We’re thrilled to announce that for the fourth year in a row, LinkNow Media has ranked on the prestigious Growth 500 list for Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies!
Published online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca, and in print in Maclean’s magazine, Growth 500 ranks Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth and celebrates the country’s most successful entrepreneurial businesses. And this year, with a 5-year revenue growth of 242%, we placed at No. 310 on the 2019 Canada-wide Growth 500 list.
Looking back on 2019, it’s easy to see why. We more than surpassed our 10,000-client goal. We’re quickly approaching a staff of over 200 employees. And to accommodate all this growth, we even expanded our office space by more than a third. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for LinkNow Media!
Join us as we take a look at the people who make it all possible.
From Humble Beginnings to an Industry Leader
It all started with a simple idea. Co-founders Wesley Mendelovitch and Sonny Bettan realized early on that every business—big and small—needed a website. It was the only way to stay competitive in a world increasingly dominated by the internet. The problem was that, back in 2009, it would cost you a small fortune to get a professionally designed website. That wasn’t a problem for big businesses with big budgets. But what about the little guys?
As small business owners themselves, they knew the struggle first-hand. So, they came up with a plan. They’d start their own web design company. And their goal would be to make beautiful, SEO optimized, and conversion-ready websites affordable to small business owners.
And with that, LinkNow Media was born. With a humble team of 5 committed individuals, they worked tirelessly, driven by a singular mission: to make the lives of small business owners a little easier.
Ten years later, with over 10,000 clients and nearly 200 employees, that mission still drives us on. It guides us when the going gets tough. It congratulates us when we’re doing a great job. It inspires us to work together to come up with innovative solutions for complex problems.
A Company Culture Driven by Collaboration
Everyone knows that a strong mission statement can inspire and unite a team to work together. But it’s only one part of the equation. You also need to foster an atmosphere of open communication, collaboration, and teamwork. Here at LinkNow, this atmosphere is what makes the whole machine work so smoothly.
It’s not uncommon to overhear veteran employees explaining to new hires that the best thing about working at LinkNow is the people. Everyone takes a different approach to problem-solving. Everyone brings their own unique personality into the mix. You’ll hear the veteran employee explain that, “It’s like a family here. Sometimes dysfunctional, definitely weird, and always a new adventure. We all bring a positive attitude and a desire to face challenges with optimism.”
The diversity of backgrounds—both personal and professional—means that new, creative ideas are always flowing. We feed off of each other. The enthusiasm is contagious. We don’t just pay lip-service to collaboration—it’s one of LinkNow Media’s central values and it’s helped us grow into the company we love to work at.
Small Teams, Big Impact
It’s refreshing to work at a place where your voice is heard. Where your opinion counts. Where you’re encouraged to take responsibility for your work and make an impact.
Every department is made up of small teams. In Customer Service, for example, you have the Welcome Call Team (for client on-boarding), the Customer Care Team, the Local SEO Team, the Content Writing and Organic SEO teams. And within the Local SEO Team, you have the Google My Business experts, the citation submission pros, and the pre-call researchers.
The same goes for the Web Design and Development Department and the Sales Department. By working in small, tightly-knit teams, everyone gets an opportunity to contribute to the direction of the company as a whole while also pushing their limits and personal growth.
Meet Ryan MacDonald—“We’re Only Just Getting Started”
Ryan MacDonald, our Senior SEO Consultant, explains:
“I’ve had a great experience working at LinkNow. I’ve learned a ton and worked on some really interesting and rewarding projects. My role and responsibilities have grown and I’ve seen my friends here do the same. It’s amazing to be part of discussions and efforts to improve the marketing services we offer to our clients. I’ve been able to make an impact and feel inspired by the feeling that we’re only just getting started!”
Like many LinkNow employees, Ryan started in an entry-level position on the Organic SEO Team. However, he quickly proved to his team lead that he had a ton of well-thought-out and impactful ideas that could benefit their team. One of the decisive projects that he helped inaugurate, was a project with Andrew Mendelovitch, Aubrey Grant, and Eve Mendelovitch to build a strong, results-driven content strategy—one that proved successful almost immediately after its implementation.
By proving that he had both the interpersonal skills and strategic thinking to be a leader (on this and previous projects), he was the obvious choice when the team lead position opened up. It’s very encouraging to see your coworkers get the opportunities they deserve!
