Agency Advantage 43: Bill Faeth on Building an Agency that Lasts

Agency Advantage 43: Bill Faeth on Building an Agency that Lasts

I’ve talked to a lot of really interesting people as host of this show, but Bill is right up there near the top, and you’re all in for a treat.

Bill Faeth has started 23 businesses, yup, 23, including a limousine company he built up to $8.8 million a year before selling, and a national mini golf franchise with 78 locations nationwide. Oh, he was also a professional golfer.

While this would be a great episode if all Bill did was tell stories, it’s an amazing episode because he does more than that. Bill took that vast experience and used it to build a multi-million dollar agency, nearly overnight. But he isn’t here to brag, and instead he shares how that fast growth nearly destroyed the company and what he had to do to fix it.

How do you build an agency that lasts? @bfaeth reveals his secrets on the Agency Advantage Podcast Click To Tweet

I was going to say, “If you’re obsessed with growth but haven’t planned for the new problems that arise when you actually achieve that growth, this episode is for you.” But honestly, Bill’s experience is so deep, that I am convinced everybody can get something out of this episode.

Download a full transcript of the interview with Bill: Get it right here.

Key Takeaways

Be prepared for the new problems growth brings [10:30 – 21:00]

In the first year of IMA, Bill achieved what many agency owners dream of: he hit $1 million in recurring revenue and had 17 employees. Unfortunately, he also was making almost no money with a sub-10% profit margin. To get to the real success he wanted, something had to change.

One of the problems with their fast growth was that to get there they had to take on bad clients. These were clients who not only were difficult to work with but who didn’t have the sophistication to let Bill and his team do a good job. These clients thought that with a wave of a magic wand, IMA would be able to double their revenues. These are not the type of clients you build a thriving agency with.

With some help from Sam Mallikarjunan of Hubspot, Bill realized that they needed to move outside the limousine industry in order to start attracting the right clients. This is a lesson they never forgot. To work with IMA today, clients need to go through an application process. Bill and his team are interviewing the clients more than the clients are interviewing them.

Whether it is the clients or the systems and processes, what got you that fast growth isn’t always what you need to keep growing.

Don’t treat your methodology as dogma [30:00 – 35:00] [44:00 – 47:00]

Bill got into the agency world because of Hubspot and their inbound methodology. Inbound is even in their name. But as they gained experience by working with different clients and trying new strategies, they realized that by sticking exclusively with inbound they were selling themselves short.

It isn’t that inbound doesn’t work, but Bill found that for most people it required too big of an investment and was too slow. He realized early on that direct response is the perfect compliment because of the speed a campaign can be ramped up.

Many agencies who buy into a methodology, whether it is inbound or anything else, stick to it to a fault. It isn’t necessarily complacency, but when your identity is so closely tied to a specific marketing philosophy, it can seem like a major risk to depart from that. But at the end of the day, your clients want an ROI, regardless of how you get it.

Don’t limit your options.

Double down on what works [48:00 – 52:00]

We grew up hearing that we need to turn our weaknesses into strengths, but Bill says following that advice in your agency will lead to subpar performance for you and your clients. If you currently do 9 things for your clients every month, take a look at the performance of each tactic because most likely there are at least 3 or 4 that aren’t doing well.

Instead of trying to get better at those, Bill says to just get rid of them and focus on the 5 or 6 things you’re really good at. While your clients may want to feel like you are doing everything for them, at the end of the day, they care about results and the way to get the best results is to double down on your strengths.

Transcript:

Andy Baldacci:Bill, thanks for coming on the show today.
Bill Faeth:Thanks for having me Andy, I’m excited for this.
Andy Baldacci:Me too. It’s funny, usually when I ask a guest to share their story of how they ended up where they are today, it typically will follow a fairly predictable path. That absolutely cannot be said for your story. Listeners are in for a treat with this.
Bill, you’re a former professional golfer, who has started, I think it’s 22 businesses. How in the world did you end up building a successful inbound marketing agency?
Bill Faeth:Wow, that’s a pretty big question to start off the podcast.
Andy Baldacci:Just getting right into it.
Bill Faeth:You know what? I’m 43 years old, and I’m obviously not playing  professional golf anymore, so I guess that means I wasn’t very good, right? I had to find a different calling in life, which I think I really found when I was in high school when I launched my first business, first legitimate business.
I quit playing professional golf. We’ll fast forward about 9, 10 years from that period, because I decided to get married, and I didn’t want to have that lifestyle traveling the world when I decided to get married.
[00:01:00]I went through a progression. I launched my first e-commerce business in 1997, sold that, got into the restaurant business, became a college golf coach. I’ve done a myriad of things.
What happened was, in kind of the last 10 years of my life, as I was building a business called GlowGolf, which is glow in the dark, indoor miniature golf courses around the country, and I was on a site visit coming to Nashville. Found a location. Within 28 days, my wife had sold our house, moved out of California, re-located to Nashville, started that business.
About 3 years after we started, we were expanding very, very rapidly. We went from 9 locations to 78 locations nationwide, in literally 3 1/2 years.
Andy Baldacci:Wow.
Bill Faeth:

[00:02:00]

I was flying to Detroit, Michigan to go to Auburn Hills, to have a City Council meeting, to get a zoning change for a location we were opening up there. Long story short, I was a corporate traveler, using car service. What happened was is, my car didn’t show up. I missed the meeting. It cost me $18,000, sweet and simple. Got really bad customer service on the back end. Didn’t take care of me. Charged for both trips, inbound and the outbound, even though I didn’t use them. I was pissed. This was on a Thursday, by Monday of the next week I had procured a phone number, started a website, SilverOak Limo.com, and bought my first limousine over the weekend, and I started a limousine company.
What I found out very, very quickly was that I knew nothing about online marketing. In that type of a business that had very, very small margins, I scaled that company from zero on May 26, 2006 to June 1, 2007 to doing $1.1 million in revenue, but I didn’t know how to do online marketing. That was just through traditional sales.
[00:03:00]I got burned by an SEO company that I had hired in San Francisco. Got burned by another SEO company, that you know, the old adage, that guarantee 10 key words first page of Google in 90 days. I didn’t know any better.
Andy Baldacci:Right.
Bill Faeth:The second time, I went to a company out of Manhattan, same results. Felt like I got screwed, so I had to find my own solution. Literally locked myself in my home office, for about 2 to 3 days over the weekend. My wife thought I was crazy. On Sunday late afternoon, I’m watching some football, and I found this website called HubSpot.com, and became a HubSpot customer on Monday.
At that time, they had an 8 week onboarding process, that one of my contingencies on Monday morning when I talked to John Marcus, who was my sales rep, who now owns Bedrock Data, or is a partner in Bedrock data. I said I want it in 8 days. He said “well, I’ve got to get approval on that.” Talked to him about it for like 20 to 30 minutes. I said “I’ve found your internal wiki. I know the process. I know the onboarding process. I know about blogging and landing pages, all that type of stuff. I just want the training, and I want it fast tracked as quickly as possible.
[00:04:00]He said let me call you back in like 30 minutes. He comes back, and he had this guy named Brian on the call with us, who now I know was Brian Halligan [crosstalk 00:04:07] one of the founders.
Brian wanted to go through and vet me and just said basically “hey, if you fail, we can’t give you a refund,” anything like that. Wanted to make sure we were both on the same page. I said “Brian, that’s cool.” Look, I was buying a $300 basic package. It was no huge investment. I said Brian, “you’re cool with the 8 days?” He’s like, “yeah, we’ll make it happen.” I said “you understand that includes Saturdays and Sundays. I’m not talking 8 business days.” I didn’t have the patience to wait.
Andy Baldacci:That is very clear.
Bill Faeth:

