Since writing a post about how I’m planning to grow my agency, Groove Digital Marketing, into my next 7 figure success story, the feedback I’ve received from readers has been very positive. Thank you to those of you who shared the post, commented on it, or emailed me directly. Your feedback was very encouraging.
In today’s post, as promised, I’m going to give you a look over my shoulder for the past week and share with you what I did, as well as the results we achieved.
If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.
As always, my hope is that my transparency with you can be the fuel you need to achieve similar results in your own business. Sound good? Here we go!
Key Activities in the Week of April 21st, 2014
During the past week, here’s a summary of what happened:
- We published 3 blog posts
- Interviewed a venture backed SaaS startup CEO and had an “aha moment”
- We got two calls from the Target100 direct mail campaign
- I realized I needed a system for handling the inbound calls
- Traffic and leads increased yet again
Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.
3 New Blog Posts
- 4 Features Every Great Website Needs
- Create Content or Prospect via LinkedIn: Which Is a Better Use of Time?
- 3 Examples of Highly Effective Website Design
This is our last week of just 3 posts/week. Next week, we’ll be up to one post per day.
My “Aha” from Interviewing a Venture-Backed SaaS Startup CEO
On Monday the 21st, I interviewed the CEO of a rapidly growing venture-backed company that has gone from zero to north of $10M in just 3 years. To date, their strategy for growth has been to rely out outbound selling exclusively.
At the end of the interview, I asked the CEO if she had plans to start incorporating inbound marketing into the mix and she said yes. Hmmmm…
As soon as the recording was complete, I asked her who I should speak with and if budget had been allocated for content marketing. She said that they’d just hired a new VP to handle this and there was a budget in place. Shortly after our call, I received an email introduction to this new VP.
As I reflected on the call, the thought occurred to me that there are quite likely a large number of venture backed firms that are also looking to embrace content marketing and that my podcast was a terrific way for me to get to them.
Since then, I’ve been combing through VC websites and sending podcast invitations out to any company that fits the criteria I’m looking for (B2B, no active blog, complex product, high LTV).
Since writing this post, I have been sending out 5 podcast invitations per day to companies that I would not normally have tried to interview. Given that I’m also wanting to research the opportunity in the health care niche, 14 of the 22 invites I sent out were to companies in this niche.
With each invitation, I am requesting that we do a pre-interview first and during that pre-interview, I am looking to find out if content marketing has played a role in their success.
Most companies that I’ve reached out to so far do not have active blogs. If they have plans to start a blog, which is something I will discover in the pre-interview, I will definitely be looking to do the full interview with them, because so far, that has worked very well for me in terms of landing clients.
Leads from Our Direct Mail Campaign
This week I received two calls from companies that that we’d sent our Target 100 direct mail campaign to.
I didn’t expect to get any calls for at least the first 4 or 5 weeks, so this was a pleasant surprise.
When I called the first company back, they immediately put two of their people on the phone and asked me:
- What do we do?
- What results can they expect?
- How much does it cost?
A contact from the second company called to ask some general questions and then told me that she wanted to get her boss and I on the phone together.
I don’t believe in leaving the price as a surprise to the very end, so the first thing I told them was that working with us starts at $5,000 a month. They said they had the budget for that, so I proceeded to give them a high level overview of what we do and the next steps.
Both calls were pretty short call and both said that they were very interested.
At the end of the call, each asked me to send them a short email with the overview of the details. The email I sent them is below:
Thanks for getting in touch and speaking with me just now about working with Groove.
In a nutshell, our expertise is to help our clients turn their websites into a valuable marketing asset that will produce a steady flow of leads over a sustained period of time.
The way that we do this is to use something called “Content Marketing” (Also referred to as “Inbound Marketing”). If you aren’t familiar with this type of marketing, here are 3 posts I’d suggest you read:
- A Brief Introduction to Content Marketing
- Is Content Marketing Worth the Investment?
- What Results Can I Expect from Content Marketing?
When clients get in touch with us, they typically require us to handle the 3 steps below over the first 90 days:
Step 1: Create a Content Marketing Blueprint. This first step is absolutely critical. Without a content marketing strategy (a game plan), it’s highly unlikely we’ll get the results you want in the first 90 days of our working together. Creating the roadmap is an involved process that will see us helping you to very clearly define your target audience, their needs, wants, and desires. Once we understand who we are creating content for, only then can we do Step 2 and Step 3.
