teaches Robert about geofencing and the power of SEO and targeting for lead generation. He helps companies find leads who participate in events or who visit certain locations and are looking for your product or service. Using technology available, like geofencing, Justin takes digital marketing and lead generation to another level.
A little bit about Justin...
Justin Croxton, CEO of Propellant Media (Omni Channel Media Technology Company), is an accomplished Entrepreneur and Advisor with over 17 years of success in the marketing and advertising, real estate, and retail industries.
As the managing partner of Propellant Media, Justin leads his team in developing creative and financially motivated digital marketing initiatives, such as lead generation and geofencing marketing, that can increase engagement, search engine traffic, and, most importantly, revenues for our brands and organizations. Justin has personally built a lead generation system that allocates approximately 1,000 leads per month internally, an accomplishment most sales companies have to outsource."
Robert Peterson 0:14
Welcome to the add value to entrepreneurs podcast, the place where we help entrepreneurs to not hate their boss. Our mission is to end entrepreneurial unhappiness. If you dream of changing the world, but you're not sure where to start. The Add valued entrepreneurs podcast will help you transform your life in business. This podcast is for entrepreneurs who want more freedom and fulfillment from their work so they can live the life that they desire. You deserve it, and it is possible. My name is Robert Peterson, Farmer passer turned CEO and the smiling coach. I believe that success without happiness is failing. But there is hope. Join us each week as we bring you an inspiring leader or message to help you. Thanks for investing time with us today. Our guest today is an expert in digital marketing, business development and customer acquisition. Justin Croxton is the CEO of propellant media. He's an accomplished entrepreneur and advisor with over 17 years of success in the marketing and advertising, real estate and retail industries. Justin Croxton teaches Robert about geofencing, and the power of SEO and targeting for lead generation. He helps companies find leads who participate in events, visit certain locations, or looking for your product or service. Using the technology available like geofencing. Justin takes digital marketing and lead generation to another level. If you're an entrepreneur who started their business with a purpose and a passion that has been lost in the busyness of the daily grind, we get it. That is why we've opened up our free strategy calls a lot of entrepreneurs, probably including you just want a sense of clarity on the barriers holding them back, that you need to overcome in order to accelerate your growth and achieve your dreams. These short 30 Minute Calls give you a chance to work with one of our coaches without any commitment or pressure. Scheduling is easy, just go to smiling cole.com. Let's jump on a call and get you the help and clarity you need. Select a time and let's build your business. It's time for you to add value. Well. Justin, thank you so much for joining me today. Just looking forward to my and learning some things about marketing and learning, you know about your journey as well.
Justin Croxton 2:33
Yeah, me too. I definitely appreciate it, Robert. Absolutely.
Robert Peterson 2:36
So my first question is always, you know, just tell us about your own entrepreneurial journey, and usually use that as a jumping off point for our discussion.
Justin Croxton 2:47
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, for me, I graduated from business school up in New York, and bow 2013 Roughly, and always knew I wanted to, I always know, but I saw that there was an opportunity for me to work in digital marketing, just the idea of the opportunity of knowing that I can have clients all around the country level on the world and not like segmented to one particular city was was sort of a pretty fascinating and intriguing opportunity. I was like, I gotta take advantage of this. So I actually have had a couple different companies. The first was Q commerce, which is sort of like my own individual digital consulting practice, I was doing SEO paid search for like small midsize companies in the New York Region, mostly. And then in 2014, my wife and I moved back to Atlanta. But around that same time, I also started an E commerce brand called BB rat, you know, as an Amazon ecommerce brand, you know, multi seven figures doing really well. And then it wasn't until 2015, where I saw that there was an even bigger opportunity to start this agency, where we really focus primarily on geofencing advertising, OTT advertising, essentially. And the rest is history. That's kind of really been my focus over the last, you know, three, you know, three, one, we're talking about five, six plus years, essentially. And it's been good. It's been a good time since then.
Robert Peterson 4:16
All right, so I need to know what, why why you chose your company name. And what's a little bit of background about the company itself, and, and why this why this name?
Justin Croxton 4:28
Sure. I mean, it's to be honest with you, you know, our partners were just kind of sitting around a table and one person we were just kind of just spit ball and we said propelling propellant media, it's like, okay, that sounds that sounds nice. You know, you got propellant, it kind of fuels a company forward. You know, that sounds reasonable. Let's let's go with that. It's punchy, it's unique. And that was I mean, honestly, like it wasn't any formal rhyme or reason outside of sales. Good. It's unique. Let's move Ford with it. And that was it. We've been running with that ever since. Nice. I like it. Yeah.
Robert Peterson 5:08
I've always tried to figure out how to describe, you know, rebuilding a business or repairing a business while it's in motion. Because, you know, obviously you can't stop. And it's kind of like doing rocket repair, while the rockets flying. Right.
Justin Croxton 5:20
So true. So
Robert Peterson 5:23
that's kind of the connection to propel engine rocket. For me, it was like, Oh, that's pretty cool. So
Justin Croxton 5:28
yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, just kind of felt right. And then we all just said, Well, that's what we're gonna go with.
Robert Peterson 5:36
Nice. And it's modern. And it's Yeah, it definitely has, has a good forward motion kind of feel. So
Justin Croxton 5:43
yeah, as you mentioned,
Robert Peterson 5:45
you mentioned a word that, that literally, I've never seen or heard before reading your profile and preparing for the show. And so for me, it's in mind you, I'm, I'm a rookie in the entrepreneur, space cup, you know, four years, five years, and, and certainly a rookie in the marketing space. So, okay, for me, geofencing was like, a completely new idea and had not heard have not heard that term. And so can you help me understand what is what is geofencing? Marketing and and how does it work?
Justin Croxton 6:19
Yeah, absolutely. So geofencing advertising is the practice of serving ads to people in very, very precise areas, I mean, all the way down to the contours of a building. And the concept behind it is that in advertising, there are times when you don't want to target everybody within the city, let alone everybody within a particular within a zip code. Like sometimes, you just want to reach people with certain buildings. And the concept behind it is that your location can give me some insights into your intent to buy, right. So if you are going to a car dealership, let's say seven, eight times out of 10, you're probably in market looking to buy a car, right. So if I own a car dealership, I would want to geofence other car dealerships effectively. Let's say I am a developer, I'm real estate developer, I have like several communities within the city of Atlanta. And I know that within my competitive set, there are all these other developments that are under construction. So if I, if I'm a consumer, and I am driving to another development that is under construction, maybe seven to eight times out of 10, I'm probably in market looking to buy a home. And so what we would then do is we would geofence those other communities. And what happens is within the geofencing space, you're able to capture someone's mobile device ID. And in that moment, we're then able to serve ads to them when those individuals go on mobile apps and websites. Wow. So if you think about Angry Birds, Words with Friends, the Weather Channel, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, you know, it's kind of like site retargeting. But in the physical world, wow, there's no we're not sending text messages or anything like that is a little bit more of a passive experience. But it does still have a have a great impact from a marketing standpoint. It means an agency. I mean, we also do like paid search, Pay Per Click advertising, Google ads, you know, Facebook, advertising, Instagram. But as an agency, this is really what we lead with as an organization. And we also need to usually tell people, it's great to have this as part of your marketing mix. But not just the sole penicillin, that's going to solve all your marketing problems, per se.
Robert Peterson 8:31
So it's, so it's a it's like retargeting if somebody's come onto my website in a digital space, but it's actually based on their physical location. So they've visited a physical location that you've tagged, and, and based on them visiting that physical location, you're sending them ads based on, on what your clients are offering.
Justin Croxton 8:54
Exactly, exactly what you just said. 100% Wow.
Robert Peterson 8:59
That's yeah, that's a whole nother level. Like I've, I've, I've come to understand local SEO, especially like YouTube videos, and being able to tag a YouTube video locally and, and title it with a local title that makes it like the best convention in Colorado and in, you know, in March and so people that search for conventions in Colorado and March, you know, automatically is going to slide to the top and, and hit hit, you know, well in the search engine. Yeah. So and just the power of local SEO, right. Local SEO for service providers especially is it's critically really important, right and being able to get a service provider to to those top spots. Nationally, obviously, it's a little more challenging to get those top spots keywords are super competitive in spaces like coaching and other business development things but, but local SEO can be can be super, super powerful. geofence It sounds like it's even more specific and?
Justin Croxton 10:06
Well, I mean, I think like you said, you know, like, local SEO is always going to be critical to any local brick and mortar type of a location or any local business that's out there, because nothing's better than reaching someone who was in market looking to buy, you know, a product or service, and they're doing a search, and you show up organically, like, nothing's more powerful than that, as far as I'm concerned. And then geofencing, you know, it's, it's sort of a different animal, you know, it's just a different way of reaching that same consumer. And, you know, people, you know, how do I say this people convert differently across different channels. So, don't just do one channel versus this channel. I mean, you gotta try to test all of them to see kind of what's going to have the greatest impact for you. And that's the best way to look at that.
