Interview with Brett Snyder, Founder at Knucklepuck

Photo credit: Brett Snyder
The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.

Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!

Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.

Can you tell everyone your name, please?

Brett Snyder

Photo credit: Brett Snyder

Tell me about your education?

Graduated Villanova University w/ a Communications degree and Business minor.

Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

Your network is everything. Every entrepreneur is mostly “figuring it out as we go” and cultivating a strong network will help you benefit from the wisdom of others who have already figured certain things out. When I first got approached by investors, I had to stop the meeting to ask what a vesting schedule was…I simply didn’t know. So I called my friends, who hooked me up with CFOs of private equity firms and loan officers and other successful entrepreneurs. I asked questions and filled in the gaps in my knowledge.

The other (and arguably more important) side of this is that you have to use your network. Don’t shy away from asking for help, allow yourself to be vulnerable and admit you don’t know everything and that someone who knows more than you should be sought out, not feared. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and be generous with your knowledge when you can…it will pay immeasurable dividends for you.

Similarly, never burn bridges. There will always be situations in your professional career where you disagree with a boss, partner, client, or vendor. Especially if you are dealing with successful, passionate people (who are precisely the people you should be seeking out), there are going to be differences of opinion. The nice thing is that almost none of the disagreements are fatal and will eventually pass if you’re willing to work to resolve the issues, and once you do that you maintain a valuable resource in your network that can help you in the future (and become a more valuable resource in that person’s network)

We all have entrepreneurs whom we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.

Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?

I draw much inspiration from music, specifically artists who are willing to bet on themselves. Porter Robinson is my favorite artist, he had a super successful career as a DJ in the EDM scene but wanted to produce his own style of music. He turned down lucrative deals to retain creative control and ultimately produced Worlds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worlds_(album)), which was a huge success. The most important thing to Porter was producing music he was passionate about and that not only allowed him to create a critically acclaimed work but also built one of the most passionate fanbases out there.

Thank you for providing a background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.

What is the name of your company?

Knucklepuck — www.knucklepuckmedia.com

Photo credit: Brett Snyder

Where is your company located?

Arlington, VA

What services or products does your organization provide?

SEO, Paid Media, Content Marketing, Web Development.

Here’s a link to the services on our website: https://www.knucklepuckmedia.com/services/

What problem is your business trying to solve?

Grow business online.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

Honestly, our competitive advantage is that we don’t allow ourselves to get distracted from the core goal: grow business. We believe in execution above all else. We know that we can be successful as long as we stayed focused and committed to the strategy that we have outlined and remain flexible to adapt to evolving landscape.

We don’t chase innovation for the sake of change, we rely on tried and true processes and iterative improvements informed by data. Almost everything we do online these days is trackable, and our job is to analyze the data that is available to us to dictate the tactics we pursue.

We also place project management at the forefront of our services; we know that for a lot of what we do clients need to be managed and educated so that they can advocate for our strategies. Our strategists are actively engaged with our clients and the people that produce the work are the ones that communicate with the client about it.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

I was a terrible employee, I always felt I could do things better (starting Knucklepuck certainly humbled me in that respect), and I wanted control over my destiny. I also hate dreamers…if you believe in something then step up and do something about it.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

https://www.knucklepuckmedia.com/. Also Instagram/Twitter/Facebook (@KnucklepuckDC)

Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.

What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?

  1. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and with a support system you can rely on unconditionally
  2. Never stop learning, there’s always someone chasing your heels looking for a way to do what you do better…you have to stay ahead of the curve.
  3. You have to be willing to bleed for it. Being an entrepreneur will take everything you’ve got (more than you even think you have)
Photo credit: Brett Snyder