David Hernandez is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of lotus823, a full-service digital marketing agency serving clients from consumer tech to lifestyle to home goods. Popular brands that the agency partners with include Audio Technica, Roborock, Bamboozle, Skordo, and Telemundo. Outside of his professional life, David is a husband and father of three sons and has recently added speaker to his resume, having the opportunity to speak at TED Talk.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- David Hernandez discusses lotus823 and the services it provides
- The evolution of lotus823’s clientele
- Lessons learned from acquiring a business
- What is Peerless, and how was the partnership established?
- Common misconceptions about public relations
- David explains lotus823’s influencer strategy program
- How David maintains a people-first culture within the company
- Impactful partnerships David values
In this episode…
In the early years of Facebook, it was all about reconnecting old friendships and keeping in touch with long-distance relatives. However, it slowly became a cutting-edge marketing tool for companies. Now social media has evolved into a premier platform for branding and marketing. But how else has it changed?
According to top agency leader David Hernandez, social media paved the way for one-stop agencies to provide several services such as communications, public relations, and digital marketing. The ability to integrate such services allows for stronger partnerships with agency clientele and establishes goals toward growth and profitability. But lotus823’s success has been 12 years in the making.
In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, host Dr. Jeremy Weisz chats with the Co-founder and Managing Partner of lotus823, David Hernandez. The two discuss the idea behind the agency and its 12-year evolution. Additionally, David shares his experience acquiring a company and the lessons he learned, common misconceptions about public relations, the agency’s influencer strategy program, and why he’s a proponent of people-first company culture.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- David Hernandez on LinkedIn
- “David Hernandez: My Bicultural Passion for America | TED Talk”
- Jason Swenk on LinkedIn
- Todd Taskey on LinkedIn
- Adi Klevit on LinkedIn
- Systems Simplified Podcast hosted by Adi Klevit
- Rachel Litner on LinkedIn
- Nick Belcore on LinkedIn
- Bob Marcantonio on LinkedIn
- Yohan Jacob on LinkedIn
- Mike Smart on LinkedIn
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
- “[Top Agency Series] Growth Through Acquisitions – What Is Your KPI and Northstar? With Jason Swenk”
- “[One Question] Building a Platform to Empower Others With Jason Swenk Host of the Smart Agency Master Class Podcast”
- “[Top Agency Series] Most Valuable Advice When Selling Your Agency With Todd Taskey of Potomac Business Capital”
- “[Sweet Process Series] How to Save Hundreds of Hours a Month Using Top Productivity Tools With Adi Klevit of Business Success Consulting Group”
Sponsor for this episode
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The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz, here, Founder of Inspired Insider, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today’s no different. I have David Hernandez of lotus823.com. And David, I always like to talk about other episodes people should check out of the podcast. And you know, since this is about hashtag agency life and what you’ve done to build the company over the past over decade, check out the episodes I did two episodes of Jason Swenk. Shout out to him and his group. That’s how actually how we met. And you know, one of them, he talks about how what they’re looking for in acquiring agencies. And the other one is how he built up his over eight figure agency and sold it. And Todd Taskey is another good one he talks about when you are going to sell your agency What do just private equity look for and kind of the private equity route, and he has the second bite podcast. So some of the people he’s worked with make more on the second bite than they do on the first one of the private equity sells, which is kind of cool. And then Adi Klevit. That is one of my favorite episodes because she we talked about how to save hundreds of hours a month using top productivity tools. And I love productivity stuff. And we geek out on all the tools and software we both use. On that episode. She also has a podcast, you can go to bizsuccesscg.com/podcast. That’s B I Z success CG, check that episode out is one of my favorites. I go back and listen to it daily because I’m like, oh, yeah, forgot about that tool. I should start using that one. So check that out. And many, many more. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships. And how do we do that? We help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button to help you launch and run your podcast. We are accountability we are strategy we are execution. You know, David, for me, 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 than to profile the people. And the companies I most admire in this planet and share with the world what they’re working on. So including David and his wife and lotus823. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should be have questions, go to Rise25.com. You know, without further ado, we had David Hernandez. He’s co founder of lotus823 with his wife, Allison. They’re an integrated communications and digital marketing agency working with some of the most innovative and recognizable brands in consumer tech lifestyle and home. I mean, I went to your website, David and I see a bunch of, you know, brands that I recognized that I even used, and I even own including Audio Technica, and many others. And in addition to that, he’s a husband, father to three boys. And he was even a professional touring and recording musician. He’s got a great TED talk, you should check it out. Hopefully we’ll link in the notes so you can get a listen to that. And David, thanks for joining me.