Robert Peterson 10:52
I guess on the on the same side as having multiple streams of income, supporting your business, having multiple channels of marketing, to or to generate leads, can be really important. Yeah. Now, obviously, you've you've grown your business, significantly, multiple businesses. And and lead generation is an important piece of that. What's what's allowed you to, to generate leads, and what's really worked in generating leads is as a digital marketing agency.
Justin Croxton 11:24
Yeah. Well, it's been a couple things. I think, number one, you know, we try to practice what we preach here, propelling media. So you know, there's a lot of agencies out there that don't do any marketing. And they get, they get traffic, they get, you know, a few leads here and there. But, you know, when it's time to sit down with a client and say, what, you know, what kind of digital marketing are you doing for yourself? And I was like, oh, not really lot. And what was been great for us, is, we really do have sort of this testing environment to do a lot of things that we do for a lot of our clients. And, you know, the biggest thing that I like to tell folks is, you have to test a lot of these different channels. Or else, like when you're trying to build a scalable business, you're not going to be able to do that, you know, you can just I mean, you can grow a business just with just one to one hand combat and blocking and tackling. But, you know, for us, we were able to build an inbound marketing engine for ourselves. I mean, we get at least 1000 leads a month, between phone calls, you know, form submissions and whatnot. We get tons of booked appointments, you know, for our sales team. And there's been a couple things that's really helped within that one has been our own inbound marketing. Two has been HubSpot. Quite honestly, HubSpot is sort of a we're a Gold partner with HubSpot. But you know, what was going great with HubSpot is that the work that seven or eight people would have to do. Like I've been able to set it up for our company where like, I mean, if that I mean, I probably spend maybe like 1530 minutes a day, with all the different automations and triggers that we leverage through HubSpot as well. So that's been phenomenal, both in terms of their sales and marketing hubs. But the last thing, the last two things, has been us being able to differentiate ourselves and lead with geofencing. And then the second has been building a website that actually brings value to people can't tell you how often someone will build a website, and it will be pretty thin on content, you'll just be kind of like, This is who I am, these are my services. Here's my phone number, here's maybe a form submission on my contact page. And that's it. And you have to remember that if someone's out there looking to buy a product or a service, there are a lot of other competitors out there. So they're not just looking at you, they're looking at a lot of people. So why should they go with you? You know, why should they have a conversation with you effectively. And, you know, what I try to tell folks is that, you know, if you don't feel like you have to build this behemoth of a site initially, but just always having your mindset that you're going to continue to bring more content, more information to it with the mindset that I am trying to add value to my prospect or to my customer before they actually become a customer. And that's what we do. So if you go to propel and dot media, you will immediately see that, you know, like, we have ebooks, we have webinars, we have tools, calculators, I mean, plus geofencing is a new topic that a lot of people don't know about. So there's like, they feel like they're learning something new, something different. And if you look at it from that perspective, take that same concept, move it over to whatever industry that you operate in, you'll be in a much better space. And that's really kind of been sort of our recipe for success. It propelled media.
Robert Peterson 14:48
But it's definitely interesting, right? Because for some businesses, they feel like their websites just just a business card or a confirmation that they exist, right. Oh, go go see You know, my company name.com. And it just means your, your real, right? But but really creating a website that that can actually do something. I mean, obviously, there's no sense in doing local SEO, if you're bringing people to a website that doesn't give them anything but a better place to make a phone call.
Justin Croxton 15:20
It's just like, like small things like, you know, like, folks will just have a form submission on just the contact us page. Whereas I tell someone take that same form, and put it on every single page on your website. Every single page, because, you know, the way that occurred that people operate, sometimes they just don't submit a form, because they just didn't see it, or they weren't paying attention to in that moment. And you're trying to give yourself more chances to get someone's contact details. So you can cultivate that relationship for your, you know, follow up email marketing, essentially, or, you know, if you're calling that person back, effectively, yeah, just, you know, you know, just, you know, see so many companies that don't think about that, from that perspective. It's critical. And then the last thing that I'll say to that point, is that, you know, for us, like, I always have our link, in an email, or I'm texting, someone always have a link to our site to like, really push them to our site. Because we also do our own site retargeting, right, because people may not convert in that moment, they may convert, you know, 45 days later, you know, 17 days later, whatever that number is, and what better way to keep your site or keep your brand top of mind, then number one, ensuring that you can retarget them across multiple different channels, essentially. And so these are small things that, you know, entrepreneurs that and then size corporations can can can develop, to ensure that they're maximizing their lead flow,
Robert Peterson 16:55
essentially. Nice. So, so let's just talk about the challenge of growing a business to the to the size that, that you have, and obviously, you've had some really good success in E commerce and really good success early on in SEO and local SEO. And now choosing to grow a business to the size of a propellant. That scaling requires some significant planning and, and some significant challenges. Would you would you share a little bit about how you what those challenges were and how you overcame them?
