Want Brand Name Clients? Listen to Bill Carmody.

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Bill Carmody

bill-carmody-interview_0 Bill Carmody, CEO of $5M agency Trepoint, has some really great insights for other agency owners, including what he sees as the largest opportunities that agencies can take advantage of right now.

Bill also generously shares his innovative strategies for getting in the door with big name clients (teaser: it has something to do with volleyballs), and then how to do a great job with that first conversation. Actually, both Bill and I share our frameworks for an effective sales call, so if that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to check that out.

You’ll also want to listen to this episode  if you (or your clients) are in the retail space, since Bill shares how technology is truly leveling the playing field for that industry.

Listen now and you’ll hear Bill and I talk about:

  •  (03:15) Introduction
  • (05:15) Who does your company service?
  • (06:45) Do you have retainer levels or project work?
  • (08:15) How have you managed to land name-brand clients?
  • (17:45) Please tell us about the framework that you  use for the very first conversation
  • (22:15) What is content marketing for your firm?
  • (25:15) How has the way people engaged with brands changed in the last 5 years?
  • (26:40) Tell us about Facebook graph search
  • (30:06) How is technology the great equalizer in business today?
  • (30:45) What are Beacons?
  • (39:15) What offerings do you feel holding the next opportunities for agencies in 2014?
  • (42:15) Which mobile ad networks should I consider for media buys?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Bill Carmody

Bill Carmody
An entrepreneur since the age of 12, Bill Carmody has been a visionary in operating at the nexus of technology and marketing, transforming great ideas into successful marketing programs.

An expert in both the promotions and digital industry, he has been able to harness the power of both to deliver high impact customer engagement for his clients. He was a founding partner and CMO of Seismicom, a leading brand promotions agency. At groundbreaking digital ad agency Modem Media (now Publicis Modem), he was a pioneer in launching some of the first commercial websites including MasterCard.com and CBS.com as well as the first web-based contest for CBS’ March Madness tournament and negotiating MasterCard’s first banner ad on Yahoo.com. His book, Online Promotions, continues to inspire and drive digital promotional innovation.

At Trepoint, where he has been CEO since 2008, he is creating competitive advantage for Challenger Brands like Patak’s, Jose Ole, Tai Pei and Ling Ling by combining the forces of technology and marketing. Passionate about integrating wireless, online, sponsorship, events, and traditional marketing disciplines, Bill has presented at dozens of industry conferences and tradeshows across the globe.

Additional Resources

Join the Conversation

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Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Week of April 21st

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how to launch a marketing agency groove weekly header
Since writing a post about how I’m planning to grow my agency, Groove Digital Marketing, into my next 7 figure success story, the feedback I’ve received from readers has been very positive. Thank you to those of you who shared the post, commented on it, or emailed me directly. Your feedback was very encouraging.

In today’s post, as promised, I’m going to give you a look over my shoulder for the past week and share with you what I did, as well as the results we achieved.

If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

As always, my hope is that my transparency with you can be the fuel you need to achieve similar results in your own business. Sound good? Here we go!

Key Activities in the Week of April 21st, 2014

During the past week, here’s a summary of what happened:

  1. We published 3 blog posts
  2. Interviewed a venture backed SaaS startup CEO and had an “aha moment”
  3. We got two calls from the Target100 direct mail campaign
  4. I realized I needed a system for handling the inbound calls
  5. Traffic and leads increased yet again

Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.

3 New Blog Posts

This is our last week of just 3 posts/week. Next week, we’ll be up to one post per day.

My “Aha” from Interviewing a Venture-Backed SaaS Startup CEO

On Monday the 21st, I interviewed the CEO of a rapidly growing venture-backed company that has gone from zero to north of $10M in just 3 years. To date, their strategy for growth has been to rely out outbound selling exclusively.

At the end of the interview, I asked the CEO if she had plans to start incorporating inbound marketing into the mix and she said yes. Hmmmm…

As soon as the recording was complete, I asked her who I should speak with and if budget had been allocated for content marketing. She said that they’d just hired a new VP to handle this and there was a budget in place. Shortly after our call, I received an email introduction to this new VP.

As I reflected on the call, the thought occurred to me that there are quite likely a large number of venture backed firms that are also looking to embrace content marketing and that my podcast was a terrific way for me to get to them.

Since then, I’ve been combing through VC websites and sending podcast invitations out to any company that fits the criteria I’m looking for (B2B, no active blog, complex product, high LTV).

Here’s a post I wrote to better explain my thinking on this.

Since writing this post, I have been sending out 5 podcast invitations per day to companies that I would not normally have tried to interview. Given that I’m also wanting to research the opportunity in the health care niche, 14 of the 22 invites I sent out were to companies in this niche.

With each invitation, I am requesting that we do a pre-interview first and during that pre-interview, I am looking to find out if content marketing has played a role in their success.

Most companies that I’ve reached out to so far do not have active blogs. If they have plans to start a blog, which is something I will discover in the pre-interview, I will definitely be looking to do the full interview with them, because so far, that has worked very well for me in terms of landing clients.

Leads from Our Direct Mail Campaign

This week I received two calls from companies that that we’d sent our Target 100 direct mail campaign to.

I didn’t expect to get any calls for at least the first 4 or 5 weeks, so this was a pleasant surprise.

When I called the first company back, they immediately put two of their people on the phone and asked me:

  1. What do we do?
  2. What results can they expect?
  3. How much does it cost?

A contact from the second company called to ask some general questions and then told me that she wanted to get her boss and I on the phone together.

I don’t believe in leaving the price as a surprise to the very end, so the first thing I told them was that working with us starts at $5,000 a month. They said they had the budget for that, so I proceeded to give them a high level overview of what we do and the next steps.

Both calls were pretty short call and both said that they were very interested.

At the end of the call, each asked me to send them a short email with the overview of the details. The email I sent them is below:

Thanks for getting in touch and speaking with me just now about working with Groove.

In a nutshell, our expertise is to help our clients turn their websites into a valuable marketing asset that will produce a steady flow of leads over a sustained period of time.

The way that we do this is to use something called “Content Marketing” (Also referred to as “Inbound Marketing”). If you aren’t familiar with this type of marketing, here are 3 posts I’d suggest you read:

When clients get in touch with us, they typically require us to handle the 3 steps below over the first 90 days:

Step 1: Create a Content Marketing Blueprint. This first step is absolutely critical. Without a content marketing strategy (a game plan), it’s highly unlikely we’ll get the results you want in the first 90 days of our working together. Creating the roadmap is an involved process that will see us helping you to very clearly define your target audience, their needs, wants, and desires. Once we understand who we are creating content for, only then can we do Step 2 and Step 3.

Step 2: Build a Marketing Automation Engine. Without a way to capture leads on your website, all the traffic in the world won’t do you any good. The “engine” consists of:

  • A mobile friendly website
  • Three pieces of downloadable premium content (typically white papers, free reports, or webinars)
  • Landing pages to offer the premium content (and capture the leads)
  • The automated follow up campaigns (email sequences) to ensure that the most qualified leads are nurtured to the point when they are ready for a conversation with your sales team

Step 3: Once the “engine” is complete we start publishing and promoting the blog posts that our writers have created for you (with your collaboration). Our most basic plan includes 2 posts per week, plus promotion on your social networks. The more content you publish, the faster you will get results, so you can spend as much here as your budget will permit.

Everything that we do follows the inbound methodology as it is explained here.

If there is a fit between our organizations, we will ask you to commit to a 90 day campaign. The reason we ask for this is because, due to the requirement of what we have to build for you (the engine) and the time it will take for the blog posts (fuel for the engine) to get traction, it will take at least this long to start to generate leads. It may happen sooner, however, content marketing is not a “quick fix”.

The investment needed to work with us for this first 90 days starts at $5,000/mo. You will also require HubSpot marketing automation software which costs $800/mo. (The “engine” I referred to is built on HubSpot’s software)

Once the 90 days are complete and the HubSpot engine is built, we can continue to produce blog content (as well as manage social media) starting from $3,000/mo. 

Beyond the first 90 days, there is no long-term contract as our relationship will be performance driven. HubSpot; however, does require an annual agreement for their software.

Our team will configure the HubSpot software for you and provide the training required to get you up and running. (This is the very same software we use in our agency). HubSpot is also the software we use to create all the reports that will show you the progress we are making in terms of increased traffic and leads captured.

To see an overview of the types of companies that are most likely to benefit from working with use, please read this page.

And finally, to have a look at a wide variety of articles on content marketing, please read our blog.

Once you’ve had a chance to read through this, please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
~Trent

PS. So that I know you have received this email, please reply and let me know you did.

If you want to ensure you see how this conversation turns out, be sure and become a subscriber so you don’t miss next week’s report.

How to Automate the Process for Managing the New Leads from Direct Mail

After receiving the second call, I realized that I’d not yet developed an automated process for handling calls that came in out of the blue. To be honest, I really didn’t expect calls. Instead, I just thought they’d download the report I offered on the landing page.

Below is a short video walk through of the system that I’ve now built for this. If you find this video helpful, please be sure and give it a “thumbs up” rating on Youtube. Thanks!

Case Study: Groove Digital Marketing Traffic and Conversion Stats

Since my decision just over a month ago to begin actively blogging on Groove, the results have come very quickly.

All Traffic

As you can see, total visits have reached 3,008 as of 2:10pm on April 25th. Not surprisingly, as traffic has increased, so have leads captured.

