Coles Notes version? When I was running Truly Inc., I got really bummed out seeing business after business fall short because they couldn’t afford a digital agency. So I decided to build something that was affordable enough for a small & medium business, but powerful enough to get results.
To note: Much love to the former Truly Inc. team (who I miss like crazy) for building this with me. I closed the agency earlier in 2021 due to my own burnout and need for a break.
Founder: Tara Hunt
I have over 20 years of experience in market research and strategy on both client and agency side. I wrote one of the first books on how the social web is changing business, I've been quoted in dozens of books and articles, spoken at over 175 conferences, and was named one of 2013's Entrepreneurial Women to Watch by Entrepreneur Magazine and one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in Fast Company.
My award-winning portfolio includes work with P&G, L'Oreal, Nokia, Facebook, Big Rock Breweries, Intuit, REALTOR.ca, and The Mayo Clinic. I also led the digital strategy that resulted in Justin Trudeau winning the LPC Leadership (2013).
I've built an engaged and enthusiastic business audience online of over 350,000 followers, including a significant number of thought leaders. I'm a LinkedIn Influencer, followed by over 225,000 people. My Slideshare presentations have been viewed over 2 million times. I'm in the top 5% of Twitter users worldwide with over 50,000 followers, and I (used to) produce a regular web series on YouTube which has over 11,500 subscribers. (I'm on hiatus)
Here are the 10 things that made me want to build Phlywheel:
1. I saw more and more SMBs struggling to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.
Things are changing. Fast. When you’re deep in the trenches of running a business, it’s all too easy to get tunnel-vision. Unfortunately, that’s how miss out on industry trends, resulting in strategies that feel “last season.” Just like an agency whose job it is to have their fingers on the pulse, Phlywheel makes sure your campaigns will always be cutting edge.
2. I couldn't take on all of the clients who approached me (and now I'm on sabbatical).
I love seeing small businesses succeed. Heck, I’d help every SMB on the planet if I could! Sadly, I cannot. I created Phlywheel in order to help service these clients. With the right guidance, I knew they could drastically improve their marketing efforts.
3. I also saw more and more companies wanting to build strong marketing capabilities in-house.
I don’t bring you fish. I teach you how to fish, turning your in-house team into the expert anglers. This reduces the dependency on external experts and helps your organization market smarter. Phlywheel provides the materials and tools, you put in the time to implement...and everyone wins!
4. The services-based business model is a never-ending run in the hamster wheel.
Running in circles is no fun. Clients come and go, yet our unique strategic approach has never wavered. I decided to stop running and focus instead on what I do best — giving people the knowledge, insights and tools they need to succeed.
5. I saw people make the same mistakes over and over again.
Different clients… same ole mistakes. What if I could show you what not to do from the get-go — before you’d gone full-tilt with your marketing efforts? You save time, money and headaches. It’s a win-win.
6. I had created a LOT of great content for previous clients that could help so many others.
Calendars, templates, worksheets, oh my! I’ve developed, tested and shared a whole whack of custom-made materials with clients over the years. These resources are invaluable, and have helped us achieve real, lasting results. I thought it was such a shame they they're inaccessible to non-clients, hidden away under lock and key (well, on a cloud drive, anyway). Until now!
7. I had figured out all sorts of processes that made our projects run smoothly.
Your strategy won’t get anywhere fast without flawless execution. When building kickass strategies for clients, I created uber-efficient processes that are just too good to not share.
8. I had enough expertise (along with my previous in-house talent) to build all of the digital marketing components.
I’ve been doing this stuff every day for the last 20 years and I've had to learn it all (before digital marketing had a department...there was ME). To note, the incredible team at Truly Inc. (my previous agency) played an enormous role in helping put all of this content together.
9. There were all sorts of tools I knew I wanted to create to improve our own processes.
Getting Phlywheel off the ground gave me the golden opportunity to work on a bunch of new tools, templates, and features I’d had our eyes on forever! Getting the chance to grow is awesome, but knowing that of this helps smaller businesses is the icing on the cake.
10. It was about damn time.
With agencies and smaller businesses in this strange budgetary stand-off, it seemed like small brands Ire going to slip through the cracks forever. Not anymore. Now your brand has a marketing powerhouse behind it for a fraction of the cost.