Each month, we interview a WSI franchise owner, giving them the opportunity to share their industry insights and tell us about the journey they have been on since joining the global WSI family. This month, we introduce Daphne Anderson, a Digital Marketing Strategist and Consultant based in Atlanta, GA.
Tell me a little about yourself, and where you are located?
I live in Sugar Hill, GA, which is in the north metro Atlanta area. We are north of Atlanta and just south of Lake Lanier. My family consists of a great business colleague (who also happens to be my husband), two daughters and two standard poodles. When I am not working, I enjoy boating on Lake Lanier, cooking, gardening, travelling, and spending time with my family.
Why did you want to become an Internet consultant and join WSI?
Tom and I had the opportunity to think about what we wanted to do with the next phase of our life. We spent about a year considering and researching various businesses, and we found that WSI was a good fit for our prior experience in consulting, project management and marketing. Through our due diligence, we discovered that WSI was also an excellent fit for our core values.
What’s the biggest value that you get from WSI?
Community - the WSI Network of ICs is a great resource, and WSI Home Office does a wonderful job of enabling the sharing and promotion of learning for everyone.
What job/business were you in before you started your WSI business?
I have lots of experience in a variety of functions: everything from technical (I was a programmer back in the day) to strategic planning - facilitating regional discussions about market share and competitors. I like to say I have been employee number 12 and I have been employee number 12,153, which means I have worked in a variety of companies from startups to Fortune 500.
When our daughters were young, I decided to step away from my career to be home with them. I became involved in volunteering at school and with my daughters’ sports. Just before starting WSI, I was doing part-time consulting and looking to return to full-time work.
Tell us about anyone who helped influence you into starting your own business?
There wasn’t really one specific person. Over the years, family and friends have told both my husband and me individually and as a couple, that we should start our own business. I think we influenced each other in taking this leap together.
How long have you been with WSI?
I signed the contract in February - so about six months now.
Describe your typical work week?
We are still working on having a typical week. We try to have a regular schedule, but something always crops up that changes it. There are basic activities that we do each week:
- Filling the pipeline with leads, which means putting out lawn signs and networking with people that we know or organizations that we join.
- Speaking with prospects, understanding their goals and determining what would be the best strategy for them, and then educating them on what we recommend and why.
- Onboarding clients and managing their projects.
- Attending training and coaching sessions, education webinars, Open Forum Networking in the community, as part of a business group, or with friends and former colleagues.
- General business activities like accounting, billing, cleaning, and updating our customer database.
- Thinking of other ways to get leads and what the next steps are for growing the business.
What highlights have you had since being with WSI?
- We have been pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement from Home Office and the WSI network.
- I am impressed by the creativity and dedication to continuous improvement by the Home Office and individual ICs themselves.
- The creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the people we speak with.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in running your business, and how have you dealt with them?
- Jumping through thousands of hoops for the SBA loan! Patience and persistence paid off.
- Keeping a consistent schedule each week is difficult when customer demands force a change.
- It can be challenging to find WSI resources at times. I believe this is due to the fact that Home Office is running so fast to create new options that it takes time to trickle out to everyone. This may change as we get more familiar with the resources.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your business?
- Customer focus
- Willingness to try new things
What goals do you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
- Determine a niche market to focus on.
- Continue our learning and development.
- Start educating the community about digital marketing through presenting.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Two empty nesters with a thriving digital marketing business.
What advice would you give a new WSI Internet Consultant?
The same advice we were given: make sure you have enough time to do the pre-training before starting the in-person/synchronous training - we didn’t do it, and I don’t know for sure if it would have made any material difference in our business. Seriously though, think about what you really want to do, take the time to do your due diligence, speak with as many people as possible, then go for it and do what you really want to do.
What would be your personal motto?
If it’s worth doing, do it right.
If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
That would depend on the location – where in the world, what’s good locally, etc. I like to try craft cocktails - something that I have not tried before. Perhaps something with prosecco, a botanical gin and a rosemary sprig, or maybe a Gaelic whiskey neat.
If you could be anywhere other than here talking to me - right this minute, where would you be?
On the beach, walking the dogs with my family.