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EXECUTION Chasing Freedom - Creating My Own Digital Marketing Company

Kyle T

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After recently reading through Sean's thread I have decided to pursue creating my digital marketing agency.

His insights completely opened my eyes to the opportunity that is all around me. I ended up purchasing his course and am in the beginning stages of building my own business that will set me free from 9-5.

My goal is to follow his outline and to grow a business that will provide me with the opportunity to quit my job. My goal is to follow his steps and accept the challenge to make 5k/month within 90-days.

Below is the checklist that Sean provided (here is the awesome thread once again) and I am going to update it as I progress

Day 1

SETUP
X represents completed task, O represents task in progress or waiting

X Started thinking about your business brand including your business name.

X Thought about what kind “feel” you want your business to have. Write out at least ten possible names.

X Looked up “online marketing company” and checked out the first few sites – got a feel for what they do and what I'd like to differently.

O Consider taking a class or two on Udemy.com or Lynda.com to get an overview of the online marketing world. Strongly consider also going to QuickSprout.com/University

X I thought about the industries that I would like to serve. Looked specifically at local businesses in my area and identified ones that:
  • Are in wealthy industries
  • Aren't very sexy
  • Aren't very tech savvy
  • Thrive due to "word of mouth" marketing.

X Write out (or type out) your motivation. Why are you interested in starting this business?
  • I want to be Free of my desk job. I want to provide freedom to myself and my young family by creating a business that is scalable and isn't tied to my time.


X List out the amount of money you would like to make in your first month, second month, following months. Include your first year’s goal.
  • First month: $450
  • Second Month: $2000
  • Third Month: $5000
  • First Year: $70,000

X Go online and look up other online marketing companies (again) – jotted down everything that I liked and would like to emulate.

X Put together my USP.

X Came up with my three packages & pricing.

X Thought about my ideal client, and I have composed many traits that make up my "Avatar."

X
Came up with my business name.

X
Came up with my business tagline. Simple, to the point and value oriented.

X
Picked my business colors.

X
Got logo done using Upwork for $50

X Wrote up my 1-page business plan

O Set up your corporation. Haven't done this yet. Merely just waiting until I have a couple of sales under my belt. Will revisit this task in a couple of weeks.

X
Bought my domain using GoDaddy. Also unwittingly bought my hosting through GoDaddy but plan to switch to a different service in January. Pretty lame that GoDaddy makes you wait two months before switching hosts.

X
Created my homepage. It is a one-page landing page that has About Me, Services and link to Contact Form.

X
Bought business cards to hand out to potential clients


So I am nearly all set up and ready to roll! I am still interested in taking an Udemy course on online marketing. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Tomorrow, I start the most important process of all...

Selling.
 

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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 2:

So today was a disaster. I had an eye infection so I stayed home from my 9-5 but my internet was out all day long! So needless to say I didn't make any progress towards anything.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am shifting my focus to sales! Modifying @Sean Marshall 's checklist a little bit, I have the following on my agenda...

SALES
X represents completed task, O represents task in progress or waiting

O
Get my first sale

I have made a list from my own personal network to get started. This list contains 10 friends who are business owners and might be in need of my services.

I have created the master list and reviewed all of their websites. I am reaching out to them one by one and offering to give them a free site evaluation report, along with some tips that can help improve their sites immediately.

Since I am desperate for my first sale, I am willing to stray away from my niche. My key focus is getting one client and giving them the best service possible so that I can use them as a testimonial and get referrals.

I am also willing to give a discount or two to get the ball rolling so I can get my first sale ASAP.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 3
  • I found a local expo in my niche that is coming up in February. Their website was atrocious so I reached out and asked if it might be possible to trade some services for a sponsorship arrangement.
  • Sent 20 cold emails to leads & offered free value to them first. Already heard back from one who told me they definitely need help and I should reach back out to them in January.
  • 1 of the leads in my personal network seems very interested. I spoke to him spontaneously about his website and we are now going to schedule a time to meet next week when his wife is back in town.
  • Joined a few meet up groups and will look to attend some networking events in the coming weeks.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 4:
I did nothing. Family visiting and I was completely preoccupied.

