Understanding Sales to Boost Your Agency

Dec 02, 2021

Most agency owners realize that sales is not for everyone. Understanding your strengths as an owner is incredibly important, and building a team around you that complements your talents is a surefire pathway to success. 

In today’s episode of the Amplified Agency podcast, we will discuss:

  • The Sales Ability
  • Ways to Boost Your Sales Savvy
  • Building a Team
  • Taking Steps Backward to Move Forward

I sat down with sales strategist for OMG Commerce, Chris Brewer, to discuss the importance of understanding sales as it pertains to your agency, and how agency owners can develop or outsource their sales strategies. 

The Sales Ability

Chris discusses that having a knack for sales is not the case for everyone. While some, like Chris, have sales in their blood, stemming from parents and grandparents who could sell any and everything to any and everyone, not all agency owners were given the same abilities. 

Not having that innate sales ability is not the end of the world. One thing agency owners must do in order to be successful is accept their strengths and weaknesses, address them and figure out what approach is best for their agency. 

However, if you're determined to master sales, have a listen to how co-founder of Repstack Azhar Siddiqui became a sales expert and grew his company to seven figures in one year.

 Ways to Boost your Sales Savvy 

Taking the time to work on your craft, like training and courses to give you more of a sales edge can be incredibly useful. Chris shares a story about listening to Brian Tracy’s “Psychology of Selling Program” on tape seven times as a prerequisite to a sales job. While that may seem like overkill, Chris really began to truly understand sales because of that experience. 

Seeking out opportunities to learn and better understand how to sell to potential clients could change the trajectory of your agency. Events and seminars that cater to owners who want to better understand the sales process are worthwhile investments. And, of course, practice makes perfect. Try making cold calls to practice pitching your agency and truly selling the business you’ve built. 

But is that enough?

Building a Team

It’s ok to accept if you just don’t do well with sales. It may not be your strong suit, no matter how much practice and training you get. And that’s ok, as long as you have a plan to make up for what you may lack. 

Building a solid team is essential, but even more necessary if you struggle with the sales aspects of your agency. Chris shared with me that there are several ways to build a sales team for your agency and fill any gaps. Interns and hiring people from Fiverr are cost-effective routes you can consider to help boost sales for your agency.

Some agency owners are hesitant to outsource. They feel the need to attempt to do everything themselves, or they fear an outside hire won’t represent their agency well. When you hire new people to boost the sales of your agency, you have the opportunity to mold and shape them to best fit and represent your agency. 

Investing in people who have the skills and abilities that can take your agency to the next level can be one of your best moves as an owner.  

You can also consider referral partnerships as you build your team. Know another agency or business owner who has complementing strengths and skills that you can partner up with and refer relevant leads to each other? That’s a perfect opportunity to grow your business, support a fellow owner and develop a network or team that your agency needs. 

If team building is what you really need right now, we think you might really benefit from listening in to our conversation with agency owner Christ LaFay about Understanding the Importance of Creating a Solid Team for Your Agency.

Taking Steps Backward to Move Forward

Being an agency owner can be overwhelming and exhausting. If at any point, being an owner turns out to be more than you bargained for, and you realize focusing on sales may be too much for you, you have options. 

It’s not a bad idea to take the knowledge and experience you’ve gathered as an agency owner and use it to join another agency. You could be incredibly successful working for an agency as an employee instead of juggling all the stresses of being an owner. 

And here’s the kicker: You can always use THAT experience working for another agency to return to agency ownership. 

Getting some practice and experience in an environment where you’re not in control of everything could help build the confidence you may need to become more sales competent. 

Chris reiterates that you will better understand what kind of team you would like to create for your agency, and you will be more prepared to run your agency again. 

Not to mention working for another agency may help create a referral partnership to help nudge your agency in the right direction. 

Check out today’s episode of the Amplified Agency podcast to learn more from Chris Brewer and how he has perfected his sales strategy.

And if you want to stay updated with conversations from other successful agency owners, subscribe to The Amplified Agency. We'd love to have you join us!


Transcript:

Natalie Shahmiri
Chris, hello. Welcome to the amplified agency podcast. How are you today?

Chris Brewer
Hey, Natalie. I'm doing well. It is super awesome to be here.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, I'm so happy that you're joining us you have such a wealth of information that I am so excited to dig into this is going to be amazing. So for our listeners, could you just introduce yourself some of your history where you're at today?

Chris Brewer
Sure, Natalie, I am a 52 year old digital entrepreneur. I know that seems shocking, but it's been out a while. So I can remember the days when I owned one of the first dot coms for the sign business, it was actually called FindASign.com. And I was ordering internet marketing from Corey Rudl, who was an expert back then. And the bandwidth on the internet was so terrible, all the training was delivered in binders and boxes and paper files. I was doing Google ads when it was called Overture, if you don't believe me, Google it. So I'm a bit gray haired veteran of the digital marketing world. But prior to that, I was kind of a serial entrepreneur, I had worked a bit in, in corporate America doing national sales, I had come out of some professional sports background, and somebody said, you know, you'd be good in sales. And so I headed in that direction, then that ended up into a job selling billboards in Branson, Missouri, that turned into FindASign.com, sold that business after growing it into a couple million dollars a year. And then I got into direct mail. So I've worked with local businesses a lot with that had a little coupon magazine that was direct mailed out my, my community. And then without going into the long gory details of of fooling myself into thinking I needed a break from being an entrepreneur and going to work for corporate America, which was an 18 month, not fun, ride. And it was not a joy ride. But then, I happened upon a marketing conference, you may remember some of your listeners may remember Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, they had the Marketing Super conferences. And I mentioned my business partner, hey, I'm going or maybe he had a ticket. I don't remember, we ended up sharing a hotel room. And we heard a guy speak there on Google Maps for local businesses. I told him, "Hey, I think this could be a really good business." He said, "Hey, let's try it out. See how it goes." And that was how we got, got started. And I guess to wrap it up, currently today, I'm co founder of an agency called OMG Commerce. We've got about 50 on our team. And we focus on Google ads, YouTube, and Amazon, including brand management and DSP ads.

Natalie Shahmiri
Amazing. I always love chatting shop with people who were there in the early days, even before web 1.0. You know, we always talk about Web 2.0, which was like in the mid 2000s. But even before that, and it's just, it's crazy how much it has changed. There's just a different world back then.

Chris Brewer
Oh, yeah. Back when, back when SEO was super easy. And pay per click was a nickel a pop.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yep. I always joke there was an era before IAB standard units. There were just no standards.

Chris Brewer
Right? It was wild west for sure. And thankfully, there's some amounts of that still around, but not, not much.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yep, yep. Yeah, the day before ad networks. How did we survive?

Chris Brewer
Absolutely.

Natalie Shahmiri
I love that. So if you think about your journey throughout all of those years, you talked about, you know, somebody had told you that you would be good at sales. In your current role, how did that really tie into things? Like do you feel like it was something you just innately were good at? Is it something that you've learned along the way? Like, how has sales blossomed for you over the years?

Chris Brewer
I am not one of those folks that believes that just anyone can do sales. If you just take the right training, if you just do go to these seminars. I mean, there's some people that would need therapy if they really forced themselves to go into sales. So I really do believe that my personality, a bit of my family background, my grandfather was in sales. I have his sales trophy from Keebler Foods on my bookcase behind my desk in my office in Missouri, and my dad worked in corporate America, but he had a moonlight business where he went out and did speaking gigs and things like that on using vacation time to do speaking and ended up going into business for himself. So he had to sell. And then I was exposed very early, my dad used to listen to Earl Nightingale and Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy in the car. And I didn't get to listen to the radio, when I was riding with dad, it was always motivational and sales guys. So I will say, though, that in my first sales job, that I don't believe that I would have had the career that I've had in sales, had it not been for, I'll drop his name, I'll send him the recording, it'll be fun for him. But a guy named Glenn Pfitzner, who owns a company called Ocean Media these days in Florida, still around entrepreneur, running great, a great company. And his requirement, when I signed up for my first sales job with him was, "You've got to listen to this Brian Tracy psychology of selling program." And back then it was cassettes, some of you may have to google that. And I had to listen to that seven times, the entire album. I could lose my job if, in the first three months, I did not listen to that seven times. So that was seven times, times 10 or 12 cassettes. So I was always listening to it in the car. And something funny happened. I started sounding like Brian Tracy. I started using his language on sales calls. And that was really interesting. So how that all transformed into today is a lot of years of cold calling, using email to get people's attention, reading sales books, going to seminars. And that's where today, I run the essentially the sales department at our agency. I am getting to the point where, as a co founder in the size agency we are, I also recognize that even though I love doing this, it would probably be a good idea if I got somebody else to learn the ropes and be able to have the conversations. So that's kind of where where I'm at right now.

Natalie Shahmiri
So for agency owners who maybe aren't good at sales, like they just don't have that innate experience, or maybe they're just terrified of it, which I think a lot of people especially when it comes to cold calling, just cold outreach in general, it's just a panic attack every single time. Or maybe they're like you. They're at a position now where they need to extract themselves from that, how do you hand something like that off to somebody else?

Chris Brewer
The first thing I'd say, before I answer that is, don't fool yourself. If you're not attracted to sales, if the idea of speaking with someone about your business, and having those kinds of conversations and dealing with objections, and those kinds of things, does not excite you, it's probably not going to excite you if you get more training. Okay, sometimes you can get some training, and it'll make you feel better about things and you can progress. So I would ask friends, family members, people you work for, "Do you feel like I could be a salesperson?" "Oh, no, you're a much better XYZ person, stick with that." Stick with that. You can take a disc, you can take other personality profiles. But what I would say is that, one, if you identify with the sales, as a sales personality, then definitely pursue that. And, don't hold back. And really that's why a lot of times you see agencies that are successful, up until it gets a little crazy. It's one or two things happen. If you're good in sales and have an agency, you'll be able to build that agency on the strength of your sales skills. You'll be able to maintain and grow the agency on the strength of your ability to be operationally proficient. And that's a key factor. If you're managing operations really well, but you stink at sales. That's good news. All you got to do is find a salesperson. And you can you can go bottom of the barrel and look on Fiverr even though these days Fiverr has some really good salespeople on there. You just got to know where to look. Usually, if you're just starting out, that may be Fiverr in the Philippines. There are some really good Filipino salespeople out there. Some of the biggest call centers that are sales focused in the world are in the Philippines. So there's ways that you can find those connections to at least make cold outreach. If that's what your you're doing. Otherwise, it's likely going to be finding someone you can partner with that's got the sales mindset. Talking to a local business consultant, there's a lot of local business consultants out there that will focus on sales that can help you build your sales team. And, you know, because sales is a lot different than it used to be right, Natalie, you know, the pounding the pavement and walking in cold. There's still an element of that if you have a local agency, because sometimes the only way you're going to reach that restaurant owner to talk to him about Google My Business, or what have you, is to show up between two and four o'clock. They're not gonna answer the phone. So, at the risk of being overly verbose, I'll let you ask another question.

Natalie Shahmiri
No, I think this is really good. And I will, I'm sensing that anybody that's listening to this that is considering bringing somebody on is how do you know what to pay them?

