Big things are happening here at Level9, and I'm excited to share with everyone what can be expected from us in the future!
First of all, I'm honored and humbled to be taking the role of President of Level9. Until recently, I was one of two principle owners of our agency. Additionally, I also served as Creative Director in charge of both the creative direction of client projects as well as our company. Truthfully, most of the time I got my hands dirty working on projects rather than actually providing creative direction. Going forward, I'll be spending most of my time overseeing the entire vision and direction of our company, determining innovative new methods for us to help our clients engage with their audiences, and finally being able to earn that Creative Director title. With that being said, we have some amazing new creative talent joining us, and I can't wait to see what brilliant ideas we can come up with for our upcoming projects.
These changes bring several benefits to us and our clients. First, it will allow us to have a more focused dedication to producing even more stunning results. Second, having more creative minds contributing input will undoubtedly raise the bar for ourselves. Also, this year we'll be launching our own web-based product. It's a tool that makes our job easier, so we can only imagine that other companies will find it useful and easy to use as well. Our restructuring will allow us to expedite bringing this to the public.
I'm a "Creative" at heart, always trying to think differently about the world around me and attempting to come up with new ideas that push boundaries. That concept has always been a driving force for Level9 as a company, and in the future these changes will only strengthen that ideology. Every single person here is a Creative and an invaluable asset to the overall success of our company. Without them, Level9 would be just ordinary, and that's something we just aren't willing to be.
As we pave the path for future growth, we look forward to becoming an even stronger agency, stampeding into new territory and blazing a trail that clients can believe will take them to new heights in the digital age.
I've never been very good with saying goodbye. We've all been there, that awkward moment when you have come to a crossroads in life and you must say goodbye to your friends or family. Its not ever fun. So you all will understand how hard this is for me. After much consideration, I have decided move on to my next adventure in life.
The experiences I have had at Level9 will last a lifetime. From the early days when Craig, Tim and I were working from the spare bedroom at my house to our awesome office here in Brick town. I've learned many lessons over the years both on a business and personal level.
As a team we have gone from humble beginnings to where we are today. I have been honored to watch a dream I had turn into reality through hard work from all of us in the Level9 family. I will miss everyone here as well as all of the friendships that have been created with our clients throughout the years.
I would like to thank the Level9 guys for years of great teamwork and thank you to all of our customers who put their trust in our team.
We talk to many small business owners about having their website built or in some cases, rebuilt.During the first meeting we try to learn as much as we can about the business, its customer base, competitors, goals, marketing plans and the project budget constraints. One of the first questions we ask is if they have a business plan. Over 95% don’t. That’s a fairly alarming statistic that inevitably makes our job more difficult. Although it can take anywhere from 40 to 160 hours to develop, depending on the type of business and the intended audience, spending that time up front will allow you to be proactive rather than reactive. Level9 will use this information to navigate your dreams into a successful online business with effective eMarketing and eCommerce components. Without a business plan, we are relying on your hunches and on the spot decisions to shape your online presence. This often leads to constant requests to change the way the website functions after site launch due to the reality that what you asked us to build can't succeed in the real world.
On May 24th we hosted our first eCommerce 101 seminar with the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center in downtown Oklahoma City, which was named one of the top 10 SBDCs in the county. Every business needs a plan for success. The SMBDC offers the tools to help you formulate just that. From seminars to online courses, even consultation. In their own words:
The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center is a state and federally funded organization that was created to assist small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in reaching their potential in all their business ventures.
In 2010, the OSBDC team of consultants assisted with the start-up of 278 new businesses, created and retained over 898 jobs, and injected over $25 million in new capitalization into Oklahoma's economy.
We highly recommend that you take the time to research, and plan your success. Together we can review your plans and accurately and effectively translate them over to an award winning, and successful, online recipe for success.
Over the years, we’ve noticed that certain relationships between a client and an agency yield a greater chance of true success. It is essential that this relationship begin with trust. We see our clients business as an extension of our business. We love it when they succeed. With trust, a client is more apt to open up about their goals, future plans, hopes and dreams. We appreciate that they are allowing us to share in their vision and offering us the opportunity to enhance it. There is no question: groundbreaking things can happen when we are allowed to mold their vision to the best that it can be.However, more often than not, clients are simply unwilling to relinquish the necessary amount of control in order to grow their dream. Awesomeness is often shelved by trepidation, and they settle for the results of an unrefined vision instead of a finished product.
Q. Why pay for a truly custom project when, due to your own boundaries, you will just get what everyone else has?
A. We find that many clients find it difficult to step outside of their brand and leave personal opinions aside.They hold themselves back by limiting their vision to what they know. We ask that they push past their comfort level and allow us to help them dream bigger. It is a complete waste of talent and resources to settle for blending in, instead of working to stand out.
To demonstrate, let’s contrast a scenario from both sides:
Client #1 describes a process that they need their site to follow; it needs to do X when a visitor clicks on Y. They say, “go look at ABC website to see what I am looking for. They do it the best I’ve seen.”
Sure, we can do that. We understand what they’re looking for. But, is this necessarily the right choice for them? Often, the answer is no. We do custom work and therefore we know that one size doesn’t always fit all.If they can trust that we see their vision, we will tweak it to be better.
Client #2 describes their vision for the site. They show us metrics on what would equate to a home run and ask for our input on how best to get there.They, too, see ABC company. However, they wonder how that process can be refined further, knowing that ABC’s site was built a year and a half ago.
This client steered us in a direction, stated what their intended outcome was, and trusted us to get them there. This is a successful relationship.
Can you see how the approach and the relationship can lead to drastically different outcomes?Don’t settle for wanting what everyone else has. Make everyone else want what you have.
Here are some examples of what happens when a client has allowed us to participate in shaping their vision: