Brett Farmiloe – Founder of Markitors

[quote style=”boxed”]We treat our days like a DJ approaching a set would. Prepare the content that we think will play well that day. Check up on anything we missed while we were asleep. Do a sound check of what is happening in the world that day by seeing what’s trending. And then, we get into sharing content for our clients to see if we can move some people towards purchasing products. [/quote]

Brett Farmiloe is a company founder, published author and digital marketing strategist who has a history of bringing ideas to life.

Brett is Employee 01 at Markitors, a digital marketing agency in Phoenix that helps B2C brands grow their online and social media presence. Brett’s experiences collaborating with brands and celebrities have led him on some exciting digital adventures.

Brett’s first company, Pursue the Passion, was a career education startup that took Brett and three friends on two cross country roadtrips to interview people about how they found passion in work. Since getting off the road, Brett has delivered over 100 speeches from Alaska to Miami Beach and authored the book, Pursue the Passion. He currently resides in Scottsdale where he works for the clients of Markitors.

What are you working on right now?

Inspiring movements. Since it’s Super Bowl week, the movement of the moment is #Kaepernicking. My client Sportiqe Apparel partnered with San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to print #Kaepernicking t-shirts to benefit kids with heart disabilities.

Where did the idea for Markitors come from?

The idea for Markitors came at Coachella. For the first time, I visually could conceptualize what social media has the power to do, which is the power to move people. What I saw at Coachella was a DJ just killing it when it came to reacting in real time to the crowd. And because he was so on point with delivering what people wanted, the crowd collectively responded in a really positive way.

So what I like to think we do at Markitors is inspire movement through real time social media marketing. Most agencies have clients that they pre-schedule content for and then push it out every day at a certain time. We don’t think that inspires too many people. We like share client content according to what’s going on in the world at that day, minute and moment.

How do you make money?

We have three services clients pay for:
: Digital marketing strategies
: Build outs of digital marketing assets like Facebook + iPhone apps
: Ongoing monthly management of all online marketing assets (social media, email, and SEO)

What does your typical day look like?

We treat our days like a DJ approaching a set would. Prepare the content that we think will play well that day. Check up on anything we missed while we were asleep. Do a sound check of what is happening in the world that day by seeing what’s trending. And then, we get into sharing content for our clients to see if we can move some people towards purchasing products.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m a big fan of having a strategy. I appreciate a checklist. Bringing an idea to life is as simple as executing a well thought out strategy and adapting throughout the execution phase.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I love the brands who trust communities to determine what they should be doing. I’m going through an amazing experience with a client right now that’s in tune with the whole community driven angle. He’s planning to do a month long, cross country tour that’s solely determined, planned and executed by his online following. His followers are suggesting the venues and musical acts. His followers are doing the promotion. His followers are telling him where to go. By virtue of the community becoming so invested in the tour and his product (a movie), they’re the ones who are going to turn this into something so different than anything we could have imagined.
People are the most interesting content you could ever ask for. The brands that use that content in unique ways is such an inspiring marketing trend.

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

When I was a freshman in college I took the highest paying job I could find. The job ended up being at a drug testing lab, and my job was to test urine samples for drugs. Smelling piss for eight hours a day, five days a week taught me that you should try to avoid trading your time for money.

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

A couple years back, I made a business mistake. I decided that I wanted to develop iPhone apps for professional sports teams. The problem was, I didn’t know how to develop iPhone apps. So I spent a summer selling iPhone apps to pro sports teams and asking my friend to develop these apps to split the profits. The mistake was focusing on something that I wasn’t capable of executing myself. Self-reliance is a beautiful thing to have in business, so what I’d do differently is focus on the things I’m capable of executing. The profit margins are higher.

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

Auditing. I was an accounting major in college and my first job out of school was being an auditor. That job is full of checks and balances to make sure everything makes sense. As an entrepreneur, I enjoy auditing everything – finances, activities, focus – to make sure that things are going the way I’d like them to.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

There’s a lot of failures. The biggest financial failure was paying a developer to develop an iPhone app without doing any customer validation. As a result, I ended up paying thousands of dollars to develop an app that no one wanted – even for free. I didn’t really overcome that failure…just learned that if you’re going to develop something, talk to customers about your idea before you design or develop it.

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

I want an iPhone app that allows you to exchange real postcards with random people in different parts of the world. The idea is that you turn one of the photos from your phone into a postcard and you pay to send it to another member in this postcard exchange community. As a result of you sending your postcard, you will also receive a real postcard in your mailbox from a random member of the community. I’d envision it to be like playing Chatroulette (without the penises) through real postcards. Take that one and run with it. I think it’d add an element of surprise to 2013.

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

I’ve always been infatuated with company stories. I think the formation of a company is one of the most interesting things in the world. When I ride my ancient Guerciotti, I love looking at businesses and thinking about all the stories behind how that company came to exist. But unfortunately, most brands and companies suck at communicating these stories about themselves.

It’s such a missed opportunity when you look at all these companies putting ou-t garbage on social media and online. They’re not doing anything but making noise. What they need to be doing is telling their story. Why do they exist? Why should anyone care? I think when companies focus on their “why,” brands become more interesting to consumers instead of irritating them.

So day by day, we help tell company stories online. Be the change that you want see in the world, right?

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

Well, I’m about to be a dad. That’s something not many people know because I’ve purposely not talked about online. The reason is I personally dislike seeing pictures of other people’s babies in my Facebook news feed. I don’t want to be that guy.

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

Google. It has the answer to any question you have. Twitter. The trending topics really are becoming the pulse of the planet. The iPhone. Because it’s a tool that gets you online when you’re not at your desk.

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

Since this is a community of entrepreneurs, and I’m sure it’s been said before, but The Lean Startup by Eric Ries will help you be smarter about the products you spend time on.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Boyd Tinsley. I’m convinced no celebrity uses Twitter to the extent he does to connect with people. Barack Obama because he’s the President of The United States. Tyson Crosbie. He’s the wild card. One time he told me he gave out his password to his community and allowed them to tweet as him. He’s always experimenting. Follow him because you don’t know what he’ll do next.

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

At breakfast this morning. I watched the Wayne Brady skit by Dave Chappelle. I’m Wayne Brady bitch.

Who is your hero?

Without knowing anything about him, Robert Frost. His words are nice.

What have you done recently that’s awesome?

People here probably know the concept of Startup Weekend – get together and build something in the course of a weekend. Last weekend a friend of mine in Phoenix got a group of all-star designers, marketing people, and tech people to give a non-profit a complete makeover when it came to their website, social media assets, and marketing initiatives. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in the course of a weekend.

What’s exciting that you have coming up?

Having a baby being born is pretty awesome. I look at that whole baby development process a lot like product development. It takes awhile to make. It’s released to the world. And then the world helps shape what that product ultimately turns out to be. So, while the launch should be pretty exciting, I’m looking forward to post launch.


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