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Be a Powerhouse Agency in Less Than a Year: Webinar Transcript & Video

For your con­ve­nience, we tran­scribed our Boost Your Busi­ness: Be a Pow­er­house Agency in Less Than a Year webi­nar below.

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Webinar Transcript

[Down­load­able ver­sion of this tran­script, the pre­sen­ta­tion deck and oth­er mate­ri­als are also avail­able in the Dash­board Resource Cen­ter]

Bernard:
Hel­lo every­one wel­come back to the SEO­Re­seller webi­nar series and this is Boost your Busi­ness, being a Dig­i­tal Agency Pow­er­house in less than a year.
I’ve got Ita­mar with me, our CEO and founder. I’ll let Ita­mar intro­duce him­self.

Ita­mar:
Hey guys. Nice to see you all com­ing to the pre­sen­ta­tion that we pre­pared for you. We’ll wait for a cou­ple more min­utes and in the mean­while intro­duce our­selves. So as Bernard said, I’m Ita­mar.

{slide: Meet Our Pan­elists}

I’m the founder of SEO­Re­seller and the rea­son a lot of you didn’t hear from me for a long time, if ever, is because I’ve been in the back­ground doing my pro­gram­ming, cause as you can see, my back­ground is pro­gram­ming and I’m the guy respon­si­ble for all the dash­boards and the API’s and the reports you are giv­ing your clients. It all comes from what my guys are doing. So in this webi­nar I’ll help Bernard talk a bit about what makes agen­cies super awe­some and hope­ful­ly all of you will learn a lot so Bernard…

Bernard:
I agree, and I’ve been work­ing with Ita­mar for about 4 going 5 years now…

Ita­mar:
Almost

Bernard:
…Yeah almost 5 years and time real­ly flies here. We’ve had some clients fly into the office already and they’ve seen what it’s like. They’ve always loved the cul­ture every time we’ve brought them here.

The rea­son I joined SEO­Re­seller is because it allows me to help a lot of busi­ness­es and I’ve only tak­en over the sales depart­ment for the past 2 years but when I was run­ning oper­a­tions here a lot of you would have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak with us and this is what we do, month on, month in month out. We try to help resellers and busi­ness­es grow their clients and grow their busi­ness­es and that’s what we’re going to try help a lot of you achieve today.

Ita­mar:
Right. So let’s see what are we going to talk about.

{slide: Dis­cus­sion Out­line}

We’ve, first of all we’ll refresh some fea­tures, a refresh­er for some fea­tures that we already have and updates about new fea­tures that we’re gonna have. Some of you got the recent newslet­ters about Local Rep­u­ta­tion Man­age­ment and excit­ing things. I want to cov­er that first before we start. After that we’ll show you case stud­ies of 3 of our pret­ty big and suc­cess­ful part­ners and we’ll show you what chal­lenges they had and how they over­came them. We’ll talk about insights from the case stud­ies, the foun­da­tions of being a big, suc­cess­ful agency, pro tips that we gath­ered from these learn­ing and end­ing with Q and A ses­sion by you guys. You have the chat, feel free to start typ­ing in the ques­tions. We’ll answer them lat­er.

{slide: Com­ing This Month}

So, com­ing this month these are 2 things that me and my guys are work­ing for, on, we’re pret­ty excit­ed to launch our fast turn-around time with instant mock-up and pro­pos­al gen­er­a­tor in the dash­board web­site design prod­uct, improved two week stream­line devel­op­ment process.

So what does this mean? It means that your clients or your prospects, they don’t want to get anoth­er tem­plate that they saw some­where or is being used so many times and with our new mod­ule in your dash­board you’ll be able to instant­ly gen­er­ate a mock-up from thou­sands of dif­fer­ent options that we will have. This mock-up will have your water­marks, you’ll have the pro­pos­al attached, so it real­ly helps clos­ing.

All you need is for the cus­tomer to sign the dot­ted line, then you launch it with us. We sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved our web devel­op­ment prod­uct and we’re try­ing to com­mit to 2 weeks stream­lined devel­op­ment process. All of course depend­ing on you guys fill­ing in the briefs and being in touch with your project man­agers we can deliv­er in 2 weeks or less. I don’t want to com­mit but “or less”. Espe­cial­ly with this amaz­ing new mod­ule, but I can’t wait to show it to you guys.

And the next thing is con­trol and mea­sure your client’s rep­u­ta­tion online it’ll help them dri­ve pos­i­tive reviews to their busi­ness list­ings with a unique new sys­tem. It took us some time to get to that mod­ule, and final­ly we’re about to release it. A lot of peo­ple are con­tact­ing us and say­ing: “Hey, can you get me reviews for my clients?”, and usu­al­ly they are ask­ing for fake reviews and this is cer­tain­ly some­thing we will not do, this is some­thing that is not worth it for the long run.

What we were focus­ing on is devel­op­ing sys­tems that help you man­age your client’s rep­u­ta­tion online and able to lead real reviews, you know, irate clients will usu­al­ly drop a bad review but the good review­ers, they were just hap­py with the ser­vice. They are not even think­ing twice of whether to leave or not leave and if you’ll get them into a sys­tem and ask them to leave that good review they wouldn’t mind. And this is some­thing we’ll release this month in Feb­ru­ary, so I am excit­ed for that. Also we’ll…

{slide: White Label Dash­board Set­up}

Bernard:
…Same here.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, that’s a good one, this is real­ly help­ing us focus on local busi­ness­es. We real­ly real­ize that a lot of you guys are very suc­cess­ful with local busi­ness­es with nich­es, and this one will real­ly be a kick­er for you. So we’re about to cov­er a few case stud­ies and about to tell you about suc­cess sto­ries and all of this wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with a few of the basic fea­tures, like the white label dash­board setups. Some of you did. We have a lot of new guys join­ing us towards the end of last year and some of them are on-board­ed and some of them are still in the onboard­ing phase and it’s very sim­ple. You just set­up your dash­board on your own sub-domain, so it’s all pro­pri­etary to you. Your employ­ees would nev­er know it’s SEO­Re­seller. All the brand­ing is stripped and just your brand­ing will show. You can change even your brand col­or, so all your reports, every­thing that’s export­ed from our sys­tem will have your brand col­ors, all the way through the sys­tem and so on and so forth. So you might think it’s dif­fi­cult to do, and I’ll tell you, it’s seri­ous­ly not. We devel­oped it to be real­ly easy.

But if you are still, you know, not sure about how to do that, we have link here and you can just vis­it the bitly/getsked, and this is a sched­ule appoint­ment set­ting with one of our project man­agers that can lead you through this very easy set­up phase, so…

Bernard:
…absolute­ly.

{slide: Instant Web­site Audit}

Ita­mar:
Make sure to use that. The next one is some­thing we will cov­er lat­er on. This is the instant web­site audit, not a lot of peo­ple know how to use it prop­er­ly or that we have it and I’m real­ly encour­ag­ing you to login to your dash­board after the webi­nar and check it, because this is a instant sales pitch mate­r­i­al.

It’s free for every­one, no lim­it. I know there are tools out there that charges you good mon­ey to have these audits and I know that we have com­peti­tors that are ask­ing for extra mon­ey to run these audits. With us it’s just for free. Go, launch them, send them to clients. Print them and go with them to clients. Do what­ev­er you want with them, it’s real­ly help­ful. We’ll see how it helped oth­er part­ners of our and like it says here, top part­ners are run­ning dozens of those. It’s free and con­tains a lot of added val­ue.

{slide: Local Rep­u­ta­tion Man­ag­er}

The last thing I want to re-inforce is the usage of the local rep­u­ta­tion man­ag­er mod­ule. This is pre- the mod­ule I men­tioned ear­li­er. The mod­ule I men­tioned ear­li­er is about actu­al­ly get­ting good reviews through the door. But this one adds val­ue by show­ing clients their online vis­i­bil­i­ty and rep­u­ta­tion by lis­ten­ing to their cus­tomers feed­back. Real time across var­i­ous chan­nels, so who­ev­er already have, has local pack­ages run­ning with us, you can already see it in your dash­board and your clients can see it in their dash­board, your white label dash­board. Very impor­tant, keep in mind these fea­tures. These are keys to suc­cess. We’ll see why lat­er. So…

{slide: Agency Growth Fac­tors}

Ita­mar:
…with­out fur­ther adieu, and I let Bernard lead this one, we’ll talk about agency growth fac­tors.

