Lane Houk has experienced every step of pain and trial and error that an agency owner can go through. One of the biggest things he’s learned over the years is how crucial it is to have an integrated tech stack to facilitate growth and scale. He learned this the hard way, at one point, he was using 25 different tech systems. Realizing that the chaos and confusion this caused was their enemy for scaling. He started integrating all of his systems and eliminated all the bloat. Once he did that, his agency was able to scale at a rapid pace.
In this episode, we get to catch up with Lane as he details how he built the perfect tech stack that brought max efficiency to his business. We also get to learn about his passion project, Quantum Newswire, a content marketing, and signal generation engine built for digital agencies.
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Joe Troyer 0:59
It's Joe Troyer and welcome to show me the nuggets, guys. I'm super excited to be bringing on Lane Houk, who is a very, very longtime customer, man, I was looking back Lane, it's been a really long time that we've known each other. We've been running in the same circles, and you're doing some really, really interesting things in the marketing and agency world. So I want to bring you on the podcast, man. Without further ado, welcome to the show.
Lane Houk 1:27
Thanks, Joe. Appreciate it, man. Great to be with you.
Joe Troyer 1:30
So real quick, I want to talk about the agency side of things how you, you know built built the agency what you're up to now these days. But help us real quick before we dive in too deep. Tell us how you ended up in this crazy world of digital marketing?
Lane Houk 1:46
Well, it's a great segue from where we kind of left off before we start hit the record button but going back to the last crash, you know, after the last the the financial crash of 2007, 2008, so to speak. I was in the banking and finance business and I decided to exit out of there out of that industry and get into an industry with no walls, no borders, really trying to craft a new career for myself was just really wanted to get out of that, you know, the banking industry after everything we went through for those two or three years. So I started my digital agency in 2010. I kind of taught myself the ropes learn really a lot from guys like you, used your software early on. But, yeah, so I started my digital agency in 2010 grew it to a certain point where I knew I needed a partner. So in 2015, I brought on a business partner. And at that point in 2015, we rebranded to Brand Equation, which is still kind of what we call our legacy agency today. So we still have Brand Equation. It's just kind of grown organically. But in 2017, we got to work on building our own software, which today is Quantum Newswire to solve some of our own issues and challenges, that we had in doing SEO and Local SEO for our agency clients. And once we launched Quantum Newswire in late 2018, we actually built Quantum Newswire. We built it for other agencies. So we made a strategic decision that we were not only going to build it to solve our own problems that our own agency at Brand Equation, but we were gonna build it for other agencies as well. So when we launched quantum Newswire in December of 2018,
agencies, that'd be kind of came our primary client right with Quantum Newswire. So in 2019, what we did in concert with the launch of Quantum Newswire, is I transitioned our entire operational and fulfillment team as an agency to become a white label ops team so that we would do white label SEO white label websites for our agencies who were now clients of Quantum Newswire. So 2019 was kind of a pivot year for us where we pivoted from being a generalist agency with Brand Equation, and we kind of launched Quantum Agency See alongside Quantum Newswire as a white label agency,
Joe Troyer 4:03
awesome man, crazy transition
Lane Houk 4:05
that has been 10 years, right. It's about a 10 year decade of growth and progress and then, you know, some pivoting and some restructuring to to really help agencies digital agencies really do what they need to do to help SMBs in their local markets.
Joe Troyer 4:20
Yeah, man. I'm curious man, looking back, hindsight is always 2020. Right. So I love I love figuring out the the nuggets, right, the that's why the show's called Show Me the Nuggets, the takeaways. After after you break through some of those ceilings and you pivot and you make some of those crazy changes. There's always takeaways like the good, the bad, and the ugly, I'm curious man, as you transitioned and went from agency and a successful agency that you had managed to kind of build and scale to a software company and kind of made that first pivot. I'd love to hear some thoughts on on why you thought that that was a great step for you in your business. Right? What were the aha moments? What were the key takeaways there?
