Author Archives: Jamie Alter

So, You’ve Been Burned By Your Digital Marketing Agency…

burned by your digital marketing agency

A number of our clients come to us with burn scars—battle wounds from working with a digital marketing agency who either could not or would not live up to what they promised to deliver.  Sometimes an agency is overwhelmed, does not understand the client’s brand, needs, or the agency is simply dishonest. Regardless, at the end of the day, your brand may be suffering from serious burn scars.

Having a negative experience with a digital marketing agency can carry some advantages. Ultimately, the experience makes you wiser and more knowledgeable about what to do and what to avoid when you start shopping around for a new agency.  That being said, how can you make sure you are signing a contract with an ethical and competent agency; one that will deliver a product built on best practices while understanding your brand and helping it grow the right way? The answer? You need to do some homework before signing on the dotted line. Dig deeper to discern the true nature of an agency before contracting with them.  Here are a few things to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency.

Ask Others

Asking others about reputable agencies can go both waysask for recommendations and references. Query colleagues, business partners or other brand owners in your industry about which web agencies they used.  You will probably get recommendations for companies you should contact and some companies you shouldn’t. Once you contact a digital marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask for references of recognizable (i.e. easy to find online and well-established) brands they represent. You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without doing some background work, why would you trust your website or online presence to just anyone?

Is The Price Too Good To Be True?

If you have a few proposals from different agencies in front of you (which you should), and pricing between them is radically different, you need to seriously be asking WHY. 

Typically, pricing variations within a digital marketing agency are based on four things: team, technology, process and expertise. Someone that comes in really cheap may be relying on some kind of automation service and/or outsourced contractors to produce and disseminate content and/or build platforms. This may be totally fine in certain cases with certain companies, but diligently assess the quality and customization of their work for other clients.

Outsourcing, if very well managed, can be totally great; however, experience has taught us over here at Alter Endeavors to keep all of our services US-based simply due to communication and timelines. It makes us a little more expensive, but we are also able to control the outcome of services rendered much more closely, quickly and efficiently. This may change for Alter Endeavors if we ever come across an outsourcing resource that we feel meets our needs.

Technology can also mean automation. Some automation, especially when it comes to analytics and goal tracking is great. For example, we created Catch Engine to help automate some aspects of lead generation or review acquisitions, but not everything. If any agency says they can have you simply fill out a survey and then put you into their system for insta-automated-magic success, run away as fast as you can. Things need to adapt and change constantly, and artificial intelligence isn’t far enough along (yet) to replace the human element in this process.

Speaking of process, ask about it. Cheap pricing can possibly mean an agency is new or inexperienced or dishonest enough to simply ignore the need for a process to discover and help achieve brand goals online and off within a promised time frame.

Lack of experience or expertise may also be a reason for cheap pricing. The agency may be hungry and is willing to work for peanuts in order to build experience and their portfolio. It may be that an agency, although inexperienced, could be able to quickly adapt and grow into an effective marketing machine for your brand, just be careful that their inexperience does not cost you time, money or reputation.

On the flip side, seriously question higher-priced agencies. Just because they are the most expensive does not mean they are the best either. Ask the same questions above and vet them further with the following techniques as well.

Have More Than One Conversation

Just like if you were buying a car or a house, don’t be pressured into doing something you are not ready to commit to.  For many small to medium-sized businesses, the budget required to create a website or maintain a social presence is not insignificant.  Before entrusting any agency with your funds, interview them more than once.  You want to make sure that the digital agency is a good fit for your brand.  Be honest with the agency about your needs and timeline and a reasonable agency will do their best to give you a good idea of what they can accomplish and how they can meet your needs. Good agencies will tell you upfront when they are not a good fit for your brand, but will then suggest someone they think might be—something we do over here at Alter Endeavors more often than folks expect. 

