More than 60 digital marketers and advertising enthusiasts attended our second “Coffee with an Expert” — this time, with LeanSEM’s CEO Nenad Molerovich.
We prepared a follow-up for those who couldn’t make it or need a reminder of what we were talking about. This is the second part of the follow-up, but you can always go back to Part 1 here!
“Why did Nenad decide to start a premium digital marketing agency in Macedonia instead of America?”, “What is the company culture of LeanSEM, and what does it mean to be the right person for the company?”, “What will the Google Ads Masterclass cover?”… These are just a few of the great questions Nenad answered during the one-hour session.
Learn more about Nenad and LeanSEM:
- How does LeanSEM choose its clients? Is there a specific process for this?
Before we onboard them, we audit them. Based on that report, we assess whether we can help them or not. If we can not help our clients grow or make an impact, we don’t take them on. We go through a process of analyzing their accounts and doing additional research, and based on that, we make some projections and predictions about what we can do to help them grow and how. It all comes down to making an impact.
- Which clients would you like to work with in the future? Who is the ideal client for LeanSEM?
We always tell our clients that they must have strong growth goals because that’s our forte.
The perfect clients usually come to us with questions, such as: “How can we spend 1 million $ profitably?” These are the companies we want to work with.
- What would you recommend to those who have no digital marketing experience? What should we focus on, and what would be the key to global success?
It’s essential to focus on one thing. It doesn’t matter what you choose, Facebook or Google, or any other channel – what matters is that you take a deep dive into it. More often than not, I meet “fresh” marketers who would say that they have experience in SEO, content writing, organic posts, paid social… These things are so complex. Being an expert in just one of these fields already means a lot. That is why I believe that it is better to start with expertise in one thing before moving on where things lead you.
- You have great experience in digital marketing and starting a business in the industry. What advice would you give to people who want to follow your example and start their own business?
If you want to start a marketing agency, I would definitely not advise you to do it if you have little experience. Get the expertise, come up with your own ideas on how the operations should look like, and then start an agency. This doesn’t mean that if you start with less experience, you will not be successful – it depends on your definition of success. You need to offer something unique if you want to break away from mediocrity.
- Why didn’t you open an agency in the USA?
This is a complex question, and there are several answers.
If I were to open a premium digital agency in the USA, I would have needed investors – especially if it functions the way I think a premium agency should operate (in terms of how much time and expertise I need to invest in each client). This is all because of the salaries and the lack of time. If we all lived in America, investing the time we now invest in each client would be impossible because then we would charge X2 from what we charge now.
Even if I decided to work in the USA, I would also have to teach those people there. And if I am already teaching Americans, why not teach Macedonians? Also, there is no loyalty in Silicon Valley, and that is a generally accepted rule. You can’t expect people to stay in your company for more than a year or two, no matter what you teach them. There are a variety of great options for these A-players.
Besides, there were also personal reasons why I wanted to return to Macedonia. I wanted my children to come here, to learn Macedonian, and meet my parents.
- How difficult is it to find marketing experts in Macedonia?
In LeanSEM, we build them from the ground up. The problem that I see in Macedonia, as a marketing expert, is that we aren’t open-minded enough, and we don’t see enough opinion and knowledge sharing. Thus, the ambitious people who want to achieve something big don’t get real feedback on what they are good or bad at.
In the US, this is not the case. The system itself is different. There, you won’t see people born to be marketers working as layers, as is often the case in Macedonia.
We are trying to show people who are not aware that they can be good at digital marketing that all they need is passion. We have the expertise and the right mentors, we know how to pass on the knowledge, and we know how to turn beginners into experts within a year or two.
We hire people based on their mindset and their core values. Ask yourself, do you want a job where you will make an impact or a job where you will get well paid?
There is a big difference.
- Is Google Ads a better option for bigger businesses?
When it comes to Google Ads, all you need to do is keep testing. There is no generic answer; a lot depends on the company itself. It can also work great for PR, but only if you know how to use it. There are many different ways you can use Google Ads.
- Does a company lose its quality of service as it grows?
That happens very often. This is why we try not to compromise for the sake of growth. If we start lowering the criteria for hiring the right people, that will indeed happen. It happens with any agency and company over time. It is the natural course of things, but at the end of the day, it depends on you as a leader.
- How was 2020 for LeanSEM?
2020 was amazing for us. Compared to 2019, we have almost doubled. The only issue is not having people physically in the office, and we already feel the need to be together in one room. We are also lucky to have great customers – all of them are digital companies, and most of them grew amid the pandemic.
- Could you tell us something more about the Google Ads Masterclass?
The Google Ads Masterclass is one of our main goals for the first six months of this year. We want to share all the Google Ads knowledge we have. Of course, it can not happen through one masterclass only. However, I believe it will be one of the most systematized masterclasses where you will learn everything you need to know about Google Ads from four mentors. It will also help you see if this is truly the right career for you. And the best part is: The admission is free!
One of the most important things that we want to convey here is our way of thinking. Google is changing, and in 6 months, it will not be the same as now. It is the mindset that one should master.
- Is there an exact number of participants that can take the Masterclass?
We have not decided the exact number yet, but around 20-30 participants are planned for the first Masterclass, depending on the applicants’ interest. Our biggest challenge is to offer quality attention and time to all who will be accepted as participants, so we are still trying to figure out how to do that.
The lectures will be in the form of video lessons and they will be free for everyone from Macedonia. This first Masterclass will be a great chance to get answers to specific questions, meet the mentors, see how they work, and understand how they think.
- What are the main criteria for selecting participants?
- Passion for marketing.
- Would you potentially like to work at LeanSEM?
I define passion a bit differently. It’s not necessarily “Yes, I’d like to learn, because digital marketing ‘is the future’.” – this is what I often hear from people. But is it really “the future” if it exists for over 20 years now?
Don’t take masterclasses and courses for granted. It’s ultimately up to you. Do you have a passion for mastering something?
- Could you provide a more detailed description of the course structure?
It will start with the basics for building a campaign, but it will also give you an expert view and approach to real-life campaigns.
You will study the structure of the ads and the creatives; you will learn how to write Google ads and how to bid; you will learn everything about analysis, keyword research, etc.
We are already preparing internal videos, which will be the second part of the masterclass that will focus on communication and answer the questions: “How to communicate?”, “What to present and how?”; “How to sell an idea?”; “What idea is worth selling?”; etc.
- What do you prefer? PPC or Organic?
Both. Depends on how you use it and why you need it. If you’re starting a business now, I’d suggest you go with PPC first. It’ll take 2 years till you start feeling the need for organic posts and SEO.
- How necessary are the Google ads certificates in terms of gaining knowledge?
The certificates are excellent, and they are a requirement for everybody at LeanSEM. It’s crucial to see how Google presents itself and how it functions. But knowledge without practical experience with real problem solving won’t make any difference in your life. You need a certificate, but you need real experience with real clients even more. But then again, it depends on the client. If they want to spend less on PPC, you will have a limited opportunity to learn compared to those who spend 100K and want to know how to spend 5M profitably.
- What’s the most challenging part of leading a team?
It’s exciting and challenging at the same time. You’re working with people, and you need to understand how they think and why; what bothers them; where and how you could help them… These are the daily challenges.
Did we answer all of your questions? Make sure you check out Part 1 for more great questions and answers.
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