Traffic up to 2pm on Apr 25th

Traffic up to 2pm on Apr 25th

 

Organic Traffic

In addition to the increase in total traffic, I’m quite pleased to see a big increase in organic traffic. While not yet a huge amount of traffic, total organic visits were 960, which is roughly 1/3 of total traffic. Given that these people are actually searching for solutions, I’m quite pleased to see so many of them finding Groove’s site so quickly.

Apr25OrganicTraffic

 

Conversions

More traffic leads to increased conversions (wow…..what a play on words!), and as you can see below, our two top of funnel offers are performing very well.

The landing page highlighted in red is the current top of funnel offer that we are promoting with our blog posts. As you can see, T1L: 25 Website Must Haves is converting 42.6% of visitors. This is right about where I was hoping it would be.

Our next top of funnel offer is called T2L: 8 Ways to Leverage… Once our current inbound campaign has been completed, all new blog posts will point to this next landing page. For now, the only traffic that it sees is from the Target100 direct mail campaign.

Our middle of funnel offer, called T1D/M1L is where people are redirected once they optin to the T1L page. On this ‘thank you’ page is also an offer to download a report called, What to Expect in a Partnership with Groove.

Offers in the middle of the funnel, unlike offers at the top of the funnel, can be more sales oriented because, by this point, qualified leads should have some level of interest in learning more about working with us.

April 25 Landing Page Report

April 25 Landing Page Report

Additional Resources

Now What?

If you liked this post and want future updates on our progress with how to start a marketing agency, just click the image below. If you’d like to get even more help and surround yourself with other agency owners, be sure and check out the Bright Ideas Mastermind Elite, which is my mastermind group for entrepreneurs running marketing agencies.

Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?

If you need any help with content creation, we have tons of free resources to get you over the hump. Please subscribe to this blog to ensure that you never miss an article.

Have questions or comments? Please contact me.

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Thanks so much!

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How to Rapidly Grow a Media Buying Agency with Mike Corak

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Mike Corak FC 14

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As VP of Strategy for a super fast-growing digital agency, Mike Corak  knows something about creating a successful content marketing strategy, for both his own agency and his clients. He also knows how to help clients to see the value of content marketing.

And Mike’s client list is impressive, including big shots like Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Fujitsu, Nike, Office Depot, and Walt Disney.

Mike shares with us the tools that work for his agency, including lead generation, onboarding strategies, and how they’re scaling to deal with their growth. A must-listen for all agency owners.

Listen now and you’ll hear Mike and I talk about:

  • (02:55) Introductions
  • (06:35) What type of customers do you work with?
  • (10:36) How are you landing clients? Relationships or a sales engine?
  • (11:25) What does your lead generation system look like?
  • (14:45) Which verticals do you have traction in?
  • (17:55) Please describe your client onboarding process
  • (23:55) How does content marketing fit in with the strategy?
  • (27:55) Please describe a content strategy for a client
  • (31:25) What would you say to a client that is on the fence about investing in content marketing?
  • (37:55) What makes content helpful and why is that important?
  • (40:55) Why did you raise money to start?
  • (43:27) When did you raise the money?
  • (44:55) What is the mix of public and private companies you work with?
  • (46:15) Which type of client is easier to land?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters, welcome back to episode number
125 of the Bright Ideas podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid,
and this is the podcast where we help entrepreneurs to discover
ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to
dramatically increase the growth of their business. So, if you
are an entrepreneur looking for proven tactics and strategies
that will help you to increase traffic, conversions, and
profits, this is the podcast that you want to listen to.

In this particular episode, I am joined by a fellow by the name
of Mike Corak, who is the Executive Vice President of Strategy
for a very rapidly-growing three-year agency by the name of
ethology. I say “rapidly growing”, because within three years,
they are already at somewhere between 70 and 80 people. The
client roster that they have is impressive, to say the least.In this episode, Mike and I are going to talk about four main
topics.

The first is how they are generating leads and creating
a sales engine that is scalable. The second topic is the actual
processes around scaling the business with respect to onboarding
new clients: what that looks like, what processes they have,
what tools they use. We then transition to talking about content
marketing, how to develop a strategy, and the types of
conversations they have with prospective clients that aren’t
fully convinced that there will be a sufficient ROI for content
marketing, which is referred to as “earned” or “owned media”
versus what they may be already accustomed to, which is “paid
media”.Finally, we are going to round up by talking about their funding
that they received from an incubator called Tall Wave, why they
did it, how they did it, when they did it, and so much more. We
are going to get into that episode in one quick second.

My announcement to begin with is this: if you are looking for a
list of tools that I use to run Bright Ideas, and I get a lot of
people asking me about this: you can get that list by going to
grabtrentsbonus.com. So, what’s up with that URL? Well, I am an
affiliate for many of the tools that I use, so as a thank-you to
you if you’d like to use my affiliate links to get any of those
software tools-and most of them are software-I have a couple of
different bonuses that I will give you if you send me your
receipt after the purchase. Everything is explained at
grabtrentsbonus.com. So if you care to do that, thank you so
much for supporting the show and my family.

With that said, please join me in welcoming Mike to the show.
Hey Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike: Hello, thanks for having me.

Trent: You are very welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you on. So, I
want to talk about a whole bunch of things in this interview, so
to let the audience know what’s coming, here is what we are
going to be talking about. We’re going to talk about how you
have scaled your agency and some of the tools and processes
involved in that. We’re going to talk about content marketing,
the strategies behind it, how to achieve an ROI, and why it is
or isn’t worth it compared to other types of content, or rather
other types of ways of promoting oneself. And we are going to
finish up by talking about some funding that you got from a
company by the name of Tall Wave.

Before we get into any of that, most of my audience probably
doesn’t yet know who you are or much about your firm. They need
to know who they are listening to, so if you would take a moment
and just introduce yourself first, maybe a minute or something
on your firm.

Mike: Sure, I’d be happy to. I’m Mike Corak. I run the strategy group here
at ethology. What that entails is the research and strategy
functions of our offerings. So, my team will come in–either in
a new business scenario and client side after they become a
client–to help assess needs, create strategy and plans, and
then make sure the projections and components we have in the
planning are paying off for clients ongoing. So, we’ll have
planners assigned to accounts. They will watch results and work
with the teams to continually make sure we are hitting the mark,
if not exceeding it, and we’re also looking for ways the clients
can grow.

Sometimes that’s in our current scope and sometimes beyond, but
it’s a model we used from a place I came from, iCrossing, which
many of you have probably heard where we really separated
account management and account coordinator functions from
strategy to provide more support there. It really paid off and
it’s helped us grow pretty quickly.

My background, before coming to and starting ethology, I was at
Off Madison Ave. which is a regional agency here in Phoenix. I
came there to help relieve Jay Baer, who had sold his agency,
Mighty Interactive, to OMA, so Jay and I go way back. We got to
work together there for about three years or so, as he was
starting to taper off per his sale agreement. Prior to that, as
I mentioned, I was at iCrossing and a couple other places. So
long career of doing a lot of strategy and planning,
specifically. It’s been great to have that experience of
starting that up from scratch.

ethology is a full-service digital agency. we are headquartered
out of Scottsdale. We’ve got offices in Portland, L.A., Chicago,
and we have some feet on the street in New York, so hopefully
that becomes an office toward the end of the year. We specialize
in content marketing, digital strategy and planning, search and
new media and social.

Trent: So very much a full-service agency.

Mike: Yes.

Trent: Really quickly, what does a customer look like for you guys?
How big of an organization, and if there is an industry-specific
focus, what is that?

Mike: As we started from scratch and gone the way up, as you can imagine,
we have clients of many different sizes. What we like to say is
a best client fit for us is somebody who may consider themselves
a challenger brand or brand that’s really trying to grow
themselves, achieve specific goals, and reach the next level.
For us, one of our clients is Farmers Insurance, on a larger
scale. While that’s a giant company, they are seventh or eighth
in the insurance business. That’s a perfect fit for us. That’s a
company that’s very aggressive, wants to move up the notches,
and we can really help them achieve their specific goals.

We also have much smaller, regional clients, too. Those are
great, too. I think the clients that are best fit, beyond being
challenger brands, being aggressive, and having specific goals
are the ones that want to work on metrics, hold programs
accountable, and that’s what we love to geek out on. We love to
project, see what potential is, and continue to move programs
forward.

Trent: What size of annual revenue would that second group be, do you
think?

Mike: That’s a good question. Sometimes, regional players like Conn’s Home
Plus is one of our clients. They are in about five states with
expansion plans, and they are a publicly-traded, $2 billion
company that you probably haven’t heard of. But then we have
other clients that are looking at revenues more in the $20
million category or below. So, there’s a wide range there, and I
think that’s kind of what happens when you are only three years
old, like we are at this point.

Trent: So your company is only three years old?

Mike: Yes, so I left Off Madison Ave to start this idea about four years
ago. I came in under the Tall Wave umbrella. Jeff Prewett, who
was the President of iCrossing for a long time started Tall
Wave. It’s sort of a funny story, and when I left iCrossing, he
told me, “At some point, I want to do this again. I’ll give you
a call when the time is right.”

He had heard I was skipping around, looking for opportunities in
New York. He gave me a call and said, “Hey, I think I’m about
ready for you. Let’s have a talk.” I said, “If you are looking
to start an agency, I’m interested, and would love to come work
with you on it,” so here we are. We’ll get to it a little later,
but Tall Wave’s a shareholder in ethology, and we consider Tall
Wave our parent company and that we are part of the Tall Wave
family who invests in a number of companies and then helps
consult.

