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:
- We published 2 blog posts (it was supposed to be 3)
- We received payment from our big client and started working on their project
- We signed another new client to a $3,000 monthly retainer
- Another podcast guest is looking to become a client
- I started using a new tool to promote content on LinkedIn
- I started to plan a joint webinar with a successful author
- I sent out 50 emails using my LinkedIn strategy and a new spreadsheet I’ve created
- 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)
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
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:
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
- See prior posts in this series
- Get my B2B Lead Generation Training Course
- Get a copy of my Digital Marketing Handbook
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.