Justin Croxton 17:33
Yeah, you know, I would say that the first two years because propelling me to was founded in like late 2015, early 2016, if you will, I'd say the biggest challenge was, you know, trying to is kind of the advice that was given to everybody moving our mindset, from a focus of hand to hand combat, building relationships, just through pure networking, to shifting into how am I going to build an operational model that can exist without me? Like, I don't have to do everything, there's a lot that I still do, but I don't have to do everything, right, I have a sales team that handles you know, our sales, we have an account management team that handles you know, client delivery execution, we have an ad ops team that handles you know, execution of campaigns behind the scenes, you know, we have, you know, operational stuff with the company finance, HR, things of that nature, like, how do you get to that place. And, you know, from the 2015 and 17 timeframe, it was just, it was just slow moving, just talking to people one on one, versus really thinking about building an infrastructure that has growth potential. And quite honestly, just going back to it, it really came from the switch on our website, making the decision that we're going to focus on geofencing is what we're going to lead with to differentiate ourselves. And then like making an investment in our own marketing, effectively, you know, your mom always says, you know, you you can't scared money doesn't make money, ultimately, you know, and we just, I just kind of got to that point where I said, you know, what, we're going to make the investments, see what happens. And the next thing you know, we start getting leads, start getting leads, start getting phone calls, with leads, starting closing them, with them over to our delivery X execution team, and start going from there. And so the first first couple years was really the biggest challenge. Now, you know, I'd say probably some of the biggest challenges is saying, Okay, this is what our revenues are currently looking like, what can I do to improve my margins, you know, so I'm adding more profit more EBITA to my bottom line effectively, and so we're going through our entire p&l. We're saying alright, we're gonna cut this cut this we're gonna negotiate with our vendors, we're gonna increase our pricing here. You know, we're gonna increase pricing here. Yes, we may lose clients, but you know, usually the net effect is positive because you have less clients but you're making more more RJ you can serve your clients better. You know, those are some of the challenges that we're working through, and just trying to improve, you know, across the board effectively.
Robert Peterson 20:10
So you mentioned that geofencing was your differentiator. How does how does an end? You mentioned a couple ideas in that geofencing space. But how does a company knowing their niche really help? In that? geofencing?
Justin Croxton 20:26
How you said, How's the company knowing their their niche? Yeah,
Robert Peterson 20:30
if they know if the company you're helping or serving knows their niche really well? How does that help them in the next step? When, when they try to go into the geofencing? Space?
Justin Croxton 20:40
You know, usually, I mean, I'll say this, you know, geofencing isn't for everyone, you know, so I don't usually do it for like E commerce, I don't think that's the best space for it. b2b can be a little touch and go, you know, it depends on whether someone's trying to deploy more of an account based selling approach. But in our experience, the very first thing if a client knows who their target audience is, the next question they want to ask themselves is, who can I reach that is in market, or closely fits my target audience, knowing that I have something that's very compelling to reach, you know, to connect with him on But initially, how can I reach people that are within my target audience, essentially, who is in market? effectively? If you're able to answer those two questions, and maybe what you do is you have like a first tranche of people that are in market, and you have a second tranche of people that may not be in market, but they fit your target audience. And then literally will just go through the exercise of listing the types of places that they would want to geofence that's, you know, places that are in market. And then people that are fit your target audience, but they may not be in market per se. The third thing that's very critical is just because someone's fits your audience doesn't mean that you should geofence that particular location. So a great example, we'll have a client that comes to us, they have a product that they're looking to sell. And they know that you know, women that are between the ages of like 30 and 55, you know, is their target demo? And they'll say, Yeah, my my product is going to be potentially sold at targets and Walmart's and so I want to geofence targets and Walmart's it's like it's like geofencing the world there's no there's no differentiated, you know, means of targeting your, your, your ideal customer avatar. And quite honestly, you know, even if you said that, you know, okay, maybe not Walmart, but you know, maybe it really is a sincere location, that someone like this 20 This 30 to a 55 year old woman really is going to this location, there's no one else, you know, you're you're really limiting your waist, you don't know if that person is looking for that product. So if it is more of a branding exercise or a branding experience, I get that and that that's that holds its place, and it's totally fine. But what we tell a lot of our clients is try to think of places where, you know, like, if you're a spa, just geofence other spas geofence like other poles geofence you know, places where you know, you think that your person could has a higher propensity of being in market. If you look at it from that standpoint of the small business owner, I think you're gonna put yourself in many better, and a better position to drive lead flow in Dr. Watkins back to your physical location.
