Today, we get to know more about Dave Johnson. As an owner of a digital marketing agency, he talks about how he was able to scale his business by joining the WSI network of solution providers.
How long have you been with WSI?
Not very long. I attended the September training class. Even though I have been in the marketing industry for approximately 30 years, I was amazed at how much I didn’t know. The WSI training was awesome and I was very impressed with the instructors, vendors and employees of WSI that I got an opportunity to meet. It is clear to me that WSI is a great company to be affiliated with. I can’t wait to get to know everyone and I hope to have an opportunity to work on a project or two with some of other WSI agencies/ICs.
What attracted you to become an agency with WSI?
I was attracted to WSI after doing some research and realizing that I had come to the end of my bandwidth. I am sure my story isn’t much different than everyone else’s. I reached the point in my business where I didn’t have the time to do everything I needed to do to grow and yet I hadn’t reached the point where I could afford to hire someone to help. WSI seemed like the logical and natural next step. I am super stoked that I joined the WSI family.
What country are you based in? What’s something about your country that others may not know?
I am based in the United States but have strong ties to Ecuador and hope to have an office there soon. I am a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President. While everyone may know about all the contributions he made to our history, most people probably don’t know he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. While difficult to prove, it is said that his won-loss record was 299-1. Also, the actual date of Independence day is July 2nd. According to Wikipedia, “From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.”
Where are there opportunities for growth for your business? For your clients?
There are plenty of opportunities for growth in the digital agency world. Things are always changing and the minute you think you have the hang of something, it changes too. This industry is in a constant state of flux so you can either be thrilled and excited by it or get run over. I am opting for the first choice. What I love about our industry is that every day is different. I can’t imagine going to an office (no offense to the those that do) every day and having to do the same tasks over and over again. In our industry, every day is remarkably different than the one before – if it isn’t, you aren’t growing. I love how sometimes I feel like things are totally out of control – it is a rush. And then, somehow, I manage to pull everything together and it all works out. The opportunity for my clients is equally exciting because they are able to pinpoint what platforms are producing results and which one aren’t. By being their trusted advisor and showing them how this is done, we both win. If I had to narrow it down to a single technology that I am most excited about, it would be AI assisted marketing platforms. While the AI industry is still relatively young, huge strides are going to be made once we integrate AI into our day-to-day marketing lives. I am also a big fan of chatbots – AI-directed chatbots are going to change the world.
What is it about digital marketing that interests you?
For me the question should be what doesn’t interest me about digital marketing. I am super passionate about all things marketing, traditional and digital. I love watching an idea come together and then developing a marketing strategy to propel the idea forward. To me, marketing is everything and everything is marketing. Being a marketing professional comes with great responsibility. The health of our client’s business is in our hands – we can make or break it and that is a sobering thought.
What’s the biggest challenge for businesses in the US?
I don’t think there are any challenges to business in our country. Now more than ever the free enterprise system is alive and well. There is so much opportunity here that it makes my head spin. If you are the least bit motivated, there is literally nothing stopping you from owning and operating your own business in the US. You are only limited by your imagination.
What’s something you take pride in with your business?
I have been doing this a long time, so I have seen a lot of things come and go. I think the thing that differentiates me from most digital marketers is my creativity. Creativity isn’t something that is discussed a lot in the digital marketing world, but it is SUPER important. You can have the best marketing plan in the world, but it will fall flat if the message isn’t compelling. I start with an idea and then work from there. While we sometimes think all businesses are the same, they aren’t. What works for one roofing company may not work for the other. It is important to remember that a business has a personality just like the person running it. Creativity allows me to bring my client’s business to life and make it relatable and lovable to potential customers. Without creativity, your business is dull and boring.
Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?
No offense, but I have never liked this question. First of all, I don’t have a crystal ball. Secondly, I think thinking that far ahead limits you. As I mentioned before, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in the world and I don’t want to be so hyper-focused on a plan that I miss out on something that may take me exactly where I want to go. This is certainly counter to the prevailing philosophy in business these days, but I have never been a conventional person.
If you share one piece of information with the audience today, what would it be?
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have dozens.”