[00:05:00]

They made it happen. Michael Redboard, who’s now the director of I think customer support, or manager VP, whatever his title is, was my IMC, my onboarding manager, and he hated me, because I made him work on Saturdays and Sundays. Lo and behold, about 100 to 120 days later, I was just crushing it and killing my biggest competitor here, because I’d already written and published about 50 or 60 blog articles. I literally wasn’t doing one or two a week. I dove in. Remember, this is early 2008, so volume of content was very critical at that point.
I learned how to do on page SEO. I was blogging content. I created my first five lead magnets and landing pages, and my work flows all within that time period. I went from literally ground zero, to being probably almost an intermediate inbound marketer at that time.
Kind of what happened Andy, is over the next 3 1/2 years, I took my company from $1.1 million to $8.8 million, and an acquisition in the limousine industry. I kind of became the Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki of the limousine industry, on how to do online marketing sales, and really growth hacking.
[00:06:00]Nobody was doing that in that archaic industry. When I decided to leave the industry after my acquisition, I sent out an email to what we call affiliates, the companies I would use globally in my affiliate network and my contacts, and said “guys, I’ve left Grand Avenue, and I just happen to have started an online marketing company. If you need help generating leads, and SEO, and social media, and all that other BS, just give me a call.” Literally, I closed my first retainer within 48 hours out of New York. One of the largest companies in the industry at $24,000 a month.
Andy Baldacci:I’m guessing, [inaudible 00:06:24] when you send off an email, it’s not like a cold email. They’re wondering what the hell you did to grow that quickly. They’ve been wanting this. I’m sure they were just chomping at the bit. When they’re like “oh wow, he’s willing to teach us,” pretty much.
Bill Faeth:

[00:07:00]

Yeah, I was very fortunate. I believe very heavily in personal brand building. For about the last two or three years when I was in the industry, I was speaking at conferences. That industry has three or four conferences. Two which are decent size, between 1,500 to 4,000 at each conference. I was teaching them how to do certain things. Whether it’s data mining on LinkedIn, to find prospects and get warm connections to do warm intros. How to manage social media a day in 5 minutes when organic on Facebook was actually pretty easy, much easier than today.
I was teaching them those things, and they knew how I was growing, and I was writing articles in the magazines to build my personal brand. Really, I had a very captive audience to your point. Literally, there was only a three day transition from me leaving my limousine company that I’d sold, to starting this agency in my basement, by myself with one iMac, and that’s it.
Andy Baldacci:Did you consider yourself an agency at that point, or was this you’re going to be a consultant?
Bill Faeth:
[00:08:00]
I was going to be a consultant. I already went through the process of becoming a HubSpot partner agency, but I had no clients. My whole plan was just to consult. The problem was, was when I actually got that first retainer, which was crazy at $24,000 a month, I had to rebuild their website. I needed a graphic designer. I don’t know how to code. I couldn’t create the volumes of content for them, and then scale with anybody else, and I didn’t want a $250,000 a year job.
Literally, within about 3 weeks, I found an awesome writer out of Portland, Oregon, which was my first employee. Hired her freelance, through Zerys through a recommendation from my mentor, Sam Mallikarjunan at HubSpot, who is now the director, used to be of the eCommerce division, at inbound.org, and now he’s like Hubspot labs or something like that. He’s kind of down in your area, I believe.
[00:09:00]I met this girl named Jasmine Henry that he recommended me to. Literally, I hired her and she was cranking five to seven blog articles a day for me. Within two weeks, I had four additional clients. As soon as I landed that largest, probably the second largest limousine company in the industry, boom, everybody else wanted to work with me.
Andy Baldacci:Within that industry?
Bill Faeth:Just within that industry, I was just focused on the limousine industry, that was 100% of our revenue source. Literally, two weeks, I’ve got close to $40,000 in retainers. I still at two weeks had no employees, with the exception of Jasmine, who was a freelancer which was writing for me.
I’ll fast forward to Hubspot’s INBOUND conference, this is 2012, which was in August that year. Just to quantify, for those of you that are listening that went to INBOUND last year, or the year before, there was only about 1,100 people there in 2012, not 10,000.
By that time, I had six people, actually seven on my staff. I’d never met Jasmine before. I’d hired her as an employee. She was working remotely in Portland. I flew her out to INBOUND, and she relocated the next week to Nashville, to work here in office full time.
[00:10:00]I’d moved out of my basement in about five months, had seven employees, and was doing close to $670,000 in revenue on a recurring, contracted basis at that time.
Because I spoke at INBOUND, and my talk was about how to dominate a vertical, which I think is very, very important for the smaller agencies, and the consultants that are just starting, or that really want to scale, is don’t get into e-comm and manufacturing and transportation, hospitality, hotels, all these different things. Focus on one vertical, and dominate it.
Look, I had growing pains, as you and I had talked about previously. I’m sure we’ll get into. By the time I wrapped around to April of 2013, we were doing over $1 million in revenue, and I had 17 employees, but I had no profit margin. Literally, my profit margin was sub 10%, because I didn’t know how to grow an agency.
[00:11:00]I did what any smart entrepreneur would do, and I called Sam Mallikarjunan, who was I think the smartest guy that I knew at HubSpot, and I knew about 40 or 50 of them, employees, pretty intimately. I said “Sam, what do you think about coming and being my CMO? I’d like to rent you. I will pay you handsomely if you can convince whoever you need to convince at HubSpot to let me rent you for 3, 4, 5 months, to come down to Nashville. I’ll pay for you to move. You can bring your wife. Yada, yada, yada, but I need help creating the processes and the systems and scale within the agency.”
He came down for about 100 days, and helped me do that. I don’t think that I would be in the position today without him helping me to lay that groundwork.
[00:12:00]What’s really interesting is that I think most people would get this, but that roughly ran up to about July of 2012. We’re now in 2016. My, how shit has changed in our industry. Everything that Sam and I put into place, is so not even a part of our company today.
I’m so indebted to him in regards to the methodology and the strategy that he taught me, because I had no experience in being an agency owner. I think what’s different about me, and about inbound marketing agency versus other agencies, we are not a marketing agency first. We are not a HubSpot partner first. We are not a digital agency, or an SEO agency or anything like that.
[00:13:00]We are a customer acquisition agency, that fully has to get ingrained into your business. That is not a sales pitch. Probably the biggest benefactor that we have, and this is not an egotistical statement Andy, is my business experience, being so diversified. I’ve been in so many different verticals, and I am ROI driven, I mean I base every decision off of financials, P&Ls and balance sheets, and FTE, full time employee, scale to models, that I’m able to really connect with the owner or the president, or the CFO.
Where we struggle, is if we’re dealing with a marketing manager, or a CMO, or an owner, that doesn’t understand their financials, and doesn’t know their unit economics, and really can’t put those numbers behind it. Then, they’re probably not a good fit for us.
Andy Baldacci:Interesting.
Bill Faeth:One of the problems to our scale, to scale over $1 million in recurring revenue, that’s contracted recurring revenue in less than a year, is we took on bad clients. Clients who were uneducated, clients that didn’t have the assets in place for us to be able to do our job effectively. Most importantly, clients that really didn’t know their business, and thought, even though we set expectations during the sales process and the onboarding process. They thought we could wave this magic wand, and all of a sudden they would go from doing $1 million to $2 million in revenue.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:14:00]

Right, that’s the thing. Was that something that having Sam come in, he said … He looked at your clients and said these are the wrong fits? Was it something you intuitively got? What made you realize and kind of look up and say hey, we’re dealing with too many of the wrong people?
Bill Faeth:I think it was when I filed my tax return in 2013 for 2012, and I had very little net profit at the end of the day. I have no problem doing a storm the beach mentality to acquire customers, but what we were struggling with is the customers that we were acquiring, we were basically acquiring at freelancer rates, and getting them to increase when they don’t know their numbers or their business, or their P&Ls, or their balance sheets, where they can quantify that financial decision to go from a $2,000 a month retainer to $3,000 or $4,000, was nearly impossible.
Andy Baldacci:Interesting.
Bill Faeth:That’s when I had to start topgrading. That’s when we decided to diversify, outside of the limousine industry to where today, literally 70% of our revenue is not in the limousine industry.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:15:00]

That’s funny. When I talk to so many other guests, and what they always say, and especially to freelancers and smaller agencies, is that to get out of that kind of $1,500 project to $5,000 projects, to get out of that bracket and actually charge real money, make real margins, you need to always tie it back into the business outcomes, the ROI, you need to bring it down into the numbers.
It sounds like what you’re saying is that’s true, but you also have to have, find the clients that actually understand all of that, and are onboard with all of that to make that work.
Bill Faeth:Yeah, absolutely. I believe that’s 100%, and that’s why in our agency, there’s only one person that handles business development or sales, and that’s me. Nobody else does it.
If the client doesn’t understand that … They have to go through an application. I’m not just talking about an inbound marketing assessment, there’s an application process. Essentially, I’m interviewing them, more than they’re interviewing us.
[00:16:00]It was really interesting, because last week we had a very large prospect out of Ecuador, that I had my entire team on a video conference call with them, on Skype actually. About half of them have never been through that process with me. They know my mentality. They know I’m quadruple type A, and OCD and ODD, and everything else. They’ve never seen me physically work through the sales process. Now, they really get it, because we don’t want to make that mistake.
Look, it’s a huge time suck, and we’re forecasting. We’re forecasting growth and scale based on those clients that we take on.
If I take on one of those clients, they’re going to have a very, very high, short term risk, churn factor. Whether it’s from us firing them, or it’s from them firing us, because I want to look at 12 to 24 month growth plans, as opposed to three to six month growth plans.
[00:17:00]I think the problem that happens with small agencies and freelancers that I see, because I consult with a lot of them, is that they’re just thinking about short term because of those $1,500 retainers, or that $3,000 website project, or whatever it is. The number one thing I would tell them is that you have to market and brand yourself out of that price zone.
You have to be creating $10,000 content. You have to have a $10,000 a month sales process. You have to have a $10,000 a month brand. What happens is, we all get consumed with the work that we’re doing for our clients, and we don’t allocate enough time to invest into our brand, so we don’t get out of that cyclical cycle of the small client, customer acquisition issues.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:18:00]

I think you hit the nail absolutely on the head with that. You need to be able to justify the value. You need to be able to tie it back to the business goals, tie it back to the long term things that allow you to create something where someone is willing to pay you $10,000 a month. To back that up, you also need to have the brand. You need to have the kind of recognition, so that people know you’re not full of crap. They know you actually can back this up, and that you’re not just blowing smoke.
Bill Faeth:You know, I think that’s a really great point Andy, because here’s one of the issues that I have, when I wanted to scale outside of the limousine industry. It’s great to go in and dominate a vertical. The problem was, I didn’t have applicable case studies to be able to apply to publishing, or e-commerce, or professional services, or law firms, or whatever that would be.
That’s kind of the chicken and the egg. The one thing that I will tell everybody that’s struggling to get those bigger retainers out there, the number one thing that’s going to sell is going to be your brand. Number two is going to be, you have to have case studies.
If that means that you have to go in and work with a non-profit, or a dentist, or a law firm, or whatever it is for 60 or 90 days and kick ass for them, so you can get quality data to build a case study, invest that time because that is what’s going to sell bigger clients for you.
[00:19:00]The clients that aren’t requesting case studies, that’s yellow flag number one for me, that they are not educated to really make a strong buying decision in regards to being able to expend a large budget. I would definitely build your portfolio of case studies. That’s my number one recommendation, to be able to acquire larger customers.
Andy Baldacci:That’s a great tip, because I didn’t even think about it in the way that you just said. If the buyer, if the person you’re communicating with, doesn’t even ask for that, then they probably don’t even have the budget, because if they did, that would be one of the things they asked for. I hadn’t even thought of it like that.
Bill Faeth:Yeah, I mean if they don’t, right off the bat from a sales standpoint, and a qualifying standpoint, you can definitely assume, at least I see this in my data, is that that person’s really going to be a price conscious decision buyer. That is definitively who I do not want. That’s who I acquired my first year, and that’s why I had absolutely no margin left over at the end of the year.
[00:20:00]I think that when you look at these traits, and you go through these sales process, and you look at the persona or the profiles of really what happens through that sales process, and the questions that your buyers are asking of you, and how they’re reacting to the content that you’re delivering to them. Whether it’s in your proposal, whether it’s in those case studies, however you are customizing that process. That’s one reason why I do everything over GoToMeeting, and record every one.
If I’m doing a proposal, even though I do it electronically, I schedule a meeting, and I email it to them while we’re on the phone, so that way I can go through it. I can record it. I can review it, when I get done so I can get better, as point number one. Point number two, I want to make sure that there is absolutely no misrepresentation on the expectations that are being set.
Andy Baldacci:
[00:21:00]
Even if you just did it for one of those reasons. Even if you only recorded it so that you could review what you’ve done and improve and study, that alone is worth a ton. Even if you just did it so that you had a hard record of this is what actually was discussed, this what’s agreed upon. That’s incredibly valuable. Both of those together, I mean that’s something most people don’t do, but it’s how you improve at anything.
That’s the kind of angle I want to focus on, is the improvement aspect, because if you … You’ll relate to this obviously, with the golf metaphor. The average golfer just goes out, plays a round, and expects that just by playing another round, and another round, they’re going to straighten up their slice. They’re going to hit it 300 yards, and sooner than later, they’ll be on the pro tour.
That’s not what practice is like. That’s not how you improve. You need to actually study what you’re doing and make fine tuned improvements to the exact process. Usually, it doesn’t come from just making another pitch, and making another pitch, and writing another proposal. You have to actually analyze it.
Bill Faeth:
[00:22:00]
You’re 100% correct. One of the other things, I think in the proposal process, which obviously is part of the customer acquisition process, for the better part of the first 16, 17 months, I was just using Word docs and PDFs. People think of a digital marketing agency as a tech company. Not really a great representation on sending proposals in a Word doc and a PDF, and then they have to print it out, or use Adobe to sign it and send it back.
I actually switched. I went through everything from Adobe to Quote Roller, to Sales Force, and I settled on Proposify, which is what I use, because it’s simple, it’s easy.
Then, the light went off for me. Bill, why the heck are you not dropping video into the proposals? It’s a one click and embed code inside a Proposify. Once I started using video in my proposals, we saw about a 38% increase in buying rates.
Andy Baldacci:Wow, and that’s huge.
Bill Faeth:

[00:23:00]

Yesterday Andy, I had a proposal that I had to get out at 6:00 last night, and the client I knew was qualified to about 90% to 95% to close. I bypassed my typical process of scheduling the GoToMeeting, and then sending it to them then, and I just grabbed James, my videographer, jumped back in my video room, and shot a really quick, four minute video, explaining the proposal. Uploaded it to Vimeo, dropped it into Proposify, and 15 minutes, I’m out. He closed last night, at about 9:30.
Andy Baldacci:Wow, for these videos, you’re not just reading and reiterating what the proposal says, I’m assuming. What do you put in the videos? How do you use it to maximize the format, maximize the leverage you get from that?
Bill Faeth:

[00:24:00]

I’m going to borrow an anecdote from Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer. I think Jeff Walker from PLF, Product Launch Formula, teaches this as well, it’s about the transformation. It’s about taking the customer from A, the beginning, and getting them to B, the after. Everything that you put in between, and the wider you can make that gap from A to B, the more stuff you can show them. The bigger their transformation’s going to be, the easier it’s going to be for them to buy from you.
That transformation is what I focus on. I don’t focus on “hey, we’re going to do five Facebook campaigns a month, or write eight blog articles, or do three lead magnets, or have four funnels, whatever that is. I focus on the transformation. What is their problem now, and then how do I give them the solution? Most importantly, what does their life look like when we get to the end, which is B, once they’ve hired us.
Andy Baldacci:You’re almost taking a page out of their book. You almost make it kind of a video sales letter attached to the proposal. You really sell the dream. You sell that.
Bill Faeth:It is 100% a VSL.
Andy Baldacci:
[00:25:00]
What I’m curious about though, is one thing you touched on, is that you’re not selling the deliverables. You’re not talking about what they’re going to get. How many blog posts, how much whatever. At the end of the day, do you tie pricing back to that? Do you do strictly value pricing?
Bill Faeth:Strictly value pricing. I’m selling my intellectual property of doing inbound marketing. You know, gosh it’s almost 10 years, I feel so old, about 9 years. My 23 years of business experience in the skills that I have inside my office. Most I importantly, the results that I’ve driven for other customers.
If somebody wants to hold me to those eight blog articles a month, and you know, the five landing pages and all that type of stuff, and 12 Facebook posts a week, yada, yada, yada. You know what? I can’t create value for them, doing that.
We give an agile business proposal or agreement to our clients. We tell them what we anticipate, based on our research is going to go into it, but we test.
I’m going to take another anecdote from another one of my really good mentors, and people that I look up to, I think Ryan Deiss and Russell Brunson are two of the best marketers that we have on this planet, today.
[00:26:00]Russell Brunson, it’s a very simple anecdote. I mean, he’s very complex on what he does and what he teaches, but if you’re going to put a dollar in, you’d better get a dollar out. If you’re going to put a dollar in, and you get two dollars out, you’d better run it to the bank, everyday.
The only way you can determine that is to test, and test quickly. We tell them based on our research, what we’re going to test as we go through. Here’s the other thing, Andy, the first 30 to 45 days, zero deliverables. Zero, that is our research and discovery phase.
Sure, we’ve done ancillary research on the front end, to be able to give them our proposal. Depending on the type of client, it might be faster or longer, but we’re doing focus groups, we’re interviewing their sales team, we’re getting SLAs into place. We have to do a full deep dive. We will not take on a client without going through that research and set up phase. It is non-negotiable.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:27:00]

Would you be your worst client, by coming up to you and saying “hey, instead of spending 30 to 45 days on this, do it in three?”
Bill Faeth:That’s exactly why we have that in the process, because my team would not want me as a client. No question.
Look, I move very, very fast, but I do my due diligence. I just happen to do it kind of Gary V. style, between 9:00 PM and 2:00 AM in the morning every single night, while my family’s sleeping.
I get my shit done. I’m not making knee jerk reactions without having data and research behind it, by any means. I think that is one of the critical components to a successful agency, is speed. You cannot compromise quality, but you have to have speed, because in my world, I don’t know how everybody else is charging. On a monthly recurring revenue, I’m 100% profitable on day number one of the month.
My profit all has to do with my hours, my labor, my contractors, my ad budgets, going through the end of the month.
Andy Baldacci:I see.
[00:28:00]

Bill Faeth:

