Marlon Carabali is an entrepreneur, digital marketing agency owner, and founder of a successful agency for eCommerce owners, featurely.pro.
After dropping out of college at the age of 17, Marlon has dedicated his life to reforming the marketing industry.
In this interview, we chat with Marlon Carabli about how he started his business as a teenager, how he is now working towards changing the way marketing agencies deal with customers’ data, and how he is giving back funding schools in Colombia, and his advice on starting a business.
Tell us a bit about Under20 Agency and Featurely Pro?
Under20 Agency is a private digital marketing firm in a fast-growing stage.
Our mission is to Impact the most innovative industries and the fastest-growing audiences using sophisticated marketing tools.
Featurely.pro, is an extension of this, a mash-up with Featurely which is a payment processing platform helping influencers and theme pages owners get paid easily.
Why did you start Under20 Agency and Featurely Pro?
From a really early age, I started working as a freelancer with a couple of marketing agencies and Youtube influencers networks, I found out that even though these companies were extremely profitable they were so out of touch with the current market trends, so I decided to create Under20 agency, an agency that would focus exclusively in innovative ways of advertising.
The agency evolved into its current state over a couple of years in different phases, but all with a small core team and the same aim to remain innovative and efficient.
As more and more clients found success advertising with us, I decided to partner with Featurely and form Featurely Pro, a company dedicated to helping all kinds of eCommerce regain control over their marketing strategies using Instagram theme pages.
How did you start it? Did you have any previous experience as an entrepreneur?
Under20 Agency is a product of trial and a ton of error.
I’ve been luckier with Featurely Pro to have previously run a business such as Under20 Agency to have at least a basic understanding of fundamental concepts such as accounting, customer service, and team management.
How did you finance your project?
Learning social media marketing on Youtube, and sending cold DM’s and emails cost me $0. You don’t really need any financing when starting a social media agency, just go out there and put your service in front of hundreds of prospects.
What has been your business revenue progression?
Under20 Agency closed in 2021 with a revenue of over $620,000 USD.
Considering similar marketing agencies are being sold at 1.9 revenue, Under20 Agency has been evaluated at a little bit over $1 million USD. I don’t recall our first-year figures but the company was nowhere close to being worth over a million dollars.
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
Definitely the freedom, not only financially and location-wise, but I can also run my businesses as I think it’s best without worrying about corporate bureaucracy to get my ideas run through.
I also love to be able to contribute to changing a multi-billion dollar industry into a more customer data-friendly commerce.
What are your business goals for this coming year?
In 2021, we made our first major donation to help develop kids’ education in Colombia with Save the Children.
We hope to match and increase this contribution going forward.
We also were awarded the Martech Award as Best Marketing Agency in Colombia, we’re working hard to keep this title in the upcoming years, all whilst dramatically increasing the standard of service for our clients at Under20 Agency and of course, Featurely Pro.
Personally, I’m striving to be featured in the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, which has been my biggest goal since I started my business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
What’s your favorite quote?
“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Any good book(s) to recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill.