We’re Baaccck! Marketing Mix returns with a bang. What better way to kick off the new year than to celebrate Fusion One Marketing’s 10th anniversary! We’re sitting down with the owners of Fusion One as they reflect back on the last 10 years and share bits of advice they’ve learned along the way.
To learn more about our marketing services, visit: https://fusiononemarketing.com/
Read the Full Discussion Below
Sarah: Hey, good morning! Happy New Year 2021! This January is a really special month for us because Fusion One Marketing is celebrating 10 years in business and what a great way to celebrate it by having the two people that started it all. So today let’s dig deep with them on their journey through the last 10 years.
Glyna: Hey, good morning.
Sarah: Good morning. I’m excited about today.
Glyna: Yeah. Happy 2021. We made it!
Sarah: Yeah, we made it.
Glyna: Yeah, it’s going to be fun today. I really want to welcome everybody to Marketing Mix and glad you found this here on Fridays. We’re now going to be Fridays at eight every week, and we’re going to try to switch it up a little bit. That’s what the mix means in “Marketing Mix”. We may bring you some interviews, highlight some trends, cover some tips, Q and A. We’re just really going to mix it up. So Sarah, could you pull up our broadcast before we get started?
Sarah: I sure can. Okay. So every week as always, you can find us live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. And our podcast keeps growing and we’re so excited about it. So don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast Marketing and a Mic, and you can always follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn. And one more plug, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel Fusion One Marketing always every week we stay on top of it with fresh new videos. So very important.
Glyna: Awesome. Yeah. Let me say good morning first. And then we’ll get started. Good morning to LaVon. Thank you for joining us this morning and Harry Slagle. The one and only Harry Slagle. Allen Young, good morning!
Sarah: Good morning. Well, as we said at the top of the show today is very exciting. January marks 10 years for Fusion One Marketing. In honor of it, we thought we’d put together 10 questions to ask Glyna and Rob about their journey. We might have a few bonus questions in there too, but just want to ask them about their journey, kind of what they’ve learned in the digital marketing world, business in general, and how they make this husband, wife duo work. Because I’m sure a lot of people need to know that. That’s true. Okay. So let’s jump right in Glyna. I’ll start with you. So take us down a trip down memory lane. What made you start Fusion One Marketing?
Glyna: Well, people ask me that a lot. And the short answer is, it was kind of an accident. I had always worked in corporate America, all my life, always in sales. The company I was working for… This was years ago, now keep in mind. The internet stuff was just coming out. Google was just coming out. The company I was working for was an advertising agency and it just so happened that they trained us on all of that stuff from the get-go. Also trained me in marketing, how to markup advertisements, websites. So, they gave me all this knowledge and at the time I was like, okay, this is pretty cool but it’s a job. Fast forward a couple of years, I got laid off and at the time I’d never lost a job in my life. So I thought it was really the end of the world. But again, I was really still interested in all of this internet stuff. So, Rob was like, “Just take a break. You’ve worked all your life. You love this stuff, study it.” So I worked with a lot of people online and all over the world, which was kind of cool, and learning from them about all the social media stuff. We started dabbling a little bit. I was working with some friends, making their Facebook pages. That was before anybody even knew how to make a Facebook page for business, didn’t even know there was such a thing. I joined a BNI group. And my friends were like, you can really make some money at all this stuff that you’re doing and I was like, “Hmm, I guess I could.” Because up to that point, I was really just helping people. So, that’s kind of how it started. One of the people in our BNI group asked me to come and talk to them about the social media and Google stuff and all of that and that’s really how it started. They gave us our first shot and they’re actually still a customer of ours today, so…
Glyna: Yeah. So that’s how it started. It was kind of by accident.
Sarah: Wow. No, that’s really telling that you’ve got customers still from 10 years ago with you. That’s amazing. Okay, Rob. So, when you first started Fusion One Marketing 10 years ago, did you have any idea that you would be where you are today with it?
