Interview with the Expert: Jeff Barram, Website Development Ninja
With a B.A. in Business Marketing and a Masters Degree in Business, Jeff Barram, co-founder of Sproutbox Media, has over 8 years of experience in the marketing industry. Sproutbox Media offers services that include website projects, search engine optimization (SEO) assistance, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and branding with logo/identity development. We were lucky enough to grab a few minutes of Jeff’s time to ask him some interview questions:
Can you tell us about your background?
After graduating from George Fox University in 2006, I started work at a technology startup while earning my Masters degree in business. In 2008 I went out on my own full-time and started freelance web design & development. After a few years on my own, I started Sproutbox Media with Noah Battle. We’ve been running Sproutbox Media for about 5 years now and love it.
What is your expertise?
I started building websites when I was 13 years old and never really stopped. After college and graduate school, I took a more business-minded approach to my passion and incorporated online and offline marketing services. I have experience in design, development, email marketing, software development, project management and marketing strategy. At the end of the day, I’m still a nerd at heart and love to code.
Why do you love what you do?
Like I said, I’m a nerd and I love technology. And even more, I love helping people. I feel very fortunate and blessed that I am able to combine those two passions and get paid for it.
What is the most challenging part of what you do?
By far the most challenging (and rewarding) part of my job is managing client relationships. At times it can be frustrating (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told a client to clear their cache) but helping clients manage their marketing and ultimately help them build their business is what makes my job worth it.
What do you think are the most important pieces of a successful website?
Hands down the most important part of a successful website is the ability to identify and engage a specific audience. How you engage that audience is secondary because if you’re not engaging the right people, it doesn’t matter how you do it. There are some phenomenal websites out there that are not successful because they are not engaging their audience properly.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when we see our clients grow. We know that our efforts are a piece of that growth and when a client keeps coming back for more, it’s a sign that we’re doing things the right way.
What is one piece of advice in your industry you would give to business owners?
Find the right fit. When you are looking for a marketing agency, tread the process like you’re hiring an employee. There are hundreds of people who do marketing but only a few will be the right fit for you. It’s better to spend the time up front interviewing agencies and finding the right fit for your business.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you should take a moment to check out their website and see what they have to offer.
Special thank you to Jeff for taking the time out of his day to be apart of this interview and from one Oregon fan to another, Go Ducks.