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.
If you missed Part 1, you’ll want to check it out to 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 below, where we discuss:
- (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
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.
Trent: Hey there bright idea hunters, welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I am 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 amount of hours that they have to work every single
week.On the show with me today is Andrew Dymski, and this is part two of a
two part series that Andrew and I did. If you missed the first
part, you can get to it by going to BrightIdeas.co/74, and in
this episode we’re going to continue the discussion that we had,
where he is explaining to us how he is building, very
successfully I might add, his marketing agency GuavaBox.In this second part we’re going to be talking about the very creative
and intelligent ways that he is nurturing and converting his
leads to customers. We’re also going to be talking about how he
know when to follow up with and who to follow up with out of all
the leads that are coming into his funnel.We’re going to talk about an overview into how they’re changing their
business from a fee based business, rather like a fee per
project based business to a retainer fee income based business
and how that’s having a wonderfully positive effect on your cash
flow as you might imagine, and we’re also going to talk about
how he reports to his clients all the good stuff that they’re
doing for them so that those clients have a high level of
motivation to keep on paying that retainer on an ongoing basis,
to produce that long term client relationship of course that we
all want and need to make our businesses grow.So before we get to that just wanted to very quickly talk to you
about a Bright Ideas product, if you are at all struggling when
it comes to business to business lead generation, that’s an area
where I have extensive experience and I’ve created a product
called the Best Buyer Formula.You can get to the sales page at BrightIdeas.co/BBF, and in that
video based course, it’s delivered in a membership site, that
you’re going to see just a treasure trove of content that
explains to you exactly how I built my last business and how I’m
building this one in terms of lead generation. Like with all my
products I stand behind it with a 100% money back guarantee, so
if you get access and you think that it’s not for you no
worries, just send an email to my team and we will give you a
refund, no questions asked.So with all that said, thank you so much for tuning in and please
join me in welcoming Andrew back for part two.All right Andrew welcome back for part two of this interview with
Bright Ideas and yourself, for your firm GuavaBox which is an
inbound marketing agency. If you missed part one folks you can
get at it by going to BrightIdeas.co/74, and in part one we
talked a whole lot about how Andrew and his two cofounders
launched his business, how they picked their niche, how they
launched with what we call the minimum viable product, how
they’re generating their leads, there’s a whole bunch of really
good stuff in there in that half hour interview, and now we’re
going to pick up right where we left off.
So you mentioned that you’re getting leads, a lot of leads from your
blog. You also mentioned from referrals and some other things. I
don’t imagine that everyone is ready to buy right away.
Trent: So what’re you doing to nurture and convert? And if you like
you can also talk about how you’re doing this for your
customers, because I imagine it’s not terribly different than
how you’re doing it for yourself.
Andrew: No it’s not. Again just following the same line that we
prescribe for our clients is we’re HubSpot partners and we use
their workflow tool to kind of lay out lead nurturing sequences.
And the way that HubSpot is built if anyone isn’t familiar with
their product, but it’s a marketing database first so you, as
leads come in they kind of fill into this marketing database and
then it kind of watches their behavior and tracks the different
content that they’ve looked at the content that they’ve
downloaded, emails that they’ve clicked on and clicked through,
all these different data points to help create a smart marketing
So we can go in and set different life cycle stages within the
software, so if someone downloads a what to expect in a
partnership with GuavaBox eBook, we’re going to respond probably
with an email right away, just introducing ourselves, a more
personal touch. But if someone downloads Inbound Marketing 101,
kind of a higher level offer, based on some of the form fields
they will be entered into, just a lead nurturing sequence, just
an email drip sequence basically, like you could set up through
MailChimp or any other email tool you may use. So we use the
nurturing to kind of follow up with people and keep our finger
on the pulse of what they’re clicking through, what’s
interesting them, so that’s how we nurture right now.
Trent: Okay so let me make sure, I want to feed that back and make
sure that I understand and we’ll go to the website here. So
someone on your sidebar, it says subscribe to the GuavaBox blog,
when an email address goes into there, what happens? Are they
just getting blog updates from that point forward, because
that’s its own follow-up sequence correct?
Andrew: Correct. So there, when someone subscribes from our blog we’re
only going to send them blog articles, so that’s a really top of
the funnel lead in our system, so from a follow-up standpoint
there whenever you get a new blog post from us you’re going to
have an opportunity to download an eBook from us, right now it’s
Inbound Marketing 101, kind of a brief overview of what
Inbound’s all about, and gives them more detail.
