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 that I 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 March 31, 2014
During the past week, I worked on the following things:
- Landed another $5M client
- Published an eBook to Amazon
- Wrote another white paper and created a landing page for it
- Instructed our designer to turn the white paper into a polished looking report
- Created our new client on-boarding process in Basecamp
- Ordered business cards
- Conducted a CMB discovery call with our new client
- Created a 10 step direct mail campaign for our Target 100 list of suspects
- Crafted our Twitter strategy
Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.
Landed Another $5M Client
During the week of March 24th, I reported that I did a total of 4 scoping calls with prospective clients. I’m pleased to say that the second of the four companies has chosen to become a client. (This was the company that asked me for the proposal last week.) The proposal outlined that they needed the following:
- New website ($5,000)
- Content Marketing Blueprint ($2,000)
- Implement Hubspot and build the marketing automation engine ($3,600 to $6,500)
Their CEO called me to say that they wanted to proceed and they sent payment of $7,000 in advance (we require payment in advance for all work) for the website and Content Marketing Blueprint.
This particular client is a $5M company in the B2B space and they have ambitious growth plans. During the week of April 7th, I expect they will also proceed with having our team implement Hubspot so we can build the content marketing automation engine for them.
Published an eBook to Amazon
Publishing an eBook to Amazon wasn’t part of my original marketing strategy and I owe a huge thanks to Chris O’Byrne from JetLaunch for helping to make this happen.
About a week or so ago, Chris emailed me out of the blue to thank me for producing such helpful content and offered to help me create an ebook for free. His offer was a generous one and I was curious to see how it would do in terms of lead generation, so I agreed.
Thus far, the book, which has only been online a day or two, has sold two copies…however, our plan is to offer it for free, so the number of sales isn’t really what I’m after. I’ll be sure and give another update on how this has worked for me in a future post.
Target 100: White Paper, Landing Page, Direct Mail Campaign
In last week’s report, I introduced the concept of the Target 100 list. The goal of this list is to give me a finite group of companies that fit our definition of an ‘ideal’ customer so that we can reach out to them on a consistent/persistent basis. (I describe this in detail in my course, The Best Buyer Formula).
This week, I drafted a plan for the outreach: each of these companies is going to receive up to 10 pieces of 3 dimensional direct mail (one per week), all of which ask them to visit the page shown in the image below. The page isn’t live yet; hence my sharing only the screenshot….plus, I don’t want BI readers clicking on it and skewing my stats!
The final design will likely be improved from what you are seeing above, and I will also be running an A/B test on it to ensure I get the maximum conversions possible.
Each time one of my suspects receives a letter from me, it will send them to this page where they can download a white paper that we wrote. While this approach isn’t purely content marketing, content does play a large role in it. The reason for the outreach is that I don’t want to wait until our blog is popular enough to attract leads organically.
Over time, that will definitely happen; however, by adding in an outreach plan at the start, I believe that we will significantly increase the speed of our results. To put this in perspective, the entire cost of the 10 week long direct mail campaign for all 100 prospects will be about $4,000 and if we land just one retainer client, our return on investment will be about 10X over the subsequent 12 months. What will I do with the cash flow, you ask? Invest in creating more content so I don’t need to repeat the direct mail campaign over and over and over.
Documented Our New Client On-Boarding Process in Basecamp
With Liz soon going on maternity leave, the importance of making sure we have documented processes for all of our client interactions has never been higher. To facilitate this process, I decided to give Basecamp a close look, and I have to admit that I’m super impressed so far! Learning how to use their app took me about 20 minutes. It’s dead simple. As soon as I understood how to use it, I set out to create a project template that we’ll use for every new client. In taking this approach, we have a few goals:
- Ensure that the on-boarding process is consistent, regardless of which person on our team executes it
- Create a way to track all client communications in one place so we can avoid hunting through inboxes for messages
- Create an easy way to link to our internal Wiki (where we keep all of our internal training material) from any part of the on-boarding process that requires specific instructions to be followed
At some point in the future, if enough of you ask for it, I may create a post to go into more detail on this.
Ordered Business Cards
Why am I telling you that I ordered business cards? Just one reason. I see far too many people spending too much time “getting ready” to be in business. We have now landed over a half dozen clients – none of whom I’ve ever met in person – without my having a business card. The only reason that I’ve ordered cards is because I thought it was about time I had some. :)
Conducted a Content Marketing Blueprint Discovery Call With Our New Client
The very first thing we do with a new client is to do a 60 minute call to walk them through our Content Marketing Blueprint questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to help them (and us) to gain clarity into:
- One specific buyer persona that we are going to create content for
- The problems this persona suffers from
- The solutions our client can offer
- The topics we should write about
- The lead magnets we can create to address this problems
- The blog posts we need to write
In addition to the one hour call a client does with us, we then assign them a 2-3 hour “homework” assignment where they are to involve other key members of their team to finish the questionnaire. While the homework can be a challenge to complete, thus far, the feedback from our two clients that have done so has been outstanding.
They have both told me that the questionnaire forced them to really think carefully about some very important aspects of their business, and, possibly more importantly, about the type of customer they want to attract.
Our Twitter Strategy
Being one who loves to experiment, I’ve decided to try a new approach with Twitter. Each day, I read and share the work of others in addition to my own stuff.
With Groove’s new Twitter account, I’m going to start following writers whose work I value. I’ll then start making a habit of sharing their work via retweets so that they become familiar with me. Once that has happened, I suspect they will follow me back and retweet my stuff. Given that they have larger audience that our new Groove account, this should help us to more quickly build a targeted following.
The last part of the strategy will then see me inviting some of these folks to syndicate their content here on the Groove blog. Ideally, this will give us more high value content that we can put our own call to action at the bottom of (in addition to their writer bio). With more posts and more calls to action, we should see more traffic and more leads.
If you liked this post, and want future updates on our progress with how to launch 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.
Have questions or comments? Please share them with us in the comments below.