"Another gang of early 20s founding an ad agency and spamming my feed" might be the thought you get when you're served ads from White Lion Agency. Tom Holzhauer and Lukas Kintzel, two of the five founders and shareholders of White Lion Agency, tell us that there is much more behind this gang in our Normal Gets You Nowhere podcast.
"You got the golden ticket to the chocolate factory with us," says Tom Holzhauer, one of White Lion Agency's greenies to Melvin Lamberty, founder of Born Originals. The WhiteLion Agency is a performance marketing agency based in Wittenberge, pretty much in the middle of Berlin and Hamburg. For those who can't imagine anything about it, Tom explains it like this. "Through systematized processes, we want to help our clients gain more visibility, more new customers and more sales. In doing so, we are 100% specialized in e-commerce."
Founded in the attic
The beginnings of the agency, which today manages a monthly advertising budget of between 400,000 and 600,000€, go back a few years in the process. Having met in their teens, Tom, Lukas and three other friends developed the idea of founding an advertising agency through the same interests over a longer process. "We all had the motivation and the mindset to do our own thing," says Tom. This idea did not meet with great approval from everyone "My parents were always like, do something sensible like medicine, everything else is unsafe," says Lukas. In 2017, the plan is nevertheless implemented. In Tom's attic - furnished with a pair of desks sponsored by through Tom's mom - they work through the day and night from then on to hone the vision. "When our friends were out partying, we built our company: We built the first online stores, opened the first advertising accounts. At some point, we had more advertising accounts than credit cards," says Tom, looking back on those early days.
Doubts were normal
When asked about these early days, however, Lukas becomes clear once again. "You have to remember that the first 24-36 months were really tough. We drove 100,000 stores against the wall and only one of a few ever ignited." Particularly in the early days, doubts sometimes accompany the guys. "We had situations where, for example, Til, who is a few years older than us, got headwind from his friends and they then asked him, what are you hanging out with all these young guys, it's not going to work out anyway. But the big difference to others is that we are all friends and have managed to smooth out all the waves again and again", says Tom about the initial doubts that probably every founder has.
Expansion is the goal
The two founders and the team have already defined where they want to go in the short and medium term. If the team currently consists of 18 employees, of which only one person is employed as a freelancer, this is to grow even further. "The team will expand again significantly, I expect the team to be twice as big by the end of next year. From there, we want to further expand our dominance in the market," says Lukas. Tom defines medium-term goals this way. "We want growth and to make many e-commerce companies successful. We want to be THE performance marketing agency in the roof space in the medium term," says Tom. To achieve this, internationalization also plays a role so the two founders. At the end of the conversation Tom gives again for a warning for future spam attacks. "I apologize now already: If you roughly correspond to our target group, we will also be present for the next few years," Tom says with a laugh.
You can hear the entire conversation in episode 005 of the Normal Gets You Nowhere podcast.