So if they’re reading our blog, they’re probably going to be
interested in Inbound 101, and that’s kind of the generic first
offer that we offer people who come to the site. And then if
someone downloads say Inbound 101, now they’re kind of a
marketing qualified lead in our funnel and they’re going to get
a different sequence of responses from us, and again it’s based
on those personas. We’ve got a best describes me field in our
And it’s a CEO is looking to increase sales, a marketing manager
who’s looking for a boost, other marketing agencies so depending
on what that field result is right there, they’re going to get
entered into a different lead nurturing sequence and that’s how
our system’s built right now.
Trent: Okay, so this is the offer that I see at the bottom of . . .
I’m assuming it’s every blog post, that green box with a red
button, get started with the free guide correct?
Andrew: Well the offer’s going to change a little bit depending on what
the blog post topic is, so if we’re writing about personas it’s
going to be kind of a buyer persona guide that we have down
there, we cycle between three and four top of the funnel offers
at the bottom of our blog post.
Trent: Okay, and so when your segment, because segmentation’s
unbelievably important, your segmenting by number of employees
and this field called best describes me, so speak to that again
if you would. So let’s say that I choose marketing manager who
needs a boost versus CEO slash owner who needs sales, how is the
experience in your funnel going to be different for me as a
result of one or the other of those choices?
Andrew: Okay, let’s think back to our personas again, if we’ve got
cutting edge Chris, Chris is the CEO of a company, it’s a
pretty, it’s a young and growing company that’s looking to
expand, they’re looking for a new source of leads that’s going
to help throttle their growth and a company that we can scale
with as well. So what kind of information is he looking for?
He wants to know return on investment, he wants to know what kind of
leads he can expect, far more metric driven, straight to the
point kind of stuff, so our content to Chris is usually shorter
than our content would be to the marketing manager. In the
marketing manager we share more tactical information, because
they could be attempting to do inbound on their own right now,
maybe they’re a HubSpot customer, [Marketo] or they’re just
trying to use WordPress by themselves, whatever it is. So
they’re going to be interested in more like how are you driving
leads to our website, whereas the CEO just wants to know are you
driving leads to my website and what kind of return am I going
to see from the money that I’m giving you. So that’s how we use
personas to kind of break up the type of message that we
communicate to our leads.
Trent: Now that’s pretty smart by the way, so bravo to you for that.
Andrew: Thank you.
Trent: Now the content that you’re delivering, is it, are you
basically just writing short emails that then direct them back
to specific posts which would be relevant to the persona that
they selected, or is all of the content delivered in an email so
they don’t have to click through?
Andrew: No we’re typically, we have some emails that are just within
the email, but we’re primarily linking people back to landing
pages, providing them another opportunity to convert on our
website. Another powerful that HubSpot gives you is progressive
profiling in their forms, essentially what that is, is if
somebody has downloaded an offer from your website and they’ve
entered their first name, last name, email address, their
company name and their company URL. We don’t need to ask what
their company name and company URL are again.
If we want to keep the number of fields shorter, we’re going to ask
them a different set of questions. So it’s, their database looks
at we can build out ten questions and if three of them are
already answered they just kind of bump the next three up so
then we might get employee number, or the biggest marketing
struggle, questions like that that help us to get more
information and identify their pain point more clearly through
the automation process.
So we want to take them from the email to a landing page and
sometimes we’ll send them back to a website but the primary goal
is to get them to a landing page to offer them another piece of
content that can help them solve whatever problem they’re
Trent: Can you give me an example of one of those landing pages? Let’s
say have you got one that you could rattle off for the CEO-owner
Andrew: Yeah. Well we don’t structure the landing pages. They’re going
to be structured pretty much the same, in the way that we lay it
out. But the email copy is what we vary based on the persona.
Andrew: So an email, we want to get say a CEO to click through, we
might only have three or four sentences, break it up into like
three paragraph breaks with only a couple sentences on there,
and then that is going to get them to click through and then,
I’ll pull up one of our pages, one of our landing pages right
now and kind of walk you through how we use personas to
So if someone just goes to GuavaBox.com, and you can go down to the
bottom, in free marketing resources section and click on all
online marketing sources, here’s just a collection of all the
eBooks. Everyone’s just welcome to download as many as they
want, I hope they can help you out.
