Starting a Search Engine Marketing Company

Interview with Anvil Media Founder Kent Lewis

Every organization could use a little help with search engine marketing, right? It's a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, as we discovered from talking with Anvil Media founder Kent Lewis.

Search engine marketing is extremely powerful.

It can give a business customers and raise visibility in ways that can transform a small player into an industry giant.

Many entrepreneurs see big opportunity in providing search engine marketing consulting services. To learn more, we spent some time with Anvil Media founder Kent Lewis.

Kent, thanks for discussing how you started a company and what you are doing. Tell us about your current business, Anvil Media, and what it does?

Anvil Media helps clients with search engine marketing. That includes search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and social media marketing (SMM) services.

We started the company in October 2000, and we are based in Portland, Oregon.

What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?

I've always been an interactive or full-service agency guy, but originally started in public relations.

Anvil is my first solo venture, but it's my second as a co-founder of a start-up. I was a co-founder of Wave Rock in 1999.

Where did you get the startup money for Anvil Media?

We are self-funded. My startup costs were essentially just $1,285 for a laptop.

Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?

My biggest competition is from my former agency and its employees: Wave Rock/YRG. I only bumped up against them initially as I got the word out about going solo.

How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?

Mostly a joy...I realized I wasn't as good at the back office/operations, so I hired an Office Manager. Smart move.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Not really...maybe luck, experience or whatever, but everything worked out pretty well.

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

Hiring only A talent and working for largely A quality clients...and firing the rest.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

Get enough experience and have a large enough support network to minimize your risks. Take any necessary classes to build out the remaining skills.

You've given the aspiring entrepreneurs who visit this site some great advice, Kent. Thanks for your time and best of luck to you and Anvil Media.

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