Day 5:
I spent 8 hours today browsing through local business listings within my niche on Manta. Using Streak for Gmail, I was able to input their contact information and now will be able to keep track of cold emails & follow-ups.

On a side note, my newborn hasn't been sleeping well and I am not getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row. I am exhausted and putting in 5-6 hours of work after my workday is becoming more & more challenging.
 

Xolorr

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Watching this like a hawk! Keep up the good work
Don't let yourself run out of steam after this initial push. It's better to stay consistent than put a huge amount of effort in for two weeks and then lose steam.
 

Tom.V

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Thanks for sharing your progress! Having been in digital marketing and advertising for almost 7 years now, I know what it's like trying to soak it all up. It definitely does take time to gain the necessary experience to be able to really help people in a consistent fashion.

One piece of advice I'll give you is this: Never stop prospecting. If you haven't already, go pick up a copy of Fanatical Prospecting and read it. A couple of times. If you want to succeed as an agency, just keep showing up in front of your target demo. Over, and over, and over, and over. Ideally, you want to be connecting with 5-10 people per day.

By what medium? What time of day? Wherever, whenever.

If you ever want to offer Google Ads, Bing Ads or Amazon Ads to your clients without having to learn the intricacies or nuances of each platform, just let me know. We work with several agencies and have sales documentation + price sheets we share with our white label growth partners.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 6

- Got a second very warm lead out of my personal network! I am getting close to my first sale, I can just feel it. I have been leading with value and sending them a Personalized SEO Site report and everyone that I talk to seems very impressed by it.

As someone who has sold Personal Training for nearly 10 years, It feels so great to sell these Online Marketing services. Providing something that will provide monetary profit & value to a business seems so much more practical. The practicality of the investment is refreshing and thus I am finding it easier to openly discuss and sell with pretty much anyone.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Days 7 - 11
  • Cold emailing to very little success but there are so many opportunities that as long as I keep at it, Success will follow
  • Scheduled a meeting with a former co-worker who is a great salesman. One of the hardest things for me is that I can't meet with people during normal business hours due to my 9-5. I am hoping to work out an agreement that will allow me to pay him a commission and get a good base of clients.
  • Had my first business pitch! It went well but the client is on the fence. He is a buddy of mine and his business is outside my niche but there's potential there still.
I had a great Thanksgiving and now it is time to get back to work.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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What services do you provide?
SEO, Content Creation, Social Media Management, Website design etc.

I have set packages but I expect clients to have custom requests. Will look to add more in the future. Primarily focused on local SEO as my starting point.
 

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MoneyDoc

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Would you be able to design a website like: sheerstrengthlabs.com from scratch using shopify?
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Would you be able to design a website like: sheerstrengthlabs.com from scratch using shopify?
Yeah, wouldn't be a problem. If you have any more specifics then feel free to shoot me a DM.
 

Paladin

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This is exaclty how I started my journey way back in Feb of 2010. I would try to limit your services when you are starting. If you offer just one product, it's way easier to close the sale. If you start a conversation with a potential client and they have to think about website design, content creation and seo you're likely to hit the "I have to think about it" wall.

When you give too much information or too man choices, this can happen. When I dropped to only offering SEO services, I started closing all my clients. You want people to make a decision and pay you in the first meeting.

You are taking action and making great progress already!
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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This is exaclty how I started my journey way back in Feb of 2010. I would try to limit your services when you are starting. If you offer just one product, it's way easier to close the sale. If you start a conversation with a potential client and they have to think about website design, content creation and seo you're likely to hit the "I have to think about it" wall.

When you give too much information or too man choices, this can happen. When I dropped to only offering SEO services, I started closing all my clients. You want people to make a decision and pay you in the first meeting.