I have to be fast, and I have to make sure that I have scale. I mean, we try to operate between 85% to 90% utilization for our team members. Once we hit that 90%, I know I need to add somebody. That’s why we typically now only take on two to three new clients a month, max. We will never take on more than two or three.
Sometimes it’s one, and sometimes it’s none, depending on our utilization. The great thing for us, I guess we’re a benefactor of being around for so long, we have absolutely no shortage of leads and/or SQLs, at all. We can kind of pick and choose who we want to try to work with, at this point.
Andy Baldacci:Do you have much of a shortage of talent on … If you were to hire, if you’re looking for people to compliment your own team, is there a shortage of that?
Bill Faeth:

[00:29:00]

Absolutely, and I think one of the problems is one, we don’t work remotely. Everybody’s in-house. I’m old school. A little bit, we tried remote. We were unsuccessful with it. Everybody’s in-house, so I can only really pull from Nashville. I’ve got a new girl on my team that relocated here in June. We recruited her, and hired her away from HubSpot. She’s phenomenal, but we have to convince those people that Nashville is better than Boston, and that they have a great opportunity. Thank God I’m in a great city.
It was three times harder, two or three years ago, but with the boom in Nashville, it’s getting easier. Look, I’m not really invested as much into the inbound methodology anymore. I’m much more a combination of that, with into more direct response, and much more in depth funnels.
I would say that IMA, inbound marketing agents, is probably 20% HubSpot. Like 40% Digital Marketer, and 40% ClickFunnels, Russell Brunson, today.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:30:00]

I was honestly … That was going to be one of my questions, is do you still consider yourself an inbound marketing agency?
Bill Faeth:I don’t so, you know, we’re actually considering a brand and a name change, to be honest with you, because I think we’re much more funnelize and direct response. That kind of goes back into that testing.
I think inbound marketing for most people is just way too slow. It takes too big of an investment. It’s too long, especially with organic. I think you have to be focused on direct response, now.
I think even if you are traditional, old school, inbound marketing … You know, content creation and distribution, and it’s all organic, you’re doing yourself and your clients a disservice, if you don’t at least have a small percentage of the budget going into direct response. Probably most importantly, for most companies using Facebook ads, because they are so good and so profitable.
Andy Baldacci:How did you first transition from pure inbound to the direct response role? Is that something you were experimenting with before in your other businesses? Where did that come about?
[00:31:00]

Bill Faeth:

Honestly, I think it started with finding Digital Marketer, and by that, I mean just literally seeing a Facebook ad that was targeted to me most likely, based on my profile, my demo. I just saw the ads, and then I clicked on something. I’m sure Ryan was trying to sell me an EP from Digital Marketer Lab for $7 or $9 bucks, right?
I don’t remember exactly, but I assume I bought it. I do know that I started as a lab member with Digital Marketer. Went through all of their EPs, or execution plans. Then we upgraded to HQ, and went through all of their certifications.
[00:32:00]In that time, I wouldn’t say there was this one aha moment, but it was kind of going through the 21 day traffic plan, and looking at those funnels. All of a sudden, I had this epiphany that, you know what? I’m going to change our business model a little bit, and I’m going to go into the information products. This started about 18 months ago.
I would say that’s probably really when it happened, when I decided that I’ve kind of scaled out of the limousine industry, but I still love them, and they’re getting clobbered by the [TNZs 00:32:11], Uber and Lyft right now. They need my help. I can’t cost justify what they can afford to pay me. I needed to find a way to be able to supply services to them, on one to many level.
I shouldn’t say services, at least education to them, to teach them to enable them to do it on their own. I created Limo University, which is my courses and my membership platform. For that, I needed direct response. There’s only two ways really, to hit the limousine industry and acquire them; email marketing, if you have your list, and then Facebook ads.
[00:33:00]They’re not on Twitter, they’re not on LinkedIn, they’re not on Instagram. I really have no other channel. I guess a third would be speaking at the shows and conferences. I did that. When our average retainer went up to about $5,500 a year a couple of years ago, you know that pretty much put 90% of the industry out of reach for us. We kind of went from literally the $2,000 to $3,000 to $4,000 to like $5,500, and we’re much higher than that today, but I still wanted to serve them, so I had to learn direct response.
It’s kind of this culmination of finding Digital Marketer, having this idea that manifested 16 months ago, and we’re coming up on the 12 month, one year anniversary next month, to launching this platform.
[00:34:00]What I’ve learned is this platform became my largest customer, Limo University, because we’re using IMA assets. It’s about 70% me, but I need my team to create funnels, and do all that stuff. I don’t do as much of that execution anymore. It’s our most profitable, where our average retainer client today, we carry about a 30% to 32% profit margin, that’s net. The informational side, the Limo University, is much higher than that.
We have a business plan. We have a growth plan. That really helps with our margins. With that being said, we’re building out our second informational product, that’s going into a different vertical right now, because the margins are so high, and it’s much less stressful than having to produce every single month for a client.
That’s kind of where I see it kind of replaces traditional consulting. You can kind of roll a mastermindesque model to it in your membership side. You can roll a coaching model into it, and you can do the one to many. One to many might be one to five, or one to ten. It could also be one to 100 or one to 1,000.
Andy Baldacci:Exactly.
Bill Faeth:We don’t have that ability in a traditional agency/client relationship.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:35:00]

Interesting, are you willing to say what the new vertical, the new info product’s going to be?
Bill Faeth:Yeah, it’s BillFaeth.com. It’s very similar to what Chalene  Johnson has done, if you’re familiar with Chalene. Instead of like Jeff Walker having one product, Product Launch Formula, BillFaeth.com will be the umbrella brand. We will be creating, we’ll use New Kajabi has our platform, we will be creating specific, industry, vertically targeted, educational components.
We’ve got Limo University, obviously targeting the limousine and ground transportation and motor coach industries, but I’ve also done a lot of work for the arts and crafts industry, which started with a website called Craftsy.com.
[00:36:00]They had a conference of like 1,800 of their people, that sell online craft courses. How to mix paint, how to sew, how to crochet, for $18 to $20 bucks a pop. I did an online webcast, or webinar for them. Then, I built out some reoccurring educational resources for them, to be able to sell to everybody.
In my opinion, if you can find an underserved market like that, then it’s very easy, and you can grow a business quickly, and it’s just so much more profitable in that one to many scale.
Andy Baldacci:I’m curious, what is your growth plan? I fully agree that yes, you can grow those very quickly. Especially when the margins are so great. In your mind, what will the growth plan for say the arts and crafts vertical? What will that look like, to launch the Limo U of arts and crafts? How will you get that off the ground?
Bill Faeth:That’s a great question. I would’ve never done that, and I did it literally six, seven months ago, was Craftsy came to me. It kind of fell in my lap, through my inbound marketing, through my agency. They wanted me to put together a program for them for their annual conference that was coming up in Denver.
[00:37:00]Immediately, I’m like okay, well, I can charge you $5,000 for this, or how about if I give it to you for free, but I need access to your 1,800 members, so I can create something that’s going to have recurring revenue for me? I’ll give this to you for free. Give me access to them. You promote this webinar. You give me the list, I’ll promote it, and then we’ll do a joint venture that way, so that way I can reach everybody.
I would’ve never targeted that industry, if they hadn’t come to me first. It’s not big enough.
Andy Baldacci:Right, so then launch from a joint venture, is it going to be like going forward, will it be more sort of joint venture webinars? Are you going to kind of driving that with Facebook? I’m curious what kind of the nitty gritty details, if you’re willing to get into that.
Bill Faeth:Like BillFaeth.com is an example. I think would probably be a better use case for that. You can go to BillFaeth.com right now, and there’s not even a website. It’s just the landing page, and you can subscribe for more.
[00:38:00]We have a Facebook page up and we’re posting content, but not even in pre-launch yet. We’re not going to launch ’til November. We’ll probably do 30 days of pre-launch. Then we’ll load a lead magnet, and yes, we will use Facebook ads that are going to be targeted. We’ll tell my story, and we’ll be very video heavy.
We also will use joint ventures to be able to launch, as well. That’s one of the things, if there’s anybody that’s listening to this, and my gosh, if you know who Stu McLaren is, who just launched Tribe the Course, the expert on membership websites, about two to three weeks ago, everybody from Jeff Walker to Ryan Deiss, to Michael Hyatt, to Ryan Levesque, or Pat Flynn, were all part of his joint venture launch. You’re just getting bombarded with their pre-launch content, by everybody as an affiliate that’s selling his stuff.
[00:39:00]We will do the exact same thing. That’s one of the reasons that I go to those conferences, is not only to learn, but to network with other people that are there, like me. Other coaches, other people in the entrepreneur, in the sales side of the information industry. That way, I can build my network for joint ventures, as an affiliate on both sides. One, when I need them to joint venture with me to promote my products, but also for me to be an affiliate for them.
I think affiliate revenue is something that a lot of agencies, specifically small, one, two, three person, stay at home agencies, or even freelancers don’t take advantage of.
If you look at your stack of technology, whether it’s MailChimp or Emma or Active Campaign or Hubspot, or Marketo, or Infusionsoft, LeadPages, ClickFunnels, whatever it is, you should be getting affiliate commission on every single person that you sign up.
[00:40:00]We do probably $50,000 to $60,000 a year just in affiliate commission, just from HubSpot. We’re doing right now probably $7,000 to $10,000, just from LeadPages. That stuff adds up really, really quickly.
If you look at your tech stack, go to their website, see if they have an affiliate program, 99% of them do. Sign up for it, and use those links. Use them in detailed blog articles in content that you’re distributing, so they’ll convert. When somebody sees a great article on comparing ESPs and you’ve got MailChimp active campaigns, Direct Response and Emma, you’ve got affiliate links for every one of them.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:41:00]

That’s actually funny you mentioned the ESP example, because for Hubstaff, what we do is we recently switched from Mail … Well, not recently, I guess it was probably six or eight months ago, switched from MailChimp to Drip. I wrote a big article about how it was, dealing with all the other options. Looking in detail at what all everything was. It was a huge pain in the ass. This is my honest experience with looking at active campaign, looking at I think it was like, I can’t even remember at this point. Just looking at all the options, and wrote it up.
No affiliate links in that, at all. I know that drove a significant number of customers eventually to Drip, and probably to some of the others, too. Not doing that was definitely an oversight.
For us, as a SaaS company, it just seems, and I’m sure agencies feel the same way, they’re like well, that’s not the business we’re in. We’re not affiliates. We don’t want to think that way. We don’t want to do that.
I think you’re right in that, that’s a bit shortsighted.
Bill Faeth:You are in the business of making fucking money.
Andy Baldacci:Exactly.
Bill Faeth:

[00:42:00]

That’s the only business that you’re in. We can all talk about the bullshit of serving people, and helping their business, and yada, yada, yada. That’s Andy, 100% why I started this agency for the limousine industry, but, just like with every cause business that’s out there, every cause start up, that puts the cause ahead of their financials. If you’re not making money, you cannot support your cause.
The financial aspect is the most important. You have to take advantage of every single opportunity that is out there for you.
An affiliate commission, is recurring revenue that you do nothing for. We’re all writing content about our stack, about our tools, how to use them, what’s best for this, what’s best for that. Why not take one day, and sign up to be an affiliate with every single company that you’re using in your stack, and take advantage of it?
Look at LeadPages, if somebody buys a professional version, it’s like $500. It’s $45 or $50 a month, they pay us 20%. It doesn’t sound like it’s that much, but when I get $20 a month per account, multiply that times 10, that’s $2,500 a year.
For a freelancer, you do that three or four times, you’re moving the needle. We’ll probably do $150,000 to $200,000 in commission this year.
[00:43:00]

Andy Baldacci:

Wow, and I mean it’s something that honestly, from that angle I wish I could’ve put an affiliate link on this article. From the other angle, it’s just something that I’m sure in the everyday, in everyday content marketing, everyone in this industry should be doing a lot of that. There are so many opportunities for affiliate marketing. Still being honest, not being sleazy. Being honest about your views about what you’re putting in your tech stack, and why. There are a ton of opportunities to really take advantage.
If you’re not, I like the way you phrase it, you really are at that point, you’re just turning away free money.
Bill Faeth:100% I agree with you. I don’t think it’s sleazy. I think you have to disclose it. I would take the Chris Brogan approach to that, anytime that you put an affiliate link in, disclose it. Let them know, because that is going to build more trust from your audience. You’re actually being upfront and honest with them.
[00:44:00]You know what? If you are an influencer with them, that’s going to make them more apt to buy, as well.
Andy Baldacci:Very true. One thing I’m curious about, is kind of taking a step back, is with all this experimentation, getting to the direct response kind of mindset and techniques, and all of that, are you now that you’ve learned from them on your own projects, are you doing those services for your clients? Is that a pretty big service you offer now?
Bill Faeth:I would say for probably the last five to six months, it’s really the only thing that we offer. I mean, there’s inbound that’s rolled into that, no question. We still create content. We still blog. We still do a lot of that organic stuff, but most everything we’re doing is tied around remarketing. A single traffic source to test.
[00:45:00]We kind of think of it agilely. We’re going to identify what we believe is the most valuable single traffic source. It may be organic blogging. It may be Pinterest ads. It may be Facebook ads. It may be organic Instagram or SnapChat, whatever that is. We’re going to go in, and we’re going to test it, and get the results.
If they’re good, we’re going to throw as much fuel on it as we can, and we’re going to ride that horse. If we have the bandwidth within the retainer, then we might start with two. If we don’t we’re just going to start with one. If we have a large retainer, $20,000, $30,000 a month, we might be doing three, four or five.
It all depends on kind of the financial mix with the client mix, with the industry, with the buyer personas. You’ve got to make those decisions. I will tell you, there is not one proposal that goes out our door, that is strictly organic inbound marketing. There’s nothing that’s traditional, old school SEO at $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 a month. Every single proposal is centered around direct response.
[00:46:00]There’s going to be content to support that, but most of that content is coming into email marketing, and the funnelization. Look, every campaign that we set up, typically has three to five funnels that goes around with it. We have to create the return path. We’ve got to have different retargeting funnel. All of these things to go into it.
When I first started with HubSpot, blog, social media, landing page, and one email sequence. Before progressive profiling, and the [COS 00:46:16], and smart content, and all that different type of stuff.
I look at direct response as kind of being the fulcrum today. I think it’s what’s, at least for us, is providing the best results. We’re going to ride that wave until something better comes along.
We are very heavily leveraged into video, as well. Most of our content that we’re creating, whether it’s for our customers, or for our info products, is surrounded around video, tied into direct response, and then even video in the funnels, as well.
Andy Baldacci:How so? When you say video in the funnels, what do you mean?
Bill Faeth:

