How To Take 2 Months Off without Your Business Collapsing

Episode 71 March 09, 2023 00:37:05
How To Take 2 Months Off without Your Business Collapsing
The Agency Hour
How To Take 2 Months Off without Your Business Collapsing

Mar 09 2023 | 00:37:05


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

Join us on The Agency Hour Podcast this week as we chat with Mavericks Club member and CEO of Manifest Website Design, Jillian Brandon. In this episode, we explore how Jillian has identified gaps in the market, grown her team, and evolved her service offering since joining the Mavericks Club. From care plans and hosting to growth plans, SEO, and paid discovery, we dive into the systems and processes necessary to build confidence in taking time away from your business without sacrificing its success.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 I've always been of the mindset when there's been recessions and covid and things like that. There's opportunity and it's important to keep in touch with your clients, find out what they need, cuz that changes. So as the environment changes, so does that, um, and there's always a way to help them. There's always something you can do. Speaker 2 00:00:22 Welcome to the Agency Hour podcast. This week we're joined by Maverick's Club member Jillian Brandon. Jillian is the CEO of Manifest Website Design here in Australia at Manifest website Design. They help you get better clients by creating world ranking websites, effective seo, lead gen, email marketing, and organization through automations. In this episode, we discuss identifying opportunities and gaps in the market. Al Gillian's team has grown over the last two years, how her service offering has also grown since joining Mavericks, including care plans, hosting, growth plans, seo, and of course, paid discovery as well as the systems and processes that needed to be implemented. In order for Jillian to have the confidence to take time away, take a two month holiday out of her business without the business collapsing. I'm Troy Dean, stay with us. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the agency our Jillian Brandon from Manifest Web Design. Hey, Jillian, how are Speaker 0 00:01:22 You? I'm good, thank you, Troy. How Speaker 2 00:01:24 Are you? Thank I'm great. Thanks for joining us on the show. Now. Um, a little bit of context. You you put a Facebook post up recently talking about, well, I'll let you tell the story. What, what happened? Speaker 0 00:01:36 Okay. So, um, I was in a squadron call. I'd been away and, um, someone suggested that I talk about myself and my experience. So I created a post that explained how I took two months off to go to Cuba and the Caribbean, um, and how my business didn't fall apart. Speaker 2 00:01:58 <laugh> is, isn't that amazing? We take some time off and we expect the business to fall apart, and when it doesn't, we're pleasantly surprised. Yeah. <laugh>, um, little bit of context. Jillian is in Maverick's Club, which is our mastermind. A squadron call is a call that we have every couple of weeks with a small group of agency owners, and they become, you kind of become accountability buddies and kind of business best friends, don't you? Yeah. Speaker 0 00:02:19 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:02:20 Why the Caribbean and Cuba? Why, why was that Destin? I'm curious. Speaker 0 00:02:24 Uh, <laugh>, it's literally the other side of the world to Australia. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I think it was 35 hours without a bed to get there. Wow. Um, look, I, it was just one of those places that I was very curious about. Um, people said it was like stepping back in time and it really, really was. More people get about by horse and cart than they do by car. Wow. Yeah. It's just in a fascinating place. Speaker 2 00:02:50 Mm-hmm. And I hear the, uh, I hear the, uh, the cocktails are pretty nice too. Are they? Yeah. <laugh>, <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:02:56 They have the basic ingredients right there, Speaker 2 00:02:59 <laugh>. Excellent. Now, what, what do you attribute, I, I spoke to Matt Jones, uh, the other day who's also in Maverick's Club, and he just went to Mexico for five weeks with his wife and two children, one of which is like less than one year old. And, uh, he said he probably wouldn't do that again, five weeks in Mexico with two little, uh, kids as a long time. But he also came back, surprisingly to a business that hadn't fallen over. Yeah. Let, let's just, let's just go back 18 months, two years before you started working with us. And this is by no means, I'm not trying to plug what we do because you are the one that's taken all the action and done the work. But two years ago, if you'd gone away for two months to the Caribbean and Cuba, what, what would you have been nervous about that would happen in the business by you not being here? Speaker 0 00:03:43 Uh, two years ago, if I'd done this, um, I would've had to have just closed the doors, like completely shut down everything. Um, and it would've been quite a disaster, really, because, um, people would've been emailing me <laugh> and I was out of communication. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> pretty much, I mean, I had my team, you know, um, looking after things for me. So, um, they had access to my emails. They had, um, access to me, um, minimal access to me mm-hmm. <affirmative> while I was away, um, through Slack email boxer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> WhatsApp. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:04:26 And so what do you, what do you think you've put in place over the last two years that gave you the confidence to go away for two months and e even though you were still a little bit nervous, you, you obviously were more confident now than you were two years ago. What, what processes or systems or what mechanically have you put in place? Has it just been team or is it systems? What is it? Speaker 0 00:04:47 It, a lot of things. Um, a bunch of things. I actually didn't have a lot of time to prepare, but I realized that I'd actually done a lot of groundwork anyway. So the, the big thing was the reoccurring income. Mm-hmm. So I had a bunch of care plans in place and I had a care plan manager in place. I had, um, a form on my website, um, that automatically made a task in click up. So I had a system for ticketing. Um, although it was, it's very simple. It works well. Mm-hmm. Um, a support email, and so that was all in place. So I just really sat down and looked at all my incomings and all of my outgoings made a list. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, trimmed a bit of fat. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> made sure, you know, um, which is I think a good exercise to do. Speaker 2 00:05:35 Absolutely. Speaker 0 00:05:36 Every 12 months. <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:05:38 We try, we try and do it every three months. Yeah. Gets it gets outta hand. Speaker 0 00:05:42 Yeah, it does. It does. So I had that in place and that was solid and in place. So that actually gave me the confidence, that part of it. So I had about two or three months to prepare because of that. I had a lot of of processes in place. I had a team, so I had a content manager and a developer and a designer, and I had my content manager, um, sort of flip to be a bit of a va. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she took on my emails and so we, we sort of shadowed, I shadowed, she shadowed me, sorry, for about a month prior, so she was looking after things. Right. So I trained her up. It was really about training up the team. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I made sure the team knew who our top 10 clients are. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we talk about that a bit. Um, these are the people that we look after. We, you know, we bend over backwards for these people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, there are kind of, yeah. We've always got that top 10 mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:06:44 <affirmative>. How's, how's the team grown over the last two years? I'm curious. Speaker 0 00:06:48 Oh, I had no team <laugh> prior. Ah-huh. I'm sorry. I had, uh, a couple of Upwork contractors, um, freelancers. Um, so then I had, so before I left I had three, I did get rid of my designer because I was concerned about how I was gonna deliver website projects while I was away. So I did trim that back. And also the, my sales process is me mm-hmm. <affirmative> and project development, um, project management was me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I didn't really feel I had time to nurture and, and, uh, train up a project manager. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that component I trimmed back, uh, I got rid of my designer mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I trimmed back. But funnily enough, um, and Pete helped me with this. I had a discovery call the day before I left with a client and actually won the job while I was away. Two websites on a $1,500 recurring. Wow. While I was away. Speaker 2 00:07:51 <laugh> well done. You should go away more often. <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:07:54 It's funny how that happens because I guess I was nervous about before I left, like, how am I going to do this? Do I, do I still have meetings with clients? Do I still do proposals and discovery sessions? What am I gonna say to them? I'm not gonna be here for two months Anyway. So I decided to be completely upfront and honest. No saying I don't have availability for two months, but I do have this content collection system mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so we will, we can start the project. And Pete helped me with that. So we, we've just developed a system of just keeping them a little bit nurtured mm-hmm. <affirmative> through that two month period mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I, I had three clients that I was able to do that with. Great. So that helped incredibly. So I didn't actually deliver any projects during that time, but I had work to come back to and a lot, quite a lot. It was quite substantial. Speaker 2 00:08:47 Great. A bit of context, Pete is Jillian's coach in Maverick's Club. You say that you didn't deliver any projects during that time, but you, you did deliver value to those clients because you were nurturing them. Yes. Sending them those messages. They were getting their content together and sending it back to you. So you are helping them get organized while you are away. How has your service offering changed over the last two years? Speaker 0 00:09:11 Oh, a lot. <laugh>. Prior to joining Mavericks, I was just winging it really. I was just building websites and that was it. So now I have a signature system, <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have it quite documented. Um, I have my, you know, nine sort of pillars, pillars of what I do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I have built out my website with a stack of new pages and constantly working on that, constantly talking to my clients. So now I, now I not just build websites, I do care plans and I do managed hosting, so that's care plan and hosting. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I bundle that often. Um, and that, yeah, it's just a little bit better. I do growth plans. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that's basically my signature system. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and SEO and, and Discovery. Speaker 2 00:10:03 Great. Quite a lot. Great. Pay discovery. We love pay discovery, the growth plans. I'm kind of teeing you up here to, uh, talk a little bit about the details. What are you using to manage the growth plans for your clients? Speaker 0 00:10:17 As in processes? Speaker 2 00:10:19 Yes. Processes, software. What does, what does that look like? Speaker 0 00:10:22 Oh, okay. So we use click up for all our tasks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so we have templates for, uh, web projects, growth plans, care plans. Care plans is for pretty straightforward s e o. They're all templated. A growth pen is often customized. In fact, it's always customized. So although we have a template we go through with the client and tweak that template, it's just a Yeah. Click up template that gets us started with that. But it's a, it's always a six to 12 month engagement. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, on a sort of risk recurring kind of tasks or recurring mm-hmm. <affirmative> Yeah. In a cycle with high level for, um, CM and email marketing and everything <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:11:11 Yeah. It's a great platform. Do you, do you resell high level as as software or managed service? Yeah, Speaker 0 00:11:17 A little. Yeah. Yeah. I have a little, I was sort of pushing that before I left. Um, I had to back off on that because I couldn't really do it while away. I have backed off a bit on that. I tend to use it for my clients mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when I'm, um, yeah. The, I have counts for them if I'm doing work for them with the idea that, you know, if they wanna stop the growth plan, I can show them high level and say, well, here you go. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:11:46 You know. Yeah. At which point they won't wanna do it themselves. And the idea is that it makes it stickier and with the, the, the, the templates and click up, it's, you know, I think the idea there is that it's, each client has got their own needs and it is slightly customized, but at least the template gets you 80% of the way there. It gets you up and about, you don't need to reinvent the process every time a client comes in. So you're, you're a lot more efficient. Yeah. I I also think once you've, because I know you've done a lot of work in the documentation around this, that it makes it easier then to delegate it to team members Right. And teach team members how things work. Speaker 0 00:12:18 Yeah. A lot of the tasks are, or most of 'em are done by team members now. I don't try not to do too much <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:12:27 Great. So how, how has your role changed over the last couple of Speaker 0 00:12:31 Years? Oh, massively. You know, one thing that Pete, um, and I think you have drilled into me is, um, when a task comes to me, to me it's, you know, my immediate thought is, who is going to do this? Not how am I going to do this? Mm. Um, you know, I'm taking on work and things that, you know, require someone that is more skilled than me mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I have to go and find that person, or, you know, yeah. Reach out to my team and see who, who's the best fit. Speaker 2 00:13:02 Great. Who is your typical client? Just gimme a bit of an overview of the, the typical clients that you serve. Speaker 0 00:13:09 So I live in the southern highlands of New South Wales. A lot of local businesses. So they're service based industries, businesses, sorry. Mostly they're go-getters. You know, that's the sort of typical and ideal client is the people that wanna grow, you know, the people. Yeah. They wanna be, they consider themselves the best at what they do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they want the world to know that they're the best. Mm-hmm. And they're great. Just love working with people like that. Speaker 2 00:13:37 Yeah. Yeah. You do. You, you are, you really light up when you talk about your clients, and I know this because we've had many conversations before, but you, you have this genuine, this genuine desire to help people who are actively trying to grow their business. Do, do you, do you say no to some clients sometimes who aren't a good fit? What, what's your process for qualifying a client? Speaker 0 00:14:00 Uh, I'm not sure if I've got a process. It's, it's a gut feeling. Sometimes people come and, you know, I can tell straight away sometimes and just say, look, you know, I don't think we are the right people. If you're looking for a, you know, $500 website, we are not your people. I've had to offboard people who are just completely a bad fit. <laugh>, you know, it's usually around expectations. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and, you know, I try to do that as diplomatically as possible. You know, I'm not here to, you know, mm. Cause any Rs I try to, you know, offboard people in a way that, you know, if they get stuck, they might come back. Um, if they Yeah. Can change their attitude. <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:14:46 Yeah. But I think it's important. Like, I, I, I struggled for years to say no to clients, and I ended up with a bunch of clients that I wasn't able to serve at the price point that they wanted me to serve them at. And it actually was impacting my other clients because it was impacting my mindset and my mental health. And I was starting to resent the business, and I couldn't do my best work. And I eventually had to offboard quite a few clients who, uh, at the time we were just hosting their websites and we decided not to do any hosting anymore because we were terrible at it, to be honest. And, uh, there were quite a few difficult conversations that we had during that. We had had a 14 day campaign to, to offboard these clients. But in hindsight, it was the best thing that we did because then it allowed us to focus on serving our best clients. And Emily, our ceo, has actually taught me this, uh, framework called the, the 10 10 10. Any difficult conversation is gonna feel awkward for 10 minutes after the conversation, 10 hours after the conversation, it starts to feel a little bit easier 10 days after you've had that conversation. It's a thing of the past, you've forgotten about it, and you've moved on and, and you feel relieved that you actually had that conversation. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:15:56 Yeah. I actually have a form on my website, um, a new project, new website, project form mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And on the very first page, it's got several pages of, um, questions. The very first page is budget. It's at the bottom, but it's budget. And the, the, the lowest that they can tick is five grand. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, $5,000 mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so if I'm unsure if I get a phone call and I'm unsure, I just flick them that link mm-hmm. <affirmative> and that weeds them out, <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:16:27 Yeah, that's right. Speaker 0 00:16:28 They're not prepared to, at least well fill in that form and know that, you know, it's probably gonna be more than five grand. That's right. Then that weeds them out quickly. Speaker 2 00:16:39 You just saved yourself a lot of time, haven't you? Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I had a, I had a guy email me once saying, uh, uh, I, I don't fill in forms <laugh>. I just sent an email back saying, well, we're not gonna work together. <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:16:51 You, you want me to build your website so your clients can fill in forms, but you are not prepared to fill in a form use. We have a problem. If you could go back and talk to Jillian Brandon two years ago, it's been a journey, right? I mean, you've learnt, you were saying before we hit record, that you've realized how much you've learnt over the last two years. If you could go back and say to yourself, two years ago, just do this thing first. It's gonna be the thing that actually gets you the, the biggest bang for your buck, or the, it's the one lever that you should pull. What would you say to yourself, Speaker 0 00:17:23 Oh, don't give up <laugh>. Mm. Yeah. Just keep going. I think it, it's a, around the recurring revenue. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that's the key. It gives you the confidence. I think having that, just, that money that drops in every, you know, all the time. It gives you opportunities to grow. And then I think through that, you have to have processes, you know, it forces you to do that. It forces you to, not in a bad way, but you know, around that you need processes and around that you need a team. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:17:59 <affirmative>. Yeah. So focus on, and it's really interesting cuz one of the things I say is, is never stop selling. Never stop recruiting. Like, it doesn't mean you have to always be hiring, but you should always be looking for good talented people around that you can bring in when you need them. Because if you have to hire someone fast, you generally hire the wrong person because you're desperate. Right? Yes. Um, and recurring revenue gives you the confidence to know when you can hire someone because you know that you've got the cash flow coming in. Now, of course, it's, nothing's guaranteed, but it's way better than just working off project based revenue. Speaker 0 00:18:33 Oh, absolutely. Um, prior, prior to that, I had, uh, I was still doing maintenance for clients, but I had no idea when that was gonna happen. Mm. And yeah, I, I think through, um, through Covid, um, 2020, um, my old clients and all the maintenance I did sort of kept me afloat, but oh yeah, I didn't know when. So now I do, you know, I can see exactly how it's gonna, how the next, at least six to 12 months looks. Mm. You know, you have clients that, you know, are only going to engage for six to 12 months, some for longer, Speaker 2 00:19:16 But at least you've got that recurring revenue, that predictability coming in. Yeah. I wanna talk a little bit about some of the details now. Uh, in your post on Facebook, you mentioned that automation made tasks easier for, for all of us. Can you walk us through some of the things that you set up before you went away? And I know we've talked a little bit about, uh, the, the content collection. Um, there was some other stuff around some reoccurring marketing activities like scheduling articles and social media stuff. How, what, what, how did you know what you needed to automate so that it didn't fall through the cracks while you were away? Did you, did you kind of do an audit on that? Or what was, what was your thinking and process around that? Well, Speaker 0 00:19:54 I guess high level. So we had it set up so that any conversations that came in would have a, an automatic response mm-hmm. <affirmative> of some kind, usually text message. And that would ping my va so she would be on top of that. The automations we had for our ticketing system mm-hmm. <affirmative> was in place and we just set up a content calendar for my business, but also my clients' businesses. And we just mapped it out what we're gonna, the posts that we were going to, uh, produce, uh, while I was away. Speaker 2 00:20:29 Great. Speaker 0 00:20:30 And they were kind all set up and scheduled. Speaker 2 00:20:33 And that, that's And you managed all that in high level? Speaker 0 00:20:36 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:20:36 Yeah. Fantastic. Yeah. Um, we were, I just had a live stream this morning in the Facebook group with Sean Clark from high level and, uh, I'm curious, so he was talking about the web chat basically converts, anyone that responds via a web chat can basically converts it into an s m s message that you can, the conversation where you can start to message the person back and forth. Um, do you use, do you have contact forms on your website come into that as well? Do you use the web chat? Do you have Yeah. Yes. Yes. And do you deploy that for clients? Speaker 0 00:21:06 I haven't yet. Um, I'm actually building one at the moment for a client, so it's a tradie, so we call it Phone Central. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it's just the, the, um, text message back. Um, we're setting that up for him. So it's just a little trim down version. But yeah, I had a message yesterday from Web Chat that just responds automatically. And then I have contact forms on my website that respond, um, Facebook, everything comes in from all different places. Mm-hmm. And everyone gets some kind of response depending on how they come in. Typically it's, um, asking them for more information or, you know, are you after this just that or nurturing first step. And I'm fairly, um, upfront about the fact that it's automated. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, this is Jillian's bot <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:21:55 Yeah. Great. Because people know, people know it's a bot. Right. So you may as well just call it out and be honest about it. Speaker 0 00:22:01 Yeah. Yeah. You've called us out of ours, this is Jillian's bot, you know, that sort of thing. Um, she'll get back to you or someone from the team will get back to Speaker 2 00:22:09 You. Yeah. At least they know that they've been heard. At least they know that. Like, I remember a long time ago when I put in a support ticket on a software company and I got the automated response saying, we've got your support ticket. And I, I kind of read it went, oh, that, that was quick. And then I read it and I realized it was a canned response, but, but at least I knew that it had been logged and someone was going to look at it and that hadn't just disappeared into the ether. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's the point with automated replies is let people know it's automated. Let them know that we've got it. We'll get onto it as soon as we're, we are back in business hours. Yeah. What are you most excited about, uh, over the coming year and, and the coming three months? What are you working on? What are you focused on? Speaker 0 00:22:49 Everything seems to be exploding at the moment. I've got a lot of ducks lined up. It's been a lot of work and it's suddenly sort of, yeah. It's really starting to happen. I'm working on recruiting at the moment and building my team Great. Because the processes are pretty much in place. Um, they're always a, a work in progress. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have to say, my SOPs and just the click up task list, just a website built is a hundred te steps. Speaker 2 00:23:18 <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:23:18 Yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah. <laugh>. And, you know, that that changes too. Things change, so you've gotta move with it. I'm excited about all the automation and AI that's at the moment. It's very exciting. I just wanna be all over it. Speaker 2 00:23:33 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, yeah. High level of rolling out AI natively in-app. You'll be able to use it to write emails, produce content, text messages, the whole lot. It's super exciting. It's a, it's an ex, I feel like it's like when I feel like it, it, we are, back in the days when Elementor happened in WordPress, it was like, wow, this is just gonna make things so much faster. Yeah. It's not gonna replace us. Like a lot of people are kind of panicking about. No, no. But it's gonna make things super fun and super fast, isn't it? Yeah. Speaker 0 00:24:01 I, I have it, um, in my email at the moment where, um, and on Facebook there's a little arrow and you just click it and b it just keeps writing for you. Um, wow. But yeah, I mostly use it for ideas and to improve. Yes. I like to write, so Yeah. Um, I'll write and then have it perhaps improve it or gimme some ideas. Um, Speaker 2 00:24:25 Mm. Yeah. Are you use, are you using chat G p t specifically? Speaker 0 00:24:29 Uh, yes. And Jasper. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:24:31 Yeah. Yeah. They're great. I love Jasper. It's, it's a, it's a, I tell you, it's a, um, I, I sort of do feel like there's a really interesting kind of confluence of factors at the moment where you've got this explosion of ai. You've got, you know, economically there's a lot of uncertainty where, you know, interest rates are going up. We are probably gonna go into a recession at some point to slow things down because frankly, because during covid governments around the world just printed money and gave it to us to keep us happy. And that's kind of, you know, biting us in the ass now. Um, but I do feel like there's this opportunity where a lot of people are scared. And if those, if you can just keep an abundant mindset, which is sometimes really bloody hard when cost of living is going up and interest rates are going up, it's really hard to keep an abundant mindset. Speaker 2 00:25:21 But I think if you can keep an abundant mindset there, there is a pathway and an opportunity because a lot of people are gonna get scared and a lot of people are gonna fall over, which is sad. But the opportunity for those who keep an abundant mindset is that there will be gaps in the market. The same thing happened during Covid mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we saw our client base during Covid, sort of the bottom 20% of our client base just hit the wall and the top 20% just exploded because they just focused on what they can control and they kind of ignored what they can't control. And I feel like we're in a similar time now, only a few years later, where there's a lot of stuff that's out of our control. Um, how do you keep, how do you wake up every day and go, right. This is what I mean, it, it's tough being a business owner. Right. How do you, what do you do to keep your mind on the job and to keep yourself in good spirits? Speaker 0 00:26:12 <laugh> yoga, meditation. Yes. Speaker 2 00:26:14 Yes. Self-care tips from Jillian, Brandon <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:26:19 Um, I've always been of the mindset when there's been recessions and covid and things like that, there's opportunity, there's still opportunity. And it's important to keep in touch with your clients, find out what they need. Cuz that changes. So as the environment changes, so does that. Um, and there's always a way to help them. There's always something you can do, especially if you're staying abreast of the technology. You know, we just know so much more than they do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don't mean that in a bad way. No. Around technology. Speaker 2 00:26:53 It's super interesting that you mention that because I think we forget, I think because we live in this bubble where we talk to other agency owners all the time, we forget that like we are less than half a percent of the population of the planet know how to do what we do, and we just take it for granted, and we just assume that everyone knows how to do it. Speaker 0 00:27:11 Yeah. Yeah. They think you're amazing sometimes just like, Speaker 2 00:27:15 Yeah. <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>. I know. It's like, really? Speaker 2 00:27:18 Yeah, I have, I have large clo large organizations as clients who are still managing everything in email. And then I showed 'em how, how to use click up or aana, and they think I'm a wizard. It's like, we've been doing this for 12 years, man. Like, I haven't used email for 12 years. What's going on? But they don't know what we know because they know what they know. Right. Their expertise in their knowledge is in their domain. Yes. And so I think that's a really interesting observation and a really interesting thing to keep in the front of your, your mind is that yeah, we know more than them and that it's not patronizing, it's just a fact. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:27:51 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and we can help them. You know, there's always a way, there's always opportunities. You just gotta stay connected, I think, to the people. Speaker 2 00:28:00 Yeah. It's, and that's something that you can't automate Speaker 0 00:28:04 No <laugh> No. Speaker 2 00:28:06 Because, you know, chat G P T is not gonna call you up and say, Hey, things are a bit weird at the moment in the world. How are you doing? Right. <laugh>. And I think that's the real value that we offer with our clients, is that personal connection and that empathy and that compassion and that genuinely caring about their situation and helping them, and then using the tools like page builders and chat g p t to make our processes more efficient so that we can deliver to our clients and stay profitable. I mean, that's the holy grail, right? So we can take off for two months and go and visit the Caribbean and Cuba <laugh>, Speaker 0 00:28:41 That's, yeah. Well, I think that's, that's how we're going to be able to ride this wave in that, um, not wave, but this, you know, um, perhaps downturn in the economy is that with ai, we can speed up. Like my content, <laugh> manager, Anna, she wrote an article for me and I just went, oh, no, actually I don't like that. I can you just change it. And within minutes it was rewritten. Speaker 2 00:29:08 Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:29:09 <affirmative>, she'd used that some may I, um, yeah. But it was so fast, the turnaround and a completely different article from a completely different angle, and this's just saved us an hour Speaker 2 00:29:22 A hundred percent. I, so I've been skeptical of specifically chat G P T for a while, and I started using it. Jules, our copywriter here, has really kind of kicked my ass and said, yeah, I've gotta get across this, your dinosaur. So I have been, and the other day I started asking it some questions. It's all about the prompting, but I, I started asking it some questions. Within about five minutes, it, it was asking me questions back, and I was like, well, this is interesting. I wasn't expecting that. So I asked it, can you help me write a strategy for a new YouTube channel? And that was my first prompt. And it said, uh, yes, who's the target audience? Uh, what do they want to get out of the YouTube videos? I'm like, what? <laugh>, like, I felt like I was talking to a consultant from a, you know, seven figure consulting company. Speaker 2 00:30:12 Anyway, I answered the questions and then it basically wrote out a YouTube content strategy that I read and thought I could put that in a proposal and charge a client five grand for coming up with this strategy with that. That's paid discovery right there without doing any implementation, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it blew my mind, and it happened in about five minutes. It was incredible. Yeah. Now, I think the trap is that a lot of people are gonna use it and, and at a surface level and come up with the same stuff, and it's all gonna sound a little bit used car salesman. Right. The, the idea is that you've really gotta learn how to, how to have a conversation with it. But it's, it's fine. It's exciting technology, isn't it? Yeah, Speaker 0 00:30:58 Yeah, yeah. Like just <laugh> putting in, like, tell me more <laugh>. Please tell me more. That's an interesting prompt. Speaker 2 00:31:07 Wow. Well, right. I mean, that's, that's what you'd say to a friend, you know? Yes. Oh, I'm having a really hard time with the teenagers right now. Oh, tell me more. It's a, it's a leading question. One of our, one of our mavericks is also using it, uh, instead of every time his team come to a to him for a question, he just sends him a link to chat, g p t, Speaker 0 00:31:27 <laugh> <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:31:29 Go and ask this first. If you can't get the answer, then come back and ask me. It's really clever. Um, uh, when's your next holiday? Speaker 0 00:31:39 Oh, I'm not sure. Um, <laugh>, I have to plan, I'll plan a little bit more strategically for the next one if I do take a longer one. There was a few parts to it that, um, I learned, you know, by taking two months off, there was a few things I learned and I saw where the gaps were and, and how I would do it better. Um, I really wanted try and set up my agency so that I can take more time off and away. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, yeah. So that requires, um, very clear processes and, uh, I have to work harder on my, um, sales process. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and obviously start replacing some of the hats that I wear. Speaker 2 00:32:28 I'm reading a book at the moment called The Almanac of Naval Racan. And Naval Racan is a, he grew and sold a bunch of businesses during the two boom. Uh, main website he had was called EINs, and then he had some review sites and stuff. Anyway, made a bunch of money, became an early investor in companies like Twitter and Uber. And anyway, he, he comes from, it comes from poverty in India and then moved out to, uh, um, New Jersey as a kid. Grew up in, in New York. Um, and, and, you know, was an immigrant family and had nothing. Right. Came from nothing. He's a self-made man, single mom. And he basically tweets and blogs all the lessons that he's learned over life. And he did this thing called the tweet storm, where he basically just put a ho bunch of tweets together one day, kind of brain dumping all the things that he's learned. Speaker 2 00:33:22 And he summarized it in two words right at the end. And I read it last night. I was like, oh my God, it hit me in the solar plexus. It was like, it resonated with me so strongly. He said, in summary, product ties yourself and Yeah. Right. So yourself, meaning the unique value that you can bring to the marketplace, and then productizing that is how you scale whatever scale means for you, doesn't mean you have to be a multimillion dollar corporation with 50 team members. Whatever scale means for you. How do you productize the unique value that you bring? And the subhead is kind of like, keep redefining what you do until you work out how to productize yourself. Right. So productize yourself and if you find that you can't then look at what you're doing and kind of just keep refining what you're doing until you can productize yourself, because that's the answer, to be able to scale. So either make more money or make the same money with less time so you can travel and have other people do the things. Right. Super interesting. Uh, and I think that's the challenge for a lot of us is in, in a service based industry, because we're not making physical product. Right. And it sounds like you're on that, you're on that journey because you want more time to be able to travel and That's right. Explore the world. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:34:50 And I'm learning how to, to think of my services as products. Speaker 2 00:34:55 And it doesn't mean that it, it doesn't mean that it's identical for everyone. Like the keep cup could be blue for someone and red for someone else, and it might be a different size. But essentially this is the, the, the construct and the constraints of this product. It includes this, it doesn't include this, and it's priced at this, and that's not negotiable. And we have these processes in place that the team can deliver it and still be profitable. That's really the holy grail. Speaker 0 00:35:19 Yes. Yes. Speaker 2 00:35:21 Hey, when I asked you what you were most excited about, you were supposed to say Mav Con in May on the Gold Coast, <laugh>. Of course. We are coming up to the Gold Coast in May for our next event, Mav Con. So super excited to be able to Yes, I know we're gonna meet in person. Very excited to actually hang out with you guys in, in person. It's gonna be very exciting. Hey, Jillian, thank you so much for joining us on the Agency Hour. Is there a question I should have asked that I didn't? Speaker 0 00:35:46 No, I don't think so. I think we covered everything. Great. Speaker 2 00:35:48 Been a pleasure. Well, thanks for being a part of it, and a and thanks for sharing your story with the community and thanks for jumping on here. And I know it's in, it's gonna inspire a lot of people to just think about what they need to do so that they're not completely stuck in the business and can't step away. So well done. Congratulations and, uh, keep up the good work. Thank Speaker 0 00:36:05 You. Thank you. That's what I was hoping for, that, you know, there'll be someone out there that, um, was where I was two years ago and you know, at the end of the day, it's not that long. <laugh> two years be somewhere else and be able to, uh, have choices. Speaker 2 00:36:22 Thanks for listening to the Agency Hour podcast and a massive thanks to Jillian. We love hearing about your wins. You have such a wonderful, genuine desire to help people, and I can't wait to see what you do next. And of course, I can't wait to hear all about your next holiday. Okay. Folks, don't forget to subscribe and please share this with anyone who you think may need to hear it. Now, are you getting paid to close clients right now? We are guaranteeing you can get paid to close eight new clients in the next 30 days. If you'd like to chat with our team about how you can get paid to close, click the link beneath this episode. Let's get to work.

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