Robert Peterson 23:30
We will be right back after this short break. This episode is sponsored by perfect publishing a different approach to publishing a book. Perfect publishing carefully chooses heroes of Hope, who exemplify living a life they created through faith, hope, patience, and persistence. No matter what page you open to in this mini cube of hope, you will find a leader with a big heart, you will see you are not alone. The authors may share similar challenges that only hope and action could resolve. Get your free ebook at get a dose of hope.com Welcome back. Let's get back to more greatness. Well, I like that. I mean, it's interesting to think about, you know, we asked the question where, you know, where's your ideal client hanging out? And you're like, Well, you have a shop at Target or Walmart. But the problem is you can't differentiate them from the other. All the other people that also shop at Walmart and Target
Justin Croxton 24:23
that right, it's very, I mean, yeah, I mean, we do have the capacity to like, add some demographic variables from time to time, within geofencing campaigns, it does have a tendency to limit delivery. But if we're geofencing, like a Walmart, that's when we'll do that kind of approach. But the whole idea of geofencing is just hit people, you know, that are going to very specific locations, and ideally, is places where that person is either in market or close to being in market, essentially. Nice. Yeah.
Robert Peterson 24:56
All right, Justin, let's talk a little bit about obviously, you've built the team And obviously you work with a lot of clients in the digital space. Let's talk about character and authenticity in the digital space.
Justin Croxton 25:10
Robert Peterson 25:13
So tell me how important is it for, for clients to be able to be authentic? And, and I know that I mean, there's, there's a tendency, at least there's a feel, maybe maybe it's urban legend more than, than anything but of people putting out a facade in the digital space, rather than rather than being able to just be their authentic self, your authentic brands,
Justin Croxton 25:37
it's, it's, it's probably one of my more favorite questions that I like to answer, quite frankly, I'll speak to that in terms of my own personal story. So when propelling media was founded, you know, it's no, it's no, it's obvious, I'm black. I'm an African American. And when I first started propelling media, you know, I did have some nerves thinking that we would be accepted as an agency, we can grow at a proper clip, not looking at race or ethnicity or anything. And so I was nervous, I didn't feel like I could comfortably, you know, become the face of the company, I felt like I had to just kind of be behind the scenes and put up this facade that, oh, we're this bigger company than we really are. And, you know, there's only a couple people that work here kind of thing. And, you know, there, there were some challenges, you know, there were a few times where we experienced, you know, some prejudice, SNESs, and things of that nature. But you kind of get to that point where you say, You know what, you have to be true to yourself, you gotta be true to yourself as an individual, you know, your faith, and just kind of you being a leader for yourself, your family, but ultimately, your community. And what I learned in the shift that I had back in 2017, as I said, you know, what, I'm just going to be the face of the company, you know, I'm not not a bad speaker, you know, I've, you know, I think I know this space pretty well, I can speak to a lot of these different things. And so I started doing more video, more video content, start putting more of that video out, taking that same video, putting it on our site, having it be more of a value add, rather than trying to hide behind a facade. And the bigger point that people need to remember is that individuals, consumers, customers, prospects, they don't do business with companies, they do business with people. And if you remember that, all of your competitors, they do people go to this big site with all these links, and all this stuff. But they don't really see the condition, the individual, the consumer, the human being behind the scenes, they just see this big company, I promise you, if you put yourself out there, don't worry about your voice. Don't worry about how you look, you see, like my background, it's not it's not flashy, you know, maybe I can have an office, but whatever, you know, I have, we have offices here in Atlanta and Charlotte, so I'm not worried about that. But you know, I'm just being myself, I'm on a camera, I'm having a conversation. And if you've come from that space, rather than I'm just going to be behind the scenes, you are going to improve your conversion rates, more people are going to connect with you, you're going to, you know, feel even more and more confident in putting even more webinars, more more audio content, for your listeners, for your prospects for people that come to your site, and it's going to help build your authority is well, it's going to show like, okay, this person really knows what they're talking about. I feel like I need to reach out to them. I can't tell you how often like, like our sales team, because with all the leads that comes in, our sales team will say, I feel like I've been talking to you forever, because I've watched all your videos and all your stuff. And you've probably experienced the same thing, Robert, I've watched all your stuff, I listened all your videos, and and then the salesperson comes in as well. That's not really, you know, my salesperson will say, Oh, that's not really I'm not really just him. But you know, he's He's right. He's, I got him on Slack. If you want to have a quick chat, you know, kind of thing, it really makes a difference. Don't hide behind a facade, just be yourself. It's not easy to be yourself and to try to be something that you're not.
