THE FOUNDER OF TAO DIGITAL, MATT TOMKIN, TOOK SOME TIME OUT FROM HIS BUSY SCHEDULE TO SHARE HIS STORY WITH HIS & HERS. WHETHER YOU’RE THINKING OF BUILDING A CAREER IN SEO, DREAMING OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS, OR JUST LOOKING FOR SOME INSPIRATION TO TAKE YOUR COMPANY TO THE NEXT LEVEL, YOU’LL FIND PLENTY OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT IN OUR Q&A WITH MATT…
When did you first realise you wanted to run your own company?
I’ve always wanted to run my own business, I’m not sure why but it was the only option in my mind. I think it might come back to my Dad coming home late and being out before I would get up in the morning. Although you have to work hard on your own business, and most of the time you never get to really stop, at least with my own business I could decide if I wanted a few hours at home in the morning or to leave the office early one night.
Could you tell us a little about your business?
Tao Digital Marketing is an SEO agency based in Bolton. We work for companies to gain them better organic results within the Search Engines. We also help companies with pay per click marketing and also marketing automation.
We’re still in the very early stages of the agency, but things are going from strength to strength; I think the fact that I’ve run a number of companies over the years is really helping us progress quickly.
When did your interest in digital marketing develop?
I started and built a sportswear brand over a period of four years, and within this period the website became the major generator of sales opportunities and leads. It became a bit of a passion to learn as much as I could about digital marketing as well as it being vital to the company as a whole.
How would you describe your company, Tao Digital, in one sentence?
It’s a digital marketing agency capable of geeking out, but with real commercial acumen driving the whole machine.
Have you always known that you’d be better suited to life as an entrepreneur than to working for somebody else?
Yes, I’ve managed employment full-time for less than two years over the period of my work life so far. I just have a passion for entrepreneurship. It runs through me.
Could you tell us a bit about your team?
We have a small team of dedicated people who love what they do and a thirst to learn about all the changes happening in such a fast-paced industry.
Is it difficult finding good team members within such a competitive sector?
100%, I’ve had companies in business telecoms, sportswear manufacturing and personal training. This industry is by far the most under-served sector, in terms of skillset, I have come across.
What have been the most challenging aspects of building Tao Digital?
There appear to be a large number of ‘SEO agencies’ out there only concerned with the financial rewards rather than producing for clients. This means there is a natural suspicion of the SEO industry in general after potential clients have not seen results from previous campaigns.
Please tell us about a career highlight:
A highlight of my career so far is as much personal as business-related. Through the sportswear company, I was lucky enough to complete the Arch 2 Arc Triathlon as the support athlete for the Elite team from Help 4 Heroes, Team True Spirit.
I helped gain a good level of publicity for the brand but we also created a number of world records in the process.
If our readers would like to forge a career in digital, what skills / qualities should they seek to develop?
A hunger for learning; it’s always changing or something new is always coming along. It’s a great fast-moving industry so being willing to learn is a massive help.
What’s your best piece of business advice?
Never rush things, all good things are hard to achieve. It takes a lot of hard work to get what you want. Always have a goal in sight, too.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We plan on doubling our business and growing our team further. As well as bringing in some new services that sit naturally within our existing services.
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