Ask About the Team

If you have met with a representative of a digital marketing agency in person, more than likely, your first point of contact will be someone working in sales.  As the conversation progresses further, don’t be afraid to ask to speak directly with someone you will be working with.  The process of building a website is very intimate—you will be entrusting this agency with passwords, your email and more.  Ask to be put in touch with your potential point of contact.  A good relationship with your point of contact is necessary, especially if you might be signing up for an ongoing social engagement. You will be corresponding with your account manager on a monthly basis or more.

Know Your Goals

Sometimes a less than satisfactory website or failed social campaign isn’t the result of an incompetent agency, but a premature or undeveloped business idea.  In order for an agency to execute a solid product, you need to enter knowing your goals and your business. A deadline, eager business owner or half-baked plan can lead to a hastily put together website or social media presence that doesn’t truly represent the brand or achieve the desired goals. Put the time and thought into developing your business, sales funnel and calls to action first.  If you don’t have all the details ironed out, it’s not a deal breaker.  You may need to build extra time into your website building or social media planning process so that your agency can assist with your overall branding strategy.

No agency is perfect, including Alter Endeavors, but great agencies know this. Great agencies have systems in place to deal with infrequent mess-ups and failures. They are also constantly proving that their successes far outweigh the occasional, inconsequential blunder. There is definitely a difference between an agency who can help your brand thrive online and an agency who cannot —maybe even hurt it. Want to start a conversation with Alter Endeavors about your online presence?  You can ask us ALL the questions (we don’t mind).  Our goal is to build a powerful and sustainable online presence that will help you grow your brand!

How to Build Trust Online – The Trust Relationship

build trust online

Internet users are exposed to thousands of online ads daily, but how can your businesses stand out from the rest?  Trust.

Cultivating business relationships requires that you build trust online. Someone must have confidence in you or your brand before handing over money to purchase a product or service, contacting you for more information or progressing your businesses relationship to the next level.  Consumers are already highly attuned to looking for markers of trust in the real world.  The restaurant parking lot is packed—the food must be good.  This store is well maintained and the restrooms are clean—management must care about the customer’s experience.  The clothes in this boutique feel well-made—these products are high-quality.  How can you translate this physical experience into a digital one?

Your online presence is more than just a website, Facebook page or Yelp reviews.  You don’t need to become caught in the false idea that you must be on every social platform, but must understand that a complete digital marketing strategy and web presence encompass multiple pieces.  These tips can help you evaluate your current web presence and digital marketing strategy or create a digital marketing strategy and develop an online presence if you are just getting started.

Truth

You can’t have trust without truth.  There is no way to manufacture trust or “fake it till you make it” when it comes to building online confidence in your brand.  Today’s consumers can easily tell the difference between the genuine and the phony.  No marketing team, agency or expert can help you build trust online and establish your online empire if you don’t already have a legitimate business.  Before embarking online, conduct an honest gut check of what you already have in place.

Out of Date or Up to Date?

Are tumbleweeds rolling through your social profiles that haven’t been updated since 2014?  Is your website over 5 years old or not optimized for mobile?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are out of date!  Why should it matter whether you are out of date or up to date?  If you are going to put the effort into doing something, why would you leave it half-done?  An up-to-date online presence demonstrates that you care.  I want to patronize a business that extends effort, is consistent and cares about all aspects (even the small details) because that means the business values me and will take care of me as a customer.  An updated website is like having a clean floor in your brick and mortar establishment.  Active social accounts are like having an employee greeting patrons as they walk in.

How Do I Contact You?

How easy is it for a potential customer to get in touch with you?  Online users shouldn’t have to search on your website to find a phone number or physical address (if your business has one).  Creating clear CTAs or Calls to Action helps guide your potential customer down an intentional path that you have created for them. The path or funnel makes it easy for them to understand your business, purchase a product or service or take the desired next step.  Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram also make it easy for customers to get in touch with you.  Do you have someone monitoring your social channels, ready to respond to mentions, tags or inquiries?  Building trust means that a customer doesn’t have to scour the web for an email address to complain if there is a problem or find out more before pressing “Add to Cart”. When you are accessible online, it is easier for your audience to ask questions, connect with you and do business with your brand.