Chris Brewer
Yeah, that's a tough one. You know, I, I like the idea. Again, this depends on where you are in your business. But the way that we started our business, I went to the local university, and I put out ads that actually I copied a sales ad from a university coupon book, they used to sell these little coupon books, that university, it had Starbucks and everything in it. I copied their their ad, and ran it. And I think it was an online ad, but I copied it. And I got quite a few college kids. I called the marketing department, I said, Who do you have in your classes that you think would be a sales personality, asked him to contact me and actually hired interns, and set them up to go out and do the cold calls, because a local business will talk to a college student before they'll talk to me walking in. And so that's how I got started. So you may look at a sales internship in your business, you may not get, you know, the you may find some raw talent there, you never know. And so I paid them 100% commission. But I also offered some guarantees there because they were a college student. So I basically said, "Hey, you know, if you give me two weeks of solid work, I'm gonna pay you X," because that avoided the people that would get discouraged after two or three calls and then leave because it's 100% commission. In terms of what else to pay as you can, you can structure it, where it's a percentage of the entire deal, you can structure it where they get a commission, as long as the client stays, because in a smaller agency, that salesperson you hire could also be doing client care. And, or moonlight as an account manager, so to speak. You get into larger organizations, the bigger you are as an agency, the more you're going to have to pay to hire a sales professional. But then again, depending on your niche, there are a lot of companies out there that you can do contract work with that are just going to go out there and, and grow leads for you. And I'm not talking LinkedIn companies, there's plenty of those to go around. I'm talking about folks that have professionals that can bring on your agency persona. You're gonna pay them pretty well. But the good news is usually their contract is performance based.

Natalie Shahmiri
I think that's an interesting thing you touched on was taking on the agency persona. And I think that's maybe a sticking point for a lot of agency owners with bringing somebody else in is this idea of, will they represent my agency correctly, appropriately? And it's funny to me when I'm in a coaching program, and I hear that for people who are doing no sales, even if they're 100% off the mark, at least there's somebody out there trying to get you business versus you just sitting in a puddle of fear because you don't want to do it.

Chris Brewer
Right. Well, and you know, I actually thought, you know, my daughter works for a company. I think it's called, I think it's called Closers. I'll find it, we can put it in the show notes. But the guy that is kind of head of it's guy named Cole Gordon. And they focus mainly right now on like, coaches and influencers and finding salespeople, people with high ticket digital offers. So it's maybe a $7,500 self help course or a $5,000 weight loss course and you have a coach that works with you on that. So they both train salespeople and hire appointment setters and closers for those offers, but they also can find salespeople for smaller agency focused businesses. So that's like another one that would probably be a good one in the show note. Because if if you are not interested in hiring someone, because you're nervous about how much they can identify with your agency and take that on, then if you have someone in your business that has a sales mindset, or you want to hire someone, you're going to have to invest in them. And so the point is how much are you going to invest in them? And there are some great sales training programs out there that can also help you not only about learning how to sell, but how to manage the people that are selling because as salespeople, we are a different breed. I was just on a call yesterday with a consultant that I am looking at to come into our company, look at our sales process, pick it apart. Our company has a world class standard with the way that we run ads. Look at myself in the mirror, do I have a world class sales department that I run? No, I don't I want to. I want us to get better there. And so I brought in an individual and just that call with my CLO on the call, the CEO on the call, it was clear that they didn't really understand my department completely in terms of what I was dealing with, because they're out doing their thing. And there's always the classic, you know, if you're a small agency, you might have a bookkeeper, it may be you and you might have someone that's kind of helping you manage the clients or a freelancer. And if you ever have any conflict in your agency, it's probably going to be between you and the bookkeeper. Because you're going to make deals with the bookkeeper doesn't like or you're going to make deals that the bookkeeper doesn't know about. And then they're going to have to send the invoice. So yeah, I would just say that there's a lot. The key to growing any agency is not Facebook ads. It is having the right marketing and individual that can have the kinds of conversations with people that have the needs for what you're going to be delivering. And that's why you see a lot of folks that start agencies, they chase the latest Facebook ads tactic to get clients. I see them in, I'm a part of a certified digital marketers group that's out of Austin. And I see the smaller agencies, and they're posting all the time about these kinds of issues. So definitely an opportunity and definitely can be a challenge.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, I think you know, that's something I've been having a lot of conversations about recently is this idea that when you start your own agency, are you actually building a business? Or have you just created a job for yourself that you're just responsible for everything now? And is that the right move for the individual? Because I think there is this notion of, well, I'm going to have all this freedom and all this opportunity. And one, it requires a real investment upfront if you're really trying to grow business for yourself. And a lot of learning, whether that's through coaching programs, or books or whatever it is you're doing. Something you and I had touched on earlier today was this idea of, could you work for somebody else, and actually be better off doing that, like taking the one thing that you're really, really stellar at, and doing that for somebody else for another agency? I would love to dig into that a bit more with you.

