Can You Name the Top People in Your Profession?
Think for a second about one name that comes to mind when you think of the top dogs in your industry. If nobody comes to mind then you’re not setting your sights high enough. When I think of SEO (what is SEO?), I think of 1SEO and my new friend and mentor, Lance Bachmann. Maybe these names don’t ring a bell, but I bet you’ve seen one of their billboards along I-95.
Having mentors in your industry is paramount. To be the best you have to be around the best and think like the best. For the past decade Lance has been hustling in the digital marketing space to create a name and brand for himself, and boy has it worked. During my interview here you get a chance to see into the perspective of his life and how he started and grew 1SEO to the beast it is today. Just recently 1SEO was named by INC 5000 as one of the Fastest Growing companies for the 4th year in a row. Not too shabby.
Why did I interview Lance?
Well, to be honest I was truly curious as to not only how he started the company, but I also wanted to know how he was able to grow it and persevere over the past 10 years. 96% of businesses fail within the first 10 years, and that number is even higher for digital agencies. What you notice within the agency world is the amount of agencies that have trouble growing. It’s difficult to control your revenue streams and align it with a talented workforce that can help grow with you. Some of the main concerns I have going into my 3rd year into the agency world with Momentum Digital are around growth and hiring. It’s difficult to grow the business if you don’t have consistent revenue and the right people to complete your digital team. Being able to ask Lance these questions was important not only for me, but for every marketing entrepreneur. So that’s why I decided to videotape the interview, as well as go Live on our Instagram and Lance’s Facebook.
How did I get the interview?
Sometimes all you need to do in life is ask. That’s all I did. Granted, I put myself in the right position by going to a Philadelphia Internet Marketers Meetup hosted by Viral Ideas Marketing at the WeWork in Northern Liberties (where we actually have our office). My friend David Feinman puts together these awesome meetups in which I always attend to network and meet other local digital marketers. David specifically told me I needed to attend this event in July because Lance was speaking, and knowing that I run a similar digital marketing agency, he knew I would want to ask questions and meet Lance. This wasn’t my first time meeting Lance though. I actually met him a few times before, the first of which when he spoke at the Philly Tech Week in 2016. Since that day he’s been on my radar as someone to look up to and learn from. Believe it or not, I actually reached out to 1SEO as a prospective business in need of SEO using my company Phone Repair Philly as the lead ‘interested in their services’. His team member Bill reached back out to me and we chatted about SEO and what they could do for me, not knowing that I was just doing some recon on his sales and operations process. When I revealed my true angle they were cool about it and we still joke about it to this day. THIS is is the type of stuff you need to do as a small business when researching your competition.
Anyways, at this most recent marketing meetup I spoke to Lance afterwards and exchanged information. The next day I sent him a short email asking to meet and come by his office to shoot a video interview. To my surprise, Lance obliged.
Talking more about the interview …
Well, before the interview I actually got a chance to tour the 1SEO office and kick it with Lance for a bit. He’s a really laid back and humble guy, but you can tell we’re both entrepreneurs and hungry for success. He came from a humble upbringing and has been grinding it on his own since high school. Not only is 1SEO extremely successful, he has many other ventures and investments, along with a great family and team around him. This guy is a role model, not only for us marketers but for entrepreneurs in general. Okay, back to the interview ….. So as we went live I began by asking Lance how he got started. His answer was after leaving more of a corporate sales job with Yellow Pages he started 1SEO with two friends in his house with nothing. They began cold calling and learning of the fly. The first year they only made a few thousand dollars. Curious at this point, I asked, “what next, what did you do to grow past that point of difficulty?”. Lance went on to explain the importance of adversity, hard work, and vision. They knew from the beginning what they wanted and how to get there so he simply outworked everyone else. From there, as you can see, the video goes on to talk about his thoughts on the current digital landscape, digital growth, hiring people and more. Overall it was a really smooth interview as Lance is really easy to talk to and never shy to tell his story.
“My first year as an agency, I was 35 years old, I made $8700” – Lance Bachmann
Something that surprised me the most is how he knew a lot about not only digital marketing, but business and entrepreneurship as a whole. I mean, this guy gets it. He’s also not afraid to take a chance and go all in for what he believes. Understanding how to sell something is pivotal for any business, and necessary for keeping the leads coming in to convert to residual revenue for the business. If I could stress one key point it would be to keep learning at every point in life so that you can grow and innovate your business. Lance also explains the power of people and having a good team so that everyone can focus what they’re best at.
Wrap it up!
Find a mentor! Do it today. Sometimes all you need is to learn from someone who has done it before you. Learn from their mistakes and don’t be afraid to try new things and admit when you are wrong. Nobody is perfect and most of the successful people didn’t get their on their own! They had mentors too, and people they learned from, along with team members, family and friends. Being an entrepreneur is lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Take this time today to reach out to someone new, someone in your industry, and someone you look up to. Who knows, they might get back to you and soon be a mentor you can call your own.