Kevin Miller is the founder and CEO of The Word Counter. He is a growth marketer with an extensive background in SEO, paid acquisition, and email marketing. Kevin studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google for several years, is a Forbes contributor, and has been a head of growth and marketing at several top tier startups in Silicon Valley.
Where did the idea for Ground Zero come from?
The company name, Ground Zero, comes from our philosophy: every great brand, search strategy, and team starts at Ground Zero. We partner up with these brands at the very beginning of their journey and build them up to be something incredible that delivers immense value to not only shareholders and consumers but the world at large.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is focused on making clients happy, executing great organic search campaigns, and scaling our operations. More specifically speaking, I am generally on the phone for about 8-10 scheduled calls per day, ranging from new client pitches to account management calls and general SEO discovery and research to help us stay on the cutting edge of the industry.
We are constantly working on our own agency-owned projects, such as The Word Counter. The purpose of this is to constantly audit the quality of our work. We put our money where our mouth is and we show results running our own companies within our agency. We feel this type of “startup-studio” look and feel allows us to always be ahead of the curve innovating and it gives us an insight into how Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving better than anything else we do.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life with emotion and action. Our team always tries to measure twice and cut once, as they say. Meaning we evaluate opportunities in great detail, ensuring we have the time and resources necessary to go after the opportunity and win. We understand that our most scarce asset is our time and we want to direct our attention to activities that will inspire us, make our customers happy, and ultimately, make money so that we can continue to pursue more and more ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Witnessing the evolutions of Google AMP, including the recent Google AMP Web Stories, has truly been an interesting spectacle. The company is clearly signaling its plans for Google users to spend more time in its own funnel.
We have a proprietary technology owned by our agency called WebFast.co that AMP’s a website in a matter of hours. We are the most cost-effective and fastest tool on the market for this specific service. When implementing this technology on a handful of our client’s sites, we have found that bounce rates decrease, and traffic, conversion rate, Google rankings, and revenue ultimately increase as a result of delivering superior customer experience.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I consistently make time for going to the gym, working out outside, and going for bike rides. Getting your natural endorphins going does a world of good for decreasing stress and simply allowing me to think clearly and put my problems into perspective.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be kinder to myself and enjoy the journey and small successes. Progress, not perfection, would be my mantra and I would also urge my younger self to always remember that transparency in business and partnerships is key and it is OK to talk through hard subject matters and be honest and open. This way of being in my personal and professional life has allowed me to enjoy innumerable benefits that were unexpected and incredibly valuable.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
For me, I am a last check bounces kind of guy. My life is precious to me and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Anything can happen and I have had many friends die young. As a result, I spend money on things I want that make me happy and I would say that no one agrees with my spending and financial habits.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly seek feedback and strive to be better tomorrow. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. My personal goal is to be 1% better every day. Looking through a different lens, I’ve been taught to treat others the way I want to be treated since I was a little kid. I really try to live by that and I believe it has helped me in business a ton.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The best strategy I have employed to help grow my business is to ask happy clients to refer me to other clients. There is nothing more powerful than a warm referral and the conversion rate from an introduction via a warm referral to a signed client is more than 3x higher than that of a lead that comes in cold. We have grown exponentially through this method and intend to continue to do so.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have had 10, 20, 30 failures as an entrepreneur and I believe that is why I am now starting to see some success. I have started probably 10 different websites since I graduated from college. 8 out of 10, I”ve lost my entire investment. Two were interesting but I wasn’t able to scale. I simply apply all of my learnings from one project and roll them into the next. Winston Churchill said that success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm and I really believe that to be true.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Workouts at home. A website that aggregates all of the freelance fitness models, influencers, and trainers that are available right now with downtime due to Coronavirus and have them upload all of their workouts onto the site and broker training sessions via Zoom. It would be the Zillow of fitness.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on Sugarfish Sushi. It was incredibly delicious. I’d like to say I spent the money on a meditation app and found new inner peace, but that hasn’t happened just yet. Other than that, my AirPods have been my best investment under $300!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Slack is one of the best communication apps I have ever used and specifically for an agency business with the advent of “shared slack channels”, it has saved me many, many hours.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, it teaches numerous valuable startup lessons from notable entrepreneurs.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”
- Success doesn’t happen overnight.
- It takes a lot of trial and error, but with enough hard work, grit, and determination, it will pay off!
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.