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 24, 2014
During the week of March 24th, I worked on the following things:
- I asked our writing team to write 5 blog posts
- Did a Content Marketing Blueprint discovery call with our new client
- Did a scoping call with three prospective clients (suspects)
- Wrote a proposal for a qualified prospect
- Wrote a white paper for the middle of our funnel (MOFU)
- Asked my designer to create a cover page for the white paper
- Asked my designer to create a Call-to-Action image for the white paper
- Asked my designer to create some podcast cover art
- Had one of our virtual assistants create a list of of suspect companies for outreach
- Tested our top of funnel (TOFU) automated workflows
- Created MOFU automated workflows
- Connected Hubspot to Infusionsoft using Zapier
- Created several automated campaigns for managing new prospects
- Published several more middle of funnel posts to the blog
Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.
Ordered 5 Blog Posts
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I will not be the one writing the posts for Groove.
Instead, I am treating Groove’s blog exactly like I’ll be treating all of Groove’s client’s blogs. This means that the writers that will be writing our own content will be the exact same team of writers that are producing content for our clients.
There are two reasons I’m doing this:
- I believe in drinking my own kool-aid (what’s good for me is good for my clients)
- Working “in” the business is not how a CEO should spend their time
I’m not saying that I will ‘never’ write a post for Groove, but I am saying that 90% or more of them will be written by people other than me.
One of the most common objections I hear from people when it comes to not writing their own content is that they fear that no one else can write as good as they can.
Do you think Hubspot’s blog publishes articles from the company’s founders? Hardly.
Instead, Hubspot publishes content from a team of staff writers and other Hubspot partners. Given that Hubspot’s blog is one of the most popular blogs on the web (and the company has gone from $20M to $100M in the last 2.5 years), I think that their success is ample evidence that working with writers works just fine…SO LONG as you give them enough guidance.
What is enough guidance, you ask? Well, for us, it looks like this:
- We come up with the title of the post (taken right from our Content Marketing Blueprint)
- We provide them with a detailed post outline that includes the main key points that we want them to write about
- We provide them with instructions detailed enough to ensure that the first draft is 90% of what we’ll need to publish to our client’s site
Did a Content Marketing Blueprint Discovery Call with Our New Client
I mentioned last week that we signed our first client. This week, I spent an hour on the phone with them to help them get started with the detailed questionnaire that we use to create their Content Marketing Blueprint.
The Blueprint plays an absolutely critical role in the content marketing process, and the feedback from our client was terrific.
Prior to the call, I warned them that the questions that I was going to ask them were not going to be easy to answer, and that they should expect to involve several members of their team.
At the 40 minute mark of the call, they told me that, while difficult, they were absolutely loving how our questionnaire was really forcing them to think about who their customer really is and what problems they needed to address.
Scoping Calls With Prospective Clients
At the end of the day, everything that I’m doing from a marketing perspective has a single goal: give me the opportunity to do discovery calls with qualified leads.
When you end up talking to someone who already knows they need what you do, and they have already been exposed to your (high quality) content, the chances of your converting these prospects into clients is actually quite high – assuming they can afford what you do, and have the authority to say yes.
Of the 19 leads we generated from Groove’s site, 3 turned out to be qualified enough for a scoping call.
What is a scoping call? We talk to them to find out if there is a need for what we do, and to see if they would be qualified (budget, authority, need, timeline) to work with us.
Wrote a White Paper for the Middle of Funnel (MOFU)
When we created our own Content Marketing Blueprint, one of the things that was designed was our MOFU offer. Generally, a MOFU offer is a white paper or webinar that provides more detailed information about your specific service, what its like to work with you, etc…
Think of this white paper as a very detailed brochure that is only sent to prospects who’ve requested it. This is one of the ways we filter our qualified leads from those who are just looking for free information.
Generally speaking, this white paper is about 2,000 words long and rich with images. The goal of the white paper is to convert a marketing qualified prospect (that’s a term we use to describe a MOFU lead) into a sales qualified prospect. Once they become sales qualified, it’s time to talk to them one to one; which for us, is the scoping call.
Created MOFU Automated Workflows
The workflows for the middle of the funnel are much the same as the ones for the top of the funnel that I created last week. Each workflow is triggered when someone downloads a report, and then a sequence of actions and emails are triggered. The goal is to get the marketing qualified lead to continue on down the funnel to become sales qualified.
Created a Target 100 List of Suspects
While I absolutely love content marketing, I’m the first to admit that achieving success from content marketing alone takes time. To help speed things up, I recommend you combine your content marketing with very targeted outreach.
To make this happen, I instructed one of our virtual assistant’s (VAs) to build us a spreadsheet containing 100 companies that met the criteria for revenue and industry. This first list contains one industry and companies doing $10M to $25M a year in sales.
With this list in place, the same VA will now be doing cold emails to this list in a very specific way (I describe this in detail in my course, The Best Buyer Formula). We’ll also be making extensive use of our TOFU content to support these emails.
Next week, I’ll be having her build several more industry specific lists and repeating the process so we can begin to collect data on the responsiveness of various niches that we believe are a fit for our services.
Connecting Hubspot to Infusionsoft
When I announced that I’ve chosen Hubspot as the software for Groove, several long-time readers wrote to me to ask why I was “switching from Infusionsoft to Hubspot”?
Given that I never said anything about my switching from Infusionsoft to Hubspot, I was rather surprised at the number of questions I got.
So, with that in mind, let me be clear: I have added Hubspot and still use Infusionsoft.
The reason for using both is simple; aside from email marketing, there is almost no overlap between the two apps. Hubspot is awesome for content marketing and I’m using it to help attract prospects. Infusionsoft, while extremely good at the email marketing part, sucks at content marketing because it wasn’t built for it. In fact, there are zero features for content marketing.
Where Infusionsoft shines is that, in addition to killer email marketing, it also gives me a CRM and eCommerce engine, and I need both of them.
Think of it this way: I use Hubspot to help me to create epic inbound marketing campaigns to attract traffic and leads. I also use it to help me nurture those leads from being just ‘information qualified’ to ‘sales qualified’. Once they are sales qualified, they are copied over to Infusionsoft and then we manage the relationship in Infusionsoft from that point forward.
To easily connect the two apps, I’m using Zapier.
My Results for the Week
Of the 4 discovery calls that I did two weeks ago, thus far, one has become a client and gone ahead and purchased a Content Marketing Blueprint for $2,000. The remaining 3 have the payment link in their inbox and I am waiting for them to proceed.
Last week, I left a voice mail for each of the three. One never called back, so they are no longer a prospect and are now ‘demoted’ to ‘suspect’ again and will continue to receive an email per week that is educational in nature.
Another called back and said that budget was going to be an issue and so they needed to delay. They will also be getting an educational ‘drip’ email per week.
The third called back and said that they had every intent to proceed; however, as he (the CEO who called me) had not yet received anything in writing from me (like a proposal), he didn’t have anything to share with his management team to build consensus to proceed.
I sent him the proposal on Thursday and hope to get a commitment to proceed this week.
I should point out that I’m not a really big fan of proposals; however, in some situations, they are a required part of the deal.
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.