9 Years in Business – What’s next for the Crowd?

In one context, 9 years seems like a very short time. However, in another way it feels like an incredibly long time. For instance, some of our current employees were in MIDDLE SCHOOL when we started this! Either way you look at it, this is another milestone, and I’m proud of where we’ve come.

 

One question I get often is, “how did you get started, and what does ‘CrowdSouth’ mean anyway?”

 

Marketing Agency Growth

The hats say “I love you” — “I know”

How we got started…

 

Chad and I spent time together traveling for Affinity Group Incorporated, a company that we both worked at after our stints at Camping World (AGI owned CW at the time). We traveled to the California and Denver office together mostly, and spent many a night on the beach in Ventura, staring out on the mighty Pacific, with a bag of In-N-Out. Fast-forward 5 or so years, and we both had left the corporate world. He went off and worked for a global company managing large-scale software releases. And I had left to “take a break,” but ended up consulting, building websites, and running social media (when that was a new thing) for a handful of companies. I called my business Backcountry Communications then… mostly because I was working remotely from various locations around the world (before it was cool to do that). My family and friends thought I was a little crazy… they weren’t wrong. Those clients grew, though, and I ended up with more work than I could do, and doing things I didn’t feel qualified to do. Enter Chad Webb – the man, the myth. Chad, was going to “take a break” as well, and he and I met up for lunch at Panera Bread. (only the finest, when you’re about to ask someone to change the course of their life). Anyway, after some discussion, 1/2 a dozen flavored teas, and something like a “Sure, why not.” from Chad, we were off and running. I was lucky, because I couldn’t have done it alone. I didn’t know what to do next, and this gave me the confidence I needed.

 

What is a “CrowdSouth”

 

For a few guys who would eventually be branding companies, we didn’t put much thought into our own brand. “Our goal is to help clients connect with their CROWD (through social media, digital ads, websites, etc.) and we’re going to focus on businesses in the SOUTH.” …Perfect…. well, not so perfect, but good enough for at test.

 

It really was that simple. We told ourselves we could always change it later when we had a better idea, and were successful. We reasoned that, we just needed to get going and we’d deal with that later (we are the type that don’t like to talk things to death, but rather get straight to work). But, as we all know, we did achieve mild success… but didn’t change the name (or haven’t yet). So, we are CrowdSouth. Four locations, dozens of team members, and two logos later, and that shingle still hangs out front.

World Domination
A plan from our first office, Sept 9th 2014

Okay, so what’s next?

 

We don’t open up about the internal workings of the business much. And, to be extremely honest, those who decide to dig in and ask more about us, our size, and our growth – are shocked. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, we just don’t talk too much about it – we are focused on the forward momentum. CrowdSouth isn’t one of those fancy “big city” agencies with 4 people’s last names as our brand. (why people… just why – did someone not give you enough attention as a child?) What we are is a sleeper agent. We are the ones you don’t think are a threat until we are on your doorstep. We don’t brag about the accolades (although I do like a good trophy). We have shelves full of awards. I joked once that I’d like a large metal trashcan in the office for us to put all the trophies in. New clients can walk in, see them and understand if we’re the right fit. Yeah we can win an award, but can we get shit done for you? That’s the question you need to ask us. (the answer is yes, by the way, we can)

I ramble, I know. What is next is this – More of the same.

  • More growth
  • More learning together with our clients, our teams, and our partners
  • More team members who are smarter and better than us
  • More clients who understand marketing is a tool, not some checkbox you have to mark through for your boss
  • More work outside our comfort zone
  • More honesty and communication – what we pride ourselves on
  • And maybe, just maybe a new brand… but we kinda love our CrowdSouth, like Linus’ blanket 

 

Thank You

Let’s wrap this ramble up with some gratitude.

  • Thank you so much to our team – to our dedicated team.
  • Thank you to our clients, both the ones who have been with us 9 years (yes, we have those) and those who have been with us 9 days – thank you for trusting us.
  • Thank you to our partners – we have many other agency partners who we work with. From Des Moines to Louisville, to Nashville and beyond. – no one is an island, and we can’t do it alone.
  • Thank you to Jennie and Dawn – our better halves. Chad and I have a tendency to take risks, and they go along with our silliness.
  • And thank you to everyone for your grace – we are not always right, we are not always the best, but we appreciate second chances and advice. We get better because all those around us make us better.

 

And, as always, if you need help with marketing, contact our team today. We are happy to offer a no cost consultation to see if we can help.

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By Jason Heflin

Jason Heflin is one of CrowdSouth’s owning Partners and brings years of marketing experience from his past lives as a corporate marketing manager, writer, and freelancer. He also plays the ukulele for fun, which is cool.

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About CrowdSouth

We are a team of web developers, project manager, creatives, search engine nerds, and social media buffs… but combined we have a breadth of talent that can get the job done, and done well.

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