Digital Marketing Strategy: Andrew Dymski on How He Launched a Successful Marketing Agency Right out of College (part 1)

If you want proof that you don’t need decades of experience and a huge Rolodex full of clients in order to start a marketing agency, look no further. Andrew and his colleagues at Guavabox launched an agency right out of college, and by all measures are on track to have a tremendously successful business.

Guavabox does an impressive job of generating content marketing. And, more than almost anyone I’ve spoken with, they not only understand the importance of list segmentation, but they provide an overview of how they’ve segmented their list, and how this segmentation has helped them identify their hottest prospects, and appropriately nurture and convert their leads into paying clients.

In addition, Andrew explains the thinking behind, and validation of, their business model, sharing insights helpful to any startup. There was so much goodness in this interview that I had to break it into two parts.

When you listen to Part 1, you’ll hear Andrew and I talk about:

  • (3:30) Introductions
  • (5:50) Why the old model of web design doesn’t scale
  • (8:30) An overview of financial results
  • (10:00) His business philosophy and how it played a critical role in their launch
  • (13:30) How they validated their business model
  • (16:30) How taking on a new client went wrong
  • (21:00) How they picked their niche
  • (25:30) How they are generating leads
  • (27:30) How blogging plays a role in lead generation
  • (29:30) How they developed their personas
  • (35:30) An overview of outbound marketing

.. And be sure to check out Part 2 to hear:

  • (3:00) An overview of various nurturing campaigns
  • (7:00) An overview of how they’re using personas to segment their list
  • (13:00) An overview of when and how they decide to follow up with each lead
  • (16:30) An overview of how they are changing their business model to a retainer fee model
  • (21:00) An overview of their retainer plans
  • (12:40) How they report results (traffic & leads) and what they’re planning for the month ahead
  • (25:00) How they manage client expectations
  • (28:00) How they are producing blog content
  • (31:00) How they are using contractors
  • (33:00) An overview of how they are in track with their goals

Resources Mentioned

Inbound Marketing 101 Ebook
Best Buyer Formula

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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Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Trent: Hey there, Bright Ideas hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas


I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast

for marketing agencies, marketing consultants, and entrepreneurs

who want to discover how to use content marketing and marketing

automation to massively boost their business without massively

boosting the number of hours that they have to work every single


And the way that we do that is we bring on whip-smart

entrepreneurs to share with you the tactics and the strategies

that are working so very well for them, and that is exactly what

we’re going to do in this episode today.

On the show with me today is a fellow by the name of Andrew

Dymski. He is one of three co-founders of a new marketing agency

called GuavaBox, and they are doing some really impressive

things which we’re going to get into in this two-part podcast.

So in Part Number One, which you are now listening to, we are

going to be talking about how they launched the company, how

they picked their niche, and there’s some real key takeaways in

how and why they picked this specific niche that they did. We’re

going to talk about how developing a minimum viable product fit

into their business model and how it made figuring out what they

should sell and who they should sell it to so much easier than

it would have been if they had gone the traditional route of

building their portfolio of services and then trying to figure

out how to sell it.

We’re also going to talk about how they validated that business

model very, very early on so that they didn’t waste a whole

bunch of time going down with the wrong product for the wrong

customer in the wrong direction, and losing all that time and

losing all of that money.And we’re also going to talk about how they are generating

leads, and specifically, how they’re using, very successfully, I

might add, content marketing to drive more leads to their site.And then in Part Two, we are going to talk about what they’re going to do with those leads to convert them into customers. But

tune into Podcast Episode Two, and we’ll talk more about that.So before we welcome Andrew to the show, I just want to tell you

very quickly about a Bright Ideas product.

It’s called the Best Buyer Formula, and you can get it at, and it

is the lead generation formula that I used and use. I built my

last company with it, which was a company that got up to just

shy of $2 million a year in sales, which I ultimately sold for

over $1 million, and it’s also the very same formula that I am

using to build the Bright Ideas Agency, which we focus on

dentists with that agency. So if you are struggling with lead

generation and are looking for solutions, go check out the Best

Buyer Formula. And of course, like all my products, there is a

100%, no questions asked, money back guarantee. So if you don’t

like it, you can easily get all your money back.So with that said, please join me in welcoming Andrew to the

show. Andrew, welcome to the show.Andrew: Hey Trent, glad to be here.

