Lamar Hull: A Bond Stronger than Business: 2 Former Davidson Grads Partner to Enhance the Digital Ma
Lamar Hull is the Founder of Organic Clicks, LLC, a full service digital marketing agency in Charlotte, NC that specializes in local SEO. Lamar has a MBA in Internet Marketing and spends a lot of his time learning new strategies in the field of online marketing, learning more about the business’s clients to better help his team over deliver on results proposed. Ben Allison is the Founder of BENCO Productions, LLC a video production company that specializes in company videos, brand videos, testimonials videos and short films.
Deciding to start your own business demands courage. What has it been like?
Starting a business was scary for me, it was scary for my business partner Ben, it was scary for Steve Jobs, it was and still is scary for every entrepreneur who has decided to take that leap into the unknown.
No one tells you that running your own business will keep you up all night, that it will drive you crazy sometimes because of its dysfunction or maybe yours, that it will cause you to miss out on the fun times, and this list goes on.
I started a local SEO company because a friend of mine heard that I knew how to execute SEO strategies and referred a friend of his to me who owned a business. By producing results for my first client and helping them grow their business, I ran with it and went to meetup groups, networking events, and told everyone I knew that I can help their business grow through SEO strategies. The business grew from there. As the results came in, so did the clients.
Entrepreneurialism comes with highs and lows. What are some of the challenges?
Scaling a business to allow you to continue to produce results, bring on not just any client but the right client, and at the same time having more flexibility is very tough. As you grow, the challenge is managing a ton of clients and people. This wasn’t my concern when I got my first client.
This is what we continue to struggle with but are improving upon every day. Fifteen hour work days were never ideal at the beginning, but at this point, it must be done to succeed.
Most entrepreneurs are technicians, yes read, Michael Gerber’s E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it. It is a must read if you are stepping in to the entrepreneurial world.
What is a technician? Better yet, what is an entrepreneurial seizure?
A technician is someone who is really good at what they do and at some point they have an entrepreneurial seizure and determine for whatever reason, the weather, their boss, more income, etc. to start their own business.
With any of these reasons, just know that everything is stacked against you, research shows that 80% of small businesses fail within the first 18 months.
So, you're telling me that I could start my own business, potentially be successful for a while to only go back in to the job market?
Yup! Scary, right? All that hard work, late nights, no sleep, and you have a high chance of failing. A good friend of mine, Mike Funderburk hit on a lot of great points about how he quit his 6-figure corporate job to venture in to the start-up world but failed, read here.
If someone would have told me any of that before my entrepreneurial seizure, I still would be right where I’m at now. My faith, energy, and passion for the industry overcomes the fear that is aligned with an entrepreneurial seizure.
I’m now running a full service digital marketing agency in Charlotte, that specializes in local SEO.
I absolutely love everything about Charlotte. The city life, the people, sports, my alma mater is nearby, and most importantly the opportunity for growth. If we can help bring jobs to the Charlotte community and see businesses that we work with prosper, that is our dream!
Success requires constant education? What are some of your focus areas?
I spend a lot of my time managing the growth and performance of the business. I continuously look for ways to learn more about business concepts and strategies. In addition, I’m always learning about our clients to better help my team over deliver on the results proposed. That is how you keep clients and stand out from the pack.
Every entrepreneur has a vision, What is your vision?
Our future ambition is to be the BEST digital marketing agency for local businesses that Charlotte has to offer. Our ultimate goal is to deliver results, build relationships with our clients, and continue to create jobs in the Charlotte community.
Secondly, to continue to grow our business, we have to make the right connections and meet great people. You never know what opportunity could take your business to the next level by connecting with people who want to see you do well.
Profound learning moments are priceless. What has been one of yours?
For me, it was living what I learned from Bob Mckillop at Davidson College. TCC - Trust, Commitment, & Care.
This is what every basketball player at Davidson College learns from Coach Mckillop, which is to create a foundation of family but a network of individuals who believe in themselves but most importantly each other.
Finding partnerships in business who share the same values and goals can be a challenge, right?
This is why we have partnered with BENCO Productions LLC. BENCO Productions, LLC was founded in 2017 by Ben Allison. Originally from Sussex, England, Ben was also a basketball player at Davidson College and not only learned the TCC concept, but embraced it.
Your connection with Ben goes beyond the business level. What's the history there?
We both had the great opportunity to play with Stephen Curry, and Ben was a part of the team during Davidson’s Cinderella run to the NCAA Elite 8 in 2008.
I was able to play professional basketball in Kings Lynn, England. Ben went on to play professional basketball in Spain and worked in the Digital Marketing industry for a number of top companies: The Business Journals (Charlotte), Armstrong International (London) and Ekstasy Films (London).
Somehow, we both found ourselves in a fast growing industry, called the Internet! I was able to work for a great marketing company in South Charlotte by the name of Red Ventures, which is where I learned from some amazing and intelligent people.
Who has been a mentor to you?
A friend and mentor of mine, Ric Elias, Founder of Red Ventures helped challenge my thinking and belief in myself during my time there.
How are you and Ben changing the face of media in Charlotte?
Charlotte is well-known for Banking. Bank of America and Wells Fargo call Charlotte “home” for their Eastern Operations. However, Charlotte is not so well know for motion pictures, art, or creative diversity.
Although Charlotte has a number of solid video production companies, Ben was tired of seeing the same, boring, cookie-cutter videos that local companies were using to promote their brand.
Ben wanted to bring some ‘trendiness’ to video production in the Charlotte region. Everything from social media videos to feature length films should be packed with creativity, personality, boldness as well as Hollywood-level production.
Video content is growing. Let's chat about that!
BENCO Productions specializes in company videos, brand videos, testimonials videos and short films. Today, video production is essential for businesses to stay visible online; a Cisco study predicts that by 2020, 85% of global internet consumption will be video. Think about your own internet browsing habits - are you spending more time watching videos online? Especially on a mobile device!
BENCO Productions enables companies to tell their story and get customers. From concept development, to script writing as well as all aspects of pre- and post-production, BENCO Productions, LLC in my opinion is the best in town.
It was a no brainer when Ben and I reconnected and understood that both of our client base needed what we both became experts in. "TCC" in full affect!