I’m gonna step aside from the typical post today. These posts are usually meant to give you marketing tips to supercharge your business, give you an idea of what’s working now, and resources to support you…
But today, I want to tell you a little bit of my story - and some lessons that I believe apply to every business owner. I’m also hoping to share what I’ve learned to prove to you that whether you’re…
Considering starting a Marketing Agency,
Adding a marketing service as another revenue stream (yes, it’s possible),
Or whether you really want to ramp up your agency so that you have more time freedom AND you increase your revenue…
This post is for you.
As you know, there is no such thing as “overnight success”.
That’s certainly the case with me. I want to share exactly how I went from working alone in my dark unfinished basement (surrounded by spider crickets) to living in a Penthouse apartment in the heart of Manhattan in just a few short years.
And how you can do the same thing using the same model that I used.
First, Why Did I Start A Business On My Own?
Having a powerful reason behind you will keep you going, even when things get tough. And they will.
So for me, I was motivated to start a business because I wanted more control over my life. Let me tell you about what happened with my dad...
He ran a remodeling business and it did very well. The business reached the 1 million mark one year and I remember my dad living the good life: boats, vacations, nice cars…you name it.
He worked when he wanted to and seemingly had all the freedom in the world. The best part is that I was set to take over the business and work full time—helping to grow the family business.
Then one day in 2002, he asked me to come into his office and told me that he had no choice but to shut down the business. Things had turned south. Work opportunities had dried up. The projects he had on the books were all wrapped up.
There was no more money coming in. And because the preceding few months had become increasingly slow, the payables had started to mount.
He had no choice but to shut the doors.
It was a jolt to my system.
That was my plan A for life; to work with my dad.
Plan B: I landed a new job at Boa Construction in January 2004. I was in charge of the finance department and did a bunch of other stuff there.
We went from $5 million to over $23 million in annual revenue! The bad news is that we were living paycheck to paycheck and ended up facing the same problem. We had to close our doors.
This was the second time in 10 years I had been a part of a company that failed because we weren’t able to generate enough new business.
It was one of the lowest moments of my life. I felt like a total failure and the business I was so proud to have been a part of... it was simply gone. I was like so many other people, cast aside by the corporate world and out on my own. Sure, I could’ve looked for another JOB, but I was tired of working for other people.
So I decided to take another stab at it. I started my own business in early 2010. And I learned as I went. I’m hoping this post will help you shorten your learning curve so you can avoid the mistakes I made as I learned about building a business.
Getting Started to Seeing My First 7 Figures
With my finance background and a LinkedIn cache of about 500 contacts, I decided to call myself an “outsourced CFO.” I created a terrible-looking website and had some business cards made at Kinko’s. They were terrible too. But I was in the game.
I was fortunate to land my first client within a couple of weeks. It was a real stroke of luck for me, but the company that hired me felt the same way. I dove in and delivered great value for them. And I got other clients… until I had no more.
Here’s something I learned the hard way:
If you want more business, your calendar needs to start filling up.
Soon enough, when a prospect asks if you can talk tomorrow… you’ll have to tell them you’re booked. When your calendar fills up with appointments, you can start to pick and choose who you work with, raise your prices, make more money, and succeed in the game of business.
So fast forward 7 years and let’s say I’m doing quite well. I leveraged my experience being an “outsourced CFO”, created a company that I took from $0 to multiple 7 figures in 3 years.
Today, I have a company that offers a SaaS product and trainings that supports small business owners in filling that pipeline and generating leads.
The best part is that I can work whenever - and wherever I want because I have developed scalable systems for “handing off” or automating mission-critical tasks without having to do everything myself.
It wasn’t easy. There were many false starts along the way. But I was able to navigate the minefields to grow a business that works for me, not the other way around.
You Need To Ignore What Most Of The “Gurus” Teach About Marketing Your Business
(Your Prospective Clients Who Need Your Marketing Services Should Understand This As Well)
I fell into this trap in 2010. I bought a couple books on using social media to generate leads. The big “gurus” were using it, so I figured that I can get just 10% of this stuff to work for me, then my schedule will be booked with clients, right?
I learned that, supposedly, the best way to get business using social media was to provide value, to be a giver, and to “engage.” Everybody seemed to agree. Engagement was the key.
It didn’t work. I wasn’t getting any sales. In fact, nobody was paying any attention at all.
What was I doing wrong? Well, a lot as it turned out.
I quickly discovered that there had to be better ways to get in front of my ideal prospects that didn’t require me to spend 2 hours/day having Twitter conversations with random people— hoping and praying that one of these people will magically become a client.
It had to do with targeted, one on one outreach. Doable for you too? You bet.
It Takes Trust - Which Requires Proper Positioning and Consistency
I realized that nobody cared because they didn’t know who I was or why I was trying so hard to get on their radar. I was just another vendor.
How can I reposition myself as a person they welcome and actually LOOK for instead of just another vendor trying to sell something?
And the truth is, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, this is true for everyone.
Take a look at this…
A recent study by McKinsey showed that influential bloggers are able to generate twice as much sales for brands as compared to direct advertising.
Why is that? Because when your target market sees you as an authority, their guard goes down, they start to trust you and don’t question your recommendations.
This is way different than if you just hammer your target audience with pitch after pitch. Sales resistance goes up, they become skeptical, and making the sale is extremely hard.
That means you already have an “unfair advantage” against the big dogs (and your competitors) by targeting a small niche vs. everyone else who’s following what everyone else is doing and blasting direct advertising messages to a broad market.
You Need The Right Tools
Today’s technologies and the Internet makes it easier to do all of this - without it being too consuming. (In fact, you’ll be surprised!).
With the right tools it’s easier to position yourself above the fray so that prospects will actually want to talk to you…vs. conventional methods that can be extremely time-consuming and expensive.
So consider yourself lucky that you’re living in a time and place where it is now possible to reach out and target your ideal prospects without spending a lot of money on paid advertising.
There’s one more thing you need if you want a marketing agency that brings in revenue and doesn’t take all your time...
You need a smart strategy and a consistent - and effective - system.
The Right Systems and Strategy -
How do you actually achieve the right focus, one where you focus on building trust with your clients, building authority, influence, and positioning yourself as a trusted resource, not just another vendor? You need the tools to support you and also the right strategy.
It’s another cliche… but this time one that I fully support:
You can work smarter, not harder with the right strategy.
It doesn’t have to take hours to generate leads.
The key is to remember that you’re not Apple - you’re not going after the mass market - you’re going after a specific target that you can build trust with. And you CAN do it in just 20 minutes a day.
I really can’t say it enough - the right tools and the right strategy is what makes that happen. Without those two things, you can easily drown in your agency because it becomes so overwhelming.
How You Can Run Your Own Marketing Agency in Just 20 Minutes a Day
In this post, I wanted to share exactly how I went from working alone in my dark unfinished basement (surrounded by spider crickets) to living in a Penthouse apartment in the heart of Manhattan in just a few short years...
And how you can do the same thing using the same model that I used. I gave you the basic principles that you need to do that, but I’d like to give you the specific tools and strategies that I use.
I’ve created a workshop I call the “20 Minute Marketing Agency” and I’d like you to join me. I’ll be sharing everything I do now to make this a reality.
Join me for the free workshop here.
How YOU can become one of my Certified Consultants and enjoy a 6-figure income in the next few months.
- The simple 3-step process that allowed one of our clients to get 24 high-value sales calls booked in her calendar in just 24 hours.
- How you can earn a 6-figure income in just 20 minutes of work each day.
- The simple prospecting process that our client Mike used to double his revenue in one year (and every year after that).
- Finally -> How today you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catapult yourself towards financial freedom....