Josh Nelson started his Plumbing & HVAC SEO digital marketing agency from the ground and after 7 years he’s now making $4 Million in revenue.
Josh’s success didn’t come without its own failures though. Before growing his agency to 7 figures he had to close the doors of another digital marketing agency and look for a job to keep up with his bills.
But thanks to his perseverance and his wife’s support, Josh managed to turn the situation around. Today with his new business, 7 Figure Agency, he is in a mission to help 100 digital marketing agencies grow to 7 figures and beyond over the next 10 years.
In this interview, Josh talks about one of the most powerful tools he used to grow his own agency: Webinars. Watch the whole episode to learn how you can use his Webinar master plan to grow your agency to 7 figures in the next 12 months.
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Joe Troyer: (00:04)
All right, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the podcast here today. And guys, we are super, super privileged to have none other than Josh Nelson with us here today. For those of you guys that don't know Josh, he's a the founder and coach at the seven figure agency and he is the CEO of uh, plumbing and HVAC Seo. And guys, we have, uh, an absolute pleasure and a great conversation that we're going to have today with Josh. Um, and I just wanted to put in a little note that Josh does have an upcoming two day workshop coming up called the local agency accelerator intensive, uh, here in south Florida. So if you're up for traveling, definitely in a vet that I would recommend checking out if I were you guys. Uh, I definitely want to chat with Josh about coming myself. So Josh, man, without further ado, thanks so much for coming on the call today.
Josh Nelson: (00:55)
My pleasure. I'm, I'm stoked to be here. Excited to have that conversation with you.
Joe Troyer: (01:02)
Awesome, man. So, um, I, I got to give props where props are due. And we were talking a little bit about this before we started the recording here, just while we're getting kind of set up so to speak. And, and I just told Josh, man, like I wanted to concentrate specifically on webinars, um, because I think that there's nobody in the agency space specifically that has really leveraged webinars like you guys have. Um, and, uh, and I got a little stack here. I've gotta give you props. You guys went from a startup with zero clients to now over 370,000 a month in recurring revenue.
Josh Nelson: (01:37)
Yeah, that's right,
Joe Troyer: (01:38)
Dude. Like that is, that's impressive. And focusing on just, you know, kind of really one slash two verticals. That's an amazing feat.
Josh Nelson: (01:47)
Yeah, no doubt. It's, it's been a lot of fun. And you know, we also made the INC 5,000 list of fastest growing companies the last three years in a row as, as a function of that. And so, yeah, I mean, there's riches in the niches and that if you take an aggressive approach, you know, fast growth is possible. And even in this local agency world.
Joe Troyer: (02:04)
So would you say that you started really going after plumbing and HVAC by accident or did you get lucky with a client or two or did you have this like predestined in your mind or tell us kinda how the, that specific vertical came about?
Josh Nelson: (02:17)
It was kind of like a quasi, quasi lucky, quasi strategic move. Um, you know, in retrospect I had worked at reach local and um, I was one of the sales reps, their internet marketing consultants and selling local businesses. And you know, it'd been there for about a year and a half. I saw there were certain verticals that played better and I saw that if you could come in and say, Hey, I specialize in working in this space and I tried dentistry, I tried bankruptcy, I tried plumbing. Um, it made things easier. And so when we started our own agency back in like 2011, we decided, you know, let's position ourselves as the expert in a couple of spaces. And so we set up plumber SEO, we set up roofer SEO, we set up contractor SEO and you know, we just, we got some great results within plumbing. We started to build some momentum behind it and you know, after we had 10 or 15 clients, it was just like, okay, let's laser focus on this. And it was off to the races from there.
Joe Troyer: (03:11)
Wow, that's awesome man. So, um, obviously a bunch of your success comes from webinars. What do you think are going to be other core kind of components in terms of the prospecting side of things that you guys are really relying on these days?
Josh Nelson: (03:24)
Yeah, I'd say, I mean I think foundationally it's, it's being involved in the industry. So you know, in any niche, like for us, plumbing HVAC, there's the national plumbing association, there's subgroups within that. And in a, rather than just trying to find a cold audience, what we did was we joined the associations, we got access to their list, we were able to draft on that affinity. And then everything we did within that space kind of was magnified because we were creating content for that audience. Um, you know, we were doing webinars, we were getting creating cheat sheets, we were doing podcasts like this in the industry and instead of just putting it out in a vacuum out into cyberspace, we were able to send it to an affinity group and have them, you know, kind of receptive to that contact. And so that really helped to shortcut the process for us.
Joe Troyer: (04:12)
So that's beautiful. Any tips, tricks, thoughts on kind of building those relationships with, with the associations and the affinity audience so to speak?
Josh Nelson: (04:20)
Yeah, I'd say first of all just research what are the associations and groups within your niche, um, in reach out, find out what the process is to join, find out what the benefits are to join. Sometimes you get the full name, address, phone number, email, contact details of those people. Um, the best way to really add value out of the gates is to offer, to join and you pay for that. And then to offer to exhibit at their events. Usually any, any industry association has uh annual events, quarterly events at the national level, on the local level. And they want sponsors, they want people to help pay for the, for the space so to speak. And so you start off by sponsoring and then start to work relationships with the people that run those events and run those groups and ask how you can help and ask how you can maybe put out content that would be valuable. Um, and by doing that you can, you can kind of work it from both, from both angles.
