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GOLD! CHECKLIST: How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency & Hit $5K in Less than 90 Days

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Sean Marshall

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Hey, after reading your post I think it's time to start my own SMMA company. Your post is really great and a value bomb. Just wanted to ask if you would do your business targeting local businesses or you would do internationally. Taking into account that I live in Spain.
I target local businesses but live internationally.

I have students from El Salvador, Brazil, and other places all with successful businesses. If they can do it, anyone from anywhere in Europe or N. America can do it.
 

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Sean Marshall

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Congrats on your success, you obviously know what you're doing in terms of sales.

After taking a look at Homepage - Social Rocketship , let me know if you need help. Your seem to be missing very basic SEO, not a good look for someone who sells SEO.

I'm only being snarky because companies like this plague the industry and give us SEOs a bad name. You might be able to fool a couple clients but this isn't sustainable.

Good luck selling your course though, i'm sure people will eat it up ;)
Thanks. And sure, I get that.

I get all of my new business from referrals.

All of our clients are on a month-to-month basis. They stay with us because they want to stay on - because of the results we get them.

Because of that, I'm not too concerned about my own SEO - not trying to rank for anything or impress anyone. If prospects need proof of our work, I show them the work we've actually done for real clients.

But I appreciate it. There are indeed a lot of wanna-be's out there.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Hey @Sean Marshall,

Thanks for this thread, it's great. Do you ever get feedback from your customers where they say things like, "Wow, thank you so much, this is awesome!" Are they usually very happy with what your company does for them?
Yes. It's why they pay me month after month. Because the work we do gets their phone ringing more. They make more money as a result of what we do. Period.

That's why I have clients that I've had since 2010.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Hi @Sean Marshall
I m starting to have some volume of work and will start to scale by hiring a team of freelancers.
By any chance, would you mind to communicate how you did to build your team? Where and how you approach them?

One challenge from my side is that I ll probably need also French speaking team members as a big part of my customers and market is speaking French.

Thanks in advance
All the best
Many people find it's best to start with a Per-Project basis. Then move to part-time and then to full time as the work justifies it. It gives you a chance to know your VA's and make sure they're doing a good job.

All communication is done via email and Asana.

Upwork is a good place to initially find people. Even French speakers.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Thanks a lot Sean!

I was also wondering how you justify your prices to clients?

My experience has been that with a commodity type business like web design or digital marketing, I am often undercut on price by competitors.

How are you able to get around this and charge larger fees?

Thank you!
Show them the results you get for other clients.

Example:

If a roofing company lands a new customer for a $30,000 roof as a direct result of something you did, then they have no problem paying you $1000/mo (or whatever you charge). It's simple math.

Results sell. And they justify the cost.

Besides, I never personally deal with anyone who's "shopping around." If they're looking for a deal or to go cheap, I know they have a fear mindset and they make the WORST clients.

In some cases, because of the conversation I've had with certain prospects, I literally double my prices. If they go for it, then it makes them worth the time and possible pain.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Took me 2 hours but I've been reading all the pages.
Tons of useful information, really amazing.

Something inside me is always holding me back to just GO and DO it. I'm kind of introverted and always want to know the outcome before I even start (it's annoying). I should let go off that and just GO.

Any tips on that? I only feeling 'confident' when I know my stuff 100% and I hate being in conversation with someone and you can only reply with 'uhm yeah.. something like that, not sure either'.

This entire thread has more info than I ever had. And yes, I'm somewhat introverted and I think business networking is horrible. But I did it. And I kept doing it.

And then eventually I moved to an island in the Caribbean...

Just take the checklist and go through it and don't look up until you've made a sale or two or ten.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Thanks for the response!

Sean was also wondering about your outsourced team, I respect that you call them your team and they are loyal to your business (very smart and long term oriented) and you pay them well as well to keep mutual interest in success. But have you ever actually went to meet them in Philippines or did you have online Skype sessions, trainings on getting everyone on the same page? Or do you think its unnecessary overhead? How many outsourced team members do you have? And are all of them freelancers or do you have an office in Philippines and someone like a manager/supervisor to coordinate work in a right direction? Or you doing it all yourself through Asana?

Thank you for all the value!
I've interviewed everyone via Skype. After that, all work is done/managed through Asana. Everything is listed out there with further links to articles/videos if they need.

