Marketing

Meet the business: Excite Media

- February 22, 2021 5 MIN READ

Two things often put things into perspective for me. Quality time with my kids, and any kind of loss. Both things are a reminder that life is bigger than work/business.

The essential questions:

What is your name?

Scott Maynard

What is your business name?

Excite Media

In a sentence or two, tell us: What do you do? Who for? And how does it benefit them?

We create strategic websites and digital marketing systems to help small-to-medium businesses generate more leads.

Where can we find out more?

www.excitemedia.com.au

 

The curly questions:

You’ve got a free half hour during your work day. What do you do?

For the first minute I’d be surprised how I found a free half-hour! The next 29 minutes I’d spend looking through my long-term “issues list” about what the next exciting business project to tackle might be. It could be a marketing project, or tightening some internal processes.

Who, or what, is your biggest inspiration?

The amazing people who choose to be part of the Excite Media team. The camaraderie and care they show each other is an inspiration, and really does motivate us as business owners to continue to do our best for the team.

When did you know you wanted to start your own business?

My business partner (Nathanael) and I became friends in high-school, and looking back, we’d always had some sort of entrepreneurial venture happening. In high-school this was mainly through our musical interests – forming bands and competing in band competitions. There were also a few attempts at selling random gadgets “door to door” around the neighbourhood!

During university, the music adventures continued, but we also launched our first “real business” by starting a tuition agency. We built a database of tutors through our contacts at UQ, and we advertised for high-school students needing tutoring through the local newspapers. I still remember a very nervous meeting at the Commonwealth Bank business banking headquarters in the city when applying for our BPAY facility!

After we both graduated from university, it was time to decide if we’d go our separate ways and find jobs in the fields we’d studied (myself in Electrical Engineering, and Nathanael in Music & IT). We decided “not yet”, and that we’d instead experiment with some business ideas, at least for a few months! We landed our first project developing some database software for a medical research organisation (I’m still confused, but grateful, that they had faith in us!). A few other web development projects came up, and before we knew it we were hiring our first full-time employee, which was a huge commitment at the time. From here we grew the business, learning lots of lessons along the way.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt this year?

The depth of character of our team, and how lucky we are! 

“The COVID Year” was uncharted territory for everyone (not just those in business), and it’s the people around you who give you strength. The way our team rallied and supported each other was truly inspirational.

Business-wise, there were very nervous times when COVID hit. Even though there were obvious economic impacts of doing business during COVID, we were fortunate to be in an industry that could still “do business” to some degree. And most of all, we are so fortunate to be in Australia where the health situation was very well contained, and where government support is available for people and businesses in times of crisis. Plus, if you had to be “stuck” in any country in the world – Australia would have to be the best place to be.

What’s your proudest moment?

From a business perspective, any time the business helps one of our team achieve something amazing in their personal life. This could be flexibility to spend time with family, financial security to purchase a home, the ability to work abroad, or the freedom and support to start a side-hustle.

A few years ago, we employed someone who was immigrating to Australia. It was a large investment of time (with lots of paperwork!), but it was a fantastic moment when her VISA was approved and she could continue her life in Australia. We were later able to help with her permanent residency application, meaning her dream of becoming a permanent Australian was secure!

These are fantastic moments to be a part of – to be able to play even a small part and to celebrate these moments with our team is extremely rewarding.

What’s your number one way to wind down?

Any kind of physical activity is great – soccer, basketball, swimming in the ocean, having a hit on the drums (sorry neighbours!). I’m also quite partial to a Jack Daniels infused Cherry Yoghurt (they don’t make these – you’ll need to make them yourself!).

What’s your favourite film and album?

There is a text document on my computer called “top albums of all time.txt”. There’s too many to list, but a few to mention:

Something for Kate – Beautiful Sharks
Nirvana – Unplugged in New York
Sarah Blasko – What the sea wants the sea will have
Pearl Jam – Yield

What’s the smartest bit of marketing you’ve ever done?

Consistently delivering outstanding service to clients over a long period of time (Word of Mouth is very powerful!)

What’s the one resource you’d never be without?

An internet-connected laptop!

What’s the most obscure business request you’ve ever had?

We are privileged to be in a position to help many new businesses with marketing their business ventures. As part of this, we often come across some “interesting” business ideas along the way. I think the most creative idea I’ve heard for a new product is “an emergency ‘pant and blouse’ set for the sophisticated female traveller”.

What or who has the most grounding influence on you?

Two things often put things into perspective for me. Quality time with my kids, and any kind of loss. Both things are a reminder that life is bigger than work/business.

What’s the biggest challenge you face at work?

The ruthless prioritisation of the “important” items instead of the “urgent” items.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?

Be “relational”, not “transactional”. Meaning to look beyond the “cost/benefit” of short-term “transactions”, and instead understanding that business (and life!) is about long-term relationships which provide a much greater reward in the end. Another way of putting it is to “give without expectation of return”.

Where and when do you have your best ideas?

Definitely the shower – just standing there kicking the water around and thinking. Sorry if that’s TMI!

What would be your advice to aspiring soloists?

Find someone to talk to about both “big picture stuff”, and someone to be accountable to in the day-to-day.

What talent do you most wish you possessed?

There’s so many talented people in our business who I would love to combine and channel at any given moment. Whether it be people skills, design skills, or quick decision-making skills.

What would your mum say is your greatest strength? And weakness?

Hmmmmmm… I think Mum would say I’m “a lovely boy and if anyone says anything different they can answer to me”. In reality, I think she would say a strength is “patience”, and weaknesses are “messiness” and being “fashion challenged”.

What’s one thing about you few people know?

I have a talent for catching items that fall out of the fridge (I once knocked a jam jar off the top shelf and kicked it safely into the bottom shelf on the way down).

What is the one regret you do not want to have in this lifetime?

Not spending enough quality time with my kids while they’re young.

What inspires you most about your work?

The amazing group of people on the team who all care for each other like family.

What do you wear to work?

I have several identical blue t-shirts and black jeans ready to roll at any moment. I might also throw on an old “flanny” if the aircon is particularly cold that day. Fashion is not my thing, and I like not having to think about it!

What do you love most about running your own business?

I love the freedom and “control of your own destiny” that it allows (even if this might be an illusion!). It feels quite liberating knowing that any issues are your own doing, so this helps you to get in the habit of moving forward positively.