Digital marketing has gotten a bad rap over the years for being a “fluffy” field, but in reality having a strong online presence is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. There is real power in social, and having a well designed website can make all the difference in a company’s overall success. Nobody knows this better than Anthony Alfonsi, the Founder and Director of Fourdots Digital.
Anthony is a humble entrepreneur and self-described introvert that overcame his naturally reserved personality to build a thriving business. What started out as a small venture into the world of web design ultimately turned into a full-blown digital marketing and web design agency for this savvy lifelong learner.
Anthony’s entrepreneurial journey began when he was doing his undergrad in Global Management at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. He decided to start his own student painting business during his downtime in the summer, and ended up hiring and training six full-time and 10 part-time employees. Even though the business was pretty small, he described it as, “pretty big in terms of teaching me how to run a business – sales, marketing, and stuff like that.”
The student painting business taught Anthony some invaluable lessons and was instrumental in helping him come out of his shell. Anthony explained that, “I’ve always been an introverted guy and it’s something I really had to work on in order to come out of my shell early on, especially being in a sales environment where I had to go to clients homes and businesses and pitch my service and be confident. That was a big hump I had to get over and now it’s one of my strengths – conversation and small talk."
I realized that if you really dedicate yourself to something you can turn a weakness into a strength.
Anthony was on a journey of self-discovery during his undergrad and also began to dabble in building and breaking websites during that time period - a hobby that he never expected he’d make any money off of. He explained, “I wrote a bunch of my own websites and got frustrated and started over. Eventually I got to a point where I liked how they looked and other people started noticing. Then someone offered to pay me to do it - I thought that was crazy.”
After completing his undergrad, Anthony applied to the York Entrepreneurship Develop Institute, also known as YEDI, which is run out of the Schulich School of Business. This prestigious program only takes ten people every year and is free of charge for those who get accepted. Anthony learned more here than he did during his entire undergrad. He also continued doing freelance web design during this time and built up his confidence (and in turn the price he charged clients).
Anthony eventually came to the realization that the freelance lifestyle wasn’t for him and he needed a more reliable source of income. Instead of getting a regular 9-5 job, this go-getter decided to educate himself on everything digital marketing related and start Fourdots Digital. He gained a deep appreciation for digital marketing and addressed some common misconceptions when speaking to us.
“To people who don’t understand what marketing is, it sounds like a lot of fluffy stuff like pictures and pretty things and cool messaging. That’s not all that marketing is – there’s a lot of graphs and numbers related to marketing and then in digital marketing specifically you have to be able to tie your creative to analytics and see how they work together.”
Evidently, Anthony knows what he’s talking about – Fourdots Digital has been going strong since late 2017 and they have taken on clients ranging from nightclubs, to restaurants, to health spas, and even a student painting company. Talk about a full circle moment!
Anthony finds that the most rewarding part of his job as Director at Fourdots Digital is getting client results. He prides himself on providing monthly reports to his clients that talk about direct business results, especially when it comes to social media. He explained, “It’s rewarding to know that our clients realize the value in what we’re doing because of how we’ve angled our service.”
As for Anthony’s thoughts on working at a co-working space, he thinks it’s the perfect setup for smaller companies. Not only do the financials of it make sense, but you also get the benefit of being around other creative people. He expressed that, “It’s definitely a sick opportunity for start-ups and small teams and everyone should take advantage of it if you’re starting something out.”
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur that’s looking for a place to call home book a tour at Project Spaces today. Our open-concept workspaces and flexible membership programs are designed to help our diverse community succeed. To find out more about Fourdots Digital follow them on Instagram or check out their site.