Crafting Success: Unveiling TradieWebGuys' Secret Sauce with Matt Jones

Episode 92 October 12, 2023 00:57:33
Crafting Success: Unveiling TradieWebGuys' Secret Sauce with Matt Jones
The Agency Hour
Crafting Success: Unveiling TradieWebGuys' Secret Sauce with Matt Jones

Oct 12 2023 | 00:57:33


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

In Episode 92 of "The Agency Hour" podcast, we're joined by none other than Matt Jones, the Go-to Tradie Guy and Founder & Director of TradieWebGuys. Matt's expertise lies in delivering tailored digital solutions for tradies, and he's here to drop some serious wisdom.


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: I mean, it's almost a prophecy, right? Like that whole, you know, you could be the best trader in the world and be broke because you don't know how to market yourself, right? Or business owner. In fact, like, I can't imagine it's any different in any other vertical, you know, like, these are things that you kind of have to take upon yourself to learn, which you're not going to get that information from when you go through the system that you gotta you gotta go and look for it. [00:00:23] Speaker B: Welcome to the Agency, a podcast where we help web design and digital agency owners create abundance for themselves, their teams and their communities. That's the goal, and it works for those who take action. This week, we're joined by the Goto Tradie guy, Matt Jones, founder and director of trady Web Guys and the siteshed, and a Mavericks Club member. Matt and his team deliver digital solutions designed specifically for Tradies. Today, we're diving into the importance of focusing on the outcome for the absolute end user. What clients want versus what they think they want, why you can't just rely on referrals and word of mouth, and why Matt claims you need to have the cahoonas to burn it all to the ground. All that and more. I'm Troy dean. Stay with us. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the Agency hour podcast, the one and only Matt Jones. Hey, Matt. Welcome aboard. [00:01:14] Speaker A: Hey, mate. Excellent. [00:01:16] Speaker B: Now, for those that don't know, give us the too long, didn't read version. Who are you? How did you get into this game and what are you doing here? [00:01:23] Speaker A: Where am I? Well, as you said, Matt Jones, I run a digital agency specifically for trade businesses. So plumbers, builders, electricians, home improvement, that kind of thing. How do I get into this game? Well, I used to be, I suppose, technically, I still am a plumber. And I, many, many years ago, took a role with a company in Sydney that was selling a technology to primarily plumbers. And throughout that journey, I noticed that there was a lot know, a lot of the clients that we were dealing with there were really good at what they do, but really bad at telling. And so I did everything completely wrong. I burned bridges, stole IP, just classic, no idea how to run a business sort of situation, and jumped into my own business, sacrificing any income I had for the little bit that I'd managed to get from a couple of clients whose websites we built. And anyway, that was 13 OD years ago and somehow we're still afloat. [00:02:24] Speaker B: Wow. [00:02:25] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:02:26] Speaker B: So I always find this interesting, though, simon Major. Now, full transparency, matt Jones is a member of Mavericks Club, which is our mastermind. We're not going to plug that. But just so that you know the context of the conversation, one of our other Mavericks, Simon Major, had a similar journey. He was a chiropractor and then sold his chiropractic business, if that's what it's called. And now it's digital marketing, essentially SEO and Google ads for health practitioners, right? Do you think and I've known quite a few people who come from trady land and end up in this kind of business. Do you think it's a and I also know plenty of people who are coaches and digital agencies for niches, and they're publicly like, I'm not an accountant, and that's why I'm the best digital marketing agency for accountants, because I don't have the baggage and the emotional crap that you all have. Do you think it's worked in your favor or do you think it's been something that you've had to overcome being a plumber and having a plumbing business and now serving Tradies as a digital marketing agency? [00:03:21] Speaker A: It's certainly been an advantage on the forefront of communication and understanding the verticals that we deal with, like refreshingly an advantage, I think, for the people that we're working with, because the typical experience is people just like agencies typically have no idea what it's like to run a business. And I'm sure we'll sort of unpack this a little bit further as we get on. But from what we do today, well, typically people, when they come to us, they're looking for more leads, like lead generation. But as you unpack that further, generating more leads into businesses that these guys are running. The way they're running them today is like throwing petrol on fire sometimes. So there's these other areas which they don't come to us for but looking forward in the interest of scalability and being able to manage the new influx of leads and the new sort of model that we're sort of steering them towards which, to be honest, is like coming from a world where they're used to referrals and word of mouth to a world where all of a sudden they're being thrown into this nasty pond of cold traffic with people that don't actually know who they are. And so there's this whole learning curve that has to come as a part of that. And so anyway, in answer to your question, yes, it has played to our advantage a lot. Look, truthfully, we've been running the agency now for 13 years, so I probably have more agency experience than most agencies out there at this point in time. But in the early stages, it was challenging. Like we had to find people, I had to proactively find people that could do what I couldn't do, which was pretty much build websites and learn how to market. [00:05:10] Speaker B: And I think we're going to talk more about this because infamously, within our circle here, you've kind of known as the guy that's kind of burnt it to the ground and started again and we'll unpack that a bit more. But I don't imagine Tradies were ever coming to you going, I need a beautiful looking website. They just think they need that because it's going to bring in clients, right? [00:05:30] Speaker A: Yeah. And I would probably imagine that's pretty similar across many verticals, or you'd have more experience in that than me. But, yeah, people come to you thinking they want one thing, not realizing they actually need another thing. Like, it's really common. People go, oh, I need a new website. Why is that? Well, I need more leads. I need my phone to ring more. They don't really understand the dynamic. And I think this, again, has played into our favor a lot because a lot of agencies will just give what they ask for. [00:05:58] Speaker B: That's right. And that was my next question. I imagine that the biggest challenge for Tradies and my experience of being a consumer of trade services. We moved house early this year. We moved into a new house, and we've renovated the front and the backyard and done a bunch of work inside. And over the years, I've had a lot of experience with different Kind contractors coming out to properties and stuff. And one of the things is follow up, like actually getting them to return your call. So we put solar panels on the roof. Recently, we had eight old crappy solar panels on the roof. When we bought the house, we got rid of them. We put in a brand new system, 28 solar panels and a 13 kilowatt battery on the side