From Coding Games And Websites In Childhood To Starting A $15K/Month Digital Agency

Published: June 10th, 2023
Corey Hayes
Founder, Get X Media
Get X Media
from Calgary
started August 2020
Discover what tools Corey recommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey there! I'm Corey Hayes, a seasoned designer with over 20 years of experience in web design, SEO, marketing automation, and PPC. I am the proud founder of Get X Media, a company dedicated to empowering small B2C businesses to achieve remarkable growth.

As the Chief Marketing Officer, I have successfully guided multiple 6-7 figure companies by harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology. Beyond my professional life, I find immense joy in travel, photography, and videography, which adds a unique touch to my business acumen.

At Get X Media, our flagship products revolve around website design and business cards. These offerings emerged from a growing demand among my entrepreneurial friends who were venturing into their businesses and required assistance in these areas.

Over time, we expanded our services to include customized apparel printing and a comprehensive suite of digital marketing solutions. Today, our revenue has soared well into the six-figure range, and we continue to experience rapid growth.




What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My journey into the world of technology began at a young age when I owned one of the first-generation Apple computers at the age of 3. While my friends were engrossed in gaming, I found myself more intrigued by the process of building game levels and designing websites.

By the time I turned 14, while others were playing games, I was honing my skills in website design and coding. I even developed a WordPress-like content management system by the time I reached 18.

As I grew older, my friends became business owners who faced significant marketing challenges. They lacked the knowledge and resources to acquire the necessary tools for their businesses. This inspired me to step in and address their needs by providing tailored solutions.

The "aha" moment came when three individuals approached me within the same week, requesting website development services. The payments offered for these projects were more than five times what I earned as a first-year apprentice in heavy-duty mechanics.

This realization prompted me to take a leap of faith and leave my previous career behind. I embarked on a 12-year journey running an agency under a different name, which provided me with invaluable experiences and a steep learning curve. It was during this time that I acquired the knowledge and expertise that forms the foundation of our company, Get X Media, today.

If I could offer advice to myself during the early stages, it would be to invest more heavily in marketing efforts, particularly Ads, SEO, and Email Marketing.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

Allow me to take you through the fascinating journey of building the first version of our product. It all began with my extensive experimentation with various website design page builders, which often left me frustrated due to their limitations.

To achieve the desired outcome, I had two options: developing a custom WordPress solution or starting from scratch. Ultimately, the user-friendly nature of WordPress won the battle, as it allowed our business clients to easily manage their websites. Looking back, I now realize how much I had to learn during those early days.

To ensure a solid market research foundation, we developed an in-house strategy that we openly share on our website. This strategy provides a comprehensive 360-degree view of the local marketplace within a remarkably short span of just two hours. When designing the platform on which Get X Media operates today, we prioritized elements such as user-friendliness, speed, search engine optimization, integration with leading tech providers, and scalability to accommodate business growth.

The cost was never a deterrent; our goal was to incorporate the best industry practices at a reasonable price point.

However, our journey didn't solely revolve around digital aspects. We needed reliable print suppliers and partners in the local area to handle custom apparel orders. This process demanded immense patience, learning, and diligent work to find trustworthy collaborators. Along the way, we encountered challenges, but our determination never wavered.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The process of launching our business was an exciting and challenging endeavor. To kick things off, I dedicated three months to creating our initial website and writing compelling copy, personally handling every aspect.

During this time, we encountered significant hurdles in the printing department. Failed orders, extensive delays, and frustrating experiences with suppliers who vanished after taking orders left us dealing with dissatisfied clients. However, through persistent trial and error, we managed to find reliable partners by switching suppliers multiple times.

As for financing, I chose to fund the entire business myself, utilizing personal savings and funds out of pocket. This allowed me to maintain full control over the financial aspects of the venture, albeit with inherent risks and responsibilities.