Step 2: Build a Marketing Automation Engine. Without a way to capture leads on your website, all the traffic in the world won’t do you any good. The “engine” consists of:
- A mobile friendly website
- Three pieces of downloadable premium content (typically white papers, free reports, or webinars)
- Landing pages to offer the premium content (and capture the leads)
- The automated follow up campaigns (email sequences) to ensure that the most qualified leads are nurtured to the point when they are ready for a conversation with your sales team
Step 3: Once the “engine” is complete we start publishing and promoting the blog posts that our writers have created for you (with your collaboration). Our most basic plan includes 2 posts per week, plus promotion on your social networks. The more content you publish, the faster you will get results, so you can spend as much here as your budget will permit.
Everything that we do follows the inbound methodology as it is explained here.
If there is a fit between our organizations, we will ask you to commit to a 90 day campaign. The reason we ask for this is because, due to the requirement of what we have to build for you (the engine) and the time it will take for the blog posts (fuel for the engine) to get traction, it will take at least this long to start to generate leads. It may happen sooner, however, content marketing is not a “quick fix”.
The investment needed to work with us for this first 90 days starts at $5,000/mo. You will also require HubSpot marketing automation software which costs $800/mo. (The “engine” I referred to is built on HubSpot’s software)
Once the 90 days are complete and the HubSpot engine is built, we can continue to produce blog content (as well as manage social media) starting from $3,000/mo.
Beyond the first 90 days, there is no long-term contract as our relationship will be performance driven. HubSpot; however, does require an annual agreement for their software.
Our team will configure the HubSpot software for you and provide the training required to get you up and running. (This is the very same software we use in our agency). HubSpot is also the software we use to create all the reports that will show you the progress we are making in terms of increased traffic and leads captured.
To see an overview of the types of companies that are most likely to benefit from working with use, please read this page.
And finally, to have a look at a wide variety of articles on content marketing, please read our blog.
Once you’ve had a chance to read through this, please let me know if you have any questions.
PS. So that I know you have received this email, please reply and let me know you did.
If you want to ensure you see how this conversation turns out, be sure and become a subscriber so you don’t miss next week’s report.
How to Automate the Process for Managing the New Leads from Direct Mail
After receiving the second call, I realized that I’d not yet developed an automated process for handling calls that came in out of the blue. To be honest, I really didn’t expect calls. Instead, I just thought they’d download the report I offered on the landing page.
Below is a short video walk through of the system that I’ve now built for this. If you find this video helpful, please be sure and give it a “thumbs up” rating on Youtube. Thanks!
Case Study: Groove Digital Marketing Traffic and Conversion Stats
Since my decision just over a month ago to begin actively blogging on Groove, the results have come very quickly.
As you can see, total visits have reached 3,008 as of 2:10pm on April 25th. Not surprisingly, as traffic has increased, so have leads captured.
In addition to the increase in total traffic, I’m quite pleased to see a big increase in organic traffic. While not yet a huge amount of traffic, total organic visits were 960, which is roughly 1/3 of total traffic. Given that these people are actually searching for solutions, I’m quite pleased to see so many of them finding Groove’s site so quickly.
More traffic leads to increased conversions (wow…..what a play on words!), and as you can see below, our two top of funnel offers are performing very well.
The landing page highlighted in red is the current top of funnel offer that we are promoting with our blog posts. As you can see, T1L: 25 Website Must Haves is converting 42.6% of visitors. This is right about where I was hoping it would be.
Our next top of funnel offer is called T2L: 8 Ways to Leverage… Once our current inbound campaign has been completed, all new blog posts will point to this next landing page. For now, the only traffic that it sees is from the Target100 direct mail campaign.
Our middle of funnel offer, called T1D/M1L is where people are redirected once they optin to the T1L page. On this ‘thank you’ page is also an offer to download a report called, What to Expect in a Partnership with Groove.
Offers in the middle of the funnel, unlike offers at the top of the funnel, can be more sales oriented because, by this point, qualified leads should have some level of interest in learning more about working with us.
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.