Spotlight on Nick Entwistle - Just do it. What’s the best that could happen?
Updated: Feb 17
At Spotlight, we got the opportunity to talk to Nick Entwistle, Creative Director & Founder at the Bank of Creativity and One Minute Briefs. Nick chats about overcoming trauma, creating your own personal brand and loving your job. Take a look at Nick’s Twitter pages here and here.
A background into you and your business?
The Bank of Creativity brings together the perfect balance of creative professionals to generate big interest rates for brands by capturing audiences with engaging campaigns.
By doing away with typical agency overheads, we can pass on savings to our clients and bring ideas to life quickly and effectively, whilst delivering a strong return on investment.
Flexible accounts mean we can work on a project-by-project basis or offer longer-term content plans at a fixed rate to suit you.
Our speciality is in film and social media, however, our extensive range of close contacts allows us to branch out into animation, design, events/PR, radio, print & more.
As a bonus, we have 50,000+ followers on our various social channels, which means we can maximise the reach & power of our work.
In addition to all of this, we host creative events, workshops, and deliver talks for agencies, universities and businesses such as the BBC, Lloyds Bank and SKY. We also have several books published and have featured in articles and won awards across the world.
One Minute Briefs
One Rule. One Minute. Create an Ad.
We promote brands & causes via social media by challenging our creative community on Twitter to respond with instinctive ideas to daily advertising briefs & reward the best entries. All submissions are retweeted to our 25,000+ followers, which generates millions in potential reach every single day, enabling brands to interact with huge audiences in an engaging, cost-effective way whilst creating quality content. OMB serves as a popular, diverse & inclusive social network for the creative industry across the world and we host regular workshops, talks & events for our followers, otherwise known as the OMBLES.
What made you choose this career/industry?
I was going to go into architecture. I did my work placement at school at an architect company and one of the buildings we went to survey just happened to be the home of McCann Manchester. I was much more interested in what was happening in the building than the building itself. All of the ideas on the walls made me want to go into advertising and ideas. I ended up going to a local college to study Graphic Design. Much to the dismay of some of my tutors who were pushing me towards heading to Cambridge or Oxford as I was naturally better academically than creatively. But it was what I wanted to do and I persevered with it. I then found my way from that and used my English GCSE to become a writer within the creative industry alongside my art director. This then progressed to me becoming a Creative Director at the age of 26.
What has been your biggest challenge or setback during your career?
At age 26, I had a heart attack whilst freelancing. Suddenly everything is put into perspective and you face the prospect of no earnings with a lack of motivation to rush back through the fear of additional stress that could make it happen again.
I tentatively came back into the industry following weeks of Cardiac Rehab. I was supported to be able to work from home and, upon coming back into more prominent roles, my mindset had now changed. I felt I wanted to make a real impact on creative decisions and said I am a Creative Director now. Perhaps I had no right to at a young age but I had a belief in myself that I could do it. And the first campaign I did afterwards happened to be for the NHS, which ended up with a music video and campaign that beat Justin Bieber to Xmas Number 1.
What is an important initiative that you feel passionate about in your role?
I think the One Minute Briefs community has helped me immensely, both personally and in my career. The support everyone gives to each other is extraordinary and provides a level playing field for people at any stage of their careers.
I put a lot of time in to ensure that everyone gets the most out of our community and some of the amazing stories coming from it make it all so worthwhile.
What do you think gave you the drive and determination to succeed?
I think it’s a combination of a few things. Being supported by the right people as well as pushed to improve. I was once entering an award for a poster campaign in University. My tutor said, “It’s good but it won’t win”. He told me to go and work together with someone to make it better and come back. We ended up winning and I realised that a good idea isn’t good enough and that you always have to push for something great. I apply that to the way I think ever since in whatever I do. I’ve always been naturally competitive too and strive to do my best at all times. In this industry, it’s also important to be able to cope with setbacks and take negativity/rejection in your stride. Over time, this gets easier to handle and you learn to adapt and understand what makes a great idea. You can then share this knowledge and experience with others to help them succeed.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
You can’t do great things on your own. Collaboration helps you create amazing campaigns together with the right people. A collective voice is so much more powerful than one. To anyone starting out in their career my tips would be:
Differentiate. - Great work alone is not going to get you that job. You have to get that work seen. How will you stand out amongst your competition?
Make things happen - Don’t just create a spec-ad… do it for real… contact the brand…email the agency. Don’t do the bare minimum. Go the extra mile. And if you don’t get anywhere… at least you tried.
Pursue the jobs you want- Don’t let the industry shape your career. Draw up a list of where you want to work and the types of things you want to do and get in touch with them. If they haven’t got anything… ask them to give you 3 contacts for others.
Make sure your emails are well-written and not generic copy and paste too.
What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
Be a brand. I’ve never been Nick on any of my socials aside from Linkedin. This has really helped to grow a following and community and helped me differentiate from other creatives throughout my career. This naturally turned into a business, without having to start from scratch.
What advice do you have for people aiming for leadership positions?
Have a belief. Don’t entertain any negativity along the way or let others hold you back.
In leadership roles, you may have less time to be creative but you can help shape campaigns and have more influence. Whatever role you are in now, do your best to be working at the level higher than what you are. Don’t coast. You will go far this way.
Celebrate the work of others. Lose the preciousness of coming up with that killer idea yourself. Anyone can come up with a good idea. Create a non-judgmental, supportive place for others to feel they can share their ideas without fear.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Winging it. Making it up as you go along is no bad thing. Constantly improving and trying new things that sometimes fail and sometimes work perfectly. Learning from your experience and applying new ideas to help your community and business continue to grow.
When you try and do something good and different, there will always be haters. It’s important to embrace that. I used to get anxious and worked up by seeing negative comments on work that I’ve created etc… and I’d ignore the positive comments as a result. People won’t like everything you do. Once you learn to understand that… you’ll realise that it doesn’t matter as long as some love what you do. If you’re in the middle of creating vanilla work where people don’t care either way, then that’s a problem.
What has been your strategy for your business during corona?
I sat back and avoided adding to the noise of all the other businesses bombarding people. I then utilised OMB for Good. I wrote about some of our campaigns here. I have been unable to create any films and some of our bigger campaigns have been postponed and cancelled. We have had events cancelled also.
Therefore, I have shifted the focus onto One Minute Briefs as it runs entirely online.
This has grown by thousands of followers during the lockdown as it gives people an outlet to be creative. When brands and causes have collaborated with us during this time, they have seen huge reach and interaction as we’ve trended on Twitter multiple times and even got on Live TV during Peston. From doing silly little quick ideas during University to being featured on a political programme during a global pandemic a few years later!