Rob: No, not at all. I mean 10 years ago, I mean, Glyna was kind of doing this, getting it started and I was still in corporate America. So, just working that much in the business itself, it’s hard to look forward and think about 10 years ago. But all of a sudden we woke up one morning and it dawned on us, hey, this thing’s really taken off and it’s really a business. So, that’s when we started looking at it. And that’s when we got serious about me leaving corporate America, to actually coming on full time and working with her to actually build it to what it is. But yeah, just to sit down on day one and think where am I going to be in 10 years? That would be a daunting task to think about when, like Glyna said, this kind of all happened by an accident.
Sarah: When you first made that leap, were there any reservations, or was it kind of scary because then you had one person jumping from the corporate world, now you’ve got both of you. Was it like, okay, here we go? No looking back.
Glyna: Well, it was to the point, poor Rob, he couldn’t hold up anymore. We had to make a decision because he was working so much. He was like, I’m working all day at my regular job, I’m coming home… Because he is on the technical side of the house. You don’t want me trying to make your website. That’s just a reality. So, he would come home and work till gosh, all hours of the night and then all weekend. It came to a point where we just had to decide. Either we have to hire somebody to help me, which I didn’t really want to do because Rob and I kind of learned the industry together up to this point. So, it was the first four years… Four years Rob? Or five years… We were going back and forth like this and he was wearing himself out. We just had to make the jump and it was very scary. We lost his six-figure income and had to make that back. It was very, very scary. But here we are. We made it!
Sarah: Yeah, that’s great. But it’s worked out. You made the plunge and you did it. So, what has surprised you most about this journey so far Glenna?
Glyna: Well, and some of the people on here can relate probably Harry, I don’t know about Allen, and LaVon maybe. And maybe Steve. Good morning, Steve and John! I guess all of us were kind of raised in that time where you were taught to go to college, get a degree, find a job, stay there forever. Hopefully, if you had benefits, they would pay you benefits. If you stayed long enough and no one ever talked about entrepreneurship or starting your own business, our parents would have thought we were nuts if we talked about that. So we never had that mindset. Which is kind of weird because now that’s all we think about, what things can we do? What else can we do? So I think that’s the big surprise from the very beginning that we could actually go start our own business. Because it wasn’t like that was it, Rob?
Glyna: That’s not what we were taught and that wasn’t what was ingrained in us. So it’s kind of sad really, our generation that’s the way it was. You just-
Sarah: Yeah, it’s kind of looked at as, well, that’s just not safe. That’s too risky. That’s just too much. Too much at risk to try.
Glyna: Yeah. So I would say that it’s really opened our eyes and it’s so exciting and so fun. And you know Sarah, we’re always thinking of new stuff all the time. So now it’s like, we can’t stop thinking of new things to do.
Sarah: Especially in this industry I mean, you have to. If you don’t keep up, then you don’t have a business.
Glyna: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So it’s been, I would say that’s my biggest surprise. What about you Rob? Same or…?
Rob: Yeah, I mean to me, one of the things that you had to get over was thinking about, “Crap, I got to pay for insurance.”
Sarah: Tell it like it is Rob! So, speaking of keeping up with digital marketing and all of those trends, I want to know along the way, have there been any marketing trends or services or things that you’ve tried that have just been either a flop or just short-lived?
Rob: Well, you have to think 10 years ago, digital marketing, it was like the wild, wild West. You literally could put things in the background, hide them in the color of your website and put an image of Woody from Toy Story and get it to rank before anybody else. So,mj, a lot of those, the black hat… What they call the black hat stuff was pretty much short-lived. Now everything is on board. They’re looking at all this stuff, wanting you to be a real business out there, to be someone that’s legit. So yeah, the black hat piece of it was the thing that was short-lived the most. But yeah, it was… So it would make you upset when you be working for a customer and all of a sudden you’d have somebody out there that would rank above you in one day, and then two weeks later they’d be gone. So yeah, a lot of that’s gone now, you don’t see as much of the black hat around anymore for SEO and digital marketing.
