How to create a digital marketing agency
Roadmap to $1 Million in Digital Marketing Agency
by Josh Nelson
This website will help you reach $1 million in digital marketing revenue over the next 12 month.
That sounds bold, I’m sure. Especially for those of you who have been playing this game for many years. You might be thinking, “How can I possibly make a million dollars in twelve months?”
The truth is that $83,000 per month will make you a seven-figure agency, according to the math.
Five new clients per month would be a great rate of $1,350/month.
This is the purpose of this book. Here are some real examples from other digital marketing agencies who have reached Seven Figures.
We will help you create a plan to achieve great success.
The 3 Big Challenges
Let’s face it, growing a digital marketing agency is not easy. Trying to create something meaningful takes a lot of work.
These are the three main ones I hear from digital marketing agencies that I speak with. You’ll also see them all when I tell you more about my personal story.
1. The digital agency market has overtaken
In every American city, there are many digital marketing agencies.
Major companies such as Scorpion, Hibu, ReachLocal and Scorpion have millions to invest.
Anyone with an internet connection and a computer can be called an agency or consultant in internet marketing. Your prospects are being bombarded from all angles.
It’s difficult to get prospects’ attention in today’s market, especially if cold-calling or cold email is used.
Each day, small business owners are cold-called to digital marketing at least four more times.
They get calls every day, emails every day, and people are showing up at the office.
It’s difficult to attract prospects’ attention so it makes it hard to land clients on an ongoing basis.
However, the truth is that if we are unable to land clients, then we don’t have any business.
3. It is difficult to achieve results
It’s also difficult to get results for clients when we do get them.
The paradigm shifts constantly. What is SEO? Or pay-per-click? Are Facebook ads it? Are funnels involved? Are you branding it?
It’s difficult to attract prospects’ attention so it makes it hard to land clients on an ongoing basis.
What can you do to ensure your clients get a tangible and measurable return on their investment?
How can you make it easy for yourself to manage everything?
All of this becomes difficult if there isn’t the right system in place and the right team.
Find the Right Model
It can feel, sometimes, like we are taking one step ahead and one back when trying to build a successful agency. It’s almost like we’re spinning on a wheel. It’s possible to get a client but then lose that client.
We can’t give them results. If they don’t stay, we won’t keep them.
We need to find a way to accomplish these three things.
* Land clients are always satisfied
* Serve them to achieve great results
* Keep them around for the long-term
This is what we all desire. We don’t just want to get clients, we want to be able to provide excellent service to them. We want clients to see a great return.
To do this, you need the right model.
It must be able deliver consistent growth and momentum in order to allow you to build an agency that suits your lifestyle, that will serve your family, and that will help you grow your business.
This is the model I’m going show you in this book.
Let me first tell you a little bit about myself so that you can understand how I got to where I am today.
Today I run a seven-figure digital marketing agency. Our team consists of 30 employees. We have been on the Inc. 5000 for the past four years.
However, I’ll admit that this wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t as if I suddenly reached multiple seven-figures.
My first agency was Develacom. It was a web design and hosting business.
It was my business for more than four years. It failed spectacularly.
The wrong model was what I was using. I sold websites for between $1,000 and $1,500 as a one-time payment and $50 per month in recurring revenue.
After trying to launch this business for four years and not being able to succeed, it was time to close it.
It was very difficult because I borrowed $10,000 from my father.
My family is a missionary. Three of my older sisters are also missionaries. I spent the first ten years of my life in Haiti.
If you think of a missionary earning $24,000 per year, borrowing $10,000 from him would be like borrowing $100,000.
He did it. It is not clear where he obtained it. Although he might have taken out another loan, he still gave me the $10,000.
It meant a lot to my heart and I needed it to work.
So I took the money and tried to run my business. I worked 60-80 hours a week but was not making enough to run a business.
It would cost me $1,000 per site to sell websites. Even if I sold six websites per month, which I could easily do on a fairly consistent basis, I would still need to spend $1,000 just to pay my business expenses and not my daily living expenses.
I was chasing down clients for 14-16 hours per day, month after month. Being a generalist agency, I did all the usual things like making cold calls, sitting in BNI meetings and sending out flyers to anyone I could. After years of being paid nothing and not having any momentum, I decided to close the business.
My weekly work hours were 60-80 hours, and I barely made enough to pay the business’s expenses.
It was really one of the most difficult things I have ever done. To go to my father, who believed in me, and invest this $10,000, and say, “I’m sorry. This just didn’t work.” I have to get a job.
I decided to leave and go into corporate America for a while.
