Brian Clark on Why You Need to Think (and Act) Like a Media Company

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is the Founder and CEO of CopyBlogger Media, publisher of CopyBlogger.com, one of the most successful marketing blogs on the internet. On top of their huge audience they have built a very successful business by bringing to market products that their audience wants.

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Our Chat Today

  • Can any business use content marketing?
  • How should a B2B company get started with content marketing?
  • What advice do you have for companies faced with stiff competition?
  • How do you avoid being commoditized?
  • How do you suggest people promote their content?
  • How does one get publicity for their content?
  • What is the New Rainmaker platform?
  • What are some of the features that are going to be added to New Rainmaker?
  • What advice would you give me to get traction with hospitals?

 

Additional Resources Mentioned

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Mineral Weekly Update for July 18th

Race For 20K Agency Challenge July 18

Race For 20K Agency Challenge July 18 process improvement

Hi Bright Ideas readers, my name is Drew, I blog at drewsanocki.com, and I run an agency — Mineral.io — that is competing with Trent’s Groove agency in the Race to $20K in recurring revenue.

Update for July 11

As we used to say in the Navy, NSTR (Nothing Significant To Report) this week for my half of the Agency Challenge. I’ve been taking the week off spending time with the family on the beach. I get back to work Monday — so next week’s update should be filled with a fair amount of new material.

Update for July 18

This week at Mineral.io, we continued to focus internally on our concierge MVP.  I think we’ve finally got it dialed in enough so that next week we can turn to marketing.

I’ll follow Trent’s lead and give you a quick overview before diving into each item:

  1. Process improvement
  2. Implemented Teamwork
  3. Recruited three more paid search contractors
  4. Rewrote our landing page to make more Shopify specific
  5. Spoke to several writers

Process improvement

 

Why do I keep harping on process improvement? Because as I stated in a previous update, in order to effectively serve lower-end clients at scale, we need to have our processes dialed.  There simply isn’t much wiggle room for improvisation when a client is paying us $500/month.

A little extra time to configure something or take a client call and we’ve blown through our margin for the month. So this week we spent Monday and Tuesday in an all-day session to review our processes.

When we began our agency, we were very improvisational. I basically brought on a bunch of paid search specialists who I had used before, and I assigned each one a client.  Then each specialist was off to the races — doing whatever they needed to do for that particular client.

In those early days, we had no central repository of knowledge, and no common approach to how we managed paid search. If a client wanted growth, one of our contractors might approach it by expanding ad groups and keywords — another would approach it by increasing bids.

After a couple months of running the agency this way, we realized that this improvisational wouldn’t cut the mustard at scale. First, we needed to deliver a similar experience across account optimization, bidding, channel management, etc.  Second, that experience had to be best-of-breed and include ‘best practices’ from the world of paid search.

So I spent about a month interviewing our contractors and other paid search experts to come up with our baseline standard approach.  That approach involves checklists for onboarding, maintenance, and reporting that we execute on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually). Monday and Tuesday of this week we further refined the lists getting them into our project management software and assigning specific contractors to each list.

Now when we take on a new client we can say that they will indeed receive ‘best practice’ paid search management.

Implemented Teamwork

Up until this week, we had been running our nine-client MVP on Trello.  But Trello was bursting at the seams — it really was built more for brainstorming and simple task management, not for delivering a consistent set of service processes to 20, 30, 100 clients.

After testing out everything from Jira to Maventools, we opted for Teamwork. It has most of the functionality we desired: the ability to set recurring tasks, the ability to monitor the hours worked by our army of contractors, and the ability to run reports quickly on what is due and when.

We spent a few days moving all our tasks into Teamwork and on Wednesday moved all our contractors over to it.  Two and a half days in it seems to be doing OK — every one of our contractors (we have around ten) get tasks assigned to them regularly, and they can report back on what they are seeing on the client level.

Of course, these systems never live up to their billing, but for now we feel a lot more confident that we are getting work done on time for each client.

Recruited three more paid search contractors

We currently work with about four ‘expert’ paid search contractors and about another three ‘novice’ ones.  The novices — who have a lower hourly rate — perform a lot of the onboarding and routine maintenance tasks while the ‘experts’ set strategy and direction.

I need a deeper bench. By my back-of-the envelope calculations, in order for us to beat Trent and pass $20K in recurring revenue, we will need to service 20-30 clients.  Right now we are at nine.  So we need more staff to service more clients.  Plus there’s also the reduced risk that comes with having several people able to execute the same tasks — our agency won’t grind to a halt if someone gets sick or goes on vacation.