Bernard:
Right. So before I start off with the case stud­ies I want­ed to remind every­body that you’re free to send in your ques­tions via live chat at any point in time dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion. So you’re strong­ly encour­aged. If there’s a case study we’re going through, you think you’re going through the same fac­tors, please send in a ques­tion. We’ll be more than hap­py to accom­mo­date you before the end of the pre­sen­ta­tion.

So I’ll take us first, to the first case study.

{slide: Agency Growth Fac­tors: Case Study #1}

So case study num­ber one is about, I’ll call him part­ner num­ber one and part­ner num­ber one start­ed off with us as a web­mas­ter by trade. He built and sold web­sites to a spe­cif­ic niche. His ini­tial client base was based off of a relative’s pro­fes­sion­al net­work and his core busi­ness was sell­ing web­sites day in and day out build­ing web­sites for cus­tomers. The chal­lenge to sell­ing web­sites and web devel­op­ment is that web dev is a revolv­ing door. The rev­enue does not recur and when it does, the recur­ring rev­enue is resid­ual like host­ing, main­te­nance and so on and so forth. So his month­ly sales fig­ures sort of got stuck between the 0 to 5000 mark, month on month on month on month.

The solu­tion he employed to get­ting him bet­ter month­ly recur­ring rev­enue was he start­ed up sell­ing SEO to his exist­ing client base pri­mar­i­ly because a), there was a demand, some of them were ask­ing him for it. The chal­lenge was he wasn’t an expert on it, so he need­ed to find a provider that would take the time to edu­cate him and of course he had to take the time to edu­cate him­self, mean­ing invest time, talk­ing to his project man­ag­er. And he did, min­i­mum bi-month­ly. And this is the trend of growth that he expe­ri­enced…

Ita­mar:
…by the way, it’s not just upselling from web design to SEO. I know we’re talk­ing main­ly SEO here but if you checked our store we have a lot of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts. When you have a client base, the next move is to cross sell, to up sell and to cross sell and I think if you already have a base of SEO, your move could be from SEO to Social, or to PPC or to what­ev­er you choose to pro­fes­sion­al­ize in next. But the exam­ple here of some­one that has no tro­phy sit­ting, star­ing him the eye and he is not get­ting it until that sec­ond that every­thing clicks and then you start get­ting to that recur­ring rev­enue sit­u­a­tion.

Bernard:
Right, so for part­ner num­ber 1’s case, he grew to 37 000 retail recur­ring month­ly rev­enue in a peri­od of 8 months. So that’s from 0 to 5 000 month­ly recur­ring sales to 37 000 month­ly recur­ring sales…

Ita­mar:
…and he was doing it on his own right? He didn’t have any employ­ees or any­thing…

Bernard:
No.

Ita­mar:
He was a Free­lancer.

Bernard:
No employ­ees. Every­thing was done through us. Even­tu­al­ly the web devel­op­ment also man­aged to go through us. But it real­ly start­ed off with him hav­ing to gen­er­ate month­ly recur­ring rev­enue and that’s when he freed up time going to expos and events and net­work­ing and that’s sort of how he grew his busi­ness. That’s how he gained momen­tum in terms of grow­ing.

{slide: Agency Growth Fac­tors: Case Study #2}

You’ll see a bet­ter exam­ple of this on the next case study which is case study num­ber 2, who I will pro­tect by cov­er­ing with part­ner num­ber 2.

So, part­ner num­ber 2 worked at a inter­net mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny and had a very good sales back­ground. But he wasn’t tech­ni­cal by any means. At the point where he reached 10 to 15 thou­sand in retail recur­ring rev­enue, this is the day when he left his day job. So when he joined us he had 3 – 5 clients as his sta­ple and the prob­lems he sort of ran into real­ly was that he was his own project man­ag­er, his own cus­tomer ser­vice per­son, his own sales­man. Of course he was run­ning his own busi­ness, so he was his own book­keep­er. He had awe­some sales­man­ship skills, but no SEO mas­tery and that’s sort of a chal­lenge when you’re in this indus­try cause SEO is very sci­en­tif­ic in nature and it’s very edu­ca­tion­al in nature.

So the approach that he did was he relied heav­i­ly on the tech­ni­cal audits as a sales tool. Being a ter­rif­ic sales­man, he appre­ci­at­ed that prepa­ra­tion is an awe­some sales tech­nique. Every­body appre­ci­ates research being done about them before their ever approa..{inaudible} to reduce the amount of time he does for cus­tomer sup­port. By edu­cat­ing his clients on using the dash­board real time. mon­i­tor­ing the work, mon­i­tor­ing the results he was able to reduce the amount of time he had to spend on phone calls, on dri­ves, on face to face meet­ings, which allowed him to grow his busi­ness fur­ther. At a cer­tain point he couldn’t grow his busi­ness because there’s only one sales­man can do and he encour­aged a friend to hop on board as part­ner. He actu­al­ly talked his friend out of his job and they sort of ran the thing as part­ners.

Ita­mar:
That’s a risky one, but I think it paid off.

Bernard:
Right. They’ve got an amaz­ing tra­jec­to­ry. They grew to approx­i­mate­ly 150 000 in retail month­ly recur­ring rev­enue in less than a year, specif­i­cal­ly 11 months and they’ve been grow­ing dou­ble every 11 months. In fact, we’ve flown him here twice. He’s met our staff, he’s met his team here twice and it’s been an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence.

Ita­mar:
Maybe it’s time to remind our part­ners that we’re fly­ing peo­ple here to the Philip­pines, our head­quar­ters are in Mani­la, Philip­pines when you reach $20 000 in spend­ings with us. And I think you’re see­ing those MRRs and you’re see­ing the retail price usu­al­ly depends on the per­son, depends on the agency and we’ll get to the markups lat­er, but it might mean 2, 2.5 markup, so their spend­ing with us up to 20 000 then we fly them here just to solid­i­fy the rela­tion­ship. They can see the oper­a­tions. They can get more a feel­ing of that’s someone’s tak­ing care of you and then it real­ly boosts the tra­jec­to­ry.

Ita­mar:
And this is one exam­ple of that one…

{slide: Agency Growth Fac­tors: Case Study #3}

Bernard:
…right. Now for case study num­ber 3, part­ner num­ber 3, this starts on a more sober note. Part­ner num­ber 3 start­ed his career in SEO by los­ing his job. And his ini­tial client base was based off his own pro­fes­sion­al net­work. Unfor­tu­nate­ly his per­son­al, pro­fes­sion­al net­work start­ed off with a nation­al list from coast to coast. And in order for him to grow his busi­ness, or actu­al­ly in order for him to get start­ed, he just took on any busi­ness he could find. He indis­crim­i­nate­ly took on any project wher­ev­er they were, what­ev­er indus­try they were in and his first, I guess the first process that he had in mind was to rely on free­lancers for time­ly exe­cu­tion and deliv­ery, offer­ing SEO with an SEO in one region, writ­ers in anoth­er region, web­mas­ters in anoth­er region. He had to extend his hours beyond the nor­mal 9 hour work­ing sched­ule, to be able to man­age all the work and then do his own sales and cus­tomer ser­vice. In order for him to grow his busi­ness…

Ita­mar:
…from my expe­ri­ence Bernard by the way, this is most of the folks that are stuck, this is where they’re at, it’s the tak­ing just any project cause you know, you prob­a­bly need mon­ey through the door, you’ll just take any­thing. You’ll try to have cheap costs, so you do free­lancers and peo­ple think that they’re mak­ing it and they’re advanc­ing, but this is the tough­est spot to break out of, so yeah, let’s see what we did with this guy.

Bernard:
So when he joined us he obvi­ous­ly need­ed to work 12 – 16 hours every day, so he had to find a all in one solu­tion and he joined our pro­gram with a client base of 5 cus­tomers. He, as a growth hack, part­ner num­ber 3 actu­al­ly need­ed to realise that there was actu­al­ly no way that he could do it on his own and he’d been doing it a while on his own. So as a growth hack he took on a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er right off the bat because he need­ed sub­ject mat­ter mas­tery. While he was good at shak­ing hands and look­ing peo­ple in the eye and sign­ing con­tracts, his cus­tomers need­ed some tech­ni­cal sup­port in terms of imple­ment­ing on-page, under­stand­ing the val­ue and so on and so forth,. Under­stand­ing essen­tial­ly what the method­ol­o­gy was doing for them.

