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HOT! Running a digital marketing agency

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Martin Z

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Hi guys,

Context: I've been doing Instagram marketing for over 1 year now. Mostly content management and growth. Bought a course from a guy a little over a year ago(before reading MJ's first book) that included everything from growth to monetization of an Instagram account. You can say it's a degree in Instagram lol.

What do you think about these social media agencies that are out there? I'm asking because I've been doing it as a side hustle for about 10 months now and have difficulties with running it. It can take months to get a new client.

I see some guys who are running these agencies and are making 30-100k$ each month, but they are also selling courses. Which makes me question them if they really make their money from running their clients' accounts or from the courses they sell because they're promoting them all the time. Like if you were really telling the truth, then why are you selling courses around it?

There was a guy who did a video on this(FB ads specifically), he talked about why a lot of these social media gurus also sell courses, he said that because scaling an agency alone can be very difficult. Sure, it's great to make a couple thousand bucks on the side, but scaling with courses is much more profitable, scalable and it saves a lot of time as well.

The entry levels are obviously extremely low as almost any random 15 year old kid can do it just by watching a couple of YouTube videos. Even myself, I get pitched almost all the time on several of my accounts. And also it's not controllable, whenever FB or IG is gone, it's gone, my whole income stream will be lost. Not to mention the scale factor, it is very difficult to scale in both profits and clients(unless you have like 10-20 sales people who are doing the outreach for you), or you find a couple high ticket guys(3,000$ and up) who are willing to pay you, but that's not many.

Personally, I don't think a social media agency is a "real business", it's more like a hack to make some money on the side. That's probably why I bought the course in the first place, I was like a typical money chaser lol.

Should I quit and focus on building a real business or keep doing it?
 
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The greatest chokehold in any business is the psychology of the leader... aka you.

My coach taught me that if you want to be successful, you need to model success. Find someone who already has what you want and model 3 things:
  • Their physiology (what they physically do)
  • Their beliefs (how they think)
  • Their syntax (the order in which they think/do things)
The reason I'm bringing this up is that you have all of these assumptions... and I'm looking at every single one of those beliefs as just dead wrong.

Hi guys,

Context: I've been doing Instagram marketing for over 1 year now. Mostly content management and growth. Bought a course from a guy a little over a year ago(before reading MJ's first book) that included everything from growth to monetization of an Instagram account. You can say it's a degree in Instagram lol.

First off, this is awesome. Great work man. You bought training, you DID the training, and you immediately took action. MOST people never make it this far. This is seriously such a big deal -- congratulations.

What do you think about these social media agencies that are out there?

Don't ask for opinions, they are like assholes. Everyone's got one :rofl:

I'm asking because I've been doing it as a side hustle for about 10 months now and have difficulties with running it.
Keyword is side hustle. A business has to be treated with the respect it deserves. If you ignore it, it will ignore you. There are seasons of focus and seasons of balance. The only way you'll be able to grow is when you put full effort into it.


It can take months to get a new client.

Deffffiniitely not true.

How many meaningful conversations have you had with potential clients today? Yesterday? If you had meaningful conversations (not just text message but a zoom call professionally done) with 10 people a day -- is it possible, that even if you sucked, you could get at least one of them to say yes?

When I first started selling "high ticket" -- I could only close 1 out of 10. I felt like a super failure. But then I just decided to go speak to 4 times as many people as my counterparts... lo and behold I became "number 1"

My closing ratio improved, too.

If you're serious about this agency your entire job is getting sales conversations and doing sales conversations.

I see some guys who are running these agencies and are making 30-100k$ each month, but they are also selling courses. Which makes me question them if they really make their money from running their clients' accounts or from the courses they sell because they're promoting them all the time. Like if you were really telling the truth, then why are you selling courses around it?

You're making an assumption. There ARE people who sell courses. There are also lots of people who don't.

Remember, there's 3 levels:

"Here's how to do it" - the book or course
"I'll do it with you" - the coaching program
"Let me do it FOR you" - the agency

Not everybody can afford the done for you, so oftentimes the down-sell could be "let me show you how"

Depending on your model, the done for you often has a scaling fee. The more we manage, the more we charge.


There was a guy who did a video on this(FB ads specifically), he talked about why a lot of these social media gurus also sell courses, he said that because scaling an agency alone can be very difficult. Sure, it's great to make a couple thousand bucks on the side, but scaling with courses is much more profitable, scalable and it saves a lot of time as well.

Is this guy someone you should be modeling? Or is there somewhere better? Don't adopt their psychology unless it's going to serve you.

The entry levels are obviously extremely low as almost any random 15 year old kid can do it just by watching a couple of YouTube videos. Even myself, I get pitched almost all the time on several of my accounts.

The number of people I've hired that I've been extremely disappointed in is... much higher than I wish it was.

Just because anybody can promise growth -- doesn't mean they can actually do it.

I would LOVE someone who can take some of this off my plate (if they can actually perform) -- and EVEN THOUGH I have an agency I'm building, myself!!


And also it's not controllable, whenever FB or IG is gone, it's gone, my whole income stream will be lost.

I agree with gaining control. Not having all your eggs in one product basket. BUT -- realistically, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. You'll be okay for now.

