What do you do at Twirling Umbrellas, and why do you do it?
First and foremost, we’re a digital marketing agency. We have our roots in a freelance business I set up six years ago that eventually grew into so much more. In the years since then, we’ve expanded and brought on team members that have enabled us to add depth to our services and expand our skillset.
We focus on everything digital, helping businesses to grow their online presence. That could mean partnering on web design, SEO, advertising and social media.
Why we do it is because it’s really fun to be creative. We see a need out there for websites and online marketing that are better than what’s traditionally been done. A lot of companies like ours still favour older school marketing techniques that just don’t work the same way they used to. They’ve been relied upon for years and people have always defaulted to them. For example, radio might have been a great option 25-30 years ago, but not so much nowadays. I think there’s a real need for companies to understand what’s possible online and make the most of it.
Our goal is to work alongside our partners and act as an integrated marketing department rather than just an outsourced company they hire for one specific project.
What has your journey with the SBBC Awards been like?
Back in 2018, we were nominated in the SBBC Awards for the first time. To be honest, I had been working hard to grow the business and wasn’t super aware of the competition. We had just five members on our team then and we were operating out of our very first office.
In the end, we made it all the way to the Top 5 of the Best Marketing category. We were really grateful for the experience and it was so valuable comparing ourselves to the other finalists. It helped us put our business into context. We saw what other businesses were doing and it highlighted where we needed to be to match them.
I actually think it was a big part of starting the culture we now have at Twirling Umbrellas. That recognition of our early efforts, as a small agency, meant so much to us and we got a lot out of it. In the time since then, we continued to grow and do our own thing, slowly adding team members. We were nominated again for the 2020 Awards and I felt like we were in such a stronger position to be considered a genuine candidate to win.
We were nominated in Best Company. After five years of positive growth, a much stronger team, and a great culture, I felt like we could make a pretty good argument why we should win. We made it to the Top 5 again, we brought our whole team to the gala event in Vancouver and luckily, we won.
In some ways, the best thing to come out of this was the recognition our team received. It meant a lot to me to see the great people we have get that recognition from outside. I wish we could have that night over and over again; it was a real highlight of the year for me.