Mark Hayes – Founder of Tiger Tiger

You are going to make mistakes. The important thing is to not be afraid to fail and to always learn from adversity.

Mark Hayes is the founder of Tiger Tiger, a digital marketing agency based in Auckland, New Zealand. Over a year ago, Mark helped create a unique and leading-edge agency that has already turned over six figures and continues to move up the growth curve.

From humble beginnings in Mark’s bedroom, Tiger Tiger has grown to have its own funky and inspiring workspace located in the center of Auckland. The company has developed a solid reputation, and its client base continues to grow. The diversity of the client mix has evolved from small organizations to multinational corporations. Clients are based in a number of countries, including the U.S., Hong Kong, and the U.K.

Through Mark’s leadership, the Tiger Tiger team of six passionate creatives continues to push the boundaries of the traditional digital space. Mark is the author of the “The Ultimate Growth Hacking Sourcebook,” a recently released 30,000-word bible for the growth hacking community.

Where did the idea for Tiger Tiger come from?

I had been made redundant at my job and wasn’t interested in working for someone else anymore. I wanted to build a digital agency that didn’t just take people’s money. I wanted to focus on ROI so we could make clients three dollars for every one dollar they gave us.

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

I get into the office around 9 a.m. and go into the daily stand-up meeting with the team. I find out where we are with our projects and if there is anything I can do to help. Then I look at my Trello boards to see what we’re working on.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I know my weaknesses, so I make sure I have a good team behind me that is strong in the areas where I am weak. The key is to delegate tasks to the right people who have the skill sets to execute on ideas. I know I can’t take on everything myself.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The idea of transparency as a marketing tool excites me. We are starting to see this with brands such as Groove and Buffer. They are sharing their mistakes as well as how they are moving toward their revenue goals.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

At the office, I have a very large whiteboard wall where I write all of the marketing ideas that come into my head. I revisit the ideas after I’ve had time to look at them and think about whether they’re worth pursuing.

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

I worked for a company doing cold calls for about a month while I was between jobs. My dad and girlfriend at the time kept telling me, “It’s a job, Mark!” I had been pretty hesitant to take the job. I had to call people and try to get them to attend seminars on how to use negative gearing to borrow against their houses and buy rental properties. I hated every second of it! Team leaders would walk the floor and check on us. If someone didn’t achieve the required daily “quota,” he or she would get pulled into an office and dressed down by one of the team leaders. I got out of there as quickly as I could. From then on, I learned to not let people pressure me into doing something I don’t want to.

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

I would have gotten an office space for Tiger Tiger earlier. We originally worked out of a shared space. Since we moved into our own office, we have seen a huge spike in productivity.

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

When I get home, I turn off my email and phone. I make sure to squeeze in some time for myself. It’s too easy to be switched on 24/7, but you really need personal time if you want to be 100 percent effective.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

We sit down with every client and do a session where we create a road map for success. These sessions are designed to sort out the specifics behind how we can solve the client’s problems. Clients then leave with a clear understanding of how we’ll tackle their projects as quickly, economically, and effectively as possible.

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

You are going to make mistakes. The important thing is to not be afraid to fail and to always learn from adversity.

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

I would like to see a product like Calendly for Outlook users. Most of these products work with Gmail, but I know many companies that don’t use Gmail for one reason or another.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

I got a Sonos PLAY:1 for the office. It has allowed us to build a company playlist so we can always have music playing in the background.

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

Here are some of my favorites:

Trello: We use this to manage our client projects. I don’t know what we would do without it.
Salesforce: This allows us to keep track of deals we have in the pipeline.
CoSchedule: This is our go-to tool for our content calendar as well as social media sharing.
Evernote: This has become the modern-day scrapbook — everything gets clipped and saved here.
Xero: This makes accounting and invoicing an absolute breeze.
Exit Monitor: We recently made the switch from SumoMe to Exit Monitor and saw a 500 percent increase in the number of emails captured — in week one!
Data Hero: This allows us to make all of that customer data look pretty!

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

Losing My Virginity” by Richard Branson. He has to be one of the great entrepreneurs of our era. Reading about how he built Virgin into the company it is today just makes you put the book down and say, “Wow!”

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Duncan Bannatyne
Richard Branson
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Neil Patel
Brennan Dunn


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