of the house. So it's way too much for what we need. But I'm trying to future proof the situation, and I opted in via this website where this guy basically sells leads to solar companies, and he's completely transparent about it. He's like, look, these companies pay me $50 a lead. Whether or not you buy from them is irrelevant. I just do my due diligence. I will recommend the three best solar companies I think that are right for you based on your answers to these questions. Fill in the questions. I did that three companies rang me. I couldn't answer the phone because I've got two kids under the age of seven, and it was like feeding time at the zoo. One company texted me to let me know that they just tried to call and that they would try again tomorrow. The other two guys who called didn't leave a voicemail and didn't text me and didn't email me. So who got the job? The guy that actually texted me to let me know that he just called. Now, maybe automated, maybe not, doesn't matter. So actually, like, follow up is one thing, and then once they come out and they assess your situation, getting a quote out of them and getting the book in a date is another problem that they're usually not very good at. So my question to you is, as an agency, why didn't you just go, well, here's your website, pay the bill and see you later? And none of that's my problem? Why did you start thinking, okay, I need to help them solve these other problems. [00:07:46] Speaker A: Well, it wasn't so much that. [00:07:50] Speaker B: It. [00:07:50] Speaker A: Doesn'T take long for you to start getting feedback saying, hey, you built this website for me and my phone isn't ringing anymore. So there was an obvious disconnect there between what they think they thought they wanted and what they actually wanted, which then at that point, right back in the beginning, we were only building websites, which as you know, is a mugs game because you're always chasing a sale. Whereas the bigger vision back then was, okay, well, how do we get into more of a recurring based model, which is retainer sort of style for marketing services and things like that? And so that was an easy transition, very easy. Which also opened up a number of problems, which I can elaborate on in the space of now, you've got recurring revenue and you kind of drop the ball on growth because you're fat and comfortable and you're not, like, hungry for the next sale, which, truthfully, I've never really been. Which is why now we have salespeople and things like that. But yeah, it was just more of a case of back in 2016. We sort of went well before 2016, truthfully. We were sort of in the education space for TAFE, New South Wales and Department of Education down in Canberra, representing sort of trades, sort of more we would go to these roundtable events. I'd be the only guy in the room that didn't have a au, blah blah, whatever freaking email. Like the the common thread there was they didn't understand the dynamic of it and nor they expected to because they're used to swinging hammers and climbing ladders. So the responsibility that I sort of brought upon myself was, okay, well, we need to educate these guys a little bit better, which then led us down as, you know, the path with the podcast and all that kind of stuff. And you can't very well go move into an education space within probably any vertical if you're not going to offer solutions to problems as opposed to just products that people think they want or. [00:09:50] Speaker B: Just pontificate about the problem but not actually have a solution to it. [00:09:54] Speaker A: Well, I mean, yeah, but if we just kept building websites for people, we are good, they'd have websites, but it wouldn't solve their problem. [00:10:02] Speaker B: And then I guess that feeds into the flywheel of not getting referrals and not having great word of mouth because even though you built a great website and you delivered on your promise, the client actually didn't get what they needed, which is the phone director. [00:10:12] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, look, referrals from Tradies are pretty rare, I could tell you that much, but regardless of how many million dollar jobs you close for them. Joe, if you're listening but anyway. [00:10:28] Speaker B: I know you've got a Facebook group and the podcast we should say, is called The Siteshed. The business is called trady Web guys, you've got a Facebook group which is also the sideshed, is it? [00:10:37] Speaker A: Yeah. Well that was kind of off the back of the podcast. We just wanted to build a community where people could come and actually converse more as opposed to just listening to me bashing their ears through Apple podcasts. So yeah, there's a group there, there's like 6000 OD Global businesses or members in that group, whatever. [00:10:59] Speaker B: If Tradies aren't great at referrals, were you getting most of your incoming leads through the podcast and through the group or were you doing advertising, were you doing outbound? How are the leads coming in? [00:11:09] Speaker A: Yeah, most of the work that we would generate would be through. We had referral partners but not so much we would get referrals from clients. Of course we'd probably send out a thank you gift pack once a month kind of thing but it's not like it's a steady, it's not sustainable. And this is the thing that we also I think is a pretty strong message for our clients as well. I'm like you can't just be completely dependent on word of mouth and referrals. Like if you don't have some sort of income stream of leads coming in then you're pretty heavily exposed in this space of just being dependent on something that's completely out of your control 100%. [00:11:49] Speaker B: Which can work for a long time. Well you can ride that train for a long time but you're still vulnerable because you don't have your hands on the wheel. There's no control over it. [00:11:57] Speaker A: I mean in my experience it's not so much a time thing, it's just a ceiling. Typically for trade businesses, we know they're never going to get past 500. Well depending on the vertical, like if they're builders and they're doing a million dollar home build like bang, oh, we're a million dollar business, but it's kind of bullshit. But the point is they'll never really get past 500, 600K in revenue for a regular trade business. It's like sort of an average aggregate. If they're only dependent on word of mouth, they just won't. You can't you just exhaust your network. And so there comes a point where if you do want to take more control, you got to invest in more of a consistent pattern where you're going to be generating these leads that are yours. [00:12:42] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm curious about the mindset here too. I do want to unpack the business model change. But before we do that, I'm curious about your mindset here is know at some point you make a decision to go down to TAFE, to represent, to fly the flag, to be the advocate, to start a podcast, to start a Facebook group. At some point you make a conscious decision to put yourself out there as the guy who's going to be the voice for this. I mean, I get it right, but for the people listening and watching, most people just won't do that because of 100 reasons and 100 excuses is it just because you are a natural born leader or you just love the limelight or was it a business strategic thing or was it just a burning desire? Because it's hard work having a podcast and starting a Facebook group and being like a personality. It takes a lot out of you and it's a lot of time and it's a lot of emotional investment into it. And also you put yourself out there and make yourself open to criticism. Why did you make that decision to do mean? [00:13:48] Speaker A: I