Now that we’ve got the deeper stuff out of the way, what’s my professional story? I’m glad you asked.
I created my first website in 2005. I was 13 and like most 13 year old’s, I played a lot of video games. Computer games, mostly.
I was the founder of a small competitive gaming clan (community of video game players) and we wanted our own website so I decided to make one. I didn’t know much HTML or anything about web design but I learned along the way.
It was our “headquarters” for a fictitious ranking system that allowed us to pretend we were 4 Star Generals. It even had a forum. It was honestly a lot of fun.
What was at the time a childhood hobby started to become something more pretty soon after. The clan website and the accompanying projects that ensued are what inspired my interest in web development.
The hustle and grind required to build a following, drive traffic, and grow the website was a process I started to enjoy. I saw that success could transpire from that effort and it motivated further entrepreneurial projects.
I realized this skill-set could be an asset for small businesses and it could even benefit my own online career.
That’s when I decided I wanted to do more than just make video game fan pages. I wanted to build bigger and better websites. Ones that could turn a profit while making a positive impact.
I became obsessed with internet entrepreneurship. I learned to use affiliate products to monetize websites. I spent months researching website marketing strategies and I was completely enthralled with their potential. I studied search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, inbound traffic generation, social media marketing, and more. Each visitor tracked in Google Analytics was an exciting and adventurous win.
Like many business ventures though, it wasn’t always easy. I created many websites and some were quite good. These eventually became successes and are still live today. Others turned out to be disappointments, even some that took considerable amounts of time and effort. Each was a learning opportunity.
What stuck with me was a desire to continue doing what I loved. Continue creating. Continue contributing to the web.
At this point, I was older and in college. I was learning computer programming and software development full-time. I had student loan debt, a mortgage on a condo, and all your typical bills. Working independently as an entrepreneur just wasn’t an ideal financial situation for me. I needed to expand my network.
For years, I worked as a service provider and freelancer for small businesses. I then founded Empowermented to provide my services to a wider audience and empower brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs worldwide.
The website encompassed what I had often attempted to do separately through multiple domains. Now, my courses and other content could come together through a central brand. Topics like digital marketing, investing, passive income, and entrepreneur advice could be addressed under one roof and promoted to a similar audience.
My goal was also to be more than just another agency. The internet had enough average agencies. Businesses didn’t know who to trust. They were constantly bombarded with claims of “top search engine rankings,” “page one results,” and “more website traffic.” Everyone was a “marketing expert” and “Adwords certified.” For the startup with a cautious budget, it was impossible to navigate. Many businesses lost money and were unable to gain traction.
With Empowermented, I vowed to get it right:
- Never set-and-forget a marketing campaign. An unfortunately common practice among PPC providers, a forgotten marketing campaign leads to lost revenue. I pledged to provide consistent value month-after-month for our clients. We would never set-and-forget a campaign. A dedicated account manager would ensure everything possible was being done and clients were well informed.
- An incredible team of in-house content creators – no outsourcing. When you hire an agency to manage your blog or write copy, you want the best talent possible. Many agencies outsource to third parties which severely impacts content quality. Our team of writers would be homegrown and self-managed.
- More than any competing provider. Many of our services would go beyond the capabilities of our competitors. Difference making solutions like landing page design, conversion optimization, and split testing would help us gain that edge. While we were not a web development agency, we would do web development tasks that would normally be billed. Here, it would be included.
- No contracts. A good marketing agency should be able to earn your business. That’s exactly what we would do. There would be no contract or long-term commitment. We’d make sure our clients are a strong match for our services and that’s it. If you want out, there’s no agreement to breach.
- Sound services backed by industry leading tactics. Not every agency is capable of reaching higher levels of returns. Making the most of your investment and budget is a skill that our team would know best. Our sound services would be backed by tactics that maximize campaign performance. Going above and beyond to drive email list subscribers, social presence, and results would be our standard.