I want to walk you through how Pearl Lemon as a company is growing at the moment.
So during this present Covid-19 era we’re living in – we lost a total of around 14 clients I think.
Our returns from clients took a real beating.
Today I’m not going to talk about ‘how we’re doing so well’ in spite of this.
I’m actually going to break down how we’ve got to still winning an additional £20,000 in new business over the last 8 weeks.
But then also talk about the inherent problems with that model –
So – we have two systems that continue to work well for us come rain or shine – when it comes to winning new business –
Inbound SEO has accounted for a significant bulk of our business.
Ion – our head of sales is the man fielding all of the leads that come into the business from primarily 4 different websites –
We have Pearl Lemon, Pearl Lemon Leads, Pearl Lemon Sales and Pearl Lemon Convert. Our SEO team ranks our websites on Google – calls come into Ion’s calendar and then he goes on to close a couple every month.
This is the process – and has been for probably 6-months now.
We continue to invest around £3,000 a month into this model a month and it’ll typically generate £5,000 per month back.
It’s an effective model also because our spend doesn’t tend to increase much but the value it adds continues to compound.
The way we hedge our selves is that this budget is spread across four different websites – so if one gets hit by a Google core update or otherwise – there’s at least one of them that’s still firing and still generating leads.
In terms of order of ‘value’ it’s:
- Pearl Lemon Leads
- Pearl Lemon
- Pearl Lemon Convert and
- Pearl Lemon Sales
In around 6 months from now, it wouldn’t surprise me if Pearl Lemon Convert and Pearl Lemon Sales are bringing in more leads than Pearl Lemon.
Simply put – ranking in ‘non-SEO’ niches is far easier than trying to rank against other SEO agencies.
So in theory whilst we keep spending that set £3,000 per month – the £5,000 return figure should rise to perhaps £8,000 a month in around 6 months from now.
The other place that deals come in from is Upwork.
Upwork gets a bad reputation but if you read my blog on my guide to Upwork – you’ll see it’s a great place to win smaller deals (and sometimes big ones as well).
So where are we weak?
If my Upwork account got suspended/removed for some reason what happens next?
What if the same thing happened with the Pearl Lemon website?
It’s always worth considering what you would do in the instance that the funnels you have for your agency stopped working.
And this wherein lies some key weaknesses for Pearl Lemon.
We don’t have enough ‘funnels’ to insulate us from the challenge of these two streams going down.
So whilst we are winning back business during this testing period – this is where some of my apprehension comes from.
I’m currently reading ‘Shoe Dog’ – the memoir of Phil Knight the founder of Nike.
One of the fundamental learnings from this memoir is that sales is the most important part of growing a business – and it’s in this that I understand there really is one MAIN thing that I need to focus upon in order to really grow my business.
I need to get an outbound sales rep to grow the business.
Someone whose only role is to generate new business and to close deals for us.
A combination of books (and people) have identified this a couple of times –
- Sell Like Crazy
- Shoe Dog
- Joshua Guiliani
I need to have predictable lead generation funnels – and the way I do this is with reliable outbound channels.
Upwork is of course one. SEO is another.
I am currently attempting the use of two outsourced providers to generate leads – both have got me nowhere at the moment.
But the principle is sound – I’ve got a Facebook lead ad agency as well as a Google search ads agency working to get us leads.
Neither have generated anything so far, unfortunately.
But the journey will continue – as, as I look across at other agencies that have grown their businesses into 7-figure agencies – it’s all happened when they’ve added an outbound salesperson to their team
The problem with only relying upon Upwork and SEO (and not just ‘scaling that’) is two-fold:
Upwork relies upon my own efforts which limit my ability to grow my collection of small businesses.
SEO isn’t predictable as you can be hit by Google core updates at any point.
However, if I’m able to hire a full-time sales professional on a basic salary plus a handsome commission structure then I can almost certainly make my money back.
If someone comes in at £500 per month with no fixed hours on a 3-month contract with us providing the leads – I can assess their ability to grow the company and this is perhaps the next most important thing to do.
From the books, I’m reading this is one of the other outcomes of what I’m learning – that it’s key that I focus upon the essential activities and nothing else.
It’s easy to get caught up by the noise of business.
There are potentially so many different things I could be doing – but I’m seeing time and time again from the SEO agency owner’s I’m interviewing that they have a dedicated outbound sales rep and that this seems to be the most reliable next step in being able to grow Pearl Lemon
However, outside of this, I’m going to build a ‘profile funnel’ on Facebook.
Basically 1x every 2-days I’m going to post SEO related content to see if that results in winning new clients for Pearl Lemon.
Furthermore, the hiring of a dedicated sales rep will also mean I’ll build new funnels to support that sales rep’s work.
Between this, I hope to open up a whole new avenue for predictable lead generation
Let’s see how it goes!