The Beal Deal Interview Channel

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The Beal Deal with Matt Siltala (@Matt_Siltala)




Hey, you’re back!

I guess you’re enjoying the Beal Deal series of interviews with marketing industry rock stars! Well that’s good, cos this week I get to interview one of my very best industry friends, Avalaunch’s Matt Siltala.

matt-siltala

If Matt were a world champion fighter, his tagline would be, “Looks like a viking, hugs like a puppy!” He is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met and also capable of taking everything in his stride. Oh, and he’s a brilliant marketer!

So, let’s get to Matt’s six questions, shall we?

Q1. Let’s dive right in with the meaty questions. “Mat” or “Matt” and why is it that even you can’t seem to make up your mind how to spell it? 

My legal name is spelled with one T, but everyone and their dog spells it with two.

The funny thing is that I am asked this question a lot more than you might imagine.  I mean, who knew one “T” would make such a difference?  My legal name is spelled with one T, but everyone and their dog spells it with two.  Actually, when we released Avalaunch I figured I should move to the two T spelling since that is probably what most people searching for my name would type in.  I mean, as a reputation guy, you can respect that? Right? Right?   There is more to this story that might make you laugh.  When my Mom gave birth to me the doctor came in (she was still loopy from the meds) and asked her how to spell my name.  She told them M A T. They asked her a few additional times with the whole “ARE YOU SURE’ and she replied “DON’T YOU THINK I KNOW HOW TO SPELL MAT?”  A few weeks pass and she gets the birth certificate, only to see her bay boy’s name was spelled “wrong”.  I guess she was a little upset until my Dad told her about the fight she put up, they all laughed about it, and they never changed it.

Q2. You recently rebranded your company to Avalaunch Media. Rebranding is always a risky move, so why did you feel it necessary and what benefits did it bring?

We re-branded last summer of 2012 from Dream Systems Media to Avalaunch Media. Our purpose in re-branding was to let people know what we do and why we do it.  We wanted people to know that we help businesses launch into the digital marketing world and create an avalanche of results. To inject our company culture into the brand we also adopted a company mascot (see if you can find our Yeti lurking throughout our website!).

We’re not your typical digital marketing shop. We don’t take a lot of the shortcuts that “SEOs” are known for. We don’t outsource poorly written articles to the Phillipines or hire dozens of part time college students to manage a business’s website, social media profiles, blog, etc. Instead we produce smart and sharable content that gets noticed.

We wanted people to know that our agency is different and so are our results. So our own brand couldn’t be dull.

We wanted people to know that our agency is different and so are our results. So our own brand couldn’t be dull. It had to capture our successes, our culture, and prove that we know a thing or two about marketing.

For a fairly small company the response to our rebrand was pretty amazing.  We got hundreds of social shares through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a lot of press from tech and marketing publications. It was like people who glossed over us before, suddenly noticed us — and understood what we could offer their company.  We also received dozens of job applications. Our peers wanted to come work with a company who had a vision and communicated it well. When we attend tradeshows and business conferences, people come to our booth just to discuss our name. They want to know what an Avalaunch is all about.

Since our rebrand we’ve had a record breaking six months….and like any successful rebrand should, it led to a mountain of new leads, customers, business opportunities and goodwill.

Q3. You also own an interest in Rocky Mountain Mattress. How has owning a retail business helped you to be a better marketer for your clients?

If you have never done it before yourself, it really is hard for you to set proper expectations for clients.

Well I think the biggest benefit is that I can truly say I have been there and done that when it comes to “making money” online. My partners and I started the site back in 2005 and have learned A TON of stuff during the last eight years.  What kind of stuff?  Well for starters, what advice to listen to online (there sure is a lot) and what not to listen to.  I see every day what works and what doesn’t and if I were simply following some of the so called “expert” advice out there, without testing things relentlessly on Rocky Mountain Mattress,  I wouldn’t be half the marketer I am today.  It also helps me to respect the almighty marketing dollar spent a little more than most.  Since I practice what I preach and “spend money to make money” I know how important those dollars are to a small business owner.  I want to do everything I can to help them get the most bang for their buck.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned over the years with it that directly helps clients is in regards to expectations.  If you have never done it before yourself, it really is hard for you to set proper expectations for clients.  I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to lay it out there in a way that our client’s understand.

Q4. Behind every great man is a great woman. What role does your wonderful wife Holly play in your day to day business life?

If you are a married man in Internet marketing, then you need to be paying attention to your wife when she browses

You said it, she is a great woman and supports me 100% in all my crazy adventures.  When you are married to an entreprenuer, you have to be flexible and have a good sense of humor, and she does.  I remember when I decided to bail on my “corporate America” job and do my own thing so many years ago, I came home and told her I had just quit, and she just said “AWESOME”, “good for you”, and “this will be good for us.”   She didn’t “freak” about it like you might expect.  So having her there to support me 100% and keep me grounded is huge.  I also listen to her closely when she gives me feedback about a site’s appearance, usability, or voice.  If you are a married man in Internet marketing, then you need to be paying attention to your wife when she browses … so much to be learned :-)

Q5. You lived in Fiji for two years…and we all hate you for that! :-P What business lessons did the Fijians teach you that apply to the internet marketing space?

I dont know how much it applies to the Internet Marketing space, but they are the most giving people in the world.  Most Fijians I knew had very little, yet they would gladly give you the shirt off their back.  I guess that has taught me to be grateful for what I do have.  This industry is amazing and I live a good life because of it. I hope I never take that for granted.

Q6. You and the Yeti are in an MMA cage. What’s your best move and who wins?

This one is easy, hands down I win … you know I carry a .40 right? hahaha … honestly our Yeti (Eddie) looks rather friendly so I might be able to take him in a cage match.  Since I have never watched MMA (I know, I know, you can’t believe that … oh the humanity) I have no idea what the moves are called, but I’d do my best to knock him out before he tried eating me!

The Viking Puppy versus the Yeti? I’d pay to see that! Thanks for your time Mat(t).

  • Matt McGee

    Marketer and person … Mat’s one of the best guys I know. Good stuff, guys.

    • http://www.avalaunchmedia.com/ Matt Siltala

      Thanks Matt (and Andy too for having me) you two are a couple of the good guys in this Industry. I am glad to know you both. Both of you have helped in your ways in where I am today. Thanks agin my friends.

    • http://www.trackur.com/ Andy Beal

      Thanks Matt, and don’t stray too far away. I want to interview you soon! ;-)