Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results as of August 15th

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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 the last post, you can find it combined with the July income report 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? Let’s get into it.

Key Activities Since Last Update

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

  1. I created a new documented prospecting system for our target accounts
  2. I created a new LinkedIn group
  3. I wrote a new eBook for our target accounts
  4. I decided to move Groove’s blog from WordPress to HubSpot’s COS

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

New Prospecting System

Ever since getting back from Boston, I have been uber-focused on creating a better prospecting system for our Target100 accounts. The goal of the new system was to create a consistent 7 step process that was specific to what we are selling and who we are targeting. If you’d like to learn how to create a system like this, just purchase my Best Buyer Formula…because that is the exact process that I’m following.

Here’s an overview of what the process looks like for each target account.

Step 1: We use HubSpot’s Signals Insight to easily get their email address.

Step 2: I send them a LinkedIn connection request so that I can invite them to participate in the LinkedIn group that I created.

Now that we have their contact information and have made a connection request, we send an email.

Touch 1: The first email we send asks them a question that has nothing to do with our trying to sell them anything. In our case, we are asking them about something called an MDF program. MDF stands for Marketing Development Funds, and as each of these company is a Value Added Reseller for a large technology company, they all know what MDF is. When they reply, thanks to their email signature, in most cases, I now have their direct line.

Touch 2: When they reply, and many do, we either invite them to do a pre-interview for my podcast (if their site rocks), or, if their site/blog sucks, we offer one tip to improve conversions and ask them if they might be interested in hearing more ideas. If they say yes, I call them immediately. (HubSpot’s signals app alerts me via my phone to when they are reading my email.)

Touch 3: If they haven’t yet responded to my contact attempts, I send them another email with links to two blog posts on how to blog properly. I then follow up this email with a call and will leave voicemail if they don’t answer.

Touch 4 & 5: If they still haven’t responded, I will call twice more, but will not leave a message. I will also send an email at this point that either shares some more content, has a link to our new eBook landing page, or I will follow the advice in this post.

Touch 6: For this touch, I send them a link to a website diagnostics report that will score their site from a marketing perspective. I will also call to follow up this email and I will leave voicemail if they don’t answer.

Touch 7: This is my final attempt to get in touch with them. In this last email, I ask for their permission to close their file. I will also call them one last time.

Subject: Permission to close your file

Hi Name,

I’m writing to follow up on my voicemail. Typcially, when I haven’t heard back from a prospecct after a 6 or 7 attempts, it means they are really busy or aren’t interested. If you aren’t interested, do I have permission to close your file?

If you are still interested, what do you recommend as a next step?

Thanks for your help.

Why 7 Calls?

The reason I make this number of contact attempts is because a study by Leads 360 told me to. As you can see, 6 or 7 attempts is what is needed.

leads360_wp_call_attempt_study

My LinkedIn Group

About a week ago, I interviewed Josh Turner from LinkedSelling and during the interview (not yet published), he shared with me a case study for one of his clients. When I looked at the LinkedIn group that he created for them, it was quite active.

An active group is very beneficial for the group owner because with an active group, you have an engaged audience. Over the next few months, I’ll be curating content and stimulating discussion in my new group, as well as inviting every single one of my target account prospects to join it. The fact that I have a group just gives me another reason to email them that is not selling related.

New Lead Magnet

So far, all the lead magnets (eBooks that we offer for download) that we use at Groove were originally written by HubSpot and then rebranded with our branding. HubSpot allows partners to do this, so it’s a huge time saver.

Now that we are targeting the VARs of this large technology company with our outreach program, I realized that we needed a new eBook (lead magnet) that was written specifically for them.

Rather than write it from scratch, all I did was find past blog posts that would resonate with them and then use the content (with some tweaking) from these blog posts to produce the eBook. Total time invested to create it was only a few hours.

Moving Our Blog to HubSpot COS

In the past, I was against having my blog on HubSpot’s COS platform. The thinking was that I wanted to “own” the platform that all of my content resides on (WordPress).

After seeing data that told me that page load speeds on HubSpot’s COS were 2x as fast as WordPress, I started to reconsider my position. I then learned that by using the COS, I will gain access to additional features (smart content) and better reporting. I also learned that, should I ever want to, I can easily export all my content back to WordPress with a mouse click or two.