Trent: You are right, we will get into more details toward the end of
the interview. Before we get into the onboarding process, part
of the thing I am also very interested in with scaling is has
your initial success come largely because the management team
has one heck of a Rolodex, and you guys have all been in the
industry for a while, and you were able to reach out to existing
relationships, or would you say that you have built a very
effective lead-generation and selling system that is now being
executed on a day-to-day basis by sales reps?

Mike: That is a great question. It’s a constant discussion here from pre-
company launch to today, there is no question that Rolodex
helped in the beginning and still pays off. In fact, if I go
back to the business plan we created for ethology, part of what
we projected in the beginning was revenue from people we knew
and companies who had started sniffing around, wondering what we
were doing.

So, personal contacts close much quicker. There’s a lot of trust
built already. It’s much easier to get those sales, and to bring
those clients in.

At the same time, from jump, we realized we had to create a
revenue and lead-generation machine. I would say that we’ve got
a pretty good system at this point. This is really the year
where we are starting to put the gas on it. I will describe that
a little bit here. We do some thought leadership, and have a big
network of companies that we are talking to. There are people in
charge of keeping those leads warm and relationships solid for
the time when those companies may go to RFP or there may be a
need.

There’s a thought leadership component that bring those in. It
could be webinars, podcasts like this, speeches at events and
the like. I sit on the SEMPO board. That’s one example. We have
some other people on boards, too, so all the normal things you
would do for in-bound, lead generation, helping to feed the
pipe.

From there, we built a system to be able to help companies see
what opportunities look like up front, before we work for them.
One of those pieces is called “Digital Opportunity Reporting.”
In essence, we do some initial auditing of various companies
digital execution components and see how they are doing, and
provide them with a report card of where we see opportunity and
where they are doing great and have those discussions.

We’ve found that putting a little skin in the game up front gets
us much quicker to close, or at least gets us in the pipe. It’s
obviously been a challenge to come in without much of a brand
that people know about it, so it’s a way we can demonstrate our
expertise and have some real discussions around a client’s
business.

Trent: Do you charge for this?

Mike: No. We just do it. We’ve actually built systems in the background to
help us do that, so our subject matter experts–heads of the
departments–participate in this, but we’ve built a number of
tools to help bring back various data points so we can get to
that data pretty quickly and start those conversations.

Trent: Is there any chance you would have a sample report that I could
include for the show notes for this episode?

Mike: I could probably clean one that wouldn’t give away the farm, and yes.
I will work on that–probably not the whole thing because it’s a
hundred slides or so, but I would definitely be willing to give
you some of that.

Trent: Terrific. Myself and my audience will appreciate that. There
are a few more questions I want to ask. From a strategy
perspective, you have to decide at the beginning, “Who do we
want to go after? What kind of customer do we want?” Then you
have to get a list of those customers or create content to put
in place where they are going to find it or a combination of
both of those things so that you could even have an opportunity
to present a Digital Opportunity Report. So, talk a little bit
about what happens to get that very first lead or conversation–
however you would like to describe it–what are you doing there?

Mike: No problem, and I think I skipped a question about industry focus, so
I’ll hit that really quick leading into this. There are a couple
of verticals where we seem to have gathered more clients than
others. We don’t want to be a vertically-focused agency if we
can help it. Our goal will be to serve clients across many
different industries. However, for whatever reason, we have made
some good traction in finance and insurance, travel and
hospitality, healthcare, and a few others. There may be a
symptom–in retail, too. I think that may be a symptom of where
those industries are–definitely not with the leaders–but with
the other brands, they seem to be a little behind and have
interest in catching up to the competition. I think there’s been
some benefit there.

What we try to do in terms of targeting, as I said before, look
for those companies that may be number three, four or five in
their vertical, and try to understand why that is, see if there
is a deficiency in digital that we can help sell. If we do
target them, we’ve got a team that will do some cold-calling, a
necessary evil, or do some LinkedIn targeting, those kinds of
things, and try to find those people. We will invite them to
thought leadership components, and see if they’d like to attend
a webinar, those kinds of things–and try to get their
permission to use their e-mail there. That may be one way in.

Other times, we may offer up–if we know that they are in market-
-that Digital Opportunity Report I was talking about. We may do
that in certain cases to actually get that first meeting, though
that’s time intensive so it’s not every time. But for a special
brand where we think there is a good fit, we may do that.

Trent: For the lay person, how do you determine–this is very
interesting that you look for companies that are third or fourth
in their vertical or their market. How do you do that? How do
you figure out if they are third or fourth?

Mike: It’s as simple as revenue and looking at some of the industry
information. There’s a million lists out there that kind of
rank, by estimated revenue, various industries.

Trent: Name one that you use, if you could. What’s one list that you
use?

Mike: We’ve picked them off from Forbes, we’ve seen stuff out of the Wall
Street Journal. We’ll even look at lists with marketing spend
sometimes, too, out of Ad Age and those kinds of things. We are
on a constant look out. It might come from an industry trade
rag, what have you, a lot of different sources there.

Trent: So, all of this stuff is publicly-available?

Mike: Yes, and a lot of these companies are public, so they have to report
it.

Trent: Absolutely. Let’s move on. One of the things I’ve never talked
about in an interview is the onboarding process for a client. I
have talked about selling in many interviews before, so folks,
if you are wanting that kind of thing, check out my podcast
library. There are no lack of interviews with agencies that have
talked about that.

Client says, “yes,” so now we have a process called “client
onboarding”, or whatever terminology you like to use. Describe
for me, Mike, the process that you guys go through to make sure
that expectations are set, to make sure that nothing falls
through the cracks, and that service delivery is aligned with
expectations.

Mike: Sure. It’s something we’ve given a lot of thought to, and have made
some real, deliberate attempts to build a process that makes
sure exactly what you are saying: we are meeting expectations,
that the programs are going to achieve the goals that they
talked about, etc. The way we handle it, it starts before the
sale.

In that process, when we are working through our Digital
Opportunity Reports, uncovering opportunity with a prospect, we
are really getting into the process at that point. By the time
we gain a contract signature, we’ve already learned a lot about
their business. We’ve actually in a lot of cases done some of
the first steps of auditing, at least, what we can see from the
outside not using their analytics. Then, we have a pretty good
idea of not just the goals they want to achieve from a business
standpoint, but also the potential look at the package of
tactics and programs to implement to get there.

So, day one of that contract signature, as quick as we can get a
meeting, we have a discovery meeting to solidify that and bring
any sort of information that we haven’t been privy to in the new
business process to the table. From there, we assess what they
have and see if there are components we need to add to fill in
blanks and create the project plan.

From a tool standpoint, we are on a backend, we are using a
variety of tools: Basecamp, some kind of time-tracking software,
but right now, we are moving toward AtTask, which is a nice
software program that will allow us to house documents, do time
tracking, and all those things. It works out well.

Trent: Spell that name for me.

Mike: AtTask?

Trent: So, A-T, and then task?

Mike: I believe so, I’m looking it up now. I’ve heard a lot about it, but I
have yet to [inaudible 2036] .

Trent: And folks, if you are driving in your car, don’t try to take
notes. I’ll put all the stuff in the show notes, so I’ll give
you a link at the end of the episode so you can get all this.

Mike: Yeah, the promise from the program is pretty solid, and our VP of
Operations has spent a lot of time with them. We are excited
because it hits all of our needs in one place rather than having
to duct tape a number of systems together.

So, through the onboarding process–once we get through a
project plan–we, at that point, are typically starting some
sort of auditing and planning process. Through that process, we
are able to definitively document real business goals, make sure
we understand everything about the target audience, we are
auditing the current programs from a best-practice standpoint.
At that point, we have access to analytics, so we are able to
see how those programs are actually working and if they are
achieving those goals. Then we come back with a plan that the
client approves. At that point, we have projections, and the
expectations are very clear on what we trying to achieve. That
includes what we will need from the client to do our job and
what they can expect from us.

Then there is some sort of cadence of coming back to the plan
that is set up at that point. For most clients, it’s at least
monthly. Sometimes it’s quarterly. We are having regular
reporting meetings, but then we are having some meetings where
we are pulling the plans out and saying, “Are we achieving the
business objective that we set out to do? Are we seeing
opportunities where we can push those further?” We continue to
ideate there.

What often happens is we may not come in with have it being full
digital agency of record. In most cases, we are not. But, we end
up expanding services through it without really trying to sell.
It’s the idea of showing real need. If we are all confident that
taking on additional programs or tactics can help push the goals
forward, that’s the way we attack that. It becomes a real
partnership, and the majority of our clients have been here a
while. We are really looking toward creating consultative
partnerships more than delivering vendor, agency tactics. That’s
paid off well for us.

Trent: That is a perfect segue–thank you for sharing all that by the
way–that is a perfect segue to part two of our interview:
content marketing. Let’s talk about the beginning. I’m going to
guess–tell me if I’m wrong–that content marketing is something
that a large number of your clients, it’s a part of that plan
you develop for them?

Mike: That’s absolutely true. It’s such a nebulous word, right?

Trent: That was my next question, yes.

Mike: It’s kind of like “strategy.” We laugh about that on the strategy
team: what does that mean? It’s such an abused word, it’s got a
lot of meanings to everybody, and we joke that content marketing
is really sort of the same.

