Founders Interview with Shane Barker

December 19, 2020
Authored by:
Richard Lau
Featuring:

Q1. Tell us a little bit about your journey. What brought you to where you are now?

I started my journey in the restaurant industry. Busser, server, bartender — I’ve done all of these jobs. I also travelled all over the US and opened up branches for a restaurant called, “

“Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants.” I was also taking care of their point-of-sale (POS) systems.

After that, I moved to Chico, California and opened up my own bar. I did that for about a year, and then I started a company called “Hot Pad” which made reusable heat packs. While trying to build an online presence for this company, I was introduced to digital marketing. I discovered my flair for SEO and online marketing. Eventually, I started doing consultations for other businesses. I am also an instructor at UCLA and working for the SBDC.

It’s been a long journey, but definitely a worthwhile one!

Q2. Digital marketing is getting competitive by the minute - how do you keep yourself up-to-date and motivated?

Digital marketing has always been a very dynamic field. There is always a new tool coming out and the rules of the game are constantly changing. To thrive in such an environment, you have to be very curious. The minute you think that you know everything is the minute you’re setting yourself up for failure.

I understand that, so I am constantly looking at new trends and technologies. I love to try out different tools for SEO, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and more. Along with trying them out first hand, I also read what other peers and experts are saying. As for motivation, nothing works better than seeing effective results. When we excel in a campaign and get a great ROI, I want to do it again and one-up myself.

Q3. Your top three advice to new marketers--those who're still trying to figure out the ropes of the game.

Firstly, invest in building your visibility online and just sharing interesting information in your chosen niche. It can go a long way in building your authority and trust. Secondly, be hungry to learn new things. It can open up a lot of doors that you never knew existed. Lastly, focus on building genuine relationships with your target audience. If you are only trying to sell your product, your audience can usually tell.

Q4. What's the story behind your logo? How did you come up with it?

We’re all about helping businesses grow. With a rocket, we’re trying to depict the growth that we can help companies achieve. It took us about three months to come up with it. Before we finalized this one, we went over hundreds of different logos. We zeroed in on this one because we think it represents increasing sales and growth well.

Q5. What does your average day look like?

I get up at around 5:30 am, drink some coffee, and straight away, jump on for a meeting with my team. Then, I get some exercise — typically, a long walk or run. Once I am back, I have 6-7 meetings lined up for the day. The time after that is reserved for my podcast or any interviews that I am giving. I also do at least one webinar a week. All of this work fills up my workday. After wrapping up work, I have dinner with my wife. I am also a craft beer fan, so sometimes I like to relax with a couple of beers.

Q6. One book that you'd recommend to anyone who wants to be good at digital marketing to read.

I would recommend “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller. It focuses on how you can leverage digital marketing to reach your target audience.

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