suppose initially it started as a way just to give back to the industry because as I said, we sort of have coming from the plumbing industry specifically having lots of friends and things like that that are trade based. You see some of those struggles and you see that the issues that they're typically experiencing are based on the fact that they just don't have a clear understanding conceptually of what they need to be able to do over here or what needs to be done in order to help them get to that next stage. And like I said before, it's not that it's their fault. Like you go through the TAFE system or whatever it is college, if you're listening in North America, there's your trade qualification certification which you can go and get, but that doesn't mean for a second that you're even remotely qualified to run a business. So there's this huge disconnect there between like, oh well, congratulations, here's your certificate. Now you can go run a business when you're not actually anywhere near qualified to run a business. You don't know shit about running a business. All you do is you just know how to climb ladders and install drains and that kind of stuff. So that journey initially, when I went back into TAFE and I wasn't, like, on the payroll or anything, I would just go back in and talk to the certificate four students that were about to go and get licensed about things they should be thinking about or they need to think about in order to become I mean, it's almost a prophecy, right? Like that whole you could be the best trader in the world and be broke because you don't know how to market yourself, right? Or business owner. In fact, I can't imagine it's any different in any other vertical. These are things that you kind of have to take upon yourself to learn, which you're not going to get that information from when you go through the system that you got to go and look for it. [00:15:43] Speaker B: And also I don't think you're going to get that information if you go to a general agency workshop, right? If you go to a general digital agency that serves a whole bunch of different they're just open for business, right? You are a niche agency. I'm also curious about did you have to manage any FOMO about well, accountants and lawyers have more money than Tradies, but I'm going to say no to those guys because I'm just going to focus on Tradies. [00:16:05] Speaker A: Yeah, I don't know. I get asked that a bit, actually, truthfully, I've just always from the beginning, just worked with trade businesses, so I don't really know any different. We have done projects in the past for, I suppose, like cross verticals with various businesses, but it's always just been like trying to help friends and colleagues out more than anything. Not so much. We would never market towards it. And my whole mindset behind that was if you're going to you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone. [00:16:35] Speaker B: Yeah, the riches are in the niches. [00:16:41] Speaker A: I guess it's played pretty well to our advantage, obvious or not. I don't know if it's necessarily a good or a bad thing, but we probably turn away more work than we take in just because they don't fit our avatar. [00:17:00] Speaker B: Yeah, right. Got it. [00:17:01] Speaker A: And now we're even super picky with even the types of trade businesses that we work with. In answer to your question before, when you're talking about, well, why did you go down this path? [00:17:15] Speaker B: Again. [00:17:16] Speaker A: It started as a way that we could kind of give back and then it kind of grew from there, because the more that you sort of we dipped our toe in the water there in local TAFE and then we sort of went bit bigger and ended up representing trades at the Department of Education roundtables in the act. And then before we knew it, I was like and there were people there just like, Tell me more, tell me more. And I'm like, what the fuck? I'm just some dead shit plumber trying to run this scrappy agency and no one has a clue. And then I thought, how can we get this message out to the masses? And this was back in 2016 and I thought, I wonder. And kind of dumb luck, I guess, but thinking the kind of clients that we liked to and still like to work with are the ones that they want to learn and more importantly, they're willing to try and adopt different processes to help them achieve a different result. Unlike a lot of people out there in the trades, which are just stuck in their ways, they're like, Ain't broke, ain't broke, don't fix it. So we started a podcast in 2016 and that was kind of before it all became cool. And anyone with a computer and a mic did it. And that's pretty well established now with almost like 400 episodes or something. [00:18:34] Speaker B: I've had a few tradies. I want to talk about the difference between agency and coaching because I think there's a fine line. I agree. And I know that you kind of do a bit of accidental coaching just because of the nature of the fact that you want to help your clients out. But I've had a couple of tradies come out of the house, and the minute like, they're on the property two or three minutes, and I know they've got a business coach because their process is so well dialed in. And I ask them point blank, like, we have a bit of a conversation. They go around like, you wouldn't have a business coach by any chance. Oh yeah, I'll get this business coach, blah blah, blah. Yeah, because most tradies come out, they have no process at all, right? They're like drawing chicken scrawl on the back of a pad paper. Whereas the guys that come out with an iPad checking the boxes and they go out and they come back, here's your quote and it's really well dialed in. How do you draw the line between well, hey, look, we're an agency, we do this. I'm not your business coach, even though I'm willing to give you this advice because I generally want you to succeed. But do you refer some of your clients off to a business coach all the time? [00:19:32] Speaker A: Right, yeah, all the time. [00:19:35] Speaker B: And I imagine not to be stereotypical, but I imagine particularly in the trade industry that there would be a reluctance to put your hand up and ask for help. Right. Because it's a fairly and I'm making a massive generalization here, it's a fairly masculine kind of macho sort of industry. So in our space, or like my wife's a psychologist, they're putting their hand up every 5 seconds asking for help from other psychologists and other professionals. Right. So I imagine that a lot of trades are just like as you say, if it's not broke, don't fix it, I'm fine, it's all good, I don't need any help. And they're kind of stuck in that mindset. [00:20:09] Speaker A: Yeah, again, probably dumb luck, but through the legending, sort of the people that we tend to speak to have normally my mindset behind the podcast initially was like, well, this is the kind of people that I kind of want to work with. The people that want to learn things and people that want to learn things are people that can put their hand up. So when people come to us, if they have seen some of the content or the podcast or whatever it might of they're kind of already a step further qualified than those that would just come through like a Cold Facebook ad, for example. And so typically leads and stuff that come through the that they know, like and trust us, like they know we're not full of so it was kind of by design but also probably we just got into it at the right time. [00:21:07] Speaker B: Yeah, we were talking off camera before. Our best sales conversations are people who have been following the podcast for a few months and they've already drunk the Koolaid. [00:21:16] Speaker A: Well, I mean, that was like me with you guys. I was back when you were