But to kind of take it up a level, what we find when we audit
either in the new business process or through our clients, we
are auditing a couple hundred companies a year, at least.
Really, across the board, on sort of the new business front,
especially before they become clients, we are focused on shoring
it up once they are a client. But we see that most companies
aren’t as exposed in the earned and owned categories as they are
in the paid. There’s a lot of opportunity there to build very
cost-effective marketing programs.

Content marketing in our world means a combination of solid
search and social and creative type of activities. The media
component of that may be to help make content more visible or be
a bit louder around that, but that core program of tactics is
really a powerful combination. We see deficiencies in a lot of
companies where those programs may not be integrated, or content
marketing as a word may be sort of the last piece of the puzzle
where it’s just defined as “We need ten blog posts a month”, or
“We need to create four infographics”. It may be that execution
piece, and if it’s missing the content strategy part, that
should come together.

Long story short, we are offering companies–and this is most of
our big clients, to your point–our offering works a lot like a
content strategy offering first with really good tactical
search, social, and creative services that go into that. It’s
kind of an interesting time. No two companies are really the
same in terms of staffing, either, so we are actually getting
into some operational consulting, too, but some companies we
walk into have a robust social team, but are lacking on the
creative side. Or, you may have a great search person, but have
a community manager who is not tied in, or they have all
agencies doing it and everything in-between.

So, what we are seeing is a real need for someone to come in and
say, “If you want to achieve these goals, here is what a program
would look like to do that, and here is what it would look like
in your custom situation given your internal resources,
agencies, or abilities, etc. We really try to attack it with a
custom approach and then figure out what role we can play. For
some companies that we work with–believe it or not–we are
literally the facilitator. We own the plan and program
management of it, and others execute the components. For others,
we’ll do the whole thing. As you can imagine, there are
different combinations.

It’s a really interesting time. We are seeing big companies
really struggle with whether they should staff these things
internally, and if they do, what pieces they should and where
they should still get help. It’s pretty exciting.

Trent: In my world of content marketing–so we can remove some of the
ambiguity from the world–I think of content roughly in three
buckets: big content, medium content, and little content. So
what’s big content? It’s a premium report of some kind, a
webinar, or whitepaper–something a fair amount of time and
effort went into creating, and you don’t create a whole bunch of
them every year. Medium content is typically blog posts, and
small content is social media shares, whether you are curating
somebody else’s content, or you are sharing your own content
across social media.

In the content marketing that you deliver to your content, Mike,
do you follow a methodology like that where there are those
three buckets of content, and are you creating at all for them?

Mike: That’s a great question. We don’t necessarily bucket them like that,
but I like that approach. It does make a lot of sense. What we
do first, from the content strategy side, is say, “Okay, what
does content demand look like in this vertical?” Through that
study, we then look at what content the company has, what is
paying off for them, and we look at the gap of what they may not
have or what needs to be improved.

Through that study, we will take a topical slice at it, using a
lot of search and social data to help them define what they
should be about. From there, we start understanding them by
topic: what is the kind of content that can make them stand out
or resonate? At that point, we prescribe the need and start
delivering against it. There’s definitely a difference in the
effort behind creating those different pieces of content
depending on budget, timing, and those things. It’s a real
consideration that needs to happen.

Trent: Are you blogging on behalf of your clients?

Mike: Yes, anything from blog posts to infographics. We may help them plan
a webinar or bring them to one of ours, even, as we have done in
the past. We don’t create video in-house, but we have some
partners that we’ll work with, so we may recommend a video
around a certain topic, and if the client doesn’t have resources
to do that, then bring in a partner. At this point, about
anything you can make, we have either done it or been the face
of making it happen for a client.

Trent: What would you say–let’s imagine you are having a conversation
with a client who has come from the world of paid media than
“earned” or “owned media.” They are accustomed to an ad budget,
and maybe they have a direct sales force. They are trying to
generate leads with ads, and they have sales reps doing cold-
calling–what I call old-school, yet traditional approach to
marketing and advertising.

Then, the newer school of though is get more owned and earned
media, which is what we’ve just been talking about. You have
that client and that conversation, and they are on the fence.
They are saying, “Well, Mike, all that stuff sounds good. I can
see how it makes sense. Yes, I go to Google and I do searches
when I’m buying stuff. I kind of get it, but I’m a little on the
fence. Let’s talk about ROI. What is the ROI of all this content
marketing stuff going to be relative to the ROI of all the other
ways I can spend my money?”

Mike: That’s a very common question. It was extremely common four or five
years ago, but even still today we see a lot of larger companies
overly reliant on the media side. Now, one thing, obviously
media works, and it’s not uncommon to see companies at the end
of the process keeping media levels close to where they were and
finding extra ways to invest in the earned and owned because
they get a bigger aggregate return with all of it in
combination, working together.

That aside, what we try to show is the models, basically. We
will project out what we think can happen all the way through
the funnel from traction standpoint all the way to conversion
and also retention too, and then show investment in those
tactics and their return. Then we compare that with what we see
that they may be getting through the media side.

One part of media that is tricky is obviously offline. As a
digital shop, it’s ironic, but offline works. There may be
opportunity to make it integrate more with the online world, but
it’s rare for us to come in and say, “Quit spending that money
offline. You need to move it all online,” unless there is a real
big discrepancy there. We want to see that interest created
offline so when they come online, we can catch it.

But when we show the differences in efficiency, we use basic
search arguments to say, “If you were this much more visible,
here’s what that can mean. Here’s what the cost for that traffic
would be.” It’s kind of a no-brainer.

The important piece there, though, is really those integration
components, because in companies like that, we don’t always see
the media working together with the earned and owned sides to
produce the best results. We may see a heavy display by or pay-
per-click traffic that just goes to a homepage. We don’t always
see that media helping the content marketing components or
publicizing content or getting more visibility to important
messages, that kind of thing.

Another piece of what we do is audit how different programs are
working together and look for opportunity there too. It’s a
pretty interesting world. Those really big media companies
aren’t really brought into the conversation like that too often,
so they work independently from the earned and owned agencies or
pieces, and we see a lot of opportunity there to bring those
together.

Trent: Do you think one of the advantages of creating content–so
we’ll call this in in the earned and owned media–is that once
the content is created, it is an asset and has the shelf life to
provide an ROI whereas paid media, if you stop buying it, it’s
done.

Mike: That’s sort of what I meant when I was talking about that basic
search argument. There is an ongoing effect from having and
building assets. There is risk in the creation of assets–
sometimes the creation of assets is sometimes more expensive
than just buying the ad, but the long-term payoff should work.

That’s why, in the content marketing world, one hole I see is
the real integration with searching, and that’s not to say that
I don’t see blog posts optimized or some of that lower-level
tactical pieces. That is happening and that is great, but what I
don’t always see is the content marketing companies addressing
the bigger, enterprise needs like, “Is this site really as
visible as it could be?”

From a content strategy standpoint, is the website or social
outpost really set up to meet the users’ needs, be user-friendly
and efficient with that traffic and those kinds of things? We
like to take an approach where we address both the enterprise
and macro needs as well as the line-level content needs in
combination. We raise that visibility.

For Farmer’s for example when we came in, we saw needs on both
sides. So we actually started with some of the enterprise
components first to make sure any content we’d add to the mix
was working as well as it could. We started off with some pretty
old-school search approaches and content strategy
recommendations and actually helped them through from that
standpoint for a redesign which made the site more visible and
efficient with its traffic. Then when we started to stack on
more content, the whole ecosystem started to work better.

Trent: One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is the power of
long-tail traffic. I have one site that has nothing to do with
my business. I had this site years ago. It’s called
howtocleananything.com. It’s got 600 pages of content on how to
clean stuff. And that site ranks number one for the word
“cleaning.” It gets 3,000 visitors a day, every day, like
clockwork.

And it’s just a testament to the power of how Google looks at
websites, the volume of content that’s on them, and how much
significance they place around having a lot of content around a
relative topic, because to be honest, how much focus was put on
keyword development really wasn’t the primary focus. It was just
writing content which would be helpful for users. The irony is
that it was created years ago, and that’s where Google wants
things to be now, so this may be dumb luck on our part, but
anyway.

Mike: Luck or genius. I would argue that you taking the approach of being
user-focused was always the right answer. It just took Google a
while to catch up to that. That’s why in our process, when I was
speaking about helping brands figure out what, topically, they
should be about: we take that very literally. We actually create
taxonomies through the content strategy process to really help
them rally around certain topics. That discussion oftentimes
talks about what you can authentically own in a conversation.
Where can you be really helpful, not expect something back, and
provide your expertise and in kind, over time, as Jay Baer would
say from utility, just be really helpful there and be a good
participant in the community.

That’s really table stakes now. That’s sort of the basics. A lot
of companies aren’t taking that approach, but if you can have
the best content, answer the right questions, and you can
provide the best user experience when you are doing so, that’s
going to pay off for you. There is an idea of targeting certain
topics and being very expansive around that topic. There is an
idea in there about being very user-friendly in that, in having
an efficient experience where people can get what they want
answered quickly. They can share it if they want to. They can
interact in the way that they need to. If a toolset should be
there, they have it. If a topic is easier to explain in a video
format, they’ve got that. It’s really that idea of putting the
user hat on.

The changes with Google and the engines to becoming more
semantic, and this idea around hummingbird is really about that.
For Farmer’s–I’ll use them again–in the old days, there was a
difference between auto insurance and car insurance, because
everything was keyword-based. Now, engines are becoming more
semantic in nature, where they understand that car and auto are
the same thing. They want to provide the best results whether
your site is being car-specific or auto, or maybe a combination
there. That’s a very basic example.

