Meet the New DoInbound Team Members
This episode of Inbound Agency Journey wraps up Season 2. We thought this was a cool opportunity to introduce you to two new voices you may not have heard before.
Several months ago, Gray, Mike, and I got together to talk about DoInbound’s future. Mike was approaching development on the MVP version DoInbound 2.0. Early launch was successful, and we’d gathered a ton of feedback to pour back into the platform.
We decided that to continue to ramp up the company, we needed a few more hands on deck. The two areas of weakness were in sales and customer success. We’d been able to execute both roles in the past, but to really scale our company, we needed someone to own each position.
Enter Ryan Herman and Ben Butler. Both of these guys work with us at GuavaBox, so we already had an insight into their work ethic and character. They both also already had valuable insight into inbound agency life.
Within a few weeks, we were up and running. Ryan has come on as the Head of Agency Success. He regularly communicates with inbound agency owners around the world, learning about their challenges and growth goals. He has pioneered our inbound sales system here at DoInbound.
Ben Butler is Head of Communications. He is mainly involved in the marketing and customer success aspects of the business. His primary goal is customer delight. He finds fun and creative ways to connect and engage the DoInbound community.
Ben is also the co-host of Happy Client Show. On this podcast, Ben and I chat up all things client delight. There is a process for successfully managing retainers. There is a constant balance to be considered between doing what they ask and telling them what needs done. If you’d like to deliver delight to your current clients and learn how you can effectively build a system for future delight, check out this show!
With a team of four customer-facing team members, we’ve had the chance to talk to a lot of agencies and learn a lot of lessons. Here are some of our collective thoughts!
Lessons Learned: Establishing Repeatable Processes Key to Growth
The process of developing DoInbound has helped Gray and I rethink the way we manage and grow GuavaBox. As we’ve gone through the journey of building out the platform and speaking with other inbound agencies, here are our top two take aways:
1) Different People Learn in Different Ways
When you’re establishing the processes for your agency, it is important to remember that different people learn in different ways. While you may find written text to be the most helpful way to learn, another member of the team may enjoy video tutorials.
Balance is key. Before you go too overboard, speak with other members of the team. Hear how the other members like to learn and find the best balance inside the team documentation.
2) Things Improve with Time
Process are not something that can be completed once. They need to be honed and improved with time.
Managing Repeatable Processes:
I Thought I Needed Project Management… I Was Wrong
Over the years, I’ve signed up for countless project management software tools. I never really knew what I was looking for. I always told myself that once I saw it, I would know.
What I realized is that I what I was in search of had nothing to do with project management at all. What I was in search of was a framework that would help us run a more effective agency.
A project management tool along is a lot like a whiteboard. It is a creative medium that can be used for just about anything. Well, I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to scale our inbound marketing agency.
This process resulted in the development of the DoInbound Agency Framework. This is the philosophy that is baked into DoInbound. A core philosophy of the DoInbound Agency Framework is the question “How can we make this repeatable?”
In all areas of the agency, we seek to make things repeatable through the use of templates and documentation.
Example: Overview of Podcast Season Structure
We’ve found that establishing a repeatable framework makes it easier to create a lot of quality content. The DoInbound Agency Framework breaks activity in 3-Month chunks called Campaigns. Each Campaign is made up of Deliverables. Each Deliverable is made up by a collection of required Tasks.
For on-going inbound campaigns, like a blogging campaign, we’ve found that it makes sense to center the campaign around an Awareness Stage Content Offer. This can be an eBook, webinar, checklist, or whitepaper. It is anything that sits on a landing page with a conversion form.
With the offer in place, outline12 blog posts that relate to the topics covered in the Awareness Stage Content Offer.
We follow a similar structure for podcasts. Each Campaign is a season and included 12 episodes. Following the same basic framework makes it easy for our small team of four content creators to produce, publish, and promote four new podcast episodes each week.
Why Don’t We Spend More Time Talking About Customer Marketing?
As a SaaS company, success is defined by how well you can manage growth and churn. If you close 25 new customers each month, but loose 20 of them, you’re in tough shape.
At DoInbound we want to create a vibrant and value-adding customer experience. We want our customers to get so much value from the experience that they keep coming back for more. This means that we need to continue to offer value. Value comes in many forms. It can be improvements to the code in the platform, adding a new feature, or creating a new training course.
All of these things are valuable to the customer, but alone, they aren’t enough to be successful. There needs to be a system in place for ongoing customer marketing. Customers and vendors need to create a two-way communication channel where one side shares new updates that are happening and the other provides feedback.
There are a lot of resources out there to help SaaS companies manage these processes, but not enough conversation about how inbound agencies can better market to their existing customers. Customer retention is more important than customer growth. I think it is time that we started thinking more creatively about how to better market to agency customers. We may be able to borrow some lessons learned from the SaaS space along the way!