Brett Farmiloe, Founder & CEO of Featured, talks about his brand’s history, how they picked their name, and the role Featured.com plays in their business.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What did you do before you started Featured?
Featured is the fourth company I’ve founded. Previously I led an SEO agency for 10 years before a successful acquisition. Another notable career highlight of mine was helping the actor Hugh Jackman launch a charitable coffee company that was eventually acquired by Keurig.
I majored in accounting and started my career off as a financial auditor. I then created a career education website that sent myself and three friends around the United States in an RV to interview people about their career paths.
I wrote a book about the experience, and really fell in love with digital marketing on the roadtrip. There’s just a unique opportunity to positively influence real-world experiences people have with knowledge and information that can be found online.
Outside of business, I’m a dad of three, and I’m about that minivan life on the weekends.
How was the idea for Featured born?
In our marketing agency, we served more than 500 small businesses in a 10 year period. Each small business had the same problem of “building visibility online.”
Small businesses have limited resources to build visibility, but have an abundance of knowledge to share around their expertise. So, we created a Q&A site where people could answer questions, and get their insights placed in articles.
The platform began to scale faster than the agency, so I sold the agency at the end of 2021 to focus on Featured full-time.
What does Featured do? Who can benefit from it?
Featured connects subject-matter experts with top publishers to increase their exposure and create quality, ready-to-publish Q&A content. We help marketers build visibility online, and publishers drive incremental revenue through increased web traffic.
Whether you’re a marketing agency, an in-house PR team, or a do-it-yourself small business owner, you can share your expertise on Featured.com to get featured in articles published by 500+ publishers including Fast Company, American Express, and more.
How did you name your brand?
About three years ago I thought that the word “Featured” would be a great company name. So, I saw the domain was for sale and submitted my contact information. Three years later, the owner was ready to sell.
We had been operating under the name “Terkel” for awhile. However, there were a few issues we faced with the name, like misspellings, not being able to acquire the .com, and more. So, we made the decision to rebrand over to Featured, and I’m glad we did.
What was the reasoning behind choosing the current name?
Featured is very descriptive of what we do, and the name makes it easy to remember our value propositions.
You can answer questions and get featured in articles. Or, you can ask questions and receive featured content for your blog.
Pretty simple, and I’m a fan of simplicity.
What domain name did you choose for Featured? What is your experience with it?
Featured.com. It’s a different world having a premium, one-word .com compared to a .com with a misspelling, or an alternative domain extension like a .io or .ai.
I think we’re seeing a positive boost in organic search recognition with the domain name switch, even in the first month. We’re also seeing a lot more direct traffic, likely because we’re avoiding the misspellings and missed traffic that went to a .com instead of a domain extension.
Brett Farmiloe, Founder & CEO of Featured
What is your biggest challenge with this business? Have you overcome it, and how?
We’re frequently mentioned to our customers as an alternative to our competitors. So, when people show up on Featured.com, they expect more of the same stuff they’re used to: pitch a reporter, and hope to get their quote included in an article.
Our biggest challenge is education on how we’re different. Featured actually creates the content for publications, including the selection of the quotes. There’s no pitches. Instead, experts can just focus on sharing their expertise.
Oftentimes we’ll see a submission come through where a PR pro lists the qualifications of the expert they’re pitching. But none of that stuff is necessary on Featured. Just show up, share your knowledge, and get featured in articles for the topics you know about.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business when it comes to naming their brand?
I’m a fan of functional, descriptive names. It’s the accountant in me. I’m not very creative.
I’ve had businesses like “Markitors” (“marketing + auditors”), “Terkel” (a name with a lot of meaning before Featured), “Play Two Media” (a failed iPhone app company), “Pursue The Passion” (career education website). In the end, I think the more descriptive you can be with your company, the better. But that may just be me.
What are some trends, interesting news, and dos and don’ts in your space?
GenAI and E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trust) are the two big ones. The cost of creating content seems to be working its way to zero with GenAI, and yet, Google is coming out and saying that experience and expertise matter more than ever for creating quality content. The two trends seemingly work against each other, where GenAI can’t create experience or express feelings. I think the smartest content creators and marketers today are taking a blended approach to adopting GenAI while prioritizing E-E-A-T.
What is next for Featured?
Growth. We’ve been hard at work for the last 18 months building an engine that creates high-quality, Q&A content. Now that we’ve rebranded to Featured, it’s time to put that engine to work and accelerate.
Last thing, if some of our readers have more questions. Where can they reach you online?
Premium domain names are a valuable asset for any brand. They can help you establish credibility, improve your search engine rankings, and make it easier for customers to find and remember your website. If you’re interested in learning more about how premium domain names can benefit your brand, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.