How Armando Makes $35k-$45k/m from Client SEO
Welcome to the first episode of the Lion Zeal
show where every week I’m going to interview a brand new SEO and chat about how they’ve
grown their business and how they’ve overcome obstacles to get to where they are today.
Whether they’re earning a $100,000 per month or a $1,000 per month, different people and
shown their different viewpoints of how to overcome the obstacles and how they got to
the stage that they’re at currently. So, for the first guest, for the first ever
episode of the show I brought on my friend Armando, where we’re going to chat about how
he’s built his business to $30,000 to $40,000 per month on average from SEO clients, and
it’s just a really awesome discussion. So for all the sceptics’ and stuff, I’m going
to put up a little screen shot here, and you should be able to see a little earnings report.
So this is a screenshot of one of Armando’s bank accounts. I don’t think it’s everything,
but it’s over the last month and it’s like a $30,000 earning. He also had his paper account
and other stuff, but you can see, if you’re super skeptical, then have a look at this.
It’s just real, it’s not some made up bullshit, and also you can have a look at his testimonial.
So I will put up, when you have a group swear … they’ve said that they got their first
client for $11,000, so you can check that out. For me, Armando’s a really awesome guy,
because not only has he helped other people, he’s helped the communities, written a blog,
and created videos and stuff like that, he’s also helped me a lot.
I’ve been friend with Armando now for over a year, and one of the first things he ever
said to me was a piece of advice when I was getting started with client SEO, and he said
to me that “you need to act a little bit more arrogant. You need to tell them this is how
you work, and if they’re not happy with that, not happy with the price that’s okay,
but go somewhere else.” That sort of mind set changed everything for me.
We’ve been for a week or two, ended up closing another client for $4,500 upfront and $1,500
per month, and that was over a year ago now. Like I think, maybe, closer to two years,
and I’m still working with that client today. I still have the same exact client today,
and the only reason I’ve kept them is because they are kind of small, it’s because their
super easy to deal with. I chat with them once every two or three months, and that’s
about it. In fact I haven’t been on the phone with them now for over six months. it’s just
a super easy to work with client. So that’s a decent little addition to my income, but
more than that Armando’s has given me so much advice for my own business, and he’s a really
smart guy, and you really should listen to what he has to say.
So, check out this interview. I hope you guys enjoy it, and I’ll catch you guys later.
Hey man, how’s it going, thanks for joining me on the show today.
It’s good man, thank you for having me. So, I guess to start off I should already
have an intro going on of, like who you are and stuff, but do you want kind of introduce
yourself a little bit? You just sent me an in-screen shot now showing, I think that’s
just one of your accounts, but showing $32,420 this month. So I guess the cool little start
to be would be kind of break down where that comes from … And what exactly is you’re
doing these days. Yeah so … I run, as you know, a local digital
marketing outfit out of Texas and my focus is strictly client work. And it’s more than
just search. It’s digital marketing. And so where that comes from is, some of that is
reoccurring income from clients where I have retained a basis from on. Others is projects
that I’ve just taken on. My monthly income is comprised of some, you know, one time fees
that I have to go out there and work for pretty much every month and then some that is reoccurring
and then up-sale some other services that I offer.
Awesome. So also within. Actually that’s interesting you said that you don’t just don’t do SEO,
there’s different marketing. So what other sort of services do you offer your clients?
Local digital marketing is sort of the core of the things that I offer right? But it’s
got a foundation into it. It’s not just about building the BPN’s, it’s about doing all the
things that the business needs. Making sure that their website is on point, making sure
that their citations is okay or clean and up to date, making sure that their content
is strong but also things like instituting review funnels for them. So that they can
get patient reviews or customer reviews through their business. Helping them setup … Lead
magnets for their websites. Helping them setup drop email campaigns. Helping them setup things
like review or a referral systems for their business. So there’s a whole bunch of different
things and even some video that I do for them. So it’s not just search, it’s marketing as
a whole. That’s awesome and … I don’t know the answer
to this but it’d be so much better if you said it. What was the reason you almost shifted
from just doing SEO and just doing rankings to add in all this stuff. Like what’s the
thought process behind providing like all these local marketing services?
Its more. There’s more value to it. You can charge much higher prices and then … Sort
of position yourself as an expert in a certain field. I work, as you know, in only like maybe
two or three industries and that’s how I position myself, as the go to person in these industries.
And if I’m selling just SEO, I’m selling SEO and competing with everyone else who’s selling
SEO. And I’m also competing with those companies who are gonna spam me 50 times a day telling
you “Hey sir, I’m with Google. For five bucks you could be number one,” you know. That’s
not exactly where the money’s gonna be and that’s not exactly where the high dollar tickets
are gonna be. And it doesn’t what vertical you’re in, if your positioning yourself
as that person who’s gonna be selling just SEO and just ranking as opposed to a higher
value as apposed to the outcome. You’re not gonna be able to make as much money as you
can. That’s awesome advice actually. Also and,
so you said you focus on two niches right now. So would you recommend like if someone
standing out like they pick like a niches or something like that? Would you recommend
they just focus on just one versus being the everything guy?
