh, mate.
PF: – erm, as well to, to, to judge at.
RH: Have you said, “But next year.”?
PF: Erm, definitely. Yeah. And that was actually—two people who had entered that, people who were finalists were friends of mine who have got other agencies as well, so it was across the country.
PF: It was really interesting being asked.
PF: But, erm, Leicester Women in Business—
RH: Oh, yeah, yeah.
PF: – is one that I’m going to be judging at as well, so we’ve got the applica-, I think the application—
RH: Is that the Leicester Mercury one? The Leicester Mercury—
PF: No, it’s, erm. No. It’s, it’s not—
RH: Is it new?
PF: Yeah, it’s new. Yeah, it’s a new one.
RH: Oh, all right. Brilliant.
PF: Yeah. Erm, I think you’ve got, you’ve definitely got people in there for it. Erm, but—
PF: – erm, it is, erm—
RH: Got a lot of writing happening at Awards Towers.
PF: Erm, yeah, the application, I think, is closed for that now, erm. But, yeah, the—to be asked to have the opportunity to, to, to judge it, that was very positive.
PF: Really excited for that one.
RH: Oh, my god.
PF: Really excited. See the other side of the work 16:48.
RH: If a client of mine, or will you be able to tell?
PF: Yeah, yeah. Of course. Yeah, yeah.
RH: Will you be able to tell [laughs] who’s written it?
PF: Open to brown envelopes as well, no?
PF: Always available for a bribe. [Laughs]
RH: Never. Never. Never. How much? [Laughs]
PF: [Laughs] Yeah.
RH: So, erm, I heard something today—because we can’t do the three questions because, er, we’ve already done the three questions with you, but your input on this. Did you know Mark Platt who came in?
PF: Yes. Yeah. From Incite. Yeah.
RH: You’ve met Mark. So, you—he, er, of course, yeah. He said, “Oh, it is at Pete’s place.” Yeah, that’s right. Er, he said that his tipple was rhubarb gin with ginger ale.
PF: Ale. Very nice. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
RH: You’re a fan?
PF: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
RH: I was, like, no. It sounds wrong. He’s like, “Sounds wrong. It’s great.”
PF: No, yeah. It’s a shame Leicester Gin Festival has been cancelled as well, isn’t it? [Crosstalk 17:35].
RH: Oh, no.
PF: Yeah. They ran out of funding, apparently, for it. Yeah. Or the gin festival. But there are local ones, so I’m going to one this week, this weekend, actually, in Broughton Astley, erm, a gin festival.
PF: So, yeah, all m-, magical concoctions of gin and, er, and tonics and stuff like that. But, yes—
RH: I thought that sounded—
PF: Yeah. It sounds lovely.
RH: – which, which has got me into trouble with the Pam Marr comment. I’m not going there again.
PF: Yeah. Yeah.
RH: But, yeah.
PF: Oh, definite. Yeah. I tell—I’ve got a client who every—they go to Spain, erm, for—every three months, erm, they go for three months.
PF: Yes. So they work three months, Spain three months. Work three months, Spain three months. And they bring me back—
RH: Oh, they’ve got it right, haven’t they?
PF: Oh, yeah. Fantastic business. Erm, good [indiscernible 18:10] company. Good agency, erm. Ah! It’s us, of course. It’s us. But, erm, they bring back some really nice gin called Larios gin. Erm, so if you ever get a chance for that, it, it’s like a—
PF: – you get it, like, pink gin and stuff [indiscernible 18:22]. It’s very, very nice.
RH: Mm. There we go. For free.
PF: And endorsement.
RH: Your top tips on gin. Bet you didn’t think you were gonna hear that; or the fact of what Pete said about recruitment being helped; erm, all the facts about, you know, three meetings out of being in that finalist room and a winner obviously—winner, winner, chicken dinner; erm, and a piece of business. So, you know, this is why we have this dude sitting on the Sofa of Success. He invented the freaking Sofa of Success.
RH: So, erm, we’re filming again. Dave Sinclair, Filmmaker Extraordinaire, is going off. He’s, he’s left me, er, to record the 12-part miniseries for some TV channel—Netflix—er, called Paratrooper.
PF: How dare him.
RH: I mean, I know. It’s, like, really?
PF: Who does he think he is?
RH: I know. I know. For—isn’t this good enough for you? Yeah, he’s giving a thumbs up. He’s lying. He’s lying. But we love him. Er, so he’s left me for several weeks, so we’re filming next on the 18th of October—
RH: – which is—
PF: Is that the same day as the awards?
RH: It’s just dawned on me.
PF: Yeah, it is. Yeah, yeah.
RH: Oh, my god. We’re gonna be useless.
PF: Yeah, yeah.
RH: Who’s gonna be like [squeal sound]?
RH: Jesus. We’re gonna have to finish on time because I need to get back to have a shower to change into the frock that hopefully I’ll be able to get into. Spanx. Need to buy Spanx. Yeah. So, we’ll be filming on the 18th before we then head down to London to win.
PF: That’ll be after the Niche ones.
RH: And after the Niche ones, yeah. So we’ll have to obviously talk about Niche. Oh. I must ask Jenny to come in and talk to us as well because, er, we said we’d have her back. And we’ve got Sandra Pollock coming back from East Midlands Women’s Awards. So, yes, it’s gonna be a busy sofa on the 18th.
RH: It’s gonna be busy, Dave. Busy. When you’re back from your Paratrooper miniseries and the Oscar. You wait. He’ll ditch me.
PF: I know. Yeah.
RH: I’m waiting for the—
PF: Too big for his boots, now.
RH: I’m so sorry.
PF: He does a TAP vlog, and then—
RH: Where’s my camera assistant? [Laughs] He’s laughing, but he’s rolling his eyes. Right. I shall release you back to the day job.
PF: Thank you.
RH: Thank you so much for coming in—
PF: Thank you. No problems. Thank you.
RH: – lettin’ us have the Sofa of Success. Er, this is Rach and Pete, my buddy, on his/my Sofa of Success checking out until next week. We’ll see you then, friends. Take care.