Having decided to work in the digital space in 2011, Aaron Bower decided to head north in 2012 to Thailand to set up Marketeer.
The charming Aaron Bower may look young but he’s a talented individual who spent seven years travelling back and forth between Canada and Asia before deciding to reside in Bangkok. “Bangkok is a great place to start out in comparison to other cities like Hong Kong. Everyone is so friendly,” he explains.
Since he was 11 years old, he has always been connected to the internet with his first computer. The hobby soon turned into a passion and now it’s a business with a team of 6 employees. We caught up with Aaron to learn more about managing a virtual team and to pick up some tips about social media content creation.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I was working in the digital field for a year before deciding to move to Asia as Vancouver is an expensive city. Soon, I started to pick up clients from Hong Kong and to be honest, from that moment on, I’ve been building my client list and developing strong relationships with them.
Why did you choose to move to Bangkok?
Bangkok is a great place to base yourself in comparison to other cities like Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. Most of our clients are based in Asia so Thailand is a great mid-point. Plus, everyone is so friend in Thailand so it’s easy to meet individuals from different industries- especially at the Hive.
How would you describe yourself?
Someone who is always looking for opportunities and no matter what. I’m quite positive and would like to describe myself as a people person. I truly believe that you are nothing without the people around you. You could be the most skilled businessman, but in this world, if you can’t work with others then you’ll get nowhere.
Can you tell us more about your company?
Our company is registered in Canada but my team is based in different countries like Indonesia and Croatia. Everyone on the team have specific tasks. For example, I work with client development and help build the team together by working out everyone’s strength. When you combine all the right skills, we make the perfect team to help entrepreneurs with their online business.
How did you find your team?
I found my team members through websites like Freelancer usually give them enough work for six months. However, these websites help you to find temporary staff but you can’t build a team from this. If I have enough work to give for digital workers, they’ll end up joining Marketeer.
As all my team are in different countries, I operate my team virtually. We have a group chat on Whatsapp to communicate with everyone and for project management, we use an app called Trello to keep track of clients. We also have our own system for managing projects to make sure that all tasks are getting done. I believe in speed over perfection because things happen so quickly.
Are you happy with the team right now?
I’m very happy with my team and what they do. However, I’m never satisfied because I always want to improve. If we keep maintaining what we’re doing, then I guess I’ll be happy one day!
How do your clients find you?
They don’t because we don’t advertise our services. I truly believe that the best sales methods is not to sell. If you maintain a high quality of work you’ll never have problems with finding clients. We work by words of mouth so a lot of clients recommend us to others. We work with a lot of expats owned companies in cities like Hong Kong so it’s easy to find new work.
Would you call yourself a CEO or Founder?
I don’t like labels as people usually wear labels like it means something. What matters is your performance so for me I consider myself a team leader and not a CEO.
At the end of the day, I’m not a founder because I’m nothing without my team. Without my team, I have nothing. I did start this company but it’s literally out of my control now I’m just here to make sure that everyone’s happy.
What is a typical day like for you?
It depends on where I am in the world. If I’m in Canada, I’m work from the Asian time zone which means I work very late. So I start the morning with exercising, maybe I’ll meditate or go to the beach and before working in the afternoon. When my team comes online at 5pm, I work with them side by side on group chats or Google hang out until 2am.
However, when I’m working in Bangkok, I wake up at 7am and try to get work done right away. It’s always a struggle to push myself because I don’t have a boss. No one is yelling at me or telling me to hurry up so it’s a lot of self-coaching.
What do you want to accomplish with your company?
I want to turn what we’re doing into an app to help entrepreneurs around the world. People can get support from us instantly but that’s further down the line because right now I’m concerned about my ten clients and making sure that we’re doing a good job for them.
As soon as I’m satisfied with what we are achieving then I’ll probably look to expanding but I’m happy with the progress now There’s no rush to conquer the world!
Do you have any philosophy that you live by?
Always give more and expect less. I believe in being a good and kind to others. A wise man once said that you give 51% to someone and you’ll get 49%in return. If my team and I lived by that guideline, we’ll attract positive energy in life.