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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Feb 10, 2022

Flynn Zaiger, CEO, Online Optimism (New Orleans, LA; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta, GA)  

Flynn Zaiger, CEO at Online Optimism, started his agency on a laptop in 2012 by reaching out and offering SEO services to the 6 companies where he had interned while he was in college. Today, his remote, across the country staff of 23 supports businesses with “everything they do online” – social, search, SEO, SEM, and website design. Clients are small- to medium-sized businesses (5 to 500 employees) that are either startups looking to rapidly expand or more traditional family businesses, that, in the process of being passed down to the next generation, are looking to expand. 

The agency strives to contribute to the communities surrounding its three offices. A cadre of interns maintains a networking calendar, tracking the activities of fifty chambers of commerce. The intern program, built internally from the ground up, is the source of many of the agency’s new hires.

In this interview, Flynn discusses some of the key strategies he has used to build Online Optimism. He recommends that anyone starting a business:

  1. Figure out the revenue streams that are available immediately. 
  2. Set a good safety net of six months to allow you time to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Recognize that, as your agency grows, you will not continue doing all those things you love . . . you will be managing other people who are doing those things.
  4. Understand the importance of knowing how to manage people.
  5. Build processes so new staff can get “up to speed” quickly.
  6. Never burn bridges.

Flynn hired a business developer as the agency’s seventh or eighth employee. He says it is important to work closely with new sales staff, not to expect sales in the first three months (because that’s how long it takes to train and understand the proposals), and to build a solid sales process to facilitate onboarding. He did not have processes in place for the first five years and admits, “It was a mess.”

The agency’s language around the sales process is pretty traditional. The language around marketing activities . . . not so much. Flynn and his early staff had no prior agency experience, so they built and “named” things with their own terms. No “agency of record” here . . . it’s a “partnership.” Flynn finds it interesting that other agencies are dropping agency of record accounts and hourly billing in favor of project-based billing and flat rates. He says, “That’s what we did in 2012 because that’s what I made up when I was coming up with how we structured our pricing.”

The agency is not organized in the traditional way, either – there a no account managers. Flynn explains, “Every one of our employees is both doing services and handling account executive stuff.” He says this is a challenge for his employees (they have to be good technically and also skilled at customer/account management), less efficient than an agency where functions are more “separate,” but far better for clients who can directly contact the person who will fix their problems. Flynn says, “People want to feel like there’s humans behind it.” He continues, “People want to know who they’re working with. They want to feel that human connection in the business relationship. That’s helped us grow.”

Flynn can be reached on his agency’s website at:

Transcript Follows:

ROB: Welcome to the Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Kischuk, and I am joined today by Flynn Zaiger, CEO at Online Optimism with offices in New Orleans, D.C., and Atlanta. Welcome to the podcast, Flynn.

FLYNN: Great to be here, Rob. Excited to be with you and talk.

ROB: It’s good to have you here. Why don’t you give us an introduction to Online Optimism? What do people know as your expertise? 

FLYNN: I started Online Optimism in 2012. It felt like this internet thing was going to be pretty big. I seem to have lucked out on that guess. It was just myself and a laptop. I had graduated college, and 10 years later we have 23 employees, we have offices in three states, we have remote staff across the country, and we help businesses with everything they do online – social, search, SEO, SEM, website design. We usually say if it touches a screen, we can help you market it better.

ROB: Got it. Did you start with such a wide aperture and then expand on the types of clients you could serve? Or did you start in one of those more core areas and grow it from there and add capabilities?

FLYNN: When I was just starting, I always felt that I was pretty good at SEO. I had a sense that SEO is really a game where you don’t know the rules and you’re just guessing what Google wants. So, I started a digital marketing agency, telling people that I was great at SEO, and they’d say, “Wonderful. I have a Facebook page that needs to be managed.” I was like, “Okay, that’s close enough. I’ll just do some social media on the side.” [laughs] Then I’d be like, “Yeah, but I really want more SEO,” and they’d be like, “That’s so great. We need a website.” So, I would learn to build websites.

I think that’s what you do when you’re starting out: you expand and see what works and what doesn’t. Now we do everything digitally. At one point we even did events. When we were starting in New Orleans, I threw a second-line parade. We threw a block party and a barbeque. As someone who started an internet marketing company, I should not be the person running a block party. But it went pretty well for a year or two.