As of this writing, we are only a few days away from having the transition completed. I would have moved the entire site, but, that was going to be too costly, and, at least for my pages, I REALLY like the Enfold theme that I’m using. The advanced content layout editor is just KILLER.

Traffic & Leads

We’ve started to look at our traffic in much more detail in our monthly traffic reports. Our new dashboards are pretty impressive!

You can find all the details in our detailed July traffic report.

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!

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

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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”]

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

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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 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?

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”]

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results Week of June 16th

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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 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 16th, 2014

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

  1. We published 3 blog posts
  2. I met with a new prospect (the new CMO of a very large software company) and gave them a proposal
  3. I finalized the slide deck for this week’s webinar
  4. I added some more content into Groove’s funnel
  5. I developed a mind map for the Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing
  6. Liz, Kiana, and I attended the Eagle Rodeo 🙂
  7. My friend Drew Sanocki and I decided to launch a marketing agency duel!

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

3 New Blog Posts

Proposal Sent to a New Large Prospect

Using the LinkedIn prospecting strategy that I explained here, I was able to secure a meeting with the CMO of a large UK-based software company that is struggling to get traction in the US.

The meeting was actually in person, because, strangely enough, the CMO lives here in Boise.

When we met, I asked him to explain the marketing issues that were at the top of his list. I then asked him to explain to me the impact these issues were having on his company (this style of questioning is something we are going to cover in detail during this week’s webinar, so make sure you register).

Once I’d confirmed what his pain was, I explained to him a few ways that I thought we could work together to solve the problems. He told me that he really liked the concepts that I’d explained and asked that I sent him a proposal. As my proposal is pretty much a boiler plate, sending it out is pretty easy, so I was happy to do it.

The proposal was sent on the 16th, and on the 20th, I received an email from him that said:

Hi Trent,

The pleasure is on my side. Thanks for the documents and links. Well done. I need to review in detail while I am travelling extensively over the next two weeks. Will likely get back to you after July 4th weekend.

Regards,

After receiving this email, I logged into DocSend (use this link for free access) to see how much of the proposal he’d looked at, and if it was shared with anyone else. As you can see below, he viewed 96% of the proposal and spent 1:07 on the pricing page…which is a good sign.

During our meeting, he told me that he was the sole decision maker, so it’s not a surprise that it’s not been shared with anyone else so far.

DocSendreport

At the end of our meeting, he told me that he was most interested in starting on a retainer, so with a little luck, after July 4th, he’ll sign on for a $3,000/mo retainer.

I Finalized the Slide Deck for This Week’s Webinar

I have to say that I’m pretty stoked about this week’s webinar. Over the last year, I have learned a LOT about content marketing and my results continue to improve as a result of what I’ve learned.

In the last two weeks, in particular, I have notice the quality of inbound leads has increased quite a bit. I’m happy to say that we are now starting to generate leads from companies doing $5M+ in sales….which is exactly the type of leads we want.

I attribute this increase in lead quality to how I’m using Oktopost (affiliate link) to promote my content on LinkedIn. Here’s the video that I created last week that shows how I’m using the software. If you haven’t yet grabbed your spot for the webinar, register here before it’s full.

I Added More Content to Groove’s Marketing Funnel

While seemingly an unexciting announcement, I included it in this week’s update because I wanted to make sure you understood something about a marketing funnel.

The goal of the funnel, especially at the top of it, is to build trust, and the way to do that is with content. But you knew that already, right?

Well, here’s a tip for you: the content that you are using doesn’t all have to be yours! In fact, it’s a good idea to also curate some other people’s content in your funnel, especially if it is content that will help you to convey the point(s) you are trying to get across.

In my case, the way to do this was to find some posts on other people’s blogs that would help me to demonstrate the value of inbound marketing to my prospects. To do this, I simply wrote emails that gave brief introductions to the content along with a link.

Here’s an example:

CMI-Email1

So, the take away for you here is this: you don’t have to be the one to write every post that you use in your funnel. In fact, it’s better if you curate the work of others in addition to your own content.

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing Mind Map

Over the last few weeks as I’ve been carefully watching the leads we’ve been capturing, I have been thinking hard about ways to attract more of the right kinds of readers.

In order to do that, I have to first decide who I really want reading the Groove blog. At this point in time, my most desired type of reader is the CMO of a $5M+ technology company that isn’t yet getting very good results from their inbound marketing efforts….if they have even started, that is.

Once I know the who, I need to discover what makes these people decide to hire a company like mine. What problems are they having? What language do they use to describe these problems? Where do they look for solutions? Who already has influence over these people now?

This isn’t a step that I put enough effort into when I first launched Groove; mostly because I thought I already knew the answers to these questions.

Well, it turns out that I didn’t.

Oops.

So, with that in mind, I developed the mind map below.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

There are a couple of reasons why I think this mind mapping exercise is worthwhile.

First, I’m a visual person, so seeing the problem laid out in front of my eyes helps me to think my way through it.

Second, once I have a visual representation of my plan, I can share it with others and ask for their input (please leave your questions down in the comments).

Third, when I showed this to another agency owner, she said, “Trent, that thing is awesome. You should show it to prospective clients so they really understand what it is that you are going to be doing for them.”

Liz and I Went to the Rodeo

Ok…so this has nothing at all to do with how to build a marketing agency…but we had a blast and I like to share a little bit of our personal lives with you as well, so here’s a pic of my better half 🙂

LizRodeo

Traffic & Leads

Thanks to a webinar we are holding on June 26th, new leads this past week were up quite a bit.

GrooveTrafficJune23

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

I’ve saved the best for last in this week’s update!

On Friday, I was on the phone with my friend Drew Sanocki, owner of Mineral, a paid search agency, and we were talking about our plans for the future.

Drew and I actually have fairly similar backgrounds. We have both founded multi-million dollar companies and sold them. We both have a new babies, and we are both growing marketing agencies.

Among the many things we discussed was our mutual desire to get to $20,000 a month in retainer income as fast as possible. I told Drew that I’d been writing these blog posts and publishing income reports and I suggested that he become a contributor to Bright Ideas so he could also write a weekly update.

He thought that was a great idea, so look for his first post soon.

Another of the things that we agreed to do was to create a “Marketing Agency Duel” so we would publicly race each other to the goal of $20,000 in monthly retainer income.

If you think this is something that you’d like to see, please be sure and tweet out this post, as well as to leave us a comment with any questions or suggestions you have on how we should run the duel.

Personally, I’m hoping to kick his butt! (and I’m sure he plans to do the same, lol!)

Here’s a podcast episode Drew and I recorded to give you more information on the duel.

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.

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”]

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results Week of June 9th

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groove-weekly-update-post-header

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 9th, 2014

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

  1. We published 2 blog posts (it was supposed to be 3)
  2. We received payment from our big client and started working on their project
  3. We signed another new client to a $3,000 monthly retainer
  4. Another podcast guest is looking to become a client
  5. I started using a new tool to promote content on LinkedIn
  6. I started to plan a joint webinar with a successful author
  7. I sent out 50 emails using my LinkedIn strategy and a new spreadsheet I’ve created
  8. One of our proposals didn’t get accepted (and why)

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

2 New Blog Posts

Rather than list out all the posts, just head over to Groove’s blog to have a look.

Regular readers will have noticed that we’ve reduced the number of posts that we are publishing each week. The reason for this because, according to data from Hubspot, it’s key to get to 51 posts as fast as possible. Once you do, leads generated actually go up a fair amount. In our case, that is pretty much what happened.

Going forward, our plan is to publish 3 posts per week. The only reason it was just 2 this week was due to a miscommunication on my part.

We Received a Check for $14,000

Remember the big client that I told you we landed a few weeks ago? This week we received payment and started the work.

So why am I bothering to include what appears to be such a trivial fact in my update? In my first company, I was foolish enough to start work and then invoice the client when the work was done. Then, I waited another 30+ days to get paid. From a cash flow perspective, that s-u-c-k-s.

