Patrick Garde is the Co-Founder and Technical Director of ExaWeb Corporation, a digital marketing company in the Philippines specializing in SEO. Their clients range from startups to small & medium-sized & large businesses, across the globe. Their “Why” is to help companies rank online so that they will improve their bottom line.

How did you start out as a marketer?

I started out as a marketer in 2009 when I became an admin of various websites. I noticed that websites fetch a higher price on Flippa when it is search engine optimized. More traffic means more chance of visitors converting for sales or revenue. Hence, I specialized in SEO.

How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?

My first client back then was a friend who knows that I do digital marketing on the side (I was a freelancer in 2009 until 2013 when I resigned from my job and did it full-time). He had a construction business and they wanted to optimize their website and rank for their services. I did SEO for them and in a matter of a month or two, they started to get quality inquiries and leads, which translated to actual customers.

What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

The most rewarding thing about what I do is when you see your clients enjoy success. One of our clients, a flower shop in Makati, had a physical store when we started doing their digital marketing (SEO and SEM, particularly). In a year or two, the sales generated online were higher than the physical store. That’s why they decided to close their branch inside a mall and focus on their online store (website). Now, it has become “Our Why” with our digital marketing agency. We help our clients rank online so that they improve their bottom line.

We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing. How else can someone earn online, and what is your advice?

Aside from freelancing, you can make money online by blogging / vlogging or by publishing content on your website or YouTube channel. You can also create an online store where you can sell your products or services. In addition, you can try affiliate marketing wherein you will earn commissions when you can sell products and services of other businesses. My advice is to find what you really want to do and be the expert in that niche.

If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?

If given the chance, I would have probably started full-time after graduation. I only decided to make it full-time when my earnings on the side is greater than my 8-to-5 day job.

Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?

This is usually the case with SEO campaigns as you must put up significant effort in the beginning and maintain the course throughout the duration of the campaign and reap the rewards thereafter. It mostly happens in competitive niches or industries as it takes a while to see the results or rankings.

You’ve been tasked with redesigning the company’s brand strategy from the ground up. Walk us through your process.

I have been reading Simon Sinek’s books and I believe in his idea to start with why. As soon as brands know why they do what they do and convey it to their target market, people will buy their product or service. As Simon Sinek said: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?

Recently, I’m about to try Brian Dean of Backlinko’s RLL (Really Long List) strategy when it comes to content. In addition, we also have success in responding to HARO queries recently to get high-quality and relevant links to our websites as well as our clients.

What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?

To stay up to date with new marketing techniques, I’m subscribed to various newsletters, availed of different courses and I follow digital marketing authorities on Twitter.

Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?

I’m most proud of our flower shop case study as it’s my first client since 2013 and up to now, she is still our client.

Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?

Every marketer should read Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why as its concept of The Golden Circle is innovative. It inspires and challenges how things stand today especially in recognizing your purpose in business, in life, and it can be applied in marketing as well.

What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?

To become more productive, marketers should have a to-do list. Crossing out something in your to-do list gives you a great feeling. This will keep you stay focused and allows you to keep on moving forward to your end goal of finishing your tasks.

If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.

Brian Dean of Backlinko. If you are a marketer, you should turn to Brian Dean if you want to get higher rankings for your website, more traffic and eventually, more revenue. I highly recommend him because he teaches actionable tips which you can implement on your own site or your clients’ sites.

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