Ron Stauffer started working for his uncle’s construction company, Stauffer & Sons Construction, 10 years ago. Toward the end of that tenure, he started marketing the business via the Internet. When construction slowed in 2008, he started his own web design firm. Now 27, he’s back at Stauffer & Sons Construction doing web design and Internet marketing.
What do you do for a living?
I market businesses, mainly via the Internet. Using websites, landing pages, online advertising, social media, blogging, email campaigns and more, I identify a target market and then find those potential customers and draw them to the company’s site and ultimately convert them from being just website visitors into paying customers. I work a lot with computers and other technology to set businesses up allowing them to run their company electronically. Recently I took a position as the director of marketing and IT at Stauffer & Sons Construction, a custom home building company my uncle owns.
How did you learn Internet marketing?
In March 2008, I founded my own web design company — not knowing a darn thing about web design — because I saw the huge opportunity that an Internet company had, and because it looked like I could create a recession-proof business. My brother-in-law is a web designer, so he would come to my house and I’d stay up until 2 in the morning learning as much as I could from him. By November, when I was laid off (as I had expected), I was able to transition my web design side-job into a full-time gig. Now, more than five years later, I’m happy to report it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Marketing isn’t just a job; it’s a passion.
What do you love most about this city?
I love the clean, dry mountain air. We also have a beautiful view of Pikes Peak. I miss that when I’m on vacation — I never know which way west is when I’m out of state because I can’t just look up and see the mountains!
But seriously, while Colorado Springs isn’t known for being a hot spot for young professionals, there is a real opportunity to make a difference here. In large cities, there can be so many young folks that it’s impossible to make any sort of individual im
pact because your voice gets drowned out by the sheer volume of others clamoring for attention. Here, just about everyone in town is approachable: I’ve met elected officials who actually make decisions. They’re willing to listen to opinions of people my age, which is flattering and exciting.
Tell us about your family.
My wife and I got married weeks after I turned 20, and she was 19. Since then, we’ve had five children in a six-year span. Yes, I know that’s “not normal,” and I’m OK with that. I’ve heard every joke in the book about “you do know what causes that, right?” I’ve also heard jokes about how I shouldn’t be having kids since I’m just a kid myself. I try not to let those comments bother me though, especially because I think the joke is really on the people who are teasing us. Think abo
ut it: My wife and I will be empty-nesters when we’re 45 years old! Our daughters are 7 and 6, and our sons are 3, 2 and 1.
What do you do in your spare time?
I usually chuckle at the thought of “spare time” because as a parent, I don’t have much. When I do, I enjoy speaking at Toastmasters, running, playing guitar, taking voice lessons, and I recently joined a fencing league. One of these days, I hope to finish the book I started writing about Internet marketing. When that’s done, I’ll probably take a vacation … and think about my next book!
What is your advice for young professionals?
Get involved! Our city is desperate for the next generation to step up and take the reins, but it won’t happen automatically. We need to start taking on responsibilities. The opportunity to be a part of building a community is huge. Also, start a business! I started my business out of sheer necessity. Now I’m hooked. It’s sobering to wake up and know the only money you’re getting is what you go out and find! If you can survive running your own company, you’ll benefit immensely. Plus, it’s good to make mistakes while you’re young and can afford it.