Nicholas Brill is the Founder and CEO of Brill Marketing. Before starting this company, Brill had an impressive career in marketing. He did his undergraduate studies in business administration with a major in marketing, followed by an MBA focusing on marketing and strategic planning. Brill landed a job at one of the top marketing and P.R. firms in New York City straight out of college and quickly rose through the ranks due to top management. In 2017, he decided to branch out and start Brill Marketing. The company has been hugely successful, with over 50 corporate clients, including one Fortune 100 company. Brill attributes his company’s success to his many years of experience in the marketing industry. He is a true expert in the field, and his deep understanding of marketing strategy has helped him grow Brill Marketing into a top-ranking company. When not changing dazzling clients with his brilliant marketing strategies, Brill can be found giving back to the community. He is always active in charity events, especially those touching on the homeless and needy children. It makes him feel good knowing he is touching a life with his deeds. Brill firmly believes that it is our responsibility to make the world a better place, even in small ways. That is why he encourages his employees to get involved in charity work. He believes that it makes them better people, but it also helps them see the world from a different perspective.
How did you get started in this business?
Brill Marketing was the next step on my career growth ladder. Before starting this company, I worked for a top marketing firm in New York City. I had started at the bottom and, in 5-years, had made it to top management. After that, I just felt like I needed a new challenge, something to keep the thrill going. That’s when I decided to start Brill Marketing. It’s been 5-years since I started this company, and so far, I am happy with where we are – a highly sought-after marketing consultancy firm.
How do you make money?
I make money by charging a fee for my services. The fees vary depending on the service and the estimated time we will be working with a company. It’s a pretty straightforward business model.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took us about two years to turn a profit. It could have been much faster, but I made several mistakes that lengthened the process. For instance, I was too ambitious when starting the company and opened multiple offices. The result was a massive increase in overhead in the early stages of the business. Anyway, business is a learning process. I learned from my mistakes, and two years down the line, the company was profitable and had sustainable cash flows.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Not once or twice did I consider going back to my old job. These thoughts hit me the hardest in months when business was slow and some bills needed to be paid, including salaries. Despite these thoughts, I constantly reminded myself of why I quit formal employment in the first place. I wanted growth, and it does not come easy. I also have a very supportive wife, and she was a strong pillar in those trying times. I am so happy that five years later, I am further ahead of where I was when starting the business.
How did you get your first customer?
Like most people in the service sector, I got my first client through a referral. After working for 5-years at a top marketing firm, I had built strong industry connections. Many times, I would get clients referred by some of my ex-colleagues.
That’s why I always insist that you have to network and up your people skills to succeed in business. It is more potent than any other marketing technique out there.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I cold-pitch a lot. Since I run a B2-B business, it is easy for me to walk into any business, talk to the board, and give them ideas on how they can improve their services by using our marketing services. I find this strategy highly effective because the feedback is, in most cases, immediate, and most of the executives I pitch to send over their friends, too. I have won a lot of clients by using this approach.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I am lucky that I haven’t had to make any decision that I would consider tough in the last few months. The last time I made a decision that broke my heart was in 2020. During the lockdowns, business almost ground to a halt. We had to lay off some of our staff to cut the overheads. It didn’t feel good having to let go of people who had given so much to the company. Luckily, business is back to pre-pandemic levels, and we have recalled everyone that we let go in 2020.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
There are multiple factors that I believe make my business successful. However, the most important of them all is my strong networking skills. I am the kind of person that easily gets along with people. This has helped me get referrals for high-value clients that I would never have imagined would choose to work with my company.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
That would be when I landed a fortune 500 company as a client. It was a celebratory day at the office, as it showed us just how much potential we had. It also added to our credibility as a company and has helped us get even more clients. It’s one of those moments that I just find myself smiling whenever I reflect.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is bright. Our client base is growing, and I believe this will play into our company’s revenues going into the future. I am excited about many things, but the biggest one is the advancement of A.I. for data analysis. I believe it will open even more doors for us in the future. That’s because we can manipulate data so that it can give us market signals that we can share with our clients for maximum gains.
What business books have inspired you?
I have two that I find most inspiring. The first one is, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a book that has taught me a lot about leveraging relationships for business growth.
The other book that I find highly inspiring is “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It” by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz. In consultancy, the fee you get paid has a lot to do with your negotiating skills. This book has helped me negotiate favorable contracts many times over.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to follow their passion and give it the best shot. In life, no matter how crowded any market is, there is always room for success for the very best. Success is pretty much guaranteed if you can find something you are passionate about and pursue it relentlessly.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Absolutely. I got mentored to get to where I am too. So, it’s only fair that I return the favor. Anyone who wants me to be their mentor can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.