Growth Strategies for Business

Episode 13: Growth Strategies for Business, with Jay Baer

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Growth strategies for business will get you ahead of the game. Learn from Jay Baer on the best growth strategies for business.

Growth strategies for business can intrigue both old and new business owners, which is why Jay Baer will discuss it in detail in this podcast episode.

Jay Baer is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker who teaches business growth through customer experience and marketing innovation. He is also a popular virtual emcee and event host, New York Times bestselling author of six books and founder of five multi-million dollar companies. Filled with real-world case studies and examples, Jay’s entertaining and engaging programs teach companies how to turn customer experience, customer service, and marketing into their biggest business growth advantage. Jay has advised numerous iconic brands including Caterpillar, Nike, IBM, Allstate, The United Nations, and 32 of the FORTUNE 500. He is the Founder of Convince & Convert, a strategy consulting firm that owns the world’s #1 content marketing blog and the world’s top marketing podcast. Known for his fun plaid suits, meeting planners can select the very suit Jay will wear to their event through his custom app!


What you will learn in this episode about growth strategies for business:

  • How to create good fly paper leading to business growth instead of mere survival
  • How growth strategies for business can get you ahead of the competition
  • How a solid niche plays a big role in ideal customer profiles
  • Which bigger questions can yield better strategic thinking
  • What filter mechanisms can help strategists set themselves apart
  • The benefits of inbound marketing and showing your smarts



Growth Strategies For Business: Full Episode Transcript


Growth strategies for business is important in today’s competitive market because of the constant need to evolve and adapt to stay ahead.


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So, if you’re an agency owner, business coach, or strategic consultant and looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, well, then you’re in the right place.


You want proven growth strategies for business attracting a steady stream of well-prepared, right-fit prospects into your sales pipeline. Yep. We’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out on the ground you’re standing on? Yeah, we’re going to cover that, too. You want to futureproof your business so you can navigate the following challenges that come your way?


Absolutely. I will help you there. I promise you that each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights about  growth strategies for business and tangible examples of best practices, not theory, from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. I want you to think practical and tactical—no fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monetized that position by claiming their ground.


Growth strategies for business is helpful in growing the audience. Nurturing leads and converting sales all the while doing it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around they were with a useful answer to an important question. So their prospects never, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy we discuss, and every tool that we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so you can plant your flag of authority.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Jay Baer’s Introduction


Okay, I’m excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Jay Baer. If you’re meeting Jay for the first time, he’s advised numerous iconic brands such as Caterpillar, Nike, IBM, and 32 of the Fortune 500. He’s a New York Times bestselling author of six books and the founder of five multimillion-dollar companies.


Two of his companies have been agencies that Jay and his team built and then successfully sold. I invited Jay to join us because of the incredibly thought-provoking keynote that he delivered at the Build a Better Agency Summit hosted by the Agency Management Institute in August of last year. In his presentation, Jay shared 12 things. Well, I mean, there are recommendations really for how to make something out of nothing, and we’re going to slice apart several of the things he shared during that conversation.


For example, how do you figure out your second and third blanks why you need to ask bigger questions, why you need to name your ideal customers, and finally, why he believes so strongly that you need to invest in flypaper. Because here’s what Jay and I want for you. As a result of listening to this conversation you will courageously make the list of clients you most want to serve, that you no longer settle for mediocrity around who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.


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Growth Strategies For Business: The Perks of Being a Virtual Company


The purpose of learning growth strategies for business is to get serious about your thought leadership and generously share your smarts so that you no longer hide behind the cobbler’s kids don’t have shoes. Excuse that place many. I promise you, that if you implement Jay’s advice, a fantastic thing will happen. You will attract all the right clients you want and need. So without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast.


Jay, hello, my friend. Thanks so much for having me excited about the show. Lots of promises at the beginning of what this show is going to deliver. I hope I can help you live up to it. Yes, I’m sure you can, my friend. So thank you again for saying yes. I know that your schedule’s compressed, so I appreciate your generosity, time, and expertise so our audience can certainly go back to Onward Nation episodes 305, episodes 871, where you shared your insights and wisdom around the info snacks and a lot of great nuggets so they can get some additional context there.


