How to Attract Prospects
Episode 45: How to Attract Prospects, with Brent Weaver
How to attract prospects, with Brent Weaver. In this EP of “Sell with Authority” — we review the 5-A Framework and how to attract prospects.
I’m excited for you to meet our special guest expert today — Brent Weaver, an expert in teaching how to attract prospects the right way. If you’re meeting Brent for the first time — Brent is the founder and CEO of UGURUS, a business training and education company dedicated to helping agency owners learn how to attract prospects and own their market.
Brent is also the host of “The Digital Agency Show” podcast and the author of the book, “Get Rich in the Deep End.”
Let’s start by reviewing a brief excerpt from Page 47 in Chapter 3 of Brent’s book. It perfectly frames up the challenge agencies, business coaches, and strategic consultants face when creating content — and — the struggle around the decision to niche down and go more narrow.
“We can no longer create random content and hope it gets results. The Internet is organizing into hyper-focused, hyper-specialized niches, and the winners take all. That means you need awareness about what you’re trying to accomplish and who you serve.”
“You need insight into where your customers are in their business — not where you are in yours — before you publish anything.”
“Most agency owners don’t realize this—so their marketing is typically ‘me-focused.’ Most simply publish once in a while about what they’re up to: a recent project launch, a technology they are interested in, or a reference to a trend or method they think is important.”
“And I’ve come to learn that when marketing is ‘me-focused,’ the agency itself is very likely the same way. In other words, they either don’t have a market, or they’re scared to communicate directly to their best clients because they might turn other ones away.”
As you’ll hear in this interview — Brent and I talk through how to attract prospects within the construct of his 5-A Framework, and we zero in on the audience, attract, and acquire.
And — how that belief connects into what he calls the “5-A Framework” and how that framework can help all of us not just niche down — but then once we make that decision — what’s the best way to create content that attracts right-fit prospects into our sales pipeline.
When we do it right — the content we create should attract an audience because you’ve focused on your audience and helping them solve their problems — and not being “me-focused,” to use one of Brent’s terms again.
I promise you — the insights and wisdom Brent shares during this episode will give you and your team what you need to strengthen your authority position and roar through 2023.
In fact — Brent fully mapped out the content and methodology he and his team use to attract leads each month. I’m encouraging you to take this framework — and your content — and you will be well on your way to attracting all the right fit clients you need.
What you will learn about how to attract prospects from this episode:
- Why learning how to attract prospects and niching down is not an instantaneous event — but a process that evolves over time
- How to identify the right audience — or who — represents your right fit prospects
- How to uncover the problems, challenges, and business issues your prospects are dealing with everyday
- What are the 5-As with Brent’s “5-A Framework” and how to attract prospects using it
- How to go from performing your content in your “garage” to getting on other’s stages — where the prospects you want to attract are already hanging out and ready to learn from you
- How to own your market and attract all the right fit prospects you need
- Get a free copy of Brent’s book, “Get Rich in the Deep End,” by emailing Brent at (brent at ugurus.com) with the subject line: “Heard you on the Sell with Authority Podcast”
- Get Brent’s Free “AGENCY ACCELERATOR PACKAGE” by going here.
- Download our WHO Framework and replace your dry sales pipeline by attracting a steady stream of well-prepared right-fit prospects who want to work with you — and — are eager to pay a premium price to do so
How to Attract Prospects: Full Episode Transcript – Brett’s Introduction
I’m excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Brent Weaver. If you’re meeting Brent for the first time, Brent is the founder and c e o of you Gurus, a business training and education company dedicated helping agency owners own their market. Brenna’s, also the host of the Digital Agency Show podcast, and the author of the brilliant book “Get Rich in the Deep End.” Okay, so before I welcome Brent to the show, I’m going share a brief excerpt from chapter three of his book. I have, I, I do have his permission to do this. So from chapter three of his book, because it perfectly, in my opinion, frames up the challenge agency owners and their teams typically face when creating content and when struggling with the decision to niche down and go more narrow with the goal of attracting more right fit prospects. So here we go, page 47, chapter three, of Get Rich in the Deep End.
So I’m quoting Brent here. “We can no longer create random content and hope it gets results. The internet is organizing into hyperfocused hyper-specialized niches, and the winners take all that means. You need awareness about what you’re trying to accomplish and who you serve. You need insight into where your customers are in their business, not where you are in yours before you publish anything. Most agency owners don’t realize this. So their marketing is typically quote me focused, most simply publish once in a while about what they’re up to. So think recent project a technology they’re interested in, or a reference to a trend or a method they think is important. And I’ve come to learn, again, these are Brent’s words, and I’ve come to learn that when marketing is me focused, the agency itself is very likely the same way. In other words, they don’t have a market or they’re scared to communicate directly to their best clients because they might turn others away.”
I’m going to ask Brent why he believes so strongly in the excerpt that I just shared with you, and how that belief connects into what he calls the five A framework, and how that framework can help all of us, not just niche down. But then once we make that decision, what’s the best way to create content that attracts right fit prospects into our sales pipelines? Because when we do that right, the content we create should attract an audience because you focused on your audience in helping them solve their problems. In fact, you’ve created content that shows them you may even know their problem better than they do, and you never seem like you’re me focused again to use one of Brent’s terms. I promise you the insights and wisdom Brent shares during this episode will give you and your team what you need to strengthen your authority position and attract all the right-fit prospects you need into your sales pipeline.
Brent Weaver’s Introduction
Before we dive in with what I’m sure is going to feel like a barrage of questions, uh, coming your way, uh, take us behind the curtain, Brent, and, and share a little bit more about your path and journey. Couple of minutes and, and, and then we’ll dive in.
