You could say that Chris Dreyer started down the inevitable road to entrepreneurship by accident. From a detention room in high school, he googled “how to make money online” and has never looked back.
Today Chris runs Rankings.io. They do SEO for personal injury law firms. His journey is marked by two lessons that connect each stage: stick to your strengths and keep things simple.
In this episode, you’ll learn how Chris has applied these two lessons to build a powerhouse agency doing over $600,000 each month while only servicing 25 clients.
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Finding Your Strength (While Building Alliances)
Like most agencies, Chris started as a full-service shop offering design, SEO, and PPC. But it didn’t take long for them to focus down. The process started with passion.
PPC wasn’t something the team enjoyed delivering, so they found a partner. In the beginning, design as a service offering was meant to be a foot in the door. But with time they found that clients came to them for SEO and then occasionally used their design offering.
Each time they shed a service-line they found strategic partners that would reciprocate the leads. These relationships helped their clients achieve their goals and proved to be reliable channels for continued growth
Kicking It Up a Notch (Saying Goodbye to Over 50 Clients 👋)
Just at the point where most agencies would decide to scale up, Chris decided to scale back. Looking at the data, he determined that 70% of their revenue was coming from 40% of their clients: personal injury.
Seeing this he made the call to niche down again and only serve personal injury attorneys. He didn’t just say goodbye to his clients. Their team found a home for each one of them. A home that would not only take care of their SEO needs but would also reciprocate by sending their personal injury leads to the Rankings.io team.
Combining the power of market and service niching have resulted in stronger referrals, a shorter sales cycle, and simplified delivery. How to
Decide In-House vs. Strategic Partner for Client Delivery
There are six facets to delivering SEO: content, on-site, technical, local, link building, and press.
Chris has decided to build the content team internally and outsource every other area of delivery to strategic partners. His reasoning for this move was simple: risk management.
If they ever lost a few big clients they don’t have to worry about firing team members. It’s easier to exit partnership and contract engagements than it is to fire a full-time employee.
Choosing partners also allows them to try out different options for clients. This helps them innovate and further reduce risk. If any issues arise with a partner, there are always other options to choose from.
With each iteration, Chris and the team have worked to keep things simple and double down on their strengths. As a result, they enjoy healthy client relationships, a steady stream of referrals, and a very healthy profit margin.