But before we dive into questions about  growth strategies for business now, just a little bit of behind-the-curtain context beyond the bio and then we’ll dive in. So I have been in the professional services industry for 30, or so years, mostly in digital marketing and customer experience. Realms have been really fortunate to have grown those businesses and as you mentioned, sold two of them.


One thing that’s interesting I find that we didn’t mention in the introduction is that commit to convert. My most recent firm that I sold a year ago was all virtual, and it was virtual from the very beginning for 13 years. And it’s funny, Stephen, when I started and of course, as you mentioned, we’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of big brands all around the world.


And, you know, in 2008, 2010, 2012, you know, you’d go to a company, I don’t know, Hilton or somebody like, yeah, okay, we’re into this great work for you. Like, wait a second. So you don’t have an office? No, we can’t come see. You know, you refuse to come see us. Like it was a very it was a very interesting kind of questions and answers session.


And then it was nice to be proven correct, eventually, somewhat by technology and collaboration tools and somewhat by the pandemic. And now, of course, everybody wants to run it all virtual company and back somewhat ironically, when the pandemic hit. One of the things that we did that really helped us was we created a lot of content flypaper, as we’ll call it here, around how to operate a remote company.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Strategists Always Ask the Bigger Questions


We built a bunch of webinars and ebooks and social media content and like, well, we know a thing that everybody now wants to know, and we spread that far and wide and actually created a bunch of leads and new client relationships. Yeah, in it, it’s fascinating how what used to be maybe considered to be taboo is now looked at as being a really attractive thing and hey could you tell me how to do that because you guys obviously pretty well.


Yeah, one of the many things in growth strategies for business. So let’s dive in. One of the many things that you said that I thought was thought-provoking, that I thought was compelling from stage was because Paul Reiser had talked about the A.I. during the conference or during the summit as well, excuse me. And then you had pointed back to A.I. and you said, and I’m going to paraphrase here, I’m not going to get it as well as you said it, but essentially that when everything else has been commoditized or done by robots, the strategist is then the king.


So why do you believe so strongly in that, or because I’ve seen it before, right? I said I’ve been in the digital game for 30 years, right? Literally, the totality of the Internet has played out during my professional career. And, you know, how often do you actually win now? Because you’ve got a better website, a better mobile app, a better CRM, or a better marketing automation system?


I mean, you can have an advantage based on your tech stack for a little while, but it’s not sustainable because technology prices come down. Technology features get available at all levels and eventually, it’s just a robots contest, right? It’s your tech stack and their tech stack are at par. So then the question is, who can make this tech stack do something better?


And that is the realm of the strategists. And so then you hook that into, “Hey, everyone, you need to ask bigger questions. So take us through that piece in linking that. Okay?” If the strategists are saying that everything else has been commoditized. Okay, so now this is how a strategist sets themselves apart by asking bigger questions. So take us through that piece.


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Growth Strategies For Business: Asking What Is Important


I think part of the problem that I see in my career now—and I guess maybe this has always been the case, but maybe I just recognized it more recently—is that most people who call themselves strategists aren’t actually strategists at all. They are operations consultants. They’re not really contending with strategic questions.


They’re contending with something that is not tactical but is not actually strategic. And that’s why you say it’s more operational level thinking, like how can we get more leads? It’s not a strategy, right? How can we get more leads as an operational question? How do we do a better webinar is a tactical question, right?


So when I say ask bigger questions, that’s sort of what I mean there, Stephen is like, let’s exercise it. I used to use a lot with agency clients. So as you know, when I first started this firm 13 years ago, for the first three or so years, we only worked with agencies and then became much more of a corporate player.


And so we helped agencies kind of turn the digital corner, and so we’d help them with digital strategy, social media strategy, etc. And what I taught them is that the most critical question you can ask is, Why is that important? So you say, okay, what we’re going to do is we’re going to be better at Facebook. Why is that important?


Well, we’re going to reach more people. Why growth strategies for business is important? Well, that gives us more of an addressable audience. Why is that important? Well, because we can sell more products. Why is that important? Well, because if we keep the profit margin high, it will actually make us more money. Why is that important? Right? If you keep asking that question over and over and over and sometimes it takes seven or eight rounds, but if you keep asking why is important over and over and over, eventually you get to the actual strategy and that discipline of always asking that question.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Creating Content That Readers Will Be Interested In


Growth strategies for business, I taught a lot of agencies and their personnel how to do it, and I think it yields better strategic thinking. Yeah, since I’ve so beautifully with something else that you said on this same topic from the stage, and that was the bigger question and the peeling the layer that you just walked us through is super helpful. The bigger question is something that addresses a client’s business two or three years from now that they probably are not even thinking, right?


