I started around age 16 working for a technology missions organization called Digital Bible Society. We specialized in making digital bible libraries for closed countries such as Iran and China that was placed on a Micro SD.
During my time at DBS, I learned web development and studied Nonprofit Organizational marketing. I began building websites on the side as Narwhal Design and helping nonprofit organizations with fundraising marketing campaigns.
It wasn’t long after starting my own business that I stepped away from DBS and went full time with my design and consulting company. I quickly built a reputation in the business and nonprofit sectors handling marketing campaigns for large corporations and organizations.
After 5 years of operating a design and consulting company. I decided to open up a full website design, content marketing and SEO agency to service clients with the highest standards. Having been a consultant for many years I had a hard time finding agencies that would perform the work at the standard I believed in. Most would outsource the work to India causing problems with consistency and reliability.
Starting such an agency and maintaining quality would be a hard task without the right people. I went to my friend Brian Sherman and began talking with him about what I wanted to start. Together we came up with the name Voixly (Voix is French for Voice) which we had previously been using for a passion project software that would read the news articles of all major websites with a natural voice.
Having put that on the shelf for later, we decided to use the name of the marketing agency. Shortly after launching Voixly, Brian left his full-time job to join me in growing Voixly. In two years our team grew to 9 extremely talented individuals as well as multiple salespeople.
During this time we launched Nonprofit Builders, an organizational wing of our business that helps nonprofits large and small have the best online presence and marketing to grow awareness and funding for their organization. To accomplish this task I brought in 5 experts from the nonprofit sector. One being Bob Atkins who specializes in fundraising and nonprofit structure. Nonprofit Builders has grown to be a strong part of our business.
I started small with big goals. Every opportunity that came my way I said Yes. The key to success in any industry especially technology is education. I’m not talking about traditional education but every day learning everything you can about your industry and where it is going. What sets us apart as an agency is educating ourselves on the changes and the future of our industry. Many people miss the opportunity every day because they aren’t sure what is for them. If we can just learn to say yes and figure out the details later.
I would have missed out on huge opportunities consulting for some of the larger nonprofits and corporations had I not been confident and said yes. At 19 years old I was setting up some of the worlds largest fundraising campaigns at the time. Consulting large corporations on digital marketing strategies to grow their business.
The whole time I was pursuing business my personal life was flourishing. I married the love of my life at 22 Megan and at 24 became a father to the most amazing daughter Elinor. Many people would have looked at this like a roadblock or something that slows you down but that is not true. They are my motivation and what keeps me going. I also have a little boy Luke due in September of this year.
During the young years of my life, my mother and father instilled hard work ethic and the willpower to never give up. I was homeschooled all the way to graduation. Many people don’t know what that means so let me define it.
“Homeschooling is when you decide as a parent the schools don’t have the ability to educate your child to the degree that is acceptable or to your standards.” My mom never lets homeschooling be a slacking experience. We were required to do more than our friends in public school and start college at 16. I worked for my father’s construction company for many years growing up. I spent my summers and free time understanding what a true hard days work was like.
Has it been a smooth road?
Life is always a challenge and in my industry competitive. Having never used outside capital to start or grow my business I had to work really hard and save a lot, From 16-21 I put every dollar I made back into my business just taking enough to survive.
While going to SHSU I had people telling me to wait and finish school. This created a conflict within me, do I finish now or take the opportunity in front of me to grow my business. Finances were tight when I started Voixly often putting every dollar into the business or payroll before I saw a profit.
Although there were times many would have been stressed through the circumstances I always knew I would make it through. You have to show faith if you want big things to happen.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Voixly story. Tell us more about the business.
Voixly specializes in website design, SEO and content marketing for large and small businesses. Nonprofit Builders focus is to help grow organizations in the same way with a focus on fundraising and awareness.
We pride ourselves on the quality of service we offer vs our competitors. Unlike our competitors, we do everything in-house from website design, social media and content creation.
We have people that have worked for the largest companies doing marketing and consulting. We are making those minds available for small or big business. Creating a level playing field. The mom and pops can be the next Amazon. We believe it, we see it and we make it happen.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It is forever changing. Right now typing is the largest form of communication but we see devices like Alexa or Siri being the future of how we purchase products and find services. Making sure our clients are found in those markets will be key for the future.
Website design has to be premium and more connected. Most companies will make the shift of going more premium on their websites and more integrated with everyday use.