Robb Hamic has accomplished much in life. He’s an Army veteran, a former sheriff’s deputy, a husband and a father. He’s also been broke — and he says, more than once. Such is the trial and error process of being a small business owner.
Being a business owner means facing inherent risks, especially when it could mean investing your own money and hoping that your particular niche will be accepted and rewarded in the marketplace. Starting your own business goes well beyond a good idea. It requires an entire new set of skills including management, accounting and marketing.
Management and accounting are arguably easier to learn because we’ve all had bosses we might emulate (or not) — and love it or hate it, math is a requirement starting in primary education. Marketing on the other hand can be tricky – its part art, part science – and for many running small businesses, often learned through trial and error.
Major Growth – Fast
Today Hamic’s personal self-defense and security consulting business is booming. It has grown to include three regional schools in Austin, Albuquerque and San Francisco. Hamic, employs about 100 people and is getting international business inquiries from businesses and government agencies seeking his help on a range of security issues from narco-terrorism to Somali pirates. In large part, this growth has been fueled by his marketing efforts.
Hamic has taken his marketing efforts to the Web, writing a blog, engaging social media, leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) strategies — and using PRWeb for distributing news releases online. In many ways, PRWeb enables him to tie all of these techniques together – he’s been distributing about two news releases a month for the last year.
“Sending news releases out over PRWeb is almost like creating a stand-alone Web site that appeals to my customers,” said Hamic. “On a single page they see the news release, a call-out quote, photos, graphics, my Web page and even a video. It’s invaluable.”
Market research has shown that viewers are more inclined to act on information if it includes video. Given the athletic nature of Hamic’s work, he believes including video – a demonstration for example – in news releases is pivotal.
“My consumer wants to see that I can do what I’m selling – they want to know that I’m physically capable of actually doing the things I’m proposing to teach,” said Hamic. “Video is perfect — the ability to embed video right alongside a press release is worth its weight in gold.”
Hamic is also active in social networking and maintains both Twitter and Facebook accounts. To compliment these efforts, he uses a PRWeb feature called TweetIt, which allows users to pre-schedule a Tweet and a link to their news release to coincide with the distribution time of the release. By linking his Twitter and Facebook accounts when Hamic uses TweetIt his release is published instantly on PRWeb, his Tweets are sent to his Twitter followers and his Facebook status is automatically updated.
Social Media and Press Coverage Drive In Leads
Hamic says he has a very loyal customer base. They read his content and share it among the community of followers he’s developed. On average, he says each news release he distributes is Retweeted about 50 times. This interaction with his customer community, in combination with PRWeb’s powerful distribution network has greatly enhanced his online marketing results. For example, one site he maintains has seen a 30 percent surge in traffic.
The media has also taken note of Hamic’s news releases — one in particular stood out. After uncovering a number of nefarious activities related to the security and investigation industry in New Mexico, he reached out to a number of reporters to share the story, but none responded. Frustrated, but determined, he published his findings on his blog, New Mexico Security Blog, and then promoted the findings in a news release sent out over PRWeb.
The results were staggering – he received a total of 3.5 hours of collective airtime on local AM radio stations, five stories on national radio broadcast programs and a cover story on the Santa Fe Reporter, a weekly print publication. Perhaps more interesting is the number of new sales leads he has earned: leads are up 100 percent, which he directly attributes to the news releases he has distributed over PRWeb. For example, he received an inbound call from a law enforcement agency in the Southwestern U.S. seeking help with training on narco-terrorism.
In another case, a maritime security company in Europe called him to ask about training services for preventing illicit seizures like the ship taken hostage by Somali pirates in the summer of 2009. What’s more he can directly tie that specific lead to a news release he issued titled, “Robb Hamic Trained His 5000th Student this Week.”
“Sometimes it takes up to 25 impressions to influence someone to make a buying decision – and PRWeb enables me to make those impressions online, in social media and in the press,” said Hamic. “What’s really telling about the benefits of PRWeb is that I’m getting calls from leads outside of the Southwest region – I’m now getting calls nationally and internationally.”