David J. Bradley is the founder of Primal Digital Marketing, a digital strategy firm, where he focuses on the strategic direction and growth of businesses and how their marketing systems and inbound marketing efforts help them reach their vision and goals.
David has a wealth of knowledge in digital marketing strategy, copywriting, and inbound marketing. As an entrepreneur, he knows how to approach digital marketing to sell a complex service and drive growth. Recently David has published his first book on this topic called Getting Digital Marketing Right: A Simplified Process For Business Growth, Goal Attainment, and Powerful Marketing.
David is also involved with activities outside of the digital space, including serving as a committee member for the College Leadership Rhode Island program and on the board of the RIC Young Alumni group, writing about personal growth on his personal site, DavidJBradley.com.
Magazine MN: Tell us about yourself. How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
David: I spent a long time trying to find my way as an entrepreneur. I knew it was what I wanted to do since I got out of high school, but never knew what specifically I wanted to do.
Back when I was just twelve years old, I started building websites and online communities. It was a hobby at the time, but it taught me a lot about online marketing and relationship building. Before I was 14, I already built multiple communities, a news website, a personal blog, and a graphic design business.
You could say that was my start in entrepreneurship, but my real beginning was with Primal Digital Marketing in 2014.
Magazine MN: What’s your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
David: This has always been the most difficult question for me to answer! There’s so much I love about it – the good and bad. One major aspect is the control over my present and future.
As an entrepreneur, you have responsibilities to all stakeholders, from your own happiness and bank account, to your customers and community. However, you also hold a great power of choice of what you will or will not do.
Having the option each day to choose how I support my stakeholders, even if it is completely different than my previous plans, is exciting. It doesn’t mean to be reckless in your decisions, but that you are nimble and can adjust to different situations faster than if you were an employee for a corporation.
Magazine MN: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
David: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It’s actually a quote by Leonardo da Vinci, but I find it extremely helpful in my personal and professional life.
Entrepreneurs tend to move away from simplicity naturally, myself included. It’s part of our nature to get involved in multiple projects. However, you often find greater success when you focus at establishing one at a time.
The same can be said for the products and services we offer. Rather than building out an array of features, get a few and make them great. The same applies to our personal life, fashion, and many other unrelated areas. That’s why I love this quote so much.
Magazine MN: Currently you run Primal Digital Marketing. Tell us more about its mission. What services does Primal Digital Marketing offer?
David: I created Primal after I realized I could incorporate many of my passions in it: psychology, communication, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, growth, and, of course, digital marketing.
My goal is to connect with businesses and help them realize their potential to growth with powerful digital marketing. I combine optimize their digital sales funnel and align it to their vision and goals with a strategy.
My clients’ success is what makes me successful. If I can’t see a return-on-investment for them before we start, I won’t even begin. I never want to hurt anyone that I work with, so I do my best to ensure they are successful, even if it means they need someone else’s services.
So the services I offer is ultimately a strategy, but within that strategy it can include services like Google AdWords campaigns, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, a complete website overhaul, and more.
Magazine MN: What type of clients do you work with?
David: I work with small and medium businesses that are established and seeking growth. I love to build businesses myself, so when I can help others do the same for theirs, it’s exciting.
Rather than my clients being in a specific industry, it’s more important that they embrace growth. Primal Digital Marketing is small by design. It allows us to build a masterful team based upon my clients’ needs. The cost savings of low overhead means we can invest in highly specialized experts for each project team, ultimately to great benefit to our clients. Besides, clients love working directly with the principal!
Magazine MN: Your new book “Getting Digital Marketing Right” has just broke Top 10 Best Sellers of all Business Books on Amazon! What inspired you to write this book and what will readers learn from it?
David: This book is special to me because it’s a way for me to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs around the world and make a positive impact on their business.
I know one of the greatest challenges everyone faces with digital marketing is that it’s a new, complex, and ever-changing medium. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who already have enough to deal with.
My book allows me to expand my reach and help more people than I could ever imagine. I have readers who have already reached out to thank me from every continent (except for Antarctica!). That is an amazing feeling to know I have been able to reach so far.
I believe readers appreciate most the way I take a complex subject and simplify it, while making what they learn applicable to their unique business. The 80/20 Rule was very helpful in focusing on the most important elements of digital marketing.
By the end of the book, readers will be able to understand and optimize their digital sales Funnel, while linking it to a unique strategy that helps them grow their business and reach their goals.
Magazine MN: Why is digital marketing important for businesses?
David: Digital marketing does two things that differentiate it from traditional marketing: highly targeted reach and specific, traceable results. As a bonus, it tends to be affordable comparably.
This is even more important for small businesses who have to be careful with cash flow and expenses. Digital marketing allows you to make a great impact with moderate funds and also know exactly what is and what is not working. You can’t ask for more than that when growing your business!
Magazine MN: Very often we come across numerous pieces of advice on how to get more followers or likes for our accounts/pages in social media. And it seems like most businesses are obsessed with those numbers. Do “likes” actually matter? In your opinion, what are the most important metrics to focus on in digital marketing campaigns?
David: A large portion of my book is about developing a strategy for this exact reason. People often get lost in trying to get more ”Likes” or followers, but they aren’t clear with the purpose and benefit of these metrics.
In the book, the second of five steps is all about what your vision is, what goals will get you there, and what milestones support your goals. This is what you need to do first before you can decide what metrics make sense for your business.
After establishing your vision, goals, and milestones, you can determine whether a social media campaign would make sense or not. However, with the limited ability to track return-on-investment with social media, it is unlikely it will be a leading initiative unless you have a significant budget for this medium.
As a final note, I include one bit of advice that will likely be controversial to social media stars and consultants. You may want to use social media simply as a “landing page”. There are only two purposes of its existence:
First is to show that you are an active business and share quality content a few times a week, both of your own and other authorities. Second is to show you have another platform that better benefits the visitor, such as your website.
That’s what I do for my own business.It’s unlikely that I would find a client over Facebook, so I don’t invest in it.Instead, I invest in more beneficial methods.
Magazine MN: On your blog in one of the articles you mention that among your core values is authenticity. How important is authenticity, especially when it comes to growing business and building relationships with clients?
David: I do believe success in business lies in authenticity. Many people have found financial success through lies and bending rules. However, it’s often short-term and in extreme cases, leaves them in prison!
People can always tell if you are not authentic with them. It’s easy to see a fake smile or dishonest comment. It’s easy to be genuine, just look for what you can appreciate in others. It can be how they remind you of an old friend or how passionate they are about something. It can be that you just like the look of their office! Just learn to honestly, authentically appreciate the little things.
Aside from authenticity with others, it’s vital for me to be authentic with myself. Authenticity with myself means focusing on what I find fulfilling and cutting things that drain me of energy. It also helps ensure that I am clear on my successes and failures.
Understanding yourself in an authentic way is one of the best ways to grow yourself personally and professionally.
David J. Bradley's book:
Primal Digital Marketing website: http://primaldm.com/
David J. Bradley website: http://davidjbradley.com/
Get in touch with David J. Bradley on:
David J. Bradley was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska