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How Police Officer & Business Owner Ryan Tillman Is Crushing It

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Across the country, there are many police officers who have started small businesses. From tactical gear and t-shirts to flags and nutrition supplements, cops are finding ways to use their creativity to generate extra income. For Ryan Tillman, his business is gaining momentum, and it's about to explode wide open.


​Growing up in the Southern California city of Rialto, Ryan Tillman didn't have much affinity for law enforcement. Ryan found himself often detained by officers for simply walking in the neighborhood. As a young African-American male, the feeling he was being targeted simply because of his skin color soon became his reality, and rightfully so. To put it bluntly, Ryan was getting "jammed up" by the cops for just doing what every other kid in America who doesn't have a car does; walking.

A New Calling 

Fast forward a few years and Ryan was now a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and he and his wife were expecting their first child. Although he was a successful insurance salesman, he knew he needed a profession with benefits and a more stable salary. Because of Ryan's personal desire to change whatever he believed to be wrong in the world, he often heard the suggestion from others, that he should become a police officer. This was a struggle for him, but after speaking with his family and praying about it, Ryan soon became a police officer for a department in the suburbs of Los Angeles. 

His desire to be a police officer was more than just the salary and benefits, or enforcing the law. It was more about using his position, badge and uniform coupled with his personal experiences, entrepreneurship, and Christian faith to change both sides of the aisle; law enforcement and teens.

Ryan formulated his company, Breaking Barriers United, after the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. After a very successful start, his company now holds contracts to speak in schools, churches, and community events. His employees, who are all law enforcement officers, speak with teens, educators, police officers, parents, and community leaders about law enforcement's role in society, racial diversity, self-esteem, and online and school bullying. 

Taking It To The Next Level 

Like many police officers who own small businesses, Ryan didn't see the need to spend a great deal of money on a "simple" website, so he had one made for a cheap price, just to give him a presence on the world-wide web. 

On the other hand, Ryan was investing a great deal of money on professional social media videos, social media management, professional photography, clothing merchandise, printed materials, and a podcast.

Everything made for BBU was and is done very well, except for one thing.

The #ITSNEEDED Podcast is hosted by Ryan Tillman and available for download on iTunes, and viewable on YouTube 

It all came full circle and drew people back to his website, whether intentionally or unintentionally. When they arrived at the site, it was a big let down.

A Strategic Plan For A New Website 

​Ryan reached out to us through our law enforcement website design service for help. Over a course of several discussions, emails, text messages, and a few meetings, he signed a contract with us and we immediately went to work, however; the work we were going to do is something Ryan, his old web developer, and quite frankly, every cop who starts a website, fails to do. We needed a strategic plan, and we needed intel.

We wanted to know who Ryan's audience was (the people who visit his website) and who his target audience was (the people Ryan wanted to visit his website). Who and what is Ryan's competition, if any? What are they doing on their websites and where's their marketing game at? How are people finding his competition, in terms of what do they type in the search box on Google or Bing that leads them to the competitor's website? 

These questions, and several more, were asked and answered before we even fired up the website design software. Obviously we can't tell you everything we do as that would give our secrets away, right?

What Makes A Great Website Design? 

Believe it or not, that question is one of the top questions asked by small business owners searching Google or Bing. Unfortunately, the answers are not going to be consistent, as each web development company will offer their opinion based on what they are actually capable of doing or providing to clients.

Interestingly, the question, "How to improve user experience of my website?" is also frequently asked. When we couple these questions together, the answer comes out to be this; a great website design offers a great user experience. We believe this to be true in every sense. 

When a person visits a website, they are essentially initiating a conversation with you, even though you are not there. A professionally developed website will answer the visitors questions automatically, and with as little effort as possible on behalf of the user.

Visit The BBU Spotlight Page 

If you want some more tips about website development for LEO-owned small businesses, or just want to learn more about what we did for Ryan, visit Client Spotlight: Breaking Barriers United.