Glyna: Yeah. And that’s a no, no, with all of the search engines. They all have their rules and everything. And they’ve figured out a lot of these fly-by-night tactics and they just don’t let them fly anymore.
Sarah: It’s like those few bad apples are the ones that make all the rules come into place.
Glyna: Yeah, that is true. What’s funny about what we do, we’ve had the same products and services as a whole, the whole 10 years. So, people still need what we do now, maybe it may change how you approach it, but we’ve been very lucky that they still need what we do.
Sarah: Yeah. So was there any kind of trend or things that you started to go with? Or would you just say it’s more of just that black hat kind of stuff?
Glyna: I would say… I mean, we’ve tried some different things that didn’t quite take off. I know, excuse me, years ago, we did try to add text messaging services or advertisements. That just didn’t seem to fit our demographic very well. So, I would say that was one thing that didn’t work. And I think we were kind of early on that. Rob tends to find stuff on the very early in. So it’s not been adopted by a lot of people yet. So we sometimes have to wait for technology to catch up to what he’s finding, so that was one of the only things that I was kind of bummed out about, but it wouldn’t have ended up being a real long-term thing for us anyway.
Rob: MySpace was pretty short-lived.
Glyna: Yeah MySpace.
Sarah: Didn’t last. Facebook came along and trumped that, yeah. I always call Rob the idea guy because he will be brainstorming and brainstorming and brainstorming and just trying to find a solution and then we’ll just casually ask Rob, here’s what we’re working on. And he’s like, ding… Yeah, that would solve all of it. Thank you.
Glyna: Yeah he is definitely the idea guy and then we have to try to figure out how to implement it. So, when it so far ahead of the curve, usually that’s probably one of the things that maybe, that’s one of the reasons, some of the stuff hasn’t worked because we can’t adapt it yet.
Sarah: Yeah. We don’t know what we do without you Rob you definitely… Or Glyna of course, obviously. But when it comes to that technical stuff, yeah… Okay. So this one is for both of you, if you could go back in time, what would you say would be the one piece of advice you’d give yourself 10 years ago?
Glyna: I think, like when we talked about earlier, the mindset of this is really a job. You need to set goals. You need to think further ahead, not just work day-to-day. Hey, this is kind of fun. This is a job we’re making a paycheck here and there but maybe shoot for the stars and really set goals earlier. If that makes sense. We went along so many years just having fun. We’re still having fun. But I would say shoot for the stars would be one of the things that I would say.
Rob: I would go back in time and tell myself to charge more.
Glyna: Rob. That too.
Sarah: A little stronger markup.
Glyna: That too. Yeah, we love what we do and we definitely are not the least expensive, but we by far, are not the most expensive. So that’s kind of funny, I guess. Yeah, if we would have charged what everybody else in the industry was charging, we would have probably been even better off. You’re so funny.
Sarah: Can you tell us or share any, I’ll just say LOL moments or just way out of the way kind of experiences that you’ll never forget?
Rob: Yeah. I probably have one that, that I’ll never forget, but we were building a website for a client and the hardest part about any website is getting the content from the client to actually put on the website. This person was having a difficult time doing that. So I told him I’d just stopped by and help him out. Well, when I got there, all the content and all the photos were already done, that’s what he told me. And I walk into his office and there’s a stack of printed paper where he had typed out all the content and then stapled a printed photograph off the internet and said, this is everything that I want on my website. So, he literally typed everything out in Word and printed it out and then he deleted the document and started over again. So, he’s actually using Word, as an electronic typewriter.
Sarah: He presented this beautiful pic collage for you.
Glyna: I’ll never forget that he was gone for so long. I’m like what in the world? And he comes in, I don’t even have a stack of papers that is that thick. It was like this thick. And I’m like, what is that? He goes, this is the content.
Sarah: And this is it. This is it because he deleted everything.
