Welcome back to another episode of the Niched Agency Podcast. Today, we’re joined by Stewart Gandolf. He is the CEO of Healthcare Success, a medical advertising and digital marketing agency.
Way before becoming an agency owner, Stewart gained experience in many different industries working as a tire installer, broiler cook, and a paper boy. All of these jobs got his hands dirty, but thankfully, he still has all his fingers. At one time, he even thought he might be an attorney or an engineer.
Stewart ended up working an entry-level job doing sales and marketing for an education business. He felt drawn to this work, and he always thought agencies were cool. He bounced around from agency to agency for a while—often, a breakup was the catalyst for him making a shift or taking off to a new destination.
Eventually, he moved on to a company working with doctors for ten years. For three days, he would put on a seminar and teach them about marketing. He’d never done public speaking in his life and actually took the job out of desperation. Yet, Stewart found he was naturally good at engaging them and selling to them.
For a long time, he flew around the country performing these seminars. After several years of performing well in this role, and he would soon become the VP of Marketing. From there, he found himself an entrepreneur, jumping on multiple opportunities. Suddenly, he found he was a fractional CMO at multiple companies, but this came with a sense of instability.
In 2006, he decided to start Healthcare Success with the vision of creating a business that focuses exclusively on search engine optimization. He also created and distributed an audio CD series, which only furthered Healthcare Success as experts in their field. Now, they work with a variety of clients in the healthcare field, helping their clients with digital marketing, branding, and creative work.
As an agency owner, Stewart emphasizes knowing the ins and outs of the services you offer. You don’t have to be an expert in all things, but you should be an expert in what you offer your clients. He also stresses the importance of hiring the right people, which is something he had his own issues with during the pandemic.
All businesses will experience struggle and disruption, but if you can get through those periods, they will make you stronger. You may find yourself making bad hires, but along the way, you will also make some great hires. And through it all, you learn to attract the right people to your business through specialization, business development and thought leadership.
For Stewart, creating a business has truly been an artistic endeavor. You have to continuously adapt and change. It’s not in his personality to sit and write for hours a day. Although, quite a few years ago, he did have a blog called “Gandolf’s Marketing Magic.” When he took ownership of his company, he had to let it go, but you could still consider him a wizard at marketing.
Stay in the know
Get the latest insights delivered right to your inbox. Stay in the know on both SEO and agency life and connect with other like-minded professionals.