Hi, I’m Nate Houstman, owner of Xiphos Web Marketing, and this is my first blog post. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2002 with a B.A. in Anthropology. If I learned anything, it was how to write research papers, I should site my sources, and that plagiarism is bad. Ever since then, I haven’t been satisfied with the conventional wisdom. I always question the motives of the mainstream media and mass market advertisers. I haven’t watched network television since 2007. It’s a new era where audiences can choose their own entertainment and research businesses on their own schedules.
I worked at Yellowbook from 2006 to 2014. It was very fun and rewarding at the outset. I was a content expert and problem solver in the department that designed yellow page ads. My experience conducting research came into play, and my creative side flourished. Sadly, the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 accelerated the decline of print media. Yellowbook changed its company name to Hibu to reflect a new direction, and I was transferred to to Customer Service area. I was introduced to the concepts of SEO, web content writing, landing pages, etc.
Interacting with Hibu’s small business clients over the phone gave me a greater appreciation for their work. It’s hard to meaningfully serve them in a rigid corporate environment. The greatest lesson I took was business depends on human connections, more than anything else. I left Hibu in May of 2014. I pray that the company succeeds, but it’s clear I don’t have a place there anymore. I discovered the entrepreneur and freelancer community in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Corridor, and it inspires me like nothing else does. I freelanced on the side while working another full time corporate job. In December of 2015, though, I determined it was time to make my own way.
So, here it is: Xiphos Web Marketing. Since leaving Yellowbook/Hibu, I’ve learned all a can about marketing in the digital world. There are new tools for web design and managing accounts. It’s not enough to have a website, you need a strategy for maximizing your audience. It’s not enough to advertise anymore, you need to relate to your customers. Let me be your solution in the Information Age.