Pop Quiz, Monday with Jonathan Saeidian, Founder & CEO of Brenton Way

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jonathan Saeidian

headshot jonathan saeidian 2
Photo credit: Jonathan Saeidian

What is your job role?
CEO & head of campaign strategy for clients

Tell us about your company?
Brenton Way is a digital marketing agency that can deploy unique marketing solutions to clients thanks to its embedded technology.

We have reverse-engineered each marketing campaign offered to speed up client deliverables, better understand data at scale, and allow for new “modules” that help for short-wins.

Our clients range from large fintech firms looking to form new relationships with decision-makers to beauty brands aiming to penetrate a market and scale.

Services include lead outreach, content creation, seo, paid ads, PR, conversion optimization, and social.

What do you love most about your job?
I get to speak with so many different marketers & founders every day about what makes their business unique. We get the privilege of managing innovative marketing campaigns to help grow amazing brands and ventures I’ve always wanted to talk to.

What motivates you to get up everyday and go to work?
My conviction for a better life and to be the best person I can be for those around me.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They all have their interests and aren’t afraid to share what their thoughts are. They are going to make their point and are encouraged to test the status quo every day.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We talk about the most random things and sometimes play music at work having sing-alongs to 90’s music, it gets pretty weird. We are known as the cool office around the coworking space, and some people from the other companies visit us all the time.

We also have company retreats where we go somewhere for a few days as a team. Having these things is essential.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We set high expectations for our agency, and that means delivering on high-growth goals or projections. Our campaigns have improved compared to our competitors, but it requires even more oversight since there are a lot more moving pieces involved.

This means being very diligent with our work as even the smallest mistakes can be costly when dealing with brands. It’s about finding the fine line between quality and agility with us.

It’s also about having a fantastic relationship with your clients and making sure they know that you care. What we learned in our first year is clients don’t just care about how well they are doing. They want to make sure that you are always keeping them updated and showing that you are on top of the work. Relationships and customer management are essential traits in a service-based company but even more when you are side-by-side with them for their success.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Sometimes, it’s better not to work with a client who is not aligned with your company goals and is becoming a detriment to your team’s morale.

We had a client who would always complain about our work and make excuses so he can get extra services from. I remember when our team was running his ads campaign, we did so well that we received over 600 client activations. The team was so happy about their accomplishment I mean this isn’t easy to do in under two months with a new brand. The client gets on the phone and never appreciates the work – starts asking for more hours again on his audience optimization and acts like its owed to him.

I respectfully told him that we don’t think we can work together anymore.

I learned that my teams respect in their work and motivation can be sucked dry from one bad apple in our company.

Another lesson I learned is how important it is to separate your campaign manager and project manager. Most agencies don’t see the difference and try to cut corners only having one of these people. Our client relationships are very important since we deal with prominent brands, so we clearly defined these two roles.

The campaign managers main role is to manage the client relationship and make sure that the client’s core objectives are being met. They are there to find any arising issues the client might have and report back to the project manager so they can start working on it.

The project managers main role is to manage the project as a whole. This means keeping everyone organized on the project management platform and set deadlines that the campaign manager finds suitable.

I learned that by having these two people work together that they can become a great team that can dedicate the right team to meet client success.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
First, two questions.
Will you dedicate at least six months to the project without making a profit? This is key.
Will you give up physical & social activities to make sure you hit your goal?

Second, 1 statement.
Working for yourself is nowhere near like working for someone else. You don’t have the luxury of waking up every morning knowing you will get paid.

My advice is if marketing is really what you want to do then jump right in! Sometimes, it’s not easy to decide because we are afraid of failure or not hitting our expectations.

Set those high expectations for yourself and wake up every day breaking walls you never thought possible. Contact companies that you always wanted to work with and send them an email that comes from the heart, people will respond.

It won’t be easy and every day will test you for sure. Do it because you want to do it and it doesn’t matter if the money or success is not there yet. You are doing this because its what is driving you and you don’t need a logical answer for it.

I couldn’t explain why I quit my well-paying job as a consultant at 24 to start my company. I didn’t have all the answers and I sure as hell didn’t have alot of money saved up. But I knew it was what I wanted to do, and that is what mattered.

Have a conviction for what you want to do, and I mean this because it runs deeper than passion. The great thing about marketing is people dont work with fake entrepreneurs here. People can read fake, and if you are genuine about what you do, then people will give you a chance.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Our website: brentonway.com, our instagram @brenton_way, you can follow my personal Instagram @jjinvito

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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