Referred to as the “digital capital of the north”, due to its tech sector’s worth of £1billion; there are plenty of opportunities to carve out your digital marketing career here.
In fact, it’s never been a better time to move to Leeds. With large companies such as Channel 4 and HMRC moving their offices here, and the ever-growing skyline due to new flats being built all the time; Leeds is about to get a whole lot more exciting.
Working in Leeds
From big brands to innovative agencies, the opportunity to forge a digital career in Leeds is huge – no matter whether your passion lies in SEO, content, PR, social media, PPC, or any other strand of digital marketing.
To get you started, here are our top 10 agencies in Leeds that can offer you fantastic career progression, the opportunity to work with some cool clients, and the chance to work with some of the best digital experts in the city!
Top 10 agencies in Leeds
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After graduating, I decided to apply for content roles in Leeds, partly due to the city being great for digital. I’m enjoying my time at Edit and feel like I’m quickly developing, despite not necessarily having a background in digital marketing. There’s always so much going on in the industry so my advice would be to just get involved as much as possible and the experience will come.
Alex Nayler, Edit
Finding ‘the’ job after graduating from university is tough. For graduates looking to get their first job in the industry, my advice would be to take your time, allow yourself time each day to search for jobs, and then begin the process of applying for them. This balance will help you keep on top of your applications, categorising them in order of preference, and if you have feedback from them, or a second interview.
Laine Moore, Pedro Agency
I would advise anyone applying for a digital marketing role to remember you need to 'market' yourself. This could be breaking away from the traditional CV, or including projects you've worked on to showcase what you are capable of (university assignments can be really useful for this). Experience in digital marketing isn't easy to obtain - if you can get it, then great! If not, look for roles that cover desirable skills such as time management and building client relationships.
Chloe Bennett, Epiphany
My tip to anybody wanting to start a career in digital marketing would be to stay updated. You need to keep on top of industry news by following major digital marketing sites and influential people on social media. As major players such as Google, Facebook, Bing, Twitter and Instagram regularly tweak their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, these are some recommendations of sites to get started with.
Ola Akinlade, Epiphany
I originally found the role at Stickyeyes following their top spot on the Prolific North “Best Top North 50 Digital Agencies” to work for. My experience of working in an agency so far has been nothing but positive. I love the fast paced nature of working with a range of clients, across multiple industries at a fun, progressive agency. My advice to future graduates searching for a role would be to be patient, be proactive, ensure you are applying for jobs you are passionate about, and think about what separates you out from the rest.
Danny Porter, Stickyeyes
Working at Stickyeyes has been an extremely positive experience so far. Every day I develop my skills whilst working in a fun, vibrant and supportive environment. I have access to one-on-one training, and have regular performance reviews to ensure that I am happy in my role. My advice to graduates, is to look for an employer who is interested in you as an individual. You will progress more quickly, and will have a healthier work environment, much like the one that I have found here at Stickyeyes.
Madison Lowes, Stickyeyes
The best advice I can give to other recent graduates looking to secure their first role, is not to limit your search to the popular job sites – often agencies only advertise vacancies on their own website or social media pages. For my role here within design and development at Stickyeyes, I searched out the best digital agencies in the Yorkshire area and applied directly.
James Houghton, Stickyeyes
It’s hard to finish your degree and decide there and then what you want to do with the next 40-50 years of your life. Since graduating in 2018, deciding to work in an agency has been the best decision for me! Agency life is a busy life, but it gives you a wide variety of clients to work on, meaning you get to figure out what it is you really like doing the best. I’ve also found a really good support system here at Stickyeyes, we all look out for each other!
Sophie Barker, Stickyeyes
My advice for graduates taking their first steps in the industry are to build on any existing marketing experience in the initial stages, as this will weigh heavily in your favour throughout the recruitment process for graduate roles. Remain positive throughout your job hunt, as there will be knock backs and there’s a lot of competition. Search far and wide for your opportunities, make use of websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, as well as recruitment agencies. I personally found directly approaching digital marketing agencies through their websites to look for vacancies worked well.
