Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon de Reuver.
Brandon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working in the Digital Marketing industry as a side job with my best friend Adam Sharaf. I was bartending almost full time but in the earlier hours of every day we would meet at a Panera Bread for the unlimited coffee refills and free Wi-Fi.
We wanted to find a way to use what we loved, which was writing and the creative process in general, to make a living. So we got a few small time jobs in the beginning, like writing a couple blog posts for companies or putting together email newsletters. We started building websites for clients that came to us as family friends or regulars at the bar I worked at.
Our business grew, but not fast enough to quit my day job, so to speak. So after about a year or two of bouncing back and forth between the coffee shops and the bar, I started to put together a business plan.
The business plan took months to get right, and in that time Adam accepted a job doing marketing full time for a company out in Fort Lauderdale. By the time I was ready to present the plan to the people I had seen as the best fit for the new team, he had already become too engulfed in the new job to play a founding role.
Out of the five people I brought to that business plan presentation, no one was truly ready to put their full effort into the company besides David Zarco, who became a co-founder of Stack House Media and my business partner. We received a small investment at the start of 2017, and shortly after I left the bar for good, we chose a studio in the developing area of Little River (otherwise known as Little Haiti) to work out of and have been loving the micro-culture of budding businesses that make up this area of Miami.
A few months before that, I had maxed out a credit card to buy a drone – a Phantom 3 Professional. I couldn’t resist knowing what it felt like to see the world from every angle imaginable, and soon after my first flight I began to understand the potential of drones in the marketing world as it applied to the business I was in.
Video Marketing is the fastest growing avenue in digital marketing right now, and aerial views were becoming more and more of a “cherry on top” for that market.
We used some of the initial investment to buy more production equipment like cameras and gimbals, and our business strategy shifted slightly to focus more on the visual content side of digital marketing as opposed to the basic “we-do-everything” philosophy that I had entered the industry with.
As the months have gone by since our launch in February, we have narrowed our niche down to the market that needs all of the things we have to offer most (aerial photography, video production, social media marketing, and digital design): Real Estate Agents. We still make short form promo videos for all kinds of small businesses in South Florida, and manage the marketing departments of non-realty clients as well, but as we move forward into the future we’d like to focus on one industry at a time to increase our value to our client base by having a higher level of expertise for their specific needs.
In short – me and the people that I work with are in love with the creative process, and we are sweating and working all hours to fulfill that dream of making a life with that principle as the sustaining aspect of our individual lives.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing worthwhile ever seems to be smooth, and I’m not sure that I’d actually want it to be. The thing that really fuels our drive here is fundamentally the struggle to get where we want to be, and I’m not sure that life would be as much of an adventure if we got there easily.
But some of those struggles I could’ve done without.
I’ve lost a best friend getting here. My first business partner, Adam, is hardly a part of my life anymore. We had been like brothers since we were ten but I guess the cliche is true that business and friendship don’t mix well for the most part.
Finding a niche and getting specific has slowed us down along the way. Being a one-stop-shop for anything and everything marketing-wise makes it difficult to concisely explain the heart and soul of a business, and we probably lost a few good jobs because of it.
The biggest struggle I think has been the fact that with Stack House Media, the cart was put slightly before the horse, so to speak, and we lost some time in the beginning catching up to the level that the investment, the studio, and the equipment right from launch held us responsible for.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Stack House Media – what should we know?
Stack House Media is a visual content marketing company, specializing in the real estate and hospitality industries.
Our core services are:
Media Production: (virtual listing tours, promo videos, aerial photography, event photography, etc)
Branding + Identity
Those are overarching words for a whole span of services in the Digital Media/Content Marketing sphere.
Our clients come to us with companies that have either just been conceived, or have become outdated and need some fresh content or even a fresh identity as a whole. They may want to create a marketing campaign, or revamp their website. They may have an event they need photographed, or a house that they want to put on the market with the best quality content possible. We’re still a little wide spread, but we’re constantly fine tuning all of our services to be as specific and streamlined as possible.
That same “problem” of being wide spread is also something valuable, I think. Most companies have to hire various agencies to cover different aspects of their marketing, and when our target market comes to us for help, I’d like to think that we’re all that they need. And we offer our work as a range of products, instead of services. When someone hires us to work for them, they are paying for a distinct result instead of a vague span of effort.
I think what sets us apart is our boutique nature and our youth. Many companies have been in marketing and advertising for decades and are just now adapting to the techniques and platforms that have sprung up in the very recent years. The prevalent methods that have put the print, radio, TV, billboard, and bench ad industries close to extinction weren’t around in the hay day of a lot of competing marketing agencies around here, and they were forced to adapt their methods to fit the times. I’m 28 years old. The people around me at the agency are all millennials – not just staffed but driven by. We came to age with the technology revolution, so we’ve never known any other way.
We also sell products instead of services. When someone hires us to work for them, they are paying for a distinct result instead of a vague span of effort.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Passion for the creative process – when you love to sit down at a desk for up to 16 hours at a time, hammering out tasks and taking little steps toward something major, something that could change the entire trajectory of someone else’s passion (their company), failure is impossible.
- IDX Realtor Website – $500-$1000
- Branded Social Media Profile – $250
- Drone Services – $150/hr
- Company Promo Video – $750
- Address: 7301 NE 1st PL, Miami, FL 33138
- Website: www.stackhousemia.com
- Phone: 7864205956
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/stackhousemedia
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/stackhousemedia
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/stackhousemia
- Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/stack-house-media-miami-2
- Other: www.kitsplit.com/stackhouse