Imagine is a full service online marketing firm based in the greater Washington D.C area, with offices in San Diego and Chicago. The organization does marketing and web design for professional services firms, working closely with construction, real estate, accounting and law firms. We chatted with CEO and Founder, Patrick King to hear about how Imagine uses Hightail to work more efficiently with clients while building strong business relationships.
What they do:
Online marketing for construction, real estate, accounting and law firms
No. of employees: 12
Alissa Dos Santos: What was your inspiration for starting Imagine?
Patrick King: In 2004, I decided I wanted to start a business. I remember telling my wife—she said I was out of my mind. I had been working as a marketing coordinator for the Columbian Coffee Federation, but wanted something of my own. I started Imagine with four very small clients, and I was a one-man team for three years.
AD: What type of marketing work do you do? Who are your clients?
PK: We work on integrated marketing plans that build a client’s identity with clear messaging across all media. That means we’re working on social media campaigns, search engine optimization and web design to build brand identity online. We also work on traditional media and public relations for our clients. We do a lot of marketing work for construction, real estate, accounting and law firms.
AD: When and why did you start using Hightail?
PK: When I founded Imagine, I had $14.57 in my bank account. Hightail was one of the first things I bought. It’s a wonderful collaboration tool and I can trust it — that’s the most important thing. There has never been a lost file, a transmission that didn’t go through or a notification that went into a client’s spam. It’s a critical part of our business, and it’s paid dividends. In terms of productivity and client satisfaction, Hightail has saved us tens of thousands of dollars.
AD: How does Hightail help your team’s productivity?
PK: Hightail has become an integral part of our day-to-day business because it lets us easily and reliably exchange and share files online. We don’t have to depend on FTP clients or programming knowledge, which is important when sharing large proposals, videos, artwork or complete websites. We’re using Hightail as we share designs, corporate videos, vehicle signage and commercials back and forth with clients. Our job is to make our clients look good, and Hightail lets us do that.
AD: How do you use Hightail to collaborate with clients?
PK: Hightail is a crucial part of how we move files back and forth between our firm and our clients. Last month, my team was working on an annual report for a university. Whether I’m on a train or in an elevator, my team has to get files over to me in a fast, reliable and flexible way so I can review and send edits back to my team or deliver them to the client. Hightail gives me that flexibility. Another example—we work on large corporate brochures for clients that are between 40 and 60 pages. We can’t send a big brochure over email, so we use Hightail. Our client will receive the brochure and print it out. Often they’ll mark the pages they want to edit, and scan the brochure, making it a bigger file than we originally sent. They’ll use Hightail to send it back to us – which really makes collaboration easy for us. A lot of our clients already know about Hightail, and for the ones who don’t, they always end up liking it after they use it.
AD: What’s your favorite Hightail feature?
PK: I really like using verify recipient identity (VRI) when as we’re sending files and folders. Sometimes a client will have an assistant managing email, and we want to have confidence that a file or folder has been sent. Using VRI reinforces the fact that clients can trust us, because we take precautions and we’re aware of every step of the process.
AD: What’s the best part about running your own marketing business?
PK: Being able to share ideas, and the opportunity to apply those ideas to the success of other companies.
AD: Thanks for taking the time, Patrick!