Mike Templeman has been creating websites since the early noughties. It wasn’t until around 2007 that he entered the digital marketing world with an actual marketing and a budget.
Even in those 10 years, things have changed drastically. That was back in the days of black hat marketing when the go-to tactic was spamming websites with links in order to get a better Google ranking. That required little technical expertise.
Now, you have to be an expert to be capable of achieving the desired results. That doesn’t necessary mean you now have to pay a lot of money for someone to market for you. It’s just that you have to learn everything you can in order to succeed.
There’s plenty of information out there for you to educate yourselves. However, Mike is here to tell you his business, Foxtail Marketing, achieves great things for his clients. And he’ll also reveal why he doesn’t want to work on things he doesn’t enjoy, just for the sake of it.
Life’s Short, So Use It Wisely
Before he had his current business, he founded a no-credit financing group selling electronics online during the depths of the recession.
What he’d seen was a lot of good people who no longer had credit, so he created his company to fill an emerging gap in the market. And now it is an industry which has grown exponentially.
However, Mike hated it as he spent his time chasing down payments and being lied to. He wasn’t having a lot of fun.
He had learned a lot about marketing during this time and decided that in 2011 he’d start consulting on the side for technology companies.
This is where Foxtail Marketing started, and thankfully it grew to a size that allowed him to sell the business he found no joy in.
Growing The Right Way
Although he didn’t expect it, he did want the challenge of running a successful business. He has now surpassed having 65 employees.
It was much tougher than he had expected, and after three years of working non-stop, he found himself burnt out and he hit the wall.
He was experiencing a crisis where he was working with team members and customers he didn’t like. He wasn’t enjoying himself again, so he made some dramatic changes.
Firstly, he drew a line on a whiteboard. On one side he wrote down the clients he enjoyed working with and the employees he trusts. And on the other side the clients he didn’t enjoy and the members of his team he felt he was babysitting.
As a result, Mike dropped some clients and changed his team. It was obviously painful and quite extreme. However, he wanted to get back to doing what he enjoyed most, which was building campaigns with ‘rockstars’.
In the two months since, he’s been finding work a lot more satisfying, just by going back to the core of his business.
He is no longer growing for growth’s sake. He is now growing the correct way, rather just always pushing forward. After all, growing and owning a business is about making sure staff and clients are as happy as possible.
As a result of the quick growth, he found they weren’t hiring the right people. And that was because he didn’t have time to wait for the right person to come along.
Up until then, as a sole founder, he had been busy working on other parts of the business, instead of with clients. So he split the business and delegated. That now means he is able to give clients a personal touch, and decisions can be made without the emotional attachment of the founder.
Mike’s biggest competitor isn’t other marketing agencies, but rather the stigma people have with the industry. It’s common for people to distrust digital marketers.
He overcomes that by first learning absolutely everything about the businesses he’s helping, including their competitors. With a complete picture, he can build campaigns which suit and set goals which are relevant.
It’s important to remember that SEO and content production are mere tools in achieving the ultimate goal.
A Marketing Journey
Before you start producing content, you need to know who you’re going after, what they do, what they care about, and how they’d find you.
It’s common for people who run their business to not actually know this, but it’s then something you have to find out before starting.
You need to see it from the customer’s perspective. When you know them, Mike suggests using roll play to think like them, and answering questions from their perspective. Or, you could actually interview actual customers to really understand them.
Then you can plan the journey which they need to take with you. That may be engaging on social media or visiting a purchasing page. But once you know where you’re going, you can then actually start using the tools at your disposal.
You’ll need content so people can find out who you are, and to then show people that you’re better than the competition.
For Mike, this process can take around three months to build and have in place a strategy. After that amount of time, you should also have an idea as to whether something is working or not.
Suit Your Budget
It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. But it’s also important that you only do what is right for your business at the time.
If you can’t spend between $2,500 and $7,000 a month on marketing, without worrying, then you’re at a point where you will get better results by doing things yourself. Otherwise, you won’t get value for money.
This hasn’t got to be a daunting thought, however, as the internet is full of information you can use, so you can learn to do it well yourself.
Mike often has conversations with people who reach out to him on Foxtail Marketing. So if you want help finding solutions to your problems, with no high-pressure sales techniques, then get in contact with him.
Otherwise, Mike also has regular columns at Entrepreneur, Forbes and Venture Beat. From his articles, you’re bound to learn a wealth of information about marketing, which is particularly helpful if you’re giving it a go by yourself.