Evolve Digital Labs focuses on business growth. Our true goal is to help our clients align digital assets with business goals. Research provides deep insights into a company’s and industry’s digital market. Using those insights in conjunction with a company’s business goals is where true growth begins.

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What We Learned at Inc. 5000

We want to share a few of the takeaways from our experience at last week’s Inc. 5000.

The diverse groups of entrepreneurs and managers for the Fastest-Growing businesses in the U.S. have one thing in common – a relentless drive. While the industries spanned everything from beauty products to broadband, many are wrestling with the same issues.

It’s okay to take a breath and recognize success. We’ve hit the Inc. Fastest-Growing Companies List twice. It’s a major feat that comes from hours of hard work from a talented team. We’re guilty of pushing forward without stopping to enjoy success. This was one of those rare milestones.


Evolve Digital Labs Inc. 5000 ranking

So what did @Derek Mabie and @Justin Watkins learn? How were some of Evolve’s guiding principles reinforced?

Shark Tank personality Robert Herjavec gave one of the best presentations and most energizing commentaries. He at times comes across like a sports coach with an edge that’s transformed into a competitive advantage at the Herjavec Group. ($250 million in annual sales.)

Herjavec reminds us “Business isn’t about competing on the days you feel like competing. It’s about competing every day.” We just put up a sign at Evolve that echoes that sentiment, “Attacking this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

Attacking this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind

 

Herjavec encouraged attendees to  capitalize on strengths and leverage those strengths to deliver hyper-specific excellence. Forget your weaknesses.

  • Don’t apologize for being aggressive/competitive. Don’t lose the will to win, as complacency won’t bring home paychecks for employees, and just “being” will not suffice.
  • Derek and Justin also gained insight on how to build a successful sales team, identify the key personality attributes that work, and how to integrate those into a functioning, effective workforce.
  • It wasn’t surprising to hear staffing is a top challenge among growing firms. One we can relate to. (By the way, we’re hiring in St. Louis and Denver.)
  • Success can be lonely for some. Many are looking for mentors or trusted vendors to help carry the weight. Vulnerability is a great tool to leverage, wisely, so acknowledging you need to leverage all expertise and resources is key.
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, even if that means playing a giant jenga game. It’s an opportunity to perfect your jenga skills or commiserate with new people about work passions. (i.e. have a conversation about #JTBD.) You may also end up making great contacts.

As the Inc. 5000. conference wrapped up there was one obvious theme; everyone is looking for ways to grow their business. Maximizing growth takes a solid approach. While Evolve is eager to be recognized on next year’s Inc. 5000 list at the end of the day, it’s about surpassing a customer’s needs and expectations. As our clients grow we grow.

Meet Aaron Stevens

This week, we are proud to introduce Aaron Stevens as our new Senior Digital Strategist. His experience in conversion optimization and search marketing will help us continue to lead clients to success online. We are elated to have Aaron on board; the team is sure to benefit from his unique know-how. Read on to learn more about Aaron’s background and interests.

Tell us about yourself.

I went to University of Missouri – Columbia and received a BA in computer science.  Cut my teeth at Monster Commerce/Network Solutions learning the basics of ecommerce conversion optimization and SEO helping hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses with their online marketing efforts. In 2010 I decided to take a chance at a small digital agency, aThe Loud Few,a eventually purchased by Moosylvania, a larger advertising/promotions agency located in St. Louis. There I was lucky enough to get some great experience contributing to digital strategies and heading search marketing and analytics for some amazing brands like Enterprise CarShare, Balance Bar, Cutter, Sapporo, Cohiba and Bacardi.

Most recently I led the marketing team at CrowdSource, a workforce as a service startup in Illinois, where we rebuilt a brand, created some great sales collateral and launched some awesome websites like transcribe.com and content.crowdsource.com.

On a given weekend, you will probably be:

Most likely attempting some DIY project, brewing beer or just spending time with family and friends.

What draws you to this industry?

I’ve always been very technology-oriented. I am nerd when it comes to having to know how things work, and I love solving problems. One of the most gratifying moments was on a Purina project where we had a campaign, “The Great Pet Debate,” where we influenced the nation to “vote cats” or “vote dogs” during the 2012 presidential election. Our team was able to watch how our fairly minor updates to the voting experience doubled conversion rates and ultimately helped us achieve our goals.

Mac or PC?

Mac – PC until a few years ago.

What is the last book you read?

I read the first few pages of the first Game of Thrones book…then I concluded I like the show better. I think Prey by Michael Crichton was the last one I finished.

If you could have a beverage with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Neil Degrasse Tyson or Richard Dawkins

Say we assign you Office DJ duty. What 3 artists would you be sure to play?

Well this week it might be The Bright Light Social Hour, Gary Clark Jr. and the Allman Brothers.

Is there anything else you want us to know about you?

Love to cook and BBQ, watch movies, obsess about cars and hoard tools.

 

Find Aaron on Twitter and LinkedIn.