Plenty of gurus promise proven systems for raking in cash. The problem is that most gurus don’t actually produce real results.
In 2014, The Oracles member Josh Harris found himself shivering under blankets and scraping the bottom of his bank account during one of Michigan’s coldest winters on record. He could barely afford to turn the heat on because he was desperately trying—and failing—to scale his small digital marketing agency.
No matter what he did, it never seemed to scale the business and he was only collecting small fees from demanding clients.
“Eventually, I realized I was settling for ‘good enough’ instead of pushing myself for more and I knew that I needed to commit fully to my success,” Harris says.
Back against the wall, he dumped his old playbook, which consisted of cold calling prospects and working on a per-project basis with local clients. He started using different online channels to find, qualify, and sell to high-ticket clients across the country. And his results were stunning.
Within a few months, he scaled to a $40,000 predictable monthly revenue. Today, Harris earns more than $2 million per year.
“It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.”
Harris recalls that friends and associates started begging him for advice. Through teaching, he quickly realized that he’d “cracked the code” on how to build a lucrative six-figure marketing agency from scratch. One student replaced his entire solid income from a state government job within two months. Another, laid off, pushing age 60, and a complete unknown in the market, now makes nearly $40,000 per month.
Build a six-figure marketing agency in five steps.
Harris’s coaching, which today provides the bulk of his income, helps select students build a location-independent marketing agency from scratch over two months, while working full time.
Here’s how he does it—and how you can too:
1. Help your clients make money.
Harris advocates focusing on high-value service offerings that companies need and will impact their bottom line. Lead generation is the big one. Being able to generate new revenue for companies is an easy sell: you can prove ROI immediately and charge a premium.
Harris says Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and LinkedIn services are particularly potent. He teaches students how to package these offerings to clients, then produce results by partnering with service providers in these spaces, and he helps his students develop a steady pipeline of interested prospects.
He also helps his students incorporate machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to dramatically increase conversions for clients by only targeting people who have qualified themselves through multiple digital behaviors. That means students aren’t wasting time and money on prospects who are never going to buy.
2. Pick the right niche.
“Lots of people are very smart but pick markets they’re destined to fail in,” Harris cautions. He recommends finding niches with high-ticket sales (think thousands of dollars). In premium markets, you only need to generate a few quality leads for businesses to prove value.
He also recommends picking niches with a short sales cycle. If it takes a year for a company to start making money with your services, you’ll run into trouble quick. That’s one reason Harris says he doesn’t advise students to offer SEO services—they take too long to produce results. Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and LinkedIn, however, can generate clients immediately.
3. Build a predictable pipeline.
“Most people wait until they need a pipeline, but by then, it’s usually too late,” Harris warns. His students use LinkedIn outreach to build pipelines before they need them. Too many marketers don’t use LinkedIn or waste time and money on other methods, such as paid ads or cold emails, to secure their initial clients, he says.
Harris recommends turning your profile into a landing page targeted at your niche. Then, begin connecting with the decision-makers in your niche.
“Don’t be afraid to leverage common connections and send connection requests introducing yourself and what you do. With this alone, you’ll be doing more than 99 percent of digital marketers do,” Harris says.
4. Sell nationally, and specifically, not locally.
“Local clients are not ideal,” Harris advises. Their expectations are typically extremely high, and sales cycles take a long time—thanks to plenty of in-person meetings. Taking on local clients also restricts you to a single location.
“Remote clients tend to bother you a lot less. For a time-efficient, scalable business, prospect outside your local market via phone sales,” he says.
Harris recommends letting clients talk, rather than pitching them immediately. Ask targeted questions about their marketing goals. For example: “How are you currently getting new customers?” and “How does your sales process work?” Let their answers guide the conversation. When you ask questions, you create trust.
Finally, make an offer. At this point, most people sense whether or not you can help them. Instead of sending a proposal, then waiting to hear back, offer your standard package if the client seems like a good fit. “I’ve found that if people are convinced you can’t help them, rarely will a proposal change their mind,” Harris says.
5. Get help.
“The ones who want to go big and fast find a mentor,” Harris says. Finding people who know how to accelerate success saves you time and money, he says. And it gives you an edge over the competition. Lots of people are ignoring the methods that mentors can teach you.
“It’s never too late to reinvent yourself,” Harris says. “You can always learn something new if you work hard enough.”
Click here to learn how to use big data in your digital marketing agency to produce an unbeatable ROI.