A site like yours that’s all about cleaning, where they can tell
you have many different topics, they are going to give you some
advantage around anything related to cleaning even if your
keywords don’t match exactly. That’s the advantage of taking
that approach.

Trent: Indeed. Let’s transition, because we are getting toward the end
to the final topic we promised to talk about and that was your
funding by Tall Wave. I’m particularly interested in this
because it’s not often, unless you have some intellectual
property or software I’m unaware of, it’s not often you see
professional services for getting backing from professional
investors. If there is something beyond professional services in
your firm that I don’t know about, point that out of course, but
why did you do it and how did it happen?

Mike: Going back to the iCrossing model, there was investments from jump
there and the idea was if you bring some funds in the beginning,
you could be very aggressive around hiring the right people,
creating the right systems, etc. could you move forward faster
than you would if you did it all organically with self-funding?
With the iCrossing cases, the answer was yes. In eight years,
the company went from zero to being sold to Hearst for whatever
it was, $325 million, becoming the largest independent digital
agency at the time.

That’s a model we are all familiar with. A number of us come
from it, and we have the same ambitions. The goal here isn’t to
stop at our current size of 70 to 80 people. It’s to get much
bigger and do something much more disruptive on a bigger level.
With that in mind, Tall Wave, as I mentioned before, is kind of
our parent company. We evolved out of Tall Wave. Tall Wave is
one investor. We have a couple others that have invested in
agencies before, too, so that combination is pretty impressive
and deadly in the sense that everybody on the board has done
this before.

So they come from bigger agencies, all of these investors have
invested in professional services before, so not only do they
understand how it works, they’ve been able to introduce us to
clients, have seen certain challenges we have bumped into and
they’ve helped us get through them. It’s nice to have that
experience there. When we looked at that combination, Tall Wave
is our largest investor with the biggest stake, but there are a
few others in the mix as well.

Trent: When did that investment happen? Did you guys have a brand new
venture with a committed management team and zero customers, and
approach Tall Wave? What did it look like?

Mike: We started it as part of Tall Wave. As I mentioned, I left my last
position about four years ago, and ethology is just over three
years old. During that time, we came in, made a couple hires
with this in mind. We were called Tall Wave Media at the time.
We started bringing some clients on. At that time, we were doing
zero execution. It was all strategy and planning. Early clients
were some local companies all the way up to Conoco-Philips where
we helped them do some digital planning and it helped them look
for opportunities and improve their efforts.

We were being asked by a lot of companies, “Can you now come
help us do it?” By a lot of companies too. That was a little
unexpected at that phase, but we had our eye on the ball of
making it a full-service agency at some point, so that was a
good early sign.

What we were able to do was get a good chunk of revenue going,
show that the model was working already, and basically create a
business plan like anybody would at start-up phase. Here is what
unique about this opportunity, here is the revenue that we are
already getting. If we added these kinds of people and made this
kind of model, we are pretty confident we could achieve these
kinds of numbers.

Trent: Cool. The focus on public companies: are all of your clients
public companies?

Mike: No, there is a good mix. I would say it’s probably fifty-fifty right
now, and there’s no desire to have a certain mix. It’s not
really a thought.

Public companies are easy to get some numbers on because it is
out there. You can see where exactly they stack and make some
estimates on what they spend on marketing and the like. That’s
good. There are a number of private companies that we work with,
too. Some are really big too.

Delaware North Corporation is a giant company that nobody has
probably ever heard of. It’s family owned. They own a ton of
various hospitality components. They own some sports arenas and
run a number of others. There’s a good mix there.
What we are really trying to find is what companies have enough
revenue where marketing should be a focus, so that’s our first
cut. And then if we can figure it out, let’s see what they are
spending on marketing and advertising so we can understand how
we can [fit in].

Trent: I’ll wrap up with this one: do you find that it is any easier
or harder to land a public company as a client than a private?

Mike: Great question. There are two pieces to that. I’ll take the public
out, let’s say a larger company. In a larger company scenario,
they tend to have many more partners than the mid-tier to
smaller-tier clients. So when we’re in a prospecting case with
a really large company, it’s important for us to think a little
bit more tactically and think about what specific services we
could offer that we are really good at, that we could come in
and have an immediate impact on.

In many cases, those companies are still figuring out content
marketing. They don’t always have a partner for content strategy
and those kinds of things. We also may catch them with an RFP
outright for search, or something too where we can reply right
to that. But we have to figure out how to package ourselves
around these things, if that makes sense, versus saying we are
full-service, because they don’t want the full-service agency.
They don’t have one partner that does it all. It’s not how they
do business.

On a mid-tier to smaller company, it’s more likely that they do
have an agency doing many different pieces, or they could be
interested in someone who does half of what they need, or maybe
even full service. So in those cases, we’ll come in and we’ll
show our full breadth of offerings and have that conversation.

They both have their unique sales challenges. I don’t know that
either are easier or harder. It’s about how you are able to gain
entry and position yourself that really breeds success. Coca-
Cola doesn’t want to hear that ethology is a full-service
agency. They’ve got a zillion partners. They want to know what
you are really, really good at where we may consider you for a
project.

Trent: All right, before we sign off, sorry, I should ask one last
thing for people who would like to get in touch with you, what
is the way for them to do that?

Mike: On Twitter, I’m @MikeCorak, C-O-R-A-K. You can hit me up there. you
can hit me on LinkedIn, too, it’s /MikeCorak. Feel free to
message me there too. If you’d like to send me an e-mail, I’d be
more than willing to accept that. It’s Mike.Corak@ethology.com.

Trent: Mike, thank you so much for making some time to come on the
show and chat with me about this. It’s been a wonderful
interview, and I appreciate your time.

Mike: Thanks, Trent, I really appreciate it. You’ve got a great podcast,
and I’m honored to be on it. Thank you.

Trent: Great, to get the show notes for this episode, go to
brightideas.co/125 and if you enjoyed the episode, I’d love if
you’d take a moment to help me spread the word about the episode
by going to brightideas.co/love, where there will be a pre-made
Tweet, and all you have to do is click on it. That is it for
this episode. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so much
for tuning in, we’ll see you in another episode soon. Take care.

About Mike Corak

MikeCorak

Mike Corak is the Executive Vice President of Strategy at ethology, leading the strategic planning and agency services teams. An agency veteran, Corak has developed and implemented winning digital and integrated strategies for hundreds of companies over his 12-year career, including Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Fujitsu, Nike, Office Depot, and Walt Disney.
Prior to ethology, Corak led the interactive services, strategy and client management teams at Off Madison Avenue and iCrossing. Corak serves on the board of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), helping drive the search industry’s trade group initiatives in research and best practices education.

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How Kurt Theobald Built a 30 Person Agency by Focusing on One Niche

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Kurt Theobald

kurt-theobald-interview_0

With eCommerce success story Classy Llama, Kurt Theobald has hit one out of the park. However, it didn’t happen overnight. Kurt had plenty of failures along the way, which of course means that he learned a ton of valuable lessons along the way (listen as he reveals his biggest mistake in our interview).

One of the key ingredients in Classy Llama’s success was that the company focused on one single niche. As I’ve shared recently, the power of focus cannot be underestimated.

Listen now and you’ll hear Kurt and I talk about:

  • (02:50) Introductions
  • (04:20) How did you come up with the name?
  • (06:04) Why did you choose to focus on Magento’s Ecommerce platform?
  • (07:20) How did you validate the viability of the niche?
  • (08:50) Please tell me about how partnerships helped launch the company
  • (14:19) What are you doing now to attract new leads?
  • (15:30) What does your revenue model look like?
  • (17:40) Please tell us about your new content strategy
  • (23:50) Which online properties are most valuable to you?
  • (27:50) Please tell me about your biggest mistake in business

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Kurt Theobald

KurtTheobaldKurt Theobald is the Co-Founder and CEO of Classy Llama.  A visionary to his core, Theobald has delivered eleven businesses failures and one success over the last ten years, and while his batting average has suffered and his wife has learned patience, the one hit has been a home run (think “Babe Ruth”).

Classy Llama is an eCommerce agency consisting of salt-of-the-earth, efficiency-driven eCommerce veterans committed to delivering more by doing less.  As one of Magento’s earliest partners, Classy Llama has helped over 80 companies achieve success on the Magento platform. You can learn more from Kurt and the Classy Llama team at their blog, live weekly Llama Commerce Show, and Twitter page.

As a husband, father, and businessman, Theobald offers huge innovative energy, uncompromising integrity, and a commitment to unity in all aspects of his life.  Tempered by the guidance and counsel of his team and advisors, Theobald disrupts the status quo with visions of the “better”.

Kurt lives near Springfield, MO with his co-adventurer and wife of ten years, Jessica, and his two children, Benjamin and Eliana.

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

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Why I’m Using HubSpot For My Marketing Agency

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If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a pretty big fan of Infusionsoft and love the marketing automation superpowers it provides. I also love that I can easily connect HubSpot to Infusionsoft so they work seamlessly together.

Which is why you might be surprised to learn that I’m using HubSpot to run my marketing agency, Groove Digital Marketing. However, as has become readily apparent to me, the two platforms for the most part do drastically different things, so I have not given up Infusionsoft for HubSpot. So why use HubSpot? In this podcast episode, I explain exactly why I’ve made that choice for my agency. If you’d like to hear more, download the episode or listen now (below).

For more episodes from myself and other accomplished business professionals, subscribe now and don’t miss out on future shows.

