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SMMA?!

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
Hey guys, new here! I'm almost done reading the millionaire Fastlane and it's opened my eyes. However, I had a question. In the book, MJ says that a Service-Based Business Model (SBBM) is limited in growth and scalability. What do you think? Because before starting the book, I was getting things ready to start my own SMMA. An SMMA solves a problem for a company, right?
 
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RicardoGrande

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May 9, 2021
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Welcome Kris,

Service based businesses can be tricky. Johnny boy here on the forum started a lawncare company and has quickly taken that to above 1.5m year in revenue based on his execution, hiring, and processes and we have others that do just fine in other service ventures.

Web design/FB ads/google ads/SEO are pretty popular, and they're pretty saturated just like SMMA (I actually see a TON of SMMA stuff in my reccs on youtube now with tens of thousands of views each). It's a little like pissing into the ocean, but if you can produce a result and have value skews- you can make it work. I know in my case, I do web design- anyone can technically do it but I specifically focused on networking and cold calling to build up trust and working on building a client base and getting in front of the last businesses that others hadn't tried selling to yet. Definitely an uphill battle but as long as you don't give up and focus on the META SKILLS you learn on the way (sales, processes, delivery of services, scaling) you're setting yourself up for more success down the line.
 

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
Welcome Kris,

Service based businesses can be tricky. Johnny boy here on the forum started a lawncare company and has quickly taken that to above 1.5m year in revenue based on his execution, hiring, and processes and we have others that do just fine in other service ventures.

Web design/FB ads/google ads/SEO are pretty popular, and they're pretty saturated just like SMMA (I actually see a TON of SMMA stuff in my reccs on youtube now with tens of thousands of views each). It's a little like pissing into the ocean, but if you can produce a result and have value skews- you can make it work. I know in my case, I do web design- anyone can technically do it but I specifically focused on networking and cold calling to build up trust and working on building a client base and getting in front of the last businesses that others hadn't tried selling to yet. Definitely an uphill battle but as long as you don't give up and focus on the META SKILLS you learn on the way (sales, processes, delivery of services, scaling) you're setting yourself up for more success down the line.
Thanks Ricardo, I appreciate it. I have seen that it's saturated too, my YT has been spamming me. But I'm looking into more local lead gen, and focussing on chiropractors or roofing companies in my area that have terrible websites/marketing online. Again, I realize that this business model has become very popular, but I can make it work.
 

Choate

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Mar 25, 2014
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SMMA is too broad to mean anything. It's become synonymous with chasing money and not providing any real value to anyone.

How do you define social media marketing?

Are you really an agency or a one man show?

What value do you provide businesses that competent owners can't do themselves?

It's a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, sirens-esque money sink for your average business owner.

You don't need to go all Google Ads Ninja Master 9000, but you need to specialize.

SMMA -> web design/web development -> wordpress -> target professional services -> real estate, mortgages, accountants, consultants -> provide initial website design, integrate with SaaS in their industry they are familiar with, provide ongoing maintenance/SEO/Google ads services to make their life easier

What's the alternative?

Be an SMMA and specialize in nothing, which means any smart business owner is going to know you are going to blindly throw darts against the wall using his ad spend like you did with your own branding. Solve real problems.
 

heavy_industry

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 17, 2022
639
1,723
How come?
Because some financial gurus managed to sell the idea that SMMA is the way to go and now everyone and their dog is starting a SMMA.

Whenever something like this happens, the outcome is predictable: the market quickly gets oversaturated and profits tank. In this particular case, it it even worse due to the low barrier of entry (basically non existent).

The only people that are profiting from this are:
  • those that were clever enough to figure things out for themselves many years ago, before it got popular
  • highly skilled entrepreneurs that actually know how to stand out from the crowd and provide value to their customers
  • people selling courses on how to "START YOUR OWN SMMA IN 2022/2023"
This is not the first "make money easy online" fad, there were many of this kind in the past.
 
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Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
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May 20, 2014
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Hey guys, new here! I'm almost done reading the millionaire Fastlane and it's opened my eyes. However, I had a question. In the book, MJ says that a Service-Based Business Model (SBBM) is limited in growth and scalability. What do you think? Because before starting the book, I was getting things ready to start my own SMMA. An SMMA solves a problem for a company, right?
My suggestion:

Pick a paid service you can provide businesses.

