Brandon Fishman – Co-Founder & CEO, Internet Marketing Inc.

Brandon Fishman has over ten years of experience in the online marketing and advertising industries. He has co-founded five Internet companies and currently serves as the CEO of Internet Marketing Inc. His primary role is to oversee all U.S. and international sales and business development opportunities.

Brandon received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Emory University, his Master’s degree in Real Estate from the University of San Diego, and he also spent some time studying at The London School of Economics. Brandon is heavily involved in his community and works closely to help several charities and the San Diego Food Bank.

Brandon Fishman leads the sales team in their efforts to continually design the perfect strategy for each client. He coaches the IMI team in client selection and strategic planning in order to create a winning ROI for the client from the beginning of the campaign. Brandon works closely with the executive team to ensure that sales and operations are aligned and producing positive results for all clients.

Tell me about your early career.
I started at Deloitte Consulting in 2003. In 2004, I got my Master’s at the University of San Diego. I started an online advertising website for new high-rise condo buildings called NewCondosOnline. I grew it to $5 million a year within two years. The real estate crash hit and I knew I had to start something new so I used the Internet marketing skills I had learned to start IMI.

How was the first year in business?
2007 was a tough year. I was flying around the country meeting with anyone I could to stir up new clients. I had to do all the pitching and all the work myself most of the time until we hired people. I never slept but I kept on grinding and it paid off.

What was your marketing strategy?
We did SEO for ourselves. We got to #1 on Google for “Internet marketing company” and “Internet marketing agency”. A lot of business came to us and I used my network to get more, new clients.

How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
We grew from $0 in 2007 to over $10 million by 2011.

How do you define success?
I really enjoy employing people. I feel successful that I get to employ over 100 people and that keeps me going every day. It is also nice to make a profit too 🙂

What is the key to success?
Passion and hard work. Entrepreneurship can be like a roller coaster and you have to stay strong during the swings.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
I tend to rush to make decisions and I have learned I need to think first. I have made a few mistakes by rushing into businesses.

What are some of your favorite books?
Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn by John L. Smith.

Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
In 2010, I had to fire one of my very best friends. I don’t recommend hiring friends. While it can be fun on a daily basis, it is devastating if you have to part ways.

When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My 7-year-old son Dylan. I want to build my company and sell it in a few years so I can spend more time with my family.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Expect to work 100-hour weeks. Expect to fail a lot. Always keep going.