Mags Espada is currently on a mission to help SaaS startups build a funnel that can profitably scale to cold media. His strength is in the areas of building evergreen campaigns that can attract and convert not just ideal targets into paid customers, but also the much larger addressable market.
Voted as one of the top Filipinos to follow on LinkedIn for inspiration and learning 2020 by Marketing In Asia, he is extremely active online especially on LinkedIn creating authentic content regularly for his community. Today, we have a rare opportunity to touch base with Mags and understand more of him personally and professionally.
Hi, Mags! Welcome to Marketing in Asia. We are really excited to know more about you. For starters, can you please tell our readers who Mags Espada is? I understand that you are a SaaS Marketer. Can you please tell us more about you and how you became the marketer that you are today?
I used to be an unhappy employee. Society wants us to strive for safety. It wants us to abide by strictly dictated behaviors for guaranteed success and imposes this idea of stability upon every generation. This couldn’t be truer in Asian society. Brought up in a traditional Asian household, I was heavily influenced by various conventional societal norms, which includes holding down a 9 to 5 job.
But I wasn’t fulfilled at the slightest, let alone feeling happy at my 9 to 5 job. I thought I was being held hostage by the four walls of the company; dreams and ambitions I once had slowly disappeared in the humdrum activities of my daily life. In 2016, I started exploring the possibility of working from home and found a great opportunity online. I submitted my application and immediately landed my first client the next day. Finally, I got my big break, and I never looked back ever since. In the beginning, I was serving mixed niches until I decided to niche down.
My love for marketing blossomed when I formed the marketing team from my previous client– a real estate technology. It was a fun experience, I learned everything through research and joining paid courses. I have always been a fan of startups and a heavy user of saas productivity tools. So might as well help and serve this industry. Second-quarter of 2020, I started researching SaaS and learning about this niche through joining paid marketing groups and podcasts.
I am highly engaged. Apart from my current business which is helping SaaS companies win at Content Marketing and Paid Ads, I also teach Social Media Marketing and Advertising at DigitalJobsPh. DigitalJobsPH is a gov’t-funded project that aims to provide digital opportunities in the countryside. In addition, I am also a Coach at the Freelance Tribe, helping and guiding both newbies and seasoned freelancers.
For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us more about SaaS marketing and what fascinates you about it?
I strongly believe that SaaS is the future. As online businesses grow, the need for SaaS platforms also increases. For example, agencies and freelancers need productivity tools to keep track of their projects and clients. Life is a mess without these tools.
For me, SaaS is revolutionary and it’s changing the way we live for the better. You get to help not only SaaS businesses but also millions of people who use these platforms.
What fascinates me the most is that the journey to becoming a successful SaaS is very rough. Many don’t even last long in the industry. Marketing plays a vital role in the survival of any SaaS business.
2020 has been a challenging year for many because of the global health crisis. What challenges have you encountered along the way and how were you eventually able to adapt to it?
I think what challenges me the most is that I can no longer do the things that I used to do. I love traveling and visiting islands. I also enjoy eating foods from different places. But that would be so selfish of me to complain. Millions of people are facing more significant problems.
I always think of my family’s safety. I have to discipline myself. That’s the best thing that I can do to protect them.
We’ve always believed that mistakes always play an important role in success. Care to share those mistakes that have helped you become who you are today?
I was working seven days a week with my previous client. I allowed my client to abuse my service. This experience has helped me change my perspective and be open to other opportunities. It has helped me see my worth. Now I carefully choose the people that I want to work with. I make sure that their values resonate with mine. I can smell toxic people from a distance.
Do you look up to certain people in your expertise? Who are they?
One, Dave Gerhardt. I think his ideas are really good. I got most of my B2B marketing knowledge from him; Two, Molly Pittman. I like her ethical media buying strategies. Also, she’s a passionate teacher; Three, Ryan Deiss. When I was starting in marketing, I binged on DigitalMarketer training videos; And four, Dina Samuel. I have never encountered such a selfless person my whole life. She is, for me, the best coach to freelancers that the Philippines could have.
Any advice that you’d like to share to those who are just starting out in this niche?
Stop looking for motivation. Let’s face it. Motivation comes and goes. Whereas, if you are driven, you will do whatever it takes to make things happen. Secondly, this may sound classic but I think this never gets old. Be patient. It took me several months before I landed my first client in the SaaS niche.