We talked to Todd William of Reputation Rhino on how to offer online marketing and brand management solutions for businesses and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Todd William: I am blessed to work remotely during this challenging time and lean on a talented team who can work independently with limited oversight and supervision. My family is healthy, and children are learning remotely. It is a challenge having everyone at home all day, every day, but I know there are tremendous pain and loss due to the pandemic, and I am grateful for the small annoyances and inconveniences.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Reputation Rhino.
Todd William: I was an attorney for nearly a decade through the end of the last financial crisis. I saw clients increasing their focus on reputational risk management following the last recession. I left Wall Street in 2010 to create a digital agency focused on online public relations and reputation management. Large companies with huge marketing budgets and outside public relations firms on retainer have the resources to make reputation management a daily focus. Still, I wanted to give small and midsized companies and ordinary individuals an affordable option to develop and manage their online reputation.
How does Reputation Rhino innovate?
Todd William: When I started the company, online reputation management was really in its infancy. Most people didn’t know how to use Google or what to do if they didn’t like what they saw. We have spent most of the past decade educating clients and the public about what is possible, and what is impossible and how best to navigate that narrow bridge.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Todd William: In the initial weeks of February and March, there was a great deal of fear and uncertainty. Our company is in New York City, which was the epicentre of the crisis in the United States. As we made the shift remotely and saw a more aggressive response by the federal and local government and progress toward a vaccine, clients had more confidence about the future. They were more willing to commit to spending.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Todd William: As a business owner, I have to make difficult choices every day. I get guidance from several principles that I have learned over the years. The first, and most important, is to always put my clients’ interests before my own.
It may be counterintuitive, but I think it has created more business opportunities over time and led to long-term success for our firm.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Todd William: I practice meditation and recommend the Headspace app. During times of stress and anxiety, rituals, and mindfulness are very important. I make sure to make time for this despite being busy, and I find that it helps to carve out a few minutes each day to focus on things overwork.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Todd William: We are in a very competitive business. So I focus on the things I can control. Among those are maintaining strong communications with clients, providing added value by sharing ideas and insights beyond the scope of the client engagement, and overdelivering whenever possible. Probably the most gratifying compliment I receive regularly is when a prospect tells me that they have just spoken to one of our competitors. We sound much more professional and capable. They are right, and it reaffirms my intuition that we are doing a lot right.