569: How This Agency Aimed Small to Get Big Results w/ Reid Carr

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Reid Carr, President and CEO at Red Door Interactive.

... a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BETB growth show, a podcast dedicated to help you BETB executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with read car he is the president and CEO a red door interactive read. How you doing today? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. I'm stoked to chat with you today. Read. We're going to be talking about this idea of aiming small to get big and really how focus creates growth, and you guys have done an exceptional job of this. But before we get into the story and kind of the sixteen years of growth that you've experienced at red door, I would love for our listeners to just understand a bit of context. Is Know What is red or interactive? What are you in your team up to over there? Absolutely. Yeah, so the high level, we're not out of aving agency, and I mean we help brands make their mark and connect to their consumers through the various channels that they have at the disposal. So trying to tell effective stories, make sure they're informed by good decisionmaking and data and then connecting the brand meaningful ways to consumers that are are going to care a lot about them. I love it. I love it, and so as we were talking about this, this idea read offline, I was really fascinated by what you're saying and how you have deployed this idea of aiming small to get big over the course of, you know, the sixteen years of you running your agency. Can you walk us back to sixteen years ago you're starting baby business,...

...and take us back to that moment and walk us through kind of the stages of as you're figuring out that, man, the smaller I aim, the bigger results I get. And Yeah, we'll kind of start there and go yeah, absolutely, and it's it's fun to think back to those those early days, you know, because if you have a lot of decisions you have to make and then one of the ones it's always pressing on your mind is how am I going to get more business and how I'm going to kind of keep this thing going, because it was a big wrist starting it in the first place. Yep. So, you know, one of the bigger risks we can take is is certainly saying look, there's a lot of things we shouldn't be doing, because it feels like you should be doing absolutely everything to bring your revenue in the door, and I think that's a lot of times. I think one of the first mistakes that even established brands, not just the mini brands, make, as they say, man, I need to appeal to more people or more things so that I can give more business or get any, any kind of leads whatsoever. And it takes a lot of discipline and probably a little bit of our borne to say, you know what, now, there are things that I am going to be really good at and I'm not going to accept everything and my say except the moon. First Start, it's not that you know people are beating down your door necessarily, so it's not that you having to refuse so many things, but what are you really going to pursue? And and you don't necessarily know day one, what's going to be perfect at the time. So what was the first thing with you read? What was the first kind of moment in the life of the business where you said, now we're not going to take this opportunity because we're focusing here. Yeah, I mean, so what we were starting to understands is what was going to be so critical and marketers worlds at the time, which was obviously the transformation and movement toward for digital. So thankfully, I think we were at the right era in time where it really didn't take a ton of it experience to have a lot of a relative experience in that space. So, but really that was our focus, was helping people understand what we felt was the their Internet presence, so getting them thinking a little bit bigger about where they were existing online and how they were showing up for...

...consumers that were starting to show up there, there and roads. So what was really important to as again, and the funny thing is the ironic irony of the worldwide web in the sense that you could reach anyone anywhere and then conceptually do work for anyone anywhere. Aren't our first key strategy was really focused on our own backyard, which you know, some of the early advisors and people who feel like, Oh man, you're just starting up, you need to do business with anyone anyhow. However, business can be done. Our focus was really in our own backyards. I felt like we had to earn it for the people who are closest to us. And the fact is, as anyone knows, in marketing it's some of this is about repetition. So how do you stay in front of enough people handful of times when you're only a few people? At the time, there's only four of US starting things out. So it was, you know, local events and and actually meeting people, facetoface, but focusing on the right kinds of businesses that we're going to need, the kinds of services and work that we were doinging and then, in particular service face businesses like ours, like an advertising or many others. A lot of those key clients were saying, Hey, what's work that you know for someone who looks what's work you've done for someone who looks exactly like me? So building a portfolio of work in particular categories was pretty critical. Also, that's the next one could come in the door and say, okay, yeah, I've seen you've done something for someone who looks like me. So we had to really start understanding where we wanted to go and what we're good kinds of clients that we're going to be scalable into. The next client that we wanted to work with. Gott it and again, doing it in our own backyard, despite being available to anyone in the world, was really what our first strategy was. Got It. You guys decided to focus locally there in San Diego, meeting people at events, maybe even doing doing your own events. What what then? kind of the next evolution in the story of kind of aiming small to get big? You you tasted the results...

...as you started to focus in on San Diego. What came next? Yeah, so then you start to you know, as we start doing work for a handful of more more companies, you start to recognize what ones were having greater success with the kinds of work that we were doing so tactically, you know, and in terms of building sites and doing Seo and doing some of the other tactics that we had at our disposal. Who was getting the best, the greatest benefit from what we were doing, and really start kind of paring that down by industry, by size by, you know, handful of criteria that really started to conceptually limit the world. So even then cutting it another another way, which is saying, okay, here are the businesses that are available to us in San Diego, of which there are still many, many businesses, but then cutting that even further. And so, you know what, we were having a lot of success with, you know, at the time, early on, with some of these adventure backed companies who were having to scale and certain kind of new domains and compete with bigger companies who were maybe laying behind. So we started kind of defining what those criteria, the criteria was. That worked really well for us and we're getting the most benefit because then at the more benefit that they get from us, the more that just the happier they are with us and more likely they were then to refer us to other people. will be a great reference for us who are for other people to them to check us out. So very quickly we had we limited our world. You know, it kind of pass forward even further when we started saying okay, with another level of clients that we're working really well with, we limited our worlds. Got Forty different companies in all San Diego said, these are forty companies that we think are good fit for us. Got It. But the work that you were doing for those forty companies was making you really attractive to other companies that looked exactly like those forty companies. Well, exactly. So, yeah, the handful of companies at that point that we were working with. And then, yeah, where what these other forty might be a good fit for us? But the profound benefit of that, of having forty companies to pursue. You know, think about this.

You know in your own, anybody's world right now in terms of their relationships. So somebody walks up and says, Hey, do you know anybody in these marketing services, you might be all out. They think about it. I don't know who do I know people in marketing, as in you put a lot on the person you're asking. Compared to you. If I walk up to you and say hey, you know anyone at this company, you say, Oh, I do, I know Jo. You know whether or not they're in marketing or anything like that. Sa Hey, would you be willing, you know you, we've had a good experience with you. Would you be willing to just connect me with that person? So I can kind of get to know them a little bit. Yeah, but it gives us. gave us a ton of runway on that, because we weren't trying to boil the ocean, we weren't having to hire all sorts of sales people to pound the payment and in every corner of the country. I mean he was starting to build these personal relationships with people and then we could get the reps in front of these people. That build trust. You were at events where they were at your hosting events where they that were built around their needs, because it's pretty easy, once you struck to really focus on an industry or a type of client, to go, Oh, you know, these are the things they're dealing with right now. So I can crack an event just for one or two companies. Yeah, despite having fifty people show up forward, really, at the end of the day, was just for the sake of these two companies that were really trying to court right now, and if I get one of them, we're great. Yeah, the whole thing paid off. I love that. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Sangram vasure from terminus, but a few years ago he started this this movement called flip my funnel and it sounds really similar to what you're talking about. It's just this I yeah, you know, we can do things, we can create content to try to attract the masses, but the reality is there only, you know, a very small percentage of those people that we attract will be the type of people that we're wanting to work for. So instead, if you flip the funnel and you say, Hey, I'm going to go out and I'm going to find these forty target accounts or these forty companies in San Diego that I know we could we could just crush it for, then...