Joe Troyer: (05:11)
Yeah. That's awesome. Great tip there. Okay, cool. I'll definitely want to follow in your footsteps with bit with a couple of different verticals that we're having success with, so that helps. All right. So, um, obviously you, you had plumbing and HVAC kind of take off, right? But now you've kind of went into a whole new market with seven figure coach, right? Helping other agencies build out their agencies. What, what was the initiative there? What made that happen? What was kinda your thought process?
Josh Nelson: (05:38)
Well, I mean, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm always a big student of the game. Right? I, I've read all the books, I sit on the seminars, I go to training. And I think at the time it was, um, uh, Mike Koenig from main street marketing machines and other guys like Dan and I, I went through their courses and as I was sitting in the sessions, you know, we were one of the top guys, I think when you were at like 40 or 50,000 a month in recurring revenue. And most people were just trying to get one or two clients. And I was like, man, you know, there's not a lot of people that are actually doing this and growing that are sharing what's working for them. And so once we grew ours to seven figures, which was $83,000 per month, I was like, why don't I take this, call it seven figure agency and you know, Rufus Shear in real world, not, not the guru land, but real world. What did we do? How do we get our clients? How have we grown? And, um, you know, I find that I learned just as much teaching as I do doing. And so, you know, in kind of unpacking how do we land the clients, how do we serve the clients, how do I retain the clients? Uh, it made us even better at what we were doing within our, within our agency
Joe Troyer: (06:42)
100% to really teach it and to teach them well, right. And not just the guru business hundred percent. It's gonna, it's gonna make your team better. Uh, definitely get that. Cool. So, um, obviously, um, you, you've grown to the seven figure mark, you're growing much. Uh, it seems like very, very fast now, way past the seven figure mark. Um, so how long has it been since you hit the million to, to where you're at kind of today? What's that growth rate or run rate like for you guys right now?
Josh Nelson: (07:11)
Yeah, so we, we grew to seven figures by our second year. Uh, this is our seventh year. So second year we were at $83,000 or more a month of recurring. Um, now we're, we're at about, we did last year we did 4 million. I expect to do four and a half or 5 million this year. So I'm pretty, pretty rapid rapid growth.
Joe Troyer: (07:31)
Okay, cool. Um, my team did some research and they said that you and your seven figure agency model, right? That there's really three vital areas, right? Can you break down kind of those three areas, uh, for, for the audience and for me as well, since I don't know what those kind of three key areas are?
Josh Nelson: (07:48)
Yes. I mean, I think in any digital marketing agency, there's, there's three pillars, right? Landing clients. If you can't land clients, there's no way to grow an agency. I think so many of the agencies I talk with and deal with, they're stuck at that. It's like, okay, I've learned all the technical to do the websites and to do the SEO or to run the retargeting campaigns, but I don't know how to get clients. So if you can't solve for that, you don't have anything, right? So you have to get really good at systematically landing clients and lending new clients on a monthly basis. So that's pillar number one. Pillar number two is, is deliver results, right? You have to be able to not just land the client but actually deliver for them. And it's not just um, you know, do, do some, you know, activity based services. You need to be able to say, here's what I'm going to do, here's what we're going to bring to the table and actually show them, you know, you spent this and this is what you're getting in return. Right. If you can't do that, you have no business running an agency, you know, you don't, you don't like serve a purpose. Right. Agree. Right.
Joe Troyer: (08:43)
So glad you said that. I'm not a fan of the activity model, not a fan at all of the activity models. So glad to hear that you aren't necessarily either.
Josh Nelson: (08:53)
Yeah, no doubt. And then the third is, is retained clients longterm, but you have to have strategic strategy, a strategic plan to keep that client with you. Not for one month, not for three months, but for as long as possible. And it has to be some very specific thought process around how do you work that relationship, how do you plant the seed in terms of what you're going to be doing next so that they stay with you because nothing will suck your soul more than land a client, get all excited, do, do all the work and then have them quit on you. It was like one step forward, one step back and we found that if you do it right and you develop the relationship in a strategic way and you report the right kind of metrics and you show the value that you bring, you can retain at a much higher level.
Josh Nelson: (09:34)
I mean those are the three key pillars really. They all work to help you scale an agency. And then of course when it comes to scale, that's the next piece, right? You have to, you know, be able to put systems, procedures in place and develop a team so you're not doing it all yourself so that you can actually, you know, run a successful business, live your desired lifestyle, have some personal freedom to travel and do the things that you probably set out to do when you started your agency in the first place.
Joe Troyer: (10:01)
100%, definitely. Okay. Good stuff. So, um, one is systematically land clients two is delivering results and then three is obviously get the clients to stick around long term. So if we kind of do climb up deep dive a little bit on, on, on number one, right. So what are kind of the core principles, so to speak on, on actually systemize it systematically landing clients?
Josh Nelson: (10:24)
Yeah, I mean to me, um, you know, there, there's only a handful of ways to land clients. I think that starts with cold outreach. You have to have a strategy to develop the list, whether it's through joining the association, scraping through tools like lead scope or lead Kahuna or buying a list from Info USA. You have to get a list and then you have to have a process to, to warn that list up. So what I, what I think of it is, is you have a cold outreach strategy. We've got a couple of plays that work well, but one is just, hey, we're looking to work with one plumber in your area, right? And have a couple emails along those lines and we're looking to work with one, these are the results we've gotten with others. Would you like to jump on board? And, and so you get a way to kind of get some people to raise their hand and get some deals in, in play.
