Xplorer Brandon Shoals on producing music, digital marketing and bringing creativity to work
If you guess how many people at Xplor have creative lives outside of the office, the answer might surprise you! Take Web Developer Brandon Shoals, for instance. While comics and drawing were a part of his early childhood, and even led him to commission art and host his own art show, music took over in his early twenties when he heard the song Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix. “It changed my life! I couldn’t believe the sounds I was hearing. That’s when I knew that I had to figure out how to play the guitar, and the rest is history.”
Since then, Brandon continues to play music, and uses his skills as a professional music producer. In fact, independently producing music has helped him connect to his role at Xplor. “Entrepreneurship can be rewarding, but it comes with many challenges,” he said. “Although I am a professional music producer, I still do everything myself. This has helped me understand the pain points our customers may experience. It’s an incredible feeling to have someone in your corner to help you, and I try to be that person for our customers.”
Brandon said that one of the challenges of running his own business is the ever-changing nature of digital marketing—something he sees Xplor customers deal with as well. “The digital landscape is changing rapidly and will continue to in ways unseen, especially with the rise of the metaverse. So, it’s vital to develop genuine connections with my customers or fans,” he said.
Another demand he faces as the owner of a small business? Building trust with potential customers. “People want to know you and your business before they buy from you,” he said. “We must stay ahead of the curve with marketing and make sure we use systems to simplify business tasks and marketing efforts. I believe in the products of FieldEdge by Xplor and Service Autopilot by Xplor because they help make running a business easier. Maybe they should make software for music businesses too!”
Outside of music, Brandon has acquired a broad range of experience in the tech space—after kicking off his career in customer service, he moved over to web development and graphic design, and even spent some time as a technical account manager at DELL. Today, he’s a web developer for Xplor, focused on increasing brand awareness so that small businesses can fully understand the power of FieldEdge and Service Autopilot software. “We want to show them how this software will change their business and personal life for the better.”
In his role, Brandon helps both customers and Xplorers reach their full potential by creating web pages and design materials that are engaging and informative. “I think customers must be able to easily digest everything we put in front of them and get real value,” he said. And he’s able to do that due to the environment that Xplor creates. Brandon feels supported by his leaders, as well as Xplor’s focus on fostering a workplace that helps Xplorers broaden their skill sets and achieve their goals. “One thing that stands out to me is the opportunities Xplor provides to continue my learning through Udemy, a learning platform every Xplorer gets access to the moment they join the company. It shows that Xplor cares about setting people up for future success.”
With such a robust career in both creative and tech fields, Brandon has certainly learned a lot of lessons. One piece of advice he must offer? Failing often and failing early. “Although it sucks, we learn the most from our mistakes, but the key is to get off the sidelines and into the game and get back up when you get knocked down. Don’t quit.” It’s clear Brandon keeps this advice in mind, as he believes in pushing yourself beyond your limits to achieve your goals. In fact, when it comes to the Xplor values he connects most with its move with purpose. “If you’re just going through the motions to achieve a goal, you probably won’t reach it,” he said, “You have to go after what you want in this life with everything you have.”