Yeah, you know, initially when I first started I was gonna be the everything guy and I did
that for a while. I was like “Okay anybody who needs this sort of service, anybody who
needs search, anybody who needs, you know, their website optimized and everything I’ll
take em’. I’ll take this.” And I learned real quick that it was really hard to sell. It
was really really tough to sell and I kinda dialled back a little bit and I started focusing
on where my background was. And that was a much easier sell and it came with a much higher
price tag because. If I focus myself on an industry that I already had experience in,
then I could understood how it worked, I could speak that language, I understood what was
important to them and I was kind of trusted already because of my knowledge of that industry.
Sort of like … You know I have friends who are chiropractors, who are, you know, lawyers
who have transitioned from that perfection into a digital marketing and running their
agencies and they focus just on that aspect of it and … It’s like, you know, taking
your car to the mechanic right? If you have a Mercedes and you take your car to the guy
who works on everything. You know, the perception is, that the guy who only works on Mercedes
might be a little bit more expensive but he only knows Mercedes.
And he’s know the car inside out. He knows right? It may not be true but that’s
the perception that he can charge higher prices because, you know, that’s the value that he’s
giving to you. Exactly. So on that subject I guess. I know
you said you take on different types of clients where some are like one time setups and monthly
but. On the topic of monthly ’cause I think that’s the most attracting one to be when
they first to find out like I can get like a monthly reoccurring deal. What’s sort of
size clients do you focus on when it’s like a reoccurring deal these days?
It’s gotta be really competitive for me to do reoccurring deals now. So, and I’ll tell
you exactly who I’m going after. I’m in healthcare. So I’m focusing on medical practices. So solo
practitioners, medical practices who have multiple locations and then, you know, bigger
size clinics. So this ties into understanding the vertical that you’re gonna go into. Now
you may not necessarily be an expert in any vertical but if you decide to jump into one
you’re gonna have much more success because your focus is gonna be that much more narrow.
Because I understand medical I understand that the solo practitioner number one, he’s
not gonna be able to afford … A $1000, $2000, $2000 month SEO service. It’s just the reality.
He’s not. Guy could just be just getting started. His patient base is growing. He’s not gonna
be able to afford that right away. But a multi-location clinic can split it over their clinics. And
so I try to aim the monthly reoccurring rates on those who can actually afford it.
If you’re a multi-location clinic and you want to dominate, you want to do work for
like a whole bunch of locations then you’re gonna need a monthly service and there’s just
no way around that. Or if you’re a big practice maybe you’re just the one clinic practice
but you have like eight doctors and each one those treats their practice separately then
you’re gonna have to have a monthly reoccurring rate. On the other hand, if you’re a solo
doctor who’s just getting started, who needs an extra oomph, you may more likely be wanting
to buy a one off type service. Okay and I guess people are gonna ask this
is … Because you have these higher paying monthly type clients, do you not feel like
it’s distracting and I know your reason behind this, but do you not think it’s distracting
on work on like one time setup type gigs when you can just get some higher paying monthly
stuff? I don’t feel that is man to be honest with
you and there’s a logic behind that. Because people are more likely to pay a one-time service
even if it’s a higher ticket than they are to pay a lower reoccurring monthly rate. And
this is a perfect example. Two days ago actually somebody called me and left me a message.
And they’re like “Oh, this is such and such. Please call me back.” I didn’t know who it
was. So I called them back and I said “Hey. I’m just returning your call” and they’re
like “Oh I own this.” They owned an actual mini blind is what they owned. Said “I own
a mini blind company and I’m looking for this.” And I said “Okay well … Tell me more about
what you’re going, I typically work with healthcare but if you’re a small business and you tell
me what you situation is, I’ll see if I can help you. You know, I may not be able to but
at least I’ll be straight up with you.” And so I told him what we do. I said “Look,
you know, this is my process man. This is everything I do for everyone else. It involves,
you know, A B C D E F and this is what it looks like and this is what I charge.” And
I said “You basically have two options.” I said “We can do monthly thing if you wanna
go across a whole bunch cities and it could start at like $1500 bucks a month. Or, but
if you just need to like focus on one bigger city, maybe just have all the foundation work
done.” I said “I could charge you $3800 one-time fee. And just get this stuff done for you
and that’s gonna put you in a better spot than where you are now.”
And he’s like “Oh, I can do $3800.” You know, even though he could’ve gotten a lot more
for $1500 right? The $3800 is not that much farfetched. People don’t want the monthly
payment so … Even at $500, we’re charging $500. It’s hard to get somebody to give you
$500 bucks right up front but a lot of them will have no problem giving you a one-time
$5000 payment. That’s just such a really interesting thing.
I remember this like, I get clients, one thing they like to do is, they like to, if you give
them a monthly fee they suddenly stop thinking like a year, two years and stuff like that.
