Darius Fisher – Co-founder & CEO of Status Labs

It’s pretty simple. Hire quality people who are self-motivated to succeed and pay them fairly.

Darius Fisher is the CEO and co-founder of Status Labs, a premier online reputation management, digital marketing, and public relations firm with offices in Austin, New York, and Sao Paulo. Status Labs serves over 1,500 clients in 40 countries, including Fortune 500 brands, CEOs, politicians, athletes, and other public figures.

Fisher created the strategic vision of the company, built partnerships with agencies and influencers, and recruited their domestic and international sales and account management teams. In 2016 Status Labs was named #349 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies.

In 2015, Fisher was acknowledged for his forward-thinking efforts in the field of PR and reputation management and awarded The Innovation 50 by PR Week. He is also an active member of PRSA.

His thought leadership has earned Fisher credibility in the industry. He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, writing about PR industry trends, workplace and career advice, and tips to better one’s online reputation. He has also been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Inc., Daily Beast, Yahoo!, The Observer, and US News and World Report, among others.

Prior to co-founding Status Labs, Fisher was a political consultant and copywriter. He graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University.

Where did the idea for Status Labs come from?

I worked in political consulting in San Francisco and through those connections met some of the top crisis communications professionals in the state. Because I seemed to know digital, I got tasked with a variety of projects that had to do with fixing our client’s internet reputations.

The guys I worked with really just did high-level strategy and really weren’t interested in broadening their offering, so I saw an opportunity to build a business in the digital crisis management space. And that’s how the idea came about.

Since then, Status Labs has evolved into a full-service digital marketing and communications firm providing a wide range of digital services from SEO to Facebook marketing to improving Google search results.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I get a full night’s rest, meditate for 10-15 minutes, run, lift weights, and have coffee. I then create a list of daily priorities and try to tackle the most important ones first. Then comes emails. The rest of the day I’m more or less triaging various business-related issues.

I do everything from new business and client calls, to hiring, to mentoring the team, to handling the media, among many other things. Sometimes I don’t finish my last calls until 9 or 10pm because we serve clients all over the world. When I have an evening free, I play soccer with friends, cook, or watch documentaries and read.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think about a plan or an idea for a while. Then I have bursts of productivity, I’m not sure where they come from, where get lots done in a short period of time and the ideas become reality.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

That companies and people are recognizing that digital reputation management is just as important, if not more important, than traditional PR.

Getting media coverage matters a lot less than it used to. Now, the way you look online (specifically in Google search, on social media, and on review sites) is paramount.

Turns out we were just ahead of the curve, and many traditional PR agencies and communicators are trying to catch up, but, unfortunately for them, have entirely different skill sets. So I feel very good about our position in the market and the growth opportunities that lay ahead.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Mindfulness and exercise.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Apologize quickly when you’re wrong!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

That Waterworld starring Kevin Costner is a great movie!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Remember names and details about previous conversations you’ve had with someone. The sweetest sound to someone is their own name, and they like to hear it.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

It’s pretty simple. Hire quality people who are self-motivated to succeed and pay them fairly. My co-founder Jesse Boskoff and I help drive this motivation by offering rewards for hitting goals and milestones. For example, this year we hit a revenue goal, and we’re taking the whole team to Hawaii. The team sure did work hard to hit that goal!

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Really get to know someone before you go into business with them, and learn about about they treat other people. I’ve made mistakes choosing business partners, and I wish I planned in advance for how to wind down the relationship.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A training course that helps people disconnect. I think we’ve hit an inflection point where people are realizing that being connected all the time, glued to social media and email, makes them unhappy. I think there’s a global opportunity to profit as the pendulum swings away from constant connectivity.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The black-on-black Nike Flyknit running shoes. Both stylish and comfortable and great for workouts.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Slack. The ability to create different channels for different projects has really improved the efficiency in company-wide communicates. It keeps everyone more organized and has tremendously reduced the amount of emails in my inbox.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

How to Win Friends and Influence People. I utilize lessons from that book daily both in business and my personal life. There’s a reason it’s still a top-selling book after so many years.

What is your favorite quote?

“Think less, do more.”


Darius Fisher on Twitter: @fisherdarius
Darius Fisher on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/dariusfisher