David Hernandez 3:16
Thank you. Thank you, that was a great.
Jeremy Weisz 3:19
Start off by telling people a little bit about lotus823 And what you do.
David Hernandez 3:26
Sure, so, the genesis of our agency was really built on the idea 12 years ago, in our dining room, Allison, my wife and I thinking about what was happening with social media at the time, there was this thing called Facebook that brands are still figuring out you know, the the iPhone sort of brought the your, you know, your digital life to a mobile place now. And these platforms. In fact, I think when we started Instagram wasn’t a thing yet and hadn’t hadn’t been created, let alone tick tock or anything else. But we just saw that consumers were going to be communicating with each other and with brands in lots of different places. It wasn’t just going to be top down marketing anymore. And that really was the genesis of building an agency from the ground up that was in its DNA, an integrated agency, both public relations, communications and digital marketing. So we could really bring nearly full service practice to our, to our clients and, and really be a partner to their business goals. That really started 12 years ago in the dining room with a bunch of post it notes on the wall and it was the equivalent of hey, yeah, let’s go put on a play. I can get a curtain can you get some duct tape? That’s really and it was us really just putting our shoulder into it and we’ve got one client then two, then three. And then here we are.
Jeremy Weisz 4:58
What’s been the evolution of We’ll talk about client wise, the types of clients that you’re working with then and then the types of clients that are ideal ideal for you. Now,
David Hernandez 5:10
that’s a, that’s really an incisive question. When you start, it’s, you’re just trying to get off your knees, you’re trying to breathe life into this thing. And it’s, you’ve got a logo, maybe, and maybe you got a one page website, you don’t have case studies. All you have is basically your word as you speak to these folks and your reputation, maybe that that preceded you, in other businesses, and I did have sales and marketing in my background for for many years prior to starting the agency. But still, it was a leap of faith for some of these brands. So we started with a lot of innovative startup brands in the tech space, that that were willing to take a risk on lotus823 to deliver for them in terms of media placements, and get them some credibility, third party credibility through media reviews, and spotlights, etc. So that’s really where it started. And it was building on that, making sure that everything that we did, we did it successfully for those brands. And if that took extra hours, if it took extra time, we just put in the time, a lot of times we weren’t profitable, and it was a lot of you know, you’re you’re building the plane as you’re flying it. And eventually, you start to have a body of work that you can use to go after bigger brands, and, and brands with some reputation behind them. And that’s brought us to where we are where we we have now worked with some of the biggest brands in consumer that are in verticals that we are not only interested in, but I’ve had significant, significant experience in and that’s obviously in things like audio, given my background in music, and in the home and housewares space, because several years ago, we we did an acquisition of a home and housewares agency that specializes only in home and housewares as we saw the growing push between the technology side into the home and into people’s kitchens specifically. And we just felt that by buying this other agency would give us entry into that space. And it did do that it was Rachel Litner Associates shout out to Rachel Litner who is now semi retired, although she’s still very much like in spirit with our company, and still still joins us on, you know, on many of our social outings, etc. and is still a voice for, you know, for advice due to her really deep experience in the space that really helped expand our footprint from being a bit more limited in just the consumer tech space to a much wider space that has allowed us to move into lifestyle. You know, you
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