Not to mention the scale factor, it is very difficult to scale in both profits and clients(unless you have like 10-20 sales people who are doing the outreach for you), or you find a couple high ticket guys(3,000$ and up) who are willing to pay you, but that's not many.

Not very difficult at all.

Stop trying to find people to sell your stuff and start being findable to people who already want to buy it.

Also, watch those limiting beliefs. 10-20 salespeople???? *I* don't even have 20 salespeople.


Personally, I don't think a social media agency is a "real business", it's more like a hack to make some money on the side. That's probably why I bought the course in the first place, I was like a typical money chaser lol.

Should I quit and focus on building a real business or keep doing it?

If that's your belief, yes, you should quit.

If you're not going to take it seriously, how can you expect anyone else to?

There's nothing wrong with buying a course and implementing it.

99% of people buy the course and say "ah shit... I wish I had someone to just do this for me"

IF you were to take it seriously... I'd start by searching out all the others who bought that same course and ask them if they want you to just implement for them... but that's IF you're serious.
 

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Frame it another way. By running a "Digital Marketing Agency"... I am learning the ins and outs of a "business". I am also putting "money" towards your end goal.
 

Martin Z

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The greatest chokehold in any business is the psychology of the leader... aka you.

My coach taught me that if you want to be successful, you need to model success. Find someone who already has what you want and model 3 things:
  • Their physiology (what they physically do)
  • Their beliefs (how they think)
  • Their syntax (the order in which they think/do things)
The reason I'm bringing this up is that you have all of these assumptions... and I'm looking at every single one of those beliefs as just dead wrong.



First off, this is awesome. Great work man. You bought training, you DID the training, and you immediately took action. MOST people never make it this far. This is seriously such a big deal -- congratulations.



Don't ask for opinions, they are like assholes. Everyone's got one :rofl:


Keyword is side hustle. A business has to be treated with the respect it deserves. If you ignore it, it will ignore you. There are seasons of focus and seasons of balance. The only way you'll be able to grow is when you put full effort into it.




Deffffiniitely not true.

How many meaningful conversations have you had with potential clients today? Yesterday? If you had meaningful conversations (not just text message but a zoom call professionally done) with 10 people a day -- is it possible, that even if you sucked, you could get at least one of them to say yes?

When I first started selling "high ticket" -- I could only close 1 out of 10. I felt like a super failure. But then I just decided to go speak to 4 times as many people as my counterparts... lo and behold I became "number 1"

My closing ratio improved, too.

If you're serious about this agency your entire job is getting sales conversations and doing sales conversations.



You're making an assumption. There ARE people who sell courses. There are also lots of people who don't.

Remember, there's 3 levels:

"Here's how to do it" - the book or course
"I'll do it with you" - the coaching program
"Let me do it FOR you" - the agency

Not everybody can afford the done for you, so oftentimes the down-sell could be "let me show you how"

Depending on your model, the done for you often has a scaling fee. The more we manage, the more we charge.




Is this guy someone you should be modeling? Or is there somewhere better? Don't adopt their psychology unless it's going to serve you.



The number of people I've hired that I've been extremely disappointed in is... much higher than I wish it was.

Just because anybody can promise growth -- doesn't mean they can actually do it.

I would LOVE someone who can take some of this off my plate (if they can actually perform) -- and EVEN THOUGH I have an agency I'm building, myself!!




I agree with gaining control. Not having all your eggs in one product basket. BUT -- realistically, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. You'll be okay for now.



Not very difficult at all.

Stop trying to find people to sell your stuff and start being findable to people who already want to buy it.

Also, watch those limiting beliefs. 10-20 salespeople???? *I* don't even have 20 salespeople.




If that's your belief, yes, you should quit.

If you're not going to take it seriously, how can you expect anyone else to?

There's nothing wrong with buying a course and implementing it.

99% of people buy the course and say "ah shit... I wish I had someone to just do this for me"

IF you were to take it seriously... I'd start by searching out all the others who bought that same course and ask them if they want you to just implement for them... but that's IF you're serious.

Thank you. Yeah, I don't see this stuff going anywhere soon either. It's definitely a big piece in the marketplace. And like you said, I think the problem is most business owners have worked with some of these digital agencies before, who made outlandish promises to them, and then get disappointed because a lack of results, and decide to not invest any money into them. Or maybe it's just my belief system, I don't know. When you're not getting the fruits of your labor for almost a year, it can affect you mentally.

But on the flip side, that can also be a good thing. Because if most people who are doing it are plain amateurs, then that barrier might be an opportunity as well. If you can actually not just deliver, but over deliver on your services. I mean social media is everywhere nowadays. Businesses need it more than ever. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best: "Social media is like word of mouth times ten".

I think the word side hustle was misused by me. I've been doing this on the side for like 4-5 hours every single day(since the start of 2021 pretty much) and barely see any results. The guys in the course promised big results in no time.

I've actually tried almost every single outreach strategy that's out there; cold calling, e-mails, DMs(got me the best results so far), video pitches with tons of tips to business owners etc. but none seemed to give consistent results, besides DMs. Or maybe I'm just a bad sales person?
 

