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Brandee Johnson is the Founder and CEO of LimeLight Marketing, an e-commerce agency providing strategy, branding, web design, web development, and organic and paid media. She is an experienced marketing professional, business leader, and entrepreneur who helps brands reach their maximum potential by providing professional consultation and services in branding and digital marketing.

Before LimeLight, Brandee was a Senior Integrated Marketing Manager at the LEGO Group, responsible for the annual marketing plan and leading digital and non-digital marketing teams. She has a BBA in marketing from Pittsburg State University and an MBA from MidAmerica Nazarene University. Brandee is also a board member of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Pittsburg State University Kelce College of Business.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:01] Brandee Johnson talks about LimeLight Marketing 
  • [05:52] LimeLight’s culture-building process 
  • [10:05] LimeLight’s hiring process and how it evaluates culture fit in the process
  • [16:12] Brandee shares how they boost their employees’ confidence 
  • [19:10] The value of niching down and how LimeLight honed in into its niche 
  • [24:13] The evolution of LimeLight 
  • [26:11] LimeLight’s customer success stories and its ideal clients 
  • [30:48] The mistakes brands make with e-commerce
  • [37:18] Project management skills Brandee learned at previous companies she’s leveraging to run LimeLight

In this episode…

Do you have a good product or service but need help to get results as an e-commerce brand? The problem could be poor marketing. How can you reach and engage your target audience to drive website traffic, increase conversions, and generate more e-commerce revenue?

According to Brandee Johnson, marketing is fundamental for business success. The problem is that it’s becoming highly technical, requiring developers, problem solvers, digital intelligence, and a deep understanding of how online practices continue to evolve. For e-commerce brands, she recommends partnering with digital marketing agencies with e-commerce niche expertise to help them thrive. Brandee also shares her entrepreneurial journey of creating, running, and scaling a digital marketing agency. 

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he welcomes Brandee Johnson, Founder and CEO of LimeLight Marketing. Brandee talks about LimeLight Marketing and what it does, its culture-building and hiring processes, the value of niching down, and the mistakes its ideal clients make with e-commerce.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Brandee Johnson of LimeLight Marketing, and I’m going to formally introduce Brandee in a second. Brandee, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast. And there’s a couple past episodes with Jason Swenk, which is really interesting, where he talks about how he built up his agency to eight figures and sold it and then he had a separate one where he’s been buying agencies and how they evaluate them and how they make offers and all that and have they built up that company as well check that one out. And on the agency front too. Since as part of the top agency series, we had Todd Taskey on. Todd Taskey. Also, as a Second Bite Podcast, he helps match agencies with private equity. And sometimes they make more on the second bite than they do on the first ones private equity sell. So he also talks about, how do you build up a company? How do you increase valuation all of those things as well check those out more on And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we are an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the accountability, the strategy, which is the most important and the full execution of a podcast. And for me, Brandee, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to do that and the profile that people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about starting a podcast, you should if you have questions, we’ve been doing it for both John and I my business partner been doing it for over a decade, you can email us and go to to learn more. We even have an episode we have a lot of free episodes on podcasting for people to learn. One of the favorite ones is the five episodes every company should be producing if you’re not, so check that out. And today without further ado, Brandee Johnson’s the CEO of LimeLight Marketing, it’s a nationally recognized brand, marketing and technology agency specialized in mid-sized e-commerce and LimeLight is on the 2022 Inc 5000 list and was named the 2021, Kansas women owned business professional service firm of the Year by the Kansas Department of Commerce and prior to owner of our agency Brandee work in marketing at Lego. So Brandee, thanks for joining me.

Brandee Johnson  2:54 

Thank you for having me.

Jeremy Weisz  2:55 

So just start off and just talk about LimeLight and what you do.

Brandee Johnson  3:01 

Absolutely. So LimeLight is marketing agency, we kind of combined marketing, development and branding to bring our clients a full-service solution for e-commerce clients. We tend to specialize in that mid-sized e-commerce space, a company that is well established and with a proven product on the market. And then we help them to optimize and grow at scale.

Jeremy Weisz  3:27  

When I hit your website, I’m gonna show it for a second. So if you’re listening to the audio version, there’s a video version. I could tell there’s like a sense of humor and a certain culture to you. Can you just talk about how you came up with the name and just it’s a unique? We’re looking at it if you’re listening to it says greetings homeslice and it is cool watch show real. So talk about some of the thought that went behind us?

Brandee Johnson  3:57 

Sure. Well, I’ll start with how we named the agency how I named that agency back in 2015 when I was kind of had it as an idea and a dream. And at the time I was reading a book by Steve McKee called Power Branding. And there was a quote that he talks about intensity with focus and it’s all about it is the more you focus in on something, the greater intensity you have and the greater clarity or impact you can make. And so I really liked that quote, because I was looking to name the agency at the time. I kind of started marinating on that thought and the word LimeLight has kind of that that meaning it’s focused intensity. I like the idea of putting our clients in the lime light and then helping them put their customers in the lime light. It also works internally as we look at putting our employees in the lime light and so that’s where we came up with LimeLight Marketing, and thankfully seven years later I can say I still like it, love it. And I’m happy with it. Just recently, we redesigned our website. And that’s what you’re seeing here. And we introduced kind of a new fun brand voice that was an evolution of the brand. And so you see things like, greetings homeslice. And we’ve incorporated that into like our new employee, welcome kits and New Client Onboarding kits. And it’s just a fun way to say hello with a bit of personality.

