When I started Jakt out of my bedroom in NYC, there were plenty of things I didn’t know about running a business.
I had previous entrepreneurial experience, but this was my first attempt at running a full-blown, service-based company with employees, etc.
It was a big (and challenging) step for me.
There were also things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
I mean… how could I? I was just figuring things out as I went along.
I don’t believe in mistakes. But I do believe in lessons –and in learning from them. Jakt is now a $4M/year business but, looking back, I wish I knew certain things.
One of those was when (and why) you should invest in marketing for your company’s brand.
Is marketing worth your time in the beginning?
During Jakt’s early years, I was extremely focused on serving our customers. Which meant I would spend a large share of my time doing production work.
And any time I could find outside of that would go into selling or gradually working on the business.
That’s what made sense to me, right?
These were the activities with the highest short-term ROI. I needed to find new clients or I wouldn’t make payroll next month. I needed to work on the business so that we could eventually scale and fire myself.
So I get it. I really do.
I understand why many business owners just focus on that when they’re starting up. When you’re scrambling to survive, it can seem too far-fetched to think about anything else.
Building your company’s brand
One area that I really didn’t focus much back then was content marketing and brand building.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Jakt brand definitely grew over time. As we signed more and more clients and helped solved bigger issues, we started to make a name for ourselves.
But I can’t help to think how much further along we’d be if we had started earlier.
If we just had invested in creating content that showed our expertise, grew the brand and laid the foundation for SEO which pays off massively over time.
The truth is, in the early days…
It’s hard to justify spending time and money on content.
“Why would I spend money and time on something that doesn’t have an immediate ROI?” I thought.
I was worried about making sure we’d get through the next weeks and months. I truly believed that I couldn’t afford to think about the long term as much.
The power of compounding.
Here’s the thing:
Just like working “on the business” compounds over time, so does content and brand building.
You won’t see the impact today, or this week, or this month, or maybe not even this year.
And that can lead you to ignore it when you’re not in a secure financial position. But its effects on your brand over time are worth it in my opinion.
How to get started with content creation:
I’ve taken this lesson to heart. And I’m now applying it to all my future business ventures.
While it’s not directly related to any specific company of mine, my personal brand is an example of this.
I’ve built a 24/7 personal brand machine that requires a small fraction of my time. Articles like this one are adding value to both my own and my companies’ brand.
With Polpo Group, I’m investing in cash-flow generating businesses. Moving forward, one of the priorities is to build up the company brand from the jump. We’ll work on that way earlier than I did with Jakt.
Your brand is an asset.
While growing your brand, you’re creating an asset that can run without you.
So, if you ever want to sell or step away, you’ve added value to it. And it will keep on paying over time.
Eventually, your content and your brand will really be out there. Which will then lead to additional inbound interest, other opportunities, higher closing rates, etc.
The more you put out (that is quality) over long periods of time, the more you’ll get out of this whole thing.
Now, you don’t have to go all out tomorrow and start cranking up blog posts as your life depends on it.
You’re playing the long game here. So don’t stop selling and working on the business just yet.
But define a strategy. Start slow. Be consistent. And let it compound over time.
Found this valuable?
This article comes from a series I call “Wish I Knew,” which I write for ServiceBasedBusinesses.com members.
As the name implies, these are valuable lessons that I’ve learned throughout my journey as an agency owner and CEO.
They are the type of things that I would’ve loved to know back in the day. And they would’ve helped me grow my business quicker and with fewer “oh, fuck me” moments.
I have plenty of others nuggets that I’ll be sharing on my community for business owners that run service-based companies.
If you run an agency and want more insights like this every week, you can join us here.