Brennan has run the freelance gamut at this point in his career. He’s worked for someone else, been a solo freelancer, he’s built an agency, he’s built a software product. One overarching theme of his career is the power of personalization.
Early in his career, he saw how high-touch sales worked to close a deal on a phone call when he worked at a boiler room type of company. Then again when selling leads to mortgage brokers he saw how much more they would pay for leads that had already seen who the broker was.
[clickToTweet tweet="'No one is paying us for the code they are paying for a solution' via @brennandunn" quote="'No one is paying us for the code they are paying for a solution'" theme="style3"]
As Brennan built his agency and became a “salesman-in-chief” he recognized that even though he was providing clients with the same services, depending on who he was talking to he would tailor his language to suit their own. No one was paying them for Ruby code, they were paying them to build an aspect of their business that achieves goals.
Now Brennan has built a Saas product called RightMessage to address the question “How can you scale one-on-one conversations?”
By understanding who your leads and prospects are, understand the language they use, and be able to present back to them what their lives could look like with your solution in place, you are more likely to convert those leads into clients.
In this episode, Brennan shares:
- How to improve your online marketing
- The process to validate a new service
- What to think about when you publish on a page or post on your website
- Pro Tip: How to make your follow up to a face-to-face conversation better
- The risk of having one big ticket client at a time
Marketing to a general client is hard online. You need to be great at persuasive copywriting. You need to be great at segmentation, which Brennan has found that most businesses are not. So marketing to a general client becomes a more of a broadcast exercise with the hope of hitting a few folks at the right time.
[clickToTweet tweet="Why do high-touch sales work so well? via @brennandunn" quote="Why do high-touch sales work so well?" theme="style3"]
However by thinking through a few things when we put something online we can address folks when they are more likely to buy.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- What role does our online stuff have? Acquiring? Nurturing?
- How can I systematically and at scale to do interesting things based on who someone is?
- How do I segment upon those things?
This episode is full of decisions Brennan made and strategies he’s implemented within all his businesses. If you are looking to build an agency or stay as a solo freelancer, you’ll get a ton of value from this show.
Episode Take Away
The takeaway from this show is to look at your services page or your homepage. Are you speaking your language or your clients’ language? Do you have techno-jargon on there or speak to the benefits of your service or solution? You should be able to tell. If not, then tweet me at @rezzz and I’ll take a look and give you a personalized video review.
Jason Resnick: 00:03 Welcome to live in the feast. I’m Jason Resnick, and for the past decade I’ve been helping businesses translate their goals into online success as a freelance web developer. In order for me to accomplish my why as a field answer, I needed to live in the feast. Now I’m turning the tables around so you as the freelancer can do the same and build a sustainable business to achieve success so that you can ultimately live the kind of life you want.
Jason Resnick: 00:34 Imagine if you walk into best buy and the sales rep comes up to you and says, we have a TV that will automatically adjust for you when you’re watching baseball. And then again adjust when the walking dead design. It’d be quite scary, right? Especially if you do watch baseball and the walking dead and some have a sales rep knew that Brennan Dunn early on in his career figuring out that people will pay for solutions to solve their business problems, not just code, and if that’s solution can be presented in the language of the customer. It makes for a much more easy sell for a lot more money. The takeaway from this episode is for you to look at your services page or your homepage. Are you speaking the language of your clients or are you speaking your language? Do you have techno jargon on that? Do you speak to the benefits of your service or solution? You should be able to tell right away. If not, then tweet me at Rez and I’ll take a look and give you a personalized video review.
Jason Resnick: 01:49 This episode is sponsored by Feast. Feast is the roadmap and community built for freelancers like you looking to take their business to the next level. You didn’t become a freelancer and start your own business because you wanted to work more, right, want better clients, command higher prices, build recurring revenue so you can stay out of the famine for good feast will help you focus and remain accountable through coaching calls, community and exclusive mastermind group and a ton of resources and tactics that worked for today’s market. Head over to [inaudible] slash piece to check it out and while you’re there, take a look and grab the free lesson and the KPI spreadsheet which I use to track my own content marketing. So let’s dive in with Brennan and live in the feast.
Jason Resnick: 02:51 Howdy folks, and welcome to live in the feast and you know that this season is all about marketing and when you’re marketing yourself as a freelancer, you know when you market to the right person at the right time, that’s when they become a client. And today I’m really excited to be bringing to the show here, someone whose name is synonymous with freelancing and if you don’t believe me, just google it and you’ll see it pop up all over the place. Is Brennan Dunn, Welcome Brennan.
