Matt Johnson-Principal

Founder of Matt Johnson Marketing Consulting

After 15 years of helping establish and grow Canada-based companies, Matt Johnson-Principal decided to pursue entrepreneurship.

But prior to opening his own consulting firm, Matt met Sarah in 2000 and married her after two years. Following their marriage, he relocated to his wife’s hometown, Seattle, Washington, where he founded Matt Johnson-Principal Marketing Consulting.

His marketing consulting firm in Washington was founded on his passion for helping small and medium-sized businesses thrive.

Since 2003, Matt and his team have been helping local business owners around WA, Okanagan and Vancouver to maximize existing resources to achieve higher profitability and strengthen their relationship with customers.

Through consultation services, they make sure that entrepreneurs get a better understanding of their customers’ needs and how they can achieve their business goals.

Furthermore, among the services that the firm offers are web design and development, public relations (PR), social media marketing, branding, and Google Analytics for businesses that need a digital-based solution.

Where did the idea for Matt Johnson-Principal Consulting Firm come from?

It all began when I realized that I can do so much more for my community by sharing my expertise with small local business owners.

I believed that doing this will be similar to a ripple effect. Once we start helping these owners, they can contribute to a growing local economy which will also benefit the majority in the long run.

As digital marketing professionals, I believe that we are problem solvers by nature. We see potential in what you do or want to do and help you develop or build something for your business. There are many people who work hard every day but without the proper knowledge in marketing their companies don’t reach their full potential.

That is why we exist; to help you grow your business because we also believe in the importance of, not just helping others but showing them that success can be achieved if only they worked hard enough.

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

I usually answer emails in the morning and then start my day with a meeting with the entire team.

In the afternoon, I have more meetings or do some project work.

Honestly, I don’t really have a schedule because when you’re working for yourself there is no such thing as 9-5 Monday to Friday. So you adjust your schedule according to how much work you need to do.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I come up with ideas by thinking about how to improve something. When I find a problem, I try to solve it as much as possible and look out for resources that will help me achieve this.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The way we communicate now is different compared to the past. Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other.

What I find interesting is that every year more and more people are waking up to the benefits of social media marketing, which also means that there will be demand for it. People now want real-time updates about their favorite brands. They don’t just want to see an advertisement on TV or in a newspaper. They want to know what causes companies are supporting, how they’re helping the community and their vision for the future.

What I am excited most about this is that there will be more job opportunities that involve this aspect of marketing.

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

To get things done on time, I make sure to plan ahead. When I have a task that needs to be completed, I always block off time on my calendar so that no other event or appointment can take place.

This way there are no distractions for me and I am able to get things done in the set period of time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to take a risk. There is not much that you can lose by doing something. Even if it doesn’t work out, you will learn from your mistakes and will figure out what went wrong so that you can improve on it next time around.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Not everyone can get what they want all the time. Sometimes you have to learn to deal with setbacks and wait for your chance so that way things work out in the end.

It is still better than getting something simply because you’re persistent about it without making any adjustments along the way.

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

Learn to say “no”. By doing this you are showing that you have the confidence to turn people down politely.

It is also a sign of respect when you say no because it shows that you value your time and won’t be partaking in something that will waste your energy or your focus. You are preserving both by saying no when necessary.

Not only that, but it is a way to set clear boundaries for yourself and your business so people know what you can and can’t do.

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

We always make our clients feel important. By valuing their input, we show them that we care about them and their business.

When they feel like we are on the same team, they give us more opportunities to help them achieve greater results. Aside from that, we get a lot of referrals and repeat customers because we make sure to over-deliver and exceed our clients’ expectations.

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

We always make our clients feel important. By valuing their input, we show them that we care about them and their business.

When they feel like we are on the same team, they give us more opportunities to help them achieve greater results. Aside from that, we get a lot of referrals and repeat customers because we make sure to over-deliver and exceed our clients’ expectations.

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

An app that lets people book time with local professionals from different expertise, whether it is for a consultation or a service.

It could also include a payment system that includes an online wallet where customers can choose to pay in cash or through their credit card via the app which will automatically calculate the amount payable before sending the bill to email.

This will make it more convenient for both parties as they will be able to schedule an appointment from wherever they are.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It might seem simple but I always spend money on books that I think can help me grow as a person or as a professional.

This way, even if I only get one good idea from the book, it will already be worth it.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use Trello for my personal tasks since it works great with my phone and computer.

It lets me prioritize tasks and check what I need to do next so that way I’m always on top of things.

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

I’d say The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey since it gives you all the necessary tools to escape debt and plan your finances in an efficient way.

It will also help you gain a better understanding of how money works.

What is your favorite quote?

Brian Tracy reminds us that “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

For me, it’s all about giving back and helping others because when you give, you never know how it will come back to you.

Key Learnings:

  • Value customers’ input, as it shows that you care about them and their business.
  • Pick up a good book now and then to keep growing as a person or professional.
  • When possible, help and give back to the community.
  • Be selective when it comes to saying yes. Sometimes, it’s all about knowing when not to say no.
  • Never stop learning and growing as a person or professional.