Our Business Was Barely Surviving (and the 4 Reasons We're Finally Thriving)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

All right, another BB growth solo episode. I've realized that some of you guys listening aren't aware that this is James doing these doing these solo episodes. So just to clarify, this is James Carberry, one of the cohosts of BB growth, and these solo episodes that you'll hear on Saturday are always going to come from me. So all throughout the week we're doing interviews with VP's of marketing, CEOS CMOS at BTB companies and then on the weekend I do one of these episodes where I really just process through what I'm thinking, how I'm growing, what I'm learning. Sometimes it's personal, most of the time it has it relates to business. So all relating to growth in some way, shape or form. And in today's episode going to talk about a really significant change that has happened in our business. I wrote about on Linkedin today and and so I guess by the time you're hearing this I will live. Written about it a few days ago on Linkedin. PS, if we're not already connected on Linkedin, make sure to send me a connection request. That's that's where I spend the bulk of my social media time. Starting to get into instagram at James Carberry, by the way, but spending a lot of time on Linkedin, seeing norms amount of engagement there, and so we'll continue to invest my time there. But regardless, I did my episode today on really the growth of our own business. Really, even up to last year we were we were struggling as a business. If I'm completely honest. We were closing about one deal every two months and and we weren't retaining customers like we should have. If I'm totally honest, that really sucks to say,...

...but our retention was was bad. And fastward to today. We've closed. I'm filming our I'm recording this on a Wednesday night, and so we have closed six deal so far this week alone. So it closed three deals on Monday, two deals on Tuesday, one deal today. So in our in our churn is in a much better spot and so want to want to spend this episode talking about for reasons, why we went from, you know, barely surviving to, you know, seven eight months later, really, you know, I I would say, for the first time in the life of the business, really thriving. And the first reason it has to do with pricing. We got really serious about examining our pricing. So there are two guys on Linkedin that if you're not following you should be, Patrick Campbell and and Patrick Hodgden. They do videos and written content on linked in just about every day talking about pricing. Their company has coming and called profit well. Also they have a consulting arm called price intelligently, and they just have their finger on the pulse of pricing strategy and they talk often about how most companies don't spend any more than fifteen hours total in the life of the business on pricing. But pricing is such a massive growth lever in your business. So if you're not spending time thinking about how you're pricing your service, you're you're probably missing out on an enormous amount of revenue. I know we were. When I really started doing a hard look at our pricing why we weren't closing deals, I realized that our pricing was just simply too high for a lot...

...of the folks that were being attracted to us. And if we adjusted our service a bit, you know, not as you know, not as to a not as high touch of a service, we could open up of new opportunities with with a lot of different companies just by offering another another service, another type of service. It was obviously similar, but but a little bit different. And so when we when we did that, when we, you know, started emphasizing our lower tier offering on our sales calls, we all of a sudden went from closing, you know, two deals every one month to closing, like I said, this week alone we've closed six deals and it's only Wednesday. And so I never would have experienced that had I not taken a hard look at our pricing and attributed the reason why we weren't closing more deals to our pricing model. So pricing is number one. The second reason I think we've experienced enormous growth in our own business is that I've been hitting the streets. If you've been listening to the show for a while, you know that we've been doing these bb growth dinners and so far this year I've done these dinners in Orlando and Boston and Denver, in Austin. I actually getting on a flight tomorrow to go to Salt Lake City. Next month I will be in Atlanta. And where else am I going? I'm going to San Francisco in June. I forget where else I'm going going to Atlanta and somewhere else in May. Losing track of it. But all that to say, I the reason I think that in person, doing these in person...

...little micro events, has been so effective because it has led to tangible revenue for us. I mean, I've gone to these dinners and then days later we've had new dollars in our bank account because of, you know, different conversations that I've had that have either led to a referral or led to somebody saying, Hey, we want to start doing a podcast. And and so I can attribute thousands of dollars in revenue to these dinners that I've been doing these last few weeks. And and so I just the reason I think that is is because you can create so much trust in an in person interaction and and particularly, you know, when they're in a when you're in a smaller setting. So I do these dinners with no more than you know, there's no more than six or seven of us at these dinners, so it's very intimate. We're not having conversations about our service. It's not a glorified sales pitch. When I tell people about these dinners and they try to emulate them they always try to turn them into a sales pitch for their business, and it's not a sales pitch. You're getting likeminded people together to have great conversation. The magic is in the fact that you're building authentic relationships with people. And when you have authentic relationships with people that actually want to do business with you and they'll ask you about what you do, what you do naturally is going to come up, but you can't force it. You have to you have to be focused on creating an authentic and genuine relationship where you add value to those people. And by organizing these dinners, I've been able to connect be to be marketers to other beb marketers. I'm seen as the connector, which obviously paints me in a very valuable light. But simultaneously I'm also deepening relationships with people that can ultimately buy our service. So I'm doing these in person events. I'm going hard on these in person events. I'm planning to do more and more of these. I want to be in at least two cities a month, going to Toronto, thinking about a Montreal ladiest year,...

...some getting out of the country to do these, and so so in person events get you know, getting face to face with the community that I've built through this podcast or that we've built through this podcast. Is is the second reason why I think we're experiencing the growth that we're experiencing. The third reason, three out of four. Number three is our process. So we have made some pretty significant changes to our sales process and our operational process, how we deliver our service to clients. And on the sales process side, we have started adjusting when we engage the sales conversation. So before, if again, if you've been listening to this for for long at all, you know that each of the guests that we feature on our show, ninety nine percent of the time, there and ideal buyer for us. There they're an ideal client. We use our show for business development as well as to create great content, but the bulk of our business comes from guests that we feature on the show. We build a relationship with that guest and then, you know, they end up wanting to do a podcast and where the people they go to because they know us. But before, I would say last year, we because we changed our sales process in January. But before January we were interviewing these ideal clients on our podcast. We'd let the you know, we'd let the interview ind I would wait until the podcast was alive and then I would wait a couple weeks after their episode went live before I engage them in a sales conversation. And we have shifted that now, so immediately following the interview, so I hit, you know, the end record button and as soon as the interview is over now I bring you know. I asked them, Hey, have you guys ever thought about having your own podcast for us in our business it makes sense because they you know, they obviously just went...

...through a podcast interview. So it's a pretty natural question to say, Hey, have you guys ever thought about doing your own show? And you know, sometimes people say, Oh yeah, we thought about it, but it's not really a high priority and I'll say okay, well, you know that's what we do as a business. We produce shows for BEDB company. So if it's ever something that you want to do, let me know. But more often than not people like Oh yeah, we've really been want to get a bit get a highcast up house. On a interview actually earlier this week with somebody those like, oh my gosh, I've actually been, you know, looking for a production team to handle this. If you know of anybody, let me know. And I just kind of laughed and I said, well, that's actually what we do. We produce PODCASTS for Bubycomanies. It's all we do, day in a day out. She was like, oh my gosh, this is incredible. You know, that doesn't happen all the time. I wish that happened all the time, but it didn't. But all that to say, had I waited with that particular guest and not mentioned that we produced podcasts at the end of the interview, she may have gone with one of our competitors and those you know, three to four weeks after the interview. The other thing I've noticed is when I bring it up immediately following the interview, I'm striking while the iron is hot. With our relationship. They've just gone through an interview. They you know, I've just made them look like a rock star through the course of the interview. So they're obviously you know I I'm in I'm top of mine. For them. They just had a fifteen minute conversation with me about their expertise and and so they at that point think I'm pretty great because I've made them look pretty great. And so by mentioning Hey, we can do this for you too, it's I'm actually having, getting to have an actual conversation about how they're thinking about it, maybe any objections that they have to it. We get to talk about distribution and how we distribute shows, particularly on linkedin. So we get to share a lot of the benefits and share a customer stories right there on the call. I'm not having to create I'm not having to send an email,...

...you know, two to four weeks later saying hey, you know, if you guys ever thought about doing a podcast and then trying to get them back on another call to talk about doing a show for them, I'm able to have that right there now. I don't quite know that that that would work for every business. If you're thinking about deploying a podcast strategy primarily for bizdev initiating the sales conversation at the end of the interview might might actually do more harm than good. It might come across, you know, Batan switchy like, Oh, you only ask me to be on the show so you could sell me your web design service or you know whatever. It works for us because what we're selling. They literally just went through and so it's a natural segue. So be very mindful of that. If you can't think of a very tactful, natural way to engage the sales conversation post interview, I would I would suggest that you don't start doing that yet until you figure out a way to do it in a way that's natural, because I would hate for you to degradate your your brand by making someone think that the only reason you ask them to be on the show is to ultimately try to sell them your thing. I don't have a very salesy personality. I'm I'm not very pushy, you know, I don't come across that way, and so when I bring it up at the end of the at the end of the interview, I've never, I've never had, you know, negative feedback from anyone. Obviously, maybe I rubbed somebody their on way and they didn't mention anything to me, but feel like I'm pretty aware of that kind of stuff and so I want I do want to say that caveat, though, but that has been an enormous reason why we've been able to close so many more deals this year. And then the reason we've been able to retain clients. Is goes back to process. So I mentioned our sales process. Changing that sales process being engaging the sales conversation immediately after the podcast interview. The second pieces are operational process and so tightening up how we on board new clients, you...

