Women in Business: Michelle Smith

In News by Rob Covington

If you’re an Idyllwild client you know exactly who Michelle is, and it probably comes as no surprise that she was featured in the Women in Business section of Utah Business Magazine.  Michelle is our spunky and vivacious leader here at Idyllwild Advertising. Michelle founded Idyllwild Advertising in 2007, as one of the first Search Engine Marketing agencies in Utah. Michelle has been rockin’ and rollin’ since then, constantly working her hardest to grow the company and the companies of Idyllwild clients.

Our fearless leader’s feature in Utah Business Magazine came out in their September 2015 issue. We’ve been a little busy trying to get our growing team organized to share too much about it, but, we are excited to start bragging now!

Here is the article by Michelle discussing her thoughts and experience from starting and keeping Idyllwild in business:

Women In Business Feature

Enjoy a great homegrown, hardworking, fun success story? Read on…

Let’s start with “What’s it like owning a successful digital marketing agency as a WOMAN in Utah (a.k.a. “Silicon Slopes”) surrounded by Utah’s special brand of ping-pong-foosball-playing-Boys Clubs?”

Yep, I said it. It’s a hell of a lot of real work, but so much fun!

If you really care about your clients, professional performance, truly love and “get” marketing; online is a never-ending golden road of opportunity. That’s the way I saw it in 2007. Still do.

Successfully guiding my clients through this very important journey and fundamental transformation in media consumption has been a tremendous experience. We learn and improve together, through this ever-changing digital world. Growing this company with my own hands – learning, absorbing, adapting – has been more valuable than any classroom professor could have possibly provided.

Many times after establishing a relationship with a new client I’ll often hear: “What do people do if they don’t have one of you?” I laugh for a second, then tell them some people may “Head to the ringer for a while; get left behind; and unfortunately, lose opportunity and profitability.”

There are so many moving pieces in today’s marketing landscape. To keep up, you either need killer internal teams or an agency with really talented, organized, dedicated peeps. And in many cases, both (depending on size and goals). The challenge these days, is there are a ton of digital companies (hacks) out there who promise gazillions of impressions, etc., but only a handful of awesome, talented, put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is agencies (like us) to go around. We get to know our clients, their business objectives, and cut through the clutter – showing ‘real’ performance metrics. Nothing we do is on “auto-pilot” because success doesn’t work that way.

So, when you find a creative, capable, accessible, digital agency who understands your business and makes your goals a priority – keep them. There are no perfect answers – there are so many channels and things are constantly changing. Everyone seems to have an off-the-shelf solution to sell you (automate your PR? What?); design your logo for free; ‘make partnership with you’ for your website design…it gets exhausting. ‘New’ marketing opportunities are everywhere. How are you supposed to stay on top of it all? Business owners need someone or some team, committed to figuring it out and making sense of it as it pertains to their business.

It really is a big, tough, roller-coaster (yet ridiculously rewarding) job, but I’ve been successfully at it for 8 years now. Ask anyone, it’s my baby. I think companies like IDYllwild set a bit of a standard. It’s like going to dinner at Ruth’s Chris as opposed to Denny’s: Everyone wants dinner. Everyone needs dinner. It comes down to “How do you want it served? On-time, messy, distasteful, un-sourced?” You really do get what you pay for.

For years we have nurtured our unique business philosophy (at times, to our own peril), but I wouldn’t change a thing. I‘m sincerely happy when my clients are happy.

The journey has been exciting, risky, sad, hysterical, educational, successful, and rewarding. I’ve grown so much from it, and highly recommend it to anyone with marketing talent and digital savviness. In the past eight years, I have grown teams and lost important players (never the core members, though), and rebuilt teams – better teams.

We take a different approach to “digital agency.” We believe having a digital presence is the cornerstone for all marketing efforts – and that it’s vital for all marketing pieces to sync into one big marketing package with a big bow.

Pretty great, huh? Thank you to Utah Business for having Idyllwild’s Michelle Smith participate in the Women in Business section.