Ita­mar:
I think not a lot of our part­ners are aware and I think we only intro­duce it when they become big, we should intro­duce it from the begin­ning, that you can have a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er. When you’re small, you’re with Project Man­agers that han­dles a few part­ners, but in order to grow big­ger you need some­one that sits here on the floor with you that can chase peo­ple around for you. He can talk to your clients, he has a VOIP num­ber with your num­ber, your email. Some of them are even chang­ing their linked in right?

Ita­mar:
They’re pret­ty proud to work for the brand they’re work­ing for and this is a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er, just to clar­i­fy.

Bernard:
Some of them even have busi­ness cards from the busi­ness that they work with.

{laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
Yeah, they tak­ing it seri­ous­ly.

Bernard:
Right. One of the oth­er break­throughs part­ner num­ber 3 did was to focus on a niche and to focus local­ly. This is real­ly laser focussing. He realised that he had an advan­tage local­ly because any suc­cess­ful work he did cre­at­ed a rep­u­ta­tion for him local­ly plus his local knowl­edge of the busi­ness envi­ron­ment, of the cul­ture gave him an advan­tage in terms of the indus­try. Now focussing on the niche also allowed him to be an expert in one spe­cif­ic indus­try vs every­thing.

Ita­mar:
Yeah so it’s focus on focus. Some peo­ple focus on niche. Some peo­ple focus on local busi­ness­es and I think that that dou­ble focus real­ly gets you well focused but it real­ly gets you to under­stand, like Bernard said and with this guy we had pret­ty awe­some suc­cess in 6 months time.

Bernard:
Right, so in 6 months time he added $60 000 worth of month­ly recur­ring rev­enue into his books and he added a lot of new accounts. What’s even bet­ter is because of the results he drove for his clients, he has one of our record best reten­tion rates. See­ing our client base, he has vir­tu­al­ly zero can­cel­la­tions. Very unusu­al for us to see any can­cel­la­tions com­ing from his account.

Ita­mar:
I think it’s the dou­ble focus. I think it’s because every­body knows him. He is the author­i­ty. He knows the indus­try, he gets word of mouth and you know, he is the go to per­son for that indus­try and that local. Some peo­ple try to fly out they might do the niche thing, but they fly out and spend so many resources just try­ing to keep every­body hap­py. The dou­ble focus here was real­ly a good thing…

Ita­mar:
Yeah and I guess the guy was with us, he’s a great guy and I think he’s vis­it­ing us again in 2 months, that’s great to hear.

Bernard:
Right, he’s fly­ing again in 2 months because he has since dou­bled his busi­ness over twice and now there are oth­er larg­er com­pa­nies that are look­ing to part­ner with him now.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, some of our guys are part­ner­ing with oth­er agen­cies, SEO agen­cies and they just offer our ser­vices to those agen­cies, that’s anoth­er mod­el that is work­ing for some of our guys.

{slide: Key Insights to Be a Pow­er­house Agency}

So we start real­ly study­ing this thing and inter­view­ing our suc­cess­ful part­ners and we came up with key insights to becom­ing a pow­er­house agency.

Bernard:
Right and this is where we real­ly get to the meat of this con­ver­sa­tion, about what they’re sup­posed to learn when it comes to their sto­ries and the first one is by expand­ing your net­work or estab­lish­ing and expand­ing your net­work. It’s real­ly impor­tant to realise. Your first set of clients, they are clos­er than you think. Lever­age your con­tacts, your fam­i­ly, your friends, for­mer col­leagues. Join organ­i­sa­tions, join indus­try asso­ci­a­tions, speak pub­licly, but build your net­work. It’s part, it’s a nec­es­sary part of build­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

The next one is, we often get asked: “How much should you mark up?”, and we’ll revis­it that con­ver­sa­tion again, but for us the fairest way to say that is, don’t be greedy. Be rea­son­able with pric­ing by mark­ing up based on the care and the val­ue you add to the rela­tion­ship. Base it on the amount of love you will pro­vide the clients and the amount of time you’ll give clients. Do not under­val­ue your own time. This one is a very impor­tant les­son.

Ita­mar:
I want to also remind peo­ple that when you part­ner with us you get the dash­board, and it’s a pret­ty intri­cate dash­board. It took us years to devel­op and hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars and you actu­al­ly give that to the client not to men­tion the method­ol­o­gy and the sup­port and the time­li­ness of deliv­er­ables. Seri­ous con­tent, seri­ous fea­tures so you have to charge for it. And some­times peo­ple under­charge and then they end up being frus­trat­ed, just chas­ing their own tail, out of breath, you know, because the markup is your breath of fresh air and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to focus on things, and grow.

Bernard:
Right, now the oth­er one is del­e­gate and auto­mate as much as you can. As you saw, part­ner num­ber 2 part­nered up with a friend and that’s what allowed him to break out of being the all in one entre­pre­neur, being the all in one sales­man. It allowed them to save time on, work­ing with us allowed them to save time on report­ing and hav­ing a ded­i­cat­ed per­son to do cer­tain tasks. But you also have to realise that you can’t do every­thing by your­self or for long stretch­es of time. It will even­tu­al­ly put a glass ceil­ing on your abil­i­ty to grow.

Ita­mar:
Right. The dash­board helps with that as well. Sav­ing time on report­ing. Some of our good guys they’re just under­stand­ing the dash­board where they’re study­ing it and cre­at­ing their own employ­ees sign in, login for their employ­ees to login so they don’t see any SEO­Re­seller they don’t see store or invoic­es or any­thing. And they cre­ate the client’s login so they find when their curi­ous about their rank­ings or their ana­lyt­ics they don’t have to bug you.

Ita­mar:
So you know you save time. Even­tu­al­ly when you scale it’s a lot of time. Yeah, you start with edu­cat­ing, set­ting expec­ta­tions, we’ll talk about it and yeah, this one goes with­out say­ing. Devel­op your skills and expe­ri­ence. Be the author­i­ty in your niche. We’re not talk­ing about SEO, we’re talk­ing about your niche, the niche you’re deal­ing with. You do your home­work, take time to study the indus­try, method­ol­o­gy and best prac­tices because when you’re going to a niche in the begin­ning the con­ver­sa­tions might not be very flu­ent, but as you study the niche, when you go through their pain points, you help them again and again and again you have use cas­es. You become an author­i­ty, you get word of mouth, you get invit­ed to speak. Think about it, for them dig­i­tal or SEO is like, you know, a mys­tery and when you focus on a niche, it reaps, you can reap the ben­e­fits, that’s what I’m try­ing to say.

Bernard:
Right, and then for the next one it real­ly is about being their part­ner, not their tech­ni­cian. A lot of busi­ness own­ers and a lot of peo­ple that start up their own dig­i­tal agen­cies try to do every­thing by them­selves. You won’t be able to main­tain that role and you will hit a growth ceil­ing real­ly quick­ly. Which sort of takes me to cam­paign man­age­ment. So I’ll digress here a bit by talk­ing about cam­paign man­age­ment a bit.

{slide: Cam­paign Man­age­ment}

This is the dash­board. For those of you that work with us, you already know how pow­er­ful it is. For those of you that haven’t worked with us, this is what enables you to save time by not dig­ging into your mail­box to find your last cor­re­spon­dence with your client,s con­tent that got sent to you, how many arti­cles are wait­ing on approval. It allows you to view where the sta­tus of a project is in terms of ful­fil­ment. It allows you to send your reports to your client. And the best part is it allows you to pre­pare for a sale in a mat­ter of sec­onds. That is a lot of time that’s saved. Time that you can allo­cate to grow­ing your busi­ness and not just run­ning around being your own cus­tomer ser­vice per­son.

Ita­mar:
Yeah it saves you all the Google docs, excel sheets, emails, every­thing is in one dash­board. Every­thing is main­tained by us, so you have a project, you always have a project man­ag­er, keep in mind you always have a project man­ag­er to lean on, so, what­ev­er you need is in the dash­board or with your project man­ag­er. Impor­tant to remem­ber, it’s a life saver.