Martin Z

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Frame it another way. By running a "Digital Marketing Agency"... I am learning the ins and outs of a "business". I am also putting "money" towards your end goal.
Thanks for the feedback. :)
 

Eudaimonium

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If the sales process or delivery of the service/product cannot be automated (scaled) in a good way, and you are not seeing consistent growth, I'd do something else.
 

Kung Fu Steve

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Thank you. Yeah, I don't see this stuff going anywhere soon either. It's definitely a big piece in the marketplace. And like you said, I think the problem is most business owners have worked with some of these digital agencies before, who made outlandish promises to them, and then get disappointed because a lack of results, and decide to not invest any money into them.

So in your sales process, this objection (that is going to come up over and over and over again) needs to be solved BEFORE it comes up.

It's not wrong to target people who have spent money with agencies in the past (in fact, it's probably smart because now you don't have to convince them to spend money but simply spend the money with YOU).

When you're not getting the fruits of your labor for almost a year, it can affect you mentally.

I hear something similar to this a lot.

"I've been at this for years! I've tried everything!"

No. You've tried the same shit that didn't work over and over for a year(s).

Mindset is important but if you're running east looking for a sunset -- your mentality is not the problem.

You must start to develop consistent SYSTEMS that produce leads.

The secret is, any idiot can get leads.

It's what you do WITH those leads afterward that creates success or failure.

But on the flip side, that can also be a good thing. Because if most people who are doing it are plain amateurs, then that barrier might be an opportunity as well. If you can actually not just deliver, but over deliver on your services. I mean social media is everywhere nowadays. Businesses need it more than ever. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best: "Social media is like word of mouth times ten".

Now you're freakin' getting it!! YESSSS!

I think the word side hustle was misused by me. I've been doing this on the side for like 4-5 hours every single day(since the start of 2021 pretty much) and barely see any results. The guys in the course promised big results in no time.

What is their system?

Lay it out for me?

I've actually tried almost every single outreach strategy that's out there; cold calling, e-mails, DMs(got me the best results so far), video pitches with tons of tips to business owners etc. but none seemed to give consistent results, besides DMs. Or maybe I'm just a bad sales person?

Again, stop trying to find people to sell your stuff to. Start being findable to people who already want it.

If you've been successful with DMs -- double down on those.

Let's take a peek at your script and see what you're sending.
 

Martin Z

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If the sales process or delivery of the service/product cannot be automated (scaled) in a good way, and you are not seeing consistent growth, I'd do something else.
Exactly. This is the issue with this business model. Unless you have 20-30 3,000$ clients, then it make sense. From my experience, most people that I've contacted aren't even willing to spend 500$ on social media services.
 

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Exactly. This is the issue with this business model. Unless you have 20-30 3,000$ clients, then it make sense. From my experience, most people that I've contacted aren't even willing to spend 500$ on social media services.

I'm responding with the assumption you WANT this to work, but if you don't -- then that's a different conversation

Are you passionate enough about this line of work? You can easily just go get a job that will be much less stress
 

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Hi guys,

Context: I've been doing Instagram marketing for over 1 year now. Mostly content management and growth. Bought a course from a guy a little over a year ago(before reading MJ's first book) that included everything from growth to monetization of an Instagram account. You can say it's a degree in Instagram lol.

What do you think about these social media agencies that are out there? I'm asking because I've been doing it as a side hustle for about 10 months now and have difficulties with running it. It can take months to get a new client.

I see some guys who are running these agencies and are making 30-100k$ each month, but they are also selling courses. Which makes me question them if they really make their money from running their clients' accounts or from the courses they sell because they're promoting them all the time. Like if you were really telling the truth, then why are you selling courses around it?

There was a guy who did a video on this(FB ads specifically), he talked about why a lot of these social media gurus also sell courses, he said that because scaling an agency alone can be very difficult. Sure, it's great to make a couple thousand bucks on the side, but scaling with courses is much more profitable, scalable and it saves a lot of time as well.

The entry levels are obviously extremely low as almost any random 15 year old kid can do it just by watching a couple of YouTube videos. Even myself, I get pitched almost all the time on several of my accounts. And also it's not controllable, whenever FB or IG is gone, it's gone, my whole income stream will be lost. Not to mention the scale factor, it is very difficult to scale in both profits and clients(unless you have like 10-20 sales people who are doing the outreach for you), or you find a couple high ticket guys(3,000$ and up) who are willing to pay you, but that's not many.

Personally, I don't think a social media agency is a "real business", it's more like a hack to make some money on the side. That's probably why I bought the course in the first place, I was like a typical money chaser lol.

Should I quit and focus on building a real business or keep doing it?
Digital marketing is a real business. You need to focus on getting conversations with people and then transforming those into sales. It all starts with getting clear about WHO you’re serving and HOW.

What’s stopping you from having 10 conversations a day with potential clients?
 

Martin Z

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So in your sales process, this objection (that is going to come up over and over and over again) needs to be solved BEFORE it comes up.

It's not wrong to target people who have spent money with agencies in the past (in fact, it's probably smart because now you don't have to convince them to spend money but simply spend the money with YOU).



I hear something similar to this a lot.

"I've been at this for years! I've tried everything!"

No. You've tried the same shit that didn't work over and over for a year(s).

Mindset is important but if you're running east looking for a sunset -- your mentality is not the problem.

You must start to develop consistent SYSTEMS that produce leads.

The secret is, any idiot can get leads.

It's what you do WITH those leads afterward that creates success or failure.



Now you're freakin' getting it!! YESSSS!



What is their system?

Lay it out for me?



Again, stop trying to find people to sell your stuff to. Start being findable to people who already want it.

If you've been successful with DMs -- double down on those.

Let's take a peek at your script and see what you're sending.
The course was made by a guy(not going to mention his name due to privacy) who's very good at Instagram. I was actually convinced to purchase his course after he showed how we was able to make 100k$ consistently for months with his IG agency, and crossed the million dollar mark in about 9 months. And as you probably know, this industry is very profitable. He said the profit margins at that year were at about 80%.

He created the course with another guy. It contained everything from growing an account from scratch(content strategy, hashtags, BPP, domino effect in the algorithm etc.) to monetization(affiliate links, promos/brand deals etc). He did talk a little bit about the agency model(which is why I bought the course in the first place), and gave pretty generic advice there. Just like the usual strategies(cold calls, dms, emails, door to door etc).

However, I joined his private group about a month ago, where he went in detail to how he actually gets all his leads. And this reconciles with your second answer, he showed a great example on this. Outbound vs inbound leads. He reasoned it's very difficult to get outbound leads(meaning you pitch them your service) and that takes a lot of work. He compared it to eating supper and getting a cold call from a local dentist. Very low conversion rate.

His strategy in the group was golden. Instead of doing the hard work, let somebody else do it for you and use leverage. Instead of you pitching business owners; pay an account or multiple accounts that already got a big reach(100k followers or more) and make them promote your services. So instead of contacting let's say 100-200 business owners a day, you pay someone and get in front of hundreds of thousands of potential leads very quickly.

Another strategy(he didn't reveal it in the course but in a YouTube video) he used when he first started was to just give value in FB groups about Instagram, so that way people could actually find him when they need him. I did that on Quora instead of FB, but that hasn't worked yet for me. He concluded this is a very good strategy, because it's like a fishing rod, you catch the leads. And plus, these posts exist forever(or as long as FB/other platform is alive).

My strategy? Well the typical noobie lol.

When I started it looked something like this:

"Hey there -username-,

-compliment them on a picture or about their content-

Are you doing any marketing?"


But then I started doing voice messages with pretty much the same script, and that got me way more responses. Probably because I showed that I'm a real person and not just a bot.
 
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Martin Z

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I'm responding with the assumption you WANT this to work, but if you don't -- then that's a different conversation

Are you passionate enough about this line of work? You can easily just go get a job that will be much less stress
Yeah, I would love to. Been busting my a$$ since the start of this year(and some months last year too). Would love to help my dad retire as he deserves it.
 

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Personally, I don't think a social media agency is a "real business", it's more like a hack to make some money on the side. That's probably why I bought the course in the first place, I was like a typical money chaser lol.

Should I quit and focus on building a real business or keep doing it?

It is a real business.

Pure CENTS based Fastlane business?

Not really, more like a specialized skill that can translate very well to your own business. As a side hustle, I see nothing wrong with it, especially because it is a great skill to know. But if it were me, I'd have my eye on other things...

The entry levels are obviously extremely low as almost any random 15 year old kid can do it j

Funny, there was a thread today from a 16 year old who wanted to do this...
 

Martin Z

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 969842" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
It is a real business.

Pure CENTS based Fastlane business?

Not really, more like a specialized skill that can translate very well to your own business. As a side hustle, I see nothing wrong with it, especially because it is a great skill to know. But if it were me, I'd have my eye on other things...



Funny, there was a thread today from a 16 year old who wanted to do this...
Exactly, finally somebody who gets it. I don't know any agency owners, besides one who's making over 10m$ in revenue(but this guy started like 15 years ago, so he's one of the very early adopters. He's in hospitality and clients are paying him anywhere from 10-150,000$ per month). There's two as well(one that does mostly FB ads(3m$ in revenue), has a bunch of courses too) and the guy who I bought the course from(he told me he's in the 4-5m$ range now by expanding his interests; e-commerce, webinars, and high ticket courses etc.).

But the problem is, it's sort of like a fad. Whenever a new social media platform comes in or if FB dies(along with IG), the skill will be worthless. And besides, IG can terminate my reach at any point(happened to me this year. Had an account that was growing like crazy, got to like 10k followers in 2 months organically but then I violated one of their liberal rules and my reach got a roadkill. I was getting a reach between 500,000-1,000,000 users a week and boom, all of a sudden it faded, the account got shadow banned. Sucks but it is what it is.)

I agree with you, it is a great skill to have in your own business, as marketing is part of the distribution process. Thanks.
 

Kung Fu Steve

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The course was made by a guy(not going to mention his name due to privacy) who's very good at Instagram. I was actually convinced to purchase his course after he showed how we was able to make 100k$ consistently for months with his IG agency, and crossed the million dollar mark in about 9 months. And as you probably know, this industry is very profitable. He said the profit margins at that year were at about 80%.

Was he making money on his agency or selling agency advice?


He created the course with another guy. It contained everything from growing an account from scratch(content strategy, hashtags, BPP, domino effect in the algorithm etc.) to monetization(affiliate links, promos/brand deals etc). He did talk a little bit about the agency model(which is why I bought the course in the first place), and gave pretty generic advice there. Just like the usual strategies(cold calls, dms, emails, door to door etc).

