Forbes Agency Council members work with a diverse set of clients across numerous fields. To share their expertise on everything from marketing to branding and more, we’re profiling Forbes Agency Council members here on the blog. This week: Brian D. Evans.
Brian D. Evans is the founder and CEO of BDE Ventures and Influencive. BDE Ventures is a marketing and consulting agency and Influencive is a motivational platform that shares “unconventional wisdom about entrepreneurship, business, lifestyle, culture, travel, life-hacking and mindful living from influential minds.” Brian is an Inc. 5000 entrepreneur, an advisor to startups, a mentor to entrepreneurs, and a columnist at Inc., Huffington Post and other digital publications.
How did your career as an agency executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
I attribute most of my success to looking at things from an unconventional frame. As strange as it sounds, by creating my own businesses outside of my agency, I made my agency better. I think it’s hard to truly put yourself in the client’s shoes if you have never been there yourself doing the services your agency offers, for yourself or your own company. When my agency was ranked the 25th fastest growing advertising and marketing company in America by Inc., putting us at the top of the Inc 5000 list, bigger and bigger opportunities started to come our way. There are a lot of “fake it till you make it” agencies out there. By having actual experience in building businesses outside of agency work, you have “been there and done that.” This comes full circle and helps you treat every client like you are them since you know what it feels like. And the end result is that you want each client’s project to be as successful as if it were your own.
How do you keep yourself creative and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
Writing has been my creative outlet of choice. I write for Inc., Entrepreneur, Influencive (my own publication), Huffington Post, and now here on Forbes. I write as many articles per week as I possibly can. It helps keep my mind sharp and keeps me on the cutting edge. I find that when I write something down, it helps reinforce the idea or concept in my own mind. It’s a good exercise for me and others will find value in it. It’s also a great way to reach people. If you answer a common question or solve a problem in your article, people will reach out and inquire about your services.
What do you see as the future of media strategy or advertising?
The future is that you have to be everywhere. You can’t just sit comfortably on one platform anywhere. You literally have to be on as many platforms as possible. It doesn’t matter if you are the agency or the client, you need to be everywhere. A strong presence all over the web is going to be 100% mandatory going forward. If you are ignoring a major portion of online media, you are making a big mistake. Five to eight years ago, you could dominate one platform and do pretty well. But today your strategy has to include as much as humanly possible.
What is your best PR, marketing or advertising tip for businesses?
PR, marketing and advertising should be an investment, not a cost. The biggest reframing you should do right now is understanding that it’s an investment. Costs are only for things that don’t yield results. If you invest in building your presence to reach more people online that is an investment that should yield actual results, period. Also, my advice for other agencies is to seek out clients that understand that it’s an investment, not a cost. A client who sees PR/advertising/marketing as a cost is going to try to beat you up on the price. But if they see it as an investment, they will be willing to invest more to get incredible results.