Start helping people with it. Figure out how to get paid for it. Get case studies and good at it.

Specialise in who you help, what you help them with, and how you do it. (You'll figure this as you go along rather than navel gazing before you start.)

Scale by helping more businesses and/or increasing prices. Lots of ways to do this, including hiring people (aka building an agency) so you can serve more clients, going upstream and serving bigger clients (maybe as a consultancy), going downstream and serving smaller clients (maybe as a productised service or SaaS or selling your process/courses/etc).

If you can help businesses with a particular marketing channel then maybe you can sell your own products using the same strategies, effectively making your own business a client of your agency.

Lots of ways to scale. You've got to start first though.

Here's a path, but you can skip steps or expand into others rather than moving along the path:

Employee -> Freelancer/Consultant -> Agency -> Productised Service -> Platform

These podcasts might help:

www.tropicalmba.com/services

www.tropicalmba.com/consulting
 

Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
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EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
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Ireland
News of digital marketing services being "saturated" doesn't bother me. So many businesses need help, and many already know it.
 

Isaac Odongo

Contributor
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Nov 7, 2022
108
92
Thanks Ricardo, I appreciate it. I have seen that it's saturated too, my YT has been spamming me. But I'm looking into more local lead gen, and focussing on chiropractors or roofing companies in my area that have terrible websites/marketing online. Again, I realize that this business model has become very popular, but I can make it work.
Check Out Fox Web School.
 

Isaac Odongo

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Nov 7, 2022
108
92
Is web design still a profitable business in 2023?

If you have been following me for a while on here or on Youtube, you probably know I first started a web design business back in 2016. If you missed it, I have a full gold thread on how it went here.
Check this thread out if you haven’t. Some gold here.
Check Out Fox Web School
 

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
My suggestion:

Pick a paid service you can provide businesses.

Start helping people with it. Figure out how to get paid for it. Get case studies and good at it.

Specialise in who you help, what you help them with, and how you do it. (You'll figure this as you go along rather than navel gazing before you start.)

Scale by helping more businesses and/or increasing prices. Lots of ways to do this, including hiring people (aka building an agency) so you can serve more clients, going upstream and serving bigger clients (maybe as a consultancy), going downstream and serving smaller clients (maybe as a productised service or SaaS or selling your process/courses/etc).

If you can help businesses with a particular marketing channel then maybe you can sell your own products using the same strategies, effectively making your own business a client of your agency.

Lots of ways to scale. You've got to start first though.

Here's a path, but you can skip steps or expand into others rather than moving along the path:

Employee -> Freelancer/Consultant -> Agency -> Productised Service -> Platform

These podcasts might help:

www.tropicalmba.com/services

www.tropicalmba.com/consulting
Thanks man that was a very helpful reply. Really appreciate it!
 

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
My suggestion:

Pick a paid service you can provide businesses.

Start helping people with it. Figure out how to get paid for it. Get case studies and good at it.

Specialise in who you help, what you help them with, and how you do it. (You'll figure this as you go along rather than navel gazing before you start.)

Scale by helping more businesses and/or increasing prices. Lots of ways to do this, including hiring people (aka building an agency) so you can serve more clients, going upstream and serving bigger clients (maybe as a consultancy), going downstream and serving smaller clients (maybe as a productised service or SaaS or selling your process/courses/etc).

If you can help businesses with a particular marketing channel then maybe you can sell your own products using the same strategies, effectively making your own business a client of your agency.

Lots of ways to scale. You've got to start first though.

Here's a path, but you can skip steps or expand into others rather than moving along the path:

Employee -> Freelancer/Consultant -> Agency -> Productised Service -> Platform

These podcasts might help:

www.tropicalmba.com/services

www.tropicalmba.com/consulting
Hey Andy, just got back from the gym and beforehand I had sent out some emails to chiropractors in my area that I thought were in need of marketing. Two of them replied and are very interested, they want to get on a call and are in high need of someone who can improve their leads, etc, do I turn them down or continue then? They know I charge $1,500/month. I'm 16 y/o and am now a bit confused due to all these replies haha.
 

