UGURUS https://www.ugurus.com Business Training For Digital Agencies and Growing Freelancers Wed, 05 Oct 2022 18:45:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.3 https://www.ugurus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ugurus-favicon.png UGURUS https://www.ugurus.com 32 32 UGURUS Business Training For Digital Agencies and Growing Freelancers clean 5 Surprising Lead Generation Strategies That Actually Work https://www.ugurus.com/lead-generation-for-digital-agencies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lead-generation-for-digital-agencies Wed, 05 Oct 2022 18:41:28 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=10839 When it comes to lead generation for your digital agency, you want to have a proven marketing engine. As you scale your agency, you grow your marketing engines to give your sales team qualified leads consistently. Here at UGURUS, we teach a 5A Framework for lead generation. We go into detail about the 5 “A”…

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When it comes to lead generation for your digital agency, you want to have a proven marketing engine. As you scale your agency, you grow your marketing engines to give your sales team qualified leads consistently.

Here at UGURUS, we teach a 5A Framework for lead generation. We go into detail about the 5 “A” of lead generation for your digital agency.

lead generation agency for target audience

Today we’ll cover 5 strategies for generating leads.

Find the High-Value Audience That’s Easy To Reach

I hear so often from agency owners who ‘take everyone’.

They help with everything.

They do a ‘kitchen sink’ project.

Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. It’s nearly impossible to generate leads when you’re inviting everyone to be your customer.

Lead Generation focused on a specific niche

Instead, think about a lead generation strategy that’s focused on a specific niche. Who exactly who you want to serve.

In our 5-A Framework live training, we akin this to a stocked fishing pond vs. fishing in an open body of water.

Go deep into your niche do develop effective marketing strategies

Think about these aspects of your marketing strategy:

  • Industry
  • Geography
  • Job Function or Title
  • Demographic 
  • Psychographic

Get specific about who you can serve. As part of your marketing strategy, think about their digital marketing budgets.

Small businesses just starting out have low budgets and won’t be high-value clients. Focus on lead generation for high-value clients.

Do prospect interviews

Before running in-depth lead generation campaigns, let’s prove that your niche is in need of your high-quality services.

Talk to people in this niche. Join online groups, go to local events, and call people. Yes, really, call people on the phone.

If you already have a client or two in this niche, talk to them about their specific problems. Use their specific language in your marketing efforts.

Speaking their language will always get you more leads.

Build Authority with Existing Marketing Infrastructure

Lead generation is most effective in a one-to-many infrastructure.

Use infrastructure that’s already setup

There are 3 main categories you can think about here:

  1. Content
  2. Partnerships
  3. Paid Ads

Content Lead Generation

Blogs, stages, podcast interviews, webinars, social, and newsletters. Whatever lead generation process you engage in for Content Lead Generation, make sure you’re using language and a tested niche.

Lead generation campaigns within content can be writing, hiring a ghostwriter, or VA to help with content creation.

Examples of Content Lead Generation: Blogs, stages, podcast interviews, webinars, social, and newsletters

You can transcribe videos you’ve created or other content you’ve shared with paid clients or as a value add content.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization can serve as a tool on a one-to-many channel. Effective, helpful, human-written content can get you new leads and prospective clients.

If delivering content is part of your digital strategy, remember that you can repurpose content you’ve already written, recorded, or otherwise created.

Search engine optimization can be an effective tool for agency lead generation.

Social Media Marketing For Agency Lead Generation

Social media marketing has exploded and serves as an effective one-to-many marketing channel. You can use social media pages to build authority and attract new leads and prospective clients.

Use Content You’ve Already Created

Many times, you can use content that you already have created rather than creating lead generation content from scratch.

If you already have a few clients in your agency, look at where these qualified leads came from. Ask them how they found you, where they were looking, and why you.

This will help you craft your lead generation efforts to exactly who you want to work with.

Speak Their Language

Get inside your ideal customer’s head. This makes lead generation a breeze. You are saying exactly what they’re thinking.

You build immediate trust. You are the authority. They want to work with you because you understand their pain points before you even meet.

When your use appointment setting, messaging on your lead generation eases the entire sales funnel from start to finish.

Do client interviews

Record them. Go back and listen to them. Pull out specific words, problems, and insights from them.

Don’t project and don’t make up their language. Let them pave the way to seamless lead generation.

When you’re speaking with potential clients through your appointment setting sales funnel, knowing their problems and speaking their language will ease the conversation.

They do not have to explain the pain points because your setter team already understands those.

Their just agitating them because you have a known and proven solution.

Build Your Authority

Being an authority in your niche is another way to pave the way to easy lead generation.

When you work with a specific niche, you’re not figuring it out every step of the way on a project.

You know their industry just as well as they do. Lead generation becomes a breeze because you have such a reputation in their industry they are seeking you out.

You’ve proven time and again that you’re the expert.

You’ve known in your niche as the expert. Your agency is known for doing the highest quality work.

Your agency is known for its ability to solve the niche’s biggest problem.

Whether you are a lead gen agency, a digital marketing agency, an SEO agency, a social media agency, or a website development agency, you’re the expert.

As you start to define your niche and build authority, you can develop parallel relationships with complementary agencies to develop even more lead generation.

A note on quality

When it comes to lead generation, more isn’t always better.

Let’s say that you have 10 leads per month coming in, but zero clients; increasing that to 100 leads from the same source may not work for you.

If you can get 10 leads coming in from a different source and get 1 or 2 clients, that’s a more quality ‘pond’ to fish.

Find a quality source (or pond) for these leads, then think about scaling content, budgets, or other inputs to achieve more lead generation.

Follow Up From Lead Generation

When you start lead generation activities, it’s important to have a defined path for these leads.

For example, are they going into an appointment setting funnel? Once they fill out lead forms, how do they get to the sales team?

Are you running regular webinars or live trainings to build authority and warm up your new leads?

Do you have an application or other lead form setup to qualify these leads?

Popular lead magnets can be a great entry path, but make sure you have a nurture funnel built to lead them to the sales team or otherwise qualify them to work with you.

We’ve worked with thousands of digital agencies on lead generation.

A Real World Account Of This Lead Generation System

Here from an agency owner like you who used our UACADEMY program to get more leads.

Before UACADEMY, I was doing everything wrong.

“I was guessing what my client’s needs were…”

I was guessing what the client’s needs were, I was cutting prices, and worst of all, I had no system for effectively generating new leads.

I needed help, so I enrolled in UACADEMY.

Once I learned how to implement the right systems, based on having clear strategies, consistency, and accountability, my business gained incredible momentum.

Now my business is thriving.

Here are the three keys to creating a lead generation system that will help you grow faster than you ever imagined.

Having a Clear Strategy For Lead Generation

People typically go wrong by trying to connect with everyone. You must connect with the right people to experience growth. You’ll need clear marketing strategies for this.

We’ve been nicknamed the “LinkedIn Gangsters” because we do a ton of lead generation through LinkedIn.

We like LinkedIn because it allows us to target specific types of people and connect with them fairly easily.

We dialed in our lead generation and lead generation strategies with LinkedIn.

By reaching out to the right types of people, we’ve been able to build a strong network and generate leads.

Our strategy has allowed us to create over 3,500 new connections. While that number is impressive, it’s even more impressive that these connections typically lead to one or two new clients each month.

We don’t have to sell them right away.

We just have to connect.

Then, when we post to social media, they have the opportunity to follow our business, gain value from our work, build trust and eventually hire us.

You’ll need to develop clear marketing strategies that are right for your business.

No one else knows what you need, but know that reaching your ideal clients is key. Once you have a lead generation strategy clearly defined, you’ll need to implement it consistently.

Finding Consistency

Finding time for lead generation is one of the greatest struggles web professionals have.

You must continuously work your system.

No matter how busy we get, we dedicate 60-90 minutes a day to lead generation. It’s a top priority.

And because we’re consistent, we get 90% of our high-quality clients through our system.

If you get overwhelmed trying to do lead generation along with client work, try farming it out.

But make sure it’s happening every day.

It takes up to three months to generate momentum. Consistency in your strategy is the only way to achieve this. Then, once you’ve created that momentum, never stop.

Make your system a priority every day, and it will pay dividends.

But it’s easy to use busyness as an excuse for not pursuing new leads. You’re going to need some accountability to someone other than yourself.

Community-based Accountability

Before I enrolled in UACADEMY, I was desperate for specific lead generation strategies I could implement right away. But implementation wasn’t enough. I needed accountability.

