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Meet Nancy Wolff Leary of Online Amplify in Reading

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Wolff Leary.

Nancy Wolff, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Before starting Online Amplify, I spent a lifetime in corporate America, managing sales and customer service teams and in a variety of product management roles. As a product manager, I wrote product requirement documents and interfaced with development (IT), marketing, the sales channels and pricing teams to manage the product from launch through the entire lifecycle.

My last position was with Verizon.com was back in the days when we had to coax customers to self-serve online. My product set included several self-serve applications and online chat. Designing the user flow was an important driver and I worked closely with development to optimize the content and user experience. In the process, I also learned how to navigate the language barrier between tech-talk and marketing-speak. It was the perfect jumping-off point for my own gig.

After leaving Verizon, I freelanced for a couple of years, doing a ton of learning while building expertise in social media, email marketing and eCommerce. I also worked as a usability consultant, capitalizing on my corporate experience as an online product manager. Before long, I was able to visualize the service offerings for my future business.

I officially launched Online Amplify in 2010.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s a big transition shifting from being an employee to creating a company. Even if you’re energized — which I was — building a business is a ton of work and it’s hard to build the plane while flying it. I started with a few services and continually add more, as I recognize unmet needs that I can fulfill.

Being in the digital marketing space keeps me honest. If I’m going to blog about a topic, for example, I can’t pass the red face if I’m not doing it well myself. So, I am always raising the bar on my own business.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Online Amplify helps individuals and businesses to optimize their online presence and increase their visibility. The centerpiece of a business’ online presence is typically their website, but for a new business launch (or an individual seeking a career change), it may be a LinkedIn profile or a business Facebook page.

We start by ensuring that the client’s online presence creates the best possible impression – by creating meaningful, credible content that appeals to search engines and resonates with visitors, and an impactful, navigable and contemporary website.

Once the website is optimized, we use marketing strategies to drive traffic – including blogging, email marketing, events, collaborations and social media. We work with clients in various ways, based on their needs. For some clients, we act as an outsourced marketing department, handling everything from strategy to execution and serving as their voice online. Others prefer to partner with us, using a divide and conquer approach.

A big challenge for many businesses today is maintaining marketing cadence, so our strategic marketing services — where we offer tools, platforms and expertise, including coaching and behavior modeling – are very popular.

What sets us apart? Well, first is content creation. One of the key elements of search algorithms is relevant, compelling and well-crafted original content. Not many digital marketing agencies offer content creation services, and freelance copywriters don’t always know how to write for the web. It’s an art to create content that is both search-engine optimized and highly readable.

Another way we’re different is that we provide both strategic marketing support and execution. While some businesses have in-house resources that can execute if provided with the direction, others want — or need — to hand over the reins entirely and have someone else do the grunt work. We’re good with either option.

What were you like growing up?
I was the third of three kids and was continually trying to keep up with my older siblings. They set a pretty high bar, so it wasn’t easy, and they wanted nothing less than a younger sister tagging along. Left on my own, I enjoyed all things artistic, coloring and drawing when I was young and later painting, sculpting in clay and metal, jewelry making and photography. I was always very neat and would happily help my mom in the kitchen, organizing kitchen cabinets and drawers while she cooked.

I grew up in a great family neighborhood and I had a best friend next door. Our dads removed a couple of the pickets from the fence between our backyards and we spent all our free time at each other’s houses.

As I got older, my artistic focus shifted to a more practical mode. I was a DIYer before it was trendy. I refinished old family furniture for my college apartment and learned to reupholster furniture in community education programs at night. When I bought my first home, I painted, wallpapered and tiled the kitchen backsplash.

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