Trent: It’s a treat to have you on. I’m super excited to get you to

tell the story of how you’re building your company, because just

based upon what we talked about before I hit the record button,

yours is a story that’s really going to resonate with the new

entrepreneurs who are just in the very early stages of building

their agency and are maybe under $100,000 or just over $100,000

in revenue, somewhere in that range, and maybe even the folks

that are doing larger ones, because I think that you’re going to

have some pretty interesting ideas and stories to share.

So before we get to all of that, please just take a moment, a

minute or so, and tell us who you are, and just a little bit

about your company.

Andrew: Sure. I am Andrew Dymski. I am a co-founder of GuavaBox. We are

an inbound marketing agency. We help companies, particularly in

the B2B space, industrial manufacturers, create a high-quality

lead generation machine through their website that helps them

scale their business in a way that they hadn’t been able to

before. We started out as a traditional web design shop. It

didn’t take us long inside that model to notice that it wasn’t a

model that could scale very well. So, over about the past year,

we’ve been putting the pieces in place to transition ourselves

from a one-off project work based company into more of a

specialist marketing services delivering firm that we feel like

can scale beyond just myself and my two partners.

Trent: So, I want to get you to talk about your financial results in

just a second, but before we go there, you hit on something that

a lot of new entrepreneurs don’t foresee – and I experience this

in my own business – and that issue of scale. You said that the

web design business isn’t going to scale very well. Can you

expand a little bit on what you meant by that, because that’s

causing a major shift in how you’re running your business,


Andrew: It definitely is, and if you just look at the way the sales

process has to work, when you want to close someone as a web

design client, there’s an extended sales process there and

you’re going up against a ton of competition where it’s really a

race to the bottom. Unless you have a relationship established

upfront with the prospective client or partner, at the end of

the day, it’s going to be a price war.

And we looked around and we said, you know, we’re spending all

of this time selling. We spend four weeks, eight weeks putting

the website together, and then it’s have a nice day, and walk

down the road. We do website hosting and we manage all of that

stuff, so that’s kind of a source of recurring revenue. But when

we started this business in college, we looked at it and said,

okay, we want to start families and kind of grow this business.

We can’t predict our income beyond two months out max. And so we

kind of walked back to the drawing board and said what do our

customers need and what services would we like to be able to

supply to them but we can’t because we’re constrained by this,

you know, put up a website?

We wanted to be able to showcase return on investment to these

clients, but if all you can do is just build a website and put

it out there, but then not control the content that gets pushed

through that system that you spent all this time selling and

building, then at the end of the day, you can’t show a return on

investment because the system is not in place. So we saw that,

and we knew that there has to be a model that we can build off

around this pain point.

Trent: And did you think about, in your shift from a non-scalable

business to a more scalable one, did enterprise value or an exit

strategy factor into that thinking?

Andrew: Definitely. No clear picture at the end of the day on where we

want as an exit philosophy, but from the start point, the three

of us are friends, and an idea that we had is we want to be able

to build a business that hinges off of the lifestyle that we

want. And so we looked at the lifestyle we wanted, and we said

we don’t want to be building WordPress websites and scheduling

tweets for the rest of our life, so how can we structure this

thing in a way that will facilitate a more hands-off approach

down the line so we’re free to spend time with our family, to

travel, to volunteer on sports teams, those sorts of things. So

it definitely played in.

Trent: So would you classify your business as a lifestyle


Andrew: No, I would not right now, not in the sense that you can travel

the world and do this thing at the same time. But I see the

processes that we’re starting to put in place to get the agency

to the point where we could sell it if we wanted to if we wanted

to pursue the more hands-off lifestyle. It’s definitely a

location-neutral business, and for the first two years of our

existence, we operated location-neutral, three different states,

using a lot of GoToMeeting and Google apps. But no, I wouldn’t

say it’s kind of a lifestyle based business.

Trent: Okay. Alright, for the folks that don’t yet know how much

revenue you’re doing, how big you are, because I want to make

sure that the right people are listening to this interview

because we’re already a couple of minutes in, how much revenue

are you doing per year right now, and how many people are on the


Andrew: Sure. On our team right now is just the three co-founders, so

it’s myself, Gray MacKensie, and Brandon Jones, and we are on

track to do about $150,000 – $160,000 this year.

Trent: And how many years have you been in business?

Andrew: This will be the end of year three.

Trent: Now, was this a full-time venture in years one and two, or were

you guys juggling college and doing this at the same time?

Andrew: So, when we started, we had two seniors and one sophomore, and

right after Gray and I graduated, Gray jumped in full time. I

went and worked at a PR firm for about nine months, and Brandon

was still in school obviously. So it wasn’t until this past May

when Brandon graduated from college and then I jumped on board

probably a year-and-a-half ago. So we’re only running full power

since May, with all three of us going full time.

Trent: Since May of 2013?

Andrew: Correct.

Trent: Okay. In my research on you, you talked about having a specific

business philosophy, and I want you to expand a little bit on

that because I think it played a role in how you started your


Andrew: Yeah, it definitely did, and it started in college. Gray and

myself, we were on the same freshman hall, and so we were good

friends kind of from our freshman year all the way through. We

were on the lacrosse team together, we joined the same

fraternity, and that’s how we met Brandon as well. He was two

years behind us, but same fraternity and on the lacrosse team


So Gray and I had decided from our freshman year that we have to

find a way to do business together. He was a business management

major and I was a marketing management major at Grove City

College, and we had a good friendship and we just wanted to find

a way to work together. So senior year rolls around, Brandon,

Gray, and I were all on the Officer board for our lacrosse team.

It was a club sport at Grove City, and we were all very

passionate about it. We had built up a machine really that we

launched the team’s first website. We put together the first

successful social media campaigns, email campaigns to reach out

to folks, and got connected with media and everything. It was

really successful, and we said, well, we enjoyed doing this on

the team, we’re graduating now, can we find a way to turn this

into a business?

We kind of put our heads together and we started the business in

the spring of our senior year in the dorm room after classes,

after homework, after lacrosse practice. We’d huddle around a

card table and kind of sketch out the idea.

But it started with the relationships first. You know, you hear

all the time don’t do business with friends, but really, the

friendship is what has saved this business through the dark

times and the ups and downs. We’re not really sure what the

model is going to look like. We’re not really sure where the

revenue is going to come from. We’ve leaned on that friendship

first and we kind of put a line in the sand and said this

friendship is going to get our business through and it’s not

going to tear it apart. And we’ve been blessed to come through

that with our relationship even stronger than it was when we


Trent: An MVP is also a part of your launch philosophy or your

business philosophy, is it not?

Andrew: Can you break that down a little bit more?

Trent: Minimum Viable Product.

Andrew: Yes. So, we could build websites. I understood Twitter and

Facebook and what it took to build a following there. So we

said, great, we can kind of take this out and see if anyone

wants to hire us with this. And so we worked our connections and

found a website project first, and then a Twitter strategy

project after that, and so little by little, we build it up. We

figured out how you build a website, how do you charge for it

when you’re still learning how to build stuff on WordPress and

you’re still learning how to get your hosting account set up and

stuff like that.

But we didn’t build a business plan. We just got together. We

knew we wanted to be in business together, and we found the

minimal viable product that we could offer to people that would

still have value. And those were friends at the beginning, so

they knew where we were in our development stage. We were honest

with them and said, hey, we’re just getting this business going.

Can we build a website for you for $500? Is that something that

you would be interested in? And one or two of those, you pick

them up and they have friends, and that’s how we got started.

Trent: And so when you first launched, I’m assuming you didn’t have

the beautiful website that you have now. You didn’t have all of

the fancy stuff. You just decided, hey, we’re just going to go

and talk to people and say we’re looking for work, this is what

we know how to do. Are you interested?

Andrew: Exactly, yeah. Leaning on the friends and family, and the

fools, I guess, is the third piece. But yeah, that’s how we got


Trent: I dwell on it because it’s an important point. I get a lot of

emails from people, and I’m thinking of one person in particular

right now, and I won’t mention this person’s name to protect the

innocent, but they’re overly caught up in getting ready to be

ready. There’s an expression that I did not originate, it’s

called ‘Version One is better than Version None’. And it’s so

incredibly important, because you don’t – and I want you to

speak to this, but you didn’t really know what it was that you

were going to do or who you were going to do it for until you

started to do it, right?

Andrew: Exactly. You know, they say that success sits just on the other

side of failure. You’ve got to go through failure a lot until

you get to that success point. And so we just decided to plunge

in and say let’s see how this goes. And it’s hard at times

because you’re still trying to figure it out as the clients are

demanding things, and as a young company, inevitably you want to

make everybody happy. So that’s caused some setbacks for us

along the way, but also some really valuable learning


So you can’t sit around and wait to build what you think is a

perfect business model because you might get out in the market

and realize that nobody wants what you think is perfect. And so

at the end of the day, the best way to value your time is say,

hey, here’s an idea. Let’s go see if someone will buy it, and

that’s how we kind of build up.

Trent: And I want to reference another entrepreneur that I interviewed

here for the folks that are listening, because Sam Ovens was a

really, really good example of also starting a business, and his

business is crazy successful now. You can get to his interview

at And he really didn’t have a clue what he

was going to do in the beginning, but he went out and instead of

building something and then trying to sell it, he went out and

talked to customers and said, what problem are you having? He

talked to enough of them to identify a commonality in that

problem, and then created a very basic solution and showed it to

them, and his business literally took off.

So, I bring this up when I ask these questions because if you’re

one of those folks out there who are spending time getting ready

to be ready, I would encourage you to start shooting, see who

falls down, and go over and look at what’s available for you as

far as feedback and information.

Andrew: That’s great advice.

Trent: All right. So, let’s talk about – you mentioned you made some

mistakes. I think that’s another thing where people, they are

unnecessarily paralyzed by their fear of making mistakes. But if

you talk to any experienced entrepreneur, they’re all going to

tell you that mistakes are a natural part of the going forward

process. So I’m sure you made some. I think we talked about

something, it was an old-school newspaper company – and I want

to pre-frame this by saying that the lesson I’m hoping people

get from this is that saying yes to everybody all the time isn’t

necessarily the best strategy. Can you tell us, Andrew, a little

bit about what happened?

Andrew: Sure. This was shortly after graduation, we had a really good

friend who worked at an old-school newspaper company, it was

like a weekly mailer, and they were looking for a way to get

this mailer online. I was like, well, this is going to be a

really good opportunity. I think it’s something that we can add

value in. So I was kind of the point of contact here. I mean, I

can build a WordPress website, but when it comes to kind of the

technical back-end of setting stuff up and integrations and all

of that, I have to check to my buddy Gray. He’s the genius

behind the machine.

So, the problem started – I was kind of the project manager and

the salesman, promising things to the client because we’re a

young business, and this is a big company, and I would love to

sign this contract. I think it would be good for us. So I’m out

there promising things and setting their expectations really

high, and it was kind of doomed to fail from the beginning

because their level of technical understanding wasn’t very high

at that point, and they were kind of asking for features and

wanted things to happen with little disruption on their end on

how they produce this paper and wanted to get it online, and I

was saying, oh, yeah, yeah, we can get that, that’s no problem

at all.

Trent: So you were selling flying toasters?

Andrew: Exactly, because I just wanted to make them happy. I wanted to

get the deal signed. Even after the deal was signed, for some

reason I wanted to just keep them happy. I think that’s great to

want happy clients, but sometimes a happy client is a client

that you need to say no to or a client that you need to reset

the focus, because I was promising yes, and then I turned around

to Gray and said, hey, can we do this? And we were living on the

opposite sides of the state at this point, and so there was

conflict within our company because of the way I was handling

this as a project manager.

We grew through that in a tremendous way, thanks to just honesty

and transparency, and again, that friendship we were able to

lean back on, and get us through this tough project. And it was

a great stepping stone because it kind of elevated the level of

client that we worked with but also helped us learn how to

manage a bigger team on the client side. So it’s not really a

small business owner anymore, you’re dealing with a whole crew

inside a company and you have to manage expectations across kind

of a whole organization. The biggest lesson we learned was don’t

overpromise and make sure that you’re lined up with your team

before you go out and start promising what they can do.

Trent: Absolutely. And do you think that you – you mentioned before we

started to record that you’re going through a shift in your

business model. We might talk about that now, but we’ll probably

cover it more later, but do you think that that shift to more of

a retainer model is going to help you avoid selling flying

toasters in the future?

Andrew: I do, because we’re an inbound marketing agency, and there’s a

specific methodology that we want clients to follow. And

obviously, it’s going to be a little bit custom for everybody,

but when you break it down to activity, it’s creating blog

posts, and it’s writing emails, and it’s creating awesome

content offers, and so there’s a more defined process to what

we’re trying to tackle now.

I think in the beginning, people had a problem or they had low

budgets and high ideas or big dreams, and they wanted to be able

to have all these shiny features on their website, and now we’re

able to sit back and say, you know what, that’s really not a

priority right now. You want to be able to structure your post

like this, or you need to include these kinds of conversion

points in your website. We kind of lean back on that methodology

a little bit harder than we did at the beginning when it was

just like, what do you want? We can go make it happen.

Trent: And we’re going to talk more about that, but I think what you

just communicated as well that I want to emphasize is you would

not have been able to figure out that you needed to deliver your

services in this way if you were getting ready to be ready.

Like, interacting with customers and falling down and getting

skid marks on you is what enabled you to define, hey, here’s a

better way that we need to deliver our services so we don’t sell

flying toasters.

Andrew: Exactly. It’s like sports. You can game plan all day long, but

until you get out on the field and you run a play, you can’t

look at the tape and diagnose something that hasn’t happened

yet. You’ve got to get out there and break the huddle and go

make a play and then make your adjustments on the fly. Keep it


Trent: So, in the beginning, you talked about you have targeted a

specific niche, B2B industrial manufacturers. Now, picking a

niche is something that in my course, the Best Buyer Formula, I

spend quite a bit of time really trying to drive that point

home. At Bright Ideas, we actually have our own agency and it

focuses on dentists because there’s very specific reasons for

that. What are the reasons that you decided, and how did you get

there to focus on industrial manufacturers in the B2B space?

Andrew: The journey, it was kind of happenstance, again, just by going

out, relationships started there from a website design

perspective, from video production. We had some really good

relationships with some industrial manufacturers, and so we just

kind of stumbled into it. We’re in western Pennsylvania right

now, so this is old steel country, and Marcellus Shale is really

making a big impact on the economy out here. There’s a lot of

folks inside the manufacturing industry, fabrication shops,

machining organizations, those sorts of things, who are trying

to get their toe into that pool.

We really recognized an opportunity where we looked at, okay,

we’ve had some success with these kinds of folks, and it’s

really low-hanging fruit in a way because not a lot of

industrial manufacturing companies have an awesome online

presence. There are some that are doing a good job, but most of

them, even who are present, let’s say they have a blog or

they’re on Twitter or they’re doing some YouTube tutorials,

consistency is really a problem. And so that’s part of our value

proposition is we are a marketing partner, so we’ll come

alongside even if you’ve got a couple of marketing people within

your organization, we augment that. We don’t compete with them.

So we can help provide that consistency in there.

We identified the market and said, we need to find a focused

approach, because there’s only three of us, and so as we craft

content, as we work on our positioning statements and refine our

sales process, it’s going to be more valuable for us to be able

to showcase success stories to companies who are similar to the

people we’re talking to on the phone so they can relate to them.

We’re still young guys, and so when we get on the phone with

people or we’re talking to them on a GoToMeeting or something

like that, there’s still a large amount of credibility that

needs to be built based on our age. And so that’s something that

we learned early on too is how can we find ways to position

ourselves as experts, and focusing on a niche is a way that we

see to really help that out along the way.

