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EXECUTION Chasing Freedom - Creating My Own Digital Marketing Company

srodrigo

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While my business had successfully replaced my income, I realize that I had built myself a job.
This is my problem with this kind of business that is so popular nowadays, I see most folks building another job for themselves. This has made me stay away from it and try the product path instead.

Customers were coming to me for lead generation yet I was spending more time on these other service categories.

I am honestly just not as good at these things and perfectly happy abandoning them at this stage because it is what is required to allow me to scale to where I want to go (15 - 30k per month).
Eliminate what doesn't pay off, and double on what it does. Good.
 

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I hit another breaking point.

Been a long time since I have updated this thread and things have been a roller coaster.

While my business had successfully replaced my income, I realize that I had built myself a job.

I was working more and every single client that I helped became a bigger headache then they were worth. I was stressed out and I didn't have enough time to grow my business.

I had 15 clients in 6+ niches and I couldn't keep them all happy.

Over the last month, I have made adjustments and I am now 100% focused on what is essential.

Here is what I have done:

1. I eliminated the bad clients.

I have realized that I have a bad habit of overestimating my abilities. I commit to doing more than I can and I charged less than I should.

This habit caused me to bring on clients that I had no business working with. I was charging them $600/month when I should have been charging them $1500+.

The clients that pay me $500/month take more time & cause me more stress than the ones that pay me $1000/month. I cut those clients and just explained to them that my business is going in a different direction.

2. I found a Mentor.

This guy is an mentor who is guiding me in the direction of my agency. I found him in an "inner circle" facebook group and he has helped me immensely. LEGITIMATE guidance & coaching has been invaluable for me in the last couple of weeks.


3. I Finally Found A Niche

With the help of my mentor, I have found a specific niche that I am able to get insane results for and they are willing to PAY UP. This marketing niche is less saturated than chiropractors, real estate agents & insurance agents and they are willing to pay me 400% more than my old clients.

4. Condensed my Services

I am now focused on only one service: Lead generation.

The only other service that I will spend any time on is Web Design. The only reason that I am maintaining the web design side is that it is bringing in $1500/month and is mostly passive because I delegate it to a VA and all clients are referrals.

Social Media, SEO, Content Marketing, & Graphics Design are all scrapped.

Customers were coming to me for lead generation yet I was spending more time on these other service categories.

I am honestly just not as good at these things and perfectly happy abandoning them at this stage because it is what is required to allow me to scale to where I want to go (15 - 30k per month).

5. Learned to Sell the Gap
As I mentioned above, I have a new niche that is much more profitable than the other businesses that I have been helping over the last 6 months.

This wouldn't have been possible without a complete mindset shift. The two books below are what helped me to move on to clients that are willing to pay me 4x what my other clients are
  1. Gap Selling by Keenan
  2. The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns
Anyone who is charging $500/month like I was then I highly recommend you read those books.
Thanks for the update Kyle.

I'm making the jump from my job into lead gen too and reading this post gave me anxiety about making the move, but felt more relieved that your struggles were due to spreading yourself too thin, not due to the business itself.

I plan on sticking just to lead generation. No social media, no web design, no SEO. Simply connecting customers to businesses. Want to stay lightweight, nimble, yet effective with minimal overhead and crew.

Thanks for the book recommendations!
 

Blackman

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Just came across this thread and skimmed it through, well done on the progress.

Read your latest update on the fact that you've changed your focus to lead generation, as that's what your clients want.

Could you please explain how the process exactly works in a nutshell, as I've read about lead generation for local businesses before, but I don't fully understand how it works in practice?

Do you build a Wordpress website targeting certain niche keywords in a specific city and them somehow refer the visitors to your client's business? I'm assuming you do PPC for this to get traffic, as doing SEO would take ages and would not be consistent?

Would appreciate if you could explain how this is done in details.

Thanks
 

alekssiht

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Greetings!

How should one approach to the problem of creating yourself another high stress "job"? How do you prevent it from happening. I understand, at the beginning, you have to do the "dirty work" but at some point it is not sustainable nor scaleable.
By hiring someone to do the generating? And working on sales/customers yourself?
 

srodrigo

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Greetings!

How should one approach to the problem of creating yourself another high stress "job"? How do you prevent it from happening. I understand, at the beginning, you have to do the "dirty work" but at some point it is not sustainable nor scaleable.
By hiring someone to do the generating? And working on sales/customers yourself?
By hiring people for everything that can't be automated with software and doesn't really need you to do it. Creating systems and building a team you can rely on for the grunt work, while freeing you up for the creative stuff that no one else can do; that, plus giving you the real freedom: your time back.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Greetings!