Be Upfront

While you can’t manufacture trust, you can build faith in your business through transparency and value.  Blogs, social content and web pages that preemptively answer questions, give helpful tips or provide free, valuable content help forge relationships online.  People understand that you are trying to sell something, but you can make their life easier while also building brand affinity.  Educating your client, offering a solution and alleviating concerns all before a purchase is even made, demonstrates to your audience that you understand their point of view.  The more time a client spends on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase from you.  Display customer video testimonials on your website or encourage happy clients to leave a review after taking a Catch Engine survey.  What happens if your client is not satisfied with your product or service?  Do you have a guarantee or return policy?  If you do, make it easy for your client to know what will happen in a worse case scenario.  You can also follow up with clients who had a negative experience and stymy negative reviews with a Catch Engine survey. Transparency around your process and policies will empower customers to easily make a purchase decision, confident in the fact that they can trust your brand to make things right.  An active social presence where you respond to positive customer reviews, mishaps and shoutouts further expose your commitment to serving all customers.

You can’t fabricate integrity, but you can build trust online by implementing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.  Let’s have a conversation about your online presence!

What Alter Endeavors is Thankful For

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This week we want to pause and share with you what we are most thankful for this year!

“I’m thankful that for the first time in years, all of my family will be in the same city during the holidays.” – Aubrey

“I am thankful for our incredibly talented team over here at Alter Endeavors as well as all of the amazing folks who help support our business. I love the people I work with (especially my business partner, since I married her)! No two days are alike over here at Alter Endeavors. What we do is challenging, sometimes it even nears impossible, but everyone at Alter Endeavors tackles each day with all of its crazy problems with passion, grace and patience. So, thank you Jamie, Christopher, Aubrey, Teylor, Rachel, Erik, Christie, Alex, all the Steves/Stephens/Davids (seriously parents, name your kids something else), Rusty, Maorong, Rob, Tom, Alan, Lulu and everyone else who makes what we do over here at Alter Endeavors possible! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, all of you. And thank you God for blessing us every day.” – Nick

“This one was a little difficult because 2016 was a somewhat rough year for me, but I have this: I’m thankful for my own strength—for my sense of humor that brings levity to my most difficult moments and for my own two feet that keep me going. I’m thankful that I am strong enough to make my own dreams come true.” – Rachel

“I am especially thankful to work for a company that allows and supports my passion for travel. I recognized how blessed I am during my time in Iceland when the majority of people I talked to could not believe that I was ‘allowed’ to work from so far away. I was repeatedly told to ‘not let that job go’. I simply responded that I recognize how special this is, especially since I thoroughly enjoy the work itself and not just the secondary perks. Thank you for trusting me to make my clients a priority no matter where I am in the world!” – Teylor

“I hope I am thankful everyday, not just today.  But, I am thankful for health, my home, my husband (and dog-Lulu).  I am also thankful for purpose—work provides me with a special ambition to do the best for my clients. Alter Endeavors has also given me the gift of surrounding myself with people whom I deeply care about and want to see succeed both professionally and in their own passions.  Most of all, I am grateful for a Savior that came to Earth as both fully man and fully God and died on a cross as a substitute for all of us so that we may have peace and eternal life in Him.” – Jamie

“I am thankful for my friends and family and the joy they bring to my life. I am thankful that it’s finally gotten cooler in Texas—the cool weather is reinvigorating after the crush of summer’s heat and brings a fresh perspective. I am thankful for the Alter Endeavors team and our clients, with whom we’re working to make their dreams and goals come to fruition.” – Christopher

Happy Thanksgiving from Alter Endeavors!

4 Reasons to Invest in a New Website Before January 1st

Invest in a new website

Ready for a new website right away? Let’s go! 

