Ad Nerds Media is a full-service digital marketing agency and the first local business to snap up a private office at the SOVA Innovation Hub. Today on the blog we’re spotlighting Brian Rowland-Loftis, Founder & President of Ad Nerds Media, as well as Tim VanAernem, Director of Sales. Both have had very different journeys in life but are shaking up the digital marketing industry here in South Boston, Virginia.
Meet Brian Rowland-Loftis
Brian Rowland-Loftis is a Halifax, Virginia native and a self-taught entrepreneur that has always dreamed of travelling and owning his own business. He travelled across the United States for years as a cellular tower technician; when he was laid off, he settled down in Florida and decided it was time to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. He spent a few years teaching himself about business, marketing, and advertising while working as a digital marketing director for several other marketing agencies. Brian says he noticed “most agencies had no idea how to get results from clients” which led to wasted money and frustrated clients who believed digital marketing just “doesn’t work” for their business. In 2011 he decided he could do things differently, and a whole lot better – it was time to start his own business.
At the beginning, Brian would often work 16+ hours a day. “It was rough,” Brian said. “However, I realized digital marketing was my calling in life…so I pushed through every day.” He is deeply passionate about his business and feels such a sense of accomplishment when his clients get the results their business deserves.
When asked what he is most proud of, Brian describes how difficult and rewarding the entrepreneurial journey can be.
“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Growing up in a hard-working, blue-collar family taught me a lot. It taught me that in order to get what you want out of life, you not only have to work for it, you have to be willing to be the hardest worker in the room. And then some. You often have to be willing to sacrifice precious time with family and friends, which I did a lot of unfortunately. And surprisingly, I managed to do all of this without a high school diploma or college degree (I do have a GED).”
Luckily, he has a great support system in his wife, Shannon Rowland-Loftis, and lots of family to lean on in Halifax, Virginia. When he and his wife moved back to Halifax, Brian decided it was time to scale and grow Ad Nerds Media. He started by working only with a select group of larger, national clients, but has been developing relationships with small businesses as well. The goal is the same – “to help business grow and scale to a level beyond their wildest expectations” – and the motivation is still there, even after 10 years of being in business. Brian is a strong believer in going above and beyond to help clients and deliver results. This philosophy is one he shares with Tim VanAernem, his brother-in-law and Director of Sales for Ad Nerds Media.
Meet Tim VanAernem
Tim VanAernem was born in Upstate New York and made his way to South Boston in 1998 to chase his career in law enforcement – he retired in early 2021 after 26 years of service to his community. In law enforcement Tim says he developed abilities that lend themselves well to working as Director of Sales for Ad Nerds Media – good communication skills, interview techniques, and his innate ability to relate with people and make them feel welcome. His entrepreneurial mindset has allowed him to switch career fields immediately start working with Brian.
Tim’s personal mission is to lead by example and always treat people the way he would want to be treated. When he needs help, he turns to God, his family, and close friends. His son Landon is what he is most proud of.
Tim describes one of the great things about Ad Nerds as the fact that they are “not located in the corporate setting” elaborating that “with just Brian and I, we feel as though we bring a personal experience to our customers that can be lost in today’s business world. Each one of our customers are unique and have different challenges to make their business successful. We are willing and able to adapt to those needs.”
A great entrepreneur, says Tim, is someone that is “willing to take a chance on another” and can look past society’s standard or perception. More importantly, his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to remember that honesty and integrity are everything, and that sometimes, the important thing is not what you know but who you go to for advice and answers.
Learning Never Stops
Both Brian and Tim acknowledge the importance of continuing to learn. Brian commits to reading books on a variety of topics (he’s read 200+ in the last few years), and Tim says it is important to take advice and constructive criticism on the way to becoming an entrepreneur!
Contact Ad Nerds Media
A big “thank you” to Brian and Tim for sharing their journeys with us here on the blog. If you want to check out Ad Nerds Media for yourself, visit their website: https://adnerdsmedia.com/ or give Tim a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 333-6970. And, send email@example.com an email if you want to be Ad Nerds Media’s neighbor at the SOVA Innovation Hub.