Navigating Agency Growth: Insights from Social Haus' Founders

Episode 99 November 30, 2023 00:37:15
Navigating Agency Growth: Insights from Social Haus' Founders
The Agency Hour
Navigating Agency Growth: Insights from Social Haus' Founders

Nov 30 2023 | 00:37:15


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

Join Troy Dean and the dynamic duo behind Social Haus, Sarah Cutts and Kaitlyn Johnson, as they dive into their origin story - how they turned adversity during the Covid pandemic into an opportunity, laying the foundation for Social Haus, as well as the secrets behind 'The Magic Bullet' otherwise known as Paid Discovery.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: It's not this big lofty goal that feels out of reach, like working with the growth plan. It's down into little bite sized chunks, like week to week, month to month, we know how to stay on track. [00:00:12] Speaker B: Toward the big goal, which is great. [00:00:16] Speaker C: Welcome to the Agency Hour podcast, where we help web design and digital agency owners create abundance for themselves, their teams and their community. And if you've been listening to this podcast for any time, you'll know exactly what I mean and why that is our mission. This week we're joined by Sarah Cutz and Caitlin Johnson from the social house. Based in Newcastle in New South Wales, here in Australia, the Social House is a digital marketing agency that specialises in hospitality, food, beverage and lifestyle brands. This is a really fun conversation. Caitlin and Sarah in the social house are in our mavericks club Mastermind, so I want to be fully transparent about that. In this episode, we dive into their truly inspiring origin story, how they got together, how they launched The Social House, how to tap into all of the resources inside Mavericks Club, or, in fact, any Mastermind that you're in. These guys are just using their engagement with us really successfully and getting the most out of our engagement because they're doing it right. As well as the magic bullet for agencies otherwise known as Paid Discovery, we also discuss overcoming the mental barriers required to sell paid discovery, how to get paid more for the work you're already doing. They actually, in their words, they say that the best thing about joining Mavericks Club is that they now work less and earn more. And every time I say that, people think I'm a lunatic or I'm some kind know, shark salesman, that I'm absolutely full of it and you're going to hear it from the mouths of our clients. It is a real thing. You can earn more by working less. It's called leverage, and we unpack that in this episode. Plus, we talk about the clarity and the peace of mind that comes from actually having a plan to achieve your goals and your dreams. Not just a bunch of ideas, but an actual plan. All that and a whole lot more. I'm Troy dean. Stay with us. All right, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please welcome to the agency hour the lovely Sarah Cuts and Caitlin Johnson from the social house. Hello, ladies. How are you? [00:02:15] Speaker A: Hello, Troy. [00:02:16] Speaker B: We're good. Thank you, Troy. [00:02:19] Speaker C: I'm good. Thank you so much for joining us on the Agency Hour. For those that don't know, just give us a little bit of Know too long, didn't read version of what The Social House is, what you guys do, who you do it for, all that good stuff. [00:02:32] Speaker A: The Social House is a boutique digital marketing agency and we love working with lifestyle, tourism and hospitality brands. [00:02:42] Speaker C: Cool. [00:02:43] Speaker B: I will add to yeah, yeah. [00:02:45] Speaker C: Love it. That's very succinct. You've obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the target audience and the clients that you love working with. What can I ask? Everyone's going to be thinking this, what happened during COVID dealing with those kinds of brands? And I don't know the answer to this question, so this is not a trick question. I'm just generally curious, like, how did that impact your business? [00:03:06] Speaker B: It's funny. So in COVID, we weren't so much focusing on that industry that's been a new kind of audience that we've just recently started targeting. We only really launched in COVID. [00:03:19] Speaker C: Oh, really? [00:03:21] Speaker B: COVID, baby. Mid COVID. And I would say I was made redundant in COVID from my previous role. [00:03:32] Speaker C: Right. [00:03:33] Speaker B: COVID for a digital agency was probably a really good time to yes, that's right. [00:03:40] Speaker C: Yeah, absolutely. We found probably the bottom 30% of our client base and audience kind of fell over during COVID The top 30% just about doubled and everyone in the middle just kind of scrapped their way through. What was your role before you started? What was the role that you made redundant from? Was it a marketing role? [00:03:58] Speaker B: It was a marketing role. Brand