Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time. This week, we highlight Ronald Robbins, Founder of Clicta Digital.
Ronald Robbins is the founder of Clicta Digital, a virtual digital marketing agency based out of Denver, Colorado, and is well-known for his award-winning adventure travel blog, Active Planet Travels. Starting his career directly out of high school, Ronald Robbins has grown to become a successful internet entrepreneur. Founding his adventure travel blog Active Planet Travels in June of 2011, he learned to build strategic partnerships with companies around the world such as Expedia, GoPro, and various tourism boards.
Knowledgeable in terms of internet marketing, SEO, and web design, he successfully funds his travels to countries all over the world. Today, you can find Ron overseeing his internet marketing agency Clicta Digital, which manages his network of e-commerce businesses and helps small business owners build their online presence. He’ll even find the time to take the occasional press trip, support non-profits around the world, and continue writing on his adventure travel blog.
In our interview with Ronald Robbins, we asked a variety of questions to learn more about Clicta Digital, and what it takes to build a business in the cannabis industry!
DCN: Ron Robbins, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week and for all that you do! Can you please share with our readers your elevator pitch for Clicta Digital?
Ronald Robbins: Clicta Digital is a full-house Denver digital marketing agency providing SEO, web design, social media marketing, PPC, email marketing, and marketing solutions.
Our in-house digital marketing experts are passionate about getting you results to grow your business. Are you ready to be seen online?
DCN: What ignited the spark in you to launch your business?
Ronald Robbins: I started my digital marketing agency as an effort to continue growing my professional career as an entrepreneur while helping others succeed with their professional goals.
As someone who has always been in the digital world, I was tired of seeing small business owners gettine fooled by those who were claiming to be “digital marketing experts” when, in fact, they outsourced everything overseas to a person they’ve never even met before.
Don’t get me wrong, some of these companies are really good at what they do. But I personally feel like they come a dime a dozen. You often hear more horror stories than success stories, too.
That’s when I decided to start Clicta Digital. Being locally based here in the Mile High city, my team and I do our best to make sure our clients are getting the best for what they’re investing in. Add to the fact that we all work remote, both our clients and us have seen there are key advantages to being a virtual digital marketing agency which has led our growing client list to choose us over your traditional digital marketing agency.
Without the confines of traditional office walls, we’re able to keep our costs focused on our clients instead of a fancy conference room, rent, and expensive office equipment. We’re able to pass these savings onto our clients. The business model allows us a great deal of flexibility which has translated into outstanding work, exceptional service, and results our clients love.
Not to mention the extra perks of being able to work wherever we’d like. It’s really a win-win for everyone.
DCN: When you finally decided that you wanted to launch a business in the cannabis industry, what was your experience like when telling your family and friends? Were they supportive?
Ronald Robbins: While our business model doesn’t limit us to only cannabis, my family and friends have been surprisingly supportive with our openness to work in the cannabis industry. No matter what industry you’re working in, at the end of the day people just want to enjoy what they do while helping others out. This doesn’t change for cannabis or anything else.
DCN: How is your organization/business helping the cannabis industry in a positive way?
Ronald Robbins: I feel like we’re helping the cannabis industry by evolving their online presence. Especially with cannabis still being a taboo in the eyes major search engines, we’re constantly having to test out new strategies to keep our clients a step ahead of the game. While it’s not easy, it’s certainly rewarding when you start to see the results which make our clients happy.
DCN: What are some challenges you faced early on and how’d you beat them?
Ronald Robbins: The biggest challenge we came across was when I was still working Clicta Digital as a one man-show. Being we are technically coming up on a year being in business, those first 9 months were not easy. I was bootstrapping my way to success and I can’t tell you how many nights I worked into the wee hours of the morning only to get up and go to work the very next day.
There were some days where I was working on only 2-3 hours of sleep and this would go for a week straight. Now that we’re passed this stage (well, mostly passed this stage) our biggest challenge is making the most of the time we have while learning how to grow and evolve as a company and a team.
DCN: Did you raise capital to fund your business or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
Ronald Robbins: I’m very proud to say I raised zero capital to start my business. From day one, I bootstrapped my way to success and tried to limit spending to the bare minimum.
As far as strategies go, I would recommend the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy. Put a strategy into place and try your best not to kill yourself doing so. During my bootstrapping phase, I had absolutely no life and never went out. Coffee is your best friend.
DCN: What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Ronald Robbins: Don’t go into it without a proper strategy or business plan.
DCN: What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup?
Ronald Robbins: Keeping your relationship stable. My partner has gone above and beyond to show his support for my new business venture, despite the MANY frustrations that come with starting a new business. Having someone there who understands you’re trying to build a career and who backs you up can really make the difference.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Ronald Robbins: The open-mindedness of trying new things. Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes to marketing in the cannabis industry traditional advertising just wont cut it. You have to really think outside the box and be willing to try new things that have never been tried before.
DCN: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ronald Robbins: Perseverance, Creativity, and Dedication. Also, a cast-iron stomach for how much coffee you’ll be consuming on a regular basis.
DCN: How do you stay balanced?
Ronald Robbins: To be honest, nowadays my life is completely unbalanced. I’ve been hitting it hard from 8 AM to 2 AM working and building my business. The reason for this is that Clicta Digital is still in our startup phase. However, the tides are finally starting to turn as we become more balanced and are growing our clientele.
We’re currently expanding and bringing on a few more folks to help out with the workload so once we get that figured out things will start to make more sense. haha
Hobbies include taking my schnauzer Kai on hikes, camping, mountain biking, and traveling as much as I can.
DCN: What book(s) has inspired you the most?
Ronald Robbins: Right now I’m reading “Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World”, by Rand Fishkin. I can’t seem to put it down!
DCN: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ronald Robbins: Google
DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Ronald Robbins: Continue to break down the societal norms and negativities associated with the cannabis industry. Due to all of the negative press it’s received for years, it’s more important now than ever to continue shedding light on all of the great things cannabis can do for our society.
From fighting illnesses to boosting an economy, it really is something which should be legalized across the United States.