Jay Soriano's work has been featured by ABC, Startup America, Under30CEO and various technology publications.
1. What is the focus of your company, SorianoMedia?
I started SorianoMedia in frustration with other consulting companies in Las Vegas. I've watched too many local businesses get burned by bad web designers, unscrupulous SEO consultants, and exorbitant ad agencies that I thought I needed to start up a company that actually helps local businesses at a rate they can afford. I do this by staying small; I much prefer the relationship of a boutique marketing firm, rather than the firm with hundreds of clients in its portfolio, most of which are assigned to project managers.
2. Would you tell us a little bit about how you bring your own experience as an entrepreneur to your work with clients, especially in terms of providing them with an "investment" rather than a "cost"?
Great question! If you're a local business and you hire a web designer, that's a cost. Ongoing web development does little to increasing ROI, and if you're not A/B testing--you could be hurting your ROI. Conversely, I focus on helping clients generate a ROI through digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Thus, money that they spend with me isn't a cost--it's an investment.
3. How long have you been living in Las Vegas, and what do you like about the area as a home/business base?
I actually just moved to Las Vegas about two years ago inspired by the growing entrepreneurial scene (#VegasTech). If you've never been here, or even if you have--Vegas is so much more that the Strip. It's not for everyone, but for some it's everything. Vegas is always growing, always evolving.
4. When it comes to indie businesspeople who want to expand their web presence, what are some things that people can do themselves, and what are some things that tend to require some additional help?
I turn down a lot of people who approach me for consulting, especially those on a budget. Instead I advise them of a lot of things they can do themselves, and when they reach a plateau, that's when they can talk to me. For example, I was recently approached by a realtor, who wanted to rank for the search term "realtor Las Vegas."
First off, you shouldn't care about rankings: you really want revenue. What she REALLY wants is more clients, and she thinks ranking for that term is synonymous with more clients. Well, that's an extremely competitive niche, especially in Las Vegas. And people searching for that term are more in a discovery phase, as opposed to people searching for "What are the safest neighborhoods in Las Vegas." The latter is known as a long tail phrase; it's a lot easier to rank for, and you're reaching people who are further along in the home buying process. From there, you can talk about a specific townhome community within one of the safest neighborhoods.
So the #1 thing indie businesspeople can do to expand their web presence is to create content that is useful to their market.
5. If you could give just three pieces of advice to someone who has always wanted to start a business but has never acted on their interests, what would you say?
1. Starting a business doesn't have to mean risking everything. Don't start the next Facebook; make your first $1 before trying to make $1 billion.
2. Connect with like-minded people, other entrepreneurs, others that have been successful in the niche you want to be in, etc. Cut out the people distracting you from your goals.
3. Utilize free advertising. Google ads, Twitter and Facebook ads all offer free advertising that startups can take advantage of. Use this to test the demand of your product or service.