William Tilson is from Asheville, North Carolina, the U.S. William has been with us, as a Follow user, for a long time, since Feb. 2013 to be more exact. We decided it was about time to give William some voice, and see how he is using Follow in his everyday life, and for his business needs. We interviewed William, who was kind enough to share with us a few insights on how Follow has helped him in this year and a half of continual use.
Interviewing William Tilson
William, tell us about you, your personal life, and your business. Where do you work?
I started a small SEO/SEM firm a couple of years ago (2012). It is pretty much a one-man show, but I do hire many freelancers to help me with my projects. With that consideration, at any point in time I may have up to 5-6 people working with me.
My business, “On-Site Solutions” started approximately 10 years ago as a hardware and network support service. I and my other certified Techs would troubleshoot PC’s and small networks on location.
Something happened in spring 2011 that changed my life. I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and nearly died. I was hit by a vehicle and thrown off my bike and into a telephone pole. Very bad for me…
I suffered a lot of damage to my lower GI organs and also broke my lower back in three places. When the doctors stabilized my gut and bladder, etc. they fixed my back with internal screws, rods and bolts. However, I have had continued complications on my spine and after three major surgeries, it still needs more … probably as soon as this Fall.
Anyway, with my new physical condition, I decided to try to learn about making money with the Internet for my clients, and so my SEO/SEM shift occurred around 2012.
How did you find out about Follow? When did you start using it, and why did you feel the necessity of using a competitive research tool?
It was in Feb. 2013 that I discovered the beta FollowScout, a Firefox add-on, and started to test it out.
While in beta, the bugs were still being worked out and more than once I messaged Wes Mahler [Follow’s founder] with some problem I was having. He was, and still is a very good communicator and always assisted me to resolution.
Do you use Follow for work, pleasure, or any other reasons? If so, how is Follow helping you in your field achieving your goals?
Right at the start, I could see the value in having all the useful metrics for competitor analysis in one place. I used to have to go to many different websites and extract as best I could the information I needed. Very time consuming.
Can you give us an example of how you use Follow to help you get results? How is Follow adding value to what you do in your everyday work routine?
Plainly enough, to both myself and my clients (and/or potential clients) the Internet is the place to “show up.” Obviously, knowing and learning about your competitors and what they are doing online can be of great value. It is important to monitor what is going on so that my clients can maintain a small “edge” in their position in the SERP rank.
I also “reverse engineer” someone else’s online tactics, which helps me stay one step ahead. And Follow helps me exactly like that. I look into what my competition is doing and, rather than reinvent the wheel, simply build my client’s online presence with a sort of “hybrid model” from the best of what the competition is doing. It works every time!
And although I can only work with a handful of clients right now, once my personal issues are dealt with (or at least stable), I will use Follow to help me scale my business from 7-10 clients to, perhaps, 70-100 clients in the future. This is very doable with such a powerful and useful tool as Follow.
With all sincerity and hope for tomorrow,
William Tilson, Owner, On-Site Solutions