Driffield News

‘Genius’ George moves to America to run digital marketing business

A former Driffield School & Sixth Form student has told the Wolds Weekly how he took his digital marketing business from making $10,000 per month to $1 million per month in just two years, a rapid rise that has seen him recently move over to the USA.

George Nellist, 21, is the director of marketing and sales at Ascend Agency, and has been described as a ‘genius of the game’ by Men’s Journal.

In his role, George works with people from the digital, finance and legal sectors of the business world and the company is set to expand further in the coming months.

Through his work with the agency, George assists his clients to establish and maintain a digital presence, enticing customers to their brands, using unique online marketing tools and techniques.

And the business continues to grow, so much so George is now based in Los Angeles, bringing an end to the late-night meetings he had from East Yorkshire with clients across the pond.

After leaving school, George enrolled at Wilberforce College, studying computer science.

However, he decided to drop out of college and made the brave decision to set up Ascend with his business partner.

With no previous marketing experience, it was a courageous decision, but one that George hasn’t regretted after the company’s mesmeric rise.

“Originally, I was going to start my own agency, but then I partnered with Jonathan, who is my business partner, and I became a co-owner of Ascend,” he said.

“I had no previous experience in marketing, but I’ve always been studying the social media world and exploring other side hustles whilst I was working in the tech industry.

“I didn’t really care about school either, so I just taught myself everything I could.

“We started with zero backing and funding and just slowly grew the company through the pandemic by closing out some large partnerships to represent brands and influencers.

“We took the company from making $10,000 a month in revenue to now making over $1m in revenue a month in 2022, all in just under two years.”

The vast amount of Ascend’s clients were based in the USA, which meant that George and his co-workers were often working until the early hours of the morning due to the time difference.

After moving out to a new base in California, George is living the American dream and has no intention of returning any time soon.

“I moved to Los Angeles in March and my company is based here, as well as the rest of our team,” added George.

“We are a team of five. I’m meeting my clients face to face, networking and working on new companies.

“We’ve always been mainly focused in the US and when I was in the United Kingdom I was working until 4am and 5am.

“I’m working on obtaining my visa to stay here permanently.

“We are heading into new industries, for example, the music industry and we are working on Ascend Music, which will manage artists.

“We are starting to work with more major brands too.”

Here are George’s top tips for anyone else thinking of setting up a digital marketing business:

• Give honest expectations to clients

• Advice people to be competitive and honest with their customers

• Encourage networking

• Always stress it’s not what you know, it’s who you know

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