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EXECUTION My First $2800 Client - Digital Agency Progress

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DrunkFish

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Hey all. So i've posted here and there on this forum and decided to revisit.

As a recap from my old posts,
--i made a relatively successful youtube channel that's lead to tons of adventures and opportunities,
--i've had small roles in a major show, and a less major movie that recently came out,
--and along the way i've traveled a ton and tried businesses here and there.
--Public spoke in front of a MAJOR if not the biggest prosthetic company in iceland and later in front of a CEO program locally of high school students
--Oh and I became a real estate agent for a year and did one deal and then exited when i started this venture. Ha.

This thread is a progress thread on my main gig now - my agency. So I've started a digital marketing agency. I freelanced copywriting for a bit but was busy with all the other stuff i just listed. While i was a real estate agent, i realized i was really obsessed with digital marketing. My friend and I were talking about working together to provide this service, so i decided f it. I'm gonna do it. I know it very well and i've been doing it forever and I love it.

So, month after that I'm getting new legs made (double amputee) and I mentioned how I am doing social media services with a friend. My prosthetist (guy who makes my legs) mentions they've been wanting to do more with their social media so I should talk to the owner.

Well one day I'm in the shop with them (we're semi close at this point but i havent met the owner) and im taking a picture with my DSLR and tripod for my facebook because i wanted a good picture rather than a shitty iphone 6s pic of getting new legs. I was just stopping by to take the picture, total spur of the moment "im fed up with my shitty iphone 6s pics and want something cool" move LMAO.

That's when the owner walks in and all of a sudden my credibility shoots through the roof.

"Hey -owner- this is Alex! the guy that won the contest for x company and is going to x country, who was in the tv show, who was in atlanta for that movie, who does social media!"

So im literally sitting there with my "professional" looking camera setup and just bombarded with credibility so that's when i mention to the owner that the prosthetist mentioned they wanted social media. Basically he says yeah come up with a proposal and schedule an appointment.

So i whip up a proposal in WPS (free version of MS Office basically) and a week and half later I walk into a conference room with 6 of the admins/owners and present my stuff. It was semi easy since they simply wanted social media and I like 'public' speaking.

First month is a bit extra for start up fees. It felt pretty crazy to have a business write me a $2800 check. But that's when a realized, even though i just basically doubled my bank at that time, i didnt care literally at all about money.

So this will be a progress thread for this.

Currently:

No LLC. No office. No employees/contractors.

Goal:
1: Working on another client, 95% probability but could still fall though. They met with a few other agencies/seo peeps and they said they liked me the best and i made the most sense. They will be hitting me back up on tuesday with their own 'custom' package and ill price it and hopefully we agree. This is above simple social media so i will be hiring a small team to take it on that I found on UpWork.

So if i remember, Jan 2nd I'll have an update on the potential second client. It will likely be for around the same price as the first client even though it's more services. I'd rather go cheaper since it's my first time doing it and using this team.

2: I need to make my biz legal! The thing is, since i do various other things as well as plan on doing real estate in my future, im wondering if i should do like "drunkfish LLC. DBA Digital Agency" and then later on put a drunkfish real estate LLC. UNDER that main LLC? I also model/act on occassion so i could have them make it out to the main drunkfish LLC. for example? OR should i make Digital Agency it's own LLC under my main LLC? No idea. But I want to figure this out asap.

3: Remake the website in wordpress. I use squarespace and its super limited in comparison to WP... its just going to be a pain in the a$$ and also i hardly use the website. Word of mouth has been keeping me busy at this rate but I know having a kickass website will be much better.

4: At some point i definitely need to make our own social media pages hahaha I literally have not had time/dont have the resources to manage all of it at once/not necessary until I can hire someone to take it on.

ULTIMATE GOAL:
Cool company, cool office space near me, 10-30 employees... and just keeping growing. Then fund my real estate investments.
ALT GOAL:
Get a few clients, at least $2500 MRR with a fully outsourced team running smoothly and use my team to create my own infoproducts as well as market them. Then use money for RE investments and keep growing those business's as well.

So as i said, i will try to remember to post updates and answer any questions.
 
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DrunkFish

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Unsure on the names but I do know you'll want to check to see if its taken via Trademark office.

Search trademark database

And check for the names here (Domain, Social Media, Etc.)
Namechk | Username, Domain & Trademark Search
Thanks, yeah I should be good (as in i checked). It's a really dumb name. It was incredibly hard trying to name a digital agency as quite literally anything and everything that might even be remotely relevant in terms of being a name was taken. I already have two domains and facebook but i dont use them yet haha.
 

hungryhippocampi

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Do you have to do something with "Digital Agency" in the name? How about "Media" or somethink like that? It's a creative, so take some liberty right. To get the juices flowing: how about Modern Mind Media...ModMind Media, ModMind Creative, Vaulted Media, or something along those lines?
 

