MILO and Me ft. Dmitri

Hi friends!

Today I want to tell you about Dmitri, a.k.a the (almost) black belt digital ninja. Dmitri has been a Digital Strategist for about eight years now. However, his journey to MILO was far from simple.

Digital Ninja Dmitri

 

The first time that I met Dmitri I knew he was dedicated, a natural born leader and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I haven’t known him for very long, but I do know Dmitri is someone you can count on.

Today I want to give you another glance behind the MILO Digital scenes and show you the people making MILO the strong, team-oriented environment that it is. Here is what I learned about Dmitri.  


Q: Can you describe your job and what you do here at MILO?

A: My official title is Digital Strategist. I take a look at the client and I come up with the best possible strategy to achieve their marketing goals on the Internet. Whether it’s sales, improving their social media, generating leads, or raising awareness, I put together strategies on how to make it happen using the latest digital tools. 

I also put out fires on a daily basis.

Firefighter Dmitri

 

Q: How did you get into the Digital Marketing world?

A: I wanted to be a psychologist/philosopher in college and then the economy crashed, so I switched to marketing. After graduating I did some copywriting and got into social media community management. My first account was PHI (PHI Air Medical) right when I got out of college and it’s still with me today. At my busiest, I managed up to 10-12 clients a day. Then I got into social media ads and Google AdWords, which helped me understand how everything in the digital world worked together and contributes to the bottom line.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about working for MILO?

A: My favorite part is coming up with the solutions for the clients. Each client is a different puzzle and each solution is custom fit for that puzzle. Sometimes you don’t really know what the solution is right away and you have to go and research.

Bringing the insights back to the client and seeing their eyes light up when you get it just right…that’s my favorite part.

 

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned in your career?

A:

A trait that I learned over the years is just embracing uncertainty and change.

It used to really bother me because I would want to plan everything out and execute on how I planned it out, but life does not work that way. Working at MILO has made me comfortable with being uncomfortable; no matter what changes, I always feel prepared to do my best and welcome the challenge.

 

Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to those just starting in this industry?

A: If you’re starting out in social [media management] I would say that you have to look to the leaders in social media like Gary V or whoever the top dog is in your particular field. The first step is always imitation, learning the rules. Once you internalize the rules and have the guidelines for social media then you can start innovating and going outside of those rules.

The second piece of advice is to just start, just go.

A lot of people read hundreds of blogs about social and always put off actually doing. I say just do it, you’ll learn way more than just reading about it. 

 

Q: Did you have any major setbacks in your career?

A: At my first big job I actually got let go two weeks before Christmas. I only managed three accounts there. Then I went from managing three accounts up to 12 and learning how to run digital ads, write strategy, communicate with clients and show reporting that matters. I was the guy that standardized reporting in our organization and got us the Google Adwords certification.

It really gave me a lot of confidence, and that setback didn’t really matter that much anymore.

 

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I’m a big fan of Jocko Willink, he’s a navy seal and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt turned author, turned podcaster/motivational speaker. He preaches something called extreme ownership where you own everything in your world. For example, if somebody on your team is underperforming, it’s your job to go and figure out why they’re underperforming, or spend time with them and get them up to speed.

Ultimately everything is in your court.

 

Q: Considering you had a long journey to get here, can you describe it?

A: I’m originally from Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. I was born around the time when the Soviet Union broke up and we got separated from Communism. It racked our economy to a point where it’s only now recovering. It was pretty rough. Then my dad won a green card in a lottery drawing to come to the United States. He came to the US and my mom and I followed after a year. We came here with no English and $100 in our (collective) pockets.

Throughout all of this, my family has been extremely supportive over the years and I owe them everything.

My mom for showing me the value of grit and resilience. My dad for always pushing me to do my best and not letting me settle. And my grandparents, Natasha and Nikolai, who showed me the value of hard work and planning ahead.

 

Q: What is it like being so close to your boss?

The Bromance

A: It’s a balance. There’s definitely a lot of trust involved. You have to balance being bros and doing the right things because sometimes what your “bro boss” wants to do is not what your “boss” needs to do.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is when to push back and when to drive home things that are important.

Ultimately, during work hours work must come first. After all is said and done, we can get a drink.

 

Q: Could you explain the company culture at MILO?

A:

MILO is very creative and innovative, and it reflects in our culture.

It’s very fun and friendly, always trying to make each other laugh. When it’s time to bunker down, the tone changes and we sit down and crank out what needs to be done. There’s a collective understanding of what we’re trying to build and the quality of work we strive for.

 

Q: What are the benefits of working at a small business as opposed to a bigger corporation?

Garlin Gilchrist After Party

A: You can make a lot of change very quickly. Whatever idea you have, if you get enough people behind you, you can execute it. Working in MILO, we’re very nimble. If there’s something that we want to do, we can turn it around pretty quick. In a big organization, you have to deal with bureaucracy, going through all the layers of managers and their managers. In contrast, at MILO, idea becomes reality very quickly.

