It’s been a YEAR to say the least. But business growth always has seasons.
And looking back on everything over 2022 and then thinking about the past 5 years, it leads me to realize we’re entering a new chapter of Be Known.
Be Known, LLC started in 2018 providing one-off digital marketing services in an “agency-esque” model – Facebook Advertising, copywriting, and sales funnel design services for businesses that were primarily selling via the internet.
It has since evolved into much more than that and I’m extremely happy with our evolution.
However, the #1 issue I’ve faced over the past few years has been “working with unqualified clients”. You know, working with someone because you need the work rather than really evaluating “is this a great long-term client for us”.
That consistent problem has been the focus of my attention in 2022 as I’ve had a desire to fix it once and for all.
Although it’s a continuous journey, I believe we are finally locked-in on exactly who we can help, how we can help them, and our scalable compensation models for doing so. We really just had to drill down into all facets of the ideal client personality, their business attributes, etc.
Over the last 6 months, I’ve been focused on reducing expenses, adjusting team members, and matching our scope of work with our core competencies.
This has led to me feeling extremely confident rolling into 2023.
Unfortunately, that also means I’ve had to have difficult conversations as we “right the ship”. But those are necessary in all businesses.
I realize, once again, that there is a hierarchy to solutions in business. For example, in order to hire more people, I need to make sure we have the profitability, sales, and the correct clients to justify that – flowing downward in that order.
The back-half of this year, I have been constantly reminding myself that storms DO come, but they always pass. And in business, we will always have cycles of “construction”, or periods of time where we are focused on improving the business instead of scaling it.
But this intense rollercoaster of a year has paid off.
Long story short, instead of positioning ourselves as just an “agency” or “we’ll just manage your Facebook ads for $5k per month”…
We have taken a consulting-first stance, focused on helping established businesses save time & increase profits with marketing automation.
Meaning that we work with businesses to plan, implement, and manage their marketing automation systems to Capture, Nurture, Segment, and Convert leads. (Email Sequences, Remarketing, CRM, sales pages, call booking automations, etc.)
We’re focused on serving small to medium-sized businesses that are selling online products (mainly digital/physical products like courses/niche goods, respectively). And even better if they’ve been plateaued or capped at a certain revenue mark with no idea how to grow profitably over the next 12 months (inflection point).
We’ve come to realize that most businesses don’t have a solid plan/structure for their marketing and sales systems. And even if they do, it’s unrealistic, heavily skewed towards one activity or biased since “they can’t see the label from outside of the jar”.
So before we quote or propose any long-term solution:
We begin every new client engagement with a comprehensive in-person planning session to solidify a 90-day action plan and 12 month road map. This is done with them over 1 to 2 strategy sessions and the comprehensive road map delivered over the following 14 days.
Then we either present a custom-tailored proposal for how we can help OR we recommend the team/tech they need to do it without us – whichever is the better fit. The investment for this road map is $5,000 – not too expensive for qualified clients and makes sure people are serious.
Of course, we can still manage their marketing automation systems after that, but we now do so in a custom-tailored engagement dictated by the plan we have just worked through.
For example, we are working with a large online dog training company that has been in business for 12 years, but they were stalled out at $750k USD per year, profit margins were dismal, going negative for ~6 months, and their OpEx was extremely bloated. So we created a 12-month plan with 5 focus areas to achieve $1.4MM / yr by end of 2023 with at least 40% net margins, then ultimately exit/sell in 5 years.
Then we presented a proposal for us to perform “tangible services”: help them reduce expenses, manage their online advertising, write email sequences, strategize weekly, etc…all for a fair percentage of the growth. The past 5 months, they’ve had their most profitable quarter since 2020.
So with all of that said, it has definitely been a journey to get us to this point, but I find peace in knowing that we’re just getting started.
Five years is barely a blip on the radar of commerce. And true business growth has seasons. There are summers, winters, springs, and falls…rewards, trials, major growth, and learning.
The next ten years will solidify us as the preeminent online business growth company in our entire industry. As long as we stick to the plan, staying focused and consistent.
– Daniel Pope, CEO & “Chief Storyteller”
Featured Image Photo Credits