Eder Holguin is a serial entrepreneur, digital sales and marketing expert, and best-selling author (Dreaming of Hope Street and Street Smarts: The Business of Life) with more than 20 years of industry expertise helping companies scale revenue, optimize sales and marketing processes, and improve productivity.
His clients range from brand-name Fortune 500 companies to innovative start-ups.
Looking back, what was your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
Working with small businesses that did not have great infrastructure was an eye-opening experience for me.
Even if your marketing is on point, you still need to have someone who can nurture and convert inquiries and leads to sales.
It was a struggle to try and teach new startups, new founders, or small businesses how to leverage digital to increase sales.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
My first client in digital was a company that was looking for traffic.
In the late 1990s, companies were valued based on eyeballs.
Pageviews and unique visitors were worth millions of dollars in funding back then.
I got my first client by cold-calling new companies. I cold-called my first 20 clients to learn every possible objection and to be able to answer any question they may have.
I ended up selling traffic for a couple of years to companies looking to increase their page views and overall traffic to their website.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
The most rewarding thing about what I do is that I never stop learning new things.
There are so many new advancements in the world of digital advertising that you never stop learning.
New platforms, new solutions—it is never boring.
I love that.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers. Aside from freelancing, how else can someone earn online? And what is your advice?
There are so many ways to make money online.
You can build and manage social media pages across multiple platforms for small businesses, and you can buy and sell products online by leveraging different platforms.
For example, to buy on Alibaba and sell on Amazon, you can create digital content: blogs, videos, images to promote products, or design logos and ads for businesses. You can also sell used items on eBay or Craigslist, etc.
Pick a niche or services you want to provide and master a couple of these platforms, and you should be able to make money online.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you could achieve your dreams faster?
If I had to start all over again,
I would spend less time thinking I had great ideas and spend more time asking for feedback from mentors and others.
Entrepreneurs tend to fall in love with their ideas, even if they are bad or need to be tweaked.
This would have saved me a lot of time pushing products that were not ready to go to market.
How is your typical work day structured?
I wake up around 6 a.m., and I am in the office by 8 a.m.
Mornings are usually for follow-ups and calls with prospects; afternoons are to review existing clients and write new agreements; and the last couple of hours of the day are just mostly to respond to emails and employees or tasks.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
I think I am improving my sales skills. I was a shy boy growing up.
Learning to speak in front of a large room and cold-call CEOs and CMOs was intimidating at the beginning.
I read a lot of books about sales and self-improvement and worked on my own confidence.
Those skills and all that time paid off really well later on.
What recently developed marketing strategy, technique, or tool interests you the most right now?
I think the idea of leveraging multiple audiences across different platforms is really interesting.
Using first-party data and lookalike audiences via social, programmatic, and other channels is not only a great way to market your product or services, but it is also what will generate your highest ROI in the long run.
What do you do to stay up-to-date with new marketing techniques?
I read blogs, books, and articles and try to keep up with new technology.
It changes so fast that sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything.
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
In 2004, we built a way to do panel development for market research companies that allowed us to grow our start-up quickly, and we were able to sign and work with most of the largest market research companies within our first year.
We were ahead of many competitors and had a great solution to recruit, validate, and distribute data for the clients we had at the time.
Which one book or blog post would you recommend every marketer read?
As an entrepreneur, I like Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal.
It is a great book that talks about how to build engaging products that people will love.
What advice would you share with other marketers who want to become more productive?
Focused. Focus on the right clients, the right KPIs, and the right platforms.
I learned that when you spread yourself too much, you barely get anything accomplished.
If there’s one marketing guru, you’d recommend who and why.
I like Guy Kawasaki.
I think his advice is pretty straight-forward, and it resonates with me on many levels.