Trent: Now, was this niche, do you think that it is – like, one of the

things that I talk about in my blog posts and in my products is

pick a profitable niche, because when you do, if you pick a

niche that has – like Sam, for example, in his interview with

me, when he launched his agency, he focused on B2B as well, high-

ticket items, and the reason was is because he could charge so

much more to do the same amount of work because an individual

customer to his client was worth $50,000 to $100,000. Did that

factor into your decision process as well?

Andrew: Absolutely. I think it’s really surfaced after looking back and

saying, wow, if we can work with companies who, if they make a

sale, it’s a $50,000 sale, and they’re signing a $50,000

contract with us for the year, we can deliver ROI way faster

than if they’re selling a $40 widget. So let’s go after the

companies that make manly stuff at a big ticket price, because

that’s a niche that we think we can thrive in. So that

definitely guided the decision.

Trent: All right. So, audience, here’s what’s coming up. We are going

to talk next about how Andrew and his team are generating leads,

and then when we come back in Part Two of this particular

podcast, I’m trying something new here. I’m going to break my

podcast up into half-hour podcasts instead of hour long or hour-

and-fifteen long podcasts to see if it is more popular with the

audience. So if you have an opinion on that, please make sure

that you leave it in the comments that will be down on the

bottom of this post.

But in Part Two, we’re going to talk about how they’re nurturing

and converting their leads into customers. We’re going to talk

about services that they’re offering and how they’re delivering

those services, and how scale fits into that, and how they’re

billing, and how they’re shifting from one-time projects to

retainer fees, and how they’re delivering their services. So

there’s a lot of really good stuff coming in the second half.

But before we get to that, a lot of people really struggle with

lead generation, so I would love it, Andrew, if you would go

into as much detail as you would like on how you guys are

generating leads.

Andrew: Sure. You’ve got to walk the walk. We are a marketing company

that encourages people to create awesome content on their

website and offer that value to their prospective buyers, and so

we’re trying to walk that walk and create regular blog posts on

our site that are targeted to our geography, that are targeted

more and more towards our niche industries. So we do get a good

number of leads through our website right now. I mean, you can’t

ignore referrals, so if you have a customer right now, if you

have a group of customers that you’re able to showcase success

for, don’t be afraid to ask them, do you know anyone else who

could use this? Some of our greatest clients have come from

other clients, and so it’s kind of an old-school, offline way,

but, I mean, it’s tried-and-true, and it works. So, go to


Trent: Let’s talk a little bit about the blogging that you’re doing,

because referrals are going to become part of – I mean, there’s

things that you can do to stimulate getting more referrals, and

if you have specific strategies to share, please make a little

note to yourself and we’ll come back to that in a minute. But in

the beginning, when you don’t have any clients, it’s tough to

get referrals, so I am really interested on the strategies

and/or tactics that you decided to do with your blogging. And

you could even talk about what you’re getting your customers to

do, because like you said, you have to walk your talk. So how

are you making blogging work for you?

Andrew: Again, the industry, it kind of starts with that persona first.

We have four buyer personas right now that we try to base all of

our content off of and to speak to them, and then from our

marketing strategy, lean into our sales process as well to

figure out what kind of questions are these people are asking,

because a second-generation owner of a manufacturing company is

going to have a very different set of questions than say an

inside sales manager or a director of a sales team.

So we try to outline what kind of questions each of these people

are asking, because content, if you want it to be guided and if

you want it to be closed loop in a way to unite with the rest of

your strategy, it needs to start with the customer in mind at

the end of the day. You want to put yourself in their shoes. And

so we’ve invested a ton of time in looking at our current

customers and what has gone well, and what kind of personalities

and positions we want to stay away from, and we’ve constructed

those buyer personas. So that kind of guides our blogging


So then we take a look at the persona and then we do keyword

research off of that and figure out what kind of keywords we

want to target, what kind of keywords we want to rank for.

Obviously, we want to be found when someone Google’s ‘inbound

marketing agency’. That’s really big for us, and so we spend a

lot of time optimizing and creating valuable content around that


As an example, in a pretty competitive market, when you’re a

marketer trying to create an online blog, some people even

advise you don’t even worry about marketing for yourself online

because it’s so competitive, but I would shy away from that.

