And how we apply them in our business
Park outside the door
Our Father would get you a park right outside the door of any busy event. He’d drive past crowds of people walking to the Easter Show from where they’d parked, streets away, and he’d tell us – they all think there’s no parking right outside, but you watch this.
His theory was that drivers will park further and further away, assuming it’s the best they’ll do, until they’re walking miles and missing the wood-chopping. They never know that there are parks closer, because they start at the bottom and mistake the first park they see as the best they’ll get.
What’s the lesson? Have guts: go straight to the top, have a look around and work your way back from there. You have to work your way up the ladder no matter what, but you may as well see how far you can go, first.
We apply this every day in our business. We’ve never assumed we are too small or new an agency to get top-tier clients, and so far we haven’t been proved wrong.
You can’t catch fish in the boat
My Father was as patient as you’d need to be raising 4 sons. He now refuses to fish (sorry, Dad). It wasn’t the tangles and tying the knots that got him though – it was us winding our lines up to have a look.
You can’t catch fish in the boat, he’d tell us. You can’t argue with that. You can’t get a girlfriend on Reddit, either, a client without making some calls, or a job without putting your hand up.
Don’t talk when you’re eating fish
The lessons didn’t end once we’d caught fish. Once we were eating, the rules were simple: eat your fish, don’t talk about it.
Between our small team we balance around two dozen projects and clients at once. We rarely have meetings, and if we do they’re short and to the point, and we don’t talk projects out to the smallest detail – we make sure all in the team that are involved know the objective and the strategy and then we get stuck in. Because, as with the last lesson: you can’t code a website by talking about it.
I’m confident that being agile, responsive and multi-skilled in this way is the greatest asset of our business, and maintaining this approach will be our largest focus as we scale.
Make an excuse to do something
Almost any negative excuse you can make for not doing something positive can be turned around. Of course, you’re saying the same thing – but suddenly it’s positive.
For example –
This is an excuse not to do something: I can’t apply for that job, my resume’s out of date.
This is an excuse to do something: I’m going to update my resume so I can apply for that job.
I’ll leave out the new age theories on manifestation, but you can’t argue that less negativity in your life is a good thing.
You can fix anything with electrical tape and cable ties
Seriously, you can’t. But have a go: look under the hood, even if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Ask questions. Break things.
Cameron and myself are both self-taught in online marketing and development and we encourage our staff to learn at least a basic level of code, or anything else in our space that interests them. When we hire we look for self-starters that have taught themselves skills, questioned things, have failed.
You can’t be an expert in everything, but the more you get involved and get your hands dirty, the more valuable you’ll be to an employer or your clients.
More by Morris Bryant
We’re regularly sharing feedback with Google on the AdWords console, and here are a few of our top feature requests.Continue reading b
1. You will be able to bid separately for mobile, tablet and desktop (again) Advertiers will soon be able to set bid adjustments for all three device types. Enhanced Campaigns ended this function when they launched in 2013 and grouped desktop and tablet bidding, and it’s a welcome change. For Advertisers, this means far greater […]Continue reading b
Facebook have been fairly aggressive in claiming a greater share of ad spend over the last few years; particularly reinventing their ad units for Mobile and to be more native to their platform. One of the most interesting ad units they’ve released in some time are the new Lead Ads. These ads allow users to enter […]Continue reading b
Bringing in 2016 with some fresh faces, Sparro have won four new digital accounts with SurfStitch, GUESS Australia, National Hearing Care and Bay Audiology (NZ). Working across digital marketing, partner outreach and paid search accounts, Sparro is looking forward to establishing great working relationship with the four exciting brands and helping them further cement their online […]Continue reading b
When my brother and I started our digital marketing agency, Sparro, in 2013, we were very confident in the direction we wanted to take in our business and our work. We wanted to take on the best qualities of all of the businesses we’d worked with, while avoiding the worst aspects of agencies that we’d […]Continue reading b
The most important question in our business, and maybe yours too, is often the question that’s most overlooked for its simplicity and because the answer is so commonly assumed. Here it is: What is the objective? Companies, businesses and individuals without an objective are like Twitter – there’s noise, activity and some level of assumed […]Continue reading b
Today I pulled down our site TheDealer.com.au – a daily deals aggregator that Cameron, Ruben and myself built way back in 2011. As a challenge, we designed, coded and had the site live sending daily deals emails within 6 weeks; integrated with a dozen or so of the largest deals sites at the time – […]Continue reading b
Mobile’s been a hot topic for a few years now, and it always seems to be ‘just about’ to take over. There’s no doubt it’s not going away and presents huge opportunities for any business, but is an app the right way to get in front of mobile users? In most cases, we don’t think so.Continue reading b