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

 

Transcript

Hi I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. And this is the podcast where we help entrepreneurs to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase the growth of their business. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re looking for proven tactics and strategies things that you can used to increase your traffic, increase your conversions and increase your profits this is the podcast for you. In this episode I’m going to talk to you about the decision that I made recently to start using HubSpot’s marketing software for my marketing agency crew digital marketing.

Now long time listeners know that I’m a pretty big Infusionsoft fan and I’m continuing to use Infusionsoft by the way. So why on Earth am I using HubSpot is well some people to think that they are actually competing competitors. And they kind of are they kind of aren’t and having now used both of them for a little while, think I been to a unique position to describe why I think you can actually make a case defending about the business that you are in for using both of them.

So in this episode, which is not going to be a long one, this is why you want to listen if you run a marketing agency and you want to be able to sell services on retainer. So you get nice predictable cash flow and you really build the value of your organization so that you can sell it one day. You don’t want to miss this one. Now if you don’t want to run the agency but you do want to understand and benefit from content marketing in your business so that you can attract and convert more costumers. Well you listen to this episode as well.

So we are going to dive into it,just a second, but before we do just a quick reminder if you want to see the tools that I used in my business and read my reviews. And if you’d like to use any of my affiliate links so support the show. I want to support you as well and here’s how I do this if you go to grabtrentsbonus.com you will see a list of all the resources that I used to run my business and if you choose to use the affiliate link to purchase any those and thank you in advance for doing so. There will also be a list of bonuses that I would give you products that I’ve created and then that I normally sell and I would give you a choice of which one of those you would like to get for free.

Alright, so with that said lets jump into this why did I pick HubSpot for my marketing agency. Well you might remember back in episode #117 I interviewed a guy of the name Robb Bailey who is a co-founder and CEO of an agency in the town that I used to live in San Diego it’s called Page ladder who can find them in Pageladder.com. And I was referred to Roband, my goodness, I can’t even remember now who referred me, so if you are listening and I’m not giving you credit and terribly sorry I should wrote that down before it there were record button but at last I did not. In any case I was referred for Robb told me about it. And I can’t remember now I did talk to somebody inmaking this podcast.

Anyway, I learned about this thing called the content marketers blueprint and you can get to at contentmarketersblueprint.com. And there is a guy by the named Max Trayler who’s running this thing. Or he is a part of it, I don’t know if he is running it, but his is definitely a big part of it. And it is a methodology for content marketing it’s probably the most succinctplan that I have ever seen and it was designed in such a way so that in agency could better than they do really good job of selling content marketing services to prospective clients. They have this document that they put together for each client done in acustomized bases. And it has a funnel in it, it’s very visual, it is super, super helpful in getting the point across of why someone needs to do content marketing and more importantly how to effectively do content marketing. So for example up to this point time with bright ideas I could produce a lot of content, podcasts, video blog posting and so forth. I predominately have had one lead magnet at the top of my funnel.

Now it works fairly well, I got a list of about 10,000 people by taking that approach. However it is not worked nearly as well as I could have in terms of attracting consulting clients if I had followed more the structure of the content marketing blueprint which basically says you need to have 3 things with your content, you need to have top of funnel content and offers.

And that is the point where people there it’s called awareness. They are looking for a solution to their problem but they don’t yet care about you or your company or any of that. So if you are trying to sell all your stuff at the top of the funnel, your going to kind of repel people.

So once they got through the top of the funnel and that’s generally your providing content it’s asking questions that people are asking. So if you have a particular buyer persona that wants to know all about the best strategies in upgrading their website and to their marketing or serverin making their website become the foundation of their marketing obviously you had create a whole lot of content that speaks to that. And if want to create some premium content probably an e-book or special report of some kind. And they can op in and download it, so a lot of us do that and I’ve done that many, many, many, times.

But here’s where the content marketing blueprint brought my attention to the fact to that some things that I wasn’t doing right cause simply I didn’t put the effort in to. You also need to have some mid funnel content, so when someone downloads that first report they’re going to get a sequence of emails that nurtures them along. And then eventually asks some so take another step and download something else that is a little bit more associated with your brand because now you’re starting to build a relationship with them. And they’re starting to thank you. Well, maybe, maybe this guy’s giving me all these free blog posts maybe they’re the ones that I might like to buy from as well.

And so when you make the offer, something like a case study would be an example of mid funnel content and more people download that they are essentially raising their hands and they’re saying “hey I’m still interested in this stuff” so then you want to nurture them on a little bit more then you want to offer them some bottled bottom of funnel content where then as not even necessarily contented for that’s bottom of funnel offers. Things like, maybe you would want to have called you to have a free marketing assessment or maybe you would like to have them come and purchase a content marketing blueprint for their own organization.

By the time people are at this point in the funnel they already realized that you are knowledgeable, incredible and could actually provide them with a solution to the problem that they were looking for a solution for way back at the beginning, when they first run over the Google and text something in to the search engine. So, how does HubSpot tied all these stuff? So, the content marketing blueprint was designed to fit very nicely on top of HubSpot. If you think about your blog post is fuel HubSpot and the way that you structure it using the methodology describe in the content marketing blueprint is really the engine. So when you pour fuel into an engine when you get is power and that power is what going to drive your business ahead.

So HubSpot makes this very, very easy to do and because this is the exact service that I intent to focus on selling is our primary and probably our only offering at Group Digital Marketing is content marketing as a service for monthly retainer. Obviously I’ve got to used drinkmy own Kool Aid, eat my own dog food, whatever expression you would like to do but the blueprint and HubSpot all this stuff that I want people to buy I’m going to be using it in my own business as well. Alright, some of you probably listening to this thinking well do in Infusionsoft do some of this stuff. And yes in fact with respects in building marketing funnel and Infusionsoft is absolutely amazing for building a marketing funnel, I love it. What’s not so amazing is on the content marketing side, if you look at HubSpot as a company they have a very, very active blog they have a lots of writers that have 44 blogs and a ton of free reports. And they get a lot of traffic if you look at in Infusionsoft their blog is not so nearly so active doesn’t have so nearly many posts.

I suspect they are working on changing that, but as a result Infusionsoft isn’t really a content marketing company like HubSpot is. And so one of the things that HubSpot has really put a lot of effort into is making it, giving you a soft work platform that essentially makes it very easy for you to follow best practices in your content marketing. And their training library and their downloadable resources is a HubSpot partner is nothing short of amazing. Let me just give you this one really quick example, for all familiar with email marketing campaigns, something that I had never really put to paper before was a content marketing campaign or an inbound marketing campaign. So if you think about that, you have to think about what’s the problem that somebody is trying to solve? Well I want more traffic to my website, for example might be something that a potential costumer would think, they might interest in some search query into goggle or ask people for help with that. So in designing an inbound marketing campaign you actually go backwards, you start with the lead magnet. So you would want to have some type of e-book that is going to be a rich piece of content that helps people that relate to the initial query.

So then once you’ve got figure out whom your buyer persona is and what their problem is you come up with your rich piece of content your lead magnet and then you start going backwards you think will what landing pages do I need to have for that particularly lead magnet wasn’t need to say of those landing pages. Okay well if you’re going to get people to the landing page, what do you need? You need to think all the call to action. So, what are my call to actions need to say what they need to look like? And then you I need to place, I got to put my call to actions somewhere than where the blog posts come to play. So, obviously calls to action with convert better if the content of the blog post is highly related to the offer that is being made. So if you’re writing a blog post about, you know how to train a cat like hold the actions is like how to train a dog. Your conversion rights going to suck because the two are very, very dissimilar. Where is if you are writing a blog post how to train a cat in a content or the rather a premium offer is five ways to train your cat to do acts in under 30 days chances of the conversion rate being higher or obviously much, much, much higher because the conversion or the offer for premium content relates highly to the blog posts.

So how does all this tie into a campaign? Well as I mentioned earlier you got the campaign which is hey I’m going to do everything I can to promote this particular e-book over maybe 8 or 10, 12 or 16 over blog posts over some finite period of time. And then I am going to measure all of the results that I got on that campaign. How much traffic to those if I wrote 12 post to 8 posts for that particular campaign, how much traffic that all of those posts get? Which of those posts converted to the best? What was the conversion rate of the lead or the Opt in page? And then the nurturing emails that went out, what was the performance of those emails how many were delivered how many were opened, how many were clicked on, how many people progress to the next page in my funnel?

Infusionsoft does not make it dead simple to do all of that stuff. Whereas is HubSpot does make it dead simple to do it all, how much have you learned to run the software of course, when there is no lack of training material how to do that. But it gives you a framework to make success much, much, much more likely to use the tool that been design use, it simply does, it has features and functionality that Infusionsoft does not have. Now in Infusionsoft defense Infusionsoft has plenty of features and functionality that HubSpot does not have so you really need to look at your business and figure out which one is more important to you and you’ve really, really focused on content marketing. Then and you don’t sell anything online and you don’t need you know like online shopping cart. Then HubSpot might be the way for you to go, on the other hand if you have a business where you want to be able to process credit card transaction plus you need a CRM system and you want email marketing and you want it tied into a one thing.

But if you’re willing to give up some of the analytics in reporting that is such a strong point of HubSpot then maybe you want to use Infusionsoft. Or like me you can tie them together and get the best of both worlds and that’s exactly what I’m doing in my own business. Alright, so that is it for this episode and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it if want to get to the show note’s for this episode just go to brightideas.co/123 if you found this valuable. By the way if you have questions just make sure you leave my comments there on that particular post and I will answer you. If you’ve enjoyed this episode please give me a quick favor and help me spread the word of bright ideas podcast all you need to do just go to brightideas.co/love there will be pre populated tweet you can just click the button as simple as that you don’t even have to type anything so that’s it for this episode, I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid thank you so much for tuning in I look forward to have you back for another one. Take care.