With Groove, we bill our clients in advance. When ask by the new (big) client what are payment terms were, I told them “we bill in advance” and they both started laughing. “Seriously…what are your payment terms?” they asked again.

“We bill in advance.”

They still didn’t believe me. So I repeated it again and they said, “ok.”

My point is this: if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Getting paid after the work is done is very risky, especially if you have staff or sub-contractors to pay before hand. Most people bill after the work is done because they are too chicken to ask a new client for the money up front.

Just ask. You have nothing to lose and a LOT to gain.

We Signed a $3,000/mo Retainer Client

On Tuesday, we received a $3,000 payment from another new client. This client found our content some time ago and has been steadily consuming it ever since. On May 30th, they completed the web form for our Bottom of Funnel offer (a free consultation to talk about our Inbound Marketing Game Plan). On June 5th, when we talked, they told me that they’d really been enjoying my podcast, and knew that we could help them to solve their challenges.

Given that they already knew so much about us (thanks to our content), the first scoping call was like a conversation with someone I knew well, and a day or two later, their order came in. First phase is to create their Inbound Marketing Game Plan. Once that is done, we are going to set them up on HubSpot (they are also using Infusionsoft, thanks seeing a lot of my content on it), and once that is done, we’ll be helping them to publish and promote their blog posts.

My Podcast Strikes Again!

A few weeks ago I recorded an interview with a CEO who expressed interest in becoming a client. Since then, we’ve exchanged a few emails and I’ve told them how much it costs. He emailed me again to schedule a time for his team and I to talk about it more next week. With a little luck, when I write next week’s update, we’ll have yet another client.

The New Tool I’m Using for Promoting Content to LinkedIn Groups

Last week I started using a new tool called Oktopost to promote my content on LinkedIn. So far, I’ve found the tool to be excellent for a number of reasons:

  • It has features that no other tool (that I know of) has
  • I can connect more than one LinkedIn profile
  • I can pre-schedule my shares
  • The analytics on which post and which groups are producing traffic is EXCELLENT

In the video below, I give you a very brief overview of the app. If you like what you see, go sign up for a free 30 day trial (affiliate link) and Valerie from Oktopost will reach out to you to give you a one-on-one training session.

I Started to Plan a Webinar with a Past Podcast Guest

One of my past guests is a very smart guy by the name of Ian Altman. Ian is the author of a VERY good book called Same Side Selling that I have found to be among the most helpful books on the topics of sales that I have ever read. I strongly recommend you get it.

Given that Ian is a sales guy and I’m a marketing guy with two decades of sales experience, we get along pretty well. About a week or so ago, I reached out to Ian to ask him if he’d like to do a webinar together as a lead generator. He was immediately on board and our webinar is scheduled for June 26th at 3pm EST. Click here to register.

The reason for a joint webinar is this: two minds are better than one, plus, Ian and I will each benefit from getting exposure to each other’s audience. If you haven’t yet done a joint webinar, or even a solo webinar, what are you waiting for? Just ask someone you respect.

LinkedIn + Pocasting for Lead Generation

In my last few updates, I’ve talked a lot about how I’m using LinkedIn for lead generation. As I have been using the platform, I have been continually tweaking my approach and think I have finally figured out the combination of minimum effort / maximum results.

When I originally started using LinkedIn, I wrote a detailed post about what I was doing here. Since then, the only significant change that I’ve made is that I no longer email the top 4 execs in a company. Now, I just sent a connection request to the CMO. Then, when that request is accepted, I sent them another email (via LinkedIn) to invite them to speak to me about being a guest on my podcast.

Below is a screenshot of the spreadsheet I used to track all my activity. It’s not glorious by any stretch; however, as I explained last week, this isn’t really a scalable activity, so the spreadsheet need not be anything super fancy.

As you can see in the 3rd column (called Person #1), once the person has accepted my LinkedIn connection request, I change the color of the cell with their name in it to green. I then send them a LinkedIn email to invite them onto my podcast.

The subject line of that email is: I’d like to talk to you about being a guest on my podcast.

The body of the email says:

I’m in the process of producing a podcast series to talk with marketing executives about what types of digital marketing strategies are working best for tech companies and would like to talk to you about being a guest on my show.