You are taking action and making great progress already!
I appreciate it!

Having a newborn at home & working 8-10 hours per day at my job are making it really tough to continue making progress on a daily basis... but encouragement like yours is really helpful.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 17

SALES
(X represents completed task, O represents a task in progress or waiting)

X Got my first sale!

The first sale has been made! My most basic package but still a solid $350 per month. My goal was to make this first sale before the end of the first month so I am happy to get it done & out of the way.

He was a friend from my personal network who had just revamped his website. I made the effort to reach out to him and lead with the value of an SEO audit. He was very impressed and after thinking it over for a week, he messaged me today to move forward with the purchase!


Now that the dreaded first sale is out of the way, I am working on...

O Complete the work of my first sale and be sure to get results!
  • I am going to go over the top to do everything that I can to get him positive results as quickly as possible. I want to use him for referrals & a testimonial.
O Document all of my work
  • I’ll need this to scale & build a team that can do the majority of the work for me. Not hiring anyone yet, but will be open to it in the very near future.

O Get my next 3 clients quickly.
  • This is going to be extremely tough! I work a full-time job and find it extremely difficult to gather leads via cold emailing compared to cold calling during business hours. The good news is that I have continued to explore my personal network and by leading with value, I already have two more meetings tomorrow with potential clients. One of them would be a large account too.

O Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and possibly a BNI group or other networking group.
  • BNI isn't in my area, unfortunately. I am considering driving 1-hour roundtrip one morning a week, to potentially join a group. It seems like an incredible resource if you are able to join one of these groups as the "SEO" or "Online Marketing" guy.

O Using online directories like Manta.com to find more businesses in my chosen niche.
  • I have been doing this and will probably continue for the foreseeable future. I originally lead with an SEO report that was custom to their website. The response from that was decent but not incredible. I think that I am going to alter my approach. I am going to attempt to lead with a genuine "3 tips to increase traffic to your website" email. At the end of that email, I am going to offer to send them the custom report & a 10-minute video only if they are interested.
Will update you all again at my next milestone.
 

Matt Sun

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This is inspiring, thanks for sharing. Did you have a background with SEO, web desing or something else ? Are you going to do all the work or are you going to use fiverr or something else ?
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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This is inspiring, thanks for sharing. Did you have a background with SEO, web desing or something else ? Are you going to do all the work or are you going to use fiverr or something else ?
No real background in SEO or Web Design other than what I have done on my own personal websites & blogs.

I am going to handle the first few clients fully on my own so that I can document each step of the process. Once I have the systems and instructions in place then I would outsource to a VA who can handle a significant portion of the work so that I can focus on selling.
 

Jacob Wilson

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Thanks for sharing your progress Kyle and well done on your first sale! I think joining a BNI group could be beneficial. I don't know if this is a universal thing but the chapter I visited and looked into joining here in SC was $600 to join per year.

However, just from my one visit and the conversations with the 3 or 4 members (local business owners) I was able to talk to, they all told me they needed help with the online, marketing stuff and I scheduled 1 meeting out of it. Perhaps would have had better results but I didn't have business cards, business name, or even a website I could tell them to go to for more information.

I believe you get two free visits per chapter you go to so I would definitely recommend at least checking it out!
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Thanks for sharing your progress Kyle and well done on your first sale! I think joining a BNI group could be beneficial. I don't know if this is a universal thing but the chapter I visited and looked into joining here in SC was $600 to join per year.

However, just from my one visit and the conversations with the 3 or 4 members (local business owners) I was able to talk to, they all told me they needed help with the online, marketing stuff and I scheduled 1 meeting out of it. Perhaps would have had better results but I didn't have business cards, business name, or even a website I could tell them to go to for more information.

I believe you get two free visits per chapter you go to so I would definitely recommend at least checking it out!
Thank you for the insight! i am moving to a new area in a couple months and will deifnitely take advantage of free visits! Seems like it would be the right way to network for a business like this.
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Day 34

Sale #2 is in the books.