 

Q: What is it like working in Detroit?

A: It’s very cool especially because I draw a parallel of the rebirth of Detroit with the rebirth of my professional career. As Detroit got bigger, and as people started to rebuild and the small businesses started to grow, so did MILO throughout the years.

Having worked very closely with Detroit-based businesses, I feel like I’m growing with them.

I’m learning and getting all the benefits that Detroit is getting. I feel very close to Detroit because of that.

 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

A: The people. Just being able to be creative and see the impact of your decisions. 


Dmitri has taught me a lot since my start at MILO Digital. From day one, he has been there to push me out of my comfort zone, which I’m terrified to do. In my first month at MILO, Dmitri told me that, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” I have never been in such a safe learning environment as I have at MILO, and it’s all thanks to the people.

Without Dmitri, there is no MILO. Like he said, the people are the best part of working here. We all make up the heart and soul of MILO and we each play a key role in making sure this company thrives. I am so thankful for Dmitri’s constant leadership and dedication to making sure MILO is producing the best possible outcomes.

P.S. His favorite color is blue!

MILO and Me ft. Billy

Hey friends!

Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try… 

Watches on watches

I’ve never had a boss like Billy. He’s not just a boss, but a leader. He cares about seeing his employees grow and learn new skills within his company. Even though I am not around as often as my other coworkers, being that I’m also a full-time student, I still feel like an important part of the team. Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said that you should, “work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” I can truly say that Billy has invested in me and my future in the Digital Marketing world at a time when I felt like no one else would. 

To give you a glimpse into the man behind the MILO Digital scenes and how he came to run his own business, I sat down with him and asked the “real” questions. 

 


Q: What made you want to be an entrepreneur? How long did you know you wanted to be one?

A: I think the first story that I remember about me being an entrepreneur was we were at a place called Ponderosa … I remember sitting there as a kid, and I said to my parents, “I wanna eat steak every day when I grow up.” They said, “You know if you want to have steak every day you need to be a lawyer or a doctor or own your own business.”

It was really all about the idea that I asked a lot of questions and I was told frequently that it wasn’t my job. I wanted to figure out how to make it my job. I spent my life trying to find the right business to be in.

Being an entrepreneur comes with failure and trying lots of different things, but I feel like with MILO and advertising, I found my home.

 

Q: What have been some major struggles in creating MILO?

A: I guess the answer is I never wanted to own an agency. I just wanted to do cool stuff. MILO was born out of Social COOP – I wouldn’t have been able to do MILO without what I’ve learned with Social COOP. The hardest part was I went to school for marketing, but I never worked in an agency. What I loved was figuring out how to take traditional things and translate them into digital. Then the people – saying goodbye to people, managing people, and all the different personalities. And sometimes being misunderstood, I think that’s the hardest part.

 

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I try to give people freedom; to make decisions, to fail, but allow them to have a safe place to fail.

The only thing that I ask is that they learn from it and that they own it. That’s so important – not making excuses for why you failed, but finding what that reason is and trying to avoid it the next time around.

 

Q: Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?

A: My dad. In the face of adversity, he decided to start something, to build something. He stuck with it and is still doing it. He’s been firm with me but he’s also been very fair, very loving. My leadership style is servant leadership, and that’s me emulating my dad.

That’s the thing I took away from my dad, it needs to be bigger than me and that we lead by serving.

 

Q: Who or what do you look to for support? 

A: Obviously there’s my family, and then there’s my Leadership Detroit crew. They’ve been really helpful for bouncing ideas. It’s just been an incredible experience working with them. And of course, Jen’s [Billy’s wife] probably heard me complain about more things than anyone. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now had she not gone back to work when I decided to start doing advertising. 

There’s that sacrifice, living with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. 

 I couldn’t even have done it without Savannah [Billy’s daughter]. She’s made a sacrifice of not having her dad around as much as someone that works a 9-5 would be. 

Birthday Buddies

And then Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] is my right hand. 

 

Q: Okay. You have your idea, now what? Is there a specific starting point, or is it different for every business?

A: Just do it. There are all sorts of reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business, but it would be a shame to silence whatever little voice that told you “you should” and “you could,” because clearly there’s a reason that you’re considering starting something.

 

Q: What is something that many entrepreneurs may not be prepared for?

A: For me, I had to be prepared to lose everything.

You can certainly plan to mitigate some of the risks, but you also have to be prepared for that – It’s a real possibility.

 

Q: If you don’t have a lot of personal funding to start, what do you recommend?

A: Get creative. You may have to work lots of hours, you may have to wear lots of hats. I learned how to do what I could do, and anything I couldn’t do, I’d find someone in my similar position that could assist.

 

Q: Have you ever had a rough patch or feeling of doubt? If so, what did you do to keep going and be successful?

A: I just have to quote Yoda, “There is no try, only do.” There’s no other option. When I wake up in the morning, there’s no one telling me I need to get up at 5:30 in the morning. There’s no one saying I need to be here until 8 or 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., it comes from inside. It’s just a drive that I’ve always had and wished that I could give that to people, but you have to find that drive internally.