Josh Nelson: (11:09)
But then you also want to switch to, to long term nurture. So we send a, you know, a handful of emails to, to kind of break their attention and then we shift to value add. So that's where the webinars come into play. That's where the case studies coming to play. That's where the podcasts come into play. Um, and you're just putting out great content and a consistent basis, which serves two purposes. It nurtures the database of people that you've added from cold and association. But then it also creates inbound marketing fodder, right? If you're creating content that you get upload to Youtube, that you can put on iTunes that you could put on your blog that you can share in Facebook groups. Now you've got a reason to bring people into your, into your funnel. So, um, and I think it kind of went in 100 directions there, but, but ultimately you get a list, you develop relationship with that list.
Josh Nelson: (11:54)
You put out great content on a consistent basis, and then you have a funnel that people can schedule a time when your schedule go through a consultative sales process and come out at the bottom, you know, qualified clients that want to do business with you and stay with you long term.
Joe Troyer: (12:10)
100%. So it seems like you're doing a webinar about every month or so. Is that about right?
Josh Nelson: (12:15)
Joe Troyer: (12:15)
So that's kind of the goal. And then it seems like you're kind of just running through, so to speak, all the high level topics, right? Conversion, this traffic source, that traffic source. Uh, you know, um, best practices in terms of marketing is kind of all that it seems. And then I'm assuming you probably just repeat with new updates.
Josh Nelson: (12:34)
Yeah, pretty much. So we've got, we've got about 12 webinars that we run throughout the year, one per month, uh, on, on high level topics that, you know, for instance, at the beginning of the year is your 2019 Internet marketing plan.
Josh Nelson: (12:48)
Now of course, these webinars only makes sense in a niche, right? If you're just doing it broad, nobody cares. You're just another dude talking about Internet marketing. But if you're talking about that for plumbing competition or that for roofing companies or whatever your niche is, that group is like, wow, there's not a lot of content specifically for me. Right? And so we're, we're able to, to put out these webinars and um, the whole, the whole thing is we want to nurture the database. We should be emailing them a couple times per week, really. So when we do a Webinar, we can send some invites, hey, we've got this webinar coming up. It's going to be interesting. It's not annoying. It's something of value added that's going to happen at a date and time. And then after the Webinar is done, we can send them the replay.
Josh Nelson: (13:27)
Hey, in case you missed it, here's the link. It was awesome. And we can send a couple messages like that. So it gives us a reason to email the database and it forces us to create new content in terms of the, the actual Webinar, which becomes a video, which becomes a podcast, which becomes a blog post that it would kind of drives our lead generation engine
Joe Troyer: (13:48)
100%. Okay, cool. So then you're doing about a webinar a month, um, and on those webinars it seems like it's pretty much no pitch. It's all content, kind of best practices. And then it seems like at the end you're kind of consultative, right, type of close. Right. Is this something that you'd like to do for yourself? Right. You, you want some help, right. Jump on a call with us. Is that Kinda the pitch?
Josh Nelson: (14:11)
Pretty much. There's, there's two places. It's definitely no pitch, but there's two places that the appointment kind of just generated the confirmation page after they registered for the Webinar. That's the number one place actually. We get more scheduled appointments from that than we do for people that sat through the whole lab in our and decided to jump in, or even the people that watch the replay. So having an autoplay video after the registration pages is, hey, thanks for registering for the Webinar. It's going to be awesome. You're going to grow great value. But if you're like most plumbing, HVC contractors, you're busy. Really, you want someone to do this for you? And if that's you, you're gonna love the Webinar. But let's schedule a time now, right before the day gets ahead of you, before you get to scripts, click the button below, schedule a time on my calendar will look at your specific situation and show you how we can implement this for you. Right there, probably 70% of our appointments are booked from that. Right? Pretty pretty powerful insight.
Joe Troyer: (15:06)
Yeah, that's, that's huge, right? Like most people think it's all about the Webinar really. But like you're saying like the Webinar doesn't really matter. I mean it does. Right. But 70% comes from the thank you page, which is just absolutely crazy. That's, that's an amazing tip. Thank you for that.
Josh Nelson: (15:20)
Yeah. And then the, the Webinar, you show up, you provide great content, you answer questions at the end you say, hey, you know, hopefully this, this was useful. If you'd like to talk with us about how we can help you implement this and type in comments schedule or let's, let's time, let's schedule, um, our team will reach out and schedule a time to chat. Um, you know, that's pretty much where the second wave of, um, of appointments come from for the webinars.
Joe Troyer: (15:43)
Okay. From follow up from your team, reaching out right. To people now that I had questions or wanted to learn more.
Josh Nelson: (15:50)
Yup. And or at end or at the end. The other thing, look, if you want to schedule, go to plumberseo.net/schedule and pick a time.
Joe Troyer: (15:56)
Okay. And then you guys doing stuff where you're seeing like who attended and how long they were there. And then kind of do an outreach or any type of automated follow up to people that were there for a long time. But we were just like, just, just scheduled the appointment and we'll go from there. Kind of mentality.
Josh Nelson: (16:12)
In a perfect world you would get drilled down at that level. Um, we're not, you know, cause we're doing one every single month and it's, it's, it's, it's kind of live and then it's syndicated. Um, we don't drill down at that level.
Josh Nelson: (16:23)
It's like let's try and get as many people on as possible. Let's move them to an automatic appointment on the thank you page and let's follow up with everybody whether they attended or not. Get them the replay and ask them if they want to schedule a time to meet.
