Meet Nicole Moser with FOR•GE Advisory

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Nicole Moser of FOR•GE Advisory, an outsourced marketing company, takes us through her journey of creating FOR•GE, their focus on providing high-quality marketing resources to small businesses and startups, and what her passions are outside of work.

The importance of accessibility and affordability in marketing services is key for her firm, but also the business practice that they follow to make sure their clients get the attention that they need to forge a lasting and fruitful relationship. Nicole touches on her love for her family and what activities they do to get away and bond.

What recommendations does she have for our listeners? What is one of the frustrations that she has encountered with clients? Where does she like to go camping?

CLICK HERE for more information about Nicole Moser.

CLICK HERE for more information about FOR•GE Advisory.

Listen to Nicole’s story here.



Click here to read the transcript

Announcer 0:00
From Los Angeles. This is the Echelon Radio Network

Jerri Hemsworth 0:11
This is Jerri Hemsworth with the Echelon radio podcast. And today I’m got the great pleasure of sitting with Nicole Moser of FORGE. How’re you doing today?

Nicole Moser 0:22
Hey, Jerri. I’m great. Thanks.

Jerri Hemsworth 0:23
Good. Good. Good. Good. Tell me about Forge. What do you guys do down there in Culver City?

Nicole Moser 0:29
Absolutely. So we are an outsourced marketing company. We work a lot with small business and startup companies, and nonprofits. Okay. Um, the way that I think is easiest for us to explain it is anyone who has a marketing need, but doesn’t necessarily need someone full time in house. So we do websites, we do social media. On the startup side, we do a lot of strategy and branding.

Jerri Hemsworth 0:56
That’s really great. Because that’s so important. Many business owners, I know from our own experience come in, and they have no clue. They just know that they need to start a business of their own, or that they want to, but they know they have to market. They have no idea.

Nicole Moser 1:17
Yes, yes. And a lot of the times they’re in a high growth space, too. So whatever it is that they’re doing needs to be done pretty efficiently.

Jerri Hemsworth 1:24

Nicole Moser 1:24
And not super expensively. And so we like to come in and be kind of that right arm? Yes, we limit the number of clients that we work with at a time, because we are a smaller team. How do you do that? Well, pretty naturally, because sometimes we’re coming in on the level of consultation. And that can look like anywhere from five to 20 plus hours where we’re actually be coming and stepping in as part of their team, right? Maybe they’re going for another round of investment. And they need to get all of these things aligned and ready for a pitch pretty quickly. And we’ve even gone so far as to do some of those pitches on their behalf and presentations like that to investors as well.

Jerri Hemsworth 2:06
That’s, that’s very, very cool. So you limit the number of clients you have at any given time?

Nicole Moser 2:13

Jerri Hemsworth 2:14
Is there a hard number? Or is it have to do with bandwidth of number of hours?

Nicole Moser 2:19
It’s really bandwidth. Yeah. And it just, we kind of tailor how we spend our time accordingly. We generally wouldn’t work with more than probably four consulting clients at the same time, just so that we’re able to really step in and give them our attention and feel like we are part of their team.

Jerri Hemsworth 2:39
That’s really smart. That’s a really smart way to run a business. And you have a partner, right? I do. And what’s her name?

Nicole Moser 2:46
That’s Kristen. Yes, Rector.

Jerri Hemsworth 2:48
And what does she do for the company?

Nicole Moser 2:50
She is our brains behind the operation, per se. She’s our designer, she does a lot of the development. Everything behind the scenes, she does meet with clients as well, a lot of the branding and strategy. We call her our street or a chief strategist.

Jerri Hemsworth 3:06
Chief Strategist. And you’re so you basically do bizdev and client management, and press the flesh meat and say, and take the first hits.

Nicole Moser 3:18
Exactly. Anything client facing is generally me. I do a lot of our business development, lots of networking, and then client communications on the backside. Normally, I’m that first line as well.

Jerri Hemsworth 3:32
Gotcha. How did you two form Forge and what’s behind the name?