{Key Insights to Be a Pow­er­house Agency slide}

Bernard:
Right, so mov­ing on. Start local­ly. This is what we saw in Case Study num­ber 3 where part­ner num­ber 3 realised that just going from coast to coast in terms of a cus­tomer base would not work. By focussing local­ly you start cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful port­fo­lio in the local envi­ron­ment and then you can expand your reach by being known, by being able to speak pub­li­cal­ly at local events, by lever­ag­ing your knowl­edge of the local mar­ket, you’re able to grow faster with that focus…

Ita­mar:
…I think it’s now only you can grow faster if you start local­ly. I think that if you start by not focus­ing local­ly, even if the tick­et size of the client you’re try­ing to win high, just the trav­el time or the fact that you can’t meet face to face in the office every time. I think it takes a toll. I think some­times I see­ing peo­ple like they’re sure they’re gonna close it and anoth­er pass­es and anoth­er month pass­es where they could have just like gone around local­ly and real­ly winned. So there is a temp­ta­tion cause some­times some­one comes from far away and says “I have a lot of bud­get” I think in the begin­ning, and we’re talk­ing about begin­ning to the mid of the jour­ney you have to stop with the long dis­tance and the temp­ta­tions to get the holy grail, we’ll talk about the holy grail…

Ita­mar:
It’s some­thing we use a lot. So yeah, you start local­ly and the sec­ond is focus on a niche.

Bernard:
Right. This is real­ly lazor focussing. As Ita­mar men­tioned ear­li­er, it allows you to gain exper­tise. You may not be a lawyer, but talk­ing to sev­er­al of them makes you realise that they all go through the same things when it comes to grow­ing their prac­tice. And as you get exposed to more and more of them and help more of them solve their prob­lems you become an expert in solv­ing…

Ita­mar:
…yeah..

Bernard:
…their prob­lems, right…

Ita­mar:
…every niche will have dif­fer­ent strate­gies, even if it’s just SEO. I’m not talk­ing about SEO, PPC, Social and so on. Even if it’s just SEO, you have spe­cif­ic long-tail key­words, you have spe­cif­ic strate­gies, spe­cif­ic direc­to­ries. So when you become the experts, the expert, noth­ing can beat that. And next one will be qual­i­fy…

Bernard:
…yeah…

Ita­mar:
…I guess Bernard is the one to talk more about this, he is more the sales guy.

Bernard:
Absolute­ly. I would love deal­ing with this. Qual­i­fy­ing poten­tial clients and know when to let go. One of the things I like to teach our project man­agers and our busi­ness devel­op­ers is you don’t just take anybody’s busi­ness. You want to take the busi­ness that you’re able to add val­ue to. Just because someone’s got a bud­get, doesn’t mean you take on their busi­ness. What if they had done dirty SEO on the web­site before and it’ll take you 12 months to recov­er from that. What if the site is under a penal­ty. What if the key­word selec­tion is not real­is­tic. You need to under­stand whether this per­son is a good qual­i­fied client for SEO ser­vices or for any dig­i­tal ser­vice you’re look­ing to exe­cute. Now on the flip­side. The abil­i­ty to qual­i­fy and dis­qual­i­fy mat­ters because you need to be able to bal­ance that. But on the flip side don’t be too quick to dis­qual­i­fy…

Ita­mar:
…I just want to add about the pre­vi­ous one. Allow me to chime in, is that when you just start­ing, any client looks like a good client, but I’ll bet to defer, not every client is a good client and we’ve seen peo­ple get­ting so frus­trat­ed with their first one or sec­ond and then they go back to their day job because they think I can’t do that. But it’s just because they chose the, that tick­ing time bomb…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…they chose some­one that with a bit of due dili­gence, they could realise that’s not for me, it’s gonna waste so much of my time. I can’t grow. But yes, you also need to not dis­qual­i­fy poten­tial clients too quick­ly…

Bernard:
…right, based on our expe­ri­ence we realised that SEO clients tend to make emo­tion­al buy­ing deci­sions and it is an emo­tion­al buy­ing deci­sion in about 30 – 90 days. For some it takes a while. For some peo­ple it’s quick, it’s 30 days because they’ve done it before. But for some peo­ple it takes up to 90 days because it’s not a known indus­try, it’s no, it’s like mag­ic, they don’t under­stand how it works. They don’t under­stand how to com­pute ROI, they don’t under­stand the val­ue at the end of the day in their books. But don’t be too quick to dis­qual­i­fy. Make sure that when you’re qual­i­fy­ing, you’re doing it out of a set cri­te­ria. For us it’s a set of 9 ques­tion­naires where they have deposit­ed on 5. You have to for­mu­late your own.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, there’s some rea­sons why would they start and not start and you need to be there when they decide to start. Maybe even they went for a cheap­er ven­dor and they’re unhap­py and they’re look­ing for some­one, so we would say 90 days you can still fig­ure out what’s up with them, send them an occa­sion­al email say­ing “Hey do you need any­thing, any help, any advise, I would love to give it to you” and that sec­ond they’re in that deci­sion moment you’ll be there, yeah so…

Bernard:
…right, it’s impor­tant to nur­ture your prospects. At some point they’re going to be ready to buy and the only thing to take away is you need to be there at the point when they are ready to buy…

Ita­mar:
…don’t give up eas­i­ly. And don’t try to chase the holy grail…

Bernard:
…yeah, this one’s impor­tant. It can stop a lot clients from grow­ing. You when you’re new and you’ve got let’s say 5 000 – 10000 worth of recur­ring month­ly rev­enue and some­body comes in with a 10 000 tick­et size. It’s very tempt­ing to go after that one client with anoth­er $10 000 size cause you’re think­ing as a busi­ness own­er that one client dou­bles your busi­ness. But in real­i­ty that one client that dou­bles your busi­ness will eat up 80% of your time, mak­ing you neglect the remain­der of the clients that are in your bas­ket, so…

Ita­mar:
…it’s so, it’s a clas­sic all the eggs in one bas­ket case…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…and you become stressed, the response is unhap­py and high tick­ets {inaudi­ble} are very demand­ing. If they’re unhap­py you can’t sleep at night, you don’t want it at the begin­ning of your way. The big­ger agen­cies that work with us they are {inaudi­ble}, we are help­ing them with a lot of audits and they do on-page for like thou­sands of pages on ecom­merce shops but this is when you grow big­ger. When you’re small and you’re tak­ing that big tick­et size, you just want to pay rent or, you know, this is your bread and but­ter, be very care­ful with that. That’s what we’re say­ing.

Bernard:
Right. Mov­ing on to oth­er key insights when it comes to becom­ing a pow­er­house is know when to scale. Scal­ing is very tempt­ing mean­ing, you’re a nat­ur­al busi­ness­man, you wan­na grow your busi­ness real­ly quick­ly. But what we will advise is you have to cre­ate a steady base of month­ly recur­ring rev­enue before you even start look­ing at the idea of scal­ing your busi­ness…

Ita­mar:
…yeah, sales­peo­ple, big­ger office. You have to have that MRR. It’s not web design like we saw in the begin­ning, cause these come and go. Its when you get the clients to be hap­py with you, when you fig­ured out how to retain thats where you real­ly scale. You re-invest every­thing and you do crazy mar­ket­ing, hire the best sales­peo­ple. But it has a {inaudi­ble} time where you have to, to actu­al­ly do that.