I mean, if they were already thinking about it, they probably wouldn’t be hiring you, right? Like, if, you know, one of the things I talked about, I believe, in that presentation at the summit was, hey, if you’re trying to be a consultant on something that’s already in the industry trades, that’s no longer a strategy, consult it.


Because if it’s in the industry trades, it’s out of the realm of strategy, and now it’s in the realm of execution, right? So you’ve got to stay ahead of that of that curve, right? Not be like, well, I read about an ad week, so that means a lot of clients must want that. So let me sell that.


In growth strategies for business, you can sell that. That’s probably a viable business, but that’s not a strategy business. That is in fact some level of execution business. And that actually just reminded me of something that you said when you were kicking off the presentation. You went you went sort of through this chronology or timeline or essentially that we started as a conversion rate optimization company and then ended up being a full on strategy consultancy and talked about that progress.


And I thought that was amazing. And so like maybe kind of take us a little bit behind the curtain there because it really illustrates the point that you have to evolve and you have to ask yourself the big questions too, right? Yeah, I mean, that’s why it’s called convince and convert because it was supposed to be conversion rate optimization.


I did a lot of that in my previous agency. I’m like, now, you know, what we need is a company that helps people have better conversion rate and better landing pages and all that. And it turned out I was a little too early and that’s very much a viable business now. But at the time there wasn’t as much of a demand for that as I thought, partially because I was thinking down the road two or three years of just kind of where my head naturally lands all the time.


And surely everybody’s thinking this? Nope, only me. So what happened was I started because it was just like I started this company. Just be in a bedroom, and I was like, “All right, what do I know?” Well, I know a lot about digital marketing, conversion, and email. I know a fair bit about social media, and I’m a decent writer, so I’m just going to write a blog post every day.


And I did. I wrote a blog post every single day and it turned out that this is sort of in the golden age of blogging. So I want to make sure people realize this wasn’t yesterday. It turned out that every time I wrote a blog post about conversion rate optimization, nobody read it. And every time I wrote a blog post about digital strategy or social media strategy, everybody read it.


And I’m pretty good at analytics. But you don’t have to be very good at analytics to look at those numbers. Be like, I think the audience is telling me that they prefer this thing. So I made a somewhat dangerous correlation and said, readers will equal clients, which is not always the case. But I assumed that was true and it actually turned out to be true.


Fortunately. So literally completely changed the trajectory of the organizations that were really going to focus on digital strategy with, at the time an emphasis in social media strategy. And then eventually the company moved more so in the content marketing strategy and now probably does more customer experience strategy than anything else. Yeah, I think that that was a beneficial lesson for the audience.


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Growth Strategies For Business: Always Seek Out to Change What Your Agency Is Selling


Here’s why I say that and why I think it was helpful for the audience: There were probably dozens of agencies sitting in that room who were doing things either from the Adweek or whatever press release or article or whatever. This is the hot new thing. But they also, and this is something you address from stages, don’t make the pivot because you think that making the change somehow equals failure, because it doesn’t, right?


Well, sure. I mean, look, I’m old. There were people who just did newspaper ad creation for a business, right? There were Yellow Pages ad specialists at one point. Like, so this idea that especially in marketing services that, well we’re an SEO agency. Now don’t only be willing to change, but in my estimation, starving to change, right?


If you’re not actively seeking to change what your agency sells, I think you’re going to have a tough time breaking out of a very narrow band of success. I love that. And it’s a perfect segue way into your second and third blanks and why we need to figure them out. So first, if you give us some context, give us a foundation of what you mean by the second and third blanks.


And then how does our audience take your advice and then actually figure out their own second and third? Yeah, the problem with most agencies, and I am 100% guilty of this in my career from time to time, is they sell whatever anybody will buy to, whomever will give them money. And that’s like, I get it because people have bills to pay and employees to pay, and, you know, they got to buy gas and whatever.