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

Ask Me a Question

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Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Week of April 14th

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Since writing a post about how I’m planning to grow my agency, Groove Digital Marketing, into my next 7 figure success story, the feedback I’ve received from readers has been very positive. Thank you to those of you who shared the post, commented on it, or emailed me directly. Your feedback was very encouraging.

In today’s post, as promised, I’m going to give you a look over my shoulder for the past week and share with you what I did, as well as the results we achieved.

If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

As always, my hope is that my transparency with you can be the fuel you need to achieve similar results in your own business. Sound good? Here we go!

Key Activities in the Week of April 14th, 2014

During the past week, here’s a summary of what happened:

  1. We published 3 blog posts
  2. We launched our Target100 direct mail campaign
  3. I published another content marketing video
  4. I created the plan for our next two TOFU campaigns
  5. I started to research the health care niche
  6. Added a new member to our team
  7. Website traffic and leads climbed steadily

Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.

3 New Blog Posts

Two of the following three posts were written by writers that we’ve hired to join our team. Within our wiki, we’ve created a very comprehensive set of instructions for how we want our posts written. The other post with the infographic didn’t really have much in the way of writing, so I did that one myself.

Mailed Letter #1 to the Target 100 List

On Friday, our first 100 letters were mailed. In next week’s report, I will share the results of this first mailing.

If you missed last week’s post, you will definitely want to read it so you can see the high level view of the 9 week long campaign.

New Video: Introduction to Inbound Marketing

After seeing a video by Andrew Dymski of Guavabox, I decided to create my own version of an Introduction to Inbound Marketing. This video will be sent to new Groove subscribers and the Target 100 list that download our lead magnet.

TOFU Campaign #2 & #3

Our next two inbound campaigns have already been planned in their entirety. Both lead ebooks are now in production. I’ve also selected all the titles for the blog posts and assigned them to our writing team.

Ideally, we’ll have all our content created at least 45 days prior to it being published. In addition to this pre-planned content, we’ll also be doing selective newsjacking like we did here (check out the volume of social shares we got).

Creating this post took one of our writers less than an hour, so it was time very well spent.

How to Plan Your Blog Posts

One of the things  I think stumps a lot of people is coming up with ideas for what to write about.

Figuring it out it much easier than you might think.

Several months ago, Neil Patel wrote a post that (basically) said the following: study your competitors blogs and re-write (and improve) any posts that got a lot of comments and shares.

For some diehards, this is too simple of an approach. Luckily for me, I’m much more interested in getting results than in being a purist 🙂

I’m the first to admit virtually everything I’ve ever written about has already been covered 50 times (or more) elsewhere. Despite this, when I publish my own post on a topic I’ve seen elsewhere, I still get plenty of shares on social media – and new leads.

Let me put this another way. Do you really think the there is anything on Copyblogger that you can’t find on Hubspot’s blog? I doubt it. Yet, despite this, both blogs are insanely successful.

If that’s not enough, last week I recorded an interview with an agency owner whose blog, which is just two years old, gets 35,000 visits a month.

When I asked him if he follows Neil’s advice, his answer was, “hell ya.”

So, with that in mind, here’s my dirty little secret on how to quickly & easily plan your blog post titles:

  1. Create a spreadsheet to store them
  2. Every time you see a post that covers a topic that relates to a lead magnet you have planned, re-write the title and store it in your spreadsheet with a link to the original post
  3. Hire a writer to re-write (and look for ways to improve) the post
  4. Publish it on your blog and aggressively share on social media

content-planner-spreadsheet

Voila…huge volumes of epic content that is guaranteed to be popular.

NOTE: FOR THIS TO WORK, YOU MUST BE TARGETING THE SAME READER AS THE OTHER BLOG AND YOU MUST NOT COPY THEIR CONTENT WORD FOR WORD. 

Health Care Niche Research

Another agency owner that I interviewed last week told me that he’s been having a lot of success in the health care niche. He told me that he can charge 4x the price for the same amount of work that he’d been doing for other niches.

4x? Really?

The reason for this is simple. The lifetime customer value (LTV) of the customers of his health care clients is extremely high, so his clients can (and expect) to pay a lot to acquire each customer.

At this point, I don’t know squat about the health care niche…and it’s a massive niche. To help me increase my knowledge, I’ve joined a number of LinkedIn groups and have started to extend invitations to CMO’s to be on my podcast.

In my experience, there is no better way to learn about a niche that to talk directly to the people in it.

Want to copy me but don’t have a podcast yet? Start one.

New Team Member

As I’m writing this very post, our newest team member, Juliana, is downstairs consuming our training material. Liz is only days away from giving birth to Kiana, so getting a replacement for Liz has been a huge priority.

Juliana has vast experience in writing and editing already, so I’m keen to see the contribution she makes to our growing team.

Case Study: Groove Digital Marketing Traffic and Conversion Stats

Since my decision just over a month ago to begin actively blogging on Groove, the results have come very quickly.

Below is a summary of our results thus far.

HubspotStats

Additional Resources

Now What?

If you liked this post and want future updates on our progress with how to launch a marketing agency, just click the image below. If you’d like to get even more help and surround yourself with other agency owners, be sure and check out the Bright Ideas Mastermind Elite, which is my mastermind group for entrepreneurs running marketing agencies.

Have questions or comments? Please share them with us in the comments below.

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3 Things I Learned From James Schramko

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James Schramko typically charges a LOT for access to his advice. His mastermind group is in the tens of thousands per year, and I’m sure it’s worth every penny. So when I had the opportunity to chat with him, I knew I wanted to share some of his best pieces of advice with my listeners.

I got a number of golden nuggets from my conversation with James. I actually share more than three in this episode (including James’ secret to ranking a podcast highly in iTunes), but here were the ones that rose to the top:

  1. Avoid anything that distracts you from your goal (shiny object syndrome)
  2. Be patient
  3. Spend time around others with similar goals

 For more episodes from myself and other accomplished business professionals, subscribe now and don’t miss out on future shows.

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Hey there BrightIdea hunters!

Welcome back to episode number 122 at the BrightIdeas podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. This is the podcast where we help the entrepreneurs to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase the growth of their businesses. If you are an entrepreneur looking for proven tactics and strategies to help you increase traffic, increase conversion and automatically increase profits, you are in the right place.

So, what is in store for you today? Well I am going to share with you, on this very blustery day here in Boise, Idaho. We had an amazing day, amazing weekend rather, and then weather hits 70 on a Sunday and now it’s the windiest it’s been in 40 years or something. So darn it all.

But anyway, in this episode, I am going to share with you, some things that I learned in a call recently, with a fellow named James Schramko.

James, over the last number of years has built himself a very, very successful business and there were three key things I learned from him in a talk that I had. I was considering joining his mastermind group, which I think I probably well do at some point in the relatively near future. And the pre interview call with him was really, really helpful for a number of reasons that I want to share some of the details with you because I alluded to this back at episode # 119 when I unveiled my 2-year plan in building a $500,000 marketing agency, Groove Digital marketing.

So we are going to get to all this good stuff in just a second, but before i do that very quickly I get a lot of emails from people asking me, “Trent what tools do you use to run your business?”

There are a lot of software tools that I used to run BrightIdeas and my other businesses. And you can if you would like, learn more about all of those tools and if you want to support me in the show you can use my affiliate link to buy any of them and if you do I have something special for you – extra bonuses that you cannot get elsewhere. So, the way you find it all, you just got to grabtrentsbonus.com and you can see how you can do that.

So with that said, let us talk, let us jump into to this. First of all if you are not familiar with James, his website is superfastbusiness.com and he does a couple of million dollars per year in info products, affiliate income, and his mastermind group, and also has a fairly large services division with above 50 VAs working in the Philippines and I never, I have actually met James once a couple years ago at the traffic & conversion summit in Washington DC, we really didn’t have the chance to chat a whole bunch so this was a really interesting call for me, because it validated some of the things that I’ve been doing right, but also made me aware of some of the things that I need to do better.

So his business become successful because he’s done a very, very good job of attracting a lot of traffic so his site and obviously there is a portion of those people who visit his site become subscribers to give you an idea there’s a one of his products that is an affiliate for which is lead pages and I am also an affiliate for lead pages (if you’d like to use link, it’s brightideas.co/leadpages), it’s what I used to make a lot of my landing pages and opt-in boxes and so forth and it’s really good software, anyway James is the largest affiliate in the entire world for that company and he was one of the key advisers to help them really make that business get initially launched and off the ground.

So here are some of the things that he told me he said number 1 is respect to the podcast he says if you want to get rank highly in the iTunes store the one thing that helps more than anything is frequency. Frequency in other words how many episodes per week you are publishing so those of you who’ve been listening for a while know that I used to do one episode for week, and now I do an episode every single day and that is the reason why I am hoping to get my show higher in the business marketing category in the iTunes store. Because the iTunes store is really just a search engine and if I can do that of course another would get more traffic and if I can get more traffic I can get more subscribers.

The other thing that James told me is that he has four podcasts, not just one. So right now I have one; it’s Bright Ideas and for my agency I’m going to launch another one and I even toyed with launching a third one now that would be called “Ask Trent” where basically people could call in have a question leave a message for me like a voice mail. And then I would produce an episode to answer that question. So if that’s something you all said would be cool of course I’d like to get your feedback, so make sure you let me know.

