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NOTABLE! [Progress] Growing a Cleaning Business

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by nzott, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I spent some time speaking with Andy Black yesterday about my AdWords Campaign for my local service business.

    You can listen to Part 1 of the call HERE. (This is the chat.)
    You can listen to Part 2 of the call HERE. (This is the review of the AdWords account.)

    He suggested I start a progress thread to report back on how everything worked out.

    Seems like a good suggestion, so that's what I'll do.

    Updates will probably be every couple weeks if the data makes sense. Might need to wait 30 days for the initial campaign to show some numbers. Obviously something that doesn't have enough data points is irrelevant to report back.

    The big change Andy made with this campaign versus what I was doing before is implementing Modified Broad Match Keywords.

    Essentially I was listing every possible variation of every keyword, and bidding on each and every one of them. From what I've learned, this isn't the most effective way to approach this, and can actually have negative effects on your CTR and Conversions. Which in turn affects how Google views your ads and the costs associated with them.

    Modified Broad Keywords Andy has discussed at length, but is basically this:

    Keyword = +City +TargetKeyword

    The reason for this is to take what he calls the "low hanging fruit". What he means is a local service business like myself only wants to pay for those visitors that are ready to buy. We don't want the tire kickers, or people researching how to do the work on their own. We want customers in need of our service as soon as possible.

    By using modified keywords, we ensure we only show for search terms that include both our city and keyword. This is key because people don't search "Great Neck Home Cleaning" unless they are looking for a local cleaning service. People who search "Home Cleaning" may be looking for a local cleaning service, or are just as likely to be looking for tips on how to do it themselves.

    The other key piece Andy and I discussed, was the 3 key things that must match up for any campaign to be successful. Those things are the Keyword, the Ad Copy, and the Landing Page Copy. All three of these need to convey the exact same message to client.

    When a client searches "Great Neck Home Cleaning", our ad must say "Great Neck Home Cleaning". Then, when the ad is clicked, it must take them to a page that reads right in the headline "Great Neck Home Cleaning".

    Obviously this doesn't guarantee somebody books a service with us, but it's intuitive to see why somebody would be more likely to book versus if those pieces did not match up.

    ***************************************************************************************************************************

    I haven't been active on the forum, but I'm happy to discuss anything regarding my business or building a local service business in general.

    Andy and I discussed a lot of things, but I couldn't go all that deep in any one particular area. Glazing over things makes them seem a lot easier than they are in practice.

    I know one question I'd ask if I were a listener is, "What cash flows do you have that allow you to put everything the business earns back into the business, yet still pay your bills, and still have the time to grow the business".

    I wouldn't call it divine intervention, but I certainly didn't have the balls to leave my job on my own. I went in that Monday morning just like any other, yet walked out with no job. Whatever allowed that event to happen, waited until I had just enough things lined up that I wouldn't run scared to another job.

    It's worth mentioning, I have student loans, a mortgage, two car notes, NYC rent, and a girlfriend who's currently in grad school.

    I had every reason to be dependent on my salary, and I was.


    Alright so to answer the question, what cash flows keep me afloat.

    Rental Income - Own a 2 bedroom home in Baltimore Maryland. Bought this three years ago and lived there briefly before moving to NYC. This covers my mortgage payment and student loans. (1 Hour Per Month)

    NYC Rental Income - I saw an opportunity in the short term rental market, and decided to lease apartments and rent them out short term. These are thru partnerships with guys who own the properties. It's a great income stream but certainly isn't passive like the property in Baltimore. Other downside is there's no end game to this. I can't sell the partnerships. The systems I've built allow the income to be more passive than not, but this will eventually just shut down. If your familiar with the field at all, there's a ton of regulatory concerns in NYC so this won't be a long term endeavor for me. (10-15 Hours Per Week)

    Ecommerce - Girlfriends dad manufactures women's jeans and leggings. I offered to build him a website for free as long as I kept the profits from whatever sold online. It's had it's ups and downs, and is fairly stagnant at the moment since I'm not all that motivated to build it. Apparel is boring, and making trips to USPS sucks. (2 Hours Per Week - Trips to storage, then USPS. Could use fulfillment center, but like I said I don't really even want to grow this)

    Freelance Wordpress Support/Consulting - Spoke about this a bit on the call with Andy, but I basically offered a service on Craigslist setting up Wordpress sites for people. Some of that is billed hourly, others are project based and I give a set price for it. This has been the most valuable in terms of learning and personal growth. I'm not technical, so offering to provide a technical service to a complete stranger is intimidating. It forced me to learn on the fly and each client chipped away at whatever fear I had going into it. (8 Hours Per Week)

    In between all of this the real focus in on growing the Local Service Business. Answering the phone, responding to emails and online chat, drafting email campaigns, local outreach to bloggers and newspapers, social media, client relations, contractor relations, etc.


