Challenges, roadblocks, and recurring failures moving forward despite all this makes you a perseverant leader. Setting a perfect example of a perseverant leader we have Joe Sernio, the Founder and CEO of Shoreline Media Marketing. His journey covers failures, mistakes wrong roads, and the ultimate win.
At the age of 20, Joe’s dad passed away on his 45th birthday. Being close to his father, he sure was devastated. All his life, Joe’s father had instilled one simple rule with two words “Work Hard”—which became a life-changing rule for Joe. As a recent graduate of The Chubb Institute, and dealing with the loss of his dad he decided to stick by the rule and work hard to pursue his career.
Joe always wanted to be part of an independent business. So he ventured into the restaurant business as a young entrepreneur. Joe, with his uncle and cousin started a restaurant in Jersey City. Soon Joe developed an interest towards acting and thought of pursuing his love for film and television. The restaurant being right across the Hudson played a huge role. This helped Joe to land major roles on television shows, movies, print, and more. Soon, he got involved with marketing and worked on each project promoting him, or the business he built a marketing machine for all. “I saw what marketing can do and most importantly I started to see what websites can do. I started building marketing plans for my projects, film projects, friends’ businesses, etc. I remember sitting in dressing rooms on All My Children on a break mapping out website structures and flyers for friends,” said Joe.
In general, life throws challenges at everyone and there are no exceptions. But how you react to these challenges and how you overcome them, separates you from the crowd. Sticking by the rule of “Work Hard”, Joe has always tried to deliver his best and better than everyone else.
“We may get to a point in our lives where we can’t work hard. Whether it be age or whatever, but wouldn’t be better if we got to a point where we did not NEED to work hard?”
When Joe officially began his journey with Shoreline, the approach was different from what it is today. He started from a bedroom in freehold New Jersey. From there, he moved to one bedroom in Belmar NJ. Back then, he managed every role and responsibility. Walking parallel to the trends, he instilled all the marketing services required and if he was unaware of any, he learned them. Joe had a vision and he went for it. Being aware of the potential of marketing, he grew the business according to the shift in demands and trends. Over the years, he studied every industry and analyzed what would work the best for them.
The strength of online presence has only grown with time; this means hampering the online reputation can majorly cost the brand. The website must distinguish itself from the competition and also control where and how does the website appear in search as all this contribute towards the company’s success. The Award-winning SEO Agency, Shoreline Media Marketing is a company built on honesty, quality, and trust that understands the importance of these factors and how to achieve them in a way that works best for the clients.
“I’m a little different than most because I love competition. Whatever anyone thinks they can do better I will do better or at least work my ass off trying. It’s the fuel in growth.”
Shoreline accepts the responsibility of representing and showcasing the company to the world with the utmost professionalism and dedication. Most of the companies concentrate on quantity over quality, but Shoreline never compromises on quality. The quality does not limit to services either, it is also regarding the support and customer service. There is a special in-house team for every service it offers on top of every single department needed such as client outreach, customer service, billing, etc. If the client requires anything they can always reach out to the team with a quick call—which will be answered within minutes.
Alongside the team Joe supervises and handles some of the accounts himself. While establishing the company he wanted to organize the company into departments—which worked out great. Having a dedicated team allowed him to work with each client and assist them in the onboarding process. Also, he does not rely on the sales team for this type of work. He understands that when the company is being hired for SEO, the client will be expecting to speak with someone who knows SEO. Same with the other job roles like web development, social media, etc. So his role involves helping all clients on board. Each of the team members including Joe has their list of accounts that they handle and work on. Shoreline never ever skimps on quality and always strives to offer the best offerings and the best customer service.
“We expanded during a pandemic because I knew that these companies who are going all remote will suffer on the customer service end and they did.”
Joe encountered several challenges before earning the reputation as the leader of one of the best SEO agencies. These challenges helped him grow and most importantly learn. Joe has hit major roadblocks on his journey and numerous challenges, but the pandemic was one of the biggest challenges any person would encounter. If one managed to survive this pandemic, Joe believes s/he can survive anything.
Nevertheless, Joe did not survive through the pandemic alone. It was due to the team and his clients. These two driving forces kept not only the company afloat but also kept Joe striving relentlessly. Joe spent years on developing a strategy that he perfects every month but it took even longer to assemble the incredible team.
“From answering emails at 10 PM, phone calls, to conferences with clients in other countries at midnight; I don’t care what anyone says and I am sure there are a ton of amazing agencies out there BUT this team, the minds behind the shoreline are the absolute best.”
While people were struggling amidst the disrupting business climate, Joe and his team expanded their business during the pandemic. Joe anticipated that now the companies are going remote they will suffer on the customer service end and they did. Several major companies witnessed a decline in their customer service. Such crucial times demand a better strategy to overcome the challenges. As a result, Shoreline was directed towards expansion and is now on the second hire within the last few months without letting go and of the old staff members.
“We are all in this together and we will still be one big family when it’s all over; in our office with our clients.”
While the whole business sector had to deal with tough situations, the only tough decision Joe made was being fine with the current situation. Not only that, but he was also constantly connecting with the team to take note of their well-being. The situation was stressful but the team worked their way through and outshined the entire time. Looking at the business’s shutdown or struggle was heartbreaking, but Joe was confident that eventually, everything will go back to normal. In the meantime, the team upgraded their knowledge and built a Digital Campus to help the clients and team members have more room to work rather than sharing a common area. The office went from 2,000 square feet to almost 6,000 square feet.
The team does assemble for the team meetings etc., but by keeping the guidelines in mind. Joe wanted everyone to be comfortable and safe so there is no rushing back to the new office. There was no negative impact for Shoreline, but they did open up the space to work for the clients in need in their local area. Joe is optimistic for 2021, and that everyone can see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. For Shoreline, he plans to grow and expand further for the clients. The goal is to not only grow the services but also the team.
“Anything I do and anything any of my companies do will always go above and beyond for our clients.”
Read full issue: The Top 10 Perseverant Entrepreneurs 2021