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Andrew Gaffney

Content Marketing Strategies That Work with Andrew Gaffney

Content Marketing Strategies Expert Andrew Gaffney Interviewed on the BrightIdeas Podcast

Andrew Gaffney is the founder and CEO of Demand Gen Report, a digital publication covering best practices and engagement strategy for lead generation. Founded seven years ago, Demand Gen Report has experienced continuous growth and ranked on the Inc 5000 last year. Since then, their revenues are up another 70% this year.

Andrew is a walking, talking example of developing content marketing strategies that work. Content marketing has played a pivotal role in his organizational growth. He shares how to figure out your buyer persona and how it affects content marketing strategy, what your marketing funnel should look like, and how to combine traditional outbound with content marketing to get much better results.

Listen to the end, and I share how to get a list of all the tools we use to run BrightIdeas. If you choose to purchase using our affiliate links, you will get a bonus!

Listen now and you’ll hear Andrew and I talk about:

  • (02:30) Introduction
  • (05:16) Please tell me about your company
  • (10:30) How do you help clients understand their buyer persona?
  • (12:50) What advice do you give clients on how to really understand their buyer persona?
  • (15:55) Please tell me about the specific process you use to help clients understand their buyers
  • (18:30) How to better look at marketing opportunities to align with your business goals?
  • (19:50) How does a big piece of content fit in with the content strategy?
  • (22:15) How does the length of the sales cycle affect the value of content marketing?
  • (23:30) Please describe the various stages in a marketing funnel
  • (25:30) How have you combined traditional outbound with inbound?
  • (29:30) How has Linkedin played a part of your outbound?
  • (31:30) How are you helping clients use data to validate their assumptions?
  • (32:30) What is sales enablement?

Resources Mentioned

 

More About This Episode

Content Marketing Strategies InterviewThe Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Andrew Gaffney

Andrew Gaffney

Andrew wears many hats at his growing company, Demand Gen Reports, and its many divisions. He works with many leading solution providers to develop programs that position their company as a thought leader in their respective industry.

Andrew’s company specializes in custom content creation such as white papers, E-books, infographics, webinars, videos & social media that positions their clients as a thought leader and generates leads and sales opportunities. They have several online publications with more than 60,000 loyal subscribers providing their clients with a platform to distribute their message and guaranteeing they get to the people they are trying to reach.

Their divisions include:

  • Retail TouchPoints targeted to decision makers in the retail industry.
  • Demand Gen Report targeted to B2B sales and marketing executives with over 28,000 readers. Get your complimentary subscription!
  • Channel Marketer Report targeted to OEMs / manufactures their partner networks.
  • Content4Demand for healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, industrial, IT/Telecom and consumer packaged goods companies.

 

Max Traylor

How To Build A Successful Content Marketing Agency with Max Traylor

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By any measure, Max Traylor has built a very successful marketing agency. IMR focuses exclusively on content marketing and only takes clients on retainer. He shares with us how they built their agency, the type of customers they have, how they sell their services, and the essential role of the Content Marketer’s Blueprint.

This is a must-listen if you’re an agency principal or are interested in content marketing.

Listen now and you’ll hear Max and I talk about:

  • (02:55) Introductions
  • (04:29) Please tell us about IMR (your agency)
  • (05:25) What type of client do you work with?
  • (09:11) What were some of the early challenges in the transition to an inbound agency?
  • (11:25) Why did your top client fire you?
  • (16:55) How do you go choosing a niche to offer content marketing services?
  • (21:25) Please tell us about your sales process
  • (28:55) Please tell me about results from a recent client engagement
  • (36:55) How can another agency become a CMB partner?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

Max Traylor

Max TraylorAfter struggling as a young entrepreneur, Max was bit by the inbound agency bug, eventually landing at the role of Inbound Marketing Consultant at Innovative Marketing Resources, a young inbound market agency. Today he is spearheading an initiative to help inbound agencies close deals and service contracts more efficiently.

Max is committed to helping young inbound agencies stay ahead of the learning curve by sharing the same sales and service processes that have allowed Innovative Marketing Resources to achieve explosive growth, closing over 20 retainer contracts in 9 months and scaling the agency to meet demand.

Bill Carmody

Want Brand Name Clients? Listen to Bill Carmody.

bill-carmody-interview_0 Bill Carmody, CEO of $5M agency Trepoint, has some really great insights for other agency owners, including what he sees as the largest opportunities that agencies can take advantage of right now.

Bill also generously shares his innovative strategies for getting in the door with big name clients (teaser: it has something to do with volleyballs), and then how to do a great job with that first conversation. Actually, both Bill and I share our frameworks for an effective sales call, so if that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to check that out.

You’ll also want to listen to this episode  if you (or your clients) are in the retail space, since Bill shares how technology is truly leveling the playing field for that industry.

Listen now and you’ll hear Bill and I talk about:

  •  (03:15) Introduction
  • (05:15) Who does your company service?
  • (06:45) Do you have retainer levels or project work?
  • (08:15) How have you managed to land name-brand clients?
  • (17:45) Please tell us about the framework that you  use for the very first conversation
  • (22:15) What is content marketing for your firm?
  • (25:15) How has the way people engaged with brands changed in the last 5 years?
  • (26:40) Tell us about Facebook graph search
  • (30:06) How is technology the great equalizer in business today?
  • (30:45) What are Beacons?
  • (39:15) What offerings do you feel holding the next opportunities for agencies in 2014?
  • (42:15) Which mobile ad networks should I consider for media buys?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Bill Carmody

Bill Carmody
An entrepreneur since the age of 12, Bill Carmody has been a visionary in operating at the nexus of technology and marketing, transforming great ideas into successful marketing programs.

An expert in both the promotions and digital industry, he has been able to harness the power of both to deliver high impact customer engagement for his clients. He was a founding partner and CMO of Seismicom, a leading brand promotions agency. At groundbreaking digital ad agency Modem Media (now Publicis Modem), he was a pioneer in launching some of the first commercial websites including MasterCard.com and CBS.com as well as the first web-based contest for CBS’ March Madness tournament and negotiating MasterCard’s first banner ad on Yahoo.com. His book, Online Promotions, continues to inspire and drive digital promotional innovation.

At Trepoint, where he has been CEO since 2008, he is creating competitive advantage for Challenger Brands like Patak’s, Jose Ole, Tai Pei and Ling Ling by combining the forces of technology and marketing. Passionate about integrating wireless, online, sponsorship, events, and traditional marketing disciplines, Bill has presented at dozens of industry conferences and tradeshows across the globe.

Additional Resources

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Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Week of April 21st

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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:

  1. We published 3 blog posts
  2. Interviewed a venture backed SaaS startup CEO and had an “aha moment”
  3. We got two calls from the Target100 direct mail campaign
  4. I realized I needed a system for handling the inbound calls
  5. 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

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).

Here’s a post I wrote to better explain my thinking on this.

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:

  1. What do we do?
  2. What results can they expect?
  3. 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:

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.

Thank you,
~Trent

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.

All Traffic

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.

Traffic up to 2pm on Apr 25th

Traffic up to 2pm on Apr 25th

 

Organic Traffic

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.

Apr25OrganicTraffic

 

Conversions

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.

April 25 Landing Page Report

April 25 Landing Page Report

Additional Resources

Now What?

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.

Hey, thanks for the info. Now what?

If you need any help with content creation, we have tons of free resources to get you over the hump. Please subscribe to this blog to ensure that you never miss an article.

Have questions or comments? Please contact me.

If you really enjoyed this post, please help us to spread the word by clicking one of the social media sharing buttons.

Thanks so much!

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Why I’m Using HubSpot For My Marketing Agency

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If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a pretty big fan of Infusionsoft and love the marketing automation superpowers it provides. I also love that I can easily connect HubSpot to Infusionsoft so they work seamlessly together.

Which is why you might be surprised to learn that I’m using HubSpot to run my marketing agency, Groove Digital Marketing. However, as has become readily apparent to me, the two platforms for the most part do drastically different things, so I have not given up Infusionsoft for HubSpot. So why use HubSpot? In this podcast episode, I explain exactly why I’ve made that choice for my agency. If you’d like to hear more, download the episode or listen now (below).

For more episodes from myself and other accomplished business professionals, subscribe now and don’t miss out on future shows.

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

 

Transcript

Hi I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. And this is the podcast where we help entrepreneurs to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase the growth of their business. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re looking for proven tactics and strategies things that you can used to increase your traffic, increase your conversions and increase your profits this is the podcast for you. In this episode I’m going to talk to you about the decision that I made recently to start using HubSpot’s marketing software for my marketing agency crew digital marketing.

Now long time listeners know that I’m a pretty big Infusionsoft fan and I’m continuing to use Infusionsoft by the way. So why on Earth am I using HubSpot is well some people to think that they are actually competing competitors. And they kind of are they kind of aren’t and having now used both of them for a little while, think I been to a unique position to describe why I think you can actually make a case defending about the business that you are in for using both of them.

So in this episode, which is not going to be a long one, this is why you want to listen if you run a marketing agency and you want to be able to sell services on retainer. So you get nice predictable cash flow and you really build the value of your organization so that you can sell it one day. You don’t want to miss this one. Now if you don’t want to run the agency but you do want to understand and benefit from content marketing in your business so that you can attract and convert more costumers. Well you listen to this episode as well.

So we are going to dive into it,just a second, but before we do just a quick reminder if you want to see the tools that I used in my business and read my reviews. And if you’d like to use any of my affiliate links so support the show. I want to support you as well and here’s how I do this if you go to grabtrentsbonus.com you will see a list of all the resources that I used to run my business and if you choose to use the affiliate link to purchase any those and thank you in advance for doing so. There will also be a list of bonuses that I would give you products that I’ve created and then that I normally sell and I would give you a choice of which one of those you would like to get for free.

Alright, so with that said lets jump into this why did I pick HubSpot for my marketing agency. Well you might remember back in episode #117 I interviewed a guy of the name Robb Bailey who is a co-founder and CEO of an agency in the town that I used to live in San Diego it’s called Page ladder who can find them in Pageladder.com. And I was referred to Roband, my goodness, I can’t even remember now who referred me, so if you are listening and I’m not giving you credit and terribly sorry I should wrote that down before it there were record button but at last I did not. In any case I was referred for Robb told me about it. And I can’t remember now I did talk to somebody inmaking this podcast.

Anyway, I learned about this thing called the content marketers blueprint and you can get to at contentmarketersblueprint.com. And there is a guy by the named Max Trayler who’s running this thing. Or he is a part of it, I don’t know if he is running it, but his is definitely a big part of it. And it is a methodology for content marketing it’s probably the most succinctplan that I have ever seen and it was designed in such a way so that in agency could better than they do really good job of selling content marketing services to prospective clients. They have this document that they put together for each client done in acustomized bases. And it has a funnel in it, it’s very visual, it is super, super helpful in getting the point across of why someone needs to do content marketing and more importantly how to effectively do content marketing. So for example up to this point time with bright ideas I could produce a lot of content, podcasts, video blog posting and so forth. I predominately have had one lead magnet at the top of my funnel.

Now it works fairly well, I got a list of about 10,000 people by taking that approach. However it is not worked nearly as well as I could have in terms of attracting consulting clients if I had followed more the structure of the content marketing blueprint which basically says you need to have 3 things with your content, you need to have top of funnel content and offers.

And that is the point where people there it’s called awareness. They are looking for a solution to their problem but they don’t yet care about you or your company or any of that. So if you are trying to sell all your stuff at the top of the funnel, your going to kind of repel people.

So once they got through the top of the funnel and that’s generally your providing content it’s asking questions that people are asking. So if you have a particular buyer persona that wants to know all about the best strategies in upgrading their website and to their marketing or serverin making their website become the foundation of their marketing obviously you had create a whole lot of content that speaks to that. And if want to create some premium content probably an e-book or special report of some kind. And they can op in and download it, so a lot of us do that and I’ve done that many, many, many, times.

But here’s where the content marketing blueprint brought my attention to the fact to that some things that I wasn’t doing right cause simply I didn’t put the effort in to. You also need to have some mid funnel content, so when someone downloads that first report they’re going to get a sequence of emails that nurtures them along. And then eventually asks some so take another step and download something else that is a little bit more associated with your brand because now you’re starting to build a relationship with them. And they’re starting to thank you. Well, maybe, maybe this guy’s giving me all these free blog posts maybe they’re the ones that I might like to buy from as well.

And so when you make the offer, something like a case study would be an example of mid funnel content and more people download that they are essentially raising their hands and they’re saying “hey I’m still interested in this stuff” so then you want to nurture them on a little bit more then you want to offer them some bottled bottom of funnel content where then as not even necessarily contented for that’s bottom of funnel offers. Things like, maybe you would want to have called you to have a free marketing assessment or maybe you would like to have them come and purchase a content marketing blueprint for their own organization.

By the time people are at this point in the funnel they already realized that you are knowledgeable, incredible and could actually provide them with a solution to the problem that they were looking for a solution for way back at the beginning, when they first run over the Google and text something in to the search engine. So, how does HubSpot tied all these stuff? So, the content marketing blueprint was designed to fit very nicely on top of HubSpot. If you think about your blog post is fuel HubSpot and the way that you structure it using the methodology describe in the content marketing blueprint is really the engine. So when you pour fuel into an engine when you get is power and that power is what going to drive your business ahead.

So HubSpot makes this very, very easy to do and because this is the exact service that I intent to focus on selling is our primary and probably our only offering at Group Digital Marketing is content marketing as a service for monthly retainer. Obviously I’ve got to used drinkmy own Kool Aid, eat my own dog food, whatever expression you would like to do but the blueprint and HubSpot all this stuff that I want people to buy I’m going to be using it in my own business as well. Alright, some of you probably listening to this thinking well do in Infusionsoft do some of this stuff. And yes in fact with respects in building marketing funnel and Infusionsoft is absolutely amazing for building a marketing funnel, I love it. What’s not so amazing is on the content marketing side, if you look at HubSpot as a company they have a very, very active blog they have a lots of writers that have 44 blogs and a ton of free reports. And they get a lot of traffic if you look at in Infusionsoft their blog is not so nearly so active doesn’t have so nearly many posts.

I suspect they are working on changing that, but as a result Infusionsoft isn’t really a content marketing company like HubSpot is. And so one of the things that HubSpot has really put a lot of effort into is making it, giving you a soft work platform that essentially makes it very easy for you to follow best practices in your content marketing. And their training library and their downloadable resources is a HubSpot partner is nothing short of amazing. Let me just give you this one really quick example, for all familiar with email marketing campaigns, something that I had never really put to paper before was a content marketing campaign or an inbound marketing campaign. So if you think about that, you have to think about what’s the problem that somebody is trying to solve? Well I want more traffic to my website, for example might be something that a potential costumer would think, they might interest in some search query into goggle or ask people for help with that. So in designing an inbound marketing campaign you actually go backwards, you start with the lead magnet. So you would want to have some type of e-book that is going to be a rich piece of content that helps people that relate to the initial query.

So then once you’ve got figure out whom your buyer persona is and what their problem is you come up with your rich piece of content your lead magnet and then you start going backwards you think will what landing pages do I need to have for that particularly lead magnet wasn’t need to say of those landing pages. Okay well if you’re going to get people to the landing page, what do you need? You need to think all the call to action. So, what are my call to actions need to say what they need to look like? And then you I need to place, I got to put my call to actions somewhere than where the blog posts come to play. So, obviously calls to action with convert better if the content of the blog post is highly related to the offer that is being made. So if you’re writing a blog post about, you know how to train a cat like hold the actions is like how to train a dog. Your conversion rights going to suck because the two are very, very dissimilar. Where is if you are writing a blog post how to train a cat in a content or the rather a premium offer is five ways to train your cat to do acts in under 30 days chances of the conversion rate being higher or obviously much, much, much higher because the conversion or the offer for premium content relates highly to the blog posts.

So how does all this tie into a campaign? Well as I mentioned earlier you got the campaign which is hey I’m going to do everything I can to promote this particular e-book over maybe 8 or 10, 12 or 16 over blog posts over some finite period of time. And then I am going to measure all of the results that I got on that campaign. How much traffic to those if I wrote 12 post to 8 posts for that particular campaign, how much traffic that all of those posts get? Which of those posts converted to the best? What was the conversion rate of the lead or the Opt in page? And then the nurturing emails that went out, what was the performance of those emails how many were delivered how many were opened, how many were clicked on, how many people progress to the next page in my funnel?

Infusionsoft does not make it dead simple to do all of that stuff. Whereas is HubSpot does make it dead simple to do it all, how much have you learned to run the software of course, when there is no lack of training material how to do that. But it gives you a framework to make success much, much, much more likely to use the tool that been design use, it simply does, it has features and functionality that Infusionsoft does not have. Now in Infusionsoft defense Infusionsoft has plenty of features and functionality that HubSpot does not have so you really need to look at your business and figure out which one is more important to you and you’ve really, really focused on content marketing. Then and you don’t sell anything online and you don’t need you know like online shopping cart. Then HubSpot might be the way for you to go, on the other hand if you have a business where you want to be able to process credit card transaction plus you need a CRM system and you want email marketing and you want it tied into a one thing.

But if you’re willing to give up some of the analytics in reporting that is such a strong point of HubSpot then maybe you want to use Infusionsoft. Or like me you can tie them together and get the best of both worlds and that’s exactly what I’m doing in my own business. Alright, so that is it for this episode and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it if want to get to the show note’s for this episode just go to brightideas.co/123 if you found this valuable. By the way if you have questions just make sure you leave my comments there on that particular post and I will answer you. If you’ve enjoyed this episode please give me a quick favor and help me spread the word of bright ideas podcast all you need to do just go to brightideas.co/love there will be pre populated tweet you can just click the button as simple as that you don’t even have to type anything so that’s it for this episode, I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid thank you so much for tuning in I look forward to have you back for another one. Take care.

groove-weekly-update-post-header

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Week of April 14th

how to launch a marketing agency groove weekly header
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 14th, 2014

During the past week, here’s a summary of what happened:

  1. We published 3 blog posts
  2. We launched our Target100 direct mail campaign
  3. I published another content marketing video
  4. I created the plan for our next two TOFU campaigns
  5. I started to research the health care niche
  6. Added a new member to our team
  7. Website traffic and leads climbed steadily

Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.

3 New Blog Posts

Two of the following three posts were written by writers that we’ve hired to join our team. Within our wiki, we’ve created a very comprehensive set of instructions for how we want our posts written. The other post with the infographic didn’t really have much in the way of writing, so I did that one myself.

Mailed Letter #1 to the Target 100 List

On Friday, our first 100 letters were mailed. In next week’s report, I will share the results of this first mailing.

If you missed last week’s post, you will definitely want to read it so you can see the high level view of the 9 week long campaign.

New Video: Introduction to Inbound Marketing

After seeing a video by Andrew Dymski of Guavabox, I decided to create my own version of an Introduction to Inbound Marketing. This video will be sent to new Groove subscribers and the Target 100 list that download our lead magnet.

TOFU Campaign #2 & #3

Our next two inbound campaigns have already been planned in their entirety. Both lead ebooks are now in production. I’ve also selected all the titles for the blog posts and assigned them to our writing team.

Ideally, we’ll have all our content created at least 45 days prior to it being published. In addition to this pre-planned content, we’ll also be doing selective newsjacking like we did here (check out the volume of social shares we got).

Creating this post took one of our writers less than an hour, so it was time very well spent.

How to Plan Your Blog Posts

One of the things  I think stumps a lot of people is coming up with ideas for what to write about.

Figuring it out it much easier than you might think.

Several months ago, Neil Patel wrote a post that (basically) said the following: study your competitors blogs and re-write (and improve) any posts that got a lot of comments and shares.

For some diehards, this is too simple of an approach. Luckily for me, I’m much more interested in getting results than in being a purist :)

I’m the first to admit virtually everything I’ve ever written about has already been covered 50 times (or more) elsewhere. Despite this, when I publish my own post on a topic I’ve seen elsewhere, I still get plenty of shares on social media – and new leads.

Let me put this another way. Do you really think the there is anything on Copyblogger that you can’t find on Hubspot’s blog? I doubt it. Yet, despite this, both blogs are insanely successful.

If that’s not enough, last week I recorded an interview with an agency owner whose blog, which is just two years old, gets 35,000 visits a month.

When I asked him if he follows Neil’s advice, his answer was, “hell ya.”

So, with that in mind, here’s my dirty little secret on how to quickly & easily plan your blog post titles:

  1. Create a spreadsheet to store them
  2. Every time you see a post that covers a topic that relates to a lead magnet you have planned, re-write the title and store it in your spreadsheet with a link to the original post
  3. Hire a writer to re-write (and look for ways to improve) the post
  4. Publish it on your blog and aggressively share on social media

content-planner-spreadsheet

Voila…huge volumes of epic content that is guaranteed to be popular.

NOTE: FOR THIS TO WORK, YOU MUST BE TARGETING THE SAME READER AS THE OTHER BLOG AND YOU MUST NOT COPY THEIR CONTENT WORD FOR WORD. 

Health Care Niche Research

Another agency owner that I interviewed last week told me that he’s been having a lot of success in the health care niche. He told me that he can charge 4x the price for the same amount of work that he’d been doing for other niches.

4x? Really?

The reason for this is simple. The lifetime customer value (LTV) of the customers of his health care clients is extremely high, so his clients can (and expect) to pay a lot to acquire each customer.

At this point, I don’t know squat about the health care niche…and it’s a massive niche. To help me increase my knowledge, I’ve joined a number of LinkedIn groups and have started to extend invitations to CMO’s to be on my podcast.

In my experience, there is no better way to learn about a niche that to talk directly to the people in it.

Want to copy me but don’t have a podcast yet? Start one.

New Team Member

As I’m writing this very post, our newest team member, Juliana, is downstairs consuming our training material. Liz is only days away from giving birth to Kiana, so getting a replacement for Liz has been a huge priority.

Juliana has vast experience in writing and editing already, so I’m keen to see the contribution she makes to our growing team.

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.

Below is a summary of our results thus far.

HubspotStats

Additional Resources

Now What?

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.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

Jaime Cooper

How to Attract World Class Clients to Your Agency with Jamie Cooper

jamie-cooper-interview_0Jamie Cooper’s firm is the largest marketing agency in Idaho and has been ranked in Outside Magazine’s “Top Places to Work” for the last two years.

As you may know, I started my journey as an entrepreneur in the IT space and have since moved into marketing agency and consulting work. Jamie Cooper has taken quite a similar path, as the Vice President of Marketing at ProClarity (now owned by Microsoft) and now as the CEO of DrakeCooper.

In this episode we discuss how Jamie got into the creative services business and how digital marketing has changed the marketing landscape. If you’re in the agency space or you’re an entrepreneur looking to get into a new industry, don’t miss this episode.

Listen now and you’ll hear Jamie and I discuss:

  • (03:00) Introductions
  • (06:45) Why did you switch from software to the creative services business?
  • (11:00) How has technology and digital marketing changed the marketing landscape?
  • (23:00) How have you systematized the creative process?
  • (29:00) How does your branding process work?
  • (34:00) What advice would you give to agencies who want to attract larger clients?
  • (40:00) Do you think smaller agencies should specialize and partner with larger firms?
  • (43:00) Which tools are you using today which have proven effective?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Jamie Cooper

JamieCooperJamie focuses on helping organizations grow their brand and can be seen working on creative strategy as well as walking the board through return on investment. He can also be seen away from the office on a bike or skis, depending on the season. He loves his daily bike commute and the Idaho outdoor lifestyle, allowing himself to whistle all the way to work.

Throughout Jamie’s career, he has led global marketing campaigns, branding and messaging strategy, consumer and B2B marketing programs, database and direct marketing, and has over a decade of digital marketing experience. A graduate of Arkansas State University with a marketing major, Jamie’s career includes marketing leadership positions at several early-stage start-up companies. Most recently he was Vice President of Marketing at ProClarity (now part of Microsoft).

Supporting the community is an essential part of Drake Cooper, and Jamie is an active member of the Boise business and creative community. He has served on the board of directors or in a marketing role with: Core Concepts (advisory board), Bogus Basin, Zoo Boise, Boise Rescue Mission, The Learning Lab, IBCEE (The Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence), The WaterCooler, BSU Center for Creativity, and Kickstand.

Additional Resources

chris handy 4in x 6in x 300dpi x FC

The How and Why of Creating a Buyer Persona with Chris Handy

chris-handy-interview_0Chris Handy is back on Bright Ideas to dive into why having a buyer persona is such an important tool in any inbound strategy.

We rarely have repeat guests on Bright Ideas (in fact, this is only the second time; in the first interview, Chris shared how he built a $400k two-person agency in just 2 years). I didn’t necessarily plan on bringing Chris back, but on a webinar I heard someone explain some really insightful points about a buyer persona — turns out, Chris ended up being the mystery speaker and he has graciously accepted another invitation to offer some proven tactics on how creating buyer personas have helped grow his business.

This topic relates to ALL business people, and I know you’ll learn a great deal yet again from Chris.

Listen now and you’ll hear Chris and I talk about:

  • (03:00)  Introductions
  • (04:00)  What I’ve been doing with my Podcast and Groove
  • (10:00)  What happened at your first live webinar?
  • (14:30)  Why should I bother with creating a buyer persona?
  • (19:00)  How many buyer personas should you have?
  • (21:45)  How do you create a buyer persona?
  • (27:00)  How do you use the persona in your content marketing?
  • (29:00)  How do you use the persona in your lead nurturing strategy?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Chris Handy

ChrisHandyChris Handy is the Founder & CEO of ThinkHandy, a sales and marketing alignment consultancy in Fort Worth, TX. Apart from starting ThinkHandy, Chris has also done work for eRecyclingCorps, Easysale Inc, and EzBayer.

Chris’ company is Hubspot Certified and has an extensive inbound marketing background. Chris is a graduate of the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington in Management and Marketing and is a self-proclaimed Saved By The Bell “Trivia Master”.

groove-weekly-update-post-header

Groove Digital Marketing Agency: Key Activities and Results for Week of April 7th

how to launch a marketing agency groove weekly header
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 April 7th, 2014

During the past week, I worked on the following things:

  1. Did a conference call with our new client to go over design option for their new site
  2. Reviewed and finalized the Target 100 list of suspects
  3. Wrote all the sales letters the Target 100 direct mail campaign
  4. Created an improve landing page for the Target 100 campaign
  5. Created the Target 100 nurture sequence

Now that you’ve seen, at a high level, what the key activities were, let’s dive into some details.

Call with New Client to Go Over Web Design

There isn’t really a whole lot to explain about this one. Myself, our client, and our lead web designer all did an online meeting for about an hour where my designer asked all sorts of questions about the client’s expectations for each type of page we’ll be created for them.

Once we have a mockup, we’ll show it to the client to get feedback. I will likely include a screenshot in a future weekly update as well.

Reviewed and Finalized the Target 100 List

I hadn’t really planned to write about this, however, a reader emailed me the following:

Personally I find that the toughest thing to do is not even the marketing of IT, is the list selection for prospecting.
You could add paragraph or two explaining exactly what’s your thought process and sources when you are building that initial list of prospects in Excel to mail/email stuff to.

My thought process isn’t overly complex for this. I start by creating a list that meets a few basic criteria:

  • Industry (I chose Manufacturing and Financial Services)
  • Revenue range (I chose $10-25M)

Next, I looked at the website of every company on the list. While painfully boring, it was insightful. For example, as a whole, the companies in Financial Services had substantially newer/better websites that the manufacturing companies.

There are two possible conclusions I could draw from this:

  1. There is a big opportunity in manufacturing, or
  2. Manufacturers don’t care much about marketing

Either of these conclusions could be true and the only real way to find out is to test them with the direct mail, which is exactly what I plan to do.

Wrote the Sales Letters for the Target 100 Campaign

The company that is handling direct mail for us is 3D Mail Results. And while their website kinda sucks (it’s ugly), they do have the items I need to get my mail sent.

After talking with Tara and Travis, I was told that they needed a copy of all the sales letters that I want them to send out each week. Easy enough to do. I simply created a google doc with all the letters in it.

The sequence of the letters is:

  1. Magnifying glass
  2. Pill bottle
  3. Shredded money
  4. Trash can
  5. Dice
  6. Army men
  7. Message in a bottle
  8. Decoder Pen
  9. Round TUIT

You can find each one of these items on the 3D Mail Results site.

Below is the first letter that will be sent out with the magnifying glass. Below the image, I will explain a bit more about the sales copy.

T100Letter1The headline asks a very basic question that should resonate with someone who would be a fit for working with us. I phrased it as a question to get their internal voice to say “yes” and make them want to keep reading.

Up at the top (in red) the print is so small so that they will use the magnifying glass to read it. Just trying to have some fun here.

In the first paragraph (green), my goal is to get them interested in reading the next paragraph. When they are reading these questions, I’m hoping that their internal voice is saying, “no,” which would compel them to keep reading.

In the second paragraph (blue), I’m letting them know that I know something about them and I’m making my offer.

In the third paragraph (purple), I’m giving them some industry data to back up my implied claim that old-school marketing won’t give the ROI that online marketing will.

In the final (black) section, I’m making my offer once again in huge bold letters so they don’t miss it.

The thing to remember about this campaign is that each person is going to get one letter a week for nine weeks. Each letter will be tweaked only slightly so that it matches the 3D item that I’m including with it. The goal is to let the repetition of the letters, combined with the “fun” of the 3D item to eventually get them to call me.

With that said, out of 100 suspects, and 9 letters each, if I can land just one client, my ROI will be through the roof.

Created an Improved Landing Page

Back in last week’s report, I shared a screenshot of the landing page that I created. The more I looked at it, the more flaws that I saw and so I decided to re-create the new one below.

8wayslandingpagenew

When a visitor completes this form, they will be redirected to a download page that includes a middle of funnel (MOFU) offer that is there to:

  1. Provide more value
  2. Separate the more qualified prospects from the less motivated

I don’t have that page done yet, so look for it in next week’s update.

Created the Target 100 Nurture Sequence

At this point, the nurture sequence consists of the following three emails. Each email links back to post on Groove’s site that will have another call-to-action offering the same (or another) MOFU offer.

Remember, the goal of nurturing a new lead is to get them to move further through your marketing funnel, and the best way to do that is to continue to educate them.

Email #1

nurture1

Email #2

nurture2

Email #3

nurture3

Update: 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

I had previously promised to share some details on this, and, as many of your asked, here you go!

Additional Resources

Now What?

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.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

TrentCaricature

My Two Year Plan to Build a $500,000 Marketing Agency

how to start a marketing agency image source: thinkgeek

What do ultra-successful entrepreneurs all have in common?

Focus.

When you nail that down, you get results… when you don’t, you’re just doing busy work.

As I’ve thought more and more about my business, my products, and how I’ve been spending my time, I’ve come to the realization that how I’ve been allocating my time is not exactly (and the actions that I’m taking are not exactly) what I need to be doing to achieve the results that I’m after. This podcast discusses how I’m going to change my approach and get my business to exactly where it needs to be, with clear and precise steps. If you are a business owner or are looking to start a marketing agency, I really hope you take a listen and get some insights from how to do the same with your company.

 For more episodes from myself and other successful business professionals, subscribe now and don’t miss out on future shows.

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid: