Gone Fishing: How Boot Camp Student Murray Martin Combined His Personal Passion With Digital Marketing

“When I began The Digital Marketing Boot Camp at The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, I thought I knew about digital marketing,” said Murray Martin. “But after that first day in class, I realized I knew nothing.”

What led him to that moment of realization happened many years earlier. Murray was involved in a plethora of full-time and part-time projects and professions, spending 25+ years working for tech companies including Texas Instruments and Dell. Later on, he became the owner and operator of his own construction company in Austin, Texas.

 No matter where he was in his career, Murray made time for his most treasured hobby. “I grew up on the Texas Coast,” said Murray. “My dad took me fishing from the moment I learned how to walk. It’s since been a lifelong hobby, sport, and love of mine. They say a slow day of fishing is better than a day at the office — and I concur.” 

Diving into digital waters

Fueling his passions, Murray has long been a contributor to various regional fishing publications. So when he connected with a friend who happened to own a fishing lodge, it wasn’t just an opportunity to visit — it became a business opportunity as well. Murray has been contributing articles to the lodge’s publications for nearly twenty years to help increase brand awareness.

As a friend and trusted advisor, Murray has played a positive role in the future of the business. 

“The lodge owner and I had talked for years about the possibility of redoing their website and creating an effective social media campaign,” said Murray. “So, with the digital era upon us, I wanted to make sure I was up-to-date with all of that.” There was only one problem: technology had changed its course since Murray had last worked with it.

After being out of the loop for more than a decade, he decided it was time to brush up on his knowledge. So, Murray attended The Digital Marketing Boot Camp at The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, powered by Trilogy Education Services.

Casting a net for new skills

“Going to the boot camp was the most humbling experience of my life,” he said. “It was difficult for me because I’m sixty years old, and I was in a classroom full of twenty-year-olds — people had either just graduated from The University of Texas, or were already working in the industry. It was very intimidating for me.”

Thankfully, the classroom environment, instructors, and TAs at the boot camp welcomed Murray with open arms.

“Everybody helped everybody — it was all hands on deck,” said Murray.

Although his progress was initially slow, Murray excelled when it came to learning about WordPress and website design. It was a breakthrough moment for him, and he realized that this was what he wanted to do after the boot camp was over.

“When I graduated, I thought I’d start my own digital marketing agency,” he said. “But because that covers a wide variety of skills, tasks, and responsibilities from a business standpoint, I had to narrow it down to website design and social media management.”

Catching several big fish 

Today, Murray is the proud owner and operator of his own LLC. He’s currently building his website and beginning the advertising process.

“I haven’t had enough time to properly get started yet, because I’ve been so busy,” he said. “Two days after the course was over, one of my classmates contacted me and hired me to revamp a website owned by one of their clients, as well as posting to social media for that same client.” 

In addition to his former classmate, Murray already has a handful of other clients — including his own daughter, who is following in her father’s entrepreneurial footsteps to start her own nonprofit.

Like catching a big fish, Murray knows building his business will take patience. He hopes to soon build a customer base large enough to be able to develop a true agency and expand his business.

Swimming in knowledge

Murray continues to apply what he learned in class to build his business. Armed with a hard drive that contains all the information from the boot camp, he frequently revisits the course material.

“To this day, I still meet with one of the TAs from the boot camp,” said Murray. “He actually owns his own agency here in downtown Austin.” Every month, Murray meets with his mentor to review ideas for clients and get feedback on his original concepts.

“Through these meetings, my focus has narrowed down a lot,” he said. “I realized that the fishing and hunting industries lack a marketing representative. I want to create a business that provides quality website design and social media services to this audience so they can grow.”  

Despite the numerous challenges and uncharted waters he’s faced, Murray is now combining his passion for fishing with his enthusiasm for digital marketing.

“When I first got to the boot camp, I thought I was in over my head. But the course design and support system empowered me to excel. I loved every minute of it,” he said.

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