John Doherty is the founder of Credo. I met John at CaboPress, an incredible business mastermind week, and we got to talking about the marketing and SEO side of things. Know I don’t know much about that, but Credo is definitely something that can help me in a unique way. In this episode we talk all about the importance of finding the right people to help you in your business.
- John Doherty
- John on Twitter
- Episode 12: Chris Lema and Beyond Good
- Jennifer Bourn and Profitable Project Plan
- Episode 1: Jason Coleman and Paid Memberships Pro
Intro: Welcome to episode 91 of How I Built It! In this episode, continuing this SEO miniseries, I talk to John Doherty, the founder of Credo. I met John at CaboPress, an incredible business mastermind week, and we got to talking about the marketing and SEO side of things. Know I don’t know much about that, but Credo is definitely something that can help me in a unique way. We’ll talk about how in a minute, but first…
Sponsors: Today’s episode is brought to you by Panethon, Traitware, and GravityView. You’ll hear about Pantheon and Traitware a little bit later.
You may have heard of Gravity Forms: it’s hands-down the best form plugin or WordPress websites. It’s amazing for collecting useful data.But what if you want to display those form submissions on your site? What if you want to users to be able to edit and update their submissions? That’s where the GravityView plugin comes in. GravityView lets you easily display and edit your data in a searchable directory with different layout options. It’s fully customizable by you or clients using the drag & drop UI, and it features tons of developer hooks. Don’t waste hours developing custom code for clients—you will have to support that code forever! Save yourself time and save your clients money by choosing GravityView for your next project.
Visit gravityview.co/howibuiltit to learn more and enter HOWIBUILTIT on checkout for 15% off your purchase. GravityView comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try it today! That’s gravityview.co/howibuiltit. And now, on with the show…
Joe Casabona: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today my guest is John Doherty of [Hired Gun LLC] and founder of Credo. John, how are you?
John Doherty: I’m doing well Joe. How are you today?
Joe: I am fantastic. It is towards the end of March as we record this. I’m hopeful that it will get warmer. I’m on the East Coast, the northeast, where it’s always cold. I’m not sure where you’re located.
John: I’m in Denver Colorado. Actually it’s funny you bring up the weather because it was 67 and sunny and gorgeous here yesterday. And then at about 6:00 PM last night it started dumping snow. So, Denver gets some crazy bipolar weather around this time of year, basically through May. But we’re starting to get little buds on the trees. I’m hopeful that spring is going to pop through and it’s going to get hot as anything.
Joe: Very nice. When I worked at Crowd Favorite, I heard from a lot of my Denver co-workers that they basically have to leave with a coat, and then it would be shorts weather by the afternoon. And that’s very interesting to me. I think I’m very much like, when I get one nice day, it has to be nice the rest of the year now. It has to just be nice until November.
But I guess if I wanted that, I could move to maybe, Cabo. Where we met, at Cabo press. And that’s how we got connected. Today you’re going to be talking about Credo, a product or service that you’ve created. So why don’t you tell people about who you are what you do, and how you came up with the idea?
John: for sure. Credo is, I think the best way to describe it, is a productized service. Which I realized actually when we were in Cabo. I did think that I was building a product company, and then I was sitting at dinner one night and I went to the product dinner, and one of the guys there was like, “Are you building a product or service?”
I was like, “Of course it’s a product!” And then a couple hours later I was like, “Shoot. You’re right. It’s a service.” So that was mind blowing on the first night. But basically, what we do at Credo is we help businesses that are looking to take their business to the next level. Through SEO, Content Marketing, Facebook ads, PBC that sort of thing. We help them connect with the right agency or marketing provider for their specific needs.
So there are a lot of people out there, the Growth Geeks of the world, where it’s people that come and they say, “I have $200 dollars and I need four blog posts a month written.” That problem is solved. But the people that are like, “I have $3-$4,000 dollars a month to spend, I have a team in place internally. And we’re really looking to scale this thing and hire the right person. But we’re an e-commerce company, we need SEO and Facebook ads.”
At Credo we know who’s good at that stuff. We know he does amazing e-commerce work, e-commerce SEO and Facebook ads for example. And we can connect those two up, then we help the business with reviewing proposals and basically following through until they feel comfortable and confident making the right decision for their business. So we get paid by the agencies and the consultants.
Joe: Nice. Very nice. And that’s interesting. When we were in Cabo I was trying to figure out what exactly my niche is, and how do I really understand my audience. I know you gave me some really good advice about the Facebook Pixel. But as a one-man band, especially, it’s a very hard thing to manage. I almost need to remember, “Set up my social media for this episode. How do I even Facebook ad? I don’t know how to do that.” So I mean, if you’re not ready to take on an employee to do that full time, then this sounds like a great service for you.
John: Totally. It’s that, and then it’s also the companies that we’re best at helping to find a provider Are companies that most of them are around like $1 million plus a year in revenue, so $80-$90K a month in revenue, and we can help ones that are smaller than that, but they have to be really focusing on growth and focusing on marketing. And I’ve found it works best when there is someone that is basically heading up marketing that’s not the founder.
Because founders have so much going on, founders are also really afraid to pull the trigger on any real budget. And so when you have someone that really understands marketing and owns it and is focusing on it, that’s when it’s best to work with a consultant or an agency. Especially on the strategy and services side.
Joe: Nice. That makes even more sense because they know what they need right. I’m not just walking in cold and saying, “I’ll take one of the social media, please.”
John: Totally. And as You said, exactly. “One of the social medias,” like, what are you talking about? And founders, we’re so busy. We have so much going on. You’re recording podcasts, you’re editing them, you’re publishing them, you’re promoting them, you’re doing all that stuff. If you’re building a product you’re also probably writing content, you’re building the product, you might be coding. There’s all this stuff going on.
I’ve been building a team to help me out with a lot of that stuff over the last six months, basically since Cabo. But there’s so much going on that it works best when you have someone that’s really focused on doing it, and their full-time job is doing marketing, producing content, promoting etc. And if you don’t have the budget, or I worked in-house for some big companies where I had to say six months ahead of time who I wanted to start hiring six months from then.
And when you’re trying to move fast, you can’t wait six months. You have you have to get it done then if you’re trying to move fast. Often You have marketing budget to spend on an agency or something like that, but you can’t open up ahead. So that’s when an agency can be perfect to engage with, even short term, until you can hire someone.
Joe: Gotcha. That sounds great. And it’s already giving me stuff to think about. Because doing the podcast, making my courses, doing whatever else I do. I want to make sure that I’m doing this right. When I went out on my own, I thought I was doing it right because it was just like, it was my side gig first. And whatever income that was generated was good enough for me.
And then I went out on my own, and I thought, “I actually need to generate real income here. And what I’m doing isn’t cutting it.” for extra income it’s fine, for like my full-time, “got to support my family” income, I need to do something a little different.
So there’s definitely a lot of things to consider there. And it’s also really hard to keep up with. I like to ask this question, But I feel like we’re going to get a pretty good answer from you. No pressure. What research do you do to stay on top of this stuff?
Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Pantheon. WordPress 5.0 and the new editor, Gutenberg, are coming. Are you prepared? Do you want to learn about the changes in advance? Pantheon has gathered resources to help you prepare including webinars and tutorials. Pantheon has also made it easy and free to try Gutenberg with your site before the official launch. Visit pantheon.io/gutenberg. Let them how How I Built It sent you!
John: Oh man. That’s a great question. I’m a professional marketer, right? I’ve been a marketer for about a decade now. Agency side, in-house, running my own company. So I’ve specialized in search engine optimization for a long time and then I’ve done a lot around content and that sort of stuff. Now I’m really getting deeper into marketing funnels, e-mail funnels, that sort of stuff. And basically the way I do it is three different ways.