Then we decided it wasn’t for us and we still focus on these main services where we feel people are constantly investing. We do social; we’re not on any specific network. The networks are going to change, but at this point, people are going to be found on social media, they’re going to be found on search, and we help them appear in both places.

ROB: Social has certainly emerged, at least many people’s expectations, much more around consistency than around creating huge spikes of activity, so that probably lends itself to some sense of normalcy.

Flynn, paint for us a picture – is there any typical client, a typical vertical, a typical size, a typical buyer profile? Who comes to you most regularly that you can serve well?

FLYNN: We work great with what we consider small- to medium-size businesses. It tends to be anywhere from 5 to 500 employees. Above that, usually you have a bigger in-house marketing team; below 5, you’re usually not ready to work with an agency like us. We’ve found a niche with two things. One is with startups who are looking to expand rapidly, so they need quick testing and making sure that social strategies are working and social content is working before scaling it up.

Our other expertise is these more traditional companies who have been around for 15-20 years. We do really well with family-run businesses where the son or daughter is taking over the business. This company has been successful for a few decades, they have great word-of-mouth, and you log onto their website and it’s built on GeoCities or something, there’s GIF animations all around, there’s music playing. These are businesses that have done well enough, and now they go to the next generation, and these are people in their twenties, thirties, and they’re tired of running a family business. They want to grow and be more successful. That’s when they usually bring us in, and we have a first meeting where we all make fun of their family’s website and how terrible it is, and then we help them. They still run the day-to-day, but they trust that we’re a digital agency that knows the business and has that sort of relationship.

We still try to meet face to face with people – obviously more pre-COVID than now – but we really believe in the power of a handshake. One of our values is “Screens will not replace handshakes,” and I still think, especially in the digital world where SEO/SEM can be sketchy, people want to know who they’re working with. They want to feel that human connection in the business relationship. That’s helped us grow.

ROB: That leads me into something that was perhaps a little bit self-evident – having offices in three places, is that largely centered on that ability to be close to a customer, to go shake their hands? You’re cultivating relationships in those places and nearby?

FLYNN: Absolutely. We started off just in New Orleans, and we had ideas always to grow beyond. We started getting more national clients around the country, but a lot of those relationships were based off of connections that we made in person. Then COVID happened, and all of a sudden everyone was reconsidering what they wanted to do, some of my staff was moving, and we couldn’t meet anyone in person.

As a digital marketing agency, for the first time, we were on a level playing field with everyone who was down the street from bigger companies. D.C. and Atlanta are much bigger regions; they’re much bigger economic centers than New Orleans. Not that New Orleans is tiny. It’s a very large port city. It has a lot of deals there. But Atlanta and D.C. are much bigger. We had staff who wanted to go to these cities. They were willing to put in the time and investment to do the work of starting an office there. That’s going to networking events, helping to recruit interns, going to colleges to recruit more staff, and really trying to make a name for ourselves, producing resources in each city.

One thing we do is keep a networking calendar. We mostly do this internally because we have interns that will help us track 50 different chamber calendars and pull them together. We try to make sure we’re actually contributing to these cities, each in their own way, rather than just having an office that happens to be located in them.

ROB: I hear you saying there’s a set of capabilities you expect from an office. There is a local engagement, there is an outreach on the business side, there is a recruiting component. A lot of a services business, a lot of an agency, is sales and talent. If you can do those and manage the accounts you have well and grow them, that’s a pretty good formula. Do you have somebody who then runs each office? Or how have you structured that part?

FLYNN: Yeah, that’s pretty much how it’s going so far. We’ll send someone who leads the thing, and then we try to have exactly what you said: one salesperson, business development. Our team is really good at digital marketing, so our salespeople have never really had to do much outbound. We certainly go to networking events, but we’re not pushing sales. They’re usually busy enough with the leads coming in, and it’s mostly qualifying and creating proposals that are custom-crafted. So, it’s a salesperson and then usually an account executive or two that can handle the different work in the cities.

I will say this is something that we’ve only been doing for about a year and a half now, so we’re still learning and still building out these channels. I think, long term, what we see is that each office will kind of function together, but they’re going to help us by if one city has a downturn, which unfortunately will inevitably happen, the other cities can pull up the slack.

And honestly, this was a lot because our main headquarters is in New Orleans. There’s Mardi Gras and the whole city shuts down for a week. We needed people to work that week for our national clients. [laughs] So now we added Atlanta and D.C., who are thankfully sober and not at parades for that Wednesday through Tuesday. That helps keep the business going.

