Today we are with Rusty Brett, owner and CEO of Lift Division, a digital marketing firm located in Columbia, MO. Lift Division serves as a strategic partner for small businesses aiming to increase their digital footprint in local markets — to Inc. 500 companies seeking to build brand authority by harnessing the scale and eminence of the web.
BusinessInterviews.com: Tell us what Lift Division does.
Rusty Brett: The simple answer: We help good businesses grow. A more complex answer: We help good businesses grow through custom digital lead generation solutions including SEO, PPC, content marketing, email marketing and social media marketing. We also do a significant amount of web design and development, even though we don’t generally market ourselves as a web design company. The first step in lead generation often entails optimizing an existing website or completely re-designing a website into something that engages site visitors, so that’s typically our first step before we begin rolling out our core tactics. We have a team of 25 employees with diverse areas of expertise, and we’ve recently expanded our design department significantly to keep up with our client needs.
BusinessInterviews.com: So does the name Lift Division imply “lifting” online?
Rusty Brett: Absolutely. We’re here to help our clients lift their brand, their online rankings and reputation. By doing this well we “lift” sales and revenue.
BusinessInterviews.com: What makes Lift different than your competition?
Rusty Brett: We have several areas of differentiation actually, but I’ll focus on one for today to keep this answer fairly short. One big difference is that our methodology for creating marketing campaigns is unlike any other.
To take a quick step back, what inspired our formation as a company was to help clients grow with calculated investments in marketing. Our founding team had a nearly unmatched background in search marketing and web design in this region and we knew we could really help other business owners grow by sharing our knowledge. Our founding members were a group of thinkers, of planners, and the Lift Division brand was deeply inspired by the The Wright Brothers methodology. As most know, the Wright Brothers were credited for the first in flight. But most probably don’t know the Wright Brothers’ achieved first in flight not by strapping on more horsepower like their competition, but by focusing on perfecting the glider first.
We take the Wright Brothers philosophy to heart every single day. We don’t strap on the marketing and lead gen horsepower for our clients without carefully researching and planning strategies for optimal ROI first.
BusinessInterviews.com: Okay, switching gears. For the first 15 years of your business career you were a commercial insurance broker. How did you get involved in entrepreneurship and marketing?
Rusty Brett: Shifting from an ultra-conservative insurance background into entrepreneurship is a pretty rare path. So I’m not sure really. Maybe it has something to do with being left-handed? In all seriousness, I think I am probably a little more creative and more resourceful in the face of challenges than most. As far back as I can remember, I was thinking of new ideas, new products and creative ways to solve problems. It took me a while to finally step over the line from talking about ideas into actually taking action and launching companies. And now that I’ve started I’m having trouble pumping the brakes on more things I want to do.
I also think entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with loving hard work—and I’m definitely a bit of a workhorse. I start working on the weekdays around 4am– and weekends not much different. So essentially I probably think about business and ideas 30 hours more than most per week now that I think about it. Frankly, with 3 young kiddos and several employees, starting super early is about the only way I can get some quiet time to think.
BusinessInterviews.com: Give us a quick rundown of the companies you currently own.
Rusty Brett: Sure. I am the owner of three companies.
-I own Lift Division of course, which is where I spend the majority of my time.
-I own an online directory called ServiceNoodle.com that is more of a Missouri-focused directory of local service providers. For consumers, it’s a platform to request services like carpet cleaning, roofing, mowing, etc… from a single message that goes to multiple business owners able to help. ServiceNoodle was my first start-up and we launched in 2010 and it often complements lead gen strategies we put together for local Lift Division clients.
-I own a small commercial insurance agency called Edge Insurance that focuses on business insurance mainly for contractors, manufacturers and restaurants. This is mostly on auto-pilot since I have fantastic team who manages day to day operations on that side of things.
BusinessInterviews.com: Anything new on the horizon?
Rusty Brett: Yes. Always. Right now we’re working on re-designing ServiceNoodle which will take about 3 months. We’re also planning on launching a new property late second quarter of 2016 that I can’t discuss publicly just yet but it’s complimentary to everything else we’re doing and I’m really excited about it.
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