One is Twitter. I carefully curate who I follow. So I have about 500 people that I follow. I have high 20,000 followers, but I only follow about 500. And that number has actually increased a bit recently because I’ve been following different types of people. Product people, more General Growth people, more of these funnel hacker people. Simply because I’m trying to learn more there. The second one is podcasts. Listening to things like Mixergy is really good. Smart Passive Income has some really good stuff in it. CreativeLive by Chase Jarvis is another one that I listen to that’s really good.
And then I follow a few specific newsletters, Hiten Shaw has a really good one, Product Habits. Grow.co has a good weekly newsletter that comes out. Those are some of the places I basically try to find, just like Credo. There’s so many people out there that say that they’re an expert. But a lot of them actually aren’t. There’s a lot of noise in the space on trend to provide the signal to the digital marketing world, of who is actually good. Same with content.
I’m trying to follow the high signal to noise people, and the newsletters are not sending me something every single day. I don’t need a growth tip Every single day. Give me like the six best articles from the past week around products and growth and revenue generation. That’s what I’m looking for. That’s what actually helps you build your business, as opposed to just getting overwhelmed with all these like little tips and tricks and hacks.
You actually need that strategy. And then you could find, and You can learn the tactics, and you hear the hacks all over the place. There’s no shortage of those. You actually need to know how to put together the strategy first. So that’s what I try to get to.
Joe: Absolutely. I mean, if all you do is hacks, then eventually you’re going to chop off your arm.
Joe: It’s like how in math class. The teacher teaches you the long way, and then they teach you the shortcut. Because you need to understand the process before you can actually do the shortcut. So I love that. Studio Neat has a really good newsletter for me, it’s two guys, they send one link each that they like and then a picture of something they’re working on. It’s easily digestible and for somebody who’s trying, we’re both trying to read and consume and learn a lot, stuff like that is excellent.
So that’s awesome. I want to touch on something you said about a lot of people saying that they’re experts out there. When I was, I’ll say I was a kid, but I was in college. I was like, “SEO is easy. I’ll just write the HTML markup and boom, SEO.” And a lot of people feel that way. People feel that way about WordPress. “Making a website is easy. Just WordPress and done.” So how do you cut through the noise and put yourself out there as a signal?
John: That’s a great question, and you’re absolutely right. I think a lot of actual experts, I’m guilty of this myself. I had a friend the other day basically tell me that she was trying to do something new with her site, trying to change some form styles and that sort of stuff. And then she wants to do a paid course. She was like, “Restrict Content Pro and WP Simple Pay, and you’re on WordPress already,” and shout out to Phil Derksen and Pippin there.
But I was like, “Just use these.” And she’s like, “Wait. What are you talking about?” And I’m like, “Oh right. There’s no ‘just’ there. This is old hat to me.” But I think there are a couple of things there. One is when someone is an expert they are going to say stuff like that.
Where it’s, “Just use this,” and “Use that.” You might not have any clue, but they’ve gone in and done the work. Otherwise they might be like, “What about this? What about that? You could do this thing.” And there is all that ambiguity there, but they can see the full range and know what’s actually good there.
Joe: Right. They can pull from their experience to give you a guided answer.
John: Exactly. And then the big thing is I think showing their work. So going back to math class. I was always told, “Show your work.” I hated showing the work, I was bad at it. I got terrible scores in math because I hated showing my work. I was like, “No. I can’t do this in my head and this is the answer.” And they’re like, “Yeah. But how did you get there?” And I’m like, “The way you told me to in class. I just did that in my head, not on paper. I don’t want to write that out, I have bad handwriting.”
But it’s something that I’ve really learned recently is if you’re an expert and you’re trying to show someone that you are actually an expert, you have to show your work. You have to show a proof point, a case study for everything that you’re claiming to do. So if you want to grow your membership site through SEO, do X Y and Z. “Oh, by the way, here’s a membership site that I helped do this on.” I think actually showing your work, and then if you’re looking for an expert, find the people that are actually showing their work.