Joe Troyer: (16:34)
Awesome. So, um, I know the answer cause we've talked about this last time we saw each other, but I think it's something that I've got to ask for the audience. So you're the one doing the video, right? And you just impromptu did it right on the thank you page when they register for the Webinar or getting them to run that strategy session and it's you, but obviously you, Josh Nelson, right. Don't show up for each and every one of these consultations. How do you guys handle that though? Right? Is there any pushback? Uh, can you give us kind of your, your thoughts on this?
Josh Nelson: (17:04)
A great question. Yeah. I don't take the appointments at this point. Fortunately I have a business development team that takes those calls and takes them to the consultative sales process. Um, you know, being that I'm the face of the company and I'm on the videos and I'm the one sending the emails, you'd think people would show up and be like, Hey, what the heck? Where's Josh? Um, I would say very, very rarely do we get any kind of pushback. Right? They, they show up, um, their process and a lot of them convert into, into new clients. So, um, I guess if anything, it's just probably get out of your own head about the fact that people are gonna flip out that it's not you and it's, you know, set it up, put the people in place to do it and uh, you might be surprised.
Joe Troyer: (20:03)
All right, great. So, Josh, is there a time or a place or a situation in which you believe in agency wouldn't want to be running? Are you running webinars?
Josh Nelson: (20:27)
Yeah, you know, I, I, I can't really think that there, that there is right. The, you know, pretty much everybody can, can benefit by positioning themselves as the expert by putting out good content. Um, we know that you can get appointments just by promoting a Webinar on a sexy topic or something that people find interesting. So even if they're not right on camera or they're not super confident, they could still from, from doing it and from putting out great, great webinars. So I can't think of any scenario where it would make sense to do it. Okay, cool.
Joe Troyer: (20:55)
So, um, what do you think then are kind of the key principles to running a successful Webinar? When you look at like your campaign, right? Like what are the things that you're a little obsessed about? What are the things that you're like, these are the KPIs or these are the things we gotta be really good. Yeah.
Josh Nelson: (21:11)
Yeah. I mean I think that the, the email promotion of the campaign has to be strong. So you really want to think through what are in a what are four or five emails that you can put together that would capture the interest of your prospect and get as many people to register as possible. So I think really getting the email copy on the front end for each one of your webinars to be nice and strong. Um, obviously having the confirmation on the thank you page where the, hey, thanks for registering. We just talked about a couple of minutes ago is, is like mission critical and then just making sure you get at least two or three emails that go out after the Webinar. Hey, here's the replay. Hey, just in case you missed it here and as again and then hey, if you're too busy and you can't watch the whole thing, at least go to, you know, minutes 17 where we unpack this really cool strategy. You have to go check that out. I think those are the keys. And then almost as important is the syndication process. So not just doing the webinars, showing up live and calling it a day, you get massive value by syndicating it. So you know, you could take one webinar and turn it into seven pieces of content that all bring people back into the, into the funnel sort of speak. I don't know if you want to speak to that syndication process at all or,
Joe Troyer: (22:35)
Yeah, we do. We do lots of contents indication. So I'd love to hear how you guys are kind of unpacking or are splitting up that you know, Webinar into six or seven different pieces. That'd be great.
Josh Nelson: (22:43)
Absolutely. So, so obviously you get the, you get the video right and we take that video and put it up onto youtube. Um, then we take the audio and we can put that up on iTunes as a, as a podcast episode. Uh, then we take the the video file and we have it transcribed on rev.com so we've got a great long form. Um, then we can take it and put it onto a replay page on click funnels. That's the page where you send them where they can watch the replay, but directly beneath it or giving them a strong call to action. Let's schedule a time to talk. Um, we can take the, all of the pieces of it, the, the video file, the transcription, the audio file, and make it a blog post on our website. Um, I also like to take the, uh, the slides and upload them to SlideShare.
Josh Nelson: (23:27)
Believe it or not, a lot of discovery happens in SlideShare, which we can then embed onto the page itself. Um, and so that's, that's kind of our core syndication strategy than we email it out, we upload it to the different Facebook groups that were involved in within the industry. Um, and then you know, for bonus measure, what we found works really well is to take the session and then break it up into component parts. I mean usually on a webinar you get like five key topics. So how to set up your website, you know, how to use multimedia, what you just giving some examples. And so you get an hour long session. But you know, bullet one is like a quick 15 minute vignette on that. And then bought two is another vignette. So we take that, we slice it up and then we throw an end cap on it, which is just, you know, they watched that 15 minutes and said, hey, if you found this interesting and like other ideas and strategies on how to more effectively market your, your plumbing company online, go to plumberseo.net/free there we got an implementation guy that really walks you through how to implement this stuff in your business.
Josh Nelson: (24:26)
So, you know, go there now and I'll talk to you soon. Just something simple like that at the end of all of these videos. Now you're creating massive amounts of good content with different keyword optimization that people can find and then be taken to the top of your funnel.
Joe Troyer: (24:41)
Yeah. And that's beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. Um, and I'm assuming at this stage in your business, uh, that is probably done on complete autopilot and you don't touch any of it, right?
Josh Nelson: (24:52)
Yeah, I mean, I would like to say it's a hundred percent autopilot. It's very near autopilot. So I show up and do the Webinar. I've got someone that sets up the, that sets up the registration page and the thank you page and then somebody that takes the syndication process and runs with it. There's still a little pieces like writing the emails and kind of tweaking some things that I'm involved with. But um, yes, fortunately I've, I've removed myself from a lot of the clicks and uploads and other little steps in the process.