So you say it’s a $1000 a month, they’re thinking “Oh. $12,000. $24,000.” Versus if you give
them like a one-time service fee even it’s like $8000 it still seems less than that monthly
reoccurring fee. Yeah, you know, it’s the psychology behind
it all right? And on the opposite end, on our end of the coin we’re always looking for
that retainer fee right? Because that’s what the industry teaches you. They say “Oh, the
retainer money is where it’s at. Why would you want to do something for a $1000 bucks
when you can get something for $500 and then charge them for the rest of their life?” Well
nobody wants to pay a mortgage. But the thing that they’re missing, in my opinion, is all
the up-sells. The guy who you could maybe do $2000 worth of work for up front. Once
you starts getting results, you can go back and say “Hey man. You know, we got you this
far but you’re still missing maybe setting up a review system for you clients. You’re
still missing maybe setting up an email drop campaign for your existing customer base.”
And you can charge extra for those and those things are not cheap you know, and in the
end you’re still charging, you’re still making money, its just not a monthly thing, you know,
like that. But you’re prices are really high. So if someone wants to go out there and you
want to start adding this now, so maybe they’re gonna sell this, then later on add service
or reoccurring package or just different types of people anyway. What sort of services could
we sell as like this one time gig? Well I’ll tell you exactly what I sell. What
I sell is website redesigns. And you know from speaking to me, I’m not a web designer
or web developer. I’m far from it. Like I could spend three weeks on a moving a button
from one side to the other. It’s not where my talent is but I know enough to go find
somebody that can help me do that. So I sell one time website redesigns. I sell one time,
what I like to call the local disability, you know, thing, which is. I’ll take a look
at your site, I’ll take a look at all the on page stuff, all the typical things where
you have. Your site is slow. If you’re returning some 404 errors, that type of stuff. And then
I’ll take a look at where you had citations and I’ll go ahead fix the top twenty or list
you in the top twenty or what not. And I charge a fee for that right?
I also sell press releases. So if somebody wants to come to me and say “Hey. I want to
get, you know, this but I don’t have this kind of budget.” I say “Well, I’ll do a press
release.” Or I also sell the review system. And that’s where I create a review funnel
for them on their site and I sell that for a one-time fee. And I also sell the social
media, basically, the social media account creation and auto management which is. If
they’re on WordPress site, I use the snap plugin, I configure all the social properties,
tie everything together and I make sure that any post that they put on their automatically
gets auto-posted to everything else. If they’re not on a WordPress site, I have
to use IFTT or Zapier and I set up the exact same thing and I sell that as a package. I
also sell the email drop campaigns so setting up a follow up system with the customer base.
I sell the setup of that. And I sell setting up a lead capturer, a lead magnet on their
website with auto-responders. That’s awesome stuff
Yeah. A lot those are just one time fees but people keeping coming back for different things.
Makes sense. And you can sell like all of them to one person, that certainly adds up
to quiet a decent amount. Right. I want to tell you one thing about
that though. The people who actually get on the monthly retainer … All that’s part of
the plan. It’s just spaced out differently. Sure. So they get the same thing it’s just
the … Spaced out. Yeah it makes sense. So do you have like fixed prices for these
types of services? Like is the same for everyone or is it gonna vary depending on the business?
For- No it’s gonna be the same for everybody. Now
the key for me is, I’m only gonna take you on as a client if I could help you. So initially
when we do our conversation, they already know how much I’m going to charge ’cause I
tell em’ up front. Okay before they got on the call.
This is what I charge. Oh yeah, they know everything, like if they call if they talk
to me and they get on the call and they say “I’m looking for this, you know how can you
help me?” and I say “Look man I offer these three course services. This is what you get
and this is how much they are regardless of who you are. Now, wether I’m gonna take you
on as a client or not, it’s gonna depend on a few other things. You already know how much
you’re paying and you already know how much your getting.
Whether I can help you or not, that’s gonna depend on a few other things, other questions
I’m gonna ask you and I need to take a look at your analytics. I need to take a look at
your web master tools. You don’t have to give me access but we can share screens ’cause
I’m not gonna take you on if you’ve got a manual penalty. I’m not gonna take you on
if you’ve hired cheap services before and I can tell you’re spent to death. So you set
yourself up for failure with that so I don’t take on clients like that I turn them away
and no matter how much money they’ve got. That’s good. So would you say, also, and this,
I guess a is a bi-product of that, that having that position where it’s like I’m only gonna
take you on if I can help you and that sort of thinking and mind set, actually helps you
attract more clients because it kind comes across differently versus being very needy
while your on the phone like when you first start out.
Yeah absolutely. I feel like my whole thing with positioning is that I. Even if I know
that I need the client, I don’t want them to ever think or that I do need em’ right?.
I’ve got this attitude that if you don’t want to buy from me then I just don’t care if you
do or you don’t. I’m just gonna go somewhere else and I’m not gonna nickel and dime you
either, my price is my price and if its not right for you then I’m okay with that. It’s
not right for you, its not right for everybody, I get it but I’m not gonna bend all that because
then … You’re sorta of setting an expectation mix that you’re not gonna be able to manage
later. The expectation that they can muscle you into
a situation and they’re gonna be able to do that later and that’s not what I like to set.
