We recently connected with Ainsley Jacobs and have shared our conversation below.
Ainsley, appreciate you joining us today. Alright, so we’d love to hear about how you got your first client or customer. What’s the story?
The idea to start my own business and transition from part-time freelance to full-time self-employed happened fairly organically and took time over several years to truly come to fruition.
While I was earned my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications at Drexel University, I had taken a co-op position at a large company in the automotive industry. As a lifelong racing enthusiast and gearhead, I absolutely loved it and knew that was the industry I wanted to work in.
After graduating, I started out working a regular desk job at an advertising agency to pay off my student loans. I was eventually approached by a company that was a distributor for the company I had worked at while I was in college, as they wanted to know if I could refer someone to them for a marketing position they had open. They wanted someone local, in-house, and I lived several states away… after months of them searching and not being able to find a candidate that met their needs, they finally offered the position to me and let me work remotely.
It was such a feeling of validation to know that my skill, knowledge, and professionalism were so highly sought after that they were willing to let me work off-site, even though they had been dead-set against doing so at first. I wound up working for them for nearly seven years (while still also working at my desk job) and was able to pay off my student loans in five years instead of the 40 years it was originally estimated that I would need to do so!
During that time, I met so many other amazing people in the industry and made a ton of connections. My reputation grew, my work progressed, my skillset evolved, and, eventually, I was able to quit my desk job and go full-time with my own endeavor, P.TEN Marketing, so that I could focus on what I truly loved – the automotive industry and high-performance drag racing.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved cars. I started learning how to work on cars thanks to some friends when I was in high school and began attending events at our local drag strip.
My business, P.TEN Marketing, is named in honor of the chassis code of my first car – a 1993 Infiniti G20 also known as the “P10” Nissan Primera. I’ve always had a natural knack for marketing and communications, and have been a lifelong artist-slash-tech geek so photography, graphic design, website development, and journalism are all skills I am proud to offer to my clients.
Now, I literally get paid to talk about racecars all day long – it’s my dream job! I work with race teams, parts manufacturers, event promoters, sanctioning bodies, drag strips, and more to help bring a professional level of branding and marketing strategy to their efforts. From small, grassroots-level startups to worldwide celebrities, our client list has grown through 100% word-of-mouth referrals since 2012!
Conversations about M&A are often focused on multibillion dollar transactions – but M&A can be an important part of a small or medium business owner’s journey. We’d love to hear about your experience with selling businesses.
I actually sold the very first business I started, but it wasn’t automotive-related. In addition to racecars, I’ve also loved horses ever since I was a child and have been riding all my life. When I got out of college and moved to a new state, I had a hard time trying to find a new stable to ride at.
I came up with the idea of developing a filterable search engine that focused on horseback riding stables and other facilities, to help people find places to ride or board their horses.
It was called Riding Resource, and while it never gained the popularity I had hoped, it did gain the attention of a larger equine-focused business. After a few years, I sold the business and its database assets.
Although I was disappointed that Riding Resource wasn’t wildly successful, I was thrilled to have successfully converted my first venture into a sale… and I used the money from the sale to fund a new equestrian apparel business, Ride Heels Down, that’s been going strong since 2015!
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
I find that word-of-mouth referrals are the best source of new clients, and those can only come from clients that are not only satisfied with your work but so happy with it that they feel the need to tell their friends and colleagues. When someone refers you, they’re putting their faith in you and trusting that you won’t harm their reputation by falling short in providing services to their friend or coworker, so it’s incredibly important to maintain a high level of professionalism, quality, and integrity. Master that, and the work will keep rolling in!
- Website: https://www.PTENmarketing.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PTENmarketing
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PTENmarketing
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ainsleyjacobs/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/PTENmarketing
Ainsley Jacobs of P.TEN Marketing