I’ve been in business for a lot of years, and I’ve only had a few people I could reach out and talk to openly. But it wasn’t consistent, and I didn’t share everything.

Once I found the UACADEMY Community, I immediately knew I was in the right place.

Because this community is working through similar struggles within the same industry, they’re able to offer specific advice. This group of peers is important for accountability.

The community is a huge part of learning about new ideas, creating better systems, implementing those systems, and being held accountable for what works and what doesn’t.

Finding the $10K Community has created transformative change in my business and life.

Start Getting More Leads Today

The best way to start getting more leads today is to register for our next small-group training focused on lead generation.

Register: Lead Generation For Your Digital Agency

Secondly, schedule a call with the UGURUS team to ask specific questions about lead generation strategies specific to your agency and nice.

Even if you don’t want to join UACADEMY, we’re still happy to help solve your lead generation problems and get you set on the right track.

agency lead generation

Connect with Like-Minded Agency Owners

We have a robust community of digital agency owners working together and learning from each other. We offer this group free coaching from the UGURUS mentor team and staff.

Agency Owners Looking For Leads

The community is free to join at this point in time.

Join the Profitable Digital Agencies group.

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Level 10 Meeting: The Game-Changing Meeting Structure You Need https://www.ugurus.com/level-10-meeting/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=level-10-meeting Tue, 30 Aug 2022 15:47:26 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=10573 The Level 10 meeting can bring clarity, direction, and connection to your team. The L10 meeting agenda makes it easy to know exactly what issues and topics to focus on to make the most out of your time together. The Level 10 Meeting is the game-changing meeting structure you need in your digital agency Your…

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The Level 10 meeting can bring clarity, direction, and connection to your team.

The L10 meeting agenda makes it easy to know exactly what issues and topics to focus on to make the most out of your time together.

The Level 10 Meeting is the game-changing meeting structure you need in your digital agency

Your team will love the organization and outcomes of these meetings.

I first read about the Level 10 meeting in Gino Wickman’s book ‘Traction.’

We’ve implemented the L10 meeting agenda at UGURUS for years.

The Level 10 Meeting has been a game-changer for our team

As simple as it is, there are many moving parts to a Level 10 meeting agenda.

But the great news is that this is the same agenda you can use for all your digital agency’s weekly meetings.

That means you can always use your time effectively.

Level 10 meeting agenda template

The Level 10 Meeting Agenda Items

L10 Meeting Agenda Item #1: The Segue

Start all your Level 10 meetings on a positive note by talking about “business bests” and “personal bests”. 

This is the time that you all get to share some good news about your work and home life.

So maybe Jane’s business best is she had a record-breaking sales week and her personal best is that she bought a new cat.

This should provide a good segue to the next part of the agenda, which is…

Agenda Item #2: Scorecard

This is where you discuss hits and misses. 

Identify some of the most important metrics you track in your agency…

And have the people responsible for those metrics report whether they’ve hit or missed their targets.

Keep in mind that this is not the time to address issues (that part comes later in the meeting).

So, just stick to reporting the hits and misses.

L10 Meeting Agenda Item #3: Rock Updates

In the context of a Level 10 meeting…

Rocks” are projects that take up a full quarter’s worth of work.

These are separate from pebbles, which are your day-to-day responsibilities.

So, use this time to assign “rocks” to your team members…

Or get updates from past rocks you’ve delegated.

If a rock is off-track, you’ll have time to tackle it later in the meeting.

Remember: we’re still just getting through some updates.

Agenda Item #4: Customer/Employee Headlines

Now, headlines are just info shares on your employees and customers—whether good or bad.

Like how one employee had a record performance last quarter…

Or how one customer is having a really hard month.

And again, this should not be treated as a clandestine opportunity to bring in issues.

It’s just sharing good or bad updates… newsfeed style.

Any issues that might come up?

Put a pin on those for later.

L10 Meeting Agenda Item #5: To-Do List

Take some time to run through the to-do list you set up the previous week.

Then, classify tasks between what’s done and what’s still in progress.

Ideally, everything on your to-do list will be 7-day action items…

Which makes your weekly Level 10 meetings perfect for checking if everything that was supposed to get done in the past week actually got done.

Agenda Item #6: Issue List

Finally, we’ve arrived at the part where you can—

  • Identify
  • Discuss
  • And solve issues in your agency

Now, I’ve been telling you to hold off on any issues that come up.

Some weeks, those issues will be few.

In other weeks, there might be too many.

But remember, the Level 10 meeting is not meant to tackle every single issue your team’s been having.

So, just identify three of the biggest priority issues that need to be resolved right away…

And use the biggest chunk of your meeting to tackle them.

Once an issue is solved, take it off the list.

L10 Meeting Meeting Agenda Item: Wrap Up

Once you’ve gone through your top three priority issues, it’s time to wrap up.

Apart from summarizing to-do lists and next steps before your next meeting…

Use this time to have your team rate the meeting.

That’s why it’s called a Level 10 meeting –

Everyone gets to rate how it went on a scale of 1 to 10

Of course, your goal is to get a real Level 10 meeting.

If your meeting gets a lower rating, ask why.

Was too much time spent on a single issue?

Was it rushed?

Then use the feedback to make the next one even better.

Level 10 Meeting Agenda Template

Get the Level 10 Meeting Agenda template that we use for our team.

Crack open efficiencies in your Digital Agency today.

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Get High-Value Leads For Your Agency https://www.ugurus.com/get-high-value-leads-for-your-agency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=get-high-value-leads-for-your-agency Wed, 18 Aug 2021 16:36:54 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=7067 High-value leads in your Digital Agency mean a consistent flow of income, projects, and predictability. I teach the basics of attracting high-value leads in my free 5A Framework Training. This is a live training we do, usually, once a month focused on lead gen for your digital agency. Sign for the free lead gen training…

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High-value leads in your Digital Agency mean a consistent flow of income, projects, and predictability.

I teach the basics of attracting high-value leads in my free 5A Framework Training. This is a live training we do, usually, once a month focused on lead gen for your digital agency.

Sign for the free lead gen training for free.

You’re sick of dealing with tire kickers and low-value clients. You want high-value leads. You need a way to attract prospects who can drive revenue and help you to scale.

That’s what you’ll get with our “10K Client Pipeline”.

Calendar showing value of high-value leads in your digital agency

What happens when your agency can’t attract high-value leads?

You get stuck with the time-wasters and the difficult clients.

You know—the clients who constantly demand more from you. They want to get every last drop of service without paying for the privilege.

They also drain you of your energy. Maybe they’re even making you question why you’re doing this in the first place!

It’s time to create a change in your agency.

And here’s the way to do it…  

You focus on attracting the high-value prospects that you need to move forward. But before you can do that, we need to dig into the key problems you face in creating that pipeline.

The Problems With Finding High Value Leads

The biggest problem you probably face in your agency right now is that you don’t have enough leads.

More leads = you can be more choosey about who you work with.

The calendar might not have many appointments scheduled and you’re struggling to see where your next batch of leads will come from.

On top of that, you’re human! So you probably hate cold calling. A lot of people in the sales world feel guilty about this.

But the reason you’re not making sales that way is that 99% of society—including me!—think cold calling is about the last thing they want to be doing.

The problem is that you don’t have a system in place right now that eliminates the need for it. You might have to resort to it just to get a few extra leads for your sales team, which doesn’t help your agency in the long run. You’re forced to take those less-than-desirable clients, and the cycle starts all over again.

Finally, you have the issue of not attracting the right types of leads.

How many people are you talking to right now who aren’t serious buyers? They’re window shoppers. Or they don’t have the right budget for your services.

These are the prospects who waste your time. They stop you from focusing on the high-value prospects who can pay for the value that you offer. You need to have fewer tire kickers and more people who can buy.

The Opportunities When You Find High-Value Leads

First, I want to put you in an environment where leads come to you. You’ll have a consistent source of interested people who want you to help them solve problems in their businesses.

I want you to have 3 to 5 appointments on your calendar every week that you feel excited about.

On top of that, I want you to have clients who have budgets. These people have money to spend. They’re not window shoppers who just waste your time. They know that they need help and they’re ready to buy.

I also want you to have clarity.

That means making your next steps super clear, so you know how to market your business to these high-value prospects.

Ultimately, I want you to have a full pipeline of awesome clients. And to help you get to that point, I’m going to show you the key principles of our 10K Client Pipeline.

Principle #1 – Find Your High-Value Niche

The key here is to find and market to a niche that has high-value prospects with market infrastructure. And this niche will drive qualified prospects to your door.