ROB: [laughs] And you cut the other people off of Slack that week. I understand.

FLYNN: Yeah. [laughs]

ROB: It’s interesting; that story is still largely unwritten, then. Over the past year and a half, here in Atlanta, I’ve been very engaged in the marketing community. Most of the events, most of the local engagements that we used to do before COVID are not back yet for the most part. But on the flipside, I might say that most clients are more eager to meet in person than at any time in the two years before COVID. It’s an interesting split of where the opportunity is and where maybe it will be.

FLYNN: Yeah, I completely agree. I’ve been seeing that especially in 2021, since the summer hit. There was a small decline from Omicron, but not as much as I think you’d expect. A lot of business leaders, business owners hit the summer, they said, “It’s been a year” and – you can’t just be done with a pandemic. My partner works in medicine and she’s very much working in very intense situations this week, actually, which is wild to do that and then I’m sitting in a coworking space. With a mask, but still. It’s such a weird environment that we’re both in at the time.

But I agree. We still meet people outdoors as best we can. We’ve all upgraded our winter coats on our team. [laughs] But it is certainly something where people want to meet in person. This is where you’re seeing those conversations all around the world right now, which is most leaders feel that they want to see people back in the office, and they can’t really give good reasons. There’s collaboration and brainstorming, and to be frank, I would love to be able to turn around and ask a question instead of asking someone if they’re free to have a Slack huddle and dealing with that. It’d be so convenient to just be able to turn around – and I haven’t been able to do that in two years – and ask people. I miss that.

But we try to prioritize our individual staff’s feelings and comfort. I think that’s more important than anything. So, we’re letting everyone do whatever they want, essentially, and trying to be the most supportive environment we can.

ROB: That makes a ton of sense, and there’s a lot to learn there. You mentioned some of the early engagements you did with clients. It seemed like a natural evolution of the services. But what led you to take the jump in the first place and decide, “I’ve had jobs, but I don’t want to have a job anymore. I want to make my own job. I want to build my own business”? What was that transition that led to the start of Online Optimism?

FLYNN: One of the first things we always tell people, especially our entrants when they’re job searching, is never burn bridges. It’s been 10 years and I feel like I can say I didn’t particularly love the job I had after college. I was pretty good at it, but it was a very corporate environment. They had those motivational “Teamwork” and “Hang in There” posters. I was like, “Haha, very ironic decorations” on Day 1, and they were like, “These are serious. These are our values.” I was like, great. It was just very corporate, so I didn’t love it, but I was good at it.

I reached out to all the people I worked for in college. I’d done six internships. They were like, “If you had your own thing, we could probably hire you and keep you afloat.” So, I got lucky. After 10 years, I’ve learned I know what I know, but more importantly, I know what I don’t know. But when you’re 22 and you’re like, “I could start a company,” you really have no clue how little you know. Someone should’ve shaken me and been like, “Flynn, what are you doing? There’s no plan. You have a domain, but you don’t know how to” – there was no plan.

But I got lucky. The companies that I worked for trusted me because I’d done work for them, so I got like two clients from them. Then the company I was working for out of college, I increased their sales online by like 800% or something like that. So they became Client #3. So, I had three clients on Day 1, which was great because I didn’t sign Client 4 until Month 7 or 8 because it took me seven or eight months to figure out how to actually meet someone and convince them to trust us with their internet presence.

That was the most helpful thing, I think. If you are starting a business, you have to figure out what revenue streams you have immediately and then set a good safety net of six months. It’s going to take that for you to learn what’s working and what’s not and figure it out. You have to be ready to – it helped that I was in New Orleans with three roommates, so my rent was $400 a month. That’s also the key. If you want to be an entrepreneur, I highly recommend $400 a month rent. That’s the way to go. [laughs]

ROB: [laughs] Where can you find that now, I wonder? Maybe nowhere, I don’t know.

FLYNN: Not New Orleans, actually, now. I think you’ve got to go somewhere else.

ROB: It makes sense not to burn bridges. I’ve certainly had interesting experiences where I’ve had former clients and coworkers who couldn’t talk to each other, and I’ve always enjoyed being Switzerland. I’ll talk to both of them and I’ll be doing business with both of them concurrently while they keep talking trash about each other like a divorced couple. I don’t even know. But that’s certainly a good option.