I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t know I was an agency owner for almost a decade, right? I was just building websites for people. And, and our first agency, we did everything wrong for probably the first seven years, uh, and started getting some help, mentorship, um, a advice, joined some business accelerators started to kind of figure out how to actually run a business. I’d never been taught how to run a business before. And so, you know, that was really a big inflection point. And actually the, the excerpt that you read, when I think about my history, um, as a agency owner and entrepreneur, you know, there, there truly was this like, inflection point where I thought like my business was about me and about what we were doing mm-hmm. . And at the same time, we were always really frustrated with the, um, you know, the output, right?
We weren’t getting enough clients. We had no control over our lead generation. We really had no structured marketing. I mean, we were doing stuff, we were, you know, building awareness. We were out in, in the community, out in the network, right? We were getting clients, we were doing great work. Those clients would lead us to other clients. But like, what I understand about marketing now, I mean, when I look at how sophisticated our Legion engines are at U Gurus and the agency that I now own, um, part owner and unlimited, wp, I mean, you know, what took us a year and a half to scale to seven figures for Unlimited, WP took us over a decade, uh, with my first agency. And even then, right? It was like, it was like seven figures of, of like, you know, like splotch together revenue and different niches.
And it was like every dollar we were like grasping for, right? It was like, and it was super fluctuating and all that kinda stuff. Whereas when I look at our business now, it’s like this, it’s like this growth engine that’s just like clock, clock clock. You know? It’s like we can just see, you know, the consistency and also the, the freedom that’s created. Um, now, you know, when, when I, I sold my first agency when I was, um, in, in 2012. Um, I was, I was about 30 years old. I started the, the business accelerator. We have been running now for the last 10 years, Yu Gurus, a couple years ago I started Unlimited WP with, uh, a graduate of our program. Um, last year, you know, we actually were acquired by, uh, UGURUS was acquired by, um, cloud Ways, which was shortly thereafter acquired by Digital Ocean.
Uh, and so now we’re, we’re scaling the business accelerator in a way that I’ve never even, um, I never imagined, you know, we’ve had this mission of helping 10,000 agencies achieve freedom and business in life. And, and now all of a sudden I’m like, wow, this is like happening, right? We’re like seeing this, uh, every day in our work. So, so, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s been a, it’s been a fun journey, not without, its, uh, its pitfalls and pains. And I think most of that content in that book, and most of the content I talk about, uh, is more derived from the lessons that I’ve learned in business. Some of those, those lessons have been extraordinarily expensive. Uh, and so it’s, it’s easy to look at like, oh, man, you know, growth story, fun, exciting. But, you know, most of the things that we’ve implemented now, and most of the things that we do on a regular basis are just from, you know, all the mistakes that we’ve made. Uh, and so hopefully I’ll, I’ll share some of those with you today with some of the questions you’re gonna ask Steven. Well,
And, and that’s, but that’s what makes this conversation helpful and insightful. It isn’t like you woke up one day and said, you know, I need to pick a niche. Oh, I know I’m going to go out and start helping a whole bunch of agency owners, and, and that’s fine. I’m gonna read a few books in, in, in order to get the context. And then, you know, after I read the books, I’m gonna be an expert and I’m gonna maybe need to fake it before I make it. That’s not what we’re talking about here. What, what I love about your path and journey one that you’re super transparent in sharing what, what it was and is, but it ties into this last paragraph that, that out, out of that excerpt that I chose and, and or selected, and you, and when you wrote, and I’ve come to learn that when marketing is me focused, the agency itself is very likely the same way, right? It’s because of all of this context and all of this perspective, this path and journey that you’ve been on for a couple of decades, that gives you the ability to write that it, because you’ve been in the trenches, you understand it, so awesome. Right? It makes it that much more helpful.
Absolutely. And, and too, like, I mean, well, I will probably talk about, you know, markets and, and how people can focus on those things. But when I think of the last 12 months of my life with these multiple kind of acquisitions under my belt, and now we’re, you know, we’re Scaling Unlimited, wp, which is a brand that is a, it’s a white label WordPress shop for other agencies. And, and I look at this like portfolio of, of business that I’ve been able to create, um, which is really exciting, but a lot of, like, my enterprise value that I bring to organizations is my knowledge of my market. And we can talk about my story all the time, right? We can talk about like, the things that I’ve learned. Yeah. But like, the journey really starts with us deciding that, you know, being customer obsessed, is it create, like, that decision was the inflection point, Steven.
It was like, that was the thing that made everything else possible. Because, you know, for us to start to learn about, you know, what kind of products and services our market wants, what their pains and problems are, you know, I mean, I can, like, it wouldn’t surprise me if sometimes I wake up in the, in the middle of the night, you know, shouting the fierce frustrations, want and aspirations of agency owners, right? Because I’m so obsessed about it. My wife’s like, what’s, you’re having a nightmare? I’m like, no, no, no. It’s not my nightmare. It’s, it’s, it’s my customer’s nightmare. Right? Um, it’s because like, it’s, it’s become this obsession Yeah. Of us understanding how do we solve these problems? How do we help people achieve what they want in their business? And, and through that, we’ve been able to create a ton of businesses and a ton of value for other people. And, um, and, and it’s fun. It’s so fun, man. It’s, it’s like, it, it business is, has, has been a really, uh, an excellent game to be able to play as an entrepreneur. And, and, you know, if I just, if I keep getting to play this game with this market, with these people, you know, for the next 10 years or 20 years, uh, you know, that’s, that’s a huge win for me.