Glyna: Yeah. Rob’s like, okay, well that’s great. You did it in Word. Can you just send that over to me? Oh, I deleted it after I printed it all off. It was like, Oh gosh. We were talking about this last night and I forget now, this is being in business 10 years I forgot what I was going to talk about. But something else just came to mind of course dealing with different customers. Everyone’s different. I’ll never forget this guy who got mad at us. This is the weirdest thing. He owed us and so we were trying to collect his bill and it wasn’t anything bad. I mean, we were just reminding him that he needed to pay his bill. But he wanted, more and more stuff done. And Rob’s like, “Well, if you could catch up and pay your bill” You remember that Rob? The guy spent the rest of the night, texting Rob, cussing him out, literally cussing him out, calling him up, leaving him messages, calling me. The guy was so mad because we asked him to pay his bill. He went just berserk. I’ve never seen anything like it. So that was kind of a laugh out loud moment. But of course, Rob, he was instigating him just a little bit. But it was crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy. He stopped after that night. I was a little worried that he was going to show up at our house, but…
Rob: I think his mom turned off his Wi-Fi.
Sarah: She’s like, that’s enough out of you, come eat your spaghetti. Golly. Oh my gosh, you guys have really dealt with all kinds of clients and issues and really technology is just a funny thing because it is always changing and when you’re in the digital marketing realm and it’s our job to just handle it. But you come across some people that are just still living in 1996.
Glyna: Yeah. It’s so funny. I did remember I have a light bulb, and probably one of the very first things in this business when we were just getting started. Of course, as I said, I’ve been in sales forever. So, you tend to go sell if you’re in sales forever. So, the first people that we met with… As I said, I just went to talk to them about really basic stuff, social media, because we hadn’t gotten into all this other stuff yet. And by the time I finished the conversation, I called Rob. I said, “Well, they want us to build a new website. They want us to do this. They want us to do that. They want us to…” It was like this long list. And they’re like, we want you to do everything for us. And he’s like, “Well, what’d you tell them?” I said, “I’ll get you a price.” So now that expanded our services from day one, he’s going to have to figure out how to get it all done. But he did it!
Sarah: Glyna, with you being in the sales did you just kind of, was it like, yes, we can make it happen. And then you come home to Rob like, guess what we’re going to do? And he’s like, how are we going to do that?
Glyna: It’s kind of like that too. We were talking to one of our customers the other day and I said something. I said, “Yeah, sure.” And Rob was like, “No.” So it’s kind of funny. I may sell a little too much.
Sarah: Yeah. Well, it works. So, what would you say is your favorite part of this industry and just Fusion One Marketing as a whole?
Glyna: I would say for Fusion One Marketing as a whole, I love our team. Right now, it’s been 10 years and there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but I feel really good. And you included, Sarah, with the team we have in place right now. I think it’s very cohesive. We work so well together. Sarah even thinks of stuff.-we think of stuff at exactly the same time. So that’s what I really am very happy about right now. And of course, anybody that’s watched any of this stuff or talked to me about any of our services, my favorite thing is SEO. The reason for that is that we really like to just help businesses. We love to help them. We love to take a business and really watch them grow and help them grow and know that because of the services they’re paying us for, they’re able to increase their business so much more than they would have ever dreamed. So that, to me is the best part of it. Our goal is always to have them make more money than what they’re paying us. If that makes sense. When they can get to that point, it just feels so good. So I would say that’s my favorite part. I don’t know about Rob.
Rob: Yeah. My favorite part, I’m passionate about helping small and medium businesses actually grow. I love to hear when somebody, you sit down and you talk with them and they don’t even have a clue on what they need to do, or how to do it, and you can walk in and give them something and the thing that’s most rewarding to me personally, is A.) Just building that trust with that customer, and B.) Making it such a profit center that customer comes back one day and says, “What else can we do?” I think that’s the moment that you wait for that okay they bought in, they’re going to be here for life. We’ve done the right thing. Yeah. That’s my number one thing.
Glyna: Yeah. It may not be… You know, what we do… And we evaluate because what we do doesn’t fit every single business. It just doesn’t. So we’d like to pick and choose, and that makes it feel even better when we know, yes, this was the right business or we’re doing the right things for that business. It’s a lot more fun that way. Everybody’s happy.
