Creative faces in business – Ryan Baggott

Creativity comes in every color, including black and white

By Mary Patterson

Ryan Baggott is proud to live up to the stereotype that millennials are lazy, but not in the way you might think. Ryan is obsessed with finding ways for automation to help businesses and staff spend their time where it matters. Saying he is obsessed is an understatement. This Savannahian moved to Bluffton when he transferred from Georgia Southern to the hospitality program at USCB. Until he discovered the power of Facebook marketing in 2009, Ryan thought his career would remain in food and beverage.

Even if this photo was shot in color, it would appear black and white. Unlike many techie, creative 30-somethings, Ryan doesn’t sport tattoos or piercings and he doesn’t spend energy deciding what to wear when a black and white T-shirt and cap will suffice.

His ah-ha moment came when he saw customers walking into the Tiki Hut, where he worked at the time, because they saw one of his posts or chats on Facebook. It was at that moment that Ryan knew he had to follow his passion of, as he puts it, “turning conversations into conversions.”

A self-professed nerd, Ryan likens his creative process to how he plays chess. He can literally see the end game in his mind and, in his mind’s eye, he sees the steps it will take to win. This creative super power led him to start his omnichannel marketing application company, Tap The Table (TTT). In a nutshell, TTT helps business owners automate and personalize customer interactions (conversations) to drive more sales (conversions). 

“So many businesses don’t put a value on employees’ time because so many tasks are routine. For example, a restaurant host is supposed to welcome guests and give a great customer experience. However, he or she also may be tasked with answering the phone to take orders because ‘it only takes a few minutes.’ It doesn’t take long before those ‘few minutes’ become hours. Order-taking is a process that is not a human’s HABU (Highest And Best Use) of time and an app usually can do a better job. An app can allow the customer to create their own order, customize it and pay, then deliver the order ticket to the kitchen and alert the customer when it is ready. When I figured out how to create that process, my life changed.”

While Ryan’s business is omnichannel (email, chat bots, Messenger and texting), Facebook is the cornerstone. “People told me five years ago Facebook was dying. If 2.7 billion users and growing is a dying business, I will take it,” says Ryan with an excited twitch. He is literally itching to get back online.

Three ways to keep your creative inspiration

Rap star Wiz Khalifa chose Ryan to create an application to take orders and engage with customers and fans.

1. Follow people who inspire you. For Ryan, those people are Gary Vee and Elon Musk, whom he follows on social media, podcasts and video.

2. Love what you do. This sounds cliché, but there isn’t a morning that Ryan doesn’t wake up excited to solve problems and make people happy. Positivity fuels creativity. 

3. Keep learning. Join mastermind groups and private Facebook groups, many of which are dedicated to helping others in their field. There is so much free knowledge online, there is no excuse to stop learning. 

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