A Decade in Business
10 years ago Ryan started a business with one goal in mind, helping his community. Two years later, Chris joined Berry Digital Solutions as a co-owner and the rest, as they say, is history. After a decade in business we thought it was time to sit down and take a look at where we started, what we've learned and where we are headed!
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago when you started?
Ryan: My biggest advice would be to trust my decision making. I wish I was as confident then in running a business as I am now. I stressed too much over little decisions.
Chris: Bobby McFerrin says it best, “Don’t worry. Be happy.”
Share 3 pieces of business advice you plan continue using the next 10 years
Ryan: Trust my team, stick to a budget, and surround myself with people that will help me grow .
Chris: Partner with good people. always stay ready to adapt, and find the silver lining.
What motivates you?
Ryan: I think what motivates me is creating something that I know is better.
Chris: Providing for my family and helping them reach their goals is my #1 motivator now.
What is your definition of success?
Ryan: Success is when you hit your pillow at night you know you've done everything in your power to have brought value to those you came into contact with that day.
Chris: Ending everyday feeling like you made a positive difference in your little corner of the world.
What does the next 10 years at BDS look like?
Ryan: I have no idea, that's why it's so fun
Chris: If I would’ve answered this question 10 years ago, it would’ve been laughable how far off I was. I don’t want to even attempt what changes are coming in technology and the digital world, but I do know that BDS will remain at the forefront of those changes. We will adapt, and we will continue to help our local small businesses navigate an increasingly complex digital world.
How has digital marketing changed throughout the past decade and what do should people expect in the future?
Ryan: Digital marketing has simplified in the sense of simpler websites and social media and other platforms giving you access to an audience. But that simplicity has made connecting with your audience much more complex, customers know when they are being sold to so a genuine connection requires more skill. The addition of new platforms and ways of communicating is already beginning to take shape.
Chris: I can remember when we first started, the idea of a mobile-friendly website was brand new. Some of our new clients came to us in need of a mobile-friendly website, and some had still never even heard the term “mobile-friendly.” Now, locally, we see 90% or more of traffic to our websites coming from mobile devices. That number would’ve been unfathomable a decade ago. Everything is trending towards faster, sleeker, instantaneous information. Artificial intelligence is the next wave we’re starting to navigate. We’re figuring out now how can we best utilize the leaps forward in A.I. to help our clients in an ever-changing digital world.
What's a new skill you've learned in the past year?
Ryan: Basically instead of a to-do list I schedule time on my calendar for task. A time blocking scheduled approach.
Chris: Making A.I. work for us and our clients in the graphic design world.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Ryan: Creating a work environment for not only myself but my team to have the flexibility to enjoy life.
Chris: West Liberty. I think back to the way West Liberty communicated and promoted itself 10 years ago. It’s night and day compared to now. And you can really see it in the growth of the events, expansions of businesses and positive vibes, even in the face of terrible community tragedies. To be able to be a part of that positive change in your hometown is special. We may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, but we’re going to do everything in our power to leave our little corner nicer than how we found it.
What's one thing about our business that people would be surprised to find out?
Ryan: I think people would be surprised to learn what kind of impact we have had on our local community. It would hard to imagine what Urbana, Ohio would look like, digitally, without Berry Digital.
Chris: We love trading our services for your services. We have some local clients where money never exchanges hands. We want to help neighboring businesses as much as possible, so reach out today if you have an idea for swapping services!
What do you think makes our team culture so unique?
Ryan: We truly trust each other and hold each other accountable in the right ways. We genuinely position people to be allowed to do what they do best.
Chris: This is a tough one, because every business thinks their team culture is unique or innovating or top-notch. That’s the great lie they all tell to convince people to come work for them. I guess what sets us apart is that every member of our team has worked for other organizations that claimed to have a “unique team culture” or a “business that’s like a family.” We all lived and learned hard lessons in those other organizations. We found each other, shared our stories and experiences, and formed our own team. Lines of communication are always open, and everyone speaks their mind, and we stay focused on finding solutions for our clients and happiness for our team. If it sounds too simple, that’s because it is.
Can you tell us the Top 3 on your Business Bucket List?
Ryan: Create businesses within my other passions: travel, entertainment & disrupting a stale industry .
Chris: We want to help more small towns connect with its residents and experience the growth West Liberty has over the last decade. There are too many small town hidden destinations in this area that are going unheard and unseen in a growing digital world.