Nicole Moser 3:37
So forge stands for For Great Endeavors. Wow. Yeah. I had an independent consulting firm, and focusing on new businesses, specifically new businesses that were in a space of high growth. So a lot of formation, a lot of funding to get things off the ground, startup funding, things like that. Any new business is going to need a website. They’re going to need branding. They’re going to need everything that Kristin does,

Jerri Hemsworth 4:09

Nicole Moser 4:09
And so I found myself hiring her a lot. And she and I had coffee one day, and we were talking about why we do what we do and what we like doing what we like about the things that we do at the time, she was working for a top design firm out of Santa Monica. And we were talking about, you know, we had already been working together on several projects. And so she was telling me that she loves what she do or what she does. And she really enjoys working with small businesses. One thing that was disheartening to her was how expensive some of the design services can get

Jerri Hemsworth 4:49
It can get expensive.

Nicole Moser 4:50

Jerri Hemsworth 4:50
Yeah very.

Nicole Moser 4:51
How it made them so inaccessible for small businesses send

Jerri Hemsworth 4:56
And quality for an affordable price. Yes,

Nicole Moser 5:00
yes. And I was really just impressed by I mean, obviously, her quality of work everything that she had already been doing and what I’d seen and love her as a human. And so we were sitting there over lattes. And I was like, wow, well, I’m sick of paying you. Why don’t we joined forces, because everybody that I was working with needed what she does.

Jerri Hemsworth 5:22
Right. Right.

Nicole Moser 5:23
And she’s phenomenal to work with.

Jerri Hemsworth 5:26
Oh, that’s good.

Nicole Moser 5:27
Yeah. And it was this sort of lightbulb moment that went off based on the common value of we really believe that small business and startup companies should have access to high quality resources.

Jerri Hemsworth 5:42
So cool.

Nicole Moser 5:43
And let’s make them accessible.

Jerri Hemsworth 5:44

Nicole Moser 5:45
And let’s take everything that we do, and make it targeted towards businesses that are in a high growth space, so that all of the things that we do in the ways that we do them can grow with them as they grow.

Jerri Hemsworth 5:56
I find and maybe you find this as well, when clients have been burned in, but I mean, you get you’re getting more startups and maybe people in the beginning but when many clients have come in and they’ve been burned by high priced under deliverable or under delivered marketing firms, and we kind of have to clean up the mess.

Nicole Moser 6:23

Jerri Hemsworth 6:24
And it irritates the snot out of me. And trying to build that trust again.

Nicole Moser 6:30

Jerri Hemsworth 6:30
With the client. Do you have you? you’ve encountered that with?

Nicole Moser 6:33
Absolutely. I think one of my biggest pet peeves is when we run into a website client, and we take a look at their back end to quote things out and everything’s hard coded. Yes. And it’s built designed to be a tool that keeps you coming back

Jerri Hemsworth 6:49

Nicole Moser 6:50
to your designer, right to even change a letter.

Jerri Hemsworth 6:54
Yeah. A thought a font a number,

Nicole Moser 6:56
A date. A phone number. Anything?

Jerri Hemsworth 6:58

Nicole Moser 6:59
And what should be a 30 second

Jerri Hemsworth 7:02

Nicole Moser 7:02
Not costing anything sort of a change? Oh, we have to rebuild this. Yeah, or something like that?

Jerri Hemsworth 7:09
For thousands of dollars. Exactly. And you’re like, wait a minute timeout.

Nicole Moser 7:13
And their trapped?

Jerri Hemsworth 7:14

Nicole Moser 7:15

Jerri Hemsworth 7:16
We have run into so many situations where a client has been trapped by their, you know, I’m sorry, but their web person and it and they’ve been charged up the wazoo. And when we have to deliver the news of saying I’m sorry, but for what you want this website to do. And to be. It has to be completely rebuilt.

Nicole Moser 7:38
It’s cheaper. It’s often less expensive to start from scratch.

Jerri Hemsworth 7:42

Nicole Moser 7:43
And give them something you have that they can keep forever.

Jerri Hemsworth 7:47

Nicole Moser 7:48
Change themselves.

Jerri Hemsworth 7:49
Yeah. Yep. And the other piece, and I don’t know if you’ve run into this is when they can’t get usernames and passwords from their IT and or website person. And they’re kind of locked out. And

Nicole Moser 8:05

Jerri Hemsworth 8:06
Yes. And that’s what’s unfortunate is, is an and we’ve said this to many people, when you start on your marketing path for anything digital, you have to have the usernames and passwords. You hold the keys to the kingdom. We just get to borrow them, but you own them. And anybody who doesn’t let you do that. Run away Run reall fast.

