I publish a weekly newsletter on creativity, freelancing and living a non-traditional lifestyle
July 15th, 2017 - I send the first email pitching a new LinkedIn outreach service
January 15th, 2018 - Lead Cookie is at $33,168 MRR with 15 full-time team members
It’s been a crazy ride, to say the least, and Lead Cookie is just getting started. But considering that we are hitting the 6 months mark, I thought it would be a good to reflect back on the past 6 months and the lessons learned.
This article is a list and summary of all of the lessons and tips I have picked up and learned over the past 6 months which I attribute Lead Cookie’s success to.
My hopes are it will help you on your journey.
11 phone calls
19 qualified leads
3 closed deals
Those were my results after 30 days of running the Linkedin tactics that I am going to share with you in this article.
There is a conversation that I seem to have over and over again with agency owners.
They tell me about their business, and how they are growing.
Every year more revenue and more employees.
Yet their personal income is still low…
They keep “reinvesting in the business” and if they could just make it over this next hump then their profits would go up and they could take home more pay.
This conversation happens time and time again…
In this article, I want to share why an agency owner with a low personal income need to make some serious changes.
There is a trend that I see time and time again in nearly all of the agencies and consultants that I work with.
They often get leads in some form or another.
But, they struggle to nurture and close those leads…
They have no habit built to nurture and close those deals.
In this article, I am going to share with you a super simple weekly nurture habit that takes 30 minutes each week. This habit will help you nurture more customers through to a close.
A few years ago, I heard an interview with Tony Robbins.
While I haven’t read Tony’s books, I thought the interview was at least worth giving a shot.
And in that interview, one piece of advice stuck with me.
And that advice has drastically changed by my business over time.
Finding new clients and better clients is the ongoing challenge of almost any agency or consulting practice.
In this post, I outline 20 different tactics that I have seen agencies and freelancers use to win new clients for their business. These tactics are all real-world examples that I have learned from hands-on experience or interviewing agency owners on my podcast.
About six months ago, an agency owner told me about this interesting Linkedin tactic that he used to win one of their best clients.
At first, I was skeptical on if the approach would actually work. So before recommending it to any of my clients or readers, I decided to give it a shot myself.
After 6 months, I can now cite closing more than $10,000 worth of consulting business from this passive tactic. And as I write this, I am in negotiations with one of my biggest clients to date which could take that closed number to $60k or more.
All of that revenue came from a simple lead generation tactic on Linkedin.
“Starting a podcast sounds great, but it just seems like a ton of work.”
That is what nearly all of my clients say to me when I propose the idea of launching their own podcast.
Yet when I bring up the idea of starting a podcast to others, they have a built in belief that creating and running a podcast is going to take at on of time and energy.
The truth is, that is not the case.
In this post I share my entire workflow on streamlining my podcast process.
“We spoke on Friday, but I didn’t want to feel too needy so I am waiting until Wednesday to email them back.”
I have heard some variation of this statement time and time again from my clients.
They get a warm lead and hop on that initial call.
But then after the call, they are afraid to reach out too often.
Out of a fear of “annoying” their client, they wait and wait to follow up, often giving a 2-week gap between communications.
This is a HUGE mistake!
That is the sound of my palm hitting my forehead as I listen in on one of my client’s sales calls.
They just got the opportunity to hop on the call with the VP of Marketing at a rapidly-growing company.
It’s a perfect client and a perfect fit for their service.
Yet I sit here in horror as they are botching the call.
The worst part is that they don’t even know they are botching it…
Most agency owners and consultants don’t have any sort of structure or format for their sales calls.
They just show up, have a conversation and hope it turns into a sale.
In this post, I am going to share with you a framework that you can use for your sales conversations.
This will help increase your close rate and improve the dynamic you have with your customers.
You do not sell code.
You do not sell design.
You do not sell services.
Yet, this is how most people approach sales for their agency.
They treat what they do like a commodity.
And as a result, clients buy like a commodity.
They buy based on price.
They compare based on “features”.
And they treat you like an order taker.
Many agency owners just think that this is how it is…
But there is a better way.
Testimonials are powerful. Simply put, social proof is an essential component of any quality marketing materials or website.
As Robert Cialdini pointed out in his famous book Influence, Social Proof is one of the single most powerful forms of influence you can have.
But the problem is that most companies fail to ever ask their clients for a testimonial, or they simply don’t know how to approach it.
The truth is, it is extremely simple.
When most people go to a conference or networking event, they tend to just show up and hope for the best.
Maybe they will bump into someone worthwhile at the bar.
Or perhaps one of the random people they approach to network with will be a potential customer.
Due to the nature of live events and the connections that can arise of meeting someone in person, these events still can often yield results when those lucky connections do arise.
But, relying on luck to bump into a worthwhile connection is not really the best approach.
Instead, you can 10x the results you get from your next conference or live event by planning ahead and doing outreach before the event.
In this post, I am going to share with you a simple 5 step process for maximizing the results you get from your next event.