I turn a lot of people down because they come to me and everything is right but then they
ask for the wrong thing on the questions that I ask ’em. What I say … “Do you need.” Like
one of the questions is, do you need clients? Do you need new customers today? Do you understand
that it takes a little bit of time to grow or do you want something like yesterday? A
lot of them will, “I want some customers yesterday.” So that tells me, okay you’re are already
not in a realistic spot where you know that this is gonna take a little time to season.
So I don’t want to work with you if your expectations is already wrong to begin with.
Yes! Really awesome. Actually that’s the advice you gave me when I first got started up and
like that whole thinking is a complete game changer for me when I just started speaking
to clients. And actually from there I like when out and like I suddenly got like a bunch
of clients because when you actually speak to them like that, they want to work with
you even more than if you’re really needy and like desperate to get them as a client.
Would you say … I know ’cause that’s how much it works, but it’s really really difficult
when you’re first starting out. Do you have any like advice for someone when they’re first
starting out and they actually are needy to try and come across as little bit more obviously
expert type positioning? I think focusing on one area and narrowing
that one area is gonna be really key to becoming the go to person in that industry or that
area like fast. Right? Like if I. Like me for example I work with
doctors in healthcare and like I could give, like I’ve given talks to doctors, like dozens
of doctors at a time and a lot of them don’t even know me from the guy down the street
but when it’s done they understand that I’m the expert in that aspect.
For sure. They don’t even know if I’ve had other doctor
clients. They just know that I’m the expert. So my advice is narrow your focus down instead
of going for everybody and their dog, now your focus on a what type of industry you
want to work with, who your ideal client is and then set some hard boundaries. Don’t let
them tell you “Oh, I only have this much money to play with.” You say “This is my price and
this is what you get for my price and if it’s not okay for you then that’s okay that it’s
not okay for you.” You know don’t bend on your rules.
That’s awesome. I have some more questions on how you manage it now but, I’m kinda interested
to hear like how you kinda got into SEO’s, so like your background, and what where you
doing before you were a SEO or digital marketing consultant which is probably more accurate?
Well, I was working for a big fortune 500 in healthcare actually and I was on the business
development side so I’ve been on the business development side for probably seven to eight
years prior to getting into this. And, you know, in the hospital doing service lines
and that sorta thing. And so, you know, my thing was very big on business and it was
very big on understanding how basically a corporate mind set works and understanding
processes. It was hard for me to make the decision to jump into this vertical because,
I would say that I’m not the typical “I hate my job.” I didn’t hate my job at all. I loved
my job you know. I love the people that I worked with, they were great people you know.
My pay was not bad, they took care of me. I had tons of flexibility. If I needed to
go pick up my kid from school I could leave and not have anybody tell me anything and,
you know, I was well respected in that space. But I never, you know, saw myself working
for somebody else forever. I think we spoke about this before about when
I was in high school. I started my own landscape riding company. I actually became an electrician,
that’s how I paid for school and everything and so once I got a taste of what it was like
to be on my own and actually make that side money, it was like. It’s always in my head,
it’s always been like, I’m never gonna be working for somebody the rest of my life.
It’s just, it has to happen at some point. Yeah. That’s really awesome. So how did you
come across SEO, the business model from when you were doing that?
How did I transition from that to this? How did you find out and kinda get started
as like selling SEO services? Oh yeah. So I started man, I started like
when I was doing some stuff for work, you know. I was messing around on the website
and doing some Facebook advertising and that sorta thing. Because we we’re business development
so then digital kind of fell on our lap and I had to sort of learn it. And initially,
you know, I decided, I poked around a whole bunch of different things and I thought “I’m
gonna build. I’m gonna learn how to build a website, do all this other stuff.” And I
did and at the time I followed somebody called, think he still has it as a plug on Spencer
Haws from Niche Pursuits. And that guy was putting a case study on like
Amazon sites. So … I build an Amazon site you know and almost identical to his site.
And- I remember you told me this.
Yeah. And I spent like weeks writing like what everyone, what I read, what everyone
thought was like the correct thing to do. 10,000 words on every page, 1,000 word reviews,
that sorta thing and it sat there for six months and I didn’t know what to do with it
from then on and I started researching and researching and people were talking about
block commas. And so I posted like one comment on Yahoo answers. Then I waited three weeks
’cause I thought “Yeah that’s gonna get me where I wanna be” and I learned real fast
that wasn’t, then I stumbled upon Source Wave and I started to put some of the things those
guys deal with, you know, private blog mail works and they. It went through the roof.
And from there on it was just like, okay … Obviously the Amazon thing is not for me, you know.
