Growth Hacking Interview Series #86: Marko Saric
He’s always been a music enthusiast and went one step further in his days as a metal head by creating an online site for Metallica, his favourite band.
Marko was just sixteen when his site became Denmark’s official Metallica fan club, which led to many musical adventures… and gave him a taste of online possibilities.
How did you start out as a marketer?
I started creating websites when I was a teenager in late 1990's. My first website was for my favorite band Metallica.
This got me into thinking about how to attract visitors to my site, which got me into marketing. After that, I also ended up studying marketing management at the university.
Looking back, what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
There's so much stuff out there on the internet. That's what's great about the internet. Anyone, anywhere can publish something and get an audience for whatever he or she is passionate about.
This also means that there's so much noise. And this is the hardest struggle for anyone wanting to deliver results. What do you do to break through all that noise and get your voice heard.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
I like that I can help people get started on their online content publishing journey. It's very empowering to be able to start a website and spread the word about whatever it is that is on your mind.
It can lead to many great things and be something that improves your life dramatically. I like that I can be a small part of that starting process for some people.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
I suggest that you need to build an audience first. An audience that believes in you, that sees you as an authority. An audience of people for whom you are an important part of their life.
Be it educational, informational, entertaining. You need to provide something of value to people, something people want.
When you have built that audience, it opens the door for you to monetize it any way you wish. Be it affiliate marketing, consulting, selling your own services or product, organizing events etc.
I have a detailed guide on these options for making money here.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I don't think it's realistic to achieve something very fast. Anything that you do in this world needs you to focus and put a lot of effort over a longer period of time.
Nothing comes easy. It's a marathon and not a sprint. You need to put in the effort every day. Learning, improving, experimenting.
How is your typical work day structured?
Due to the nature of what I do I spend a lot of my day looking at the different screens. This means that I try to structure my day with some habits that help my body and eyes be less affected by this strain.
I try to look away from the screen every 20 mins or so. I try to stand up and walk as much as possible, such as when doing meetings and calls.
There are some apps that you can use to help you with this. All this keeps me more focused and productive for when I am in the work flow.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
Isn't everything like that? Building an audience is like that. You start a site, you start publishing the best content you can, you start going out there and trying to interact and engage with an audience.
You most probably won't see any big results in the first 5-6-7-8 months, but slowly the effort you've put in will start showing in visitor numbers, your influence and more.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
I'd focus on figuring out what the brand is, what it does, what it contributes with and to whom. Without identifying and analyzing all this background, you won't be able to know what to do, how and whom you want to target.
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
It's a normal part of daily life for many. You have your life commitments, you have your work commitments, you have your hobbies and interests.
It's important to learn to deal with it and find a way to make it all work. Being good and productive in only one of these areas won't work well in the long term.
You need to find a good balance in everything to be happy.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
I don't think that things change so quickly in marketing. Working in the field such as social media we all think things change rapidly. But it's not always like that.
Take a step back to get a better overview. Some very “ancient” practices and best learnings are still more important and more relevant than something new and shiny that will most probably not stand the test of time.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I read a lot. I follow many people from many industries that I find interesting. It doesn't necessarily have to be relevant to my field at all.
I look at what they're doing, how they're doing it. I try to think what this means to me and how I can implement it myself.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
I don't think there's one book or blog that has answers to everything. You need to have broad interests.
Start looking at something that interest you right now, then open your mind and think about what you're reading.
This can lead you onto many adventures and will introduce you to many new sources of inspiration.
What advice would you share with other Marketer's who want to become more productive?
Stop watching TV, or playing games, or refreshing social media sites. That's where most of your day goes. You're not as busy as you think after you do this.
You will find yourself with enough time to put the effort into any project that you want. I have my detailed guide on being productive here.