Adam Torkildson – Owner of Customer Hook

[quote style=”boxed”]People don’t buy your past skills or work; they buy you. Learn how to make people buy you.[/quote]

Adam is an efficiency fanatic. Most people describe him as a robot with laser-like focus. Whether that’s a good or bad description really doesn’t matter. Adam gets stuff done, which has been the driving force behind his success. He chose to focus on internet marketing as a career, because it is the easiest marketing medium to track and measure, and it is easy to show its success to partners, clients and media people.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on building my downline in doTERRA, an essential oils MLM company, using just internet marketing. I’m also working on forming relationships with key journalists in agriculture, tech, fashion and small business for my company, as the PR coordinator at Customer Hook.

Where did the idea for Customer Hook come from?

I formed Customer Hook with a partner after leaving in 2009. SEO is one facet of internet marketing, but there’s a whole world of email marketing, public relations, pay per click, social media, radio, phone calls, texting and even direct mail that I wanted to use to broaden my marketing skills. My partner and I tried to find technology–or build technology–that would integrate every type of inbound marketing and tie them all together with tracking and automation, to make internet marketing a science instead of a black hole.

What does your typical day look like?

I go to the golf course for nine holes, answer every single email that comes into my inbox, check the stats on all my clients’ campaigns, tweak things that need to be tested, call clients to talk about progress, ideas and next steps, and then spend the rest of the day with my wife and two kids.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I read blogs (specifically those about PR trends) and SEOmoz, and watch my Facebook friends’ timelines for ideas that I can tweak or use directly for my clients.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Mobile. It’s still a fairly untapped resource, and only large companies are taking the best advantage of it. This is the perfect time for smaller entrepreneurs to get on the bandwagon and use mobile for better marketing.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I worked on a farm, on an assembly line that packaged peas and lentils in 100-pound bags that I would then have to load onto a train car and ship to Afghanistan or another third-world country. I did this for nine months and got some pretty big guns in the process. I learned that I never wanted to work for minimum wage ever again, especially if I had to do something repetitive that would never give me room for advancement or growth in my character or skills.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would formalize any partnership deals on paper, and make sure I got paid fully for all my work, not just with equity, but also with cash.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Respond quickly to emails, texts and phone calls. I get more deals and press by being the first to respond to an inquiry. Doing so is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to me now.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I’ve been sued three times. That seems to be one of the biggest problems I’ve had as an entrepreneur. I was sued once by a former employer and twice by former clients. All three were settled out of court, and neither side “won.” Never getting emotional is the best way I’ve learned to overcome lawsuits of any kind. Once they get personal, you’re going to lose.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Data analysis is a big-time skill. IBM has sunk billions into it in the last two years, acquiring and building tools/companies that analyze large sets of data. Be the data analyst of your industry, and build a tool that lets others in your industry analyze their data. Then you’ll have their data and yours, and youll be the king of the castle.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I would change healthcare. It’s not a simple problem, so I’m not sure what I would do to change it, but I would really like to see it cost less for the same quality of care. I’ve heard of what they do in Canada, but I’m not a big fan of government interference in anything.

Tell us a secret.

Google is going to be taken over by the government, but before that happens, they’re going to kill SEO.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. Mailchimp is great for email tracking and sending ease.
  2. WordPress is useful for site-building and SEO.
  3. Cision is my go-to for PR outreach and list-building.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It. I read this and realized I was being an idiot about myself and how I presented my skills. I always assumed people would hire me after hearing that I can do this or that. People don’t buy your past skills or work; they buy you. Learn how to make people buy you.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. Jim Gaffigan. Laughing every day is almost as good as eating at a 5-star restaurant, especially if they have bacon.
  2. Josh James is a very successful Utah entrepreneur who sold to Adobe for 1.86B. He gives very outspoken advice all the time.
  3. Rand Fishkin is an SEO guru, inbound marketing data analyst and very prolific tweeter.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Last week, while I was watching the YouTube channel for Just for Laughs TV.

Who is your hero?

Jesus Christ.

Who is your ideal client?

Someone/a company that has a passion for testing. No matter how many campaigns I’ve done, every single one has been different in some way or another, and testing always brings out the best results. Gut feelings are not a priority for me.

What is your life’s goal?

To be on the board of several nonprofits, and to help them develop solid internet marketing strategies and be 100% efficient with their donations and work. I also want to serve on a mission with my wife after our kids are out of the house, in a third-world country on behalf of my Mormon faith.


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