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Ryan Jacobs is a former Penn State baseball player turned Social Media Entrepreneur and the founder of Brandfluence
City where you’re from: Port Vue PA
Favorite quote: You gotta lose yourself to be able find yourself
Tell us about Brandfluence. How did you come up with it?
Brandfluence originated from the struggles and experiences of owning and operating a full-service marketing agency, “You know those so called one stop shop, full service agencies” – yeah those!
My previous agency was called Blackwood Marketing Solutions, at the time I was so fixed on the idea that if I am providing marketing for local businesses that I must offer every marketing service under the sun. But I was WRONG! It took me some time, but I soon realized that the old traditional style marketing techniques were not going to cut it if I wanted to be able to scale and stand out from my competition.
I got my foot in the door by designing and developing websites for local businesses. I offered web design, graphic design, seo, ppc and more. But after onboarding my first 5 clients I began to realize how time consuming and stressful it truly was. Not only was I a one-man team but my clients were always asking for more or trying to have me do this and that. It drove me a little insane and stressed me out since I wasn’t capable of scaling, let alone hold clients at a monthly retainer.
So, I slammed on the brakes on and set out to find a mentor to help sharpen my skills and broaden my knowledge as a marketer. “We live in a fast pace virtual society, which the learning curve is never ending” I became obsessed with the creative aspect of marketing and dove straight into learning how my mentors and other various entrepreneurs like Tai Lopez, Grant Cardone, Billy Gene, and others were scaling their agencies above and beyond 6 -7 figure agencies.
The realization created the spark I needed to rebrand not only myself but my agency as well. “Blackwood Marketing Solutions is a mouthful to say and it just looked like every other traditional marketing agency.” What I wanted was to create a movement, and my mission was to aspire by inspiring.
I notice that all the true brand authority companies and entrepreneurs all had one thing in common. Their names were all catchy, bold and easy to pronounce. They also offered an abundance of value and flooded the social media realm with badass content.
To sustain customer retention, I had to do the same not only for myself but for my clients as well.
This inspired the creation of Brandfluence. I needed to solely focus on providing the best experience and ROI for my clients by creating a new hyper focused business mission. I cut out all the bullshit and understood the importance of providing a true customer acquisition solution.
Unlike the new age marketing, it’s very hard to predict or calculate an ROI based on traditional advertising methods.
Thus, being the reason for a relaunch strategy. We now provide one main service and we are experts in engineering multi-channel customer acquisition strategies through data driven direct response marketing.
How did you promote your company in the early days?
Ryan Jacobs: You must put yourself out there, and you must be social to promote your brand. So, with Brandfluence, I tried to take a business that’s already been established through word of mouth, or traditionally, and I started to brand them through social media and flood their system. I just started to approach people and say,
“Hey I’ve got a marketing agency” and then it just took off by itself. People started to say, “hey, I could use that”.
So what were some other ways you grew your business to where it is today? Is it all networking?
Ryan Jacobs: Networking or working for small businesses that got my name out there. I would get a lot of referrals from clients I had worked for in the past. Now I’m trying to scale it up even more and continue to put my name out there even more.
One of the main ways I was able to grow my business was through affiliate marketing. I started to engage with my customers more and really understand what they were desiring to want or need. It led to networking with more like-minded individuals who either owned a business or knew of people who did. Referrals programs are one of the best solutions for leads and every business could use one!
Like I said before, I was a one-man team, and now I have a squad, I’m on the rise and I want to be able to scale up and provide the best experience I can for my clients.
What is your favorite Social media app that you use to grow your business? What are some secrets for how to use it?
Ryan Jacobs: I would probably say Facebook, but Instagram goes hand in hand. They both allow it to be an easier way to grow a relationship with people. But you must learn Facebook first. I mean, it’s an algorithm, it’s a program and it’s based on timing and engagement. So, you’ve really got to write content that gets people to interact with you. If you’re not creating things that pique people’s interests, that could get a like or a share or a comment, then you’re not really going to get any feedback from it. Just create content, never share other people’s work, create it as your own because when you share content that’s not yours, you’re just creating that reach for someone else. Just remember one thing, provide an abundance of free knowledge and value based on your experiences. I promise the audience you desire will follow.
What do you think you do better than most people? How are you able to do it?
Ryan Jacobs: Well I see this all the time with entrepreneurs online, they’re always trying to fake it ’til they make it, and I tried doing that, but it didn’t work at all. I’ve dedicated the past 5 years to personal development. It is now ingrained to be as transparent as possible, not only with myself but to those who I surround myself with and those who journey into my life as well. My transparency allows myself to showcase my flaws and I’ve learned to be okay with telling people the truth. It’s harder than you’d think it would be, but the more you are honest with yourself, the more people want to hear your message.
Why do you want to be successful in this? What does success mean to you ?
Ryan Jacobs: I want people to understand the true meaning behind believing in yourself. It is one of the key asset to obtaining anything you desire. Anything is possible, and that’s what part of my mission statement for Brandfluence is.
My goal is to have the resources available to hire people on that are less fortunate, maybe can’t get a job or are just struggling, and teach them the skills and knowledge of how to sell themselves through branding and direct response marketing.
I want them to be able to say they learned a trade or a skill that has changed their life for the better. Because we all know how fast technology can change our society. It is a never-ending leap of change.
I see it evolving all the time, and I love working with people, Having the opportunity to work as an engineer for one of the largest automotive industries and to say that I played collegiate Baseball has created the leadership qualities in me. My coach was all about leading by example, and I’ve tried to bring that into my business.
What have you learned from building your business to where it is today?
Ryan Jacobs: Well, knowing what I know now and how I perceive my own reality. I’ve realized that I can do anything I set my mind to and feel kind of unstoppable while doing it. This is what I want other people to understand: that we have everything we need now. It’s all just your perception of reality, if you believe that you deserve something, then you can go out and get it.
I think people just have to understand, that first you must love yourself, believe in yourself, and understand your vision. Then, once you do that, all you got to do is plan accordingly. Plan with intention and act on it. Then once you act you start to connect the dots. Too many people want to jump the gun and say,
“I want to be rich tomorrow.” I mean, the journey is the best part. That’s where you learn the most.