Can you tell us about your business?
Firefly is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing and top digital marketing agencies. Our aim to help businesses to grow in the digital marketing space. I wanted to start Firefly to bring a new and improved digital marketing service to Kiwi businesses. We work with clients to design a complete digital strategy, giving full transparency whilst measuring the success of each campaign.
How have you made Firefly grow to where it is today?
We saw an opportunity, so we took it. We have put a lot of time and effort to make this a reality; when we started, we worked side jobs whilst spending nights and weekend working on Firefly. My business partner (Marko Kisa) is excellent with systems and processes, which complemented my own skillset so it was a great fit. A major part of our growth has come through the strategic partnership’s we have fostered. These relationships allow us to be in more places at once and build connections with potential businesses quickly.
To build a fast-growing business, we needed to solve a problem and add value. We do that by analysing a businesses’ current underperforming digital marketing strategy, communicating why it isn’t working for them and providing tangible solutions. Importantly, we are constantly innovating our procedures to make our solutions stronger and stay ahead of the game.
When you were at high school, what kind of career did you want? Did you have any mentors?
I always wanted to be in business, but I had no idea what that would look like. Initially, the plan was to become a sparky and start my own business – but after a hefty electric shock, I realised I wasn’t very passionate about the trade, so I re-evaluated. That is when I discovered digital marketing.
I started seeking mentors when I was in business, however, looking back I wish I had mentors growing up as well – people who could have helped develop my entrepreneurial side earlier. Not only have I learnt so much from people who have already walked the path, I built some amazing friendships along the way. I highly recommend seeking out mentors no matter what stage you are at.
What does a typical day at Firefly look like for you?
At the moment, CEO at Firefly really means Chief-Of-Everything Officer. I like to be involved in all aspects of the business from consulting with clients, to helping staff and working on our strategic vision. Some of the cool things I find myself doing is travelling up and down the country, or to Australia to meet with my business advisor and having regular meetings with our suppliers like Google.
I also put a strong emphasis on personal development, so I set aside time for myself to up-skill and ensure I keep learning. I recognised early on that the company will only grow as fast as the leader within it, and I strive to be the best version of myself and improve every day. If you can improve by 1% every day – you will be 365% better after a year!
What do you enjoy most about your role as CEO?
I love leading and driving the business to be successful. I thrive off challenges and goals, the freedom to make decisions and set my own schedule is important to me as well.
Can you give me an example of a particularly exciting project you have worked on?
We have worked across many projects, but a recent exciting one for Firefly has been helping out at New Zealand not-for-profit. Knowing that the work we are doing is helping to grow a charity, improve their message in a digital space and capture a larger audience is a great project to be involved with.
What do you like about the digital marketing industry?
I love the positive impact digital marketing can have on a business, whether it be large or small. I really like how it is transparent and easy to measure performance. Digital marketing is very fast-paced and constantly changing. What works today might not work two years down the track – which keeps myself, and Firefly on our toes.
What advice would you give to students considering a career in the digital marketing industry?
Digital marketing has a range of avenues from data based roles to creative ones – so take the time to investigate them properly. I recommend doing online courses and sitting your Google certification – it’s free!
Also, try to get some practical experience. Internships are a good way to understand the industry and learn on the job. Many small agencies offer these kind of opportunities and if not, approach the business and ask for one – bed the rules!
Do you have any tips for students who want to start their own business?
You need to know that it will never feel like the right time to start a business, but if you have an idea – here are a few tips:
- Start now, work hard and follow your passion. Starting a business requires dedication.
- Understand your vision, mission and values to stay focused through the ups and downs. Without a vision, the rest falls through.
- Seek out mentors – you don’t have to do it alone.
- Focus on personal development. As you grow, the business will form and grow with you.