Reflecting on the process of starting the business and the subsequent launch, we learned invaluable lessons along the way. The journey taught us the importance of adaptability and resilience, especially when faced with unexpected challenges. We discovered the significance of thorough research and vetting suppliers to ensure long-term reliability.

Build your business around providing a solution that adds value to people's lives.

Additionally, we realized the immense value of customer satisfaction and the need to prioritize open communication to address any concerns promptly.


Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Looking back, if I could offer advice to myself during the early stages, it would be to invest more heavily in marketing efforts, particularly Ads, SEO, and Email Marketing. Initially, we focused on networking and building connections by personally visiting local businesses. We also implemented direct mail campaigns, printed brochures, and sent out targeted emails to reach potential customers.

In terms of increasing traffic and sales, we have employed a multi-faceted approach. Our social media presence played a crucial role, with Facebook ads being a significant driver of traffic and conversions.

By carefully targeting specific demographics and utilizing eye-catching visuals, we were able to capture the attention of our target audience effectively. Additionally, we explored various advertising channels, such as Google Ads and other platforms, to expand our reach.

In the dynamic world of marketing, it is crucial to recognize that testing and experimenting with different marketing ideas is an integral part of the process. It is not uncommon for marketing efforts to face challenges and even fail initially.

However, the key lies in persevering and pushing forward, rather than succumbing to discouragement like many others do. True success comes from the determination to keep testing and refining strategies until finding what works effectively.

We have learned firsthand the importance of this mindset. Through trial and error, we have experienced both successes and setbacks in our marketing endeavors. Instead of viewing failures as roadblocks, we embrace them as opportunities for growth and improvement. By continuously testing and iterating, we have been able to uncover valuable insights, refine our approaches, and discover what resonates most with our target audience.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

When it comes to our current state and the future outlook, I'm pleased to say that we have experienced significant progress. We have witnessed a remarkable increase in traffic, approximately 13 times higher than before, and we continue to onboard new clients on a weekly basis.

The retention rate among our clients stands impressively at 98%, with many of our initial clients remaining with us. This level of loyalty is a testament to the value we provide.

Our year-over-year growth has been steadily doubling, and we are determined to push even harder this year to achieve triple the growth. Our ultimate aim is to establish ourselves as the fastest-growing marketing agency in Canada.

To scale efficiently, we have made substantial investments in business automation rather than relying heavily on expanding our staff. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have transitioned to a fully remote setup, although we maintain a physical office in Calgary that is rarely visited.

As the CEO, I operate from my home in Mexico, while we have established remote offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Indio CA, Sayulita MX, and Koh Tao Thailand. These remote locations allow us to serve clients effectively while embracing the flexibility that remote work offers.

Our focus on automation and streamlined processes has allowed us to better serve our clients and prioritize their needs. While challenges inevitably arise as the business grows, we approach each one as an opportunity for improvement and innovation, leveraging our past successes as guiding principles.

In the short term, we are committed to enhancing our service offerings, refining our strategies, and maximizing the value we deliver to clients. Additionally, we have ambitious plans to expand into new product lines, target new audiences, and explore opportunities in different regions. Our long-term goals encompass establishing a global presence and becoming the go-to marketing agency for businesses worldwide.

Overall, the future looks incredibly promising, and we are excited to embark on this journey of growth and success.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Through starting the business, I've learned important lessons. Mistakes such as not having properly written proposals and legal documents, lacking HR resources for quality control, and unclear pricing for clients highlighted the need for clear documentation, strong team management, and streamlined pricing.

Good decisions in marketing and partnerships have driven growth. External factors like luck, timing, and industry trends have also played a role. These lessons have shaped our operations, emphasizing comprehensive proposals, strong HR support, and adaptable skills.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

For our business, we rely on a custom WordPress system that seamlessly integrates leading technologies in design, development, speed, scalability, security, and SEO. This tailored solution allows us to deliver exceptional results for our clients. Additionally, we utilize a range of tools to enhance our operations and optimize our services.

One of our favorite project management tools is ClickUp, which enables efficient project organization and provides transparent access for our clients to track our team's progress.

