I am at my most content and successful when I am working on my own projects. I’m not trying to say that I don’t enjoy working on the projects of others, of course I love that. It’s why I do it for a living. However, as much interest and passion as I have for helping my clients succeed, I want my own projects to succeed as well.
In marketing, it is hard to keep clients forever. Whether you are working on their projects daily or only a few times each year, clients feel like they need to switch agencies to make change happen. I get that. This year has brought on a lot of that change. Years back I grew Hill Media Group quite a bit with many new clients coming on board. We built them new websites, helped them with social media, ran ad campaigns for them and introduced them to email marketing. Over time, things change. People need something new, and to find something new, they have to leave. I get that.
In 2007, I had a lot more free time than I do now. I was engaged to be married and was working from a home office. I had just purchased the very first iPhone and was super excited about it. After spending a few weeks with my new phone, I realized that there needed to be a website where people can learn how to use the phone and which apps would be worth downloading. I started a website called the iPhone App Podcast (known today as State Of Tech but prior to that was called DailyAppShow). The website started as just a place for me to podcast and put up videos. It quickly became a popular destination that people used to learn more about apps and even learn how to use them. At the high point of that website’s popularity, it was generating $15,000/mo in revenue, not including partnerships and outside ad revenue. Since then, we have had a lot of new competition. Major news sites started creating similar content to what we were producing which made it harder for us to keep growing our viewership. Today, State Of Tech still exists and is a destination for mobile device education. I still have a passion for educating people on how to get the most out of their smart devices. As long as I have the time and resources, we will continue to educate.
Since launching that website, I have had many ideas which I consider “good ideas.” However, I have not had the time to pour into them like I was able to when I launched the smartphone website. I have attempted to work on and launch these ideas but have pulled them back because I was not able to focus on them. I have been focusing on growing Hill Media Group by taking on new clients and providing them with my undivided attention. I went from having very few clients in 2008 to over 80 clients that we provide some sort of ongoing service for. I am very thankful for my clients and for the trust they have given me to manage their online marketing efforts. Nothing is changing with Hill Media Group, or my involvement. I love helping businesses solve problems. That will never go away as it is part of me.
Over the last year, I have made a couple of big commitments to two different clients. I have always kept my distance from committing too much of my time to only one or two clients because I knew that if I was to lose them, it would cause a significant hardship financially. Last year, I had a client pay me for a month of a one-year agreement only to take my ideas over to a competitor. Within two weeks, I saw my ideas go live across their website and social media. People do what they are going to do… This year, I had a similar situation, but this time I had really committed a lot of time and effort into the project. It was pretty depressing when I was told that we would not be continuing on with the project as agreed upon. I really get into what my clients are building. On a couple of occasions I think I was more emotionally invested in the success of the business than my client was.
As disheartening as it is to lose a couple of clients, it has reminded me of my desire to build things. It is hard to build things when you need to work to survive. I have many more responsibilities than that time I started the smartphone website. I have a wife, kids, employees and overhead. Life has never been more expensive. That is a fact that I need to get over. Life will continue to get more expensive. It’s not really worth focusing on so long as I am being responsible and continue on in faith.
After realizing that I had spent a few days in a slump, I decided it was time for a refresh. The great refresh of mid-2015 will have two parts. The first part is a revised focus on Hill Media Group. The second will be scheduling some time to work on my own projects. More on the refresh soon.
I have had a couple of interesting things happen in the last 30 days that I plan to blog about as soon as I have a chance. I also want to get back into the routine of vlogging on a regular basis. For 15 days in a row I filmed short snippets from my life and created a new video every day. It was a lot of work but it was so much fun.