Joe Troyer: (25:20)
Okay, cool. So then on the webinars, are you really obsessed with trying to track engagement and getting people to stay till the end or you know, increasing the attendance or kind of how far down the rabbit hole so to speak? You really go right, because it can be truly a rabbit hole.
Josh Nelson: (25:37)
Yeah, I mean, in my world, I don't track that at all. Like I'm really not looking at that metric. That's not the most important thing for me. Um, it's more creating the content, trying to get the people that are interested to the, you know, to the party. Um, because it's not a sales webinar like you typically would think of or you do it once and then you do that same thing again and again and you kind of tweak and refine and try and maximize the ROI of that one Webinar because we're mixing it, you know, literally creating new content every time. It's less of a priority for me.
Joe Troyer: (26:07)
Joe Troyer: (26:10)
So one of the concepts that you talked about earlier was kind of taking a cold list, right? Whether you're getting it from an association or you're getting it some other way, whether you're buying lists, whether you're using one of the other tools to generate the list. And you talked about taking them from cold to warm. So I would assume that um, the, the transfer to warm probably happens when they opt in on your email list. They opt in for a Webinar. What are those different kind of opt in points where now you got them in, they're warm, so to speak, and now you're using something? I would, I would guess like infusionsoft or active campaign or can you talk about that a little bit?
Josh Nelson: (26:46)
Yeah. So we, we tend to send the email, the Cold Emails out of a system like, like Mailshake where it's really made for cold outreach and you don't want to dirty your list, you don't want to, you know, have all kinds of issues. Um, so we've got three different campaigns that we run to the cold audience and the whole idea of behind those emails is to get the people that are interested to raise their hand, right? And just say, Hey, I'm interested. Um, what we've done with, with good success, and it may not be a great best practice is once we sent those couple of campaigns, you've kind of sorted through it a few times. We look at who, who, who drops out, who wants subscribes, who flags it as spam and we removed them from the list.
Josh Nelson: (27:28)
But the people that get those three or four emails and they don't complain, um, we've kind of taken assumption there in our niche. There are somewhat interested in this topic. They seen a couple emails from us and at that point we just kind of soft transfer them into infusionsoft. So whether that's an offer active campaign, I call it a, uh, like a, a soft onramp because technically they haven't opted in and this is probably not a best practice, but they also have an unsubscribed and we can say we've been emailing them in a different platform for some period of time. And so usually that passes the stink test on infusionsoft. And because we know that they've not bounced and they haven't unsubscribed and they haven't in a written back, hey, you know, don't ever email me again. Um, when we start inviting them to webinars and we start sharing case studies and we start sharing, you know, interviews like this, um, we don't get a lot of pushback.
Josh Nelson: (28:18)
We've not really had any spam complaints, uh, through that process. So that's kind of how we, that's how we do it.
Joe Troyer: (28:23)
Okay. So when you're reaching out cold, using, um, using whatever platform that you are, I know that you said you lead in and you're just trying to get them on a console, right. Here's, here's a case study, here's what we're doing. We're trying to look, find somebody in your area to work with. Right. Would it be worth a discussion basically? Um, and is that kind of like the only angle? Is it all direct to a console or you promoting the webinars directly or the podcast directly? Or do you wait until it's kind of warmed up so to speak before you do that?
Josh Nelson: (28:54)
Yeah, I mean, so there's the three plays are, you know, we're looking to work with one in your area, kind of the exclusivity play. Hey, you know, Denver opened up or looking to find the right contractor. We researched your company and thought you were a good fit. The couple of messages are all along that, that angle. Um, the are you, you know, could you handle an additional three to five water heater replacements or some other high ticket service that we know they all want just for them to reply back and say, yes. Okay, great. Well, I specialize in helping plumbing at HVAC contractors generated additional three to five. Can we jump on a quick call? Right? Or just picking up the phone right at that moment and talking. So that's the, could you handle an additional three to five and then the others are more content place. Hey, you know, we've developed this guide on how to most effectively market your plumbing rates, HVAC business online. Would you be interested in looking at it? But just to try and get them to reply. And then those are the, those are the three places that, you know, the contact point. And then we moved them into infusionsoft and we'd get kind of a, a soft on ramp, which then just kind of adds into our list. And as we're doing webinars, we're inviting them, they're getting the whole sequence of emails.
Joe Troyer: (29:55)
Okay, cool. That helps a lot. I think. I think a lot of people over complicate that process, right? They got like one or two maybe cold campaigns and then they're like, how do I connect that to my warm? And, and they get so stuck in the details that they don't take it, the imperfect action. Right. And then there is no moving from one to the other and just kind of everything. Right. It comes to a halt.
Josh Nelson: (30:17)
Yeah. Yeah. As you said it right, man. With imperfect action beats inaction any day of the week.
Joe Troyer: (30:23)
100% alright. Awesome. So then, um, let's talk about, uh, if you would, or, okay, let's talk a little bit about, um, how you handled then the consultations, right? Yeah. And the, and the meetings themselves. Can you talk about the structure a little bit of those?