Brennan Dunn: 03:19 Jason. Thanks for having me.
Jason Resnick: 03:21 So for those that don’t know who you are, who are you and what you do?
Brennan Dunn: 03:24 Sure. It’s a quick overview. Is I, in a past life I used to run a web development agency. Uh, so I did that starting in about 2008. Before that I was freelancing, then I grew to start an agency and I built an agency. We did pretty well. We got to 11 employees and I decided that I wanted to at the time get into the software game, so I started a company called plants go, which is a project management tool for freelancers and agencies and honorific marketing. One thing that had to happen to get people to sign up for planned scope was we needed to find a way of getting ourselves in front of people. So I started writing a lot about what I’ve learned in building an agency and that took off. That actually became more successful. Then planned scope of her did a soul planned scope in early 2016 and since then I’ve been full time on what became double your freelancing, which is just a big training website for all things freelancing.
Brennan Dunn: 04:26 And then from that, my latest venture has been something called RightMessage, which I founded earlier this year in 2017 and RightMessage is a website personalization tool that allows you to tailor the content and copy on your website to speak directly to the person looking at it because that’s something that, I mean you help freelancers too. And there’s a lot of different types of freelancers. There are designers and web developers and marketers and copywriters and all these different types of people who each of these types of different needs and they have different ways of describing these needs. For instance, a web developer might use the word rate, whereas a cooperator might use the word budget each. It all means the same thing. It’s a different way of saying or fee I should say, up budget. They might use the word fee. It’s the same way of describing the same thing, which is the cost.
Brennan Dunn: 06:10 So I partnered up with Shai who’s my co-founder and we set out to make this a proper company starting officially last April ish or so
Jason Resnick: 06:23 Awesome, so we are definitely going to dive into the personalization aspect of the marketing for sure. But before we do that, I just want to ask you, I mean, I know that you started a web agency, they do a lot of ruby development and that kind of thing as an engineer, like, you know, go from university or college to a full time job and that kind of thing. But ultimately was what was your why things starting your own business. Like why did you go to that?
Brennan Dunn: 06:47 Yeah. So for me it’s funny. So I actually dropped out of college, um, to start a software business software startup called on Agatha on solutions. And what we did there, which actually had good start for me in college was we. And it’s funny how things come full circle, but we actually built a company that generated leads for mortgage brokers because I was doing this on a individual basis while in college.
Brennan Dunn: 07:12 And then I dropped out to make this an actual company. And it was interesting what we did. So a lot of mortgage brokers would get leads from websites like I’m lending tree or one of these companies that will generate leads in bulk at scale. And then they’ll resell the leads to multiple people. So what we did instead is we said, well, employ the same tactics that lending tree uses, namely nationwide advertising where it’s a little cheaper than it used to be at least, um, than localized advertising, um, you know, broad broadcast based marketing. And then what we’d do is we’d make it. So if somebody from Virginia clicked on an ad, we would on the fly find a customer of ours in Virginia, mortgage broker customer, and we would choose one and show their branding, show their photo, show their information about their business, where their, you know, uh, our stock for form.
Brennan Dunn: 08:04 And then if a lead was generated from that visit, that would go directly to that customer of ours in real time. And we called it a branded lead. So instead of buying this person’s name and phone number and they’d never heard of you, instead you’re getting a name and a phone number. Somebody who’d just seen your, your branding, your information. So it’s funny, that was kind of like in a way what I’m doing now just on a very sophisticated scale that I was doing that and then the mortgage bubble burst and that’s when the whole stuff fall out, mortgage fallout thing happened and what, like mid two thousands, um, and that led me to get a job in a rush at and because the company virtually went belly up overnight and then I had to get a job. So I found an agency that was hiring a php developers, which is what I was at the time.
Brennan Dunn: 08:53 And I started working there and worked my way up to the agency to effectively run the technology to our version of it. But it got me kind of insights into how an actual agency runs. Um, and so I learned a lot just from us Moses by working there. And then I ended up moving from Florida where I was to Virginia and I didn’t know any of your local technology companies here. So I ended up freelancing for a friend of mine from college who was living in San Francisco. Uh, he, you know, a lot of companies out there who needed help and at the time I was getting out of PHP and into a new framework called ruby on rails and so there are a lot of startups out there that we’re looking for ruby on rails developers. So I just worked on a contract basis remotely for them.