experience. It was for a very big retail company. Got it. And they made majority of our team redundant at that time. [00:04:08] Speaker C: Yeah. And it probably makes sense during COVID that that would happen. So tell me you first of all, how did you girls meet? [00:04:17] Speaker B: We met through our partners at the time. [00:04:21] Speaker A: Well, Sarah's still with her partner. [00:04:24] Speaker C: Excellent. Now we're getting into the juice of things and we're only five minutes in. This is great. [00:04:30] Speaker B: We've known each other for about six years. Seven years. Our partner, or fiance and ex partner were very good friends. [00:04:41] Speaker C: Got it. [00:04:41] Speaker B: They introduced us and I've always felt like we've had really similar values, although we weren't really close at that time. I've always aligned with Caitlin's values. [00:04:52] Speaker C: And is your background in marketing too, Caitlin? [00:04:54] Speaker A: Yeah, it is. So my background is tourism and construction industry, really very different, but I worked in house, in marketing management positions there, so two pretty long stints. So I've got that client side experience down pat. [00:05:17] Speaker C: Awesome. How risky was it to start your own thing? I know there's a lot of people that listen to this podcast that are just starting out or haven't even started yet or are a few months in. How risky was it to make that decision to start your own business? [00:05:34] Speaker B: For me, it was something I had always said I would do. I always told my family that I would work for myself, but I feel like I got a bit comfortable working for eight. Like, I was working mostly in house at agencies, then I got this brand experience role. I always said I'd do it, but I was just a bit lazy because I had a cushy income and I never really had that push. So for me, it was just like, well, I've been made redundant, you may as well just go for it. I did have the luxury of living with family at the time, as helps. [00:06:09] Speaker C: Totally Caitlin. [00:06:10] Speaker B: It was probably a little bit different when she came on board. [00:06:13] Speaker A: Yeah, well, I think with my first job out of Uni, which was in tourism, that was pretty good job and I enjoyed it. The next job I took, I used to describe to people as it's not my dream job, but it helps me have my dream life because I guess similar to Sarah, it was a good income, it was challenging enough, but I didn't find it hard or have to take a lot of work home. And I was planning to have a. [00:06:41] Speaker B: Family sort of in the medium term. [00:06:43] Speaker A: So I was know, like, it's not my dream job, but I got a pretty good life resulting from it. But then after a few things changed and it just didn't fit right with, I guess, my values and what I wanted from life and having that outside work satisfaction just didn't feel like did do. I dabbled a little bit, freelanced a bit to Sarah because she launched the Social House in COVID and I was still doing the corporate thing, I guess. Then freelanced a little bit. Always really liked her, liked what she was doing. I had my second baby and then she had floated the idea of me becoming an employee. [00:07:28] Speaker B: Actually, I couldn't afford Caitlin, to be honest. When I brought her on as a contactor, I think I offered her $45 an hour, which is all I could really afford at the time. But she said yes, which is great. [00:07:42] Speaker A: It was like a short term pain for a long term gain. Then I was like, look, I love working with you, but just employee, I don't know, what do you think about business partner? And for a while she sat on it and was like, oh, no, I've got a good thing here. And I was like, but imagine what we can do together. [00:07:59] Speaker B: I was the first year, I was earning really great money, but I was so stressed and busy and so bringing Caitlin in was just like, I don't think I've been that stressed since, to be honest. It's just been great lifestyle since working with you guys. The money is also starting to get back to where we want it great. It's been really great. [00:08:21] Speaker C: So, full transparency, you guys are in Mavericks Club, which is our mastermind. You started off in a program called Sales Accelerator and then kind of had which we'll unpack and we'll talk about. You had a lot of success in that program, took massive action, got some results and then ascended into Mavericks Club. How did you find actually, before we do that, why social media management? Like, why not SEO or branding or web design? Why social media management? Is it organic or is it paid social or both? [00:08:49] Speaker B: So we actually do do web design and SEO. So we consider ourselves to be like a full service but boutique agency. I primarily launched a social, which is both organic and paid. My favorite thing are Facebook ads. But since we've joined forces, caitlin is like incredible at SEO. We offer Google ads