For a small business owner who isn’t a digital marketing professional, the process of online marketing and branding can be like trying to climb Mount Everest. Enter Mat O’Flynn of Gilded Agency, who will help you navigate through the nooks and crannies of getting your small biz online, and successfully guide you to the summit of brand recognition and growth.
Mat’s entrepreneurial journey began over 5 years ago with the launch of Borealis Computing, a premium WordPress hosting solution. Just over a year ago, Mat took his years of experience in web development, graphic design and marketing to develop Gilded Agency (originally Project ME Inc.) with his partner. Gilded Agency is a launching pad to help small businesses achieve their not-so-small aspirations—from conceptualization to completion. Through his solutions, he is able to help clients transform their business, engage their customers and grow their brand like never before.
As Mat describes it, he aims to “make something beautiful that can actually do something.” Gilded Agency combines beauty with intelligence and has helped develop apps like Snapbet, an iOS-based social betting app, which serves specific calls to action based on user behavior.
Bet you wanna find out more. Meet Mat O’Flynn, Co-Owner of Gilded Agency:
What was life like before Gilded Agency and what motivated you to quit your day job and start your own business?
I was the information system manager at a health and safety company. At the time, my only motivation was the tax benefit associated with billing for my hours as a corporation instead of as an employee (which amounted to 40K in savings—so the decision was a no-brainer).
My fiancée taught me to always follow my heart. This applies to everything in your life—whether it’s your job or your relationship. If you listen to your heart, you’re always in control. For us, that meant taking the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship.
Mat’s 3 pearls of wisdom for future entrepreneurs:
- Don’t be scared.
- Be as helpful as possible. Being helpful lets you build up a network of clients and/or acquaintances. That way, when your business launches you will already have a head start.
- Just go for it! The best way to learn (and have fun) is to put yourself out there.
Describe the biggest challenge you’ve experienced as a small business owner and how you dealt with it.
Gilded Agency has developed an app called Snapbets. We worked with a team that developed the app on a certain type of server infrastructure owned by Facebook. However, when Facebook announced they were discontinuing the server, we were faced with quite the challenge. Moving an entire infrastructure over to a new server is no small feat.
We made the decision to use this as an opportunity to redesign the app at the same time. By taking the feedback we had received from customers and incorporating it into the app redesign, we were not only able to overcome the server snafu but also serve Snapbets’ customers even better. We turned a growing pain into a learning opportunity and a big win for our client.
— Mat O’Flynn (@matoflynn) December 17, 2015
Share a story where you went above and beyond to solve a problem.
When clients have hard deadlines, we will do whatever it takes to meet them—no matter how aggressive they may be.
Just a week ago this resulted in a 4-hour screen-sharing call in the middle of the night, followed by another few hours of sales funnel optimization to ensure they were ready to launch by the morning.
We spend a lot of time with clients every day solving problems and frequently adjusting our schedules to help people get what they need. It’s our mission to help our clients grow because when they succeed, we succeed.
It’s our mission to help our clients grow because when they succeed, we succeed.
It’s a typical work day. Where can we find you in action?
I like to work from my dining room table. It’s big and has a bench so I get to sit next to my fiancée who is also my business partner!
Inspiration or perspiration?
Equal parts inspiration and perspiration. With these two things, you will likely end up exactly where you want to be.
Who is your business role model?
Tim Ferriss – he’s a leader, takes chances and wants people to live a great life.
Do you have a motivational mantra or inspirational quote that helps get you out of bed in the morning?
“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.” – Goethe
Work-Life balance is *tough* for a small business owner. How do you stay balanced?
I religiously go to the gym every second day.
On my day off from the gym, I do what I call my ‘60 & 60’ (60 pushups and 60 v-sits). I have literally gone years without missing a single day of that routine and I believe it keeps me motivated and my head clear.
In general, I’m lucky to have a partner that can keep me in check and balances me out when I’m pursuing something too obsessively.
What’s next for Gilded Agency?
Lots of hustle.
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about the author
Amanda is a content editor at FreshBooks, writing and producing blog content to help small business owners achieve their goals and enjoy (yes, actually enjoy!) running their business. Amanda’s background in education and customer support makes her a natural communicator who loves empowering others to succeed. When she’s not writing and editing content, Amanda takes her dog, Jonny, on adventures searching for the best coleslaw in Toronto.