But I’m good at what I’m good at and speaking to people and getting in front of people and
I already knew this industry. And there’s a needing for it so I jumped into that vertical
real quick. That’s awesome. So I know from speaking to
you before that, because you like loved your job, like you’re really happy with it, that
the transition from actually like leaving that and going like full time SEO was super
difficult. Before I mention that, what sort of level of income were you at when you decided
to like finally make that jump? I’d already reached what I was making at my
day job actually. So you take your. What I did was, I took my day job, you know, and
you get a certain salary. But that salary is not take home pay. You’ve got medical and
you’ve got, you know, healthcare to pay for and social security in the U.S. and then you
have retirement and you have everything else in between and taxes. And so people think
“Okay. You’re making a 120 a year which is like $10,000 a month,” and they think “that’s
a lot of money.” And that’s the standard 80 hour week corporate job but when you take
everything else out, you’re not taking that home. Man you’re taking like 30 40 percent
of that. And so once I reach to that point where I was like well I’m on my own and I’ve
got this. I don’t have all this extra weight then I’m gonna make that leap and that’s when
I did it. You know, I decided to do that full time.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make because, like I said I didn’t hate my job, I loved
it. So was it just the income that was the tipping
point or was there other factors about, like it’s just like, okay finally like it is time
to just go- Yeah. There were other factors. It was like
a catch 22. I couldn’t grow my business, I couldn’t continue to grow it because I was
at a day job. And it was because I was at day job that I couldn’t grow my business if
that makes any sense, you know? So one of them had to give. I was at the point where
in order for me to take it to the next level I need what my money can’t buy and that was
the time. I needed the time and I couldn’t. I was meeting people like on my lunch break,
I was talking to clients on my lunch break. I was meeting and talking to them after work
at Starbucks. I was somehow telling them “Hey. You’re busy during the week, I’m busy. Your
seeing patients. I’m busy doing my thing. Let’s hookup on Saturday because we’re both
free.” And it’ll get you to a certain point but then
business is eight to five, Monday through Friday and people wanted you to come to their
office at like noon for lunch and, you know, all the things in between that you can’t deal
with when you have a regular day job unfortunately. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So I guess
we can fast forward to today because we’re already past that stop. So … These days.
And when you tell people that you’re owning this sorta numbers you’re doing, 30 40 thousand
a month, whatever, then their immediate reaction is like “Holy crap you must be doing like
80 hours a week or like 12 hours days and stuff.” So it’d be kinda interesting like,
what’s your sorta day to day life like these days in terms of work and just around how
much hours you can spend with your family and all these different things?
Well part of the reason that, you know, that I wanted to do this on my own was to have
more time. Nobody says I want to start my own business so that I could work 100 hours
a week. I think that, I don’t know anybody who says that, I think that their mentality
is “I want to start my own business so I can have more time.” And then they get sucked
into the business and they realize it’s not it, you know, it’s not gonna work out. I’m
gonna be much more time, you know, constrained than I was even at the day job.
So initially when I first started man I was doing everything. Now I’m not gonna lie, you
and I have had a lot of conversation on outsourcing. And you and I have had a lot of conversations
and I picked your brain on a lot on automation because you’re big on automation, you’re big
on that type of stuff and those were things I lacked. And I was like “Okay, well damn
how do I get, you know, to automate certain things?” Once I hit about five clients I was
tapped. Once I hit about five clients, at one point I was working until two three o’clock
at night. I was spending my time building BPN’s almost
all day long, sometimes up until night until my eyeballs popped out spending my time writing
content. I was spending my time doing fulfillment work, running reports and then end of the
day speaking to clients and doing all these different. And I was gonna get burned out
real fast. I almost did. I had to take a step back and go back to my days where I was like,
you know, managing things and doing stuff. And I thought “Well, damn. What am I good
at? What am I not good not? What do I hate? What can I automate?” And I started building.
Repetitive things I started handing off to people. I hired a VA initially, who was part
time. Helped me with some things. And then I hired another one and he became full time
and then. Now I have three. I have three. They’re all full time and I spend the majority
of my day doing the one thing that is gonna move me forward. And that is trying to land
new business. If I can spend my day trying to close people
even as a lunch meeting, coffee meetings or whatever then that’s what’s gonna move my
business forward and nothing else. So I’ve systemized a lot of thing. I’ve systemized
really fast and then I refined the system and then just even tweaked a little bit more.
That’s awesome. So, and I guess this is gonna be a lot of on traces. About how many hours
would you say you work in a day or like a week these days?
On average I try to stick to a set number that I’m like. When I left work, you know
I wanted to get up and do and pretend like I was going to work in a ways. So I get up,
I get dressed, I put on my tie, my shirt. You know even if I was in my office at home
where I’m at now, I would still get dressed and do those things because it was important
to me not to like slack off. And so on average I’m probably working about 40 50 … Maybe.
And I say that with a big maybe because a lot of times I like distracted by a YouTube
video or something and I’m just like. I catch myself, you know like, going through Themeforest
looking for like 30 themes and it’s like an hour later and I haven’t done anything.
I know the feeling. Yeah but on average, you know. But its standard
work week man, you know. That’s about what I do pretty much, play with the kids or something.
