Should you put every product you offer on your website? Chris Pitts would argue no, and he’s got good reasoning for it. Check it out.
Taylor Hill brings a wealth of experience and experiences to his role as chief strategist at Spark Marketer. He and Carter Harkins started the company to meet the needs of the emerging class of small business owners they were coming across. They found that these businesses needed help navigating the world of online marketing, but weren’t able to pay the upfront costs of having a professional, fully optimized website built for them. Taylor and Carter proceeded to draw up affordable packages that would allow these small businesses to have a robust web presence, and would allow them to compete with the so-called “big boys”. I sat down with Taylor, and asked him a few questions about why he started Spark Marketer with Carter. I also wanted to give you an idea of how his brain works, so I’ve asked him a few personal questions to give you some extra insight into how he thinks.
Jonathan Sanders: What made you and Carter decide to start Spark Marketer?
Taylor Hill: We had an existing client from the chimney sweeping industry come to us and ask if there was a program that we could offer that would allow other chimney sweeps to have the same quality service we had given to him without all the upfront out-of-pocket costs. We toyed with the idea for about 8 months before we settled on it, and Spark Marketer came from that idea.
JS: What type of work experience, education, and life experiences do you bring to Spark Marketer that informs how you advocate for clients?
TH: I think the thing I bring the most is a sense of fairness. I used to work in the finance industry, and I saw so many instances of smoke and mirrors that I became uncomfortable working in that industry. I found the same thing in the mortgage industry, and the goal seemed to be to take advantage of people. It was all about getting people’s money. Also, as a loan officer, I found that it was hard to find people to help me optimize my website. I think these experiences, more than anything, inform how I interact with and work for our clients. We really want to bring value.
JS: What roles do you fill with Spark Marketer?
TH: First, I spend a lot of time on strategy. I go through a lot of information every day, and I spread it around to the appropriate people. We use that information in a very strategic manner. Secondly, I am the chief liason to most of our clients. Part of that is because my background in the financial industry caused me to learn to get back to people really quick. Thirdly, as an owner, I’m here to keep things running as they should.
JS: What is your favorite thing about what you, personally, bring to the clients?
TH: I think perspective is one thing. I like the challenge of seeing things from many different viewpoints. Everyone is different, and they have different wants and needs. I like being able to bring a different perspective that can bring what is important in that situation to light. That way, we can let the less important things fall to the wayside.
JS: I’d like everybody to get to know your personality and what makes you tick. I think a person’s favorite films say a lot about them. What are your favorite films, and why do you love them?
TH: The Man From Snowy River for 1 particular scene. When that horse goes down the side of the mountain…I read how they tracked that shot…they were actually able to shoot that scene in 1 take. It is the most fascinating scene in film. It wasn’t green screened, and it didn’t have any special effects. It was shot on an incredible incline on the side of a mountain. I watch this film for that 1 scene. On the fun side, 50 First Dates is one. It shows tenacity…and it’s funny! Also, Shallow Hal is another one. I think there are so many lessons in that film. It just is good about showing how we treat people and how we should be treating people.
JS: If you could see 1 person in concert, who would that be?
TH: Willie Nelson. I’ve seen him 4 times, and I’d see him again.
JS: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
TH: Probably, The Day of Empire. It’s one of the best books about the empire’s of the world. If you’re talking about fiction, I would say The Hunger Games trilogy. Also, I recently read the Harry Potter books, so I could talk about them with my grandkids.
JS: Besides movies, what we listen to can say a lot about us. What did you listen to in the car on the way to work today?
TH: Normally I’m on my scooter, so nothing really. I’m always thinking. However, 9 times out of 10, I do the same thing in my truck.
JS: Lastly, do you have any pets? What are their names?
TH: I have 2 pets…my wife has 3. My pets are Bandit, who is a 19 lbs. chihuahua-dachshund mix, and who thinks I hung the moon. So, I kinda like him too! Bogie is a nearly 1 year old Australian Shepard…just a little dog at 73 lbs.! He was supposed to top out at 55 lbs., but that didn’t work out! We do have a cat, named Bentley…which my wife loves…and I tolerate!