07 Jan My story: Germono Advertising Company
By Lindsey Germono, President
It’s been a bit since I’ve written a blog post all by myself from start to finish. I’ve always liked to write, even started my undergrad with an interest in English as a major but those papers got me and I switched to Communications as my degree. Along the seven years of this agency’s path, my staff has written the blogs. I feel the blogs are a way for them to express themselves and leverage their expertise so I tend to hang back and let ’em run with it. Plus I like to read what they write and how they explain the marketing things.
Our Marketing Assistant, Bobbie Anne, asked me if we had a blog post explaining the origin of the agency and I can not believe that we don’t have one. In seven years, I’ve talked about it in numerous interviews and podcast features but never sat down to write it. I like telling the story, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before.
Woman sees a need in the industry and starts a business to solve it. Seriously, that’s it in a nutshell. You’re still with me, aren’t you? You want more than that sentence, eh? Dangit. Fine.
I was working in television advertising as an account executive. That’s a fancy title for someone who cold calls and gets hung up on a lot. I was definitely told no a lot. I would then see a carrot dangling and chase after it, relentless in follow-ups and “touching base to check in on the proposal,” only to be told they didn’t have the budget or they went with a competing station and couldn’t afford to proceed with my proposal and the other station. Just typing it makes my shoulders hunch in desperation and gives me flashbacks of frustrating cubicle life.
I could not do it anymore. I felt strung out, miserable, unmotivated, and fed up with how leadership was approaching it all. I saw very few people in my market helping the small businesses. At the time, it was not uncommon for an agency to make a 15% commission from the total client budget. Do you think they are going to chase a business owner with a $500 a month marketing budget or a business that had $15,000 per month for a marketing budget? The latter, my friend. And I saw a need for ME to help those businesses grow.
Spoiler alert for myself: all those days as an account executive would teach me more than any book, podcast, or university ever would. I learned how to hear no and I feel that makes me a pretty resilient business owner because hearing enough no’s makes room for creativity in order to hear yes. What started as an agency formed to help businesses with their traditional media grew into an agency that now solely focuses on helping businesses with social media because that is where every business owner can play. You could have zero dollars for an ad budget and still have a successful social media strategy. You can have an imperfect social media strategy and have a lot less waste in your budget.
I haven’t looked back and it’s been the most rewarding business because my agency helps people with THEIR dreams. There are days where the agency is incredible and there are days when I’m wondering if anyone can hear us. But, that’s how you feel too, isn’t it? As someone who is in charge of marketing or someone who has created their business – you feel these ebbs and flows and I see you! I’m there too and if I can tell you one thing it’s this: you are making a difference with your product. People want your service. Tell them your story and they’ll be intrigued. Most importantly, ask them their story and they’ll know you care and they’ll want to do business with you.