That’s legitimate stuff that they’re being open about it. So I think that’s really key there. Find those that are willing to teach, and those are the ones that are actually the experts.
Joe: Awesome. As an online teacher I’m really liking that you’re saying that. But it’s true. It’s so funny because in the last maybe, 10 years, 15 years there’s been such a shift from like, “You can’t see what I’m doing. Just know that I’ve done this, and you can’t see what I’m doing or how I’m doing it.” And now it’s, I mean maybe it’s just in the WordPress space. But I feel like It’s a lot more widespread than that. Like a GitHub account is really important.
But it’s like, “This is what I’m doing, and how I’m doing it, and why I’m doing it.” The guys at base camp, a little bit smug as they may be, are very open in the way they do things. And they’re clearly doing something better than me. So maybe it’s not undeserved, but they’re very open about running their business. And Pippin who you mentioned, he’s one of the most open people about his business that I know.
He’ll talk about the decisions he’s made, and why and how it’s affecting his business. It’s no secret why he’s an expert in our field, because people see what he’s doing, and they see his success, and they know why he’s successful.
John: Totally. And I think that that is carrying over to some other industries. I think it’s starting to come around in the SEO world. The Digital Marketing world. You still get the “make money online” people that are very close lipped and all of that. I tend to be very transparent and very open. Some people say I’m bragging, but it also works. I’m showing what I’m doing, I’m showing the results and that builds trust with people.
I’m honestly not trying to brag about it. I’m just saying, “Hey this works.” Like, “Learn from this.” I come from a family of educators. I want to teach people. I love teaching. I think that is coming about, and I think it’s very important as well for people that have built something of value to also show how they got there.
Joe: Awesome. I love that. So moving from the research and the signal versus noise, which I guess ironically is the Basecamp blog. I guess I’ll ask you how you built Credo? Or we could talk about how you build a strategy for somebody. So I’ll give you some time to mull that one over.
But I started this podcast, I want to get back to the root of this question. I started this podcast because I was talking to other people about starting my own online courses, and I was like, “I should record these conversations.” And it was like a mini-mastermind. Do you mastermind with Anybody? Are there people that you bounce ideas off of?
John: I had some people that I bounce ideas off. I don’t have an official mastermind, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing. Connecting with other peers and such has been a focus of mine for the last six months.
Joe: Nice. Very nice. And do you find that stuff helps? Being a fairly solo entrepreneur, you’re building a team, but I don’t know if you work from home. I know I work from home, I’m a solo guy. Just talking to people once or twice a week has been great for me. I miss having co-workers in that regard.
John: Yeah. I definitely find that is something that I need. I mean, even if you’re building out a team. The thing is, being an entrepreneur, even if you’re not a solo entrepreneur doing everything, but you’re a solo founder. No one else within your company understands what that means. Even if you’re really good at giving people the full scope of, “This is what’s going on, and this is what’s happening in the business,” which I’m really bad at that, by the way. And that’s something that I’m working on as a founder and as a CEO.
Because I have employees. But they’re never going to understand the emotional stuff that you go through, and the emotional challenges that happen there. Where it’s like, “Stuff is a little slow right now.” And that happens every single year, because it’s this time of year and everyone is super busy, they geared up at the beginning of the year, and they’re going to rework their strategy middle of the year, and then end of the year they’re going to be thinking towards the next year.
But March and April is a little bit slower. I know that intellectually, but I feel it deeply emotionally. They don’t feel that, because it’s not their baby. I definitely find that useful, and find it useful to have other people to commiserate with where they’re like, “Yeah. When I go through slow times I struggle, and I wonder if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. And I wonder if I’m delivering for my clients what I need to be delivering.” So I found that super helpful.
And honestly, I’ve just found it helpful to build out levels where I have some people that basically I mentor. Very unofficially, but people I help with their business because they are just getting going. Then I have other people that are about at the same level as me, been on their own working for themselves, building a company for the last two to four years, really. I’m about two and a half years in.
