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He started, struggled and now is finding his way to grow his agency to stand above. With a vision that may exceed normal comprehension, Matt Palmquist, is finding more ways to stand out creatively and not just physically.
A man is what he grows up to be, so how were the younger years?
Growing up just outside of Austin Texas in a small town called Bastrop, life was as normal as any childhood can be. Sure we had our ups and downs but I played basketball with a small group of friends so we were always protected in a sense. I graduated high school and moved on to the Division I level of playing college basketball at the University of Texas Pan American. I was on my way to the NBA, so I thought. I was so bad, so naive those first few months! It was definitely an eye opening experience! I found myself doing the little hustle things to get on the floor. It paid off, as I played all four years of eligibility and eventually was made the team captain for the final two years of my collegiate career and finished up in the top 10 in the program record book for blocks, minutes played and field goal percentage.
It opened more doors for the NBA game, where I had a tiny glimpse of playing professionally after trying out for 3 individual teams. Devastated by not making a lifelong dream a reality, I never knew at the time how important the connections and lessons I learned would help impact my life until this day.
Although playing professional basketball was not my final call, it has instilled lifelong core values of the importance of hustling and practicing good habits daily. All great habits of an entrepreneur if you think about it. I try to relay this outlook to my 19-year-old son, Evan Palmquist, now plays for McNeese State University as the point guard. I’m super excited and am extremely proud to see the legacy being carried forward.
When a normal career in marketing was not enough
I was living in Houston at the time to be closer to my son in his High School years. Things were as it should be for any normal professionals. But for me, I always felt I needed more. More for myself but more importantly for sanity. Working for a large advertising agency was getting frustrating as their business model of ‘Quantity vs. Quality’ was not satisfying. After a discussion with my then girlfriend and now wife, Tessa, the decision to start a business of my own that matches my ethos and working ethic was realized.
The lessons those early years as a professional made it clear to me that clients want to be treated special. They don’t want to feel like they are just another client to us. So my approach of running their campaign with a personal touch gives them an experience that builds lasting relationships beyond the business lines! Born of this approach is, 610 marketing & PR (If you haven’t guessed yet, named after my height), my boutique ad agency. Why try to fit in, when you are meant to stand out?
Being your own boss is indeed rewarding but it comes with its own challenges. In my time, I have definitely seen wins and losses but never take either of them to heart. This business is a marathon, not a sprint. Basketball has taught me enough sportsmanship to savor the wins but never stops practicing and when you lose, there is always the next game to play. I am blessed that my business has put me in touch with many businesses, hustling to build what they believe in and it’s been a blessing to help them establish their name. It is a marathon, not a sprint. At the end of the day, I ultimately will be judged for the overall body of work we deliver at 610 Marketing & PR.
How do we tackle our business?
We started with one loyal customer, a car dealership, that valued my communication, originality, proficiency, and transparency. Starting from something small, it has grown its reach and has been servicing clients in the digital space helping build their brand by creating unique marketing strategies for close to 5 years now.
Coming from a sports background, I understand I cannot do it by myself or take all the credit. I am very fortunate to have some of the best and most creative people on my team helping everyday. Everyone from Carolina, who handles day-to-day operations, to Michael Bishop and Aaron Gilliam who handle videography and photography. Their work, respectively, is on point and so crisp everytime! Chris Thornton is our S.E.O specialist and website developer and if you want to be found online, Chris is the man to get you there. I couldn’t ask for a better team, honestly!
What’s a business without a vision?
The digital world has always been ever-changing and we’re all set to keep up with it. I envision to be consistent in delivering the curated experience for each of my clients that in-turn help them make their vision a reality.
From a Public Relations approach, we can personally reach out to Global, National & Regional news outlets/media from Forbes, Good Morning America, Fox News and ESPN to the Washington Post or your local TV affiliate station. With the right story and the correct budget, we can make it happen. We are blessed that we can always rely on those valued connections.
From a digital marketing approach, COVID has changed the market scenario and showed us that even the greatest of economies, businesses can still struggle when the lord wields his stick. As for the business climate, it has shown that every business now has a need to build their online presence. Being digitally available is now fundamental for a business to reach its audience. Ways of servicing have been put to the test and it will be the survival of the fittest. In my opinion, the fittest would be the ones that are able to make their presence felt and be available for their customers even in quarantine. The need for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or phone apps is vital as the usage of phones and the internet has only risen at an accelerated speed.
We are beyond fortunate given our vast network/contacts and proven track record, that we also will be looking to work closely with more professional athletes, individuals with political aspirations and a unique startup company, G Water LLC (their technology and revolutionary molecule they have found will change the world by the way). I am really excited to see these next few years unfold from a business standpoint.
Work-life balance is a must
Being a business enthusiast doesn’t mean that you work your life off. Although I live/breathe/eat/think work close to 15-18 hours a day, it’s necessary to have an interest other than work that helps you unwind. Giving back is fulfilling, as I currently sit on 2 non-profit Boards. A non-profit advocacy group, Verify My Lawsuit, that helps accident victims navigate the process after an accident and a coalition group, Americans for Growth, to help lobby for issue reform in Texas.
To conclude, I absolutely love what I do! The everyday thrill of creating campaigns that overcome obstacles, surpass client expectations and deliver results is satisfying! There is a saying that, ‘you should be happy with what you do have versus unhappy with what you do not have.’ I agree entirely with that statement! I am blessed.
But deep within my soul, is a sense of desperation to keep moving and making things happen. Similar to sharks, they move to eat, they move when they sleep but they must keep moving to stay alive. It is constant. ‘Constant Movement with Purpose’, a motto I live by sums it up the best.