now as well, but socials were our core service to begin. [00:09:16] Speaker C: Got it. Cool. So nice. Segue, how did you find us? How did you come across agency Mavericks? Was it a social media ad by any chance? What was I doing? Oh, dear, here we go. Of course I was talking. Was I playing the drums or burning a proposal or doing anything else interesting or just talking? [00:09:39] Speaker B: I don't think it was a drum video, but I have seen that one. [00:09:43] Speaker C: And what was it that made you respond to the ad and go down that rabbit hole and end up in our funnel? [00:09:50] Speaker B: So I think we were very quick with our kind of customer journey with you. [00:09:55] Speaker C: You were? [00:09:56] Speaker B: I had been looking for ages for somebody, an agency that specialized in agencies. I guess I was trying to find somebody who looked like us. I didn't have any luck, who had branding, who probably female, to be honest. [00:10:12] Speaker C: I was going to say you ended up with a 50 year old bloke with a mohawk. How did that work out? [00:10:16] Speaker B: Similarities are uncanny. Had no luck and then just stumbled across your ad one Saturday when I was laying in bed scrolling. [00:10:25] Speaker C: Oh, excellent. [00:10:26] Speaker B: Booked a call without telling Caitlin, and. [00:10:30] Speaker A: She texted me, I think yesterday Sunday, and was like, tomorrow morning, 09:00 A.m., we've got this call and I think they're going to be like the great agency mentor from us. And I was like, I don't know, we can look aligned with our brand. I don't know. Are they going to get us? [00:10:47] Speaker B: But we fell in love with Damien as well. Just thought he was incredible. And yeah, it was just very quick. It all sounded amazing. We wanted to learn his skills because he was just so incredible at just speaking with us on that initial call. [00:11:06] Speaker A: We got off the call and we were like, okay, if we can learn his sales skills, this is definitely the course for us. He was just really helpful and didn't feel salesy, but wasn't going to let us get off the call without committing. [00:11:22] Speaker B: But he was good. And I don't think we'd even visited your website or your Instagram or anything at that stage. We just had that call and we're like, okay, we were ready. We were ready to go. [00:11:34] Speaker C: And so then you joined sales Accelerator and what happened? Because on my end, what happens is people join our programs and I see them pop up in Slack and we get on a call and we say hello. And then I just see them sharing, asking questions in Slack when they're stuck, but also sharing what's working and I just kept seeing you guys pop up in slack all the time. So what happened in the first few weeks? I mean, obviously you're massive action takers, but what did you do specifically that got you momentum when you joined sales accelerator? [00:12:03] Speaker A: We just committed I think we have signed up with other training courses and bits and pieces and we've been like, oh yeah, we will get to that. But this one we're like, no, we're all in. We're learning these skills, we're applying them straight away. [00:12:21] Speaker B: We had never actually considering we are like a digital marketing agency. We'd never run paid ads for our own brand before. So that was the first thing we did was set up the I think it was 48 Hours leads, the 48 Hours lead campaign. And we just had pretty good success with that straight off the bat. And then we also implemented the paid discovery, which we were already kind of doing that, but we weren't charging for it. That made a huge difference as well. I think it also just made us seem more serious, if that yeah, more. [00:13:02] Speaker C: Professional, like you had a process. I just want to unpack a couple of things for people listening. 48 Hours leads is a program that we have which teaches you how to run Facebook lead ads to generate leads within 48 hours. And the reason I made that program, the reason I put that training together is because the number one question I get from people in agency land is, well, the number one thing they say they're stuck with is I need more leads. And I know that they've been brainwashed to say that. Everyone says that because that's what the market because there are a lot of people out there selling lead gen services and so the market's been brainwashed to think they need leads. So I made that training to put an underline on a full stop after that conversation and go, here it is. You don't need leads. This is how easy it is to get leads. What I think you need is a way to turn conversations into clients, which is the sales process, which is what sales accelerator was all about. So 48 Hours Leads, you took action on that. And it's also really common that a social media agency has never run ads for themselves. It's like the cobbler's shoes, it's the mechanic's car, it's the hairdresser's. Hair, right. Some of the barbers around town in Melbourne, that's a really common scenario. And then, so you get these leads in and you start and it's also really common that you do some kind of discovery when a client comes on or you do free discovery as a way of trying to get the client. That's really common. I've never seen anything work quite like paid discovery. It is a magic bullet. If there is such a thing as a magic bullet in our business model, paid discovery is it so I'm curious, like, what mental barriers did you have to overcome to actually pitch your first paid discovery and tell the client it was going to cost $1,200 or whatever the price point was? [00:14:41] Speaker A: I don't know. I think having you guys in our corner pumping our tires up a bit just to do it at works really helped. We just kind of went for it. We thought, well, how our process previously was before working with you guys, we always included like a workshop or a strategy component and that was the first thing on the chopping block for the clients. We're like, oh no, can't afford it, or we really want to work with you, but that's just pushing our budget too far. We'd end up having to do the strategy anyway because we need to do that to do the work. [00:15:15] Speaker C: That's right. [00:15:16] Speaker A: So this way we were saying, you do not pass go, you do not collect $200 until you do this. And this is how much it costs because it's good. And we just had success with that more or less straight off the bat. And that gave us the confidence to be like, great, this gets us what the clients need, this gets us what we need. We didn't feel bad about charging for something because we knew it had a lot of value. [00:15:44] Speaker B: Right now it's also, I find, like, I had a call, I don't think I've spoken to you about this just earlier in the week, a good way of pre qualifying people. He called, he wanted to chat, he actually wanted us to come in and meet him. And I said, sounds great. Let me just tell you about our process. Initially it's this one $800 investment and from there and he's like, oh, okay, that's actually too much. And I was like, no problem. We won't waste our time. I've claimed, wasting our time? [00:16:09] Speaker C: Yeah, of course. And I'm not driving to your office to find out you don't have one $800 to spend on a workshop because yeah, exactly. I think one of the things that really helps with paid discovery is having the confidence that your team can deliver what it is you're scoping out in paid discovery. And for a lot of people listening to this podcast, they won't have a team yet or they're still in the process of building a team, or they just need extra hands on deck and it takes time to find good talent. One of the conversations we have on a daily basis inside our Mastermind is the challenge of finding, recruiting, hiring and keeping talented individuals. It is a constant battle as a business owner, the fastest way to get extra capacity on your team so that you can deliver and take on more clients and continue to grow is just to plug in to a plug and play system like the guys at E Two M Solutions. They are our premium exclusive partner here on the podcast. For good reason. They do great work. They have the same values as us. They want your agency to succeed. They have 180 staff in their head office in India. They do white label WordPress development, work SEO and content and copy through their partner at Razor Copy. So reach out to them. Have a conversation about where you're at, what you need, and see if they're a good fit to work with you. The economics make sense. They've got a great talent pool. You'll be able to get more stuff done for your clients. It'll free you up and give you confidence to go and sell more paid discovery and onboard more clients and grow your recurring revenue. E two agencymaverics. We'll put a link under this in the show notes. Click the link, go and have a chat with them, and grow your team without the headache of actually having to recruit people and onboard them and manage them. So, full transparency. I used to do paid discovery for free back in the day when I didn't know what I was doing and no one me otherwise. And I was like, yeah, this is what you do. So you get on a call, you do discovery with a client, you come up the strategy, they pick your brain. You kind of spend the entire call proving to them that you know what you're doing and that you can actually help them. The whole thing feels like a job interview. Then you write a proposal, they go, wow, I didn't realize it was going to be that much. They go dark. You put them into some weird kind of follow up campaign. It's all a bit awkward. It's like a first date that went wrong. And then you either heal the relationship and you work together, or they just disappear. And that's a long, awkward sales cycle, and you don't have a lot of control over that process. I think paid discovery circumvents a lot of that and gets you some investment up front, gets the client to get some skin in the game. And then what I'm curious about is, what's your experience with people who go through paid discovery and then end up being a client? Like, what's the rough percentage of clients who go through paid discovery and then end up becoming an ongoing client? [00:18:48] Speaker B: I think so far we've only had one person not move forward, and that was due to some personal reasons that were happening at the time. But otherwise we've had pretty much success at this stage. [00:19:03] Speaker C: Great. And this is what we're seeing across the board, is that agencies who are selling paid discovery will have a and I'm going to ask you how much of our process you followed and how much you kind of just hacked together, because I know a lot of people do, like, half of what we teach them, and they're still getting 85% conversion rates from paid discovery into ongoing client because we have a template pack. We have the slide deck and the workbooks. And I remember you guys posting a photo of the first paid discovery workshop you were running with the workbooks printed out. And I'm like, oh my God, these girls are actually doing everything. How much of our process did you follow and how much did you kind of just take a little bit from here and there and adapt it to your own process? [00:19:41] Speaker A: I think initially we were pretty by the book. Now we have evolved it a little bit just to be more tailored to the processes still. How we run the workshop is fairly by the book, but we've just adapted it, so to our strategy documents a little bit. So the way we work through the workshop, it just makes it easier for our strategies to then be pulled together. So we've got all the essential parts. [00:20:08] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:20:09] Speaker B: I would say ours are probably a bit more focused on brand and less on web. [00:20:14] Speaker C: Yeah, totally. Because the example slide deck and workbooks that we give are based on building a website, because that was my background and my kind of sweet spot is really customer experience. And so I wasn't in the business of running social media and doing ads for clients. So those questions and those key points are not in the template pack. So well done for adapting that. That's what you're supposed to do, by the way. You're supposed to take what I say, take the good bits, ignore the stuff that doesn't make sense, and then adapt it for yourself. So well played. How long have you been with us now? When did you join sales accelerator? [00:20:50] Speaker B: I think it was end of May. Yeah. [00:20:53] Speaker C: Okay, so six months. What's happened? Talk to me about what's different in the business now compared to that day when you were laying in bed and you clicked on our Facebook ad. [00:21:05] Speaker A: I think a huge thing is now we have higher revenue with less clients, high value clients. Yeah. [00:21:16] Speaker B: Initially we were kind of offering like single services at the same time that we kind of came on with you guys. We restructured our packages to bundle services together at a fairly higher price point than previously. So, yeah, we're less busy, but earning more money, which is good. [00:21:39] Speaker C: Right? And because you guys work three days a week, is that right? [00:21:43] Speaker B: We operate on the four day work week. [00:21:45] Speaker C: Four day work week, which is great. I love it. So every time I say to people, I know, hand on heart, that we can help you earn more and work less, and every time you say it, people are just like, you are so full of shit, dude. Like, you can't earn more by working less. Because we are so conditioned that I think in our culture, we're so conditioned that you get a fair pay for a fair day's work. And what's missing, I think, in a lot of people's business models is leverage. And I actually think paid discovery is a form of leverage because one of the other things I say is that we help you get paid for the work you're already doing, get paid more for the work you're already doing. So you don't need to add services and you don't need to change what you're doing. You just need to change how you price it and how you talk about it and how you invoice for it. Right. Because you were doing the strategy work anyway. Now you're just getting paid to do it up front. I know some of our mavericks have been in a situation where they've run paid discovery with a client and then chosen not to work with that client because that client is just going to be way too difficult. Maybe you can't talk about that publicly. I don't know. [00:22:55] Speaker B: We haven't had that yet. [00:22:58] Speaker C: It's only a matter of time. [00:22:59] Speaker B: Yeah. I do feel like maybe some of our clients are quite difficult. Some are amazing. [00:23:08] Speaker A: Most are. [00:23:09] Speaker C: And I think over time, as you do more paid discovery, that you will I mean, it is only a matter of time before one, your conversion rate stops being 100%. But also it's only a matter of time before you come across a client where it's like, we are just not a good fit for you. We're so glad we've done the discovery. You've got an amazing strategy now, but we are just not a good fit to work with you, which is totally fine. That happens. It's just the way of the world. [00:23:33] Speaker B: Yeah, I feel like I've learned some lessons early on around that, too, which kind of made me be quite clear about who we do and don't want to work with. And if there's a values misalignment, it's just a no from the start. [00:23:49] Speaker C: Yeah, totally. And I think also having at this stage of the game and five years from now, we might be having a different conversation because hopefully more agencies will be doing paid discovery. But I think having that one $800 investment up front is an instant differentiator from all the other freelancers and agencies out there. And I mean that respectfully who are just happy to jump on a call and I can pick their brain for half an hour and kind of do that whole job interview old model, whereas having kind of like a boom gate at the front of your business. Really? Which is a filterist. Like, in order to start working with us. It's an $1800 investment is just an instant differentiator. And I think it makes you the perception is that you guys must be good and you must know what you're doing because you're happy to turn clients away if they can't make an $1800 investment. So you're not operating from that scarcity mindset. You trust the process. You've got enough clients, you've got enough revenue. You're in a position now where you can have that filter. And I think that's a really good differentiator from what most other people are doing in the market. [00:24:50] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I also feel like it kind of gives potential clients a little bit of security almost, too, because we kind of pitch that as it's an initial investment of one $800, you get a comprehensive strategy. But if for some reason you choose not to work with us, you can take that and go so you don't actually have to lock in to work with us at that point. [00:25:13] Speaker C: That's right. [00:25:14] Speaker B: Which I think also benefits them too. [00:25:17] Speaker C: Right. It removes the risk. If you want to reference Hormosi in what he talks about in 100 million dollar offers and 100 million dollar leads, is removing risk. If any way you can remove risk will actually help people feel more comfortable with making that decision. And so rather than trying to pitch someone a $12,000 website, which is a big commitment and could take four months and could derail an $1800 investment up front, is definitely lower risk. And as you said, they end up owning the strategy at the end of it. Right. So it's theirs, they've paid for it, they can implement it themselves, they can take it to another agency, or they can come back and hire you to help them do it. [00:25:54] Speaker B: Ideally, yes. [00:25:57] Speaker C: So tell me also want to talk I was talking to a maverick yesterday who is in a similar position, has just come in, taken massive action, gotten great results, grown their recurring revenue from zero to about 15 grand a month in a very short space of time, which has been amazing to see. One of the things that he said was and I always like to think I'm the smartest person in the room, but I know now that that's just not true, unfortunately. And one of the things that he said is that he gets massive value out of hanging out with the other agency owners in the Mavericks community. I don't know much about the way you use Mavericks Club, but I'm curious, apart from hanging out with your client success manager in your squadron, how else do you tap into the resources that we've got? What's your kind of mindset there? Because you did say that when you joined Sales Accelerator, you were just like, right, we're 100% committed to getting results out of this. Probably way more expensive than any other course you'd bought in the past, because it's not actually a course, it's a coaching program. So I guess that financial investment, too, is like, well, we have to make this work because it's not a $2,000 course. It's a significant investment. But how else are you approaching your engagement with Mavericks Club to make sure that you get the most out of it? [00:27:06] Speaker B: Well, it was probably a couple of weeks ago, we encountered a challenge with a client at account, and it wasn't something that we'd experienced before. So we were. Able to reach out and utilize people who were probably more experienced than us in that area, which was really helpful. Yeah. [00:27:27] Speaker A: We sort of had a hunch about something and we could throw it to the Brains Trust, and they were like, yeah, this is my experience, and everyone has just been so open to share that it doesn't feel competitive. Everyone's just really open and willing to help each other out. [00:27:44] Speaker C: Yeah, that's great to hear. Yeah. I feel like we try and set that tone from the start, right. That it's an abundant world. We all have an abundant mindset. We're all here to help each other. I've personally turned people away from Mavericks Club before who have told me on sales calls that they want to come in and kind of pitch to the agencies that we have because they do white label services and they see this as a great I'm like, no, no, that's not why we're here. We try and keep it a safe place where there's none of that going on. But there is a really good internal economy in the community as well, where people just end up partnering with each other and working together and helping each other out. [00:28:21] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure. We've met with a few mavs and had a discussion about some kind of collaboration, so it's been great. [00:28:28] Speaker C: Awesome. So tell me, what are you most excited about in 2024 in terms of the client base that you're working with and also your service offering and how you're looking at growing the business in 2024? [00:28:43] Speaker A: Good. One big one big question. I am really excited because we have some pretty firm goals, so we've always spoken about the type of business we want to create in terms of culture and the type of income we would like to have for ourselves. And I think now we have this plan in place where we can really feel like we have a path forward to get there, but it's achievable. Yeah. We've always had faith in ourselves and in each other that that would happen eventually, but now we've got a timeline on it where we're like, okay, sweet. So early next year, we're getting cars. [00:29:27] Speaker C: That, of course, the company will be paying for for tax reasons, right? [00:29:31] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:29:32] Speaker C: Yes. [00:29:33] Speaker B: One of my highlights from Mad Sub was doing the revenue growth plan. [00:29:40] Speaker C: I'm so glad you said that. I was going to tee you up to talk about that because I know that's given you guys so much clarity. So lay it on. Bring it on. Bring it on. [00:29:46] Speaker B: It was something we've been speaking about, and we kind of thought, oh, we need to find an accountant or somebody who can help we have found an accountant, but somebody who can help us outline that. And it was exactly what we needed, like, sitting with you guys, seeing what we're currently earning, looking at our expenses, and actually having a plan on how we can reach our goals. It's not just a dream, but it's actionable steps to take. Yes. [00:30:11] Speaker A: And it's not this big lofty goal that feels out of reach, like working with the growth plan. It's down into little bite sized chunks, like week to week, month to month, we know how to stay on track. [00:30:24] Speaker B: Toward the big goal, which is great. [00:30:27] Speaker C: I remember having the revenue growth plan call with you guys and laying out the numbers and you guys going, actually, that seems totally doable and actually quite simple. We just focus on this number of paid discovery workshops each month and that will fall through to more recurring revenue because that model just works so well. And the revenue growth plan is like full transparency, something that we've only been doing in Mavericks Club for, I reckon, four or five months. It is. The number one most valuable thing I think we do for our clients now is because, as you said, Caitlin, we have these goals, we have these dreams, we have these ideas, but we don't have a plan to actually get there. And I think what I've always been. And I remember being a freelancer back in 2008, 2009, when I was trying to grow my business. And I would be sitting there at 02:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, looking at my computer, going apart from doing the client work that I have on the plate right now, other than that, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do next. Right? I haven't got a clue how to go and get my next client. I haven't got a clue how to try and find a developer in India to help me with this work that I've got. I have not got the foggiest. And it was really frustrating and quite demoralizing. And I was working on my own from my spare bedroom at home in a bubble, right, on Twitter and in forums, like, asking other WordPress developers questions and trying to figure stuff out. And I had no plan. I had ideas, I had a dream, I had goals, but I had no plan. And one thing I really wanted to do with the revenue growth plan was to map out the numbers, but then also drill that down into, like, daily tactics. This is what you do tomorrow, this is what you do the next day. Just focus on doing this and the rest of it will take care of itself. So I'm really pleased that you guys have found that super useful. And I'm not an accountant. My brother is, but he doesn't work here. I'm not an accountant. So find an accountant. But the other thing is, accountants will help you. I think accountants are really good at telling you what happened last month, which is great, but I know what happened last month. That's right, we were there. Exactly. But accountants who don't understand our business model wouldn't be able to say, well, you just need to sell three paid discovery workshops a month and in twelve months time you'll be close to a million dollars a year in recurring revenue. Like, they don't understand that model. Right. And I think that's the benefit of the revenue growth plan is it's specific to our business model. Do you think the scorecard and the flight plan tools that you use to kind of keep you on track, are they evolving and changing over time? Is that something that's now set in stone for you or are you continuing to revisit that? [00:33:14] Speaker B: We are continuing to revisit. We have just realized, I think, that in order to continue growing that we need to potentially bring somebody in to kind of free up our time. Because it's previously a bit of a vicious cycle of bringing in leads, getting more work and then being overwhelmed with work that we stop business development and then we're like, oh shit, we're at that stage now where we need to bring somebody in and revisit that. Is it a team? [00:33:45] Speaker C: Yeah, team. Elevate the team. It's super exciting because team is like I've found that when I first started out, I was adamant that I was not going to have anyone. I didn't want any team because I don't like people. They're pretty unreliable, they don't do it as good as me. All those kind of ignorant, arrogant philosophies that I had. And now my mindset now is like, I would be screwed without my team. My team are everything. But you do have to kind of become a different version of yourself, I think, to have that responsibility. A lot of people don't want team because they don't want the responsibility. And I think with business growth comes that responsibility. And if you're willing to shoulder that responsibility, it does free you up. Who's the first person you think you're going to hire? What role. [00:34:32] Speaker A: Still in discussion? We're thinking someone who can fill a content role, marketing assistant type role, so we can still be involved in what we love and be like business development strategy, still foster the relationships with the clients and then we've got someone to help us just get shit done. [00:34:54] Speaker C: Yeah, totally love it. And I can tell you from experience what happens when you're first starting out, growing your team. You end up hiring a bunch of generalists right. Who can come into a startup who are really happy working in a scrappy environment and just get shit done. And it's like, I'll dive in and I don't even know what I'm doing, but I'm sure I can figure this out and let's just all work together. And then as you grow, you need more specialists. [00:35:19] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:35:20] Speaker C: And it's a really difficult transition to make, but initially it's difficult to hire specialists because you don't have enough work for a specialist. You just need them to kind of come in and be able to do a little bit of everything. [00:35:33] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:35:34] Speaker C: That's super exciting. Wow. Very excited for you both. How can people get in touch with the social House and learn more about what you do and say thank you for sharing your story? [00:35:46] Speaker B: Well, we are online. Our website is WW dot dot au or on instagram thesocialhouse underscore. [00:35:55] Speaker C: And it's spelled H-A-U-S right? Socialhouse is au is it correct? Cool. We will put links to all of that stuff underneath here in the show notes, and we will also put links in our social linking off to it. So check out the [email protected]. Au spelled H-A-U-S. Sarah Cuts and Caitlin Johnson, thank you so much for joining us on the agency. It's been an absolute pleasure, and I'm looking forward to helping you continue to grow at the Social House in 2024. [00:36:23] Speaker B: Amazing. Thank you, Troy. [00:36:27] Speaker C: Hey, thanks for listening to the Agency Hour podcast. I really appreciate your time and hanging out with us here. And a massive thanks to Sarah and Caitlin for joining us and sharing their story. I really love hearing stories like theirs and hearing all about their wins and the success that they're having. It's why we do what we do, and it is the most rewarding part of being a coach and a mentor. And I know I can speak on behalf of the rest of the coaching team here at Agency Mavericks too. The reward that we get from seeing our clients success is the reason that we do it. Okay, folks, please don't forget to subscribe, and please share this with anyone you think may need to hear it. I'm Troy Dean, and remember, a group of hippos is called Bloat.

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