...know, owning much more of the process as opposed to of letting our clients do you know, the guest outreach for the first few guests or you know, different things like that. By tightening up that operational process and getting our shows launched for clients much faster, we are transitioning them into a weekly rhythm of their show very shortly after, you know, they pay that launch in voice and when we can get them into that weekly cadence of doing a show, the quicker that happens, the more likely that client is to to retain and to stick around. And so we it's it seems like a no brainer, and I'm sure a lot of you are listening. Is Right with dudge James. Of course. Why wouldn't you have done that last year? I'm an idiot, in short, and that's that's why we weren't doing it last year and we had you know, just the way that our service was priced. We included a lot of episodes in the setup fee and to get through those, to get through those episodes, was taking an enormous amount of time because of the allocation of who is responsible for what between our client and US and as a result, ended up taking a really long time to get shows launched and it ultimately led to customers not wanting to renew once the show is actually live. Kind of the the momentum was gone and and they're just like our I will get these episodes up and then move on. So all that to say, fixing our sales process. You know it will never be fixed, while always be tweaking it and making it better, but making that adjustment to our sales process, as well as fixing our on boarding process, it's made an enormous difference. I talked about those two things on Linkedin, so if you've been listening up to this point, you already had my linkedin post.

Obviously can elaborate more because this is a podcast. But the fourth thing I did not talk about, and the the fourth thing is that we have just been really, really, really patient, and I don't think that's something that can be overstated when you know we we fully committed to the podcast strategy, as you know, as our business development approach, really out of necessity. You know, we couldn't afford to spend tenzero a month on facebook ads. I couldn't afford to go drop a hundred grant it, you know, on a trade show booth. You know a lot of a lot of the things that funded, you know, VC backed companies can do to win new business. I simply couldn't do and and so, as a result, we committed to the podcast strategy. We committed to asking our ideal clients to be a guest on our show, building relationship, build building rapport with those people and and then nurturing those relationships that scale on Linkedin by me publishing content five days a week on Linkedin. I'm I'm effectively nurturing relationship, staying top of mind with these relationships that we've been building over the last two, two and a half years at scale. And so by being patient, I mean there were so many times, there were so many times that I thought, what the heck are we doing? Like, why, why are we you know, why are we doing this? This isn't working. But so many of the deals that we've closed this year have come from people that were guests on our show, you know, a year and a half ago, two years ago, and and and that's the upside of being patient and playing the long game is that when you when you are building real relationships with people and you...

...authentically engage with those people, regardless of whether you're you know, they decide to buy your service, you know, a few weeks after your your interview with them or not. When you build relationships like that, it just comes back to you. Like I've experienced that firsthand, and so pen probably so, off the top of my head, four or five deals so far this year that were guests of our show years ago, like we very first started the podcast. Want the deal we close today actually was I think one of I think was like episode in in the s or some s or s of beb growth. We're now on like, I don't know, episode the close to seven hundred now. And and so being patient is is the fourth reason why I think we've experienced the growth, the growth that we have. It was not easy. I wanted to hang in the hang up the towel. If I was interviewing my life right now, she could tell you how how many times I was I was on the brink of saying, you know, I can't, I can't do this anymore. Like I'm sick of barely paying myself anything. I'm sick of every first of the month trying to figure out if we can pay our contractors or not. Like it's too exhausting, it's too it's too mentally draining. I feel defeated way too much. I almost hung it up. I can't tell you how many times. If you subscribe to my other podcast, the Crock Pot, I'm sure you will hear several episodes where I'm where I'm just down and out and and feeling like I have no clue what I'm doing. I don't know if we can make it another another month. But by the grace of God, you know, I'm a...

...man of faith. I fully believe that God is sovereign and and that he he is, you know, the source of my strength and my fortitude to stick through it. By the grace of God, I was able to stick through it and and now experiencing something that, you know, it seemed like would never come. Insane growth. If you know part I was telling my wife tonight. You know I've part of me feels like it still feels like a failure because for a guy that does a show called be tob growth, interviewing hundreds of people about how to achieve growth, here I am almost seven hundred episodes in and am just now starting to feel like you know, we're experiencing incredible, incredible growth in the business. We've had our our highest highest revenue months this month and and I think that I think it's only going to get bigger from here. And so all that to say, those are those are the four things we've done that have led to the growth that we are currently experiencing and I hope that this has been super helpful for you.

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