Matthew Strunk is the Founder and CEO of BitMoto, Strunk Media Group, and AutoSigma. Matthew created BitMoto as a digital marketing agency for automotive companies and dealerships. After selling cars at a dealership and doing freelance digital marketing work on the side, Matthew realized he could combine his two passions, and BitMoto was born.
In 2015, Matthew founded Strunk Media Group as a spinoff from BitMoto. While BitMoto focuses on the automotive industry, the award-winning team at Strunk Media Group designs marketing strategies for a diverse range of industries. Most recently, Matthew also launched AutoSigma, an automotive technology company that gives dealerships the tools to streamline their marketing efforts and maximize their ROI.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Matthew Strunk describes the three companies that he’s founded: BitMoto, Strunk Media Group, and AutoSigma
- The areas of Matthew’s businesses where he is currently focusing most of his energy
- Matthew shares the lessons he’s learned from almost selling his businesses
- Matthew’s advice for business owners looking to exit their agencies
- What is Matthew’s strategy for client acquisition at BitMoto?
- Matthew explains how BitMoto’s services work
- Matthew’s secret tools for success
In this episode…
After pouring your heart and soul into a business and finally seeing the fruits of your efforts, you may be excited to keep growing — or be experiencing burnout. If a larger company gives a tempting acquisition offer, how do you know if you should accept?
Matthew Strunk has founded three agencies — and almost sold them on two different occasions. Through strategic planning, a clear focus, and a strong client acquisition method, he effectively built up his agencies, and these qualities made his businesses very attractive to larger companies. So, how did Matthew decide whether or not to stay with his businesses? What factors played a role in his decision?
In this episode of Agency Journey, Gray MacKenzie is joined by Matthew Strunk, the Founder and CEO of BitMoto, Strunk Media Group, and AutoSigma, to discuss the pros and cons of selling your agency. Matthew talks about the lessons he learned from almost selling his businesses twice, what he wished he knew before starting the process, and his strategies for preparing for an exit. Plus, Matthew shares his tried-and-true methods for client acquisition.
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Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Matthew Strunk on LinkedIn
- Strunk Media Group
- BitMoto Careers
- Strunk Media Group Careers
- Todd Taskey on Agency Journey
- Gray MacKenzie on LinkedIn
Welcome to the Agency Journey podcast where we connect with agency leaders to uncover the hidden systems and processes that drive their success. Now let’s dive into today’s show.
Gray MacKenzie 0:17
Alright, welcome into another episode of Agency Journey. Gray MacKenzie in this week, I’ve got the pleasure of bringing on Matthew Strunk, who is the Founder and CEO of BitMoto, Strunk Media Group. And AutoSigma will dive into all three of those entities. But Matt, thanks for jumping on, man. appreciate you joining me. Absolutely great, man. Thanks for having me. So what came first, I just I just said you were the founder and CEO of three different companies. What was the first
Matthew Strunk 0:44
BitMoto? So I actually started working in car dealerships, like back when I was 18, just selling cars. And I was freelancing on the side doing digital marketing stuff, you know, SEO, PPC, things of that nature. And I went to the dealer principle, you know, I put together an awesome pitch, I’m like, Oh, I’m gonna sell these, you know, I need to not be doing cars, I need to be doing something else. And I put together and said, you know, you guys are like, so far behind, like, you should be doing x, you should be doing y you should be doing z. And guess what? I can do that for you. And he told me to go pound sand. So but then a few years later, he was like, damn it, like, you know, you were probably you were probably right. So he let me build it out. And that worked pretty well. I took over the Auto Group, that one well, then back in 2015. I was like, You know what, there’s a lot of dealerships like especially new franchise dealers across the country that could use this because if you don’t have 50, stores, you can’t have a whole marketing department, you know. And we started BitMoto, which was supposed to be like your outsourced internet director, which really is just a digital agency, right. But that was a nice, that’s, that’s our bread and butter. That’s our sweet spot. And Strunk Media Group came after that. And really, that was, you know, I’m still trying to decide if it was a good good decision or not. But that was kind of the non automotive diversification, which during COVID was great. But it also leads to some fragmentation as far as focus and things of that nature. So Strunk Media is more of a regional digital agency. And then AutoSigma is the newest one, which actually spawned out from BitMoto, because we were trying to make it so we could offer like a product, a productized service offering that wasn’t just trading time, and then it worked well enough that we actually split it off into its own sass platform. So that’s the newest one.