 

Q: Where do you see yourself and MILO in 10 years?

A: Ideally I’d love to see MILO in the hands of the people who helped build it and doing big things. I see it being bigger than me and it no longer being about Billy, but being about MILO and the family that we’ve built, just on a bigger scale.

Boss Bill

 

Q: What’s the biggest reward from being an entrepreneur? 

A: Getting to do something that I believe in every day and watching people grow.

Seeing people start somewhere and taking them from being shy or not quite confident in what they do, to watching them blossom into their own person is really incredible. Watching them turn from someone that is maybe an intern, to a leader. And working with the clients because they’re just good people. 

 


I’ve only known Billy for a short while, but he has made a huge impact on my life. He’s taught me so much but one thing Billy has said that stuck with me the most is,

we never fail, we learn.

This is how he looks at life. It’s fearless.

Here is something we should all think about today: have you ever backed away from a challenge in fear of failure? Billy had a long winding journey on his road to success, but it never stopped him from waking up the next day and working harder than ever. He is an inspiration to all those who know him, yet the most humble man I’ve ever met.

-Ashley

Should Your Brand Take a Stand?

Taking a stand.

With the current political and socioeconomic climate of the United States, taking a stand is something that every father, mother, brother, sister, etc. is doing. Be it through the stickers on their vehicles or what they post and share on social media, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not taken a stand on at least one issue lately. While it may seem like a controversial move, it is also important for brands to take a stand.

No, not just important – expected.

According to a recent consumer survey from Sprout Social, “66 percent of respondents said they want brands to take a stance on difficult issues, and 58 percent are glad to see it happen on social media.” Of those consumers who participated in the survey, it was discovered that “liberals are more likely than conservatives to expect brands to take a stand,” at 78 percent to 52 percent. Sprout Social also found that 44 percent of consumers are “more likely to purchase from a brand with a clear opinion,” with 52 percent saying it would case greater brand loyalty.

Brands leading the way

Brands taking a stand is clearly not unheard of and has become a common practice in the advertising and marketing arenas. While some of these attempts at taking a stand have fallen flat, here’s looking at you Pepsi, other companies such as Airbnb, Chipotle, Oreo and Patagonia have executed successful campaigns.

This past December, Patagonia’s website took a shift away from online shopping, choosing to instead share “The President Stole Your Land” in large white letters on a black background on its landing page. This was the company’s reaction to the president’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah by a combined 2 million acres. Fellow outdoor retailers REI and North Face joined Patagonia in taking a stand on the issue.

How your brand can take a stand

When successfully executed, a brand’s ‘take a stand’ campaign can help their content have more views and higher engagement rates, such as what Yoplait saw in its “Mom On” campaign that tackled the topic of mom shaming. The campaign performed exceptionally well across all five brand lift metrics and produced a 1,461 percent lift in brand interest.

If the decision to see your brand take a stand continues to seem risky, keep these few tips in mind:

  • Be committed
  • Be relevant
  • Know your customer base

Sprout Social’s recent survey put up the data to prove that brands simply cannot ‘ride two horses with one ass’ anymore. Your customers want to know where you stand and want to see that you’re in touch with the issues they are facing daily.

Not sure where to start on your brand’s stand? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work alongside your business to craft a campaign strategy that will ensure your stance on a hot topic truly shines. Let’s get the conversation started today!

Get More Likes on Facebook. Is it Worth Paying For?

Facebook Likes. We want ’em. We need ’em. We pay for ’em.

I noticed a recent feature on Facebook asking page admins if they would like to get more likes. If you admin a page you’ll find it on the left hand side. It replaces the section that showed the most recent person to like your page.  [UPDATE] Promoting your Page from the admin panel is only available to Pages with locations and a profile picture. [/UPDATE]

Similar to promoted posts, it’s Facebook’s way of making the advertising process easier to start. Page admins don’t have to fuss with the Facebook Advertising Dashboard or the hassle of creating an actual campaign.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

 

Facebook gives you the option of setting a daily budget between $5 – $100 per day (image right). To the right of the price is an estimate of how many likes the page should get. As you can see a $100 per day should net you between 43-391 likes per day. Your mileage may vary depending on your page and it’s existing fan base.

Where do the Ads Show?

Your ads will start showing in the new feed or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your page. They ads may appear on mobile or desktop and run until you end the promotion.

What Type of Ads?

People will start seeing ads in their news feeds or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your Page. These ads may appear on mobile or desktop and will run until you stop your promotion.

Who Sees my Ad?

Your pages ad can be targeted to people located near your business. You can choose from your business’s city, state or country.

 

I’m thinking this will prompt me to write a post about targeting ads on Facebook. I’ll also post some results as we’re testing the feature now (see bottom photo)

Have you noticed this new advertising option on Facebook? What do you think is it worth it?

 

 

 

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