WWP elevation, whatever it was. [00:21:24] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:21:27] Speaker A: Love it. [00:21:29] Speaker B: Now if you're listening to this. One of the scariest things about Pivoting the business model is you might not have the skills or the capacity to deliver the new thing that you know that you want to start offering because that's the right thing that's going to get your client the outcomes right. So, for example, SEO, or for example, if you are a social media management agency and you want to start building websites because you know that's where you're going to be able to capture leads for your clients, but you don't have the capacity to do that. One of the things that I see agency owners, where I see them getting stuck is they say, well, I can't do that yet because I need to hire someone, but I can't hire someone because I don't understand the process, because we've never done this before. And I think even at worst in the short term, to fill that gap is to use a white label partner to deliver on that stuff. Long term, it might be the best option to keep using a white label partner. It might be profitable. The relationship is good. They've got the infrastructure that you don't need to worry about building. They can project manage. They've got the skill set, they're training their staff. All those problems that you don't have to solve. Long term, you might want to bring that skill set and that capacity in house to your own agency. But in the short term, definitely using a white label partner to allow you to make that Pivot quickly is a really smart idea. Obviously. Our preferred White Label partner here is E two M Solutions. They are the exclusive sponsor of the Agency Hour podcast and also our MAVCON Platinum sponsor for our MAVCON Live events. So check out E two Msolutions comAGENCY Mavericks. They do amazing work. We've had great feedback from all of our clients who are using them that you also get a discount on your first months if you hooked up with them. So go and have a conversation with them about what it looks like to work with them so that you can make whatever Pivot you need to without having to go through the painful process of hiring and training team members. You can just literally plug their team into what it is you're doing and make that Pivot quickly so that you can start getting your clients better outcomes. I know because you were leaving comments in the Facebook group, you were watching the live streams, your name was familiar, and then all of a sudden we're on a call. Let's just fast forward. When did you make a decision? So you grew this agency. The business model was basically websites and SEO, right? And you were doing a little bit of ad management for clients. When did you make a decision that that wasn't working and that you were going to reinvent your service offering? [00:23:57] Speaker A: Man, honestly, I feel like it's been years as you know, I had my second child was just gone two years ago. And I knew kind of at that point, I was like I just wasn't like we were doing the websites, we were running SEO for clients and all this kind of stuff, and me coming from that background and then trying to sell them on our reporting, which is all showing green look or you're ranking number one for these keywords congratulations. And they're like, I didn't give a shit. My phone's not ringing. And you're like and so I'd been looking for a long time to find a solution to that problem, which was sort of more outcome focused. And then maybe six or so months ago, like you say, I just burned it to the ground, because I was like, I just was fed up with selling something that didn't work, quite honestly. And I say that like a little bit tongue in cheek, because I know that it does work. But what I now know with what we were selling then was it fulfills part of an ecosystem and it's part of a solution, not the solution for our vertical, and I'm sure other verticals, it works great. I speak to Simon and his clients, get all these great results and this kind of stuff, which is awesome. But for what we did with our clients as trade businesses, it didn't move the needle, but now what we do moves the needle, and so now we can show up to work, and we actually feel good about what we're doing. And that's been culturally a really big shift, I think. And it sort of got me a bit more reengaged because after having our second kid last year, I was just like a couple of years ago, I really just felt vacant. [00:25:44] Speaker B: Yeah. And also, I think, if you like, SEO is the long game, right? It's the mid to long game. I think it's important as part of a long term sustainable strategy, because it's very easy to get kind of hooked on turning cold traffic into customers. So I think it is important, but it is the long game. And for tradies, as you say, it's part of the solution, but it's not the solution. So what have you dialed in recently that has allowed you what have you stopped doing? Okay, here are the three questions. What have you stopped doing? What did you start doing? And what did you keep doing from your old business? What's been the transformation and what kind of outcomes and impact has that had on your clients results? [00:26:30] Speaker A: All right, well, I'll tell you what. From the beginning, I went back and I revisited vision and mission, and I got real clarity around, I suppose, what our vision, what our mission needs to look like in order for me to be able to show up to work and actually be comfortable with it. And that had a bit of a polarizing effect on, well. Everything within the agency. Because when I showed the whole team this whole vision and mission and what we were doing there, all of a sudden it almost like snap of a finger made a whole bunch of the services that we were doing completely null and void. And so that was like the beginning, really. I was like, this is the new vision. This is the new mission. If you don't like it, leave. And if you don't think what you're going to be able to do here today is going to help us achieve these goals, leave. And that's still an ongoing conversation. That was the beginning of the whole thing. That was kind of where the eruption began. I was just fed up just foundationally with what we were delivering there. And then we went back to, okay, how do we now engineer a product or a solution which is outcome focused? So we went down that gamut. Then we're like, okay, what does it look like? If we're going to be able to promote and work with businesses, how do we give them actually what they want, not what they think they want or not what we're just selling them as a service? Right? That was a big problem. Like back then, we'll go, oh, we'll sell you SEO or we'll sell you a website. And it's like, it doesn't freaking matter. Just make the phone ring. No one gives a shit about SEO. No one cares about Google ads. No one cares about Facebook ads or bloody Pinterest ads. Just get the phone to ring. No one cares. [00:28:35] Speaker B: And this is the feedback that we're just the tools that we implement, the tactics that we implement to actually get the client what they want, which is their phone. [00:28:42] Speaker A: Exactly. No one gives a shit. And so you're showing them all these reports and it's like, oh, look at all your positive Google indicators and all this kind of stuff. And it's like, who freaking cares? How many times have the phone rung and how many of those are turned into period? [00:28:58] Speaker B: That's it. [00:28:58] Speaker A: That's all you need to give a shit about. And so I just pulled the samurai sword out and cut through it all and just went, nah, this is the way it is now. And so now when we're dealing with businesses, it's like, specifically, we will help you get these outcomes, and