If we can double our business, so can you.
Before we get started, I just want to point out that we are NOT a venture-backed startup. We don’t have the luxury of resting on a huge pile of cash to wildly spend. Source Group started in 2012 as a bootstrapped, no funding, startup literally run out of the house of the owners, off of a spreadsheet, and using our own laptops.
While we were searching for answers, I remember reading what seemed like hundreds of posts about “How we acquired 10 million customers without spending a dime or lifting a finger!” or “How we 103X our revenue in 2 days by changing 1 thing”
The articles were pretty outrageous, but they didn’t actually help me understand what to do. In fact, I think I felt discouraged because it all seemed so easy for everyone else. What I wanted to see is what actually happened behind the scenes, and I’ll tell you what:
For every “massive success” blog post there are 30,000 “oh shit” failures that they don’t tell you about.
Alex from Groove (awesome support software by the way), agrees:
There are a lot of failures you don’t see.
For example, in our own journey to 20k users, we’ve had our fair share of failures:
- Lost access to our LinkedIn Account (Got it back through some creative investigation)
- Had our Adwords account banned
- Spent months training, learning, and developing proposals for a product that not a single person bought or even knew we had
- Launched email campaigns to hundreds of thousands of professionals with no sales or even leads
- Spent tons of money on new traffic sources that didn’t convert
- Wasted time on things that ultimately didn’t matter. AT ALL
In the end, none of these failures mattered. By the time we fail at something, we are already speeding on to other things and now forget our failures. Thanks, ADD. I learned that failure is your friend. Failure just means you’re TRYING. You’re learning and if you are learning, you are actually winning.
Now that that’s through, let’s get into how you can double your business this year:
1. Shift Your Mind Set
In Grant Cardone’s book, The 10X Rule, he says that you need to set your goals 10X higher than you think, and you need to put in 10X the effort to achieve those. At first, it may seem pretty daunting, but when you start doing that you’ll see that it won’t be harder to grow, and in some cases, it becomes way easier.
The reason it seems like “work” at first is that you haven’t achieved the extraordinary level of success that turns work into passion. Stay the course, don’t give up. I promise it does get easier and once you start to see success, you will be addicted.
Everybody has the exact same 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Richard Branson has the same amount of time in the day as you. You’re going to spend those hours one way or another. The only difference between what makes you really successful and what keeps the status quo are the actions you take during the day. When you understand what you really want, and what it’s going to take to get there, it becomes clear what actions you should be taking during the day.
Set goals that would make a massive difference, then ruthlessly cut out the things that do not matter and focus on the actions that will get you closer to where you want to be.
2. Understand Your Business Math
I talk to businesses all day that can’t seem to answer simple questions about their own business.
You want your business to grow? Don’t treat growth like the lottery, trying random things, and hoping something works. Get your numbers down. Without knowing your numbers, you have no real business or way to strategize and focus on what’s going to help you grow.
This is put very well by Justin Brooke from IM Scalable.
A million dollars in ad spend may sound “expensive,” but the only thing that matters is ROI. If you gave me a source that for every $1 we put in we consistently got $2 out, we would put in as much money as we could possibly get our hands-on. You don’t have to be confused by CPC, CTR, CPM, CTC, VTC etc. Those numbers can help down the line, but at the end of the day, it boils down to the following:
1. How Much It Costs To Get A Targeted Lead
We run an ad that says something along the lines of “Get this free download of the best SEO Tools.” We target people that like SEO stuff, like SEO software, SEO news publications, SEO conferences etc. When they click on the ad they go to a landing page that asks them to put in their email. Here, we offer them value in exchange for their permission to market to them (permission marketing). When they put in their email, their email goes onto our email list (We use Mail Chimp) and they get the PDF download.
With Facebook’s tools (conversion pixel), we can tell how much it costs for us to get an email address. This will vary by industry and market, but it’s a vital stat to know.
2. Figure Out How Much That Lead Is Worth Over Time.
Once the leads are on our email list, we deliver a huge amount of value (and build our brand equity at the same time) by answering all the questions people have about SEO. During the course of helping them with our value-based articles, we also weave in promotions for our products. For instance, here’s a good example of how we sell a Guest Post:
We basically show people how to get white-hat links (our process) and then at the end, we let them know that we can just take care of the whole process for them.