Lane Houk 5:05
Well, I think for me what I had in those seven or eight years of from 2010 to 2018, when we launched Quantum Newswire, um, I had gone through about every step of pain and trial and error that an agency would go through in those first seven or eight years. Right. Um, and I felt like by the time we launched Quantum Newswire in late 2018, I had learned the agency business so well, that I could really help agencies I saw, you know, through that, that that 10 year, just last 10 years has been an absolute explosion of you know, new new digital agency owners that have just said, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm quitting my job here and I'm gonna open up my own agency or I'm when I'm going from being just a web company, I'm going to be a really become a full, full agency. So we've seen an explosion of digital agencies, and yet the learning curve is pretty steep. What I learned in that in that seven or eight years was Well, you know, if you've ever seen that, have you ever seen Chief Mar Tech stack, or chiefmartec.com. That website right they got a an infographic that shows the growth of marketing software from 2011 to 2019. And in those eight years, we went from about 150 or so online, or cloud based marketing software solutions to over 7000. And that's what it really felt like, like, as I grew my agency, I hit I hit a tipping point where it was so chaotic, because we had so many different software technology systems running to manage this and run this and operate this and get reporting on that. And I woke up one day and I had like over 20 different software systems that we had to be using on an on a daily basis. And so that, you know, that that that trial and error period for an agency owner can be can be seven or eight years long and can really stunt your growth if you get it wrong, or you're just in that trial and error mode. And so I felt like in 2018, I had learned so much to my own trial and error, I feel like I could really help agencies shortcut, a lot of those Growing Pains by getting their technology stack right early on, saving them money in time, and also filling in some solutions that we had built ourselves in our own software.
Joe Troyer 7:23
I love that man. Really, really good stuff. And very similar to kind of my takeaways as well in the space. I'm really curious to take a deeper dive in there. You said something that most people in this space son't say so I'm curious your point of view on it. You said help marketers build out their tech stack. What does that mean to you? And what do you think are the keys so to speak in that tech stack?
Lane Houk 7:50
So you think about where if it's digital agency owners, we're in digital marketing, right? So it did a technology stack is bigger than it would be for just like an average SMB, because we're doing so many things. This is what really complicated. I thought digital marketing. But if we just go back to 2011 2012, right before Google became launch Google Places remember Google Places, when that launch that was like a whole new ecosystem. You go back to that those, that 2010 2011 2012 time period. They're just, it was really a brand. What we have is really websites and a few social media platforms. And that was it. Now today, we've got all these different social media channels. Web 2.0 is traffic's, you know, blogs, there's just, it's exploded. And as that exploded over those years, I saw our tech stack explode with it, which introduced a lot of complexity, a lot of inefficiency, a lot of challenges to train staff on how to use all these different things. And what I found too, was that almost all of it or almost none of it was really white label. So it was always this technology company and their brand and so on. exposing our clients to even the intellectual property of, Hey, this is a really good technology to use too, as part of your digital marketing stack as a company, and we didn't want to really reveal, you know, the things that we had learned that it took to really, you know, manage and operate a web presence of a company online. So I just went through all these years of trying these different things and seeing our tech stack exploded. So really what I defined the technology stack for as an agency is all of those software technology systems, mostly all cloud based now we've gotten kind of got away from the old software running, you know, native on your finger. So it's mostly all cloud based software systems or work or accounts that are used to manage not only our own web presence as an agency online, but also manage the web presence of our, of our of all of our clients. So, you know, examples of this are your CRM, and everything related to a CRM and communications, your social media management, so I have things like Brightlocal Hootsuite, Pipe Drive, reputation management software, social media management software, citation management software. Then we got GMb. Now we have GMB management software, we have WordPress, we have hosting. We have CRM, we have SMS text messaging, we have advertising in Google ads, Facebook ads, reporting. I mean, I can go on there. So you know, the list is long. And so I saw this, let's just keep growing and growing our monthly nut as an agency kept growing and growing with all these new subscriptions. And so I ended up with this really bloated, de integrated technology stack as an agency. And it was chaos and we couldn't scale I knew that was our enemy of scaling, or at least the one of the biggest ones in around 2016. So we I began a journey in 2015 2016 to become an integrated agency with an integrated tech stack. That is eliminate as much of the bloat and as much of all the different things that we had that didn't talk to each other that weren't white label and weren't integrated. And so I took our agency in a matter of four years from working in around three to 25 different technology systems down to five. So I was able to create mass efficiency, which obviously is the precursor or prerequisite to any kind of scaling and and apply that in our own Brand Equation, our own generalist agency and now now that we've launched Quantum Agency are now really a white label. We help other agencies with their technology stack because I find that agencies a lot of probably who will be listening to this episode. Have that that will they'll feel that pain, they'll know that pain and chaos of a deintegrated bloated technology stack,
Joe Troyer 11:52
man, I love that. That's so awesome. I find that a lot of times I'm helping people with their tech stacks and it's just a front start of the tech stack. It's not the fulfillment stack, because a lot of people aren't there yet. It's the basic marketing stack. And it just shocks me. Like every day, after years of doing this, how many marketers and agencies don't have a tech stack just for marketing? And it's like, you know, what, what are you doing? What are you doing for inbound? What are the pieces? How do they connect? You know, how does this How does this process run every day without you? And they're like, Wait, what? Like, seriously?
Lane Houk 12:25
Yeah, there's no strategic plan. And therefore, if they don't even have it for their own agency, how are you going to be able to help that SMB, you know, really, you know, implement those key components as well.
Joe Troyer 12:42
Awesome man, so we're obviously going to talk about Quantum here in a bit. And, and I don't want to go too, in too deep there yet. But I'm curious, what do you what are the kind of the core components that you often are installing in terms of a of a fulfillment stack or a tech stack for people? You mentioned a couple of them if you said, you know, kind of four or five things You've really gotten it down to I'm curious what you've whittled things down to these days.
Lane Houk 13:05
Sure. So the first big step of integration for us was operational and project management, team chat and support desk. So as you grow an agency, obviously, you get to a point where you need to have a support desk and a support portal for your clients to streamline and bring everything into, you know, from a support and communication standpoint, bring it all into one funnel, which will support us. So we we got a base camp Freshdesk and slack and went into teamwork. So we took three moved into one. And now that's a completely integrated system or ecosystem for our entire operational fulfillment team. I actually use our project management system in terms of demoing it for a client and and that we close clients by showing them our project management and team system, because it's like this is your insurance policy for success. We know what needs to be done. It's in our project management system, our team members Are tasking to it, and we make sure everything gets done because we've got it all laid out and systemized. So that was the first big jump. The next big jump was our local SEO stack. So because as an agency our primary offering was SEO/local SEO, a we needed to have a tech stack that was directly focused on fulfilling in terms of making the rankings happen and you know, map pack and organic rankings. So our our, our local SEO/marketing tech stack comprises really if you look at the Moz pie chart of the local ranking factors, right, you've got the GMB signals, you got link signals, you've got review signals, you've got citation signals, you've got social signals. So we needed to have a technology component that helped us generate signals in those categories and also manage them so to speak. So we I was before I was in, I had Rep Kahuna and Rep Loop kind of a two headed monster. reputation management slash review signals. We were in Hootsuite for social signals. We were in Bright Local for citation signals. But then there was a you know, I also did some manual stuff so, and then I was using certain pieces like Pipe Drive, Local Analyzer, and Lead Kahuna in our front end prospecting and sales components of our agency. I took those nine different components along with Raven tools for an analytics and reporting. Those were nine different tools, I took those nine and condensed them into one with Vendosta. So we moved into Vendosta White Label, which protects all nine of those different software systems and wraps them up into one unified white label platform. And now today, we actually help agencies acquire a Vendosta account at a significant discount if they, if that's something that they would find useful for themselves, in terms of integrating their own agency, but those nine We're moving to one with Vendosta. And then what really rounded out the the stack for us was in 2019 early, we moved off of CRM SMS text messaging, Click Funnels Visita for calendaring and scheduling and moving the High Level. So high level really combined about another another eight different software tools into one white label. So today we have a phenomenal tech stack comprised of basically Teamwork Vendosta, High level and Quantum Newswire
Joe Troyer 16:38
there you guys go back 10 years of learnings right there, recapped in a couple of minutes, that's crazy. That's awesome, man. I think you've gotten to the point where you understand in each of the systems what you need, what you want, and why. And then you've uncomplicated everything, it's beautiful
Lane Houk 17:00
Beautiful, still complicated, but you know what it's like when you're in 20 versus four.
Joe Troyer 17:07
yeah, just topping from 25th or uncomplicates a lot. And you have way less failures and points of failure, you know, you got 20 points of failure before now you only got four, right, there's way less to go wrong. And just that makes things simpler, training team members and training team members on 20 versus four. I mean, there's so many efficiencies, like you said, you said something that I loved earlier, I wanted to highlight it, you said, you know, in order to get max efficiency, or you need max efficiency as a precursor to scale. That's so well said. And I find a lot of people that don't really understand the need to get that max efficiency. And so they're just kind of lazy, about their efficiency, their systems or processes, and then they get slammed with business and they literally just fold right A lot of them I see like literally go out of business, because they can't take that influx because their systems or processes, frankly don't exist, like it's just too sloppy.
Lane Houk 18:10
That's really defined. that defines growth versus scaling. I see a lot of agencies grow, like you said, they add a bunch of new clients. But then either they, they, they don't scale because they don't keep either they don't keep those clients or they have to get out of sales and go do all this fulfillment work, because it's so inefficient. And meanwhile, then their sales have dropped off. And so they're just in this constant roller coaster of growth versus scaling, where you're, you're adding new clients, and the systems and efficiencies allow you to keep staying in sales and adding more and more and more. We wanted to scale an agency and create those efficiencies, and obviously the quality of life that I was looking for as the agency owner, and the only way you can do that is integrating and creating a mass efficiency.
Joe Troyer 18:54
That's awesome.I'm curious from your viewpoint, Lang. You've been involved in the SEO space for so long and you're working with With a lot of agencies, what do you see? In terms of pricing in the marketplace? What do you think is the right type of pricing structure? Do you think people are overcharging or under charging a combination of kind of all the above any thoughts on pricing?
Lane Houk 19:17
I think it's a combination of all the above I see overpricing, but I see a lot of underpricing, too. So Matt and I have done some studies and research. There's actually some good studies out there about you know, SEO and pricing. There was one, I want to say I think it was, it's escaping me, the the company that did the study, but anyway, the shortcut of it was they found that, you know, nationally, the the average for SEO was 500 per month. And that was right on with what the average company can kind of afford was 500 per month. Now I you know, obviously, we're over that, you know, in terms of when in our in our retail agency Brand Equation, our average for an SEO client is about 1000 a month. Maybe 1250 as a white label agency, we're under 500 a month, right? Because we're giving that margin over to our agency partners. And that was one of the things that I knew we could do. And one of the reasons why we flipped into a white label agency is because I had created those efficiencies in our delivery systems to get rankings to a point where I could actually deliver on a white label basis and have enough margin our own side, to be able to let an agency partner with us and take the margin themselves as well, while we do the fulfillment on it, again, those things are required efficiencies are required to be able to do things like that. a thousand a month I would say is that average answer your question directly. And that's what I see most people charging. But $500 a month is that sweet spot in terms of client acquisition because the market has spoken and said, Hey, this is what the average SMB is willing to spend on SEO.
Joe Troyer 20:54
Interesting. Yeah. With all the agencies that you're working with right now on terms of white label relationship? Where do you see them falling short? What's the 80/20 that you would say like the successful guys that are sending you most of the business? These are the things that they really got together, right that a lot of the other agencies that I'm working with just don't quite have together yet. What are the commonalities or the common people?
Lane Houk 21:23
Yeah, commonalities would be they've chosen a niche. They do have their systems pretty well built. And they have an insane focus on sales, right, because sales is the lifeblood of any agency. I see a lot of the agencies that struggle are struggling because they, they're not nailing sales. They haven't nailed their prospecting system, their sales system, their two step closed system, whatever it is that they've got for prospecting and sales, that's still a weak point for them. And so they're in this constant, kind of roller coaster ride. The guys who are really, really, really successful have really nailed sales. have pretty good systems. There's always room to grow and systems even we do. I mean, we don't we've got good ones, we still need to, you know, keep getting better. But sales and systems and a niche.
Joe Troyer 22:10
That's awesome.Yeah, I think you're right on every one of those things I preach all day long every day. I really wanted to ask you that question specifically. Because I think that the perspective is very interesting. as somebody that owns a white label business, you really get to see who's doing well and who's not who's full of it and who's not. And you get to see a very different perspective, that I feel like most people don't get to see even the agency coaches in this space, so to speak, mastermind, people things like that they don't even see that same perspective, because they're not so involved or ingrained in the business as a white label provider is and I see that I see the exact same thing for sure.
Lane Houk 22:56
Yeah, I think picking a niche is kind of a prereq To building better systems to I mean, how do you build good systems that are efficient, and deliver predictability and results and predictability and quality are the customer experience? When you've got, you know, 30 or 20 different types of clients, you know, chiropractors auto repair, you're all over the map. It's, and I went through that pain, like, I wish I had met, you know, Josh Nelson at the seven figure agency back in 2010, when I had just started my agency and and I learned that hey, start out with a niche, like pick a niche, right? I started out with a generalist agency and went through those growing pains of learning how inefficient a non niche agency or a generalist agency really is, and can be, we grew because I just grew by referral. And so it just kind of we had, you know, we didn't i didn't tell people how to only refer me doctors or whatever the niche would have been. But you know, and that's also a part of why I said you know what, in 2018 2019 we're going to Pick a niche, let's go help agencies because, you know, we just had grown to the point where I felt like we were in a good spot to kind of pivot and do that. But that's now our niche.
Joe Troyer 24:10
What do you think would be the best way to explain to somebody the efficiencies that you get when you niche down?
Lane Houk 24:18
What are the efficiencies you get when you niche down? Well, all of your messaging, so all of your onboarding. So let's start with you know, client acquisition certain your marketing, right, so start at top of the funnel, when I'm prospecting and I'm sales. Now I have one marketing message, I can really tailor that marketing message to that niche, so I can speak directly to them instead of trying to, you know, attract, you know, every type of local business in my area. I'm just going after auto repair. Well, now I can really tailor my message to the auto repair niche and speak their language. So from a prospecting standpoint, your message hits a lot quicker and a lot you know, with a lot more emphasis, which means you get more traction, right? And then No, we've seen that right with a seven figure agencies who are in niches with your message. So now you can become an expert in the niche. And if you become omnipresent in the industry in a niche so all of that lends itself to more success in prospecting and sales. Well when you're successful in sales now you don't have as many you don't have money problems, you don't have, you know, sales solves a lot of problems. You can now invest in your systems, you can invest in your staff, you can invest in your own you can double down on your marketing. So I think you know, picking a niche number one, it just really accelerates the prospecting and sales process. And then if you're going to, you know, I mean every agency needs to make that strategic decision whether they're going to insource or outsource the fulfillment. And you know, at least as a primary you know, I like even as an outsource well as a white label agency, I have a back I have a back. I have some relationships that I can rely on to outsource to if we get slammed, right so even as an outsource agency, I have an outsourced company that I can rely on if we get hit with a big project or a big client. So I think every agency should at least have a good white label partner that they have as a coming alongside them and they use them as needed. But when you decide whether you're going to insource or outsource fulfillment, having a niche obviously creates tons of efficiencies in the fulfillment process. So for instance, we're having in our white label agency where we've got a lot of water damage and Fire Damage Restoration agencies who are in that niche. So even from a delivery standpoint for our fulfillment, you know, we know that niche we know it really well we know we don't have to go do the keyword research over we don't have to go do you know all of those things that you have to do all completely new if you have a new a new business and a new industry that you've never touched before
Joe Troyer 26:49
Great job breaking it down? It's a it's something that I feel like I repeat all the time, so I love asking that question. Because I get a I get a little nugget or a little takeaway. And there's just so many efficiencies, everything becomes so much simpler. I mean, it's like, literally the equation of copying and pasting, you know, instead of, instead of, you know, water damage in St. Louis, it's water damage in Miami, the key roads stay the same. The city list changes, you know, the copy you write about know the sub headers, you know, everything backwards and forwards. I mean,
Lane Houk 27:24
you don't have to learn over team doesn't have to learn an over you don't have to read document it again. I mean, there's, those are all efficiencies.
Joe Troyer 27:32
I mean, I think I think you cut probably your workload in half by really in terms of fulfillment in terms of being able to deliver. And like you said, you speed up your sales cycles so much more, which is always the biggest problem of any business almost is just sales and cash flow. And so we got that handled. And then you got efficiencies on the back end. Yeah, it's a no brainer. Awesome, man. So this has been amazing. Layne, I want you to talk to us now about your passion project. And really what you're up to with Quantum Newswire, why you built it, what it solves. And man, like, you have my permissio, pitch everybody a little bit why? Why is Quantum and the platform? Why is it different than the other platforms out there? You know, I know you and you wouldn't have went and built something that was already built in the marketplace, just for building sake to say, hey, yeah, I built that platform. So, you know, what was it about quantum that you saw? What was that vision that you ran after? And tell everybody a little bit about quantum?
Lane Houk 28:36
Sure. Well leads right into what we were just discussing in terms of efficiencies are being you know, our main solution at Brand Equation before we embarked on creating Quantum Newswire was SEO, local SEO. So our biggest challenge in delivering SEO which when you deliver SEO, you're delivering ranking, delivering results, right. I mean, ultimately, whether you have three months or six months or a year to do it, you have to deliver the result. or at some point the client cancels. So getting the result in SEO and local map pack SEO rankings was was challenging and the biggest challenges in that were building links link signals, which is number two or number one on the Moz pie chart, if you look at their you know how they weight, the influence of links, so link signals was a big issue. GMB signals was a real challenge. How do we create you know, ongoing, real powerful authoritative Google My Business signals? Because that accounts for 25% of the influence on the map pack rankings so GMB signals link signals and
citation signals, obviously, you know, an enrollment with bright local in an aggregator or in just you know, a yaks type of thing that will that gives us some citations, but then there's no real ongoing citation velocity. So we were looking at citation signals as well. So those three components were We were looking to how can we create a software That creates GMB signals, links signals, citation signals and then even maybe some behavioral and traffic signals. And there was just nothing in the marketplace. We were using press releases going back to about 2013 or 2014. I started using press releases as an extension of our content syndication strategy. So that's really where you and I hooked up was was Syndwire way back when was I adopted the content syndication strategy as a core strategy for SEO right? produce quality content, and then syndicate that content into authoritative sites that have good domain, domain authority and steal some of those signals and authority from those other places where you syndicate the content, you will press releases became a kind of a an extension of that strategy. And it worked. It worked really good for a couple years and I just saw declining efficacy in the press release platforms that we were using. And there were some reasons why it made sense to me why efficacy was was declining, year over year over year. So, in 2017, we got to work on eveloping Quantum Newswire. I'd say we in our in our initial
plans of with Quantum Newswire, we were building a better mousetrap a better press release platform. But by the time we got six months into development of it, it you know it the vision of Quantum Newswire really shifted from being just press releases to being a signal generation engine. So we went into from just being a let's just syndicate press releases and a little bit better way to developing specific things into the technology in Quantum Newswire were were generating hundreds of signals in these different categories with one article of content. So that really became the goal, or the outcome that we were looking for. Once we launched Quantum Newswire. So today with Quantum Newswire, you take one article of written content, you can also put audio content, video content and image content inside the text or written content on our platform and syndicate that to about 40 different really authoritative news sites. What we didn't do with quantum Newswire was two major things that we focused on with Quantum that were a strict departure from all the other PR platforms that that we kind of mimicked in the beginning. Number one, we didn't focus on a mass number of distribution endpoints. Ultimately, when you're talking about press releases, or any kind of content syndication strategy, we're talking about duplicate content, you're taking original content and duplicating it in different places, right. So you, if you're going to execute duplicate content, you better execute it right, or it can really bite you in the ass. So I saw these other press release platforms really not executing it, right because they were taking original content and duplicating it. But they were duplicating that content and sourcing it to the other to their press release site. And that was the second big departure. That was a fundamental shift in our strategy with Quantum Newswire is if to me, I always understood with Google like authorship is the key. Like when you produce content, the the person or entity that's going to get the benefit of that content is the author, the original author. And we even have a term for it in SEO called the canonical, right? So Google recognizes that original author of the content is the canonical of that content, anything else out there in the ecosystem is just duplicate content of that one canonical. So when it never made sense to me to take content for us, for our client, put it on a press release platform syndicated out to a bunch of duplicate sites. And the original author of that content was the press release service that we were using. They were like stealing the authority of that content and and shifting it to their own, you know, domain. So we completely shifted that and flipped it on its head of a Quantum Newswire. We allow our agencies to author or choose the sourcing of the author of the content before it goes out to the media sites. And then on the live media sites. There's an explicit reference to the source of that content being the target site, which is typically going to be your money site or the site you're trying to rank. So those are some of the things that we set out to do that were fundamentally different with Quantum Newswire. So it's really a content marketing and signal generation engine. And we're Our goal with each article of content is to generate as many, you know, signals as we can around that target site and its related GMB listing to produce organic rankings and map pack rankings. After a year and a half of hundreds of agencies using it. We have great testimonials, case studies, it just flat out works. We're continuing to innovate. We just released a schema feature two weeks ago. We have a direct integration with schema.org. On this integration, it's pretty significant. We've got a new voice search ecosystem channel that's just opened up. So we're continuing to innovate. But our goal and innovations in the future is more ways that you can generate more signals around a target site in a GMB listing using one piece of content.
Joe Troyer 35:04
I love it, man. That's fantastic. So what if what have you guys found in terms of content for the press release? You guys writing that content you have in your users write that content. I know that in the past and other platforms content has been a little bit of a bottleneck. I'm curious how you guys solve that as an as an agency. And also now at quantum?
Lane Houk 35:28
Yeah. So we we built like I said, with eight with Quantum Newswire, we built it for agencies. So everything that we put into it was like, well, and even still, like I had a conversation with Matt yesterday about our new content writing, ordering release that's coming out. We got a whole bunch of new code that's going into a whole new upgrade for our ordering content ordering system. But we weren't he was asking me Well, well, how do you think agencies will think about this? How do you think agencies will think about that, right, because I'm like the I'm I am I am truly our number one customer at Quantum Newswire. I know what agencies want and need, because I've lived breathed that for a decade. So when it comes to that we we give our agencies the option, right? Do you want to bring me out the the the content into our platform? Or would you have? Would you rather have us write it for you. So we give our agency partners the option, bring in your own content with your own writers, you write it yourself, how, however you want to handle it, or if you need a quality writing team, then Quantum Newswire has a five star quality writing team. And I focused on saying five star quality because we, you know, probably to you part of your question is, I experienced that painful, painful process of ordering an article and getting it back and going, I can't even begin to think about giving it to a client for review, like this is crap. I, you know, I've always had that conviction that content has to be quality. It's the number one of the biggest things that we provide a client in terms of work product as an agency, and that content is going to be a direct reflection of that small business or Local Business so the content has to be really really good so our content writing team is based in South Carolina. They're all college grads master level type writers. We truly have four and a half to five star quality writing when you when you need somebody you know like us to write the article or the content for you because you don't have your own sources yourself.