However, I joined his private group about a month ago, where he went in detail to how he actually gets all his leads. And this reconciles with your second answer, he showed a great example on this. Outbound vs inbound leads. He reasoned it's very difficult to get outbound leads(meaning you pitch them your service) and that takes a lot of work. He compared it to eating supper and getting a cold call from a local dentist. Very low conversion rate.

Are you using any of the inbound strategies in addition to your outbound?

His strategy in the group was golden. Instead of doing the hard work, let somebody else do it for you and use leverage. Instead of you pitching business owners; pay an account or multiple accounts that already got a big reach(100k followers or more) and make them promote your services. So instead of contacting let's say 100-200 business owners a day, you pay someone and get in front of hundreds of thousands of potential leads very quickly.

Have you tried this approach yet?

Even better if you make friends with these people and give them value before asking for something like that.

How much networking are you actively doing in the community?

You'd be surprised that your "competition" really isn't competition. Even if they do the exact same thing as you. They might even give you leads they can't handle/don't want to deal with.

Another strategy(he didn't reveal it in the course but in a YouTube video) he used when he first started was to just give value in FB groups about Instagram, so that way people could actually find him when they need him. I did that on Quora instead of FB, but that hasn't worked yet for me. He concluded this is a very good strategy, because it's like a fishing rod, you catch the leads. And plus, these posts exist forever(or as long as FB/other platform is alive).

This sounds like regurgitated crap. Spamming groups and hoping to catch people is not a business model. It's a random strategy at best. Groups are not what they used to be. They have changed dramatically. You have to change with them.

Out of curiosity what does your product/service DO?

Does it get me sales? Leads? Or just more followers? Or better engagement? What's the outcome?




My strategy? Well the typical noobie lol.

When I started it looked something like this:

"Hey there -username-,

-compliment them on a picture or about their content-

Are you doing any marketing?"


But then I started doing voice messages with pretty much the same script, and that got me way more responses. Probably because I showed that I'm a real person and not just a bot.

Just sticking right in there ey?
 

Martin Z

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Was he making money on his agency or selling agency advice?




Are you using any of the inbound strategies in addition to your outbound?



Have you tried this approach yet?

Even better if you make friends with these people and give them value before asking for something like that.

How much networking are you actively doing in the community?

You'd be surprised that your "competition" really isn't competition. Even if they do the exact same thing as you. They might even give you leads they can't handle/don't want to deal with.



This sounds like regurgitated crap. Spamming groups and hoping to catch people is not a business model. It's a random strategy at best. Groups are not what they used to be. They have changed dramatically. You have to change with them.

Out of curiosity what does your product/service DO?

Does it get me sales? Leads? Or just more followers? Or better engagement? What's the outcome?






Just sticking right in there ey?
Hey, thanks for caring. The original video was uploaded in 2018, in the video he showed a bunch of high ticket PayPal payments he received from clients, and even his ClickFunnels 1m$ award for social proof(which are only given if you actually cross that mark). He said out of that 1m$, 90% of it came from his IG services and the rest from courses. I think he didn't tell the full truth about the ratios though as it seems a little suspicious.

The course was divided into two pieces; the growth and the monetization aspects of Instagram. The agency section was a small part of the course, as he said he has a different course that will go into the agency model for "serious" users. -_-

No, I haven't been using any inbound strategies as I'm struggling to get clients consistently. If I were making money consistently with this model, I would be doing the inbound strategies.

And no, I'm not networking with any people at the moment on Instagram. I've been doing it a lot when I was growing my own accounts for social proof at the end of 2020, doing things like shoutout for shoutout, promoting each other's posts for traction, and engagement groups too.

You mean I should try to network with existing agency owners? And do like a split? So if I give him a client, he'll refer a client to me and vice versa? That would be interesting. Have never thought about this strategy before. Isn't there a saying that goes: "Your network determines your net worth"?

The group strategy hasn't worked so far. Sure, people started to ask me questions on Quora, but it's mostly low level amateur stuff from kids/teenagers and not real business owners. I get requests daily for questions like; "Why doesn't my boyfriend like my pictures?", "Do hashtags work in 2021?" or "What do you think of Kim Kardashian's booty pics on IG". And yes, I agree with you. As well as the marketing groups that I'm in on LinkedIn too, these groups are full of marketing spammers who promote their services constantly, so it's incredibly difficult to stand out there. There's also a plastic surgeon group, there is no value there either!

As far as my agency, we mostly do IG growth, this includes everything from building engagement, followers, and overall growing a real fan base for your account. And the save the business owner time, with the headache of how to do it. It's particularly easy with theme accounts, not so easy with smaller business owner accounts as there's more into it. It's more of a long term strategy on your ROI. You can also run ads(short term), but my speciality is content and growth.

The script sucks doesn't it? I think everybody has that sort of script. Maybe I could adrress the objection beforehand? Like "Sup, I know you probably hear the same spiel over and over again, but do you do any marketing?", maybe that would work.
 

