Running a marketing company is a full time, non-stop venture. This week on the blog we interview owner and founder of 77 Design Co, Rob Hoffman. He’ll entertain us with a few personal and professional things about himself and the company.
Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your childhood.
(Laughs) Well, it all started when I was an orphan in Poland, the year was 1948…All kidding aside, I grew up in Forest Hills, just outside of Pittsburgh. My life was pretty non-typical from what kids do today. For example, I left the house. I spent a lot of time skateboarding and riding a bike. A normal day for me was spending time outside playing and hanging around in the woods.
What is your experience in marketing and design? What got you into marketing?
I started in radio during and after college at Penn State. Consequently, you need a radio name, and mine was Speed Williams. I wanted to be in radio but at the time the only job I could get was sales. As a result, I spent a lot of time involved with newspapers. I worked a lot handling promotions, events, and doing marketing too. It was then that I realized there was way more to marketing a business than just radio ads.
What do you like most about owning 77 Design Co and doing what you do?
Taking the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years to help businesses solve their problems. It helps them get more people through their doors and as a result hopefully they can sell more. I say I’m 100% unemployable at this point because I question too much if I’m working for someone as an employee. Also, one of the best things is the independence I have as an entrepreneur. If I want to take a break and have a cigar, I do. If I want to take a day off, I do. I’m also very aware that it takes a lot of work to succeed. It doesn’t come easily most of the time so days off and breaks are pretty infrequent.
How does 77 Design Co help its clients?
With over 20 years of experience we can help take a business that’s at a stand still, or a start up, and help it become profitable. We’ll help them brand their business better so they are more identifiable to customers. We try our best to put these businesses on the right path to market their products and services better.
What is your role?
(Laughs) Haha, I say I’m head coffee maker and head lighting assistant on commercial photo shoots. Actually, I help to create strategies to figure out what’s best for the customer. Running the day to day business operations is also part of that role.
I’m remarried to Jamie, my awesome loving wife! I have 2 daughters, Ashley (13) and Sara (10) as well as Jamie’s girls, Emileigh and Jenna who are both 10 too.
What is your favorite beer? Bourbon? Scotch?
I don’t know 🤔, not sure I have a favorite but I lean towards craft brew IPA’s. Hmm, bourbon? I guess Makers Mark or High West. There’s 1 scotch for me, Macallan 12.
What are a few things 77 Design Co does that other marketing firms can’t or don’t do?
Numero Uno, the biggest we’ve found is in-house photography and writing. Our ability to create both visual and written content that supports the marketing strategy we’ve developed is key. We’ll create a story that reflects the customer, their personalities, and goals. No copy/paste ideas here. We shy away from using stock design or photos that don’t represent the business or the owners. Almost all of the art we make for marketing is custom made.
Where do you see 77 Design Co in 10 years?
As the #1 marketing agency in Westmoreland County. That is to say, we have lofty goals but we try to implement our plans towards those goals every day. Ideally, we’d like to bring on 8-10 trusted and creative employees to be the premiere marketing resource in Westmoreland County.
Who is your ideal business partner?
(Laughs again) Wow, that’s a loaded question! Obviously, Bobby! Seriously, though, there was a reason we sat down, partnered, and brainstormed this idea together. It was to make marketing better. For instance, we shared the same ideas, vision, and work ethic. It took the better part of 20 years to find that. We don’t argue, disagree (much,) or get pissed at one another. That’s hard to do in business. When we hit a pothole professionally, we keep moving forward.
Any other things about yourself you’d like to add?
Well, (laughing) you could insert a short joke somewhere here. I don’t believe in the separation of work and life. They are one in the same. I work hard to provide for my family and pay bills like everyone and that sometimes means it interferes with family things, but if it needs done it needs done. Therefore, I get up in the morning thinking of work, and go to bed thinking of work stuff.
If you can’t juggle the pitfalls of owning a business, maybe you are a 9-5’er. There isn’t anything wrong with that either. It takes a certain mentality to own and operate any business and try to be successful. You have to be willing to grind it out for results.
Also, my favorite Pink Floyd album…Dark Side of the Moon.
Analyze. Create. Achieve.