Steve Krakower

Keep learning every day. There are always new things to learn and new ways to improve. You never know what’s going to give you that extra edge that will take your business to the next level.

Steve is the Founder of Harbor Marketing Agency, an agency that specializes in acquisition and retention strategies for e-commerce brands. Harbor Marketing Agency takes a holistic approach to digital marketing. They take a birds-eye view of each client’s business to ensure that their marketing engines are firing on all cylinders. This process ensures that clients are not losing sales because one piece of their marketing funnel is broken.

Where did the idea for the Harbor Marketing Agency come from?

I’ve always been extremely passionate about entrepreneurship, so if it wasn’t Harbor Marketing, it would have been something else. Harbor really was just something that started as a side hustle to make extra money. I would work on it before and after working a full-time job. Eventually, I got to the point where I felt that if I quit my full-time job I could make it happen, so that’s what I did.

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

I usually wake up early and go to the gym first thing in the morning. On my most productive days, I make a list of everything that needs to get done and I plan out my day accordingly. Most days consist of sales calls, client reporting calls, ensuring all accounts are in a good spot and working on new systems for Harbor. It can be easy to get sucked into client work, so I do try to carve out some time each day to work on things that actually grow the business.

How do you bring ideas to life?

There are probably better ways to do this, but I have a tendency to get really excited about an idea and immediately take action on it rather than plan it out in detail. What often ends up happening is that I have to fix a lot of things that I didn’t think of ahead of time, but at least the idea comes to life…

What’s one trend that excites you?

As a digital marketer, I think the rise in dependency on social platforms is exciting. We have so much data on our target audiences, which makes it easier to market our client’s products effectively.

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

I read or listen to a podcast every single day. It’s something that does consume a significant amount of time every day; however, I believe that it saves me a ton of time and money in the long run. By learning from other people’s mistakes and proactively avoiding them, I eliminate the need to backtrack and fix my own mistakes.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Get some mentors who have done what you’re trying to do. I was spinning my wheels for a long time and it wasn’t until I found a group of mentors through an accelerator program that things have really started to move. Entrepreneurship is hard enough, you don’t have to do it alone.

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

Entrepreneurship is not glamorous at all. The life of entrepreneurs that you see on Instagram and the reality of the day to day are vastly different. The reality is that it’s extremely stressful, you’re constantly fighting fires, and the hours are long. Everyone wants to make money, but it takes a deeper level of commitment to your vision to really stick with it and make it happen.

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

Keep learning every day. There are always new things to learn and new ways to improve. You never know what’s going to give you that extra edge that will take your business to the next level.

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

Starting a podcast has been tremendously helpful. It has enabled me to get in front of decision-makers that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak to otherwise. It has also helped to position me as an authority in my niche, which has been extremely helpful. The only two prerequisites that I’d suggest is that you have to actually know what you’re talking about and you should be genuinely interested in what your guests have to say, or else it makes for a dull interview.

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

I don’t see anything besides giving up as a failure in entrepreneurship. Everything is an opportunity to learn and improve. As long as you go into every situation with that mindset, you can overcome anything.

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

Create a smart version of a web building platform like SquareSpace or Wix that is constantly optimizing for higher conversion rates by running automated split tests of pre-established variations of buttons, colors, imagery, and copy.

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

It’s more than $100, but FATC by Cat Howell is an incredible Facebook Ads course. Money well spent.

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

HubSpot – helps me keep track of leads so nobody slips through the cracks.

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

Sales Differentiation by Lee B. Salz. This book really helped me to position Harbor effectively so that we have a competitive advantage and can charge appropriately.

What is your favorite quote?

“The person that wins is the person that gets knocked down seven times and gets up eight times.”

Key Learnings:

  • Carve out time every single day to work on things that actually move your business forward.
  • Start a podcast
  • Learn something new every day
  • Avoid failure by looking at everything as a learning opportunity.
  • Read Sales Differentiation by Lee B. Salz