We want to help many of our long-time customers take the next step in digital advertising. Maybe you weren’t ready 5 or 10 years ago or maybe you didn’t know we do more than just websites, but now is a great time to reach out and give it a shot. Divert some of that old newspaper, billboard or radio ad money to digital advertising and see the difference targeted audiences can make.
And lastly, we just want to keep improving our communities. We want to attract outside dollars, raise the quality of life and put smiles on the faces of everyone we come in contact with because this is where we grew up. We’re invested in this little corner of the world, and even if we can’t make global impacts, we’ll do everything in our power to improve our little corner of the world every day.
As you can see the past 10 years of business has brought us valuable lessons, continued growth, and a vision to continue making our communities thrive in a digital world. We are grateful for our clients, partners, and community for being a part of our journey! Cheers to the next 10 years!
Social Media should be simple
Now, we look forward to inviting friends, community partners and current clients to our new space year-round for #CoffeeWithRyan. Let us help you solve your digital problems with our digital solutions...over a cup of coffee on Ryan!
Click below to schedule your #CoffeeWithRyan directly on his calendar.
CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOCATION!
New Office #OnTheSquare
Don't worry, we are still #OnTheSquare in Downtown Urbana! We're growing and needed more space, so we moved a few doors down from our old location.
We have teamed up with The Spotted Owl Coffee Bar to create a great new space to get you going in the morning. (AND COMING SOON...a great space to wind down in the evenings. Stay tuned for more exciting news!)
We worked hard over the past few months renovating this new space and making it our own! Our new location has a lot more room and favorite new features like whiteboard walls, a video center and podcast studio! We can't wait to create and execute exciting new ideas in the new space, and we're excited to share it with everyone!
Schedule a time to stop in and check out our new space. Also, please update any addresses you have on file for us to:
113 N Main St
Urbana OH, 43078
Come see us in person! Schedule a #CoffeeWithRyan by clicking the button below.
The Power of Video
If video marketing isn’t part of your overall marketing plan, it should be. Video is a great way to connect to your audience on a level that you can’t in any other way. It gives you a way to tell your story and show what you offer all while making your brand more relatable and recognizable. You can show your brand identity through video more quickly and efficiently than any other medium.
What is video marketing?
Video marketing is using videos to promote your brand, product, services, and more. When used correctly, it can boost engagement on social media, connect you to other businesses, and educate consumers on who you are and what you do.
Why is it important?
Using video as a marketing strategy can help increase brand awareness, traffic to your website, and sales. With platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube - video is more powerful than ever! It has a way of reaching a much larger audience than more traditional marketing efforts.
How do I get started?
Once you know where you are posting your video, it is time to choose your content and create a goal to measure your success. Getting started with video marketing is as easy as owning a smartphone. While some platforms require higher quality videos to be effective, social media is a great place to post videos taken on your phone. Your website, commercials, special events/announcements, and video ads are places where you will want to invest in higher quality videography.
What should I take videos of?
There are so many different routes you can take when deciding what content to capture with video marketing. A few good ideas to start with are:
Hopefully this article has helped you realize how powerful video marketing can be! When you are ready to start your journey into video marketing, give us a call to see how we can help.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Management is a process of planning, creating, posting, and reviewing content for all social media platforms. Whether you use a social media management company, paid online tools, or manage it on your own, it is important to understand the process of managing social media accounts. Make the most out of your marketing by understanding the ins and outs of social marketing.
Planning can be done weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. Looking into things like upcoming holidays, planned sales and specials, or community events will give you a good place to start with your planning. You can also make sure you are offering different types of content during this stage. While there are a lot of things you can plan for, you will want to work in some open space for current content that comes up and for sharing relevant industry content in real-time.
2. Content Creation
Once you have a plan of action it is time to create your content. Content can come in many forms such as images, infographics, videos, and blogs. Some of it will be easy to create on your own and sometimes you might need to hire help to create more impactful content.
3. Writing Copy
Once you have all your content created, it is time to write copy to go along with your posts. When writing your copy, you want to make it relevant to the content, but also match the tone of your brand. This is also where you will want to include any links and utilize creative hashtags.
This step is straight forward but there are many ways you can get it done. There are plenty of free and paid tools out there that specialize in making the scheduling of social media content on cross platforms quick and easy. Scheduling out all your content gives you time to focus on the other aspects of your business day-to-day.