Gray MacKenzie 2:28
Now are the first two BitMoto and Strunk Media Group. Is that the same entity in two different front ends? for it? It is Yeah. So you get the dealer but like the auto focus on
Matthew Strunk 2:39
exactly, yeah, just basically two different brands. At some point, we might we might split it off, but that would really just be from a, you know, accent perspective to try and clean things up and right.
Gray MacKenzie 2:50
So I’m assuming, well, actually, I’m not going to do that. What are the main services? On both that? Is it still a lot of the SEO web dev side?
Matthew Strunk 3:00
Yeah, so BitMoto is definitely more of like, you know, you own a dealership and you want a turnkey solution where you get assigned an actual Automotive Internet director. So I was the first one when we were a startup. But now we only hire guys that you know, that worked in a car dealership, like you’ve actually worked there, you’ve actually done it. So if you know your dealership, Gray, you have an ABC Ford, and you want to work with us you’re getting the science on it actually knows what the hell they’re talking about. Right? As opposed to like, Oh, you know, I never worked in automotive, but let me like help you run your business. just weird. So. So that’s the core. And then around that, yeah, it’s a PPC, sem type stuff, SEO social media email reputation. So that internet director is your, you know, orchestrator. He’s going to orchestrate all that stuff and get it all done for you.
Gray MacKenzie 3:48
Right. And then the other ones, what Strunk Media Group is that so I’m assuming a lot of same services, maybe less product as you’re less plug and play is? Yeah. How is that? I mean, did that just growth through referrals initially, like they were talking to people who aren’t running dealerships, but yeah,
Matthew Strunk 4:07
yeah, basically, you know, we had the BitMoto going well, but if you think about the concentration of dealerships within a 30 mile radius, yeah, there’s a lot but there’s not is a lot more other, you know, other businesses and you know, as a new business owner, I was going to all these rotary things in the chamber of commerce because you’re supposed to and then you talk to someone and you know, eventually we get leads just from people know and maybe like, Hey, I own a h vac company, can you it’s like well, yeah, I mean, yeah, I used to do that. Yeah, I mean, you want to generate leads which you then sell and make money. Yes. All right. Let’s give it a shot. And it actually worked out pretty well. But yeah, you know, Strunk Media is nice because we can get more custom it’s almost like a custom bike shop versus like a you know, big scale dealership feel. But it’s harder to scale to because it’s you’re really selling that that IP and really having to dive in. But
Gray MacKenzie 4:59
yeah, that makes it How long have you guys been working on autos? Actually, let’s let’s start with just what is AutoSigma do as a platform?
Matthew Strunk 5:06
Yeah, so AutoSigma is, I’m, I’m torn on what to call it, I’m calling it a marketing automation platform. Okay, I think that counts, you know, because it can automate things it can be a more hands on, it just really depends on you and your dealership. But essentially, what it does is in the new franchise, car dealership world, like, they can’t, they can’t keep a consistent, that’s like one month, that’s Lisa, new f150. For 399. The next month, it’s like, oh, my arm is 315 minutes, I know that M is for 19. And every time you do that, like as an agency, or as a marketing director at a dealership, like I’m redoing all these design work, redoing all my display ads, my Google Search other Facebook ads, I got all this stuff that I have to redo because you changed the offer by 20 bucks, you know. And we were spending, you know, 1015 hours per month per dealer, just managing all that. So we basically built a software that allows us to essentially manage that. And then via API, we just push everything. So the first version, we would have our designers make templates for these, like, you know, creative type of elements. And then we would like literally Mark x y coordinate, so that we would overlay the offers, and then we would screenshot that, and that would be your finalized image. And that was good. And for an agency like because we were using it, you could kind of fumble through like, Oh, yeah, just click on that, and then hit close and hit open. And it works, you know, like you can do those things. But initially, you know, eventually we were like, you know, it’d be really nice if this is more of like the dealership, you could just go in and do it yourself, man, like you don’t actually need me at all. And for other agencies, we have a very good use case, because we have an automotive agency that uses it. So basically, we went into redeveloping that about two years ago, it was a massive project, man, it was a lot harder than we thought it was gonna be. But we changed the UI UX is truly like a turnkey hands on thing. And there’s a full on Creative editor in it. So almost like a Canva. Basically, you make your designs and then you can sync them wherever you want to write. And then anytime the offer changes, all of your your creatives updated, all your ads are updated. Everything’s done. But you still have the ability to be super custom with your creative which is yet.
Gray MacKenzie 7:13
Yeah, that’s awesome. Is that a totally at this point in the business? Is that a totally separate team? who’s working on that? Are you because it is yeah, we’re building out. Our backstory, we run an agency built a project management software on the side. And for a while we can apply our best people agency. Yeah, software side. Help scale it out. But now you’ve got total it’s everything’s,
Matthew Strunk 7:36
yeah, there’s still some blend in the beginning. Exactly that right? That right? You’re like, oh, you’re awesome. I’m gonna like steal you. And you’re like, Oh, crap. I still have like an agency to run to. But yeah, we were building. We’re small teams. We only have like four FTS right now. And we use a bunch of outsourced labor. So we have like 10 FTS, that are subs. But yeah, we’re building a full team. So we’re hiring client success managers, web developers support compute support, personnel, things of that nature. And we’re really trying to keep it separate now.
Gray MacKenzie 8:09
That’s awesome. What’s the AutoSigma site?
Matthew Strunk 8:12
Let’s, yeah, AutoSigma.com. So that’s autosigma.com. So AutoSigma.
Gray MacKenzie 8:21
Perfect. We’ll put that in the show notes. Anyone who’s in the marketing in the automotive space, obviously, ought to check that out and see if that’s a good fit, and I’m assuming, but I could be wrong. This was us, there would not be an actual agency program, like built up and streamlined standardized yet. But are you guys already rolling that out? No. Obviously, you got BitMoto was your first client?
Matthew Strunk 8:42
Yeah, great question. So that that is a big, big part of our strategy rolling this out. So we don’t have a super polished like what you’re, you know, it’s not like the HubSpot agency program where it’s like, you know, come in and get it. No, but we do have agencies that are currently currently applying to be enrolled. So our strategy is that we sell direct to dealers. And, you know, so the dealer might be using it, but they’re probably using someone else for PPC or SEO or something like that. Right. And we don’t want to do that at auto segment. Like we’re not an agency, we’re not, we’re not going to do that work for you. We’re just going to do the tech. And then basically, if a guy from a dealership or you know, an individual from dealership says, you know, hey, I want someone to do my Google ads. I know it integrates but it’s not a seemingly working the way I want to with insert big provider, then we can say, Well, you know, check out our certified agency list like these guys, turnkey, everything they do, it’s plugged in perfectly and they know what they’re doing. And then basically have that reference referral track going on. That makes sense.
Gray MacKenzie 9:41
Yeah, you can spin that into win win win.
Matthew Strunk 9:45
Yep. And then you know, BitMoto starts with B. So that’s on top of list
Gray MacKenzie 9:50
will play. Very awesome. What’s the so you guys have gone through I mean, which I guess I’ll back this up a little bit more. Where do you spend most of your time right now? Oh my Lord.
Matthew Strunk 10:05
So for me, I’ve been fortunate enough to to separate out of the day to day with the agency, like for the most part, and I actually started that hand in hand with some acquisitions stuff that was going on, which is a whole nother story, but it was really trying to separate separate myself. So it’s like, no, here’s an agency that runs itself. Here’s the leadership structure, like if I die doesn’t matter, if you buy, it doesn’t matter, like really trying to make it marketable. And then I shifted all my attention on AutoSigma. So I wear a few hats. They’re my number one hat is VP of sales, and marketing stuff. And then also, I’m the head of product still, because I don’t have that that depth yet. So those are kind of the two areas I spend the most most of my my time with
Gray MacKenzie 10:47
that extent. So on the agency side, which I’m assuming BitMoto would be the more attractive at first, agency to purchase? I don’t know, obviously, that depends on what top line revenue and margin looks like, but niche, like really clearly focused? What did those when the acquisition side of things look like?