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Thank you. Yeah, I don't see this stuff going anywhere soon either. It's definitely a big piece in the marketplace. And like you said, I think the problem is most business owners have worked with some of these digital agencies before, who made outlandish promises to them, and then get disappointed because a lack of results, and decide to not invest any money into them. Or maybe it's just my belief system, I don't know. When you're not getting the fruits of your labor for almost a year, it can affect you mentally.

But on the flip side, that can also be a good thing. Because if most people who are doing it are plain amateurs, then that barrier might be an opportunity as well. If you can actually not just deliver, but over deliver on your services. I mean social media is everywhere nowadays. Businesses need it more than ever. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best: "Social media is like word of mouth times ten".

I think the word side hustle was misused by me. I've been doing this on the side for like 4-5 hours every single day(since the start of 2021 pretty much) and barely see any results. The guys in the course promised big results in no time.

I've actually tried almost every single outreach strategy that's out there; cold calling, e-mails, DMs(got me the best results so far), video pitches with tons of tips to business owners etc. but none seemed to give consistent results, besides DMs. Or maybe I'm just a bad sales person?
It's not about saying it didnt work, dont be fast to make a conclusion. How did you do the cold calling and emailing? Can you elaborate so that I can point to you what went wrong.
 

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It's not about saying it didnt work, dont be fast to make a conclusion. How did you do the cold calling and emailing? Can you elaborate so that I can point to you what went wrong.
Sure.

Cold calling was pretty straightforward. Obviously I used the business owner's name, and was quick to the point, since they expect a customer to call them and not some random guy trying to pitch his services.

"Hello John, I've got a quick question for you. Would you be interested in getting more clients for your construction/roofing business?", that was the typical script. I'll admit, in my first very first call I was nervous because I hate talking on the phone, but I think I did like 50-60 cold calls in December last year but that was it it.

With emails, it started around January this year. The script was as follows:

"Hello 'so and so',

I've got a couple of ideas that can help you bring more customers into your business. Would you like to discuss them?

Best, Martin".


This got me 3 meetings in January. 2 of which didn't want to buy from me because I was too expensive, and the other guy kept rescheduling so I forgot about the dude cuz he wasn't serious at all, just a time waster.

I did sign my first one months later through DMs.
 

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And like you said, I think the problem is most business owners have worked with some of these digital agencies before, who made outlandish promises to them, and then get disappointed because a lack of results, and decide to not invest any money into them. Or maybe it's just my belief system, I don't know. When you're not getting the fruits of your labor for almost a year, it can affect you mentally.

That's a lot of words and rationale, but what I'm hearing is you don't believe you can get results for clients.

Start there.

What are you charging people for if you can't deliver the goods? What exactly are the "fruits of your labor"? As a marketer, are you only concerned with putting money in your pocket?

Start there.
Exactly. This is the issue with this business model. Unless you have 20-30 3,000$ clients, then it make sense. From my experience, most people that I've contacted aren't even willing to spend 500$ on social media services.
If you can deliver the goods for clients they'll happily pay way more than $500.

But why would they pay you?
But the problem is, it's sort of like a fad
No, this is just what you tell yourself to cover up for the fact that you can't get results for clients.

Trust me, you get one client, you kick a$$ for them, they will tell their friends, their friends will hire you, you kick a$$ for them too, and you'll never cold call again.

The question is, who are you absolutely convinced you can kick a$$ for?
 

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Hey, thanks for caring.

I always care. Whether or not I act on that caring is another question :rofl:


The original video was uploaded in 2018, in the video he showed a bunch of high ticket PayPal payments he received from clients, and even his ClickFunnels 1m$ award for social proof(which are only given if you actually cross that mark). He said out of that 1m$, 90% of it came from his IG services and the rest from courses. I think he didn't tell the full truth about the ratios though as it seems a little suspicious.

I'm very familiar. The 2 comma club is for $1,000,000 sold in any funnel over ANY amount of time. So that could've been the last 10 years for all we know.

But I disagree on this one. Agency stuff is far more valuable than courses. And much easier to sell. "Done for you" is a hell of a lot easier to sell than "done with you" or "do it yourself"

Stop being suspicious, start being curious.

The course was divided into two pieces; the growth and the monetization aspects of Instagram. The agency section was a small part of the course, as he said he has a different course that will go into the agency model for "serious" users. -_-

There's that attitude again. It's not getting you anywhere.

I don't know if you feel like you've been ripped off or why you keep responding with these types of comments but let it go. It's done whether you like it or not. got value or not.

No, I haven't been using any inbound strategies as I'm struggling to get clients consistently. If I were making money consistently with this model, I would be doing the inbound strategies.

If you were using inbound strategies, you'd be making money.



And no, I'm not networking with any people at the moment on Instagram.

When would now be a good time to do that?

Here's the best tip I've ever learned about social media: actually be social on it

I've been doing it a lot when I was growing my own accounts for social proof at the end of 2020, doing things like shoutout for shoutout, promoting each other's posts for traction, and engagement groups too.

What is your Instagram handle?

What are you doing to grow your own business' Instagram?

Do you have good examples in your portfolio?

You mean I should try to network with existing agency owners? And do like a split? So if I give him a client, he'll refer a client to me and vice versa? That would be interesting. Have never thought about this strategy before. Isn't there a saying that goes: "Your network determines your net worth"?
Some agencies are so busy they don't want $500/month clients

I won't take anyone for under $2,500/month right now.


