A local website designer is using his talents to help nonprofits and small businesses amplify their goals.
Garron Gibbs, the founder of TwoG Marketing, LLC, was inspired to pursue entrepreneurship after working as a sales coordinator for Clear Channel Media and realizing that the corporate setting was not a good fit for him.
Gibbs had started working for Clear Channel in 2008 after he graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. After the Great Recession hit, some of his colleagues who had been there for years were laid off in 2009. He wondered why he wasn’t let go, since he was just hired. His manager told Gibbs that he wasn’t fired because he didn’t cost as much.
“The idea of me being a line item didn’t quite sit well with me,” recalled the native of Philadelphia’s Mount Airy section.
“From then on, I just started looking at entrepreneurship as a potential vehicle for a way out.”
Gibbs left Clear Channel in January 2012 and spent the next four years offering marketing consulting services. During that time, he worked on marketing projects for friends and learned web design through trial and error.
Gibbs also started a now-defunct blog titled ConcreteCakes.com, which focused on highlighting business owners.
He went on to launch TwoG Marketing in 2016. The company is based out of the Pipeline Philly co-working space in Center City.
The entrepreneur started out by offering digital marketing and social media management services. By 2018, he pivoted to focus on designing websites for nonprofit organizations and small businesses.
Gibbs enjoys his work, but the process of designing sites for his clients can be challenging because he has to interpret their respective goals and mission.
“You have to kind of have two hats,” said Gibbs, who is also a real estate investor.
“You have to understand their business or their industry pretty thoroughly and also know your stuff — web design and the tools that are available and constantly looking to see what’s new and what’s working and what’s not — and just be able to be a bridge between the two.”
Gibbs thrives on knowing that his work is making a difference for his clients.
“I’ve had several clients come to me and say, ‘I’m getting way more traffic, way more inquiries and way more engagement on social media,’ and that’s a beautiful thing to me because it’s tangible,” he said. “There are a lot of services out there where it is hard to measure success, but with web design you see it. It’s just a good feeling to be able to help people.”
The Urban Affairs Coalition is one of the Philadelphia-based organizations that has benefited from Gibbs’ aptitude for website design. UAC is home to 80 nonprofits and initiatives that improve the quality of life in the Philadelphia region. Gibbs has designed websites for some of UAC’s nonprofits.
“Not only do we have our UAC brand but we also have really strong native programs that have their own audience but really deserve their own presence and we’ve seen tremendous benefits through Garron’s work,” said UAC spokesman Brandon Johnson.
He highlighted UAC’s Community and Economic Development Committee website, cedphilly.org, as an example of Gibbs’ work. The website offers information on resources for buying a home, avoiding foreclosure and financially surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Garron worked directly with my team to design and eventually launch that site,” Johnson said.
“When COVID hit, he worked with that same team to reposition that website, creating a whole COVID resource section that we were able to share with thousands. When a social entrepreneur or anyone from the community is looking for somebody for his services, he’s an easy referral.”
Gibbs views designing websites as a labor of love.
“I know there is a lot of things out there that allow people to DIY a website, but you don’t know what you don’t know,” Gibbs said.
“A lot of my business has come from people who have tried to do it themselves or tried to get someone who is only charging a few hundred bucks to do the website and then once they mess it up, then they come to me. It’s definitely an investment and it should definitely be looked at as such and handled with care.”