Matthew Strunk 11:09
Yeah, that’s so you know, I’ve received all these emails, like everyone does, right? You get the things and hey, this is so and so from private equity firm, how would you feel about it, you know, and most of them are, like, just, they look like garbage. And it’s kind of like these just bulk emails, and then you, you know, it’s just really not worth it. But I had this one guy reach out. And it was, it felt like a true organic email, like, you know, Gray emailed me and like, it was like, hey, my, you know, I’m currently looking at acquiring agencies that you know, are in this size range, and then we’ll roll them up. So I want to roll up to 15 different agencies. And then obviously, from an exit multiple, once you can get to EBITDA, to a certain threshold, you’ll be able to command a much more attractive exit price. That’s, you know, the strategy made sense where it’s like, Alright, you can integrate 10 of these agencies, and then get to 5 million a year and Eva, and exit for 12x. Now, because it’s more of a strategic buy, like I get the play. So we started talking and you seem legit, we, you know, I was trying to be so savvy, you know, I’ve never been through an exit or anything like that. So I was, you know, vetted the the financial ability, like, can you actually buy this thing? Are you just some like, dude, like, on a corner. So we had proof of funds for at least the down part of it, like, he was definitely trying to leverage some out outside financing, but he had a strong down equity injection, which I think is what people look for. And that’s when we went through the process, you know, and for him, you’re spot on, I mean, BitMoto is, if you go to any, like, agency, you know, masterclass, or, you know, wise consultants, like, they’re gonna say, like, you need to have a really focused niche, like, you really have to have something different. Like, you have to have a unique value. Like that’s just BitMoto like checks, every single box is perfect. And that’s what he wanted. And at the time, since he was struggling, you know, still it’s Strunk Media Group with a DBA. BitMoto, it’s one company, right, so now it’s like, trying to, to separate, you know, years of financials, where it’s like, you’re sharing resources, and it’s like, you can get close, but I can’t definitively tell you how much of my controllers time was allocated for BitMoto perfect, like, you’re still just kind of stab in the dark. So he was gonna acquire the whole thing, Strunk Media Group BitMoto, everything. And then I was going to spin off the software and start AutoSigma. So that was my play. I get a nice capital injection, I basically have my, you know, series A basically handle, you know, seed seed round handled, like, I mean, I’m funded, you know, I’m funded and I’m ready to roll and I’m the sell that for half a billion dollars, and we’re good, you know, but, uh, yeah, that definitely, that was interesting. went through all the due diligence, this is a nap. And then because of COVID, it was right during COVID. A lot of the banks like all these external finance, and finance people were like, choke, right? Because they’re just like, Oh, God, all these small businesses are being shut down because of COVID. So they basically tighten up the restrictions of the loans they were given out in the in the finance and they were doing so his financing fell apart, deal crumbled, you know, so, you know, I was like, oh, that sucks, because I just spent all this time and energy, you know, and again, you hear from people, right? Like, make sure you focus on your main, like, this is still your company, like, Don’t let the wheels fall off. But, you know, it’s real hard to keep that balance because you’re like, you know, I get that I won’t, but oh my god, I’m gonna exit and I’m gonna, you know, go on a cruise. As soon as I’m like, you start thinking all that silly stuff. But so I ended up falling through and that definitely gave me insight of like, if BitMoto is super attractive to acquire, right, or anyone who has like a super niche agency, when we have that Strunk Media stuff, which is nice. It’s that decent cash flow, right? You know, but it’s not attractive. Like, I wouldn’t want to buy it, because it’s kind of like, Dude, it’s your name. It’s like this. You got this hodgepodge of somewhat focused clients, but like, that’s just, that’s just not what people want, you know. So it’s like, that’s when I realized like, That guy was gonna take it because it was a part of it, not because he wanted it. Right. You know, and I always use the analogy that it’s like, you know, hey, hey, Grant, what’s your, you know, I want five goats, you know? And you’re like, Alright, cool. I have five goats, we got to take my chickens too. And it’s I want I want chickens. It’s like, well, they’re kind of go with it. It’s like, Alright, I’ll take it, I’m gonna kill him. And then I want them, you know, that’s what I felt like, like he was gonna buy it. And then just cut off the Strunk Media side because it was just a distraction. So I was like, Damn, man, like, I should really separate these if I want to do this, right. But, but then you fast forward and like a month later, because I was talking with m&a brokers, they get this lead from a massive automotive player, right in the space, which, you know, I can’t tell you who it is, but a big player, and I’m like, yeah, obviously, I know who that person isn’t that well, they’re looking to acquire automotive place. Oh, shall I tell you what, I was just about to exit. I’m in that mindset. So So we started having that conversation and they wanted acquire everything autosave everything. And they were willing to step up to pay for it, because auto saving was pre revenue Really? Right. And it wasn’t even it wasn’t even fully done through through the initial development phase. So so I was kind of stuck, like, do I exit for likely less money than if I just do it myself and you know, go through the effort and all that kind of stuff. But it’s a really dumb multiple, when you think about an agency exit, like you should not pay that much money for an agency like you just wouldn’t. So, so we’ve basically went through that deal on that one got, man that got to the very end. But at the end of the day, I think what ultimately distracted that was still you know, you kind of want BitMoto, you really want the tech, right? You really want the tech get BitMoto get with and he got the Strunk Media, schmuck kind of like dragging along. I don’t mean to call it that, per se, obviously, it’s a lot of good clients, like the people working there, but from an acquisition perspective is not attractive. So, so that that kind of took away from it a little bit. And then they ended up getting involved in like a really big merger. So it was kind of like, hey, let’s merge, like a billion dollar company. Oh, and by the way on the agenda, like, let’s make sure to talk about acquiring the small like, no. So I got pushed to the bottom of that list. But But definitely an experience definitely learning experience.
Gray MacKenzie 17:11
Data. A supercar, obviously, the majority of deals don’t actually wind up wind up happening. Yeah. We did the same thing. And we went through twice. Now the time was with was the equity both times for private acquisitions, to get rolled up, jump the larger plays. And after the first time, that not going to do another one that takes earnest money up front. I go into this again, without getting paid for it and seeing real dollars down they’re gonna money in. And second one didn’t get as far. But of course, I didn’t. didn’t follow through and do that. Yeah. Like Never will I ever Okay, let’s do it. That’s fine. Right. Right, exactly. So learning, it’s all a learning process. But it’s so easy to get swept up in. Like, in a lot of cases, there’s some often there’s like hidden burnout, or it’s not even really burnout. It’s just like, hey, this might this would feel good. Like for that amount of money. I would trade even though there’s parts of this that I really enjoy. Yeah, there’s enough stuff here that I dislike that I would trade. The problems that go along with it. Yeah, man, sad, inward exit. And then you know, it’s easy to talk yourself into a story that that won’t roll up.
Matthew Strunk 18:24
Yeah, I remember, when we were going through that, you know, we were going through it and like, logically, like, if you’re talking to a broker, or you know, a finance consultant, or something like that, you know, if you’re younger guy, or you know, a woman or whoever, and you’re like, Hey, I’m thinking about selling my business at the age of 30 or something. It’s like, why, like, are you dying? Are you sick? Like, why would you do that? You’re gonna make more money out of this thing over the next 30 years? Yeah, unless there’s some like sort of fire. It’s like crashing right now. But then no one wants to buy it anyways, if it’s crashing, so. And you’re I think it’s I think it’s secret burnout. Maybe like that little shiny stuff on the side, right? You’re like, well, if, if I do that I can go start a laundromat now. Or like, whatever the big idea, you know. So yeah, it’s definitely I would agree. Like, it’s easy to say, but try not to get hung up in it. You know, it’s okay. I always I always like choices, right? Like, I want to be able to make a decision. Do I go left? Do I go like, Do I go left? Or I go, right. Right. And with the acquisition deals, it’s like, you know, you do the fly, and you got to go through due diligence, like, it’s really not anything real. And so you get to a purchase agreement, and even then you guys sign it, or you negotiate it, right? And, in my mind, I’m like, Alright, well, let’s get to the point where I can be like, are you? Do you want to do this? And if you say, yes, it actually happens, as opposed to if you say yes, you just have to wait like three months of pain and agony and being like, torn apart and, you know, doing stretch searches and stuff.
