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AndyTalks with SinisterLex about Selling & Scaling

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Andy Black

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AndyTalks with SinisterLex about Selling & Scaling

I'm an AdWords freelancer with a small but growing team.

@SinisterLex is a copywriting freelancer with a small but growing team.

We record a chat for the benefit of other forum members. (I think I did most of the talking as per usual, so next time I'll give Lex a chance to get a word in edgeways.)


It's 95 minutes and if you do listen to it all then please let us know your takeaways and what you'll do differently going forward. We'll use your comments to help write a better teaser in this post.


> Click here to access the recording <

What were your takeaways?

What will you do differently going forward?



(For other recordings click HERE.)


 
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YoungPadawan

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Oh snap
 

raden1

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Most of the way through I haven't finished yet. I really like it though. It is nice to hear a down to earth podcast, from people who are still trying to figure it out. I appreciate the casual entrepreneurial conversation as opposed to the motivational "MONEY COLD SHOWERS 1000 PUSH UPS GOOOO GET EMM!!!"


Thanks for posting :).
 
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Andy Black

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Most of the way through I haven't finished yet. I really like it though. It is nice to hear a down to earth podcast, from people who are still trying to figure it out. I appreciate the casual entrepreneurial conversation as opposed to the motivational "MONEY COLD SHOWERS 1000 PUSH UPS GOOOO GET EMM!!!"


Thanks for posting :).
Thanks for the feedback @raden1 Yeah, it's just a chat, not some rehearsed interview (although it feels like Lex is pretty good at interviewing people). I chat the same when I'm "selling".

What were your takeaways? What will you do differently going forward?
 

FiftySeven

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@Andy Black & @SinisterLex ,

Thanks for discussing, recording & posting !

Some takeaways:

1. Do things only once

2. Do things in a certain ( good ) way, then rinse & repeat

3. Own the asset and rent it out

4. Mentoring is available IF YOU DO YOUR PART FIRST ! ;)

5. Take Action !! - once you get started, make it up as you go along!


Thanks guys, great discussion and great to share it with us.


Thanks!

'57
 

Greg R

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AndyTalks with SinisterLex about Selling & Scaling
Great conversation guys.
There was one good point in there about having higher paying clients vs. more, lower paying clients.
@Andy Black I thought you were crazy at first for saying more clients until you explained the context and rationality of it.

I eventually came around like @SinisterLex and thought your reasoning was very valid and you did a great job explaining it.

It also taught me not to discard of things too soon until they are put into context.

Thank you.

I also think you guys are both wise to create the asset that you own instead of giving that asset to your clients.


@Andy Black what do you use to set up a new landing page for every campaign?

(Insert link to one of your older posts here) :notworthy:
 
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Andy Black

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Great conversation guys.
There was one good point in there about having higher paying clients vs. more, lower paying clients.
@Andy Black I thought you were crazy at first for saying more clients until you explained the context and rationality of it.

I eventually came around like @SinisterLex and thought your reasoning was very valid and you did a great job explaining it.

It also taught me not to discard of things too soon until they are put into context.

Thank you.

I also think you guys are both wise to create the asset that you own instead of giving that asset to your clients.


@Andy Black what do you use to set up a new landing page for every campaign?

(Insert link to one of your older posts here) :notworthy:
Thanks for the feedback. Hope it helped.



I can't tell you the number of times people tell me I need to go upstream and get bigger clients paying me more.

Then I'm told I must have a confidence issue because I charge "too little".

I don't even bother replying now. I have a plan, it's working, and I'm doing it anyway.

I'm pleased it made sense to you and maybe makes you think twice about listening to canned advice, or to people who dish out advice without knowing the context or full story.




For landing pages, it doesn't really matter "how" they're made.

Currently we're using a mix of straight HTML or Wordpress.

I would prefer Wordpress in the long run because I'd like to integrate the landing pages into the client's full website, which we may end up building for them.

If we have built the website then I'd like to have used a common CMS so that it's easier to get people to add content later on if we go the content marketing route (which makes sense to do later on). Most content writers and VA's will be comfortable moving around Wordpress.

We have developed our own Wordpress themes and plugins to reduce our time to launch, and to try and simplify maintaining, supporting, and iterating across many clients. (Another benefit of going for more clients rather than less - it forces us to put processes in place to scale earlier than if we focused on one client and had to do lots of bespoke work for them.)
 
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Andy Black

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@Andy Black & @SinisterLex ,

Thanks for discussing, recording & posting !

Some takeaways:

1. Do things only once

2. Do things in a certain ( good ) way, then rinse & repeat

3. Own the asset and rent it out

4. Mentoring is available IF YOU DO YOUR PART FIRST ! ;)

5. Take Action !! - once you get started, make it up as you go along!


Thanks guys, great discussion and great to share it with us.


Thanks!

'57
Thanks for listening and your great list of takeaways @FiftySeven.

We'll add them to the first post later on. :)
 

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Really great thought on small sales versus big sales (about 54:00 onwards)

Lex compares the big "trophy" sales of building websites versus the smaller but ongoing sales of AdWords. A great talk on the difference between what seems cool upfront but on the other side what keeps money trickling in for months/years afterwards.

It is really interesting and I don't think any one process or approach is better (its more down to individual follow through). The figures I put out on the web design thread might sound amazing but there might only be one or two sales a month. Maybe none. When you are working sale to sale you have no guarantee of the next paycheck. Which is why sales is such a huge area in my set up.

I would compare it to hunting and farming. I am dragging in these big deer and it looks impressive. Meanwhile Andy is planting away and nothing much is apparent at first. A few months later though Andy has 20 fields planted and I am still out looking for the next deer. Some times its a feast, sometimes your stomach is empty. Come "winter" he is sitting back eating crops and I am out hiding in a bush looking for deer haha.

Its interesting food for thought (no pun!) and since we are all (Lex, Andy and myself) working on scaling its continuously changing.

Lots of other great points too.

Thanks @SinisterLex and @Andy Black
 

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Lex DeVille

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Its interesting food for thought (no pun!) and since we are all (Lex, Andy and myself) working on scaling its continuously changing.
I'm scaling first. Damn copycats all over this forum. Also I'm the fastest and best looking. :punch:
 
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Andy Black

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Really great thought on small sales versus big sales (about 54:00 onwards)

Lex compares the big "trophy" sales of building websites versus the smaller but ongoing sales of AdWords. A great talk on the difference between what seems cool upfront but on the other side what keeps money trickling in for months/years afterwards.

It is really interesting and I don't think any one process or approach is better (its more down to individual follow through). The figures I put out on the web design thread might sound amazing but there might only be one or two sales a month. Maybe none. When you are working sale to sale you have no guarantee of the next paycheck. Which is why sales is such a huge area in my set up.

I would compare it to hunting and farming. I am dragging in these big deer and it looks impressive. Meanwhile Andy is planting away and nothing much is apparent at first. A few months later though Andy has 20 fields planted and I am still out looking for the next deer. Some times its a feast, sometimes your stomach is empty. Come "winter" he is sitting back eating crops and I am out hiding in a bush looking for deer haha.

Its interesting food for thought (no pun!) and since we are all (Lex, Andy and myself) working on scaling its continuously changing.

Lots of other great points too.

Thanks @SinisterLex and @Andy Black
Thanks for listening @Fox, and your feedback.

I'm gonna do both I think - the smaller ongoing MRR is how I'll start with a client, and it will lead to bigger sales with the same clients (their website rebuild maybe?).


Interesting that you mention Farmer vs Hunter. I've used the same terminology about HOW I get my leads and new clients. To date I've been a Farmer, getting inbound leads and new clients. I'll be moving to Hunter strategies later on.
 
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Andy Black

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I'm scaling first. Damn copycats all over this forum. Also I'm the fastest and best looking. :punch:
How do you know? All you can see is my back and clean pair of heels...
 

Random_0

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Personally Andy, I think you should start charging less. I think it could really impact your future in a positive way...

:rolleyes:

all of that extra cash you wouldn't need to worry about and those invoices that you wouldn't need to send

:tiphat:
 

raden1

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Thanks for the feedback @raden1 Yeah, it's just a chat, not some rehearsed interview (although it feels like Lex is pretty good at interviewing people). I chat the same when I'm "selling".

What were your takeaways? What will you do differently going forward?
Takeaways:
1. Interviewing can be very simple. Ask a question and then listen. Not with the intent to reply, but just to listen.
2. The idea of conversational selling.

I've heard both of these before, but hearing them in action is 100% better.

Going forward (hopefully):
I'm guilty of zoning out completely when talking to people. Usually they are just talking about something generic.
Or I am trying to figure out what to say next.

So ask better questions... and then shut-up and actually listen.
 

Brian C.

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As a new freelancer, I found it valuable to hear your insights from further down the road.

I even learned a bit about Adwords!

Biggest takeaways
1. Everyone is making it up as they go - isn't that the truth?!
2. Smaller, more frequent clients encourage scalability (Charge less - become a savior) ** Biggest takeaway for me**
3. E-mail campaigns need constant maintenance/rewording (great opportunity for copywriters!)
4. Get your clients to pay for your required resources (web development, sales, etc.)


P.S. You deserve a new mic @Andy Black. The recurring "crackles" don't do your tone & accent proper justice!
 
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Andy Black

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Takeaways:
1. Interviewing can be very simple. Ask a question and then listen. Not with the intent to reply, but just to listen.
2. The idea of conversational selling.

I've heard both of these before, but hearing them in action is 100% better.

Going forward (hopefully):
I'm guilty of zoning out completely when talking to people. Usually they are just talking about something generic.
Or I am trying to figure out what to say next.

So ask better questions... and then shut-up and actually listen.
Yes, I noticed both of us were good at shutting up and letting the other person think.

Great feedback, thanks.
 
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Andy Black

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As a new freelancer, I found it valuable to hear your insights from further down the road.

I even learned a bit about Adwords!