How to Attract Prospects: Create Attractive Content
Amen. To that, I’m gonna key in on this, uh, nightmare analogy Yeah. That this, uh, gave us, because, uh, in, in another one of your chapters, uh, in fact, let me quick grab it. Okay. Chapter nine, I highlighted, uh, one of sort of the, the call outs here. And it speaks directly to what you just said and how you make content attractive to a prospective audience. You, you wrote talk about your ideal client’s pain better than they understand it, and they will instantly see you as an expert to solve their problems when you have that passion when it wakes you up in the middle of the night and you’re super concerned and you’re super excited about helping them through their trials, tribulations, problems, business issues, challenge, whatever word that you wanna put that on, that gives you an ability that infuses your content when you mix it with the proper voice, which we’ll get to in a little bit. But when you do that, it, it’s, it’s very easy then to say, as the recipient of the content that, oh, Brent is all about me. Not, not, not him. He’s all about helping me, right?
Yeah. Well, and, and I think too, a lot of people have a fear of talking about their craft because they see other people out there that are saying really smart things about whatever they do, whether it’s building websites or doing Facebook ads, or, you know, creating brands. And so to stand out in a crowd, and, you know, talking about your discipline is really intimidating because we can all go to the internet and Instagram and see people that are doing like, better quality stuff than us. And so, a way for you to, you know, and, and, and honestly, most people don’t really care about that stuff anyways, right? But it’s, it’s, that’s the natural inclination is, Hey, I’m gonna, I’m a web designer, I’m gonna publish content about web design. And then you’re like, oh, crap, there’s all this content about web design. Like, where do I fit in?
Right? And so, the thing that I think most of us don’t understand is that we, we, we are looking for solutions to our problems. And usually the first thing that we do is we, we search out our problems. And so if you find people that are talking about our problems, um, and they are talking about them eloquently, and they’re talking about them in a way that, um, is, is relatable, then, you know, that’s like half the battle. Like, you’re already, you’ve already created some really amazing content there that’s, that’s, that’s gonna attract people to you. And so, you know, instead of thinking to yourself like, you know, I’m not as good as a southern web designer, you know, it’s just going into your target market and figuring out what are, what are their issues? And, and most people, the most markets out there don’t have our agency expertise, you know, that that’s readily available.
Like, they’re just not, you know, that there’s, there’s a lot of blue oceans out there. And so I think usually it’s very, it’s easy to go into a market and start to master what they’re struggling with and talking about that, that’s something that you can usually do in a few weeks, right? Or, or even days. You can go out and, and understand those problems. Go do 10 or 15 customer interviews, you know, and really start to get a grip on those things. And then it becomes kind of this point of leverage or an X factor where you can start to create content and you can feel more confident about it because you’re actually hearing these problems from people. And then you just kind of repeat what they’re talking about, and then people will start to listen to you.
Love that. So let, let’s frame up maybe the, the re that’s a bad pun, uh, frame, frame up the rest of this conversation with, uh, by, by walking through your five A framework. Um, and then, and then I, I know we’re gonna dip into the attract PC authority piece and so forth, but let’s go 30,000 foot view for overall framework. If you could take us through the five A’s, that would be awesome.
The 5-A Framework
Yeah. So, I mean, quick, the, uh, the, the tl DR version, right? Audience, uh, awareness, attract, authority and acquire. So those are, just think about it as the five things that you should be able to write on a napkin, uh, when you go and market your agency, that you should have at least a one or two point bullet, uh, of, you know, each of these things. You know, who’s your audience? What channel are you gonna use to build awareness to that audience? What’s that path to customers? What are you gonna talk about to attract those people to you? Mm-hmm. , how can we establish ourselves as an authority within that market? And then how are we gonna actually acquire those people into scheduled appointments on our calendar? Is a, is there a literal, like a logistical path to getting that audience to engage with us in some way?
And so, you know, my most simple, you know, I mean, on, on a simple level, we might have something like, you know how Yu Guus attracts agencies, right? We use, uh, you know, agency as our audience. We use Facebook ads to drive that, you know, to, to, to drive that audience to us. Um, couple the problems that we talk about are, um, you know, creating proposals, high value proposals, you know, winning high value projects, five, six figure deals with right-fit prospects. So that’s kind of some of the messaging we use to attract. Um, we e established our authority by providing actual one proposals for agency deals. So those are, you know, and people see it. It’s like, oh, wow, this is a, this is a real thing, right? Mm-hmm. . So that instantly creates authority. And then we acquire those, those folks through, um, you know, a very basic, uh, marketing funnel, right? A a very basic, like, optin, get the tool, join our Facebook group, have a call with us, and, you know, just for some context, right? So that’s a, that’s the five A’s on an napkin. Like I can draw that in a napkin. It’s no more complex than that. And, you know, that funnel for us generates two to 32,000 to 3000 leads a month for our business, right? And so, you know, that, that’s, that’s the five a’s in a nutshell. Um, and then we can obviously, you know, kind of dive into each of those.
Yeah. So, so let’s do that. Um, so when you think about the five A’s on an Appian, love, love the way that you described that, because because it is easy, we sometimes make it overly complicated. So if we’re looking at kind of zooming out and looking at the five A’s, when, when an agency owner is thinking about maybe adopting that into their business, which a do they struggle with first?
Yeah. I mean, they’re, it’s, it’s sequential and, and it should be mm-hmm. . And, and so I think that’s the piece that people hit the immediate roadblock on, is they go, oh, audience, oh man, this guy’s gonna ask me to niche. I don’t want a niche. I don’t wanna stop turning away, you know, start turning away clients. Like, what about the person that calls me tomorrow that wants to pay me $35,000? It’s not a nonprofit org, it’s not a doctor, it’s not a dentist. Ah, well, I’m, I’m done. Mm-hmm. . Uh, and so they get, they get frustrated with that. And so I think, you know, the way that we look at it as, you know, the first, the first level of this is, you know, think of it as a campaign. You know, you’re gonna invest some time in money in marketing. Um, you’re not gonna overhaul your website.
