What does it take to found your own marketing agency? Flexibility, imagination, and a strong skill set to fall back on, says Justin Wu. Justin has already founded several successful companies, including Vytmn.com, which generated over $1-million in revenue in its first year. His latest project is Growth.ly, a marketing agency that helps companies grow their business while promising clear, measurable results from the outset.
Let’s get to the good stuff.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Speaking with Justin gave me a much better understanding of just how much fine-tuning goes into marketing. It’s not a search for a single “magic bullet.” Instead, each idea is given plenty of iterations. Justin emphasized the importance of experimenting with multiple options and methods: “Most businesses don’t test, validate and find a way to get paying customers. Because of that, they fail after spending months building their next app, service or product.”
An Early Start in Business
Justin’s entrepreneurial interests started at a young age. As a child, his parents taught him the value of money. They made sure he understood he would need to work for what he wanted. What young Justin wanted was the latest and coolest toys and games. To save money, he would search eBay and Craigslist for discounted items and then sell them to his classmates for a profit.
“This provided me the opportunity to get what I wanted with my own money. I didn’t have to wait for anyone anymore, I could have the power to create and receive. As I grew, I made a decision to forego my short-term wants to reinvest all my money back into growing my business that would yield greater returns.”
Don’t Fear Delegation
When asked for advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and marketers, Justin was happy to oblige. I personally found his thoughts on delegation quite helpful. He explained that many “solopreneurs” fall into two traps that tempt them away from delegation: They don’t want to reduce their own income by paying others, and they don’t want to trust others with key responsibilities. Rejecting these mindsets lets your business scale the way it should. Getting stuck on menial tasks is an easy way to halt your growth.
Develop Your Professional Skills
Justin’s biggest advice takeaway? Make sure you are always honing your own skills. The same principles that apply to great marketing—flexibility, constant testing and improvement—should also apply to your own skills.
If you’re running a company, you should be constantly learning so that what you learn stays with you for life, regardless of your success or failure. “I always made sure my skills were of great value so that even if my venture died, I could still be paid for my expertise to recuperate and restart my ventures.”
Focusing on your personal skill set offers a safety net outside your company rather within it. It gives you the confidence to move on even after failure, but it doesn’t mitigate every risk. In fact, Justin warned against accepting too much funding or employing other in-company safety nets early on.
“It is very hard to be a ‘starving’ entrepreneur and innovate with little resources. You are constantly thinking about ways to survive. Some rely on investors to fund their project, while others bootstrap. I think the bootstrap mentality puts you in the right mindset because you have to actually work for your money or not make it.”
If you’re interested in learning more about metrics-driven marketing, be sure to check out Growth.ly for yourself. Metrics-driven marketing is the only way to stay competitive these days, but hiring a whole team trained in analytics isn’t an easy task. What Growth.ly offers is the chance to outsource your growth team to true experts. They’ll first target the best marketing channels for your company. Then, they’ll work to collect as much data as possible, making sure every decision is backed up by testing and experimentation. Finally, they’ll fine-tune each campaign for maximum success and longevity.
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At 23, I was content but not satisfied. I was living in Maryland with a secure job, family and friends nearby, but something was missing. I decided it was time to make a massive move out of my comfort zone. I moved across the country to San Francisco to take on a role as a Content Marketing Manager for a tech startup. Inspired by Silicon Valley’s environment of driven entrepreneurs I decided to go a step further and start my own company using my Marketing and PR skills to help entrepreneurs share their stories with the world.