In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Jason Hall, CEO and founder of Five Channels™, a done-for-you digital marketing agency. It was condensed by The Oracles.
What was a defining moment early in your life?
Jason Hall: My parents divorced when I was 13 and started homeschooling me in my freshman year. I was separated from my very active lifestyle and placed into an environment with little to no social interaction. That flipped a switch inside me, and I quickly became an introvert.
I suddenly questioned everything I had ever known to be real or stable in my life. I believed many things were common in the world, but I learned that they were actually dreams that others had to fight to achieve and hold onto.
What is one of your proudest moments?
Jason Hall: I smile every time a digital marketing leader I admire refers a client to our team. Billy Gene, Russell Brunson, Ryan Deiss, John Doherty, and others have sent our agency referrals time and again. I look up to these people and am extremely proud that they trust us enough to put their names behind us.
These great marketers accrued their experience by spending millions on digital campaigns. Sitting in a circle with them, soaking in their experience, and implementing that knowledge in your own business is, hands down, the fastest path to success for a marketing agency.
What are the core values that guide your business, and why did you pick them?
Jason Hall: To provide real, tangible value with transparency. We are an open book with clients about the best strategies and techniques for them.
I learned early in my career that every client will have some doubt in your services and whether you will deliver results. That’s because they don’t know how to do it on their own. Our clients have to invest in a strategy we propose, then hope that they see new sales, leads, and business growth a month or two into the budget we give them. It’s not a great feeling to sign an agreement without knowing whether you will receive value in a few months—or ever. That’s why we chose those values.
What’s your favorite quote?
Jason Hall: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I’m so passionate about that quote that it’s actually on my license plate: YDKWYDK.
Early in my career, I thought I had all the answers to my clients’ needs. Nothing was going to change my focus. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The digital marketing landscape is incredibly dynamic. Our clients demand reliable guidance based on experience. That’s why we invest over six figures each year on networking and mastermind groups to keep our agency at the forefront of what’s working now.
What was your biggest challenge starting in business? How did you overcome it?
Jason Hall: In my first five years of business, I had to defend myself against a lawsuit from my previous employer, who didn’t like my newfound entrepreneurism. I went bankrupt defending myself but I won the lawsuit. I also went through a divorce and gave away a million-dollar Amazon business.
On top of that, we had an agreement with a major corporation that turned out to be reselling our services. They positioned themselves as a partner while quietly stealing our processes so they could monetize our services with their own team. When they were comfortable enough to leave us, we lost six figures of recurring revenue in one month.
Through those challenges, there was one thing I held onto: the firm belief that my agency was pushing forward for the right reasons. Knowing I had a solid purpose every day was enough to get me out of bed. That kept me from sulking or complaining that life isn’t fair. Life is hard—you have to accept that and make it yours.
How do you define great leadership?
Jason Hall: A leader has a vision and isn’t afraid to fail while taking action to achieve that vision. They can motivate people to make that vision a reality.
Great leaders understand how to get the most out of their team, whether by motivating them, leading by example, or knowing when to step aside and let others do what they do best. A leader isn’t the best at everything, but they know how to draw the best out of everyone else.
How do you hire top talent?
Jason Hall: By creating a culture of engagement and ownership. We encourage our people to share ideas for new products or services and their thoughts on how to turn those ideas into reality. We also give credit where it’s due. We show employees that we appreciate their work and compensate them accordingly.
People want to feel like their company appreciates them. When you encourage engagement between employees and give them ownership over their ideas, you appeal to what they want most. Then top talent will want to come and work for you.
Which single habit gives you 80 percent of your results?
Jason Hall: Many of our clients are in businesses where time is of the essence. They know the outcome they expect, and they want it as soon as possible. So, we use digital marketing strategies that are fast to implement and proven to succeed.
For example, we coach our clients to use live video. You can get your message out there quickly, and data has proven that people enjoy watching them. These “quick hitting” strategies allow our clients to see immediate results and are a great buffer as we implement our longer-term overall strategies.
What are you working on right now?
Jason Hall: I just published my first book, “Put a Shark in Your Tank: Signature Innovators Edition,” which I co-authored with Kevin Harrington, the original "shark" on Shark Tank.
I’m also working on a solo book project to help medium-sized business owners find productive marketing strategies that will deliver the biggest ROI quickly. I’ve led digital marketing strategies for local, national, and international business owners for more than 20 years. In that time, I’ve learned that they expect quick wins, as well as a long-term strategy that works. This book is an educational time-saver for business owners who are overwhelmed with all the options out there. It’s expected to publish in 2019.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Jason Hall: We want to be remembered as an agency that delivers. We see ourselves as our clients’ partners, and we’re proud of that. They aren’t just another calendar appointment.
We have a vested interest in our clients’ success and strive to give them a fast, positive ROI regardless of the budget or marketing platform. Many digital marketing agencies experiment with what works. We already know what works and use those proven strategies for our clients.
Connect with Jason on LinkedIn.
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