201: The Entrepreneurial Journey of a Digital Marketing Firm, with Luke Nesler and Jeff Welsh of Impakt Marketing

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Hey hey! Welcome to episode 201 of Life on Fire. There are certain similarities in the journey of all entrepreneurs, no matter what industry they are in. Luke Nessler and Jeff Welsh are a great example of that.

On this show, Luke and Jeff talk about the origins of their digital marketing firm, Impakt Marketing. They explain why they got started, how they made the leap from local experts to working with national big names, and how they’ve overcome their biggest challenges. Listen in to hear their story, learn from their experiences and get closer to living your life on fire.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What was their original vision for their agency? (2:50)
  • Their intern strategy for lean growth, and how you can you use it. (4:15)
  • Why they’ve never needed to advertise to get more clients. (5:20)
  • What is the biggest challenge they've overcome? (8:05)
  • How did they almost double the attendance for MotoCross? (10:05)
  • And so much more!

Luke Nessler and Jeff Welsh are the co-founders of Impakt Marketing. The two met while working at a co-working space. They began to collaborate on projects for local agencies, until they realized they could work together for their own clients!

With that light bulb moment lighting the way, they took the leap to go out on their own. Today they have a crew of their own working for on large campaigns for nationwide brands. On payroll, they have 11 people including themselves. And on any given day there are a few interns working in-house as well, growing the office team to 16.

And those interns have been a key part of their strategy to grow in a lean, controlled and progressive way. Their offices are in a college town in West Virginia and they tapped into the local market of talented college students to help.

After asking one of their former professors to send over his best and brightest, Luke and Jeff took those interns under their wings. They taught them about the business and utilized the interns’ talents. Rather than the usual coffee runs and print job assignments, these interns gained valuable skills they could use as graduates.

And some of those interns have even stayed on staff. In fact, one of their best employees today started as an intern with them. Because of that, Impakt Marketing has a reputation on the West Virginia University campus as a great place to get an internship.

Impakt Marketing has also built a reputation with their clients. They’ve never had to do any advertising since they opened shop! Rather than advertise, they invest in relationships. They go to events and network, and build connections with people. That was the key to going from being a locally-focused agency to a firm that works with big name national brands with extensive campaigns.

Not wanting to rest on their laurels or neglect their roots, they’ve created an on-demand video product that helps small businesses do what Impakt does for their large clients. So the small companies that Impakt normally wouldn’t work with, still get the benefit of Impakt’s expertise, and Impakt gets an ongoing source of revenue.

To hear more about how and why they’ve created their launchpad program as well as how they doubled the attendance for one of their clients’ events, listen in to episode 201 of Life on Fire.

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