You’re not gonna start, you know, you’re not gonna, because this is how I first niched. I, we decided to focus, you know, we were a general web design firm, and we had a bunch of clients that were nonprofits. Like 30 or 40% of our clients were nonprofit organizations in Denver, my business partner and I went out to a lunch, and we were like, we were struggling to grow the business. We were unprofitable, we were putting all of our, you know, we were putting tons of stuff on credit cards, and I don’t, it was a mess. And somebody, people kept told, telling us, oh, you got a niche. You got a niche, you got a niche, right? And I’m like, no, everybody can be my client. Everybody can be my client, right? We’re never gonna niche . So finally we hit like a breaking point. We’re like, screw it, we’re gonna niche.
So we were, we were at a Wendy’s, right? That was, that was like what the, the, the cuisine was of, of that, um, you know, the dollar menu, right? Double, double cheeseburger, medium french fry, um, and chicken nuggets. Can’t forget that, right? Three bucks I could get lunch . Um, and so we, you know, slammed our fists on the table and we’re like, we’re gonna niche to nonprofits. So we, you know, immediately went back to the office, changed our website homepage, we build great websites too. We build great websites for nonprofits. And then I think we even sent an email out to all of our customers. We said, we’re working with nonprofits now, , and of course all the small businesses were like, what about us? Right? Right. And all the, the, the very little website traffic that we had at the time, you know, which was mostly from like some, some random Google searches, which we had no context of.
And also just like referral and word of mouth and just general reputation, right? I mean, you know, two thirds of that traffic hit that home page and said, oh, these guys aren’t for us anymore. And so our leads actually went like, into the toilet. Um, and so like, I think that, like that kind of surface level nicheing of, and, and again, it kind of comes back to this me focused versus customer focused mm-hmm. , you know, I thought nicheing was about me. Yeah. I thought it was, I needed to change my website home page. I needed to tell all of my clients that I was now, you know, nonprofit focused. And it was like a miserable failure. And I, I don’t think it was, it was, it didn’t, we didn’t really start figuring out until, you know, a couple years later, we obviously changed our website back and we were like, oh, crap.
We made a big mistake. And, you know, we, we kept having to have these sales conversations that would come up where people would say, oh, you know, Brian, I saw that email from you guys. It sounds like you’re not working with us anymore. We’re like, no, no, no, no, no. Like, please, no, no, no, we’re fine. We’re, we can still help you. Right? So it was, it was a complete disaster. And so when, when we say, Hey, pick an audience, it’s like if you had, you know, a thousand dollars in your bank account and you were going to your budget and you were gonna decide how to spend that money, right? Um, that’s really all this conversation at first is about, is you’ve got a thousand dollars, maybe you got 10 hours to invest in marketing this month. Where are you gonna spend that time?
Yep. And then, and then once you de decide that, that, who, right? Who, who is that marketing offer? You know, then we can kind of start, start talking about where, like what do we actually do strategically and tactically to get that message in front of the right audience? Yeah. You know, shortcut, it’s not changing your reps at homepage. It’s not sending out an email to your customers. It’s not turning down business. Now, at some point, if you’re established in a market enough to where you’re just like, like leads and clients are falling out of your pockets in your target market, and you’re like, I have so much awesome business. Like, I’m starting to see, you know, the light at the end of the tunnel, I understand what this whole nicheing thing’s about, you know, at that time, like, maybe it becomes more of a business identity thing and you start to actually turn stuff away.
How to Attract Prospects: Respect the Process
Um, and so I think that first step for people, like, it’s, it’s, it’s almost like people are trying to jump from, you know, being single mm-hmm. to like married with kids in one step versus like kind of going out and, you know, going to the clubs at the bars or the sewing groups or whatever, right? And trying to meet people, you know, first, right? There’s a few steps that happen before, like married with kids, right? Mm-hmm. . And so I think that that first step can become such a hurdle. Yeah. For some people, if they’re in their mind, it’s that I have to change my entire agency’s identity. If they instead reframe that to, Hey, I’m just gonna invest like 10 hours in marketing and maybe spend a couple grand, like all of a sudden it’s like, oh, that’s not that big of a deal. I can focus on doctors for like a month. Yep. Right? And, and so that, that reframing, I think is, is really important as kind of a solution to that. But like, man, if you can’t get past that, if you can’t, like, you can’t put a campaign out to a target market, you know, the rest of this whole nicheing conversation’s gonna be way harder.
I, I am so glad to hear you frame the up that way, again, using a bad pun, I guess, or using a pun, because I, I see it in agency owner’s eyes all the time. And I, and I, and I’m sure you do too, that when you mention the word niche, they, they immediately make the leap of 10 years down the road, married with kids. And in thinking that that’s might be what you and I or someone else is asking them to do, when in reality, that’s why I was really grateful that I was thinking, oh, I wonder if he’s going to break that down into the small little steps. And that’s exactly where you went, which thank you for that, because that is it, right? It’s not about firing your clients on Monday, cuz you made a decision on Friday. It’s about how you then step into that recognizing that it is a long game, it’s peace, after peace after peace. Eventually you’ll get there. And, and, and so thank you for that because I’m hoping that that eased maybe some of the stress around the decision that it’s not instantaneous, that it is a progression.
