Bill Michelon is a highly-skilled, well-versed marketing professional and a widely successful mentor with an impressive marketing track record that is hard to ignore. Mr. Michelon stays on top of trends in the industry and his approach resonate with his peers in such a tremendous way, he quickly rose to the top of the ladder as a recognized thought leader.
With over a decade of experience as a mentor and consultant helping new companies gain maximum exposure online, he has driven profits up by boosting lead acquisition and retargeting customers – two key methods Bill uses in the marketing world.
Mr. Michelon is also dominating the digital media buying space. He is particularly skilled at boosting new brands by establishing strong online identities for them. He works closely with them to implement digital media strategies that are ahead of their time, efficient, and innovative.
Bill Michelon is a jack of all trades in today’s digital world and he has made his way to the top of the industry one good business decision at a time.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I started in this business by working for many years in my field for other major companies. Then one day, it dawned on me, if major companies will hire me to work in this space, I am sure there are others who will as well. So I sought out on this journey to break free from the corporate life.
Don’t get me wrong, it treated me well and provided me with the stability I needed and wanted at the beginning of my career but as my life started to progress and my family started to grow, that became more important to me. My family is what inspired me to start this business and become an entrepreneur because I valued the time I spent with them, which seemed to be decreasing the more I rose in the corporate world.
How do you make money?
I stick with what works. In the past, I’ve used media buying to sell other people’s products. I had a handful of successful years buying inexpensive traffic and selling products to customers. For a long time this is how many of us in this industry made a living. After that, I made the switch to being an advertiser and created my own product line.
It’s a lot of work to manage a company, inventory, customer relations and, on top of it all, making sure you’re producing sales. I’m still focused in that area and it’s where I feel most comfortable even though it keeps me busy.
These days, the focus is on e-commerce and I’ve seen a lot of industry friends make the switch to selling trending items that are hot in Asia and introducing them to the North American market under a new brand. It’s a good strategy.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took me about three years to become as profitable as I am now. In the beginning I just started my business on a whim with no real knowledge on how to be an entrepreneur (there’s no real handbook for that!). So my first year was a year of mistakes, mishaps and mayhem in a way. I just started testing things out and trying out different ideas I had to get myself off the ground all while doing extensive research on the goals I was trying to accomplish.
My second year of business was much better than the first, I was a bit wiser and had learned a lot from my mistakes but things still hadn’t picked up just yet, I felt like I was stuck in a phase like an entrepreneurial groundhog day – where I just kept getting six more weeks of winter!
Towards the end of that second year, and into the third – that’s when I really got off the ground. Had I stopped my first year, I would never be in the position I am today.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Oh of course, as I mentioned, my first and second year as an entrepreneur were quite rocky. The first year was the roughest because I was so naive and then they second just felt like I was stuck in a rut. I was low on money and patience and I was beginning to feel like I was just drowning with no real way out.
I use to think back to my corporate days and question myself on if I made the right decision to give up the stability I had their for the uncertainly I was facing. But, then I remembered that there was a reason I left that life, because I wanted more and I wanted my freedom and my original inspiration for going down this road is what kept me on it and it eventually led me here.
How did you get your first customer?
My first sale I ever produced on my own was in 2008 when I transitioned to an advertiser.
It was an incredible feeling. If you’ve ever built a website and created an opt-in list, it’s similar to getting that first subscriber. It’s confirmation that everything you built was not for waste.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Social media for sure. A lot of people drop the ball with social media marketing because they think it’s just a lot of playing around online. It’s only playing around if you don’t take it seriously but if you invest in a quality social media manager who can learn your brand inside and out, put together a solid social strategy and execute it – it’s worth its weight in gold.
This is a digital world that we live in now, all of our customers are either online or headed in that direction. It’s a major migration taking place and businesses need to be a part of the conversation of they will quickly get left behind.
It’s also a great way to interact with customers as more and more of them seek out your company on sites like Facebook to ask questions and get answers about their orders.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I’ve made recently was to let go of a potentially lucrative corporate job offer that came through my pipeline. I wasn’t looking for it by any means, they approached me about the opportunity.
Even though it was quite tempting, I know that I made the right decision because I am in a terrific place right now with my own endeavors.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I am highly successful because of my ambition to get things done, my patience with the process, my knowledge of the industry, my passion for what I do and my skillset.
To be successful you have to have ambition and want to get things done, it’s like the foundation and without that you’re going nowhere fast. However, you also have to be patient, especially in the entrepreneurial realm because in reality, there is no such thing as TRUE overnight success.
It takes time to build a name for yourself and begin to foster meaningful business relationships with that name.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business was watching the skillsets of those around me grow. I’ve seen new hourly workers cultivate some very impressive skills and knowledge over a short amount of time.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future of my business is all about expansion and stepping into new territory that I have not already explored. Personally, I’m enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies and the technologies that are being developed by these companies.
I’ve discussed the benefits of cryptocurrencies recently with MoneyInc.com and how these companies can help any industry, especially with payments and processing. Right now I am researching a few strategies to incorporate cryptocurrency into the mix for my own purposes.
I just recently read about Ryan Taylor, the CEO of Dash, discuss their partnering with ASU’s engineering school. I think the technologies stemming from cryptocurrency, like blockchain technology, will definitely make big waves in our industry.
What business books have inspired you?
This is a hard one, I have quite a few books that have inspired me. However, I’d have to say that the most inspiring one for me would be Tools of Titans. This book not only inspired me but it has instilled some great habits in me that have become an everyday part of the way I live my personal life and the way I work.
This book is actually by Tim Ferriss and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is also one of my favorites because I am a huge fan of the Tim Ferris Show. He has interviewed so many high performing and influential people on his podcast. His podcast is actually one of my favorite business/interview podcasts so when he created this book, I was all about it.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I recently brought on a social media manager to help bring my digital marketing vision to life. I mentioned earlier that social media marketing is a key in building your brand especially online.
I also purchased Hootsuite for the them to use to help automate the process and track results.
What is one piece of advice you offer for new entrepreneurs or those considering being an entrepreneur?
The one thing I would say is, “remember your why” if you are a new entrepreneur, and if you’re on the fence about becoming an entrepreneur I’d say “think about your why”.
The reason I am so focused on the why is because no matter what point you’re at as business owner, your why is always going to be your driving factor.