There’s a famous quote that says something like this: Many business owners know that their marketing is working for them… they just don’t know which half is. There’s a tendency to take a backseat to marketing approaches if it seems from the outset that it IS working. If new clients are always coming in and sales are being made, it’s easy to adopt the, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mindset. But, this also looks past a powerful opportunity to double down on marketing for double the results, simply by taking a hard look at the data.
Harry Sanders is the 22 year old founder of StudioHawk, which is now Australia’s largest dedicated SEO agency with a team of 22. While digital marketing has been up and coming for a while now, SEO is still a hard nut to crack for many business owners. “People falsely believe that the way to SEO is through keyword stuffing, such as mentioning their top keywords as many times as they can in their website copy and blog posts,” commented Sanders. “That’s why education on what SEO really is and how to really harness it for results is so critical.”
It’s easier than it sounds — it’s simply about access to SEO education, which is why Sander’s latest venture is Hawk Academy: a learning platform that features practical guides, quizzes, and tip-ridden modules to teach anyone who wants to learn about SEO and digital marketing everything that they need to know.
How Education Can Change Marketing
Rather than putting a discernment of marketing results on the backburner, business owners should lift the veil behind their marketing campaigns to survey the real numbers. It’s never been easier, simply because of the sheer amount of data now available. But there’s a disconnect, because many business owners don’t know how to assess this data or guide their future marketing efforts in the right direction according to what they discover.
Sanders is thinking big picture. “By educating business owners on marketing and SEO, they can better understand what’s required to tap into these skill sets, which can be deeply transformative for their businesses and their lives,” he noted. Imagine how much your business could change if you had real, tangible steps as to how to rank on the front page of Google or get in front of your target audience more often.
Sanders’ Own Story
For Sanders, it isn’t just about changing the marketing landscape – it’s about giving to others what he never had. “I came from nothing, and taught myself SEO through pure trial and error,” he explained. When his dad’s business was struggling, Sanders (at age 13) took it upon himself to figure out a way to get more customers through the door – and that way was SEO. But, there was no real guide or blueprint available online for how to do this. He simply had to start from scratch and learn from what did and didn’t work.
In a turning of tables, his knowledge of SEO is what ended up saving Sanders financially, too. At the age of 17, his initial attempt at launching StudioHawk failed, and he found himself homeless. From the couches of his friends’ apartments, he began to offer SEO freelancing services, building his reputation and his network of clients through results. Now, StudioHawk bills over $3.5m annually, even though it was a one-man-band making next to nothing only five years ago.
“I want others to have open access to the education that I had needed when I was first starting out,” reflected Sanders. “There is a real potential to change the marketing industry simply by providing education, and empowering business owners to understand how to make the most of the data that’s available to them.”
Sanders believes digital marketing shouldn’t be about guessing games or calling a company’s marketing efforts “good enough” because a steady stream of clients has been coming in. It should be about understanding the steps behind these efforts, and using this education to achieve new business goals. Sanders, through his own story and his now wildly successful digital marketing agency, is leading the way for that mission.