16 Aug Karim Tawfic Founder of Marketing Agency, Upearance
Reading time: 5 minutes
Karim Tawfic is the founder and owner of the Montreal based digital marketing agency, Upearance and soon to be launching SaaS company Gemino AR.
Starting with small successes in e-commerces, he pursued to expand his knowledge key positions in marketing within multiple software companies before he made his big hit with his agency. Through successes, failures, mistakes, blunders and many lessons along the way, Karim figured out the complex marketing formulas to massive success in the digital world.
He now applies these formulas to help software companies multiply their monthly recurring revenue. Keep reading to find out how he got his start in the industry and what advice he has for new agency owners.
AZ: Tell us about what you do at Upearance and what it’s like running a digital marketing agency.
KT: My days fall into four components: planning, sales, client work and management. Every day starts with checking my calendar to prepare for client meetings. I then check the statuses of each project. Once I’m fully aware of operations, I begin to plan my work day. I communicate with the appropriate parties to continue the progress on each client project.
Before every meeting with a new lead, I thoroughly audit their online presence using a variety of tools. I also review their pre-qualifying questions to ensure a smooth discovery call and ensure my chances of signing them.
I then prepare proposals following video calls with leads and follow up with past leads to whom proposals have been sent to. I finish off by sending due invoices to clients.
The larger part of my day is spent working on client websites, reviewing with designers, working on Facebook & Google ad accounts and creating email sequences. When time permits, I allow myself to make updates & changes to my own websites and social media accounts.
To maintain quality of our work, client communication and customer satisfaction, I finish my work day with weekly video calls with our clients. I then have a few hours before our team on the other side of the world awakes. During the last hours of the day, I communicate instructions to the team on the other side of the planet so they can also have a productive work day.
The exception is Fridays. I dedicate 3 hours to online education. I take courses and acquire certificates to master my skills and learn new ones.
AZ: What was the hardest part of growing Upearance at the beginning?
KT: Not having a portfolio was brutal. It took a while to get my first opportunity but proof of work was crucial for attracting good clients.
Finding enough qualified leads was a challenge at the beginning. When I started out, most of my leads came from referrals. I wanted to come up with a system that would generate leads multiple different ways. This came with time and learning.
AZ: What a piece of advice you would give someone starting a digital marketing agency today?
KT: Don’t undervalue yourself and do not underprice your craft. Be conscious that you want people to want to hire you. It’s not up to you to convince them at all costs. Plan out how you will reach your goals in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and so on. Start by making a website, optimizing your personal profile, letting people know what you do and being public about it. Share your work with pride!
With a plan, strong work ethic and constant thirst to learn, you’ll have a good client base and will be able to attract & convert leads more easily. Also, you’ll earn the right to increase your prices.
When you help a client reach a wildly successful outcome from your craft, make a case study about it. This is great for not only to showing it off, but to understand everything you did right so you can replicate it again.
AZ: How do you dress for a meeting a potential client?
KT: It depends if I am meeting physically or virtually. When I do meet them physically, I dress business casual unless the client works in a corporate environment. In that case I dress more formally. If I’m working from home, as I do in most cases, I dress in casual wear but never in pyjamas. Not much gets done in pyjamas.
AZ: Why do you think the digital industry has a more relaxed dress code than other professional industries?
KT: The majority of company team members at digital, tech and software companies simply aren’t customer facing. They hardly interact with clients physically except for the select few who meet the sales and management teams. Everyone else is either communicating with clients through live chat, emails or phone calls. People in this industry are laid back in comparison to other professions.
AZ: What can we expect from you and Upearance in the following months?
KT: In the next few months we’re expanding our client base through aggressive client acquisition, as well as acquiring more talented team members to help Upearance continue to serve more companies.
Along the way, we plan on creating valuable and informative online marketing content across multiple social media channels. We want to help and educate people on the best marketing practices, strategies, tools & more.
For more on Karim Tawfic and Upearance, click here.