Bernard:
Right, now for some of you who have already worked with us, you know that we make it easy for you to join and we make it easy for you to exit. And we work on a per­for­mance basis, mean­ing, as long as you’re hap­py with us you keep work­ing with us. We are month­ly, pre-paid sub­scrip­tion based, but that’s not how we advise you to start. We advise you to start by sign­ing your clients into a con­tract. Because this puts you and you cus­tomer in a long term state of mind. More than that it is incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult for you to tie some­body to a con­tract of 6 months tp0 a year. At least put a 30 day exit clause inside your con­tract that pro­tects your, that pro­tects your cash flow. But always sign a con­tract because this pro­tects your cash flow month in, month out, month in, month out. Remem­ber, you’re just start­ing out. How your cash flow’s deter­mined if you have funds to grow your busi­ness.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, it’s a busi­ness deci­sion and a cou­ple of guys they just want to take the busi­ness in so they’ll just say yes to any­thing, but being dili­gent on going with a con­tract will real­ly help you sleep bet­ter at night and I think also for clients the first month or 2 or 3, they’re the most kind of wary when they start with an SEO cause they give you thou­sands of dol­lars and they’re not sure what’s gonna hap­pen. But once you get into this state of mind of OK, we’ll sign a con­tract, if you decide not to, just give me 30 days notice, so both of you are in it for the long haul. So everybody’s will­ing to wait and see what’s up and this is where we kick in with the dash­board and with the method­ol­o­gy and I think that you need to believe in what you’re sell­ing. This is the biggest thing…

Bernard:
…yeah, i absolute­ly agree…

Ita­mar:
…and if the prod­uct, if the prod­uct wasn’t good, so what are we talk­ing about, so every­thing is based on the prod­uct is good, the tech­nol­o­gy is good. You con­fi­dent, you sign a con­tract…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…this is busi­ness, espe­cial­ly for the begin­ner, the begin­ning guys who are afraid to even men­tion a con­tract. They’re afraid they’re gonna lose it, but, guess what. It’s just a con­ver­sa­tion…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…start the con­ver­sa­tion. Some­thing we didn’t men­tion Bernard, is the new resource cen­ter. Actu­al­ly if you go to the dash­board, the resource cen­ter, right our guys worked hard on it today to move to switch to the new one, kudos to our mar­ket­ing guys. And that’s a lot of mate­r­i­al that’s brand­able. Once you login to the Dash­board, you put your logo on, most of those sales mate­r­i­al, train­ing mate­r­i­al, once you down­load, will com­pile the mate­r­i­al with your logo on it, with your com­pa­ny name on it. So you have con­tracts and NDA’s that we’ll add dozens of more train­ing mate­ri­als to know how to sell every­thing from PPC, SEO to Social and you should real­ly use it. I think the basics of any busi­ness, you start with your col­lat­er­al, you start with the stuff that gets you mov­ing…

Ita­mar:
…right so, yeah, get your clients mar­ried to the dash­board. I think we can’t stress this enough…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…and I’m proud of the dash­board. It took us years and I feel like we’re like only 50% in. I think we have so many fea­tures like poll track­ing and like a CRM to send newslet­ter for your clients. Every­thing from the dash­board so there’s a lot to expect. But get­ting mar­ried. Why would they get their clients mar­ried to the dash­board Bernard?

Bernard:
So, first of all, we’re advis­ing you guys to get mar­ried to the dash­board . You, your­self first, because your clients will not pick up the habit of using the dash­board, unless you use the dash­board as a habit. We’ve also realised that based off of how our clients behave, the most suc­cess­ful ones are the ones that are always in their dash­board, tak­ing care of their clients, man­ag­ing the accounts from with­in the dash­board. The dash­board has a white label ver­sion., mean­ing a ver­sion you can send to your cus­tomer. One that they can view on their phone, one that they can view in their home. Where they can see results real time and they see progress in real time.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, it’s like we all, we’ve all been in this sit­u­a­tion where we track our rank­ings dai­ly and we want to see what hap­pened today. Is it green, is it red? Is it going up or going down? And if you set them up like this from the begin­ning and they start going dai­ly, it’s respon­sive, they can check it on their mobile, I think we have clients that are like com­ing with crazy sto­ries like this guy that called Bernard and said “Yes, Yes I’m check­ing the rank­ings cause I have a flat tyre, I’m on my mobile” going out there, super excit­ed. And I guess it’s just form­ing good habits from the get-go. If after a few months you are send­ing the reports to the clients man­u­al­ly every time, not proac­tive­ly but reac­tive­ly it will be very hard to tell them, now go and start check­ing the dash­board. They wouldn’t know what you’re talk­ing about…

Bernard:
…right…

Ita­mar:
…so from the get-go get them on the dash­board. Tech­ni­cal­ly speak­ing, cause we have access to the data­base, we see that the, our big part­ners, they have a lot of users in the dash­board and these users are very active, they’re log­ging some­times dai­ly into the dash­board, check­ing the reports, check­ing the rank­ings, so this one’s pret­ty impor­tant.

Bernard:
Right, so the next one is also, lever­ag­ing net­work­ing effects. This is a mar­ket­ing con­cept. But what we mean is when you try to edu­cate one client, you walk into a sales pitch, you’re talk­ing about a 30 minute con­ver­sa­tion to one hour con­ver­sa­tion where you’re edu­cat­ing one poten­tial tick­et. By doing this pub­li­cal­ly, by speak­ing at events, by going to indus­try sem­i­nars, con­fer­ences, get­ting invit­ed to speak, vol­un­teer­ing to speak, you lever­age a net­work­ing effect because it’s the same amount of time invest­ed edu­cat­ing sev­er­al poten­tial clients.

Ita­mar:
Yep, and don’t give up on your dor­mant leads. I think we’ve cov­ered it before. You recon­nect with old prospects. You can even recon­nect with peo­ple that were doing SEO or web design or what­ev­er with you in the past and re-probe and see what’s up…

Ita­mar:
It works.

Ita­mar:
There is a per­cent­age to it, you know, it’s sta­tis­tics.

Bernard:
Right, your client base isn’t always new clients. Your client base can be peo­ple that have not bought that spe­cif­ic ser­vice from you and you want to make sure that you want to max­i­mize your leads, your client base. So make sure that you nev­er sun­set clients that have more poten­tial rela­tion­ship to have with you, espe­cial­ly if you add val­ue to that rela­tion­ship…

Ita­mar:
Yeah, if you’re in the biz for a year, 2 or 3, you might even have like emails from 3 years ago that you can get some­thing out of…

Bernard:
…right, we still get peo­ple that talk to us 3 years after the last SEO or web­site devel­op­ment so keep­ing those rela­tion­ships warm real­ly pays off.

Ita­mar:
Yeah and yeah I guess this is the most impor­tant one, cause this is a shame­less plug…

Bernard:
{laugh­ing}

Ita­mar:
…cause this is what we do, we rec­om­mend to not build your own method­ol­o­gy cause this is chas­ing your tail. Espe­cial­ly with SEO algo­rithm changes, get­ting good, sol­id back­links, doing tech­ni­cal audits, doing a lot of on-page. You just want to deal with doing like the busi­ness, devel­op­ing the busi­ness and I think that by let­ting some­one, let­ting us, let­ting a ven­dor do all the grunt work for you , you can actu­al­ly devel­op the busi­ness. We had peo­ple that came half, you know what, we want to do our own stuff so you do half your stuff, half our stuff. But I think the most suc­cess­ful ones are the ones that are just lean­ing on us com­plete­ly and say­ing, you know what, it ranks most of the time, 90% of the time. Cause it’s SEO, not always you can fig­ure out for the first month or 2 what’s hap­pen­ing. If the prod­uct is that good, 90% of the time, 80% of the time it ranks, let us just lean on your prod­uct, we’ll do sales, we’ll talk at events, we’ll go focus on our niche explain to the next niche sell­ing oth­er prod­ucts.

This is where the suc­cess lies. A lot of the peo­ple, like me, are com­ing from the tech­ni­cal back­ground and they real­ly want to play with it. When you play with it, you know what, it doesn’t get you far. We are see­ing a lot of {inaudi­ble} {inaudi­ble} and you know we have this unique per­spec­tive of see­ing you guys from our end. We’re see­ing you guys, how you grow how you don’t grow and it’s very impor­tant to realise that all these facts that we’re giv­ing you are real­ly from, I don’t know…

Bernard:
…real life expe­ri­ences.

Ita­mar:
Exact­ly what we’re just see­ing dai­ly for over 5 years, we’re just see­ing it dai­ly. We can realise why some­one is not hit­ting it off and we can tell them, but not always they lis­ten, so if there’s some­thing I can say, it’s just lis­ten. So we’re see­ing that we’re almost 40 min­utes in and thank you guys for, you know, stay­ing and lis­ten­ing and I think that we want to, before we go to the QA phase, we want to give you some point­ers…

Bernard:
…pro tips.

{Pro Tips slide}

Ita­mar:
Some pro tips and I’ll let Bernard take this one.