Robert Peterson 29:08
Absolutely. And, and I and I think it's challenging, I appreciate you sharing the struggle, the reality that you wrestled with, for yourself, of putting yourself out there. And, and I think more people just need to hear that. You know, if if you put a facade out there, then you're going to attract people that are attracted to the facade. And so when you interact with them, it's not going to be a true interactions not
Justin Croxton 29:32
going to be a true interaction. So well said Robert. Well said. Yeah, absolutely. So
Robert Peterson 29:36
so good. I appreciate you. You sharing that. Yeah. So So I like to switch a little bit and touch on the family side a little just because it's important part. And so you've had some success in business and what's been one of the blessings of running your own business and raising a family.
Justin Croxton 29:57
Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, you know, my my father either my mother was an educator, my dad was an entrepreneur, he had the sort of legal forensic photography business. So like 90% of his clients were like lawyers that, you know, there would be like a car accident or things of that nature, he would be the one on the scene to take the pictures. And he was an entrepreneur as well, I come from a family of entrepreneurs. And I just remember, like, you know, the opportunities and the flexibility that my father had drive me to school, in downtown Philadelphia, I'm originally from Philly. And, you know, I drive and I'd see these large, you know, buildings being constructed. And, you know, I didn't say this, you know, initially, but I actually worked in commercial real estate, before I went to business school, and that was kind of where my passion was fueled by my dad driving me to, you know, to, to, to elementary school, but I was always passing these large buildings in downtown Philly. And the reason why I bring that up, is for, you know, for the opportunity of knowing that I can have that kind of flexibility for my family, for my son, you know, have a six year old, and, you know, being able to travel, you know, have those opportunities to just live life. You know, you know, I don't know, if you want to call it financially free, you know, necessarily, but you know, just knowing that I can, like take off in or grab a lunch date with my wife, or, you know, take off two days, because I want to go to Disney World or Disneyland with my son. You know, it's huge. And, you know, part of it has been, you know, fueled by, you know, the, sort of the, the experience that my, that my mother and my father created for our family. And, you know, I just always knew that, you know, I would have a business, I didn't know what capacity, I also knew, sort of the opportunities that are afforded. And that's really what drove me into, you know, being an entrepreneur in some capacity.
Robert Peterson 31:54
All right, you mentioned that the wife, so what was your most memorable date with your wife?
Justin Croxton 32:00
Oh, my goodness, man, you put me on the spot we've been in so many different dates on, I'd say the most recent one is, I mean, I call it a longer day. But my wife and I, you know, she surprised me, we flew to Las Vegas this year for father's day trip. And, oh, my goodness, it was just us, you know, had a babysitter, you know, here taking care of the little rascal. And we went to so many different spots, went to some shows, you know, had great food, I think it's probably the most I've ever eat in my life. It was an absolute blast. That's the one the most memorable one that comes to mind. But we're usually going on a lot different lunch dates, and, you know, regular dates and whatnot, just to, you know, gotta get that quality time. And for those, you know, men and women that are out there, that quality time telling you, it's critical guy keep, keep doing it.
Robert Peterson 32:47
Absolutely well, and I think one of the advantages of being an entrepreneur is the investment that you can make in your family. And I've seen designing a business that supports the lifestyle that you want, is a benefit that many entrepreneurs aren't taking, because they've just started a business and then the business takes over their life, rather than being able to design the life that they want, and then build the business to support it.
Justin Croxton 33:11
Yeah, it's not, it's, I know that for some people out there that you may feel like you have to be working, you know, from 5am, in the morning to you know, 10pm at night. And you have to do it every day. And there are certain times when you may feel that way, like there's certain Sprint's within your company, where you kind of just need to kind of get after it. But you know, life is short. And I know, it also depends on where everyone is financially, and whatnot. But, you know, you got to be able to take those breaks, you know, I know too many smart, you know, too many, you know, great entrepreneurs out here, you know, who, you know, they turned 5560, and they got a pile of cash, but, you know, not a lot of time that's been invested within their family, for memories that they can say that they really appreciate. And so, you know, there was a period of time where I was, you know, you know, burn a lot of a lot that Midnight Oil, but I was still spending more quality time with the family. And now I really tried to spend a lot more quality time I typically shut down at 530 and then I'm up at five 530 Usually, and I just kind of I'm just pretty efficient in my time and, you know, whatever, I don't finish I don't finish unless it's a project that I got to finish the next day and it's critical, other than that, you know, that's that's sort of how I try to operate.