So this week we added three more contractors into our system for limited duration tests.  Each will take on some client work and give us daily feedback on what they did so that we can assess their progress and determine whether they are a good fit.

Rewrote our landing page to make more Shopify specific

Our current paid search landing page is dated. First, it’s a bit generic. Based on what we’ve learned from our concierge MVP, our new ideal customer is a Shopify store owner (easier to market to, easier to service), and the current page targets just any ecommerce store owner.  Second, the pricing is off — we’ve moved that around.  And third, the services are off — we’ve changed up what customers receive when they sign up, primarily removing a regular phone call and replacing that with enhanced reporting.

So this Thursday I put on my copywriter cap and drafted a new landing page that features the new service and pricing.  I really took an empathetic approach with the page in an effort to get inside the head of the average small business Shopify store owner.

I like the results, but it does look much more like a long form sales letter than the current minimal design.  Is this good or bad?  I’ve no idea, but I think I want to launch with it to see what happens.  Shortly after launching, I will develop a “B” page that is more like the current page for testing.

Our goal was to get the page up Friday, but we ran into an unanticipated development challenge with our pricing table that forced us to roll it until next week sometime.  So stay tuned.

Spoke to several writers

With the new landing page ready and company processes dialed in, it’s time to turn to marketing!

This is the moment I know I’ve been waiting for, the time to finally try to scale up a bit so that Trent can feel the heat.  Next week I plan to kick off our initial marketing efforts, so I’ll save an overview of what we are doing for that update.  But content marketing will be part of it, and as such I need to find a decent writer (and no I can’t afford Trent’s services yet).  This past week I interviewed a few.

That’s all this week. My family and I continue to hit the beach every weekend (Friday – Monday, specifically) which always makes it a challenge to execute on the work front during the week.  I often think back to my single days when I lived in SF’s Mission District — it seemed much easier to launch my previous business when I was working 24-7!  That said I’m not complaining because I love my family time, and swimming in the surf really helps me chill out.

So until next week —

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.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

 

How James Deer Has Grown His SaaS Company to $39,000 in Monthly Revenue

JAMES DEER

saas company examples

James Deer and his wife founded Gather Content, a new startup SaaS company doing just shy of $39K/mo in Revenue.

James started his career as a freelancer and built up a small client base. Eventually, he got so busy as a web designer that he had to hire a number of people. He quickly built up an agency to 13 people before he ended up selling it.

James will reveal the entire process he has taken with Gather Content – from concept to prototyping, getting customers, and getting funding, as well as long-term business goals.

Are you looking to grow a Saas business? Then this is an interview you do not want to miss!

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

  • (04:00)  Introduction
  • (07:30)  How did you come up with the idea for Gather Content?
  • (12:30)  What did you do next after developing a prototype for the app?
  • (14:48)  What did you do after Smashing Magazine tweeted out your app’s landing page?
  • (20:00)  How did you get from $5k/mo to $15k/mo?
  • (23:00)  How did marketing automation play a role?
  • (28:00)  How did you discover who your ideal customer is?
  • (30:00)  How much monthly revenue are you doing now?
  • (33:00)  Tell me about how you raised some money.
  • (35:00)  How much did you raise and what are you using it for?
  • (37:00)  What does your exit strategy look like?
  • (46:00)  What does the future hold?

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 James Deer

James DeerJames Deer is the founder of GatherContent– a service that helps agencies gather content from their clients painlessly. It helps replace the chaotic process of sending word documents, and emails back and forth for when you prepare web content. Previously James and his wife built up a small digital agency to 13 full-time staff which they later sold.

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results Week of July 7th

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groove-weekly-update-post-header

how to launch a marketing agency groove weekly header

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 (there was no post for the week of June 30th because I took most of the week off as part of the July 4th long weekend).

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? Let’s get into it.

Key Activities in the Week of July 7th, 2014

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

  1. Since my last update, we published 16 blog posts
  2. We launched the Groove Digital Marketing Podcast
  3. We submitted a guest post to Social Media Examiner
  4. We did two more discovery calls
  5. We submitted one proposal

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

16 New Blog Posts

You can find them all here. 10 of the posts were for podcast episodes as we have now launched the Groove Digital Marketing podcast.