I’ll just take some time and just do that. So most of your time is on like the scaling
aspect. So … How much is actually management? So the idea is, if you wanted to work less
and you don’t, you want to grow bigger but, if you wanted to work less, how many hours
like, if you had to have a minimum would it have to be? Like just the manage it and keep
your thing running smoothly? … Just management for me, I probably spend
a good 20 to 30 hours just in management. The reason for that is because you can’t be
completely hands off your business. You have to know everything that’s happening at all
times because if you don’t its a good chance that your employees or somebody else is just
gonna run it to the ground. You have to keep a close eye on it.
Ill tell you how I have things structured. The very first VA that I hired I kept was
part time. He may not have a good relationship, the key is, treat them like human beings because
they are human beings. They have families, they have kids that want to go to school,
they want to feel like they’re part of the team too. They’re not just some robot that’s
doing some random tasks. They’re a piece of your business. So Paul, my main VA, he moved
up one tier. You know I said “I’m gonna hire somebody else but now I’m gonna pay you more
and give you a raise. You move to almost a supervisory role where your overseeing the
other person. And I’m gonna hand tasks to you and then you delegate to this person based
on their skillset and I expect the feedback loop from you. I expect you every day to give
me a report on you and what this persons done, how you feel things can be done differently,
etc. And then I hired one more person to be under
Paul. So Paul and then two people, so three right? Me and Paul communicate pretty much
daily, the others have a direct line to me but Paul is essentially responsible for these
other two guys. And if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, then not only
is their job at jeopardy, but Paul’s jobs at jeopardy.
Okay yeah. So it’s a lot of checks and balances right?
And him and I actually spend a lot training him and developing him and he really understands
my business is a part of his business. Every project that we finish on time, it can deliver
great results. I give him a bonus you know, I make sure there’s a bonus structure. He’s,
you know, I give him paid holiday, I give him paid vacation time. He gets paid time
off. He doesn’t have to tell me he’s sick and lie. He just needs to tell he wants to
take a day off with his family or whatever. He gets vacation time. Everything that you
would get in a normal U.S. job …. That he gets, you know?
That’s so huge that a lot people have problems with VA’s and you look at how they’re managing
them and there is like you said, like a robot like, need to work eight hours a day, not
allowed to have a minute break. Like you have to check in the whole and making sure that
they’re doing something. And just like not allowed sick days or anything like, nothing
that you expect in a normal job. And when you add that you I think you get
that level, like they respect you and like you and they work better because of it.
Yeah it’s hard to, they don’t want to lose that gig but they also, they’re part of the
team and they understand how things work and you get so much more production out of them
because not only are they learning something but they feel appreciated right? And everybody
wants to feel that no matter who they are, they want to feel appreciated. And that’s
how I treat my team and it’s skill-ability is huge. I don’t make him clock in and out,
you know, he’s gonna get paid a salary. He knows that he’s gotta work eight hours a day
and maybe the job we’re doing maybe it only requires him for to do four hours a day, he’s
still gonna get paid eight hours a day. My thing is making sure that the highest quality
level of work is completed within a given timeframe and then if he could get that done
in one hour and seven hours you’re playing Xbox, than that’s more power to you.
I have the exact same approach, yeah. Awesome. So I know you’re in some pretty awesome niches
these days. Like really high end luxury type stuff. And one of the questions that I have
is like, how do they get into higher end stuff? Like I’m not gonna name niches, you can name
whatever you want but how do they get into the super high end stuff?
Well focus on what you want right? You can’t be the guy that works on jets and does jet
marketing and then be the same guy that works on a pizza shop. There’s no skin to go with
that, there’s no respect right? There’s no repertoire right? How can you go from one
to the other. So focus on what you want and then you need to go after it by doing different
things. You got to position yourself as the expert in that vertical but what does that
exactly means? For me, I did talks like, with these doctors
I’ll tell you, you know. I go to one of them and I say “Hey, you know. Can I come speak
to you guys about this stuff? I’m not gonna sell you, I just wanna show you how can get
this, a better grip on what you’ve got going on.” And I give talks to them, and you know,
I have mixers, I have lunch and learns where they could come in and you know, I buy lunch
for everybody but it’d be ten or five doctors sometimes in one room. And I start talking
to them about the local disability aspect, talking to them about how they can get their
patient reviews up, just giving em’, everything I would normally do I tell em’. This is what
you need to do, here’s how you do it, you know, and then I continue to do it again.
Initially like you, I did some of this for you. I did a lot of direct mail you know?
And I targeted those, a lot of very higher niches with that, a lot direct mail and direct
mail campaigns to those verticals and I just kept going. I didn’t stop because somebody
said no or because didn’t answer the door. I just kept going. I made a lot of video reviews,
some of em’ which never got viewed. Others got views a whole bunch of times. People contacted
me and I followed up and I followed up and eventually, you know, it takes one person
to open that door and say “Yeah man. We looked at your stuff, we’re impressed, let’s get
the ball rollin ’cause after you do that you understand that business so well, the next
guy is gonna be much easier. Initially when I went after, and I’ll tell
you, I went after a new generation for private jets … I didn’t know the difference between
what I was doing. I didn’t know what I was doing. I walked into this meeting and I had
done all my research and I was ready to like answer that they had about this vertical and
then I started talking this thing and then 15 minutes in, the guy tells me “That’s great.
