Dan Englander of finding your market niche| Rise Grind Repeat 065


Dan Englander took a while finding his marketing niche. He started with an agency, then did sales for an animation studio. He finally settled on lead generation as his business because he noticed, even from his agency days, a lot of agencies need help.

Dan created Sales Schema to help those agencies solve a big problem. “They’ve reached a point where referrals and personal networks and the stuff that it took to build the agency just aren’t enough anymore,” he says.

“The Mad Men era is over. Anybody who tells you generating meetings and closing deals is easy is lying. It takes time. It takes effort. Our goal is to make it easier.” This interview proves the importance of finding your market niche and sinking your teeth into it.


finding your market niche

Rise Grind Repeat Podcast powered by EIC Agency


Hosted by Dustin Trout
Produced by Andrei Gardiola


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| Rise Grind Repeat 065 |


The internet’s changed things for obviously a while. But there’s still kind of these old models of like the madmen area era that still persists, where agencies are still kind of working as if they’re going to win an account and that account is going to be with them for decades or something, and so on and so forth. So, more and more you know, this problem we’re solving is helping agencies jump into the cold water of selling the people who are problem aware but not yet necessarily solution aware.


On today’s episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat we talked to Dan from sales schema, his company helps marketing agencies crush their outbound efforts, when we talk about quality over quantity. Let’s dive right in. Dan, thank you so much for joining on an episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. I’m I’m excited about this because after researching your company, it’s it’s you do a lot of marketing stuff to help marketing agencies that seems like and I’m always fascinated by that because it’s kind of like the the old shoe cobbler where the the shoe cobblers kids don’t have their shoes and a lot of marketing agencies struggle with their own marketing. And I mean before we kind of get into there I’d love to just hear more about kind of your backstory How did you get into marketing and and basically, how did you get to where you’re at today?


Yeah, he’s awesome, really appreciate it. So my background was kind of first as I moved to New York and like 2010 waited tables and stuff and then got some internships and basically landed in an ad agency because that’s kind of where you just end up in New York when you’re when you find yourself falling into a job tends to be an agency world and at that time, you know, I was kind of like an accounts grind. I did social media campaigns for like, setting up strategies and then but mostly it was like monitoring you know, like the Facebook wall for monster cable when headphones would break and or don’t like them and Mark echo and some others. So kind of dealt with, like the agency grind for a while and then sort of meandered into a sales role at an animation studio just randomly, I found a job on Craigslist and I was doing kind of sales and Account Management at this small shop called idea rocket. And that’s really where I learned a lot because I, you know, we invested a lot of marketing, got on thousands of calls over the course of a few years definitely stumbled a lot. But But you know, God got decent at selling a creative service, which I think is different than selling lots of other things. Because it’s just intangible. It’s not of any specific value necessarily. It’s all just kind of in the ether. So learned a lot from that kind of like took the Tim Ferriss pill and I traveled Asia, the whole thing and started sales schema. And in the early days, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing and figured, okay, lead generation is the closest thing to sales, which is kind of what I know. But lead generation might actually be able to scale as opposed to like a sales coaching business, which I didn’t feel like I wanted to do at the time. So I think through like some amount of luck I happen to find a market and the need that I actually knew which was there happen to be needed in the market that I had some some attachment to, which was the agency world. And there’s, there’s, we can, I’ll give you the floor because we can go really far into the reasons for this business and problems that we solve and stuff but there’s there’s definitely, you know, a need for sales help, like you said there’s definitely cobblers children issues in the agency world so that’s, I think we got Lucky there. Yeah.


Ya know, very similar path. I mean, started in, in the agency world, I mean, eight years ago or so, and just kind of the top started this ESP agency and just saw the opportunity, not so much. Things were bad, but I think there’s a way to approach a little bit differently, but I mean, I’d love to hear what are some of the things I mean, it sounds like that’s kind of how you built schemas is identifying that opportunity and and just bring a solution to its I mean, what is I mean, what, what problem do you solve? I’d love to hear that. Yeah.


Yeah, it’s it’s a it’s a great question. And I think what’s cool about our business is that I really get, you know, we get to help agencies solve a pretty big problem. And at the same time work with agencies in a lot of other ways are way further ahead ahead than us. And you know, in the fact that we’re working with agencies a lot of the time that have been around for decades at a time, they have amazing portfolio clients, they like Word, they have every crazy war story under the sun from working with like, whatever, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Google. But there’s the reaches this point in the agency where referrals and personal networks and the stuff that it took to build the agency just aren’t enough anymore. And I think it’s a macro problem, because there’s sort of like it’s one of these things where the future’s here, but it’s just not evenly distributed yet where the internet’s changed things are obviously a while. But there’s still kind of these old models of like the madmen area era that still persists. Where agencies are still kind of working as if they’re going to win an account, and that accounts going to be with them for decades or something, and so on and so forth. So, more and more, you know, this problem we’re solving is helping agencies jump into the cold water of selling the people who are problem aware, but not yet necessarily solution aware. So what what’s really worked for us is instead of trying to say like all these other like lead generation companies are doing trying to say, like, we have a fancy machine, we’re going to put it in a token and outcomes, the business we’ve been saying, you know, will the truth which is that we’re going to make the process of getting of swimming in this cold water better, faster, cheaper than you gotta love. And that’s really what it’s about, you know, it’s anybody that’s trying to say that the generating meetings and closing deals with large organizations as easy as why it’s, it takes it takes time. It takes effort. It’s a lot of consistency. And, you know, our goal is just to make it easier,