Trent: Right. I’ll make sure if you’re driving in your car right now
don’t worry about writing any of this down, all you’ve got to do
is come to the post which for this part two episode will be at
BrightIdeas.co/75, and I’ll put links to all this stuff.
Andrew: So when we build a landing page, we understand the personas are
going to read things differently, so in our like H1 tag we want
a straight to the points text that a CEO is going to relate
with. So he’s just breezing through, so in our Inbound Marketing
101 landing page, which is like I said our top of the funnel
offer, the H1 tag is reach new customers with inbound marketing.
That’s going to relate to a marketer but it’s also going to
relate to a CEO because at the end of the day that’s what they
want their marketing to deliver, is new customers.
And then when you drill down into the H2 copy it says learn how an
inbound marketing game plan can bring all marketing efforts into
focus and grow your business. So that helps more of the
analytical thinker, helps them understand more precisely what
this eBook’s going to help them deliver, and then you go down.
And we’ve got bullet points that break down specific tactics
that the marketer’s going to want to understand on how this
value’s going to be delivered.
Trent: This is a lot of content to produce, all these eBooks. Were you
able to take generic eBooks that HubSpot produced and then just
put your branding on them?
Andrew: We have, some of them, their partner program is Out of Sight,
and I recommend every marketing agency at least look into it
because the support that they provide to you is outstanding
beyond just learning their software, they give you offers that
you can convert and co-brand with them. So I’d say about half of
our offers are cobranded offers, and then we have original
offers that we have just created out of problems that have seen
Trent: Interesting. What does it cost you a month to have HubSpot?
Andrew: We are on the professional package so it’s $600 a month, for
- Obviously that’s a number that’s going to scare away or just
chase away smaller agencies, but we were able to pace up towards
- And then once you begin to get clients who are using
HubSpot, they have basically an affiliate referral program where
you get 20 percent back from any package that you’re able to
sell. So if you’re able to sell, you’re able to basically get
your portal for free after not too long.
Trent: Yeah, okay. All right so when people are downloading these
various . . . you’ve got all these offers that are in your
funnel, and then I would imagine that you’re doing some type of
like, where I’m going with this is how do you know when to
follow up with who?
Andrew: Great question. When you’re getting started and leads are just
flowing into your system, you don’t really have time for the
lead nurturing sequence to go all the way through. You know if a
company downloads Inbound 101 and we click over to their website
and every day we’re going through the leads that have converted,
and so we see their website we see their in our niche or they’re
a company that we wouldn’t mind working with then we’re just
going to give them a call. You know reach out or send them an
email, say, “Hey, this is Andrew from GuavaBox. I notice that
you were on our website yesterday and downloaded Inbound
Marketing 101. Just wanted to follow up and see if you had any
other questions or if there’s anything I can help you out with.”
And you know that gets a conversation started.
Sometimes people deny that they’ve ever been there. They say, oh I
don’t know what you’re talking about or . . . it’s crazy. But
other times you’ve got people who are really open to having a
conversation with you and that can kind of move the sales
process along just by reaching out. And that’s why we’re in the
inbound marketing is because there is that connection, you can
understand what pages they’ve looked at, you can look at the
type of offer that they’ve downloaded and that from a sales side
that gives you an insight into the kind of problem that they’re
facing. So then as a salesperson you can really offer some
legitimate value to their business, you’re not just interrupting
them with a cold call.
Trent: Absolutely. So I noticed that you do ask for, especially for
your lead magnets that are further in the funnel, you do ask for
phone number and URL.
Trent: Have you split tested at all to see the effect on your
conversion rate by asking for those two extra pieces, because I
see that you make it mandatory?
Andrew: Yeah we do, because at the end of the day if someone’s not
willing to give me their company name or their phone number,
it’s not really a lead that I’m ready to follow up with at that
point. So we have like a 30 percent conversion rate, average on
our landing pages, and that’s bringing a good amount of leads
right now that we’re comfortable with. And so if someone’s at
the point where they’re ready to put in their phone number,
that’s great you know and if they’re not at that point yet,
that’s not a lead that we want in our funnel right now.
Trent: But let’s be clear for the people that are listening, people
can get into the top of your funnel with just first name last
name and email.