And then I have people like Chris Lema and Dan Martell, and people like that, that I consider my mentors. That are numerous steps ahead of me, three or four or five steps ahead of me. And they for some reason graciously give me their time and I can ask them questions, every now and then they’ll meet up with me, every now and then if we’re in the same area. And I can pick their brain for an hour or so. Those are the ones that really take it to the next level. But you have to have all those different levels there.
Joe: Absolutely. So you touched on the empathy factor, that’s something that’s not impossible for somebody who’s not in the same position, but it’s very hard. Because I have found that people who are not in the same position think that either, I’m extremely poor or I’m very wealthy. And that’s like, neither one of those is true. Like, “You have your own business. Are you rich?” And I’m like, “No. I’m not at all rich.”
So the empathy factor is very important, and that was another big thing I got from Cabo Press, because I had just gotten out of a very slow period where I thought, like right after I went out on my own, I was like, “I have absolutely made the wrong choice. I have a five-month-old. I’m not making any money.” And Jennifer Bourn gave me incredible advice on that. She was like, “Yeah. The summer is slow. Save a portion of your income and be ready for that slow period. We go on vacations because I know there’s going to be no work, and I don’t want to panic about money.”
Jennifer Bourn is a very successful person by most people’s accounts. So her telling me that made me feel a lot better. The empathy factor is so important, and having mentees and mentors. Mentees I think keep you grounded, because you’re remembering what it’s like when you first started. So you can empathize with the new person which is very helpful in my online courses. And then Chris Lema is an excellent person, he always offers great advice. Shawn Hesketh has been a personal mentor to me quite a bit. We’re in a similar field, and I’ve learned a lot from him. But all of that is very important.
John: Totally. And let me give one more piece of advice there. Beginning of 2015 my business had grown to a certain point. I think we’re doing like $12-$13K a month in revenue and I was at a breaking point. I was like, “I cannot do anymore.” Like, “I do not know how to take this thing to the next level. I’m overwhelmed. I’m working way too much.” I had just moved to Colorado and wanted more balance in my life, a bit more time. And I actually went and hired a business coach. I still work with them.
I pay him a couple grand a month, we catch up a couple times a month. And he has helped me out a ton with getting clarity about who I am as an entrepreneur, what my skills are, the roles I need to hire for, the highest leverage. He’s always really good at being like, “Is that thing you’re working on the highest leverage thing that you could be doing?” so it’s a combination. And I always push back, I’m like, “Long term I think it is. Short term, it’s not the thing that’s going to double my business next month.”
Which if you’ve been in business for a little while, you know that there’s really nothing that’s going to double your business next month. But it is good to constantly have that push of, “Is this the highest thing you think you could be working on? Or do you actually need to push that off until Q3?” And having someone like that, that you’re paying, because then the mentors, like Chris etc. And I know Chris does consulting and coaching as well, and so does Dan, but neither of them is my coach.
But having someone that you’re paying that basically you’re paying them for their advice, and then you also know you’re going to get their advice consistently. And basically, they know that like, if they’re not helping you grow your business you’re going to stop paying them. So they’re also incentivized to help you out. They don’t go three weeks without getting back to you. Versus when someone e-mails me and they’re not paying me for something, guess what? They go to the back of the line behind the people that are. I think that’s something that a lot of people should consider. Getting an actual coach. I think more entrepreneurs need an actual coach.
Sponsor: Are you as frustrated with usernames and passwords as I am? We believe you are and we created TraitWare Secure Login as the solution for all of us. TraitWare enables you, your staff and your customers and members a secure way to sign in that replaces usernames and passwords. With a simple, mobile-app or PC login, you can provide a better experience, increased security and reduce the risk of lost or stolen passwords. TraitWare is the Secure Login you have been looking for.
Check out a quick video on how to sign in with TraitWare and register to receive a How I built it coupon code at: https://www.secureloginapp.com/wordpress. Say Goodbye to Usernames and Passwords. Say goodbye to Phishing, Man In the Middle or Brute Force attacks. Never again create, forget, share, or lose a password for your WordPress site.
Joe: especially the people who are moving from freelance to entrepreneur. Because I freelanced all through high school, all through college, a little bit after grad school. And There are two things you said. I never saw the value in paying for something that I could do myself. I never wanted to invest because that was money out of my pocket. But it’s an investment. And then the other thing is what you said about, “Is that thing you’re doing the best thing, the high leverage thing?”
Because I can totally empathize with the freelancer who just takes any job because it’s money in their pocket, but over the last couple of years I got to work with Brian Richards and a bunch of other really smart people. And we talked about how, “If you’re taking just any old job, that could be costing you money in the long run.” You’ve got to do the thing that’s best for your business, even if it doesn’t mean immediate money in your pocket.
Both of those things are Just fantastic advice for really growing your business and taking it to the next level. If you don’t want to scrape by all the time, then What are you doing in your business? It’s very stressful. So, cool. We are almost coming up on time. We’re like 20 minutes in and I haven’t even asked you the title question yet.
So here’s the title question. So much good advice in this episode already. How did you build it? You said Credo is a “productized service” so maybe, how did you design that service? And how do you build out that service for, let’s say, we have a sample client?
John: It’s been through a lot of trial and error. My site is all built on WordPress. I’ve been developing on WordPress for a long time. WordPress plus paid memberships pro, and GravityForms, GravityReview. Some of those different plugins. And I put all of the tools that I used to build a Credo on GetCredo.com/recommended-tools. But basically, how I went about designing the product, the company has been through a bunch of different iterations.
Started off with me betting out every single project and then emailing friends, and then basically when they closed it. You’re emailing friends, “Do you want to talk this person?” when they closed it, then I’ve got a commission. To basically a fully functioning marketplace without processing payments, where a project would come in and we’d set it live on the platform, add a custom e-mail system that would e-mail it out to people, that did that kind of work within that budget.
That it pasted based off of how many leads they had received that month, or contacted. If I had a contact cap for each lead of four, if that wasn’t reached in four hours, it would e-mail a couple more. Basically the number left times two. Super complicated stuff that never really worked well. And so my developer and I recently just blew all of that away, because I basically realized it didn’t make sense to have people– and at that point agencies were, and consultants were paying basically on the number of leads they want to be able to contact each month.
Which didn’t really makes sense for a couple of reasons. One, I wasn’t playing the quantity game. I’m playing the quality game. These are these are not the $200 dollar a month, “I need four blog posts a month,” sort of crap. It’s, “I need a super expert, an SEO expert that I can pay $5 grand a month to grow my business that’s already at $2 million, and I want to take it to $5 million a year.” So It didn’t really make sense for someone to be paying the same amount for a $1 thousand dollar a month lead or a $5 thousand dollar a month lead. Plus those leads weren’t closing, they weren’t closing for the agency.
So basically, I then pivoted again, just before Cabo Press last year. So in September of last year I launched an annual plan, so I have a directory, and then I have about 15 agencies I work directly with. They pay us per month and they also pay us a commission in perpetuity on the work that they close. And we help them close that work. So basically, it’s a productized service, basically we’re a regeneration agency for marketing agencies. So it’s meta as anything.
People on our preferred plan are basically our clients. I think of them as our clients. I do my own SEO consulting as well. Those are my clients. Our preferred agencies on Credo are the agency’s clients. So basically the way we do it, is when a business comes in and says, “We’re an e-commerce company,” or let’s say you’re a membership site. A Membership site and you’re doing $1 million a year in revenue, let’s say, and you want to grow it to $3.
Or even $500K and you want to grow it to $1 million. But you have so much going on. You submit our form, schedule a phone call with us, hop on the phone with my customer success person, she talks with you about who you are, what your business does, how you make money and what you need. What you’re looking for. And then once she gets all that together, she puts together what we call a project description. Which is basically six to eight sentences about what you need.
All those things that she just went through with you, you approve that on the platform so that’s built out, and then she sends that project description to agencies or consultants that do that work. Once they accept it we make the introduction and then we follow up a week later, make sure everyone got to connect. And then once you have proposals in hand we hop back on the phone with you, review the proposal, say “Do you have a good understanding of this from this agency? I didn’t see this from this agency that we talked about.” So we help that client get to the point where they still make the decision, they sign the contract directly with the agency of their choice. But we basically help them get to the point where they’re confident that they’re making the right decision.
Joe: That’s incredible. So you’re providing a network for your clients, where you’re saying, “These are the people I know. This is who I think will be a good fit for you.” But I think the big value add is the last thing you just said, “We review the contracts or the proposals with you.” Because that is an overwhelming process. Because everybody says, “This is a standard contract.” Is it a standard contract? I don’t know what that contract looks like everywhere.
So just like having somebody who sees proposals like that all the time, and saying, “This is probably not great for you,” or, “This should be included. This has been included other places.” And I feel like that’s a huge value add, and something that takes a long time of trial and error or hiring an expert who knows that stuff and who has seen it through experience.
John: It’s a value add on both sides as well, because it’s a value add to the agencies because we’re reviewing their proposals with them, and also giving them feedback. I had one agency recently that they were sending through basically a Google doc of their proposal, and they had awesome stuff in there but they’re going up against this agency that was super polished.
And so I went back and told this agency, I was like, “You might only be three people, and talk about being a micro agency of experts, but you need to up your brand a bit.” And we talked through that, and he came back two weeks later, and he had completely redone that. So that’s huge value to him. And then on the client side, I mean we’re not giving legal advice.
But I’m saying like, “We talked about X Y Z, we talked about Facebook ads.” They don’t mention Facebook ads in this proposal at all. Like, “What’s going on there?” Or if it’s a bigger agency, and they said, “We’ve worked with the big agency in the past and didn’t really like that because of the account manager set up,” and then we introduced them to smaller agencies because of that, when they come back we still ask, “Do you have a good idea of who’s actually going be working on your project?”
Because there are definitely agencies, and this is the right fit for some people, where there’s an account manager and like four different teams with junior people working on your project. But For certain businesses you need a ten-year veteran directly working on your project, not some junior person that they’re farming out work to. So we really help them think about those questions, and then go back with better questions. And we don’t hear the phone calls that they have with the agencies and all that.
We’ve had the initial contact, and we’ve seen the proposals and we get some other bits and pieces throughout. But the hardest part is actually helping someone pull the trigger, and a lot of businesses will get scared off. Like, Joe, if you were trying to grow this podcast and you wanted someone to help you out with promotion and all that, and someone comes back. Even if you know that you have $2,000 dollars a month to spend on marketing, someone comes back and proposes you to spend $2,000 dollars a month with them for X Y and Z. You’re going to be scared. Right?
Joe: Yeah. That’s More than rent.
John: You’re going to put it off. You’re not going to respond for a little while. We can actually help the agencies close more work because we’re also keeping the client involved. We keep you involved., “I know you got proposals from this agency and this agency, let’s schedule a cal. Let’s hop back on. Let’s talk through your fears.” all that stuff.
Joe: Right. Because in my head, I just see the money flying out the window. Oh my God, that is more than I pay in rent per month. But you’re saying, “That $2,000 dollars a month, can make you $5,000 dollars a month,” or whatever.
John: It’s that investment mindset that we were talking about just like five minutes ago.
Joe: Yeah exactly. And the bit you said about providing value to agencies too, because there have been proposals I’ve sent out that I’ve just gotten a “No,” and then I haven’t gotten a reason why. You can now provide, maybe not the reason why, but at least feedback to say, “This is where you can do things better.” And that is so important because that feedback means that I’m not going to lose the next one for that mistake.
Joe: You’re just helping everybody. This is fantastic.
John: Trying to.
Joe: We are totally, slightly over time. That’s OK. You’ve answered your question about transformations. So do you have any big plans for the future, or anything coming down the pike?
John: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, a few things. I have a couple of new offerings that I’m planning to launch soon. Actually, by the time this comes out One of them should be launched. But I’m not going to say what it is yet, in case it’s not. But basically What I’ve realized is everyone always says, “Focus on one offer, one model,” that sort of thing. But I also believe that there are a lot of ways you can provide value to people.
So I’m looking for a few different ways to diversify our revenue streams to help us invest back into growing the company. The lead side is good, I’m doing more affiliate stuff. I have a couple of other paid offerings I’m going to be launching as well. So that’s the future, and then as I said, I’m really trying to learn to be a CEO and not just an entrepreneur and a solo, lone wolf, Do-it-yourself kind of person.
I’m Really trying to hire good people to take Over stuff that I’m not amazing at, like operations. I’m good at sales But I shouldn’t be hopping on the call with someone that has $1,200 dollars a month to spend on Facebook ads. I can pay someone who is much cheaper than me to do that. Who can do it just as well if not better. So that’s really where my company is going over the next year.
Joe: Nice. That sounds fantastic. Well I’m very excited to see how that works out. When this episode drops I’ll look for that new feature.
John: I’ll send it to you.
Joe: Awesome, sounds great. So my final question, my favorite question. Do you have any trade secrets for us?
John: Trade secrets? Let’s see here. I think when it comes to growing your company, one of the trade secrets that I always like to tell people is, and I don’t know that’s really a secret. But when it comes down to marketing it’s all about, who is the person that you’re trying to serve and how do you serve them best? People talk about their personas. So you have a persona, for me it’s marketing directors, for example. I have to get down deep into, “What are their fears? What are the things they’re struggling with?” All that sort of stuff, to really know, “What is the offering? How do I message it to them? How do I get in front of them?” I think this is something that I personally have missed for a long time. Like I was saying at the beginning, tactics and tips and tricks are all a dime a dozen. You actually have to get down to the strategy.
I feel like I’ve I built my business backwards, like starting on, “I could drive traffic to these pages, and write content or whatever.” But now really, if I’m going to get to the next level, I have to actually think about, “What is the longer-term strategy of my business?” And actually getting down into, “Who is my customer?” So get down into, if you have a business that’s doing okay, but you really want to take it to the next level, you really have to go back to, “Who is my customer? Who is my audience, and what do they really need from me?” And that’s going to drive your future decisions. As opposed to, “I want to build a product. I want to build a membership site.” No. You want to serve this audience, and what is the best way to serve them? Is it a product? Maybe. Is it a membership site? Maybe. Is it a podcast? Maybe. Your audience can tell you that.
Joe: Awesome. That’s fantastic. And it goes right back to the empathy factor, you understand what your customer needs and then you can build around that. Very cool. John, thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you taking the time.
John: Yeah. My pleasure. Thanks for having me on, this has been fun.
Joe: Absolutely. Where can people find you if they want to learn more?
John: The best place to find me is my company site. GetCredo.com And the best place to connect with me personally is on Twitter @DohertyJF.
Outro: Thanks so much to John for joining me today. He offers a lot of great advice and works hard at his craft. You can tell by the way he talks how passionate he is, and that shows in a great product (or productized service)!
And Thanks again to our sponsors Pantheon, Traitware, and GravityView. Their support is deeply appreciated.
For all of the show notes, head over to howibuilt.it/91/. If you like the show, head over to Apple Podcasts and leaving us a rating and review. It helps people discover us! You can also join the Facebook community over at howibuilt.it/facebook/. I want to build a strong community for this podcast, and Facebook is the place to do it. And until next time, get out there and build something!