I have a general manager that takes care of most stuff for me including managing the monthly work.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Hi Sean, thank you for all the knowledge you are offering here.
I would have some questions too:

1. At the beginning, how were you looking for the right companies to offer your services to? Do you think it could be a good strategy to google for a key like "thermography construction company", look for companies on second and third page and offer them the to get in the first page?

2. When you talk to a prospect for the first time introducing your services, how deep you go with details of what you can do for them?

3. Right after you win a new client, do you still get in contact with him or do you assign him to your team?

Thank you!
1. At the beginning, I spoke to every business owner that breathed. If you want to target 2nd page businesses, that's fine but lead with value (see what I mean by throughout this thread). Don't just spam.

2. I don't go deep into what we do. I go high level with the benefits that they'll get from working with us. I use the game plan (sales proposal) to go deep and list out everything we do.

3. I assign them to a team member in Asana. I still like to do the first phone call with new clients or prospects. After that, it's email.
 
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Sean Marshall

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I'll knock on doors if I have to
Do that then.

Just keep moving forward.

I'm not a fan of networking but I did it and it worked. Especially this kind of business because every single business owner you speak with is a possible client.

Change it up. Do what works for you. Most importantly, just try to speak with real business owners.
 
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Sean Marshall

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Sean, great info you've been sharing.

Quick question, when you said the above, are you talking about a website (hosting?) security/maintenance package?

Just curious. Thanks in advance.

Not hosting. Just updating the site and keeping it clean and safe.
 
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Sean Marshall

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you could get a faster start by starting with your inner circle and working outwards.
Exactly.

It's all I did in my first month and I made money in that very first month. It wasn't much ($2450) but it was proof I had something.
 

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Sean Marshall

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how many of them have already achieved the lifestyle status with their companies that were set up following Sean's advice? Basically - how many people are now able to work less than 10 hours per week and be somewhat financial independent, sustaining their lifestyle solely through cloning Sean's online marketing agency?
Who knows?

Some students tell me and I love hearing their success stories and I should probably feature more. But the sad fact is that you can give people step-by-step instructions on how to do something and they still won't do it.

I've even debated taking my course down because that whole thing bothers me. I don't know how some of those big internet marketers charge $10,000 for their "inner circle" courses or whatever. They know that most people won't do anything.

I never wanted my course (or pricing) to be a question. I just don't want that mental responsibility of knowing someone maxed out a credit card for something that they'll never do anything with.

With the stuff I have out there, I put my face and name on it. It's my honor. Even here I am what I am. I don't have a handle or a funny profile pic or whatever. I just try to be straight up. What I've shared here really works.

I didn't have a course when I started.

Maybe having a course makes it too easy? Maybe it's not believable? Too good to be true? Maybe people need to struggle?

I don't know.

All I know is that I had a wife who said she wanted to live on a tropical island so I went out and freaking sold. And then sold more.

And then I scaled up until one day, I was eating tacos on a tropical island. And I was working less than 10 hours a week.
 

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My question is: since some student's comments in the course are 5 years old and Sean is stating that he has several thousand students, how many of them have already achieved the lifestyle status with their companies that were set up following Sean's advice? Basically - how many people are now able to work less than 10 hours per week and be somewhat financial independent, sustaining their lifestyle solely through cloning Sean's online marketing agency?


If someone takes Sean's course and fails, guess who failed? The person taking the course. Sean has given out his knowledge. All of the tools are there. Sean even put out a checklist. Just follow the checklist.

God gave Noah a plan to build an Ark. If Noah just sat there and stared at it all day, him and his family would have been swept away in the flood and all the animals too. Don't get swept away in the flood. Build the ark so you can see the rainbow.

Dr. Carol Dweck's Mindset talks about fixed vs growth mindset. Successful people have a growth mindset. People with growth mindsets find out why they got that F on the test and fix it to get an A.

Tony Robbins always talks about modeling successful people. If one person can do it so can another person.

In 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile. 30 people have broken the 4-minute mile since then.


 

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Yes. It's why they pay me month after month. Because the work we do gets their phone ringing more. They make more money as a result of what we do. Period.

That's why I have clients that I've had since 2010.
You know what, I was thinking about this just the other day, and I came to the same conclusion.

Obviously you're providing value, that's why they pay you. I made the mistake of underestimating people's ability to discern value - I think I listened to much to the wrong advice when I was working with bad salespeople. Rep+
 

Siddhartha

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Fantastic thread, A system to break out of the slowlane that also has potential to be scalable in itself if need be. I feel *that* much more direction seeing others use this to hit the escape button; I myself having procrastinated on hitting it for so long.