Again, lean into the industry. This is definitely an area where

we’re trying to grow into, but be the source for marketing

information for whatever niche you’re targeting. For us, it’s

industrial manufacturers, and even that is a wide swath. There’s

a ton of different companies that can fall into that. So

continue to break down your niche, and the more focused you can

become, the more personalized the content, the higher the

conversion rate is going to be and the greater the value that

you’re going to deliver is going to be.

Trent: So, how did you develop these four personas? I think that is an

area where people will get stuck as well.

Andrew: Yeah, as a buyer persona, you just want to just develop an

idealistic picture of a potential client. And so we looked at

the clients that we had, and there’s obviously clients that, you

know, we want to work with more people like this. This is how we

want to scale our business. These people are responsive, they

don’t sweat the small stuff, they give us the freedom to make

decisions. They’re also there when we need to ask them

questions. So those are the kinds of people we want to work


Then there’s – we call them Bob the Builder. He is an owner of

his own company. He’s kind of grown it up from absolutely

nothing. He knows that he needs to be online and have a

presence, but he doesn’t really want to invest anything into it.

He just wants to pay someone to get the website up, and that’s

  1. So that Bob the Builder persona is someone we worked with a

lot when the company got started, but not the kind of person we

want to continue with. So if we get a referral or if someone

contacts us and says, okay, we’ve got a Bob on the phone right

now, that’s the kind of lead we want to pass up. We still

explore it, but have that persona in your mind to say this is

not the type of client that we can scale with, and have the

courage to say no in that situation.

Trent: And are there tools or resources that you use that help you to

develop your personas, or did you simply get the whiteboard out

and look back at the people that you had spoken with or had done

business with and sort of describe as best you could the persona

that you thought represented that person?

Andrew: Both, really. We’re HubSpot certified partners, so they create

amazing content, and one of the pieces they have is a buyer

persona template. It has a great starting point to go out there

and help you. It asks the right questions to get you thinking

about that person on a more personal level. They’ve got a

PowerPoint download that you can get on their website. We also

have an e-book on that you can go and get that has

a similar template in mind to help you build up personas like


But really, it starts with trying to put yourself at their desk.

What kind of pictures do they have sitting on the table? What do

they do on the weekends? What kind of music do they listen to?

So it’s not really like what’s their job title or how much they

make a year. Those things are important, but you really want to

ask questions that can put you inside their shoes as best as


Trent: And the reason for that is because you want to make sure that

you use words and phrases and content that they will relate and

respond to?

Andrew: Exactly. So some of our clients in the manufacturing space,

they’re selling to maintenance managers who are on the floor all

day in the shop and they might have just a high school diploma,

but they’re also selling to engineers who are drawing blueprints

for a new power plant. So those two personas are buying the same

product, but they’re asking incredibly different questions.

So from a client delivery standpoint, it helps us out a ton as

we’re trying to learn a new industry and learn a new set of

terms and stuff like that. Get those buyer personas cranked out

right away. Ask your clients, what does a typical buyer look

like for you, or if you could describe three typical buyers that

you sell to or that you’d like to scale your business towards,

what do they look like? What kinds of questions are they asking?

What do they do on the weekends? What kind of pains or questions

are they asking, those sorts of things. That really helps us

create content geared towards the people they’re trying to sell


Trent: And when you talked earlier on about creating content that

answers questions, obviously, you know Marcus Sheridan. He’s

been on my show, it’s, and he kind of became

quasi-famous as a result of river pools and spas because he

decided to create a lot of blog content that answered the pre-

sales questions of people who are considering getting a pool. Is

that an approach that you took?

Andrew: Definitely. Marcus did an awesome job with that business of not

being afraid to address with confidence questions people have.

You know, what’s fiberglass versus concrete, those kinds of

questions for pools. The same sort of thing approaching your

marketing, approaching your client’s marketing, what are

questions that everybody is asking that no one is answering.