is it kind of provide that consistency because I mean, I agree it’s everyone’s always looking for like me. Magic Potion what do you do just to close it but I mean, it takes a lot from introducing who you are as a brand what problems you solve reach the right decision maker? I mean, are you can you kind of elaborate without giving?


I’ll give I give away everything. It’s like Derek that Derek Severs quote, if it was just about information we’d all be millionaires, great abs. So anybody that wants to do what we can do themselves is welcome to. But I think that it’s a good question and there’s a lot that goes into it. So tangibly what we’re doing. there’s a there’s a there’s a lot of things that work. So it’s not to say that like we’re what we’re doing is the only thing you can do that works. But our core competency is around outreach is around knocking on doors in a tasteful way to get meetings, and we know we’re doing that on our client’s behalf. So we’re not we’re not like middlemen. So you know, we’re using LinkedIn, we’re using email, we’re using phone, we’ve used other channels in the past we could, you know, we have ideas to use direct mail at some point, although I don’t want to go off on a tangent but COVID is kind of making that our So that’s what we’re doing. But I think that that’s all tactical, the thing that really makes sense for us or the thing that rather that we prioritize more nowadays that we didn’t get as much in the early days, is working was partnering with the right agencies to begin with, and making sure that we’re selective about working with agencies at the time when we’re ready to help. And with that in mind, you know, the foundation of everything is a strong value prop and like, what the hell does that mean? That can mean anything? And there’s, there’s not one answer, but more and more, what it looks like is specialization. And I think that that’s the thing that causes a lot of anxiety and handwringing. A lot of among the prospects and clients we work with is the idea of saying, this is where our agency does business, this is our focus, and we’re not going to mess with stuff that’s outside of that and whenever we have clients that are well specialized, just that’s like the main consistency in terms of what separates successful campaigns from ones that take longer to pick up Is his specialization around a particular area around a particular market or solving a particular problem? So that’s all old news. I mean, that’s kind of like a tenant of all forms of marketing. Yeah.


So I mean, it’s do you actually help help agencies identify what that is? Or do you? Do they kind of already have that and you help them take that? And then do the outreach? Because I mean, outside agencies, I mean, with businesses, I mean, you ask them what what value you bring what problems you solve? And that’s, that’s a good question. And yeah, I think so many businesses don’t have it 100% nailed down with confidence. And I think that’s a huge differentiator is when you have that. So is that something that you help with? Or


to an extent? Yeah, it’s a good question. So there’s kind of three categories. There’s category, the negative category, which are people that were like, We just don’t think you have it together. Yeah, you should go talk to this branding, agency, consultant, agency coach, and they really trust and they might be able to help you. That’s that’s one category. The second category is they really have it together and it’s just fuel on the Fire situation, you know, they have a million case studies in a particular area. And then the third category, which is the most common for us is more like they have it. But there’s just some onion layers there that we have to peel back to find it. And then, you know, we’re obviously not like web people. We’re not like rebuilding their site or reinventing it or anything like that. But what I do think is that doing outreach campaigns is kind of an effective exercise and figuring out the exact, you know, message to market match and actually figuring out what works by contacting people as opposed to just speculating all day and a Google doc or something. So that’s that’s kind of how we think about it.


Yep. No, it’s a fun process to go through. I mean, we just recently got someone to help with some outreach month or two ago. And I mean, it was going through that whole process, what value do you have, what verticals you wanna go after? I mean, we’re only I mean, just hit two years old. And so it’s still learning and will continue to learn. I’m sure even when we think we haven’t nailed down, it’ll continue to evolve. But yeah. Oh, so outside of that it’s you help with the lead generation, which, I mean, aside from agencies, there’s that that can help tons of businesses. So, I mean, why did you stick with agencies? Because that’s what you know, and and


want to run with? Yeah.


