We were lucky to catch up with John D Saunders recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi John D, thanks for joining us today. Do you have any thoughts about how to create a more inclusive workplace?
Our goal is to help 10,000 startups create beautiful, functional websites generating revenue and converting users into customers. For a more inclusive workplace, Talent shouldn’t be limited by zip code. Our team has members from around the globe in an effort to link diverse backgrounds and world views for quality collaboration. We communicate effectively via online platforms and virtual meetings to facilitate client projects with expertise.
With team members from Miami and Los Angeles, to essential teammates from abroad in West Africa, The Philippines and Europe, we see the world through a diverse lens.
We leverage our differences by creating a path to success through execution. By developing a diverse team with members from around the world, we see things differently.
Team members from the U.S including California, New York and Florida with members in South America, Africa, the Philippines and around the world.
An expert approach to design and development built on systems and operational procedures that are constantly being refined weekly via systems and operating procedures.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey everyone, my name is John D Saunders. I’m an avid Creative. I got my start about 12 years ago as an intern at a production company that promoted films here in South Florida. Back then, I loved to write, which translated into a passion for Copywriting and website design.
Fast forward a few years and I secured a job at an Advertising Agency, moving up the ranks to become Digital Marketing Director. After 4 years, I decided to launch a Branding and Web Design Agency called, 5Four Digital.
It was a bumpy ride in the beginning, and I was distracted by offering TONS of different services. After a few years of 14 hour day grinds and falling asleep at the wheel from exhaustion, I decided to do two things:
1. Focus on a FEW core offerings.
2. Develop systems in my agency to delegate
Now, 8 years as a full-time entrepreneur we focus on Branding and Custom Web Design and that’s where we shine. We’ve helped video game companies launch their new products, SaaS products find their niche and website foothold, and even aided startups looking to raise their Series A, increase revenue and showcase a beautiful website that converts.
What sets us apart from competitors is our diversity and global workforce. Our team is completely remote, with team members on the West and East Coasts and abroad in areas including Uganda, Portugal, The Philippines, and more. It allows us to have a global approach to design and development that’s hard to replicate without diversity.
One of our most proud moments was the launch of Black Illustrations. Black illustrations is a series of FREE digital designs of black people for your next online project. Free for commercial and personal use. The platform, launched as a side project, has more than 80,000 downloads and a full team running operations.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
When I launched 5four Digital, we were a full-service agency offering SEO, SEM, Facebook Ads, Branding, Web Design and Development, Copywriting…basically EVERYTHING. It was a lot of work, which is fine, but it was convoluted!
Anyone that approached us, took on the work without hesitation. Usually putting us into a frenzy to get the work done. High stress! So, one day I sat down and looked at where we excelled the most and where we had the most fun building. It was always branding and website design/development.
That’s when we decided to make that our priority and only offer Branding and Web Design. We also niched down to working with startups. Lastly, I started to document EVERY part of our process. From onboarding clients to sitemaps and design.
Our business exploded. We saw 4x revenue and built our entire agency around those core services.
Have any books or other resources had a big impact on you?
Absolutely! I have a few favorites here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yTfWRF7vPZHjZYGBrnzmVMD0l_cYhPAfV99LoGQ8oKY/edit?usp=sharing