DrunkFish

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Do you have to do something with "Digital Agency" in the name? How about "Media" or somethink like that? It's a creative, so take some liberty right. To get the juices flowing: how about Modern Mind Media...ModMind Media, ModMind Creative, Vaulted Media, or something along those lines?
Oh no I already have a name I like. It does have media/marketing/agency type thing in the name. Vaulted is cool though!
 

DrunkFish

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Currently in negotiation... Will update soon.
Very weird that they seemed really stoked when i was explaining all the ways to generate leads with Facebook ads and capture them with email and such, and then they go and pick the base package which in my case didnt include lead generating facebook ads or split testing emails. Lmao. But im working with it.
 

DrunkFish

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Still negotiating with that potential client... weekends suck haha.

Also spoke with a few more CPA's. Seems like I will make a single member LLC and claim on my own 1040 for the most simple and efficient management and flexibility for the future if i do decide to go S Corp or something.

Also I updated my original post Ultimate Goal with an Alt Goal that I'm working towards as well.

Right now I currently work with a guy who acts as a manger of sorts, who has a team. I do some of the work, all of the sales and management, and he'll handle the technical aspects with his small team. If i can make this work with a few clients and have $2k-3k, I'm going to look into making and selling info products most likely. I did this a while back but I had aboslutely zero money so basically couldn't do too much effectively.

But so with this me->manager->team setup, I'm hoping i can get it working smoothly. For in person media type stuff, I have a friend I will be hiring who has an MBA so he will do low end video and pics (which is all you need for social media and stuff with the budgets that I work with currently). I don't particularly think its a good idea to bring on an account or anything at this point in time, but possibly in the future. I've been keeping track of the money with Excel so far.

I'm also trying to read more, so Im reading the emyth currently. I have a list of some books to go through :)
 
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DrunkFish

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Currently trying to hire more freelancers. Will be going through proposals tomorrow.

What I might do, is niche down, pick an industry or two, and create some "One size fits most" 3 tier system that I know will work and deliver and go crazy with finding leads and meeting with biz owners.

Currently its more like im adapting to whatever is coming my way, which means it's taking quite some time to create proposals but i think the other way around is better.

So if i find an SEO expert, PPC expert, and copywriter and a few other guys, I can whip together a solid package and sell it, essentially. It will most likely be altered a little bit to each company, but mostly the same, especially if i niche down.

I've had a CPA friend contact some bigger local digital agencies for market research. We'll see what the results are :)

If anyone has any input, let me know.
 

DrunkFish

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Boom, just landed my second client as of yesterday! This one is more involved as my first one is more social media oriented and this one is more lead gen. So this will be the first time I'm personally putting the team to the test. Scary stuff. But once this goes well, i will be in a perfect position to start going hard in getting new clients because I'll have the process down.

So far i've closed 100% of my leads ;)
 

DrunkFish

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They took a long time to get the contract back, got it back a few days ago, now officially starting on my second client. If i can make this work the way i want, getting clients in the future should be a LOT quicker and easier.
 

Smith11B

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If you need help with PPC Let me know my man. Here's what I've done over the last 90 days. (So you don't think I'm one of those guy fresh from a fb course. ) I don't track in the fb ad manager because the pixel doesn't always fire when you make a sale. I use wicked reports instead.

Anyway, Let me know my man. Love what you're doing!
 

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DrunkFish

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Mar 25, 2015
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If you need help with PPC Let me know my man. Here's what I've done over the last 90 days. (So you don't think I'm one of those guy fresh from a fb course. ) I don't track in the fb ad manager because the pixel doesn't always fire when you make a sale. I use wicked reports instead.

Anyway, Let me know my man. Love what you're doing!
Pm'd ;)
 

GWan

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Congrats on getting your second client! Could you explain how you found your second client? Did you also get this client through your personal network like your first one or elsewhere?
 

DrunkFish

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Congrats on getting your second client! Could you explain how you found your second client? Did you also get this client through your personal network like your first one or elsewhere?
My friends mom works at this place. My friend brought up my new venture while we were with her and she said shed pass my info to the manager. Then i sent them a proposal because they requested that before the meeting. So they liked it and scheduled a meeting and we met in person. After we met, my first client happened to actually know this owner so he put in a good word for me without me knowing.

