JP Jones wears many hats. Among them are graphic designing, web designing, social media marketing, teaching, book publishing, blogging and writing. The author of “Market Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media” an “31 Days of Marketing”, JP has several start-ups under her belt. The owner of Paige1Media, LLC and Paige1Publishing, Jones teamed up with web guru Nicholas Clayton in 2007 to co-found Collipsis Web Solutions, LLC.
Paige1Media, LLC and Collipsis Web Solutions, LLC now work hand in hand to provide clients with a full service experience while maintaining focus on individual niches. Paige1Media and its staff focus solely on print design, creating everything from logos to magazine layouts, while Collipsis works in the realm of online technology tackling websites and online marketing.
MO: How have you’ve been able to grow Collipsis from a start-up with a single client to a fully functional small business with over 150 clients worldwide in less than five years? What key decisions have contributed to the growth and success of the company?
JP: I would have to say that first and foremost our success can be attributed to providing the best possible service we can to our clients – or like you mentioned our FIRST client. By the time we finished that original project, that single client had already referred others to us and it has literally snowballed from there. Over 90% of our new clients are referred to us by a current or previous client. We made the decision early on in our company’s infancy that we would create a company that others could recommend without hesitation. A lot of small businesses say they stand behind their word and their work, but we actually do it. Over the years, when there have been problems or situations we are careful to take the high road — even if that means eating a financial hit, because ultimately the trust and respect of our clients is far more valuable than any single project.
MO: How did you leverage the success of Collipsis to launch Paige1Media?
JP: That’s an interesting question actually. In reality Paige1Media was around first, but it didn’t begin to reach it’s potential until Collipsis really began building momentum. Having the two companies then, within the same industry but with specific niches allowed them to play off each other. We were able to add and develop services until we reached the point where we were the one-stop shopping of marketing. Clients can find what they need within the industry, without having to work with multiple companies but still get the specialized and niche-specific services they are hoping for and stay with a company that already knows their business or organization.
MO: Startups typically need to pivot and evolve their business model over time, especially as customers start to use the product. Can you provide some advice or lessons learned to entrepreneurs on pivoting while keeping your business moving forward at the same time?
JP: It’s definitely imperative to keep your company relevant and be quick to identify what works and what doesn’t. In a technology driven society I believe it’s even more important today than in times past. As small business owners we have to be aware of changing trends and modes of communications and I think it’s important to be early adapters of the changes around us. We tell our clients to make sure they aren’t trying to sell ham radios in a smart phone society. As entrepreneurs, I think it’s vital that we be willing to learn not only from our successes but also from our mistakes and failures. If something isn’t working don’t try to continue to revamp it and breathe life into it, leave it behind and more forward. Try something different.
MO: What are some industry trends that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
JP: You know that’s a tough one, because the trends I mention today may be outdated tomorrow. It seems like in many ways technology is shifting that quickly. We are definitely a mobile society and I think it’s imperative that everyone comes to grips with that and that we cater to things that can be done via a mobile device or tablet.
MO: What advice would you give to a startup in need of a social media strategy?
JP: I’d say JUMP IN. We often have clients that are afraid they will say the wrong thing or will seem silly with their social media presence, but the first thing I tell them is to relax and just get out there. Don’t become so nervous about the “scary” world of social media that you psych yourself out about it. Social media is simply a new way to network and connect with people – something business owners have been doing forever. The technology has changed but the end result hasn’t. Connecting with your customers, connecting with potential customers and engaging your audience are the essential goals of any business. Today’s social media just makes it easier to accomplish those goals.
MO: What are your top tips for having a great website that engages current and potential customers?
JP: First and foremost make sure your site is a living thing. We see so many people that set up a site and have a “build it and they will come,” Field of Dreams mentality. Unfortunately the web doesn’t work that way. Once you get a site up, it’s now time to actually begin to drive people to it. We like to tell people that having a website is like building a mall in the middle of the desert. You need roads, billboards and maybe an interstate to get people to it. So make sure your site is updated often with quality content and a reason for people to return and make sure you are constantly adding new ‘roads’ for people to use to find your site, i.e. links from social media sites, blogs, etc. Instead of Field of Dreams, be Hansel and Gretel leaving that trail of crumbs for others to follow.
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