Scott Greer – Consultant for Digital Marketing Strategies

09.11.2015

“The most difficult part about starting your own business is building up the courage and putting yourself out there.” When Scott and his wife found out they were having a baby, he decided to take the risk and became a freelancer. Word-of-mouth and Scott´s attention to detail have helped him build up a unique selling point and broad customer base. Find out more about Scott and how he successfully established his own business...

1) Hello Scott, thanks for your participation in our freelancer insides interview series. Firstly, can you tell our users a bit about yourself and what you do? 
Thank you for having me. My name is Scott Greer and I help businesses develop digital marketing strategies with an emphasis on design, paid search and social advertising. I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and launched my business this past May after spending some time in the agency world. The services I provide vary based on the client’s needs, but right now my focus is consulting with small businesses and advertising agencies on Facebook Advertising, Google AdWords, media planning, email marketing and graphic design.
 
2) What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer?
Prior to freelancing, I worked at an advertising agency in Nashville for several years and after that at an early stage healthcare startup for about a year. Both experiences were incredibly valuable and paved the way for launching my own business in 2015. I’m not even sure I would’ve left my agency position to start freelancing full-time, but the startup environment really taught me a lot about business and ultimately helped me carve out an opportunity to pursue something new. Another factor was that my wife and I found out we were having a baby earlier this year, so that immediately made the idea of freelancing even more appealing.
 
3) Do you sometimes think about going back to fulltime employment? What are your career goals for the future?
So far I haven’t thought about going back at any point, but I will say that it’s easy to take the luxuries of fulltime employment for granted, including health insurance, guaranteed income and other HR benefits. Operating a one-man business obviously has its challenges, so I would eventually like to build a collective of likeminded freelancers who share the same values and have various skills that balance each other out. I realize this is easier said than done, but the fact of the matter is that I want to work with (and for) people who I genuinely enjoy being around. It’s certainly helpful that Nashville’s freelance community is growing so quickly.
 
4) What was the most challenging obstacle when starting your own business?
Honestly, I think the most difficult part about starting your own business is building up the courage and putting yourself out there. I know the high-risk lifestyle comes naturally to some, but you really do need to be comfortable with embracing chaos and facing the unknown. It can be a long process to finally reach the point where you know you can do it on your own. Fortunately, there are plenty of awesome resources out there to help motivate those who might be on the fence about freelancing full-time. Seth Godin’s blog is one of my favorites.

5) How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?
I like to think that my biggest selling point is a strong attention to detail, along with the ability to manage account service tasks, creative direction and digital strategy for a single client. I know clients really appreciate attentiveness, which seems to be a lost art these days. I also have experience in a wide range of industries from my agency background, so that gives me a unique perspective on each client’s business.

6) Let’s go for a question which might be interesting for all newbie freelancers and Start-ups. How do you find new clients?
I’ve been fortunate enough to get most of my clients through word-of-mouth at this stage. Several of them have actually been referrals from past colleagues, which is a testament to the fact that everyone should try to avoid burning bridges in his or her career (whenever possible). I am lucky to have met so many talented entrepreneurs in this city and truly believe that the best new business strategy is to meet as many new people as possible.

7)  Can you provide any Marketing tips and tricks for freelancers?
It’s not really a tip or a trick, but I think the most important thing about marketing is to understand that consumers have all of the control today. The importance of digital marketing is no longer a mystery in 2015, but it’s amazing how many businesses are still using social media ineffectively. Businesses have to realize that consumers have a million bits of information bombarding them all day every day, so you can’t stand out from the crowd with a sell-sell-sell approach to marketing. Oftentimes a strategy that is authentic, clean and simple goes a long way.

8) How do you manage the pressure of meeting deadlines? Do you use any specific apps or software tools for self-organization, invoicing and something else?
It’s essential to stay organized in order to meet deadlines and keep clients happy, and fortunately I’m able to do some of my best work under tight deadlines. Since every client is different, however, you have to learn to adapt to those who like to have a long-term plan in place and others who deal with everything at the last minute. In either case, the tools that I can’t live without are Harvest (time tracking and invoicing), Sunrise (calendar), Evernote (notes—imagine that), Slack (collaboration) and Wunderlist (to-dos).

9) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a freelance career? And what does it takes to be successful as a freelancer?
Depending on your current job, I would definitely spend as much time as you can outside of work planning your freelance career before handing in your resignation. That is to say, you shouldn’t simply decide one day that you’re going to start freelancing and think it will happen overnight. Everything takes time before you actually build your client base, including creating a business plan, prospecting and countless administrative tasks. Once you have a strategy in place, I think the best way to ensure long-term success is to be honest, persistent and organized. You also need to have a great deal of self-discipline.

10) Last but not least, what are the top three books, blogs or magazines you read to stay up to date in the IT-market?
If I had to narrow it down to three, I would say Business Insider Tech, SocialTimes and TechCrunch. Twitter is still my go-to channel for consuming it all though.

11) Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
In freelancing, I’ve learned that you can’t take anything personally and you always have to keep moving through the good and bad. Even if you’ve created the best proposal of your life (or so you think), you may never hear back from that prospect again. It’s a hard truth of the business, but sometimes you have to roll with the punches and have faith that it will all work out in the end. Nothing is more important than remaining positive and trusting your process.
 
Where to find Scott Greer? 

The interview was conducted by Doreen Schollmeier - freelancermap.com team.   
 
 
Pic: © Scott Greer
 
 
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