Josh Nelson: (30:39)
Absolutely. So we, I mean, we take what we consider to be a consultative sales process, so it's more, you know, assuming that it's a prescheduled appointment, we, you know, and we usually, if it's not pretty scheduled, tell them, hey look, we want to take a couple minutes to look at your website, to look at your current rankings, to kind of review your page strategy. So the one we do meet, we can talk about your actual situation and how we can help, right? So that's the first step. Make sure that it's scheduled and there's a little bit of due diligence that can be done on the front end. And then from that call it's really more of a more of a consultative, hey, tell me a little bit about your business.
Josh Nelson: (31:12)
How are your marketing today? What are your goals? What strolling you down right now? So we kind of build a little bit of rapport. We kind of build the gap between where they're at and where they want to go. And there was say, hey, you know, we did our research and we pull up like on a zoom meeting like this or a Goto meeting. We pull up their website and we pull up there their ranking and forth from bright local and we pull up some, some other reports that we've run to get a sense of how they're performing from a paid search perspective. And then it's, it's really, let's talk about what's good. Like you know, hey, look at the website looks okay, but here's how it can be better. Let's look at the rankings. Look, you ranked for these couple of these keywords but not the rest.
Josh Nelson: (31:47)
Here's what we can do, right? We need to create more content. We need to change the title tags in order to bridge the gap here. Um, and then they get the buy like, okay, yeah, I see there's lots of things that we're missing that we could be doing better. And then we start to show examples. So let me just show you how we helped Schuler Services in Allentown and here's their website and here's where they rank and here's what we did from a strategy perspective to make this happen in a, do you see how that's different than what you have now? And they're like, yeah, absolutely. Okay, great. Here's what you know, here's what we can do. And then we walk them through our program, our price, and we ask for the business.
Joe Troyer: (32:20)
Okay, so do you do anything where your kind of future pacing, here's where, you know, your expectations should be set, right? Like can you break that piece down a little bit? Um, one thing that I've seen a lot lately that's coming up and kind of resurfacing, again, as I see some really, really bad expectations being set and not just like no expectations are being set, but just really bad ones. Like, yeah, we're gonna get a return for ourself month one. And I'm like, what are you doing? What are you saying? Like that ain't like the expectation that's going to have you onboard the client super fast and they're going to fall off the truck as fast as they came on. Like, um, so can you talk about that for a second, because I know that retention is such a key for you guys, obviously you've got to make sure that you're setting the right expectation.
Josh Nelson: (33:06)
Yeah. Expectations are, are critical when it comes to retention in other way. The way we try and set it up is assuming all this makes sense, you know, here's kind of how it, how it plays out. So we, you know, we're usually launching a new website and creating new content. We usually tell them it's gonna take us about six to eight weeks to get the new version of the website launched. Um, and then from there, the SEO piece of it, you know, really is going to take another two to three months after that. So it you know you're going to be seeing the activity, you're going to see us set up the tracking and build the website and write the content and you're going to see the activity. But it might be three or four months before we're really starting to fire on all cylinders.
Josh Nelson: (33:42)
Now the one thing we are going to do right out of the gates in order to, to kind of augment the results is we're going to run a paid search campaign. We're going to set up some landing pages, we're going to set up an ad groups and we're going to drive paid traffic to those landing pages. So we can start to generate calls or goal really in the first month is to get everything off the ground, right? So that's setting up the ad words campaign, setting up the SEO strategy, getting all the information we need from you month two and month three our objective is really just to break even generate enough leads and enough calls that we cover our expense. You know, can you agree if we break even in, in a month two and month three that that would be a good place?
Josh Nelson: (34:18)
Absolutely. And then by the time we get into like the fourth and fifth month, that's where we like to see the numbers start to ramp up. We start to rank for some stuff, we start to generate some good organic traffic in combination with the paid campaign. We're able to start to fine tune it, find the keywords to generate the best results. And um, and really usually for our clients, by the time we get to the fifth and sixth month, we're, we're starting to really get some momentum behind it and, uh, it's just a no brain business relationship from that point forward.
Joe Troyer: (34:47)
Okay. So, so great. Great stuff there. Question, I guess that break even, is that on like average customer value longterm is that break even? Like in three to four months you're breaking even? Um, and, and the customer and the transaction amount today that or as the HVAC and Plumbing companies services them for the lifetime how does the kind of break down on that math because they're obviously two very different things.
Josh Nelson: (35:13)
Yeah. I mean, and you could also say is it break even based on revenue or gross or net profit? Right. Cause those are two massively different things. I think for them. You know, at least in our space there is a lifetime customer value with the customer will come back again in the future. They may buy a system, they may refer somebody. Um, we've had a hard time getting the contractors to really buy into that and be like, okay, yeah, I need to be break even on that longterm. So really it's, um, if you're investing in five grand with us, by the time we get to the third month, we want to at least be producing five grand in revenue to justify the expense. Right. And usually if we're, if we're at least at that territory, they're pretty happy with the results. And of course it starts to increase from there.
Joe Troyer: (35:58)
Okay. Yeah. They, they see the ramp and they start seeing the traction and may see the graph. Right. They, they, they see the ramp up. Okay.
Josh Nelson: (36:05)
Joe Troyer: (36:05)
All right, cool. So, um, in terms of retaining clients then, what are, what are their kind of the other big things that you focus on besides setting expectations? What are you, what do you think are the major levers there?
