I’ve been looking forward to this interview today. We’re going to be talking to Alison Lindemann, a Digital Marketing Consultant from Los Angeles, California.
If you ask Google, 'how many women are there in digital marketing?', you find out that women only account 30% of the digital marketing workforce. So I hope that you are intrigued to learn and find out more about one such woman, like Alison.
So Alison, thank you for giving up your time to help us learn more about you and why you chose this field of digital marketing.
Tell me a little about yourself, and where you are located?
My agency is just outside of Los Angeles and I am celebrating 15 years with WSI this year. Can’t believe it! I have a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Why did you want to become an Internet Consultant?
I had a stint as a business consultant in my previous career, which I really enjoyed. The focus of that position was to help a group of sales people increase sales, improve client retention and implement operational efficiencies. Isn’t that pretty much what we do with our clients with WSI? Yes! And I was an Internet junkie the day I received the first AOL CD in the mail, so this career was the perfect blend of my experience and interests.
What job/business were you in before you started your WSI business?
I worked for Farmers Insurance Group, a multi-billion dollar insurance company based in the US. My most previous positions were Director of Service Operations (responsible for 19 offices across the US) and Director of Sales.
Tell us about anyone who helped influence you into starting your own business?
My father-in-law was a lifelong entrepreneur, a self-made and extremely successful business man, who ran several successful business right up until his passing a couple years ago. He was kind, wise and generous, the perfect example of success.
How long have you been with WSI?
15 years this year!
Describe your typical work week?
Always start with the gym, I am a fitness nut! I get into the office around 9am (trying to improve that!) and typically prep for my first meeting around 10am. I don’t have an official office day, as I tend to cater to my clients’ schedules whenever possible. As a result, it is important I try to be as organized and efficient as possible between meetings.
Most of the time, I travel to my clients. So I’m on the road if that’s the case. Since I live in LA, most clients are super thoughtful and suggest I come after traffic dies down. A growing number of clients are right in my community which means I can get to them in 15 minutes or less. If I have a second client meeting I go straight there which usually gets me back to my office for several hours at the end of the day.
I bring my laptop everywhere and typically work an hour or two in the evening finishing up task from the day or client proposals.
We have a great office environment. I’ll send you pictures of my current office as it showcases things I love. We are moving to new offices soon and I’ll show you a couple pictures of the build out.
What highlights have you had since being with WSI?
Well, I’ve been a top 25 revenue earner for over 10 years. For many years, I was the sole female-only owned franchise in the top 25. It’s great to be seeing more women in that position now. I am very proud of my client retention as well as our success at selling multiple services to each client. I was also part of the group of 8 Top Guns and have participated every since.
What are the biggest obstacles that you have faced in running your business and how have you overcome them?
I’ve had the same obstacles of most consultants. I took on too much overhead early on which resulted in a struggle to be profitable for several years. I definitely struggle with saying yes too often and under pricing what I offer. I have put a lot of effort the past several years into improving in that area.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your business?
Taking the time to really understand a business, their strengths and weaknesses and combining that with my solid business background and being fortunate to have a strong “know, like, trust” persona, so people are very comfortable with me right away. I never take advantage of that gift, what I mean by that, is I’ll never sell anything to a client that I don’t genuinely feel will be in their best interest. If something isn’t working, I am the first to suggest we shut it down. People know that about me, and it’s a bit part of why our retention is so high.
What goal do you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
Well, as I mentioned, I am moving, so that’s a big accomplishment. After that, I hope to be able to hire an operational manager. Even though we do quite well, the daily responsibility of running the operation still rests on my shoulders and I would love to fine the right person to take some of that over so I can better focus on what I’m good at – sales and consulting.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
What advice would you give a new WSI Internet Consultant?
Don’t over invest. Find valued partners and vendors to help you grow and then start to think about permanent staff when you have the consistent revenue to support it. Participate in training WEEKLY and find great mentors.
What would be your personal motto?
If it’s going to BE, it’s up to ME
On the Personal side, it’s “thin feels better than food tastes” lol
If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
I went Keto 2 ½ years ago, so my days of frozen swirl margaritas are over (although I’ll tell you about them!). So it’s 2 shots of vodka on the rocks with limes😊
If you could be anywhere other than here talking to me - right this minute, where would you be?
PARIS!!!!! Or playing tennis😊