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Dragonfly Photography and Centrus Digital were among the first collaborators at the Cooperative Venture Workspace. More than a year into their affiliation, Dragonfly sees the benefits of Centrus’s expertise, and they both see the benefits of the building culture of cooperation at the Workspace.

“I went from not showing up on a Google search in Portsmouth to becoming No. 1. It took about a year, but the advice they gave me really helped out my Google search rankings,” said Rachael Kloss Pawlik, founder of Dragonfly Photography and a professional photographer who specializes in weddings.

“I get a lot more calls and business now that I am so much easier to find on Google.”

Jonathan Day and Robert Rustici created Centrus Digital, formerly known as Sharper Selling, an internet marketing company that offers three main pillars of support for its clients: paid search advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media. Its expertise extends into getting the best results in a Google search for a client, such as Rachael.

“With any business it’s best to start with their customer’s pain points. What problem have they turned to Google to help them solve? What questions are they asking Google and what keywords are they most likely to use?” said Jonathan.

“Sometimes there is a delicate balancing act between a company’s brand and what their potential clients are searching for – it’s not always the same thing.”

Dragonfly and Centrus became members at the Workspace in Spring of 2016, soon after it opened in Downtown Portsmouth. Their proximity to each other and the culture that exists at the Workspace led to one of many collaborations.

The collaboration that arose from their Workspace proximity was a two-way street. Rachael got some SEO expertise; Jonathan and Bob got some headshots and other photography for their web site.

“I can’t thank this dynamic duo enough,” said Rachael. “As a wedding photographer, it can be hard to relocate so when I moved from Newburyport to Portsmouth I was unsure of what would happen. This coming wedding season, almost all my weddings are in the Portsmouth area so I am traveling less and working in my desired region, which is so great.”

Beyond the opportunity to foster collaborations, the Workspace has provided Rachael and other members the opportunity to create friendships.

“As someone who is self-employed, it is so nice to get away from my home office and have a space to go to. I have collaborated with so many Workspace members,” said Rachel.

“I have made friends and it’s nice to ‘go to work’ in an office setting. Before the Workspace, I had my own office in downtown Newburyport. It was great but I was alone in my office and I missed the co-worker environment. The Workspace is a way to work with other like-minded small business owners and get things done.”

Centrus also sees the advantages that have come from its investment in a Workspace membership.

“The Workspace was, is, and continues to be the best investment our company has made,” said Jonathan. “Dragonfly was the first, but certainly not the last member we have collaborated with.”

“Additionally, being in the space with so many fantastic entrepreneurs is a constant, fantastic networking opportunity. We have received a large amount of referral business from other members, we have sent referral business to other members, and we have collaborated with other members. Most of all, it’s just fun to come into the space and catch up with so many unique and diverse entrepreneurs.”