Julian Stubbs is a brand strategist, writer, and presenter who has developed brand strategies and identities for a wide range of organisations and places – from Hollywood movie company Technicolor, to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, to the Swedish city of Stockholm.
Julian was formerly owner and CEO of Dowell//Stubbs Brand Communications, but sold the company to GyroHSR Group in June 2007, where he took on the role of Global Head of Branding. He resigned from GyroHSR in June 2010 to found UP THERE, EVERYWHERE with his long time business partner, American Eric Dowell. As Julian’s wife is also American, he thinks God, if he is UP there somewhere, is possibly trying to tell him something, and one day he will possibly have to move stateside to live and see what all the fuss is about.
Listen to the Audio
Our Chat Today
- How did you come up with the name?
- How much revenue are you doing?
- How did you start your company?
- How did you get your first few clients?
- What types of leads are you getting?
- What types of lead magnets are you using?
- What types of customers do you work with?
- Do your referrals play a role?
- What do you mean by “you don’t pitch”?
- How are you attracting your team members?
- Why do your clients care about your global model?
- Do you use offers of any kind?
- What types of tools are you using for communication?
- How do you manage finance and admin?
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.
Toby Jenkins is CEO and co-founder of Bluewire Media, a successful marketing agency located down under. Bluewire has a great digital marketing strategy, with a combination of proven standard methods and outside the box thinking.
I learned a lot during this interview, from their unique tools and templates to their co-branded content with David Meerman Scott.
Toby also shared their impressive landing page conversion stats (see them below, just under the Resources section).
And for you solopreneurs who want to build an agency, be sure to listen to the advice Toby has especially for you (it’s near the end of the interview). (For more agency Bright Ideas, check out our other posts that are especially relevant to marketing agencies.)
Listen now and you’ll hear Toby and I talk about:
- (3:40) Introduction
- (6:00) Reviews of results
- (6:40) Overview of his co-branded content with David Meerman Scott
- (10:40) Overview of templates and tools
- (17:40) How they are a driving traffic (reverse engineering search terms)
- (20:40) Overview of blogging strategy
- (23:40) Description of the Niche they focus on and how they use the funnel to identify them
- (26:10) How speaking at events fits into their client attraction strategy
- (30:40) Overview of how live events have fit into their marketing
- (32:40) How they engage with a client
- (35:40) How they overcome objections in the sales process
- (37:40) How they are using LinkedIn
- (40:40) Overview of a revelation in their landing pages
- (44:40) Overview of how they segment and nurture their prospects
- (48:10) Overview of how they manage service delivery
- (56:00) Best advice for solo-consultants that want to build an agency
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
- The Rockefeller Habits
- One Page Web Strategy Template
- Implementing Value Pricing by Ronald Baker
Bluewire’s Impressive Landing Page Conversions
- WEB STRATEGY PLANNING TEMPLATE LANDING PAGE
Landing Page Conversion: 32.01%
- WEB STRATEGY SECRETS E-BOOK
Landing Page Conversion: 60.44%
- WEB STRATEGY PLANNING TEMPLATE HOME PAGE
Landing Page Conversion: 4.8%
- SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
Landing Page Conversion: 52.75%
- SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING TEMPLATE
Landing Page Conversion: 40.97%
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.
Trent: Hey there bright idea hunters. Welcome to the bright ideas
podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast
for marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover
how to use content marketing and marketing automation to
massively boost their business without actually massively
boosting the amount of hours you have to work every week. And
the way we do that is we bring in proven experts onto the show
to share with myself and the audience exactly what they are
doing to build to make their businesses successful and in this
episode we are going to do just that.My guest is a fellow by the name of Toby Jenkins he’s the co-founder
of a marketing agency by the name of Bluewire Media down in
Australia, and they’re doing about 600,000 dollars a year with a
relatively small team, and they are just absolutely killing it
with their content marketing. They generated 5,500 leads last
year. They onboard, the way they, it’s really quite interesting.
They don’t ever call a prospect to get them to become a client.
Their content marketing and their funnel is working so well that
the only time they end up getting a client, or the only time
they ever bring a client on board is when that client calls
them. So imagine how nice that would be in your business if you
didn’t have to be making cold calls or doing those things the
outbound marketing stuff that most people don’t really want to
do and most people don’t really want to receive anyway.So we’re going to talk all sorts about how they’re using for example
templates and tools at about the seven-minute mark in this
interview, to generate all of those leads and we’re going to
give some specific examples on how they’re doing that. At the 17-
minute mark, we talked extensively about their strategy behind
blogging and how they’re sharing their content and how that is
generating a lot of traffic for them. What else do we have here?
Thirty-four-minute mark we talked about how he’s using LinkedIn
and as well at the 37-minute mark a big revelation they made on
how they do their landing pages and how it massively increased
the conversion rate so much so that they’re actually higher than
HubSpot’s own landing pages so that’s pretty cool too.And way down at the end of the 52-minute mark, Toby shares his best
advice for solo marketing consultants that actually want to grow
their business and build an agency. This is a really fantastic
interview if you’re a marketing consultant or run a marketing
agency and want to do a better job of it.Before we get to that I want to very quickly tell you about two
things. Number one if you do run an agency and you’re looking
for a mastermind group to join go to brightideas.co/mastermind,
we’re adding new members on almost a daily basis and the other
thing I wanted to tell you about was a book I’m writing. And you
can learn more about it at brightideas.co/book, and in this book
I am going to share with you everything that I have learned
through firsthand experience over the last two years in online
marketing and marketing automation as well as all of the golden
nuggets that I have picked up from the 80-plus successful
entrepreneurs that I have interview here on the show.So that said, please join me in welcoming Toby to the show. Hey Toby,
welcome to the show.Toby: Hi Trent, thanks very much for having me.Trent: No problem at all. It’s a pleasure to have another Aussie on
from the land down under. Love that about the internet, you can
talk to people halfway around the world and you don’t even have
to pay long distance.Toby: Incredible.Trent: That it is. So I’m really excited to have you on the show here
because we’re going to talk about how you’ve turned your
marketing agency Bluewire Media into the success that it is.