Whether you ramp up or ramp down your business during the holiday season, it still means the end of the year for any business. With only weeks left in the year, every entrepreneur is looking at how they can prep for next year while trying to see what they can write-off before the end of this one. So do yourself a favor and plant at least one seed at the end of this year that could help grow your business by leaps and bounds before or by this time next year. Invest in a new website before January 1st!

Reserve a Spot For a New Website

If a new website is on the horizon for your company in 2017, signing a contract before the end of the year has the additional benefit of also being a tax write-off!  Even if you don’t intend to begin the process of creating a new website on January 1st, we are providing the option to reserve a spot for your brand’s website in 2017. 

No Rushing

As is often the case with most things, people tend to put off important tasks that need to be completed by a specific deadline. We don’t recommend rushing the process of creating, designing and developing a website. By planning ahead, you will save yourself the additional cost of having to pay for the project to be expedited.

Take Action While Competitors Don’t

Gear your brand up for a successful 2017 by getting ahead of competitors who are shutting down while you are moving forward.  You don’t need to have all the details figured out, but you will rest easy knowing that you have a solid website design and development plan in place.

Your Website is Tax Deductible

Yes, you heard that right.  Your website is considered a business expense for your taxes.  While the IRS has not outlined specific website deductions, a website is treated like software when it comes to taxes.  When you purchase a website from a third party (like Alter Endeavors), we assume responsibility for the website’s functionality and the costs are treated like software costs and amortized (spread out) over 3 years.  If the total cost of the website is less than $25,000, you can expense 100% of the cost in the year it was paid.  Even if you decide to amortize, you will still see a tax benefit in 2016!  These guys do a job of explaining if you want more info.

Still Not Convinced?

If you have more questions about why you might need a new website or why you should work with Alter Endeavors. We can help make quick work of your research. If you’re in need of more information about the benefits of having an interactive and responsive website or why Alter Endeavors is the right team for the job, here are other convincing points. 

Why do I need a website? 

How much does a website cost?  And other questions answered.

Why should I work with Alter Endeavors? 

Plunge into 2017 with a powerful new website by signing a contract with Alter Endeavors before January 1st!  Begin your transformative digital journey here.

Viral Marketing – Is It a Myth?

viral marketing

Is viral marketing a myth? One of my favorite requests from potential clients is, “I want to go viral.” or “I want my brand/company to go viral.” When a prospect demands virality (not to be confused with virility), it opens an opportunity for Alter Endeavors to educate and guide a client towards real digital marketing success, defined by target audiences, conversion goals, and user flow. Viral content has very little control over how it spreads and who it spreads to, thus the name. Going viral can be great, don’t get me wrong, but popularity for popularity’s sake does not offer guaranteed exposure to ideal clients…nor does it necessarily help a brand achieve their financial or networking goals. Instead, what about a rock solid marketing framework with creative, engaging content, reached goals, social engagements and conversion numbers?

First, let’s define what “viral” means. When a YouTube video goes viral, for example, it is being shared organically and indiscriminately and freely, like an infection (hence the name…) Content, whether a gif or video or image or story, goes viral because it fulfills some kind of entertainment value. So, when you bring your brand to Alter Endeavors and say, “I want to go viral,” are you really trying to tell us that you want to lose control of your marketing and branding to the masses for 5 seconds of entertainment? Probably not. I think what you mean to say is, “I want to maximize my brand’s exposure to my intended audiences, driving as many people to my defined calls to action as possible and reaching my marketing and sales goal with the budget I have laid out for these efforts.” If this is what you meant to say, then Alter Endeavors is a great fit for you and your digital marketing efforts. Look at companies like Dollar Shave Club and Squatty Potty. Their unprecedented successes were textbook situations of preparation meeting opportunity, which some folks may interpret as “lucky” and others misinterpret as “viral”. Now, the questions is, how do we help?