Connor Griffiths, Enjoy Digital
Does degree subject matter?*
Have marketing degrees
Have business degrees
Degrees include PR, media and law
*stats from included agency owners/managers
From monthly digital marketing meet-ups to conferences, there are several events you can attend in Leeds to learn more, speak with other like-minded marketers, build your networking circle to progress in your career.
The West Yorkshire countryside is right on your doorstep in Leeds, and one place we’d recommend exploring is the Adel Dam nature reserve.
Located next to Golden Acre Park, spend an afternoon strolling around this woodland and wetland nature reserve.
From high canopy trees, to the resident woodpeckers, mandarin duck and kingfishers, there’s so much to see. The walk is a circular route so don’t worry about getting lost – but don’t wander into any boggy areas, and keep to the path to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
This truly is a unique facility, as it’s the only independent black and white analogue darkroom in Leeds that’s open to the public.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or expert photographer, you can come to the Aire Street Darkroom to develop your prints.
They run regular training courses in darkroom techniques, and using a film camera correctly, and there are drop-in facilities available for the more experienced photographer too. To book a course or see when drop-in times are, head on over to their website.
Where? 20-34 Aire Street, Leeds, LS1 4HT Cost:Induction is £10; drop-in sessions are £20 Website:airestreetdarkroom.co.uk
Tucked off The Headrow in a historic yard, Headrow House is located in a former textiles mill; a nod to the city’s past.
Set across four floors, you’ll find a beer hall that serves over 60 different types of beer, two roof terraces perfect for long summer evenings, and a Michelin-recommended restaurant that serves up steak and chips for £5. Headrow House is the perfect place to visit, whether you’re after cocktails, beer, or a bite to eat. Plus, their happy hour is pretty good too – two double gin and tonics for £9? Yes please!
One of the largest indoor markets in all of Europe, over 10,000 visitors visit the 800 stalls every single week.
Just a stone’s throw away from Briggate – the main shopping street – doors are open between 8am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday, where you can pick up everything from clothes and jewellery, to flowers, food and drink, and haberdashery.
From time to time, Kirkgate market puts on events such as food and drink festivals, and vintage fashion fairs.
Operated by the Cycle Pathway CIC, the Urban Bike Park offers multiple cycling trails in and around Leeds, suitable for everyone from beginners to total pros.
With an on-site shop, you can either hire a bike, or speak to one of the mechanics if you have a bike that needs repairing.
There’s an on-site coffee shop serving a range of hot and cold food, and if you’re a true cycling enthusiast, you won’t want to miss their annual Bridge Jam festival in the spring, featuring music and food… and of course, cycling!
Where? Ring Road, Beeston Park, Middleton, Leeds, LS10 3TN Cost: Free entry. Bike hire £15-£35 Website:leedsurbanbikepark.com
Located in the popular Leeds Dock, North Star was the first coffee roastery in Leeds to dedicate themselves to providing the highest quality coffee, by working with specialty focused producers worldwide.
They also offer barista courses, which you can find out more about on their website.
It’s not just coffee that will keep you coming back though – their freshly made breads and cakes are delicious… and they make one of the best cheese toasties you’ll ever taste!
Leeds is home to Northern Ballet, who tour across the UK with their contemporary ballets such as Dracula, Victoria and Cinderella.
Living in Leeds, you’ll find it easy enough to catch a show a few times a year – whether it’s at the Grand Theatre, Leeds Playhouse – or, for smaller productions, the studios they dance in themselves.
If you fancy more than just watching, you can sign up for adult ballet classes. Held in the evenings, class levels range from beginners right through to advanced. If you’d like to attend a class, you just need to register in advance.
Where? Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PA Cost: Vary – head on over to their website Website:northernballet.com
Perhaps once Leeds’ best-kept secret, while it may not be quite as discreet as it once was, it’s still well worth a visit!
This prohibition bar is hiding in plain sight on Call Lane. Find it, and you’ll get to drink sophisticated cocktails in a stylish venue. The bartenders are award-winning, and it’s not difficult to see why once you’ve tried the concoctions they’ve created – our personal favourite is Bed of Roses.
Our top tip? Head over on a weeknight so you can see the decor of The Maven in its full glory – oh, and you’ll get your cocktails served much quicker too!