Sal Mannino is the cofounder of SB Marketing Team in West Deptford, New Jersey. They are a full-service marketing agency that aims to help their clients grow and stay ahead of the competition. With over two years experience working for a variety of advertising and marketing firms, Sal has developed PR, branding, lead generation and social growth programs for small businesses, social media influencers, and real estate clients. He is an execution-focused founder who lives for the hustle culture of entrepreneurship.
Sal Mannino Cofounder of SB Marketing Team
Sal describes himself as having had a very adverse childhood. After his father passed away when he was twelve years old, he relocated to his home state of New Jersey after living in Florida for six years. At only twenty-one years old, Sal met his cofounder while playing video games on Xbox. A known risk taker, Sal believes the best way to figure out a problem is to just jump in and try it. He is also dedicated to giving back to his local community as a volunteer firefighter and has entered the police academy to further help those in need. He applies the experience he gains from his role as a public servicer to take his clients’ brands to the next level.
What’s the most important lesson you learned from your childhood?
I think the biggest lesson I learned from my childhood is not to take anything for granted, because you never know when it will be your last day. Another lesson that I learned is to take advantage of every experience that comes your way, whether it is coaching a sport or volunteering at your local fire department, because you might just find your hidden passions like I did. Don’t believe you have to be good at something or have prior experience to try it because, between my coaching and firefighting, I can say I was not a good athlete or had any connections to firefighting. But both of them have become something that I love to do day in and day out alongside running my business.
What’s the biggest thing you took away from your first job?
My first real job was as a volunteer firefighter. It helped me shape my way of thinking in the sense of wanting to help others when they might not know where to turn, whether that is in life or in business.
What problem did you set out to solve when you launched SB Marketing Team?
My purpose is to help people share why they are passionate about building their brand. Is the reason because they want to get out of poverty and bring something to the table to help them do that? Are they taking over the family business that has been around for generations? I want to be able to help other people tell their stories on why they do what they do, and I would like to be a part of that family story.
Is it true you met your cofounder while playing Xbox? How do you manage to work together despite never having met in person?
My cofounder Bryan and I met about two to three years ago while playing a game called Vigor and we just had a really good connection, from talking about sports to playing Call of Duty. We started talking about the flipping projects I was working on and some of the people that we admire in the entrepreneurial workspace. Bryan and I went back and forth with different business ideas and plans, from real estate flipping to wholesale real estate to long term business ideas, and then I came up with the idea of starting SB Marketing Team.
We just have a good relationship talking about all our ideas out and the way we want to work together for our business to succeed. We also want our clients to be like family and be a part of taking their brand to the next level. Some people think that it is odd that we are business partners and have never met face to face, but for us it’s normal. I have a few friends that I have been playing with for over five years and have never met and it’s the same with Bryan. This is just the new normal.
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk that worked out in your favor?
When Bryan and I first started our business, we knew that we had a lack of knowledge and experience, coupled with a lack of time to focus on the business between other work and personal situations. With our ambition and common goals, we were able to efficiently manage our time, find and invest in key resources to grow our knowledge, and adequately pursue and interact with our clients.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your line of business?
I think the hardest part is finding the first few clients because in my line of work a lot of people have or are already doing marketing. Another challenge is coming across prospective clients that don’t have a marketing budget because they are new. However, they are doing a disservice to their brand because they are losing out on new potential clients or customers for their business.
What has been your biggest success in recent years?
I think my biggest success has been starting my business because I get to learn about other industries that I would have never had knowledge about, like the real estate market or gaming industry. It has kept me sharp and willing to learn because I want to help my clients grow.
Is there anyone you want to thank for helping you on your journey as an entrepreneur?
The first person I want to give a shoutout to is my Aunt Christy, who runs her own small business called LLSN in southwest Florida. Her company helps other small businesses create events and fairs to share their products with customers. Other role models in my entrepreneurial journey are Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk. They are two people I look up to the most in the business world.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
My advice would be to read more about the things that interest you and not just what school wants you to learn. Also, understand that what others think about you isn’t important. Keep grinding and change your mindset from a “I can’t get this done” or “I don’t know how” to “how can I do this” or “how can I achieve that type of lifestyle” to get the things that you want.
What advice do you have for anyone who is on the fence about starting a business?
I would tell anyone who is unsure about starting their own business to go ahead and do it. The reason is there is no book, school, or degree that will outline all the problems or opportunities that will come your way. When you start, you might just find your hidden talent. The other piece of advice I would offer is to not give up. Entrepreneurship is a long journey; it’s a marathon not a sprint. There will be unexpected obstacles that come your way and you must learn to deal with them if you want to be successful. Lastly, never be satisfied with what you have, always go to the next level.
What’s the best way for others to learn more about you and SB Marketing Team?
To learn more about what I do on the marketing aspect, visit my website at SB Marketing Team or contact me at Sal_mannino@sbmarketingteam.com. If anyone would love to reach out for gaming industry related info, they can find me on Instagram or YouTube @heartlessgamer. I can’t wait to take your brand to the next level!
This article originally published on GREY Journal.