Brennan Dunn: 09:39 And then one thing led to another word got around, a lot of people wanted to work with me. I figured I could turn away, work or turn work away. or I could scale an agency I didn’t realize there was a third option just making myself really expensive and premium. But needless to say, I went with a scale because it sounded really nice. Especially thinking, well, if I could, you know, I was meeting people at conferences, at technology conferences who were ruby on rails developers, many of them freelancers. They hated sales and marketing and they love the idea of just being able to sit with their headphones on writing code all day. And I thought, well, I was getting these referrals anyway. It made sense maybe to just kind of build this collaborative agency ish thing. So I started doing that and at first it was all remote, all contractors, but then overtime it quickly became and brick and mortar employed company just because I thought that would make us a little more professional.
Brennan Dunn: 10:36 That’s kind of how I stumbled I guess into running an agency. And again, I had no formal business training. I guess I got my training building this failed startup thing, um, and, and also working in an agency, but I didn’t really know much outside of knowing how to build web apps in specifically in ruby on rails. And through that experience though is when, you know, I, I learned kind of, it was interesting as we grow, we have my team who was technical, you know, for the most part, eight of the 11 of us were billable and then we had our clients and I was kind of the bridge between the two and it forced me to really see things from the client’s perspective. It forced me to really think like, why are they hiring us? I became very much salesman and chief to keep ourselves occupied.
Brennan Dunn: 11:23 So I was doing a lot of networking and working with a lot of different people specifically who were just really better than I was at this whole sales and marketing thing. But that taught me a lot about, you know, no one was paying us all this money for code. They wanted a solution, which sounds obvious now, but it didn’t at first I thought I was being paid because they wanted it without the belt, which I mean there’s truth to that, but the APP wasn’t really what they really wanted was some improvement in their business or for a lot of our clients, a new business to be created that was successful out the gate. So we kind of stumbled our way into, uh, becoming more and more successful I guess over time. But then I got to the point where I get shiny object syndrome sudden.
Brennan Dunn: 12:12 And I was eating friend of mine who had very good businesses who had subscription based businesses because one mistake I made with the agency as it was all transactional revenue, we had very little repeat subscription revenue at all. It was pretty much all just delta project, spent a few months old and then deliver it and move on. So I liked the idea of a lot of people paying us a little bit of money on a monthly basis, which is what Lord be over to thinking, well we build software for living for other people. Why don’t we do it for ourselves? So that’s, we’re planned scope came to me, but then I realized just to make plans to get to the point where it can support our team of 11 would be really, really hard. Um, so that led me to officially exit the agency and promote the head of business development to effectively run it in my stead. And then I went off in my little work at home bubble to build and sell planscope on my own.
Jason Resnick: 13:10 What was that decision? I mean that must’ve been a really tough decision to do, to walk away from the established client base. And like obviously if you were essentially the salesman and chief, right, like who had all those relationships. Right? So what was your thought process in doing that and how, how did you unpack it? So two things.
Brennan Dunn: 13:32 One of which was I thought, well this is kind of an asset. I did a lot of cars. I did bootstrap plan scope while running the agency, so that meant I had to figure out and we’d already kind of done that in a way where I had to figure out how could I make it. So I was in a day to day dependency because a big thing was a big part of my job was leaving and going and traveling to as I called it, make their rounds. So I’d go out to the bay area or go to different kind of pockets are clients lived up and I would go and just go there for a week and hang out there or I’d go to conferences. That was a really good way of drumming up a project leads for us or not project leads, but more like the connections that would lead to referrals were ultimately project rates.
Brennan Dunn: 14:18 So it was out of the office a lot, which meant we had to have the right processes internally to make it so we can actually get work done and sell and close clients and everything else. So there’d already been a lot of work as Derek Sivers, puts it, making the business franchisable a lot of that had already been done. And then that allowed me to do two things. One of which was build plans, go up. The other thing was when I realized that I had to focus solely on the SAS to make it so at least for about a year, year and a half, we did still get inbound work that closed and I didn’t want to have the of a six figure payroll for business that I wasn’t day to day involved with. So what I ended up doing, which was a very difficult decision, um, I ended up converting everyone to basically, it sounds OK.