If you are interested, all we’d need to do is arrange a chat for about 10 minutes to see if you’d be a good fit for the show. Interested?

– Trent Dyrsmid

PS. There is no charge to be a guest. Show info: http://groovedigitalmarketing.com/guest

So far, 21% of the people I invite say yes to a pre-interview.

You will also notice a few columns titled, Touch 1, Touch 2, Touch 3, etc… (there are a total of 6 touches). The reason for this is because I want a visual way of reminding myself when I last contact them and what I said (indicated by color code)

prospecting-spreadsheet

The real goal here is to get on the phone with a CMO with the least amount of effort. The podcast invitation paves the way for that. When they reply and say they’d like to be considered as a guest, I do a 15 minute phone call with them to do the “pre-interview” and during this interview, I’m easily able to qualify them as a good prospect or not.

This is by far the best cold email strategy that I have ever tried. If you don’t yet have a podcast, get one. If you don’t know how to get started, read this post.

Once the interview is recorded, I get it transcribed and attach all that text to the post. When I was doing 3+ interviews a week, this got too expensive, so I stopped getting the transcriptions. However, now that I’m producing fewer episodes, I plan to resume posting the transcription…plus, I’m going to have our content manager chop up the transcription into several blog posts. I may also created some ebooks, and maybe even some paid products with all the content that is produced by these interviews.

Voila…high quality original content at a very low cost.

The Proposal That Didn’t Get Accepted

I first wrote about this opportunity here. Thanks to DocSend, I was able to see that my prospect spent quite a bit of time reading my proposal.

When someone spends a lot of time reading it, that is generally a pretty good sign, so why did I get an email that said:

Trent,

I hope your weekend went well.

Thanks for the proposal, I really appreciate it and the time you spent with Jennifer and I on Friday. We are however, in a holding pattern right now concerning the Hubspot decision. We are still looking at several particulars before we move ahead with that decision. So, for now we will pass on using your services. Once things change I’ll revisit the proposal and let you know if/when we are ready to move forward.

All the best,

When I received this email, I was really shocked. I thought for sure we had the deal.

I wanted to know what happened, so I picked up the phone and called them. Turns out a buyer has emerged for the company, so all spending on new initiatives has been put on hold! Drat.

At least I know what we “would” have got the deal (unless the buyer isn’t being honest with me about the M&A talks…which I don’t think is the case).

Traffic & Leads

jun16-hubspot-update

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.

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”]

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for May 26th to June 6th

, ,
groove-weekly-update-post-header

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 two weeks (I was just too swamped to write last week’s post) 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 Weeks of May 26th and June 2nd, 2014

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

  1. We published 10 blog posts
  2. I began to pro-actively use LinkedIn to prospect for large clients
  3. Met with a new prospect (from LinkedIn)
  4. Sent proposal with DocSend (very cool new tool!)
  5. Target 100 direct mail update

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

10 New Blog Posts

Rather than list out all 10 posts, just head over to Groove’s blog to have a look.

LinkedIn for Lead Generation

In this post, I go into detail on how I’m using LinkedIn to prospect and promote my content in a non-scalable way. Why am I doing something that doesn’t scale? Well, as Paul Graham wrote here, when you are just starting out, you need to focus on activities that allow you to have one-on-one conversations with actual prospective customers.

The reason that this is so important is because you need to get the real-time feedback on what you are saying (your sales message), so that, later on, when you make use of more automated marketing systems, you already know that your message is on point.

Plus, as good as Inbound Marketing is, you can seriously speed up your results with some direct outreach. Most of what I describe in the post is handled by my VA. I simply deal with the replies as they come in.

I’m happy to say that this particular strategy has yielded results pretty quickly. Of the 59 people on my suspect list so far, 25% of them accepted my connection request, and 20% of those people replied to my email. One of them, the CMO of a 50 person company, bought me lunch today – and it looks like they might sign up as a client within a week or so.

My next step is to send the proposal that they’ve asked me for. Normally, I’d do up a proposal in a PDF and send it over and wait. Now, thanks to DocSend, I can get a LOT more insight as to what is happening with my proposal once I send it.

Gains Valuable Insight into Who Read My Proposal Thanks To DocSend

One of the things I hate most about sending a proposal is that I can never get much information on who is looking at it, how often or how long they spend looking at it, and who else they send it to.

Thanks to DocSend, that problem is over!

With Docsend, you don’t send a PDF attachment. Instead, I sent a DocSend link. DocSend provides analytics, feedback, and control for documents you send. You’ll get to see how much time each person looked at each page and who it was forwarded to. You can also update and restrict access to your documents at any time, even after you’ve sent it.

For a free account, and to skip the beta line, use the referral code ‘groove’ at DocSend.com (it’s free)

Direct Mail Update

My direct mail campaign was a total flop. Aside from the two calls that I got in the first week, I have not received a single response to the campaign. I even did a test run of 20 follow up calls. I never got one live person, left 20 messages, and never heard back.

I’m sure that if I hammered away on the phone and made hundreds of calls, I would have got through…and maybe even landed a client…but I HATE cold calling, so I didn’t do it.

Traffic & Leads

Weekly_traffic_Update_May30

What’s Coming Next Week?

In next week’s update, I plan to:

  • Share the results of my prospecting and a spreadsheet I’ve built to track and manage my outreach
  • Share a new tools that I’ve found for helping me get more eyeballs on my content on LinkedIn

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.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a comment in the comment section below
  • Share this episode on Twitter or Facebook

To help out the show:

  • Leave a review on iTunes. It's your best way to say thank you to our team.
  • Subscribe on iTunes

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for May 19th

, ,
groove-weekly-update-post-header

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 May 19th, 2014

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

  1. Kiana got bigger
  2. We published 5 blog posts
  3. I gave our site a ‘make over’
  4. Created 8 more lead magnets

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

Kiana Got Bigger

Kids grow like weeds. Kiana’s body weight has increased by 13% in just two weeks. Wow!

Here’s a few pics of our little darling (yes, I know pics of Kiana has nothing to do with this post…but I just couldn’t help myself!)

kiana-faces

At the ripe “old” age of 23 days, Kiana has already been on a number of adventures; a train ride and boating among them. As you can see, she didn’t think too much of boating. Or maybe she just didn’t like the color of the life jacket?

kiana-boating

5 New Blog Posts

Here are this week’s posts:

Website Upgrade

As you may recall, when I fist launched Groove’s site, it looked very similar to a friend of mine’s because he’d sold me a copy of his basic look/feel. Given that the site got zero traffic back then, I wasn’t interested in spending days to design my site and write basic content.

Now that, thanks to our blogging, traffic has taken off, so I knew it was time to give the site the attention that it needed to better convey our message, as well as to look different than Robb’s site.

If you’d like to see the new look, head over and check it out.

New Lead Magnets

The more landing pages you have, the more leads you will capture, and in order to have more landing pages, I needed more eBooks to offer as leads. The following eBooks are now in the works:

  1. 10 Useless Things to Cut From Your Marketing
  2. Social Prospecting Workbook: How to Use Social Media to Find New Leads
  3. 6 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About
  4. An Introduction to Closed Loop Marketing
  5. 10 Step Website Redesign Checklist
  6. Attract Customers with Twitter
  7. Unlocking ROI Analytics
  8. Inbound Marketing Campaign Toolkit

All of these ebooks will each have a landing page of their own as well as be listed on our Resources page (not yet completed).

Traffic & Leads

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 the activity over the last week. As you can see, traffic was up 16% from the previous week and new leads were up 12%. Go team! 🙂

weekly-snapshot-may-26

 

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.

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”]

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Weeks of May 12th

, ,
groove-weekly-update-post-header

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 May 12th, 2014

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

  1. We landed a $3.2 billion dollar company as a new client!
  2. We published 6 blog posts
  3. I created a process to support the cold email lead generation that has been working so well for me
  4. Set up lead scoring and social monitoring in HubSpot
  5. Created a Wiki for our in-house training material

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

We Landed a $3.2B Client

I’m very happy to report that we had a very big win this week. Remember the referral that I wrote about in my last week’s update? On Wednesday, I received an email from them that started with….

Hello Trent, 

I am delighted to report that we are a go! We’d like to begin the project in June and I will be the point person on our side.  I will send the agreement to our legal department for review of terms and barring any modifications needed, will sign and return.

I’ve copied Sue to let her know where we are in the communication and [name withheld] of finance for guidance on invoicing and payment. Wendy, you’ll find the proposal and payment terms for Option One (non-retainer) attached.  

Now that is my kind of email!

The important take away from this is that this referral would have never happened had I not spent the last two years building my personal brand online by publishing post after post, after post. Luck did not play a role.

If you aren’t yet blogging consistently, see what you are missing?

5 New Blog Posts

This week is the first week that we’ve been publishing a post per day on Groove, and as you will see down in the traffic numbers, more blog posts = more traffic. Here are this week’s posts:

New Automated System to Support Cold Email Lead Generation

In last week’s report, I wrote about a new cold email system that I’ve been getting really incredible results from. There is a little bit of leg work needed (which you should outsource) to get the email addresses, but once you have them, you will be amazed by how well this works.

Unlike the instructions in the free cold email course I linked you to, I put on my “reporter” hat and contact companies to see if they would be interested in sharing their success story on my podcast, or in one of my posts.

Just watch this video to see how it all works.

I Set Up Lead Scoring in HubSpot

During one of this week’s calls with a client, I was asked if HubSpot did lead scoring. As I didn’t know the answer, as soon as the call was done, I looked into it and discovered that the functionality does indeed exist.

In the screenshot below is just a snippet of the scoring criteria that I created.

lead-scoring

Once the score of a lead hits certain thresholds, I then created a rule that adds them to one of three lists within HubSpot.

lead-scoring-lists

Next, I created a stream that allows me to monitor what each of these people are saying on social media. I check this stream each morning to see if there is any way that I can add value to the conversation. If there isn’t, I don’t do anything.

social-monitoring-stream

We Created an Internal Wiki

In my opinion, the only way to scale a service company without killing yourself is to have detailed checklists and processes for everything you do. In the video below, I share with you what our content manager looks like and how it’s tied directly to our wiki, which his housed in a membership site that only our team has access to.

Traffic & Leads

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 the activity over the last week. As you can see, traffic was unchanged from the previous week and new leads were up 13%.

trafficupdateMay19

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.

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”]

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Weeks of April 28th and May 5th

, ,
groove-weekly-update-post-header

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 Weeks of April 28th and May 5th, 2014

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

  1. We had a baby! (hence my missing last week’s update)
  2. We published 6 blog posts
  3. Talked with a New Prospect (inbound lead)
  4. Created a training video for our social media manager
  5. We got a referral
  6. Discovered a new outbound lead generation strategy
  7. Results from direct mail
  8. Scoping Call into Video
  9. Note templates in Infusionsoft

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

We Had a Baby!

Our daughter, Kiana, has finally arrived. She was born on May 3rd at 1pm and has been doing her best to rob Liz and I of sleep ever since!

Kiana

Meet Kiana!

As you might guess, Liz and I are pretty excited about her arrival and have been having all sorts of fun getting to know our little bundle of joy! Liz’s folks have also come by to spend the week with us, and as you can see below, Grandpa hasn’t been playing with more than just Kiana during his stay!

Grandpa taking Trent's racing simulator for a spin

Grandpa taking Trent’s racing simulator for a spin

6 New Blog Posts

This week is the first week that we’ve been publishing a post per day on Groove, and as you will see down in the traffic numbers, more blog posts = more traffic. Here are this week’s posts:

Talked With a New Prospect

On April 22 a woman named Tina (not her real name) found the Groove blog and downloaded one of our free reports. Capturing a lead in this fashion is something that happens about 5 times a day, and each time I receive the notification email from HubSpot, I take a look at the email address of the new lead to see what I can learn about them.

Most times, the address is from a gmail account, so there isn’t a lot I can glean from it (although using Rapportive definitely helps). However, in this case, the email address was not a gmail address. Instead it was from a health care company.

Bingo.

I quickly typed up a very short personal email asking her if she wanted to arrange a time to talk and she replied with a yes.