Similar stories could be told about many of our senior employees. People who stick around for the long-haul. Who put in good work every day. Who aren’t afraid to take risks. Those people get rewarded for their efforts at LinkNow Media. They grow as the company grows.
Meet Noor Salah—“Each Day Is Different, and I Love It”
Another LinkNow Media success story comes out of Local SEO Team. Noor Salah started at LinkNow in June 2016 as a lead generator on the Sales Team while finishing up her bachelor’s degree. At that time, it was common for most new hires to start out in the Sales Department. It gave all our employees a firm understanding of our products and, ultimately, our company objectives.
What Noor didn’t know when she started, was that LinkNow preferred hiring from within. As she explained:
“To my delight, within a few months of doing sales, I graduated from University and transferred to the Local SEO Team. It was like nothing I had ever done, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Selling websites and marketing services over the phone versus actually doing the leg work were two different worlds. I definitely found my niche in Local SEO.”
Noor spent several years working on the Submissions Team—the team that works on building citation profiles for our clients. It’s not easy work both because of the ever-changing systems and dealing with the sometimes unresponsive and often unreliable business listing databases. But it suits her!
Eventually, Noor’s flexibility and desire to learn and take on new responsibilities led to her being promoted to team lead of the Submissions Team. Now, she says, “every day is a new adventure! Will I be training a new hire? Which new tasks will I tackle? How many citations will I complete? Each day is different and I love it!”
Meet Emmerika Alexander—“I Take Pride in My Contribution”
Teaching and learning from each other are two of the fundamental values that hold the people at LinkNow together. Like Noor, Emmerika didn’t know much about Local SEO when she started. But over the years, she too has come into a position of authority on her team and in the field:
“When I started on the Local SEO team, I thought I was going to be stuck in a cubicle entering data. It has been anything but that! The dynamic learning curve has been challenging and very stimulating. When I started, I had no formal training on website marketing or the benefits of it for a business owner.”
Emmerika learned quickly and soon was promoted to a team lead position in Pre-call Research. There, she’s been able to see not only her personal development, but the growth of her team as well. Her ability to simplify complex problems into teachable moments has made her one of the most valuable leaders on the Local Team.
But it doesn’t stop with Local SEO. Emmerika’s work brings her in contact with many other teams as well.
“I strive daily to collaborate with the various departments in the hope that we can improve the client experience while making the work easier for everyone. Watching the company grow has been impressive and I take pride in my contribution!”
A Balance Between the Personal and Professional
When we spoke to Emmerika, one of the things she wanted us to talk about is how LinkNow gives employees the opportunity to live their life. In a world that increasingly favours business objectives over employees, LinkNow Media stands out from the crowd.
Emmerika is, after all, a mother. Meaning that her job at LinkNow Media, is actually her second full-time job. But, as she explains, it isn’t difficult to strike that balance here:
“My balanced work/life schedule allows me to be equally good at both my ‘jobs’. I don’t feel the pressure to choose between the two. There is a delicate play between being an employee and a parent, yet I am free to make a choice without feeling guilty or sacrificing my work.”
Naturally, this is another reason LinkNow has been able to hold on to so many strong employees for so long. It’s not just parents either. LinkNow boasts an incredible amount of talented individuals. We have dancers, poets, singers, film makers, music producers, novelists, painters, and even a classically trained concert pianist. It’s no surprise that the annual talent show, thrown by our beloved Max Karpman, is the event of the year!
By giving employees the ability to pursue their passions outside the office and develop their careers within, LinkNow has managed to create a unique workplace that no one wants to leave. That means that we keep those who’s knowledge and technical skill drives the growth of the company overall—and will continue to do so long into the future!
The Future at LinkNow: Always Ready to Take on New Challenges
We couldn’t be happier to receive, once again, a place on the prestigious Growth 500 list! It’s an incredible honour and one that we never take for granted. Hard work and dedication pays off!
And none of it would be possible without the employees—the directors, managers, team leads, and staff—who work tirelessly to improve our products through a supportive and collaborative workplace. We thank you for your dedication, patience, and perseverance.
It’s been an amazing journey, and we can’t wait to see what new challenges and successes the future holds!
About the Growth 500
For over 30 years, the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies has been Canada’s most respected and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement.Developed by PROFIT and now published in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca.
About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country's premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada's business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.