Name: Richard Lesher
Title: Account Director
Years at Volume Nine: 5
Why were you chosen for our October employee spotlight?
Beyond being an employee, and most everyone else already doing one, I can only assume the request comes as a result of my general greatness. I mean, on top of being the absolute best employee at Volume Nine, I’m quite certain my commitment to humility makes me the top choice for October.
Tell us more about your accomplishment:
To clarify, I’m not sure if this is asking about my accomplishments in greatness or humility. That being said, I attribute both to a generally well-rounded childhood. We are all a culmination of our experiences, so I’ve clearly had some pretty amazing experiences.
What is the best part of working for V9?
I learn something new every day. Especially since I’m given the opportunity to interact with businesses across a wide range of industries, there’s always something new that I haven’t encountered before.
What excites you about working in Digital Marketing?
I have always been fascinated by marketing in general. Early in my professional career, I had a boss who would order hundreds of branded pens. When I asked him why we always had these pens laying around with our brand and phone number, he showed me the wild world of guerrilla marketing. He was a loyalist to old-school marketing, so he’d take these pens everywhere to sign receipts and leave the pens behind. That always stuck with me, and not just because it always felt like anytime I’d go to sign a receipt in town, they would hand me one of his branded pens.
As the digital marketing world has moved away from trying to be smarter than or trick Google, it has really settled into a more traditional marketing space. That’s exciting, and not just because it means I have to talk about algorithms and keyword rankings less. Getting to have meaningful conversations about how brands connect to their audience is refreshing, and when I look back at my years in the industry as a more traditional SEO, it’s all that ever really should have mattered.
What excites you about the future of Digital Marketing?
Helping companies who want to grow or start their business is always exciting (especially when it works and finds an audience). Digital marketing is a place where options are pretty endless and there’s always something new you can try. For example, take the idea of SMS messaging in place or as a compliment to email marketing. While I personally am terrified that I’ll get marketed to via text message, the early data shows I might actually be in the minority.
Things like this and push messaging based on geo-location really gets us outside of the four walls of a website and is a good example of where digital marketing can go. If marketing at its core is about finding your audience where they spend their time, then digital marketing has an increasingly important role to play.
What is your favorite quote?
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
Who is your favorite influencer to follow on social media?
In the industry, I’ll go with Rand Fishkin (@RandFish). I know everyone in SEO says that, but he really does bring a different perspective to search that forces us all to level up our thinking. While there are plenty of people that will tell you what the best practice is, he is better than most at telling you why you should care. Lately, Post-Moz Rand also appears more willing to challenge what we think we know and the industry status-quo, which I always appreciate.
Outside of the industry, Mina Kimes (@minakimes) covers sports, business, Etch-a-Sketch drawings, and sheer ridiculousness. She just checks all of the important boxes when wasting time on Twitter.
If a sitcom was made about life at V9, who would play you, and why?
While I can’t say anyone would ever confuse us for one another if we were walking down the street together, Nick Offerman is my personal hero. He has a very dry sense of humor which I’ve been accused of from time to time. He is an equal mix of intimidating death stares and dad jokes which I think would truly capture my personality. And if you ever catch me watching blooper reels, the high-pitched laugh isn’t as far off as I’d like it to be.
What is your most embarrassing moment as a marketing professional?
I don’t know if I was as much embarrassed by it, but I once was tasked with making sure everyone who was going to the Colorado Rockies Opening Day events was inundated with Coca-Cola brand messaging in Downtown Denver (Think signs, banners, umbrellas, branded vehicles, etc…). I had the crazy idea that we should invite some of our other brand teams to come down and sample free products around the ballpark so people would not only see Coca-Cola everywhere, but they could enjoy a free drink!
Seemed like a good idea until every street vendor started chasing me around, yelling at me for killing their business on the busiest day of the year. I might have cost a kid his college tuition. I will say, I feel pretty confident that I crushed this from a marketing perspective but probably didn’t help with, you know, sales.
What is your proudest moment as a marketing professional?
While I’ll spare the young children from the behind-the-scenes details of working in radio, my proudest moment was on my last night working for the stations when we put on a Sean Paul concert locally. From promoting the concert to helping facilitate all the moving pieces leading up to and during the concert, I was proud that everyone went home happy, including the event’s sponsors. When Sean Paul’s record exec told me how happy he was and invited me to hang out with Sean Paul in the green room after the performance, that was easily a highlight for me. Combined with it being my last night working in radio, it was a night I’ll never forget.
Aside from V9, what has been your favorite job and why?
As I mentioned above, my dream job from when I was very young was to work in radio and I got that opportunity eight years ago. They told me before I started to be prepared to “work hard and play hard”. I nodded along clearly giving them the idea I was thinking, “Yeah, yeah. Everyone says that”. I should have taken them more seriously because it was incredibly challenging work and the fun was off the charts. I don’t think I slept longer than 3 hours on any given night, but it was definitely worth it.
Tell us about your favorite guilty pleasure (or at least one you’re willing to admit).
In a larger meeting at Volume Nine, I decided to do an icebreaker to kick things off asking people this very same question. To get people going, I admitted mine, and it’s the ONLY one anyone remembers years later. It often comes as a surprise to even people who know me well, but I really enjoy movie musicals. If you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman, get on it. Don’t @ me.
We want to send a big thank you to Richard for taking time out of his busy schedule to tell us more about how awesome he is (and truthfully, he’ pretty awesome). We are so lucky to have such amazing V9 employees.
To learn more about Richard and how amazing he is at managing accounts or if you’re ready to start a new digital marketing project – contact us today.