Yeah. And in, in the book, I use this kind of, you know, the title’s called Own Your Market. And so, you know, if you want to use a that analogy of, of owning, right? Before we do that, we might go and, you know, we might, we might be a looky-loo first, you know, we might be a, a Zillow or whatever you call ’em, right? , we might look at those places that we might wanna live. Right? But there’s a big difference between looking and then, you know, being a tourist, like, Hey, let’s go to like, got a friend that moved down to, uh, Costa Rica. Yep. They’ve been there for like five years, but like the first step for them was like, they, you know, they obviously had the idea and they kind of like, you know, did some research on it. The second step was, you know, they went down to Costa Rica for a, a quick family vacation to see like what the vibe was.
And it was like, Hey, the family loves it. Right? And then they came, they went back to Costa Rica again, um, to, uh, you know, to, with without their kids to start to like actually plot out what it could be like to live there. Hmm. Then, you know, and then they went back to Costa Rica, the, the third time with a one year commitment. They were gonna live there for a year Right. As renters. Okay. And, and now they’ve lived there for, we’re going on five, going on six years. And now the conversation has turned into, you know, do we buy down here?
You know, that same idea within a market. It’s like, what can you do to do a little research? Like, hey, we’re just looking, and then, hey, can we be a tourist? Can we go out to a, an event in your market? Right. And this is getting into our, our second day a little bit, Steven, of, of awareness. Right. But what can you do that’s like a small investment Yeah. To kind of like step in and, and kind of see what’s going on. And maybe you’re going to a conference, maybe you jump onto some podcasts, maybe you sponsor a, an association or an event, you know, and you go and kind of rub elbows with people in the market, you know? Cause I, I went in an early market, we targeted, I won’t say what market it was, was, uh, no, actually I will. Um, so we were, we were in Colorado, and this is back when like medicinal marijuana was like a big, like it was a big thing, right?
Sure. And there was all these people like, oh, this is gonna be like the green rush, right? It was like, ah, you know, like we, we couldn’t help ourselves but get caught up in it. And so we, you know, I met some people, some potential strategic partners. They were selling advertising, uh, in the local Westward Magazine for these different shops and stuff. And so he started hook me up with, uh, appointments to build websites and do marketing for these folks cuz they, none of them had a websites. And so, you know, I went on a couple of these meetings, we signed a couple deals, and then one day I went on a meeting and I rang the buzzer and they, they unlocked the door and I stepped into a cage and the door closed behind me was like, like, like it locked. And there was like, I’m in this like cage and there’s like cameras and I’m sitting there and they’re like, oh yeah, we’ll be with you in just one moment.
And you gotta imagine this is all this like cash business and like, there’s good reason, right? But this is like people that are coming from like the black market, right? Lots of cash still slightly ill, you know, kind of illegitimate in this gray zone cuz it wasn’t legal federally and, and whatever. It really wasn’t legal at, at a state level fully. And, um, it was, it just like, it turned me off. Yeah. I was like, Hey, there could be money here, but like, this is just not where I want to hang out as an entrepreneur right now. I don’t want to be going into buildings with duffel bags of cash and being l literally locked in a cage with cameras on me to, um, you know, while they like took my license. And like, I, I don’t know, it was just like, yeah, it felt weird.
I drove back and I was like, Hey, uh, you know, called my partner. I was like, Hey Steve, like, you know, I I was like, you know, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve really come a long way, but like, I just don’t see that this is gonna be a path forward for us for, for such and such reason. And he was like, okay, cool. Like, let’s, let’s work on the next market, right? So it’s like, you know, sometimes you find through that kind of exploratory phase in a market that for whatever reason it’s not a great, great fit and that’s okay, right? We don’t have to, you know, commit a hundred percent, but at some point you will find that a market is, is great. And then you might wanna kind of jump in the deep end as, uh, as we talked about in the book.
Going Narrow is where the Gold is
Yeah. That reminds me of, uh, a, a conversation that our, our mutual friend Drew McLellan and I had on a recent episode of his podcast, so episode 354. And, and, and he wanted to essentially dissect, uh, predictives. So my agency, kind of our path through various niches and in the evolving of predictive predictives about 13 years old now. And, um, and, and then we also talked about the permanency of niche and that decision and, and how it doesn’t, we don’t have to think of it as like pounding it into stone tablets and, and from here for the next several decades, it must be this. So that’s why I really like your two examples that you’ve shared because it shows how you’re moving into a niche with intentionality. What can we learn? What can we experiment with, what can we discover and all of that. And then same thing like with Costa Rica, um, in, in that example with your friends that, that they weren’t pounding it into stone.
We like Costa Rica, so therefore we’re gonna move our entire family and so forth down there without doing their due diligence and all of that. Do some people do that? Of course. Did they do that? No, they went about it in a very pragmatic way. So all along sort of these milestones, if you will put it in a business context, there were the go no-go decisions. Okay, now we’re gonna extend the trip for a year. We’re gonna extend the trip for this point. And, and then finally we’re all in. That seems like a very practical approach,
Very practical approach. So let’s, let’s step into the attract piece. So one, once someone makes that decision, uh, then, then obviously I’m leapfrogging a couple of pieces in the A framework. So I’m going out of sequential order. Um, because the reason why I want to go into the attract piece one, I, I, I love how you structured this chapter because it’s, it’s very practical and tactical. You, you give high level, but then you go eye level pretty quickly too, which I loved. And, and you recommend some really good tips about how to create attractive content. So, so let’s go through that piece and, and let’s go through your recipe for creating attractive content and would love to even slice it at a granular level about the various tips that you share. Cuz I think there, again, going back to framework, that’s gonna be a great framework. So, so let’s go high level with the attraction piece. Um, how do, like, what’s your point of view around creating attractive content? And then we’ll slice that apart?