This part is where you get to know your customers better and learn more about how they are interacting with your brand and content. Making sure your brand is active in the comments on your social media platform is important. It gives your brand personality and a sense of humanity that won’t come from just posting content.
Once you have done all the previous steps and the content has all been shared, it is time to look at the data. Figure out what did well, what your customers enjoyed interacting with, and what you can do better next time. Social media is always evolving and making sure you know what is working and what isn’t, will help you stay relevant.
If you are looking for help with your social media management, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 937-404-1050. We can’t wait to work with you!
The pandemic has truly brought out a lot of skills, talents, and needs across our country and specifically our community. It is in times such as these that we find a way to join together and make positive changes for our community. A fantastic example of this was started around 35 years ago at the Caring Kitchen. Founders, Carol and Nedra Norman, were able to utilize their skills to bring together an opportunity for those in need to get the vital necessities without bias.
The Caring Kitchen not only operates as a soup kitchen where everyone is welcomed with open arms, they also have a food pantry and clothing available to meet those needs, too. For our community members with nowhere to stay, the Caring Kitchen operates as an emergency shelter in addition to that hot meal talked about earlier. In addition to these staples being provided for, other services available. Without a doubt, the Caring Kitchen is one way that our community has been able to show LOVE for more than three decades. The best part is that there are opportunities for you to be able to be a part of that story.
By going to the Caring Kitchen's website, anyone can find ways to call ahead and learn how to help others in need. From the Thanksgiving Meal to the Backpack Program, there are many ways to get involved and be a part of serving our community! No matter your skill set, helping serve a hot meal is a great way to experience the love of the Caring Kitchen. Their dedication to the community gives us joy in being able to provide them a website to connect with others.
"Caring Kitchen is an outreach ministry of the Champaign County Community. Its ministry is based on the Bible and motivated by the Love of God. The primary purpose for which it is formed is to be an advocate for and to provide services without discrimination to people in need."
#LoveLocal #CaringKitchen #BerryDigitalSolutions
How to support your local businesses
Local businesses need our LOVE. Why not drop your “2 cents” and let them hear from you?
Making an impact in our Champaign and Logan county communities doesn’t always mean swiping a card or sending a Venmo payment. These ways do make an impact, but sometimes your opinion (and love) can help boost local businesses!
Write a Review
Leaving a review for a local business is one of the best things you can do as a consumer. Anymore, online reviews are a “go to” when researching where to eat, who to do your taxes, etc. Whether it is positive or negative, your comment can help other customers/consumers make informed decisions about what to expect from the business you review.
So, what is a review? When you write a review, you share with others your experience in words; which is why it is important for it to be honest and specific. Don’t underestimate the power of a written review. Yes, a five-star review is great, but your two-cents can be the game changer.
For example, if you visited Cafe Paradiso and loved your meal, the atmosphere and the service, take the time to leave a review. However, don’t just say “It was fantastic.” Explain the reason why it was great. Here’s a sample response:
“Being a pasta fan has led me to many different restaurants over the years. After visiting Cafe Paradiso, I have to say, it is one of the best. The manager came out and visited with each of the tables and spoke to each of us like family. If the service wasn’t enough, the food was delicious. Definitely a place I will go to again!”
While we know not every experience will be great, it’s still essential to leave a review so the business owners know what they can improve on. Think about the things you would like feedback on about your own business. Here’s a sample response of an appropriate review to leave if you’ve had a negative experience:
“My intent was to write a great review after all the hype about this restaurant. Unfortunately, my order was brought out incorrectly twice and I had to ask several times to receive my check. It has potential, but this was not the best experience.”
Now, what if you are the one receiving the negative review? Even though it might feel like a punch in the gut, it is important not to leave it alone. Honesty and integrity go a long way with consumers. Reflect on what was reviewed, take time to thank the reviewer for their feedback, apologize if appropriate and respond. Mentioning how you will work to improve whatever the negative review was focused on is step one – the big step is taking action and doing it.
When it comes time for you to leave a review, there are several platforms you can choose from! Facebook and Google are the most popular options, but you can also leave them on the BBB website or the business’s website (if applicable). Give it a shot and use Berry Digital as your first review here.