But that’s really hard to build a true body of expertise and have any kind of momentum or slingshot effect when it’s, well, we’ll take money from whoever wants to give it to us. And so the approach that we’ve tried to use, not only in my firms but also in agencies that we’ve worked with, is to actually literally write this down.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Learn How to Say No


In growth strategies for business, we sell blank to blank. So the first blank is whatever service it is, right? So I’ll tell you what it was like when we first started converting to convert, we sell digital strategy and advice. That was the first place we sold digital strategy and advice to blank. So this is where you name the industry and as specific as possible.


In our case, we sell digital strategy and advice to small independent agencies. Not just agencies, not just small agencies, small independent agencies, but a solid niche right there. But that is blank because you want to have a qualifier to make that even more specific. We sell digital strategy advice to small independent agencies that have a background in public relations and want to boost digital revenue.


That third blank is essential because it speaks to the attitude and the needs of the customer, right? They want to boost digital revenue. Makes sense. And if you can get in the habit of doing that exercise a couple of times a year, it will really help you focus on a customer base that is growing more repeatable.

Growth strategies for business include the account-based marketing philosophy that is now very common. I started building this long before account-based marketing was even a term of art. But this idea of an ideal customer profile, or ICP, is often called the same idea, right? Does that look? Don’t be afraid to be specific, and I will say it’s tough to do, but I believe this sincerely.


The most important word that a small or new agency needs to learn is no, not yes. Every time you say yes, you’re either committing to a direction or admitting you don’t have a direction every time you say no, you’re saying that’s not right. This, even though it is going to cost us money, we’ve got to stay the course. 


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Growth Strategies For Business: If You Can’t Sell Something, Don’t Sell It at All


So I always believe that that no is more critical than yes.  Growth strategies for business take a lot more courage as well. A couple of things in there. When you just said that last piece that reminded me back into our episode of 305 and Onward Nation, because we actually decided to name the episode what you said and you said, if it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no.


Yeah, yes, that’s Derek Sivers. He came up with the question of whether it’s either yes or no. So when, when you see clients do like, you know, I’ve certainly had times in my career where I was like, I’m not sure this client is right for us. Their money is definitely right for us, but I’m not sure they are right for us.


And, every time I thought about that, I would pull the team and say, okay, here’s the circumstances, here’s the money what all think. And every time, every single time, they’re like, now we’re not into it. And I was like, okay, then we won’t do it. And then I just stopped asking that because it’s just a waste of time.


I knew that if I wasn’t, if it wasn’t a hell, yes, it was going to be a no. So, I didn’t even ask the team after that. I’m just like, “Yeah, I know what they’re going to say.” And it’s served us well. And we’ve all had instances if we’ve been in this business long enough, we’ve all had cases in which the money was so good that we thought, maybe we can change them, or maybe there won’t be scope creep.


This time. And it always is bad. I had a rule not even to commit to giving up my previous firm many years ago: We would not work with doctors, lawyers, or car dealers under any circumstances because they were uniformly tough clients. There’s a look. That’s the rule. We’re just not going to do that. Well, you’re among friends.


Here are the agencies. Coaches and consultants are listening to you. So they even have like physician brothers or something, but not your family is everybody else. So then when you suggest the second or third planks, is it the second or third links? And maybe that’s why you highlighted it from the stage at the summit that when you make that suggestion, or I should say recommendation or the second and third planks where you get pushback, we don’t want our niche now, we want to boil the ocean.


What growth strategies for business mean is that where you tend to see the friction? Interesting question. Actually, I would argue all three blanks, really, because most agencies and I have done a lot of business development consulting for agencies. I find a lot of agencies are not even good enough at narrowing their own set of services. There’s a difference between can we offer this service and should we offer this service?


And my rule is always you can offer any service you want. You could be making caramel corn, but is that a good business strategy? And I used to explain this to agency principals when I worked with them hand in hand: If you can’t credibly sell this thing, whatever this is, CEOs audit, you know, direct mail program, whatever.


If you can’t sell this thing at least six times a year, then don’t sell it at all because you’ll never achieve mastery and it will take you so much staff time to deliver. If you’re doing it every once in a while, you’ll actually always lose money on those jobs. So if you can’t do it six or more times a year, never do it.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Name Your Ideal Customers


Obviously, there are some exceptions to that rule. But I think as a shortcut process, that’s a really, really good filtering mechanism. That’s such great advice. Let’s take your acronym of ICP. I think you said ideal client profile, right? Yes. It’s not mine, but yes, it is in the industry. Okay, So let’s take that.