Yeah, I, I think the, I mean, first is, is getting into your customer’s head. Hmm. And there, there’s a lot of different ways to do that. I think the thing that has been most impactful for me in terms of the research and understanding stage is to, um, conduct customer interviews. And the faster that you can do this mm-hmm. , uh, within your chosen target market, the faster the learning begins. And this happens, um, outside of the building, okay, this doesn’t happen. Uh, you know, in, in Google, like now you can do some great research in Google, but, um, it doesn’t happen on a whiteboard. It doesn’t happen in a brainstorming document. Uh, you do have to talk to people and there’s like a famous saying in, in, I don’t know, business that, uh, you know, business would be, uh, really easy and fun if it wasn’t for those customers, right?
And, and so like, I found that going out and becoming obsessively focused on, on talking to people in, uh, my target market. And at first it started very informal, like within the first markets that we targeted. It also started originally, like I thought the only time I could talk to people in my market is if, if they called me and asked me for a proposal and, you know, invited me into their office. It, it turns out, uh, that you can call an email pretty much anybody. Uh, you can knock on any door and you can ask them for insights and feedback and, and advice, right? Advice is a great thing to ask people for. Cuz everybody wants to give you advice. Uh, everybody wants to give you advice, right? Um, even about things that they shouldn’t be giving you advice about. Uh, and so you can leverage that mm-hmm. .
And you don’t have to be going, you don’t have to go in and ask somebody for business, talk to them. You can go in and just be like, Hey, I’d love to learn about blank. Like, Hey, I’m thinking about targeting this market. I’m thinking about trying to work, uh, with more nonprofits or more restaurants or more doctors, or more dentists. Like, do you have five minutes? Do you have 10 minutes? Just tell me about some of your biggest pains and issues or problems or frustrations or gripes or complaints about, you know, X, y, z about web design, about branding. And, you know, if, if that target market says, what do you mean by branding , that that’s gonna be like, ah, you know, aha. Like, right? Like people don’t even know what you do. Right? Or if you’re like, you know, like, uh, you know, what are your thoughts about, you know, quantum computing and conversion optimization and AB testing and, you know, and your target market is like, what?
Like, you know, that’s like your first learning is that, you know, they have no idea what you’re talking about in some cases, right? Not all cases, but, you know, when I was going after restaurants, for example, um, that was very much the case. Mm-hmm. even just going a layer deeper in a website. Like, Hey, what’s your impression of WordPress? Or, you know, what are your frustrations with WordPress? And the, the amount of understanding from my target market of what even WordPress was, right? Many of them had no idea what I was talking about. Um, you know, if I used a term like CMS or responsive, um, they were like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And so if my website, right, if my content would have led with, Hey, we build amazing responsive websites and I was trying to reach restaurant owners, I mean, I’m gonna make them feel like idiots.
You know, they’re, well, first of all, they’re probably not gonna feel anything. They’re probably just gonna get go. I have no idea what these jerks are talking about. You know, move on. I have a, I have a fire in the kitchen, literally mm-hmm. . And so getting in and talking with people in your target market, and the faster you can do that, the better. Uh, a lot of people like that I, I’ve talked to over the years, they hear about doing customer interviews and it’s, it’s this big, like, back to, to reframing things, but it’s this big, like, okay, I gotta reach out to, oh my gosh, how am I gonna, you know, well, and they kind of drip like maybe a, a conversation once every week or two, um, when we got really serious about agency. Like, I did 72 customer interviews, 30 minute customer interviews in a week, like I in a week, right?
So you can structure this stuff intensely and you can get a lot done. Like when I usually go in and develop a new product or a service, and I know agency owners really well, but still, I have a lot of biases that get in the way. I have a lot of false beliefs, I have a lot of assumptions that get in the way. So every time we launch a new program, a new feature, a new addition, like we always go and talk to our customers. We always, we always get in there and do that. And so we stack these interviews and we’ll do, you know, we’ll do 10 interviews in an afternoon mm-hmm. . So 20, 30 minutes a piece that’s five hours. It, it’s a little intense, right? You’re like five hours straight, customer call, customer call, customer call. But what happens is you start getting into this mode where you’re like, your, your unconscious starts to like, recognize patterns and you start to see like, oh my gosh, there’s the thread here, or this thing that I keep harping on, they just don’t care about.
Um, and so that, that idea of going in, in and talking to your customers, that’s, that’s gonna be like, you know, one of the biggest things that, um, that we, we, we advocate. And then, you know, from there, it’s, yes, you need to organize your content, you know, you need to talk about things that your customers care about, and then you, you need to do it in a way that’s modeling off of, you know, good storytelling. You know, having a, um, you know, having a, a hook, a build, and a payoff, right? Having, having, capturing somebody’s attention, getting them to listen to you, and building tension around the services and offers that you have, and then telling people, you know, how they can solve that problem. What’s the benefit? What’s the, what’s the, the nut? What’s the call to action? Right? What are they gonna, what’s the, the juice that they’re gonna get from this thing? And, and making sure that they have a, a good path and a good motivation to, to reach you.
Yeah. When I think of 72 interviews in, in, in, in a week, and whether somebody listening to this says, holy bananas, I’m gonna do 72 interviews this week. Or they say, I’m gonna do 72 interviews in the next couple weeks or a month, or whatever the timeframe is. Don’t miss the point 72 interviews gives you like this goldmine you mentioned patterns, right? You start seeing these patterns, it gives you essentially like your customer or perspective customer gave you, Brent, like gave you, this is the curriculum we want you to teach, right?