So I made notes here and a couple of things that I realized in talking with James and I’m sharing this with you because if you have a business model that similar to bright ideas my hope for you is that this will be confidence inspiring as it was for me.

So realization number 1 is I am on track with my strategy; my business model is almost identical to James’, I sell info products. And I am an affiliate for some of the products that I use, I have a mastermind group and I have services division and those are the exact same four ways that James monetizes his business of course the big differences that he’s got more traffic than I do.

I realized that I needed to create more podcasts episodes – daily. I realized that I need more than one podcast, I also realized that I need to start guest posting.. I kind of loathe to guest post to be honest with you, which is really stupid if you think about it because I have done it a couple of times and it didn’t bring me a descent quite large amount of traffic, and a reason I’ve been quote unquote loathe to do it; you’ve got to create really, really great content and then typically whoever you’re guest posting with doesn’t want you to publish that content on your own site.

I am kind like a dimwit, I don’t want to write all that great content and not be able to publish it on own my blog but if you think about the logic behind that it is sort of flawed. That’s why you are writing content on your own blog because you want people to opt in and join your list. Well wouldn’t it make sense to put a really great piece of content on a blog it has a whole lot more traffic than yours does so that people can see that piece of content and say wow really like this stuff who is this guy. I want to get more stuff from him then they come to your blog and become a subscriber.

The end result is the same it’s just where you place the content so were going to start shopping some.. creating some very high quality post that are not published in on our own blog and see if we going to have some blog with guest posting them. And I realized that I needed to create what I talk about right the beginning grabtrentsbonus.com as a way to mirror kind of what is like James is doing with his and it’s one of the ways that he really helps his monetization because he offers a bonus for a number of bonuses to choose from rather for anyone who uses one of his affiliate links to buy a product.

So if you think about that well, if you’re listening to my show and you and you like my stuff and because you not even one penny more to use an affiliate links, so there’s really no extra cost obviously. And if I’m offering you something of value for free as a thank you for using my affiliate link, chances are if you like my content and you like me and you like my stuff you are going to go yeah that’s cool try on to that use your affiliate link. And enough people do that I cannot up to it a meaningful amount of income.

One of the other lessons from James is I need to avoid anything that distracts me from my goals. And as I’m sure all of us can relate to shiny object syndrome. I don’t have so much shiny object syndrome but there are a lot of things that can catch my attention maybe that is shiny object syndrome. Anyway I am trying to be more focused that’s why the post that I wrote, not so long ago on my two year plan had a picture of the word focus on the top of it.

I need to be patient, which is not one of my strong suits I always like to get results as fast as possible but sometimes things just take a while and so being patient because it’s a good thing.

And last but not the least I need to spent time around other people who have similar goals to me, which I do to the best of my ability but I think I probably could put a little bit more effort in to that. So that something that is on my list of things to do as well.

There you have that is my summary of my conversation with James and if you want to get in to the show notes for this episode go to brightideas.co/122 and if you enjoyed the value of this episode I’d love it if you would. And help me spread the word about the episode by going to brightideas.co/love when there is a pre written tweet, all you got to do is just click that mouse couldn’t be any easier. So thank you very much that’s it for this episode. I am your host Trent Dyrsmid I look forward to haven you back for another episode soon. Take care.

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

Ask Me a Question

If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, you can share it by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.

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How to Attract World Class Clients to Your Agency with Jamie Cooper

Jaime Cooper

jamie-cooper-interview_0Jamie Cooper’s firm is the largest marketing agency in Idaho and has been ranked in Outside Magazine’s “Top Places to Work” for the last two years.

As you may know, I started my journey as an entrepreneur in the IT space and have since moved into marketing agency and consulting work. Jamie Cooper has taken quite a similar path, as the Vice President of Marketing at ProClarity (now owned by Microsoft) and now as the CEO of DrakeCooper.

In this episode we discuss how Jamie got into the creative services business and how digital marketing has changed the marketing landscape. If you’re in the agency space or you’re an entrepreneur looking to get into a new industry, don’t miss this episode.

Listen now and you’ll hear Jamie and I discuss:

  • (03:00) Introductions
  • (06:45) Why did you switch from software to the creative services business?
  • (11:00) How has technology and digital marketing changed the marketing landscape?
  • (23:00) How have you systematized the creative process?
  • (29:00) How does your branding process work?
  • (34:00) What advice would you give to agencies who want to attract larger clients?
  • (40:00) Do you think smaller agencies should specialize and partner with larger firms?
  • (43:00) Which tools are you using today which have proven effective?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Jamie Cooper

JamieCooperJamie focuses on helping organizations grow their brand and can be seen working on creative strategy as well as walking the board through return on investment. He can also be seen away from the office on a bike or skis, depending on the season. He loves his daily bike commute and the Idaho outdoor lifestyle, allowing himself to whistle all the way to work.

Throughout Jamie’s career, he has led global marketing campaigns, branding and messaging strategy, consumer and B2B marketing programs, database and direct marketing, and has over a decade of digital marketing experience. A graduate of Arkansas State University with a marketing major, Jamie’s career includes marketing leadership positions at several early-stage start-up companies. Most recently he was Vice President of Marketing at ProClarity (now part of Microsoft).

Supporting the community is an essential part of Drake Cooper, and Jamie is an active member of the Boise business and creative community. He has served on the board of directors or in a marketing role with: Core Concepts (advisory board), Bogus Basin, Zoo Boise, Boise Rescue Mission, The Learning Lab, IBCEE (The Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence), The WaterCooler, BSU Center for Creativity, and Kickstand.

Additional Resources

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

Ask Me a Question

If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, you can share it by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.

Subscribe to the Bright Ideas Podcast

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How I am Using HubSpot AND Infusionsoft to Run Groove Digital Marketing

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hubspotandInfusionsoft

hubspotandInfusionsoft
Ever since I announced that I chose to use HubSpot for my agency, I have been inundated with tweets, comments, and emails asking me why I “switched” from Infusionsoft to HubSpot and in today’s post, I want to set the record straight.

I Have Not “Switched” From Infusionsoft to HubSpot

The reality is that there is very little overlap between these two platforms.

In fact, pretty much the only area of overlap is that they both can do marketing automation…which is practical terms is this: the ability to create automated follow up sequences.

The differences between the two apps are stark.

Things I use HubSpot for:

  • Planning, organizing, and executing my content marketing campaigns
  • Landing Pages
  • Calls-to-action
  • Marketing automation for prospects
  • Detailed content marketing analytics

Things I use Infusionsoft for:

  • Sales opportunity management
  • Task management
  • Online payment processing
  • CRM
  • Marketing automation for clients and “sales qualified” prospects (they have gone through the bottom of my funnel and are now ready for one-on-one conversations)

Why Use Both?

While Infusionsoft is much stronger in terms of marketing automation (see the video below for examples), the reality is that for lead capture and nurturing, HubSpot is plenty good enough AND the analytics from HubSpot are absolutely incredible. On the other hand, if I want to improve conversions in my funnel, Infusionsoft’s analytics are virtually non-existent.

For example, with HubSpot I can very easily see:

  • Cumulative traffic
  • Leads captured
  • Landing page views & conversion rate
  • Call-to-action views and conversion rate
  • Emails delivered, opened and clicked (Infusionsoft does this only for broadcasts)
  • Interaction with every piece of content, landing page, etc… on the contact level (in other words, what did John look at, opt into, open, etc…)

To see me explain this and show some specific examples, please watch the video below.

Hopefully this clarifies how wonderfully these two incredible applications work together.

Questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

The How and Why of Creating a Buyer Persona with Chris Handy

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chris handy 4in x 6in x 300dpi x FC

chris-handy-interview_0Chris Handy is back on Bright Ideas to dive into why having a buyer persona is such an important tool in any inbound strategy.

We rarely have repeat guests on Bright Ideas (in fact, this is only the second time; in the first interview, Chris shared how he built a $400k two-person agency in just 2 years). I didn’t necessarily plan on bringing Chris back, but on a webinar I heard someone explain some really insightful points about a buyer persona — turns out, Chris ended up being the mystery speaker and he has graciously accepted another invitation to offer some proven tactics on how creating buyer personas have helped grow his business.

This topic relates to ALL business people, and I know you’ll learn a great deal yet again from Chris.

Listen now and you’ll hear Chris and I talk about:

  • (03:00)  Introductions
  • (04:00)  What I’ve been doing with my Podcast and Groove
  • (10:00)  What happened at your first live webinar?
  • (14:30)  Why should I bother with creating a buyer persona?
  • (19:00)  How many buyer personas should you have?
  • (21:45)  How do you create a buyer persona?
  • (27:00)  How do you use the persona in your content marketing?
  • (29:00)  How do you use the persona in your lead nurturing strategy?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Chris Handy

ChrisHandyChris Handy is the Founder & CEO of ThinkHandy, a sales and marketing alignment consultancy in Fort Worth, TX. Apart from starting ThinkHandy, Chris has also done work for eRecyclingCorps, Easysale Inc, and EzBayer.

Chris’ company is Hubspot Certified and has an extensive inbound marketing background. Chris is a graduate of the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington in Management and Marketing and is a self-proclaimed Saved By The Bell “Trivia Master”.

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

Ask Me a Question

If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, you can share it by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.

Subscribe to the Bright Ideas Podcast

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