Jeremy Weisz  5:27 

Yeah, love it. And you can tell there’s a certain culture without even experiencing or talking anything from your company. Like when I was looking at the about page, you’re looking at here, you could tell there’s a certain culture to the company, you can see just it’s kind of fun, you’re holding this here, and there’s a cat on someone’s shoulder here. Talk about culture, and how you create culture there.

Brandee Johnson  5:52 

Absolutely. Well, one of the reasons that I started the agency was I had worked in corporate America for about 15 years. And what I understood about myself, and what I saw and other peers that I worked with or admired was, we give a lot of ourselves to our career, both from a time perspective and a mental capacity perspective, our careers are more than just a job, they’re very much integrated an integral part of our lives, which is probably similar for most of our listeners here. And we spent a lot of hours of our life at our jobs. And so what really motivated me to start a company and what even gave me the dream to start a company years before I actually did was the idea that I would love to create jobs that give people a that really contribute nicely to someone’s personal life and goals. So a job and a place to work and a culture that is rewarding and motivating and challenging. And that was really my vision. And so from the beginning, I would say rather than going in to be a marketing expert, although I knew I wanted to blend marketing with a company, I started, I had a desire to create a place that people loved to work. And so therefore, culture has always been at the forefront and a goal of ours. From our early days, we had goals of being an agency where you know, employee that people would want to work here and stand in line to work here. And we continue to keep that focus. And we’re getting some really good feedback, even just here recently from our employees. So certainly an important key initiative in our company,

Jeremy Weisz  7:34 

What are some things that you do to bake into the company to help with culture?

Brandee Johnson  7:40 

Yeah, I can speak to that. And then also, sometimes I asked myself that question, because I got feedback the other day from employees, saying how great of a culture it is to work here. And I started to like, what is it about it, and some of it’s tangible, and honestly, some of it is just not that tangible. So more of the tangible things that we do to make it a great company and culture are things like we have unlimited vacation, where we trust employees, we hire employees, we trust them to take care of large client accounts, big scopes of work, we’re going on people’s e-commerce site, if we trust them with those responsibilities, we also trust them with the responsibility of making good decisions as to where they when they work, and when they take personal time. So we have that we have built out nice benefit package, we have a flexible work-from-home environment and culture, which is now quite common, but wasn’t as common prior to COVID. We just instill a lot of trust in our employees. And I think that’s the less tangible piece that people really appreciate the trust to try new things, bring new ideas to the table, we say that everyone has an equal voice here. So whether you’re an intern or a junior designer, right out of college, or you been in business or in your skill for over 20 years, you have a voice that’s equal. And so I think that’s some of it. And then I would say if I had to just narrow down on one thing, I think it’s the people that we hire. And then a lot of companies would say that and it’s less, maybe tangible, but we just look for a certain type of person and a type of personality, somebody that we would see ourselves enjoying outside of work, somebody that is a little down to earth, low ego, willing to roll up their sleeves and take on anything. And that’s kind of some of the components of our culture.

Jeremy Weisz  9:38 

What’s in the hiring process, because like you were saying, it kind of starts with you have a great person to begin with. So maybe it just leads to good culture. What’s in the hiring process allows you to kind of sift out the people because sometimes it’s hard to tell in the whole interview process is this person, three months from now they’re going to have a big ego from the interview, they seem great. What do you put in the hiring process?

Brandee Johnson  10:05 

Sure. So we have multi steps in our hiring process that we typically follow. But we are also agile, flexible enough that we will move outside of that process, if needed, and kind of break the rules. So in especially depending on what kind of employment culture we’re in at the time, sometimes you don’t have weeks to interview several times and make a decision. Sometimes if you interview somebody, and you know that they’re a good fit, you got to expedite that. So I’ll speak to our typical process if we’re not accelerating it. And that would be, we review resumes, they would go through a phone screening with our HR representative. And she is really looking for, do they have the base skill set needed for the job, but also doing a culture evaluation? Are they the right type of person, do they have the similar values to the agency, we then pass along to the second round of interviews, and that will be with the hiring manager. And they are evaluating both on skill as well as culture fit. But in that order, we’re looking first for culture fit, that’s a non-negotiable. And we have a series of questions that will ask that help us understand the culture fit or the level of culture fit. And then also skill. From there, we usually go into the final round, which is a larger group may be in depending on what the role is, we’ll pull in different people from the agency, we try to always do some type of experience-based, like presentation of work. So it depends on the role, we’re hiring for it, if it’s a developer, we give them a technical aptitude test that they have to do on their own. If it’s a creative, we will ask them to present portfolio, we may assign a small project for them to do. And if we’re hiring for like account manager or project manager, we will assign them an appropriate kind of mini project or task and then ask that they present to our team. So those are some ways that we try to kind of evaluate the person, I would say beyond that it is trying to get somebody in an interview process to become their normal self and to get out of interview mode, and not try to impress us, but just try to decide are we mutually an equal fit? Because it’s not about? Are they good enough? For us? It is, are we the right match for one another? Are we the right fit for you? Are you the right fit for us? If we go into this together? What’s it gonna look like in six months? Are we both gonna be really happy that we came together? What would success look like? And that’s kind of what we do with the interview process. But I will say, because there’s been times I’ve kind of beat my head against a wall, saying like, what did we miss in the interview process where we didn’t see this, or we could have known better. And I think people who have gone about this longer than I have, or just peers in the industry have shared like hiring is just hard. And if you get it right, I’m not an expert at this. So if I throw out a number, it’s a gasp, but if you get it right 75% of time you’re doing like really, really good. And so I think equally important for us has been if we make a hiring mistake on the back end, recognizing it and addressing it, which can be hard, but it’s usually best for both parties, if we find we’re not a fit that we part ways and help send them off graduate them into a new opportunity that might be a better fit for them.