This is a follow up story for MOTIF®. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
This is Ash Ome, founder of a top-tier advertising agency MOTIF® - an eCommerce advertising and branding agency helping Luxury Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Brands with the right strategies and solutions to grow them faster.
I started my agency back in 2015 as a design and creative agency,. Right now, we help select Luxury, Fashion & Beauty brands to get them known among the right audience and optimize bottom-line revenue with our Flagship product/service EngageMax and EcomX, which are mainly combinations of Brand Strategy, Customer Acquisition, Conversion Optimization, and Customer retention program.
EngageMax is for already established brands, and EcomX is for bootstrapped ecommerce brands with a minimum marketing budget of $250K per year and a growth mindset.
Fast track to today, we are sitting on a monthly recurring revenue of $35000 while we do 5-6 website and branding projects somewhere between 80K to 40K.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
Since my last update was published ,business has grown ,but this year ,we are seeing a decline as the economic crisis seems like knocking on the door.
Recently we have shifted our focus from smaller businesses to SMBs and Enterprise level brands,. We have onboarded some cool new eCommerce DTC brands and launched our incubator program, which will set us apart.
The bmost significantsteps we have taken is we have tedone our brand strategy and mmakerazor sharped inbound and outbound marketing strategies and seems like our inbound marketing dis oing gexcellentas always ,while we are still not seeing that kind of ROI from Outbound marketing as we don’t believe in pressure sales call rinsteadwe take a consultative approach.
So basically, our inbound marketing strategy is more depending on thought leadership content and industry data based. ENowand then ,we refine our buyer personas ,and ,based on that ,, we developdifferent thought leadership content.
Rather than putting all the content on our olog, we distribute most of the content on various industry-relevant blogs and podcasts. That set us as thought leaders, and people always return to our blog to read more.
We use the story hook formula here, which is we tell a story and resonate the users with the story, when they can see and feel the relevancy with them, they engage more with the content and add value to the bottom line.
The new marketing channel we discovered this time strategic partnership done right.
We found our email marketing with no sales tactics is increasing client retention rate on top of the line as we use to send jokes, real examples of what’s working and not working, and a bit of open free strategy call to all of our readers.
Even if a brand can’t afford us will most likely come back to us in the future when they have enough resources to invest.
Recently our PR game played a big role in getting traction in tough economic times.
As our brand positioning has been changed, we are working on our new branded website.
Have a look below:
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
2022 has been a tough year for me as an entrepreneur. Let me share my story, which I don’t usually share, but this time, it has to be done cause it impacted my business.
In 2022 I got married and got into social problems cause my wife is from different religion, different culture, and her family is against our marriage. I started using alcohol heavily, had a car crash, and ended up in a rehabilitation center for five months, just got out from rehabilitation center on March and still taking medications.
In that period, my team didn’t onboard new clients per my advice and kept working on our current partner projects.
I had 5fivemonths to think, reshape and revive the business, and that’s what I have done. Finally, I am back on track, and because of that, my business is progressing. I am taking small steps to scale it rightfully.
Measuring my time on each task is helping me focus on great business things and finally freeing myself from time prison.
From my story, you should learn that you should not work 24/7 on business like me, which could lead you to depression and burnout and make you out of business. The second thing is you could lose your loved one like me if you are not taking actual actions at the right time while you’re soo much in business. Everything I am today now and my business have come to this height because of my wife, who was my long time girlfriend, she helped me in my hard days, worked late at night, weekends with me for me and MOTIF, but for a social issue we are apart from each other now, in this period of time I am a bit more in pressure because of her emptiness in my life and my business. I wish I could balance work and personal life and make the right decisions when required. I have learned it in hard ways.
You need to balance work and life. Big lessons learned.
I am thankful to god that I have few friends and family through my entrepreneurial life. I want to give a big Shout out and thank you to Lavleen Kaur, Nafiul Hasan & Faizul Kabir who took care of MOTIF and hold it accountable while I was away.
As we are growing,, our old brand position outranked us; for that, we were not growing and had no sign of growing where I want to take the business.
My #1 advice, as always, will be to niche down to something, be passionate about that, talk-breathe-eat that niche, and learn how to sell.
Another mistake I made from the beginning iwasthat I didn’t file a trademark of our unique name. A brand pirater has stolen our identity and trying to serve in the same industry. At the same time, it is making confusions among our clientele. When I noticed that last year I wanted to resolve it strategically and talked with them, but they refused to take it down.
While we started using this name in 2018, and they are pretty new (established in 2021), it’s a clear sign of intentional brand piracy. So we filed our trademark and rareworking on that to sue them. So if you’re a potential brand and want to grow, start caring about the trademark.
We have replaced and fired all the sales roles from our agency and made a Standard Operating System which helped us align many things to scale faster.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
In the last couple of years, my big mistake wasas declining the offers of work with some rising brands. I didn’t take them cause at that period, I had no specialized program for those startup brands.
When I noticed a couple of them on a platform like SharkTank, it was like, Aah I know this brand, and I missed the board to serve them. This is why we have launched our incubator program,, which is opening our door for them while we still have a strict qualification process.
One big lesson I have learned is you should not neglect any leads.
As a person, I was very unorganized, right now, measuring my time on each task is helping me focus on great business things and finally freeing myself from prison.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year and the next 5fiveyears?
We are planning two things that are not finalized yet, one is we will focus on the APAC region with a sister agency, and the second one is maybe we will expand to Software as a service market which is still in the idea stage. So we are betting up an incubator Agency/Company ,“Brance”, where we are going to have multiple DTC brands and a few Software as a service. I am looking for a Tech Lead on Equity basis for this.
I am, as always, excited to scale MOTIF® to a 100 Brands agency where we will help 100 DTC brands grow constantly while charging them purely on performance. Revenue wise, our target is somewhere between 200K to 250K per month.
As an advertising and branding marketing agency, we are not like other agency where they do everything digital but don’t care about design; our agency’s core value lies in growth-driven design, we want to create every campaign, every project, and every idea with a great design but that design will convert users to customers with the physiology of design and marketing.
We want to be the next Apple as a digital agency that is adaptive, visionary, and thoughtful. We will follow the best of the best design habits, build them for users by users and preach best marketing practices while making that work with a perfect workaround.
We will achieve the goal of 4 million dollars a year as a financial goal, and we will increase that by at least 25% yearly.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
The book of the year I read this year is Shoe Dog; as I am a sneakerhead and part-time athlete, the book was aan excellentread for me.
And I had taken a course on Epic E-commerce Experience building with the right art direction. You can grab that on Awwwards. I love the course.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
My #1 advice, as always, will be to niche down to something, be passionate about that, talk-breathe-eat that niche, and learn how to sell. Sales skills are needed. No matter how good your product is or your marketing and branding are, if you don’t know how to sell yourself, you you will be out of business.
Part-time ,I consult other DTC brands and agency owners, and I have noticed that they are very passionate about what they do but lack sales skills.
Once upon a time, I was terrible at sales, I won’t say I am great with sales still, but I taught myself a lot of sales tactics, and my core things lie in Value driven tactics.
My current closing rate is 65%, but I want to improve it.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Like last year, we are still looking for a few roles.
- DTC Consultants (2x) - Who have knowledge in branding, marketing, and customer journey and can consult our potential clients by accessing their data and problem-solving.
- Account Manager (1) - Who has knowledge of key account management and can connect teams with our clients and keep projects aligned with another project manager. Update client time.
Simply send your work experience and details to [email protected] please don’t share CVS and resumes as we don’t care about your degrees we care about your can-do attitude and relevant experience.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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