<b>WORK IN PROGRESS | </b>Herald staff
Melinda Davies is a local consultant for WSI Marketing Plus, which focuses on digital marketing. The company helps businesses with website design, search engine optimization, email marketing and social media and mobile marketing.
Q: When and where did your business open?
A: WSI (We Simplify the Internet) started in the mid-1990s. I joined the franchise in 2011 and operate a local office in Lynnwood. WSI has been recognized by Entrepreneur.com as the top Internet marketing company in the world. I belong to a global network of approximately 1,500 WSI consultants.
Q: How, or why, did you decide to open your business?
A: I decided to join this business for a couple of reasons. First, to set a positive example for my 9-year-old daughter. She is watching my every move and picking up on many of the nuances that come with the business. How better could I teach her to work hard and create her own destiny – I am showing her! Second, this franchise model provides me the opportunity to be part of a well-established network of professionals and allows me to “set my personal GPS” for my success in my business.
Q: What convinced you that this was the job for you?
A: I am grateful for the opportunities I have to work with incredible organizations and to learn from amazing people. WSI provides me with an opportunity to apply my experience to make a positive contribution in my community by helping local businesses succeed. Business is changing, consumers are changing. Our world has digitized and businesses who understand the value and opportunity of the Internet are growing their businesses. Being a part of this change is exciting!
Q: What does it take to blend your passion with your livelihood?
A: Digital marketing is technology-driven, however my role is relationship-focused. I believe that this is how and why I chose this field. Being around people, seeing them get excited about their opportunities, and sharing in those experiences and relationship is incredibly gratifying. I have a WSI technical team that I work with to deliver the services (local search optimization, website design, SEO, paid marketing, social media, etc.), giving me time to meet regularly with my clients and continue to enhance my relationships.
Q: What are the crucial elements for success for your business?
A: My success is based on two factors: first, do everything I can to help my clients grow their businesses; and second, be agile. There are constantly changes in the digital marketing field; I must understand what these changes mean to local businesses so we can leverage the potential of the Internet. An interesting differentiation in my field is I rarely go into an account pitching a product – that simply does not bring value to my customers. I help them discover where their opportunities are (not necessarily only in digital marketing!) and we apply solutions to those opportunities.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how did you meet it?
A: My biggest challenge is getting time with business owners to understand their challenges and to demonstrate how WSI’s approach is different. If after each meeting they are impressed with our approach and excited to tackle the Internet, then I’ve met the challenge!
Q: How did your friends and family react when you told them you were getting into this business?
A: Business ownership definitely isn’t for everyone. I think my friends and family can see my passion and reasoning for getting involved in this business and I have felt the love and support of them each day.
Q: What motivates you?
A: My family and the positive feedback I receive from clients motivate me. Once clients feel like I am “on their team,” the synergy is powerful.
Q: What personal abilities do you think are needed to excel in this business?
A: To excel as a digital marketing consultant, it is important to ask the right (tough) questions and have great listening skills. I also relate to business owners and their challenges and see the big picture – digital marketing is only part of a critical mix of a successful and growing business! One lesson I have learned so far: business first, technology later.
Q: When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time in my yard/garden, playing games with my daughter and taking family vacations to sunny destinations! My husband has been trying to encourage me to learn to golf – maybe next year (smile).
WSI Marketing Plus