Co-founder and managing partner Charlie Blower drives new business development and Creative at Blak Labs, a full-service micro-agency that helps clients sleep better at night by solving their communications issues with big ideas and what it calls ‘Creative Care’.
Based in Singapore and Myanmar, the company has 20 staff members and has to its credit a presidential candidate’s election campaign as one of its projects. Other clients include Gardens by the Bay, Maybank and GlaxoSmithKline.
Blower set up the business in 2010 with Singaporean partners, with a desire to get back to doing what they love best – writing ideas and solving client problems. Here, he tells us how going back to the basics is sometimes the best way to get creative.
What are some of the challenges your company faces and how do you solve them?
Blower: Our biggest challenge has been convincing prospective clients that the small agile team of creative professionals at Blak Labs is capable of delivering big ideas across any channel. Since we set up five years ago in Singapore, we’ve built a strong portfolio and good word of mouth. That’s why we’ve now ventured into Myanmar.
How do you network or build new relationships for your business?
Blower: We put a great deal of emphasis on building relationships at Blak Labs. We call this ‘Creative Care’ – we came up with this term because everyone at Blak Labs is creative and works directly with clients to solve business problems or help them achieve their communication objectives. Word of mouth is also great for our business – it has been from day one. We love a good testimonial from a happy client. Prospective clients are also reassured by what they read.
How would you prefer someone to reach out to you?
Blower: Personal referrals via email or LinkedIn are the best. Social media interruptions aren’t preferred, since we have a limited amount of time each day and want to use it for the benefit of our clients and people.
What is your most effective tip for improving productivity?
Blower: Turn off the email. Silence the phone. Get a fresh piece of paper, a cup of coffee and start thinking.
What do you think about a business card management service such as Sansan?
Blower: I think services such as Sansan are quite useful. The Sansan contact management system looks promising. I can't wait to try it.