Chances are the idea of creating your own podcast has crept into your mind at some point. But, you may have gotten stopped by the following thoughts:
- How will I get an audience?
- It’s become too competitive
- There are already podcasts out there like what I want to create
- It is going to take too much time
Those are all common objections people have to creating a podcast for their business.
In this post, I want to break those down and share why you should start a podcast for your agency or consultancy, even if you have the fears listed above.
At this time of year, it is inevitable that you will come across a handful of posts from various bloggers and publications about setting goals for 2017.
As you read through many of those, you may find yourself inspired, jacked up, and ready to dive head first into an epic new year!
And as a result, you may set a handful of big goals that would be difficult, if not entirely impossible to achieve.
Yet in this post, I want to present a different view on goal setting.
When you are doing outbound marketing, emails are essential.
Regardless of if you are running a cold email campaign, or following up on a direct mail piece, email addresses are essential to outreach.
In the course of my outbound marketing efforts, I have researched thousands of email addresses and tried out various tools for finding them.
In this post I have outlined the tools and methods I use to find email addresses.
If there is one growth tactic that I recommend all agencies and consultants use, it is strategic partnerships.
Throughout the many podcast interviews and conversations I have had with agencies and consultants, I have seen partnerships arise time and time again as one of the strongest channels for growth.
Many agency owners even attributed partnerships to generating 20-70% of their overall revenue, hence the headline of “double your agency’s revenue”.
One of my sales mentors once shared a very simple piece of advice with me.
It’s so simple, it seems almost stupid when you first look at it.
But yet, I can relate almost every gap of work in my history of consulting down to this simple concept.
And time and time again, I find myself sharing this information with clients who seem to be struggling to keep their sales pipelines full.
For years, I operated without an entry level offer. Both when I had my agency, and as a solo consultant.
But eventually I decided to make a shift and try out selling an entry level offer. The first few months were rocky, but eventually, I saw the light and decided never to look back.
Utilizing an entry level offer has drastically changed my business and my income.
This article outlines the journey I made with selling an entry level offer, mistakes I made along the way, and it gives you a roadmap for creating your own offer.
When I start working with my clients, I analyze and look at their entire sales process.
And across the board, there is one mistake I consistently see consulting companies making.
They fail to follow the steps of the sale.
They try to leap several steps at a time, and this leads to them failing, falling and losing the deal.
This post outlines, the steps of the consulting sale.
As entrepreneurs, this is something that so many of us struggle with.
We work countless hours, and can’t imagine how we could do it any other way.
And for many of us, when we aren’t working, we can’t get our mind off work.
I was wrapped up in this vicious cycle of endless work hours and worrying about work for years, although through conducing these interviews, I have found answers to many of my questions and changed for the better.
I no longer worry about work.
I no longer work 60+ hour work weeks.
I have a balanced, normal life.
In this post, I am going to share with you the 3 elements of maintaining a life / work balance.
Strategy. To many people strategy seems intangible.
It seems like something that companies either do right, or they do wrong.
But the truth is, strategy is tangible.
And creating an effective strategy is a skill that any person can learn.
For most of my adult life, I have read a lot of books.
In particular, I have read a lot of non-fiction books.
I am committed to a mindset of a lifelong learning, and so I am always seeking someway to improve my skills.
But over the past year, the way that I approach reading and learning has drastically changed.
It all happened when I read one simple quote from the stoic writer Seneca.
There are a lot of ways you can market your business.
Content marketing, networking, referrals, thought leadership, advertising, etc.
All of these methods are incredible ways to grow.
But there is one sales and marketing strategy that too many companies overlook.
They overlook the dream client campaign.
Many of my long time followers will notice that I haven’t blogged lately. In fact it has been almost two months since my last post.
For almost a year and a half I blogged weekly with not exceptions.
That worked well, for a while…
And then I started my year of evolution.
My goal with this post is to share with you some of the drastic changes in my business over the past 8 months, and the lessons I learned along the way.
Nearly every agency and freelancer has the exact same problem.
They need more work, better work and cash flow to cover the monthly bills.
We help agencies win their dream clients through eye-catching outreach campaigns
When you are launching something new, there are two mindsets on how to approach it.
The key is to find a balance somewhere in the middle.
In the middle is a place where you ship, but you still ship something you are proud of.
You set a realistic deadline, you do the best you can, and then you launch.
When things aren't going your way, it can really suck.
These moments happen, there is no other way around it.
Your life and your business aren't always going to be smooth sailing.
You will hit rough spots.
It's just part of life.
When you hit these rough spots, it's important to remember one thing.
For many years, I would say that I was mentally unstable.
I had anxiety attacks, constant stress, bouts of depression, and I was consistently filled with a feeling of "what the fuck am I doing with my life."
Then about a year and a half ago, I started a practice that changed all of that.
I started writing morning pages.
If there is one mistake that nearly all creative professionals are culprit of, it is this.
They make promises to clients, and then they don't deliver on them.
They tell a client "I will have that to you tomorrow."
Then tomorrow rolls around, and they break the promise. They don't deliver. This broken promise upsets the client and it hurts the relationship.