“As a society, we value saving time and convenience. If your offerings give that to someone, you’ll succeed,” says Nick Bell—an Australian serial entrepreneur— Founder, and Managing Director of First Page Digital.
In 2008 at the age of 24, Nick started a Search Engine Marketing business by the name of WME, with a start-up capital of only $350. With WME, he revolutionized the digital marketing landscape in Australia. The company forged its reputation in the industry and became the industry leader, growing the Australian office headcount to more than 300 employees. Nick served as the Managing Director of WME for more than 9 years before stepping down in 2017. Presently, he collaborates with budding entrepreneurs and helps them skyrocket growth with the help of his experience and expertise. Nick has co-founded 9 companies internationally in the past 13 years that include, Appscore, Removify, First Page Digital, Lisnic and more.
Digital Dominance in the Asia-Pacific
First Page Digital is the APAC region’s highest-rated full-service digital agency. It was established by Nick in 2011. He collaborated and hired digital marketing experts in the region. With their combined expertise and creative flair, the business achieved digital success. First Page Digital offers integrated digital marketing solutions, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), advertising, and more. The Singapore-based company helps its clients by generating more leads through smart digital strategies. First Page customizes its online offerings for each and every business, building stronger and more agile organizations through its unique solutions.
“With technical expertise and a creative flair, we have helped thousands of businesses achieve digital success,” states Nick.
First Page Digital has successfully created a network of international offices–in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Dubai, Panama, and Brazil–and is now delivering exceptional results to brands of various sizes internationally. Nick was featured in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) 2020 Rich List, with a net worth of $274 million.
Helping the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow
The spread of the deadly COVID-19 changed the world in many ways. With the necessary closures of businesses, schools, universities, cities, and homes, the pandemic forced society to not act as a group. It confined people inside their homes. Despite saving millions of lives, the COVID-19 lockdowns have increased the number of mental health issues around the world.
Several business owners and entrepreneurs found it difficult to survive during these uncertain times, leading to mental health issues. Nick took the issue seriously and created an online platform, ‘Lisnic.’ It connects entrepreneurs and businessmen with coaches and industry experts who fast-track careers, scale businesses, and help build mental strength. Lisnic is the future of business. It also provides access to the counsel of professional Mind Coaches, who help the users with anxiety, stress, or pressure handling issues. Further, Nick also aims to build an eco-wellness retreat, ‘Alsahwa’ in Noosa for body-hacking, health, and fitness.
Importance of Cultural Excellence
Nick has always been a supportive leader and advocates a similar culture at the workplace. Hiring new talents in an ever-growing industry is highly challenging. So, Nick builds a unique ‘open to fun’ agency culture. This helps in employee retention as well as with hiring new digital marketing talents. To provide value and results to clients, the company trains and retains talented individuals. As the challenge is to provide value and results for businesses, having a team of versatile individuals—with experience as well as flexibility—is key to success in the digital media industry.
“People are the main asset of the company and over the years, we have changed to employee empowerment and trust model rather than a top-down approach,” says Nick Bell
Disruptions due to the Pandemic
The COVID-19 has fundamentally changed numerous business models. The consumers that depended on the local stores had to switch to digital alternatives immediately. As the users went online, many traditional businesses had to switch to the medium to find customers. Due to which the demand for media and advertising increased. First Page Digital acquired numerous new clients during this period. The company faced the challenge of hiring new talents, to expand and grow.
During the early lockdown period, First Page Digital faced the challenge of budgeting as well. The company had to decide if they had to cut cost or invest more in marketing and getting more talent. This concern was raised due to the rising uncertainties and the shutdown of local and global trade. These strategic choice of investing more instead of cutting costs helped the company gain the required traction at that time and grow. Later, when companies were reducing costs as well as letting go of employees, First Page Digital was hiring. As all the businesses were going digital, hiring aided the company’s growth and helped widen its area of influence. Nick also introduced the ‘Get to the point rule’ to increase productivity.
The company increased its budget for all departments and reaped the most benefits out of its strategic investments when COVID-19 started to normalize. First Page Digital restarted its business with the advantage of better resources and capacity against its competitors. With an aim to deal with a higher number of clients, the company is planning to grow ‘bigger and better’ in 2021.
“We have doubled up in size to cater to the massive demand of digital marketing right—only the sky is the limit,” concludes Nick.