You are the expert of your business. We provide a digital marketing framework with a a creative edge that will give your message legs online in the most successful way possible. We thrive at helping businesses manage their online presence long-term through continuing our internal education and adapting to change across all relevant digital platforms. By tuning into webinars, reading industry articles, researching new ways to run Facebook ads or participating in other professional development activities like attending Social Media Success Summit (which I am currently attending), our digital marketing efforts on behalf our clients find the greatest success possible with the intended audience. Simultaneously, we think of new and creative ways to help brands engage with a greater scope of their target audiences by engaging with them through new, creative content.

That being said, don’t go floating off into the stratosphere thinking Alter Endeavors is going to make your business an overnight success. Rarely does a company, especially one struggling to stay afloat, experience instant gratification from our digital marketing efforts. Our primary goal is longevity for your brand, helping to establish your business as a trusted and vested member of your community. Whether your community is the physical area surrounding your business, a defined digital audience, or both, the best way to grow a business is through word-of-mouth. Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report finds that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. A flashy video or the best ad copy isn’t going to help you grow sustainably, building a relationship with customers and having those customers share their experiences with others over and over again will. So, how can you build credibility online?

Through maintaining a consistent social presence, you can remain top-of-mind with current and potential clients, build relationships, solicit reviews, address customers who had a less than stellar experience, feature fan-generated content, thank fans for engaging with your brand, send Catch Engine surveys to drive positive online reviews (and manage bad customer experiences), gather data and intelligence on your topic area, and more.  The strategy we recommend for your business will be tailored to your industry, community and needs.

Our ideal client, those we have the most success with, are other salt of the Earth folks who pursue their brand with passion and integrity.  Join us in growing your brand in a sustainable and ethical way.  Want to get started, contact us!

Why You Should Be a Hold’Em for Heroes Sponsor!

Heroes for Children

How do you feel about kids with cancer?

Our answer: Love the kids, hate the cancer. 

Howdy, howdy! We are actively looking for sponsors to join us in supporting the Austin Hold’Em for Heroes 2016 poker tournament! If not you personally, rope in your company or a friend. We are looking to have at least 250 folks participate in the event this year.

Alter Endeavors supports this event and this organization because of the DIRECT impact they have on families fighting for their children’s lives. For the past 3 years Alter Endeavors has been involved, this poker tournament has succeeded in directly helping dozens, if not hundreds, of families in huge ways by simply helping them cover things like mortgage payments, plane tickets to cancer treatments, paying bills, etc.  Heroes for Children is a unique organization because there is no other organization that provides such versatility in restoring normalcy and brining comfort through each family’s journey.  Other charities that provide assistance whether financial or otherwise come with more stipulations in how funds are allocated. Heroes for Children provides funds that families can use to take care of their greatest needs.  

What’s more? The people we are helping could easily be any of us. Cancer has a crippling effect on families in so many ways—emotionally, physically and financially. We believe in this program so strongly because nearly every penny donated goes to help those in need, and we have met folks who have directly benefitted from this organization. Not only do we donate every year, we now serve on the committee for this event because we believe so strongly in this cause. 

The 6th Annual Hold’Em for Heroes poker tournament will take place on Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30pm at the Austin Club.  The event is run by professional dealers.  Re-donations (buy-ins) are available.  The ten winners have the opportunity to choose between a variety of awesome prizes.  Read more about the different sponsorship levels here.

Becoming a sponsor will enable you to benefit an extremely worthy cause while also giving your business great publicity.  Through becoming a sponsor you will also have the opportunity to network with other philanthropic-minded business owners and sponsors.  You will be able to invite employees or clients to enjoy an evening of poker, fun, giving back and the chance to win prizes sponsored by brands like Kendra Scott and Yeti.

Even if you don’t like poker, consider donating, get your company involved or share with someone who might be interested. We are in serious need of a couple more of the larger sponsors. The sooner we can get commitment from sponsors the better off we will be, so please don’t delay your decision. It’s an incredible night, and it has a huge, direct impact on our local community.  

