We recently connected with Meredith McConvill and have shared our conversation below.
Meredith, appreciate you joining us today. Risk-taking is a huge part of most people’s story but too often society overlooks those risks and only focuses on where you are today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – it could be a big risk or a small one – but walk us through the backstory.
Leaving a full-time job to start up is by far one of the biggest risks I’ve taken. And, as an outdoor adventurer, I’ve taken a few big risks!
Those feelings of doubt and imposter syndrome all rush to the surface. I think you need hubris to start up your own company. Confidence that you can be a good leader, deliver excellent work, build a strong team and keep them motivated!
After 10 years with UC San Diego, I left in 2016 and the only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
Sure! I grew up in Staten Island, New York, and spend most of my summers on the beach at the Jersey Shore. The life my brothers, sister, and I had was not what you saw on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Instead, we spent summer days wandering the sand dunes, catching blue claw crabs off the dock, and swimming in the ocean as much as my parents would let us!
At the end of the summer, they dragged up begrudgingly back to the city. That was where you worked, and went to school. My mind was always tainted with the idea that you couldn’t work at or near the beach! So after I graduated college I moved into Manhattan and started work in fundraising, marketing, and events for New York City Parks & Recreation. After a few years there, I went to grad school in Sydney, Australia, living just a few blocks from the beach, and then finally moved to San Diego in 2004.
My work in fundraising and marketing continued in San Diego, working for 10+ years for UC San Diego. Then in 2016, the gig economy was growing strong, and many budding entrepreneurs were turning their side hustle into a full-time business. These newfound small business owners did not have a team of people to help them with marketing.
So instead of simply consulting and providing a roadmap for the marketing wilderness, I left my full-time job and founded Top Rope Media. I have taken the wheel for many of our clients, driving their digital marketing efforts.
When it comes to non-profits organizations that are trying to grow their member base, my coaching has generated over $2M in corporate sponsorships, grant funding, and donor support!
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
Referrals are one of the key ways we gain new clients at Top Rope Media. Having someone recommend you to a friend or colleague is better than any ad you could ever run.
How do you keep in touch with clients and foster brand loyalty?
Everyone is busy. These days there are so many distractions! So to keep in touch with clients we have check-in calls twice a month. We use tools like Slack, Trello, and shared Google docs, to ensure our ads, emails, social content, graphics, and web designs…that everything our team is producing is shared with clients before it goes out the door!
Our team can be confident, and work fairly independently to roll with a marketing strategy we’ve all agreed upon.
For past clients, partners, and friends of Top Rop Media, we send out emails twice a month with marketing tips and new client announcements. As we work mainly with outdoor and lifestyle brands, we also always share tips for adventuring and travel!