I mean, the fact that you put it in those terms is mind blowing because that was exactly what we got out of it. We took, like, I took all those interview notes, we, um, themed them. What are the themes that people are talking about? We simplified those with some, you know, some work. Um, we then used actual, like customer quotes. So things that people actually told us, um, that we thought really grabbed people’s attention and were kind of like in people’s heads because they were literal things that people said to us, right? Yeah. And people email us like, oh my gosh, Brent, you’re inside my head. And I’m like, I literally just like wrote you an email with a sentence that you actually told me. Like, you know, it’d be like that customer was like, oh my gosh, Brent, this is, you know, follow up from our conversation.
This is so good. Right? And so, you know, going back to that specific investment of time, um, that was actually right before we launched our bootcamp program. Okay? Now, our bootcamp program, we ended up having about 13 to 1400 agencies go through that program. Um, it was about, uh, a $3,500 program. You know, you can do your napkin math, but that intense level of customer development led to, you know, a very lucrative upside. Now that product eventually morphed into, you know, the community and the program. And a lot of that research was still, is still something that we rely on today in terms of our core curriculum from bootcamp. And, you know, all of our new members that, that join us for our one year program go through bootcamp mm-hmm. . And so, you know, that was stuff I did back in 2014. Okay? And it’s still paying dividends now.
I don’t know if, you know, I would tell people, Hey, go out and do 72 interviews in a week. It was a lot of fun. My team thought I was kind of crazy. I was super burned out. I had probably over expressed myself that week. But I mean, even doing five or 10 interviews in a week or in a day, um, can, can, you know, give you huge insights. And then what happens is you start to kind of get this, you almost get this like master’s degree in your, in your target market. You start to kind of studying them and you start to have this acumen and just naturally, the more people in your target market that you talk to mm-hmm. , you start to change your language because you, you’re gonna start to just self-correct in terms of how you explain what you do. And when that starts happening.
It’s, it’s really magical when you start to look at like, what happens in the sales process, what you put in your proposal mm-hmm. , how you present your offer, what your pricing looks like, how you structure your pricing and payment plans. I mean, just like all that stuff becomes like, it, it just starts to becoming next level just naturally, right? Without having any kind of, you know, this is our 19 point framework for proposals or whatever. Like if you go talk to 20 customers in your target market, you will absolutely make changes to your proposal and to your offer and to your, you know, the language you use when with presenting without any additional sales, coaching or help, right? You’ll just self-correct. Um, the more conversations you have. So, so in, in the attract stage, you know, in the book I go through a lot of different tactics in, in, in methods around like ideal customer profile and individual, like specific content frameworks and things like that that you can use. But without that body of work, without that context and content about who your target market is and what they think about, um, really all of that stuff is, is useless.
So that inspires me to want to quote you again. This is off of page 146. We’re in the attraction piece because about the practicing and about getting in, and this is about like finding your voice, right? We’ve heard that a lot. Like you gotta find your voice, but what you say about finding the voice or someone’s voice in my opinion, is really key here. And here’s what I mean by that. So everyone, I’m, again, I’m quoting Brent here. I have discovered my voice by practicing a lot. You don’t find it before you begin to write or speak, you find it through writing and speaking. So that tells me as, as a reader, and also now listening to you in this conversation, that the interviews, whatever the number was, you were mentally in, in writing, in notes, keeping track of the patterns, and also then giving it back to people and creating content and writing and teaching and speaking and all of that. And through that practice, not only did you see what was attracting and what wasn’t, but at the same time you were gaining your voice and your belief around what it was that you were sharing. Am am, am I tracking with you?
How to Attract Prospects: Find Your Voice and Refine Through Practice
Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, I I, not to inception our audience right now, but you know, I would consider this, uh, it’s a rep, it’s a, you know, I mean, yes, we’re, we’re, we get to perform today for this audience that you’ve, you know, so graciously put us in front of, but as an expert and as an authority, you know, this is one more, um, you know, one more rep that I get to, to do, right? I don’t, I don’t come in and, you know, prescript like, oh, this is what I’m gonna say. You know, I’ve got my, I’ve got my platform, I’ve got my content. But it’s like every rep, um, is, is a way for us to help refine that and like, Hey, were we able to say that in a better way this time? Do we have a better analogy or a better story or case study?
You know? So every time you get out there in front of that audience, whether it’s through your social media posting or, um, through, uh, a platform like this, you know, it’s an opportunity for you to refine that message. And one thing that I, I do think is really important is that, you know, there’s kind of the, the garage band, uh, metaphor that I give a lot, which is, you know, the equivalent of, of me creating content, you know, on my own platform mm-hmm. , that’s kinda what I call the garage band . Right. You know, it’s like we’re going outta the garage and we’re like jam, like, ah, yeah. You know, like stare with, we’re doing it right. Like, you know, we’re gonna play Thunderstruck next. Right? And it’s like, you know, it’s like, I, I might be having like, the time of my life, my neighbors are probably calling the cops, right? Um, and so, you know, the people in the world that have become superstars, right? At some point they got out of the garage mm-hmm. , and they had to go start playing it at venues. They had to, you know, the Beatles didn’t play in the garage, right? They, they played, they gig seven nights a week, three times a night sometimes. Right. Three shows that’s 21 shows a week.
Yeah. Two card week. Great. Formative. Yep.
