Chris Dreyer – Founder & CEO, Rankings.io

Chris Dreyer is the founder and CEO of Rankings.io, an SEO agency for lawyers. Chris has been featured in numerous legal and search marketing publications such as Legal Ink Magazine, Law Marketing, Attorney At Work, Moz, and more. With over fourteen years of experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Chris has helped hundreds of law firms get first page positions in search engines using innovative campaigns that are difficult for competitors to recreate. He is dedicated to helping lawyers get more leads and win more clients.

How did the concept for Rankings.io come about?
I worked as a consultant for several digital agencies, one of which was a full-service legal marketing agency. I saw the legal vertical was under-served as a whole and wanted to make an impact.

How was the first year in business?
During the first year of business, I wore a lot of hats. There was more organizational planning required than I had originally anticipated, but I also doubled my income (compared to what I had been making as a consultant).

What was your marketing strategy?
It was the same then as it is now: to create value for the legal vertical, create content that compounds its value (such as our in-depth guide to law firm SEO), and to create interest by word-of-mouth.

How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
We roughly doubled in size, year-over-year, for the first four years.

How do you define success?
Generating ROI for our clients.

What is the key to success?
Continuous improvement in every aspect of the business.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Focus. Once we began to grow, we deviated from our focus (legal) a little. It diluted our brand and we quickly learned to re-focus on our core market.

What are some quotes that you live by?
“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars)

“Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” – John Wayne

What are some of your favorite books?
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Traction by Gino Wickmann
The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
Any time I’ve had to fire someone, honestly. It’s never pleasant to take someone’s job away from them, and it’s even harder when you feel some of the blame falls on your shoulders. Some employees simply weren’t the right fit in the first place, and that falls back on me as the employer. I should have recognized their shortcomings earlier in the screening process.

When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My passion for winning. My dad always told me, “You play to win the game,” which is a little Ricky Bobby-esque, I know.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Take advantage of lessons learned by those who came before you. Invest in yourself. Find a mentor who will continually push you beyond your comfort zone. Always strive to learn and do better.

Jason Navallo

Jason Navallo is the author of five books: American Dream, Thrive, Never Give Up, Success, and Driven to Succeed. He has an M.B.A. in Human Resource Management from Louisiana State University and lives in NYC.