As you started to build, how did you think about who you brought on the team, when? What were the next couple of roles? What were some of the inflection points in hiring, where you maybe had to make a hire you weren’t sure of? From a necessity perspective, not the person.

FLYNN: Hiring is the most important and hardest thing about running a business. We always drill that into people’s minds. Our interview process should be careful because it is incredibly difficult to terminate someone if you make the wrong choice or train them to get them up to speed.

When I started off, in the services that I wasn’t the greatest at, I added on additional staff in different digital marketing services so I had more time to bring in clients. We actually didn’t bring in biz dev for a while. They were Hire 7 or 8. So my first three or four were designers and strategists and people to do account work. Biz dev was a major jump. One thing that we waited way too long for was operations. I was running an 11-12 person company and still basically running – if we were a normal company, that might’ve been okay, but we were always employee-first. That meant every weekend, I would go to Costco and get like $400 worth of snacks for the office and come back. We were on the second floor of a building. It was a three-hour Costco run, which is such a waste of my time as CEO that I would do every week.

Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself that your time is valuable, and that’s really what I think about when we hire. Once you or someone else on your team becomes more valuable – that’s what we always tell the staff. You should be working yourself out of your job. Whatever you’re doing today, if you can teach it to someone else so you can do more important things, that is the most valuable thing you could do.

I know a lot of times employees think “I want to keep this process just me so there’s more job security,” but I’ve always felt like if you have a good environment and they see that you’re able to teach this to someone else, that makes you way more valuable to the company, because then you could help them scale up much quicker. I always try to teach that to our Optimists.

ROB: Those sound like some brutal Costco runs. There’s an element where, when you’re doing that Costco run, it can feel – and I’m sure it’s even felt by your team – that you are, to an extent, intentionally serving them in that. I’m sure they can see that and appreciate that. But it probably needs to have its limits also. There’s a point where you’re serving them less by serving the business less by doing this other thing more.

We had a team retreat back in December, and I spent an hour making people steaks. I wouldn’t take it back for the world, but I’m not going to do that every day, either. It’s an interesting balance of when and how you make those choices to serve.

FLYNN: I’m going to make sure my team doesn’t find out that other people are making steaks, because I got the Costco pizza. [laughs] I was like, “Y’all should be excited. This is great, came super quickly.” If they knew that some other people were making steaks, they would’ve gone for my head, I think.

ROB: Do you like Costco pizza?

FLYNN: [laughs] I do. I have the taste of someone who enjoyed the apartment where he paid $400 a month in rent. I haven’t quite outgrown that yet.

ROB: This is the privilege of the owner and the founder. We are completely distributed. We do team retreats right now twice a year. We’re doing leadership retreats twice a year offset from those. But these are people I see twice a year, so if they get Costco pizza from you once every month or so and I get them steaks once a year, I think we’re square. It’s my own selfishness. I wanted to buy nice steaks and cook them and eat them, and if I make some for other people, and they feel served as well, then we all win.

FLYNN: I’m going to bring you in for when my team hears this podcast so you can negotiate with them over whether they’re getting a fair deal or not. [laughs]

ROB: [laughs] I’ll go up to D.C. and we’ll see what we can do with that. Flynn, when you reflect on building Online Optimism so far, what are some lessons you wish you could take back to your past self and learn a little bit sooner if you could help it?

FLYNN: Like I said, staffing at the beginning is a crazy difficult thing to learn. I had never managed anyone in school or in any jobs, and that’s really the first thing I would’ve told 22-year-old Flynn. If you are successful in this business, you don’t do anything that you do today. All that digital marketing stuff that you love? You’re not typing posts, you’re not making ads, you’re not building websites. You are managing people who do that. That is such a change in mindset.

I wish I had taken that more seriously at the beginning and learned more – even in college, when I did group projects. People hate group projects, but they are the best. They are so like real life, it is wild. You’re going to be with people who you don’t trust. You’re going to be working kind of with each other, but someone’s not going to keep up the slack. What I would do is reach out to my professor and be like, “I’d like to do this by myself,” which was a good way to get a good grade but a bad way to learn how to manage other individuals.

So, I would definitely tell myself, you have to learn how to manage people. You’re only as successful as your team. From Day 1, that ability to think outside myself – and whenever I do a task, what I’m really good at now is we do a task and we think immediately, “How could this be done by someone else? Let’s write up the process. Let’s have this ready to go,” whereas we didn’t do that the first five years. Every time someone came onto the team, it was a whole process to teach them. It was a mess.

So, I think helping yourself manage people is key and also building processes so more people can join and do it.

ROB: Right on. It’s interesting; you mentioned that you feel like you brought on biz dev a little bit late, around Employee #8, but I would say in a different lens, I have seen 80-person agencies where the sales were still very much founder-led, maybe even to the point where they promoted someone else almost to a partner to get that level of authenticity in their sales.

What do you think allowed you, and how did you equip someone – it may have seemed soon for you, but you equipped someone eight people in to not completely fall on the ground selling. What do you think allowed you to sell without being founder-led in that sales motion?

FLYNN: I think the answer is that we spent a lot of time together that first year. We even did that with later sales staff. We don’t expect them to make sales their first three months anymore. We even build that into their prospective commission structure, based off of them not making a sale in the first months, just because we know that’s how long it takes to train and go through our proposals, and they sit in a ton of meetings to learn how we talk about things.

I would also say the other thing is when we first built a lot of our sales process, the first individual who was doing it for us had actually gone to a much more traditional company where they did a whole month of sales school, and honestly that helped us a lot. I had no idea how to teach someone how to do sales, so we hired someone who had had that training.

That was the one thing where – now we hire people who just have a college education because we have more processes in place, but that did help a bit. Even now, a lot of the language we use is still pretty official on the sales side, whereas all the processes we have for marketing, we tend to have different language. We never say “agency of record” at all at Optimism because we made up our own term for it, because none of us had any experience in agencies. Whereas the sales side, it’s all like “discoveries and intros and cold calls,” and we use very much the language of the industry, which is interesting for us.

ROB: What do you call the AOR relationship?

FLYNN: We just call it a partnership. [laughs] It is odd, and I know this gets me into trouble – we pretty much run an ad agency, but we built it from scratch, which is good and bad. I went to an Ad Age event and they were talking about this revolutionary new thing, which was like “As opposed to agency of record accounts and hourly billing, everyone’s doing project-based billing now and flat rates so you know how much things cost.” I was like, oh, that’s what we did in 2012 because that’s what I made up when I was coming up with how we structure our pricing.

It’s been fascinating to see. We sometimes will meet people who run more traditional agencies – we don’t have traffic managers at our agency, and until maybe two years ago I didn’t realize that was a job. Which isn’t a great thing to hear a CEO say, but it was built into other processes. I will say now that we’re at 23, we’ve talked to enough people and have enough staff that have come in that we’re trying to fill these gaps that bigger agencies have and we understand why.

But there are still some things we do that are unique. We don’t have employees who just do account executive work at our agency. Every one of our employees is both doing services and handling account executive stuff – which honestly is a major selling point for us, but it is tricky for staff because they need to be good at Google Ads and get their certifications and also not mind dealing with the client that calls in during the day with a question.

ROB: It’s a tricky dichotomy. On the one hand, a lot of people gravitate towards 100% either of those responsibilities within another agency. They’ll be 100% client-serving or 100% AM. That hybrid role, when you can find it, it’s very authentic to you. But when you’re looking for someone to hire in, a lot of times they’ve gravitated further in one direction or the other, I would expect, than you might want them to be for you.  

FLYNN: You’re absolutely right. I don’t want to say that it’s a benefit for our staff. I’m not sure. But it is certainly a sales point for us. A lot of complaints from people who transferred from other agencies to us is that they are tired of talking to an account executive who knows enough, but they’re like, “Hey, why is this Facebook ad structured like this? Shouldn’t the top of the funnel marketing have this creative?” and the account executive is like, “Good question. I’ll get back to you.” Most of our clients, you don’t have to deal with that unless it’s a very, very specific technical question, because they’re talking to the person who made the ad.

But it is stressful and our team does manage fewer accounts at a time because we don’t have those efficiencies that a more separated agency has.

ROB: I definitely appreciate the opportunity to – you don’t want to reinvent language; you don’t want to invent your own language from scratch for some of these things. But on the one hand, I would posit that agency of record, unless as client has a need to award such a relationship and their boss told them they have to, mostly seems a little bit selfish for the agency to claim that mantle. Almost like you’re taking something from the client. And “traffic manager” sounds like kind of a boring job. Maybe someone who’s in their prime would really enjoy it, but I feel like there’s a more robust cohort of responsibilities that is a more fulfilling role and less of a middleperson, if you will.

