Glenn: Hi I’m Glenn Taylor and this is The BusinessMakers Show. My guest today Danny Gavin, Founder of Optidge Internet Marketing and a professor of Internet Marketing at the University of Houston. Danny thanks for joining us.
Danny: Thanks Glenn for having me.
Glenn: So tell me about Optidge.
Danny: Optidge is an internet marketing agency that we focus and help small to medium sized businesses in Houston and the surrounding areas and even internationally.
Glenn: What differentiates Optidge?
Danny: What differentiates us from all the other internet marketing agencies out there is the fact that we can provide the level of service that a large agency can give you, however we’re small enough that we pay attention and we’re there to really go into your company and integrate and help you with all of the fine details. In addition the fact that I’m able to teach at university keeps me up to date with all of the latest and greatest and I’m really able to give that over to my clients.
Glenn: Absolutely. Tell me, what do you think are some of the biggest challenges companies have with digital marketing where you can really come in and help them move forward?
Danny: Well a lot of companies don’t even know where to start and they also don’t know what they’re getting themselves in to. A lot of people think it’s a set it and forget it model but really getting into internet marketing you have to be involved. I always look at working with an agency as a partnership; it can’t just be hey guys, can you go do this for me? It’s really about finding the strengths of the agency, finding the strengths of the company and then working together as a team in order to come out with that outcome.
Glenn: Take me back a bit, how did Optidge get started?
Danny: So Optidge started while I was doing my MBA at the University of Houston. At that time – when you get your MBA you think you’re going to get this 6 figure salary at this big company and for me that never came. However I got a really good internship at a large eCommerce company here in town called Blinds.com and that kind of spring boarded me to get into the world of internet marketing.
And I took a couple of classes where I worked with real, live companies and they liked me, I liked them and that’s when it all started. I like to tell the story my wife and I were sitting on the couch trying to come up with a name and we were thinking about optimization because that’s a big part of internet marketing, and then the concept of bridge where we’re trying to bridge that gap between people who are trying to get business online. And that’s kind of optimizing a bridge, put it together you get Optidge.
Glenn: If there are entrepreneurs out there, small to medium sized companies who are wanting to get started with digital marketing and make sure that their presence is known in the online space what should they be thinking about?
Danny: I think number one they need to think about content. It’s so important that you have the content on your website, which discusses the problems and needs of your potential customers. A lot of people look at a website as a brochure.
Glenn: Yeah, a digital business card.
Danny: Exactly, where it’s just a bunch of bullet points. But in truth your website needs to carry a wealth of knowledge and information because that’s the only way that Google knows ok interesting, you talk about this, that and that and then they’ll show your website for those things that people are searching for.
Glenn: So the content strategy is really key. How does that balance with more pushed advertising, content versus advertising?
Danny: I think you have to keep both in mind, especially nowadays. We can give Facebook as an example, where Facebook is a platform where you can post things for free, but in order to get that reach you have to get people to actually see everything you do have to pay money as well. So it’s kind of a partnership. You have to have good content, but it’s not enough just to have that content, often you need to pay to play.
Glenn: So what do you recommend in terms of where people should start or maybe the mentality they should take to kind of dissolve the overwhelmed feeling?
Danny: I think number one people have to realize that they don’t have to be everywhere and do everything. It’s important to take one or two things, whether it’s writing a blog post once a week or once a month even, but it’s about being consistent and really taking care of that platform. I’d rather you take one platform or one internet marketing concept and work on it really well than spread yourself thin over a couple of areas. Imagine going to a company’s Twitter page and the last time they Tweeted was 5 years ago that’s not going to give a good representation. I’d rather you have no Twitter account than one that’s not active.
Glenn: You told us a little bit about what Optidge looks like today, where do you see the company growing in the future, say 5 years from now?
Danny: Until now I’ve grown very organically; as you do good work for one company another company finds out and that eventually happens exponentially. So right now I have three fulltime employees in the United States, I have a couple employees in India and I see that in the next couple of years we’re going to grow. You have the challenges of finding new office space and company culture and all those sort of things but the beautiful thing is I’ve seen a lot of blessings in what I do and I think as long as we stay on the path things will grow and we’ll be able to help more people.
Glenn: Well thanks for sharing your story Danny.
Danny: My pleasure.
Glenn: And that wraps up my discussion with Danny Gavin, Founder of Optidge and this is The BusinessMakers Show.
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