I was employed at several large companies, including ADP and Data Impact. Although I was able to learn how to sell, it wasn’t something I enjoyed. It wasn’t something I was passionate about. I wanted to own an agency and serve local businesses.
I was a huge student of the game, and I read books such as Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and T. Harv Erik’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.
These books are highly recommended, and I recommend them to anyone who hasn’t yet read them. Eker states in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind that to become a millionaire you must own your business.
He also said, and this was something that stood out to me: “You don’t necessarily need to start your own business. It is possible to work for someone who runs the business type you are interested in and get into the corridor.
It was a good idea, I thought. I could get paid to learn the business and gain useful knowledge.
ReachLocal is one of the largest pay-per-click management firms. Their annual revenue is $700 million.
The Turning Point
It was a two-year period. I was one their top salesmen and learned a lot.
The right model was what I discovered. You don’t have to worry. I will go into detail. But, to sum it all, it is about prioritizing recurring revenues and making sure the monthly fee doesn’t scale.
Most importantly, I discovered a belief I had never before. Local businesses are willing to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month for internet marketing services. They will pay more if there is a tangible return.
This belief was lacking in my early days of business. This is why I sold a one-time fee and why $250 per month was the highest anyone would pay for these services. But ReachLocal taught me the truth.
ReachLocal was not generating great results. This frustrated me. Although they were spending money, I wasn’t sure they were using it wisely. Clients weren’t seeing a good return on their investment.
ReachLocal’s sales reps are responsible for selling clients (through all means). This involves a lot of cold calling, sitting in meetings and networking. You must then meet the client face-to-face and review the call records. I was building relationships with my clients. I was in BNI meetings, and I was getting acquainted with these people. I decided to meet them in person to review the reports.
They would look me in the eye and tell me, “There is no return on investment.” It was very painful.
That was the moment I knew exactly what the right model was. It was something I knew I could sell. It was a service that I had seen on a regular basis, and it was being sold by thousands of sales reps all across the country. I was ready to start my company.
In 2011, I founded my current agency, Plumbing & HVAC SEO. In just two years, we grew the agency to seven figures serving a niche – Plumbing & HVAC Contractors. Currently, our recurring revenue is $370,000 per month. We have been named to the Inc 5000 for the 4th consecutive year.
They were spending money but I wasn’t sure they were using it wisely.
I am not going to brag about this, but rather to show you that the information I am sharing is not from a book I have read. This is not a theory I believe might help grow a digital marketing agency.
It’s something I’ve tried, and it’s something I’ve experienced. It’s something I have shared with others who have experienced similar results.
It’s my pleasure to share it with all of you.
Share the success
Because I am aware of the potential impact, I’m eager to share the model with you.
Here’s my story and how I got to where I am today. Now, I want to share something more important. Over the past three to four years, I have also shared my backstory and how I achieved my success. I have also shown other digital marketing agencies what I learned and how they can do the same.
To date, I have worked with over 100 digital marketing agency owners. I’ve been able help men like:
* Allan Hillsburg decided to concentrate on funeral homes. He is now the owner of a digital marketing agency with seven figures.
* Jeff Fisher, who transformed from a very stagnant start into a position in his niche that allowed him to sell it last year. He is now a success coach for us.
Brian Stearman started his lawn care business by focusing on lawn maintenance companies. In just twelve months, he built a seven-figure agency and continues to grow at an impressive pace.
* and many other things
Because I’ve done it and continue to do it, you can trust what I will share with you. I’ve also helped others to do it.
You are a hero for taking the time to reflect on your plan and invest in yourself.
Closing the Gap
I pledge to you that I will share with you a plan that, if implemented, can help your agency reach $1 million in annual revenue within the next 12 month.
That’s quite bold, I know. Let’s look at the past.
Consider your monthly recurring income.
1. 1.Calculate your monthly recurring revenue.
Now, I want you think about where you want your life to take you. What revenue projections would you make for next year? Are you looking to make $30,000 in the next 12 months or $83,000, which would put you at seven figures? What are you really looking for?
2. 2. Let me now ask you to consider the gap.
This is the most important number. This is the most important number.
Desired Monthly Recurring Revenue ______________________
LESS Monthly Recurring Revenue
= Gap _____________________________________________
Spend a few minutes thinking about these numbers. The more clear you are able to see the numbers and the gap, the easier it will be to make it real and tangible. This will allow you to create a plan that can get the job done and help you achieve your goal.
Here’s how to get from where you are now to where you want it to be.
Here’s how we went from zero to seven figures, and then grew to multiple seven figures. It is also the same model that we used to help over 100 agency owners on a similar path.
If you pay attention, you can close the gap quickly and efficiently.