Not only that but both my clients have paid for 4-months up front. Great feeling to see a big number like that and now I must deliver the goods!

Now for an update that impacts my journey...

My family & I will be moving in couple months to allow my wife to stay home with our newborn. With the move, I will be unemployed for the first time in my adult life and I am committed to making this business a legitimate way to provide for my family. We will be staying with family for a few months and it seems to be the perfect opportunity to hustle as a full time entrepreneur for the first time.

Excited for the opportunity. The last thing that I want is to resort to finding a slowlane job. With that said, providing for my family is the number one priority so I will need to continue to hustle relentlessly.

Revenue in first 34 days: $3,942

Main focus is still on prospecting. I am a little nervous that my prospect pool may dry up so I am taking a few free projects to build my portfolio & gain testimonials.
 

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Chapas

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Good work! Definately following your journey. Incredible what you have done in such a short time when you have a full-time job and a kid to raise. Really looking forward to see where you are in a month or two. You seem very determined, and I really doubt that you will ever have a slowlane job again!
 

M&A

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Impressive progress,

What is the breakdown of your 3500$ revenue?

You said you only have one sale and are in the process of closing sale two.

Did the client pay you that much in one month?
 
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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Impressive progress,

What is the breakdown of your 3500$ revenue?

You said you only have one sale and are in the process of closing sale two.

Did the client pay you that much in one month?
2 Clients paid for 4-months of Marketing Services at $450/month.
One client also paid $350 for some general web design.

I offer my services on a month to month basis but I explain to my clients that it can take 5-6 months to see significant SEO progress. When I communicate that they both just wanted to pay a larger sum up front rather then scheduling the recurring payments.

Both of the clients know each other... so my guess is that they were talking to each other and both decided to do it the same way.
 

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Kyle T

Kyle T

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Primeperiwinkle

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This is exactly what I want to do except I wasn’t as smart and prolly paid way more for training. Omg. I’m ridiculously impressed w/ your drive while having a newborn. Good job dude!

Sent $$ and here’s some more help cuz now I’m a fan!

D9F3F57A-7DC7-444C-98FC-72F1BCFCD0D0.png This is a RIDICULOUSLY accurate app for newborns that tracks all their jumps in growth and predicts which weeks are going to be particularly challenging. It’s called The Wonder Weeks. My friend has used it since day one and now schedules all her work around it because it’s so on point. Hope it helps.
 

MakeItHappen

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Great progress thread @Kyle Thumm , I am definitly following this thread.
Good luck & keep pushing!
 

Eric10x10

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Once you've determined that a prospect is a good lead, how do you go about getting in front of the decision maker?

In my experience, the biggest challenge with selling advertising/marketing services to local businesses has been the inability to get a hold of the DM efficiently.

Most of the local retail stores are run by employees (and managers) who often cannot make purchase decisions.

This leads to lengthy aquisition cycles which slow things down.

I'm curious how you're going about solving this.
 

maikooo

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Day 34

Sale #2 is in the books.

Not only that but both my clients have paid for 4-months up front. Great feeling to see a big number like that and now I must deliver the goods!

Now for an update that impacts my journey...

My family & I will be moving in couple months to allow my wife to stay home with our newborn. With the move, I will be unemployed for the first time in my adult life and I am committed to making this business a legitimate way to provide for my family. We will be staying with family for a few months and it seems to be the perfect opportunity to hustle as a full time entrepreneur for the first time.

Excited for the opportunity. The last thing that I want is to resort to finding a slowlane job. With that said, providing for my family is the number one priority so I will need to continue to hustle relentlessly.

Revenue in first 34 days: $3,942

Main focus is still on prospecting. I am a little nervous that my prospect pool may dry up so I am taking a few free projects to build my portfolio & gain testimonials.
When I saw this update, I was like "F*ck yeah!!" Congrats, man! You deserve it!!!
 

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