Robin Skidmore is an agencyland veteran, having sold his first agency, search specialist Ephiphany, to Jaywing back in 2015. After a brief hiatus, he founded performance marketing agency Journey Further in 2017. Now five years in, Skidmore shares his next five-year plan for the rapidly-expanding agency with The Drum.
“When I was at school, I was admiring people like Richard Branson when others were admiring football players and sports stars,” says Journey Further’s founder and chief exec Robin Skidmore. Business was always the goal: straight out of university, in the early 00s, he joined a web development company in a sales role before sniffing out a market in the early world of SEO. Tasked with selling websites, he and future business partner Shane Quigley, he says, quickly realized “it was a lot easier to sell the traffic than it was the technology because there was a means to an end. And it was at that point that we had an epiphany.”
That epiphany became Epiphany, the search agency Skidmore co-founded in Leeds in 2005 and grew over the next decade until an £18m sale to Jaywing in 2014. In the early days, the search engine optimization (SEO) scene was dominated by “dirty link building,” but Epiphany would become part of the movement that matured along with SEO, embedding it into a full-service offering. (Skidmore is glad, he tells us, that he didn’t take an offer in those early days to sell up for £50,000 and a sharing agreement on a BMW 3 Series).
After the sale of Epiphany, Skidmore and his wife spent six months traveling the Americas, Australia and Asia with their nine-month-old daughter. As idyllic as a life of riches and beaches might sound, he says, “as it started to come to its natural conclusion,