Relationships with key referral partners

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Relationships with key referral partners, Eagan Heath and Simon Severino LIVE | STRATEGY SPRINTS 210

In this episode, Simon welcomes Eagan Heath, the founder of Get Found Madison. Get Found Madison is a company that helps businesses attract new customers online through SEO, paid search, paid social, email marketing and WordPress websites. He is also the founder of Caravan Digital, which provides growth marketing plan for ecommerce store owners, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Klaviyo automated email marketing. Let us listen to Eagan’s sharing on relationships with key referral partners.

3 Valuable Insights:

  • Identify who's already serving the clients
  • Bring value to referral partner into their audience
  • Outsource business and bring somebody in to handle the digital marketing

(00:14) -Simon: Three, two, one roll the footage. Welcome back to the Strategy Sprints podcast, everybody I'm Simon Severino, your host. And my guest today is the owner of caravan digital and e-commerce digital marketing agency. Welcome everybody, Eagan Heath.

(00:28) -Eagan: Hey, thanks so much for having me on. I'm excited to talk to you so

(00:31) -Simon: Cool to have you here. And we will talk key referral partners, how you can grow via our referral partners. A very relevant thing nowadays, when a sales is hard, but we all need some growth.

(00:47) -Eagan: That's right. Yeah. I think it's a huge advantage of it. You figure out who's already serving your clients or customers and you go to provide value to them and get customers and clients that way.

(00:56) -Simon: Oh, we want to know everything about this forest. What are you currently creating?

(01:02) -Eagan: Yeah. So caravan digital is a new agency brand. We're building actually started the world or started business life here as a get found Madison, which is a digital marketing agency for local businesses in the Madison, Wisconsin area in the U S and we're basically pivoting into let's serve e-commerce businesses all over the U S and all over the world. And so we're, we've got a placeholder site now or putting up a new site, new brand working on a new logo. So we're basically rebranding as an agency to specifically serve e-commerce clients.

(01:34) -Simon: How, how is e-commerce doing from your perspective?

(01:37) -Eagan: Yeah, 2020 was certainly an amazing year for e-commerce in the sense of everybody was at home and at least in the U S people continued shopping and they shopped even more. That way of, they weren't able to go into in-person stores and they really got used to shopping online even more so than they had previously. And my theory is that's not going to change even when the pandemic is over. I think it's going to be a different world now.

(02:01) -Simon: And so tell us how can one start building a referral system?

(02:08) -Eagan: Yeah, I learned this when we were the local marketing agency get found Madison in the sense of really started off doing SEO, Google ads, things like that for local businesses, we were working with salons, gyms, you know, local businesses like that. And one of the things that really one of the things that really worked for me in that first year, in those first years in business, was to identify who's already serving the clients. You know, we want to work with it potentially would make sense as prospects and as clients. And what that answer ended up being was basically graphic. So we were doing SEO and Google ads, and we partnered up with graphic design companies, website, design companies, you know, people building WordPress sites and basically their clients were asking them all the time, Hey, thanks so much for building the website. How do I get to the top of Google?

(02:54) -Eagan: We're back on page two or on page five or something nobody's finding us. And they would kind of say, go talk to Egan and his team, they handle that. So that was basically a win-win for them in terms of, they were able to make an introduction and say, Hey, we don't have expertise in that, but this guy over here does, and we're, you know, we're partners with him. And then from our perspective of, we were jumping up into, you know, client levels that we would never have gotten in front of otherwise, because we basically had that trust transferred from, you know, these people who already had the relationship with the client. And they said, you can trust this guy and right from the get go, they did. So that made the sales process much easier. And it got us talking to prospective clients who became clients, who were, you know, our biggest clients to date in those years.

(03:37) -Simon: And so that happened by chance, but you, you started taking that seriously and bringing on a structure level.

(03:46) -Eagan: Yeah, I, I sort of started thinking about how can I just bring value to, to that referral partner into their audience. So I started branching out and getting other website companies and working with them, and I knew they had a list and they would hit an email list and potentially have webinars every, every month. And so I would offer to do webinars then for these other web design companies, clients, or in other cases where it was in-person talks. So I would go to their, you know, their company, their headquarters, people would comment. I would speak about Google ads for local businesses and things like that, and came away with quite a few clients that we've had for many, many years now. There were originally, you know, basically got the blessing of someone who already had a good relationship with those clients and we created free value for them.

(04:30) -Eagan: Another thing we did was we, I, I teach a digital marketing course, so I did it in person here in my town, but also I I've got like an e-course that people, you know, can watch the videos of, and by that way. And so for my, when I launched my course, I made it free for my referral partners. So this was a free, you know, this was a pretty in-depth course in terms of you'd come to a classroom, you know, I'd teach it for, you know, let's say an hour at a time and then would maybe have an hour of workshop. And then we'd do that every month to really learn the nuts and bolts of digital marketing. And that was a huge feather in our cap, from their perspective of, they could send their interns, they could send their staff, they could even send their clients and say, this is how, you know, we get the most out of the investment you made in your website, listen to this guy, he'll teach you how to do it.

(05:14) -Eagan: And a lot of those people who, a lot of those businesses who took my course ended up then becoming retainer clients long-term as well. So I'm a huge fan of speaking in person when that's appropriate or when that's possible, I'm doing webinars to show and share a little bit of what you know, and then if you can do a course, that's even better. In the sense of, I already had the space, I was already charging other people to take the course. I had a few extra seats, why not invite the referral partners so they can see what we're all about. And they really got to see my expertise upfront and they could be thinking of who else should I refer to him in his company?

(05:49) -Simon: And so what, who is your ideal client?

(05:53) -Eagan: So right now with the caravan digital e-commerce company, we, we work best with seven to eight figure e-commerce stores. They're selling through safe, their Shopify site, or their WordPress will commerce site. And they need more traffic. They need more visitors to their site. They need more sales. And, you know, maybe they're kind of handling digital marketing on their own, or they've worked with an agency in the past. They're really looking for someone to drive results. And so we come in and we run their Facebook and Instagram ads. We set up an optimize, you know, their Google ads, their display ads, their YouTube ads. And then we set up email marketing automation as well to get them going on. How do we make the most of your list? How do we grow your list? And how do we increase, excuse me, increase like lifetime customer value. So you get people buying from you more and you know, those customers are worth more to you over time,

(06:39) -Simon: The whole marketing package.

(06:41) -Eagan: That's right. Yeah. That's kind of the idea. And we've really hit on a sweet spot there. What's interesting. I'm sure you've encountered this too, is, you know, I was an SEO guy. I started life as getting people on the top of Google organic results and really had to move to kind of different channels here. And part of that is what can I systematize? And I know you, you focus a lot on that in your business and who you serve. Right? So for me, it was like, I need to get out of the weeds and not, we do an SEO for clients. We need to set up center operating procedures, basically. So I have a paid social expert who can run Instagram and Facebook ads. I've got somebody who understands Google ads. I've got somebody who understands email marketing automation. That way I can focus on, you know, sales, marketing, and growth, and then they're fulfilling for our clients and getting results.

(07:26) -Simon: Yeah. This is absolutely powerful because every business owner, you know, you have so many decisions to take every day. And are you really the best at marketing? Maybe yes. Then you should do it and outsource the rest. Maybe not. Then why not find the perfect partner who takes it from you. And of course there are degrees of outsourcing and degrees of done for you done with you. That, that also our clients are exploring all the time. And some people say, I want to do the copywriting. The conversion optimization myself because I learned so much, especially e-commerce people tell me that in their first years it's their core operations. So it's fulfillment for them. They don't see this marketing, writing the copy for the product page. They say, Hey, that's my fulfillment. So I need to do it myself, at least at the beginning until I have enough knowledge to, to brief the agency.

(08:29) -Eagan: Yeah. That's, I think that's good experience for anybody and certainly an e-commerce of handle your own marketing for awhile. Give a sense of what's going on and probably even run some of your own Facebook ads. When you reach a point where you're cracking, you know, multiple million in sales and beyond, you're going to get so busy with the logistics of operations and fulfillment that at some point it can make sense to, you know, outsource it, bring somebody in to handle the digital marketing.

(08:56) -Simon: Absolutely. I just today signed an agency to do, to though pay that for us because we did it ourselves until now, but we are ready now for the next level. And and that's, that's done by pros, but it was important to learn the basic of who our audiences, what do they really want? Which, which copy works and which doesn't and what are some ballpark figures that we can get. And so now they can go and optimize that. And of course, scale that.

(09:27) -Eagan: Yeah, it sounds like they'll have a strong foundation to build on. I'm kind of curious, how did you come to that decision? Or how did you know okay. It's time to bring in outside help

(09:36) -Simon: Just the time, the time that we spend on it and especially the cost, the cost per lead was I guess, too high. And because if a pro does it, so my assumption was, and that's how we went into the pitch. We pitched 10 agencies and we said, these are the numbers that we are currently getting. Can you do better? And so we started the conversations and and then one criteria was who understands us best. The other criteria is who can take most of our workload, also doing the creative, also doing the split testing, et cetera. And so at the end, it was a mix of who, who gets our business and who, who can get the most workload off from our team.

(10:29) -Eagan: Yeah. That's great. It sounds like you're very strategic about it. I'll be curious to see how that goes for you.

(10:34) -Simon: Yeah. and so it's, it's a challenge and it will be, we'll be, we'll be exciting. Definitely. It was important to have a first part where we did it ourselves, because otherwise I couldn't have the basic data and the basic vocabulary to even tell them what to do.

(10:56) -Eagan: Yeah. I think that's right. Have some people bring in an agency too soon where the strategy isn't there, they haven't even gotten traction maybe on product market fit, you know, versus if you're doing multiple millions in sales, if you ha you've obviously had some successful marketing and sales channels and it's time to say, here's what we got. How do you, you know, how do you sprinkle on your knowledge to make it better? That's I think that's a good point to do it at

(11:20) -Simon: What are the three books that shaped you most?

(11:24) -Eagan: Yeah. For business. I got to say, I think I sort of have to go on emotion of the ones that I really remember that got me along of starting a business and then moving along in the business, you know, so I'd say a lean startup was the first one I actually read while I was still working in the corporate world. And sort of that idea around you, you try things in a startup and you experiment and you see what gets traction with customers and you're doing, you know, customer development and learning about what's going to work. And so when I started, you know, doing local SEO, that made sense to me. And then we went into Google ads and then we went into Facebook ads and then suddenly we're serving clients in other States. And, you know, in other industries, there's this element where you pivot, you see what's working, what makes sense.

(12:08) -Eagan: And so that's something I really took away from that book. I, as a marketing and sales guy, you know, I got to say influence the psychology of persuasion by Cialdini. Just understanding those principles of how do you communicate effectively? How do you get people to do what you want them to do? The six principles from that are golden and I teach my team about it all the time. I teach my students about that all the time. I think that's so important. What was the third one I wrote down? Oh yeah. Dotcom secrets, Russell Bronson got a lot out of that one. I've read that one and expert secrets multiple times. And it really, it really is sort of digital direct response marketing. It's like, how do you, how do you fish in the pond where your customers are and how do you tempt them with lead magnets and get them in your email funnels and things like that of that was that really helped me understand how to market a business and the market, any business we've served, you know, local businesses, B2B companies, and e-commerce, and there's something for everybody in that one, I think absolutely

(13:10) -Simon: Exciting. So referrals and who, who should contact you and work with you.

(13:19) -Eagan: So I'm definitely looking for e-commerce companies that are doing seven or eight figures in revenue. That those are great fit. If you're doing it, particularly through your website, you're selling through your e-commerce site, we can often find ways to bring more targeted traffic, get you more sales and get, you know, grow your email list, get more out of your email list. So in terms of clients love to talk to anybody in that space. And then in terms of, you know, potential referral partners, again, it often makes sense of if companies are doing design work, if they're doing video work, if they're building websites for e-commerce companies, or if they're doing conversion rate optimization, CRO, those are all, you know, adjacent sorts of services where when they ask you, do you know anybody who's good on Google ads that can be potentially me and my team or somebody who's really good at paid social, you know, getting positive return on ad spend on Facebook and Instagram ads, talk to Egan and caravan digital, and they'll handle that piece and we'll handle our piece. So that's kind of who we're, who we're trying to build up for referral partners right now.

(14:18) -Simon: I want to know who you nominate for the strategy award after one word from our sponsors.

(14:25) -Speaker 3: Hey, if you love what you are hearing, you will love our free masterclasses. Go grab them at strategy,

(14:35) -Simon: You can pick only one person when everybody's zigging, this person is zagging. Who's that?

(14:41) -Eagan: That's good. Yeah. I really admire my friend, Andrew Foxwell. He actually lives down the street from me here in Madison, and he runs a very successful, you know, paid social know Facebook ad agency with, with him and his wife. And I really admire what he's done and what he's built. We, we buy all of his courses in terms of, he really sees, you know, globally, what's going on, what's working with Facebook and Instagram ads and he creates these excellent courses based on those, you know, he's had an agency he manages ad spend for clients, but also he's kind of just to, just to keep it with him. And his wife is a small company. The way he's kind of reaching scale is doing a podcast. And then, you know, teaching courses where it's just like golden golden nuggets of value, basically in those courses. So I love info product model, so I really admire what he's doing there.

(15:28) -Simon: Beautiful. And where can people stick around, read more about you see more from you?

(15:36) -Eagan: Yeah. Adding me on LinkedIn is a great spot. And then also checking us [email protected] We'll have that new site up soon. Cool.

(15:44) -Simon: What did you recently change your mind about?

(15:47) -Eagan: This is a, this might be a little off to the side, but I like to read a lot of, a lot of different subjects, not just business, you know, and I guess just on the subject of intelligence, I think I sort of always thought that it's all about how hard you work. Like there's, it's not just, it's not just ability. Like it's like anybody can do anything sort of thing of that. I sort of have that in my gut. And as I've learned more about IQ and cognitive ability, and basically what psychologists have been finding for decades, I've learned that actually just like athletic ability or attractiveness or whatever, it's like cognitive ability is a real thing. And so if you're born with it, you, you have a huge advantage

(16:32) -Simon: And who should be my next guest.

(16:35) -Eagan: I would recommend you talk to my sales coach, Matt Plesser, he's a Sandler sales trainer at lyft consulting also in my town here. And I think he'd be a great guest for you.

(16:47) -Simon: Cool. Sales is very relevant right now for everybody. And so thank you so much for being on the show, Egan. Sharing your knowledge and your journey with us. Please come back soon.

(17:00) -Eagan: All right, thanks so much for having me


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