Yeah. Like they’re, they’re refining that sound in front of an audience. So there’s that feedback mechanism. And so, you know, one of the things that you wanna do as soon as possible is create content, um, with third party editors and people who are going to essentially kind of, you know, give you very real feedback, um, by either not having you on their program, um, or, you know, they might give you some tips and things like that, or maybe you hear how they sound, or maybe the questions that they ask you and try to get clarification on exposes that maybe some of your content has some gaping holes in it. Um, you know, whatever it is. It’s like if you can find those people that can become those filters and those amplifiers for you, you know, that practice becomes a lot more interesting and impactful for you in your market.
And so that’s one of the things that, you know, we started, we started with really slowly mm-hmm. , um, I would run these, uh, uh, these, uh, luncheon learns in Denver on, you know, social media and . I would send this invite out, like, come learn about Facebook and Twitter and blah, blah, blah, right? And I’d get four people to sign up for ’em, right? And so it’s like, you know, in a way that was like feedback, right? I’d like have, you know, but then four business owners would come in and, you know, I’d give ’em this, you know, complete run through of social media and stuff, and they would be like, Brent, this was the most valuable thing I’ve ever, like, this is the most valuable lunch that I’ve ever been to. This was so amazing. And they’d invite two people. And then I had to think, okay, why are, you know, they’re all telling me this is a life-changing workshop, but nobody wants to come to it, right? And so it’s like figuring out that messaging and all that kinda stuff. So the more, uh, the more filter that you can use through other people’s lenses, um, I think the more, the faster you’ll go through some of those reps and some of that learning
Yeah. 100%. And, and, and pushing yourself to get into, like, I, I’m a huge baseball fan, so, so pushing yourself to stand in the box, we gotta get into the box. Yeah. And, yep, A bunch of times we’re gonna strike out. Um, I don’t know how much of a baseball fan you are, but, uh, for everyone listening, uh, Derek Jeter struck out 1,862 times throughout the span of his career, and, and he is largely regarded is, you know, the best, uh, Yankee to ever play the game. And that’s, that’s a pretty, that’s a pretty awesome list, right? 1,862 times to say that a different way. There are actually only 10 players in the history of the game who ever struck out more than Derek Jeter. He’s number 11 on the list. He struck out 1,862 times only 10 players ever struck out more than Derek Jeter because he was willing to do Brent, what you’re talking about. He was willing to stand in the box, he was willing to take the practice wings. He was willing to do that in the game and strike out if need be, but 300% of the time he was gonna get a hit because of those repetitions. Going back to your word, the reps. Cuz he knew the value of every single rep.
I think, I think I’m gonna put like 8 18 62 on my, uh, wall. I think I’ll, I think that’s gonna become a new, a new number for me. . Everybody’s gonna be like, what happened in 1862 .
That’s awesome. So I, I know that our, uh, time is, uh, quickly coming to an end. Before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, uh, any final advice, any recommendations you think we might have missed? Uh, and then, uh, please share with our audience the best way to connect with you, Brent.
Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, I think the, um, man, is there anything that we’ve, we’ve missed? What a, what a big thing. I mean, I think if we, if we close it out though on maybe a choir, because I think that’s the other piece that sometimes is, is overlooked. Um, and, and this is just a piece where if you’re, if you’re on a podcast, if you’re on a webinar, you’ll give people a really great, uh, way to reach you. Right? Give them something that’s really valuable, you know, know, and, and I was thinking about before I came on, I was like, what are the things that I could like give out the resources, the things like, you know, like what would, what would Stephen be like cool with in terms of like what would be okay for his audience and stuff? And, you know, I’m like, man, now you’re like, you’ve talked up my book so much , and I’m like, gosh, wouldn’t it be cool if we just said, Hey, anybody that wants a copy of my book will mail one out to you.
Awesome. Uh, you just want to drop me an email, brent yu gurus.com and just say, Hey, I heard you on Stevens podcast, I heard you on on the Predictive podcast. Um, you know, and, and I’ll have one of my team mail you a copy of, uh, of, of Get Rich in the deep end. And that would be a way for us to deliver ama amazing value to you. And, you know, just do that for free. So it’s gonna cost me a bunch of money. My team’s gonna like, be like, Brent, why don’t you say that thing? Um, and that’s okay, right? Because we’re gonna get you guys some amazing value. We also have this, uh, own your market toolkit, which some of the things we talked about today, the frameworks, um, you know, we can get that to you digitally, you know, instantly. So if you’re looking at like how to niche or how to create valuable content or, um, how to, how to structure some of this stuff, um, we’ve got some really good worksheets you can use with the Sharpie and kind of map this stuff out and go get a cup of coffee and, and work on the business.
So would love to do that. And so to inception, our audience, um, you know, that would be an example of the acquire stage is if people are interested in what you do, is being able to deliver something of insane value that is not a pitch, you know, it’s just like, Hey, here’s this thing. And the whole point is to move somebody from an audience member who’s just listening, um, into somebody who’s engaged with you and know your, you know, methodology in, in your intro Steven, about like how do you, you know, sell to people and, and deliver so much value that they don’t feel like they’re being sold to. And that’s like, that’s our whole ethos at you grew, is we call it help first. And so, you know, we give people tons and tons of resources. I mean, thousands of people download stuff from us every single month and we’ll just be like, Hey, like, you know, tell us about your agency.
And then some people do and some people don’t. And that’s okay. And some people take our free resources and they go in and make hundreds of thousands of dollars with them and they email us, they’re like, Hey, that proposal I got from you, I just landed a $200,000 project. Thanks so much. And you know, I wish they’d attach a check to that one . But you know, not always does that happen, right? Um, and so yeah, if you guys want the book, you know, draw me an email, we’ll mail you a copy of the book, we’ll get you the, the resources and, um, you know, would love to, to meet anybody in this audience that wants to connect.
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