Biggest takeaways
1. Everyone is making it up as they go - isn't that the truth?!
2. Smaller, more frequent clients encourage scalability (Charge less - become a savior) ** Biggest takeaway for me**
3. E-mail campaigns need constant maintenance/rewording (great opportunity for copywriters!)
4. Get your clients to pay for your required resources (web development, sales, etc.)


P.S. You deserve a new mic @Andy Black. The recurring "crackles" don't do your tone & accent proper justice!
Thanks for the feedback and takeaways.

Yeah, I'm aware of the mic, and was struggling to get a better one setup for weeks. I decided to keep doing chats though as the current mic is "good enough" - even though you can hear my breathing and get crackles. It's just an example of "done is better than perfection".

(I will get it resolved though, so thanks for the prod!)
 

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Random_0

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You need a noise gate

Imagine them as a volume off switch that is activated by the input volume. Anything under a certain db won't record. That's a roundabout simplified explanation. They're easy to use and setup.


(This can be done in post as it's not a live radio show. You also want to identify which frequencies the static are & cut them out using an EQ)
 
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Andy Black

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You need a noise gate

Imagine them as a volume off switch that is activated by the input volume. Anything under a certain db won't record. That's a roundabout simplified explanation. They're easy to use and setup.


(This can be done in post as it's not a live radio show. You also want to identify which frequencies the static are & cut them out using an EQ)
My USB mic was supposed to be easy to setup too, but alas, Windows 10 doesn't want to play with it. Sigh... this whole mic and audio business is a rabbit hole I just don't want to descend.
 

Random_0

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I didn't find any fault with the audio quality or format

I wouldn't overthink it, any critique is only because you're asking for it anyway

I've listened to all of them so far and only cared about the content
 

Nicoknowsbest

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Excellent talk, with excellent insights.

My biggest take-aways are:

Small vs big sales:
Rather than having one client paying you $5,000 a month, having 10 smaller clients paying you $500 a month lets you figure out your processes much quicker. Developing blueprints, seeing what works and what doesn’t is crucial in the beginning. Once the processes have been defined, moving on to bigger sales is the next step. Always be sure to document your learnings and make them accessible for others to learn from.

Targeting smaller businesses:
When you talk to the decision maker, usually the owner in smaller businesses, projects will move faster. Furthermore, serving them, you learn many valuable insights from a business owner’s perspective along the way.

How to justify expenses from a business owner's perspective:
Make their clients pay for your work. You justify a business owner’s investment in you by the value you generate in the long run, by how much you increase a business’s earnings. The people you sell to have to see the value in you, not the expense.

Creating a brand:
Once you defined your processes, you can package your service and establish yourself as a brand. If it works for one vertical in one city, the next step is to move to another city and replicate. Scale: Vertical > City > Country

Upselling:
Nowadays, it is hard to get in as the web guy. You need to have some sort of specialty. Once your foot is in the door and you deliver a good job, businesses will ask you if you can do related tasks too. Now you went from building AdWords campaigns to a possible, high value, complete web rebuild. Doing it backwards, it wouldn’t have worked. Keeping your eyes open and pointing out mistakes, potential improvements and just sharing your thoughts works wonders - suddenly you are the go to guy for a set of skills. Ideally, you do this with people who already have your clients.

Productizing services:
Instead of creating assets and selling them in a one-off transaction, you rent them out and generate monthly recurring revenue.

Strategy
You shouldn’t be doing things you could be doing just because you can. Don’t stray lanes, focus on getting sales, creating value by doing what you do best and hire out the rest. The market doesn’t pay for activity, but for results.

On taking action
No matter what stage you are at, thinking about the results from actions you have taken beats thinking about what action to take at any time.

Thank you guys!
 

jmusic

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Resurrecting an older thread, but with the imminent demise of SoundCloud I thought it would be good to mention that an archive of this somewhere else would be beneficial. :)
 
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Andy Black

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Resurrecting an older thread, but with the imminent demise of SoundCloud I thought it would be good to mention that an archive of this somewhere else would be beneficial. :)
Oh poo.

Thanks for the heads-up.
 

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Quick semi-relevant question for you all.

Is there a way to have one webpage whose headline changes based on the ad that was clicked?

For example. Let's say I have a webpage for a new French learning app with the default "Learn French Now!" headline.

If someone clicks from the keyword +learn +French +iOS +free, I would want the headline to display "Learn French FREE on iOS!"

Is this possible?

The goal is to keep the number of landing pages needed to a minimum in order to keep a consistent read on my adwords and Facebook pixels.

Adurite
 
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Andy Black

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Quick semi-relevant question for you all.

Is there a way to have one webpage whose headline changes based on the ad that was clicked?

For example. Let's say I have a webpage for a new French learning app with the default "Learn French Now!" headline.

If someone clicks from the keyword +learn +French +iOS +free, I would want the headline to display "Learn French FREE on iOS!"

Is this possible?

The goal is to keep the number of landing pages needed to a minimum in order to keep a consistent read on my adwords and Facebook pixels.

Adurite
Pass parameters in the ad URL.
 

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