Steve is the founder and CEO of MuteSix, founded in 2014. He is responsible for the overall vision, strategic leadership, service delivery, culture, and growth of the creative agency leading to $1 billion in trackable revenue for clients. Under Steve’s direction, MuteSix has earned the distinction as most-awarded Facebook social advertising agency, with more Facebook and Instagram marketing case studies than any other agency.
MuteSix has grown into a comprehensive and integrated global marketing agency with prominent clients across all major industry B2B/B2C sectors, including leading brands in retail, eCommerce, luxury, nonprofit, technology, sports, publishing, and financial services. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry events and is regularly quoted in business and tech publications.
How did the concept for MuteSix come about?
I had a rather unique background. At the time I started MuteSix, I was performing stand-up comedy around Los Angeles. I was running campaigns, while at the same time, I saw that I could leverage my creative side to build out a marketing team that could produce highly-effective, direct response ads on Facebook.
How was the first year in business?
It was all about survival. Watching the bills and bucks every day taught me about living frugal, but it was just as important to live out my passion in comedy. The lesson for me was to use my passion and connect with others who share similar ambitions. By sharing with others, you’ll have an even greater network to leverage expertise and resources. That’s what’s best about being in the heart of Los Angeles.
What was your marketing strategy?
Word of mouth was our main source. I wanted to be a resource for our clients with my network of contacts, so I made it a point to introduce people in my network, as I knew that they would always return the favor. It was also easy to see how a happy customer is the greatest endorsement. So, I gave my customers a voice, listened to their needs, and engaged the community around shared experiences and values.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
The demand to work with us was growing as we started to show that we were a real solution for a brand’s performance marketing. We firmly believed the better we got at leveraging paid media platforms for our client’s growth, the more referrals we would get. Over the past four years, we have grown 265%, year-over-year.
How do you define success?
Watching our clients scale their businesses immensely.
What is the key to success?
Uniting our team with achievable, sustainable success because we repeatedly reexamine our sense of purpose and make sure the organization serves it well. We grow value by continually-investing in our core capabilities, building a failure-tolerant culture, nurturing entrepreneurial-minded employees, and continuously refining our organization’s goals to prevent complacency. Ultimately, I measure success shown through the smiles we see from our employees and our clients…and we get a lot.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
People define value in an organization.
What are some quotes that you live by?
“I am excited to build an organization that I would love to work for.”
What are some of your favorite books?
How to Win Friends & Influence People.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I look at how lucky I am to be in the position that I am, as so many people have it worse than me.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Focus on becoming the best version of yourself to attract the most talented people in order to fulfill your vision.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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