[00:47:00]

On the pages that we’re directing them to out of the funnels. Obviously, we can’t competently deliver video and email yet. I mean you can kind of.
Andy Baldacci:You can have the little image of a still frame, and like a YouTube play button on top of it.
Bill Faeth:Yeah, I mean we do that. We try to incorporate some GIFs as well, depending on what it is, and that type of stuff. Obviously, the tech just isn’t there yet.
Definitely, as I said, we’re including video in our proposals. I would say at least 60%, 70% of our ads that we’re putting onto, whether it’s Facebook or wherever, is going to be video driven.
I would say that, I’m speculating on this. I don’t know the exact numbers, but probably 50% plus, of every one of our landing pages or sales pages has video on it. Probably 20% to 40% of every page that’s coming tied into a funnel has video on it. That’s all dependent on the clients. I can tell you with certainty that 100% of everything we do in the info product world has video on it, 100%.
[00:48:00]

Andy Baldacci:

Why the difference? Why is it not 100% with some of the other projects – [crosstalk 00:48:07]
Bill Faeth:Some of the other ones we don’t get access to video, because they’re out of town. We only have about four clients in Nashville where we’re based out of. It slows down the process. The info products are all based around my personal brand.
Andy Baldacci:It’s just for more practical reasons.
Bill Faeth:Yeah, 100%.
Andy Baldacci:What I’m trying to do, I’m trying to think of this. If I’m a standard inbound agency owner, I’m doing okay. My margins are reasonable, they’re not amazing, not great. I’m sort of starting to see what you’re talking about in that inbound only isn’t going to be the future. You need to adapt.
[00:49:00]Everything I’m talking about, having all these different funnels for all the different routes into the product, all this. It’s not simple. How would you recommend to someone who doesn’t have the experience, who doesn’t have all these other ways to test things. How would you recommend for them to kind of get their feet wet?
Bill Faeth:Number on thing I would say is buy the book DOTCOM SECRETS from Russell Brunson, because I think it’s very anecdotal. It’s very educational, and it’s very in depth. Most importantly, if you do not understand the sales ladder, in regards to why you need two to three, possibly even four upsells from a business side tied into the marketing side, then you’re going to miss the boat in your marketing. Whether it’s for yourself, or doing it for another company. That would be my number one recommendation.
Number two would be literally Digital Marketer Lab. It’s like $30 a month. Great investment, if you’re a Netflix binger, ADD guy like me, you can consume every single thing in there in less than a month, and be well on your way.
[00:50:00]I think that part of that is, you’ve got to create your own formula. As we talked about Russell Brunson, Ryan Deiss, Digital Marketer, Jeff Walker, Product Launch Formula, INBOUND, they’re all tremendous influencers on the formula that we put together that we use.
One of the problems we had when we first started is, we were doing everything. What I mean by first started, not started the agency, but when we started manifesting into more direct marketing mix, into our programs. We were still creating all of those blog articles. We’re still sending out all those emails. We were still doing a million social media posts, every single day. We’re still doing newsletters. We’re still doing press releases, you know, all that traditional stuff. Narrow your focus, based on what works. Narrow your focus and your deliverables, based on what’s working.
What I see a lot of businesses want, is when something’s not working they want you to focus on that, and turn that weakness into a strength. That’s where I would sit there and say “absolutely not. Let’s focus on the strength, and let’s make it stronger.”
Andy Baldacci:Exactly.
[00:51:00]

Bill Faeth:

I see a lot of the smaller agencies doing that same thing. Well, I’ve got to do these nine things, every month for this client? I suck at three or four of them. I’ve got to make those better.
What I will tell you is just push those off the table, and focus on the five that you’re really frickin’ good at, because that’s going to drive results. You may piss your client off for a week or two, but at the end of the month when you do your reporting, and they see that the KPIs are awesome, the metrics are going up, then you have the leverage to be able to explain to them, and they’ll understand.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:52:00]

Honestly, that’s just kind of the manifestation of power laws, of the 80/20 rule. I think it was Perry Marshall wrote a great book on how that can apply to everything, but Alan Weiss said it in a different way. He was just saying so many people, exactly what you’re talking about, is so many people want to spend so much time getting better at what they’re bad at when, if you have infinite resources, go for it, but you don’t. Instead, just double down on what works. Get better at what you’re already really good at, because one, it’s going to be a lot easier. Two, you know that there’s money there. You know that there’s potential there, because it’s already working.
Bill Faeth:Yeah, I mean for those of you that are golfers out there, I’ll give you a golf analogy. I played professional golf, and I was horrible at ball striking, meaning from tee to green. Even though I’m 6’6″, I didn’t hit it very long. I didn’t hit it very straight, and I didn’t hit a lot of greens. You know what I was really good at? I was really good at putting.
I was probably about 21 years old, my second year playing professional golf, and I was just beating balls on the range. I would just practice, and practice, and fly to Orlando. No matter where I was on an off week, or if I missed a cut on a weekend, to go see David Ledbetter, my coach.
[00:53:00]I was sitting there with a friend, who now plays on the PGA tour, and he’s all “Bill, you’re never going to be a great ball striker.” I said “hey [Sean 00:52:57], thanks for the vote of confidence, man. That makes me feel real frigging good.” He’s all “what I mean by that is, is you are one of the top five, if not the best putters out here. Get better at putting.”
Kind of the light bulb went off, and that’s what I did. Two years in a row I finished second on the World Putting Championships. That’s kind of what gave me a little bit of longevity in my career. I got better. My scoring average came down. I took that strength, when I was trying to focus on those weaknesses. It took somebody else to identify that to me. Then, I migrated over and turned my strengths into an even stronger strength.
It just so happens if you play golf, everybody focuses on hitting it farther, and going to the range. Well, 80% of your shots are consumed within 25 yards of the green. I became really, really good at my short game. That’s what kind of saved my career while I was out there.
Andy Baldacci:

