How did you start your career in digital marketing?
I majored in marketing at Monash University and then worked in stockbroking for 5 years before starting Ampervize. I don’t view stockbroking as unrelated to marketing though as it’s essentially sales, and sales is synonymous with marketing. In that job I was specialising in ‘dot com’ stocks and was always excited to see the huge growth numbers they’d turn in, quarter upon quarter. I also ended up in charge of the firm’s email marketing where I quickly learnt what creates compelling content and how important a good headline is!
What inspired you to create your own website?
I always wanted to be the first to do something. When I stumbled across the basic idea for Ampervize, I couldn’t believe there wasn’t already something available that could calculate the best online marketing strategies for a business. I was really looking forward to being able to say “I did that first”!
How does Ampervize differ to similar websites that offer helpful tips and guides?
Ampervize provides tips that are tailored specifically to your business’s own unique situation. This is something you can’t get from a page of text.
If your business needs to attract more customers, Ampervize is a great place to start. You can use it to work out the best ways for your brand to grow online and you’ll find products that will make this happen. Once you have this foundation in place, other websites can be a great resource for more general advice or finding topical articles to share with your followers.
How much research did you have to do before starting up?
In all honesty, I bit off more than I could chew by starting a business that specialises in online marketing. I didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge necessary, but knew there was an opportunity and I’m a quick learner when I’m driven. During the first few months I read countless blogs and books on digital marketing in the evenings after work, researched products across the entire industry, contacted bloggers to ask them the questions I couldn’t find answers to and even ran an online PR campaign for a friend’s band at no cost.
Which social media platform do you use the most?
Twitter. It’s the best fit for Ampervize. It’s highly social. Our content can be seen by a large audience when it’s re-tweeted or favourited. Our account can appear in the ‘Who to follow’ box from time to time. We can share content from others when we’re out of ideas. Photos are highly re-tweetable. And everything we post appears in our followers’ newsfeeds (unlike Facebook).
How social are you in your spare time (online)?
Personally I love Instagram! I post a lot of pictures of my life outside of work which is mostly surfing along the Victorian coastline down here in Australia’s South East. But now that social media is part of my job, I try not to spend too much time on it. Surfing gets me away from any means of communication with the outside world and I think it’s really healthy to have an escape like that, especially for hardworking entrepreneurs.
Where do you see Ampervize in the next 5 years?
At the moment we have four tools on offer and we’re planning to add more tools as we see fit. The next one to be released will tell you which social networks will be the most effective for your business. This feature will be free to use, even though we can’t make money from it and this actually gives you a small insight into our future direction.
You see, a big reason why Google became the largest internet company in the world, is because it offered users a whole lot of added value for free (Google Earth, Google Chrome, Google Finance, etc.) even though none of these projects were profitable. They committed large investments to these complimentary services and have been repaid handsomely through the positive effect that’s had on their core business – search engine ads. We’re taking a similar approach as we work towards creating a powerful online marketing resource center with a growing number of free tools and info.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I would have to say my biggest achievement to date is getting married young (we were 21 and 19) and then supporting my wife through five years of chronic illness. It’s easily the most significant challenge I’ve ever faced. Those that have been through something similar will understand the disappointment of being unable to achieve much at all during such a time. I think it’s important to recognise that pulling through it, is a big achievment in itself.
Who inspires you in the world of Marketing and PR?
Ryan Holiday (author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator), Derek Halpern (founder or Social Triggers) and Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek)
What are your top three favourite websites to follow?
Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com are great for keeping up to date with news and info. To protect my sanity I enjoy following @Portfairypics on Twitter who post photos of my favourite coastal town in Australia.
Owner and Founder – Brook McKeon – @ampervize