    Alright, so enough about me. I'll continue this progress thread as the campaigns runs, and hope for the best.


    Wish me luck.
     
  2. vitality11
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    vitality11 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Good luck! Beautiful to see you hustling and exposing yourself to so much growth.
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed post as these do take time :)
    Will watch your thread.
     
  3. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    The problem wasn't that you were bidding in lots of different permutations of the same search term, but that you were using too much broad match.

    Poor targeting brings visitors that have no intention of converting (someone looking for "snow removal" when you do cleaning), which is wasted spend.

    It also brings unwanted impressions, that reduces your CTR.




    Thanks for the write up @nzott. Looking forward to your updates.

    Ha... that's the second time I've been blamed for starting a thread (@SinisterLex).
     
  4. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Ahhh, thanks for clarifying. Had I put everything as Exact Match, I'm assuming I'd avoid this. Modified Broad essentially does this for me without having to come up with every permutation on my own.
     
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  5. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Update:

    It's been 2 months since beginning this progress thread, and while I thought a 30 day update would make sense, I wasn't sure what to focus on and put off updating for another 30 days.

    Something is better than nothing, so I'll just start typing and see where it goes.

    I spoke with Andy Black on Wednesday December 7th. I had just come off the Thanksgiving rush and booked my highest revenue month on record at $4,295.15. Up from $2,942.10 in October (Also a record breaking month).

    I implemented Andy's recommendations and made sure all of my tracking information and conversion goals in Google Analytics were working properly. I had a huge gain in confidence after making these changes and was no longer worried about whether I was wasting money on Adwords. December became another record month booking $7,467.60 in total revenue. While I can't attribute this entirely to Adwords, the amount of traffic I now get from Adwords is up 143%. Mainly because I raised my daily spending limits. This might have happened regardless of the changes Andy suggested, but I doubt I would have had the confidence to up my spending limits had I not spoken with Andy.

    The additional bookings led to more recurring revenue for January, more reviews on major review sites, and a better established presence overall online. This allowed continued growth in January for another record month at $8,533.65. The next goal is breaking $10,000 in booked revenue. While February is a bit shorter, I'm hoping to attain that this month. As long as the Revenue is higher than January, I'm okay with it.

    Once thing I did in December was write down my revenue goal for the month ($7,500). An interesting thing happened; I hit it! So in January I did the same thing, and like clockwork I nearly hit the exact revenue goal for January too ($8,500). Once I wrote the goal down on paper and planned exactly what needed to happen to hit that goal, the path was set. Now it was a matter of following that path and not deterring for any reason.

    The website converts 3-4% of visitors to bookings. Currently an average booking is $169 in revenue. Knowing just these two numbers, I can figure out exactly how traffic I need to generate to hit my revenue target. If my goal is $10,000 then I need to book 59 total jobs in that month. Let's say 30% of those jobs are recurring from previous months (18 jobs). To book an additional 41 Jobs, I need 1170 in traffic converting at 3.5%.

    Knowing this information is incredibly powerful as I can now make informed decision on where to get that traffic and how much I'm willing to pay for it. In the local service sector, there's a variety of options, but my main traffic sources are Adwords (Paid), SEO (Paid & Organic), Yelp (Paid and Organic), Angie's List (Organic), Thumbtack (Paid), and word of mouth. Depending on your market and how many people are searching for your service in a given month will dictate how fast you're able to grow.

    Excited to see what February and March brings.

    Onward.
     
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  6. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Nice update.

    Are you analysing your stats weekly or monthly? Are you noticing seasonality within the month (more calls after payday etc)?
     
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  7. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I look at Google Analytics periodically throughout the week, but can't say I've noticed big upticks on specific days of the week. I expect to flesh this out over the coming months and hopefully recognize some trends.
     
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  8. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I've also looked into retargeting, but haven't gotten the hang of it.
     
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  9. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Sorry, by stats I mean your business stats not Google Analytics.

    Weekly impressions, clicks, costs, enquiries, sales, revenue - by channel?

    As per the call I had with @Random_0 ...
     
