From Busser To One Of The Leading Digital Marketing Consultant – Shane Barker

This month on Champ Life Series we have digital marketing and influencer marketing consultant, Shane Barker.

Shane Barker specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions and helps companies to grow their revenue with his digital marketing strategies. Shane Barker’s entrepreneurial journey will inspire you, motivate you, and will make you believe in “Never Giving Up!”.

Let’s see what expert tips and advice he has got for you all.

Shane Barker’s Entrepreneurial Journey: How Did It Start?

Tell us briefly about how you started? What changed your perception of having your own business and adapting to entrepreneurship?

I started my career by working in restaurants. I started as a busser, moved on to a server, bartender, and then a corporate trainer. Eventually, I opened branches of a restaurant called “Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants” all over the country.

After my restaurant industry stint, I returned to California. It was there that I started my company, Hot Pad, which introduced me to the world of digital marketing. I built the website, did SEO for it, and designed the logo.
Through this website, we managed to get ABC and Disney as clients. This is when I found my flair for digital marketing and got started on this path.

As for my perception of having my own business, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since I was a kid. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In one of your podcasts, you mentioned that you used to own quite a few businesses after college. How was your experience in bootstrapping businesses?

To be honest, it was quite challenging. When you bootstrap a business, you usually have limited funds and need to run your day-to-day operations too.

To save on budget, you need to take on multiple roles yourself. This, in itself, is very time-consuming, and it is hard. But if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it, right? However, by wearing various hats, I learned a lot as well.

As your initial dealings weren’t online, what inspired you to step into digital marketing?

I was pretty intrigued by the Internet and how accessible information was online.
Before I forayed into digital marketing, I designed my company’s website and did SEO for it. It was that experience of handling digital marketing for that company which sparked my career as a digital marketer.

How is your entrepreneurial journey so far? And what made you enjoy it?

In one word: Crazy!
I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, but honored to be called an entrepreneur. Every business that I’ve had has taught me something new, and each of them has been very fulfilling in their own ways.

It’s this experience of learning something new every day that’s made the journey awesome for me!

A common perception is, people who have their own businesses don’t get much time for themselves. Do you agree to that? Since you love traveling, what’s your favorite place to be & what’s on your list next?

For this question, I’ll answer with a yes and no. During my initial days, I was working 17+ hours a day and I didn’t have a good work/life balance.

It was always very difficult to delegate tasks as I was worried that nobody could do them as well as I could and that led to me not having any time for myself. It’s only been in the last 8 years that I’ve realized the value of this time and the power of delegation.

I’ve been to over 30 different countries, so I travel a lot, but one of my favorite places is Singapore. It’s such a lively place and so clean! Their startup scene is awesome and I plan to go back there soon!
I hope to visit the Palawan region of Philippines next.

 Let’s Talk About Digital Marketing

You have expertise in SEO, PPC, content creation, social media marketing, influencer marketing, you’re an author and motivational speaker as well. What is the one thing you enjoy doing the most?

For me, speaking is my true joy. I love connecting with and talking with people and educating the masses. Being a keynote speaker and doing workshops at conferences gives me the opportunity to do that.

What according to Shane Barker is the primary lead generating channel at the moment?

I think content marketing is the best way to generate leads nowadays. It is a long term play but it is worth the investment. I’ve had my blog for 8 years and all of my leads come from my site due to the content. And I got my job at UCLA because of my thought leadership position and the content I write.

As a leading digital marketing consultant, what do you think “Quality Content” exactly is?

Quality content is content that provides real value to the audience.
It should be useful, relevant, and actionable. At the same time, the content should be crisp to ensure that your audience can grasp it with minimal effort and address a pain point.

What are the things a small business should keep in mind while producing content?

While producing content, every small business must concentrate on its audience. Their goal shouldn’t be to grow the business instantly by churning out lots of content.
Instead, they should put effort into creating content with intent. Content that provides value to the audience. When people find the brand’s content useful, they’ll automatically start trusting it more. Remember, quality is everything.

Which techniques or technologies do you use to measure the quality of your social media campaigns?

I primarily rely on the built-in analytics tools provided by social media platforms, such as Facebook Analytics. Additionally, I use the Facebook Ads Performance Grader by WordStream and the Facebook Ads Compass by AdEspresso.

Tips & Pieces of Advice for Small Business Owners

What are the three smartest things a small business can do while launching digitally?

  • Create high-quality content and put a lot of effort into promoting it. Most businesses don’t spend a lot of money on content distribution.
  • Partner with loads of micro and nano influencers to promote the brand.
  • Put effort into improving your SEO as it can take months to see the effects!

How do you think influencer marketing can help small businesses? How can a small business owner, limited on budget and resources, connect with influencers?

Influencer marketing is one such method of marketing where you don’t need big bucks to promote your brand. Some influencers are ready to work with you in return for a free product. This can reduce your costs and yet, help you grow your business.

The biggest example of one such brand is Daniel Wellington. They expanded their business from $15k to $220 million in 4 years only through influencer marketing.

To reach influencers, you can use tools like, Grin, BuzzSumo, etc. These can help you find influencers. You can then connect with them through direct messaging.

How do you manage time on social media? Do you believe in being omnipresent when it comes to social media marketing?

Handling time on social media is quite tricky. This is especially true because I try to reply to every single comment on my posts. I do believe in being omnipresent on social media as that’s the place where you can really connect with your audience.

What do you think about social media automation tools? How do you believe social media automation tool like Social Champ can help digital marketers in 2019?

Social media automation tools like Social Champ are definitely the way ahead in the future. The main reason is that it’s challenging to manage multiple social media accounts.
Having a tool that allows you to handle them all from a single place makes things very simple. I’m sure there’ll be a huge demand for such tools very soon.

Lastly, we would like to know the advice that stuck by you in your epic journey of entrepreneurship and what’s your best advice for the newbies in digital marketing?

The one piece of advice that stuck with me through my entire journey of entrepreneurship is to never give up. As cliche as that may sound, it’s absolutely true.

Loads of people start their own businesses, but after a few months or years, they lose interest, and this is very common in the digital space.

The key to growing your online business or blog is to keep churning out content, review it, and make adjustments as you grow. You’ll definitely find success if you stay consistent.

Thank you, Shane Barker, for giving us time for this insightful interview. Startups, entrepreneurs and all the digital marketers out there have this interview to learn a lot from your journey, expert tips and advice!

Picture of Saadiya Munir

Saadiya Munir

I'm part of #ChampFam as a Senior Content Strategist. Computer Science graduate who hates to code. Introverted. Mostly hungry or sleepy. Writing a novel is always on my bucket list, and eventually, when I'm done with all the movies on my watch-list and tasks on my to-do list, I'll get to it. Twitter handle: @munirsaadiya

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