Follow Their Social Media Channels and Engage With Them
With social media taking over communication platforms, it makes sense that we support our local businesses on their social media pages. It is as simple as “liking: and “following” your favorite business pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Once you follow these pages, you’ll be able to see updates whenever the business creates posts. However, don’t just follow the pages! Be sure to engage with the content they’re creating. Whether it’s liking, commenting, sharing or tagging your best friend in the comments, this engagement truly does matter and helps business owners know what content to keep pushing out. Because social media is mostly used as an awareness tool, business owners don’t always see an ROI, so your support by engaging means more than you realize.
Before we move on, one last thing you can do is use any relevant hashtags the business uses. Let’s take Champaign Works, for example. One of their main hashtags is #ChampaignWorks. In their posts, you’ll see this hashtag used frequently. If you were to visit Champaign County and post a picture on your social media, we encourage you to use the #ChampaignWorks hashtag in your post. Champaign Works likely follows this hashtag and by using it, they are able to easily find your post. Make sure to only use hashtags that are relevant to the business you’re highlighting!
#BerryDigitalSolutions #ChampaignWorks #Facebook/BerryDigital #instagram/BerryDigital
Subscribe to Content/Emails
Want to stay up to date on everything a local business has to offer? Then you should subscribe to their email content! Most businesses utilize some sort of email strategy and are always looking to add more consumers to their email list. Email content can be valuable to you, as the business is able to reach you directly with important updates. Most times, emails will have a little more content compared to your stereotypically social media post. If you’re really dedicated to a business, subscribing to their emails is one of the best options for you! You also have the opportunity to forward relevant emails to coworkers, family and friends! No matter how you do it, supporting local business betters the community you live in. Take time to support a local business today! You can start by subscribing to our email content, located at the bottom of our home page.
Importance of a Blog
If you are a business owner and you have been following our blog, this is your sign that it is time to start a blog of your own! Often, we hear people say that they don’t have time for a blog or think that their audience might not be interested in what they have to say. There are so many great reasons to start a blog and we are going to share them with you!
1. Website Traffic and SEO
Blogs are an amazing way to boost your SEO ratings. Text plays a huge role in SEO and including relevant keywords to your business in your blogs will help increase traffic. Often a blog is shared on a variety of platforms because of the type of content it provides. This increases visits to your website and many times those visitors will explore other areas of your website before leaving, giving you more of a chance to catch their attention.
2. To Share Your Expertise
Sharing your voice and your experience in the field will build your customers’ trust with your brand. People will start to look to you for upcoming events, news in the field, and even just as a place of entertainment. This will get your website a lot of return visitors which helps show that your blog is a relevant place for customers to find answers to their questions or learn more about your product.
3. Blog Content Can be Repurposed
One of our favorite things about blog content is how it can be repurposed for a variety of different areas. Blogs can easily be turned into social media posts, newsletter and newspaper articles, email campaigns, and press releases. Even if the content needs to be shortened you can link to your blog for access to the full article to drive website traffic and provide the best information possible to your customers.
4. It is a Place for Important News to Live on your Website
How many times do you have information that you want to share or needs a place to live on your website, but it doesn’t quite fit anywhere? Your blog can be a place to host all those things and gives you links to direct traffic to from other platforms like social media. Blogs are flexible and can provide you with a little more freedom to include information you want to on your website without having to add a new page.
There you have it! This list is just a few of the ways that having a blog can benefit your business. Take that leap and start your blog today.
There is so much to celebrate in the month of February; Black History Month, Groundhog's Day, President's Day, and of course, Valentine's Day. Following our theme of LOVE this month, the BDS Team would like to honor one our very own with some celebratory news! Please join us in congratulating Danielle Norton, BDS's Project Manager, in her engagement with Kyle Johnson! Danielle shared with us that it was not expected, but a wonderful experience.
In preparation for his proposal, Kyle called Danielle's father (who lives out of state) the day before. Before Kyle could even ask permission, Danielle's father interjected, "Of course you can marry her." On New Year's Eve, Kyle got on one knee and proposed to Danielle in gentleman like fashion after dinner in Springfield, Ohio. After much excitement and chatter, the two continued their evening in New Carlisle to watch the "Ball Drop" celebration. At midnight Danielle was able to talk with her family and share the wonderful news. Nothing like a good "LOVE" story to warm our hearts in February! Thank you for being a part of our story at BDS!