Bernard:
Yeah, so for our pro tips, these are just the habits we would like you guys to build in order to break through, in order to get to pow­er­house lev­el. So first off, set expec­ta­tions with clients off the bat, no sur­pris­es after the clos­ing. If you set expec­ta­tions low, if you down­load the con­tract, review the SLAs that can be brand­ed with your com­pa­ny logo, on the dash­board, you will be able to edu­cate your­self on what we are capa­ble of doing and what we’re not and then edu­cate your cus­tomer what we can do and what we can’t do. The next one is set meet­ing fre­quen­cies and be…

Ita­mar:
…this is a tech­ni­cal one…

Bernard:
…yeah.

Ita­mar:
This is like, if you fol­low it reli­gious­ly, this thing works. Once you close, you final­ly close the client. I’ll let Bernard take it cause he start it, but I think that we’re doing it with our part­ners in the begin­ning and I think it’s impor­tant to do it with any new clients cause you real­ly solid­i­fy the rela­tion­ship.

Bernard:
Right. For most of our suc­cess­ful clients they under­stand that the fre­quen­cy of the meet­ings, the fre­quen­cy for the con­ver­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion has to be rel­a­tive­ly high at the first 6 – 8 weeks. Some of our part­ners do week­ly on the first 4 weeks and then decrease that from twice month­ly after that and some of them will do every oth­er week for the first 2 months and then decrease that to month­ly after­wards. But the best indi­ca­tor that you’re doing it right is when your clients start can­celling on the meet­ings on you…

Ita­mar:
Yeah, they, I hear they say “OK, we know it’s going good, just send us the reports, no need to come to the office, it’s all good”. So this is when you know you real­ly made it. This guy became recur­ring rev­enue, he’s hap­py with the prod­uct, he’s hap­py with the dash­board. You did every­thing cor­rect­ly. But don’t be reac­tive. Don’t wait for a client to tell you “Hey can we meet?” cause that’s not good. And it takes me to the next one.

Bernard:
Right, the next one is about being the bear­er of news. Good news or bad news, be your client’s bear­er of news. Most of the time, we’ve nev­er had a bad con­ver­sa­tion with a client even when the con­text of the con­ver­sa­tion was not so good, because they appre­ci­ate the dili­gence, the vig­i­lance. We like to see the good in peo­ple, that’s nat­u­ral­ly what most peo­ple are like. What they don’t want to expe­ri­ence is them hav­ing to find the cock­roach­es under the rug, the deficits in per­for­mance and this is when the rela­tion­ship sort of turns sour. Be the first per­son to bear the news. Good or bad, espe­cial­ly good…

Ita­mar:
…yeah.

Bernard:
But any news.

Ita­mar:
Cause some­times rank­ings goes up, nobody cares, the phone is ring­ing more, the client is hap­py, everybody’s hap­py but you don’t come and say “hey look what we did for you”…

Bernard:
…right.

Ita­mar:
But guess what once some­thing hap­pens, the web­site is down, then you’re just men­tioned in a bad con­text. So I think that, even tech­ni­cal­ly what we devel­oped since we han­dle hun­dreds and hun­dreds of cam­paigns simul­ta­ne­ous­ly every day, we devel­oped a wid­get that checks the health of all the cam­paigns, SEO cam­paigns dai­ly, and the sec­ond that some­thing dips a bit, we are the first to know. We send it to the ana­lysts, they audit it, if it’s just a fluc­tu­a­tion it might go back up tomor­row or the day after, they just mon­i­tor it. If they see that some­thing was wrong, some back­links, bad back­links, neg­a­tive SEO, the web­site is down, no index no fol­low, then we con­tact you, you con­tact the client. You have to be the bear­er of both good and bad news. This real­ly helps with reten­tion, sol­id, good ser­vice…

Ita­mar:
We are enabling you to do that.

Bernard:
Right now the last bit, this is the more dif­fi­cult habit to break. It’s about know­ing when to give up your hat. Peo­ple that start off their busi­ness like to do every­thing. They’re nat­u­ral­ly intel­li­gent peo­ple, spe­cial­ly, so the smart peo­ple that are lis­ten­ing out there, watch out and lis­ten to this very sharply. Smart guys like to wear a lot of hats, they like to do a lot of things. Now it’s hard to let go of, some­times it’s hard to let go of your own respon­si­bil­i­ties because a) it’s part of your habits, b) you’re wor­ried that some­one might not do it as good as you. Well guess what, they won’t , but it’s fine…

Ita­mar:
…yeah.

Bernard:
It’s fine.

Ita­mar:
I guess I’m anoth­er exam­ple. I think I enjoy pro­gram­ming so much…

Bernard:
{laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
…and I enjoy spend­ing time with the pro­gram­mers, work­ing on the sys­tem that I, this is a rare appear­ance for me. You know, I’m like a swine at mid­night com­ing to talk to the part­ners and it shouldn’t be that way. You know, let the devel­op­ers do the devel­op­ment and let me go and build the busi­ness. And it took me time to fig­ure out , you know what, I need to get out of my com­fort zone. I’m not a webi­na­rs guy, I’m not a talk­ing in pub­lic PR guy. I enjoy pro­gram­ming but I have to get out of this com­fort zone and I think this is what helps us grow. I haven’t pro­grammed seri­ous­ly for 2 years, which is sad for me, but I think busi­ness wise we are doing amaz­ing…

Ita­mar:
And this is what I wish for every­body out there.

Bernard:
Right, and it’s sort of high­light­ed in our case study where you saw part­ner num­ber 2 and part­ner num­ber 3. One encour­aged his friend to part­ner up with him and the oth­er one took on a project man­ag­er right off the bat. It takes a lot of courage and insight to realise you can’t be a one man show and achieve pow­er­house suc­cess lev­els. You just can’t. It takes more than one. Now on the oth­er pro tips that we want to high­light…

Ita­mar:
…this is some­thing that a lot of peo­ple are ask­ing and on the sur­vey you asked about this and we decid­ed to real­ly pre­pare a lot of mate­r­i­al and be ready for the webi­nar or at least a blog post about it cause peo­ple are ask­ing “how much do I mark up?”. For us it kin­da goes with­out say­ing but we realised a lot of you guys are still curi­ous about how much to mark up. You can talk to project man­agers and they will tell you and I think it’s in the video, but I think it should be at least 2.5…

Ita­mar:
And Bernard the sales guy can speak a bit, can talk a bit about that.

Bernard:
Right, so for most of our, for most of our suc­cess­ful clients, they mark up at a fac­tor of 3 against our whole­sale rates and this is because of the amount of care and the amount of vis­i­bil­i­ty that they give their clients. So again, it’s about charge, charge for the care you’re ready to give and the most com­mon, the most com­mon rate that our part­ner charge is about a fac­tor of 3 and it still keeps them very com­pet­i­tive…

Ita­mar:
…and I think it’s the big­ger ones, cause actu­al­ly when you’re just start­ing, 2 should be fine…

Ita­mar:
If you’re don’t have many expens­es yet and you’re afraid to put a big price tag, but once every­body knows you, knows the dash­board, knows that your prod­uct is work­ing, they heard about you through refer­ral, which are the best type of lead, then you can start going to 2.5. You can start going to 3.

Bernard:
Right, now don’t flinch when there’s a threat of a can­cel­la­tion. This is actu­al­ly the time when you know you have to get into all gears. Take the time to audit. Get back with your find­ings to the client. Due dili­gence is always appre­ci­at­ed.

Ita­mar:
It does by the way, when we say take the time to audit, you just talk to the project man­ag­er, say “Hey what’s up, my client is threat­en­ing to can­cel”. Many of the times you just fig­ure out that, you know, maybe the rank­ing stayed on num­ber 4 but the organ­ic traf­fic actu­al­ly grew from a long tail we didn’t track. So we are able to prove that in the mat­ter of a day. You go back to the client. So, just take it easy and major­i­ty of the cas­es the reten­tion is easy.