Andy Black

Help people. Get paid. Help more people.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
15,746
58,069
Ireland
Hey Andy, just got back from the gym and beforehand I had sent out some emails to chiropractors in my area that I thought were in need of marketing. Two of them replied and are very interested, they want to get on a call and are in high need of someone who can improve their leads, etc, do I turn them down or continue then? They know I charge $1,500/month. I'm 16 y/o and am now a bit confused due to all these replies haha.
Hold on. Why would you turn them down? Hop on the calls. What's the best that could happen?
 
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RicardoGrande

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2021
153
287
Hey Andy, just got back from the gym and beforehand I had sent out some emails to chiropractors in my area that I thought were in need of marketing. Two of them replied and are very interested, they want to get on a call and are in high need of someone who can improve their leads, etc, do I turn them down or continue then? They know I charge $1,500/month. I'm 16 y/o and am now a bit confused due to all these replies haha.
Dude congratulations.
Did you just pull a list from something like d7 and send out a basic cold e-mail?
Did you use your own e-mail domain, or just your personal e-mail?
 

BigRomeDawg

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 22, 2014
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West Coast
News of digital marketing services being "saturated" doesn't bother me. So many businesses need help, and many already know it.
If I look at my feeds it looks saturated, but in the real world, far from it. At least, from where I'm standing.
 

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
Dude congratulations.
Did you just pull a list from something like d7 and send out a basic cold e-mail?
Did you use your own e-mail domain, or just your personal e-mail?
Thanks man, rookie mistake but I emailed with my personal e-mail. Getting a business email is complicated in my country (takes two weeks before getting it) so I just tried. I wrote my own email first, then compared it to some from D7 and made some adjustments. I guess I got very lucky, but I keep seeing people saying that lead gen doesn’t bring any value so I’m still doubting to continue.
 
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RicardoGrande

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
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Speedway Pass
May 9, 2021
153
287
Thanks man, rookie mistake but I emailed with my personal e-mail. Getting a business email is complicated in my country (takes two weeks before getting it) so I just tried. I wrote my own email first, then compared it to some from D7 and made some adjustments. I guess I got very lucky, but I keep seeing people saying that lead gen doesn’t bring any value so I’m still doubting to continue.
Hahaha dude if you have two people that are willing to pay you 1,500$/mo each off the bat- it would behoove you to at least try to make this work lest you get stuck at some awful dayjob where you'd barely make 1,200$ in a month.
Just keep rolling with it, I've been cold calling for almost a year and I'm nowhere close in my MRR to what you landed in three days with some emails. You found some good fortune right off the bat, just take the opportunity and run. No matter what happens, you will learn.
 

KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
Hahaha dude if you have two people that are willing to pay you 1,500$/mo each off the bat- it would behoove you to at least try to make this work lest you get stuck at some awful dayjob where you'd barely make 1,200$ in a month.
Just keep rolling with it, I've been cold calling for almost a year and I'm nowhere close in my MRR to what you landed in three days with some emails. You found some good fortune right off the bat, just take the opportunity and run. No matter what happens, you will learn.
Thanks, man. I don't actually have a full-time job, but I have tons of time for this to work out :)
 

Black_Dragon43

Platinum Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Apr 28, 2017
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‍☠️ Eastern Europe (or UK)
Digital marketing is saturated, but most agencies don’t know what they’re doing. There is a lot of opportunity for those who want to run an agency like a real business, not like a side hustle

Most people build their agencies as side hustles OR lifestyle businesses. If you build it like a real company and focus on delivering a specific transformation to a specific niche, you can be very successful.

I’ve helped a few agencies scale to $1M+ in the past 2 years so the potential is definitely there.
 
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KrisRomer

New Contributor
Jan 24, 2023
11
10
Digital marketing is saturated, but most agencies don’t know what they’re doing. There is a lot of opportunity for those who want to run an agency like a real business, not like a side hustle

Most people build their agencies as side hustles OR lifestyle businesses. If you build it like a real company and focus on delivering a specific transformation to a specific niche, you can be very successful.

I’ve helped a few agencies scale to $1M+ in the past 2 years so the potential is definitely there.
Wow, awesome! Yea I keep hearing that it's saturated, but where I live I'm pretty sure no one is doing it. Thanks for the reply.
 

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