Brennan Dunn: 15:05 I basically fired everyone, but I made them all for kind of all the work we get in. We’d prefer gave our existing team preference and um, we would basically be lead gen for them. And a few of them actually wanted to become at least freelancers or one of them wanted to actually start building his own online businesses, product businesses. Um, and one of them did it turn buster by Andrew Colver. He used to work for me and now he’s built this great company that was sold for a bunch of money recently. So yeah. So needless to say that was kind of what we ended up doing was I made everyone in contractor so there wasn’t any fixed overhead and that allowed me to then focus on, um, planned scope without stressing over insuring that all the systems were running as necessary to make more in revenue than we were spending in payroll.
Jason Resnick: 16:01 So a lot of the freelancers that I talked to you, they’ve been in the game for awhile, so they’ve either been doing it for five, six, seven years and they’re either out of there kind of like at a tipping point. They do like grow an agency. Do I hire people? Do I want to branch off and do products to I, where am I going or am I just staying put and doing what I do? And to hear you work through those kinds of, those problems, it’s enlightening to hear that you had that agency and you felt essentially you felt the weight on you of responsibility that, OK, there’s all these people here that I’m essentially responsible for. I don’t know if this is for me. Right? I mean, that’s kind of where we’re kind of boils down to. Right?
Brennan Dunn: 16:52 I mean, I could’ve kept, we had created brand collateral we, I could’ve created, kept going in making this thing more successful, more well-known, more stable. Um, in retrospect, there’s a lot I would have done to accelerate that on namely getting away from fully transactional because the issue was, even though we ended up with a pretty decent pipeline of booked, the fact of the matter is still remain that we had 100,000 dollar a month of overhead and payroll plus office a overhead and that meant we had to bring in more than that every month and project work. Now. It’s fine. When you have, say, a few months runway out future work, but you’re still always kind of in that I need to find that next hundred and 50 grand project and I need to find it soon. Uh, that’s always kind of, you know, top of mind, right?
Brennan Dunn: 17:48 Um, and considering how big our clients, where we didn’t work with a lot of clients at once, it was usually three, maybe four, but usually three clients at any given time, which one of them decided to drop mean we have one who just ran out of funding and didn’t tell us. And then they ended up defaulting on six figures of invoices. Um, you know, I mean there’s a lot of unnecessary and undue stress that can come with that. So, you know, in retrospect I would’ve looked for how can I have more clients who pay monthly, um, and create systems that make it so it’s hard when you’re building web applications. It’s really hard to find a model that works with that formula. But I would have looked for that and especially if I, if I were starting over today, I would’ve wanted to find something like that. I’m just basically the same business model. Is Sas just more manually fulfilled with probably a zero or more added to the monthly price tag? So.
Jason Resnick: 18:47 Sure. So fast forward to today, right? I mean you’ve kind of run the gamut. You’ve built your own, did freelancing on the side. He built an agency, the agency life to build a product. Then you helping other freelancers, being a coach, a virtual mentor, a virtual coach, doing all of those courses on w freelancing and now you’re back into the SAS realm. But if I connect the dots throughout that whole journey, there’s one thing that always remains and that’s where I kind of feel like RightMessage. That to me seems like the perfect fit for you because of everything that you’ve kind of gone through that journey. You’ve analyzed your clients, you talk to your clients, you figure out what their problems are, you know that they need a solution, not just lines of code on a screen, you know, they’re coming to you for basically solving a problem that they have right now, the biggest pain point that they have and being able to essentially show them that you have that solution and right message.
Jason Resnick: 20:55 And can you Kinda unpack like, hey look, you know, these people are asking me at the moment of deciding to build RightMessage, right? You kind of have the evidence behind. You’re already that this stuff works, right? Like, I mean you’re, you’re, you’re living proof of it. But at the point at which you were getting all the feedback from the drip students and them saying, look, I just don’t know how to do this. What was the point at which you said, you know what? I’m just going to build the platform so that they can do it themselves without heading any get into the code rather than saying, you know what, I’ll build another premium course on top of that [inaudible]. I mean, it could have been just another premium course to say, here, write one, two, three eyes on how to implement these functions.
Brennan Dunn: 21:45 OK, so me, let me, let me unpack this in a few ways to things I want to focus on, one of which is I’ll call a personal validation, which is the concept. Where did that come from? How did I learn this stuff and everything else, but the second is the external validation, the how did we get to the point of saying I’m going to start a business, hire people all raise money and all that stuff to build this new thing. So the first one on the first, and I already talked briefly about how that first venture right out of college failed venture of realizing well, lending tree sales leads for a few dollars, but they sell these same leads to hundreds of people, hundreds of mortgage brokers who all offer the same project product and the mortgage brokers that we got as clients were willing to pay a lot more money for an individual leader and somebody who is already recognizes them.
