An Interview with Romeo Man

Business Automation Specialist & Founder of MAN Digital

romeo man interview

Romeo Man is a Business Automation Specialist and founder of MAN Digital. If you can get him on your side, you’ll start attracting the right people and converting them to customers with a custom-built sales funnel built on data, not hunches.

In this interview, Romeo tells us how he got started as an entrepreneur and where his vast digital marketing savvy comes from. He also shares about his company’s mission to close the gap on SME learning on the European market. He also tells us about his vision for his business and what his traits are that make him successful. Find out how he does it at MAN.Digital, or follow him on Twitter.

His advice to anyone starting a business:

Start and get involved in local non-governmental organizations. You can experiment a lot in these places by learning and experimenting with real project management. Run training for new members and make mistakes.

 

Can you tell us how you got the idea for Man.Digital, Romeo? Is there something you wanted to do different or better than your competitors?

When I was in Uni ( back in 2004), I got very involved in AIESEC, which is one of the biggest youth-run organizations in the world. I learned a lot about entrepreneurship but especially about marketing. At the same time, I was helping my dad run his restaurant which I’ve been doing since I was a kid.

So, marketing, sales and entrepreneurship was in the family blood, but still I didn’t start right away as I was afraid to believe. I joined big corporations like DHL, Electrolux and Premier Farnell ( known in the US as Newark.com), where I learned a bunch of things about marketing automation, sales and development.

Having all these, I was still afraid to start my own business (here in Europe we’re not the risk takers Americans are), so I joined an ex-US army officer, Samuel Cook who was building a digital publishing company here in Krakow. I joined him and learned a lot about how to run a digital marketing company.

Having all these experiences and know-how, I started MAN Digital to help companies tell their stories and generate leads in the process.

I believe sales and marketing are changing more into story telling. We don’t sell anymore our products or services, we sell the content we produce and the reviews we have and the learning we experienced through time. This is what we want to achieve too, help our stakeholders tell this through digital content.

 

What are your visions for your business? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?

I see MAN Digital developing more learning content for small and medium enterprises so their stories can reach more people. We want to develop all kind of learning products so that SME and startups in Europe can build their own in-house marketing excellence team and we just jump in for coaching or mentoring.

I believe there are many things we can learn from how digital marketing is done in the US and there are some excellent people out there teaching but I still see a gap between what the US can do and what’s here in Europe.

I want to close that gap with MAN Digital and tailor those marketing learning and solutions to the European SME market.

 

What attitude/habits helped make you successful while starting Man.Digital?

4 important things:

  1. Being very curious about all the success and failure other startups experience.
  2. Being as organized and process-oriented as the corporations we work with.
  3. Getting the people with the right attitude next to you as partners and employees.
  4. Don’t stop learning, listen to podcasts, participate in webinars, read books and actively participate on specialty forums and communities.

 

What was your biggest business mistake and how did you come out stronger at the end of the day?

Oh, the fact that I didn’t record processes, failures, and successes while initially building my company and working with clients. Now even if we’re a very small team, we record each step of our activities so we don’t make the same mistakes.

Many people don’t need this as it’s so corporate. But I believe this is the biggest less we should get from corporations. Learn how to write out your process so when someone new comes into the team or when we need to do things again, it’s much easier.

 

What makes Man.Digital unique from others? How did you find your competitive advantage?

We’re still pivoting, figuring out what makes us unique. We don’t want to be an agency, we’re business partners, part of marketing teams. Hence, our success is based on our clients marketing teams success. We don’t charge like other agencies do (i.e. success fee) as we’re part of those teams and we build success together as business partners.

 

Most businesses evolve over time. Is there a way that you slowly evolved the mission of Man.Digital to serve your customers better?

As we’re still a very young company, we still didn’t had a big mission change.

 

What do you consider the biggest milestone that you have hit with your business? What was the biggest thing you did to get there?

The biggest milestones were when we became Google and SalesManago partners. It helped a lot with our credibility. What we did is just work hard and perform better and better everyday.

 

Who has been your greatest influencer along your entrepreneurial journey? How did they shape Man.Digital?

Richard Lucas. He is an angel investor with 7 different business here in Krakow. One of the best entrepreneurs in the country.

He helped me a lot with mentoring and advice. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should definitely get a mentor like Richard.

 

How do you stay focused on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a key motivator that keeps you going and fighting the good fight?

3 nice apps.

Brain.FM, Followup.cc and ASANA. Brilliant apps to get your day started with focus.

 

What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business? Where should they start?

NGO’s are a great incubator for entrepreneurs.

Start and get involved in local non-governmental organizations. You can experiment a lot in these places by learning and experimenting with real project management. Run training for new members and make mistakes.

I can still remember when I was motivating AIESEC members to do sales even though they weren’t paid and all we were doing it for was to learn the purpose of our organization. Then, search for a mentor. Someone that can help you along the way.

Third, work very hard, record mistakes and processes and optimize.

Good luck.

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About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via DonorsChoose.org.