Hello World! My Name is Ken.

I’ve been wanting to start this blog for awhile… longer than I’d like to admit.  My name is Ken and I own a digital agency called Neon Goldfish in Toledo, Ohio.   While Neon Goldfish has a fantastic blog that covers topics of all sorts ranging from search engine marketing to web design, this blog in particular is going to be a composition of my thoughts on marketing along with some discussion about latest trends that will hopefully answer some of the questions that many of my clients have. I hope you enjoy it.

A little background on me

Eastern Michigan University was the start of my marketing interest.  During my first year at the business school, I quickly found an attraction to all things related to marketing and took as many marketing related classes as the curriculum would allow and still keep me on track for graduating.  Back when I graduated, we were fortunate to have tons of jobs opportunities to choose from… I feel horrible for college graduates today.

My first job was an account rep for a company IKON Office Solutions which sold copy machines to businesses.  While sales was probably my least favorite area of marketing, the potential to make money was the highest.  Naturally that made me choose sales.  After a couple different sales positions at different companies, I landed a great job as a yellow page sales rep with AT&T (then SBC).  Now this was something that I really liked… helping business owners generate new customers to their business.  I wanted to learn more so I bought books on marketing and became a sponge soaking in as much as I could.  As I read more and learned more, I began to see the future in marketing was online and traditional means of advertising would soon be scrambling to adapt.

On a random Tuesday, I quit my job and started a marketing company.  Ill prepared, I struggled through the first six months hustling to find clients and get my feet under me.  Then I began to feel the pains of a one-man-show.  I’d spend normal business hours meeting with clients and the evening hours implementing what I sold.  Exciting at first but I knew there had to be a better way.

In the spring of 2007, I was at a going away party for a co-worker of my wife’s and ran into Justin Johnson whose wife also worked with my wife.  We’ve hung out a couple times before on incentive trips the girls won to Vegas or Miami.  They would be entertaining and we would be finding trouble.  Justin also had a web design company (much more established) that he ran solo.   We talked and decided to collaborate on a couple jobs.  He was good at the design and code, I was good at the marketing and client relationships… we had a good thing so we started Neon Goldfish.  Fast forward eight years (to now) and we’ve built a pretty solid digital agency that helps companies all over the country with their online marketing needs.

What gets me up everyday

Besides one of my kids screaming to announce they’re awake an hour before anyone else should consider getting out of bed, the challenge of engaging with consumers gets me going everyday.  What can we do to grab attention and make conversions?  How can we help / teach our clients to stand out from the crowd?  These are things that I find fascinating and fuel my drive.  Of course, I have to mention all the cliche things like my wife and family and provide them with a great life with puppies and white picket fences and all that crap too.  That too gets be going but it is so much more rewarding doing something that I enjoy.

Why write this blog?

I haven’t quite figured that out exactly.  Everyday I get to hear stories from clients and prospects about what they are doing, what is working, what they want, what other people are telling them to do… and then I get to tell them my stories.  I’ve started to see there is value in both sides of these stories and think this platform could be a great place to share some of those thoughts that could help others along the way.  Additionally, I aim to take a stab at some tutorials and how to’s (related to marketing) that might have a glimmer of value to someone somewhere.  We will have to wait and see.

See you around!
Ken

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