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In his twenties to thirties, he was on an entirely different kind of screen. In addition to some independent films, he played roles on popular soap operas, including a year on As the World Turns, and four years on All My Children. Eventually, he would earn accolades from the Garden State Film Festival, winning the Pastorelli Award for acting, “a very big accomplishment for me at the time.”
The path began with a big dream – to do what would have made his father, who passed away two decades ago, proud of him. “That set me up with a vision,” he says.
“I knew I’m never going to stop. So I slept in the city every single night, and I knocked on every single door, to get where I was. And at the end of the day, it’s all about the drive.”
Showbiz, though, can be a fickle industry, and Sernio was always prepared for a fall-back plan in case things dried up. Fortunately, he had an existing training, and former work, in web development and advertising, for when that time came. That “drive” ultimately came in handy, this time not to promote himself, but to promote others.
“Eventually, I built my own type of structure on how I wanted to see it done, and took what others were doing wrong, and fixed it my own way, and slowly built it up from there,” he says.
“I studied my competition like no other, day and night. What they were doing, what they were doing better, how they were doing it, how many people it took.”
It paid off in a big way. Shoreline has been recognized in the industry as “Best SEO Agency,” by Upcity, Clutch, and Top SEO rankers rated them “Best SEO firm” for the fifth year in a row. CEO Monthly honoured Serino with “CEO of the Year.”
Whether requiring a niche job, or a wide array of jobs, Shoreline has brought together the expert staff to address the needs. “I tell our clients ‘you don't have to go to an agency that actually specializes in just one specific part, or one specific industry,’” he says. “It’s so long as the team and strategy are there to support you.”
An added “wow” factor includes a proprietary dashboard, that helps the client see everything in one hub, such as analytic data, phone calls, lead calls, and how those leads are coming in.
“So, you could basically spy on what we're doing on the SEO level. And we put it to every single client, front and center, exactly what we're doing on a regular basis to help generate leads for you. It’s what keywords we're working on, if those keywords are actually generating leads for you; if not, you’ll see us remove those, and add new ones that actually are generating leads.”
Just added is an artificial intelligence reporting, that takes the data and the tasks, and gives the client a forecast of what will happen if they stay the course, or what could improve in online searches. Additionally, Shoreline just added an entire competitor analysis area, that examines the competition’s activity, to gauge how that information can be used to a client’s advantage.
“This is about constant communication,” he insists – everywhere from what’s happening in real time, to having a dedicated staffer at the ready, for client outreach.
But Sernio is quick to point out that all this work isn’t merely just about doing business, after all; it’s about doing repeat business — what he considers a hallmark of the company.
“It tells you something about the trust and the work that actually goes into it,” he notes. In fact recently, a client that Sernio helped for six years, that grew year after year, just sold the business for $91 million. “Being able to provide services to get them to a point where they can actually do something like that is amazing.”
As well, lately he’s showed how he could successfully parlay his own marketing skills and talents for an altogether different kind of company he runs.
When news came to him that Red Rose Bakery was up for sale, Sernio jumped in with an eye for potential, and gobbled it up. He then employed a recipe for success so often used by Shoreline — a rebranding and optimization strategy— that worked so well, that within a year, three others opened in the New Jersey franchise under his purview.
Today, twelve people are employed, up from three. Their custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes and elegant cheese-filled Boss Cannoli, he says, are a thing of envy amongst locals.
And even while he’s expanding other businesses, he’s also growing Shoreline to keep up with demand, unbelievably at a time when so many businesses are downsizing.
They recently added two employees to the existing twelve, and have moved from 2,500 square feet to 5,700 square feet, taking over the entire building of their offices.
“I always envision something that is bigger and better,” he says of his personal mission statement. If past accomplishments are any indication, those visions soon become a reality.
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