After 21 years in business, SocialSEO, the Colorado Springs-based digital marketing firm, has recently seen a significant increase in its clients and revenue.

What is the digital marketing company’s secret to success? Being in the right place at the right time and generating new leads, said Greg and Darcie Walthour, CEO and president, respectively, of SocialSEO.

“What we consider to be the most important aspect for any business is to generate new leads,” Greg said. “Getting leads is the key to success of any business, and since we do that for a living, we do it well.”

SocialSEO is a Google Partner that specializes in Search Engine Optimization, social media, Pay-Per-Click and content marketing. Its annual revenue nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016 and is projected to nearly double again in 2017.

The business has also doubled its clients, the husband-and-wife-team said, adding that another key to success is SocialSEO’s culture and values.

“We’ve worked really hard to try to keep our culture fun, to retain our team members,” Darcie said. “Because that’s truly what has made us successful. We get leads which are great, but the team has grown this business and we’ve been lucky to have a great team.”

The marketing firm plans contests, sports games and special days when employees get to wear their favorite sports team gear, for example.

“I think culture is very important,” said Greg. “A general rule of thumb in philosophy here is: ‘A happy employee generally translates to a happy customer.’

“If the employees are happy they’re going to do a great job and be more passionate about what they do, so we’re very careful in the hiring process. … We provide an environment where people can be creative and relaxed.”

A challenge for Greg and Darcie has been to maintain this culture as the company grows, but both recommend that other businesses put employees first to be successful.

“We work hard but we play hard,” Darcie said. “In our values it says that we’re winners and we’re not ashamed of that. We expect anyone that comes on to the team to be a winner. We don’t settle to be good — we want to be great.”

— Audrey Jensen