Bernard:
Right, also in some cas­es the rank­ings have dipped 2 posi­tions, 3 posi­tions down and yet you’re see­ing traf­fic…

Ita­mar:
…climb­ing up…

Bernard:
…at an all time high…

Ita­mar:
…yeah, there’s a lot of these cas­es…

Ita­mar:
It’s very impor­tant to know how to fig­ure it out. We are good at fig­ur­ing it out so when you get to this point. This is the added val­ue. This is what you are pay­ing us for, all of these things. Again I’m say­ing lean on us, lean on the project man­ag­er, lean on the dash­board. It will real­ly make your life eas­i­er. If you want to be very suc­cess­ful and not be stuck at lets say a free­lancer lev­el, you will see a chart soon, and you’ll see you might be able to recog­nise where you’re at. I think lean­ing on us will be the best thing to save as advise.

Bernard:
Right. Now for a few more best prac­tices, what we’d like to call bet­ter prac­tices, things you need to get bet­ter at. Start your cam­paign with good key­word selec­tion and always con­sult your project man­ag­er.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, don’t try to rank for “doors”.

Ita­mar:
“I want to rank for “doors”.”

Bernard:
Although we’re rank­ing for plas­ter. {laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
{laugh­ter}

What the band or the prod­uct? Yeah ok.

Bernard:
Yeah, so, it’s the prod­uct. But we like to remind our ana­lysts, project man­agers and even our clients. A good cam­paign starts and ends with great key­word selec­tion. That’s real­ly all there is to it. Know­ing what you can achieve, what you can dri­ve rel­e­vant traf­fic for and then stick­ing to that until you dri­ve free traf­fic with the SEO is real­ly where it all starts and hap­pens. A con­sul­ta­tion of what key­words to use with your project man­ag­er is a 5 – 10 minute con­ver­sa­tion. Invest in that 5 – 10 min­utes.

Our fastest grow­ing part­ners also run audits fre­quent­ly every month. Rough­ly about 5 dozen audits every month. So if you want to be suc­cess­ful you have to exe­cute the habits of the suc­cess­ful clients. The oth­er is, our fastest grow­ing part­ners are those with ded­i­cat­ed project man­agers. The ones that have some­one in our office, is their advo­cate, runs their cam­paigns, talks to their clients, has their email, has their shirts and their busi­ness cards. {laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
And proud of it.

Bernard:
Yeah.

Ita­mar:
Some­times I’m see­ing peo­ple with shirts of com­pa­nies I still don’t know and I’m like, who’s this guy. Well, he’s a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er. They’re tak­ing their jobs seri­ous­ly. You’ll see them run­ning after writ­ers and “hey man, I’ll buy you lunch if you can get me this blog post in 2 hours”. This is the vibe, this is the, you can imag­ine the, some­times it’s the stress that we have here when we work for so many agen­cies cause we’re the back­of­fice of so many agen­cies. You think you’re hav­ing a stress­ful day…

Bernard:
{laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
…well guess what, we’re hav­ing that times by like 20, so, and we love it. This is what we’re doing, so use it.

{slide: Action Plan Assess­ment}

That’s what I’m say­ing and I think we have that nice Action Plan Assess­ment that our mar­ket­ing team came up with after we fig­ured out all these data that we just showed you and we sam­pled a lot of our suc­cess­ful guys I think this is what we saw. And I think that a lot of peo­ple are stuck on the sec­ond phase, Free­lancer full time. And I think this is the most inter­est­ing one cause there’s like one tweak, 2 small things you’ll do, you’ll change in your habit, you’ll change in how you con­duct busi­ness and then you can be that next lev­el. You can start hir­ing more sales­peo­ple, you can have a nice office because you did some­thing right.

And I hope one of those tips from before and the facts clicked cause this could real­ly take you from being that to a big­ger agency not to men­tion a pow­er­house agency. And I think that we will not go over this, I think it’s almost 50 min­utes…

Bernard:
…yeah.

Ita­mar:
Thank you for your patience. I hope every­one is learn­ing and soon we’ll start answer­ing ques­tions. So this image will actu­al­ly be post­ed on our blog. I’ll ask Sheila our mar­ket­ing man­ag­er to post it so every­body can take a look and assess them­selves to see what’s the next lev­el for them­selves.

{slide: Q & A Ses­sion}

So guys, now it’s the Q&A. We’re about to get all the ques­tions from our mar­ket­ing peeps. I just want to remind you to sched­ule a call. Just go to bit.ly/getsked and project man­agers would love to take your calls and answer any­thing you have for them…

Ita­mar:
And you are free to call us any­time, you have the phone num­ber and every­thing.

Bernard:
Right, well I’ll start off with the ques­tions because we’re see­ing them come in. So the first ques­tion that I saw which was very inter­est­ing. “Do you peo­ple, do you have peo­ple that speak good eng­lish to do tele­phone calls?”. {laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
{laugh­ter} Yeah.

Bernard:
That’s a great ques­tion. So I’ll tell you what our stan­dard is for hir­ing peo­ple that we put on the phone. They have to sound like me or bet­ter. That’s the stan­dard…

Ita­mar:
…exact­ly.

Bernard:
They have to sound like me or bet­ter. If they walk into an inter­view and they don’t sound like me, it’s over. So yes, we have peo­ple that speak good eng­lish and that we put on phone calls at 1800 num­bers from our clients, but more than that we don’t hire peo­ple to talk to our client’s cus­tomers because most of the time we hire peo­ple at super­vi­sor lev­el or bet­ter so these have to be peo­ple that are well organ­ised that are used to del­e­gat­ing, that are used to man­ag­ing mul­ti­ple parts of a mov­ing machine. So that’s the kind of peo­ple…

Ita­mar:
…I just want to say for who­ev­er was ask­ing the ques­tion. This is for project man­age­ment. If your ques­tion is for cold call­ing or any­thing of that sort we are try­ing not to take these types of projects because it real­ly gets us out of our nor­mal vibe in the office. We don’t pick up the phone and just cold call all day. Our guys are utilised by talk­ing to your clients or by just talk­ing to you guys. So yeah, great eng­lish, main­ly deal­ing with SEO analy­sis and pro­pos­als and audits and stuff.

Bernard:
So the next…

Ita­mar:
…so we will work on lead gen­er­a­tion by the way, but it will be more sys­tem­at­ic, more through the sys­tem, focused on indus­tries and on locals.

Bernard:
So the oth­er ques­tion relat­ed to who we put on the phone is “How much invest­ment do we need for a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er?”. So for us the answer is, we charge about $2500 on a month­ly basis for a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er. What these peo­ple do is they man­age your projects, they are expe­ri­enced project man­agers. They learn SEO from us. Some of them already come from the indus­try. You get an oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­view the peo­ple who’s vibe you like, who’s chem­istry just works with you. You take part in the selec­tion process before we appoint any­body to your account. So that’s how much it costs or how much invest­ment you have to pre­pare for a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er. I think if I refer you to any­body who has one with us, none of them will say they regret it.

Ita­mar:
I see a ques­tion, it’s a sim­ple one. I’ll just take it. “How to work with you if we are in East­ern Time New York?”. Very easy, we have peo­ple in the office 245. We don’t work on week­ends, but we’re here all the time. You just pick up the phone, some­one answers. Once you start work­ing with us you have a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er and we are real­ly, yeah we are real­ly look­ing for­ward to work with you what­ev­er time­zone you are.

Bernard:
Alright now, the next one, also inter­est­ing, all ques­tions about project man­agers. “Is it pos­si­ble to work with a Project Man­ag­er for mar­ket­ing on a french lan­guage cam­paign if we bring all trans­la­tions to you?”. So this one is a lit­tle chal­leng­ing. We are real­ly good when it comes to, so the region, actu­al­ly Mani­la Philip­pines, the Philip­pines in itself, we’re large­ly an eng­lish speak­ing coun­try. And I’m not sure every­one is aware of this. French is still a very mar­gin­al lan­guage so we try to only take on work that we’re real­ly good at. Because this is not one of our native lan­guages this might be more chal­leng­ing. I would say, talk to a project man­ag­er to see how intri­cate the project is. If the project is eas­i­er, if it’s eas­i­er than I think then they might say yes, but if the project is doomed to fail we won’t, we only take busi­ness from peo­ple where we can add val­ue to the rela­tion­ship. I hope that makes sense and I didn’t dance around the ques­tion too much.

