From SEO Apprentice to Director – Dan Grant’s Story

Dan Grant has progressed through the ranks and hit directorship through hard work and motivation.

James Dooley who is the largest UK digital real estate owner questions, Dan Grant, on his progression from apprenticeship to director.

In this interview with Dan Grant, we hold nothing back on trying to get all the daily tasks carried out, the struggles along the journey and what he’s enjoyed most about his journey from apprentice to director.

James Dooley Interviews Dan Grant

Here are all the questions and answers from James Dooley interviewing Dan Grant on his growth from apprentice to director.

What drew you to the idea of doing a digital marketing apprenticeship?

Coming out of sixth form I considered taking the University path, but after exploring the avenue of becoming an apprentice, I realised the career path appealed more to me.

The ability to learn on the job at a young age was exciting, and I truly believe that within the digital marketing industry, as long as your’e at a company that want to develop you properly, you’ll learn much more that way than taking the uni route.

How have you found the journey from apprentice to director?

I’ve loved my career journey so far. There’s been ups and downs, as with any business, but our hard work and dedication through tougher moments has got us to where we are today.

On a personal level, my journey has taught me not to be obsessed by the potential for failure. Digital marketing as an industry requires some level of trial and error, and without a mindset of constantly testing, finding what works and implementing those systems, you can easily trip up over your own self doubt.

As i’ve developed in my role at the company, i’ve been able to understand this more and more, and it’s great to see that our entire team has this mentality, which I think is imperative to our success.

How important do you feel your company’s role has been in your development?

Very important. The support and training provided by my employer has been a massive part of my own personal growth within the business, and has helped me to develop into a much more confident and well-rounded employee.

In my position, I was fortunate to be employed by a growing company with excellent management, so there’s been a consistent sense of growing with the company as opposed to adopting old ideas. Nowadays, as we’ve become more of an established outfit, it’s much more about implementing our systems that we know work across all our pursuits.

What have you enjoyed most about your career journey to becoming a director?

It’s very cliche, but what i’ve enjoyed the most is the professional and personal relationships i’ve built with my colleagues. I’m lucky enough to be part of a team that also strive for growth, with a shared goal of working as a team to push the business to new heights.

This work culture stems from the company owner James Dooley, who instills this philosophy in us each day. James has played an integral part in my development within the role, as well as my personal growth, which i’m extremely thankful for.

What have you found difficult on your career journey to becoming a director?

I think a younger version of myself found early moments of my career difficult, particularly when certain things we’d worked on hadn’t gone to plan or there had been setbacks within the team.

Experience has taught me that part of working within a business with big ambitions and a will to grow is that there will be disappointments and frustrations along the way. All of these moments have helped shaped where we’re at as a company today.

How has your role changed in your company over the course of your career?

My role has changed considerably overtime from coming out of my apprenticeship. By the time i’d completed my apprenticeship  i’d had enough exposure to the company and what we do, and was beginning to head up a role involving off page SEO and social media management, whilst being part of the video creation team.

As much as I enjoyed learning and implementing these sector of digital marketing, we had a period of time earlier in my career where we were building a lot of websites, but not quite achieving the targets we’d set for ourselves.

As the company continued to grow and improve its systems, I later moved into content writing, optimisation and management, which has become a crucial part of our company’s systems and processes for employees.

I’m now really enjoying a managerial role, training new and existing members of staff within the content marketing segment, as well as continuing to work on promotional videos for all our sites.

What would your advice be to those considering an apprenticeship?

I’d always advise anybody considering to become an apprentice to firstly research the industry that suits you best, but secondly make certain that your employer has long term plans for their apprentices, with a will to help develop you into a valuable and important member of their team.

It’s definitely a two way thing, as you need to be willing to put it the hard work to develop as well, but the company must also share the same philosophy. There’s been so many horror stories in the past of apprentices being taken on for a year and not even moved into an official role, with no intentions of embedding them within set up of the company.

My employer has been excellent with me in this regard, providing me with the opportunity to become an important player in the team so long as i’m willing to put in the time, effort and commitment. This is the ideal type of business you should be looking for when considering to do an apprenticeship, but remember, you’ve got to put that effort in.

How important has working in a team been to your growth?

Working as part of a team that pushes each other to improve has been massive for my growth, and for the growth of everyone in the business.

There can be potential dangers when working in a tight knit group, as individual egos at some organisations can get in the way of collective improvement.

I’m extremely thankful to be able to work within the team I work in, as there’s a real sense of togetherness and willing to help one another out with every aspect of the business. Nobody is in it for themselves or wanting to step on someone else to climb the ladder, it’s a real family atmosphere in our group which I know for a fact has helped me a lot to develop in my role.

What challenges are you facing now in a more senior role?

I’d say the biggest challenge in my current role is to ensure the systems and processes I implement are as air-tight as can possibly be, for myself and for the staff I train.

This is something i’m loving working on, as I take pride in providing clear instructions and seeing our staff carry out great work they should be proud of.

And as with any digital marketing role, a constant challenge is understanding that at any given moment, the algorithm can change, sometimes rendering your previous work inapplicable. The key to this is to have a willingness to learn and understand what’s needed to improve, and not dwell on what used to work yesterday. I think that having that attitude is the key to succeeding in an ever-changing industry.

Is there anything you wish you could tell your former self about your career path?

I would tell myself to not take setbacks so seriously, and not live on the extreme end of highs/lows. I think a big part of my growth within the business was finding balance when things fail, and when things succeed.

I think it’s important to adopt a mindset of constant improvement, as opposed to living off the back of a high or a low. That way the goal, whether personal or corporate, becomes a lot clearer.

Having said that, I wouldn’t take anything back from my career so far. I’ve loved every minute of it, and wouldn’t be in the position i’m in without the support of my boss, and the team around me.

Has James Dooley Played a Vital Role In Your Growth?

James Dooley is a serial online entrepreneur who invests in digital assets and all his team to grow.

If you have not checked out his interview on being a digital landlord then watch this:

James Dooley invests in new websites, affiliate sites and digital marketing companies where he can use his SEO skills to grow them further.


It is great to see employees’ growth from an apprentice to directors of a company.

When people in the UK are looking at their careers here is a great example of why a digital marketing apprenticeship could be a great option.

The digital marketing apprentices allow individuals to grow their knowledge on the job and be paid while developing new skills.