Now, many people think of niching as though it’s a business plan. They think their agency’s whole world will revolve around that niche. And it might come to that one day. But for this, I want you to think about niching on the campaign level.

That means you’re not going to immediately marry your agency to the niche you’ve chosen to pursue. You’ll probably go through a bunch of niches before you land on the right one anyway.

I’ve told people many times that digital agencies are my 13th niche. I’ve gone through many options and angles, but this is the one I’m most passionate about. That may happen for your business one day, but it’s not how you need to think now.

To find your niche, start with the 7% Rule. Companies typically spend about 7% of their revenue on marketing and advertising. So, if my business has $100,000 in revenue, I’m spending about $7,000 per year on marketing. Furthermore, I’m splitting that budget between a range of marketing assets. PR, website, advertising, etc.

Now, I want you to think about that rule in the context of the services you offer. Is a $7,000 client, assuming they invest all of that money in your services, worth your time?

Probably not.

That means you’ve got to look for companies that earn enough revenue to afford you. This is your high-value niche, but you’ve got to dig deeper into it before you start marketing…

Principle #2 – Get in Your Customer’s Head

Start thinking in terms of what your customers care about. Their frustrations, fears, wants, aspirations, and problems are all things that you need to know.

Ask yourself a simple question:

What does your customer want to accomplish online?

Nobody wakes up in the morning and wants to buy a website. Nobody wakes up wanting to pay Facebook for advertising. These things are done because they’re a means to an end.

You’ve got to figure out what’s driving your customers. Typically, it boils down to at least one of the following four things:

  1. Money
  2. Time
  3. Status
  4. Happiness

Anything you produce should help your customers achieve one of these things. For example, you might help them streamline their marketing so they get more of their time back. Or you create an ad campaign that generates more leads, which results in more money for them.

Figure out what they want and position your service as the solution.

Principle #3 – Upgrade Your Language

Speak about your services in terms that your customers care about. Tie what you do to the outcomes they can get if they work with you.

There’s a great quote from Dave McClure, of 500 Startups, that applies here:

“Customers don’t care about your solution. They care about their problems.”

Nobody cares that you’re a funnel designer or that you build websites. They care about what that service does for them. So, put your service in the context of their lives.

For example, you could say:

“I build websites because I want to help restaurants get more customers, so they can have amazing dinners and connect with their families and friends.”

That’s very different from “I build websites.” If I’m running a restaurant, my ears just perked up upon hearing that. You’ve just told me what you do and why you do it.

When it comes to upgrading your language, that last part is key.

Principle #4 – Build Your Path to Customers

You need to align your marketing to build awareness and attract customers—ultimately leading them to a phone call with you.

To do that, you’ve got to think about the key numbers in your agency. These numbers aren’t the amount of likes or Facebook comments that you get. They’re the number of appointments you’ve got in your calendar or the number of sales you made from the leads you generated. 

And to boost these numbers, you’ve got to clear away the obstacles in your customers’ path to you.

There’s this awesome book called Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. It’s about website usability and it’s got the perfect title for this principle. Your client should never have to think about the next step. If they read an article, they should see a clear CTA at the end. If they watch a video, you’ve got to tell them what to do next.

When you clear the path for your clients, the key numbers in your business go up.

Principle #5 – Work Proven Systems, Not Shiny Tactics

Stop getting distracted with the new and shiny marketing that everybody else is doing. You don’t need to feel guilty if you’re not vlogging or Instagramming or Snapchatting every day.

The shiny tactics don’t matter. It’s the systems you build that drive leads.

Think in terms of where you’re getting traffic and awareness for your digital agency. Where is that traffic going? Is it somewhere that’s going to build awareness of the problems you solve? Will it drive conversation or get your prospects to opt into something?

Ask those questions of all of the systems in your agency. Figure out which ones work and focus on those, rather than chasing new tactics.

Build Your Pipeline

Ultimately, the systems you build determine the quality of the leads coming into your agency.

If you’re attracting tire kickers and low-quality leads, there’s something wrong or missing with your systems. 

With these five principles, you’ll build a pipeline that attracts high-value clients to your agency.

But you also need to know how to convert those prospects when they come to you. And how to manage more projects once you’ve won those deals!

Agency Accelerator Package
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Recurring revenue: how to get started https://www.ugurus.com/recurring-revenue-how-to-get-started/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recurring-revenue-how-to-get-started Mon, 19 Jul 2021 19:56:23 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6846 When you don’t have recurring revenue, your agency is constantly in crisis. You’re always searching for the next client, and your quality of service can suffer. Our Recurring Revenue Package Builder is the answer. Every digital agency needs to plan for recurring revenue. You need to have recurring packages that you sell alongside your standalone…

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When you don’t have recurring revenue, your agency is constantly in crisis. You’re always searching for the next client, and your quality of service can suffer. Our Recurring Revenue Package Builder is the answer.

Every digital agency needs to plan for recurring revenue. You need to have recurring packages that you sell alongside your standalone work.

Having those recurring packages gives you more stability and peace of mind. You’ll know that you have a certain amount of money coming in each month. That means you can plan around that guaranteed income when you scale your agency.

Of course, you also need to build those recurring packages, which is where many agency owners run into trouble. Right now, you might have one of two problems: either you don’t have recurring packages at all…or you have them and they’re not working.

With the Recurring Revenue Package Builder, I’m going to show you how to get it right. But to start, let’s discuss…

The Problems

Are you confident in your packages? You might be second-guessing your offers so much that you lack the confidence to move on to other areas of your business. 

This is one of the main issues that I want to confront with this article. It’s okay to have a set of good-enough “Version 1” packages, as long as you’re selling them consistently. You don’t need to get everything perfect straight away. You can make tweaks along the way to every package that you create.

You just need to have the confidence to create and sell whatever works in the first place. If you don’t have that confidence, you won’t be able to sell any packages.

But maybe you don’t have any packages to sell at all. That means you haven’t started creating recurring revenue yet.

You might be making things more complicated than they need to be. Are you working yourself up over not having any recurring revenue? That starts to create unnecessary fear in your mind, out of all proportion to reality. You might end up thinking that it’s too hard to put recurring packages in place at all. 

And so you don’t do it. 

You ultimately think that your packages aren’t going to sell. That means you don’t even make the offer because you’re operating under this false assumption.

The Opportunities

There are several opportunities that you can create with the Recurring Revenue Package Builder.

The first is that you get clear client outcomes. You get super-focused on the end result that you are delivering, so you can build it into your packages.

That clarity will also help you to determine the correct pricing for your packages. You’ll build out your client avatars so that you can price your packages based on each avatar’s needs. This is the most powerful way to build these packages. Once you know what the client needs, you can start designing your features.  

Finally, you’ll discover how to create value. I remember trying to build recurring revenue using $25 and $50 monthly hosting packages. But once I got wise to the fact that clients will pay more for great value, I quadrupled my agency’s revenue.

Now…how does having thousands of dollars of recurring revenue flowing into your business sound?

To make it happen, you need to implement these five principles.

Principle #1 – Unpack Your Possibilities

The worst place to build a strategy is inside your own head. That’s why I always recommend unpacking your possibilities as the first step.

The goal here is to get every idea–good and bad–out of your head and onto paper. Dump all of the puzzle pieces out onto the table. This allows you to take a full inventory of all of the services that you could offer as part of your packages.

You’ll also start to gain clarity on the outcomes that you can deliver to your clients.

Once you have all of your ideas on the table, you can start lining them up. You can look at your desired outcomes and pick out the minimum number of services needed to reach those outcomes.

For example, let’s say your client wants more leads.

You may have 50 different ways to do this for them. But by unpacking the possibilities, you have the chance to choose the very best way. You can then build it into a package that you know will get results for clients.

Principle #2 – Aim for Three

Most people like to buy things that come in three different versions. Apple sells the iPhone in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB memory sizes. When I go to Starbucks, I can get the tall, grande, or venti.

Of course, these companies can have variations and other things that sometimes break these rules. But they tend to stick to three or four packages and build from there.

The rule of three is what you need to aim for when building your packages. You don’t want to come to a client with 10 different options. That’s just going to leave them feeling confused and less likely to sign up.

Stick to three (or two/four if your market needs it) and you simplify things while making it easier for clients to say “Yes.” 

Principle #3 – Price Your Avatar

This is something that’s worked extremely well for me over the last 20 years.

When I think of my clients, I imagine them moving through the stages of their business. Take restaurant owners as an example. They’re either just starting, they’ve hit a plateau, or they’re in a growth phase.

