Spotlight: Amanda Wilhelm of POD Marketing
This entrepreneur discusses the ever-changing digital landscape.
Tell us about yourself and your role within your company.
My current position at POD Marketing is Marketing Director. I own the relationships with the business owners who entrust their marketing programs to us. With each client, I go through their numbers and help create a marketing budget that brings growth. I then set aggressive three-year goals, twelve-month targets and quarterly objectives with each client; then I build them a strategy to achieve them. At POD, we work primarily in digital marketing, but some clients ask us to manage their entire marketing portfolio, including traditional advertising. I work with my internal team to help execute on strategy and debrief monthly on how well my clients’ advertising is performing.
What is the most rewarding part about being an entrepreneur? What keeps you passionate and driven to succeed?
What keeps me passionate and driven is the thrill of hitting a business’s marketing goals. We don't sign contracts with our clients which means we have to earn their business month over month.
"When I am able to truly make a difference to a business's bottom line, and see their company grow from five employees to twenty within two years while staying profitable, it brings me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment."
One of the largest factors in keeping me motivated is getting to choose the clients I work with; this is crucial to ensuring our business relationship becomes a mutual partnership. We always interview the people we work with, which allows us to build a portfolio of clients who also become our friends.
The digital landscape is changing rapidly, with more and more Canadians using digital marketing tools to drive more leads and increase sales. For you, what are some key concepts or strategies that you suggest for small business owners?
Firstly, it is always advisable to bite off what you can actually chew. If it saves you money but costs you endless hours to manage your own marketing, it may be time to consider hiring a marketing agency. With each client, I always evaluate their website first. Your website is like a 24/7 salesperson, so you need to treat it as such. Ask many people their opinion, based not just on looking at it, but also from using it. If the website experience is poor, you will NOT convert as many leads as you may need.
Next, explore the best mediums to advertise on. I always say start with Google AdWords; be there when someone is looking for you. If you don't show up for non-branded searches, such as searches your service, then you need to start there. For example, Google AdWords can ensure that a dentist in Calgary will appear in Google search results for “Dentist Calgary,”, not just in searches for their business name.
Next on the list are Facebook and Instagram ads. These can be very cost-effective if done correctly. The social media landscape has moved sharply away from organic posting and towards paid advertising; it's important to be aware of all the ways you can advertise on these more popular platforms.
I would always consider SEO with everything that you are doing; but keep in mind, SEO is always changing and different algorithm updates will affect your website's ranking. One thing that never changes, however, is that Google really likes websites that put UX first. In other words, make sure your website is built for the person using it. Google will ALWAYS favour a website that your user favours.
Finally, evaluate your branding and messaging annually, and ensure consistency among all platforms. We live in the world of metrics; you need to know what metrics to use and how to use them and most importantly, adjust accordingly.
What advice do you have for aspiring and prospering business owners when it comes to taking their business to the next level?
"The biggest advice I always give is know your numbers."
Add Call Tracking, Form Tracking and Google Analytics to your website. One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is learn how to read Google Analytics. Lynda.com offers great courses on Analytics. Even if you are hiring an agency to take care of your digital advertising, learn how to check for yourself.
The metrics you should become familiar with include:
- the number of visitors to your website
- where they came from or what type of advertising brought them
- what they did on your website
- if they called
- if they became a client
Without these metrics, you will never know which type of advertising is working.
Please list your social media handles:
My personal Instagram handle: @aleighwilh
Our Company's Instagram handle: @podmarketinginc
Save your seat at the Free Edmonton Small Business Centre event, and meet Amanda Wilhelm and other entrepreneurs in your community.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
6:00pm ‑ 8:00pm
Rogers Small Business Centre
Currents of Windermere
5222 Windermere Blv
Edmonton, AB T6W 0L7