How should one approach to the problem of creating yourself another high stress "job"? How do you prevent it from happening. I understand, at the beginning, you have to do the "dirty work" but at some point it is not sustainable nor scaleable.
By hiring someone to do the generating? And working on sales/customers yourself?
Delegating $10/hr tasks is definitely effective, but also pick one thing to offer and drill down a mile before adding new services.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Be a specialist.
 

alekssiht

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Delegating $10/hr tasks is definitely effective, but also pick one thing to offer and drill down a mile before adding new services.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Be a specialist.
Alright, thanks a lot for taking time to answer!
 

alekssiht

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By hiring people for everything that can't be automated with software and doesn't really need you to do it. Creating systems and building a team you can rely on for the grunt work, while freeing you up for the creative stuff that no one else can do; that, plus giving you the real freedom: your time back.
Okay got it. thanks a lot for the answer!
 

srodrigo

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PizzaOnTheRoof

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Thanks for the resources.

I think I'm going to go for this one: Digital Marketing Agency | Social Media Marketing Business
The only "problem": ~70 hours of content :eek: But looks awesome.
Check out @Andy Black 's posts before you dive into any course.
thise 70 hours could be better spend actually doing marketing rather than learning.

Also, I’d highly suggest picking one or two services and be the best you can at those rather than a jack of all trades “full service” agency.
 

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srodrigo

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Andy Black

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@PizzaOnTheRoof @Andy Black indeed, that's way too much, and there are so many different topics in that course that it doesn't make sense. I'm quite intrigued by digital marketing, so I'm just looking around, but I don't plan to spend so much time to start with (I don't have the time anyway).



Thanks, added to the list!
The reason I linked to that call is that it’s simpler than most think. Less lists, more action? Don’t learn this stuff. Do it.

HTH
 

srodrigo

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The reason I linked to that call is ty at it’s simpler than most think. Less lists, more action? Don’t learn this stuff. Do it.

HTH
I'll definitely take a look. I've recently stopped focusing on courses, and learning by taking action instead. It just that digital marketing sounds so alien to me and have so little clue that it feels like I should learn some foundations first. But I'll follow your advice instead ;)
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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I'll definitely take a look. I've recently stopped focusing on courses, and learning by taking action instead. It just that digital marketing sounds so alien to me and have so little clue that it feels like I should learn some foundations first. But I'll follow your advice instead ;)
Pick one service to offer:
  • Social media marketing
  • Google ads
  • Facebooks ads
  • SEO
Spend half a day watching YouTube videos for beginners about the service. Ex: “Google Ads for Beginners”

Then check out the tools/interfaces that people use in those sectors.

You can even look up strategies for each that people find successful. Even better if you’ve got some small money to spend to test out.

I can’t speak about any others, but for Google Ads there’s no better source than Andy’s content:


@eliquid ‘s Paid Advertising Crash Course is also very useful:

 
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srodrigo

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Pick one service to offer:
  • Social media marketing
  • Google ads
  • Facebooks ads
  • SEO
Spend half a day watching YouTube videos for beginners about the service. Ex: “Google Ads for Beginners”

Then check out the tools/interfaces that people use in those sectors.

You can even look up strategies for each that people find successful. Even better if you’ve got some small money to spend to test out.

I can’t speak about any others, but for Google Ads there’s no better source than Andy’s content:


@eliquid ‘s Paid Advertising Crash Course is also very useful:

Thanks! I was already recommended those two resources a few weeks ago. I've seen that some stuff was posted a few years ago though, I wonder how much things have changed since. I might start with the latest posts.

I'm interested in getting an idea about some services, and see how I could build a product around them. Marketing is huge and more needed than ever, so there has to be room for new products. I'm not really interested in building an agency or any other service business.
 

srodrigo

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Pick one service to offer:
  • Social media marketing
  • Google ads
  • Facebooks ads
  • SEO
Spend half a day watching YouTube videos for beginners about the service. Ex: “Google Ads for Beginners”
I actually did this. I've been watching some videos on SMMA, and a bit of FB Ads. I have no idea about the topic, but sounds less boring than Google Ads or SEO.

If I were to go for a service business, it's not a bad candidate. Not main main skill (I actually have 0 idea about marketing), but much better margins and less risky than selling bespoke software. Pretty much no overhead, recurring income (a must) and folks are charging $1000 minimum (first few clients for free when starting out). Sounds too good to be true.
 

Andy Black

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I actually did this. I've been watching some videos on SMMA, and a bit of FB Ads. I have no idea about the topic, but sounds less boring than Google Ads or SEO.

If I were to go for a service business, it's not a bad candidate. Not main main skill (I actually have 0 idea about marketing), but much better margins and less risky than selling bespoke software. Pretty much no overhead, recurring income (a must) and folks are charging $1000 minimum (first few clients for free when starting out). Sounds too good to be true.
Haha. Why is Google Ads boring? Too easy? Just curious why you think that.

