Chris Danton & Kirsten Ludwig, Co-Founders of IN GOOD CO tells us how they build things that matter including teams, brands, products, and experiences.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded IN GOOD CO.
Kirsten Ludwig: Chris and I met while building up another agency in NYC. We instantly connected and knew this was the beginning of something special. We worked for another agency, repositioning them, and experienced immense growth. In all of that, there was a lot of learning—good and bad. Ultimately, we wanted to create something that took only the good parts, embracing our idealism and belief that if we did that, the work would speak for itself, and the rest would fall in line. And here we are.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Chris Danton: We have a team email thread that celebrates wins, triumphs, and dog attire. We include everyone on it who’s actively working with us, so even if they aren’t on the project, they can feel connected to a larger team.
We’re big on transparency. We put everything on our calendars, from workouts to therapy to skateboarding sessions with our kids. Not hiding behind ‘I have a conflict’ or ‘unavailable’ means we don’t waste energy on hiding our whole selves.
We make time for “not doing.” Whether it is a daily meditation practice, an afternoon walk, or simply taking a minute in what seems like an overwhelming day. We make a constant effort to be truly present and practice mindfulness.
How does IN GOOD CO market its product/services online?
Kirsten Ludwig: Primarily, our business comes to us through word of mouth and referrals, though we have some targeted Google Ads.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Chris Danton: We use Google Ads and their platform to run any ads that we do. It’s fairly easy to use, but we also use an outside agency with search expertise to optimize our ads over time to ensure we reach the right people and companies looking to align with our purpose.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Kirsten Ludwig: We’re lucky enough to have a large network of creatives, strategists, and doers within our collective, so more often than not, we’re finding people by referral. We do love ilovecreatives.com, though, to find talent and occasionally have used WorkingNotWorking.
As far as retention, everyone in our collective is a freelancer, albeit some work with us practically full time. We’ve found that the collective model allows us to cherry-pick the best creatives for the job, pairing them with clients and projects they are passionate about. This and our commitment to our culture set us apart and ensure we always have the right people for the right work.
How are you funding your growth?
Chris Danton: Our growth is funded exclusively through our projects. We don’t have outside investors. If anything, we invest in businesses where we see a gap or an opportunity to do things differently.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kirsten Ludwig: We often compete with larger, more traditional agencies. Our advantage is our size and how nimble we are. We don’t want to work as a traditional agency. We approach things differently on purpose—and with purpose. By curating teams for our clients, refusing to continue outdated (and costly) staffing standards, and embracing a collective model that ensures the best minds are working on great projects no matter where they live, we get to stay ahead but also stay happy.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Chris Danton: One time, a client told us that they thought of us like samurais when it comes to pitches. That we come ready for victory. She put it more elegantly, but it was one of the funniest and best compliments yet.
On a more regular basis, a lot of our clients love how integrated we become with their internal teams. We’re able to have one foot in and one foot out. Breathing their real and everyday challenges with them provides an outside perspective that keeps the work fresh.
Your final thoughts?
Kirsten Ludwig: IN GOOD CO is big on mental health. Coming out of the pandemic, it’s become more apparent than ever that the status quo of ‘push through’ is an outdated approach. We all put therapy on our calendars, prioritize it and hold each other accountable for going—no ‘i feel guilty’ cancellations. We’re excited to see more businesses and leaders talking openly about how important this is. It’s not to say business doesn’t get done. This is critical too. But when you’re, you treat mental health as important and are transparent about it. It’s that easy to work as a team to overcome any hurdles.