Why another podcast? Simple…two podcasts in iTunes doubles my chances of being found, plus, now that the podcast is such a big part of my prospecting strategy, I felt it was important for it to have the same brand name as the agency to avoid confusion.

Guest Post Submission to Social Media Examiner

SME publishes a new post every day, and virtually every single one of them is contributed by writers like myself.

The goal here is to expose our content to people that don’t yet know we exist, and SME is just one of the blogs that we are going to test to see if we can attract more of the right people. (I’m sure we’ll get traffic…but I don’t yet know if it’s the right traffic.)

After reading GrooveHQ’s post on guest blogging, I felt that this was something that I really needed to stop procrastinating on. The strategy that we are following (in terms of the landing page) is exactly the same as what GrooveHQ did.

To build relationships with higher traffic blogs, I’m extending invitations to them to be a guest on my podcast.

Two More Discovery Calls

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a discovery call is the very first sales call that I do with a sales qualified lead (SQL).

SQL #1 is a firm that HubSpot referred to us. They are a 25 employee company up in Toronto that makes a technical product that is used by large corporations and the government. HubSpot referred them because they were looking for an agency that could assist them with ongoing content production.

SQL #2 is a 60 person accounting firm from Kansas. They didn’t fill out a form on my site. Instead, they just called me.  When they called they told me that they’d been listening to my podcast for quite a while and were convinced that I could help them to increase their lead flow in a specific niche they are targeting.

For both of the calls above, I focused on asking questions to gain an understanding of the issues that they are trying to deal with, the impact that these issues were having, and the importance of those issues relative to all the other things they are working on right now. If you would like to learn more this type of sales process, buy this book by Ian Altman. It’s worth far more than the $9.31 you’ll pay for it.

Once I was satisfied that they had issues I could help them with, I asked them to supply me with:

  • A list of their top 3 competitors
  • Their current monthly website traffic
  • The average lifetime value of a customer

I then scheduled another call with each of them so that I could give them my inbound marketing presentation, which I customize each time to include the data that they supplied to me. (We scheduled the second call while we were still on the phone for the first call.)

New Proposal Submitted

One of the people that has been a guest on my show runs a $3M company and since we recorded the episode, we’ve been talking about helping them with inbound marketing. We’ve submitted a proposal and are now waiting on the decision. If they proceed, the retainer will be at least $3,000/mo.

If all goes as planned, we should have an answer during the week of July 14th.

Traffic & Leads

Here’s a summary of this week over last.

July7weeklytrafficreport

Last week I wrote that we saw impressive gains on all KPIs in June. Here’s the summary. We saw very strong gains across all KPIs. I attribute much of these outsized gains to the webinar that we did on June 28th. I’m hoping to do another before July is over.

JuneTrafficRecap

Marketing Agency Duel: The Race to $20,000 in Monthly Recurring Revenue

Just in case you missed it in prior updates, I have challenged my friend Drew Sanocki to a marketing agency duel where we are literally going to race each other to $20,000 a month in retainer income. You can get all the details in last week’s update here.

Additional Resources

What Questions Do You Have?

If you have questions about this post, or anything to do with marketing, please leave them in the comments down below. That way, I can look at the most commonly asked questions and write detailed blog posts on these topics in the future. If you don’t ask questions, it’s much harder for me to come up with ideas to write about, so please don’t be shy!

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.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

Walter Bergeron Started From Scratch, Built and Sold His Company for $10M

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WALTER BERGERON FC 14

Walter Bergeron is a multi-millionaire serial entrepreneur, a best selling author and Marketer of the Year. This Navy veteran started his entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 12, detailing automobiles in his parents’ driveway and has owned many businesses since then.  In 1996, after he completed a U.S. Navy tour aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, he started his industrial repair company in a small shed in the middle of the sugarcane fields of Louisiana. His entrepreneurial path led him to sell his industrial company for $10 Million and is now guiding other driven entrepreneurs on a path to exponentially grow and sell their business to achieve their own 8 figure lifestyle liberating payday. For a free copy of one of his bestselling books go to www.walterbergeron.com .

Listen to the Audio

Our Chat Today

  • Tell me about the Pivotal moment you had before sales recently increased.
  • So you doubled your previous years revenue in just 90 days?
  • What did you do to freely gain an understanding of your market and clients?
  • Please tell me about the newsletter you created and the results you achieved.
  • Please tell me about the new client acquisition campaign.
  • Please tell me about the steps that lead up to your industrial case.
  • How did you get traffic to your landing pages?
  • Please tell me how you upgraded your lead generation system.
  • Tell us about the other companies that you bought.
  • Please tell me about how you create systems to run your business.
  • How did you sell your company?