Brennan Dunn: 22:35 So when they call and they say, Hey, this is Jason Resnick, they’re like, oh yeah, I just saw your picture when I filled out that lead form. Right? So that was one thing. But I guess for me, at least when I got into consulting, especially when I got into running an agency and I became more of a salesperson than anything else, I got pretty decent at high touch sales. So you know, the idea of high touch sales is extremely personalized, right? If, if you’re gonna here to meet somebody at say a networking event and you’re meeting with somebody who quickly turns into a prospect, you’re going to, you’re going to tailor what it is you do to fit what you’re hearing from them. Right? So you’re responding to that. Um, so I got good at that. And then when I got into planned scope, the issue was it came low touch sales, which is great.
Brennan Dunn: 23:23 I love that. I love the idea of some guy I don’t know, shows up on the website while I’m asleep, plugs in their credit card buys and then boom, done. Right. The issue is with low touch sales, you need to get really good at a few different things. Namely persuasion, copywriting, segmentation, which a lot of people don’t do. I think a lot of people look at the low touch sales is kind of being a broadcast thing, right? So like I need to know how do I make this? That appeals the majority of people. But then some people will go a step further and say, well this is hard, so I’m going to, I’m going to go all in on a niche. I’m going to say this is double your web design studios rate, you know, and that’s the product, that’s the website, that’s the focus, you know, this is the type of person, this is the positioning, the hard-coded positioning that we’re taking both on the product and on the marketing side.
Brennan Dunn: 24:16 So the sales pages, the site, everything else is hard-coded positioned towards web design companies. And then the product we make is the same thing. What I realized though was in retrospect, looking back at my high touch days where I was selling consulting, you know we, we offered the same product, basically people writing code, but we, we positioned it differently based on who we’re speaking to. So the startup founder were going to describe what we do and why we do it better differently than we would to the smb down the street who wants to replace a really complicated excel workflow with something with an internal app. So it’s the same. We’re writing code for doing design and Ux stuff for pro both, but the way we describe what we’re doing is different. What I realized there was on most online businesses, including my own plan scope, we’re trying to say the same thing to everyone because we just figured, well, that’s just how it is, right?
Brennan Dunn: 25:14 If you don’t want to do high touch sales, you need to just find a way to make your marketing site just appeal to as many people as possible. And the issue there is. That’s like saying, when I used to go to a say I’m talking to, I used to go to a lot of local networking events and I, you make the rounds and you talk to let’s say a dozen people in an evening and each person has a different thing. The, they each have a different level of awareness about the kind of, you know, business model that you have is uh, you know, I used to go to uh, uh, these, these events and say, when I went to the first one, I remember saying, I run a ruby on rails development shop. What does that mean to anybody outside of that industry now? If I’m at Ruby conch?
Brennan Dunn: 25:58 Yeah, sure, I’ll say that, right? Because um, that’s contextually relevant and you know, there. So I started seeing, well, you know, high truck sales are really well and I think it works really well because it’s hyper-personalized, it’s conversational. Whereas low touch sales tends to be more like a brochure, right? So I mean that’s what a lot of marketing sites are, effectively virtual sites and we’ve been a lot of web designers, you can call it that, right in brochures are not individualized their, you know, the brochure you get at the, at the hotel describing all the different stuff around. Right. So what I wanted to do was, you know, putting my engineer slouch marketer hat on was thinking, well why does hijab sales work really well? Why does phone sales work really well? Why did, when I had my first, one of my first things in when I’m actually before college, between high school and college, I worked for about two days at a phone sales boiler room type place where people would call on thinking they want a free vacation and we would read off a script and then inevitably no one would buy.
Brennan Dunn: 27:01 They still have doubts or questions. So we would raise our hands and then somebody called the closer would come over and they would basically, their job is to only say, OK, you’ve heard the whole spiel. I’m now gonna convince you. Right. So that was, that was the whole model. And my thinking was, well the high type stuff I get why the closer works because they’re asking. So when was the last time you went on vacation or you know, what would it mean for your family to do this? And so on where I’m just rambling off on the script about all the features and details and everything else. Trying to, you know, this is the company proof script that they gave us all and I realized that the closers are the ones who closed and the reasoning for that was because they took it, they reacted, they took an account who they re speaking to and ask some questions and so on.