Robert Peterson 34:26
Nice and so far, it's worked out. Nice. So you mentioned routines, what are the what are the routines that helped you grow as a businessman and grow as a leader?
Justin Croxton 34:38
Yeah, you know, I'm a, I try to read you know, as often as I can, really just trying to stay up to date on best practices within our industry. You know, I, I like to do speaking engagements and webinars. So because it forces me to, you know, be sharp, kind of like you put yourself out there. It's like alright, I really need to deliver so I need to be on top of what's going on type of thing. Other routine, I'm usually up in the mornings pretty early. So I usually get a good workout in about 45 minutes, that's something that's a pretty a staple four to five days a week. You know, again, life is short. So you have to take care of yourself, not just your mind, but also your body. So that's critical, usually up at 530. I don't work out if I used to, but now I work from 530 to about seven, get my little guy ready for school, get some time with him. Once I get him him squared, you know, that's when I get my workout in, I'm usually working from like nine o'clock until 530. Usually, every once in a while, I'll take a lunch break. Sometimes I just keep plugging away, just the nature of the business that we're in 530 Max, that's when I shut down. And that's that's pretty standard every day, Monday through Friday. And every once awhile, I might have to do hours worth of work on a Saturday. But that's about it.
Robert Peterson 35:59
Nice. So with all the business success, you've had what's, what's your biggest challenge today?
Justin Croxton 36:06
You know, I'd say the biggest challenge right now is managing people and trying to make sure that I'm being the best leader to instill wisdom and best practices from an operational excellence standpoint, for my team, I think my team is great. I always have to just remind myself that not everybody is me. I mean, we say differently, nobody's me. And I'm not everybody else, essentially. And, you know, as a leader, you, you may feel like you have to do everything for everyone. And that's the part that I'm learning to do a better job with, while at the same time instilling wisdom instilling best practices from just a communication perspective, knowing that in the world of management management is really about repeating yourself over and over again, a lot of people think that you can just say some something once and everyone catches it, and no, you're gonna have to repeat yourself like, five, six times, and be okay with that, and not get frustrated. And so that's been a little bit of a challenge. But you know, I think the key initially is making certain that you hire great people that you know, has sort of the, you know, that proactive spirit about themselves where they want to both get better, and they want to see the company get better, they just want to do great work. If you have that as the bedrock and someone who has like good, outgoing, good communication, you're gonna put yourself in a good spot, but you always have to set aside time to bring value to your employees and to the people that you know, look up to or else, you know, you know, there's you, you just put yourself in a tougher position long term. So that's been a challenge, but it's something that we're working on, and we're getting a lot better and as well.
Robert Peterson 37:51
Nice. All right, Justin, what inspires you?
Justin Croxton 37:56
Oh, man, you know, certainly my, my faith, but, you know, you know, next next on that list would would be my, my family, you know, just, you know, I don't know if I want to call it just this, you know, concept of generational wealth. I mean, yeah, that all sounds that's fine and good. But, you know, you know, wealth can be, you know, looked at as, like, the time that you get with your family. And, you know, you know, I do think about what my mother and father did for me, and sort of, you know, leaving a legacy, you know, for both my wife and my, my son, my family in the future. But, you know, I'd say it's definitely the family for sure. Just knowing that, you know, Ellis ELLs li s is the name of my son making Sarena he's in an incredible place, you know, mentally and physically, of course, and you know, he'll be able to do a lot of things that he wants to do you know, once he turns 18, because once he's 18 I'll still be his dad, but he'll be his own man at that point. So just make it started. He's in a good spot when he reaches that age.
Robert Peterson 38:57
Nice. Yeah, it's always good to set them up and get them out.
Justin Croxton 39:01
Yeah, yeah, go you're gonna set up but guy go fly buddy on the fly.
Robert Peterson 39:07
All right. You mentioned your faith in obviously, you've been on his personal growth journey as a, as a leader as a, as a husband as a man and how his gratitude helped you and serve you.
