1. A brief summary of your startup
Reputation Rhino is the world’s leading online reputation management company. We provide online public relations services to individuals and businesses that want to build, improve, protect and defend their online reputation. We leverage SEO tactics and PR strategies used by the most successful communications firms to tell our client’s story and help our clients shape their online reputation.
2. Why and how did you start your company:
Reputation Rhino began a little over 13 years ago. There were a few companies operating in the online reputation management space, but it truly was a blue ocean – there was a lot of opportunity and not a lot of competition.
I was an attorney by training, but now working as a consultant for financial services companies, using my experience to help manage and evaluate risk and improve communications with clients and investors.
The Great Recession and the perceived excesses and abuse by banks, mortgage firms, and investment companies did severe damage to Wall Street’s reputation. These were my clients, it was where I worked and the world I knew. I also understood they had huge marketing and communications teams, outside PR firms and experts to help tell their story. But small businesses and ordinary individuals did not have a PR firm on retainer or a media relations firm a phone call away. When they experienced a crisis, they needed help and did not know where to turn. It was clear to me there was a need to provide individuals and businesses with greater control over their online image.
3. What has been your biggest success factors
I think there are a few secrets to our success. First, we really care more than our competitors. It is our business, but we take success personally. We could have taken venture capital money or private equity money a long time ago, we could have advertised on the radio and churned clients like some competitors. We could have outsourced our work to India or the Philippines.
However, we decided to remain a boutique firm. We are based in the US, where most of our clients are located. Our service a small number of clients, who we choose to work with in a very high-touch, engaged way. We don’t hand off our clients to project managers who leave after four or five months, our online reputation management strategists have worked with the largest firms in the world and successfully dealt with the most complex online reputation management projects possible.
4. What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company
I think my biggest personal challenge was realizing I couldn’t do it all myself. It means that sometimes things will be done differently than you would have done it, and sometimes things will be done worse than you would have done it. But it also means sometimes things will be done better than you would have done it, and that reinforces the decision to deleage in the first place.
Over time, you try and find the talent to help your business grow. Sometimes you succeed and make great choices, and sometimes you hire someone who turns out not to be a great fit or have the skills you thought they had when you made the hire in the first place.
It took a while, but I am confident we have the best team in the business.
5. Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
I think you need a combination of all three for success. If you are not in the right market, the best team cannot save you. If you don’t have the right product, the right market will not respond and you will lose the team you value so highly. The right team, you will be hard press to followup your best product or adapt to changes circumstances or market conditions.
6. Final words for those chasing the startup dream
It is a great privilege to start your own business and watch it grow and succeed. Other than being a parent, I cannot think of anything else more personally fulfilling. It can be a lonely journey, and there will be ups and downs, but the ride is thrilling and when you enjoy who you are working with every day, it doesn’t even feel like work.
Additional Information Required –
Todd William is the founder of Reputation Rhino. A former attorney, Todd has over 20 years of experience providing a wide range of legal and strategic advisory services to Fortune 500 companies and small and midsize businesses.
Todd has worked with some of the largest brands in the world, and is a highly sought after expert for celebrities, politicians, entrepreneurs, and C-suite level business executives seeking to promote, protect, and defend their online reputation.
Todd uses online reputation management, public relations, and digital marketing strategies to eliminate the impact of damaging online search results and promote a positive online image for his clients. Todd’s award-winning work has been recognized by Bloomberg, Time, US News, Forbes, Huffington Post, and many other leading news organizations. Moreover you can him on social media platform here – Linkdin and Twitter.