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25-Year-Old Entrepreneur Savannah Jordan on How She Built a Multi-Million-Dollar Marketing Agency in Three Years
“I just leaned in and said, ‘I don’t care what it takes, I’m just going to make it happen.’”
A note from Polina: I’m excited to share this interview with entrepreneur Savannah Jordan, the founder of marketing agency Alpha. She was interviewed by Alexis Derickson, a staff writer and digital media manager for The Profile. I hope you enjoy it.
At 22 years old, Savannah Jordan was freshly divorced, living in a tiny studio apartment in California, and eating one meal a day so she could afford to feed her dog. Three years later, at 25 years old, she had created a multi-million dollar, female-owned and operated marketing agency.
How did that happen?
Jordan did not establish Alpha Creative Agency with any inkling of half-heartedness. The term “mental resilience” circuits incessantly through her path to CEO – when the going got tough, Jordan got tougher. That meant looking beyond the state of her emotions and finances to dedicate herself wholly to a company she knew she had no option but to succeed with. After all, working 60 to 80 hours a week and balancing two other jobs is not something you do just for fun.
“The struggle is short-term, but you’re working towards a long-term goal,” she told The Profile. “If you can sacrifice that short-term period of time, it will always pay off in the end. I knew that it was only temporary and I knew that I had to get out of that situation.”
She describes her proven Alpha marketing framework as a three-step process: “attract, warm, and convert.” Each step intends to maximize brand visibility and awareness to transform even the coldest of followers into consumers ready to invest in your company and increase sales.
Genuine authenticity is what enables Jordan to take her client connections to the next level, but also what supports the newly laid foundation of marketing’s next era. She describes in our discussion the details of her “marketing girl next door” approach to building partnerships and content devoid of pretentiousness.
“I am very much someone who wants to make success accessible to so many people,” she says. “I was able to walk away from my 9 to 5 within one month because of my marketing and because I’d signed so many clients. That’s what I want for so many people who are craving that level of success.”
And her particular brand of authenticity paid off. Jordan went viral with her TikTok video titled, “My Psychotic CEO Morning Routine,” in which she discusses the steps she takes every morning, from ice baths to visualization exercises, to show up consistently for her clients and team. It has almost 1 million views to date.
Today, Alpha counts a number of female-founded and operated brands as clients, and Jordan owns 100% of the company. (Jordan declined to share the company’s annual revenue.)
In this conversation with The Profile, Jordan shares how she developed a tough mental framework, adapted to marketing’s constant evolution, and grew a personal and professional brand worth millions.
This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
(Below is an excerpt of the interview, but I encourage you to listen to and watch the full interview.)
Early in your 20s, you went through a divorce and were struggling to make ends meet. What did it feel like during that period of hardship and what specific things did it teach you about mental resilience?
JORDAN: I really attribute that phase of my life to the amount of resilience that I have. Any person who goes through a personal challenge like that is really going to struggle, but I was actually really grateful that I was starting a company at that time because it gave me something to throw myself into. I had to be successful because I had no other choice at that point.
Something that I was always taught growing up was that the struggle is short-term, but you’re working toward a long-term goal. If you can sacrifice that short-term period of time, it will always pay off in the end – and it very much did.
When I started off, I was working probably 60 to 80 hours a week. I was still working part-time at my other marketing agency job, I had started my company, and I had 10 marketing clients of my own. I was living on my own for the first time without my ex. I could barely afford to pay my own rent and was eating one meal a day so I could also feed my dog.
It was a very crazy time, but I knew that it was only temporary and I knew I had to get out of that situation. I just leaned in and said, “I don’t care what it takes, I’m just going to make it happen.”
Before there was Alpha, there was See Jane Go, a ride-hailing service you created by and for women. After having to sell the startup, what takeaways did you carry with you from the experience? What did you do differently when starting Alpha?
The biggest takeaway that I had was mentorship. With See Jane Go, we had never started a transportation company before. Uber was just really starting to take off, so we felt there was a huge gap in the market for female drivers or female passengers to help women feel safe.
I think it’s an incredible concept, but we did not have any mentorship from people who had already successfully started that kind of business and achieved the level of success we were looking for.
With Alpha, that was a massive difference. If you can get in the back pocket of somebody who has already created the level of success you’re looking for and you can learn from their mistakes, you can scale faster and more sustainably.
You’ve spoken before about how “the old era of marketing is dead.” How do you stay ahead of marketing’s constant evolution?
I think it’s constant research and trial and error. I am always the guinea pig for our clients in terms of marketing and sales strategies. When Threads, the new Instagram app, came out, I was the first person that was downloading it to figure out what the vibes were on the platform and how we could potentially use it in a marketing strategy.
Pay attention to how different audiences respond to different types of content, what people are talking about, and what people are really craving. Not even just within marketing and sales, but within human beings and how we behave, we’re entering this phase where people are saying, “Cut the bullshit.”
We don’t want to see this perfectly-curated Instagram feed anymore. Gen Z was responsible for the photo dump situation on Instagram that showed the behind-the-scenes of their lives. People are craving that authentic side of human nature and brands and businesses.
In terms of staying ahead of trends, it’s sitting back and observing how people are operating. I stalk all the people who follow different influencers, businesses, and brands and see what they’re commenting, what’s going on in pop culture, and what people are craving. Pay attention to human behavior to see what platforms we’re using to leverage what people are wanting.
What does your personal brand say about you, and what questions do you recommend we ask ourselves when developing and evaluating our personal brands?
I think I’ve always been called “the marketing girl next door” or “the marketing cool girl.” I more attribute myself to “the marketing girl next door.” I don’t think I’m very cool. I’m somebody who wants to make success accessible to so many people. Marketing, to me, is the core of what creates sales and sales is what creates success for brands.
I was able to walk away from my 9-to-5 within one month because I had signed so many clients. That’s what I want for so many people who are craving that level of success.
In terms of developing your personal brand, I think there’s two aspects to it: How do you want your target audience to feel when they’re consuming your personal brand and how do you want to be portrayed?
A lot of the time those two are very similar. My personal brand is a lot more casual and approachable. I never wanted to be someone who was stuffy or a “cool girl.” I want people to say, “Savannah is the person I can go to if I ever have any questions about business, marketing, or sales.”
How do you define the word ‘success’?
Success, to me, is more about impact than anything. I think that you can make as much money as you want, but when you leave this world you can’t take it with you. When you leave a lasting impact on people — whether it be in your community, your team, your family, or your inner circle — you will be remembered forever. That’s the biggest thing for me that I want to do in this world, and I won’t feel successful until I’ve created the most impact I possibly can.