Josh Nelson: (36:19)
So I mean from, from a retention perspective, a couple of things. The, the way that you start the relationship sets the expectation for the longterm relationships. So we really try and go out of our way to make the initial, um, in 60 days really hands on and really impressive. So we send them a welcome basket in the mail. They get, you know, $75. Welcome aboard. We're excited about working with you. We've got a really well mapped out, onboard process where we gather the usernames, passwords on multiple calls to kind of set, you know, what, you know, what's your unique selling proposition, what assets do we have, you know, and, and really set the expectation out of the gates early. Um,
Josh Nelson: (36:58)
After that really it's about, um, the results and the, and a service that they get in. One challenge we found in our agency, we finally with a lot is they think that the results are going to carry the day, right? Just because the client's getting calls and return on investment, they're going to be happy. And that's unfortunately, it's not the case, right? They need to feel a pursuit. You know, like the number one reason a client will leave is perceived in difference. Like they just feel like you don't care, you're not engaged and you're not like thinking about the next step. So you have to have a process where you're meeting with them on a monthly basis. You're pursuing them for that month of review. You're kind of showing them not just the value in the activity and the return, but you're also always planting the seed in terms of what's next. I think that's the biggest reason people stay is they feel like, okay, Plumber SEO is thinking about the next thing. You know, how are we going to drive more paid search? How can we tap into local service ads? Um, you know, how can we tap into social media advertising and like to the extent that you're, you're planting those seeds in terms of what's next, the client usually is going to stay with you long term.
Joe Troyer: (38:04)
Okay. So I definitely see that the Webinars, right? And you adjusting the webinars and keeping them fresh and up to date can actually be a client retention plan because they're saying, oh crap, Google just made these updates but it's okay. Right. Josh and his team are all over this, right? No doubt.
Josh Nelson: (38:19)
Yup. Cause they see, they see that you're a thought leader in the space and you're, you're updating content and you're putting out fresh, relevant information on a consistent basis. That definitely has a play.
Joe Troyer: (38:30)
And then I'm assuming too, in terms of what's next so to speak, is I'm sure you have a roadmap that you're following so that your account managers are saying this is what's next. Right. And they have that kind of one way, right? So they're not reinventing the wheel in those conversations as well.
Josh Nelson: (38:48)
Yeah, no doubt. I mean the first 24 months is all is all mapped out. Like, here's what we're working on. Here's what's next. You have to start to get a little creative after the 24th month, which you can kind of research skull, you know, recircle back. And there's always new things happening in the industry and it's kind of different on a case by case basis. You know, if they're rolling out some new division in the company and they're looking to expand to a different service area, you know, you can kind of, you know, just be talking about those next step things that you can bring to the table as a company.
Joe Troyer: (39:15)
Okay. Beautiful. All right, great. Just looking through my notes, checking some things off that we hit. Oh, um, so in terms of client criteria, what kind of clients do you work with? What kind of clients don't you work with? And then can you talk about kind of the evolution of that? Right. Because we don't all where we are today.
Josh Nelson: (39:38)
That's fantastic. And I think that client selection is one of the biggest determinants of success. And by that, I mean, in any niche, plumbing, dentistry, roofing, there's, there's clients that don't spend money, they can't stay in term. And if you built your business on those clients, you'd feel like, aw man, this is a total fail at that can't win in this. But if you're dealing with the right kind of clients, that guys may be doing $1 million or more per year in revenue that have a marketing budget that really have a successful business and you build on that, then you can have a great a great foundation. So for us, you know, our, our, our core client is doing about a million dollars or more per year. They've got, you know, more than five trucks in the field at least. And um, they've already, they've already got money invested in advertising. They're already spending on Google adwords, they've already invested in SEO. And so, you know, we're just showing them, look, you're already doing this here.
Josh Nelson: (40:33)
We can do it better. Here's what we can bring to the table. And so that's our ideal client as a matter of fact. Anybody less than half a million dollars per year in revenue at this point, um, is, is disqualified. We thought, hey look, it's probably not a good fit. You know, we'd like to refer you to some other places potentially. Um, and that, that's where 12 for us and that's, that's kind of our sweet spot right now. You see, you asked about when we started though, that's not where we started. Like where we started. We were like, let's just get anything we can, we can get. And we had, we, you know, we had to stub our toes along the way. We had to get the one man operation and the guy with only, you know, his credit card to pay for our fee. And we wanted a couple of cases. But the success, you know, the success rate in those startup companies in a smaller operations just because they don't really probably run a great business and they're probably not succeeding in life, um, is much lower.
Joe Troyer: (41:25)
Yeah. 100%. So one thing I want to make sure that this is transferrable to everybody. Right? Um, you said five trucks, you also said like revenue, um, you said that they're running Google ads, they're there, they're doing organic stuff. So what can we say instead of five trucks, maybe is there a differentiator there or could we just dropped that criteria? What do you think? Why do you, why do you say five trucks? What's, what's the meaning behind that for you guys?
Josh Nelson: (41:50)
It's probably more, it's more about, they're not running it themselves. So usually if they're, if you're like in plumbing specifically, if you're doing it yourself, that means you're answering the phones and you're doing the, you know, the plumbing in the field, you probably don't have your act together enough to be able to advertise and to monetize that advertising and to grow a successful business. So I guess if it would translate to that a kind of unilaterally or are they really running a business where they have structures where they have, you know, a team or is it a one man operator or one woman operator in which case that's probably not the kind of client that you want to build your agency around. And,
Joe Troyer: (42:30)
and, and I think probably what people would want to ask themselves is like, is this business ready for scale? Right.