Joe Troyer 37:21
That's beautiful. Awesome. Yeah, it seems like you guys have definitely thought it through and made it easy. So definitely will link up to Quantum in the chat definitely guys, I would recommend checking it out. I know that I'll be working with Lane on on doing some tests myself. And we'll be happy to share back and report back guys, our winnings and what we were able to achieve with quantum. So Lane I want to wrap it up here. Be respectful of your time and the audience time. Thanks so much man for giving. I mean you gave us so much content, so many nuggets for I mean going on 40 minutes now I want to wrap it up here. I feel like at the end of it every podcast, almost every podcast asked the same, same question, right? Like, what? What are your top three books Lane? I like to do something a little different. Don't get me wrong. I like books. I like a lot. But I have a bad habit. I have a bad habit of picking up a book. And if it doesn't grab me in the first 10 pages, I'm never picking it up again. Or I read it. And I'm like, I can't put it down. Right? Like I'm reading the whole book that day or the next day. I'm an avid reader, but it's either like going on the trash file, or I'm gonna like go through it now. Yeah. And so I love to ask my guests, obviously smart people that I want to pick their brains, right people that have on the podcast, I like to ask them a little bit of a different question. So based upon where you're at in your business right now, as you look at quantum look at your agency, you look at everything that's going on and look at how your business is built, how its structured. What's the one book that you think is the best representation of your current business and how it stands? What's the big thing that hou would share
Lane Houk 39:00
it in terms of actual implementations into my business and even how it how it how it's incorporated into my everyday thinking still Good to Great by Jim Collins. The principles in that book level five leadership the hedgehog concept a lot about niche, you know, pick your niche, you know what, you're going to be really great at the concept of get the right people on the bus and in the right seats from a growing a business. And in that being in charge of the vision of a company in hiring, who's on our team who's on our team, but culture of our team. Understanding that people have specific roles. That book has, and I read it, it goes back to I think I read that book for the first time in like 2004, maybe 2003 even before I was in, you know this industry, but it stays with me to this day, the principles of that book, and it actually influences our processes with hiring and interviewing. You know, potential team members, it influences how I look at leadership of my company. So it that's probably the number one book in terms of how it's fleshed out even today and into my businesses.
Joe Troyer 40:11
Awesome, man. That's great. We'll definitely link that up in the show notes for everybody. For anybody that hasn't, gotten it they can jump over to Amazon and pick it up. Obviously Lane we'll link out to quantum Newswire also put it in the MOZ chart that you referenced, or link out to Quantum Agency and Brand Equation. Anything else that we're missing that will you you want to link out to where you think listeners should have.
Lane Houk 40:35
What I'll do is if you know any of the agencies that listen this if they have any, you know, questions about their tech stack or you know, are interested in some of the some of the things that we that we discussed today, Joe, what I'll do is I'll also give you my my directs, Strategy Session scheduling link. So, I'll provide youngers a complimentary anybody who's listening and gets this will can get a you know, just a comp strategy session, we can sit down and discuss via zoom there. Their tech stack their their SEO systems, whatever in any way that I can help them level up their own agency. I'll be glad to help
Joe Troyer 41:08
do that's awesome. Thank you so much guys. You got it here lane. How can judge for you're sharing with you guys all of the nuggets lane. Thank you so much, man. I definitely want to connect on news wire and hopefully hopefully want to bring you back around soon.
Lane Houk 41:21
Awesome. Thanks a lot, Joe. Appreciate it, brother.
Joe Troyer 41:23
Yeah, see you everybody.