Additional Resources Mentioned

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Mineral Weekly Update for July 4

Race For 20K Agency Challenge July 4

Race For 20K Agency Challenge July 4 operations automation

Hello BrightIdeas.co readers!

I hope everybody enjoyed their long weekend here in the States. By way of background, my name is Drew and I am building a recurring revenue paid search agency at Mineral.io with two goals: 1) reinventing paid search for online retailers, and 2) beating Groove Digital Marketing on the Quest for $20K so that I can receive the grand prize, a large bag of Idaho potatoes.

Weekly Update

As for my weekly update, this was a short week, and we continue to focus most of our efforts on our internal processes as opposed to on attracting new clients. I realize this is a marketing automation blog, but before I can get to marketing I need to focus my agency on operations automation. This is vital because 1) we have chosen a lower average price point of $500 – $1000/month that 2) requires that we develop scalable client service processes.

Operations Automation

With nine clients in our concierge MVP, we have chosen to hit the pause button on customer acquisition for a few weeks — we want to see what we can do to serve them all better with fewer human hours.

When looking at our business, we see it as broken down into five process areas. I’ll walk through each below:

  1. Client onboarding. This is the process we use to integrate a client into our workflow. It’s proven to be a massive time-sink for us because of all the account information we need: Google Adwords logins and access, Analytics access, Google Merchant Center (for Shopping feeds), Facebook logins, shopping cart access (so we can generate shopping feeds), etc. There’s a lot of back-and-forth with the client, a ton of education, and if we hit a roadblock — a shopping cart we’ve never worked on before, for example — onboarding could stretch out to a month’s worth of time. Although onboarding is a beast, I believe it’s a major reason why these clients aren’t taking on paid search in house, so it’s important for us to develop a standard approach here.
  2. Paid search maintenance. This is the meat of what we do — manage and optimize client paid search programs. We had been doing it for a while with an army of great paid search contractors, but we quickly realized that each contractor had his or her own approach: how often they would check a budget, update bids, create A/B ad copy, and so on. It’s important for us to check all the boxes for all the clients, so we need strong checklists here for our team.
  3. Reporting. These are the processes around letting the client know how we are doing. One one level, it’s about demonstrating to the client a return on their ad spend (ROAS). But on a deeper level it’s also about justifying our existence, showing them what we are working on behind the scenes week to week. We want to keep the client from asking the question: “So what am I paying these guys for again?”
  4. Client feedback. This is an important process that should separate us from the massive pack of paid search agencies in the long run: collecting and acting on client feedback. Not enough agencies do it, and we want to do it well.  I have confidence that if we do, in a year our business will look very different than I could possibly imagine today and we will have carved out a real competitive advantage.
  5. customer serviceClient customer service.  This final process is one I know well from my days running customer service at my online retailer. It’s such a pain point (for customers and for businesses) and can really rack up the costs if we don’t handle it well. At the same time, our concierge MVP is telling us that this process is critical to a client’s sense of satisfaction (often more so than ROAS), so we have to nail service.

Given these five core processes, what did we focus on this week?  To some extent each one:

1) Implemented a new project management system. We are currently on our third, Teamwork, and we hope this one sticks. Given all the process areas above, we had a strong need to create recurring tasks that we could assign out to a subcontractor and regenerate with each new client.

  • Onboarding steps.
  • Adwords negative keyword management steps.
  • Bidding checks.

It took us about two weeks of playing with Teamwork before we made the switch for the entire team. I’m even hoping to begin syncing this with our contractor invoicing as it should make the internal profitability analysis much easier.

2) Created the draft “paid search maintenance” process. This was a big, necessary step as alluded to above. I spent hours this week on the phone with our top PPC contractors collecting their paid search best practices, and I broke them into regular task checklists by time period (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). We then took these checklists and added them into Teamwork so that they would generate automatically for each client. Now each client is receiving standardized (awesome) paid search management — bids are updated on schedule, ROAS is checked regularly, etc. Given this approach I’m pretty sure our client ceiling just moved from about 20 to about 80-100.

