Jason is a hyper-growth consultant, mentor, and friend to business owners and organizational leaders. Jason runs Get Visible, a 4-pillar digital marketing agency, and is the author of an Amazon bestselling business book called “I Need More Clients. Digital Marketing Strategies That Grow Your Business.”
Jason’s team of competitive millennials transforms lazy businesses into local giants, regional players, and national contenders.
For more details, visit the Get Visible website here.
Here we sit down with Jason to learn a bit more about his journey as a digital marketer.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur – how did you get started? What inspired you?
Jason: I first got my CPA by working with one of the top accounting firms in the country (Kenneth Leventhal & Co.). I subsequently went to Fordham Law School and passed the bar in New York. After passing the bar exam, I was standing in the courtroom in New York City getting sworn in as a lawyer, and I said to myself, “I don’t want to do this right now” because I was recently married and knew that we were moving to Los Angeles. So, I thought, “Why don’t I try starting a business before we move?”
A friend of mine told me about the Internet (this was back in 1996). Things were so wild west back then that it cost me hundreds of dollars to figure out just how to register a domain name. I started a business online doing e-commerce selling magazine subscriptions to consumers and to businesses. The original business website was at www.magmall.com. We ended up buying out competitor sites including www.magazinesubscription.com and a few others. I ran the business for many years. Almost all of our revenues came from search engine rankings and personal relationships. We did once spend $50,000 though to lease a domain name for only 3 months and that brought in Nike as a client. So well worth it.
In 2003, I was offered the opportunity to buy the ecommerce software company that was running my website. At the same time, I invested a small amount of money to open an office in Moscow to do programming overseas for companies in the USA. For a couple of years, our company was selling ecommerce powered websites to companies who wanted to sell products online. We weren’t selling any marketing services which was a missed opportunity for sure.
This changed though in 2005 when one of my former employees called me with the idea of starting a digital consulting business, teaching people how to run their websites based on our years of experience online. That evolved into the agency we have today with our team of 15 people in multiple states where we manage to design and build websites and promote them online with search engine rankings, online advertising campaigns, and social media outreach and engagement.
Q. What are your long-term goals in business? Paint a vision for the future
Jason: My goal and my business partner’s goal is to teach people how to do what we do so we can replicate our processes and way of thinking. When I was a young accountant, I was lucky to get a lesson from one of my managers who taught me about how service businesses make money. He drew a picture of a tree and explained that the money is not in the trunk but in the branches. Each branch represented an employee.
The more the trunk could sustain the branches, the more the branches would give back to the trunk. It was not just a lesson about leveraging resources. He taught me that I have to be a good teacher because the branches are still connected to the trunk and if I didn’t teach well, the employees would leave or fall off the tree.
Q. What motivates you?
Jason: By nature, I tend to be a problem solver. It’s really tough sometimes to have this nature because people often just need someone to listen and I am instinctively jumping into solution mode. So I have to restrain myself which is really painful especially when I think I see ways to help.
At least now with a marketing agency, people come to me for more than listening. I get paid to solve problems. Whether the problem is beating competitors for Google rankings, figuring out how to reach customers online in a way that is profitable or simply building a better mousetrap sort of website, I get to be in solution mode and not be ashamed about it anymore.
Q. What business-related book has inspired you the most, or, what is your favourite book?
Jason: It’s not a business book, but it’s called The Quest for Authenticity. It took the author 10 years to write it and it’s about a pharmacist in the 1800s who ended up becoming the leader of Polish jewellery Jews in Poland. It’s about how he focused on being an authentic person. Nothing to do with business, just about the kind of life you want to live.
Q. What strategies do you use to optimize your performance or mindset?
Jason: There are a lot of speeches on the concept of reacting vs responding and how to move thoughts from the emotional system to the logical system. It’s as simple sometimes as taking a deep breath to pause in those moments when the system is shocked, and you are faced with a choice of reacting or responding.
I like to maintain control and be in charge of how I respond to situations. I don’t like the idea of being a prisoner of external factors. This is a long-winded way of saying I optimize my mindset but focus on strategic and specific goals. I don’t set expectations as much as I set goals. The goals I can control. The goals are in front of me and I can name them and do them. That’s how I stay motivated.
Q. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Jason: Transcending You. The idea is twofold: to make yourself smaller and submit to a higher power while at the same time accomplishing more than you think you can. It’s less about ego and more about respecting the skills and abilities that you were gifted.
Q. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Jason: We bought the domain GetVisible.com and switched our company name from LA Dezign to Get Visible. I can’t say this was my most profitable investment, but it was definitely a game changer for our business.
We noticed the change immediately as people started looking at us as more than a website design shop. Now we were more believable as a full-service digital marketing agency because the company name matched the services such as SEO and social media marketing.
Q. Where do you see the future in your niche/industry 3-5 years from now?
Jason: I see a lot more invasion of automation software and artificial intelligence written content. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on human resources to evolve the knowledge base of the labor pool.
People who think outside the box will be far more valuable as their thinking will help clients move ahead of the competitors using these automation-type tools.
Q. What is your ‘one-sentence’ piece of advice you’d like to give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur, coach, or business owner?
Jason: Leverage resources. Find a good partner. Pick a niche and grow from there.