The group strategy hasn't worked so far. Sure, people started to ask me questions on Quora, but it's mostly low level amateur stuff from kids/teenagers and not real business owners. I get requests daily for questions like; "Why doesn't my boyfriend like my pictures?", "Do hashtags work in 2021?" or "What do you think of Kim Kardashian's booty pics on IG". And yes, I agree with you. As well as the marketing groups that I'm in on LinkedIn too, these groups are full of marketing spammers who promote their services constantly, so it's incredibly difficult to stand out there. There's also a plastic surgeon group, there is no value there either!

You should have your own group and teach the skills.


As far as my agency, we mostly do IG growth, this includes everything from building engagement, followers, and overall growing a real fan base for your account. And the save the business owner time, with the headache of how to do it. It's particularly easy with theme accounts, not so easy with smaller business owner accounts as there's more into it. It's more of a long term strategy on your ROI. You can also run ads(short term), but my speciality is content and growth.

What's my outcome. In plain English.

I have an Instagram account. @Stevehilgart

Can you get me from 1600 to 10k in 2 months?



The script sucks doesn't it? I think everybody has that sort of script. Maybe I could adrress the objection beforehand? Like "Sup, I know you probably hear the same spiel over and over again, but do you do any marketing?", maybe that would work.

Yes. Your script sucks.

"Hey, I like what you're doing on your Instagram. Your content is pretty good. You don't know me, but I think if you did X, Y, and Z -- you'd start getting more."

And IF they respond (they probably won't)

"I'm curious, have you ever thought about hiring an outside consultant? I work with smaller brands like yours. I'd love to show you what I can do for you! And if you like that, I'd love to interview for the role as your social media manager."

I had a VA for $100 a week DM decision-makers all day a simple message "Hey, I like what you're doing. Maybe we could set up a collaboration?"

1/20 or 1/30 would respond "thank. what do you have in mind?"

"Well, are you familiar with [famous coach here]?"

Yes/no

"I'm the head trainer, I've been given a marketing budget to reach out and do trainings for teams like yours... yadda yadda... do you have a pretty big team?"

(obviously this was for a speaking offer, not agency stuff, but you get the idea).

I booked 2 meetings a week that way with anywhere from 100-900 attendees. I'd do a value training and pitch from stage. Usually enroll about 10% in high-ticket offer. So it was worth it for me.

The key is targeting the right people, and actually giving a shit when you message them. (instead of the spammy bullshit)
 

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get one client, kick a$$ for them, they tell their friends
This.

Keep helping people, be seen helping people, and especially be seen by a community owner helping people in their community.

I chatted about that in this podcast episode:
 
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Plus all that @Kung Fu Steve said…

I too am a fan of inbound.

I just had to get good at outbound for my role the last 7 years. But I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Door knocking and cold calling can be brutal.

However, if you've got the testicular fortitude, entire industries were born with that. This company does almost $200mm a year and they are just NOW getting involved in inbound but still 80% outbound.
 

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I just had to get good at outbound for my role the last 7 years. But I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Door knocking and cold calling can be brutal.

However, if you've got the testicular fortitude, entire industries were born with that. This company does almost $200mm a year and they are just NOW getting involved in inbound but still 80% outbound.
It all works. Pick any strategy and someone somewhere is making it work.
 

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That's a lot of words and rationale, but what I'm hearing is you don't believe you can get results for clients.

Start there.

What are you charging people for if you can't deliver the goods? What exactly are the "fruits of your labor"? As a marketer, are you only concerned with putting money in your pocket?

Start there.

If you can deliver the goods for clients they'll happily pay way more than $500.

But why would they pay you?

No, this is just what you tell yourself to cover up for the fact that you can't get results for clients.

Trust me, you get one client, you kick a$$ for them, they will tell their friends, their friends will hire you, you kick a$$ for them too, and you'll never cold call again.

The question is, who are you absolutely convinced you can kick a$$ for?
Yeah, well when you're trying to convince people to buy your services and you hear a lot of them saying: "That's way too expensive. I can do it myself". I was receiving these types of messages back in June when I wanted to experiment and switched my target group to car valets(or car detailers). Almost everyone said 500$ was way too much. One guy said he'd only pay 150£ for a service like that. -_-

Maybe I should change my target group or let them find me? Maybe the marketing part sucks? Kung Fu Steve had a great point, let them find you. I know I can deliver on what I do, it's just that I'm not getting leads. The guy who I bought the course from said his first client paid him 3,500$ per month just to grow his IG account, he said the guy was retired and had like a 50 million $ net worth.

I think my mentality is in the wrong place. Maybe I'm not positioning myself as an expert? Maybe I should start a YouTube channel too like the guy I bought the course from?

You're right. Maybe my assumptions are all wrong because of the lack of leads.
 
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I always care. Whether or not I act on that caring is another question :rofl:




I'm very familiar. The 2 comma club is for $1,000,000 sold in any funnel over ANY amount of time. So that could've been the last 10 years for all we know.

But I disagree on this one. Agency stuff is far more valuable than courses. And much easier to sell. "Done for you" is a hell of a lot easier to sell than "done with you" or "do it yourself"

Stop being suspicious, start being curious.