So I've gotten 'lucky' so far, but i am prepared to cold call for more especially when i have a good case study.
 

DrunkFish

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Working hard with this new client and also some good stuff with my first client.

Summary:
first client wanted whole array of pictures. of their office space, their vehicles, their team, group photos, etc. I know a local photog and i am paying him to do it and not charging anything extra for the client. I also have a testimonial video up on their homepage the SAME day that they gave me the account information for the video hosting site we're using.

second client: still working on setting stuff up. REALLY trying to 'process' shit down. working on documents to streamline the shit out of this stuff bc its a lot of energy to re-explain and re-type up stuff so im trying to make one big document to explain the workflow and overall strategy that SHOULD be applicable to 95% of my future clients.

very quick update.
 

DrunkFish

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Currently trying to think of ways to 'invest back into my business'

My website is fine for now, it's not top notch but if it didn't exist right now it wouldn't make a difference.
My strategy document is pretty well fleshed out and should serve me well.
My proposal is looking pretty good.
I have a basic legal contract as well.
I have a good logo that i use for branding.
What else should I be investing back into my biz for?
I was thinking about making a big document of all the fb ad campaign strategies just for reference/future ad guys.
Or maybe a document of all the email sequences I think are good also for reference or future email/VA's to use when making campaigns.
Maybe hire someone to help me make a bangin case study? I kinda feel like as long as i can get the data i could do that. Hm.

What do you guys think?


Still need to make my LLC, my CPA didn't get back to me but he's hepling me file it for free so I'm not complaining.. tried to do it myself and got hung up on just about every word. Haha.
 

Smith11B

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Currently trying to think of ways to 'invest back into my business'

My website is fine for now, it's not top notch but if it didn't exist right now it wouldn't make a difference.
My strategy document is pretty well fleshed out and should serve me well.
My proposal is looking pretty good.
I have a basic legal contract as well.
I have a good logo that i use for branding.
What else should I be investing back into my biz for?
I was thinking about making a big document of all the fb ad campaign strategies just for reference/future ad guys.
Or maybe a document of all the email sequences I think are good also for reference or future email/VA's to use when making campaigns.
Maybe hire someone to help me make a bangin case study? I kinda feel like as long as i can get the data i could do that. Hm.

What do you guys think?


Still need to make my LLC, my CPA didn't get back to me but he's hepling me file it for free so I'm not complaining.. tried to do it myself and got hung up on just about every word. Haha.


When I first got started, Heres the mistake I made. I actually got to about 8 clients before the work was just too much. I didn't invest in anything, becuse I wanted to have a warchest of cash before I did.

What ended up happening is I quickly created a job for myself. and I realized this one day when my wife took a picture of me looking stressed the hell out sitting at my computer. I saw the picture and was like damn is this what I want?

So my first investment was in a sales person. Really an appointment setter, I didn't have him closing deals yet. He'd setup 3 appointments for me a day. Of course some days it didn't happen but more days than not it did. I spent my time attending the meetings, and quickly found guys I could trust that I could outsource the work to.

That's when the growth really happened. I spent time doing what made money instead of working on the projects. Of course I oversaw everything and got my hands dirty when I felt like it to keep my accumen sharp, but as I grew I hired another 2 sales people and at the moment I'm trying to replace myself as the closer. But I rather enjoy the meetings so idk.

If I were you, and you may not be ready for this yet, but my first investment would either be a salesperson or account manager/transaction coordinator. (They kind of person who handles getting the contract signed, getting the assets lined up and keeping the client happy etc.) It just depends on what you want to offload first.
 

DrunkFish

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When I first got started, Heres the mistake I made. I actually got to about 8 clients before the work was just too much. I didn't invest in anything, becuse I wanted to have a warchest of cash before I did.

What ended up happening is I quickly created a job for myself. and I realized this one day when my wife took a picture of me looking stressed the hell out sitting at my computer. I saw the picture and was like damn is this what I want?

So my first investment was in a sales person. Really an appointment setter, I didn't have him closing deals yet. He'd setup 3 appointments for me a day. Of course some days it didn't happen but more days than not it did. I spent my time attending the meetings, and quickly found guys I could trust that I could outsource the work to.

That's when the growth really happened. I spent time doing what made money instead of working on the projects. Of course I oversaw everything and got my hands dirty when I felt like it to keep my accumen sharp, but as I grew I hired another 2 sales people and at the moment I'm trying to replace myself as the closer. But I rather enjoy the meetings so idk.

If I were you, and you may not be ready for this yet, but my first investment would either be a salesperson or account manager/transaction coordinator. (They kind of person who handles getting the contract signed, getting the assets lined up and keeping the client happy etc.) It just depends on what you want to offload first.

