Terkel – Where the Question Is the Marketing Solution

by RaeAnne Marsh

Terkel is a question-and-answer site that turns any professional question into an article featuring expert insights. More than 7,500 leaders and professionals from organizations like Google, Harvard, VISA, Southwest Airlines, Airbnb, the NFL and more answer questions on Terkel to build their brand and share their expertise. Meanwhile, more than 300 brands, among them Calendly, GoDaddy, Zapier, Amazon, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, use Terkel to create content for their blogs.

“We created Terkel to solve the biggest challenge facing our marketing agency: building visibility online,” says founder Brett Farmiloe. “Our agency tried everything to promote our small-business clients. Ultimately, we found that sharing our client’s expertise and experiences was the best way to build authority and visibility online. This approach not only delivered results for clients but was also profitable for our agency.” Farmiloe’s agency started working on this solution in October 2020, and spun Terkel out as a separate company in January 2022. “After ten years of running the agency,” he says, “we decided to sell the agency to focus and fund Terkel full time, and to give agencies an alternative to platforms like Help a Reporter Out.”

Terkel is a dual-sided marketplace with experts and publishers. “Any marketplace has a ‘hard side’ to scale and also has to find a strategy to get through the ‘cold start’ problem,” Farmiloe explains, likening it to “the chicken or the egg” scenario. “If you don’t have enough experts, publishers won’t ask questions. If you don’t have enough questions from publishers, experts don’t come back.”

To get through those challenges, Terkel borrowed a page from Cameo and focused on “less famous, super willing” users on the hard side of its marketplace, and also employed that strategy within the particular industry vertical of human resources.

“Terkel is more than a marketing tool. It’s a platform that presents an opportunity to reimagine access to earned media, and expand the publishing capabilities of brands,” Farmiloe says. “We’re working to give voice to small businesses and benefit our stakeholders, including publishers, agencies and journalists.”

Photo courtesy of Terkel

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