3) Investigated reporting options. Given our new processes, we decided the next logical step was to tell our clients about what we are doing and why we are doing it. We suspect exporting data from Teamwork, massaging it, and delivering it to the client is the way to go. That way the client will get a regular update (daily, weekly, not sure yet) on what we did and why we did it. I spent a fair amount of time this week figuring out how to get data from Teamwork into one of several client messaging systems.

4) Client calls and feedback. Finally, I was on the phone with many of our clients this week in an effort to collect more feedback on what they want. As anyone who has ever done customer development knows, it’s a slow painstaking process but a necessary one. My heart sinks when I look at my calendar and see back-to-back-to-back client calls every afternoon, especially when we aren’t really making any money (yet), but I do always come away with some key insights.  And I did this week.

So that wraps up our short week. My family and I are off to the Hamptons for a week. I’m guessing that for readers outside of NYC that conjures up images of, I don’t know, Paris Hilton and insane exclusive parties on the beach. Nothing could be further from our beach experience — we do a lot of grilling, connecting with friends, and swimming.  Although I love it, I am beginning to have that super-excited “startup feeling” about Mineral and kinda wish I could spend a few weeks solid just moving the ball forward.  The next week will be a bit of an operational challenge to me to see what I can get done without being in the office.

Happy Fourth,

Drew

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.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

 

June 2014 Traffic Report

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BITrafficReport-June2014

BITrafficReport-June2014

 

Welcome to my June Traffic Report. To see May’s report, click here.

Traffic generation is a challenge faced by every entrepreneur. At Bright Ideas we’ve made a habit of publishing our traffic reports as a means of giving insight into how we are doing, what is working, and what isn’t. Additionally, writing the report forces me to look at what’s going on! If you think this is helpful, please be sure and share this post.

This month, we have great news – our traffic from organic search is UP.. waay up! Read on to the Referral Sources section to see why.

The data we look at for our traffic report helps us to answer what we want to know most each month.

When you are doing your own analysis, be sure you start with your own top questions. Ours include:

  1. Is overall traffic up or down? Why?
  2. Are overall subscribers up or down? Why?
  3. Which traffic/referral sources are contributing the most to traffic and subscribers?
  4. How can we adjust our strategy to increase traffic and subscribers?

Here are all the details that I found for June…

Traffic

BITrafficJune2014

For the month of June, we continued our focus on Groove Digital Marketing agency activities.

In fact, we created less content in June than May (12 vs 16 posts), which means that proportionally we actually generated more traffic per post in June than in May. We also started to see less traffic from StumbleUpon, where a very popular post (The Dumbest LinkedIn Mistake I See Over and Over Again) went viral a couple of months ago.

Conclusion #1: Overall traffic numbers were lower in June, which is in line with a reduced posting schedule.

Subscribers

BIConversionsJune2014

We had slightly lower subscriber numbers for June, but only 9% lower versus over 16% less traffic.

Conclusion #2: Overall subscribers were down slightly from May, which makes sense given the lower traffic volume.

Referral Sources

BIReferralsJune2014

Here’s where Google Analytics showed my traffic coming from:

Google Analytics reports the largest portion of traffic coming from social. However, organic traffic increased significantly in June (220%, to be exact!).

BIOrganicTrafficJune2014

In a typical month, we usually see around 400 visitors coming from organic search. That number increased significantly in May at over 600, and increased even more significantly in June with 1,855 Google organic search visitors!

It appears that traffic is up via a number of different search phrases and landing pages, including some specifically targeted posts we created in February and March. The average search position is lower (and here a lower number is a good thing, as the higher the number, the lower down our results show up), which would indicate that over time Bright Ideas has built up enough domain authority that Google is more likely to display our links in search results.

The theory that our domain authority is increasing is further supported by our lowered Alexa rank (this is in order of popularity, so once again a low number is a good thing), which as of July 8 was  140,535 (up 67,854 from 3 months ago).

This increased domain authority is likely a result of the significant amount of valuable content available on the site – essentially, we’ve hit some sort of critical mass. Strike another win for content marketing!

Conclusion #3: In June we received a significant increase in traffic from organic search, due to increased domain authority.

Summary and Insights

  • Our June traffic numbers were lower than in May, which makes sense given that we created less content.
  • Our social traffic remained high in June, which is in line with our social promotion.
  • Organic traffic increased significantly in June, likely due to increased domain authority.

