That’s the first month of 2017 over already. Crazy!

It’s been a busy month for the Canny team and we’re excited to share with you what’s been going on at Canny throughout January 2017.

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So without further ado, here’s the first update for the year:

Successfully Launched 3 New Projects

Towards the back end of 2016, we were coming to a close on several of our branding and website projects. We put in a launch plan with three of our clients for various stages throughout January, and we’re happy to say that all three launched successfully.

Lean Mums

Lean Mums is a membership website built on WordPress and Woocommerce that helps mums and soon-to-be-mums get fit and stay in shape.

We’ve been working with the Lean Mums team now for nearly a whole year. When they came to us with the idea, it was in quite a raw state. There were lots of different ideas flying all over the place.

Along with the client, we developed a plan and roadmap for the business and got to work.

We developed the brand identity, the website, helped along a social media strategy, and successfully launched on the 3rd of January to instant signups and praise from its users.

The hard work starts now for Lean Mums. Check out Lean Mums here.


The next project we launched as an e-commerce website for e-signature pad retailers Steadlands.

We started working with Steadlands in the late summer. They came to us to get help consolidating their three existing websites into one, and optimise the user buying process on their store.

We launched the new Steadlands website in early January and we’re happy to report that they’re selling more product online already than they ever have in the past.

The final project we completed in January was our second project from Japan, a new travel website,

Work began on around the same time as the Steadlands site started. came to us to help develop their branding and unique website system.

Using OpenExchangeRates and building on WordPress, we developed a website that compares historical currency value to today’s value, and allows users to find out what countries are “on sale” right now. The idea is to help people in planning their next travel adventure. will be featured in our portfolio soon, but for now, check out the website here.

New Enquiries and Successful Client Meetings

January is always a great month for building new relationships and meeting new people. This year, we’ve talked with five or six businesses looking to work with us.

We can’t go into too much detail with this, but here’s a quick run down of the type of businesses we’ve been talking to:

  • Two business partners looking to start a party company based in the North East of England.
  • A partnership from Essex who are planning to open a forest-based nursery for kids.
  • A large corporation from China that are launching a unique pet product range.
  • An SME based out of Seattle that are looking to partner with an agency for the long term.
  • An independent construction surveyor from the North East of England with a big business vision.

There’s a whole load of interesting things going on here at Canny, and talking with these new people has been great. We love working with new people and companies at Canny, and we’re excited to see where February takes these new relationships.

A Renewed Blogging Strategy

Our main target for 2017 was to launch one regular blog post per week. And I’m happy to say that in January, we’ve hit that target!

The posts published this month included:

So with 5 posts, it’s been a busy January on the blog, and we’re looking forward to it continuing throughout the rest of the year.

I talked in 4 Things I Learned in 4 Years about the Canny blog, the mythical beast that it is.

I know that the more we put into it, the more we get out of it. And last year, we tried to revisit it and get it off the ground again every few months, and it never happened.

So this year, we welcomed Amy Aitman to the Canny team, and working with her has given us the drive and determination to put into the Canny blog regularly.

Amy is the founder and director of shenanigans at Canadian content agency, 8MenCan.

Currently, we’re posting once a week. Every Monday.

And here’s the effect it’s had on our traffic:

Interesting, don’t you think? Apart from last week which started off strong and then dropped off, the traffic has been heading upwards with each blog post.

We’re really pleased with how the blog posts are being received and the effect that it’s having on our traffic and website engagement.

We’ve Gained 142 New Email Subscribers

At Canny, we use the outstanding Convertkit for managing our email list. We also pair it with OptinMonster to give our mailing list a bit of a “double whammy.”

As you can see, in late December we were getting one or two signups to the mailing list per day.

Since the renewed blogging strategy kicked in, signup numbers have been much higher than they were in the past. This is because:

  • We’re putting out better content on a much more regular basis.
  • We’re asking for signups in different and better places on our website, thanks to OptinMonster.

From December 27th to January 27th, we’ve gained 139 subscribers to the mailing list. That’s quite a hefty amount and we’ll be happy to see that continue to grow over the coming months.

“The C Word”

One of the biggest things that has happened at Canny this month is that we’ve started to shoot footage for our upcoming weekly YouTube show, The C Word.


Without context, that probably makes no sense at all. What can a design agency from the North East of England possibly have to say in a YouTube show?

Well, an awful lot, as it turns out.

We’re a small but busy team here at Canny, and the idea behind The C Word is to give people a look at what goes on both behind closed doors, and when we’re out and about.

I’ve employed the services of a videographer to follow us around at Canny, and our aim is to start releasing video shows in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

We’ve filmed a mix of things — from coffee shop meetings to animation and video planning sessions.

What we’ve learned so far is that video is tricky to shoot at times and getting the audio right is even harder.

At the start, it was quite intimidating having a camera follow my every move, but you begin to get used to it really quickly.

We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on, but it’s a little way off yet! We’ll post an update next month.

Tony Hardy is the Founder and CEO of Canny Creative. He is a graphic designer, web designer, brand consultant, blogger, Newcastle based entrepreneur, drummer, and wrestling fan.


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