Happy Anniversary, Electromagnetic Marketing!

One year ago today, Randy Webb, Kasey Moore, and Steven Splawn joined forces with Scott Elliott and Jamie Parris, officially beginning a new era in the life of Electromagnetic Marketing. Check out the nine lessons we've learned this year!

One year ago today, Randy Webb, Kasey Moore, and Steven Splawn joined forces with Scott Elliott and me, officially beginning a new era in the life of Electromagnetic Marketing. Electro was 2 ½ years old at the time, and although we had grown steadily, we still faced challenges as we tried to build a business from scratch. As I reread the post I wrote one year ago today, it was mind-blowing to reflect on how much has changed.

In many ways, the last twelve months have exceeded our wildest expectations. I really can't believe how fortunate we've been. In other ways. . . well, let's just say that this hasn't been the 2020 that any of us expected.

Today, I'd like to share nine thoughts as I reflect on this one year anniversary.

Nine Lessons From The Last Year

#1: KNOW YOURSELF

This has been one of the most evident lessons we've learned in the past year. Know what you're good at and know what you aren't. Be transparent about this with clients and each other. If we try to be good at everything, we end up not being good at anything. We also miss opportunities to work with talented people who can make us stronger.

#2: SPECIALISTS ARE WORTH IT!

As we continue to know ourselves better and better, there will be some services that we choose not to provide. There are other times when we need to add a skillset to our toolbox to serve our clients better. Whether it's hiring video production guru Daniel Canvas, paid advertising wizard Brandon Green, or web development all-star Michael Kline, we have benefited tremendously from adding specialists with established expertise to our team.

#3: HIRING IN A DOWNTURN IS FUN!

Let's be clear. If there had been anything we could do to go back in time and prevent COVID-19, WE WOULD DO IT! But, we have been really fortunate to find talented people that we wouldn't have found in normal times. We connected with designer Brianna Jelks and copywriter Gabrielle Mingus, and let me tell you, these two are dripping with talent! Some of their work has left us in awe. I don't think we ever would have found them if not for the unprecedented times.

#4: SLEEP IS OPTIONAL, BUT ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE

We were already running at 110% as we started the week on Monday, March 9. And then -- the world changed. We worked around the clock to help our clients adjust to evolving opportunities and challenges. As a result, several of us didn't get much sleep for a while. That was ok for a time, and we will do it again when our clients need us. But we also realized that we need to have our time to rest to do high-quality work. When we realized this would be a marathon rather than a sprint, we had to adjust our sleep strategies.

#5: WORKING REMOTE IS GREAT!

We stopped coming to the office for work on Thursday, March 12. The first thing we noticed as we shifted to Zoom life and remote work was an increase in productivity. Working from home eliminated commutes and helped us protect focused work time. We were amazed to see how much more we got done working from home!

#6: WORKING REMOTE SUCKS!

After weeks and weeks of remote work, we started to see the downside of not being in the office together. We noticed that we weren't in sync, and collaboration on projects and creative work began to suffer. We tried to fill the gap with Zoom and other tools, but there is just something special about being in a room with each other and a whiteboard. Eventually, our team members approached us about coming back to work in the office. We bought four HEPA air purifiers and added a little space at Innovation Depot so that we could spread out. Now, we feel like we are getting the best of both worlds as we divide our time between working at home and in the office.

#7: SOMETIMES GETTING MORE CUSTOMERS ISN'T THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO GROWTH

We feel profoundly blessed to have grown during this crazy year, with a 91% year-over-year increase through the end of August. Our biggest challenge hasn't been finding new customers; it's been developing scalable processes and procedures. We've always said: we want to grow, but we don't want to grow so fast that things get messy. This year, there have been times when we executed on that mission, but there have also been times when we had some -- shall we say -- learning opportunities.

#8: DANCE WITH THE ONES THAT BRUNG YOU

New customers are great! We love them, and we are looking for more if you have any referrals you'd like to send our way. But, there is something more important than new customers: old customers. We know that our customers are the foundation for every good thing that has happened. They helped us get this started, and they have helped us grow. We do not take our customer's loyalty for granted, and we don't want to let the pursuit of shiny new opportunities take our eye off of serving our current customers with excellence.

#9: IF YOU WORK WITH GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE ALSO TALENTED, YOU CAN TAKE ON ALMOST ANYTHING

When I look at the Electromagnetic Marketing team, I get a lump in my throat. This is a group of people I would want on my team whether I was trying to build a company, compete on Survivor, or start a band (well, to be honest . . . we do have a few weak links if we were trying to start a band). I trust these folks with my life. I trust them to honor our transparency pledge. I trust them to bring their very best every day. I trust them to treat every member of our team with kindness, dignity, and respect. It started with the first two people we hired, Angelia Stewart and Shekeydrah Robinson. They joined us at the start of the year, and they approach every day with vulnerability and strength that set the tone for everything that we have become. To work at Electromagnetic Marketing, you better be talented. But talent isn't enough. We are grateful to work with good people, and we are thankful that they happen to be talented as well.

Looking forward to next year

I tried to imagine what I would have written if I tried to anticipate this post a year ago. What challenges would we have foreseen? What lessons did we expect to learn?

We had no idea.

I also imagined what I would have thought if this post had been magically delivered for me to read on October 1, 2019. I'm so glad it wasn't! Honestly -- it would have scared the daylights out of me. If I had known what was in store, I would never have believed that we would be ok.

But we are. We are fine. Because we have good people. Because our customers stood with us. Because our families have been healthy. Because we have each other.

We have been fine because we joined forces with Randy, Kasey, and Steven on October 1, 2019, establishing a firm foundation as we entered 2020.

I don't know what the next year has in store. Honestly, I hope it's significantly less interesting than the last twelve months. Whatever happens, I am confident to face it with this team. I've seen how we can overcome challenges and pursue excellence as we face adversity.

With these folks at our side, we got this.

Writer: Jamie Parris

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