Hi Bright Ideas readers, Drew again from DrewSanocki.com. As a refresher, I run an agency — Mineral.io — that is competing with Groove in a race for recurring revenue. My agency focuses on delivering services to ecommerce retailers.
I want to share some updates on what we’ve been working on, as well as some open questions I’ve been pondering lately.
Here’s a Summary of Our Major Tasks for the Last Month
First, an update on what we’ve been up to at Mineral.io:
- Built out a drip campaign on “How to Increase your Traffic Using Paid Advertising”: This involved putting both a lead magnet on the Mineral.io website as well as building out a multi-day auto responder e-course. That drip campaign drives traffic to this webinar and that webinar, in turn, should educate, build trust, and ultimately convert viewers into clients.
- I ran our first webinar – a week ago. We had about 10 attendees, and it was only a test webinar, so we ran it with current clients. It went over a lot of the same information we will cover in the next webinar, and overall I think it was well-received. Got me comfortable in front of the mic too.
- We went live with our listing on Shopify.com: Shopify has an online marketplace for all of it’s preferred agencies and vendors, so we listed Mineral. And as soon as we went live we were inundated with requests . . . a mixed blessing, more on that below . . . .
- We set up a Shopify Meetup group in NYC: We really believe in offline interaction. I know some of you may not like it because it’s not scalable, but it’s our view that people want to meet you face to face and build up a bit of trust. So, we set up a Meetup for Shopify ecommerce retailers in NYC. We are up to 60 members now and hosting our first meeting in a week at our offices here in midtown, where we will go over some of the top tactics we are seeing in paid search and paid advertising. I don’t plan to “put on the hard sell” at that meeting, but I’m optimistic that we can get some new clients out of it.
- Update on our monthly total: Mineral.io is still chugging along at around 5K a month in retainer income, we lost a client and then gained a client, so that’s where we’re sitting currently. As a bit of a disclaimer here, I know that needle hasn’t moved in months, and that’s because we got a huge amount of project work. Fortunately, it’s just the recurring part that’s lagging . . .
Two Issues I’m Currently Dealing With:
First issue — since listing on the Shopify directory, we’ve been getting a ton of requests. Sounds great- but the issue with this is that they are a lot of very low-end requests.
In other words, prospects are asking for entry-level design tweaks, or they want a paid search campaign set up, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
So, the first thing we are thinking about doing is offering an even lower-end offering. I know, crazy. But I think we can restructure our current paid advertising offering to offer it at a much lower price point; strip out a lot of the service we are doing and instead focusing on setup and basic maintenance.
We are also talking about a recurring revenue design and build product. Right now, my partner runs our Shopify design and builds, and we’ve got a great team to turn that into a recurring product.
Second issue — another large group of requests that are coming in these days are from other agencies that want to use our services to enhance their offering. For example, development agencies that want to use us as outsourced marketing services partner.
To be honest, we’ve always considered doing a white-label version of our products – we think it’s a great way to scale. We designed everything from the ground up so we could put another agency’s branding on our paid search reports or on our email and weekly interactions with our clients.
It’s very low cost for us to roll it out to another agency, and we give them a high amount of value, so it had been on our timeline for Q1 2015. However, because we are getting so many inquires on it, it may be something we have to fastrack, so that’s what I’m going to be playing with over the next week.
These were two completely unexpected issues, and it caused us to think a little bit about our current offering and try to figure out how to better monetize the source of inbound leads that has organically come out of nowhere.
Here’s a final question to you:
Should we become a 360-degree marketing agency? I’ve always thought that was a bad idea because I thought specialization was key. But more and more of our clients are demanding the whole enchilada — SEO, SEM, email, content, and design/build.
I asked some of our clients if they’d be interested in us adding some of those services to our offering and they all said “YES!”. So, right now we are playing with the idea of becoming more of a 360-degree marketing agency – focusing on Shopify.
And that’s the big question right now, I’d be curious what you all think as you all run agencies.
That’s my update! Thanks, Drew