Corporate Philanthropy: Why Every Business is Like The First Lady

Corporate Philanthropy

When it comes to corporate philanthropy, every business owner should think of their business like a Miss America or First Lady.  All businesses need a cause to promote. The First Lady and Miss America have it easy, because their terms are 4 years (8 years if their spouse is re-elected) and 1 year long respectively.  When you become a business owner, you are signing up for a lifelong term (as long as the life of your business) to champion a cause.

Supporting a charitable cause or community organization demonstrates to your clients and community that you truly care. Your business has a soul.  You aren’t just here to make a buck, you are here to become a collaborative part of the community.  Donating time, money, talent or space (whether physical or intangible) signals to others that there are people behind your business who care. Choosing a cause may seem like an easier or more relevant task for brick and mortar based businesses, but service-based businesses and online companies have targeted communities they want to reach too. 

Tip: Help your online community feel included by inviting them to donate to a specific cause alongside you.

A charitable cause helps give your business direction, and from a marketing standpoint it also gives you something to promote and talk about.  No one enjoys the company of a self-centered person who speaks only of herself. What audience wouldn’t tire of a business that solely self-promotes?  A cause provides depth and the ability to talk about something else besides your newest product or current specials.  You can now share /tweet / post / promote activities related to this charity and it becomes relevant to your business. Broaden the types of conversations your business has socially and you will broaden your audience and your pool of potential clients. 

Tip: Tag the organization you are promoting on appropriate social platforms to increase reach and solidify the partnership.

Choosing a philanthropy to support shouldn’t be seen as a chore, but rather a great opportunity to showcase something near and dear to your heart.  This is an area where business owners can let a little more of their own personality or personal interests shine.  Ideally, choose a cause that is relevant and correlates with your business.  For example, an accountant may provide free bookkeeping services to a local nonprofit. One of our clients, All Star Burger, a local burger restaurant, donates gift certificates for smAll Star Burgers to teachers who can reward All Star Students in their classrooms.

Tip: Is there a cause you are already supporting personally that you could help in a bigger way by involving your business?

Companies don’t always have to donate their own services, products or gift cards.  You can get a little creative with how you show support for a particular cause.  For instance, the painting company, Sherwin-Williams celebrated 150 years as a business by donating $150,000 to the LeBron James Family Foundation.  Both the foundation and the company are based in Ohio.

A few causes that we support at Alter Endeavors include: free web services for The Key 2 Free, which is dedicated to ending sex slavery and serving on the board of Hold ‘Em for Heroes, a charity poker tournament which raises funds for families with children battling cancer.

A cause gives you a chance to reveal to others why your business is unique, affords you with the opportunity to build relationships in your community and genuinely affect positive change by contributing to something greater than yourself and your business.

Team Members with Outside Passions

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When hiring new employees, what do you look for? Over here at Alter Endeavors, it’s no secret that we seek out future team members with hobbies or side jobs they pursue about as diligently as they do their work with us. Common sense might dictate that an employee with diverted attention and a split focus would not be fully dedicated to Alter Endeavors.  However, our experience with employees pursuing outside passions shows, for us, a greater company culture, a stronger work ethic and higher-quality results. The question is, why?

The Pareto principle also known as the 80-20 rule dictates that 80% of the output from a given situation or system is determined by 20% of the input.  The principle was named for the Italian Vilfredo Pareto, who in 1906 observed that 20% of the population owned 80% of the land in Italy. This pattern of distribution can be applied to other disciplines like business, science or economics, to identify the valuable few (the 20%) and the inconsequential or less effective 80%. For example, from a business or managerial point of view, one could say 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff or 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customer.  Isolating or focusing on the 20% that matters most can result in increased productivity and better outcomes.

We believe that the people who are often the busiest, doing the most, are among that valuable 20% who are producing 80% of the work.  Hiring an employee with an outside passion aligns with our company values because we want to work with motivated individuals.  