There's that attitude again. It's not getting you anywhere.

I don't know if you feel like you've been ripped off or why you keep responding with these types of comments but let it go. It's done whether you like it or not. got value or not.



If you were using inbound strategies, you'd be making money.





When would now be a good time to do that?

Here's the best tip I've ever learned about social media: actually be social on it



What is your Instagram handle?

What are you doing to grow your own business' Instagram?

Do you have good examples in your portfolio?


Some agencies are so busy they don't want $500/month clients

I won't take anyone for under $2,500/month right now.




You should have your own group and teach the skills.




What's my outcome. In plain English.

I have an Instagram account. @Stevehilgart

Can you get me from 1600 to 10k in 2 months?





Yes. Your script sucks.

"Hey, I like what you're doing on your Instagram. Your content is pretty good. You don't know me, but I think if you did X, Y, and Z -- you'd start getting more."

And IF they respond (they probably won't)

"I'm curious, have you ever thought about hiring an outside consultant? I work with smaller brands like yours. I'd love to show you what I can do for you! And if you like that, I'd love to interview for the role as your social media manager."

I had a VA for $100 a week DM decision-makers all day a simple message "Hey, I like what you're doing. Maybe we could set up a collaboration?"

1/20 or 1/30 would respond "thank. what do you have in mind?"

"Well, are you familiar with [famous coach here]?"

Yes/no

"I'm the head trainer, I've been given a marketing budget to reach out and do trainings for teams like yours... yadda yadda... do you have a pretty big team?"

(obviously this was for a speaking offer, not agency stuff, but you get the idea).

I booked 2 meetings a week that way with anywhere from 100-900 attendees. I'd do a value training and pitch from stage. Usually enroll about 10% in high-ticket offer. So it was worth it for me.

The key is targeting the right people, and actually giving a shit when you message them. (instead of the spammy bullshit)
Nice, he did actually show the award up close. It said: "Over 1,000,000$ in sales with Instagram marketing - 2018".

I think you're right. My mentality is wacky and totally out of place. Playing the victim now and making excuses why it doesn't work makes me a loser. That's not how great entrepreneurs think.

But at the same time, I don't want to be delusional and keep investing my time into something that has no growth when there are better opportunities out there to go with my endeavours.

I don't feel like I've been ripped off. Just got mixed feelings about my current situation, that's it.

Thanks for the strategies. I have never thought about creating my own little group to share my expertise. Btw the guy also has a YouTube channel, so that might be something to consider. Because that way, he's positioning himself as an expert in this field; That can build his brand name and can make him seem more professional, thus clients will pay him more compared to some random Joe on the street.


You have a point here. There's a successful guy who I follow from my home country, and he had his 7 points on running a successful business. His #2 point was leverage, in other words there are resources that you're currently not using to grow your business. Stuff like social media, ads, masterminds, webinars, writing a book etc. That one hit hard with me.

I don't want this thread to be all about me though. I don't think you and I are the only agency owners here on this forum. :)

In terms of my own Instagram account(my personal and the agency one), no I'm not utilizing them at all. I've posted a couple of posts on the agency one for social proof, things that are related with results; reach, likes, growth of accounts etc. but that's it.

My current personal account is set to private. Maybe I should start using it and post meaningful stuff? The guy I bought the course from does it too.

The inbound strategies will probably make the biggest difference though.

The one account that we grew to over 10k in 2 months(actually 2.5 months and 12.7k followers), was our best one yet.

Isn't that script a little too salesy though? Or too straightforward? Btw I actually got this strategy from Gary V, who said it's all about contacting a bunch of accounts and providing them with value.

What about this;
"Hello mr. dentist/surgeon, my name is this and that, and I'm a social media manager. Have you ever thought about hiring an outside social media consultant for your business?" or your first script.

A lot of the guys who I follow go against this strategy as everybody is doing it. And when everybody is doing it then you're not differentiating yourself. It's harder to catch their attention.
 

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Check out the Personal Branding and Content Marketing episodes of Let’s Chat Sales (see my signature for the progress thread).

There may be other interesting/useful episodes too. The one where Brendan talks about Writing a Book, and where we discuss selling at live events maybe?

Also check out the Inbound/Sales thread in my signature, and a thread I did about “How to use forums and Facebook groups”.

Also the “Who have you helped?” call in my signature.

You might find this chat useful too:
 

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I also believe @Fox ’s group/courses is heavily sales focused. Maybe check that out too.
 

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You mentioned YouTube a couple of times. Here’s a list of progress threads. The first two are amazing.
Thank you for your initiative and the various links sir, I appreciate it. This whole marketing agency gig is good for making good money, but I doubt it can be a real life changing business. Because in 50-100 years, no one is really going to remember IG or FB(unless they survive). I mean I didn't even knew what MySpace was until I saw one of MJ's posts about the guy who created MySpace roasting a random dude in the comments section lol.

At the same time, I want to create something that will actually change lives of millions and create a legacy for my family and my future children who will get paid royalties long after I die. Something like what Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone did. Not just in terms of financial success or fame, but actually creating something that will exist for a very long time. Their families' lives will be set for many many years because of what these two did in the show business world, and outside of it too with their various businesses.

You got to start somewhere at least!
 

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