You seem to know your stuff. However, we don’t actually do jet charters. We do fractional
jet ownership.” And I was like “Uhhhh. Awesome.” I had no idea what that is. And I learned
a lot from that, I don’t know as much as I thought I needed. But it gave me an opportunity
to sort of learn that vertical and just pound it into em’.
So focus and just keep going after those things in different ways. Not just. These guys are
not gonna pick up the phone man. You can’t just call these guy and say “Hello let me
speak to CEO of this company.” And you can expect him to pick up the phone. You have
to go through the chains and sort of stumble a little bit before you get to that right
person. That’s really good advice. Especially about
when you get a client, that’s the easiest way to learn a business inside out which is
another reason why sticking to that one niche is a good idea. Like once you have that client,
you know that business, everything about it because you actually put time into studying
it and learning about it so you can get them the best results. You can get them.
Let’s see what other questions I have, people asked … People are curious I guess. When
you take on a client and you take on different types, so I will say monthly reoccurring because
it’s the most popular but, honestly the advice you gave earlier adding setup fees,
like one time office, is really awesome. I think people should start doing that.
But say on like a reoccurring monthly client. What sort of margins do you get in terms of
like what’s your expenses averagely and what’s your profits before tax and all that sorta
stuff. Yeah so typically I allow between 20 to 30
percent for every project for fulfilment. So automatically in my head, I’m like “Okay.
It’s gonna be what.” Let’s say all things being equal and nothing else as far as expenses
goes, the fulfilment at 20 30 percent, you’re looking at about 70 to 90 percent profit margin.
It seem ridiculously crazy right? Seems like- To newer businesses it’s insane
It is right? But Paul, my VA, I pay him $500 a month okay? So $500 a month and I pay my
other two around $350 per month a piece. They’re both full times, full time employees. So if
I take on a client that is let’s say $3800 onetime fee, those guys can literally do everything
on the fulfillment end for that price. That’s less than 20 to 30 percent of that. Or just
about, more or less. Right? If you think about it. So that’s on the fulfillment side but
then I have things like cell phone right? I have a cell phone to pay which is $150 bucks
a month. I have … I don’t have an office. I used to have an office. I used to, I rented
an executive suite and then I realized “Wow this is so stupid.” Like after six months
of paying the rent there I thought “This is so stupid. Nobody comes here. This is just
for me to say that I have a damn suite.” I meet all my people at Starbucks. This is just
the dumbest thing I ever did so I cancelled that. So I don’t have, most of the time I’m
working from my home office which is, you can see where I’m at … It’s very, it’s my
garage actually that I turned into my home office because I never park my cars in here
so I turned into a home office and decked it all out.
So every month I have cell phone bill, I have hosting for like BPN’s and that sort stuff
which can add up but that’s split among different clients. So on average I’m taking, add another
10% to that so I’m taking about 40% profit. A 40% profit from my business for anything
that I could make gross. Awesome. Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I
think that’s pretty universal, you look at most SEO’s like client SEO’s that doing pretty
similar percentages as that. Awesome. So we’re already like ten minutes
over, I think more, but two more questions then. So client acquisition. You say you spend
most of your time on client acquisition now. So if you could give yourself some advice
or someone that’s just starting out, you yourself when you have been like struggling and stuff.
What would you focus on in terms of client acquisition these days? Just like the main
thing. The main thing is gonna be sticking out from
noise. And I know that sounds cliché, people say “Oh you gotta be different, you gotta
be different.” But how are you gonna be different? Stick out from the noise. So in other words
if you’re gonna be sending video audits, don’t, think about a little about how you’re gonna
construct that email and what you’re gonna offer. But calling. Go for people who may
have certain types of clienteles already established. So if you’re gonna go after let’s say, if
you are the kind guy that wants to go after everything maybe going after a web design
agency who doesn’t really offer SEO or who has a weakest skill point. Go after that because
they already have clients they can feed you. If you’re gonna do video marketing a foot
in the door. Go after a videographer or photographer that may have already some clients that would
may feed you right? And don’t be afraid to call these people and reach out to them and
invite them to lunch. Don’t be afraid to knock on their door four five times. Don’t go selling
something the very first time and expect someone to give you money. Fine, but probably not
gonna buy from you if you go selling something the very first time.
Get to know who they are because you may not, it may turn out their assholes, and you may
not want to work with them. So go after what you want but be a little bit different. Like
you can contact associations, you can contact different groups and give talks to these people
and actually get physical people there in the room. When I did the chat for these doctors
and I keep using them as an example, gave a chat about local disability and I said “Hey.