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.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

Advanced Tactics for Content Marketing and Lead Generation with Nathan Yerian

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Nathan Yerian FC

nathan-yerian-interview_0

Nathan Yerian is a co-founder of Adhere Creative, a marketing agency started at a kitchen table by Nathan and 2 other founders. Adhere Creative is now a 7 figure a year and agency with a nice roster of clients that pay monthly retainers.

If you want to learn how to build an agency like Nathan’s, this podcast is for you. In particular, we talk in detail about three of Nathan’s strategy for attracting leads.

One strategy is content marketing and we discuss specific questions as to how Nathan makes certain he gets the right content promoted in the right way so the right people read it.

We also talk about how Adhere syndicates their content and the types of conversation they have when a lead becomes sales qualified. They get them on retainer from Day One!

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

  • (04:00) Introduction
  • (05:20) Why did you pick Adhere for the name?
  • (06:00) How much revenue did you do in year one?
  • (09:30) What is your background in business?
  • (13:00) Where did you attract your first few clients?
  • (14:00) How has the type of client you work with changed?
  • (16:40) Please describe how you managed your retainer relationship
  • (20:00) What size of company do you target?
  • (23:00) How do you generate leads?
  • (34:00) How are you using twitter to promote your content?
  • (36:40) How does content syndication play a role in your content promotion?
  • (39:00) How do you handle the very first call with a prospect?
  • (44:00) Please describe what you mean by a marketing platform
  • (46:00) When does your relationship transition from free advice to paid work?
  • (48:40) Do your clients sign on for a retainer from day 1?

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.

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About Nathan Yerian

Nathan-YerianDirector of Strategy at inbound marketing agency, Adhere Creative, Nathan is responsible for the strategic direction of client campaigns. Nathan challenges his team and his clients to step far outside of traditional practices to breathe a creative life into a brand. The best clients for Nathan and Adhere Creative are those who are most willing to listen. While away from the office, Nathan enjoys traveling like a Roman, experiencing unique foods, craft beers and an engaging conversation with a stranger, soon turned friend.

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Mineral Digital Marketing Agency: An Intro

Race For 20K Agency Challenge - Mineral Digital Marketing Agency Intro

 

Mineral Digital Marketing Agency Intro

Hello BrightIdeas.co readers!

My name is Drew, and I am Trent’s competition in the “Race for $20K” agency challenge.  I thought I’d focus this week’s update — my first — on who I am and what I am trying to do. That way you all will know who the guy is who is kicking Trent’s ass all over western Idaho after beating him over the head with a sack of potatoes.

Read more

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results Week of June 23rd

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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 is 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 June 23rd, 2014

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

  1. We published 4 blog posts
  2. We did a discovery call with another new lead
  3. I handed prospecting off to my VA
  4. I hosted the June Marketing Agency Mastermind meeting
  5. I developed a new daily routine
  6. Ian and I held our webinar
  7. Liz and I took off for the weekend to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary!

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

4 New Blog Posts

Discovery Call with a New Lead

Yet another podcast guest has expressed interest in working with Groove to help them with their inbound marketing. This company is a very successful agency; however, content marketing has thus far not played a huge role in their success.

They’d like to change that, and so we booked a call to talk about options.

It’s too early to tell the outcome just yet; however, I’m fairly sure they are going to retain us for some kind of ongoing help with their content marketing. With that said, having had two other agencies get excited about content marketing, and then not follow through, I’m really not sure how this one will turn out.

At the end of our meeting, they told me that budget was not the issue and they were very likely to proceed in some capacity. Look for an update next week.

I Handed Off Prospecting to My VA

Since creating my Target100 list, I have been very hands on with the prospecting and have invested quite a number of hours into sending LinkedIn requests, one-off emails, and tweets.

Now that I have tested a number of strategies and found that podcast invitations seem to work the best to get conversations started, I have handed the ask off to my VA.

What a time saver!

Now, all I have to do is reply to the people who accept my invitation for a pre-interview.

Like I have said before, if you’ve not yet started a podcast, there is no better prospecting tool on the planet.

The June Mastermind Meeting

Once per month I hold an online meeting for the Bright Ideas Elite Mastermind and last week I held our most recent meeting. Our special guest was Rachel Cogar and she spent 80 minutes answering questions from myself and the other members of the group.

Rachel has built a very successful 7 figure agency that allows here to earn a very nice six figure income; all while working from home and raising her kids. Impressive!