And because again, one of the things you said from stages, everyone you need to name your ideal customers. So my question for you is that literally or is that a persona or so take us through that? Both. You start with a blank exercise. So we initially sell to small independent agencies that have a background in PR and want to boost its revenue.


Step one. Step two is who is that exactly? And that’s when you actually do the research and you say, “All right, well, give me a list of small independent agencies. Give me a list of small agencies that have a background in PR and want to boost digital revenue.” We actually did this process a few times. We actually went and looked at, I don’t know, Stephen, 250 different websites and said, “Okay, which of these websites are clearly for PR firms but are using sort of digital?”


In growth strategies for business, we can use digital language. So at least they care enough to write it on their website. And we actually use that as a filtering mechanism and then make a list of all those agencies. In fact, one of our first clients, I think I told the story at the conference on my first clients ever was Bailey Gardner, who now has changed hands several times.


It’s called something different, but it’s an independent PR firm in San Diego. They took our advice and wanted to focus on independent outdoor brands with a heavy commitment to sustainability. That was their kind of second or third link. They wrote a blog post, or they named all those brands. The blog post was called something like the 30 perfect companies that we work for or something like that.


They’re good-sized brands, specialized bicycles, etc., and out of those 30 companies, Steve they ended up being hired by three wholly bananas. Yeah, because those companies were founded in Google and they’re like, “Wow, who are these guys?” It’s like writing a blog post about how much they’d be the perfect agency for us and why they buy these other companies.


And literally inbound leads from three national brands. And if you never have the discipline to do the research and actually name them, yeah it never happens. Another good process of growth strategies for business about naming is sometimes you think you’re really narrow and then you go to the process of naming them. You realize there’s like 600 on your list, right?


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Growth Strategies For Business: Know Which Agencies You Should Focus On


Well, growth strategies for business is, you know, you only name them if you can actually market to them. And the way to think about that is, all right, we need to have enough that you’re not going to get them all. Obviously, we needed to have enough, but we needed to have enough that we can actually, if somebody said, hey, we need to make a five-page presentation custom for each of these potential clients, can you make that many so convinced and convert?


We would do this on the corporate side over the last, say, 3 to 5 years, we would typically name 60 accounts each quarter and so myself and our business development team and in our strategy leadership would name 60 accounts and then the business development team and myself would try to interact with those 60 we tied to do our CRM.


So we knew how many people from each of those brands were on the website going to webinars we’ve done, you know. And then each quarter we’d replace a dozen or so like, you know what, let’s not get any traction with these 12, so let’s quit beating ourselves up about it. Let’s add 12 more, and take 12 loss.


And so we sort of had a group of six at all times that we’d swap out a dozen or so every quarter. And, you know, 60 is not a magic number. That’s what we used. But something like that, right? It’s a few dozen is the right number. I think that’s really awesome. And and here’s why. Because it forces intentionality.


You’re no longer killer. You’re no longer, excuse me, aimlessly wandering through the wilderness. Right. You know exactly who you’re trying to help, what problems they have, and also going through the process of doing research and also and going through that, we’ll also maybe kick somebody out who we thought maybe should be part of the 60. But as you learn more about them, we’re like, maybe not and the narrower that list is, right. 


So, small independent agencies with a PR focus are interested in growing digital revenue. If you can stick to your knitting there, you’ll get so much better at your marketing and your business development because you’re telling the same story or a similar story there over and over, right? So you’re just going to get better at it as opposed to we do marketing for American companies like, well, good little hard to be relevant in that.


I mean, I’ll tell you one of these things so passionate about this Steve. I don’t think you know this, but my brother was the head business development person for agencies for years. And so it was his job to go out and land clients, and he was always frustrated when he didn’t have any sort of focus, like, well, what are we selling, to whom, and why would they hire us as opposed to all these other agencies?


And so his constant bitching about that really gave me a lot of impetus to be rigorous about this premise. Well, here again, this is probably a good segue way into the last thing that I wanted to chat with you about. And it’s probably the biggest some investments saved it for last. But like if we don’t have the second and third blanks to find and the example with your brother you just mentioned, then how in the world can we be great at creating flypaper or at least creating good flypaper can’t?


This is why, look, agencies know they all need to have some kind of thought leadership and demonstrated expertise. You know, it used to be via a blog, and I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t have a blog, but it’s perhaps not as uniformly critical as it once was. Now it could be YouTube or LinkedIn or TikTok.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Take Everything You Know and Give It Away


There are many ways to share the growth strategies for business like in a webinar series, or podcast. Obviously, there are many different ways to skin the cat now, but if your strategy is to sell marketing services to American companies, it’s going to be real hard. Google’s not going to like that because there are no topical authority podcasts. Listeners are going to like that because every episode is going to be about something different.


Email subscribers are going to like that because they’re not going to know what they’re going to have in the email. Like, imagine if a magazine and that business model. Stephen, imagine if Sports Illustrated one month was actually about sports, but the next issue was about cooking. And the issue after that was about engine repair. And then the next issue was about economics.


You’d like this magazine. Does it make any sense to me? Unsubscribe and that’s how a lot of agency thought leadership programs are. It’s like a flotsam and jetsam collection of like, somewhat interesting ideas. And usually it’s not very deep or comprehensive. Why? You know the answer to this? Because they don’t want to give away their secret sauce, which is which is the most hilarious, misguided, ridiculous premise in the history of marketing services.


Look, if you honestly believe that a client is not going to hire you because you gave them all the secrets in your series of blog posts that you don’t understand how lazy most clients are, a list of ingredients. A list of ingredients doesn’t make somebody a chef. So, if you’ve got a client that literally says, well, I’m going to hire this agency, but I learned all I need to know from their blog, trust me, that’s not a client.


You want it anyway. That is not going to be a good relationship. So, you know, and not to mention the fact this idea that any agency has a secret sauce is ridiculous because it’s not secret. Every agency has the same process. You have a different set of letters that they use to describe the mnemonic. And the second your strategist walks out the door to go to another agency across, your now secret process is no longer a secret anyway, so don’t worry about it.


Just tell people what you know. I wrote a whole book about this called Utility. The idea is to take everything you know and give it away. And it’s amazing what happens when you do that. When you give it all away, you’re like, Wow, they’re brilliant. We should give them money to tell them the rest of the story.


I have no interest in doing some quick math there. When I was listening to you on stage, you know, the fact that you convinced a convert for a million-dollar business, you guys felt it was important enough, and you were committed enough to invest 11% of your revenue into marketing and thought leadership. So, let’s call that roughly this ballpark.


It almost half a million dollars a year toward giving away your smarts one bite at a time. And that’s about right. We figured it out pretty routinely. And not because we wanted to justify it. I just wanted to know, right? I was like, “Hey, how much exactly we spend it on? On marketing for this business?”


Between my time and advertising costs and staff that were dedicated solely to agency marketing and content creation, and guest bloggers and podcast production and graphic designers. Yeah. And it was it was between four and 500 grand a year every year for a decade. And I think that that is obviously voting with dollars. That’s putting, you know, a real testament out there about how much you believed in it.


But the proof is in the results or the pudding or whatever metaphor of growth strategies for the business you want to use when you said, But listen, when we built this business, none of it was outbound. It was all inbound because it never was outbound, ever. Yeah, we never made it. We never made I don’t know what’s going on now because I’m not involved daily like I was.


But for the 13 years that I owned the business, we never made an outbound phone call—missed ever. Not one. I mean, not, like we hardly ever did it. I mean, never. Not once. So, here’s the thing: I know that there are people in our audience who just heard you say that, and they leaned in and thought to themselves, okay, about how you do that.


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Growth Strategies For Business: Spend Time and Money to Tell People Who You Are


So get a copy of the utility. I spent 400 grand a year due to the other way, Right? So, I mean, what happens is people want to try, and they want the best of both worlds, right? They don’t want to make outbound calls because they don’t typically yield success, but they also don’t want to invest in inbound.


And then they’re like, well, how come it doesn’t work for us? It’s like, well, how much you invest in what we’ve got one intern, and then we have account executives write one blog post a month, right? And we spend $200 a month on Google ads. So. Okay, so your total budget then is 20 grand a year, and you’re wondering how come you all have the same results that we had spent in 400 grand a year for a decade?