if we don't, we'll guarantee it like you don't pay for it, kind of thing. And that's been really good for a marketing perspective, and it's been really good now as well, because it's helped us along this journey of the last four, five, six months, I suppose, help us really define sort of the avatar that we want to work with, who we know we can get better results for. And then it's also led into my whole thing with not wanting to be a coach kind of thing, but as an advisor in order then for because all of a sudden, you get these. I've got messages here in Slack from clients saying, oh, man, I'm just freaking out here because we've got all these leads and now I've got to hire new staff. All of a sudden, you have this responsibility now to help them solve the next problem and the next step of the equation. If it's going to be a sustainable solution, it's going to help them scale. And scale doesn't always mean up either, by the way. We got some clients who are like, look, we want to scale back on doing these 2030 grand bathroom renovations and scale into doing half a million dollar home rentals. So scale can have different conversations for different businesses. But if you haven't got a framework around that, then more to the point, you haven't got the system in place which can help them achieve it. Then you just go back to doing what everyone else does, selling SEO and websites. [00:30:35] Speaker B: And I think it was Feb 2021, we had a virtual MAVCON because we're all in lockdown. And I did a presentation called Agency of the Future, and I posed the idea that you can't do everything for your clients, right? Like, you're not going to get on the phone and close deals, you're not going to go out for your clients. [00:30:56] Speaker A: That's evolved too, but we'll get to that in a minute. [00:30:59] Speaker B: Right, but the problems that you can't solve for your clients, the idea that I posed, was it's a combination of done for you and information, or done for you and education. So, hey, we do this for you. We can't do that bit for you, but here are some frameworks and here are some templates and here are some checklists that you can follow to improve that part of the business. We're not going to do it for you, but we can educate you and help you get better at it. And I lead into this conversation, where do you draw the line and say, well, that's outside of the scope of the services and the skill set that we've got. That's something that you have to take responsibility for. [00:31:33] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if there's like a line in the sand, like what's in scope and what isn't, because it's different. Right. And this is the thing, and this is what I was saying to a team yesterday in a meeting. You expect when people come to us for a problem and say, it's like, we need more leads, great. We'll solve that problem for you, which is then going to cause a bottleneck at the next stage. So you've got to help them overcome these hurdles, otherwise it's all going to fall over. Right. So there's no point in doing the initial thing if you can't help them with the follow up things, because these things happen in order and in stages, and every business is different, even marginally different sometimes. But the point is, you've got to help them understand the different because it is new for them. And they're coming like I was saying earlier, they come from this world of doing something a certain way, and then all of a sudden, you've got to help them embrace this other system. They've got to want to do it. And that's the thing. This is what we can help you with. But they've still got to get off their ass and do the thing, or they got to follow your advice and for the better part. That's the kind of businesses that we attract. It's like we've got a client. I'll tell you, for anyone out there that's listening to this, you know you're on the right track when you have clients that come back to you. So they go jump ship because the grass is greener, and then they end up coming back. We've had that numerous times. So you kind of know you're onto something good when that happens. And some of these businesses, like, we brought a client on last week, and he's almost doing a million bucks a month, like very well established businesses. But during an onboarding call, like snap of a finger, I could just see where part of his process is falling over because we have this collective data set from so many different businesses in different verticals and different locations around the world that are doing the same sort of thing. And as an advisor, you kind of get to see what's working. It's kind of ignorant. And I think, again, part of the responsibility in that position is to help people with those different steps of the process so they can improve across the board. Because if you don't, it's just going to come back to stage one where your ads don't work. When it's not the ads, it's the. [00:33:49] Speaker B: Fucking phone shares follow up. That's right, exactly. Yeah, the bucket is leaky. I imagine dealing because dealing with referrals is super easy, right? You get to someone's property, it's like, oh, my brother in law referred. Got your contact details from my brother. It's like it's super raw. We're shooting fish in a barrel. Whereas cold lead you have to present in a different is. What are some of the things because I imagine that whenever I hire a tradey, the first thing I do for is look for the five star reviews on Google, right? Who's got the most five star reviews? Can you give me a practical thing that you've dialed in to help your tradies with this new kind of model? Is it all around social proof and building online trust? [00:34:29] Speaker A: Yes and no. I'll tell you right now, tying into your whole solar conversation, one of the verticals that we work with today is solar. And even this client that came on board is doing like almost a million bucks a month when we're going through in our onboarding call, through the sales process, the biggest bottleneck. And so sure, they're answering phone calls. They got a team in place to do that because they've got, like, four or five office staff or whatever. Sure. But when you break it down in the process and you go, okay, what are you actually doing? After the call? We go to site. We send the guys out to site, then we give them a quote. Then we come back to the office and we prepare a quote and all this stuff, and I'm just like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay, I know you've been doing this, and on paper it looks like it's working, but this whole process is fucked. Can I swear in this podcast? [00:35:15] Speaker B: Of course you can. Good. You just did. [00:35:18] Speaker A: Sorry, Max, you wanted to beat that one out. [00:35:20] Speaker B: Ask forgiveness, not permission. I love it, man. [00:35:24] Speaker A: And so there's little things there that you can help them adopt, which can have significant improvement immediately, effective immediately, in the space of how you can preserve resource and save time with the way your current process is working. Not just for you, by the way, but for the customer as well. Let me ask you this. If that solar guy came out to your home, right, and he did the iPad thing, great. Looked professional, awesome. Got a quote, like, quote on the spot. Great. Take a deposit. Did he do that? No, fuck not. How much time have you got? I mean, you got a lot of time. You sit in the hot tub all day. I know that. But for most people, why is Eddie's mindset where we're like, okay, let me go back to the office and send you a quote in three days and then spend the next two months following you up to get no results because you've gone and shopped that quote for the cheapest price. Like, just turn that freaking quote