Chris Brewer
I mean, I would say that, you know, if if your sub six figures where you are, your agency right now, and you've been working at it for at least a year, you probably have enough talent to be hired, making six figures somewhere right now. Because the demand for skilled people and knowledgeable people is the highest you've ever seen it? It's caused by Amazon, even the aggregators that are coming in with private equity money that are buying up all these brands. Well, they've suddenly figured out, oh, wow, we own 25 brands, we actually need an in house agency. So there's plenty of opportunity there. So I tell folks like hey, why not go to work for someone else who's built a larger agency, poke around, learn? Find out how their operations works. And if you enjoy it after two or three years, stay there. If you enjoy it, if you enjoy it after a year or two, but you feel like you've learned enough and you don't have an ironclad non compete, maybe you go back to what you were doing and take some of those skills that you learned there. I'm to the point where I can say, you know, the thing that used to make me cringe years ago was, you know, younger people these days, you know, let's just say you're, let's say you're under 30. If you're under 30, and you've got the gas pedal, press firmly to the floor, and you are thinking, I've got to build this, because my life's going to end, like I've got all of the talk out there about lifestyle and wealth and building wealth and free time and all of that. You can attain that, but it's a very small percentage, those that usually attain it, it's a process over over time. And so that's kind of like, you know, I've built million dollar companies. But when I sold those million dollar companies, I was not a millionaire. You know, I had several $100,000, of which the government took a lot. And then I had to figure out what am I going to do now. And so I started something else. And I've grown another business to a seven figure business, and my gas pedal got ahead of me, and I made some moves I shouldn't have made and of course, the 2008 hit, and it was combination, a bunch of factors. But I lost that whole thing. And I, at one point, was going to sell that business for about a half million dollars, and then it ended up being zero and considering bankruptcy. So I would just say, relax, look at all your options. If you decide that agency lifestyle is not for you, and you need to learn more go work for someone for a while, because there's plenty of time to grow a business. And so I don't know if that answers the exact question. But the the flip side of it is, you know, like, for me, I would love to talk to people that are frustrated in growing their agency, because that may be somebody that would be great for my agency. You know, if they're skilled in a certain area, maybe there's a referral partnership there, things like that. And I think that's, that's a good sales tip is if you're frustrated, or challenge, if you have something that you know, is a superpower in your business, maybe it's local Facebook ads, maybe it's creative, maybe it's video production, maybe it's Google ads, for local businesses, whatever it is, ecommerce like us. One of your easiest sales calls to make is to a competitor in town, or on the Internet, that doesn't offer your service. You would be surprised how few referral partners are actually out there. And so we're at a stage in our business, I don't do any outbound. I haven't done outbound in years. All the leads just show up. And I get on Discovery calls, and I get to do strategy. And I get to do the fun stuff, just talk to people. But that took time to work on those relationships and think about creative approaches to the referral partners we're going to work with, but that can be a quick way, if you get the right referral partner and you work it. You don't just have one call, and maybe we can be a referral partner. Okay, great, that's gonna be wonderful hang up, and then nothing happens. So you got to work it. And, you know, go to events, before you hire that $50,000 salesperson that's promising you the moon. Spend $3,000 and go to an event that's got clients from where you're trying to serve that market.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, I think, you know, we hear a lot among agency owners, the idea of a JV partnership with a completely different type of company that serves your niche. So if you're a plumber, like if you serve the plumbing industry, maybe you look for a company that does CRM for plumbers. But a lot of people are, in my view, stuck in a scarcity mindset and don't think to partner with other agencies and the value that that brings, whether they're sending you work because you specialize in something or you have a client who needs something very specific that you don't do. And if you could pull that person in, even if it's a white label partner that you're bringing in, you have better odds of retaining your clients in the long term. I'm interested in your thoughts on that idea of scarcity mindset that seems to be so rampant with agency owners like there's just not enough clients to go around for everyone.

