Ryon Gross: A leap of faith

7 min read
Art Martori

Based in Allen, Texas, Ryon Gross operates Local Leap Marketing. His agency focuses on website design and SEO. You can catch up with Ryon on Linktree.

The who:

Given a business name is so central to a brand, we tend to put a lot of importance on it. How did you arrive at a name, and how do you feel about it now that you’ve been in business a while?

We spent almost a year trying to find the right name for our business. Trusting a company with the keys to your business marketing is like taking a leap of faith in some respects. That leap of faith combined with the analogy of leaping competitors in the search results is what we settled on. It’s exciting to see how people comment on our branding and even wear apparel with our business name.

With some brands, location is a key component. Is there anything about the place you live and work that’s shaped your own brand?

Though we work with clients throughout the US, the majority of our business comes from Texas, especially the DFW and Houston areas, both of which are growing quickly. Our entire team is located in Texas and we understand the impact of local marketing. There’s a lot of potential for small business owners and our job is to help them connect with their potential.

How would you describe your professional experience and background?

I have been helping companies market their products and services for over 20 years. Our team has helped over 500 businesses with their marketing.

Could you describe the scope of your operation?

At Local Leap, we focus primarily on two service offerings: Website Design and Search Engine Optimization. In a nutshell, we work to create the perfect digital presence for our clients and then help them get out there to the widest possible audience.

We achieve our goal by taking the time to understand our customers and by providing a digital marketing strategy tailored to each individual business. Once the strategy is put in place, we monitor its effectiveness and continually tweak it in order to help our clients grow their business.

Today, we’re proudly supporting over 500 small to medium-size businesses with innovative website design and smart SEO.

Some entrepreneurs describe an aha! moment, the instant they decided it was time to take things into their own hands. Could you describe any of those moments you’ve had?

For many years I worked in another industry, but I always found myself weighing in on the digital marketing for the business.

I loved the strategy. I saw so many opportunities.

To me, the company’s website was an innovative storefront window on a very busy mainstreet and I wanted to catch all the traffic. I saw success with the work we did there. It was fulfilling to see the results. Finally, I decided I wanted to chase those opportunities for others. I wanted to take what I had learned and make it my full time job. I knew I’d find unique challenges working within different industries. I knew the challenges and the potential to deliver client growth would keep me motivated.

The what:

What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?

Our favorite clients are the ones that are open to what the research is telling us about their industry. We do a lot of analysis. When we see opportunity, we want to go there with them. Sometimes this means a complete overhaul of their website. We’re committed to building trust so change is less scary for the client.

We’re transparent about investment and return on investment so clients see that what we’re doing makes sense for their business.

Could you describe your typical client (if you have a typical client)?

Our passion is supporting small business owners. The American Dream is perfectly conceptualized by the small business owner. Our goal is to show the owner what is possible when they’re able to reach their widest audience. Our projects produce potential for the business. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the fruits of our collective labor.

Sometimes we’re in a position where it’s necessary to turn down projects. What do those situations look like for you, and how do you manage them?

Thankfully we’ve been able to grow with business demand over the past two decades. If we do have to guide someone to another solution it is usually just because we aren’t a fit. For example, we work within the Wordpress platform and find it to be the optimal platform. If someone wishes to stay on a proprietary platform, we’ll help them find a service provider who specializes in that platform.

Could you describe a project that you feel exemplifies you at your best?

Partnering with a small business that has a few years of experience and a simple website is a great example. They understand the services they offer, but they know they could do more. Maybe they have some great service reviews, but few people stumble across these reviews. Perhaps they list the services they provide, but they don’t properly include their keywords in their website copy. Their website images are lacking. They are leaving potential on the table. We come in and update the website and the content. We put a reputation management program in place. We make it easier for clients to find a great service provider.

The how:

An obvious metric for measuring our own success is how much you got paid versus how much time it took. In your experience, what are the advantages and drawbacks here?

SEO takes time to see measurable results. This is one reason we continue to invest in our analytics reports and take time to communicate the process with our clients. The reporting - and the collective processing of what is included in the report - is time well invested.

Are there any resources (e.g. apps, processes) that you’d recommend to an up-and-comer?

Finding the right mentor and networking with other companies in the same industry is a huge benefit to an up-and-comer. There is always something to learn and new software to test.

Imagine you could travel back in a time machine to a point where you were like, Forget this. I’m done! What advice would you give yourself?

Stay focused on your goals. Put in the work. Build a team of professionals around you for support. Recruit for diverse thinking. Regularly communicate your corporate values because 1) it will pay off in employee output and customer service and 2) businesses like to do business with partners who have similar values.

What’s your parting shot for people who want to be like you when they grow up?

You’ll spend a lot of time on your professional endeavours. Choose work you enjoy doing (most days!), work that clearly delivers job satisfaction, because that will keep you motivated. The money will follow if you follow your passion.

Do you have any feedback or comments to share about GoDaddy Pro?

We have been using Godaddy for about 10 years now. The tools and resources with Godaddy Pro allow us to provide more value to clients and provide expertise for clients that don’t have a marketing team in-house.

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