Sarah: Of course. Yeah. When you see the fruits of your labor, what’s better than that?
Sarah: Yeah. So, okay what would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about this business and just owning your own company?
Rob: Well, and this kind of goes hand in hand… First of all, this industry, the digital marketing industry sometimes gets a bad rap. They want to tie people into contracts. They don’t want to show them what they’re really doing behind the curtain. And to me, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. When I see people that have been misled, what they do. So, for us to come in and actually do the right thing for these customers, not tie them into contracts its just to me, that’s the piece of it because I want to be transparent. That’s why you hear us all the time talking about our phone calls. No one in our industry will ever talk about the phone calls that you’re getting and that’s one of the reasons we switched to that to show them… Because everybody else is so into how many clicks, how many impressions and I had a saying in my BNI group was “You can’t take clicks and impressions to the bank. There’s not a spot on the deposit slip for those.” So, that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned is just keep on doing the right thing and then it’ll pay off in the long run.
Glyna: Yeah. I would have to agree. There are all kinds of people calling businesses every day “We’ll get you on page one of Google,” That’s why I tell people if anyone calls and tells you that, take off running. So I would say, I agree with Rob, that’s probably one of the biggest lessons. I think another lesson, and this is for any business, is to realize what your time is worth money and don’t spend time on doing things that maybe some of the rest of your team could do. So you have to balance that out. Each of us, all three of us, our time is worth money. And there’s only so much time we have. So you have to just really work on balancing out what’s most important and work that way. I will say that would be the biggest lesson.
Rob: Yeah, that’s so true. One of the best days I’ve ever had is when we hired an accountant. I’m no longer the accountant. So, when you sit down and think about that, as far as somebody starting their business is, yeah, that first day, you’re everything, you wear every hat, you do everything. But as a business, you need to start thinking and planning on what do I have to hit to take that off me so I can actually work, my business to grow it? Because believe me, it took more time to do the accounting piece of it than it did anything else. And I’m sitting there thinking what if I spent those four hours going out and actually dealing with clients or trying to get new clients? That would be so much more worth my time.
Sarah: Yeah. That’s so true. It’s like you got to hire the right people that can fit the right spot. Either, you don’t have that expertise, or you just, frankly, don’t have the time so that you can. Your time is money, as you said. So I want to talk about both of you as a husband and wife team. It doesn’t always work in other businesses, you think, hey, we’re married and we see each other all the time and this will be easy, but it doesn’t. But for both of you, it’s worked really well. And I just want to know what about your dynamic makes it work?
Glyna: Well, this house has really made a difference because I’m on the third floor and he’s on the first. No, I’m kidding. We’ve always just been really close. I know that that sounds dumb we’re husband and wife. But with not having kids, it’s always just been us. So we’ve always done everything together. So, it really wasn’t that big of a switch to work together. And so we haven’t really had many problems. What ends up happening with Rob and me though, we both think so differently as far as how we approach things and how we approach problem-solving. With him being the technical side and more me being more on the sales and people side, it never fails any argument we have, he’ll start talking about his side, I’ll start talking about my side and we still always end up at the same place. That’s the funniest thing to me because it’s like, well, why were we arguing about this? Because we wanted the same thing. We came up with the same solution. It was just, how did we get there? We thought each one of us had a better path to get to the same place. So, I would say that’s probably one of our biggest struggles. But other than that, because we have such different strengths, I think that’s how it’s always worked. And we kind of realized that we both have shortcomings and strengths. I would say that’s it. I don’t know.
Rob: I just accepted a long time ago that you’re right.
Glyna: And he realizes I’m the boss and it works fine.
Sarah: Oh right. What did they say? There’s that expression, you can want to be right all day, but you’ll be all alone. Really. It’s like if you need to be right all day, that’s fine. But after a while, nobody wants to be around that person.
Glyna: You’ll be sitting right there by yourself.
Sarah: I know there comes a time where you don’t agree on something and you… I totally see that point if you get to the same place, but how you get there is very different. So there ever been situations where you just can’t see eye-to-eye and if so, how do you come to a resolution?