into a yes invoice right there, and then take a deposit. [00:36:17] Speaker B: Bang. [00:36:17] Speaker A: Job scheduled. Like, this is the thing. [00:36:21] Speaker B: Because I'd made the time to stay home that day and have him and his colleague come out, showed him around the property. We had a really great conversation around electric vehicles and the Tesla Charger and how that was going to play in. And I wanted a Tesla battery on the side of the house. They talked me out of it because of the AC DC conversion, and you're going to lose about 25% of the efficiency. And I'm like, I'm in, guys. Like, whatever you want to put on the house and on the roof and on the side of the house, just do it. I'm in. I trust you guys, right? I would have given him $1,000 deposit there and then on the day, but he went back to the office. I don't know why they're processing. They went back to the office. They used some Python proposal app that they sent me a picture of everything. And we went back and forth and made a few changes and who the fuck. I don't care if it's thousand kilowatts. [00:37:03] Speaker A: And this and that and fucking me the outcome. [00:37:05] Speaker B: And the thing is, they could have changed the scope, I would have paid the deposit and then we could have gone back and forth and changed the scope of the proposal, but I would have paid the deposit and committed to them there and then on the day. Because then as far as I'm concerned, the decisions made and the schedule and that's a loop, right? And that's a loop I can close in my head. I'll give you another example. I had to chase them up to find out when my installation date was, which kind of pissed me off, and I've told them that and they've been rejigging their processes internally and I've been watching it as a customer going, yeah, I see what you're doing. But the communicate, like, they just kept emailing me all these details about my installation date which were going to spam, and I said to them, just fucking text me and tell me that you've sent me an email. Hey, Troy just sent you an email about your installation date. Check your spam folder. Right. I found it by accident the day before they were supposed to come out and do the install. So I had to tell my wife, hey, tomorrow morning there's going to be about eight walking around the I can't. [00:37:56] Speaker A: Be in the hot tub tomorrow morning, babe. Sorry, correct. Must be really tough for you. [00:38:01] Speaker B: Sorry, it is. So little things like that. From a consumer's point of view, I see how it's just their communication could have been improved, right? I can't fault their work, but the communication could have been improved. But here's the thing right now, I'm just going to ask you this question again, Matt. Most agencies wouldn't give a shit about this. They would just say, oh well, sorry dude, like that's your problem, not my business. [00:38:25] Speaker A: It's good, isn't it? [00:38:29] Speaker B: Agreed. Is it? Just because you gen like, I know that there is, I know that there's a positive flywheel here for you because if you help your clients succeed, you're going to get more referrals and you're generally just going to feel better about the work that you're doing. [00:38:43] Speaker A: Again, in the interest of burning the business to the ground and starting again and being outcome focused. It's about the outcome. It's about the outcome. And the outcome is not like, sure, more leads, yeah, awesome. But that's not the outcome. The outcome is more closed jobs and happy customers. So if you don't help with the process, you don't help them evolve that process, then you're not really achieving anything. [00:39:05] Speaker B: So it's interesting, you just said that the outcome is more closed deals and happy customers, right? Now when you say happy customers, you're talking not about the solar companies, you're talking about the solar company's customers, correct? Right. So the outcome is that you want to help the solar company, or whoever it is, get more happy customers. Which is interesting because we got a testimonial. Simon Major shared a testimonial recently that he got from a podiatry clinic and the clinic manager emailed Simon and said, hey, just want to let you know all the clinicians are fully booked up, everyone's super happy, and it's all coming through the search results and we love everything you've done. He took a screenshot, shared it with me, I shared it with the team. I actually go like the level I go to is there's some guy in Diamond Creek now who's getting relief for back pain that he's had for ten years because he's found the right podiatrist? Because of the work Simon's team have done while Simon was on the back of a boat in Croatia for five weeks having a holiday. Because we've helped Simon grow his agency. So that's why we get out of bed, I think, about the absolute end user of the impact of the work that we're doing. In your case, it's like some guy's now got solar panels on his roof and is super happy because you helped that solar company get their shit together. [00:40:18] Speaker A: Yeah, well, that's the thing. And you look at Simon, right? Simon's a prime example because when he came to you, he's like, don't give him any more work work, just help me with the processes. Right, correct. But if you had have said, oh, cool, we can help you with more work, and here's more leads, and it's like, well, that doesn't solve any problems. [00:40:33] Speaker B: That just, again, throws more problems. He's going to create more problems. He was explicit about this, do not tell me how to get clients. I've got referrals and clients coming out of my ears. I've got a team problem and a process problem and we're overwhelmed. I need to fix that. And to this day, he's still not really doing any marketing. He's tripled his business since working with us. He was already seven figures when he started and it's all been through referrals and word. [00:40:53] Speaker A: So he's now 21 figures. [00:40:57] Speaker B: Something like that. His team are now he just spent five weeks in Europe on holiday, completely out of the business, and didn't miss a it. So when someone comes to you this, what are the services that you're offering? Are you still building websites and doing SEO campaigns? [00:41:17] Speaker A: Yeah, we do, but we do all that stuff. But when people are coming to us, it's not a matter anymore of which product or which service. It's looking at what their outcomes need to be and then designing a solution which might include a bunch of services which can help them get that. So, yes, we have developers and we build websites. We do that. But sometimes half the people that come to us don't need a website. So we're not going to build a new website. What's the point? We got a website. And to be honest with you, we have. And now I say this to our guys all the time, not so much our clients as well, truthfully. Because as soon as they come on board, they're like, right, go fix all this shit. I'm like, listen, need to have, nice to have. Let's focus on need to have. And then we can work on all the nice to haves down the track. Nice to haves at the moment for you. Websites are nice to have. It's not going to solve your immediate problem. What you need right now is leads. [00:42:12] Speaker B: That's right. [00:42:14] Speaker A: And you need a lead management system. That's the biggest thing. They don't have any systems. They got a process. Right? It's just like, the phone rings, we answer it. We never call them back. Like it comes through to my mobile. It's just a total clusterfuck. So you got to, again, zooming out and looking at the bigger picture, like back a year ago or two years ago, we'd be like, well, sure, we'll build your website and we'll do your SEO. Great job done from our end. Look, all your indicators are showing green. Awesome. But it doesn't solve the problem. So then all that leads to is, well, we've spent all this money with you building these websites and we're doing all this SEO stuff, but we want this outcome. [00:42:52] Speaker B: And then eventually the clients churn, and then you got to go and replace them with another client and the whole thing. From a tech stack point of view, you're a high level reseller, white label, high level. Right. So is that kind of the engine room that you're using for all of the clients in terms of lead management and sales, pipeline management and all that good stuff? [00:43:13] Speaker A: Yeah, exactly. We just do it because it's easy to be honest before we still are like active campaign resellers and all this shit. But in the interest of simplicity and just understand as well, we're dealing with dudes that are out on the road halfway up a ladder all day for them to be able to use one app instead of 15 different ones. It's a simplification of all of this stuff, which can help them with various stages, various areas and departments within the business. [00:43:48] Speaker B: How risky was it for someone listening to this? Your second child was not even two. You've got this business which know you've worked really hard to build. You're going to the Maldives every year with a bunch of people having a mastermind retreat. Right. On paper, on the surface, everything's looking pretty good. Right? How scary was it to know I'm going to burn this to the ground because I don't believe in it and I'm going to reinvent it? And you backed yourself. [00:44:19] Speaker A: I mean, truthfully, it was scarier doing it the other way. Yeah, because I was living on fucking living a lie. [00:44:25] Speaker B: Yes, I get that. I get it because you and I have spoken about this enough, and I get it, and I get the mindset of it, but a lot of people, I think, listening to this, don't believe they have what it takes to actually deliver outcomes for clients and deliver results. Do you know why that is? [00:44:43] Speaker A: Because they don't have the ability to deliver outcomes for their clients and results. That's the reality. So you got to go figure it out. [00:44:51] Speaker B: Yes, that's right. [00:44:53] Speaker A: And that's the hard part. Like, it took me two years to figure it out. [00:44:59] Speaker B: Took you two years to figure it out? [00:45:00] Speaker A: Yeah. We're trying to find the right solutions, meet the right people, like, whatever. The whole time, it's just like a worm in the back of my head just going, fucking fix this, idiot. You're an idiot. You're selling. Yeah. [00:45:16] Speaker B: And so it wasn't a weekend decision, right? It was something that was playing on your mind for a long know, I get would like, Seth Godin talks about the comfort zone and the safety zone, right. He says they're two very different things. Like, your comfort zone is the unsafest place to be, but it's just easier for a lot of people, I think. And I'm just posing the question because I know there's a lot of people listening to this right now thinking, well, my core skill set is websites, SEO, and care plans. How do I make the pivot to. [00:45:46] Speaker A: Yeah, but that might work for their vertical. This is the thing. You just got to figure out what the right solution is for your customers and be realistic about what they actually want. That works for some verticals. Simon's proof of it just doesn't work for ours for, like and yes, it was considerably easier when all we had to do was sell a website and sell an SEO program and then just go do nothing off the back of it. Pretty much like, why the team do all the delivery? And I literally didn't really have much to do. And now I've never been busier in the business. I've never been more stressed. I've never had more team members having to keep training them up, like recording ad copy and all this kind of stuff. It's all kind of new, but over time, we'll systemize that too, and piece by piece remove myself from it. But, yeah, it is stressful, and most people don't want to sign up for that, and I don't blame them, to be honest. [00:46:42] Speaker B: Yeah, but as you said, you felt like there was no alternative because you didn't believe in what you were selling. You'd kind of lost faith in it. [00:46:51] Speaker A: I mean, if you look at the timeline of, I suppose, my business as from conception, like, it's been a constant state of evolution. And anyone that doesn't do that, I think you're freaking kidding yourself if you think you could just run a business like the way that you did 13 years ago when you set it up. You need to have a serious head check. [00:47:10] Speaker B: I've been down deep down the AI rabbit hole. As you know, we're all playing with AI here, but someone showed me something yesterday and I saw this thing yesterday. It's called ten web AI. Ten web AI. Right. This is a piece of AI that will build you a WordPress website in about three minutes. [00:47:33] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. No, I've seen. [00:47:39] Speaker B: If you're and I'm also a big fan of Reloom and Framer, which are two other resources I've been playing with a lot lately. I reckon if you're just taking Photoshop files or figma files and turning them into websites and that's your skill set, I reckon you're cooked. I reckon your days are numbered. And I think you need to understand what is the value that we're because sure, AI can build your website, but if you publish that without proofreading it, it's probably not going to be exactly outcome. Right. So I think the value is in the strategy. I've been saying that for a long time now, and I think even now it's true more so than ever. What are you doing with AI to help you improve efficiencies? And are you kind of just looking at it on the periphery or are you kind of getting your feet wet? [00:48:25] Speaker A: No, we use AI for all sorts of things, and I think you're pretty much making yourself further and further redundant if you don't. But again, strategically, you've got to be able to the whole prompt engineer sort of mentality, it's become a case of how do you use this efficiently to our advantage, instead of using it necessarily as just a way to straight up cut corners and yeah, you look at, like exactly. If you're a web developer and your whole thing is building coded websites today, how long do you reckon that's going to be around for? This space moves quick. [00:49:07] Speaker B: That's right. [00:49:07] Speaker A: And so you got to be forward thinking enough to figure out okay. And you've got to be able to use these technologies to your advantage, where it suits your business, but you don't want to be replaced by it. [00:49:21] Speaker B: That's right. I think the opportunity is to leverage AI to do your job more efficiently, to free up here's the thing. AI is going to free up a lot of time. Most people are going to fill that time, exploring more AI and producing more shit that nobody wants. I think the opportunity is to spend that time that you've got just sitting and thinking, talking to customers, designing better products and doing better marketing. But I think most people aren't going to do that. They're just going to end up playing with AI and producing more shit because that's the easy thing, right? [00:49:51] Speaker A: Yeah, exactly. And that's probably doing things without some sort of a strategic objective. Even on the coaching calls, I'm just like, oh, man, another AI tool. Great. Because I'm a sucker for it. I just need to go and get it and sign up for it and test it all. So stop doing that. Sorry, man. But some of it is helpful. There's things there. In the interest of saving time, it's been on my whiteboard for a long time to come up with a content strategy, and then all of a sudden we found this tool which you introduced to, which I can't remember the name of, but it's been bang. Content strategy version 1.0 done here. Content girl. Go and work on this and hurry up. [00:50:39] Speaker B: Yeah, and I think that's the thing, having, like, Max and I talk about AI a lot, but I think you've got to have someone in the business that owns the process and then use the robots to do the mechanical work. But someone has to own the process, and it's got to fit in with what you're trying to achieve strategically. Hey, I could talk about this for weeks and we will know. I'd love to have you back on the show to go a little bit deeper into some of this stuff. What are you most excited about? Two questions. What are you most excited about over the next 90 days? And if someone's listening to this and they think that they want to get more into this, delivering outcomes for clients, what's the first thing they should do? [00:51:15] Speaker A: Just, like, figure out how to do it. I don't know how to cut corners. It took me two years to figure it out. I really don't know how to cut corners with it. [00:51:25] Speaker B: Were you talking to customers and experience? [00:51:27] Speaker A: Not at all. [00:51:27] Speaker B: Customers. [00:51:28] Speaker A: Can you pick? I knew what we were doing wasn't delivering the outcome, but coming from that background and putting myself in their shoes, I know what I would have expected. I suppose if you're sitting there pondering this, I would say the first thing you to do would be to really understand, okay, what is it they actually want? And don't get caught up in what you're selling and your services, because quite frankly, that's got nothing to do with it. Figure out what is the actual outcome that they want and then figure out, okay, well, how can we go about building this out? And when you're doing that, what are the resources available? Are there software tools, coaches, consultants? What is available to help me achieve this outcome and then go make a decision or don't. [00:52:22] Speaker B: Yes. That's a key distinction, I think, is actually deciding that this is going to be the new way and not half asking. It like actually committing to a decision, but it's uncomfortable. [00:52:31] Speaker A: I mean, change is uncomfortable for anyone. But again, like, adapt or die. You're green and growing or you're ripe and rotting. [00:52:39] Speaker B: Yeah. Love it. Love it. [00:52:41] Speaker A: Put that on. [00:52:41] Speaker B: What are you most excited about? I will. You're green and growing or you're ripe and rotting? Ripe and rotting. I love it. What are you most excited about over the next 90 days? Apart from the AFL grand. Final. Of course. [00:52:54] Speaker A: Yeah, super pumped about that. I really have this just vision of me working less in the business by getting the right team members on board. I've had that. I don't know if that's a 90 day goal. Like, we got new salesperson coming on, we got like, KPIs they should be hitting and all this kind of stuff. You feel like just one step forward, two steps back. Sometimes my 90 day goal would be to be less involved in just the shit that we're doing at the moment, which would involve having the right team members on board, better marketing, maybe better processes. [00:53:40] Speaker B: Have you blocked time in the calendar? Have you said on this date, I'm going to start taking Friday afternoons off every second week? [00:53:47] Speaker A: Not really, because quite honestly, I just don't have the time at the moment. [00:53:56] Speaker B: From my experience, you'll never have the time. The thing that most people do is they wait until the business hits a certain point before they take every second Friday afternoon off. And in my experience, what's worked for me is I got to a point where I was burnt out and I just couldn't come back to the business because I couldn't look at a computer. I was going to scream at someone. And I said to Emily, this was before she became CEO. I said she was ops manager. I said, I'm not coming back. I'm taking another two weeks. Because if I have to come back now and start making decisions, they're going to be bad decisions because I'm going to make them fast because I just want it to go away. And I took another two weeks, and then I came back on light duties and then a couple of months later promoted her to CEO. And what I've realized is if you actually start taking every second Friday afternoon off, the business will get to that milestone a lot quicker than if you wait for it before you start taking. [00:54:46] Speaker A: I mean, I suppose the missing piece there would be having that team member in place that you could sort of leave in charge of those kind of things, which at the moment haven't got. So it's kind of getting the right people on the right seats, and at the moment, it's just going to take work. [00:55:03] Speaker B: But also, I remember when we had Oscar, he would sleep for about 45 minutes, and then he would wake up. And so I would wheel his bassinet out to the home office. I'd go. Right? He's asleep. I'd work like crazy for 45 minutes. He would wake up, and then I was done. I was more productive in that 45 minutes because I realized I got all this shit that I just don't need to do. I've got 45 minutes and I can get that done. It's the most important thing. I learned this from one of these things from James Shramko. He said, if you want to know what needs fixing in the business. Take Tuesday off, come back to work on Wednesday and whatever's on fire, fix the system so that never explodes again. Now that might be auctioning that off to a team member. It might be improving a process, it might be firing a bad client. It might be killing something that you've been doing that you don't need to. When you take the time off, you come back to the agency, you come back to the business and go, that's the problem. How do I fix it so that never happens again? Because I'm taking next Friday afternoon off again and I don't want to come back to the same fire. And it helps you get very clear very quickly about who you need or what you need to change or who you need to move on or who needs to take on more responsibility. So that's just been my experience. Get a hot tub, mate. Hot tubs are great. It's very hard to work in a hot tub because shit gets wet. Hey, this has been awesome. Where can people reach out and if there are any Tradies listening, they should join the Facebook group. They should listen to the siteshed podcast. We'll put the links in the show notes to this. Where can people reach out and say good day and connect? [00:56:29] Speaker A: I'm not hard to find. Like the Vsiteshed is the podcast and the Facebook group and the website. trady Web Guys is the agency and we're pretty much those across everything and social I'm at I am the mat J pretty much everywhere. So, yeah, I'm not hard to find at all. So, yeah, if you can reach out. [00:56:53] Speaker B: Well, thanks for joining us on the agency. I really appreciate you coming on and having a chat with us. I know a lot of people will learn a lot from this and be inspired and look forward to seeing you at our next event or the one after. Not the one in the States, the one after in Australia. [00:57:06] Speaker A: Thanks, mate. [00:57:07] Speaker B: Thanks Matt. Cheers. Hey, thanks for listening to the agency, our podcast, and a massive thanks to Matt for joining us. We really appreciate your honest insights, mate, and we'll definitely get you back on the podcast in the future. Okay folks, don't forget to subscribe and please share this with anyone you think may need to hear it. I'm Troy dean. Surfs up, dudes.

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