29 Aug Midcoast-based digital marketing firm is now also digital i…
Ten years after starting digital marketing and communications firm Dream Local Digital from her garage, Shannon Kinney has come full circle after closing the firm’s last office, in Rockland, in late July.
It’s grown into a national agency with 29 full-time employees and more than 60 freelancers serving clients in 65 cities, and projects $5 million in revenues this year, Kinney told Mainebiz.
When she’s not on the road 26 weeks of the year, Kinney works out of her garage in Thomaston, which she says is equipped with six workstations but has been known to accommodate much larger groups of Dream Local Digital Honey Badgers, as the employees call themselves.
Though she misses the office on Main Street in Rockland, she said the move made sense given that everyone can work remotely, and cuts down on overhead costs.
“It was a hard decision for us,” she said,” but it makes us more bankable, and my employees are happy. We don’t need a Main Street presence, because the majority of our business is being supported remotely.”
Kinney was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2013.
At one point the firm also had offices in Portland, Bangor and California’s Silicon Valley, using Rockland as a base though it ended up being underused.
“We had very little walk-in traffic, and most of our meetings were about going onsite,” said Kinney, adding the ability to see via computer what employees are working on also makes it easy to manage a remote workforce. While video conferencing works well with those based remotely, she frequently sees team members on the Midcoast in her garage office or they meet up at a local restaurant.
Courtesy/Dream Local Digital
Sierra Hayes has been promoted to operations manager at Dream Local Digital
Dream Local Digital’s move to a 100% remote workforce comes as the company continues to add staff and promote from within. Earlier this week it announced the promotion of Sierra Hayes to operations manager. She’s been with the company for three years and has moved several times with her husband, who is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.
The couple currently reside in Oklahoma, and Kinney says Hayes has been promoted twice at Dream Local Digital, which created a new role for her so that she could stay. Hayes said in a news release that she looks forward to her future with the company “and all it has in store for me.”
Hiring plans, revenue growth
Dream Local Digital plans to keep hiring, and has various job openings advertised on its website. Kinney said while she prefers to have as many employees in Maine as possible, recruiting for technical roles can be a challenge.
She also said they tend to find some of their best employees through referrals.
Dream Local Digital has been on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for two years in a row.
It was one of 11 Maine companies to make the list this year, after seeing revenues jump by 119% over a three-year period to $3.6 million in 2018. Kinney told Mainebiz the company projects $5 million this year in what she calls “small but steady upward creeping.”
She said growth is not coming from one particular geographic area, but rather from “penetration in the markets we’re in.” Some 80% of the business comes from out of state.
Dream Local Digital is also ranked No. 1 on the Mainebiz list of Maine’s largest woman-owned businesses due to be published in the print edition that comes out Monday, Sept. 16.