We talked to Brett Farmiloe of Markitors about digital marketing and the effects of COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Brett Farmiloe: You know, 2020 has unique challenges for everyone – whether you’re a 4-year old going to preschool, a stay at home mom, or a business owner. With that being said, we are all well and stronger as a result of the path we’ve been on this year. Thanks for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Markitors.
Brett Farmiloe: When I was a senior in college, I decided to buy an RV and travel across America to interview people about their career paths. I documented all the career interviews we conducted and then started a job as a corporate auditor. About three months into that job, the site started to generate organic search traffic. I kind of fell in love with SEO and search engine optimization right there. Flash forward almost 15 years later, and I run an SEO company for small businesses.
How does Markitors innovate?
Brett Farmiloe: A couple of ways, both in the practical and figurative sense. Figuratively, we’ve devoted one of our company core values (“Always Fresh, Always Thrilling”) to innovation so that this mentality is instilled in our cultural DNA and decision-making. Practically speaking, we do research. Currently, we’ve teamed up with university faculty and Ph.D. students to conduct research around SEO so that we’re equipped with the latest data and trends that are unique to our company.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Brett Farmiloe: We are more lucky than most. Being an SEO company, we help businesses build visibility online. As more companies have turned to a virtual service offering, SEO companies are there to support and benefit from this trend. While we’re not setting “best month ever” records, and we have had to make tough decisions as a result of significant revenue losses, I’m optimistic that our business will rebound and come back stronger.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Brett Farmiloe: Definitely. The lesson learned is that even though the decision is hard, it’s the right decision. The sooner that decision is made, the better the business can recover.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Markitors in the future?
Brett Farmiloe: As funny as it sounds, I’ve learned to breathe this year. Breathing is something we take for granted. But it is the most important thing that we do. By improving breathing through methods like mediation and yoga, stress and anxiety are able to be channeled into a different type of energy. One CEO friend of mine practices breathing for an hour each day. While I’m not there yet, I’ve learned that the way we breathe has enormous power to be present and guide a company in the right direction.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Brett Farmiloe: There are more digital marketing companies than coffee shops within a mile radius of where I’m sitting right now. The difference is a level of trust. SEO services have the trust level of a car mechanic. To stay in the game, an agency like ours has to focus on developing trust at every turn. That means producing SEO results for our clients, our business and turning down more than 90% of the opportunities that come our way.
Your final thoughts?
Brett Farmiloe: I expect the pandemic to produce a whirlwind of entrepreneurial activity. So, I’ll conclude this article with a piece of advice and an online resource inspired by more than 1,000 conversations with small business owners over the last decade. The definition of a “startup” is to put something in motion. That’s the hardest thing to do in business: to develop momentum. In SEO, developing momentum is building online credibility. If you are launching a startup, that is your challenge when it comes to online marketing. You need to build credibility. Recently, we launched a platform that enables entrepreneurs to answer questions and get published to help build credibility. You can sign up and answer questions at Terkel.io.