Growth Hacking Interview Series #124: Zeb Welborn
Zeb Welborn is the founder of Welborn Media and The Tutoring Solution, he is the host of The Defining Success Podcast, author of The Social Golf Course and creator of the Sharing Your Passion Essay Scholarship contest.
How did you start out as a marketer?
I started out as a marketer by accident. My first business, which I still own, was a local tutoring business. I began learning how to market that business and got good enough at it to be recognized by a few local business owners who hired me to handle their marketing efforts.
I quickly realized there was more money in marketing than there was in tutoring so I hired someone to take over the tutoring business and I started my online marketing business, Welborn Media.
Looking back, what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
It's always difficult to demonstrate ROI using social media. My favorite line is that although I can demonstrate ROI with social media, it will never tell the full story.
Because through social media marketing, not only are we able to demonstrate results, but we also add intangible touch-points that help move potential customers and current customers through the sales process.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
My first client was a parent of one of my tutoring students. She kept asking me how I was doing the marketing things I was doing, so I finally asked her if she'd like me to do some of them for her business and she said yes.
I then emailed everyone I knew and told them I was becoming an online marketer and had three big clients in the first month. The work I did for them was social media via Facebook and Twitter as well as search engine optimization.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
The most rewarding thing is being able to help passionate people achieve their dreams. One of my current clients is Dave Shultz from REALiTEE Golf. He's one of the most passionate people I know and it's an honor and pleasure to help him pursue his dreams. Working with clients like Dave is amazing!
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'm not a fan of the term freelancer because it feels like you've decided to do something part-time. Although the work we do could be considered freelance work, I've never thought of myself as a freelancer.
My advice would be instead of calling yourself a freelancer, think big and start a business with the goal to grow continually.
You can earn money online in a lot of different ways as long as you're willing to invest time, money, commitment, make a thousand mistakes and work astronomical hours.
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?
Honestly, I wouldn't do anything differently. Growing my business has been a journey and it's been a great one. Cutting corners would have avoided valuable lessons. Grow your business the right way by considering how the work you do will help others and the rest will fall in line from there.
How is your typical work day structured?
I don't have a typical work day. Lately, my weeks are filled with in-person meetings throughout the normal workday as I'm heavily involved in my community and meeting with individuals who could help grow my business in one capacity or another.
Once home for the day I work on the computer to handle the duties I need to for my clients. Working all day until 2am and waking up at around 6 to 7am is the norm, although I do take time to hang out with my family when I should.
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?
This is an interesting question. I think everything I do is putting in significant effort which I will pay off down the line. Probably the most obvious examples are my book, The Social Golf Course and my podcast, The Defining Success Podcast.
Both required an immense amount of upfront effort which paid and are still paying dividends. As a business owner, we're constantly doing things to grow our businesses which don't reap tangible benefits immediately.
You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.
My brand strategy would start with identifying the five characteristics, traits, etc. that you want your brand to represent. Then figure out your target market/audience. Lastly, figure out how to communicate your five traits in order to best serve your target market/audience.
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
I juggle dozens of projects daily. My skills have drastically improved since I started my business. One of my favorite quotes is from Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
When juggling different projects with competing deadlines I make sure I do them because telling a client you tried is not good enough.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
We recently created an online marketing system that is a game-changer, specifically for the golf industry. The system incorporates email, blog writing, social media, Google AdWords, remarketing, and Facebook Ads to create a virtual web to help steer potential and current customer towards a desired goal.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I follow industry leaders to stay up-to-date with current marketing trends. I also experiment frequently to come up with my own tactics and techniques based off of the information I've learned.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
I'm proud of my entire body of work and each one for different reasons. My book, The Social Golf Course, my podcast, The Defining Success Podcast, my online course, Welborn University, my involvement in the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce and my golf tournament, The Southern California Charity Golf Classic are all things I'm extremely proud of.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
I started my entrepreneurial career reading Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People. I'd recommend those because virtually every business book touches on the ideas presented in those two books.
What advice would you share with other Marketer's who want to become more productive?
To be more productive, just get in the habit of doing. When I started my business, I remember it was difficult trying to figure out what to do, so I committed myself to doing six things every day to help grow my business.
At the time I really had to think of things to do, but today I probably do a hundred things a day and don't even think about it.
If there's one Marketing Guru you'd recommend who and why.
I really enjoy Pat Flynn. He seems like he could be me. He works hard, has a goal of helping others and is very authentic.