Yeah, it’s a good question. And I wish I could say that I was like a professor Rex, you know, like, Master of markets. And I was like, this is where the opportunity is, but really, it was the market that I was coming from, it was the area that I do. So in the early days, like, I this is a non sequitur, but I always think that Vince Gilligan and like Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad are like a really good model for entrepreneurship because they just not in terms of the actual content like obviously not looking bad in terms of like, the the the process and what it feels like like there’s the first season A Better Call Saul, where he’s just like, working with different clients and he kind of finds this niche and there’s people that are attracted to what he’s doing for whatever reason, and I kind of felt like Valley for whatever reason that people that were attending To the Royal we, in their earliest days, were raising seeds. And I think if I’m being honest with myself, we got lucky because it just is. It’s a niche that needs help with the top of funnel more than others, you know? So that’s that’s kind of the answer there. Yeah, yeah. And then, you know, I think that beyond that there are things that make specializing the agency world important and they make us you know, I think more effective than lots of other companies. And one of them is the fact that just Marketing Leaders are sold to more than anybody else in the C suite. They’re just, if you look at like, the landscape of not just agencies, but ad tech people selling to CMOS and Marketing Leaders, etc. It’s incredible. So you know, and also it’s kind of like, you can’t be SMBs or, or whatever it’s like, they’re, they’re also they understand marketing. They’re saying how this stuff works. They have their pick of the litter with agencies or so many agencies that perhaps be right now. So you know, it It takes kind of knowing that touch and knowing how to how to do it the right way. In some ways, it’s like every other situation in some ways it’s different. I’d say


yep, no, I love the the top of the funnel and it seems like from you know, what you kind of offer and your services really what you help with and I mean, we’re just huge on so we do podcasts and a lot of video and I mean, it’s just come out with just buy from me, we’re an agency or we’re this brand bye bye bye, but don’t really give any value. And I mean, what you touched on I give it all away for free. That’s, I just love that model. But as we go, like kind of into the three different things that you offer, I mean, it’s the the automated outreach, the thought leadership, and then the outbound lead generation do they love to hear a little bit more about each one and how you use those three pillars, I guess to generate not only just leads, but quality leads?


Yeah, yeah, it’s


a good question. Um, so So I guess the one thing I tell you a little just slightly differently is we’re not super big on selling the idea of it being automated Because I think that not that there’s anything wrong with automation in some places. And it’s not to say that we don’t use automate that we’re not using automation at all. I think automation has its place. But I think the important thing that expectation we like to say with our clients is that everything we invent, everything we come up with is going to have to be revamped frequently. You know, if something’s working well, there’s this Can I curse on the show, but there’s this great article called the law of shitty click through rates. And it’s, it’s a I forgot the gentleman’s name, but he I think he was writing for one of the one of the big VC blogs, I apologize. But it’s a classic article from like, 10 years ago, but it’s the idea that like, if you’re getting a good return, it’s going to be for a limited time, like it thinks either because like competitors, or because the platform’s change because other people are doing it. So you know, where it’s the risk of sounding cliche, like what we’re doing for clients is a marathon, not a sprint. So, to answer your question, that’s usually what we’re starting with is like targeted Reaching appointment setting and basically getting our clients used to the rhythm of selling to people outside of their personal network. More more recently, we basically just had had a huge, you know, amazing results internally from doing what exactly what we’re doing right now like getting on podcasts, getting the message out to the right audience. And then we sort of realized that, hey, this is this is outreach centric as well. This kind of fits with our core competency. And it’s sort of like a marketing play for our clients, too. So the and the reason I think is so cool is that, you know, there’s so much that you can do on the content marketing front, like you can write articles, you can write white papers before our current situation, you could do trade shows, you could do all this stuff. But there’s something to be said for plugging into somebody else’s audience and doing what we’re doing right. What’s cool about it is you’re not leaving your office, you’re done with it in an hour and also like so many of our clients and probably agencies like yourselves, actually. No, no, they’re shit. Like they have cool stuff to talk about. And meanwhile, like nothing against consultants and authors and coaches, but but there’s that whole space has been flooded with coaches and not enough with, you know, actual agencies that are doing cool work every day. So that So anyway, we just saw it, I saw it as a great opportunity for our clients. So we’ve been doing a lot of that kind of getting people on shows and digital publication placements. And then then also more recently, we’ve been moving into training and support and I just think that the main reason behind that is there’s just lots of agencies that can’t take us on yet for whatever reason, and in the past, we haven’t had anything to give them and it’s, it’s the next best thing is if you have more time than money, then blood is giving you rip, basically you go run with it, you know?


Yeah, so I mean, I I love the thought leadership. I think there’s a lack of it whenever it comes to really differentiating who you are just as a CEO or C suite level person, but even just as a business analyst I mean, that’s, that’s a huge reason why we did this. It’s like, I just felt myself like in an hour meeting explaining who we are my background, what we can do. It’s just like there’s not enough time. And yeah, it’s really just articulate how we can really help. And so I’m huge on just the relationship building people buy from people they trust, and by producing stuff like this, people can look at your history. And it’s like, they can tell you know, where you’re coming from. And so I guess where I’m going with this is when it comes to thought leadership, what are the different ways that people can get their thought leadership out there? I mean, we’re doing the podcast, you mentioned blogs, but I mean, are there any other ways that that you’re helping or seeing just thought leadership being executed well and distributed out to the world?


Yeah, it’s a great question. I think it’s like really contextual, you know, I think that the like, if you’re selling to restaurants, then that’s gonna change the you know the channels you might choose to use the comparative. You are selling to enterprise beverage companies or something, you know, so. So so it’s hard to say. And I think that the starting point is figuring out who you’re talking to. And then that makes everything else a lot easier, as opposed to saying this is the trendy place to be, or that’s the trendy place to be. You know, that said, I think that the podcasts do have a lot going for it, especially in b2b because you’re all you’re doing multiple things, you’re building a new relationship with somebody else. You You’re creating content, chances are you’re having conversations like this anyway. So and also like with the, the quote, unquote, new normal. It’s sort of it’s sort of like lends itself to what would become a podcast to begin with, whether it’s video or audio or both. So so you know, we’re really bullish on podcasts. But that said, like, if you’re in a world where people are consuming white papers more and maybe it’s older school, and you Don’t want to do a podcast then you don’t have to, like, none of this stuff is mandatory. I think the main thing is not overextending yourself. I think like one sacred cow that I’ve, I’ve heard is that I like to attack is like the idea of having to be everywhere. I think that what’s underestimated is the amount of time it takes to really do well with a particular channel. And I’ve been guilty of this within my company where it’s like, well, we’re creating video content, let’s just throw it up on YouTube. It’s like, no, like, you can’t just throw it up on YouTube, you’re gonna have to create stuff that’s built for YouTube that fits with the algorithm, you have to interact with comments, which are often nasty, do you have to like, you have to drive people from YouTube to something like that. That’s just one example. But every channel has its own amount of work. So that’s why you want to be selective and also stick with something for a long enough amount of time. So I almost equate it with like learning a language or picking up a new sport, you know, you would have picked up like five languages at once. So yeah, so anyway, maybe that’s like a coy answer, but That’s kind of what we’ve seen work.


No, I mean, I love it because it all comes down to really whose audience you want to reach? And what’s your end result that you really want to get? And then from there, it’s who’s making that decision. How do they consume content to your point? It’s, it could be a 24 year old female, or it could be a 64 year old male, and I mean, how they consume content, what gets their attention and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to get it just someone’s attention so that we can communicate who we are and how we can help them out. And so it’s it’s


Yeah, yeah, and I do think that


you know, not to be like rose colored glasses, but I think some silver linings of us all being removed now is that everybody is an outsider like there before there is this perception of like insider and outsider. So especially with agencies, and we’ve gotten this objection, everyone’s selling b2b services. One objection that comes up across the board is like, why should I trust you to do this better than weekend and house you’re, you’re, you’re like the other except for the stuff that’s like, oh, Obviously, you would outsource, like whatever janitorial services in your office or something. But now that’s all over because like everyone’s announced, everyone’s in a different place. So it’s like, well, what’s, what’s the Yeah, there’s not a huge difference anymore. So I think that’s a huge opportunity for agencies that specialize.


Yep. And kind of shifting gears to I mean, your your business. I mean, it’s I like I said, we’re, we’re two years old. There’s a lot that I’ve been learning in the last two years and and a lot of hurdles to jump over. But, I mean, as you’ve been building your company, I mean, what’s one of the biggest hurdles that you’ve kind of faced, and how did you kind of solve for it in how did that make it run the business a bit better?


Yeah, that’s a good question. And there’s obviously not just one but I think if I had to, like make a an overarching category, I think it’s just, you know, we’re in a people business and people are hard. It’s hard to deal with to deal with people who are complex, we all have idiosyncrasies, and that across it, it’s just people all the way down. So employees freelancers, clients, myself, so, you know, I think that’s that’s been the biggest hurdle is figuring out, you know, how to manage every sort of people issue and that usually comes with expectations setting the managing of information, what information do people need to have access to when, whether it’s clients, employees, etc. So I think I think that that covers a whole lot of different hurdles at different times, but it’s what it is we’re not in the software business. And as much as agencies want to be software companies, you know, it takes there’s exceptions, but it’s essentially their 80% 90% of the people business. So I think that’s what it is.


Yeah, it’s funny, cuz we’re literally going through that right now. It’s like, I mean, kind of been running and gunning for a while, but now it’s like printing departments at what time does this department come in when it comes to the class? Yeah. It’s all people stuff. And it’s not I mean, that’s what is hard to scale an agency is it takes more people and that’s a lot of moving parts. I’m gonna call can go away and all sudden you don’t have the finances to keep a couple people yeah. And then all sudden, you hire a big client now you need to bring people on and it’s keeping everyone in tune and there’s just so so up and down and it’s craziness. I mean, do you gonna have to deal with that as well?


Of course Yeah. And that’s that’s always tough but I you know, I think that it’s, it’s easy to kind of get a grass is always greener approach where and I tend to get this personally with friends that have like ecommerce businesses or software businesses, but then like, I spent enough time with them now on like, whatever business retreats or just hanging out, etc. And there is a dark side to that too. Like there really is a no free lunch sort of thing where I think the rough side of software and the reason it’s, I’m kind of going off on a tangent is like, the reason that it’s it’s a black belt sport is that they have to create a product and launch it and then sort of like hope people want it versus what we do. We get to innovate all the time and we get to figure out if something works very quickly. And also our margins are better in the beginning you know like in a service business generally speaking you’re you’re making money from the jump you know if you do it the right way etc so so there’s that and e commerce is all of that so so I think that that’s one thing that I’m trying to kind of edge edge into is like okay maybe there are some productized services but courses and things that we can kind of dance with that but without getting you know, to to grass is always greener. Yeah, without moving too far to that direction. Yeah. What


are your thoughts on productizing services? And


it’s funny it’s funny you should ask us I literally just reading a post is the business group of man called dynamite circle. And the big trend that I’m seeing right now is that everybody I know with a product I service is all weirdly reeling that back, they’re all moving away from product ties. And, and I feel honestly like if I’m being honest, like a little vindicated by it because part of it’s like, we Just I’ve never been a good enough, you know, kind of systems thinking organized person to productize things we’ve always been, you know, like, like, not as clean in that respect. But the other thing that I’ve always thought about that’s been validated is whenever people want to make a productized service, it’s never because that’s what the client wants us because that’s what they want, you know, they want to have this clean business that operates like a machine and like, I think there’s nothing wrong with systems and processes, but the whole idea of like, we’re gonna make this rigid structure does a really like match with being useful in a market, it’s sort of more like it’s all it always seems to be kind of directed by the person running the company, the person selling something. So, you know, that’s, that’s not to say that you can’t organize lots of systems or lots of processes and be better on that. But ultimately, like you know, I think that this is bigger than just the product I service thing is like a lot of times with agencies, especially the There’s kind of this like, there’s like a certain amount of self centeredness where it’s more about what like, we want to do cool work, we want to do stuff that excites us. We want to do the fun, fun projects, as opposed to thinking like, Where can we actually be useful in a market? And then, you know, chances are, once you’re being really useful, you’ll be very successful. And once you’re being very successful, then you’re going to have a lot of fun.


That’s my my thinking on it, too. But


no, it’s tough, because it’s like, you know, you don’t have anything productize it’s like you’re coming up with custom proposals and kind of reinventing the wheel every time. But if you’re to productize, you’re kind of boxing yourself and clients into something. And that’s what we’re trying to figure out now is how can we productize enough to where we’re not spending hours doing all this custom stuff, but not to where where we’re pigeon holing ourselves or clients on the creative side and all that, and it’s, it’s, it’s tough, but I mean, trying to find some type of balance to where it’s just a, you know, not having to go through the whole not so much discovery, but just the Again, just recreating the wheel on on customized proposals. I mean, how how do you, I guess, kind of approach it? Do you? I mean, if you aren’t productizing a whole lot, and you’re a service based business, I mean, do you just listen to where the needs are and kind of come up with something custom based off where you can fill in with value? Or how do you guys kind of approach it?


Yeah, I mean, I think ultimately, it’s about solving a particular problem, right? So, you know, for us, the problem that we’re solving is not enough meetings, at the top of the funnel, you know, it’s pretty, it’s pretty simple. So that problem can be solved a variety of different rate ways. You could do literally everything under the sun, you could do webinars and paid ads and phone and email, LinkedIn, but you don’t necessarily have to do all those things. Like one, one or two of those channels can be, you know, very effective as well as well like instead of doing everything else, so I think it’s more starting with that question as opposed to saying, Hey, I just the example I just read about it. I We’ll talk about the name of the company. But it was in the bookkeeping space. So they were there. They’re a privatized bookkeeping service that’s now considering moving moving away from that. And I think the reason they’re moving away is the problem that the cold their clients have is not bookkeeping. It’s an overall accounting solution. And you know, you need bookkeeping accounting. You need accounting to have controllership and planning, and so on. So, you know, I think the the answer for us anyway, in my experience is you have constraints, you know, you have whether it’s the channels you’re working on or a process or whatever, but you, you don’t have any you can just as long as you’re solving the problem, basically. So that’s kind of how I thought about it. And then beyond that. If you are going to focus on one vertical, I don’t think that’s the only way to specialize. I think you could probably specialized by focusing on a few similar verticals or doing some service that’s like absolutely dynamic. But I’m skeptical that because if it’s so cool, you’re going to get competition with that service like influencer marketing is the example like influencer was hot for like six months and now there’s you can’t throw a rock without hitting an influencer agency. So like now you have to be like influencer for XYZ or whatever. So. So I think that if you are going to focus on one or few similar verticals, then might be about solving about going broader to solve a particular problem, right, that’s where you might, that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do with more like, you know, courses and all this other stuff.


That’s kind of how we’re thinking about it.


How are the courses coming along? I mean, we’ve been toying with that idea as well, where it’s like, I mean, we’re doing the podcast, we got a couple other shows that are kind of going on, but it’s a lot of just giving content out there. But obviously gotta go through everything we’re, you know, we’re debating do we package everything up and basically make it to where it’s some type of course or just an education that takes it from top to bottom against trying to figure out different ways create new revenue. or whatever it may be, but while helping out, I mean, how, how does that process come along? I know that this is a hot topic for a lot, a lot of writers companies as well.


Yeah, for sure. And I’m definitely not the course expert. It’s funny because when before I started this business, like, I guess in the early days, when I was sort of just like, meandering around, I made courses about what I’d learned and account management and sales and put them on Udemy. And they’re like, still, they’re generating some some of that a passive income. So this time around, I realized I was really like, I want to do it again. It’s been years I want to circle back to courses, it’s going to be fun. I’m going to put together this course based on everything I know. And it’s gonna, it’s gonna be awesome. Everybody I talked to there really knows their stuff. And the course space was like, No, like, you need to take music, baby steps. You need to figure out really what people are up against when they’re doing this themselves. So I was like, Alright, crap, this is gonna be a lot more work. But that’s what we that’s what we did. And basically, the way we did it is we did a page A paid training course over the course of four weeks. So we did like four zoom sessions over four weeks, a Slack channel got you know, pretty, pretty in depth with people in sort of a done with you capacity. So I’d create and create, you know, create a module, give feedback on it create the next module based on a rough structure that I had. And before before we did any of that we surveyed, our audience first figured out what people are up against. So, you know, I think we’ll see if it works, maybe that that won’t work. Maybe we’ll have like a logic course to crickets. I’m completely red. Ready, but you know, that could happen. But I feel I feel more confident about it than if I if I hadn’t done this. So I think the answer is baby steps. I think it’s just sort of like wading into it and admitting that there’s a lot of unknown unknowns about what people are up against, you know, in that in that capacity. So we’ll see how it goes. Yeah.


So are you actually doing more hands on education along with like modules, self guiding modules.


It’s a good question right now, we do have like a training program, but that’s kind of ancillary to everything else. And the training is where like we’d have one of our strategists meets with our clients once every couple weeks and goes over, basically, like, is there you know, is like a handheld method where it’s helping them get set up with everything. For what we’re doing with the course I’m making it self contained, you know, to give to let people run with it, as opposed to kind of like a hybrid model, but I have heard of that hybrid model working I think it can work.


Yeah, I mean, I I think that’s where it’s at. I mean, there’s there’s a lot of courses out there, I mean, that are probably really good, where it’s you can go through and self kind of guide, but I think that Yeah, so it’s tough to scale. If you’re hands on with everyone. You can only help so many people out but something we’re helping someone with is kind of the hybrid model where it’s like you have the course it’s a it’s a price and then you can sign up for basically A private Facebook group but he comes on once a week and does more group training type of stuff. So you can kind of still still get that that IP and get that on the application. It creates reoccurring revenue for him. And then he has self guided course. And, I mean, I personally that’s where it’s all at. It’s kind of our first go around helping someone out in that space. But yeah, I love the insight. It’s, it’s Yeah, the best model.


Yeah, yeah, I think all these things are to us like a fancy word kind of like symbiotic. Like they all they all tie together. In as much as like, you know, you there’s there’s gonna be people that are and have more time than money. And then they they actually do well with what you taught them or what other things they’ve learned. And then they now can afford your your agency service, you know, or whatever. So well, or they’re just, you know, there’s, there’s just different phases in the people you’re in, within the companies that you’re selling to where they might be on a downswing for some amount of time and might be interested in just hustling and circling around. The wagons, then the course makes more sense, and then they’re ready to get it off their plate. So I think that that all of that plays together, I think the through line is just, you know, not not under estimating the importance of understanding a particular vertical a particular market, whatever it might be. Yeah,


yep. Yeah, no, I agree. And, and kind of shifting gears here a little bit. I mean, you work with agencies who work with a lot of brands and businesses, and I mean, you’re helping agencies get opportunities to speak to them. And so he had kind of a pulse on on are people investing more or less than marketing based off of, you know, your clients results, essentially. And so, with COVID, and everything that’s happened? I mean, how has that impacted I guess, agencies that you’re working with and your business and how I guess how, how have you seen people pivoting and would love just kind of a pulse on what you’re kind of seeing other things?


Yeah. So it’s a good question, and I wish I had like a concise answer, but it’s kind of all over the place.


So Guess the predictable stuff. So we have we’ve had clients in the event space and others that predictably got hit pretty hard, some of which a pause, some of which have continued and sort of pivoted, pivoted to digital pivot as additional events and that sort of thing. So there’s that. I think another thing that we’ve seen is, from our standpoint, and I’m not sure about, you know, if the deals closing have been more or less, I would guess they would, they would have to be less overall compared to like a boom period. But in terms of meetings generated, if anything, we’re getting more meetings now than normal. And I think it’s because the, you know, the Brit brands are looking for guidance, they’re looking for leadership. And that, like I said earlier, there’s there’s less of this sense of other than there used to be. So they’re more they’re more into saying, Yeah, I’ll talk to you now, you know. So, the good news is, I think the agencies whether they work with us or do it some other way that that are getting these relationships now. We’re going to be the ones that thrive, you know, the agencies that sit on their hands are the ones that won’t. So that’s that’s kind of how what we’re seeing, you know, and the other the other thru line is or the other, you know, continuation of what I was talking about is that the agencies that are specialized or focusing on a particular area are doing well. And they actually we actually have seen a number of deals closed in that in those spaces. Because, you know, like, one example recently has been in the sort of Home Services franchise space, one of our clients serves serves that area, and it has is doing quite well. And so things go to proposal and so on. I think that part of that’s because of trends, you know, people are investing in the home more, but also they’re, they’re just well positioned for that. So, so that’s, you know, so it’s a little bit all over the place, but that’s kind of kind of what we’re seeing the other the other thing and again, a lot of this is just acceleration of trends that were already in motion. It’s like fuel on the fire, or the treadmill just got turned up to 20 you know, And one of those is the move towards personalization towards niche, you know, in terms of our tactics, like what we used to be able to do is kind of like a shotgun approach and the shotguns become a sniper rifle or if you don’t want to go go with the guns it’s become it’s gone from flashlight two laser pointer basically is what we use. Yeah, use less controversially. So that’s that’s kind of so what that means a lot of times where, you know, when we’re doing outreach we’re researching, we might be doing, you know, campaign to 50 or 100 people a week, and doing research on each one referencing that research of the email. And that’s producing, you know, perhaps better returns in some cases than doing a broad approach. So that’s that’s another thing we’re saying.


No, I love it. It’s I mean, you guys are basically less quantity higher quality, you can have better conversations than just it goes to what I mean we kind of speak to with marketing rather than having one evergreen ad that speaks to anyone and everyone is happy. We segment our audiences as much as possible. So we have more data. So in public creative that speaks more to who that person is. And right seeing the conversion rates, you see, I mean, just the economics of it just make make sense, though, right,


right. And I think it’s because the bar has gotten higher for our for our attention, you know, like, there’s just more competition for attention. So you have to work harder to get it and working harder means going after fewer people with more firepower or more more conscientiousness. So yeah, that’s kind of what we’ve what we’ve seen work. Yeah.


And it’s been interesting. I mean, going through all this, it’s like, right when COVID outbreak happened, it’s like, tons of panic. People pull back on marketing. But one thing that I’ve been noticing is we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries and stuff like that, but just people getting more digital. It just seems like it blows my mind. How many companies are still so traditional in terms of just print media and billboards and all that type of stuff. And so if I don’t know, overall, how marketing budgets are doing right Anything like that, but it seems like there’s a an uptick in just wanting to do more digital. I mean, a couple of clients, I mean, their their budget came down but of the budget, I mean, a bit more human digital. So overall, we’re actually spending more on digital than before all this happened. But the the traditional is down and so it’s mean, I’ve been in digital marketing for a while and it’s I’ve been, I mean, voicing the powers I’ve had, I mean, you can track it, the analytics and all that. So I’m excited to kind of see the the expedited adoption of digital transformation, I guess. So.


Yeah, it’s it’s funny because we’ve, you know, we’ve been perhaps on the benefit again, to some of our clients that are in the digital space, which is obviously like, our main focus. And I guess what I’m like, what I’m wondering about is, is it is it actually a trend towards digital or is it just PPP money could have been thrown around? Yeah, you know, so who knows I’m I think it’s probably a bit of both Yeah, they got it. So, yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see where it all goes, I guess like what, and this is something I’ve talked about, you know, when I had Rory Sutherland on our podcast, and he’s just, he’s fantastic. But his whole thing is like, the signaling value, like they’re signaling value and doing big bold stuff that you can’t measure, you know, if you have a television commercial, you can’t measure it. But what it’s saying to everyone is, I can afford to put on a television commercial, you know. So I’m just wondering, I mean, obviously, televisions not going away, but I’m just wondering where that signaling value goes. And I think eventually, it’s going to be events, because you’re in person events, because in order to hold an in person event, and I’m talking like a year down the road, it’s going to be such a flex, you’re going to have to have so much stuff in order to be able to say we can safely bring you into this event. It’s going to be like a show of strength. So I think that that I think in person events are going to become like the Superbowl commercials and billboards of the world or something.


I agree. I mean, even before this, I mean, I was huge on just events, even if you’re not an event company, I mean, just creating some type of events that create in person engagement. I mean, it’s, it’s, everyone’s like, I need to either be doing digital or in person, it’s like use digital to create in person experiences, because those in person experiences now, the people that are there are selling themselves to each other, you know, at your event, and so, I mean, I, I’ve been huge on them before, but I mean, to your point, I didn’t even think of that. I mean, just, if you can put it on and have the finances and logistics figured out and all that it’s just like, look at who we are, we’re obviously you know, we know we’re doing a job. So it helps build that brand trust and I guess equity from from a consumer perspective.


Yeah, and, you know, one of our clients that I think is pivoting pretty successfully are in the event space is, is doing lots of hybrid stuff. So they’re, you know, they might have a digital event with a targeted group of people and then they’re sending them you know, goodies or swag before or stuff that’s going to apply to the Then or whatever. So I do think there’s, there’s this opportunity for hybrid models and, and also, one thing that I was talking about with this client was that he might have made this point is that, you know, if if an in person event has issues, if there’s like a hurdle and an in person event or the caterer is late, you can kind of figure it out, you know, you kind of like hustle and go pick up bagels or something. But if the digital thing gets scurry, like, it’s just just gonna say, Now I’m gonna, like, turn this off and go go for a walk. So the, the margin of error is a lot smaller. So I think that, you know, as the innovation goes up with digital events, it’s gonna require more expertise, and just people that figure out how to do it the right way, you know, beyond just zoom. Yeah. Or whatever. Yeah,


no, I agree. And so I mean, as we kind of look at the future into your crystal ball, I mean, what are some of the things that you guys are doing? What are you guys as a company just what are some of the big goals that you have in the next six months? You know, as we’re kind of navigating this and What this new norm looks like? I mean, what do you guys kind of have on your radar?


Yeah, so I mean, internally, our our six month, you know, goal is basically first to continue to like serve our clients well and in May, you know, navigate all this stuff, which means kind of keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s working what’s not and be able to pivot quickly. So that’s, that’s priority number one. I think priority number two is giving more, you know, giving more useful assets to other agencies that might not be able to take us on yet, just not leaving, like agencies that are starting to starting out or smaller in the lurch and I think that’s going to be more about the done with you as opposed to done for you models. So the course you know, more content, that sort of thing. And, and beyond that, just our podcasts, you know, I think that that’s just been so valuable in ways that are bigger than the you know, leads or money or anything and talking to people such as yourselves you’re having interesting conversations, figuring out what’s going on is a quote unquote now more than ever kind of thing. So that’s kind of kind of what’s on our radar. Well, ya


know, we’re we’re big on a lot of content production in the near future. I mean, we’ve been rolling out a couple different things but yeah, I think I mean contents always been King. I think figuring out how to reverse engineer content production to who you’re trying to go after is where the new new King I guess it’s and so as we’re trying to, or all the different people we want to reach and trying to produce content specifically for them. And so yeah, that’ll be fun.


Yeah, yeah, I think so.


It’ll definitely won’t be boring. If nothing else. I mean,


as we kind of wrap up, I mean, you work with a lot agencies, there’s a there’s anything that you can kind of say to them any advice when it comes to agencies and how they’re navigating now or how to acquire new customers this apply to pretty much every type of business. I mean, what, what kind of are the big takeaways or pieces of advice that you’d Yeah.


Yeah, it’s there’s so much.


I always like when I get questions like that. It’s hard to be concise. And it’s also hard to not just be overly preachy, because I think that, you know, a lot of agencies have a lot to teach as well. So I guess I would say like, you know, take a step back, take a breath, go outside, whatever, and think about where you have been useful historically, and where you can be useful and then get focused on that and then get everything else off your plate, you know?


No, that’s literally the biggest thing I’m working on now is how to how to delegate a bit more, but, I mean, it just goes back to the roots. It’s what problem are you trying to solve? And how can you solve it and just laser focus on that, and that’s where success is going to come?


Right. Right. Absolutely. Yeah.


And beyond that, you know, if people are interested in kind of learning more, what we’re doing is shameless plug sort of sort of deal here. But we we did just put out a webinar and it’s it’s not Very pitchy so it goes through copy it goes through how we’ve shifted up strategies and what we’re thinking about across different channels and I think that there’s there’s things that you can run with wider right away so if anybody’s interested in that is basically our site sales schema.com that sales and schemas and schematic comm slash crisis prospecting one word


not to be overly scary that’s


I love it I’m definitely check it out. I mean, how can people find you on social media?


So to be honest, in my detriment, I’m not super active on like Twitter or anything like that. Maybe I should be but LinkedIn is good. I don’t remember my own URL, but sales schema.com or Dan at sales schema calm is the best place to reach me and email emails, my friend. I’m good about email. What’s good about the others?


Awesome. Well, yeah, we’ll definitely include that. That link in the show notes and allow anyone to kind of click and navigate Over there, but I really appreciate your time. I mean, it was just awesome to kind of hear just how you’re helping other agencies out and just kind of get your perspective on on how things are just going on the marketing side of things. Yeah, yeah. Likewise awesome, really appreciate Awesome. Thank you.

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