Every business has moments when it’s on shaky ground.
Sometimes the business is in the middle of a major growth phase. It’s traveling over rocky ground as it transforms from what it was to what it’ll become.
Sometimes it’s simply struggling to put its best face forward on the web.
And sometimes the business lacks the technology or processes needed to get to the next level of growth.
Raúl Colón helps with all of the above.
His story is this month’s Hero’s Journey feature. We’re tapping the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. See all of the Hero’s Journey posts here.
Read on as Raúl tells his story.
How Raúl turns lemons into lemonade
Raúl Colón: Right now, my business works with clients — either management departments of companies or business owners — to recommend new technologies for their businesses.
To accomplish this, I research and take snapshots of their processes.
Once I understand their current state of business, I start mapping out how they can best align their people and processes to help them serve their customers in an efficient and effective manner.
And my business, Limonade, designs and builds websites on WordPress. We create content for clients and consult on how to make their tools work. We also serve as a strategic partner for larger agencies who might need our resources.
Strength in diversity
Raúl Colón: Our strength is that we offer a diverse group of folks from all walks of life.
For example, I studied accounting and worked as an IT Security Consultant for one of the big four accounting firms. I’ve been a business and technology consultant for around 15 years.
We look at what we call our “ingredients from past experiences” to create a unique recipe for each client’s situation.
Because of our diverse backgrounds, we can look at a process from different perspectives and identify where it’s failing. For instance, many businesses think that a website or web application will fix all of their problems.
We step back and look at the existing business environment and make recommendations that work with what they already have. Instead of reinventing the wheel or duplicating tools, we look into making the business and its existing processes stronger.
We do a lot of coaching with our local clients in Puerto Rico. Some clients want us to travel to their locations. And we have virtual clients we’ve never met in person.
Evolving from the “bad news guy” to the “solutions guy”
Raúl Colón: My business started when I wanted to go on my own as an IT Security Consultant.
At first, it was difficult to get work in IT Security. Most companies that could hire me as a Senior Security Consultant wanted a big firm name signing off on their audits and assessments.
As an IT Auditor and IT Security Consultant, I was not welcomed in most places. People saw me as the person coming to evaluate what they did wrong.
If I found something wrong as an IT Security Consultant, it could impact the employment of those who did not do their jobs. For that reason, some people even saw me as a threat to their employment.
In between projects, I dusted off my website-building skills and decided to build a job board. This was 2008 when the recession was affecting everyone, and in Puerto Rico there were massive layoffs in every industry — even the government.
The job board brought in a lot of traffic with no marketing budget.
When I initially wanted to create the job board, I looked to hire someone else to build it for me. But I ran into many folks who were offering poor web development and design services.
So, I used my project management skills to build a team that could help with design and development.
Over time, we built a few websites and started consulting on web development and online business strategy.
It was a different type of experience; I would walk into a business and knew that I was there to help make their business processes stronger.
I enjoy it when people see me as someone who is there to help — not threaten their jobs.
A step back to move forward
Raúl Colón: We focus a lot on making sure that our clients’ processes are up to date and working.
But our biggest challenge is making sure we have our own processes in place. It happens to all businesses — occasionally, we get a bit lazy with the administrative stuff.
Recently, we took a few weeks to look at all of our internal processes and prioritize them.
We wanted to make sure our clients get the best experience from what we offer. Anything that improves the client experience is a priority.
Our second priority is business development and continuing to search for new opportunities.
We identified two tools — one for project management that is made for small teams, and the other one for our sales process that is easy to work with.
Both tools help us keep tabs on what we feel is important.
Keeping content flowing for a variety of clients
Raúl Colón: We enjoy helping our clients complete certain tasks they would not complete otherwise.
For example, many small businesses want to have a blog and email newsletter, but time constraints make it difficult for them to create, edit, and publish.
We step in and help clients with these steps.
- On some occasions, we create, they edit, and we publish.
- Other times, they create, we edit, and then we publish.
On every occasion, a lot of knowledge transfer happens and clients really enjoy being part of the process and learning how their systems work.
Keeping the content updated on their blogs, newsletters, websites, and social platforms means more business for our clients, and that has won us their loyalty.
The Rainmaker Digital products Raúl uses
Raúl Colón: My business operates smoothly thanks to the Genesis Framework.
I moved from Drupal to WordPress in 2011.
Genesis made it easy but also helped me understand WordPress development to the point that we now create our own themes using the Genesis Framework.
In the past, we used Scribe for help with content SEO. I have also bought other products, such as Premise, which saved me and my clients a lot of time. These product features are now consolidated on the Rainmaker Platform.
Raúl’s plans for expansion
Raúl Colón: My goal is to keep expanding my business outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
I want my main role to go from developing websites to helping others understand how websites work.
Find Raúl Colón online …
Thanks to Raúl for appearing in our Hero’s Journey series.
Do you have questions for him? Ask them in the comments.
We’ll be back next month with another story to teach, inspire, and encourage you along your journey.
Reader Comments (11)
Dan Oles says
Congrats on the success! It’s great to see someone love what they do.
Keep going with the “lemons into lemonade” theme I really enjoyed it.
Your service seems well focused, but I’m very curious as how you plan to keep up with the content creation portion of your service. As you scale up do think it could become difficult to cultivate the same quality of co-creation and input around the blog posts and copy for your clients?
Thanks for sharing
Raul Colon says
Yes I love what I do. I love even more being part of such cool communities like this one.
Yes it is well focused and we are currently making some changes to focus on our core strength. We identified creating wordpress themes and making those websites work being the main one.
For the content creation part we only take a few clients on that side. Of industries and companies we know so well we feel we are part of them. We also have some pretty awesome strategic partners. They help us depending on the client’s needs. This allows us to make sure our clients are in good hands and we can help project manage instead of doing all the leg work.
We are currently in the mid stages of rebuilding our website and personal blog to reflect that.
Thanks again for the comment.
Joel Libava says
It’s great to see Raul in the spotlight.
I was finally able to meet him in person at the last Rainmaker Authority event in Denver. We had known each other through Chris Brogan and had exchanged communications.
Raul is good people.
The Franchise King®
Raul Colon says
Very grateful for you and Patrick for saving me from that crazy AirBnb location.
Thanks for always being one of the folks supporting me in all my projects.
A big hug to you brother.
Some serious chest thumping going on here by seeing well deserved recognition of my fellow countryman. Raúl, I admire everything you do, but above all, your sense of purpose and commitment to the highest ethics. The Copyblogger community is richer because of you.
Raul Colon says
Since 2012 I have counted with someone unconditionally for many things. I am glad you have been one of the few who have been there supporting me. Thank you brother.
Arjun PR says
lemons into lemonade! I liked it, its sounds like the roots are bitter and the fruit is sweet!.
Congrats on your success! It’s good to follow your heart and many proves it is true.For this just inspirational!
Raul Colon says
Great analogy on the roots and fruits.
Yes thanks to the many from this community and great friends I have been able to listen and follow my wife.
Yachika Verma says
It’s good to see you progress Raul. Being a solution guy, you are actually helping a lot of businesses to grow. Keep up the spirit.
Raul Colon says
Yachika Verma finding solutions in my nature understanding the tools is how I have fun. Thanks for the message and comment.
Patrick Garmoe says
Congrats on this profile Raul!
Pretty exciting to see you written up here. I’ve really admired how you used the conference last year not just to meet people, but start relationships which you’ve continued to grow over time. You’ve been diligent at checking in with me and I’m sure others, post conference. Happy to see your business is doing well.
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