Michel Bernard has always had a passion for digital marketing and advertising. Born and raised in the Gatineau/Outaouais region of Quebec, Michel Bernard kept close to home and attended McGill University, where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Marketing.
Michel Bernard has since spent years improving and enhancing his skills in the world of digital marketing. He started as a copywriter, writing for numerous Toronto-based ad firms. He gained a great deal of experience learning from some of the industry’s foremost talents.
After years of working as a writer, Michel Bernard began looking for ways to expand his skill set within the marketing and advertising industry. Eventually, he created enough of a client base to start his own firm. He now provides top quality marketing solutions for individuals and business owners based around the Gatineau region of Quebec. As a digital marketing expert, Michel Bernard also shares his knowledge with others through seminars, webinars, and conferences.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Michel Bernard: Had been helping several companies, providing digital marketing services, for so long and eventually I thought that I could do this myself full time. I reached out to potential clients and found that I had a strong client base to get me started. So, I created my own digital marketing company and have been doing this ever since.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Michel Bernard: I’m an early riser so I’ll typically get up early and do some reading. I like to keep up with what’s new and innovative in the digital marketing industry — this helps me keep on top of things. I also create a list each morning of all the things I want to accomplish that day. This helps me stay on track and be productive throughout the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Michel Bernard: I consider myself a doer. So, when I have an idea, I just get to work on it. Like I mentioned before, I like to create lists to help me get things done. Lists are especially helpful in bringing ideas to life. I lay out all of the steps I’ll need to complete to get the idea up and running and then I start working away at the list. In the end, I have my idea come to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Michel Bernard:I love what’s going on right now in digital marketing with personalization. We’ve come a long way in that regard. Being able to predict what users want to see and even what they want to buy based on preferences is really exciting to a marketing professional like myself. I think there’s so much more that can be done with this as well. One day, I’m sure we’ll see every aspect of the digital experience personalized — from the colour and images in ads to the use of certain words for specific people.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Michel Bernard: Getting up early! It’s a known fact that those who get up early are more successful and that’s what I live by. The morning is my most productive time. The world is quiet with a lot fewer distractions.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Michel Bernard: Focus on getting experience. Getting an education is very important, especially in this day and age. But the real learning comes from experience. Work in all different areas of your chosen career. Different experiences can teach you different things and make you better at what you do.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Michel Bernard: The Montreal Canadiens will win the Stanley Cup. Ok, this might not be 100% true, but I can only dream.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Michel Bernard: One thing I do all the time is check in with my employees. Employees are everything. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a business without good employees. I think a lot of leaders forget how far a simple thank you can go. If your employees are happy, you’ll be successful.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Michel Bernard: I think that maintaining strong and positive relationships with all of my clients has helped me to grow. I like to build a personal relationship with each one of them and to know a little something about them, their families, their lives. Having this strong relationship in place means we can have open discussions and can resolve problems a lot easier. Not to mention, it makes working with my clients a lot easier when they’re like friends.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Michel Bernard: In the early days of my business, I tried to gather clients from too many different industries. In my mind, this was a failure. We did get clients, but by doing this I wasn’t creating a strong brand for the business. Looking back, I think it’s much better to focus on just a few industries so that you can build a name for yourself. This is especially true for digital marketing and advertising. Business owners want to know that you can succeed in their industry, as each is so different when it comes to activities online.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Michel Bernard: A little far off from my current industry, but I’ve always thought a great business venture would be developing nap pods at the airport. Just think of the technology you could implement! And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to nap while they’re waiting for a flight?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Michel Bernard: The best $100 I recently spent was on Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts for the entire office, how Canadian of me, eh? It was Friday morning and we had had a really long week at the office. It was simple but such a great morale booster for everyone, myself included. Everyone sat and chatted and drank tea and coffee and ate. I think it went a long way for employee satisfaction.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Michel Bernard: Monday.com! If you haven’t tried it, you really should. It’s great for organizing and delegating tasks. I use it to assign tasks to employees. It allows me to enter notes, due dates, the status of the project, and even how much time I expect something will take to complete. I love Monday.com.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Michel Bernard: I tend to read articles and blogs online. So, I think I’ll recommend one of my favourite blogs. This guy is awesome. He is the absolute go-to when it comes to all things digital marketing, Neil Patel. He creates a ton of content that is super helpful. I recommend his blog to all of my interested friends and my employees. Just Google his name and you’ll come across his blog. You won’t regret it.
What is your favorite quote?
Michel Bernard: I love what Steve Jobs has to say about innovation. Basically, he says that people don’t really know what it is that they want. You have to be the one to have the vision. Create your vision and present it to them. They’ll realize that you’ve developed exactly what they were looking for all along!
- Success comes from persistence, experience, planning, and execution.
- Getting up early to spend time learning and getting organized is a great way to get ahead of your competitors.
- Take an interest in your employees and your clients and you will be successful.
Originally published on Ideamensch.com