We’re back with another great expert interview; this time we chatted with John Roope, Founder and CEO of WIDSIX. He gave us some great insights on his company, why people should leverage outside resources for digital marketing, and where he sees the industry going.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into this industry
The business sort of just came to be out of my annoyance with a website design and development company who oversold me and under delivered. I had a couple of internet businesses I wanted to start. I hired a company, paid them a bunch of money… and the work coming back was not good. I bugged them until they gave me access to the site’s backend (ftp, cpanel, etc) and then I started messing around on my own. I learned html/css on the fly, picked up Photoshop, played around in databases, etc.
Looking back, that early work was rough, but led to some great opportunities as I saw holes in the market and shortcomings of other companies in the industry. As people found out I was messing around with websites, I started getting the “can you do my” requests. That was the beginning of it all. That experience also shaped much of how we do business today. Being burned by a slick-talking agency, I vowed to never require contracts on our services and we don’t collect full payment on the front end of projects. We do a lot of small things to give people peace of mind entering into projects with us.
When did you start WIDSIX?
I started my website design + graphics business in 2007. WIDSIX formally started in 2010 as a secondary company specializing in websites and graphics for athletes (I have since merged my two companies into one more powerful WIDSIX). We are now all under one brand and cranking out a lot of great work for a lot of great people.
Why would people want a service like this?
We are in marketing and advertising. Everyone needs SOMETHING we do. We are flexible and offer people great value, so it’s not hard to help plug in and help people in some way (branding, social media, digital ads, PPC, website design, graphics, etc).
What’s one of the best success stories you’ve had with WIDSIX?
One of my favorites is with someone who hired us on for a website last year. We were helping him “get to the next level” and look super professional. We built a pretty slick website for him to go along with his new marketing push. The day after we launched the website, he handed out his business card. The person went to their car, looked up his website on their phone, then returned inside and hired him on the spot (for a big project). They cited the website as the final piece of the puzzle that pushed them over the edge, because he looked so professional.
I love that story because that is what we do. I tell people the power of a well rounded online presence for their company to solidify their brand. That is the perfect example of how powerful it can be to have a well-oiled branding/marketing machine with a solid strategy behind it.
Why can’t people just handle their digital marketing on their own?
Short answer?… they can. But, what’s your time worth and will the quality be the same? I’m a firm believer in the ability for anyone to do most anything if they work hard at it. But, do you really want to spend your time learning the ins and outs of what we do (marketing, website design, branding strategy, social media, software, etc) or do you just want to leverage us to do things for you efficiently, at a high level? Hiring us makes sense to most people, because we bring fresh ideas to the table and allow them to do what they do best (make money doing their core business).
Where do you see the future of digital marketing going?
The way messages/creative is delivered to the masses is always evolving, but marketing isn’t going anywhere. Our focus is to stay nimble, learn new trends, stay ahead of the curve, and be honest with people. Some clients come to us and have “heard they need to do” something, but those ideas may not be a good fit for them or their target audience. Our intention is to identify their target audience, find the medium where that audience lives, then help them develop content and brand strategy to maximize their exposure in those areas.