Justin Croxton 39:21
Gratitude. You know, I feel like it's served me quite a bit. You know, I It's kind of a different context, I'd say that, you know, gratitude works hand in hand with humbleness, like having an appreciation for, you know, where you are, as a leader and not taking it for granted. Not boasting about it not, you know, you know, saying that on this flossy guy with a Lamborghini and I got my you know, my iPhone and um, you know, taking all this video of look at me in front of my, you know, my car and you know, that's fine, you know, because that again, the facade versus the avatar that you're trying to attract and trying to sell you You know, but again, you kind of need to be true to yourself and have a sense of gratitude and humbleness, you know about both yourself and also the people around you in your life in general. And I am incredibly grateful for, you know, you know, sort of my upbringing, and kind of where I've gotten the company along with my partners, and, you know, the team just now. But I'm also humbled by the journey, and what else is in store for us over the next, you know, five years, you know, I just know too many people who, when they kind of build a company, and you know, everyone's probably grateful, you know, have a sense of gratitude. But, you know, they don't think about, you know, how they're given back, they don't think about how they treat people, you know, they just have a mindset that, you know, I may not always agree with, so I try to take, you know, certainly have gratitude for sure, but, you know, in a different context, having that humble spirit about yourself, you know, so that when you're communicating with folks, you always know that you're not your best self, you're always trying to get better, you're always appreciative of everyone that's around you, you know, not getting on people, because, you know, not everyone's perfect, you know, it's that sense of gratitude of how you're bringing value, but how everybody is getting better around you. That's how I look at, you know, the term gratitude. But, you know, really being humble, you know,
Robert Peterson 41:23
so you mentioned, you mentioned giving back and contribution, and how is given back and contribution been a part of, of your business journey?
Justin Croxton 41:31
Yeah, you know, I think that, you know, I'll be honest here, that's something that I definitely need to do more of, you know, we are setting up some some programs here at propelling media, where we're starting to do more community service driven activities. You know, for me, it's like, over the last five years, it's probably the one area that I haven't done as much and that I should, but I try to look at the value that I bring around my knowledge, amount, my perspective, to both my team, you know, our clients or customers that do reach out to us and look at it, you know, from that perspective, there are certain folks that I do mentor, of course, but, you know, the giving back part is vital, because you want to feel like you are doing something beyond just yourself beyond it being a profit driven motive. And profit driven is good. You know, there's nothing wrong with that, obviously, but you know, no one that you have other people outside of your company that you're, you know, looking to give back to, or bring value to, or a certain initiative that's critical, you know, that is something that, that has been on my mind, and that we've actually set up recently, and so we're gonna get into that more often. But that's my perspective on that.
Robert Peterson 42:44
Nice. All right, Justin, what's, what's your big dream?
Justin Croxton 42:50
Oh, man, my big dream. That's, that's a tough one, um, you know, I want to say that, like, it's like to have this pile of money and to retire, because I really don't perceive myself for retiring, you know, to like, I'm, like, 60 or so I just feel like I need to kind of be in the game and be sharp and being doing something that we're having a good time. But my big dream is to, you know, you know, give back a huge chunk of money to my college at Morehouse, you know, maybe be an adjunct professor, you know, in the digital space, you know, you know, have a nonprofit that's having some impact around the world, in certain communities, that I have an appreciation for sure that my family and my son is set up in a great way. And just living a life of fulfillment and joy, and happiness, more than anything else, and freedom in you having the option to do things. That's, that's critical to me and my family. And I feel like if we're doing that, and if I'm doing that, you know, that's, that's, that's the biggest dream that I could live, quite honestly.
Robert Peterson 43:53
That's so good. Justin, I just didn't. So we've spent the last 35 minutes with these entrepreneurs, and we're gonna leave them with Justin's words of wisdom. What would you share
Justin Croxton 44:05
words of wisdom for your business, if you're an entrepreneur, two things, always think about how you're going to bring value to the customer. before they become a customer. Get on a whiteboard, write down all the types of stuff, maybe it's calculators, webinars, maybe it's video content, maybe it's tools, ebooks, whatever. But that's vital. Number two. Don't worry about building out the best website in the world. But make your website deep enough to where you are differentiated from the rest of your competition. Don't you know have it be a thin sight? If you do those things, you are building an incredible foundation for future success for your company.
Robert Peterson 44:41
Justin, thank you so much for hanging out today and sharing your story and just educating us on digital marketing and your journey. So I appreciate you.
Justin Croxton 44:52
I definitely appreciate it as well. Thanks so much, Robert. Absolute pleasure.
Robert Peterson 44:55
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