While enrolled in Full Sail’s online Internet Marketing master’s degree program, Alexa Brinkschulte developed a business idea that stemmed directly from some of the concepts she was studying in school. Two years after graduating in 2012, that concept has become a reality via Capital Ship Marketing Group, her virtual digital marketing agency that’s run solely by Full Sail grads.
Like many other digital marketing groups, Capital Ship offers clients a variety of creative and interactive branding services, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, social media management, and business strategy and branding. Alexa says it’s her team’s shared Full Sail connection – and the subsequent expertise they bring to the table – that really makes her company stand out.
“Many people in this industry claim to know what they’re doing, but many of them don’t. Having a team of people with master’s degrees in Internet marketing is a huge differentiating factor,” Alexa says. “We don’t focus on just one strategy in particular. We have the resources to put together any campaign needed.”
Alexa’s background as a drummer provided her with some key early experiences in the world of marketing. After years of running the social media pages for the bands she played in, she got the opportunity to started doing social media management for the music production company behind Internet sensation Rebecca Black, whose viral hit “Friday” rapidly went from 3,000 views on YouTube to 167 million back in 2011.
“That experience was insane,” Alexa says. “It really demonstrated the power of the Internet. I became very fascinated and wanted to learn all about it. It was one of the factors that led me to Full Sail.”
Today, Alexa uses the skills she developed in the Internet Marketing program to develop customized campaigns for her growing list of clients. The company recently became a Hubspot partner, and is looking to add clients in Europe. The Internet Marketing program also helped Alexa to recognize the power (and benefits) of running a company that has no physical location.
“You can do digital marketing everywhere, for clients all over the world,” she says. “In addition to everything that was in my program’s curriculum, I’d say learning how to work with teams online was one of the most valuable things I took away from the Full Sail experience. We have clients on both coasts of the country, and we are working with people in Florida, New Hampshire, and California who assist with content creation. I would not have thought it would be possible without going through the strictly online program at Full Sail and working with virtual teams.”
While running a virtual business is an extremely gratifying experience, Alexa also points out that it’s not without its challenges. Schedules can get very full, and because she is able to work out of her own home office, the line between “work hours” and free-time can often become blurred.
“I think this past August I had about two days off – total,” she says. “But because I was also a self-employed musician for eight years, I’m used to setting my own hours and motivating myself. The greatest reward for me is when I see a marketing campaign succeeding. When clients reach their goals, get more sales and leads, and recommend our services to others, it all really makes my day.”