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There are many different types of motivation: in an academic setting, a person may strive for an ‘A’, the highest grade, in an entrepreneurial setting, an individual may have the goal of making the most money, in a social setting someone may seek the approval of others or want to be seen as a “good person”.  When looking to add someone to our team at Alter Endeavors, we want to distinguish what makes him tick, what is her motivation?  We relate to and identify best with people who hold the same motivations as ourselves.  We want to learn because we are curious. We want to know how to do something so we can repeat those actions later on our own and experience our own personal success. We are ambitious because we want a challenge and to enjoy the fruits of our hard work, because it is our own.

A person with an outside passion or side project most likely has individual goals they want to meet and isn’t shying away from the challenge of working for a company like Alter Endeavors while also pursuing their own path.  Alter Endeavors is not a place where we want you to drink the company kool-aid and be solely dedicated to our projects and clients.  We feel that team members with outside passions enrich our company and provide more value to our clients by bringing more perspectives, and diverse skill sets and experiences to the table.  It’s important to us that we also enable our team members to be able to pursue these passions. We could hire only marketing majors, but the ability to find commonalities between disparate disciplines allows us to expand our perspectives and add more tools to our problem-solving capabilities.

Christopher Jennings, our Director of Operations, is also known as C.S. Jennings in the publishing and illustration worlds. Besides keeping Alter Endeavors running smoothly and efficiently, Christopher works as a prolific artist – having illustrated over a dozen published children’s books and even written a couple.  

Aubrey Berkowtiz, the VP of Business Development at Alter Endeavors, operates as the Head Coach for the University of Texas Longhorns Hockey Team.  During hockey season he gets up the crack of dawn to coach before heading to work at AE. 

One of our newest hires, Teylor Schiefelbein, a Content Strategist for Alter Endeavors, has her own travel and fitness blog.  

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The experiences our employees bring with them from their outside passions to work and their motivation to apply newly learned skills or success at work to their own projects helps make Alter Endeavors an effective company while helping team members foster their own individual paths.  Clients greatly benefit from a team that consists of individuals with outside passions because they are motivated for all the right reasons and bring so much value to every project because they are self-disciplined, trained to look at a problem from various viewpoints and don’t have time to waste.  We are extremely grateful to work with such a talented team!

– Nick & Jamie Alter

What Our Moms Think Our Jobs Are

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Mother’s Day was last week, but after reading this blog by Food52, we were inspired to ask our own moms about their perceptions of our jobs. First of all, our jobs are somewhat nebulous and hard to define as we are a small agency where everyone wears many hats.  Unsure of what exactly to expect, we found their answers sweet, insightful and considerably accurate. Perhaps we should start putting these descriptions under our job titles…

Nick Alter, Principal of Alter Endeavors: When asked to describe Nick’s job in a few sentences, his mom replied:

“He is today’s version of what we used to call public relations. He’s got the hi-tech knowledge and savvy of what it takes to create, develop and promote a client’s brand along with the traditional and down right old-fashioned values of ‘doing business’. He markets with the utmost integrity. He cares. He is in his client’s corner.”

Aww, a really sweet description that encompasses Nick’s values as well as duties.

Christopher Jennings, Director of Web Operations: Christopher’s mom is currently visiting so she has had a front row experience observing his job over the past few days.  Her description:

“Which part of your job? Geeze. I would call you the … I see you as the all around, every side gate keeper. You are the communication hub between all the parties who build the sites. You are the initial contact building that relationship, the voice and hub of the company.”

This might be an even better description than “Director of Web Operations”.

Jamie Alter, Digital Marketing Director: When Jamie asked her mom over text how she would describe her job, this was her mom’s response:

“Hi honey at lunch with the girls but …. what if you build your description off designer social media coordinator. Does that make sense?”

Even though her mom was out to lunch, “literally”, her description sort of encompasses several aspects of Jamie’s position.  Good job Mom.