Brennan Dunn: 27:46 So I thought well what if we could do the same at scale and automatically so you know, we can’t scale one on one conversations but we could do something like look at where they came from. Do they come from a web design blog that sent traffic to an article of mine is so I can probably assume that this is a web designer looking at the site and then if they start reading articles on my website about proposal in there, they’re reading, the majority of stuff they’re reading is about bezels. While I can probably assume this is a web designer struggling with closing proposals, so then platoon together and all I need to do is say when you see a call to action or something, speak about how this can help them close more proposals. As a web designer. I mean that’s the same thing. It’s like if I’m at a, you know, I was at a lar con, which is for Laravel, a php framework on there and I, I’m talking to people on, one person came up, I remember and asked me to tell me more about their business and I described my stuff to them as a technical php developer.
Brennan Dunn: 28:45 Right. Which is different than if I was at a, if I’m at Microcom or if I’m at business, the software or maybe more of a business, a conference. I describe my business differently to them and we all do this, you know, this is like the way things are have always been done. But I wanted to build something and I started building it internally. Like I was saying, that would basically be able to do that automatically and at scale. So first things versus I made the mistake before of running, rushing into software. So I started out actually a consulting. I did about 10 consulting projects for people where I basically, before I course or any of that stuff that had true [inaudible] was the thing. I basically did that for them, right, so I would go in and sell them on the benefits, sell them on the potential, and then get them to put up a sizable amount of money.
Brennan Dunn: 29:37 I would do it all for them and then I do that a few times in a row that showed me that people will pay for the results that stuff leads to and then I want to think, well, I’ve done this a bunch for myself and for other clients. Now what if I. What if I made this into a more consumable course? Right? So what if I package all the information that I’ve learned over the years and make it a video course, and then people bought that. We had about 400 people have bought that now and what that taught me was people again, what this they. I’ve gotten a little better at that point of being able to describe why it is this stuff is important too because it’s a lot easier for me to do that when I’m on. It’s harder to do that in a way that we’ve also sales page and everything else, but that was really useful for me because it showed me that people were willing to do that, but there was a roadblock in that roadblock was the, the gap between I get this and I want it and this is now benefiting me.
Brennan Dunn: 31:29 Broadening out a little more into something more. That was much of course as much easier to create than software. So that was kind of the step two. And then step three, the ultimate step is the, a done for you not done for you and we’re not doing, we’re actually going to be offering done for you, but for the most part done for you in the sense that you sign up, you put it subcode at the footer of your site and start clicking on stuff tied to your drip account and your convertkit account, whatever, and you get almost immediate results. So that’s kind of like, that was the first part that I described it as kind of the personal journey that led me to realizing there’s this middle ground, this dead ground in between high touch and low touch that I think we can, you know, Amazon makes bank basically doing this, but they’ve got, you know, what a thousand programmers or something working on it, probably making this accessible to smaller companies and knowing why psychologically why this stuff works. So that was that first realization. I Beta tested it out over the years on my own stuff in different nuanced ways, and then I work it out on my own experiences and did it on client projects than on a bigger scope as a course. Then now as software.
Jason Resnick: 32:42 Yeah, I mean that’s, it’s a smart way to do it. I mean, I, I did the same thing. I released a product of wordpress development. It was just a bunch of ebooks and I built that out only to sell a handful. Then I was just like, this is not the way you need to do these kinds of things. Need to test things. You need to be able to validate your assumptions or pivot, right? Maybe you’re assumption is just slightly wrong and maybe there’s something else that you need to do and to be able to hear you go through those steps because a lot of people do this, especially like I was saying before, those people that are looking to maybe grow an agency or grow this, the software product route or you know, stay as is tested, right? Come up with a way that you could test it.
Jason Resnick: 33:26 I mean, I did something very similar where, I mean myself on the woocommerce developer write, most of my clients are on will commerce and I helped them increase their conversions through custom development, integrating whatever they might their final 20 percent that will commerce doesn’t give them out of the box kind of thing. But over the years I’ve been using drip for well over two years now and I’ve helped them essentially implement call to actions based around customers, things like that, based out of those kinds of their data bank there. But I said to myself, instead of me just doing and pigeonholing myself with woocommerce, there’s plenty of Chava, five people that are using drip is plenty of Magento folks that are using drip. So I said, OK, let me see if I can kind of pull out the drip services and offer that as a solution rather than just all in and it works. I mean now I have more than half of my clients are outside of woocommerce now at this point, just strictly on drip services. And I was able to do that just by testing market, you know, talking with other folks. Even just jumping into conversations on twitter that folks are struggling with drip right now. Most of your clients come from, are they already using? Do you convert them over? I’d say three quarters of them are using drip.
Brennan Dunn: 34:47 OK, you can go further. And then you’re saying, well we can branch out to active campaign and you know, you’re working or whatever else. And then you start to have all these different things where you’re basically. You’re like a personified extreme zapier thing. Yeah, I mean, yeah, but that’s the thing is that you could have, I mean a lot of people would say, Jason, you should just go all in on one email marketing and all in on one platform and that’s fine. I mean I get the, especially from the Polish of the service you offer perspective, but that being said, I think there’s a lot of potential for, you know, niching them. I mean if you think about it, one thing I like to say a lot is, you know, let’s say you’re just jason the automation called action, right? And then somebody who happens to be using woocommerce, anything that happens to be on trip comes to you and you meet with them a few times or whatever else and then you wish you a proposal.
Brennan Dunn: 35:46 That proposal is going to be all about drip and all about woocommerce. So if you think about it, niching is just really taking what already happens in a high touch proposal in front loading in your marketing. And there’s no reason why you can’t. Like none of us have ever written proposal infinitely enough to everyone. It’s always slightly different. So if you think about a proposal is being a personalized sales letter, should be why not do that kind of on the fly and that scale, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re a web browser, doesn’t really care if you’re getting a personalized facebook feed or a bakery static homepage, like it’s all each smell at the end of the day for the, for their browser, right? So it’s kind of the same thing. And that’s, that’s what we’re saying is that, you know, conversationally you would do this. So if you were engaging in a sales thing with, uh, with a potential client, you would do this.
Brennan Dunn: 36:37 So why not do this again at, um, in a way that’s a little more automated? So yeah, I mean, I think [inaudible], I think it’s just important to start thinking through like whether using one off landing pages or whether you’re doing like a pro tip could be, say you go to a conference and you meet three people, one of which owns a Sas, one of which owns a e-commerce company and the other owns a services business. When you follow up with them later, use send services person [inaudible] social services or the e-commerce is that a e commerce and then sassier what’s the cop’s ass and you just find a way to say, well, how do I speak a little differently? Like what’s a better way of explaining what I do to a sas company versus an e-commerce company versus a services company? Right. And that’s in a way doing what we’re talking about just in a, you know, it’s, it’s the kind of thing that people want to.
Brennan Dunn: 37:29 People want to think by the thing made just for them. So yes, you’re a consultant, you’re a freelancer, you, you make a living doing one off things for the most part, right? You’re, you’re taking your talent, your skills near applying to a problem and fixing it. But marketing wise, I think there’s a lot we could be doing and especially if we just start thinking through like, OK, how do we, what, what role does our online stuff half in either acquiring or nurturing, you know, potential clients. And it doesn’t matter if you’re using, you’re selling services or you’re selling software or whatever. Same rules apply, but what role does the, does this page, what role does the site have and start thinking through like how can I systematically and again to add scale, start to do interesting things depending on who somebody might be in, how do I then segment automatically so I can determine is jason this or that? Right. And that’s again, that’s. I know you do a lot of this. I just, this is where things get really fun at them from my perspective. Yeah, I mean
Jason Resnick: 38:35 just do it again. Um, I’m a data geek like yourself and just to be able to see that somebody either clicked on a question or a certain link and identified themselves, like you were saying earlier about if somebody is looking at a number of different proposal articles on your site and you know, that that’s what they’re interested in. Right. And to simply just change the call to action on a button, it could even be just the consultation button, like, you know, even if it’s not a download or anything like that, instead of know book a consultation with me now you can say, Hey, let’s talk about proposal writing or you know, right. Like just a simple text change on a site and nothing. That’s why it’s funny that just to be able to translate that high touch sales one on one conversations that you have at scale with a tool like RightMessage can help marketing and ultimately help your conversions.
Jason Resnick: 39:35 Right? Because that’s what everybody wants is higher conversions. And when people. It’s funny, when people come during that sales conversation like, well, what kind of conversions should I expect? I said, well, first of all, there’s plenty of different variables in that whole question, but if it’s personalized, you get to see a lot more than if it’s, you know, download my thing now. Right. This is something that I know that you’re a big proponent of and pushing the personalized personalization’s even just self identifying simple things like even your demographics, like you know, I have one client that basically they’re a texting service, right? And he knows like if they’re in the northeast or southwest, right? So like he, he knows that these, we’ve basically built in these kind of automations that if there’s a weather alert in one of these regions, they send out emails to those clients to be able to say, hey look, there’s a hurricane coming in the Caribbean, Florida.
Jason Resnick: 40:36 You gotta be aware of, do you have your email, your broadcast text messages set up. Right. So just to be able to do some of those little smart automation is just around the simplest things as location goes a long way into having you stand, stand out amongst the crowd. So this has been great. I know we’ve gone a little bit over before I let you go. I know you’re, you know, you’re in automation and all that stuff. If you could have one process, one process in your business to be automated, which one would that be?
Brennan Dunn: 41:11 Um, OK. So I kind of have this and it’s the thing that I would don’t want to ever give up. That’s the thing that actually I continue to invest time in refining and that is what I’ve done is I have a system where my ivr primary call to action that most people who show up on my site organically ended up opting in. Or it’s the thing that if you op shelf organically, this is the thing that you end up on at some point. And um, so that’s the primary call to action. And then it’s an email horse nine lesson email course, which culminates with an evergreen, basically a pit launch window for people going through that. And I’ve done a lot of testing. At first there was this very basic, like 90 mils followed by a linear, you know, here’s cart open, some convincing emails and car close.
Brennan Dunn: 42:03 Um, but I’ve gone further and I’ve made it. So throughout the course itself, I’m getting segmentation data about who somebody is, their income range, what they’re hoping to do as a result of learning this stuff, why they joined, and then I have this bridge that basically looks at their engagement and then it will tailor this kind of elastic sequence based off of how engaged they are. So they’re super engaged, they go sooner into the open cart, otherwise they’re kind of sent more educational stuff over time to kind of nurture them. Um, and then the sale window will open up and I take everything I know about why did they join? So what motivation do they have? What led them to the free thing? And that’s how then I position the premium product based off that. What kind of business do they run? I’m going to show case studies, testimonials, language that reflects that kind of business where they like, what are they planning on doing as a result of this?
Brennan Dunn: 42:58 I reuse that data that I’ve already collected and I basically throw back at them, you know, in a way of saying, you’re next up is x. here’s how this product can help you basically implement x dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, and I even do things like in the final lesson I say, are you ready to implement what you’ve just learned in this free horse? They click yes. Are at a timestamp on their record when they clicked. Yes. So then during the pitch, later on, about a week or so later, they get an email saying, you know, on December first at 5:32 your time, you’ve told me that you were ready to do this, I’m going to hold you accountable and here’s, here’s what you need to be doing next, blah, blah, blah, blah. So it’s just all these different things. And then the sales page, the link to to buy off of is also personalized.
Brennan Dunn: 43:43 This sequence alone is the thing that I focused all my energy into getting people onto, so whether that’s through organic stuff or paid acquisition or do a guest post somewhere, that’s what I want people going into because the sequence reliably and systematically prince money each and every week during the fully-automated, open cart, closed cart, countdown timers, all this stuff fully personalized based off of their own time zone. So if they’re in Sydney, Australia, their launches a 10:00 AM local time and same as if somebody in New York goes through it. So this is the thing that is, it’s allowed me to basically build RightMessage and not need to worry about, you know, the hit, the hit that would have been there had I, you know, I, I basically haven’t touched dif seven months now, but it’s still income wise is better than it’s ever been with zero input. That makes sense. So yeah, I wouldn’t give that up.
Jason Resnick: 44:44 This has been great. I thank you for your generosity and your time and where can folks reach out and say thanks.
Brennan Dunn: 44:52 Yeah. So best place would be on twitter, Brennan, Dunn, B r e n n a n d u n n, and then again I’m at doubleyourfreelancing.com and RightMessage.com.
New Speaker: 45:03 Thanks Brennan and everybody else. It’s your time to live in the feast.
Speaker 2: 45:07 Nothing.
Season 2: Marketing
More episodes in this season:
S02 E00 - Marketing For Freelacers
S02 E02 - Rise of the Youpreneur with Chris Ducker
S02 E01 - The Future of Sales and Marketing with Chris Marr
S02 E03 - How to work with agencies as a freelancer with Lee Jackson
S02 E04 - How to build a service from the ground up with Ruben Gamez
S02 E05 - How to increase the number of leads and clients with Brennan Dunn
S02 E06 - How to specialize your business with Sara Dunn
S02 E07 - How to close a deal as a freelancer
S02 E08 - Step by Step Guide to Specialization