We’re going to walk through a lot of the strategies and tactics
that you used and before we get into any of that I want to give
you the opportunity to share with us two things. Who you are,
and a little bit about your background and just some of the
results.Toby: Yeah, sure. So I’m Toby Jenkins and I’m the CEO and co-founder of
Bluewire Media and Bluewire Media is a web strategy and
marketing firm in Brisbane and Sydney Australia. Yeah we work
with clients who are really dedicated to being number one in
their market niche. And also recently we found that clients who
we worked best for have skin in the game. So whether it’s
ownership or reputation or a real passion for what they do,
they’re the ones who we most like to work with on a daily weekly
monthly quarterly basis. It’s pretty exciting time to be in
marketing and inbound marketing.Trent: That would, I would agree with you on that one. When did you
start the company?Toby: So we started the 7th of January in 2005 and we started as a web
design agency and it’s actually a bit of a funny story because
you should say it was a week later because in the first week we
decided, Adam and I, I would register the business name, and
then we decided that we’d go on a surfing holiday now that we’re
business owners.We went surfing for a week in the first week of business and
subsequently learned it takes more than just registering a
business name to qualify yourself as a business owner.Trent: That is pretty funny. I’m guessing you didn’t make any money
during that first week.Toby: No, not much we were just glowing in the satisfaction of a new
business.Trent: So the folks who aren’t business with your firm, to give them
some idea of what you’ve built, in the last 12 months how much
revenue have you generated?Toby: So we generated just under 600,000 in the last 12 months. We have a
team of six full-time employees and some contractors coming and
going depending on what was going on.Trent: Okay so you’ve got a pretty decent revenue stream going 50K a
month is a very nice business. I’m sure many people who are
listening to this episode would love to be achieving similar
results, and the goal I have for this interview is to try and
extract as much really helpful information from you to help them
get there, as possible.So in the pre-interview you had mentioned something to me that I kind
of want to jump right into, which was that you mentioned you co-
branded a piece of content with a fellow of the name of David
Meermen Scott. So can you tell me who is he and then what was
this thing that you did with him?Toby: Yes sure, so David Meerman Scott is the author of a book called The
New Rules of Marketing and PR, and to me it really was one of
those books along with Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing that
sets a really deep understanding of why the web works the way it
does in terms of marketing and you really set a tone it really
resonated in the fact that you need to be servicing your
customer and understanding the customers problems and what have
you. We both read the book and we’re really quite amazed by it.
And we decided that was the way that we wanted to go in terms of
the marketing that we were doing with our clients and then so we
put together this tool, the one page web strategy planning tool
which was kind of based on, I don’t know if you know, Verne
Harnish [SP].Trent: I do very much. Yes.Toby: So Vern is famous for his one-page strategy tool and we decided well
if Vern had done it and we’re a huge advocate of Verne’s work as
well, we would combine these two works that we’d seen and try to
create something for ourselves. So we took David’s book and the
concepts behind Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing and Purple Cow
and decided to put it into this one-page web strategy planning
template.And from there we basically, and we were quite excited by it, that
this would be a very useful tool for our clients and for us as
the marketing consultants in the process. I just emailed David
one day and said, ‘Hi David, Adam and I both really enjoyed your
book and thank you very much for sharing all that information
and here’s something we can put together. We’d just be
interested in your feedback.’ And he came back and said ‘Guys, I
love it. Would you be interested in co-branding this if we
tweaked a little bit of the wording here and there?’ And so
yeah, we collaborated on this tool, and basically he
subsequently used it in the second and third and fourth edition
of his new rules of marketing and PR. And also used it within
his presentations for his audiences and recommends it as well.
So it’s been a really exciting journey, and he was an
aspirational contact of ours. Someone who we aspired to learn
from in his area of expertise, to be able to collaborate with
him was really exciting.Trent: Yeah, no kidding. Not to mention probably a big credibility
boost for you.
Toby: Yeah, I mean he is a big name over in the US, and certainly a big
name in the online marketing space in Australia. It’s great to
be associated with someone like that in any way you can be
really.Trent: Yeah, absolutely. So this template is that something that you
could send me a copy of so I can include it as a download in the
show notes for this episode?Toby: Yeah, absolutely. Yep, so it’s available for download on our website
along with a whole bunch of other templates and tools that we’ve
created as well, which I’ll probably dig into in a little bit a
little bit further into the interview. But certainly I’ll send
one through.Trent: Okay so let’s dig into some of those other templates and tools
now, I’m going to break from my traditional line of questions
because if you’ve got some stuff that is interesting to talk
about, let’s just head right over to it. So what are some of
these templates and tools that you’ve created?
