Welcome Shama, Founder of The Marketing Zen Group! You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Shine: Briefly tell us about the company you’ve built, industry and annual revenue.
The Marketing Zen Group is three years old. We are a full service web marketing and digital PR firm, and do over a million in revenue.
Bootstrap and/or raise money – how did you get started and would you do anything differently?
We completely bootstrapped the company. The initial investment was $1500. We got started with just consulting and grew to offer full scale implementation. Business is such a process, and you have to be an editor at heart. If I could do it all over again, I’d learn to hire by trial sooner. Resumes and interviews only tell you so much. But, even just two weeks of working with someone will reveal so much more.
Breaking the $1M mark - looking back, what helped drive this growth?
A relentless pursuit of excellence. Constantly asking what can we do better and never becoming complacent. Especially in our industry, you have to stay a step ahead of the game. For example, a week after Google Plus was released, we had a how to guide published for our audience.
Low cost marketing strategies – what has been the most successful for driving revenue?
Creating solid content and finding ways to provide value for our prospects. We put a lot of effort into educating our prospects. And, in turn they come to trust us enough to give us their business.
Best ways to connect - which national and local networking organizations, conferences have you found most valuable?
The Young Entrepreneur Council for anyone under 30 is an AMAZING organization. They help young entrepreneurs in every way possible – networking, resources, and more.
Share your secret weapons – what business apps, products and tools help you run your business efficiently?
Skype is the communication linchpin of our company. We also use Basecamp for project management, and Google Apps Premier for managing our email system.