Whether you’re just starting your solopreneur career or you’ve been in entrepreneurship for a while, there are a few commonalities: hard work, isolation, and donning multiple hats.
Matt Plapp, founder and CEO of ROI Experts, is no stranger to entrepreneurship. But it didn’t happen overnight. Becoming a successful marketing agency owner took lots of trial and error, learning and evolving. Starting out in sales led him to understand communication tactics and how to work with others — and eventually understand digital marketing, more specifically bots.
As the 2019 Most Influential Agency winner, Matt shares what it takes to run a successful agency in the Chat Marketing space.
What It Takes to Run an Agency
Question: How did you get into this industry, and what’s your favorite part about it?
Matt Plapp: In 1999, right out of college, I started selling radio advertising and, at the same time, built a website for a start-up online boat and RV dealership run by my brother, father, and myself.
From 2002 to 2007, I learned way too much about SEO, on accident, and I dove headfirst into industry-specific chat rooms. We quickly became the largest online boat and RV dealer through SEO traffic. In 2008, I was tired and had no interest in the boat and RV business. So, I went back to consulting on my own.
When I started my agency in 2008, I focused on the huge opportunities in social media and helped businesses buy their mass media. By 2015, I had morphed into mainly digital marketing and social media.
I love the fact that we can help small businesses grow their client base with a skill that they can’t find with the big national marketing firms.
Q: How can you encourage others to try Chat Marketing?
MP: I think it’s the most impactful way to start a conversation. At a micro level, which I deal with, you can see who you’re talking to and cater to the conversation based on what you see. I will commonly check out people’s profiles after they come into my bot. I’ll then take the information they gave me and combine it with what I learned from their profile. This type of conversation can’t be matched with any other type of marketing.
Q: What are you most excited about when it comes to this evolving space?
MP: This is a strange thing to be excited about, BUT it’s Facebook’s transparency. Many people see the rule change as a bad thing, and I get that. But since 2008, I’ve used Facebook and Instagram without any guidance from Facebook, so I appreciate the fact that they are keeping us updated with changes and what’s coming.
Q: What went through your mind when you received the Most Influential Agency award?
MP: I was completely blown away. I recall when I saw the email for nominations, but never thought about winning it.
In 2016, I started telling the story of my journey with my agency. I did it after meeting a lot of new agencies in Billy Gene’s group. I saw they were struggling with what I had the prior eight years so I started making videos with my tips and tricks. I never thought it would lead to much outside of helping a few agencies. I recall many Google searches that came up empty, so I thought the least I could do was tell the world what I’d learned.
It’s an honor to be able to help agencies with their journey.