This is what you need to work on, this is what thing are important, this is how you
stop your competition.” And then when things were over I said “Hey, by the way. Not that
I’m trying to sell you anything ’cause I really don’t, I’m not, I’m just here educating you
but have link and if you go to that link you can actually plug in your business information
and if you want, you can kind of get a snap shot of what the landscape looks like for
your practice. And then you can take that and do all the work yourself.”
And that was great because people did it and they came back and they said “Oh this is great
but I’m never gonna do this myself. Can you help me with it?” “Sure if you really want
me to, id be more than happy to help you.” But that was kinda the hook right? And you
can have people come and get it all types of things. You can go to church events and
do it. You can talk to local businesses and associations and do it. You can meet up at
restaurants and do it. You can do all kinds of things to get in front of these high end
clients. Nobody’s going to give you money, especially that kinda money without shaking
your hand or at least kinda getting to know who you are, whether it’s video or whatnot.
They want to know who their dealing with up front in order to do that.
That could be a phone call but it maybe a series of phone calls and one things is important
to know that, the bigger the deal, the longer the sell cycle at times is gonna be so you
have to understand that. Corporate, they only take months sometimes up to years to close
where smaller deals where you’re dealing with the decision maker and there’s no red tape
might be less. So certain companies you might go after. After a certain dollar amount that’s
gotta go through finance and then finance has to approve it and there’s a cycle that
goes through that as opposed to the smaller guy who can write a smaller check.
Yeah. That actually comes back to what you were saying earlier which is basically just,
initially just focusing on just trying to help them and when you focus just on helping
them and not just trying to sell to them, like meeting them the first time is like “Buy
my shit.” It’s like “Hey let me help you out a little bit and if you want some more than
like we can chat.” Yeah you’re becoming the authority really
fast when you’re helping somebody like that. Like I honestly could care less if they buy
from or not but I’m gonna give them this help because I honestly feel that it could help
em’. But you don’t have to buy from me, you can do it yourself. In fact one of the things
that I offer, I think we spoke about this before, is like I tell people “Hey, like I
got these two services that are one time services but I’ve got this retainer thing. The difference
between the two one-time services are that one, I tell you what to do and you do it yourself
and you save the cost of implementation. The other one, I implement it for you.”
It’s the same thing on both except the one I’m charging more for because its my time
that I’m taking to implement. The others they can do themselves so there’s no secret out
there, there’s no magic pill or magic formula to what I’m doing. Everything is just very
systematic. That’s awesome. So one final question is,
what’s the future looking like for you? So the next 12 months, what’re you looking to
do with your agency and you business? Do you have like an exit plan? Like you’re looking
to sell it, you’re looking to scale it more, like what’re you looking to do yourself?
… Yeah I’m looking. I’m actually, I don’t know if I’m gonna sell it but I do have, I
guess if you will, a sort of exit plan. I want to focus more on actually growing a local
business and then getting rid of that local business, sort of like a service based business.
If I could do that, if I could take everything that I know and that we know, we know how
to basically grow a business from zero to whatever and in no time. So it’s nothing
for me to actually grow a service based business and get some people to do the work and then
just sell the business back to them and just take percentage of that business.
I think that’s what the next step if gonna be for me. I’m still gonna take on clients
obviously but that other step is gonna yield much more of higher field return. I’m moving
in a direction of being a business owner and owning these assets as opposed to being the
person who’s actually doing the work for you. It makes sense. And also one of the important
things, I can’t remember if you said it on this interview but you definitely said it
before is that, when you take on a client you want to almost act like you are the business
owner and care it as if you’re the business owner. So when you’re marketing and stuff,
it’s not like, I wanted the bare minimum to for what they’re paying me, it’s like, act
as if you own the business and you care a lot about it so you’re gonna do everything
you possibly can to get them absolute best results. Which allows you in turn to charge
a lot more because you have that focus. Yeah absolutely. And they see that. Other
business owners see that man, they see that you’re caring for their business and when
you have somebody who actually cares for the business just like you do and it’s your baby
and somebody comes in, man you know, do this. This is gonna be better than, they’ll do it
for you, like, I mean I’ve got clients who I do one time work for and then I’m like “Hey
are you reaching out to your people? Like do you have a referral program?” Or no like
“You should really do that, like this stuff is gonna kick in but really do that like right
now because that’s gonna be key.” And I’m like “Do you know how to do that?”
Some of them will say “Yeah, but I’ve never thought about it.” “Do it because it’s gonna
give you more business.” Some will say “No, can you do it for me?” And then, for some,
depending on the situation I’ll say it’s pretty easy, you have a list already. You
already have like no chip setup or something. I’ll show you how to do it and at no cost.
And that goes a really long way because then they recommend new business and they keep
coming back for other things because you’ve actually genuinely done something for them
that can grow their business. Exactly. Aright man, were already way over
what were supposed to do so. It’s really awesome, you share a lot of great information. I’m
sure people will get a lot out of this. Thanks a lot for just coming on the show and being
here today. It’s really awesome. Thanks man. No problem.
Aright. Thanks guys for tuning in and I’ll speak to you guys later.