...we're going to hand to hand combat each one of these forty. You can start to get real creative with how you engage each one of those forty companies, like what you guys did and prove to be successful with. So I love this idea. There's just so much more targeted focus on the exact client that you know that you can get results for, as opposed to spending all these effort trying to attract people that you know aren't really your ideal fit. Yeah, no, exactly right. And I think what I always tell peoples like you know, they're concerns like wow, well, what if none of them want to buy right now, or something like that. It's like look of the day. With all that focus and if you have a certain track record and history, you're going to get collateral damage to if you're aiming at the Bulls eye, you know there's still some people out there you didn't know existed. You are still a good fit that might reach out where you might because you're starting to build a network and starting to build a reputation within a category. So it's not like that all of a sudden there's just this other world is no longer available to you either, but you're that's just not where your focus is and sometimes you just get a happy accident. Yep, I love it. I love it read. Is there any other before we am going to start asking this is the first episode where I'm going to start asking a question at the end of each interview. But before I get to that question, is there anything else around this idea of aiming small to get big that you think listeners should walk away with before we we close out the interview? Yeah, I mean it just the thing that you know want people in are stayings. It is so easy. Is the knee jerk reaction is to kind of say hey, I need to make myself available to more people. In avoiding that knee jerk reaction is probably at the heart of things that. Certainly leadership has to has to do. But once they start to kind of get get themselves immerse in the world of their ideal customer, it just amazing how quickly the world actually opens up even further. And so you know, as we will, it's we're not just local anymore and we've gone national as well, of because we've earned that right, and we and we continue to...

...refine in greater detail a smaller focus on a type of pussor that works really well, of which there are still thousands out there. So it's not like, you know, the world just gets a lot smaller faster in a very useful way, but it's still, is us, pretty darn big world. So I'm not trying to say that people are going to get limiting themselves. I think it's a waiting to grow big now. So read. The last question that I'm going to ask, that I'm going to start asking in each of these interviews, is what, what would you say is the legacy that you want to leave behind, so you know one of the biggest things for us red door is the idea of celebrating the individual on a lot of different levels, and so the legacy that hopefully we're doing here within our company, but then outside, outside of our company, film tropically and beyond, is really helping people pursue their dreams, understand who they are as an individual and what's going to make them happy in the work that they do that occupy so much of their life on a day to day basis. So film tropically, we support reading programs because we believe that, and certainly those reading programs that are below under third grade, as they say, kids who they learn to read up till third grade and then they read to learn third grade and beyond. And when you're able to read, your world opens up and then you can explore things that are meaningful to you. So you know, we take that as a pilone profit platform, but we bring that kind I think you're internally as well at the company and making sure that people really do find their passions. We operate from a place of strength. If you've ever been exposed to the strength finder, YEP, and a lot of different mechanisms that say, let's identify who we each are as individuals, bring ourselves together to collaborate and respect one another and the end of the day, celebrate these individuals, allow people live the like say, one of the so hopefully, since some way or supporting that, at facilitating that and building a philosophy here that will endore well pass my life time. I love it. Read. This has...

...been fantastic. I really appreciate your time today. If there's somebody listening to this and they want to stay connected with you or they want to learn more about red door, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Absolutely so. For Red Door, our website is red door DOT Biz. So our DD oret Bei z. They want to follow me on twitter, I cowboy. I say I cowboy. So a whole story that goes along with that. But but that's a place. You can find me on twitter and certainly anyone ever wants to just send me an email. It's I'm at our car door, DOP is, our sea. Are Are DOT Biz. So happy to connect with anyone that way as well. Awesome. Read. Well, I'm not going to let you go before you explain the eye cowboy. We handle so. So explain that real quick. Yeah, so I harped on twitter pretty much. You know that right as it surface and it was kind of this era we were, you know, it's it's all in context of that day that you're popping on there. What's top of mine or having a conversation about the web being a wild wild west and we're at the forefront and your hired gun. They to kind of help people through it. So this whole Internet cowboy thing was like of a topic of the day that ultimately was like yeah, I cowboy and I we thought thought it was cute. Didn't realize twitter was really going to be as big as it ultimately was, and so we just sort of, you know, went with it. So I grabbed my actual name at we can car, but I don't put anything there. I don't know, I just I still have a passion for the eye cowboy thing and and and this perpetual reminder of these things. It's moments and time that you know. It just you never know when it's going to turn into the big thing that it is. So it's just I feel like it's emblematic about in somewhey of it. I love that story. Thanks for Cherry read. All right. Well, Kay, you got a quick connect with read on twitter. Eye Cowboy, you know, shoot him an email, check out their website, reddoor dot Biz, and read. Thank you. Thank you so much for your time. If you're a BETB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media...

...examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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