Aubrey Berkowitz, VP of Business Development: Aubrey’s mom took the time to write this about her son’s job:

“As a whole? I would say that at Alter Endeavors, your job is to take transitional marketing and business practices and reapply them in innovative ways online to help clients’ businesses grow. Your job? To identify new clients as well as support existing clients in business development strategies.”

Fancy! Definitely taking notes from this one.

Thanks to our moms for sharing their unique perspectives with us! 

Relationships Convert – The Alter Endeavors Approach to Digital Marketing

why work with ae

Why should you work with Alter Endeavors?

Relationship drives engagement. Engagement drives conversions online. Alter Endeavors helps brands build relationships to drive that return on investment and relationships are a lot more than just building site traffic or page likes.

Relationships.

Our goal is to restore the human element to the web.  We’re all just a bunch of humans stuck behind a bunch of screens.  According to the Nielson report the average American spends 11 hours per day on electronic gadgets.  We want to help our clients reach their audience—which inevitably is behind a screen almost 70% of their waking lives.  We specialize in helping brands form human relationships online – a feat easier said than done. Sure, we base a lot of the decisions we make for a client’s platform off of analytics and data, but the conversations, reactions and relationships folks have online, offline, internally or with others don’t always translate to a spreadsheet, and we have to account for that. 

Word of mouth referrals are the #1 way we get new clients.  If you are a current client reading this, thank you for referring someone else to us.  We’re not just in the business of acquiring new clients, we’re in the business of keeping clients.  After we build your website or help you reach a particular objective, we want to stick around and perform ongoing site maintenance, continually consult with you to help you meet changing needs and keep up with the evolving world online.  This ensures that we are accountable to you.  Alter Endeavors is a digital business, but laid bare we are in the human relationship business. While helping you form a relationship with your potential clients, we are busy developing a personal relationship with you! Why?  Because our business runs on relationships. For us, it’s a mission statement, not a just a sales tactic. 

You’re the Expert of You’re Brand.

Many digital agencies specialize in one particular industry.  We serve a broad range of clients from authors, doctors and thought leaders to local companies that provide home-based services to national clients with one common thread – they want to build relationships and community with their intended audience.  Some may argue that depth is better than breadth; however, our individual-based approach forces us to evaluate your brand’s position in your particular industry, zone in on what makes your brand unique and really listen to you, the expert.  You’re the expert of your brand, but we can help you craft and broadcast a particular message to reach your targeted audience to begin building that community.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All.

We build websites, craft SEO campaigns, develop brand voice, design logos, create online marketing strategies, maintain different brands’ digital footprints and much more.  We aren’t trying to sell you a full suite of services, but we have to be ready to accommodate all of our clients’ digital needs. Because we know no one is an expert in everything, if we don’t offer something in house, Alter Endeavors fosters relationships with a wide array of experts in all areas of digital marketing that we trust to work alongside us to fulfill our clients’ needs. 

Flexible.

If you represent or run a nonprofit, we will work with you on price, we’ve done it before and don’t want cost to necessarily inhibit your nonprofit’s ability to reach others online. Having said that, we admit that it’s not always a good fit or our pipeline is full. If we do have to pass on a project, it’s our policy to give the best advice possible to help find the right solution in that situation.  

In the for-profit sector, we are a business that understands it takes a lot to run a business.  Many of our clients pay half upfront and half upon completion when it comes to a new website.  However, we have worked with many of our clients that need to pay over the course of a few months.  Don’t let cost keep you from reaching your online audience.

We’ll Answer the Phone.

It’s funny that as a company that specializes in being online, one of the things we are most well-known for is answering the phone.  A longtime client, Wade Lombard, one of the owners of Square Cow Movers, said it the best when referring us – “Nick is one of the few business owners I know that will actually answer the phone.”  

Ready to start a relationship with Alter Endeavors?  Call Nick at 512-289-1071 or contact us online (if that’s your thing).