Lee Wallis will design your website, convert the designs into a functioning site, set up marketing services, and more – and he’ll do it for Bitcoin. In fact, he was initially inspired to start his own business when the directors at his previous company refused to accept Bitcoin as payment from their clients. Wallis felt so strongly about the issue that he quit his job, and within just a couple months, Wallis Creative was born.
“The greatest benefit for me,” Wallis said when asked about the pros of working alone, “has been having the flexibility to improve on the services I provide and trialing exciting new technologies without having to spend hours and hours convincing an uninterested board of directors.”
Inspired by his passion for Bitcoin, I reached out to Wallis and spoke with him in depth about his story.
Emily Braun: Your reasons for leaving your old job are really interesting to me. Can you expand on this story?
Lee Wallis: I’ve been working at website and online marketing agencies for over 10 years now, and it has always been my job to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to forming creative strategies or leveraging new technology. So naturally, as I’m a huge believer in Bitcoin, I suggested that it should be a payment option for the agency I was working for. I mean, what harm is an additional payment option anyway? Surely, the option to accept Bitcoin can only mean added convenience to those who prefer this method of payment.
However, the Managing Director didn’t see it that way. Unfortunately, he had been influenced by the media (as most people are) into believing that Bitcoin is a “currency for criminals” and that it would give the agency a bad name. I attempted to explain that these were misconceptions, but to no avail. At this point, I decided that an agency who can’t see the incredible potential of new technology like Bitcoin isn’t the agency I wanted to be part of. That’s when I decided to leave and set up my own online marketing agency.
And of course, I accept Bitcoin!
Braun: Did you face any challenges in setting up your own agency?
Wallis: The biggest challenge for me was getting my name out there and acquiring new clients. I’m an expert when it comes to generating leads for business online, but I’ve never had to do it without an advertising budget, which is what I had to do for myself.
But an idea struck me, just at the right time. I decided to let the Bitcoin community know what I was doing, because after all, it was Bitcoin that inspired me to break away from my old job. So I posted on Reddit, and within 12 hours, I was at the top of the /r/Bitcoin page. I received over 3,000 unique visits to my website from all over the world, and over 100 quote requests in the first 24 hours.
Braun: So have you had lot of clients pay you with Bitcoin?
Wallis: My new agency is only a couple of months old, and the first and only time I have advertised so far was via the Bitcoin Reddit page, so the real question is, “Has anyone paid me with fiat?”, and the answer to that is no! Every client I’ve had so far has been from the Bitcoin Reddit page, which has been awesome, because they all want to spend Bitcoin. I would love this to continue!
Braun: That’s great to hear! What do you think needs to happen for Bitcoin to become more widespread?
Wallis: I think for Bitcoin to reach the mainstream, there needs to be a app or service that leverages Bitcoin’s amazing technology but makes it extremely easy for people to use. At this point, it’s only a matter of time, as many of these companies already exist and are doing a great job.
Personally, what excites me more is getting Bitcoin into the hands of the billions of unbanked people around the world. That’s where lives are really going to change. I think at that point, Bitcoin will gain stability, which will in turn make it more attractive as a gold alternative for storing value. And from there, we’ll have legitimacy, and the full potential of this technology can be realized.
Braun: How did you first learn about Bitcoin?
Wallis: Ironically, I first heard about Bitcoin in 2011 from an employee in the same agency from which I recently quit. He sat next to me, and we worked together quite closely over the years. He didn’t quite understand what Bitcoin was, but he said we should both get some.
I spent about two days trying to figure out how to get some and had no luck. I found it really confusing. I remember thinking, “If Bitcoin is a file on a computer, what’s stopping someone from copying and pasting the file multiple times and becoming rich?!”. Clearly, my understanding was very poor, and I eventually got bored and forgot about it.
That is, until November 2013, when I saw in the news that Bitcoin had risen drastically in price. I couldn’t believe it. However, I’m so glad there was a huge price rise, because that gave me the patience to research Bitcoin and gain a much better understanding. Now, I’m a huge fan, and I love talking about it.
Braun: Do you personally use Bitcoin for purchases? Especially since your clients are paying you with it so often!
Wallis: I use Bitcoin for purchases all the time, whenever I have the opportunity. Unfortunately, Australia is a terrible place to buy and spend Bitcoin, as there’s a double tax. However, I got myself a Coinjar Swipe card, which means I can transfer Bitcoin to a debit card and use it to buy groceries anywhere that has an EFTPOS machine.
One of the first transactions I ever made was to demonstrate to a friend in Brisbane how amazing Bitcoin is – by paying for his breakfast in a coffee shop instantly, even though I was overseas at the time.
Braun: What single aspect of Bitcoin is most relevant to your interest in it?
Wallis: The main reason I love Bitcoin is because of the amazing foundation it has set for unthinkable, life-changing applications that probably haven’t even been dreamt up yet. One day, we’re going to be introduced to an idea, and that idea is going to change the world… and it will be powered by the Bitcoin blockchain.
Braun: In your opinion, what is the future of Bitcoin?
Wallis: In my opinion, Bitcoin will undoubtedly become a worldwide ledger that everyone on the planet will interact with on some level (knowingly or unknowingly), whether it’s for use as a currency, or whether it’s for transferring rights or storing important data, or powering the Internet of Things twenty years from now. It WILL become the most important technology since the Internet… the worldwide ledger.
– Emily Braun
To check out Wallis Creative, click here!
Image credit: Wallis Creative