FLYNN: I’ll leave you on the line for getting the hate mail from the traffic managers on Twitter. [laughs] But I do agree. I think that because we started off small and have added positions as we’ve grown, the major difference is that only like one person on my team has worked for more than two years at any other agency. We recruit so many people for our internship program and we’ve built this from scratch. It’s been an opportunity to really build things as we see them and as we want them.

It does mean that a lot of our processes are very different, but at this point, a lot of the bigger and better agencies are really open about their processes. So, whenever we do have questions about like “How does HR staff work?” or “What benefits do people want?”, there’s a ton of research online. We’re pretty receptive to even our staff sending us information about other company benefits to see if we can match it and things like that.

ROB: That makes a ton of sense. Flynn, as you look forward, what are you excited about that’s coming up for Online Optimism or maybe even for the types of services that clients are going to be needing? What’s next?

FLYNN: We love what’s happening in social right now. I think it’s been a fascinating turn from these really professionally produced videos – and I don’t even know if this is good for agencies or good for Online Optimism – to being more authentic, individual experiences. You see that on the content that’s trending on TikTok and Snapchat now; while highly produced videos do well, sometimes it’s just a funny idea, something catchy, even for brands. People want to feel like there’s humans behind it.

I think you see that in the brands commenting on each other’s posts on TikTok. People are excited. I actually feel like the people behind the brands are eventually going to catch on and start making names for themselves. Like, sure, you like Wendy’s Twitter account and that’s great, but there’s not a Wendy back there. There’s some probably bored stand-up comic in New York City and that’s their job. I know there’s going to be legal papers in the way, but I do think these social media superstars will start becoming famous in their own right rather than for brands. It’s cool that Duolingo has that mascot that does weird stuff, but that’s not Duolingo as a brand. That’s some social media director who pitched that idea, somehow got it approved, and now everyone’s trying to duplicate it. So that’s cool.

We’re always looking more, like everyone else, at the Metaverse, seeing what’s happening there, seeing all these bigger companies invest in it. I do have our design team working on messing around more in 3D space and doing VR/AR. We’re still looking cautiously towards it, but at this point, you have Microsoft, you have Meta or Facebook or whatever they want to call themselves, you have all these companies throwing tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars and staff at it. So, we’re trying to get our team ready for whatever is next.

I don’t think we’re a couple months away from every mom n’ pop shop having a second location on Meta Boulevard or whatever, but I do think the bigger organizations are going to have a presence, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more medium-sized companies get into that space soon. We want to be ready for when that happens. That’s at least what we’re looking at internally on our side.

ROB: That is an interesting highlight to contemplate. I think we have been without, to an extent, as many experimental channels as there were for a while. There were a lot and everything was emergent and new, and maybe TikTok is still experimental for some, but for some brands, they’ve certainly operationalized it as well. But to highlight Meta, Metaverse, that world, maybe even some of the crypto and NFT world as the experimental opportunities – it’s an interesting place to play for sure.

FLYNN: It’s been fascinating to see. We’re taking it seriously because all these bigger companies are. But you make a great point that these more experimental networks are usually the ones who bring new mediums. You can’t look at TikTok and not remember Vine. And I personally think 2013-2014, when Vine and Tumblr were where the entirety of internet culture was coming from – that was our peak. It’s been downhill since then. That was the best the internet will ever be. [laughs]

That’s the question: Can these more organic decentralized networks exist and grow? I know that’s what everyone wants to say but look where the money’s going. It’s going to Microsoft and Meta, and who knows what Apple’s building with their headset. And these are the same companies and the same VCs that built the internet that we have now. It’s nice to think there’s going to be really cool, interesting ideas that will give more freedom to the internet, but they have a lot of 1,000-pound gorillas and billion- or trillion-dollar companies to overcome. 

ROB: It’s a lot to navigate and it makes a lot of sense. Flynn, thank you for coming on the podcast. Thank you for sharing the journey of Online Optimism. I will look forward to finding some of your people here in Atlanta. Come on down sometime. I wish you all the best.

FLYNN: Yeah, we’re great at Happy Hour. Let us know. Thanks for having me, Rob.

ROB: [laughs] All right. Be well. Take care.

FLYNN: Take care.

ROB: Thank you for listening. The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast is presented by Converge. Converge helps digital marketing agencies and brands automate their reporting so they can be more profitable, accurate, and responsive. To learn more about how Converge can automate your marketing reporting, email, or visit us on the web at