  10. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    All of those are absolutely up. Tough to delineate by channel at this point. Should have more data in 3 months or so where I can make more tailored decisions.

    Yelp is huge in my area, but early on there's a chicken and egg problem with reviews and bookings. Can't get bookings without reviews, can't get reviews without bookings. Since this is more established now than 2 months ago, I should get a far better sense of how good that channel will be for my business. Same goes for one of the bid platforms I use called Thumbtack.

    SEO is a long term game as well. I now rank top 3 for the most profitable keywords and get about half the traffic I do with Adwords. I ranked 9th or 10th for some keywords, and most on the second page a couple months back.

    All of these contribute to recent growth, but challenging to know which is best or which saw any large upticks without a few more months data to look back on.

    Each channel is going full strength right now.

    One other hurdle I needed to get over was figuring out the lifetime value of a new client acquisition. Once I got a rough estimate of this, I felt much more comfortable raising bids in Adwords and targeting more expensive areas. Paying $7-10 per click was terrifying before. Now it's no big deal because I know just one recurring client pays for all of the overspend I made acquiring one time clients.

    Other interesting thing I've found is as you grow, there's a certain point where you're maximizing your spend for each marketing channel. Your marketing costs flat line while you're recurring revenue and overall revenue continues to steadily grow month to month.
     
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  11. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Sounds like you're doing great. I liken the AdWords channel to being a pump blowing up a balloon. It can only increase the size of your business by a certain amount each month, but if you can convert some of those first buyers into repeat buyers and referrers, then your business will be much bigger 12 months later.
     
  12. grindmode
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    grindmode Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Awesome job on taking ACTION and getting the ball rolling! Keep us updated!

    PS- I am fairly new here, while taking "ACTION" but GOING NOWHERE.... @Andy Black has been the 1 person that truly inspired me while also finally helping me realize my REAL PROBLEM was that I was purely "CHASING MONEY" rather than creating "VALUE" which complete mindset change while volunteering my time/working completely free for someone else (found 3 people who in just 2 weeks I have helped each person in some POSITIVE way which gave me new idea's on which I have already taken ACTION in my first business venture EVER!) .

    Didn't mean to "hi-jack" your threat but AWESOME progress I will be following this threat and PROPS to @Andy Black!
     
  13. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    That analogy is perfect.
     
  14. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    All good man. That mindset change is huge. You'll be amazed at the opportunities that will start to come your way. You'll also notice synergies between people and ideas that you would have never come across otherwise.

    Once you've volunteered your time and made some good connections, don't be afraid to start asking for a bit of money as well. Not because it's fun to make money, but because if you constantly do things for free, it will distort your sense of how you can deliver value. You'll start to feel like you can only provide value when you're volunteering your time or resources. When you know you can charge money AND deliver tremendous value to people, that's a game changer.

    Keep at it my friend. I know that feeling of taking action and feeling like you're going nowhere. Persistence is key. It's cliche, but incredibly true. While you're bank account might not seem like it's gone anywhere, I bet if you look inward, you'll recognize how far you've come personally in the last 6-12 months. That personal growth will be the bedrock of everything moving forward.
     
  15. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Update:

    It’s been another 2 months, 4 months total since beginning this progress thread. 60 day increments feels like a good point to look back on. A lot changes in that time, but also provides me enough data and experience to reflect on without being repetitive.

    While I was worried that February would be a down month overall since it was only 28 days, I continued to make strides and beat my gross revenue figure from January. I had been chasing 10,000 in gross revenue. There’s no particular reason I chose 10K, but 6 months ago I thought 10k/month in revenue was an enormous goal. It seemed the guys I’d talk to who were doing 10k/ month in their own business were crushing it, and wanted to get to that level. February ended up being super close, but total revenue was $9,619.65. I’d need to wait until March to break 10k.

    One thing I did in December was joined a private Mastermind group that was part of a larger business development program. The guy who started the program ran a local service business that he built to 150k in monthly revenue before selling. Drawing heavily from Michael Gerber’s E-Myth, the program is tailored specifically to local service businesses. It’s a step by step process to systematizing every aspect of the business. To a degree I was already working on the business, not in the business, but the program provides the exact systems he was using to grow his company. Seeing his systems and processes made it far easier for me to wrap my head around how to attack this.

