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Hostwall Media is a boutique online marketing agency driven by results. We focus on each of our clients end goals and work backwards to create a unique online strategy.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
Michael: After working at a variety of different advertising agencies we saw two major gaps. Every agency wanted to work with the largest clients they could and were interested in maximizing each clients budgets. This rarely provided the best results for anyone involved. As a result we wanted to make our skills available to all businesses no matter the size to help them grow.
MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Michael: We have seen a variety of different success stories working with both start up companies as well as those that are well established. This involves increasing traffic exponentially through out of the box thinking as well as taking over accounts from much larger agencies and improving significantly on their performances. In some instances we have seen increases in call volumes of over 80% while reducing costs by 20%. Organic search traffic volumes increasing 3x in a 6 month time span and much more.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Michael: I would say the best way to describe what we do is first organize online efforts so that there is a complete understanding of what is actually running online. We then examine what is working and what isn’t to both cut out the unnecessary programs as well as making sure to take advantage of those that are working well. It is only after these steps that we typically would start creating additional strategies to help improve on our client goals. These could range anywhere from increasing traffic, improving online sales, driving more leads, getting the phone to ring more often or even focusing on efforts that will get more people to walk into a store.
MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Michael: As a small company we all have to play a variety of different roles. One of our biggest challenges is developing our own sales strategy. We spend all of our time focusing on growing our clients’ businesses that we tend to neglect our own. Luckily we have been able to grow strictly through referrals at this point. We are just now working on our own marketing efforts and have decided that we need to set time aside for ourselves to make sure we are marketing ourselves with the same detail as we do our clients.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Michael: Right now it’s our new website and unveiling our new marketing efforts. I think we have taken a very unique and creative approach that will really differentiate us from most of the more corporate style agencies.
MO: Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Michael: This is something we go back and forth on constantly. We would love to grow, the question is how large. I think we will need to play it by ear as we grow and at some point stop taking clients. One of the major benefits of working with us is the direct access to our executive team and their knowledge and we do not want to lose that capability. Therefore, when we feel as if we are being pulled in too many directions we will have to reevaluate our strategy.
MO: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Michael: In order to better focus on ourselves we have been working with SCORE, which is a free service in New York City to help start up companies. They offer mentoring that has been very beneficial in providing an outsider perspective with expertise in running a company. It has been very beneficial in helping us focus and not neglect Hostwall.
MO: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Michael: We measure our success strictly on each of our clients successes. With that stated I think we have been much more successful than I could have ever imagined. With all of our tracking and analytics we are able to not only see how our clients are currently doing, but for a wide variety we can compare the results of our efforts to their past efforts. We are not only seeing great results on our end, but vast improvements over results from many of our larger competitors that our clients used to work with.
MO: How do your competitors view you?
Michael: Honestly, I would say most don’t even know we exist. We haven’t yet attempted a marketing strategy or trying to get our name out to the general public, we are just quietly growing.
MO: What do you wish someone told you?
Michael: Be prepared for anything! Each of us have had to play so many different roles and you never know what each day is going to bring. The more you are willing to do the more you’ll succeed. Beyond my normal daily roles I’ve had to play everything from HR director, accounts payable, collections and anything else you can imagine. It can get stressful, but if you take the time to do things right it will all be worth it in the end.
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Michael: For me personally it was deciding to start this company with no clients and no revenue without looking for any investors. It was a huge risk, the company I was previously working for went bankrupt and everyone was laid off. Decided to risk it and see where this could take me. So far it was the biggest and best risk I’ve ever taken.
MO: Looking back two years ago, are you were you thought you would be?
Michael: Not even close. Two years ago I had just pitched a new segment of business to my CEO and President and a few weeks later they actually created it with me helping head it up. I would have expected to be still working there with maybe one or two other team members. Instead now I’m working with a team of 5 now and only have to report to clients.