It’s a rare business model that pairs commercial success with helping others, but it’s exactly what works for Joe Soltis. His top-performing digital marketing agency, ChoiceLocal, works with franchise systems across the country, both franchisors and franchisees, across 35 different industries.
Founded in 2014, ChoiceLocal and Soltis serve almost 50 franchise systems, which aligns with the company’s purpose-driven values. Clients, which ChoiceLocal calls partners, come on board knowing that ChoiceLocal’s work and its fundamental mission is based on helping others. Soltis is very clear that they are, and always have been, a franchise marketing agency that drives provable and big ROI for its franchisor and franchisee partners.
We spoke to Soltis on how he balances successful marketing with serving those less fortunate.
On a Mission for Good
ChoiceLocal started as a one-man operation, yet, today is one of the fastest growing companies in America. ChoiceLocal’s unique business model is deeply connected to Soltis’ life experiences. He and his wife, Becky, lost a child in 2012. Over time, he managed to channel this deeply traumatic experience into a force for good.
“My outlook on life changed the day we lost Ben. I decided that I wanted to help people in a big way, while being a husband and dad that is 100% there,” he said.
He did this by quitting the prestigious, high-paid digital executive position overseeing one of the top marketing agencies in the world, that kept him in the ‘rat race’ and founded a business that he could use as a conduit for serving others and helping children in need.
Their purpose-driven business model includes channeling 10% off all profits into a number of philanthropic projects mainly through their Benjamin Isaac Foundation, named in honor of the Soltis’ deceased son. These projects have a single, shared goal: to help 10,000 children in need each year.
Over time, ChoiceLocal has enabled families to celebrate Christmas, provided bereavement support for children who have tragically lost family members, funded summer camps for kids, helped build wells in poor villages that did not have clean drinking water, funded school meals for underprivileged children and provided funds to families struggling financially after cancer diagnosis. For Soltis, this work is driven by his faith in God and others, in that way ChoiceLocal is a faith-based company.
But Soltis is never satisfied with what he’s doing – he always wants to do more. That’s why ChoiceLocal has recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity to be the sole sponsor for a new home in an underdeveloped community and ChoiceLocal’s teammates are now volunteering on work time in shifts to help build this brand new home for a family.
Crunching the Numbers
Soltis sees no issues with balancing good deeds with amazing results and even better customer service. ChoiceLocal’s franchise partners see an average ROI of $15.54 for $1 they spend with Choice Local.
The firm’s partners, including 50 national and global franchises, are thrilled with the massive growth in their businesses after signing on for Soltis’ proven digital marketing, sales engine techniques, and industry-leading recruiting efforts – which their clients often need to keep up with the growth in their businesses after availing themselves of Soltis’ services.
He shared that his company holds IFA (International Franchise Association) membership, has never lost a Recommended Marketing Agency status from a franchisor, and was named to the Inc. 5000 list as well as rated as a Top Workplace in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The business has a 96% annualized account retention rate and clients report a 282% increase in prospective customer inquiries. They also see, on average, doubled quality job applicants while paying half the rate per applicant that they’d pay a competitor in the recruitment field.
Remembering What Matters
Soltis and ChoiceLocal remain committed to their higher purpose and are pleased at how much their client partners care about their communities as well. Working in franchising every day Soltis gets to meet with great people, who truly care about others. It is his joy to help these great people find success as he knows he’s helping good people do good. He’s extremely proud to run a business that is inclusive, purpose-driven and faith-based. “In a very real way, we are making the world a better place and touching hearts each day.”
Among Soltis’ favorite words of wisdom are: “It’s not about you, it’s about serving others,” “it’s not all about the profits,” and he frequently says a quote from Simon Sinek “they don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” It’s these mantras that he repeats to himself in difficult moments and has taught to his staff as well, who reference it when making top-level, as well as everyday, business decisions.
If he were to share one thought with fellow business owners, it would have to be this: “Your business is not about you. Your business exists to help others.”
ChoiceLocal is a purpose-driven and results-focused digital marketing agency for franchisors and franchisees with the digital ecosystem of search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click marketing (PPC), social media marketing, remarketing, targeted display and mobile advertising, SMS and marketing automation, reputation management, employee, customer and franchisee retention, CRM integration and much more. They are a member of IFA (International Franchise Association), named on the Inc. 5000 list, and rated as a Top Workplace for the last four years. To find out more about their purpose-driven franchise marketing agency, please visit https://choicelocal.com/.