Trent: So they’re only seeing these deeper offers if they are either
reading the emails that you’re already sending to them, or by
their own effort are coming back to your blog and then clicking
the calls to action at the beginning of a blog post, and then
“opting in” again to get this lead magnet that is deeper into
your funnel. So it’s not as though you’re not getting the lead
at all, you just want, and it’s very smart. You’re basically
saying I don’t want to actually talk to this person until
they’ve provided me with more than their name and email but
you’ve already got their name and email.
Andrew: Correct. And I’m going to communicate with them with the
information that they give me, so essentially they give us
permission to market to them through email but not phone, and
we’re just going to market to them through email, until they’re
Trent: Smart, smart, smart. All right. So very, very early, I think it
was in part one of the interview or it might have even been
before we hit the record button, you talked about how you’re
transitioning the services that you’re offering from you know
just web design to, I want you to describe what it’s going to.
Andrew: Sure. So we started out, again it was a yes-man business where,
“Can you guys do website design?” Yeah. Can you understand
twitter? Yeah. Can you do YouTube videos? Yeah. We did viewer
production, kind of the whole gamut of isolated online marketing
activities. And then as we continued to learn and grow we found
out that none of these activities really drive ROI until they
can be connected together into a system that makes sense, and
that’s going to drive new business in a smart way.
So we wanted to shift to a retainer model business, and that’s kind
of where we started exploring different partnerships and we
ended up going with HubSpot because they provided the best
support, the best technology to help us facilitate that
So essentially what it is, is we were just a website design agency,
we would do basic WordPress web design, we would do Twitter
strategies, Facebook strategies where we would just write up
basically smart stuff like, just, not smart just whatever you’d
find, like best practices that sort of thing, and apply them to
the client and deliver those sources to them in a way that would
help them kind of do their own marketing.
We would tweet for some clients, we would post on Facebook for some
clients, we would do Facebook design, Twitter design, YouTube
background design, all that kind of stuff, but now the shift
into inbound marketing is really . . . it starts with the
philosophy and it’s no longer a project based system but now
you’re trying to sign up with customers for six month to twelve
month retainer relationships.
So now you’re really aligning yourself as a partner instead of just a
repairman or you know a painter basically who’s coming in and
painting one room and leaving. We want to work alongside with a
company to help on kind of the 50,000 foot level, establish the
growth goals, the revenue goals, get on the same page and figure
out where they’re trying to grow their company, where
opportunities are, and then create a marketing strategy that
helps them get there, and then deliver that strategy over the
twelve month relationship. So that’s kind of what the model
looks like, and then…
Trent: Go ahead.
Andrew: So that’s the model and tactically, where sometimes it is a
website redesign, sometimes it’s just putting a HubSpot portal
on a sub-domain of a client’s website and just starting to blog
and create landing pages and create emails and stuff like that,
it can kind of, we haven’t completely lost our website design
roots yet and that’s been a good skill to have when you
augmented into a retainer relationship.
Trent: Okay so I’m on your retainer pricing page and I see fast,
faster and fastest which I love so much better than bronze,
silver and gold. One is 3000 a month, one is 5000 a month and
one is 10,000 a month. When did you start offering retainer?
Andrew: We started offering retainer just over a year ago. And it took
. . . it’s a learning curve for us and it’s a selling curve as
well because it’s a lot easier for someone to sign up for a one
time $2000 website than it is for someone to sign up for 10,000
a month to work with a company that they don’t really know yet.
And so when you’re just getting started in a new line of business,
it’s basically restarting the business for us because we had to
prove a different line of value to clients, and we really
started just by doing it to ourselves and being like we can show
people our blog at least and show them what it looks like.
And so essentially the pricing model is built off of, we want to
direct it more and more towards value delivered, right now it’s
very activity driven, we don’t think that’s, that’s kind of the
next stage of where we want to go is more value driven, to focus
again on the growth that that CEO really cares about at the end
of the day. So again get it up and get it out but our pricing
model is something that we’re continuing to modify and push
forward as we grow.
Trent: I remember when I had my technology services company I went
through the same transition that you did, at the time in the
industry the common way to bill was per hour to go and do
technology projects, and I realized that that wasn’t ever going
to build me a company that I could sell for any meaningful
amount of money, because there’s no ongoing, recurring revenue
and so we switched and it was painful in the beginning.
