One thing that Freddy X. Vasquez really loves to do is network with business owners and community members.
Honing his networking skills has allowed Vasquez to build a successful digital marketing agency to the point where he could relocate to a contemporary office location along a bustling portion of the Penn Avenue corridor in Wyomissing.
Vasquez unveiled the new location for FXV Digital Design at 928 Penn Ave., during a grand opening on Aug. 8.
His community-involvement paid off that day when 142 people came out to show support and visit the new location.
Vasquez relocated the business from a small location along Morgantown Road, Reading.
But his business started from more humble beginnings back in 2008 when he and his wife Jill relocated from New York to Florida.
Knowing he had a knack for being creative, Jill encouraged Vasquez to think about graphic web design as a career.
Not having had any training on the topic, Vasquez said he self-taught himself through “the school of Google.”
Working from his dining room table, Vasquez started creating page designs for what was then the largest social networking website, MySpace.
“I cut my teeth on MySpace designs and built brands for clients,” Vasquez said. “My biggest client was Five Finger Death Punch (a nationally-recognized heavy-metal band from Las Vegas) and I started to get noticed for creating brands for bands.”
But as social media changed and MySpace disappeared, Vasquez changed his focus to Facebook page designs and then website design and social media management.
“When building one thing, I found I would want to do whatever I could with my clients and decided to begin digital marketing, Google ad words, graphic design, print design and advertising,” he said. “I realized I could provide any one client with everything they needed for marketing. I knew I had to change with the times or die.”
By 2016 Vasquez had relocated back to the northeast, settling in the Berks County area, where he operated his business from his basement.
Local networking opportunities led him to open in a commercial space in 2017, which allowed for continued growth and his eventual move to Penn Avenue.
Vasquez purchased the Penn Avenue building, which formerly housed Suzy Rae Design. Purchasing the real estate has allowed him to lease additional office space to the rear of the building.
Vasquez admits he is working in an industry crowded with competition.
But Vasquez believes he has set FXV Digital Design apart by being unique and creative.
“I try to give a different look to your website,” he said. “Others in this area tend to have the same layout and look. I try to do something totally different.”
When he first came to the area, Vasquez said he had a large national client base. He has now been able to shift that to having more local clients.
“That appeals to me more because I love forming relationships,” Vasquez said. “I want to work with someone I can grab coffee with. People actually walk in now and ask what I can do for them.”
Vasquez said he makes sure he stays current on what is happening in the digital environment.
“I follow changes in social media from week to week and stay current on search engine algorithms,” he said. “The biggest mistake someone makes is to try and build their own website. Sure, you can make it look good, but just because something looks good doesn’t mean it will be seen. And it has to be responsive on mobile devices, otherwise Google will not even list it.”
Vasquez said he has not had to do much advertising for FXV Digital Design because of the marketing and networking opportunities in Berks County.
“When a client trusts you, people talk and the word gets out,” he said. “Good conversation gets you much farther. Everyone loves to sit in here (the new office). We work hard on creating a vibe to make this an inviting space.”
Vasquez said the environment is very important because he likes to spend time with clients to learn everything he can about their business so that he knows what to show online.
John Whitehall, the owner of Strategic Sales Training Solutions LLC, Shillington, said Vasquez has been a valuable resource for his business.
“FXV Digital Design has provided me with a clear roadmap to navigate the confusing world of websites and social media,” Whitehall said.
Vasquez said two of the most important aspects to him are having clients who trust him and giving back to his community.
“I would love to be the George Bailey of Wyomissing (The banker in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ who sacrifices his dreams in order to help his community),” Vasquez said. “I love making friends. That’s who I am, a community guy.”