If you’d like to apply to join our mastermind, you can do that here. It costs $179/month.

My New Daily Routine

After reading a post on Michael Hyatt’s blog about creating a daily routine, I decided that my routine needed a tune up. Since Kiana was born, I’d been sleeping in more than usual (due to a lack of sleep!) and now that she’s sleeping most of the night, I felt it was time for me to resume waking up at 5:30am.

If you’d like to see my current routine, check it out here. Over the years, many people have written to me to ask how I get so much done, and I will tell you that this routine, combined with the help of my team, is how I do it.

Ian and I Hosted Our Webinar

On June 26th, Ian and I hosted our webinar and out of 230 registrants, 90 people showed up. If you haven’t hosted a webinar before, you might be surprised to see that the “show rate” was just 39%. This is actually slightly higher than normal, as far as webinars go.

There are a number of reasons why so few show up. Some people only register so they can get access to the replay, some people’s schedules & moods change, and some people like to register for just about every webinar they are ever invited to, even though they know they probably won’t attend.

Content-wise, I thought the webinar was excellent and quite a number of people emailed afterwards to say as much. However, I think one of the mistakes that I made was to host it in the afternoon. Being as I’m such an early riser, my energy is usually much lower in the afternoon than it is in the morning.

One of the unexpected benefits of the webinar was this email:

Trent,

I was able to attend a conference call last week hosted by you and Ian Altman (Discover How to Make Clients Chase You).

As you know, a banker’s services are highly commoditized. It seems that everyone has the same thing, and says the same thing. Distinction is a challenge. Regulations play a part in this, and they also limit communication avenues, and make selecting clients tricky.

Economic reports are starting to reflect what I have seen firsthand this year. I entered the year with a full pipeline comprised of walk-in clients and prospects. However, the flow quickly tapered by the end of the first quarter, and is dry now.

Now I’m in the position of being on the “hunt” for new clients to refill the pipeline, keep a steady flow, and grow my book. As I am not simply tending to walk-ins, I want to be effective by being selective. I have been spending time every day trying to get better at reaching those prospects that I believe I can best serve.

Your call was very helpful, so I have been looking for more information from you – hence my prying around on your profile. I have shared with others in my company the things I have learned from you, including the article you posted on LinkedIn, How (and why) to Define a Targeted Audience for your Marketing Campaign. Some have asked if the webinar I attended was recorded and if others could view it, so far I’ve not seen that it is available.

If you are looking for corporate clients like the bank I work for, Columbia Bank, I would be happy to do my best to make introductions.

As you might guess, I wrote back and told him that I’d love any introductions that he’d care to make. Below is the reply that I got a few minutes ago:

I am working on the bank side of things now to try to coordinate an introduction for you. Respecting your time, and the time of our folks, I want to get you to the best person possible. It may take a few days to nail this part down.

You didn’t miss anything, CB does not have a blog, at least one that I’m aware of. We do have a Twitter account, but I ‘m not sure how effectively it is being used. We actually have people assigned to “social media,” but I really believe we are missing the boat still. These are the folks I would like you to meet.

I’ll be in touch again soon.

Thanks!

The lesson here is this: the production and distribution of genuinely helpful content rarely goes un-rewarded, so get on it and start producing helpful content today!

Liz and I Celebrated Our 1st Wedding Anniversary

Here in Idaho, we are surround by beautiful country and to celebrate our first anniversary, Liz and I booked a cabin up at a place called Redfish Lake. We first discovered Redfish back on our honeymoon, so it was pretty cool to go back a year later.

LizandKianaRedFish

To say that Redfish is a beautiful place is an understatement!

RedFish

Traffic & Leads

Thanks to a webinar we held on June 26th, new leads this past week were up quite a bit. For the month of June overall, the increase has been huge. Look for a full report in the June traffic report.

Jun23TrafficUpdate

Marketing Agency Duel: The Race to $20,000 in Monthly Recurring Revenue

Just in case you missed it last week, I have challenged my friend Drew Sanocki to a marketing agency duel where we are literally going to race each other to $20,000 a month in retainer income. You can get all the details in last week’s update here.

Additional Resources

What Questions Do You Have?

If you have questions about this post, or anything to do with marketing, please leave them in the comments down below. That way, I can look at the most commonly asked questions and write detailed blog posts on these topics in the future. If you don’t ask questions, it’s much harder for me to come up with ideas to write about, so please don’t be shy!

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?

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