And that can be – maybe you take at the beginning of a campaign,

just take a half day and call, or have your clients get in touch

with 25 or 50 of their customers and figure out what kind of

questions were you looking for, what kind of questions you

continue to have. Do a little bit of market research on the fly

almost, but just reach out and figure out, maybe it’s surveys or

something like that. Just get a finger on the pulse of the

customers that have already converted with you and figure out

what kind of questions or pains that they have. If you client

has a sales team, always talk to them and figure out what kind

of questions are people coming to you with? What question do you

answer ten times a day that you wish you could just hit copy,

paste, and send a reply back to, because that’s an instant blog

post right there. There’s no shortage of content out there, you

just need to be able to ask the right questions to the right


Trent: Now, I’m going to finish up Part One here with two more

questions. The second one is going to be are you doing any

outbound marketing, but the first one, I noticed you mentioned –

you said you were a HubSpot partner. Your blog is on WordPress,

and I know that HubSpot encourages people to use their blogging

platform as opposed to an independently hosted WordPress site.

Can you briefly speak to why you’re using WordPress?

Andrew: We redesigned our website probably six months ago, and HubSpot

had not spun out their new COS, which, if anyone is unfamiliar

with that, it’s a Content Optimization System that they have,

and historically, their CMS wasn’t very user-friendly. WordPress

is obviously incredibly user-friendly, and it’s open source, and

there’s an awesome source of plug-ins and stuff like that. So we

went with the WordPress theme because we had more flexibility on

the design side. We could spin out the design much faster than

we could with HubSpot, and we also knew that the COS was coming

down the line, and so to redesign on their CMS and then have to

redo it six or eight months later, it wasn’t something that we

were really excited about.

Our next design is probably going to be on that COS on HubSpot

because it is pretty powerful. They encourage it, but at the end

of the day, as long as you’re creating content, it doesn’t


Trent: Okay. Last question then for the first part of the interview,

outbound marketing. Are you guys making cold calls, are you

doing direct mail, are you doing any paid advertising? What

other things are you doing to generate inquiries?

Andrew: I think cold calls would be the closest to outbound that we

get. We don’t do a ton of cold calling. We like to do it just to

continue to hone our positioning statements and stuff like that,

and if an opportunity comes through, that’s great. But we really

haven’t had a lot of success with it, so it’s not something that

we’re going to lean into if we haven’t had a lot of success.

We like to think kind of creatively around the marketing,

obviously, and how can we add value with content through maybe

traditional off-line methods. So even if we do a press release

or – we’ve got some partners, like, we’re in a technology

incubator right now, we moved into this office space at the end

of May, and they’ve got a press release that goes out in a print

newsletter to the community here, and so we created a content

piece that was kind of about what GuavaBox is, but wrote it like

inbound marketers in a way that could help a potential business

owner who might read it, understand the value of inbound

marketing and the potential that’s out there and the lead

machine that they could create, those sorts of things. So, just

applying inbound methodology through outbound channels is as

close as we get. We try to remain pure.

Trent: And it’s not just trying to remain pure, like there’s something

uncool about outbound marketing, but with respect to cold calls,

they just don’t work as well. People don’t like making them, and

people don’t really like receiving them, so I think why would

you do that?

All right. So that wraps up the Part One of this interview. I

tried to keep it to about a half-hour. I went over by just a

couple of minutes. So as I mentioned, in Part Two, we’re going

to dive deeper into how we’re nurturing and converting leads,

what services are being offered, how they’re being delivered,

how leads generate in retainer’s fees, and probably a whole

bunch of extra things that I’ll ask as a result of the answers

that Andrew gives us. So we will see you in Part Two.

So that wraps up Part One of this interview with Andrew. You can

get the show notes at Now, if you really

enjoyed this podcast, I would absolutely love it if you would

take a moment to go to, and when you get

there, you’ll find a pre-populated tweet that you can send out,

as well you’ll find a link to go to take you to the iTunes store

so that you can leave some feedback for the show. And if you

would be kind enough to go give a five-star rating, I can’t tell

you how much I would appreciate your taking a moment or two to

do that, because it really does make a huge difference to the


So that’s it for this episode. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and

I look forward to seeing you in another episode, and for sure in

Part Two.

About Andrew Dymski

AndrewDymskiAndrew is the a co-founder of GuavaBox, a web design and inbound marketing agency. Guavabox helps clients in the industrial space reach new customers through inbound marketing.

You can email Andrew at or connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.