During this process, we use tracking software like Improvely to see how much that lead on average is worth over a 1, 3, 6, 12-month timeline. Usually, we make all our money back from the ad spend within the first month or 2, then from that point forward, it’s pure profit, munis the campaign costs of course.
3. Scale That Source
Once you know how much your lead costs, how much they bring in on your timeline, and how long it takes to convert a lead, then you can scale your ad spend accordingly.
You don’t have to start with a million dollars. You can start with a relatively small amount. and increase it as you see success. That is scaleability.
3. Use Automated Marketing
The days of old school marketing are dying. Cold calling should be a thing of the past (unless you are doing right). What is “in” is HELPING your customers and attracting them to you.
We try to attract everyone to our email list so that we can deliver the most value. Currently, we have more than 45,000 email subscribers and have a huge interaction rate. That is because we are providing value. We don’t want to just put out content. We want to put out content that matters to our subscribers and that gives them value.
We have pop-ups for the blogs we write so we can get people on our email list. We run Facebook ads so we can get people on our email list. We run Adwords so we can get people on our email list. We do everything to get people on the email list. Once people are on the list, it automatically delivers everyone value and sells each one of our products – on autopilot – building our trust, brand authority, and sales, every day. This all results in a marketing system that consistently produces growth. We don’t rely on random tactics or hoping and praying for a post to go viral. We have a Marketing System that can scale at will.
4. Create The Value Ladder
It’s going to be difficult to really get your max ROI from your lead generation if you only have 1 solution to sell to them. People have vastly different problems and budgets, even in the same niche. I have worked with major clients who sell the same product, but when I talk to them they have vastly different goals. That’s because they aren’t in the same position as one another. Some just want to brand, some just want leads, and others want to educate.
Just a few years ago, the only product you could buy from us was an ad in a trade show magazine. Granted we did 75 shows a year, but clients need change. Then we added a $250 digital product and someone bought it. Then we came out with a new products and new solutions that, in some cases were worth $3000, and guess what? someone bought those too. The point is that you need to have a solution for different needs. a one size fits all approach will fail more often than not.
Oh, by the way. We just created our most comprehensive solution yet, which costs $5,000 and includes a massive amount of products, including a new website and it has gone gangbusters. Mainly because you own everything that we do for you.
Let that sink in for a minute. We have products that cost $100 all the way up to $5,000 and I have buyers for all of them. Because if you have more things you can help your customers with, and more products, and more offers, then you can create success for them. And your success is predicated on the success of your clients.
5. Test Your Limits
If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough. – Mario Andretti
Once you have your head wrapped around what you want to accomplish, test your limits. Treat everything as it is urgent. You HAVE to get it done. You have to implement NOW. In the past, we had a schedule of releasing a product every year or two. However, in the last 7 months, we have more than tripled our product lineup and Everything is running smoothly. We don’t stop with just new products or pouring the fire on paid traffic, we’re 10Xing everything and aggressively testing what works and what doesn’t. We are constantly looking at our reporting methods, client solutions, internal processes, marketing, finances, employees (for hire), you name, we are doing it.
Soon we will be implementing a swag bag to give to all of our new clients and each swag bag will be customized for that client.
6. Your People Are Everything
I’m a huge believer in systems. We built Source Group on systems and it’s what allows us (and every other successful business) to deliver quality products to their customers and scale at a rapid pace. You have to have systems in your business for everything.
With that said, at the heart of those systems is great people. We are so fortunate to have the amazing team we have. Here is how we created a great team:
- Experience isn’t everything. I really don’t care if you have experience in a field that is four years of greater so long as you can demonstrate a willingness learn, passion, a good attitude, and have a good employment history. To us, those are the foundations of a good employee.
- We aren’t afraid to move employees from one position to another. If an employee isn’t performing well in a position. Find out why. Is there a position that better suits them? Doing this has caused our employee churn rate to go down drastically and increased the loyalty of our people.
- We aren’t afraid to help. When an employee needs help, whatever it might be, we are here to do what we can.
- Hire people with a purpose. Don’t just add a position and don’t just hire a person because you want to. This leads to layoffs. We typically only hire when a workload demands it or because we need to create a new position.
- Make sure you are all having fun.
You can do what we have done. You can even exceed what we have done. put in the work and understand your business and what it takes to be successful.