“Be Patient. All overnight successes take years. As entrepreneurs, we are in this for the long haul. Enjoy the journey.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Ginzburg, CEO and Founder of JeanGinzburg.com and Ginball Digital Marketing. JeanGinzburg.com is a consultancy and education company focusing on entrepreneurs and small to mid-cap businesses to bring the concepts and adoption of digital marketing to business owners. Our goal is to get 2000 businesses to adopt digital marketing strategies and technology platforms as part of their business in the next 5 years. Ginball Digital Marketing is an agency focusing on growth in the startup space using digital marketing. Jean Ginzburg is also a #1 best-selling author of the book Win New Customers: How to Attract, Connect, and Convert More Prospects into Customers in 60 Days Using Digital Marketing. The book empowers entrepreneurs to better understand their target market and teaches entrepreneurs to discover how to nurture prospects into customers. As a digital thought leader, Jean launched a video blog “Marketing Success in Under 10 Minutes” in August 2016. The YouTube channel covers topics such as marketing strategies, digital platforms and entrepreneurship. Jean has been featured in several publications including Fobes.com and the Huffington Post. And Jean has been a guest on dozens of podcasts and radio shows.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I came to the states at a young age with immigrant parents. As with most immigrant parents, my family struggled as I was growing up. And I didn’t want myself and my future children to be going through the same struggle — always living paycheck to paycheck. I knew there had to be a better way. My sister and I started a business in 2008, but my knowledge of running a business was very limited in the beginning, so the venture flopped pretty quickly. I went through several ventures that were unsuccessful but I learned some powerful lessons along the way. The first few ventures will most likely be successful, but keep at it. You will learn a ton as you go along. So don’t fret if you fail the first time. Think of it as a learning experience.
A few years later, I was working at a digital agency and I decided I wanted to go on my own. I quit my full-time job at the agency and started consulting for one client. After months after that I realized that consulting for just one client was not a sound strategy. The whole business can go under if this one client decides to call it quits. I started to expand my agency and take on more and more private clients, helping them grow their businesses using digital marketing. I also started a video blog “Marketing Success in Under 10 Minutes” because I wanted to add value to entrepreneurs and share the knowledge I have learned along my entrepreneurial journey.
In 2017, while still keeping my agency going, I started a new venture — JeanGinzburg.com — a consulting and education company for entrepreneurs and startups who want to take their business to the next level with digital marketing. And later that year, I wrote and published an Amazon #1 best-selling book Win New Customers: How to Attract, Connect, and Convert More Prospects into Customers in 60 Days Using Digital Marketing as a way to give back to the entrepreneurial community and share my insight on what’s working in the digital marketing space from my experience with my private clients. I am currently working on growing JeanGinzburg.com by introducing digital marketing to new industries and verticals.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
Starting and running a business is full of mishaps and disasters. In retrospect, when you look back at all the blunders, they are kind of funny. Looking back now, one of the funny points in my business is when I started recording video content. For years, I was so nervous and terrified of being on camera. But finally I knew that if I were to stay competitive, I had to start recording video content. So many things were going wrong in the beginning. I didn’t have a good presence on video and I kept saying filler words such as “umm” or “uhh”. I didn’t know much about audio or lighting. I was lacking an external microphone so most of my videos sounded like I was in a wind tunnel. I also didn’t have a tripod and at first I used a pint glass as a tripod where I placed my phone just to keep it steady. My lighting was also horrific, akin to a bad horror movie. Now I look at my first few videos and laugh, but at the time it wasn’t so amusing. It was stressful. Fast forward a couple of years, my video equipment now includes lighting softboxes, a lavalier mic and a few tripods.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Two of our core values at Ginball Digital Marketing and JeanGinzburg.com is ‘cutting edge technology’ and ‘staying with tech changes and trends’. I often work with entrepreneurs or businesses that have a hard time embracing change, especially in a fast-paced industry such as digital marketing where changes occur on a monthly basis. I feel it’s been my purpose to stay on top of these technical trends and serve our clients with the best options out there. We use new “bleeding edge” strategies and technology to grow our clients’ businesses. This makes us stand out from other digital marketing agencies and consultancies.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
For me, the person who helped me along the way of my entrepreneurship has been my life partner. He has always supported me throughout my journey and boasts about my accomplishments to his friends and family.
I am also grateful to a person I look up to, Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t know Gary personally, but when I heard him speak at a conference, I felt I could relate to his experience in some ways. He, too, was an immigrant who came here from the former Soviet Union. I started listening to his podcasts and watching his videos and felt inspired and motivated to continue being an entrepreneur. There were some dark times in my entrepreneurial journey, but I feel that Gary V. led me back on the right track with his elevating message.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My goal has always been to empower entrepreneurs. I do that with my private clients. I published my book, Win New Customers, because I wanted to share my knowledge with entrepreneurs who could use it. I felt that I would be doing a disservice to the community if I kept my knowledge of how to grow businesses all to myself. This Information is crucial for most businesses and I find that it is not utilized to its potential, not even close. I hope that entrepreneurs and startups read the book and use these strategies to grow their businesses.
Additionally, I volunteer my time and coach entrepreneurs with a program called Micromentor. It pairs ups coaches and entrepreneurs who need help with certain parts of their business — legal, marketing, HR, etc. I have been coaching one entrepreneur who does sales consulting and he is only 20 years old! I was so impressed with this young man and how ambitious he was while still in college — making a difference and contribution. Looking back at myself when I was his age, I was absolutely clueless.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
In the beginning of 2018, I made a concerted effort to read and listen to more audiobooks. My goal was to read books about mindset, entrepreneurship and success. I went through dozens of books and some were great while others didn’t leave a lasting impression. The book that made a deep impact was Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It seemed the book came at the right time. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear. I felt that I had a good grasp on my mindset and how to achieve success. The thing I was struggling with was purpose. This book provided much needed clarity on the direction for myself and my business.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be a lifelong learner. We know our area of expertise, but there are so many things to learn as an entrepreneur. Reading books and listening to audiobooks and podcasts has made me a better entrepreneur, leader and manager. Some of the books I recommend are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Drive by Daniel Pink and Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
- Failure is not a negative. You will fail the first few times. It’s ok, we all did as entrepreneurs. Get up, dust yourself off and move on to the next venture. Failures are learning lessons for your next successful venture.
- Know your customer. Knowing your customer will allow you to create the best solution for their challenges.
- Add value. Before asking for the sale, always add value by offering content or information that’s helpful to your prospects, customers and community.
- Be Patient. All overnight successes take years. As entrepreneurs, we are in this for the long haul. Enjoy the journey.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Gary Vaynerchuk. As I mentioned in one of the previous sections, Gary V. has given me much inspiration throughout my journey and I don’t think my business or I would be where I am now if he were not around.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.