How Nick Collins is Tailoring His Approach to Digital Marketing

Nick Collins has worked for big pharma, sporting goods, and major airlines; he has created mobile apps for startups and large internal-use applications for major corporations. His services are not tied to one specific niche. They never were, and he wants to keep it that way. Collins feels his skillset applies to many markets and industries, which is why he has expanded his customer base at Sartoris Digital (previously Sartoris Technologies) to make the capabilities once available to top corporations accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.

Technological Family Ties

Collins grew up in a tech-centric home in the 80s, with his own computer as young as elementary school age. Collins leaned more creative than analytical and dreamt of working for a major 3D animation firm, like Pixar. With an interest in special effects, he learned 3D animation during the late 90s and early 2000s. He started with HTML as a hobby when it was in its infancy.

“I grew up in a home where tech was a big thing before it was a big thing,” said Collins. “I got started very young because of my father and grandfather. They were my biggest influencers from a young age. My father was into tech and computer architecture, and my grandfather was more old-school. They both brought something unique to my upbringing.”

Collins’ grandfather worked in commercial printing, and Collins helped him to switch over from analog to digital, helping him learn QuarkXpress and how to operate a Mac. In return, Collins gained knowledge about the back end of the print industry. This combination married together, giving him a broad, holistic view of his craft.

While in college, the ‘Dot Com’ bubble burst. Finding himself unable to find summer employment elsewhere, he fell back on his childhood web design hobby.

“I started my first web design ‘business’ when I was in 7th grade,” Collins reminisced. “I came up with a company name and everything, but I wasn’t old enough to file a DBA. People were calling the home phone asking for me, and my parents didn’t know what they were talking about! I would just run over and say ‘That’s for me!’”

Gone in a Flash

“A big part of my career was Flash before it was even called Flash,” said Collins. “My uncle met someone at a computer convention that was handing out floppy discs of a beta of digital animation software, named FutureSplash Animator at the time.”

Collins was one of the first ‘design-geneers’, the pet name given to those with a design and computer engineer background. At the time, designers and engineers had a difficult time communicating with each other in business because their lingo was so different. Collins often found himself the liaison between the two disciplines. But then, everything changed.

“I was working alongside big names at the time. Then, Steve Jobs penned an open letter that said he wouldn’t allow Flash on his mobile devices,” said Collins. “After that, many people who were seasoned Flash developers had trouble finding work. Those people had to put their skills into a new tech stack because they had become virtual pariahs. So I worked at consulting firms and did maintenance work as things transitioned out. Then, I went nine months without being able to find work, and my family had to go on food stamps. Eventually, I was like, ‘Enough is enough!’ I took my last severance and went out on my own. I made an LLC and took a ‘Fake It Till You Make It’ approach. I basically said, ‘Hey, I can build whatever you want,’ and learned any updated tech I needed along the way. It worked.”

Collins started his business in 2013 after struggling to find work within his field. He became successful by word-of-mouth and didn’t use any marketing strategies at the time. Truly a phoenix rising from the ashes, his company did splendidly, completing over 27,000 hours of billable work, with multiple seven-figure years.

But when the 2019 pandemic hit, although he and his teammates were available to work, their clients had shut down. His clients were in places like Chicago and California, which were more restricted than others. He found it more and more difficult to network, and eventually, he was the only one left.

When things started to pick back up, Collins pushed to rise from the ashes yet again. The rebranding of Sartoris Technologies into Sartoris Digital is a step in a new and inclusive direction.

“I want to make sure I don’t scare off the smaller guys that might be scared to join the digital sector,” said Collins. “There is space for everyone here; that is the beauty of it. I want to help guide people from an analog world, a brick and mortar world, and take them into a digital space where they haven’t been before. It is a digital business transformation.”

The pivot to Sartoris Digital includes opening up web design and digital marketing for small to medium-sized businesses who want the expertise of a team that has worked with Fortune 500 companies. With this new direction, he also wants to target the event space and event industry.

“Not every client can be a huge corporation, nor do I want them all to be,” said Collins. “My services are tailorable to everyone, and that is the message I want to get across. We can all benefit from the digital marketing sector.”

A Tailored Package

‘Sartoris’ is the Latin word for ‘tailor’. Collins, a creative designer at heart, stresses the importance of custom-tailoring his packages to his customers. Sartoris designs everything with them in mind.

“Think of a men’s suit. Early on, you buy suits off the rack that never quite fit right. The jacket may be too tight in the shoulders, the sleeves too short or too long, or the pants a little too tight where you don’t want them to be. When you get a custom suit, however, someone takes your measurements, finds out where you need extra support, and what assets to highlight,” said Collins. “That’s the same approach we take to building software for our clients. The ‘initial fitting’ is the first client call where we take the measure of their business. We design their software and marketing to the way their business functions, to make sure they look and function at their absolute best.”

Sartoris Digital offers digital marketing services, including web design, social media, and SEO.

“When you promise something, always to the best of your ability deliver what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. That is why my customer base stayed with me,” said Collins.

About Sartoris Digital

Sartoris Digital is a digital media agency that specializes in paid ads, social media, custom website and software development, and SEO for major corporations and small businesses. The company has worked with Fortune 500 and 100 companies. For more information, please visit https://sartorisdigital.com/

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