Nicole Moser 8:31
Red flags. Yeah, absolutely.

Jerri Hemsworth 8:32
We are so on the same page. Oh my god. So tell me what do you when you’re not working? What do you love to do?

Nicole Moser 8:43
I really like all things outdoors. I love camping. I love hiking.

Jerri Hemsworth 8:48

Nicole Moser 8:48
Yes, camping

Jerri Hemsworth 8:50

Nicole Moser 8:50
Uh huh.

Jerri Hemsworth 8:51
Where do you like to go?

Nicole Moser 8:53

Jerri Hemsworth 8:54

Nicole Moser 8:54
Yeah, really anywhere? Oh, wow. We usually do the local within two hour drive trips. But we’ve made it a point to start visiting all the national parks too. And so we’ve been kind of checking them all off our list. We have our little passports with stamps and

Jerri Hemsworth 9:10
so cool. Yeah, what was the last one that you guys did?

Nicole Moser 9:13
We were we were at Yosemite.

Jerri Hemsworth 9:15

Nicole Moser 9:16
Yeah. We’ve been making that an annual trip which is just lovely. It’s different every time to you can’t you can never get enough of Yosemite.

Jerri Hemsworth 9:25
So now you have a 10 year old daughter I do is it just you and summer that go camping? Or usually you go with a group of people? What is your, what do you love to do with that?

Nicole Moser 9:34
We have a friend group that we go with. There’s usually like 20 to 30 of us. Yeah, but it’s fun, it’s a bunch of you know, there’s grownups and there’s kids and everybody it’s just a blast.

Jerri Hemsworth 9:47
So that does make it fun. We call just the two of you go yeah, she’s like stuck with mom and

Nicole Moser 9:53
Exactly. Now she has a blast. I have a blast and strength in numbers and we call them our family.

Jerri Hemsworth 9:59
Oh, Oh.

Nicole Moser 10:01

Jerri Hemsworth 10:02
Oh, I love that. Oh my god. I love that idea. I I have a sister in law that lives right near Yellowstone. Have you been to Yellowstone?

Nicole Moser 10:11

Jerri Hemsworth 10:11
What did you think of that? I haven’t been.

Nicole Moser 10:13
Oh, magical.

Jerri Hemsworth 10:14
Is it?

Nicole Moser 10:15
Yes. You have to find the bears. We were on a grizzly bear hunt.

Jerri Hemsworth 10:20
And you found the Grizz?

Nicole Moser 10:23
Three of them. It was so wonderful.

Jerri Hemsworth 10:26
Really? Was it? One of them a baby?

Nicole Moser 10:29
One baby and two adults. So yeah, it was amazing.

Jerri Hemsworth 10:34
Oh my gosh. Yeah. I want to go to Arcadia in Maine. Okay, I haven’t been there. And and there’s a couple that are in the south east that I want to go to. But there’s still so many out here. Like you said two hour drive. Of course, Montana is not too hard.

Nicole Moser 10:52

Jerri Hemsworth 10:53
But yeah, there’s some really good ones. And we are so blessed to be within that. That range.

Nicole Moser 11:00

Jerri Hemsworth 11:01
Oh my gosh. And I hear you’re a dog person.

Nicole Moser 11:04
I am a pet dog person.

Jerri Hemsworth 11:06
What kind of dog do you have right now?

Nicole Moser 11:08
She is a mutt. She’s a husky mix with the cattle dog. Maybe a little bit of Shepherd. Lots of energy.

Jerri Hemsworth 11:16
Lots of fur.

Nicole Moser 11:17
lots of fur lots of love. She’s very special.

Jerri Hemsworth 11:22
And you said she’s a year old? She’s

Nicole Moser 11:24
one year old? Yes. She just turned one. And how did you get her? So she was a rescue. We had lost 15 and a half year old dog last year. And one of my girlfriends found her running around the neighborhood and just took one look at this puppy and was like you’re perfect. You’re here. Yeah, let me and so she brought her home and checked for chip and everything and no color, no chip. And I happened to be having brunch with her that week. And was showing her the shelter puppies that I was looking on. And she’s like, I have the perfect dog for you stop looking and showed me the videos and the photos that she had an earphone and we arranged for a meet and greet and trial run. And here we are.

Jerri Hemsworth 12:12
And how old was she at the time? Six months old? Yeah. older, a little bit older.

