Who is Jonathan Tavarez?
To put it in simple terms, I am an Internet Enthusiast, Marketer, and Entrepreneur. I am the founder of Vantage Internet Group, a digital agency based in Tampa, Florida which oversees the reputation and marketing campaigns for online businesses. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a dual Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Business Management being one of eleven students to do so on one of the largest student body universities in the country. While in college, I was elected Director of Public Relations for the Dominican American Student Association (DASA) and Director of Marketing for USF Car Meets – the largest on-campus organization at USF with thousands of active members and sponsorships from the likes of NOS Energy Drinks and Redbull. I was also part of an amazing team that collaborated on a unique local marketing plan for Verizon FiOS.
My Life Story
Let me take you through my short life story, that way you’ll get a better idea of who I am rather than if I had just gotten straight to business.
Ever since I could remember, I have been in love with computers. What attracted me the most about them was the internet. It all started when I was around 12 years old and lived in New Jersey which is when I got my first computer. The first thing I got on my computer was internet access and an AOL account. Back in the late 90’s America Online was the hottest ISP and nearly everyone in the US was using it. Eventually, I dabbled into trading digital assets such as rare, desirable screen names, graphic design, and web development. I taught myself HTML, Flash, and Photoshop which helped me create a series of websites that looked pretty advanced compared to what was around at the time, and they were. I collaborated with people from all around the world to create websites and trade these digital assets which to me was extremely euphoric – there was never enough!
So how did I start monetizing my passion?
While in high school I started doing freelance work for friends and family which I was doing mostly for fun and extra cash. I was honestly making more money from the CD / DVD business I started within my school at the time. With 2 employees, we started advertising our services and eventually were making up to $200 per week in profits which was awesome for 15 and 16 year olds with no jobs.
Upon graduating, I had numerous jobs which helped save up for future investments. I also helped with the family automotive business, but it just didn’t satisfy my appetite. After months of research, I decided to start buying and selling digital assets again. This time they were not screen names, but domain names and websites. I made decent returns on these assets, but I knew they’d be more valuable if they had traffic which turned into leads or sales. Even if they didn’t turn into leads, I knew the websites would be more valuable to a prospective buyer.
I started reading up on internet marketing topics such as Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and Display Advertising. My digital assets eventually turned into gold mines and were sold at higher profits than ever. It got to the point that I felt comfortable enough to offer my services to other companies as a consultant, and boy were they interested! Unlike many people in the industry, I figured I would take average industry rates and lower my rate slightly just to get my foot in the door. It’s true that one should not devalue their services by providing the lowest prices, but that is something you can only think about once you have built a solid portfolio of clients and case studies, which I didn’t have. Either way, my tactic worked incredibly well and my customers saw results that blew their minds. Up-selling and cross-selling were key to increasing a $12k year client to a $50k per year client.
The Digital Agency
This eventually turned into Vantage Internet Group, a full service digital agency based out of Tampa, Florida with a team of six highly motivated professionals. My passion had finally turned into a very profitable business which helped other organizations build their reputation, increase their visibility, and generate leads. We also continue to buy, sell, and broker digital assets such as domain names and revenue generating websites through our private network of contacts. Our clientele ranges from innovative new tech start-ups to small local businesses. We are also one of the only digital agencies in the US to cater to the Hispanic market on a global scale.
Flash forward to today and it’s a given as to why I continued on this path of digital technology. It’s been a part of me for all of my teenage and adult life and it will continue to be essential to who I am.
Internet Enthusiast. Marketer. Entrepreneur.
All the best,