Q: When did you start your business and what inspired you to create it?
A: I founded YourAdTeam in 1997. My inspiration was actually from my freshman year of college. I originally selected psychology as my major study. In my very first psychology class I found exactly one half of a page dedicated to “consumer psychology” which talked very briefly about why people buy what they buy. That was the hook for me. I was able to combine my love for psychology with my creative drive.
Q: What were some of your biggest challenges when starting your business? How did you overcome them?
A: The biggest challenges for most businesses, new and old, is finding customers/clients who trust in your products and/or services. The biggest challenge with our marketing agency was finding clients who trust us to provide effective marketing and advertising solutions and services by being willing pay a monthly fee for those services. Although we do have a lot of project work, the residual income is extremely important.
When we first started in 1997, I hustled, networked, and contacted every person I knew who owned a business and/or was the marketing person where they worked. The first 5 years were very challenging. I actually took on 2 other part time jobs in order to supplement my income. Since establishing our brand, presence and marketing expertise in our community, we’ve been very blessed with great clients.
Q: What do you think are the most successful qualities for a graphic designer?
A: Honestly, good graphic designers are not hard to find, especially with the online tools available today. In any ad campaign, flyer design, brochure design, etc., the foundation is the concept. Even though the design is important, a strong concept takes a lot more creative brain power and is the most important. You can make something look really good, but does it attract the right customer? Does it drive the customer to push the ‘buy’ button? Understanding the ‘concept’ as being the foundation of your graphics will assure that you are reaching the right demographic. That being said, graphic designers who are also ‘marketing’ savvy and can create a solid concept before the design ever starts will set you apart. I’ve done this for years. I was actually a marketing major in college and am a self taught graphic artist. My marketing career started in the early 1990s and the graphics part of my development began around 1995.
Q: How do you feel your business has changed as it’s matured?
A: YourAdTeam was founded in 1997, seven years before Facebook was founded… ten years before advertising was allowed on Facebook. Our agency was one of the first in the region to place paid client ads on Facebook. With every new social site, we continue to stay with the current trends in finding the right places to have a presence for our clients. Most importantly, we realize that traditional marketing is still as important as digital marketing. Having the perfect mix between traditional marketing and digital marketing has been a major focus as our agency has matured over the last 26 years.
Q: What is competition like in your business? How has competition been a positive and negative force for you?
A: Marketing/Advertising is an extremely competitive environment, especially with the online tools available these days. I’ve found that small businesses will hire inexperienced marketers thinking that’s the answer to their marketing needs. They usually find out the hard way that it’s worth hiring either an experienced marketer or a marketing agency. YourAdTeam attracts a very niche type of client. As a small agency, we are more affordable for small businesses which means we can put more of their marketing budget to work for them. But, when it comes to bringing on new clients it’s got to be a great fit for both us and them.