    The basic process I found to effectively build any business system was 3 steps:
    1. Create a mind map

      1. Get everything out of your head and onto the page. While it feels like word vomit while you’re building it, once you take a step back, it’s incredible how organized the map becomes.
    2. Export the mind map to a word doc

      1. Expand the bullet points to full sentences and make the document flow
    3. Deploy it into your business

      1. Follow the system daily. Whether it’s just you, or you and 10 others

    One of the key things I found was I had thought through all the systems I’d need, but I never took the time to draw them out. I knew in my mind what I’d do if a certain situation came up. I knew how I’d respond. What I didn’t do, was draft all of this out so when I decided to hire someone, all I’d need to do is hand them a binder full of exactly how to run the business. Instead of receiving countless questions, they’d have a reference guide for anything and everything imaginable. There are countless little things I do every day for the business that I never realized needed to be systematized. I needed to create a machine that could theoretically be run by a High Schooler.

    March broke new records with a total monthly revenue of $12,319.12. I surpassed the coveted 10k threshold, and now aim for bigger things. 20k being that next big threshold I aim to reach.

    Marketing wise, consistency has been my biggest ally. While many cut back on certain channels to save money in the busy times, I continued at the exact same level. Adwords has continued to provide quality leads. Thumbtack, while expensive, is still a great source of revenue. Yelp is finally coming into it’s own and brings me the highest paying clients. Yelp ads are super expensive ($10 cpc), but gaining just one recurring client each month from the channel makes it worthwhile.

    Wanted to get something up here, and expand if need be.

    Happy to answer any questions.

    Onward.
     
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  16. Anoosh
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    Anoosh New Contributor

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    Nice thread man! Keep it up.. Congrats on breaking the $10k mark!! Amazing stuff.

    I got my start about 5 years ago as a broke a$$ newbie so naturally fell into SEO, affiliate SEO, local lead gen and the works. I'll keep my eye on this thread and I'd say best of luck but you wont be needing luck from the sounds of things!

    Good work. Keep pushing forward!
     
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  17. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hi Nzott,

    This thread is incredibly motivating to see your progress and you surpassing each monthly goal, excellent job! As someone who is new to the forums and doesn't know the first thing about Adwords, are there any books/resources you could recommend? I'm definitely interested in learning more about this.

    What was your background before you started this work?

    Thank you!
     
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  18. Andy Black
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    For AdWords posts and other good stuff, check out links in my signature.

    Also, check out the opening post in this thread.
     
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  19. Everyman
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    Everyman Get To The Choppa! Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    @Andy Black I don't know if I should start my progress thread then because:

    Idea:

    - it came from my client that wanted to be on the no 1 position for a keyword (which I did, well not too difficult with the posts here)

    Knowledge - AndyBlack's threads and brain (mainly the latter):

    - I PMed Andy and he wrote back - "maybe you can try running it yourself"

    - I built a clean, one-page website (thanks to @Fox thread) for my uncle - local dentist - without his knowledge nor permission (...)

    - I started a campaing (sounds big, doesn't it?) with 5E/day budget to see how it goes - 6th of April

    I didn't want to steal this thread. Just don't think it's big enough, though I feel like Andy made me do it toooooo
     
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  20. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Next time, there will be no next time" - Eminem Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Do it.

    Don't worry about it being too "small".

    It's *YOUR* progress.

    And it's progress, not an event - you can make it big over the months/years if you want to!
     
  21. Everyman
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    Everyman Get To The Choppa! Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks. I probably will although am busy with another progress somewhere else....... Ehh....

    Thanks Nicoknowsbest!
     
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  22. Sanj Modha
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    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I should move into local lead gen. I've thought about it. Good luck!
     
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  23. GuitarManDan
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    GuitarManDan Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you Andy! I'll be sure to check that out tonight.
     
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  24. Mckenzie
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    Mckenzie Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Nzott. I wish you all the best!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  25. nzott
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    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Perry Marshall's "The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords" is often recommended. I've read it, but didn't take nearly as much from is as I did just diving in and getting my hands dirty. Speak with Andy Black and read some basic guides to develop a working knowledge, then try developing some campaigns on your own. Cap your daily ad spend so you don't crush yourself, but use this as your educational expense. Once you get a feel for it, go back to Andy and talk some more. It's just one avenue, but provides consistent revenue when done correctly. The days of set up adwords and kick your feet up sipping Mai Tai's while cash rolls in are long gone (if that was ever a thing), but it's still a great route to explore.

    I was the assistant manager of a regional bank branch. Spent 3 years there straight out of school before leaving last September.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

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