We didn’t know exactly how to price things and selling it was a lot
harder but years down the road when we had $80,000 a month
coming in the front door on the first day of every month that
made life a whole lot easier and ultimately why I was able to
sell it for the amount that I did, which was a good amount for
sure. So I applaud you for doing this, because it’s going to
absolutely make your life so much better down the road. How’s it
going so far, have you sold any retainer stuff yet?
Andrew: We have. We have three clients up and running on our retainer
model, which is awesome.
Trent: Is that on which level? Fast, faster or fastest?
Andrew: That is fast and faster.
Trent: So you got eleven grand a month coming in the beginning of
Andrew: Yeah. It’s transformed our business.
Trent: I bet.
Andrew: And it’s exhilarating too because the clients that we have
we’re delivering results for and so they’re happy. And when you
deal with a bigger ticket client, one who can afford that kind
of price tag per month, they’re going to be less nit picky about
the little things, they’re going to trust you more because I
don’t know when you charge more for something people seem to
think you’ve got your act together more than when you charge
Andrew: So they’re going to trust you more, and everything’s seems to
flow smoother once the prices start to go up.
Trent: So how do you, because people get excited in the beginning and
sure, yeah they sign up, but then you’ve got to keep them,
you’ve got to retain those clients. How are you reporting to
your client the value that you’re delivering for fast, the fast
level or any of the levels for that matter? What specifically
are you sending to them?
Andrew: Touch points is huge, having a point of contact that you can
get in touch with on a regular basis that makes time for you,
and setting that expectation up front is something that we’re
going to continue to do a better job of. But at the end of each
month we get together and we look at traffic and we look at
leads, we outline what we’re going to do in the next month,
based on the strategy that we put together at the beginning.
We’ve got to start everything with an inbound marketing game plan
that outlines based on the terms that they want to be known for
and the keywords that they want to rank for and stuff like that.
We put together a blog strategy, and then as we go and we see
what works and what doesn’t work very well we kind of tweak that
along the way.
And obviously we haven’t run someone, we haven’t had a twelve month
client yet so we’re still tweaking those game plans as we go and
they’re getting smarter with every month. But essentially we
review traffic and we review leads, because we’re not a sales
augmenter, we’re a lead augmenter and so at the end of the day
it’s our client’s responsibility to close those sales, so we can
deliver higher quality leads than they used to get, and those
leads just get more and more qualified as time goes, and we
understand their business better and understand the way that
visitors act on their website.
But visitor traffic and traffic to lead ratios are big for us,
looking at individual landing pages to get visitor to lead
conversion ratio, and optimizing calls to action and stuff like
that to try to improve click through rates, we kind of hit on
all of those different areas, all of those key metrics and key
Trent: Now I would imagine that each of the three people that you have
on retainer now probably weren’t doing much in terms of digital
before they engaged with you. Is that correct?
Andrew: Wide, wide gamut. One client didn’t even have a website up, the
other one was spending like 5K a month in PPC, and just not
seeing any quality results from that spend.
Trent: I’m guessing that’s the guy that signed up for the faster
Andrew: Yeah, I mean they already, they understand the value, and
they’re online and they just know that they need help, and
that’s a good place for us to start.
Trent: Okay, so for the folks that didn’t even have a website and here
you are showing them traffic and you’re showing them leads and
you’re showing them all this stuff. What’s their reaction when
they see that relative to the three grand they’re paying you?
Andrew: It depends, and it leans back on that expectation that you set
up front and this is another part that we keep rolling with and
saying we’ve got to do a better job of that next time is just
outlining what they should expect. Because sometimes it’s like
well I’m not getting any calls just yet like what’s going on,
well we’ve only been working for two and a half months, we
started from zero, we need time because we do everything
organically, right now we don’t have any paid elements of our
offerings, not against PPC or Facebook ads or anything like
that, just it’s not part of our offerings right now.
So just setting, well having honest conversations because again if
we’re going to be marketing partners and work with you over the
next 12 months we need to be able to be transparent and honest
with each other and just be able to communicate authentically
Trent: Setting expectations is such a valid point because if somebody
were to hire you as an employee to be their marketing person, no
one would expect that within a month of hiring you that you had
radically transformed their website and traffic and leads and
blah, blah, blah. And yet, obviously enough, some people that
hire a marketing agency expect that within 30 days, they’re
going to be just cranking.