Josh Nelson: (42:36)
Joe Troyer: (42:37)
I think I think about like my father's roofing company when I first started trying to help him, right. Like they weren't ready. They had one roofing crew and that roofing crew. When it got busy, they could do no more work. So, uh, running ads for them was a no go. I mean it was a waste of time. So I think that like, are they ready for that scale is maybe a question that we could put it in the show notes, uh, instead of maybe the five trucks and get it. Definitely. I get it definitely in plumbing. So it could be like trucks or crews or you know, just, you know, the wider question. Are they ready for scale? Okay. Yeah. Good point. Awesome. So I'm kind of getting to the top of the hour here, so I want to try and wrap things up a little bit. So could we, um, could we kind of brainstorm real quick, Josh on kind of the 12 topics. I'm sure you don't know all 12 off the top of your head, but could we come up with 12 topics for webinars to give everybody that's listening to the podcast?
Josh Nelson: (43:36)
Absolutely. So I mean the overall plan webinar tends to work well towards the beginning of the year. So the, your Internet Marketing Plan Webinar, um, how to optimize your website for conversion like and how to make sure that websites to convert visitors to callers. Um, yeah, to get your website ranked. So how to set up the pages and the on page optimization and link building stuff. Um, I found another webinar or you can run is just on Google maps and the three pack, how to get ranked in the Google maps. Everybody wants to know about that. Um, how to leverage social media. Um, you know, from an organic perspective, how to build your following, how to, you know, drive more paid to referral business through, through social media. Um, how, how to tap into the power of paid search, especially Google adwords to generate more leads and more calls. Um, how to drive more online reviews into your, into your business, you know, using tools and best practices.
Josh Nelson: (44:30)
Um, I'm sure there's more, those are the ones that pop into the top of my head. Oh, another one we do is how to leverage in video and multimedia. So why video is powerful, how to use it, the types of videos to shoot in your, in your business. Okay. So those, those are, that's probably not 12, but those, that's a good like little starting point.
Joe Troyer: (44:49)
Yeah. So that's, I mean that's 8, I'm just picking up on some things, right? A remarketing or retargeting. Yup. Good. Definitely one. Um, you could do one on, do you guys do anything on like paid social, paid Facebook are paid? Anything on that? Absolutely. So paid social, so we're at 10.
Josh Nelson: (45:11)
Good. Do I have one we've done in the past is live chat, like how to tap into the power of live chat to start conversations and generate leads. Yep. Is that, is that 11 we gotta come up with one more
Joe Troyer: (45:23)
11 we've got one more. So what if you almost did like a year end review of what's changed in the industry. Is that too close then for the marketing plan right? Coming the following month so to speak?
Josh Nelson: (45:36)
I mean you could definitely, you could definitely have it in the rotation. You could also do like look for something new that's happening. So it could be, a couple of years ago was about voice search. Everyone was talking about voice search and that being the big next thing you do it on voice search in home services specifically, there's Google local service ads, which we just did. It was our most attended webinar. Most registered for Webinar we've ever done just because it's such a new exciting topic.
Joe Troyer: (46:02)
Yeah, for sure. So cool. So then for 12 we'll just put something new or buzzy buzz worthy, like local service ads or a voice search. Yep. Brilliant man. Thank you for that. Um, that gives everybody due to a roadmap for the next 12 months. And I'm sure that each and every time there'll be thinking about the podcast and they'll be thinking about you as well. So that's good stuff. Awesome. So, uh, one more question to wrap this thing up, man. I know a lot of podcasts, uh, they're like, give us the last three books that you read, right? Uh, we want to do something a little different. I want to ask you, Josh, what's the one book that's made the biggest impact on your business and why?
Josh Nelson: (46:41)
Yeah, and there's so many, there's so many good books. Uh, it's, it's hard to boil it down. Yeah. I would say if there's one, I would give the nod to the Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. Not sure. I'm sure you've read that book at some point.
Josh Nelson: (46:55)
Um, I mean it just kind of like, it's the best book in terms of how do you build a sales process, how do you put the different marketing strategies in place from a strategy perspective? And then from a tactical perspective, like how do you make the calls and get the appointments and do the follow up correctly. Um, I think it's kind of foundation of a lot of the, the marketing and business development stuff we do in our, in our business.
Joe Troyer: (47:20)
Awesome. Man, that's, that's a gold resource for sure. And out of all the podcasts I've been doing recently, I haven't heard anybody mention that. So great. Great tip back. So cool man. I just want to thank you for coming on. You've shared a ton of knowledge that I know comes from practical experience, not kind of the guru wisdom, so to speak. And so I really, really appreciate you taking the time to show up and hang out with my crew. Um, for everybody that wants to follow up with you, Josh, and they want to reach out to you. They will, they want to get more training from you. Can you just, you know, let, let us know where to link up to in the show notes.
Josh Nelson: (47:52)
Absolutely. Thanks. Thanks for having me. This was, this is a lot of fun. I appreciate it. Um, you can go to seven figure agency.com there you'll find I post almost daily new blog content. I've got a video series on there called, uh, how we made the INC 5,000 list I shot at relatively shortly after we first made the inc 5,000. Um, and it just kind of unpacks our business model from a pretty deep level. Um, and so if you're interested, that's probably the best place to start sevenfigureagency.com. Click the button to access the how we made the INC 5,000 list a training video.
Joe Troyer: (48:26)
All right, man, thank you so much again for coming on. Really appreciate the time.
Josh Nelson: (48:30)
My pleasure. Thank you.
Joe Troyer: (48:30)
All right. See you guys.
Josh Nelson: (48:32)