Toby: I guess one of the things that we’ve found, particularly on the back
of that experience, was that having the support of someone like
David, in terms of creating a tool, was that we got some traffic
to our website and people were downloading it. The particular
tools have probably been downloaded in excess of 10,000 times
So we realized that basically people were looking for tools and
templates that they could use in their own businesses that would
help them to organize their thoughts and really I guess that’s
the whole premise of content marketing, to be useful in the
first place. So we set up a bunch of whole other things like
social media guideline templates, social media planning
templates, editorial calendar templates, and inbound marketing
aid and business aid books. Which are kind of aid books that
explain the templates and how to use them along with some of the
thinking behind them. On our website we’ve got probably maybe 15
And yeah, we’ve really found that further in the interview you wanted
to talk about leads but really that’s how we’ve generated an
enormous amount of leads is by offering these sort of tools and
templates that others find really useful. We’ll be happy to link
and share and all that kind of thing. So it’s been a really
interesting process for us.
Trent: Well that does segue into where I was going to go just before I
asked that last question. A lot of times we spend the beginning
part of the interview talking about lead generation, so we’re
going to do that now. Now these templates and these tools, the
templates in particular that you were just referring to, are
they top of the funnel lead generators or do you use them mid
funnel to help segment and find out who the people are that
maybe you should now be reaching out to who are already in your
Toby: Yeah, good point. Look, they are probably a mix to be honest. The
reasoning behind the template is what we’ve found that a lot of
people convert because they are looking for something quite
specific when they arrive at our website and relative landing
pages for those things. It is often top of the funnel stuff but
then I guess that e-books and the explanation that follows the
templates are really good middle funnel and really good
qualifying paths to our process.
And I mean we use HubSpot to track what people have downloaded and we
use that when we’re just about to jump on phone calls and that
kind of thing as well to see how much they’ve downloaded. Which
particular pieces they’ve downloaded to see how that helps to
qualify our discussion before we go into it.
Trent: So yeah let’s do a quick comparison between HubSpot and
InfusionSoft because you use one and I use the other so let me
explain how I do that and you can tell me how you would do it
because I’m curious if there’s any real differences. So within
InfusionSoft if anyone fills out a form or clicks a link in an
email a report I can apply a tag for example that tells me that
they have downloaded any number of reports, unlimited text. And
then there’s something called lead scoring, so then I can go
into lead scoring and say on a scale of 1 to 50 or 1 to 100,
whatever, I can say every time they download, let’s just say a
scale of 1 to 50 and there’s 1 to 5 links. So if they have 50
points they clicked 5 links, and if they have 0 points they
didn’t click any link and they’re a cold lead.
So let’s say they go and download three different mid-funnel reports
I can A, dynamically adjust their lead score so that I would be
able to see that and I can also trigger let’s say they
downloaded my mid-funnel report B, as soon as they download it I
can initiate a campaign that could include a task for me or a
member of my team to reach out via the telephone or Skype or
whatever way we wanted to. If it was email it would be
automated, but if it was a voice call we could put a task is to
say hey, you know, to call them and ask them if they have any
questions. Do you do anything really different with that with
Toby: No, not really. I mean that sounds very similar, I mean we can select
what goes out next if someone downloads the web strategy
planning template they’ll receive the web strategy planning book
which is the next step in the nurturing process we kind of see
that as kind of a nurturing process and really sounds very
similar to what you’re doing with InfusionSoft.
Trent: Okay. I kind of thought it would be but I wanted to make sure
because obviously you have experience with one tool and I do the
Toby: Yeah, yeah. I guess the other thing that HubSpot does quite well is
that it does pull in some research data around a particular
contact. Does InfusionSoft do that?
Trent: You know, I don’t think so. I think that’s one of the things
they’re working on. As long as you put the analytics code into
your site you can start to track by cookies what people are
doing and looking at prior to them becoming a subscriber so that
you can look at reports and then kind of figure out what people
are looking at before they become a subscriber. But if it does
do social media, I just haven’t turned that stone over yet. So I
can’t really give you an answer.
Toby: Yeah, okay. No, I mean I’m interested in InfusionSoft as well so we
use ours software and it’s always nice to see what the
Trent: Yeah we could probably actually do an entire episode, that’s
probably not a bad idea to be honest with you. We should do an
entire episode and say come up with 10 key marketing strategies
and then talk about how each one of the tools helps us address
that strategy. If you would be up for that, let’s do that for
Toby: Yeah that would be cool, that would be really good.
Trent: All right, folks we’re going to do that. Thinking a few steps
ahead on the fly, shazaam. All right so on the topic of lead
generation I’m on your site now and I see under tools and
downloads you’ve got a lot of different tools and downloads. So
each one of those things is generating leads for you, I’m
Trent: How are you driving traffic? Just what content producing
Toby: Yeah, producing content. Blog drives a lot of traffic and looking
into our search terms and how people are finding us. Sort of
reverse engineering our search terms as well so looking at the
ways by using those search terms and what we see through our
Google analytics and through HubSpot we come to realize what
great content opportunities there are. And we try to tailor that
content for those particular search terms.
Trent: So let me, I want to ask you some questions about that. So when
you say reverse engineer, are you really saying you’re doing
keyword research and you’re finding out what phrases people are
searching for and you’re creating content to answer those
questions? Or is it something different than that?
Toby: Yeah, so let me think about this. Yeah, so it’s a bit of a
combination. So literally you know, we have learned what
converts well on our website. Typically it is the tools and
templates and the e-books that people are searching for so by
providing those templates and tools and the things that we use
in our everyday business and consulting business we are able to
share hat and what we found is that people are looking for it as
well. So it’s kind of been a little bit of guesswork and a
little bit of research-informed guesswork I guess. If someone
has an idea, hey look what about a…
For instance, we’ve got the social media image sizes is a recent
example. Hey maybe we should, we were thinking, as we were going
through our clients and making sure all their social media
profiles were up to speed and our designer said ‘Hey look, I
need to know what these image sizes are.’ And there’s certainly
other websites that are offering the image sizes, it’s not like
we’re the first site to dream it up by any stretch of the
imagination. But it is something that we do every day because
it’s something clients need. Say when we start to look around we
realize that it is actually a really useful tool to offer and
useful page of information so we decided, okay, we don’t do that
and social media definitely gets the interest in this
environment so it was an easy thing to consider. Writing the
actual headline and content for that landing page meant that we
did a bit of research around how we were going to actually title
the basic content.
Trent: Okay, so with your blog how many posts per week or per month
are you producing?
Toby: We’d be doing at least two or three a week and have been doing so for
the past three or four years I guess.
Trent: And how do you come up with your ideas for what you write
Toby: Good question, a lot of it stems from the work that we’re doing with
clients and the questions that we’re being asked on the phone.
So we do in that sense our clients are our best form of research
because the problems that we’re helping them solve are the
problems that are probably more broadly applicable as well. And
so we use those questions and try to answer them in particular
the questions that we get asked all the time are the ones that
we try to answer on the blog.
Trent: Yeah makes a whole lot of sense. Because I mean Google is just
one big question and answering service so you’ll get found.
Toby: It’s amazing isn’t it?
Trent: It is. Are you familiar by a fellow of the name of Marcus
Trent: He’s another HubSpot partner, I interviewed him. He’s kind of
famous for his company called Rivers Pools and Spas because what
he decided to do-and his interview by the way, if you want to
get to it is at brightideas.co/27-when the downturn happened in
’08 obviously the pool business was affected in a big way. He
was spending 200 grand a year on advertising which he could no
longer afford to do so he figure d out every question that
everybody would ever ask prior to purchasing a fiberglass pool
and over the next years or so wrote a blog post to answer every
single one of those question. Now he gets an insane amount of
traffic. He’s the highly most trafficked fiberglass pool website
in the world and he comes up number one for almost every term
you could ever think of.
Trent: And he’s a HubSpot guy so through this analytics he’s able to
see that the number of visits to the site and time spent on the
site so he can predict accurately who’s going to become a
Toby: Yeah, I love that because that is really the thing that resonated
with me most probably about David Meerman Scott, New Rules of
Marketing and PR, was that he had this question was that, “What
problems do you solve?” Are you a buyer? And that was the first
question that he asked in his persona discussion, there’s a
short component around trying to describe this person. Then he
said it’s all driven around what are the problems that you
solve. And if you frame that as being ‘What are the questions
that you answer?’, then that is a brilliant example of how that
would work. Marcus Sheridan, that’s really cool.
Trent: Okay then. So have you focused on specific niche with your
Toby: Yeah, so I guess our niche is really what we see as being someone who
is dedicated to being number one in their market niche. And
we’ve changed a lot to be honest, Trent. You know there was a
time where probably 3 or 4 years ago where we had 400-odd
clients, and we are now down to less than 10 who we really do an
enormous amount of work for. And who are committed to the daily
weekly monthly activity coordinated activity that dictates that
you make 52 incremental improvements over the course of the year
rather than a wholesale change every two or three years. And
it’s almost been an attitude that’s been the most defining
feature of our target audience.
Trent: How do… I mean I think it’s brilliant what you did because 10
clients is way easier to manage than 400. But how do you, in my
case for example, we’re test marketing to dentists right now.
Well they’re pretty easy to identify, they’re a dentist. How do
you identify somebody who is committed to being the number one
in their niche? They don’t exactly write it on their header on
their website. Hey we’re committed to being number 1 in our
Toby: Yeah, for sure. Well I mean one of the things that we see if the
content that we produce and the fact that if they’re accessed
it, and how many times they’ve accessed the various tools and
templates that we’ve got typically they came to learn they
really came to learn. What we’ve found is that we put quite a
few hurdles in place, so once they’ve downloaded them we keep in
touch and we also use our IP in terms of information you can
get, free information typically we run quite a few events in the
years as well and speak at numbers of events so all around our
market and we use that as a qualification step as well to
prepare to come along to an event for a couple hundred dollars.
And then they’re more likely then to come to learn themselves,
they came to improve and so we’ve kind of got this information
education as the next piece whether it’s information that might
be free or paid, the education is definitely paid. Then the
consultation and implementation of that follows out of that as a
So really we’ve thrown education in as another qualifier in our
funnel and then also on the telephone asking some reasonably
pointed questions about what they want to be doing, where they
want to go. And it’s not that-there are a lot of people who are
dedicated and there’s lots of different ways of servicing that
dedication. Whether or not that we should be the ones to come
and consult with them and then implement it for them, there are
certainly people who get enormous value by just coming along to
the education and the seminars and that kind of thing to improve
themselves and if we can offer a service at that point, if
they’re dedicated to being number one in their market niche and
they’re dedicated to what they’re doing. We love having those
people in the audience.
Trent: So let me feed that back so I and the listeners understand. So
you’re producing a lot of content that’s getting shared on
social media that attracts people to the blog. You provide a lot
of tools and downloads to get into your funnel. Once they’re in
your funnel you have more mid funnel offers that allow them to
raise their hand as it were, to get more education from you.
You’re paying attention to that in analytics. Then when you
speak at an event, you are also notifying the people who are a
segment of your funnel that you’re speaking at the event, and
they go and they pay to be at the event, that’s the equivalent
of them raising their hand by investing in their own education.
All of those little signals are what’s telling you is that this
company is committed to being number one in their niche. Am I
getting it right?
Toby: Yeah, on the money.
Trent: All right, I think that’s pretty darn smart.
Trent: Okay so…
Toby: It’s been working so far and it’s an interesting process I guess.
Plus it means that we can scale the help that we offer to those
who came, rather than only being able to consult a very-you know
there’s only so many people you can spend face time with in the
world but you can certainly scale up your impact through the
education and information tools that we offer. So we just see it
as a way of broadening the impact of what we can provide. Also
being useful at every single point.
Trent: This approach by the way, I think you said has generated 5,500
leads over the last year?
Toby: Yeah, that was a HubSpot award which was really nice to receive. In
the most leads category for the international partners, they
have recorded us as having 5,500 leads in the last 12 months.
Their definition of a lead is an email that’s coming through a
landing page into our system so, yeah. It’s a plus on top of
that, there are people we’ve spoken to and events we’ve run and
what have you to run leads for us too. It is certainly enabled
us to capture and grow our community dramatically in the last 12
Trent: Yeah, no kidding. So speaking of events, on your site you’ve
got the corporate training, it’s under social media training
courses. Corporate training… Work strategy workshop…social
media workshop. Are those the events you’re talking about or are
there other events?
Toby: They are the events that we run sort of fairly regularly. The others
that we do, we run an event called Social Media Down Under. We
ran it twice where we have gathered lectures with 18 to 20-
minute presentations and some panels. We’ve had 16 speakers and
what have you in a day, we’ve run those twice down in Sydney and
Darling Harbor. We’ve had some great speakers there, and good
attendances. Then we ran the web strategy summit in Brisbane
towards the end of last year. And so there’s the two marquee
events that we’ve put in place as well to again assist in
building our community and helping bring great speakers and
great education in one spot for people who came to learn.
Trent: And do you find that those events themselves are profitable, or
they break even and they generate highly qualified leads for you
and some portion of the leads convert to clients, and that’s
where the profit comes from?
Toby: Yeah, they’re marginally profitable. They are, when you consider the
time that gets invested into putting those things together, it
erodes the profit that’s for sure. So they’re marginally
profitable. But then absolutely for instance from the most
recent Social Media Down Under we had an inquiry and that was
the fastest that inquiry converted from an inquiry into a sign
off and invoice in two hours. So that was the fastest we’ve ever
closed an inquiry, that’s for sure.
Trent: Yeah, that’s pretty quick. Two hours not bad. Now did they
sign…we haven’t really talked about your business model yet.
Do you do a lot of project work or are you mostly retainer?
Toby: So initially it’s a project so we sit down and talk about their web
and social media strategy for this particular client. And from
there once we’ve helped them to find who they are, by persona,
what kind of activity they need, then from that point we go into
a retainer model. So, yeah.
Trent: So I want to make sure I understand that. You’re the doctor,
I’m the sick patient. I’m going to come in and you’re going to
diagnose me and write a prescription but not actually deliver
anything and that’s a project then if I want to go on retainer
you’ll keep me healthy on an ongoing basis?
Toby: Yes, yep. There may be projects as well in that framework too. You
know if someone needs a website developed then that’s a project
of its own right, but in terms of the ongoing work, the daily
weekly monthly quarterly activity and reporting advice feedback,
that all goes in the retainer.
Trent: Okay. So what do you find your average retainer per client
works out to be?
Toby: Five thousand-plus quarterly.
Trent: What size are these clients, how much revenue are they doing
Toby: We’ve got different clients from publicly listed companies that are
probably two-hundred million to hundreds of millions to cosmetic
dentists in Brisbane who, I’m not quite sure what their turnover
- But certainly significantly less than the publicly listed
companies obviously. So again it’s a real diversity in terms of
the client but there’s a lot of similarities in their attitude
towards it all.
Trent: Yeah, would you say that it’s a fair assessment to say that
it’s much, much, much easier to someone to being a client if
they already are spending money marketing versus someone who’s
not yet spending any money on marketing. It sounds like a dumb
Toby: I completely agree with you that yes, wholeheartedly.
Trent: The point I was trying to get to anyone who was listening, if
you’re just starting out and I’ll let you answer this, do you
think that someone should go after small businesses who don’t
really look like they’re spending any money yet or should they
find people who are already spending money on pay per click and
already have a decent website and go and try to get the
attention of those people.
Toby: Yeah, the latter. Absolutely, so those who are already spending
money. There’s no doubt they understand the value of marketing
and they possibly have marketing problems that need solving
versus marketing that’s need to be set up I guess is the
Trent: And with your model how you’re doing so much content marketing,
people are coming to you I’m guessing you don’t have to deal
with a lot of objections like…let’s say that someone was cold
calling, heaven forbid, and they call up this company and they
say well you know, ‘We’re already dealing with somebody else,’
which is a pretty standard objection…you don’t probably get
that, do you?
Toby: Not often, no. We’ve really tried to practice what we preach in terms
of the inbound marketing and we haven’t. We certainly kicked off
the business cold calling, don’t get me wrong. But we haven’t
had to cold call for quite some time thankfully. The objection
is particularly more around why they should be doing it and so
that to us is not yet a qualified client, and that’s what that
initial discovery call is all about in our sales process. Is to
say, so where are these guys at from an attitude or
understanding point of view. Typically we’ll say we’re not the
right fit right now, but please you might be interested in our
Twitter workshop or our LinkedIn workshop. Come along to the Web
Strategy Summit, and you might see some value there, there’s
someone who will design a website for you for the time being. So
we take it pretty softly, soft approach on that front.
Trent: Yeah, because you never know how their attitude may change or
their director of marketing may change and that creates a whole
new opportunity for you.
Toby: For sure.
Trent: So let’s talk about….are you using LinkedIn at all?…Toby?
Trent: I think we had a little audio burp there, so I’ll ask the
question again. Are you using LinkedIn at all?
Toby: Yes, yup.
Trent: Can you tell us a little bit about how you’re using it?
Toby: Yeah so we see LinkedIn as another way of connecting with our
professional networks obviously. I am increasingly using it
through my buffer account. Do you use buffer?
Trent: I do, I do bufferapp.com
Toby: Yeah, it’s a cracker. I’ve only recently attached to it, been loving
it the past couple of months. But yeah, so a bit like Twitter,
really using it to share professional content through the
professional network and finding that a lot of people in
Australia, or anywhere, a lot more people are more comfortable
on LinkedIn than they are on Twitter. That’s because they can
really understand that it is a professional network and so I’m
not sure. We’re actually really finding that a lot of our
clients are moving into LinkedIn and becoming much more active
on LinkedIn than they have been previously. I think Australians
anyway seem to be more comfortable on LinkedIn than they are on
Twitter or some of the other social networks.
Trent: The last guy that I interviewed just before you was using
LinkedIn extensively. That interview when it’s published will be
at published at brightideas.co/80 and he puts about an hour a
day into in his words ‘adding value to existing discussions’. So
for example he pays attention to four or five LinkedIn groups
and gets the daily update email. Anytime there are questions
that are coming up where he already has some content that would
be relevant to the questions, the thread that has already
happening in that group, he then goes in answers the question
and links back to the post on his blog. In the interview he told
me that LinkedIn is his number one source of new business as a
result of that one hour a day.
Toby: Wow, that’s great. I haven’t heard of those sorts of results. I know
that Adam, my business partner, does a lot of blogging for a
couple of the different websites in Australia like startups and
those sorts of websites. He uses LinkedIn as a part of what he
calls his content promotion checklist. So he has a checklist of
what happens. You write content and that’s all well and good but
what do you do with it once it’s written? And he sees LinkedIn
and seeding those discussions and answers those questions in a
very similar way. That’s a very important part of that process
Trent: Yes, exactly. If you can have the best content in the world, if
you’re not doing anything to promote it to draw people’s
attention to it, it never gets read. If it never gets read it
never gets shared and you might as well run out of writing to
Toby: Yeah, exactly.
Trent: Okay, so on the topic of lead generation is there anything that
we’ve missed or we’ve covered everything that’s working well for
you these days?
Toby: One of the things that we’ve really found that has worked really well
on our landing pages particularly has been a bit of a revelation
for us and I think it’s contributed and fairly significantly. We
strip out the navigation as a lot of people do in terms of their
landing pages. One of the things we’ve found is putting it,
sharing the content on, say the web strategy planning template
for instance, and you can jump in if you’re online now. But
putting it into a SlideShare has been really interesting tool
that we’ve found works so then people can see what they’re
Trent: Really? So give me an example, which link should I go to? Tools
and downloads and Web Strategy planning template?
Trent: So that takes me to a very traditional looking landing page.
And then….oh you’ve got a slideshow where they can preview a
Toby: All of it in fact. So they could actually go to SlideShare and
download it from there if they wanted if they didn’t feel like
parting with an email address or if they’re sophisticated enough
to know how to do that. They can easily get on and do that. Yeah
we feel as though that’s very good, our conversion rights have
been fantastic. Even compared to HubSpot’s, converting on our
website something that hovers between 6 and 7 percent of our
visitors convert. We really think that SlideShare as a tip to
your audience is that the SlideShare helps people to understand
exactly what they’re downloading before they have to part with
their details. And yes they can go recreate it, they can
download it from SlideShare, but ultimately they see exactly
what they’re getting as opposed to having to download it blind.
Trent: So and when you capture the lead via, let’s say they got it
from SlideShare, are you able to get that lead to go into your
Toby: No, we’re not. I guess we just see that as fair exchange, I guess a
bit of a leak in the landing page particularly. But equally we
really do feel as though it has increased our conversion rates
which means that perhaps there’s a bit of leakage going to the
SlideShare direct download.
Toby: But the increased trust by knowing exactly what you’re getting, so we
included it with every single landing page that we’ve done.
Trent: So this particular one we’re looking at now, what’s the
conversion rate for this page?
Toby: Good question, I’m not 100 percent sure about that particular page,
Toby: I could find that out and send it back to you.
Trent: That would be great. Yeah. We’ll link to this one so that the
show notes are relevant to web strategy planning template, let
me just jot that down. Sorry for the silence folks.
Trent: I don’t like to hit the stop button once we’re recording.
Toby: Yeah, sure.
Trent: Okay so in terms of once you’ve started to capture all those
leads, you can’t treat them all the same. You’ve got to segment
and nurture and so forth. Is there anything in particular…I’ve
asked a lot of guests this particular question. Is there
anything that you’re doing that feel is particularly unique or
creative with respect to segmenting and nurturing?
Toby: No, not particularly. I think probably tying back to those points
that were made a little bit earlier that the education side of
it is a less challenging and less daunting nurturing step for
them to move from content into come to pay a couple hundred
dollars for an event, sometimes we want less. What we’ve found
is that allows people to get to know like and trust the classic
funnel. It’s another step in the process of trusting our work
and understanding it on their own terms in a non-threatening
environment and so this sort of takes the pressure off that next
step to leap from downloading web strategy planning template for
instance to becoming a client is quite a big step versus coming
to that event, so I guess that face to face and meet-ups and
events and that sort of thing are a way of developing those
relationships in person.
Trent: At what point in your funnel do you actually reach out to
Toby: We… I mean we’re talking in terms of nurturing and [viral email],
do you mean by emails we’re sending or sales call?
Trent: Yeah, the call.
Toby: We currently don’t at the moment. We just keep nurturing them over
time until they call us and we’ve got enough leads that way to
keep the business running, running well. And to keep populating
these events and we consider they’ll be a conversion rate from
those. People often ask at those events, ‘I’d love to talk some
more’, so we book appointments to talk to them.
Trent: Yeah, so I would imagine then that once the conversation
begins, the sell cycle is relatively short because they’re so
far pretty sold by the time they’re picking up the phone to call
Toby: Yeah, yeah.
Toby: That’s the idea.
Trent: That’s the thing I want all the cold callers in the world to
realize. You could spend hours making cold calls and annoying
people or you could spend those same hours creating content that
people are already looking for and put it out there and they’ll
come find you.
Toby: Yup. Absolutely.
Trent: All right so after someone contacts you and says yes, they’re
going to become a client. This is a question I asked my last
quest and I want to get your take on how you would do it. How
efficiently do you deliver your services once they say yes can
make the difference between having a mildly profitable company
and a very profitable company.
Toby: Good question. We’ve learned some really interesting lessons on the
way in that regard. So the first step in terms of the strategy
and what we might call our website blueprint as well, is the
scoping and the definition of everything that needs to go into
- Like a builder you need your blueprint before you get
started. So we like to do that as a discrete project. And what
we do is, or what we’ve found and discovered the hard way is
that working on site with a client is the absolutely the fastest
way to get the workshop done, that brainstorming session.
So our work, once we start up a strategy session for instance, that
will be done in anywhere from one to four days depending on how
complex the client is. And for the duration of the time we don’t
leave until we’ve delivered and got sign off and approval from
the client on all of the deliverables. So for instance a 10,000
strategy is done in two days and pre-paid. They get, and what
we’ve found is that the biggest issue with getting a project
done is sign offs and approvals and feedback is typically the
piece that takes the longest.
So what we borrowed from McKinsey Consulting and Exentric [SP]
Consulting and some of the really big consulting firms, and what
we learned from them is that they do all of their work on site
and the reason is that you get access to the decision maker as
and when you need them and that’s a pre-condition for us doing
work with a client. And then not that they have to be in the
room the whole time, they just have to be accessible the whole
time and planning out a schedule to say, ‘Okay, well for the
next two days workshop is the first four hours and the next day
and a half will be us asking more questions of your team
separately. We’ll be refining the documentation and we’ll be
getting sign off and approval and showing you what happens
throughout that next day and a half so that come the sign off
time, at 5:00 pm on day two there should be no surprises.’
There’s nothing they haven’t already seen and they should just
be able to sign off and say ‘I’ve seen it all”.
So that’s how we’ve done our strategy phases. An actual fact is that
we’ve done that for our web development as well, so say we’re
building a website. Same deal, our team is working on site.
There’s twice daily meetings. We basically take Verne’s
[Rockefeller] habits and apply it to our relationship with the
client, which is very disciplined communication, twice daily
meetings. Go through whatever bottlenecks there may be with this
particular project. Be really clear that the client knows what
they need to deliver, what’ we’re going to be delivering. It
means that you make small errors along the way, but it also
means that you catch smaller areas early rather than catching
and releasing big errors late.
We’ve found that-actually I’m in the process of writing a blog post
about it, but yeah, one particular project previously would
probably have taken us six months to get it done with the
client. We reduced that to about four weeks by being on site
with the client, and it’s a very intensive process.
Trent: I’ll bet.
Toby: And pretty demanding of the client as well as our team. But
ultimately there’s plenty of guys who talk about that sort of
inspiration curve where the inspiration is short lived basically
for any idea or any project or what have you. It’s spikes and
the beginning and sort of pattern out, so what we wanted to try
to do was sort of capture that spike of energy and demonstrate
progress and progress and progress. And every time you
demonstrate progress you can maintain the energy, but as soon as
that progress drops off, that’s when you start really waiting
through projects and that has been excruciating in the past for
- It kills your cash flow from an agency point of view as well
as a leaves a very dissatisfied client if projects take longer
than they could. So…
Trent: Yeah, there’s nothing worse for morale than projects that drag
- Morale for the plan, morale for everybody.
Trent: Very, very interesting. But in doing so you sort of restrict
geographically with who you can work with.
Toby: Yeah, a little bit. Today we fly our clients and teams fly around
Sydney and Australia to do these various pieces of work.
Trent: And the clients foot the bill for travel, accommodations, and
Toby: Yeah, yeah, all of it gets included if they just want to find out
costs. How much would this be today? And we take our best guess
at pricing and put it all together. Yeah, but again it is and I
guess that it does come back to that attitude thing, if someone
does have to be quite dedicated to have a team with them on site
for those sorts of projects and be prepared to commit from their
side. Which is where we get the best results is where the client
is really committed from their side and prepared to put the
resources in and their end as well as our team putting in the
time and effort too.
Trent: Yeah, no kidding. It does align very well with the niche you
selected because clients who are committed to being number one
will see this as a valuable and necessary step.
Toby: And I think that a lot of them really do appreciate the speed of
getting from start to the beginning of results I guess from
deciding that they’re going to go ahead with the project to
actually in that previous instance that I was talking about, it
gives them five months of testing and refinement and improvement
and potentially results that could be worth a lot of money to
their business. And that particular business is absolutely worth
a lot of money, to get the five months and have it up and
running. For that additional five months, means that they see
the ROI much sooner.
Trent: Yeah. Which obviously, if they have stakeholders to report to,
that’s going to be a good thing for them.
Trent: My last question for you is what advice would you give the solo
marketing consultant who wants to build an agency?
Toby: Yeah, look I saw that in your preliminary questions that you sent
through and one of the things that I think really changed how we
view our business was a book…have you read any of Ron Baker’s
Trent: No, I have not. Well not that I can remember.
Toby: He’s a huge proponent of value pricing and his life’s mission is to
bury the timesheet. Which is an interesting concept and he works
with a lot of professional service firms and ran his accounting
business very successfully and now talks a lot about value
pricing around the world. His book implementing value pricing
was a real turning point for us in terms of understanding how
you go from charging an hourly rate to sharing in the upside
with your client as well. And the fact that the same service for
two different clients is not necessarily worth the same amount
of money to two different clients, and their perception of value
is ultimately dictates the price that they pay.
So I really encourage a solo marketing consultant to understand value
pricing. Because it will make a huge amount of difference I
think in terms of understanding the drivers of value for your
client and will change how you can charge because you understand
what value it represents to the client. That has been to me a
real turning point book for me in my understanding of business
really as a whole. And so understanding who that is and really
being clear in terms of your 80/20 as well around who are the
20% of your clients A, that you do the best work for, B, enjoy
working with most, C, generate most of your income.
And typically those three points are the same people is what I’ve
found. Those who enjoy working most for are who give you
ultimately pay the most money often. For some reason they’re
aligned and go looking for more of those people and be very
specific around looking for more of that 20 percent rule of your
client base. And work harder at attracting those.
Trent: You reminded me of two interviews I should mention, one of them
was a fellow by the name of Sam Ovens and that’s at
brightideas.co/69. He talks extensively about how he was able to
successfully implement value pricing to create a very profitable
agency. And then the other is my very first interview with a guy
by the name of Mike McLewitt’s who’s the author of a book called
The Pumpkin Plan, and Toby, I think you would really enjoy this.
That’s at BrightIdeas.co/1
Trent: Sam Ovens was 69?
Trent: And Mike, he built a very successful business to mine only he
did a better job of it because of what he talks about in The
Pumpkin Plan, and he basically uses analogies of how people who
grow those very huge pumpkins and how they do it. And he talks
about the seed and how they prune them and the focus and so
forth. I would really strongly encourage people to listen to
that interview with Mike. One because that guy is hilarious,
he’s a really fun guy. But two because, and get the book because
it’s a really sound strategy. It will absolutely benefit you.
Toby: Yeah, thank you.
Trent: Yeah, no problem. So number…just keeping my show notes up to
date. Number 69 and number 1. Well we are four minutes shy of an
hour and Toby, I don’t know why I just like to keep my
interviews about an hour. I was talking about this with someone
the other day, why do we keep to an hour? It’s not like it’s
broadcast TV. We don’t have to fit a time slot. I think it’s
because my voice starts to go after about an hour. My last
question for my viewers is that where can they get in contact
Toby: To get a hold of me, go through www.Bluewiremedia.com/au or on my
Twitter which is @Toby_Jenkins
Trent: All right, terrific. Well, thank you very much, Tony, for
taking some time for being here as a guest on the Bright Ideas
Podcast, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the show.
Toby: Thank you very much Trent, it’s been great talking to you.
Trent: All right so that’s a wrap for this episode, if you’d like to
get to the show notes go to brightideas.co/81. As I mentioned at
the beginning of this show, if you’re interested in the book I’m
writing go to brightideas.co/book. If you’d like to learn more
about the mastermind for marketing agencies that we have go to
My one request for you is that if you could go to brightideas.co/love
and leave some feedback for this show, there will be a link
there that will take you to the iTunes. I would really, really
appreciate it if you would take a moment to do that, because
doing so helps the show to get more awareness. And the more
people that learn of this show, the more entrepreneurs that we
can help to massively boost their business through the bright
ideas that are shared by my guests here.
So that’s it for this episode I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thank
you so much for tuning in. If this is your first episode and you
haven’t yet become a subscriber to Bright Ideas head over to
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Thanks so much, take care.
About Toby Jenkins
He and business partner Adam Franklin collaborated with bestselling author David Meerman Scott to create the free Web Strategy Planning Template. They focus on clients who are dedicated to being #1 in their market niche.
The best place to get in touch is on twitter: @Toby_Jenkins. Please say hi!
Who is Trent Dyrsmid?
Trent Dyrsmid is a serial entrepreneur, husband, and father. In addition to hosting the Bright Ideas podcast, he is the Founder of Flowster.app; a business process management application that provides customers with proven playbooks for increasing productivity. In 2019, his eCommerce business ranked 254th on the 2019 Inc 5000 of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. Full bio here