Trent: Why do you suppose that is and how do you manage that? What
conversation do you have at the beginning to make sure that you
don’t end up in that hole?
Andrew: We like to set the vision that it’s going to be four to six
months before you start seeing any real results from this. So I
mean from the beginning of our sales process, we’re linking back
to the growth goals, where the company wants to be in 12 months,
what dreams are associated with those goals, why do you want to
get to that point, what happens if you don’t get to that point.
And so then when we start delivering with a client we can lean
back on those numbers, and really it begins to point more and
more towards an organizational change and setting mutual back
and forth expectations at the beginning.
That’s part of our contract to is here is here’s what we’re going to
be delivering to you as a marketing partner and here’s what you
need to deliver to us, because it’s a two-way relationship. If
you want to make real change and grow as a business, that’s not
going to happen over night and you’re going to need to change
the status quo, that’s going to need to be altered and we need
to know do you have enough skin in the game here to make a
strategy like this work.
Trent: Yeah, if they’re not going to change what they’re doing and
they’re just going to sit back arms crossed and say okay magic
boy do your stuff, that’s probably not going to work.
Andrew: No, it’s not and that’s the type of client you get when you
just do one off projects. But if you want to shift to a retainer
model, that’s the kind of client that you need to be comfortable
enough in yourself and in your business model to say you know
what, I can refer you to a couple people who might be able to
help you out but I don’t think we’re the best fit right now.
Trent: Yes indeed. And when you’re doing your inbound marketing
yourself and these people are coming to you and they’re raising
their hand by downloading various reports that’s going to
obviously make converting that sale a whole lot easier.
Andrew: Exactly because the expectation there, I mean it’s a small
expectation set but still they’re the one coming to you for the
information and so inbound marketing at the end of the day
positions companies and agencies as thought leaders and the way
you structure your sales process following that can even lean in
more on that fact and position you instead of a sales person as
more of an adviser into their growth model.
Trent: How are you doing in terms of blogging for your clients?
Andrew: So we batch all of the titles based on keywords, and then we
work with our clients to get kind of the guts to most of those
blog posts, whether that’s bullet points or we’re going to start
experimenting with just audio recordings, so having them like
record a quick clip on their iPhone or something like that,
talking about a subject that we want to write a blog post about,
and then we send those out to different contract writers that we
And then they take the content, they do some research, and then they
tweak it into like a 400, 500 word blog post, and then we send
that to the client, get the review, and when they give the okay
it gets scheduled to get posted on their blog.
Trent: Okay. So how many clients, so right now I guess you’re
producing blog content on an ongoing basis for your three
retainer clients, yes?
Trent: Okay. The system that you’re using to manage the producing, the
blog content and the editorial calendar and getting it approved
and pushing it out to the clients blog, I mean is that kind of
spreadsheets and email right now?
Andrew: Right now that is we use [Podeo] internally, it’s an awesome
free platform where you can kind of spin up your own custom work
spaces, and structure your workflow the way you want to. That’s
gone pretty well for us, from the client side it’s just email.
We’ve experimented with Basecamp, but haven’t stuck wit that as
a long term solution. We’re actually working on our own custom
software solution right now that would facilitate client
communication and contractor communication.
Trent: Well at the risk of plugging my own products, I am a cofounder
in a software company and we have an app that is going to solve
that exact problem so I’m happy to show that to you after we
record if you like.
Andrew: I would love to see that Trent.
Trent: Are you using any curation for your clients?
Andrew: Not at the moment, we’ve looked at a couple options, but
haven’t really integrated it well into our strategy yet. That’s
a topic I need to circle back with [Gray and Brennan] and figure
out if that is going to add some value. I think it adds a lot
even for ourselves. We’re kind of the guinea pig for our
marketing strategies and so we tried it out on GuavaBox first
and if we see results then we send it out towards the clients.
Trent: Yeah. Okay, well we’ll cover that when we go off air here. All
right, services offered, service, oh contractors. Can you just
give an overview of the type of contractors that you’re using?
Andrew: Yeah, we’ve done a couple different models and you know there’s
websites out there where you can kind of submit to a pool of
authors and then they can bid on your work or submit trials,
that takes a lot of time to manage that but sometimes it’s a
good way to start. At the end of the day, you need to pick a way
that you can establish a relationship with a writer that you can
trust and so sometimes Elance is a good way to do that.
We’ve done some writing, more like design work through Elance than we
have actual contract writers but that’s been a good source for
- Relationships, networking, one of our best content writers
is just someone who went to college with us and who freelances
on the side, so don’t throw that model out. But Zerys is a good
Trent: Zerys? How do you spell that?
Andrew: Z-E-R-Y-S I believe. You can just Google them and they’ve got a
good pool of writers on there. Content Launch is another one
that we have tried out and has had some good results, and
ClearBloggingSolutions.com is another one that we’ve used with
Trent: Okay. Well my pen just ran out in the middle a name.
Andrew: Perfect timing.
Trent: Luckily, luckily I have another one in the drawer.
Andrew: That’s good.
Trent: Hang on I’ve got to, there we go. Don’t you love this audience
from the hosts, holds up the show because his pen runs out of
ink? Okay, so you got a couple of resources which I will include
in the show notes, clearbloggingsolutions.com, Zerys.com.
All right, I think it’s time. What have we missed? What do you think
for the intended listener here is someone who is you six months
ago, who got a start at an agency and then you know want to make
a success of themselves, what have we missed? What would you
talk about for that person?
Andrew: You’ve got to set goals. You’ve got to know where you want to
- Because if you’re just running on a treadmill, I mean
starting a business is hard work, that’s why so many people
quit. But if you want to start an agency and you want to go
somewhere and you want to add value, set some goals for your
self, set goals each day, each week.
We set like 12 week goals at GuavaBox on how we want to perform
across finance, marketing, sales, operations, and we strategize
those metrics and we try to hold each other accountable for that
and we’re a small agency so it’s easy to let each other off the
hook. But again if you want to grow and you want to scale a
business to the point where you want to sell it, you’ve got to
kind of pick a spot on the horizon and start running towards it
in a way that you can measure against yourself.
Trent: I’ve got a resource that I want to throw up as well, it’s one
that I was reading this morning, it’s one of Jim Collins’ early
books, it’s called Beyond Entrepreneurship or Beyond
Entrepreneur or something like that, chapter two. So folks if
you want to grab yourself that book, it talks a lot about a
specific strategy for laying out, and you’ve heard this before
this is not new but it’s incredibly important, your mission
vision, your core values and your beliefs.
And I’m not going to hijack this interview with why talking about
that is important but if you read chapter two you will figure it
out and it’s something that I’m doing in my businesses, because
especially when it comes to attracting the kind of customer that
you want to deal with and attracting the kind of employee that
you want to work with, if you don’t have this stuff defined,
you’re going to end up with culture problems down the road.
Andrew: So true.
Trent: And so I’ll leave it at that. All right, I think this has been
a really terrific interview and we divided it into two parts so
a half hour each. I hope everyone enjoys it. Again, if you guys
who listen to my podcasts regularly think dividing it into two
sucked, definitely let me know, as I cannot exist without your
feedback. But like I say in my effort to attract new listeners I
thought smaller, more bite sized chunked pieces of content would
be less intimidating for them to download.
know that when I look at a video and I see that it’s an hour long I
go, “Ugh, I don’t know if I want to watch that whole thing.” But
if I see something that’s shorter than an hour I’m more inclined
to give it a go and that was the thinking in dividing this
episode into two parts.
So Andrew, thank you very much. For those folks who want to get a
hold of you the best just rattle off one if you would please,
what is the best way to do that?
Andrew: Best way to get a hold of me is on my email that is
Trent: All right, terrific. Andrew thank you so much for being on the
show. It has been an absolute pleasure this has been I think a
terrific interview that I look forward to publishing.
Andrew: Thank you so much Trent for the opportunity and for all the
work you’re doing, doing great stuff, inspiring entrepreneurs
and hats off to you.
Trent: Well thank you very much, I appreciate that. All right to get
to the show notes for today’s episode go to Brightideas.co/75.
If you really enjoyed this episode, I want to ask you a little
favor please go to Brightideas.co/love and there you’ll find a
pre-populated tweet which you can send on out to your followers,
as well and even more importantly there’s a link that can take
you to the iTunes store so that you can leave a five star rating
for this particular episode. It really means a lot to me when
you guys do that because it really helps this show to gain a lot
more exposure and the more people that hear it the more people
that we can help.
So that’s it for this episode, I am your host Trent Dyrsmid and we’ll
see you in another episode soon.
About Andrew Dymski
Andrew 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.