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Meet Sabina Gault of Konnect Agency in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sabina Gault.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Romania and moved to the U.S. at the age of 20 to advance my career in public relations. I didn’t know a single person aside from the woman who hired me. Having a deep dedication to clients, I soon realized that I was not a great employee, as my biggest concern was for the brands I represented, and not the corporate engine.

After stints at several agencies, I decided to start Konnect Agency in 2008 – during the biggest recession of this century. I had no idea how hard it would be, nor did I understand the American business system. I started with two clients and no significant business contacts. During those years, I was the CEO, Account Executive, Accountant, HR specialist and even my own assistant. I learned all the functions of my business by executing them myself. I built my business organically, and the first employee I hired is still with me today.

As the agency grew, marketing changed, and I insisted that Konnect change with it. Knowing little to nothing about social media, marketing and content creation, I took the plunge and restructured the company to be able to meet this new customer need.

Today, I have over 40 employees across 3 offices. My company leads campaigns for some of the world’s biggest and best brands. Our team is seen as a go-to source for companies in the food and beverage, franchise, lifestyle and family spaces.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Having a deep desire to become a true partner to clients, I realized that my dream would never come true under leadership that merely wanted to pay the bills. My aspirations were higher. The risks I wanted to take, bigger. With this in mind, I opened my business in 2008 with family funds and a deep desire to grow a successful business. My strategy was simple – do more and better than the status quo.

I worked 16-hour days and learned by way of the CEOs I encountered in my job. I read books (and continue to do so), attended conferences (and continue to do so) and went to every single networking event I could find (still do that as well).

A couple of years ago, Konnect grew too quickly and suffered a high turnover rate as a result. I made changes that brought the turnover down to 15%, in an industry where the average is over 30%. When I noticed that teams were unable to keep up with new, higher demand clients, I took a line of credit to make crucial hires that would propel the business forward.

Konnect has grown to be one of the top 100 agencies in the U.S., serving more than 70 clients in the food & beverage, franchise, lifestyle and family spaces. Specializing in media relations, social media, marketing and content creation, Konnect is a leader in its respective spaces, and in PR overall.

Konnect Agency – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My focus is on making Konnect an invaluable partner to clients. That is evident in the processes I created alongside my team to ensure that the agency stays on the cutting edge of innovation. One such process is a weekly meeting that I instated among executives, where we work on the business rather than for the business. During this meeting, no current work is discussed. The entire focus is on new developments and strategy that can improve the business in all areas from finance to people, product innovation, marketing, etc.

Another process I implemented to further innovation and foster creativity is the weekly “Brain Dump,” in which the entire office gathers to come up with new ideas for clients. This company-wide brainstorm results in fresh ideas from team members and allows Konnect to lead clients to new opportunities.

These two examples demonstrate just a few of the ways that Konnect is different from other agencies. Other differentiators include Konnect’s investment in technology to interface with clients and provide better/more measurable results and visibility. This past year we made significant investments in tools such as Salesforce, KROW, Quip and many others, all to become more seamlessly integrated with clients while offering an inside look at the work the agency is doing.

The future holds a great deal for Konnect Agency. In the coming years, we have plans to open offices in other markets, while continuing to train and grow our current teams.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I measure success by how successful my clients are, how happy and fulfilled my team is and how long clients stay with us.

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