I've been rolling more SEO and copy books into my regular reading after encountering this thread a week or two ago, going to see about helping some friends with their business sites, and working from there.
 

mdivljina

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Loved the post. I'm going to use this as a guide. I have to make some tweaks in it because I'm not from the US, but oh my, am I coming in hot!:rofl::rofl:
 

Primeperiwinkle

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85CBCF1A-0CD3-4F5E-B061-101EA9206B0E.png I’m curious but has anyone checked social rocketship’s site for their metrics?

I did. It’s umm.. not impressive. Now ahrefs isnt perfect but it is one of the top two most utilized tools to check websites.

It doesn’t show all the income he’s made from selling his services to people but it does show how much his site is worth. His site only has about 25 visitors a month.

Now, before y’all go and lynch me, I’m not saying his path to success isn’t a good one or that you can’t make money by following his advice.. lots of people can Im sure.. I’m just saying that his own internet marketing site doesn’t get much traffic.

I felt like this is pertinent info.
 

minhphuong95

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English is my second language and im not good at English. Im from Vietnam.
Can i apply this program and to make money from other business outside Vietnam, because i don't want to work with local business in Vietnam (price too cheap, they're very knotty,..)
 

Anfield

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Sean,

Thank you for the detailed reply. I wasn't questioning the value of the course or the authenticity of the information provided. I am just curious of how many people have been able to mirror the level of your success by "cloning your business".




But the sad fact is that you can give people step-by-step instructions on how to do something and they still won't do it.
This is the very reason I asked the question in the first place. Most people won't do it for the simple fact that what separates successful people from the unsuccessful ones is the fact that the former are simply willing to do the things that the latter are not.

Also, just to give you some context, I am in the process of executing the cloning of your business. I am about to resign from my job in an industry that has provided me with many years of making a somewhat decent living (well into the six figures), but that is neither fastlane, nor does it provide me with any of the freedoms or independence that entrepreneurship can provide.
 

Charnell

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View attachment 24502 I’m curious but has anyone checked social rocketship’s site for their metrics?

I did. It’s umm.. not impressive. Now ahrefs isnt perfect but it is one of the top two most utilized tools to check websites.

It doesn’t show all the income he’s made from selling his services to people but it does show how much his site is worth. His site only has about 25 visitors a month.

Now, before y’all go and lynch me, I’m not saying his path to success isn’t a good one or that you can’t make money by following his advice.. lots of people can Im sure.. I’m just saying that his own internet marketing site doesn’t get much traffic.

I felt like this is pertinent info.
25 visitors from search traffic.

I'm a big proponent of SEO, but not every business is ran with search traffic. I just checked out a random blog article and it doesn't look like it's written to rank in the SERPs, but rather be for an existing audience.

My progress thread's website, according to SEMrush, gets 57 "traffic" but I'm also doing a shitload of email marketing, push notifications, and a bit of paid traffic. If that's daily traffic it's less than 50% at this point.
 

Twiizlar

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25 visitors from search traffic.

I'm a big proponent of SEO, but not every business is ran with search traffic. I just checked out a random blog article and it doesn't look like it's written to rank in the SERPs, but rather be for an existing audience.

My progress thread's website, according to SEMrush, gets 57 "traffic" but I'm also doing a shitload of email marketing, push notifications, and a bit of paid traffic. If that's daily traffic it's less than 50% at this point.
It's 2019. A blog article that is written for an existing audience will rank well on Google. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and using spam tactics. Google has put hundreds of millions of dollars into their search and it's evolving everyday.

Also, SEMrush shows estimated search and ppc traffic. It does not show total traffic that I see.
 

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Charnell

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It's 2019. A blog article that is written for an existing audience will rank well on Google. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and using spam tactics. Google has put hundreds of millions of dollars into their search and it's evolving everyday.
If you actually look at the articles he's written, they're motivational and talking about personal things like his family. If someone searches for "what's Sean Marshall from rocketship agency doing for Christmas 2017" they'll show up.

Yeah, they'll rank well ... for things no one is searching for.

Remember, any article ranks 1 if you search the title and include "site:[thewebsite]".
 

eliquid

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View attachment 24502 I’m curious but has anyone checked social rocketship’s site for their metrics?