Also... to get $1k/mth fee you’re going to need to produce results. Therein lies the pressure.
 

srodrigo

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Haha. Why is Google Ads boring? Too easy? Just curious why you think that.
I'd say Google Ads is actually more complex. The reason I say it's more boring is because it seems to be more useful for business that sell their product and potential buyers are actively searching for it on Google, whereas Facebook Ads puts usually B2C businesses in front of users that are not looking for them explicitly, by grabbing their attention. Maybe 'boring' was a bad definition though.

Also... to get $1k/mth fee you’re going to need to produce results. Therein lies the pressure.
The pressure to deliver is there as in any other service business? I'm not saying it's easy, or that the first few clients are going to pay you that without previous results (actually, I'd expect a few jobs for free to start with). What I mean is that if you target businesses that earn good money and you can make them even more money, they shouldn't be concerned about paying these monthly fees (value pricing). And it has potential to scale and become semi-passive if you outsource most of the work, as other members of the forum have done. Compared to selling websites, which are a one-off charge, this sounds more compelling to me.
 

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I'd say Google Ads is actually more complex. The reason I say it's more boring is because it seems to be more useful for business that sell their product and potential buyers are actively searching for it on Google, whereas Facebook Ads puts usually B2C businesses in front of users that are not looking for them explicitly, by grabbing their attention. Maybe 'boring' was a bad definition though.


The pressure to deliver is there as in any other service business? I'm not saying it's easy, or that the first few clients are going to pay you that without previous results (actually, I'd expect a few jobs for free to start with). What I mean is that if you target businesses that earn good money and you can make them even more money, they shouldn't be concerned about paying these monthly fees (value pricing). And it has potential to scale and become semi-passive if you outsource most of the work, as other members of the forum have done. Compared to selling websites, which are a one-off charge, this sounds more compelling to me.
Gotcha.

You explained exactly why I prefer Google Ads to Facebook Ads. Done right, the visitor arrives with credit card in hand looking to buy.
 
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Kyle T

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Just came across this thread and skimmed it through, well done on the progress.

Read your latest update on the fact that you've changed your focus to lead generation, as that's what your clients want.

Could you please explain how the process exactly works in a nutshell, as I've read about lead generation for local businesses before, but I don't fully understand how it works in practice?

Do you build a Wordpress website targeting certain niche keywords in a specific city and them somehow refer the visitors to your client's business? I'm assuming you do PPC for this to get traffic, as doing SEO would take ages and would not be consistent?

Would appreciate if you could explain how this is done in details.

Thanks
Seems like you understand the the gist of it. I typically use Facebook Ads & Facebook Leadforms. This removes the extra work of managing landing pages & it adds a little higher comfort level to the potential leads because all the activity remains within the comfort of Facebook.
 

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srodrigo

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Gotcha.

You explained exactly why I prefer Google Ads to Facebook Ads. Done right, the visitor arrives with credit card in hand looking to buy.
That's completely right. I'm not saying Google Ads are less useful. Just that the kind of marketing you do with Facebook Ads sounds more interesting, personally, and works in a different way.

Having said that, my main interest in a digital marketing agency is for the learnings I can get out of it. It doesn't quite fit my ideal business and business model. I like B2C online products and subscriptions, which is why Google Ads is probably more important for me. You can use it for validating your product before even building a prototype, and also for putting it in front of those ready credit cards.
 

Blackman

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Seems like you understand the the gist of it. I typically use Facebook Ads & Facebook Leadforms. This removes the extra work of managing landing pages & it adds a little higher comfort level to the potential leads because all the activity remains within the comfort of Facebook.
You know, one thing which baffles me about this local lead gen method is that according to Google's Keyword Tool and probably many others, the search volume for local service keywords is almost non-existent.

If you take an example a service keyword, such as "window cleaning dayton ohio", Google says the average monthly search volume is "100-1k". So while that doesn't sound like a lot, but you would think that it's not too bad, because with a few similar keywords, you could probably get okayish traffic (100 visitors/day?) once ranked in the top spots.

However, before getting too excited with launching websites and building backlinks, I decided to test the ACTUAL search volume of a keyword like that using Google Ads, and I got 2-3 clicks a day.....That's with a perfectly relevant campaign, good quality score, etc.

Granted, I only run it for 3 days, but I was getting like 10 impressions/day for a keyword which supposedly has "100-1k" monthly volume, and my ads were on the top above all the local and organic results.

So I'm in a position where I've got this real data in front of me and yet I see people talk about local lead gen and how it works really well for them?

What am I missing?
 

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Granted, I only run it for 3 days, but I was getting like 10 impressions/day for a keyword which supposedly has "100-1k" monthly volume, and my ads were on the top above all the local and organic results.
10 impressions/day might come out at 300 searches a month? Isn't that in the 100-1k estimated range? Not that I ever trust numbers anyway. I prefer to run campaigns and get my own data.