Chris Brewer
Yeah, it reminds us, we were talking a bit pre call about our work with Russell Brunson and .com secrets local back in the day and we talked with hundreds and hundreds of individuals and coached hundreds of individuals building agencies. I still do a little agency coaching these days every now and then. And so you hear those things that come up. And but yet, there was always people in those calls that were doing just fine. No concerns about lead flow. So what what's the difference? Well, the difference could be like going back to the referral partnership, if you put as much work into getting a referral partnership started on the right track, like for instance, let's say that there's a direct mail company in town that works with a lot of local businesses. Now, if you contact them, and don't really work the relation, nothing's going to happen there. But if you contact them and have an idea that they really like, but you put as much preparation into getting that idea rolling, and starting, as you do into the proposal that you're you're sending out for potential clients that may lead nowhere. If you do most of the work to get those kinds of referral partnerships started. And some of those are as easy as, let's do a webinar. Let's do a zoom webinar, where you can talk about your direct mail and, and some tips for using direct mail. These days, I can talk about digital, and we'll do a lunch and learn webinar, or I'm sure these are still around and COVID is a lot less these days to be able to do these kind of things, even local Lunch and Learns where we would do that we had a you know, 10 years ago, we were in a restaurant with a printer, a local printer in town, he brought us in to speak about Google ads. And I think we picked up one or two clients from that, that lunch and learn. So there's always ways to go about it. I would just say the folks that actually put the dedicated work and time into client acquisition will have no problems with clients, the people that whine and complain and talk about how there's no clients and nothing is working for me they will continue to get the results that they're they're talking about or manifesting which is the popular so yeah, so that's yeah, that's it and and sometimes you got to look at your business model. You got to look at you know, are you selling something that 15 Other companies in town are trying to sell the same thing? Where are you going to differentiate yourself? How are you going to stand out because anybody can put up a WordPress site and look really good, and I don't know how big your company is. So if I can't really tell a difference you know, what are those differences going to be? So again, if you're starting out you know, I there's no shame in doing pro bono work early on friends and family members as long as they they're going to give you user generated content and testimonial as long as they're going to refer you to three of their friends that they do business with when they're happy with the results. So there's no, again, shame and giveaways or trial offers or beta tests however you want to phrase them to kind of get some traction going and and that's how we got started was just that kind of thing.

Natalie Shahmiri
So you're talking about coaching programs and right now from what I'm seeing all the rage is niching down like just niche nation use as much as you possibly can. I know you're focused on E commerce but we see that go even deeper in terms of only doing e commerce for skincare brands, for example, what are your thoughts about becoming so specific in what you do for your agency

