Bud Torcom – CEO & Co-Founder of Mazama Media

The best way to get someone to do anything is through praise.

Bud Torcom is the CEO and co-founder of Mazama Media, a digital marketing agency that offers high-quality social media solutions for businesses. Mazama Media focuses on the individual needs and personalities of clients to create unique, engaging social media content, and the company is part of the prestigious Facebook Small Business Council. In addition, Bud is a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The concept behind Mazama Media came from my last venture, which was an app that we sold to brick-and-mortar businesses. We got a series of funding and marketed the app in every way imaginable: newspapers, TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. I noticed that the best ROI was through advertisements we placed on Facebook (followed by Twitter, Google, and then the other traditional media formats). My wife and I noticed the tremendous opportunity, and we decided to start our own digital marketing company. We took what we learned from running our previous business and put that knowledge to work by helping others.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

My typical day starts with a morning meeting that includes our entire team. We then break out into smaller groups and work to solve any problems we might be facing. After that, I go through sales prospects and manage our sales team. I typically put out a fire or two as I mark items off my weekly to-do list from our leadership team. I find I’m a lot more productive when I use lists and feel empowered to delegate tasks to others. Smart delegation is what has allowed Mazama Media to grow to this point.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I spend a lot of time thinking up ideas. Once I have an idea, I figure out the right person on my team to handle the task and delegate it. Then, we execute. It’s a relatively simple process.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Automation is both incredibly exciting and frightening. While it scares me, I strongly believe companies need to find ways to embrace the technology.

Another trend that excites me is the push toward plant-based food. This shift has my attention largely because I eat a purely plant-based diet.

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

I start every day by making a list of one to three items. One is my highest priority for the day, two is my secondary mission, and three would be lower on the totem pole. Once I have that list, I don’t do anything else until I’ve completed my top priority for the day. If I spend all day on the first task on my list, that’s perfectly fine. After all, there’s a reason it rose to the top of the list. Once I complete a task, I move on to the next item.

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

Unfortunately, I partnered with the wrong person on a past endeavor. It was an incredibly unpleasant experience, and I ultimately felt like I had no choice but to leave that company. I overcame that failure by learning from the bad experience and making sure the same thing didn’t happen when I co-founded Mazama Media.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

I spent $100 on some new mountain-biking gloves. They have literally saved my skin, so I’d say it was a worthwhile purchase.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I am in love with Slack. It keeps my email inbox free of clutter from company communications, and it organizes our internal communications by using appropriate channels.

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

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I believe it should be required reading for everyone. If our whole country read it, people would be more willing to listen to one another and understand other viewpoints. We’d also be quite a bit more polite and productive.

Tell us something that’s true that almost no one agrees with you on?

The best way to get someone to do anything is through praise.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be careful when it comes to choosing potential partners. One bad move can turn into an ugly business divorce. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate to partner with great employees and my wonderful wife, Sarah, in my most recent business venture.

What is your favorite quote?

There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as the criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.” — Charles Schwab

Lessons Learned:

  • Know that automation is coming. Work with it instead of against it.
  • Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie to improve your communication.
  • Make a daily to-do list and begin with your top priority.
  • When it comes to starting a business, do your homework about any potential partners.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate.


Mazama Media on Twitter: mazamamedia
Mazama Media on Facebook: MazamaMedia/
Mazama Media on LinkedIn: company-beta/3696590/
Bud Torcom on LinkedIn: budtorcom