So 10 impressions a day is for one keyword? Is it exact match? There might be other exact match keywords (search terms) that are related?


So I'm in a position where I've got this real data in front of me and yet I see people talk about local lead gen and how it works really well for them?
It works well for some, and not for others.


Maybe check out this thread:
 

Blackman

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@Andy Black

I wanted to see what would be the max traffic I could get for that specific local keyword, so I actually bid on broad match modified type, but that hardly made any difference anyway.

The only reason I run an Adwords campaign was to get an idea of the search volume, otherwise I wouldn't do it for lead gen purposes, because the costs can quickly outweigh any possible income from selling/referring those leads to service providers.

It's just I didn't want to commit to building/ranking a website before knowing if the volume was there or not. Despite this, I still see at least 2-3 guys bidding on ads and some battling in the local/organic results...

Can't understand all this effort is for a few clicks/day?

P.S. Sorry for hi-jacking the thread, although I would argue this is still relevant?
 

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Hey @Kyle T and @Andy Black, what would your opinion be on offering a $100 Google Ads credit included in the management fee? Would this be an easier sell or just more work for me?

I think it could work by giving the client a "risk-free" chance to see results quickly, and get the ball rolling instead of having to wait for onboarding, billing set up, etc...

Of course, if the client wants to spend more I can set up billing to their credit card. Work wouldn't start until the monthly bill is paid on the 1st just like usual.

Thoughts?
 

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@Andy Black

I wanted to see what would be the max traffic I could get for that specific local keyword, so I actually bid on broad match modified type, but that hardly made any difference anyway.

The only reason I run an Adwords campaign was to get an idea of the search volume, otherwise I wouldn't do it for lead gen purposes, because the costs can quickly outweigh any possible income from selling/referring those leads to service providers.

It's just I didn't want to commit to building/ranking a website before knowing if the volume was there or not. Despite this, I still see at least 2-3 guys bidding on ads and some battling in the local/organic results...

Can't understand all this effort is for a few clicks/day?

P.S. Sorry for hi-jacking the thread, although I would argue this is still relevant?
We have a new client where campaigns started this week. Only two clicks so far (it’s early days and I’d hope we can get more as we dial it in). One enquiry out of the two clicks. If it converts into a sale then it’s potentially thousands (tens of thousands) in profit for my client. It’s high ticket stuff.

Even for low ticket stuff, a business owner can make more money from a sale than a middle-man. They get a new customer and we don’t know what their LTV might be. That new customer might also refer more people?

The business owner might just want to run break even on Google Ads too. They might have a crew and have pressure to meet payroll lest they lose that crew.
 

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Hey @Kyle T and @Andy Black, what would your opinion be on offering a $100 Google Ads credit included in the management fee? Would this be an easier sell or just more work for me?

I think it could work by giving the client a "risk-free" chance to see results quickly, and get the ball rolling instead of having to wait for onboarding, billing set up, etc...

Of course, if the client wants to spend more I can set up billing to their credit card. Work wouldn't start until the monthly bill is paid on the 1st just like usual.

Thoughts?
I’ve never tried it. It might work so try it out.

For some of my prospects or clients, talking about $100 would only have them stare blankly at me. They’re doing six figures revenue a month so why am I talking about $100?

I like where you’re going of taking some of the risk on yourself. I do this, but don’t advertise it at the start to signup a client. I want to signup clients who are prepared to pay the full amount. And if things aren’t going well then I refund fees or pay for some of the ad spend so they know I’m there to create a win-win. I think the surprise of a small refund or gesture to pay some of the Google Ads bill is better than offering it at the start to sign them up.
 

Blackman

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We have a new client where campaigns started this week. Only two clicks so far (it’s early days and I’d hope we can get more as we dial it in). One enquiry out of the two clicks. If it converts into a sale then it’s potentially thousands (tens of thousands) in profit for my client. It’s high ticket stuff.

Even for low ticket stuff, a business owner can make more money from a sale than a middle-man. They get a new customer and we don’t know what their LTV might be. That new customer might also refer more people?

The business owner might just want to run break even on Google Ads too. They might have a crew and have pressure to meet payroll lest they lose that crew.
I see what you mean and I thought of that too.

This explains why local service keywords almost always have ads when you search those phrases in Google. However, when you look up the search volume of those keywords, you really wonder what kind of traffic those ads get? 5-10 clicks a day?

Obviously, it all depends on the service type and city size, but to the best of my knowledge the paid/organic traffic split is roughly 60/40, meaning 60% of visitors searching for something will normally click on top ads and 40% will go further down to the organic results, so it's hard to believe that organic results for local service keywords get any traffic at all...

So would you say it's worth building websites for local service keywords, despite very low search volumes? Not sure why I'm asking, because there's quite a few guys here doing exactly this...
 

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