I did. It’s umm.. not impressive. Now ahrefs isnt perfect but it is one of the top two most utilized tools to check websites.

It doesn’t show all the income he’s made from selling his services to people but it does show how much his site is worth. His site only has about 25 visitors a month.

Now, before y’all go and lynch me, I’m not saying his path to success isn’t a good one or that you can’t make money by following his advice.. lots of people can Im sure.. I’m just saying that his own internet marketing site doesn’t get much traffic.

I felt like this is pertinent info.
I know people who own agency websites ( these agencies do SEO, PPC, Social, etc ) that get almost 0 traffic monthly to their website, spend $0 on PPC themselves, and have little to 0 social activity on their FB and Twitter accounts.

These same agencies have Fortune 500 clients paying them 5 figures monthly, each.

I only know, because I work some of them one on one sometimes and I know what I get paid for helping consult with them. A few I even wrote the proposals for, so I know the exact amount they get paid.

Otherwise, you would think these agencies were nobodies if you did not have this insider info.

If you can sell, nothing else matters. Including proof you can actually do what you sell. Not saying the OP can not do what he sells, just using that as an example that selling tops all.
.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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If you can sell, nothing else matters. Including proof you can actually do what you sell. Not saying the OP can not do what he sells, just using that as an example that selling tops all.
.
I tend to like proof though, quite a bit actually.
 

Charnell

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I tend to like proof though, quite a bit actually.
Having a website ranking for a shitload of keywords isn't proof you're able to get clients ranking well (in the terms of SEO). You say he's only getting 25 visitors per month. What kind of visitors are they? Ones that will read a blog post about whatever and leave, or 25 people that are searching "Family Rocketship" and are ready to write @Sean Marshall a $15,000 check right now?
 

Primeperiwinkle

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This is a screenshot of another marketing agency.

According to ahrefs Sean’s site is worth $1 a month and this site has about $1K worth of traffic.

I have no idea what he’s doing for his clients or what types of customers he has. Seanmight very well have a customer who is paying him 1million a month. There’s no way to tell that.

I use ahrefs to check the metrics on lots of sites. The above is an example of a marketing agency in Australia with over fifteen employees. The owner consistently offers valuable advice on a well-known Facebook group where SEO agencies discuss things.

I can show you the metrics for any site you’re curious about if that will help people compare and contrast the differences.

This thread contains value. I’m not arguing that. I just wanted to share what I can see about Sean’s site using an online tool that I pay for and use regularly.
 

Charnell

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Edit: Nevermind, doesn't really matter.
 
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View attachment 24511
This is a screenshot of another marketing agency.

According to ahrefs Sean’s site is worth $1 a month and this site has about $1K worth of traffic.

I have no idea what he’s doing for his clients or what types of customers he has. Seanmight very well have a customer who is paying him 1million a month. There’s no way to tell that.

I use ahrefs to check the metrics on lots of sites. The above is an example of a marketing agency in Australia with over fifteen employees. The owner consistently offers valuable advice on a well-known Facebook group where SEO agencies discuss things.

I can show you the metrics for any site you’re curious about if that will help people compare and contrast the differences.

This thread contains value. I’m not arguing that. I just wanted to share what I can see about Sean’s site using an online tool that I pay for and use regularly.
If you don't want to buy Sean's course don't buy it but this thread gave more value than many of the other courses out there on how to START a profitable marketing agency.

I know because I foolishly did not listen to Sean about doing cold emails. I listened to some gurus on youtube and wasted leads and time using the same spam tactics that Sean told us not to do.

Networking and warm leads is the best thing to do. It's better to shake hands and tell your clients EXACTLY what you are going to do to build trust like what he advocates. Most business owners don't have the time to do things on their own
 

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Also, just to give you some context, I am in the process of executing the cloning of your business. I am about to resign from my job in an industry that has provided me with many years of making a somewhat decent living (well into the six figures), but that is neither fastlane, nor does it provide me with any of the freedoms or independence that entrepreneurship can provide.
This is interesting Adrian, did you start in the same way as sean suggested, carrying out work for friends businesses etc?

How did you find balancing your current job with starting up the agency? You mention you are about to resign, i assume you are ticking along with a few sales under your belt? This would be one of my main initial concerns, being able to dedicate the time to get something up and running with a job in the way. Financially, I'm not quite in the position to drop my job!

Thanks to Sean and all those who have contributed to this thread. Some really useful and interesting information.
 

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