This is a follow up story for Up And Social. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
I am Scott Bishop. I own Up and Social, an inbound marketing agency based in Boston. We’re geared to helping small businesses enhance their exposure online and get more leads. Our most popular service is web design. We offer high-end web design that achieves the marketing goals of our customers and increases their ranking in search results by the use of effective SEO strategies.
Our customers are small business leaders from a variety of industries such as dental, real estate, home building, and construction, gym and fitness, book publishing, landscaping, and more. In addition to web design, we offer search engine optimization, social media marketing, content creation, positive review accumulation, and more. Our average monthly revenues have been consistently exceeding $25k and we’re tracking for a substantial increase in the coming years.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Unfortunately, the pandemic has had a major effect on our customers and ultimately their ability to invest in marketing efforts. Since the pandemic, we experienced a decrease in customer acquisition and retention. We’ve also had issues with customers paying their bills on time. Although there was a dip in sales for a time, this incentivized our team to engage with our customers and prospects in more meaningful ways and to increase our outreach efforts.
We’ve taken measures to meet these challenges by buying more ad space on social media platforms such as Facebook. This platform has consistently brought us engagement and new business since we started using it. We’ve learned that the key is to provide significant value in not only the content we post but the ads that we run as well. Our ads both teach marketing strategy and inform readers about our services. This combination is a win-win because the reader feels like they are learning something and it allows us to attract solid leads.
We’ve also bumped up guest posting as another form of outreach. We provide guest posts, answers to HARO, and look for other opportunities to collaborate and partner with other platforms that provide value to our intended audience. This increases our exposure but also helps provide the ranking authority with search engines.
Onsite SEO is a huge factor in gaining leads. So we’ve put a significant amount of effort into getting top ranking for search engine traffic. We’ve combed through our website and optimized every page by adding key search terms and phrases, adding high-converting imagery, updating meta-data, and search language, fixing errors, and adding more high-value content targeting specific industries and local traffic.
To promote more engagement with prospects and customers, we created an in-depth informative small business growth hacks email series. It goes out monthly and provides case studies highlighting exactly how we met our customers’ business goals and provided them with real value that impacted their bottom line. This has increased our engagement by 30% and allowed us to access new leads in the process.
We also made a huge effort to expand our services to other industries such as law firms as well as roofing and healthcare professionals. This opens our market share to even more prospects and allows us to assist small businesses to increase their exposure both online and off.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the past year is to see a challenge as an opportunity. Although our sales and revenue experienced a marked decrease, I could have allowed this to affect my business. It was difficult hearing that some of our customers were considering terminating their accounts and even hearing prospects turn us down due to our low budget. Even some prospects we had already cultivated who were just on the cusp of signing with us stalled. The rejection and the onslaught of lost revenue could have been detrimental. Looking at it as a challenge allowed me to overcome a negative mindset and shift to a mindset of problem-solving.
Lean into your resources whatever they may be rather than looking at what you don’t have. Those resources could be anything like your personality, your limitations, or your abundance.
During that time I did a lot of souls searching. I implemented mindfulness practices, started exercising more and reconnected with my family. Adding these vital measures of self-care into my daily routine boosts my drive and motivation in ways that I had never imagined. It’s helped me to address challenges with more creativity.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
In the upcoming year, we’re making plans to expand our service offerings to the childcare and education industries. These areas serve as a cornerstone for our communities and we want to be a part of seeing quality products and services come to the forefront to make an incredible difference in our youth.
As we’re looking at current trends, we’re expecting to see a massive increase in app usage and artificial intelligence within the next few years. We’re currently developing services that can help companies address the growing needs of gaining exposure in these areas as more and more customers utilize these advancements in various lifestyle applications. The future is big and bright, but in the digital marketing space, it’s vital to keep a pulse on current trends before they pass us by.
We’re in the launching phase of our sister company PageAppeal! PageAppeal is a digital marketing agency that specializes in providing search engine optimization (SEO) and web design services exclusively to lawyers. They understand the unique needs of law firms and work tirelessly to help them achieve their marketing goals.
The PageAppeal team of experts has years of experience in the legal industry, and they use that knowledge to create campaigns that are tailored specifically for law firms. They understand the importance of visibility online, and their SEO services are designed to help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
They know that a great website is a key to attracting new clients, so they offer web design services that are second to none. PageAppeal web designers work with you to create a website that not only looks great but also converts visitors into clients.
So if you're a lawyer or you know a lawyer that is looking for a digital marketing agency that understands the law industry, then PageAppeal is a perfect choice. Contact them today to learn more about their services!
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I enjoyed Whatever it Takes byBrandon Bornancin. The author masterfully illustrates how the power of mindset combined with intentional habits can transform your business. The book challenged me to consider the internal mechanisms that were sabotaging me from achieving my ultimate goals not just in business, but in life.
The no-nonsense approach gave me the boost I needed to make real changes in my thinking and negative habits. What became apparent to me after reading the book is that it’s up to me to make the changes I’ve been seeking. Rather than waiting on the right timing or the right opportunities to magically happen, it’s up to me to create a space for these things to happen. That’s what challenged me to start thinking about the problems I was facing during the pandemic as opportunities and it’s what led me to do something about them. I was challenged to not allow myself to be a bystander where things happen to me, but to be an active player in life where I happen to things.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
If I had to advise other entrepreneurs, I’d say two things.
Lean into your resources whatever they may be rather than looking at what you don’t have. Those resources could be anything like your personality, your limitations, or your abundance. For example, a lack of revenue can open up an opportunity for you to collaborate with a new partner. What you consider a weakness could be a unique selling position. It all depends on how you look at things.
Permit yourself to fail. Failure is an important step in your success. It teaches you what works and what doesn’t. It provides something no amount of money or education can - and that’s experience. Operate with grace and kindness toward yourself. Let yourself take informed risks and permit yourself to fail. It takes the pressure off while building a pathway to success.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re always looking to expand our team. We need content writers, web designers, and sales professionals. These positions are remote. We offer both full-time and part-time paid opportunities. Please reach out if you’re interested in joining our team by using the contact form on our website.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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