Inbound Marketing Agents – Bill Faeth Interview

Bill F

Bill Faeth

    A former golf professional and career entrepreneur, Bill discovered inbound marketing in 2008. He quickly became a convert to techniques that allowed him to grow his business faster than ever, while reducing his marketing spend. Bill is a nationally-recognized expert on small business growth and development, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Over the last 21 years Bill has successfully launched multiple startups in industries that include eCommerce, transportation, and even a nationwide glow-in-the-dark mini golf business. [hr]

You are the President of Inbound Marketing Agents.  What led to the creation of this company?

I founded Inbound Marketing Agents because my most recent business venture was in the limousine industry which was and still is somewhat marketing challenged.  Over a four-year period I was able to use inbound marketing as a competitive advantage to grow my company on a global scale in a relatively small market.  I ultimately wanted to share my marketing knowledge, of both inbound and legacy marketing, with the small and medium sized companies of the industry.

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You have been involved in several startup endeavors in a wide variety of fields from eCommerce to transportation.  You have also partnered in creating a highly successful, nationwide glow-in-the-dark mini golf business called GlowGolf.  How has this varied business background prepared you for your responsibilities with Inbound Marketing Agents?

 I have been fortunate to be involved in 21 start-ups in my adult life with 16 of them being successful financially. The scope of these business ventures has been very diverse, which I believe is extremely beneficial to our customers from a marketing perspective, as I fundamentally believe that each business model needs different types of marketing to be successful.  This really ties into the persona of the business and then ultimately to their buyer personas as we put together a targeted approach to lead generation and customer conversion for these clients. [hr]

You have employed techniques that have put you on the fast track to growing your business.  Can you share one or two of them and tell us how they impacted your development?

 The single component that has benefited us most in the online marketing space is that we customize all of our service packages.  Most agencies we see have standard packages they offer clients regardless of industry, geography, or buyer persona.  We believe, based on case studies and data analysis, that customization is a key component to our clients’ success.  We actually put our potential clients’ through a very rigorous screening process so we can learn about their business, understand it, and learn their goals while setting their expectations prior to starting work for them.  This approach has allowed us to grow rapidly while keeping our client churn rate below .05%. [hr]

You’re an expert in the field of blogging and inbound marketing strategy.  Can you tell us how blogging impacts a company’s growth and potential for revenue?

 I don’t think that I am expert on blogging, but I think that our entire team does a very good job at leveraging the benefits of content creation for IMA and our customers. I believe that blogging is the core element of an inbound marketing strategy, as it creates valuable content that can be shared via social media, PR, bookmarking sites, and syndication with other sites.  I think a component that a lot of new online marketers forget about is distribution of the content and using basic SEO to optimize their content without writing for search engines.  We have leveraged our blog as an SEO and lead generation tool for the (TOFU) Top of the Funnel to increase our traffic by 25K visitors per month and our leads to 800 per month in less than 7 months. [hr]

Are there any ways in which a small startup has an advantage over their larger competitors?

The advantage for small companies is the cost of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing costs significantly less than outbound marketing and advertising. If done correctly, you can reap the same benefits that a large company would obtain through a much larger budget. [hr]

You played professional golf for several years before tapping into your entrepreneurial potential.  Is there a business side to the sport that most of us are not aware of?

Playing professional golf is like owning your own business.  If you are not able to perform, you don’t get paid! Many people don’t understand that in golf you have to perform well on Thursday and Friday to make the cut and get paid for playing on the weekend.  The other component is the budgeting and team chemistry and culture that needs to be in place with your caddy and coach, all of whom you compensate whether you make a check or not. [hr]

What is one of the most surprising things you learned about business your first time around?

It’s hard! [hr]

Do you have a favorite success story from your years of educating small businesses and startups?

I had a good friend in New York that owned his own business and I introduced him to HubSpot to use their software and learn inbound marketing after I had success in my first six months. He was able to increase revenue and grow his business without advertising and a little of my help by 67% in two years. [hr]

With a wife and two daughters and the demands of being the President of Inbound Marketing Agents, how do you maintain a work/family balance?

To be honest, I don’t do a very good job in this area.  I work seven days a week and spend between 10-14 hours a day in the office.  This is because I am obsessive about over-delivering to our clients, and about everything that I do. [hr]

Which entrepreneurs have influenced you the most and why?

A gentleman named Reg Boothe, who is my partner in GlowGolf.  He has been my father figure, partner, and an inspiration from the day I met him.  He may not know it, but he has taught me most everything that I know about business and the value of family life.  He allowed me the freedom to start a new industry, and had confidence in me being able to grow nationally.  One of the toughest things about being a business owner is trusting your staff and staying out of the way of the growth of your business. [hr]

What is your definition of success?  Have you achieved it?

I think the definition of success is happiness.  This applies in business and family life. There is no better feeling for me than when a customer is happy. [hr]

Tell us something about yourself that isn’t in your public bio.

I dropped out of UCLA during my freshman year to turn professional in golf, and it took me seven years to earn my degree. The great Buck Owens (country singer/Hee Haw) was a good friend, golfing buddy, and one that helped fund the start of my professional golf career. [hr]

What is something you’re excited about right now?

That #HockeyIsBack, but I need my Nashville Predators to get some W’s. [hr]

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

The ability to see the future, so I could schedule all of my Tweets for perfect lead generation. [hr]

Do you know Tiger Woods? 

The answer is yes, but I wasn’t with him on Thanksgiving 2009. :0)

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Kelsey Parrish
Kelsey Parrish