You can’t have it both ways when we talk about growth strategies for business. So you either need to spend time, money, and effort going out and telling people who you are or spend time, money, and effort letting them discover who you are. But you’ve got to do one of those. Yeah. In a senior people within the business need to be sharing their smarts as opposed to like.


I think the scenario used was like the junior account coordinator who has three months on the team, you know, is expected to write compelling blog posts. But they can’t, they just can’t. Yeah it’s a real challenge and I think a lot of firms are getting better at that because they just realize it doesn’t resonate. It doesn’t work.


It’s just a waste of time. Google doesn’t even like it anymore. But I have seen lots of circumstances, right. Where quote unquote, the writing of the blog is the job that is delegated down and then down again. And then down again. Or maybe it’s bylined by a senior VP, but it’s actually ghostwritten, you know, by a coordinator. That’s not going to get you anywhere either.


Right? You know, you just have to be willing to invest the sweat equity. And the reality is that every agency has a story to tell. Every agency has a ton of expertise and smarts that prospective clients would love to have a taste of in any kind of content format—video, audio writing, puppet—it doesn’t matter. They’re thirsty for it, so just give it to them.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode


Growth Strategies For Business: Be Quick to Change What You Sell but Be Slow to Change How You Market It


Now, look, I understand labor is tight and you know, you’ve got a lot of turnover in your rags. More than ever. And we don’t have time to write a blog post like, look, if you want to say you don’t have time to create content, I get it like I have been in your shoes. But if you’re like, hey, we just don’t have time to do inbound marketing, okay. But then you’re going to have to do outbound marketing, doing no marketing, having no sales process, and no marketing process is going to mean that all your clients are going to be referrals or people you know in your own business community, whatever, and you can survive that


Growth strategies for business have been around for a long time, especially if you’re a good owner or principal and people know you. You can survive for a long time, but of course, you can not grow well, and your growth is totally beholden to chance. Like who? Who thought about us today? Like, well, you know, it’s just that your destiny is no longer under your own control.


And I don’t want to run a business like that. Right? You can’t predictably scale like that. I know that we’re quickly running out of time here, you know, And again, as I said at the beginning, I’m grateful for you taking the time to share your smarts before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, any final advice, anything you think we might have missed?


And then please tell our audience the best way to connect with you. I think what I would say is it’s hard to make a commitment and stick with it. We talked earlier about the importance of agencies being flexible and changing their service model to reflect what clients want today and what the new strategy is. And I firmly believe that to be true.


That’s hard for agencies to do. It’s hard for them to change their fundamental service provision because they get locked into this on the psychology of an SEO firm or a PR firm or whatever. But ironically, Stephen, they’re really quick to change direction on how they acquire clients like, well, we started this big blogging program and then we let it go.


We started this podcast and then we let it go fallow. We started this YouTube series and we stopped doing it. Gary Vaynerchuk was on one of my podcasts years and years ago, and one of the things we talked about rings true in this scenario, which is you can’t possibly think about the results of any kind of content-driven program for at least six months, 100%.


And I could give you 2000 agency blogs right now that ran for less than six months. And they’re like, Yeah, it’s not working. Let’s move on to the next thing, right? So be quicker to change what you sell, be slower to change how you market it. I would say that is just awesome. Best way to connect with you.


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Growth Strategies For Business: Closing Remarks


The best way to connect with me right now is my newsletter. It’s called Jay Baer Facts which comes out twice a month. Each issue of Jay Baer Facts email newsletter includes marketing and customer experience lessons often drawn from my own colorful life. Usually, there’s a Tequila review, a podcast review, and a book review about other stuff –


Get yourself on the list. You’re going to like it. And we will include a link in the show notes and bags of in. Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and listen to Jay’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is you have to decide to be no longer the cobbler’s kids actually to take his advice and implement it, apply it, and you will accelerate your results and then fulfill these promises that I mentioned in the introduction.


They’re not bold promises. If you just follow the path that he just mapped out for you, that’s what you can expect is a steady stream of right-fit clients. So, Jay, thank you again for saying yes. Thank you again for coming on to the show to be our mentor and guide, help us move our businesses onward to that next level.


Thank you very much, my friend. It was at last great to be with you. Thanks for the opportunity.


Listen to the growth strategies for business by Shawndel Spader in this podcast episode

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