Nicole Moser 12:18
Yeah, definitely not happy puppy and puppy enough to eat all the blinds in my house the first night though? Yeah.

Jerri Hemsworth 12:24
The first night first. She didn’t wait a week. No. Oh, hello, teammate herself very comfortable. Nice. We have a two year old pup. Mookie. And I thought we were getting away with him not really chewing on much other than his plentiful dog toys. And I sat down in my favorite antique chair that used to belong to my grandmother hadn’t sat in it for a month it was in my living room, I sat down and felt the arms. And that little sucker Puppy had chewed all these arms that both the arms on this chair, and literally they were like splintery and I went oh, gosh, of all things for you to chew. The antique grandma chair. Boy Oh, boy. But he was sneaky because it’s not something that you would notice right away. Not like blinds. Like what the heck? Yeah.

Nicole Moser 13:25
That was his same day trip to Home Depot that night.

Jerri Hemsworth 13:30
How long did you did it take before you put them up the blinds back up? Because obviously she was going to go for it again. If

Nicole Moser 13:38
no, they had to go up. I mean, we had bear windows. Oh, oh, gosh, it was bad.

Jerri Hemsworth 13:44
So Does she still have a chewing thing? Or have you been able to distract with other things?

Nicole Moser 13:51
Well, she likes to chew. So we’ve provided her with all of the things that are appropriate to chew on. Right. I have learned how much entertainment exercise friend time she needs to get that out. Yes. And talk her out so that by the time we’re ready to sit down and relax. Yeah, she’s used to

Jerri Hemsworth 14:18
Movie Night with with the girls on the couch. Oh my God, I know that. I know that so much. You. You told me you like to read.

Nicole Moser 14:28
I love to read big, big reader.

Jerri Hemsworth 14:31
Yeah. Do you like to read the most books? Well,

Nicole Moser 14:34
I’m in the middle right now of a historical novel series by Marie Benedict. Okay. And we’re also I read to summer as well. Summers, my daughter. And so we’re in the middle of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Oh,

Jerri Hemsworth 14:50
I love that. Yes.

Nicole Moser 14:52
This is our first CS Lewis book. We just finished Pippi Longstocking? Yes. Great. Great. She loved Pepe. So it was very fun.

Jerri Hemsworth 15:01
I have another recommendation in case you haven’t heard of it from the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler.

Nicole Moser 15:10
No, that sounds to me. Yes. Okay.

Jerri Hemsworth 15:12
She’s the perfect age for it. And that’s a that’s one that I still remember being read to. And that one is that’s excellent.

Nicole Moser 15:22
I love that. It’s funny or Yeah, okay. Yeah.

Jerri Hemsworth 15:25
And it’s about two kids that, that basically learn from this older woman and her. Yeah, you get you just it’s excellent. It’s excellent. You’ll love it. That

Nicole Moser 15:37
sounds fun. We did Mrs. Piggle Wiggle which is short. Did

Jerri Hemsworth 15:40
you did you read miss? Oh, I’ve heard of it. But I haven’t read it hysterical. Great. Great. As a parent, you get to rediscover either novels from your own childhood, but also the new stuff and what’s appealing to the kids. Yes. You know, the 10 year olds and the 12 year olds and stuff. You get some really good stuff. Absolutely.

Nicole Moser 16:00
Gorgeous. So great.

Jerri Hemsworth 16:03
Well, thank you so much for sitting with me today. Thank you love getting to know you. And really, we have so much in common, you know in marketing but also with being moms and so I look forward to spending more time with you. Me

Nicole Moser 16:18
too. Thank you so much take care.

Announcer 16:29
Presented by Echelon business development, more than just networking, way more

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Nicole Moser is co-founder of For•ge Advisory, a marketing firm in Los Angeles. Visit For•ge.

As CEO and Creative Director at Newman Grace, Jerri leads one of Los Angeles’ most respected marketing firm and brand communication firms. Newman Grace has been providing marketing, brand and advertising consulting, graphic design, and social media services to growing companies since 1996. Newman Grace serves the professional services, manufacturing, sports, publishing and non-profit markets. Jerri is an adjunct professor in the School of Media, Culture and Design at Woodbury University. She is also a co-founder of Echelon Business Development Network. Learn more about Jerri here at Newman Grace.