Get to know Ike Elimsa, Founder of Twelve12

February 1, 2018 | Interview

Ike Elimsa is a business coach, entrepreneur, marketing and branding expert.
He began his work experience at the age of just 14, as a sales assistant at the store of the acclaimed diver, Joe Liburdi, whom Ike refers to as “his favorite boss ever”. Ike also learned how to dive with Liburdi, and assisted him with taking dive teams at locations across Southern California.
At the age of 26, Ike left the world of banking to partner with the world’s second largest quartz company, Compac, purchasing the distribution for the Western United States. He successfully managed all aspects of the company and tracked growth, even in the midst of the 2008 recession.

Please introduce yourself and where you work.

My name is Ike Elimsa, founder of Twelve12, out of Orange County. We’re a boutique branding agency that helps small to mid-sized companies grow. To do that, we construct end-to-end solutions for their branding and marketing needs, from short and long-term strategic planning, to your logo and visual identity, to your custom-built website, all the way to your Super Bowl commercial.
I myself have been in the business world in a variety of capacities. I’ve owned companies, sold companies, and eventually organized my knowledge into a complete solution to help businesses succeed.

How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years?

Google is brilliant. Along with being the powerhouse that they are. Back in the early stages of SEO, it was basically the wild west. Companies were free to try anything, and were able to get away with it when it worked. Luckily, for the most part, Google has developed incredibly sophisticated algorithms to keep these “black hat” solutions in check, at least from the long-term perspective. Fake things not really possible anymore—SEO has become a lot more authentic and transparent. Now, white hat is necessary for longevity in SEO placement. In a word, Google keeps us honest.

How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?

SOE grew up pretty organically from the work we were already doing, and to service a need a client had. One day, a client said they wanted to appear on page 1 of Google, and I said I would make it happen. After digging a little, I was able to come up with a strategy for him and we began implementing it. Not long after setting the plan in motion, we got him to page 1. The scale of our abilities has improved greatly since then, and now I’d say 90% of our clients are on page one for what they do.

What are the services you provide to your clients?

We are an end-to-end solution for Orange County, which means we pretty much do it all. We do all the traditional elements of branding, from visual identity— the naming, logos, colors, tag lines, and so forth, to less traditional branding work, like strategic planning and leadership. We do digital marketing, including SEO, Adwords, blogs, PPC, as well as traditional marketing, including content marketing, commercials, full ad campaigns, and much more. Round this out with award-winning video production and photography, and great full-service custom web design, and you basically have Twelve12.

What strategy according to you will prevail in 2018 for SEO?

Honesty. Keep in mind that trends will always continue to shape and emerge, but these changes, such as favoring video content, are just in emphasis. The one thing that won’t be changing anytime soon is that for an SOE strategy to have longevity, it’s got to be run honestly. Google is smart enough to figure you out!

What would your advice be to people who are looking to take up digital marketing as a career choice?

Work hard. SEO is just one of many examples of how important it is to be diligent and hard-working. It takes a lot of intensive effort to begin to see the needle move. Get a mentor: someone who knows more than you and is willing to encourage you and listen to your questions. Then, take what you learn and spin it to work for you. Take it, make it yours, and never stop seeking ways to grow.

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