Ita­mar:
Yeah, “we have a, I have a con­cept in sign up a cou­ple of years ago, do I need to re-sign up to have all the new dash­board func­tions, or is my old already upgrad­ed?”. Good ques­tion, it’s already upgrad­ed. Every­thing we do is just all across the board. We don’t have any spe­cial accounts for spe­cial peo­ple. You can get exact­ly the same account like the top part­ners that we work with. “And do you offer pitch tem­plates like email?”. If I under­stand it cor­rect­ly you want to pitch using an email, like blast an email. I’m not sure if we have that…

Ita­mar:
This is a good idea. Some­thing to have. We have in the store, we have a lot of stuff relat­ed to email tem­plates. By the way we didn’t men­tion in the store we real­ly added a lot of prod­ucts. We’re real­ly break­ing out of the SEO­Re­seller or out of the SEO, just sell­ing SEO mod­el that we have. We have brand­ing prod­ucts, we have newslet­ter prod­ucts, local relat­ed prod­ucts, web design prod­ucts to look for­ward to. I think that next week we’re launch­ing it right? It’s gonna be…

Ita­mar:
…real­ly good price. Real­ly a lot of room for markup and the designs are amaz­ing.

Bernard:
So the pitch doc, there are some sam­ples of pitch doc­u­men­ta­tion for every type of prod­uct in the dash­board. But for email for­mat there isn’t one yet but we will work on it. I’ve also got anoth­er inter­est­ing ques­tion here: “Do you have sam­ple con­tracts with the 30 day clause?”. Yes we do. They’re in the dash­board just down­load it from the resource cen­ter…

Ita­mar:
In the resource cen­ter. What else do we have?

Bernard:
The oth­er ques­tion is: “How do I get a ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er?”. It’s sim­ple. Call our num­ber, the one that you see there. The 1800, the US num­ber or the Aus­tralian num­ber, wher­ev­er you are, call us and talk to our project man­agers. They’ll tell you how we can get you start­ed with your own ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er in the office. Anoth­er ques­tion that we’ve got is: “Since we’re all inter­est­ed in max­imis­ing yield, what’s the typ­i­cal markup for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket?”. And I think we addressed that in the webi­nar ear­li­er so we’re say­ing when you’re new and let’s say you want to fight, you want to fight the com­pe­ti­tion on the basis of price point, and you’re a one man show, you can start off on a mark up fac­tor of, by dou­bling our rates. But as you get big­ger bet­ter, as you get bet­ter at lever­ag­ing off the tech­nol­o­gy you shouldn’t shy away from mark­ing up to 2.5 to times 3. Our pow­er­house agen­cies are all marked up times 3. But most of our agency part­ners dance between the times 2 to times 3 what our rates our rates.

Ita­mar:
We have a ques­tion here: “How much to do a sim­ple 5 page respon­sive word­press site in a local niche?”, And we want­ed to keep the sur­prise for next week but we have a lot of atten­dees and I guess this is a right time, I’ll just say it.

Bernard:
{laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
Less than $500. It’s gonna be good price. It’s gonna be by pros and from a to z. You just have to give us the brief and we’ll take care of the rest.

Bernard:
Right and 10 day deliv­ery time is what we’re com­mit­ting to.

Ita­mar:
Oh this is a real­ly good ques­tion Bernard, you want to take it?

Bernard:
Yeah so: “So how do we move exist­ing SEO clients over to you with­out los­ing our cur­rent momen­tum with each client?”. That’s a great ques­tion. So when you talk to one of our project man­agers and you’re an exist­ing agency with a client base, one of the things that we is we study your clients. You have to give us the list. We do a pre-intake of all them and we try to find out is the SEO already as good as it can be, mean­ing does it just need a big­ger dig­i­tal foot­print, a larg­er dig­i­tal foot­print, are it’s anchor text already bal­anced out and what­not. But once we study it, we know how to move for­ward from the exist­ing SEO over into our method­ol­o­gy…

Ita­mar:
…we’ll even match. If you have a bunch of pack­ages we can even try and match what­ev­er you are cur­rent­ly doing. Of course we have a lot of high qual­i­ty invest­ed in a lot of the stuff that we do. Some peo­ple are com­ing from real­ly real­ly cheap ven­dors, some Fivor ven­dors, some free­lancers…

Ita­mar:
In this case it’ll be hard­er for us, but we can real­ly chis­el the pack­age I’m talk­ing if we have 10, 15 {inaudi­ble} clients, we can real­ly carve a pack­age that would real­ly look good, make your clients rank and yeah, you can migrate eas­i­ly actu­al­ly…

Ita­mar:
Real­ly work­ing hand in hand on migrat­ing.

Bernard:
And I will take this ques­tion a lit­tle more to the left. There are agen­cies that ask us I want to move my, sounds like your method­ol­o­gy works and I’m con­vinced, I want to move over to you but how do I sell my clients now that their ser­vice lev­els have changed. And the most suc­cess­ful expla­na­tion is, to give the end clients is, you’re chang­ing method­olo­gies. It’s real­ly that sim­ple. SEO, search, organ­ic search espe­cial­ly, is always a chang­ing envi­ron­ment. It nev­er stays the same and so it’s per­fect­ly valid for you to tell them that you are chang­ing the SLA’s not because you’re try­ing to skip out on work, but because you think this will dri­ve more results for them. And it’s not a dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tion to have.

Ita­mar:
There’s a long one, I’ll sum­marise it, and this is a per­son that does Face­book Ad con­sult­ing and Con­tent Mar­ket­ing and he wants to do some hand­ing off of ads, social media man­age­ment and expand the ser­vice type pro­vide.

So the ques­tion is can we do that? And the answer is yes. These are new capa­bil­i­ties that we devel­oped in the last half a year and we can have Joshua our Prod­uct Man­ag­er con­tact this guy and explain more on how we do, you can actu­al­ly see on the dash­board in the store, all the stuff that we do. We have a cre­ative team, copy­writ­ers, graph­ic design­ers, we can cre­ate cam­paigns, we can set cam­paigns with their local­i­ties and we cre­ate reports and the sec­ond part of the ques­tion is will our dash­board show SEO because your clients are Social. So yes, I think right now it will have that SEO tab cause we’re again, we’re evolv­ing. We came from being SEO reseller and we’re try­ing to real­ly evolve into doing every­thing that a dig­i­tal agency might need. We’re the back office for any dig­i­tal agency out there. Any con­sul­tant that wants to grow. But get­ting there still I think we are very SEO promi­nent and stick with us, talk to Joshua, the prod­uct man­ag­er and he’ll update you. We’ll add Social Ana­lyt­ics, we’ll add the social counter pub­lish­ing to the dash­board. Every­thing is in the works.

Bernard:
Right so, there are 2 ques­tions. I’ll read the first one, but I’ll prob­a­bly encour­age who­ev­er asked this ques­tion to give us a ring. “What do you do with Local SEO? Do you use some­thing like Moz local?”. The rea­son I don’t nec, I don’t want to answer this right now live in a webi­nar is this is a mouth­ful. I can sit here and have a cof­fee and talk about this for 2 hours, so… {laugh­ter}

Ita­mar:
…maybe, I think the answer is no. Not exact­ly like they do. We do all the cita­tions, we open all the impor­tant direc­to­ries, niche direc­to­ries. But we do more…

Bernard:
…yeah.

Ita­mar:
…we do much more. So we’re not here to com­pare our­selves to oth­er tools. We have our method­ol­o­gy and by large it’s what everybody’s doing, all the good good good agen­cies are doing, and more. But this is the part you either check it in the store or talk to a project man­ag­er.

Bernard:
Right, so the last ques­tion is also inter­est­ing: “How many client projects can a project man­ag­er han­dle or man­age?”. For me, this is sim­ple. A ded­i­cat­ed project man­ag­er can man­age any­thing from 40 to 100 projects, so they’re awe­some. We appre­ci­ate all the time you spent with us and I real­ly love the ques­tions. They’re amaz­ing. I love the lev­el of engage­ment…

Ita­mar:
…yeah, plea­sure.

Bernard:
Yeah, Ita­mar, thank you for {inaudi­ble} the webi­nar.

Ita­mar:
Thank you very much.

Bernard:
I want­ed to remind you guys about the bit.ly link, if you guys have more inter­est­ing ques­tions feel free to give us a call or set a sched­ule with one of our project man­agers by going to the bit.ly/getsked URL.

Ita­mar:
Thank you guys. See you at the next webi­nar.

Bernard:
Thank you very much for your time.

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