Like many new businesses, Frontage Marketing Group started with a dream and a little push from our friends. Here’s our story…
The adage goes that those who can’t do, teach. In our case, it went the other way around. It was 1999 and my husband Wayne and I ran a small consulting firm doing technical training. We had a number of private and public sector contracts teaching employees at these organizations how to use the software they needed.
Our claim to fame was our specializations, myself a specialist in teaching design and publishing software and my husband in teaching programming languages (he’s multi-lingual, able to sling code in more than a dozen programming languages) We were happy teaching, but we also wanted more practical applications for our skills, instead of always going over the basics. We wanted to DO instead of teach.
Our opportunity came when a small software company hired Wayne to teach a custom Visual Basic class to help them overcome some of the challenges they were encountering while converting their DOS based product to Windows. Within three days, the company had brought their president to meet with us, and convinced Wayne to take on a full-time position with them.
Wayne thrived in the new environment while I continued software training. As we were a 1-car household, I would leave my classes and drive over to the software company to pick Wayne up each day. The first time I had to wait for him to be ready, I sat down at a nearby empty computer desk. A document was pulled up on the screen, and I noticed it had some formatting issues, so I fixed them while I waited.
It became an almost daily occurrence. I would come to pick up Wayne after classes and be asked to wait, and would find something pulled up on the computer that desperately needed some of the kind of TLC I was good at. Documents, webpages, brochures, newsletters, you name it, I fixed it up.
Eventually, they asked me to come work for them as a consultant, and I accepted. Within 3 weeks, I was working for them full time, creating the company’s website, working on marketing materials, design work, whatever was needed.
Those early years were some of my favorite, not just because we were a small company struggling to make it in a big world but also because it was the age of the dot-com bubble, and the Internet was a wild and wonderful place. It was then that I discovered digital marketing and fell in love.
Over the following 2 decades, I was instrumental in helping take a company with 12 employees, a three-page website and barely any digital presence to becoming a national powerhouse in the industry, with an online marketing presence that remains unrivaled to this day. (The product is great too, so that certainly helped – have to give props to the programmers!)
From the early days, I had succeeded in giving what was in actuality a small company, a big enough digital footprint that we had a national presence, and looked like a much larger organization than we actually were. In time, we grew into that perceived size, and in the final few years the company started to experience rapid growth, taking on investment capital and hiring whole departments at a time.
I continued to run the marketing team there, but my heart yearned for those earlier days I loved when we didn’t have unlimited resources and we had to fight to make our small company appear to be big-time.
Meanwhile, I had continued to hone my marketing skills, taking on multiple marketing certifications as well as industry certifications to learn to better speak our prospects’ language. I was featured as one of the top women in the community association management industry by the Florida Community Association Journal, I headed up a user group on marketing automation and became an authority on Inbound Marketing techniques.
More and more community association service providers were reaching out to me for marketing advice to reach this unique audience. I realized that there were no marketing agencies devoted to serving this industry, and that I was in a unique position to take everything I had learned in this incredible 20-year journey and roll the clock back to the thing that I loved so much in the beginning: helping small businesses appear big through digital marketing.
With the encouragement (and gentle pushing) of friends and family, I took the plunge and formed Frontage Marketing Group. The company is brand new but already I know that it was the right decision, and I am thrilled to say that the CAM industry is exactly as supportive and open to this idea as I knew they would be. I am eagerly looking forward to the next chapter of this story.
So that’s our story! Cheers to all who made it possible, and to you, dear reader, for being a part of this incredible journey, I thank you. Here’s to many happy and successful customers who will benefit from our experience!
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