In conversation with Josh and Ben Somerville of Farsiight

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If you’re going to have the stamina to put in the work that is required to build a great company you have to love the work you do, your clients and your team. To quote Gary Vee, you’ve got to love the process.

Josh & Ben Somerville

Josh & Ben Somerville

Co-founders, Farsiight

About Us

Josh Somerville (Founder)

Admittedly, becoming a digital marketer wasn’t something I had planned.

In 2010 I was young, hungry and looking to escape a laboring job hammering star pickets into the ground in the sweltering Australian heat. By chance, I came across a sales role with a digital agency on a job board and decided to give it a shot.

It was a decision that would end up laying the foundations for my career as a marketer and lead me down the path to one of my true passions in life – helping business owners grow their company.

Over the years I’ve worked agency-side servicing SMB’s to Fortune 500’s, client-side where I managed ad spend well into the seven figures & also lived the “digital nomad life” whilst I was living in Canada and traveling various parts of the world.

Ben Somerville (Co-Founder)

If I’m being perfectly candid with you my early career was nothing to be impressed with. I was studying business at university & working in a crappy call centre job feeling like a cog in the machine and decided to leave both behind to chase my passion at the time, snowboarding.

It was a decision that led me on a life changing journey in many ways, I have travelled the world, made some amazing friends (including my wife) and completely changed my personal views & outlook on life.

When I made the decision to return home I was fired up to find a sales role with a tech company & as luck would have it an opportunity landed in my lap to join a fast growing marketplace startup.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime which catapulted my career. The company grew exponentially in revenue and headcount and within a relatively short period of time I progressed into an Operations/Head of Sales role which had me leading a team of 30 SaaS sales reps. I made the decision to capitalise on the momentum I had going and enrolled in an M.B.A which 2 years later I graduated with honours.

Your Business Journey so far

Farsiight, or at one point in time, “The Ads Lad”, was started out of necessity.

Having worked in a number of agencies before he had become pretty disillusioned with the industry. The culture of over-promised & under-delivered service at the expense of the business owners seemed all too common.

With this front of mind, Josh decided to take control of the situation and become a freelancer giving him complete control over the clients he worked with and the level of service provided.

Through doing quality work for his clients along with a solid network which had developed over the last decade, his client book grew organically which quite quickly reached a point where he was at capacity.

Josh and I had talked for many years about going into business together & the opportunity to turn his freelance business into an agency was exactly what we’d been looking for. Between us, we had the perfect blend of skill-set and realised that we could create a significant competitive advantage by driving the same “customer obsessive culture” that has become so pervasive within tech companies.

And just like that, Farsiight – an agency for growth was born.

The biggest challenge to date has been building out the systems & processes necessary to transition the business from just Josh as a freelancer to having a team under him executing on the work using his best practices.

How do you help your clients grow and achieve their goals?

We’re very different from a lot of agencies in so far as we turn away more new business than we onboard. We invest significantly upfront in the sales process to qualify clients to answer the most important question to us as an agency – can we help them grow?

Once a client has been onboarded with Farsiight there are two key factors which enable us to help them grow & achieve their goals. Firstly we go deep in our efforts to truly understand their company, vertical & market and secondly we focus and report on the metrics that matter. No vanity metrics.

Experience from 0 to first 10 clients and further growth

In Josh’s own words the growth from 0 – 10 clients was relatively organic and effortless. The clients themselves came through people in his network who reached out when they saw he was freelancing and referrals.

Farsiight’s growth since transitioning from freelancer to agency has been nothing short of exponential. In less than 12 months we’ve grown MRR by 211% and the team by 5 which has been driven by a combination of outbound sales, referrals & launching our new website.

Our 3 year vision for the company is to become the category leader in our core verticals (SaaS, E-Commerce & Marketplaces,) a team of 50 employees, 2 offices (Australia & North America) & $5m in annual revenue.

Keeping pace with changing technology and remain competitive?

Keeping up with technology isn’t just important in our game, it’s essential. The algorithms in all the platforms we use (Google, Facebook, etc.) change regularly and new features are constantly being released or sunsetted. The result of this is a constant state of flux. What worked one month may not work the next and what worked last year almost certainly won’t this year.

Our protective moat against this is constant testing. We say it all the time we are open to testing anything and will always let the data do the talking. We’re very fortunate to work with clients that also understand this and as such we always look to allocate budget each month to testing new experiments.

Top hurdles faced for business growth

We’re still a small team and as such both Josh and myself are still very much involved in every part of the day to day. The result of this is that we can very easily round out a day without touching a single task that will help the business grow.

The day to day is essential but it’s not what grows the business. Setting aside time to focus on high priority “on the business” tasks that will have the highest impact on our growth has been a key ingredient to our success to date.

Core specialties and offerings to your clients

We are not a “jack of all trades” digital agency. We are laser-focused on being the best of breed in our core service PPC Marketing which for us emcompasses channels such as Gooogle Ads, Bing, Amazon, Quora & social channels like Facebook/Instagram and Linkedin.

We bring to the table real world experience working client side for SaaS, E-Commerce & Marketplace companies and these are the niches which we specialise in.

Key to motivation

This certainly isn’t groundbreaking but the cornerstone of my daily productivity and motivation is living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve somewhat recently taken up long distance running and have found that the clarity and energy that I’m able to bring to work as a result of regular training has quite literally been life changing.

Second to that is surrounding yourself with people who are in the same lane as you. I’m extremely fortunate to work within a team that is a constant source of motivation & inspiration. I work hard for them. Additionally, I have a great network of other like minded entrepreneurs who I regularly catch up with and act as a sounding board and support network. This is something I’m truly grateful for and can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of developing.

I’m an avid reader and will always have several books on the go at a given time. Of all the business & motivational books that I’ve read to date there are three books that have had the most significant impact on my life truly altering the way I think.

“Think and Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill
This book taught me two extremely powerful lessons which are now completely ingrained in my thinking. The first lesson being that “ideas are truly things” & the second being unwavering persistence is essential to success in whatever you do in life.

“The Alchemist” – Paulo Coelho
To quote directly from the book “To realise one’s personal legend is a person’s only real obligation”.

“Shoe Dog” – Phil Knight
The story of Nike and in my opinion the single greatest story of entrepreneurship I’ve ever read.

Advice to Product Makers

This might sound redundant but you have to truly love what you do, it has to be your personal legend. If you’re going to have the stamina to put in the work that is required to build a great company you have to love the work you do, your clients and your team. To quote Gary Vee, you’ve got to love the process.

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