In the realm of SEO, we rely on powerful platforms like SEM Rush, Surfer SEO, Ahrefs, and Google Analytics to analyze data, conduct keyword research, and monitor website performance. We also leverage Chat GPT to enhance our communication capabilities and offer top-notch customer support.

As a marketing agency, we understand the importance of seamless integration between various software solutions. Therefore, we utilize Agency Analytics to consolidate data and provide comprehensive reporting for our clients. Additionally, we leverage other productivity tools, CRM systems, and productized services to streamline our workflows and optimize efficiency.

It's important to note that we always looking for new tools to develop in-house that replace the external tools that we use. That way we can have full control over the system and reduce the costs of software.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Some of the most influential resources that have greatly inspired me and my business include "The 5 AM Club" by Robin Sharma, "Scaling Up" by Verne Harnish, "100M Offers" by Alex Hormozi, and "Sell Like Crazy" by Sabri Subi.

The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma has been a transformative read, emphasizing the power of early mornings for personal growth, productivity, and success. It offers practical insights and techniques to optimize your mornings and create a positive impact on your overall life and business.

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish is a valuable resource that provides a comprehensive framework and practical strategies for scaling businesses successfully. It covers critical aspects such as people, strategy, execution, and cash, offering actionable insights and tools to navigate the challenges of growth and achieve long-term success.

100M Offers by Alex Hormozi is a game-changer for businesses focused on scaling their revenue and maximizing profitability. It dives deep into the psychology of pricing, value proposition, and customer acquisition strategies, providing actionable steps to create irresistible offers that drive exponential growth.

Sell Like Crazy by Sabri Subi is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs looking to master the art of selling. It offers practical techniques and strategies to create compelling sales funnels, optimize conversion rates, and drive significant revenue growth.

These resources have had a profound impact on my business mindset, strategies, and overall success. They have provided valuable insights, practical techniques, and inspiring stories that have guided my decision-making and helped me overcome challenges along the way. I highly recommend these resources to any entrepreneur seeking to elevate their business and achieve remarkable results.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Entrepreneurship is a challenging but rewarding journey that requires perseverance and a growth mindset. Embrace the process and be prepared for the ups and downs along the way. Stay committed to your vision, remain adaptable, and be open to learning from both successes and failures.

Surround yourself with a strong support network of mentors, advisors, and like-minded entrepreneurs. Seek guidance from those who have walked a similar path and learn from their experiences.

Start by identifying a problem or pain point that you are passionate about solving. Build your business around providing a solution that adds value to people's lives. Focus on solving a genuine problem, connect with your target audience, and build a sustainable business that resonates with customers.

Take calculated risks, conduct thorough research, and create a strategic plan. Assess the potential rewards and risks, and be prepared to pivot if needed.

Stay resilient, believe in your vision, and remain determined during challenging times. Use failures as learning opportunities, adapt your strategies, and keep pushing forward. Surround yourself with inspiration and motivation.

Read books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars, and connect with other entrepreneurs who inspire you. Cultivate a positive mindset and feed your entrepreneurial spirit regularly.

Finally, take action. Many aspiring entrepreneurs get stuck in the planning phase and fail to execute their ideas. Break down your goals into actionable steps, set deadlines, and take consistent action toward your vision. Remember, it's the small, consistent steps that lead to significant progress and success.

Believe in yourself, trust the process, and embark on your entrepreneurial journey with passion and determination. Dream big, take risks, and embrace the thrill of building something remarkable.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are always on the lookout for top talent to join our team and contribute to the growth of our agency. Currently, we have openings for various positions such as SEO Specialist, Website Designer, Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, and Project Manager.

The tasks for these positions include optimizing websites for search engines, designing visually appealing and user-friendly websites, crafting persuasive and engaging copy, developing innovative marketing strategies, and overseeing project timelines and deliverables. These positions can be either full-time or part-time, and they offer competitive compensation.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!