Each of these stages has different needs, which you can use to build out an avatar for each one. And to each of those avatars, you offer a package that suits their needs and has an appropriate price.

My favorite analogy for this is the difference between coach and first-class on a plane.

Airlines know that they have certain types of buyers who want to travel first class. And their goal is to give those passengers a first-class experience by providing various perks, such as free drinks.

In return for that extra value, the airlines charge a lot more for a first-class ticket. They make an insane profit margin because they offer a little extra value.

Now, the guys in coach still get what they expect from the service. And they may even be able to land a few perks themselves. However, they’re going to pay a lower price because the airline prices those tickets to a different avatar.

This is what you need to do with your packages. Figure out who’s going to buy at each level and price accordingly.

Principle #4 – Make Your Offer Compelling

You need to ensure that each of your plans has something compelling built into it. This is the wow factor that makes your package irresistible to your prospects.

Here are some examples:

  • A free month if they buy a 6 or 12-month package 
  • A money-back guarantee 
  • Bonus deliverables, such as a free website if they sign up for a year 

This is all stuff that’s really compelling to your audience. And it’s also stuff that you can offer within the package and won’t take a huge chunk out of your profits.

I love Dean Jackson’s way of looking at this…

He says that it’s more powerful to make a compelling offer than a convincing argument.

Don’t argue with your clients about why they should sign up for your packages. Just give them a really sweet deal so they feel compelled to do it.

Principle #5 – Validate Your Thinking

You can’t create in a vacuum. 

If you’re sitting in your office trying to come up with packages on your own, you’re making a mistake. You need to get your clients involved so they can provide you with some insight.

Draft up the first version of your offer and start selling it. But as you do, talk to your clients and get feedback on the package. Ask them what’s working and what you need to tweak. Figure out which parts of the package get them the best results.

If you’re trying to figure all of this out on your own, it’s like you’re trying to ballroom dance by yourself. It’s awkward, it probably doesn’t work well, and you likely won’t have as much fun.

But when you involve your clients, you have a dance partner. And together, you can create something that benefits both of you.

Building Recurring Packages Isn’t as Complex as You Think

Now it’s time to take action on what I’ve shared here.

That will solve a lot of your problems. Use these principles to get the first versions of your packages out there. Start selling those versions and then talk to the early adopters. Work with them to make tweaks until your recurring packages offer what your clients want.

And you’re just getting started.

I have so much more to show you about building recurring revenue packages. But to learn more, you need to become a member of UACADEMY.

Do you want to find out how?

Apply today for a FREE strategy session where we’ll discover if you’re a good fit for UACADEMY.

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How to improve sales using your intellectual property https://www.ugurus.com/how-to-improve-sales-using-your-intellectual-property/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-improve-sales-using-your-intellectual-property Mon, 26 Apr 2021 16:17:17 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6682 Are you sitting on a goldmine? Are you relying on your “years of work”? Get intellectual property out of your head and onto your bottom line. You need to be competitive in today’s landscape. There are more agencies out there offering services than ever before.  But you have an unfair advantage… You have experience you…

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Are you sitting on a goldmine? Are you relying on your “years of work”? Get intellectual property out of your head and onto your bottom line.

You need to be competitive in today’s landscape. There are more agencies out there offering services than ever before. 

But you have an unfair advantage…

You have experience you can draw upon to create your processes.

The thing is, you probably take this advantage for granted. Instead of leveraging it to delight your clients, you’re just using it without thinking about it.

It’s time to change that.

It’s time to take all those amazing processes you’ve created and turn them into defensible intellectual property.

The processes you use are actually your property. And you need to establish that to the world, so you can show your clients the value you offer that nobody else can.

That’s what we’re going to look at in this article. But before we do, let’s confront some of the problems you might be dealing with right now.

The Problems

The key problem here is that X years of experience is not enough to sell your services to a client in the current landscape.

Saying that you have 15 years of experience doesn’t have the effect you want it to have. In fact, I think that a lot of people just don’t care about how many years you’ve been working. They care about all the stuff that’s in your head, and how you’re going to use it to help them solve their pain points.

That brings us to another problem…

You have all this great stuff in your head. But you might struggle to get it down on paper so you can explain it to clients in a way that they’ll understand.

That’s why you go for the easiest explanation.

You tell your clients that you build websites, for example. But that doesn’t make you any different from the dozens of other agencies out there doing the same thing. How’s a potential client supposed to decide to choose you when they have so little information?

They’re not going to. Instead, they’re going to pick the agency that offers the lowest price, if they think every agency offers the same thing.

Beyond this, you might also struggle to get predictable results. Because you haven’t unpacked your IP, you’re not leveraging a framework that you know will work every time.

And this inconsistency can ultimately cost you clients, as some of them simply won’t get results. And that means your agency loses out on revenue…and could even develop a negative reputation.

The Opportunities

You have a number of opportunities open to you when you unpack your IP.

The biggest is that you get the chance to build assets. Instead of relying solely on your experience and intuition, you’ll have proven processes to follow.

You get to turn your knowledge into something tangible that will delight your clients. Whether it’s a process, model, or framework, you’ll have something you can use to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

You’ll turn your experience into something defensible. Because you’ve defined it, nobody else can claim it. Nobody can claim to offer what you offer, because it’s unmistakably yours.

And finally, you can create a consistent outcome. With your IP in place, you’ll have the frameworks you need to deliver every time. You can think of your IP as your cookie cutter. Every time you use it, you get the same outcome.

Best of all, defining your IP will give you an even better idea of what you’re doing to help your clients.

That’s what unpacking your IP is all about. And here are the Five Hot Principles that will help you to improve sales and your process.

Principle #1 – IP Your Steps

You already have three to five stages that you take clients through in order to get results. For instance, you probably have a discovery process, a strategy process, and so on.

Within each of those stages, you have steps that you undertake. In the discovery process, you may have a stakeholder interview step that you take with every client, for example.

It’s these steps that we’re looking to turn into your unique IPs.

Sticking with the stakeholder interview example, you have your own way of handling them. You probably have the questions you ask and the process you follow mapped out. All that stuff is completely unique to your agency. Nobody else does their stakeholder interviews the same way you do.

You need to take some time to unpack that step. Get it out of your brain and into some tangible form. Define it and give it a name that’s unique to your business. Figure out what tools you need and what actions you take to complete each step.

Now you have a model you can turn into an IP. And then you can leverage that model to show your clients how you do these types of interviews differently.

Do this for every single step within each of your core business processes.

Principle #2 – Focus Your Outcomes Like a Laser

You’re looking to turn each of your steps into a proven methodology.

To do that, you need to get laser-focused on your intended outcome. You have to know exactly what you want to achieve with each step for it to be worthwhile.

The key here is how this translates to your client. You need to be able to tell your potential clients exactly what they’ll get from each process. And this needs to be completely different from what they’d get with any other agency.

The challenge comes from making that outcome understandable. And that brings me to…

Principle #3 – Add Shape for Depth and Understanding

Anyone who’s familiar with how I work has probably seen that I use a lot of shape-based models. 

For example, let’s say that I’m looking to build an effective website for a client. There are three things I need to do that:

  1. An amazing design to make the website usable 
  2. Great code to make the site fast and functional 
  3. World-class content to ensure the website serves its purpose when it’s launched 

Those three things combine to create a defined outcome – an effective website.

I can represent this as a triangle model. With the outcome placed in the middle of the triangle, these three things form the corners. Without one of them, the triangle breaks apart and we don’t achieve the outcome.

A well-coded and attractive website doesn’t mean anything without great content.

Amazing content and a good design mean nothing if the website is slow and clunky.

Triangle model of a great website

By using a shape-based model, you add depth and understanding to the outcome. You show your client what you need to achieve with each step and what goes into making the outcome a reality.

The upside of this technique is that shape-based models are really simple. Clients can look at them and instantly understand what goes into creating the outcome. And of course, you can turn that model into an IP that’s unique to your agency.

Principle #4 – Tell Your Stories

It’s not just about showing off a model or firing off a bunch of trademarked terms. That’s not going to stick for your client. If anything, you could end up confusing them. You need to add context. 

Specifically, you need to show them what this piece of IP achieves. In other words, you’re telling the story of what this thing does for their business.

That means telling stories about how this IP helped other clients create a better experience or generate revenue.

These stories showcase the transformation your process creates. It’s like a caterpillar creating a cocoon. The outcome is the beautiful butterfly – and that’s what your client wants to see. They’re not particularly interested in what goes into building the cocoon.

Principle #5 – Pitch the IP with Your Value

When you’re presenting to clients, you want to make sure that you’re calling attention to your branded terms. These are unique to the IP you’ve created. They can’t make up the whole presentation, but they have to be there.

Apple is absolutely amazing at this. Take the iPhone. It has a little motor inside that vibrates when the phone rings. They call it the “haptic engine”.

Android phones have these little motors inside them too. But I couldn’t even guess what they’re called, because they don’t brand the IP.

Apple trademarks every major feature that goes into making their products.

You need to do the same for your IP. Consider the outcome as your product and brand everything that goes into creating that outcome.

It’s Time to Unpack 

Now you know how to leverage your experience in the best way possible.

Most agency owners don’t, which is why they struggle with the problems I’ve mentioned. When you unpack your IP, you define your outcomes and make it easier to explain them to your clients and potential clients.

Thus improving sales and your client process.

I dig into this in a lot more detail in UACADEMY.

Are you curious to learn more about what’s holding you back from success?

Find out if we can help by applying for your FREE strategy session.

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How Your Digital Project Plan Can Make Your Clients Happy https://www.ugurus.com/responsive-lightbox-thumbnail/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=responsive-lightbox-thumbnail Wed, 17 Feb 2021 19:32:03 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6599 Do you feel like every client comes to you with unique demands? Maybe you’re seeing a lot of inconsistency in the results you deliver. If so, read on for some key points to consider. Your goal as an agency owner is always to delight your clients. You want them to feel overjoyed with the results…

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Do you feel like every client comes to you with unique demands? Maybe you’re seeing a lot of inconsistency in the results you deliver. If so, read on for some key points to consider.



Your goal as an agency owner is always to delight your clients.

You want them to feel overjoyed with the results that you’re getting for them. And that delight is what ultimately leads to them buying more services and referring people to you.

Now…let me ask some questions.

Do you feel like you’re delighting your clients?

Or, are your results inconsistent? Do you feel like each of your clients comes at you with different demands?

And do you feel like those demands make it impossible for you to create consistency in your delivery?

I’m going to share the Five Hot Principles that solve these problems in a minute. First, let’s dig into the specific problems that a lot of agency owners face with delivery.

The Problems

The biggest problem you face is that you struggle to communicate what you’re going to deliver and how. 

For example, let’s say you tell a business owner that you’ll get more leads for them in 90 business days.

They’re going to ask you how…

And that’s where it can fall apart. You could dive into all of the technical stuff that you’re going to do. But that’s not really what the client’s asking about. They want to know if you have a process. They want to know if you’ve done this before.

They want to know that there’s a method behind your promises.

Then, there are the struggles you have of communicating the desired results to your team. If you have to make it simple for the client, you need to make it even simpler for your team.

And that gets hard when your agency starts growing. When you have more people, you have more moving parts to take into consideration. This can create complexity in your process that has an impact on what you deliver.

Finally, you may find yourself treating every project as a unique little snowflake. That’s fine when you only have a couple of projects to work on. But when you’re at the point where you have 5 or 10, you can’t create a unique process for each of them.

The Opportunities

The big opportunity with this article is that it will give you the ability to clearly communicate.

You need to think of your proven process as a billboard. It needs to be clear and obvious to both your clients and your team. You need to be able to drive past it at 75 miles per hour, see it, and get the message that it’s communicating.

That means you’re going to have a series of simple steps that you can show to anybody who comes through your agency. It’s these steps that show your clients that this isn’t your first rodeo.

That you know what you’re doing.

Finally, you have the opportunity to create a process that breeds consistency in your delivery. That means no more creating unique processes for every single client.

Sounds great, right?

Let’s jump into the Five Hot Principles…

Principle #1 – Unpack Your Value

A lot of agency owners don’t really think about the value that they provide.

Do you? If I asked you to tell me your value proposition, what would you say?

You need to be able to fire that off as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’re just looking at all of the things you can offer and plucking random stuff out of thin air.

I like to have an inventory of proof points and phrases that I use to show my company’s value.

You need to unpack that stuff for your agency. And in a lot of cases, going through this process leads to you discovering stuff that you forgot was even there.

I liken it to working in retail. When I was 15, I worked in a fabric store. Twice a year, they’d have us go into the stock room and take inventory. And without fail, we’d discover inventory that the store had already written off as missing or lost.

In other words, we found a bunch of extra value.

That’s what you want to do here. Take some time to take inventory of your agency and what it has to offer. I guarantee that you’ll find a bunch of stuff that you’re missing out on when you’re talking about what you deliver.

Principle #2 – Design Your End Result

You’ve carried out your inventory and you have all of these pieces.

Now, you’re going to use them to design your end result. This is a lot like working with a box of Legos. You have all of the pieces that you need to create something. At this stage, you’re putting all of those pieces together to create a result that will delight the client.

Here’s what a lot of agency owners do.

Let’s say you design websites. The temptation here is to map out all of the stages of development, with the end result being a website.

That’s okay…but it’s also exactly what your client expects. It’s not going to wow them because a website is the bare minimum that they expect from a web developer.

It’s a very broad thing.

You need to dig down into something very specific that will get your client excited. In this case, that might be that the website will double their lead gen.

That’s a real result. That’s something that’s going to get the client excited.

Principle #3 – Break Down Your Key Steps

Now that you’ve designed the result, you need to figure out how to get there. You’re starting with the end in mind here.

You’re going to break the process down into key steps. These are all of the things that you need to do to get the result you designed.

Now, this could leave you with a list of 20, 30, or maybe even 50 steps that you have to take. It can look a little overwhelming at first. But what you have here is the entire journey in front of you.

From there, you’re going to move into the next principle…

Principle #4 – Package Your Stages

This is where you simplify the process. 

You have this big list of steps. Now, you’re going to package them up into stages. You’re going to look for the natural dividing lines in your list.

Here’s how I did it…

When I went through this process, I had 32 steps on my list of how we help digital agency owners.

I decided I needed to package those steps into three stages –

  • Traction
  • Authority
  • Scale

The mistake I see a lot of agency owners make is that they start with the stages. Then, they try to figure out the steps and where they fit.

The steps have to come first. You have to figure out exactly what you need to do to get the end result that delights your client.

Only when you have those steps should you create your packages. And from there, it’s a simple case of figuring out which step fits into which package.

The packaged stages are what you’ll end up showing to your clients. This is where the simplification of what you do comes in. These packages will make it much easier for you to communicate what you deliver to your clients.

As a final point, aim to have an odd number of stages. Odd numbers just work better when it comes to helping people understand models and concepts.

I think that three or five stages should do the job here.

Principle #5 – Name Your Process

Don’t overcomplicate this.

Start simple if you can’t think of a name.

For example, the name could be as simple as combining the name of your agency with a word like process or formula.

The point of having a name for the process is that it builds up your Unique Selling Point (USP). You’re able to take that process to a client and say this is the exact thing that we do. Nobody else does this.

For example, Kirsten Heuer has the Heuer Method. Nobody else can have that method because the name’s unique to her.

This is a unique combination of all of the elements that you use to deliver your result. The name is just the ribbon that ties the package together.

Don’t stress out about the name too much. Remember that you can always come back to this later and change the name if you really want to.

Stand and Deliver

If you follow these principles, you’re going to achieve a few things…

First, you’re going to unpack your genius and figure out just how much value you bring to the table. From there, you’ll work out how to combine all of these things that you do into a tangible and consistent result.

You’ll create the process around creating that result and you’ll be able to communicate it to both your clients and team.

Does that sound like something your agency needs?

I have a ton more to show you about this in UACADEMY. 

Apply for a FREE strategy session to let us help you dig into whatever is holding you back from running the agency of your dreams.

 

 

 

 

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Embracing the 5-A Framework https://www.ugurus.com/embracing-the-5-a-framework/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=embracing-the-5-a-framework Wed, 30 Dec 2020 17:09:30 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6543   Let’s check back in with our agency owner, “Heather Carlysle.” When we last left off, Heather found her voice and felt more confident owning her market. Now, it’s time to discuss the last two A’s in the 5-A Framework—Authority and Acquire. Assuming Authority Heather and I met at the coffee shop, and she looked…

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Let’s check back in with our agency owner, “Heather Carlysle.” When we last left off, Heather found her voice and felt more confident owning her market. Now, it’s time to discuss the last two A’s in the 5-A Framework—Authority and Acquire.

Assuming Authority

Heather and I met at the coffee shop, and she looked full of disappointment. “Brent, I think I should choose another niche. I don’t think business coaches are the right fit for me. They don’t trust me because I don’t have enough experience.”

Heather told me that just a few days earlier, a coach had called her after reading her “Ultimate Guide” and asked her about her experience with business coaches. Her lead made a snarky comment about how her article made it seem that she had a lot more experience—and maybe she wasn’t a good fit after all.

I could see that Heather was experiencing the same crisis of confidence that everyone goes through when they begin to master anything. I carry a copy of Seth Godin’s best-selling book, The Dip, with me just for these occasions.

I pulled it out and read one of my favorite sections to Heather:

In the beginning, when you first start something, it’s fun. You could be taking up golf or acupuncture or piloting a plane or doing chemistry—it doesn’t matter; it’s interesting, and you get plenty of good feedback from the people around you. Over the next few days and weeks, the rapid learning you experience keeps you going. Whatever your new thing is, it’s easy to stay engaged in it. And then the Dip happens. The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. A long slog that’s a shortcut because it gets you where you want to go faster than any other path.

Heather replied, “So I’m in the Dip? You’re saying the new and shiny has worn off. And if I start over with a new market, it will be new and exciting again. But then I’ll experience the Dip all over again?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“How long is the Dip when focusing on a new market?” she asked.

“Heather, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t have that kind of crystal ball. What’s important is that you keep doing what you’re doing. Now you’re published, with more articles on the way. Some nasty comment from a single bad-fit lead doesn’t mean you should toss your strategy.”

Heather thought for a moment. “I guess you’re right. One comment isn’t a good reason to change direction. But what can I do to help build more trust and do a better job answering that question next time?”

I explained to Heather that there are two processes that buyers go through when they make a purchase: they try to measure benefits, and they try to mitigate risk.

“Your prospects need to understand the value they will get by working with you. But they also need to know that investing in your services is safe. When someone asks about your experience, they are trying to assess how risky an investment you are. What I’d like to do next is give you a framework that will help you answer these questions with facts that will help mitigate the risk your prospective clients might be feeling. Remember our fourth A, authority?”

Heather did. “Yes, like the before and after image that I included in my blog post?”

“You got it, Heather. That’s an example of authority. It says, ‘I’ve done this before, and I get results.’ And that’s the basis for building your authority.

I pulled out a worksheet with a few columns for different proof points—facts and figures that build trust and credibility—and I prompted Heather to start filling them in. Heather listed two dozen selling points that spoke to why she could be trusted to solve her market issues. They all painted a compelling picture of why she could be trusted to help her clients grow their businesses.

Now she had a tool that could be used as a reference when it’s time to write articles, update your website, talk to prospects, or take the stage at conferences. I told her to put the proof points to work on her website and social media profile.

Obtaining New Leads

Two weeks had passed since our last meeting. Heather had never been late before. I knew the assignment I’d given her was outside her comfort zone, but the more customer development you do in a short amount of time, the more you increase your odds of entrepreneurial magic. Heather needed some of that magic.

When Heather arrived, she burst into the café in a flurry of excitement.

“Brent! I’m so sorry I’m late. You won’t believe this, but I just finished my tenth customer development interview. I’m late because she just kept going on and on and on. She just wanted to hire me! Brent, you’ve opened up a whole new world for me. Just focusing on learning from prospective customers changes everything.”

As Heather told me more and more, I started to feel what drew me to consulting and coaching in the first place. I love seeing people get tangible results in their business and watching someone change their deeply held erroneous beliefs.

I was speechless. For Heather, the game of business was about to change. Then a worried look came over her face. “Brent—what’s next? Seriously, I hope you have something up your sleeve to help me capture leads better. I’m not prepared for this type of exposure.”

I looked down at my empty espresso cup. “Sure, let’s talk about the fifth A: Acquire.

Time for A Revamp

Heather’s website was like just about every other agency site on the planet. I had known since the start that Heather needed a different type of website. But I had also always been aware that she had ten years of momentum behind the EMA site—and the last thing I wanted her to do was to turn that off.

 

She asked, “Brent, I think I should revamp my entire website. Is it time to change my homepage to focus exclusively on business coaches?”

I told her no. On the one hand, shutting down the current site made sense. But Heather also had a large payroll to support, and she wasn’t yet getting the traction she needed in the business coach market to go all-in (yet).

What she needed was a lightweight marketing asset that served a narrow purpose for her market. So I asked her a question instead—what percentage of her client base comprised business coaches? Heather thought for a moment. “It’s small, I guess. I’ve just had a few articles published.”

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s keep your existing EMA website as-is for now. Instead of thinking about replacing what you have, let’s think in terms of adding to it.”

Heather asked if she could add a landing page focused entirely on business coaches. I told her we could create a dedicated micro-site within her current brand that she could link to from external articles and advertising traffic.

“When more of your business comes from the business coach market than your core agency business now, then you can look at transitioning to that market or even creating a separate market-focused brand. But for now, let me walk you through how to create an appointment funnel and lead magnet.”

Securing Leads

We met again two weeks later, and I hoped Heather had done her homework. Her great article had gone live—“3 Secrets Helping the Top Business Coaches Dominate Online”—and I would have been devastated if she had missed the chance to get some leads.

Learn more about applying the 5-A Framework to your business in my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, order here.

When she showed me the article, there it was: her byline and a link back to her specific “coaches” landing page on her EMA website. I clicked on the link to find a compelling, focused headline aimed directly at coaches.

As I scrolled, I saw a big fat “schedule an appointment” button. Heather had positioned it as a “breakthrough session” to help coaches determine whether their website and marketing were holding their business back.

Further down the page, there was an opportunity to sign up to receive a bonus download—a free high-value document. I sat back in the café chair with a giant grin. “You got it all done, Heather. Excellent job following the recipe. How does it feel?”

With a conspiratorial look on her face, Heather pulled out her laptop and placed it on the table as she pulled a chair around to my side. “Brent, I need you to see this. It’s crazy. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I have twenty-two appointments booked on my calendar from a single article. I have never in my life had even three sales calls schedule themselves on my calendar while I was off doing other things.

I’ve already spoken to a few of these leads. Two of them need new websites and marketing plans—like yesterday. I signed one up for our strategy intensive. They gave me a credit card over the phone on our second call. And with the other, I’m waiting on a confirmation to move forward.”

After a couple of congratulatory pats on the back, I replied, “Well done, Heather. You did the work, and now you’re enjoying the results. But it ain’t over. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I need you to immediately start your next article. Building a predictable pipeline of opportunity requires you to keep going.”

Heather took her seat, still wide-eyed.

“Brent, that’s the thing. They loved the article so much they’ve asked me to commit to a monthly piece! There’s one more thing. They want me to do a workshop at their upcoming conference, too! I’m in full-on ‘freak out’ mode, of course. I’ve never given a keynote presentation in my life. I have no idea what I’m doing.”

I drained my espresso and smiled. “Well, Heather, our work is cut out for us. But you’ve got this.”

Changing your perceptions and beliefs can be difficult. But embracing and following the 5-A Framework really does work. It might take you out of your comfort zone, but if you’re willing to stick with it and be uncomfortable for a little while, your endurance will pay off!

You can be like Heather and own your market too! If you’re ready to get started, check out my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, where I go into greater detail on the topics, I’m sharing here in my blog. And if you think you’re ready to talk about how you can own your market, then it’s time to set up a free strategy session. Simply apply for it here.

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Putting the Pedal to the Medal https://www.ugurus.com/putting-the-pedal-to-the-medal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=putting-the-pedal-to-the-medal Thu, 24 Dec 2020 18:26:58 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6532 Being prepared in business means nothing unless you dare to act and give it all you’ve got. Last time, I introduced you to the 5th A in the 5 A Framework—Acquire. I designed the 5-A Framework to help you become a specialized, customer-focused agency. Last time we explored the first three steps to revving your…

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Motion blurred car on road

Being prepared in business means nothing unless you dare to act and give it all you’ve got. Last time, I introduced you to the 5th A in the 5 A Framework—Acquire. I designed the 5-A Framework to help you become a specialized, customer-focused agency. Last time we explored the first three steps to revving your marketing engine. Here is a quick recap:

  1. Find a gas station. (Identify what kind of traffic you want.)
  2. Fill up the tank. (Use awareness events to bring people to your site.)
  3. Turn on the car. (Convert visitors into interested leads.)

Now that your engine is full, it’s time to take action. Today, we will discover the final three steps in the 5th A—Acquire.

  1. Put the Car in Drive and Hit the Gas—Set Appointments and Make Sales

As you start to find traction with your fuel sources, awareness events, and conversion drivers, you’ll need one more piece—a way to generate appointments. I call this a “conversation mechanism.” Yes, conversation—be careful not to misread that as “conversion.” A marketing engine creates conversions that drive conversations. If you can’t talk to a prospect one-on-one, your secondary goal should be to contact details. Conversations need to be your absolute priority.

  • Automate your conversation scheduling.As you scale your activities, you won’t want to do the back and forth with people to book an intro call. Having a conversation to figure out when to have a conversation is a waste of your time. Get an automatic scheduling system in place, and that will free you up for the actual sales conversations.
  • Schedule strategy calls, not sales meetings.A strategy call isn’t your average “get to know you” introduction chat. Instead, it’s a particular type of meeting that serves a specific purpose within your sales funnel. For a typical business, the sales process starts when a potential customer fills out a lead form or picks up the phone. But for the company with a marketing engine in place, awareness events have usually moved that prospect all the way from unaware to solution aware.

That means that the first conversation between business and lead can go deeper than it usually would. How to conduct a strategy call is beyond this book’s scope, but the main job with a strategy call is to identify the pains and problems your customer is experiencing and their desired outcomes. You want to find out their goals, objectives, and dreams. You’ll then determine if you can solve their problem, and if so, you want to make an initial pitch. From there, you can overcome objections or schedule additional time for other decision-makers or stakeholders to get involved.

  1. Check Your Direction by Measuring Results

Once you’ve built your marketing engine and it’s starting to run, don’t forget to monitor the results it’s producing. To keep things simple, you should track no more than three to five simple measures—one or two is sufficient for each part of your engine.

Here are some examples:

  • Traffic sources: ad dollars spent, guest posts written or published, guest podcasts booked, conference keynotes booked, and so on
  • Awareness events: webinar attendees, lead magnet pageviews, attendees in the audience, etc.
  • Conversions: opt-ins to your email list, contact form inquiries, etc.
  • Appointments and sales: strategy calls booked, revenue generated, number of clients earned, and so on

Metrics matter because they empower you to stop focusing on “everything”—and concentrate only on adding fuel to your engine and keeping an eye on your gauges. In other words, once you know things work, you only need to do awareness events and check in periodically to make sure they’re still leading to sales.

  1. Optimize Your Engine

Once you have a productive and profitable marketing engine in place, it’s better to tinker and scale than build another machine. It’s tempting for agencies to set something up and move on. That’s because a lot of them do the same type of work for their clients: create websites, landing pages, or marketing funnels. Then start up the next one. The problem with that approach? It tricks them into building more and more engines for themselves—but never actually putting one of them to proper use and getting results. They get stuck in “build” mode, not “fuel” mode.

  • Don’t build multiple half-built marketing engines. I see a lot of people with a bunch of unproven and non-performing marketing engines. The advice I always give them is that the goal should be to build fewer, higher-performing engines—not more lower-performing ones. You don’t need to build something new and shiny. Instead work on scaling engines that are already successful.
  • Why we resist “repeating ourselves.” Building marketing engines is the comfortable part and trying and failing at different fuel activities—wasting money on low performing ads or getting rejected by publishers—can get uncomfortable. But while scaling a single-engine demands laser-like focus and no small amount of discomfort, continually building new funnels creates an enormous sunk cost.

Learn more about applying the 5-A Framework to your business in my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, order here.

When you find something that works, that means you can ignore all “shiny objects” for the next couple of years and instead enjoy a more predictable, less sporadic business. You can focus on optimizing the engine and building momentum. I recommend that you finish setting up your marketing engine and then focus on driving it “full out” and seeing how much you can get from it.

Marketing engines will go through five distinct stages on the path to scale:

Unproven: This is where all marketing engines start. You have an idea of a strategy to market your business. You’ll invest some time and money to set up your engine and get traffic flowing.

Proven: If all goes well, you will generate your first lead—ideally a booked appointment on your calendar.

Repeatable: After your first lead, the next threshold to clear is whether you can generate a second lead from the same marketing engine.

Predictable: Once you’ve been able to repeat your success, the next stage requires you to get an idea of how many leads you’ll generate from a given investment of time or money.

Scalable: The final stage of a high-performing marketing engine is being able to double or triple your inputs of time and money and get a matching increase in the outputs from your engine.

At some point, almost all marketing engines will find some upper ceiling when additional investments of time or money fail to get further results. Only once it won’t scale any more should you consider building a new one. After all, you have in front of you an open road—and you’ve built a powerful “driving” machine. Does it make sense to get out there and give it all you’ve got?

I created this simple framework for one reason—to help you own your market and get rich in the deep end. If you would like to learn more, I’d like to invite you to check out my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, where you will get even more details on the 5-A’s and how you can own your market. I look forward to connecting with you again soon!

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Revving up your Marketing Engine https://www.ugurus.com/revving-up-your-marketing-engine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=revving-up-your-marketing-engine Tue, 22 Dec 2020 18:38:15 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6524 If you have been following my recent posts, you are familiar with the first four A’s and how they are designed to help you drive more people to your business. So, what is the point of all this? The point is to acquire them as leads and customers. Everything we have discussed so far has led us…

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If you have been following my recent posts, you are familiar with the first four A’s and how they are designed to help you drive more people to your business. So, what is the point of all this? The point is to acquire them as leads and customers. Everything we have discussed so far has led us to the fifth and final A—Acquire.

Although getting attention in your market can feel exciting, you don’t want to forget why you want attention in the first place. You want to overcome the unpredictability of word of mouth and referrals instead of building a steady stream of leads who buy from you. When most people think about how to do that, they consider individual tactics like calls to action, valuable opt-ins, links to our website or landing page, or invitations to reach out, follow, or schedule a call. Depending on the channel and timing, each of these could help you get the results you’re looking for. However, the truth is none of them will work in isolation.

Instead, you need to guide them to the sale with a well-oiled machine. You need a marketing engine.

Why a Marketing Engine?

Most people view marketing activities as disconnected tactics with no central strategy. They also dilute their efforts by fueling too many ideas. I prefer to build a single system, drive traffic through it, optimize it, and see what kind of results I can get. I call that process building a “marketing engine.”

A car’s engine won’t work without both a fuel source and someone to put that fuel in it. But when you add that fuel, you can step on the gas and create forward motion in the car. Your marketing engine works the same way. The source of your fuel? An investment of your time and money to create a flow of people’s attention is commonly referred to as traffic. This attention must land on ads, landing pages, blog posts, or some piece of content designed to convert awareness into action.

By creating marketing conversions—those magical moments when a visitor changes into a lead or a scheduled appointment—you’re “stepping on the gas” and moving your business forward with conversations. If any critical parts are missing, the engine won’t get you where you want to go. Without any fuel, you’re not going anywhere, whether you have all the parts or not. If you don’t step on the gas, your engine won’t do anything—and your speed will be zero.

To get your marketing engine working for you so you can “drive” your sales, you’ll have to do six things:

  1. Find a gas station. (Identify what kind of traffic you want.)
  2. Fill up the tank. (Use awareness events to bring people to your site.)
  3. Turn on the car. (Convert visitors into interested leads.)
  4. Put the car in Drive and step on the gas pedal. (Set appointments and make sales.)
  5. Check to make sure you’re going in the right direction. (Measure your results.)
  6. Tinker with the engine to keep it running optimally. (Improve what’s working and fix what isn’t.)

Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense yet—I’ll explain the first three items on the list now.

  1. Find a Gas Station (aka, Identify Your Traffic Source)

First, identify your fuel sources. If you plan to get on podcasts, build a list of every podcast that touches your market. If you want to guest-post, create a list of publishers. Love to speak on stage? Build a list of every step relevant to your market. Keep in mind that every audience and awareness channel are equal. Some have more people you can reach than others. You’re going to be tempted to look at multiple channels, but the smarter way is to focus on only one to start.

Build a traffic source plan—and then stick to it.

  1. Fill Up the Tank (aka, Start with Your Awareness Events)

Once you have found your channel, you’re still only at the “gas station.” You still must fill the tank. In other words, you might have compiled a list of ways to get your message out—but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with leads.

First, you must get someone to let you share your message in those places. Then you must use those opportunities to make your audience aware of the problems they have and credibly position yourself as a solution. That’s why this part of the process will require an investment of your time or money.

Building a list of blogs or podcasts is just the first step. Getting access to those audiences requires you to invest the time to build relationships with the publishers or hosts, create valuable content, and stay consistent in repeating this outreach activity over and over. To grow our email list to the size it is today, we’ve created more than a hundred publishing opportunities and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising. Through it all, we focused on two factors.

Learn more about applying the 5-A Framework to your business in my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, order here.

  • Quantity of fuel. How much “gas” can you pump into your marketing engine? In other words, how many awareness activities can you pull off? The answer will depend on your traffic source’s size and the frequency with which you can get in front of them. When researching traffic sources, look for signs of size. Increasing the extent to which you rely on a traffic source is one of the easiest ways to score additional awareness for your business. It’s not only possible to circle back to the same traffic source dozens of times in a year, but I strongly recommend it.
  • Quality of fuel. It is crucial that the audience you’re doing awareness activities for resembles your chosen customer segment. Look at the kind of relationship the publisher or platform has with that audience. Keep message and market fit in mind as well. In other words, context matters, but so does the relationship.
  1. Turn on the Engine (aka, Create Conversions)

Fuel is only potential energy. Fuel in the tank does nothing until you turn the engine on and put the pedal to the metal. I can’t tell you how many times I see entrepreneurs build lists of potential sources and then take no action. Once awareness events start happening, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting conversions!

  • To create conversions, create a conversion driver. A conversion driver is a compelling offer for your audience to take the next step with you. The best ones directly generate a highly qualified sales conversation with an educated buyer. Some examples are call-to-action, a link to a download or “content upgrade”, a free strategy call, or a free course video that solves a problem your customer is aware of. Whatever your conversion driver is, it must push your audience to a conversion they want—not just one that you think they need.
  • What does a conversion driver look like?  Not all conversion drivers lead directly to a scheduled call. Those are the best ones, but you can also have a conversation over email, messenger apps, and social media channels—whatever works to get you in front of people and talking so that you can eventually ask for a sales conversation.  To help you see a conversion driver in the wild, I’ve created a landing page and four-part email series you can copy and use however you want in your business. You can sign up here: https://ownyourmarket.com/no-website-afterall-email-course.
  • Once you have your new conversion driver, follow up. No matter what kind of conversion driver I’m using, I aim to cast a wide net to get basic contact information to keep in touch with them, working on turning them into a customer. Don’t make the mistake of getting email addresses and failing to follow up with people. Once I have an email, I know that I have a good chance of eventually setting up a sales call with them. But that only happens because I follow up.

Now that you found a gas station, filled your tank and turned on the engine, its time to take the final three steps revving up your marketing engine! Join me next time as we bring everything full circle and explore the final three key points in the 5th A—Acquire. In the meantime, if you feel like you are ready to take the next step in owning your market, then it’s time to set up a free strategy session. Simply apply for it here.

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Building on Your Authority https://www.ugurus.com/building-on-your-authority/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=building-on-your-authority Fri, 18 Dec 2020 22:19:44 +0000 https://www.ugurus.com/?p=6519   How do you know if you are seen as an authority in your niche? It’s crucial to position your experience in a way that builds credibility with leads and other businesses. In my last blog, we began to explore the fourth A in the 5-A Framework—Authority. We discussed how proof points and message recognition…

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How do you know if you are seen as an authority in your niche? It’s crucial to position your experience in a way that builds credibility with leads and other businesses. In my last blog, we began to explore the fourth A in the 5-A Framework—Authority. We discussed how proof points and message recognition can help you to be viewed as an authority. Today, I want to explore the fourth A further and take a deep dive into our other two touchpoints: third-party endorsements and influencer association.

Third-Party Endorsements

To most of your leads, you’re a stranger. And because humans have been hardwired over millennia to depend on our social groups for safety, we resist trusting strangers. If you think you can walk into the market you are targeting and, as a stranger, and convince people to do business with you, you’ve got a hard road ahead. You know you’re not a threat and that you just want to serve, but your leads don’t. You need to rely on third-party endorsements—influential people saying good things about you. Third-party endorsements help strangers trust you. That’s why making an active effort to get them is essential to your business.

Getting Endorsements

The easiest way to get third-party endorsements is publishing on other influencers’ platforms. While this isn’t the most potent “thumbs-up” you can get, you can likely snag one with little experience within your market. When someone publishes your content, they’re saying, “We believe in this person’s message enough to broadcast it.” They’re acting here as a filter: their audience trusts them to bring the best ideas to their platform. That means they’re more likely to assume your post is high-quality, relevant material.

Endorsements are so powerful that I recommend you aim for six to twelve of them when you’re first starting out in a market. This number provides enough credibility that prospects more easily check off the “authority” box in their minds when they first show up to your business.

Influencer Association

When you have authority in your market, you’ll start getting opportunities that are reserved for “market influencers.” And by getting these opportunities, you can rest assured that other people in your market will view you as an authority. This means that if you build relationships with influencers and find ways to publicly collaborate—perhaps a podcast interview, Livestream, or blog content—your market will begin to perceive you as an influencer. Humans are tribal creatures, as I’ve explained, and they have a “herd mentality” when it comes to trusting one another.

Keep in mind, influencers have personal issues, business issues, and everything in between—like we all do. Look past the shining lights. Ignore the accolades, and the likes and retweets, and the published books. This might surprise you, but a lot of influencers have a hard time making money. Just because someone looks like they have it all figured out doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.

The next step in building these relationships is knowing where to start. Here are five steps to help you leverage existing influencers in your market:

  1. First, build a list. Building a list of influencers is similar to building a list of publishers or associations within your market. Keep in mind that influencers are people, not just websites. Occasionally, they work for an existing company or organization—and might not be the company itself. They usually have access to some kind of publishing platform, but not always. Go past the platform or website and start looking for the individuals who are doing the writing, hosting, and streaming. Find their social profiles. From there, you can find ways to get in touch with them.
  2. Follow your influencers and engage with them. It’s best if influencers are somewhat comfortable with you before you start reaching out and trying to find ways to work with them. After you identify a list of influencers, follow them on social media. Engage with the content they are sharing. Reshare it yourself and see how you can add value to their platform without asking for something in return. Once you’ve spent some time following and engaging, even if you haven’t outright “met” the influencer on your list, they’ll begin to know who you are.

(Bonus: This approach also gives you time to learn about them and their platform within your market.)

  1. Make contact and explore collaboration opportunities. After a certain amount of engagement, you should have a good grasp on who your influencer is and what’s important to them. There is no magic formula for how long you should follow and engage before you make first outward contact. In some cases, it could be a matter of days or weeks. In others, it could be months.

Reaching out is pretty simple. You both serve the same market, which gives you an obvious reason to connect with them. Reach out in a simple message that works for your voice and style and for the specific influencer you’re reaching out to. It never hurts to add a sprinkle of context to the message and bring up some piece of content or social interaction that you had with them.

  1. Build a relationship. It probably goes without saying, but you have to spend time building relationships with influencers. Do your best to add value if you can. This could mean helping them connect with others you’ve met in the market, figuring out ways you can promote their material, or something else.

Here’s a caution, though: it’s important when building a relationship with an influencer—with anyone, really—that you’re careful about having an agenda. If people get the idea that you are just trying to sell them or get access to their audience, they might put up barriers or walls. This means that you might have to be patient when it comes to helping propel your own business.

Learn more about applying the 5-A Framework to your business in my new book, Get Rich in the Deep End, order here.

5. Explore collaboration opportunities. Most influencers peddle content as a way to build their authority in their market, just like you do. That makes co-creating content one of the simplest ways to build mutual trust with an influencer. If you have a blog or podcast, this is an easy win. You can offer up your platform to help them—and also get the benefit of the association. If they have a platform, you can offer ways to contribute value without necessarily receiving recognition.

The more trust you build with your influencer network, the more possibilities will be available to you.

Why go through all this work? Because once you’ve come to be associated with a few influencers in your market, you’ll start to be perceived by your market as one yourself. You’d be surprised how little is required to begin receiving influencer association benefits—especially if your content and ideas resonate with the influencer. Most influencers are well-connected and know other influencers. Get in with the right ones, and you’ll quickly find yourself asked to connect with other influencers. That’s the goal.

We still have one more A to discuss in the 5-A Framework. Be sure to join me next time when I introduce you to the fifth A—Acquire. In the meantime, if you feel like you are ready to take the next step in owning your market, then it’s time to set up a free strategy session. Simply apply for it here.

I am looking forward to connecting with you again soon!

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