Rob: Well, all major decisions, we decide them by rock, paper, scissors. No.
Glyna: He’s better at the game than I am.
Rob: It’s all about the anticipation. She always goes for rock. I mean, again, we play to our strengths. That’s the thing that, if it’s technical, she kind of relies on me to help out. Then things with the sales and the social and things like that, that I’m not strong on, I rely on her. I’ll bring it up… I mean, the thing that we always do is say, okay, that looks good. Here’s what I see as the pros and cons. And then we after that, just kind of sit down and decide which way to go.
Glyna: Yeah. I mean, we do disagree on some things. I don’t know how… It always works out. I don’t know. It’s never been anything that obviously ruined us or hurt our business. So I think that if we do argue about something, it’s better just to leave it alone for a little while and then come back and try again. So I think that’s usually what we do. But yeah it’s always for the good of the business and then we try to approach things like that.
Sarah: Well, I think it’s so important that you touched on knowing your strengths. And I think that’s so, because when you’re one that… If you have that mindset, “I just want to be the boss man, the boss woman, I want to be making all the decisions or I’m always right”. Or whatever it is. It’s kind of like just stay in your lane, know what you’re good at, what you said, play-off your strengths, and kind of stay in your lane. And don’t try to meddle in areas that frankly is not what you’re best at. So I think you guys knowing that is huge. Because you do find a lot of other people that are like, well I’m the smartest one in the room.
Glyna: I think we save each other a lot too. I think we both know that we’re going to be there. It would be really hard to do business without both of us. And when I said we saved each other, he’s always helping me resolve some problems that I have to deal with and I try to do the same thing. So, It’s a team. What is that saying, there’s no I in “team”?
Sarah: Yeah, but what did Kobe Bryant say? But there is a “me”, in “team.” Just kidding. Okay. So I have one final question. When you look back at the last 10 years in this whole journey, what are you most proud about?
Rob: One of the things that really hit me, I was reading an article over the break and one of the things that really hit me was to think about 10 years, let’s say a hundred businesses started that same year. Okay. After that 10 years, 65% of those businesses failed, they’re no longer here. So for us to sit there and say, we’re one of the 35% that actually made it to even 10 years. That to me, that makes me feel proud. Number two, if I look back through the 10 years, I look back and say we did right by every one of our clients. So that again, I guess, says something for why we’re in business for 10 years, it was trying to do the right things. But those are the two big for me.
Glyna: Yeah, I think so too. It’s weird because time goes by so fast and to even talk about that it’s been 10 years is kind of weird. But yeah, that’s definitely something to be proud of. As Rob said, we do, bottom line is we do try to do the right thing. We’re not perfect. If there’s something that comes up that was our mistake, we try to correct it. So we just try to do the right thing. That’s what I’m most proud of. We love our customers. We really, we think of them as part of our team too, because we have to work with them and they have to help us on some things to make it all work and bring them as much business as we possibly can. So yeah, I would agree with exactly what he said. It’s been a fun 10 years.
Sarah: It’s been a fun 10 years and I have only been a part of coming up on two of those 10 years. But, I said from the beginning that working with both of you has been just nothing but a blessing and I thoroughly enjoy it. And I will say, coming into this, you guys have such transparency and I think that’s, what’s helped you tremendously is that you’ve got good values and you do right by your customers and that speaks volumes because it doesn’t always happen.
Glyna: We try.
Sarah: Well, this has been a lot of fun, and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the last 10 years. And I guess I’ll say that’s a wrap because we all got to get to work.
Glyna: Yeah really we’ve got to make it for the next 10 years. Yeah. This was fun. And thanks for doing the questions and stuff, Sarah, I really appreciate it. And thanks for tuning in and as always, if you ever need any help with digital marketing, we’d love to just talk with you, give you a free consultation. We’re always here to brainstorm. So we’re here if you need us, hopefully for another 10 years. So have a great day and we will see you next Friday.