Man, that's funny you mention that... an appointment setter. I was just trying to create a new SIMPLE online client acquisition process. I want simple warm leads that I can mostly easily outsource right. Well my main problem was I didnt want to have to spend so much time looking for the qualifying clients on all the freelance websites.... VA! Honestly think it would be pretty cheap and super simple job for a VA if i work out the kinks for them.

I think I might try this route... thanks for having it pop up in my mind!
 

DrunkFish

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Second in person client has been bumpy as all hell.

We were one week in and she was sending me long wall of text emails asking why x y z isnt happening yet, when she hadn't given me the proper info that I had already asked for multiple times to do other things, etc and kept jumping on to other things. I told her the time frames but i guess she didnt care and was very very hostile about it despite the fact i cut them a huge deal and was emailing her literally every single day. She had NO faith apparently haha. Just a mess. First client was LIGHT YEARS better and paid more at that.

Oh well, i did the best i could, explained everything clearly, and am actually moving at a good pace and providing a really awesome service especially for the price i gave them.

Definitely a horrible experience compared to my first client, but she seems to be a lot more at ease now and so things are actually getting done and working out. However, definitely had a moment of "im one email from dropping these guys" though. Hopefully it lasts.

That said, I bought a $700 course from a guy for basically a whole business strategy for digital marketing. Client acquisition, fulfilment, sales, etc. I talked him down to $350 for it in exchange for a higher quality testimonial and referrals in the future.

I'm going through the course and it's been extremely helpful so far, and really soon I will be implementing it.

So far im bringing in just above a grand a month.

My goal moving forward is 10k a month by the end of the year.
 

ScottRams

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Regarding needing to make the business legal, I work for Legalzoom and would be happy to run you through some options about the possible business formations / structure . Let me know!
 

johnp

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Definitely a horrible experience compared to my first client, but she seems to be a lot more at ease now and so things are actually getting done and working out. However, definitely had a moment of "im one email from dropping these guys" though. Hopefully it lasts.

Let me start by saying that I mean what i about to say in a nice way. I think what you are doing is great.

But this bad experience is your fault. (Unless your client is Batt shit crazy - which is possible).

- ALWAYS set expectations upfront. Have timelines and everything laid out.

- keep client in the loop as much as possible.

- don’t take on crazy clients. This one is hard to avoid. But it makes all the difference.

Good luck!
 

DrunkFish

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Regarding needing to make the business legal, I work for Legalzoom and would be happy to run you through some options about the possible business formations / structure . Let me know!

I KNEW I WAS MISSING SOMETHING!

I actually filed my LLC with the state of MO for $50 online yesterday. Still need to get my EIN and some other thing filled out though. I just made an LLC and im putting my income/loss on my 1040 with form c or something. I talked to a tax person about it and he said that would be the best way for now to keep it simple, rather than using an s corp or something. Soooo theres that.

Let me start by saying that I mean what i about to say in a nice way. I think what you are doing is great.

But this bad experience is your fault. (Unless your client is Batt sh*t crazy - which is possible).

- ALWAYS set expectations upfront. Have timelines and everything laid out.

- keep client in the loop as much as possible.

- don’t take on crazy clients. This one is hard to avoid. But it makes all the difference.

Good luck!

Thanks for the tips, however i mentioned that i did indeed give her timelines, and we were emailing back and forth literally every day. She was well in the loop.

She got mad at me for not "uploading things to youtube" which 1 we didn't even have anything to upload and 2 was literally never discussed in our proposal or agreed upon in the contract. So it was that kind of thing, lol. Never mentioned uploading anything or doing any of that. Just FB and IG among other non social media stuff for marketing.

She was definitely just crazy although it seems like a switch has flipped completely so i hope it lasts haha. I kinda knew theyd be crazy when they wanted lower prices and when they were telling me why the rejected the last company they talked to for this stuff. But it's my second client so whatever.. haha
 

Private Witt

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Thanks! And drunkfish?? I used it in an old game and this forum and i think that's it. Just randomly chose it hah

Yah, I used to have a few fish related Internet handles as was really into poker at one time and I was a huge fish!
 

DrunkFish

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Just had a meeting today with my original in person client. Just wanted to throw this in there.

I offer them onthly videos as as well some minor photoshoots on the house through my videographer friend and another photographer friend. I don't charge extra unless it's going to cost a good amount. But a group photo with some headshots for the brochure or some other small videos are included. Like i said i just partner up with some freelancers to provide this service.
 

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