When we spoke, it quickly became apparent that they need, and can afford, what we do. She told me that they have a budget of $5,000/mo and that the current supplier had two months left in their contract. She also told me that they weren’t happy with the results.

After the call, I sent her the same email that I’ve shared in previous posts and I will continue to communicate with her over the next two months so as to give us the best chance possible of becoming the replacement for the current supplier. If you want to see how this turned out, just become a subscriber so you don’t miss future posts.

Social Media Manager Training Video

For the last month or so, I have been personally managing our social media accounts using HubSpot. Now that I have figured out exactly how many shares, when, and on what network, etc…I thought it was time to create a training video so that I could hand this task of to a member of our team.

The video below, which lives in our internal Wiki, has also been uploaded to Youtube just so that I could share it with you.

We Got a Referral

One of the long-time readers emailed me last week to say that she had a referral for us. From what I could tell prior to speaking with them, the lead looked well qualified.

A week after the introduction, we had our first conference call and to say they are well qualified is an understatement. Much to my delight, this is a marquee client doing $3.2B in annual revenue.

During the call, we talked extensively about their goals and how inbound marketing could help them to achieve this goals. By then end of a 60 minute call, I’d answered all their questions and told them that our fee would be $5,000/mo. They thought that sounded reasonable and asked me for a statement of work.

I’m never one to get too excited before I get paid, so I won’t do that here. They did indicate, however, that a decision would be made early next week and asked me if I had the capacity available to start work for them right away.

So why am I telling you about this? This is the kind of thing that happens when you create genuinely helpful content, so if you aren’t yet doing that, when are you going to start?

New Outbound Lead Generation Strategy

Another reader (Sebastian) wrote to thank me for writing this series of posts and in that email he also shared with me a cold email strategy that he’s been using with good success. Here’s what he wrote:

I did something VERY similar (to your Target 100 list) this week, but via email. I used the cold emailing template to email a target 100 list I made. I picked a particular segment of the market (they have $, they understand marketing, etc). I scraped emails from 2 specific sites. I’m getting a LOT of responses, and even though not everyone is interested I’m openinig conversations with many important people. 2 calls already scheduled for next week, in both cases i briefly described services AND stated starting prices BEFORE they agreed to talk.

The strategy he’s using is freely available here. For those of you who think that cold email is SPAM, you are wrong. If you follow these guidelines, you can email anyone you like. To get the email addresses, just hire a VA or spend some time Googling around. There are plenty of ways to do it.

Results from Direct Mail Campaign

In previous posts, I have written about how we are using 3 dimensional direct mail to reach out to a list of 100 suspects that fit the criteria of an ideal client. Each person on the list receives one letter per week, and each letter tells them to visit this page.

So far, we have received two phone calls, neither of which have become clients yet. None of the recipients has yet attempted to download the report.

While this might appear to be disappointing, it’s pretty much in line with my expectations. I figured we’d have to mail each person at least 5 times prior to getting any results.

If I had the time to make follow up calls, which I do plan to do, I have no doubt that we could have achieved more by now. My excuse? B-A-B-Y! With that said, the total cost of the entire campaign will be more than covered by just ONE client.

New Systems for Handling Leads and Scoping Calls

With all the content, direct mail, and email outreach that I’m doing, I quickly realized that I needed a consistent way to handle the leads that call me, as well as a way to ensure that the first sales calls (called ‘Scoping Calls’) are all handled in exactly the same way.

System for Leads

All the activity that I’m doing is producing conversations and in the video below, I’m going to show you how I’m using something called a Note Template in Infusionsoft to save me time and ensure that I handle the follow up and other important activities in a consistent fashion – so nothing ever falls through the cracks.

System for Scoping Calls

With more leads coming in the door, I find myself needing to do more scoping calls and as a result, I’ve realized that it was time to build a system for these calls so that they were done in a consistent fashion from prospect to prospect. Check out the video below to see how I’m using Infusionsoft and Slideshare to do this.

Traffic & Leads

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 the activity over the last week. As you can see, traffic was up 31% from the previous week and new leads was up 46%. Suffice to say, it was a good week for these two metrics.

Results for week of April 28th

Results for week of April 28th

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.

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!

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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.

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”]