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Agency Insights: How Julian Stubbs Built a $3M Virtual Global Agency

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?
Race For 20K Agency Challenge

Mineral Update for September 19th

Race For 20K Agency Challenge drip campaign

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.

Read more

Digital Marketing Strategy: Lead Gen Secrets from an Agency That Generated 5,500 Leads in 12 Months

Toby-Jenkins-Interivew

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

Resources Mentioned

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

Transcript

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

definitely.

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

different downloads.

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

funnel?

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

HubSpot?

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

other.

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

differences are.

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

another episode.

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

guessing.

Toby: Yeah.

Trent: How are you driving traffic? Just what content producing

content?

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

about?

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

Sheridan?

Toby: No.

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.

Toby: Incredible.

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

customer.

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

business?

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

niche.

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

funnel.

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.

Toby: Thanks.

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

months.

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

per year?

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

  1. 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

question but…

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

distinction.

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?

Toby: Trent?

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

too.

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

begin with.

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

downloading beforehand.

Trent: Really? So give me an example, which link should I go to? Tools

and downloads and Web Strategy planning template?

Toby: Yeah.

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

little bit.

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

HubSpot application?

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.

Trent: Yeah.

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,

sorry.

Trent: Okay.

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.

Toby: Yeah.

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

prospects?

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

you.

Toby: Yeah, yeah.

Trent: 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Morale for the plan, morale for everybody.

Toby: Exactly.

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

so forth?

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.

Toby: Yeah.

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

work, Trent?

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

Toby: Yeah?

Trent: Sam Ovens was 69?

Toby: Yes.

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

with you?

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

brightideas.co/mastermind.

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

brightideas.co and become one today so that you can get all

these killer bright ideas in your inbox on a weekly basis.

Thanks so much, take care.

About Toby Jenkins


Toby Jenkins 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FCToby Jenkins
 is CEO and co-founder of Bluewire Media and Social Media Online Academy.

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!