Chris Brewer
if you're super niche down and you're successful, more power to you, and there are plenty of, for instance, I've got a client that I don't mind mentioning their name, but it's Elena Mitchell skincare, a pretty big brand, and the owners there have started consulting and coaching other skincare brands that are coming up so they've created their niche from their successful ecommerce brand. And they're going to do really well with that because they've got credibility. And you know, back when we were starting out we were all local, we weren't doing e commerce. And so I remember all of the you know, are you going to be in the lawyer niche? You going to be in the HVAC niche? You going to be in the plumber niche? Chiropractor niche? You know, that was the local local spots, and we always felt like if you've got solid processes, a good methodology and a great way to deliver why niche yourself down, when you can cast a wider net that can give those folks those same results. And really, we don't have a problem with that. It's very rare. Like when we, just a quick little history, probably the first five or six years, we were local, we got into franchises were working franchise, I was trying to figure out how we can bring more franchises in and do all that. And over here, my business partner starting to get a Google Shopping and seeing kind of the potential for E- commerce. And that also showed us a trajectory where we could go up market a bit in the size client. I love local businesses, but there's always that one local business owner that makes you not want to get out of bed the next morning. So we wanted to go upstream a little bit more. And that was a tough decision day in our office because we walked away from over $250,000 of annual revenue to drop local and just go all focused on on E-commerce. And so I would just say that you can be niche down even though you're not. So that means like if I for instance, with us, we work with a lot of supplement brands, because there's a lot of supplement brands out there we work with a lot of skincare brands because there's a lot of skincare brands out there. Now if I have a guy that shows up and he is a, which this is recent, we have a guy that's a steel manufacturer. He makes signs and arrows and cool home decor out of steel. Well, if he asked me on a call, and I don't remember if he did, "so what experience do you have in my manufacturing industry? Have you ever worked with manufacturers?" Well, my response would be, "We work with a wide variety of folks in the E-commerce play. Yours is unique, and we're really happy to work with a manufacturer. But here's how what we are going to do is going to apply to your situation." You just turn that around. What I've found is if people are looking for experts, and and really niche down, you typically are going to find that more in the local space than in like E-commerce. Because folks tend to get a little more narrow minded sometimes on that kind of approach. And so I don't think, Natalie, there's a right or wrong answer there. I just wouldn't drink the Kool Aid on either one.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, yeah, I think it can pigeonhole people all of a sudden, especially if they're, you know, just going out for their first chance at building an agency. And, you know, I see this where it's like, desperate to say, just get painting clients and only painting clients, it's like, that's really hard, you might have an easier time trying a few different places where you could maybe get a referral to a business or it's a little bit easier to do the pro bono work, build the testimonials, figure out which industry you liked the most, and then go after that versus like just out the gate.

Chris Brewer
And I'll tell you, if you're looking, I still believe that building an agency is a is a good idea, even these days. Now, with Facebook and the iOS changes that have come down, it's really hurt a lot of Facebook agencies. I'm kind of glad I didn't buy one I was looking at earlier this year just because of all those challenges that came with that. But what that's created is in the future, there's going to be Apple ads, it's going to happen, I don't know when so down the road look for an opportunity to launch your apple ads agency because it's common. Right now it could be TokTik. Well, I guarantee you there are local businesses are like lemmings. They'll run after everything till they fall off the cliff because it doesn't work. Well, there's still opportunity there for businesses that will spend money on TikTok, for instance. Now you got to know going in, you're going to have to be offering a lot of creative so if you're a video guy or lady, you're going to know that's going in, but you're going to price your offering into that. So look for the things that are new, in and around the agency world that are coming in because new things are happening all the time. Supply chain logistics. If you're having a challenge with sales, but you have more of an operational mindset and you like, for instance, all the sales pipeline and logistics, if you're an E-commerce like there's a great avenue right now to help people find US based manufacturers. You could open up an agency that way. And then if you're working with them to find US based manufacturers, you can also help them market those products. So there's always something out there that you can either add to your service set, or launch as a new niche part of your agency.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, that's so true. I know an agency owner, who's in the home services sort of broad niche. And one of the biggest things that they've been dealing with this year is a lack of being able to find workers to actually do the job. So, like construction workers really struggling to find enough people for all the work. So they actually started a recruiting business, like on the side alongside their agency is now they do recruiting for those types of home services. I think that's brilliant. You're solving the problem, getting in with those people. So then once they're at a point that they can start marketing again, you have the in, you've already built the trust.

Chris Brewer
Yeah, no, that's excellent. I love that.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yeah, there's so many ways to approach it. And being open minded that way and thinking about all of the opportunity really opens you up to grow, like you don't just have to follow what's the latest thing in a coaching group that everybody seems to be doing. It's really looking for the opportunity, the gaps that nobody else is filling.

Chris Brewer
And I would encourage you, you know, one of the tips I have for folks starting out is the cup of coffee, cup of cocoa, whatever you want, meetings with business owners, and it can be over zoom call if you're doing outreach that way. But if you position it in terms of, you know, subject lines, like "hope you could help me", phone calls, like, "I'm just calling to get some help. This is not a sales call. I'm a local business owner, I'm thinking about launching a new service." This, like I said, "I'm not selling any I don't have anything to sell today. But I would really like because I understand that you get a lot of calls that are probably disruptive in your day about Google ads and digital services and things like that, I really would like to do something different. Would you have 15 minutes, I could ask you some questions about what you appreciate about marketers or things like that." So having those conversations with business owners and business leaders, it creates a network. You may find people that say at the end of those conversations, "you know what I know you said you weren't signing today. But this sounds really interesting. Could you let me know when you've got this ready?" Or you say after the call, "Hey, I know I said I wasn't going to pitch you anything. I would just love to know if you know two or three other business owners that might be a fit for this, If you can think of those we can work out a referral agreement would love to work with you that way." There's, you know, in the US, there's still a ton of opportunity. And yes, inflation is getting crazy. And there's all kinds of uncertainty out there. But one thing is for sure, the people that wake up every day and have an action plan of what they're going to get done and goals, those folks are going to be successful. And if you let your day run your day, you're going to be disappointed in calling me or calling Natalie and going "What do I do?"

Natalie Shahmiri
Yep, that's so true. You got to stay on top of it, always. So my last question for you today is if you were to look back throughout your career, what is the one thing you wish you knew in the beginning?

Chris Brewer
How big Tesla was going to get. Would have bought a lot of that stock? You know, that's a great question. You know, I think if I would have known about the power of setting proper expectations every single time and checking in regularly, because business owners will go from zero to paranoid in a very short amount of time. And so if you're not setting expectations about what your agency is going to deliver for someone, and if you're not checking in regularly about those expectations, and make sure that you're still on track, you will lose clients. And apologize of the noise in the background, got caught in there, like neighbors doing some work. But yeah, so I would, I would just say that would be it. If I knew because then I probably would have been able to be clear about that from the very beginning. Rather than just oh, this is going to be great. Let's get going. I've got your check. We're going to get started and I'll give your report and a month from now or two weeks from now. Because if you can communicate frequently those expectations, you're going to keep clients.

Natalie Shahmiri
Yep, that's 100% true. Just once a month does not get it. Right, they do get paranoid really, really fast. And I guess rightfully so, so many of them have been burned by other agencies or they've heard horror stories where it is just like, "What did I just do? I'm paying these people a lot of money."

Chris Brewer
And I would say, like, your, if I can go so far, your duty to agencies, and everyone who's listening, this call that runs an agency. You have an obligation to set proper expectations. You have an obligation to not be that train wreck agency that I ended up hearing about. And so I'm very aware when people are calling us. If they've been through a lot of agencies, they're probably not a great client. But if they've been through one or two agencies, and one was a complete train wreck, then those are the folks that I wish would have done a better job. And so if you can set up your operations and your practices to make sure that even when you lose a client, it is as peaceful and and smooth of a transition for them and you as possible. That's going to make people less apt to hire in house, less apt to just go and keep searching for somebody else. So I think that's a bit of advice I'd probably leave folks today is just remember that you're not just in this for you, you're in this for all of us. Because if we all work to have better operating agencies that deliver on what we say and we don't over promise, then we're gonna all have more clients to go around.

Natalie Shahmiri
100%. Chris, thank you so much for taking this time today. This was amazing. I can't wait to hear what people have gathered from this and how they're able to implement that right away for their agencies.

Chris Brewer
Happy to share. It was great to be here. Thanks.