Brogan Renshaw is Firewire Digital’s Director and Founder.
Before Firewire Digital, he spent a decade in e-commerce SEO and Google Ads.
He is passionate about digital marketing and football (soccer).
He loves working closely with all clients to meet their online marketing needs.
Brogan has extensive experience as Business and Marketing Manager of an international E-Commerce Business.
During his time he has developed and expanded the business from a local retailer to a leading international e-commerce business.
Brogan has extensive skills in Business Management, Marketing, E-Commerce, Website Development, Business Development, Research, Analytics, SEO and Adwords.
How did you start out as a marketer?
Just before I finished high school my family bought a small mail order business.
One of the first things we did was set up a website so customers could order online.
This was well in the relatively early days for eCommerce in Australia.
I took on the challenge of getting customers to the website and found my groove in SEO.
After studying a Masters of Social Research at University, I had a handful of research based jobs before finding my way back to marketing with an entry SEO role at an agency.
During my 6 months at the agency it became clear the owner had no idea what they were doing.
I eventually left and started my own specialist SEO agency in Newcastle thinking well if they could get paid not knowing what they were doing, surely I could do it!
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
I gained my first clients, by referrals from family and friends.
Each wanted a bit of help on a small website task, both design and SEO.
Progressively the tasks grew bigger and before you knew it I was doing SEO for half a dozen businesses.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
Behind every business, are people. People with families, goals, dreams.
When I can help a business increase sales, leads, conversions I know I am helping the people behind the business as well.
This is what I find most rewarding. SEO Is like a game, everyday you can check the leaderboard (SERPs) to see who is winning.
But what is winning if there isn’t another purpose or a bigger goal behind it.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
Start your own affiliate websites.
I honestly wish I had started affiliate websites as soon as I started mucking around with websites and SEO.
Find a niche you are interested in and go fo it (check it can make money first though).
The world of affiliate websites has endless potential.
There is nothing quite like getting experience first hand on your own websites.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
I would start working on my SEO Agency Firewire Digital earlier.
I spent way too long thinking everyone else knew more than me.
It took me many years to realise a lot of agencies have NFI what they are doing.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
For the past few months our SEO agency has been using Sitebulb to crawl websites for technical errors.
I am absolutely loving it. It guides you though the process of delivering actionable website audits.
So rather than just saying here is an error, it goes further providing actionable takeaways for each error.
Besides that, they are constantly updating the software, recently launching Schema Validation.
It has quickly become an indispensable part of our SEO stack.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
There are many great business books out on the market – but the one that has changed the way I do business the most is – Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
The philosophy behind the book is to take the profit out of your business before paying for expenses.
This may sound completely counterintuitive to the traditional accounting (sales – Expenses = Profit, but it does work.
Michalowicz promises this accounting method will transform the business from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows.
While this may be a little over the top, the system does work.
I highly recommend this book to other business owners I know, it has made managing the money in the business so much less stressful.
That alone means I can focus more on growing the business.
What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?
In the early days of starting an agency you have to wear 3 hats – practitioner, manager & entrepreneur.
I struggled with this balance. Too often I got stuck doing the job of the practitioner and manager.
This is all well and good to complete client work and manage the day to day of the business.
The downside of getting stuck in this mode is you never get to wear the entrepreneur hat.
You never get the time to dedicate to actually grow your business.
The hardest part is to dedicate time to stop being the practictor and working on clients accounts.
There is a HUGE difference between being a practitioner (the doer) and the business owner (entrepreneur).
Want to be more productive: Dedicate time each week to being the entrepreneur.