[00:54:00]

Wow, I think that’s a great story, but when you even take that back and apply it to the agency world, to the business world, you’re not, in a lot of markets, you’re not really competing at a professional tour level. If you were to make it to be a Tiger Woods, to be two of the top of the top professionals, that advice might not be enough to get you there. You can’t really have that many weak points. Even if it’s not that weak, but you can’t really get there, by just focusing on one thing.
Most of us aren’t competing there. We don’t need … To make our business earn a very good living for ourselves, to make our clients get results for them, we don’t need to do a thousand different things at a world class level for them. If you could just do a couple of things really, really well for them, or for yourself, that’s going to be enough to really get you ahead.
Bill Faeth:Absolutely, we’re not competing with Saatchi & Saatchi, trying to get Price Waterhouse Cooper or Apple as customers.
[00:55:00]I’ll give you a very, very good example, that probably a lot of your listeners may not even be aware of. Look at Billy Gene Marketing. Are you familiar with Billy Gene?
Andy Baldacci:Only because I’ve seen the Facebook ads.
Bill Faeth:Look at Billy Gene Marketing. Go to Billy Gene Marketing’s Facebook page, and get into one of their funnels, and look at what he does. He is probably one of the best Facebook marketing agencies out there, based out of San Diego. He’s a little bit obnoxious on the way that he delivers and that stuff, but he’s using ClickFunnels, he’s using Facebook ads, and the guy manages literally like $1 million a month in Facebook ads. He dominates it. He is really good.
He doesn’t do SEO. He doesn’t do website design. He’s not doing inbound marketing. He does one thing really good. I don’t know him. I don’t know, but from what I hear and what I see, he’s very, very successful. Literally, probably like a $3 to $5 million agency, with only about eight to ten employees. Probably has a good 30% to 35% margin in what he’s doing. He only does one thing, one only.
[00:56:00]

Andy Baldacci:

It’s not that he only does one thing for his clients, but for him to grow his business, he is not trying to do a bunch of different tactics to generate leads. It seems like for the most part, it’s on Facebook ads.
Bill Faeth:That’s all he does. I have spoken to him once, about two months ago. He showed me in real time on a screen share, what he was doing on Facebook ads. His daily spend, what the leads were, what the conversions were, we went through the whole thing for about an hour and a half. It was flabbergasting to me. That was really what threw fuel on the fire for me to even want to go more just into that single niche.
[00:57:00]Even as recent as a year ago, I’m building websites. I still built 97 websites in the last two years. I still have SEO only clients. I have inbound clients. I have consulting clients. I have Facebook ad clients. I have social media organic clients, but we’re paring it down. We’re paring it down to where we have this narrow focus, really on what we call an IMA client, that start around direct response, and then rolls into more content marketing.
Andy Baldacci:Interesting, Bill, I could talk to you for hours, on hours, on hours, on hours on end, but we do have to wrap things up, and so I have just three quick questions. You can answer them kind of however you want to. It doesn’t need to be about the agency. It can just be anything in general. I’ll go through this quick.
The first one is, what do you currently think you spend too much time on?
Bill Faeth:Facebook.
Andy Baldacci:Just browsing, is that it or what?
Bill Faeth:

[00:58:00]

I mean I use Facebook Messenger for a lot of communication, especially with international clients. My wife’s also launched a fitness business on Facebook, and my personal stuff. I’ve got like four Facebook pages. I’ll bet I spend at least 25% of my time on Facebook. I don’t want to say it’s a waste of time, but I do spend too much time there.
Andy Baldacci:Interesting, if you had some of that time back … What did you not spend enough time on? What do you wish you could spend more time on?
Bill Faeth:Reading.
Andy Baldacci:That’s great, that’s something we’re clearly hearing how much you do read, and how much you do consume. I’d be blown away, what you would accomplish if you could read even more. I definitely see the value in that.
Bill Faeth:I try to read at least 100 pages every night. It doesn’t matter if it’s DOTCOM SECRETS, or THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK or you know, I guess that would equal probably about 10,000 Seth Godin blogs, because he only writes about 150 words.
I’m not an avid book reader. I’m more of a short, micro content consumption reader. What’s the last book that I read? I’m trying to think.
Anyway, I would say that it is reading, definitely.
[00:59:00]

Andy Baldacci:

That’s awesome. The last thing is, what are you hoping to accomplish in the next month?
Bill Faeth:In the next month? Re-launching Limo University right now. Also to get BillFaeth.com ready to launch. The rationale behind that is strictly because it’s much more scalable. It’s much more profitable, which will relieve stress and overwhelm within the agency.
Andy Baldacci:Right now, I’m almost scared to go back through this episode for the show notes, because there was just so much that you packed in there. I’m also a bit excited by that. I kind of geek out on reading through all these things, getting the notes together.
Bill, you shared so many great tips today. I really just want to say thanks again for coming on my show, I really appreciate it.
Bill Faeth:You’re very welcome, Andy. Thank you very much for having me. Let’s get round 2 on the books.
Andy Baldacci:Absolutely.

Want to learn more?

If you want to see what Bill is up to, you can follow him on Twitter, check out his soon-to-launch personal website, or subscribe to Inbound Marketing Agents’ blog.

Resources mentioned:

Hubspot
Proposify
ClickFunnels
Billy Gene Is Marketing
Sam Mallikarjunan
Stu McLaren
Ryan DeissDigitalMarketer.com
Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula
Russell Brunson’s Dotcom Secrets

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Agency Advantage 36: Mandi Ellefson on How to Scale to Freedom

In this episode of Hubstaff’s Agency Advantage Podcast, we’re talking with Mandi Ellefson of HandsOffCEO.com, who shares how your agency can grow without losing your work/life balance. Many agency owners feel like as their business expands, so do their work hours and stress. On top of all of that, expenses often grow faster than revenue,…

Jason Swenk on Using Systems to Grow Your Agency

Background Today, on Hubstaff’s Agency Advantage Podcast, I’m talking with Jason Swenk who shares how to use systems to grow your agency. Jason built his first agency, Solar Velocity, into a $13 million/year business before selling it, and now he shares his expertise with other agency owners. Having a system-oriented mindset is one of the…