Gray MacKenzie 19:50
There is Yeah, and even if you get to the finish line on a deal, they’re still like you still have a true up afterwards and I know that you had both deals for annual contract. But actually, we don’t want to give you credit for you didn’t service nine of those 12 months, exactly credit for exactly three, there’s still, like there’s, it’s not an easy process to go through so much, you know, and I was I was working with my,
Matthew Strunk 20:14
like m&a attorney on it. And he said, even though our dollar amount wasn’t like, you know, $100 million, or something like that, he said that the complexity of axing cash, earn out equity, you know, all these moving parts, employment agreements, part of the earnout tied to just exist in there. But because of that, how do we make sure that they don’t just fire you because they feel like it’s you have to make sense for for just cause he’s like your, your deal is no less complicated than a quarter billion dollar acquisition. So your attorney fees and all that, you know, all the legal fees, and everything involved is the same price, because I still have to go through all the same effort, but it’s just so it’s kind of, yeah, it’s, it’s definitely an experience, you know, yeah.
Gray MacKenzie 20:59
I said, Todd tasky, on the podcast here a couple months ago, who does m&a in the in does a good amount of agency space. We’ve had some shared clients who have gone through the process, that’s basically going through the same thing like that $3 million, you know, the agency is doing is benchmark is like, you’re not doing damage to the Buddha. It doesn’t make sense to work with us. Yes. If there’s zero, trust me. Exactly. But just the Yeah, the complexity of these deals winds up being pretty similar, if you want to do it, right. Whether that’s a $2 million tournament, evidence is actually part but it’s, it’s all the same fundamental. Right, exactly.
Matthew Strunk 21:45
Yeah, man. So I’m gonna do what you did. And I’m going to tell myself that if anything ever comes up again, I’m not doing it until you put put down some money make this thing real, you know?
Gray MacKenzie 21:55
And then we just got a pinky swear here.
Matthew Strunk 21:57
Exactly. Like, you promise you promise me? Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I think the secret is like, or the trick, if you’re, you know, entertaining the axia. And you get pregnant, like, actually preparing for it. And, you know, for me, it was nice to go through it, because I know exactly what to expect. So if it’s like, in five years, 10 years from now want to exit, I know what to do for the prior three years to like, really tee it up and get everything organized to get to get it really, where, when they’re doing due diligence, it’s a no brainer, like, Hey, we need all this stuff, you know, it’s fine. It’s all organized that way already. Right? You know, and it’s like, wow, like, you guys are on top of it. And then where you guys come in, obviously, like they want to see your, your, your processes. Do you have your structure? Like, is this a, this is something that can live without you? You know?
Gray MacKenzie 22:39
What? Yeah, I think both of those are a big piece. And it’s helpful to go through that process and just realize, oh, here’s the thing that have an order. And that’s kind of a wake up call. If you did not have all that stuff in order, the first time we went through it, like, hey, let me steal your book. Well, here’s our books. But in terms of how things are coded, and everything, this is not, it’s not the way that we should have presented things first time through, that was a really valuable learning lesson. Yeah, man, for sure. One thing I thought it would be helpful to dig into is on the BitMoto side, because of obviously everyone’s worried with a niche agency. Yeah, how many people find find easier? If I say yes to anybody? Yeah. What’s your client acquisition? What does that client acquisition engine look like today?
Matthew Strunk 23:26
So the first thing you said, there definitely resonates where you’re like, just trying to grab dollars, right? Like, but Gray, this guy wants to give me money. I’ll just do this one And out of that, you know, but it’s actually opposite. Like, you get pulled around and all these different directions, you’re just like spinning your wheels with BitMoto. You’re just like a machine, you just stay focus, you get these referral engines and everything else. But as far as business acquisition, like probably a lot of agencies at first was all just referral word of mouth, right? Like, that’s, it’s funny. Like, I feel like a lot of agencies really stink at doing sales and marketing for themselves, even though they sell like marketing services. for other people. It’s like, it’s a you go to a carpenters house, and they’re trim paint all over the damn place. Like they don’t keep care of that keep, you know, keep the place up, keep up the kept. But for us, we’ve really moved into more of a thought leadership strategy. So probably similar to you in these podcasts, that idea of like, you know, what, how can we become that leader in the space so that way, it’s like, you know, hey, thinking automotive thinking digital art, like, Oh, that’s right. Those guys like I remember seeing that podcast or going to that, you know, that event that Oh, that’s right. They spoke at the nada convention. That guy that really sounded like he knew he was talking about like, I think thought leadership is is the way to go. You know, coming up with some sort of strategy, like a cornerstone strategy and just building content around that drive inbound traffic, is what we’re trying to focus for the next phase of our lives, you know,
Gray MacKenzie 24:54
what are those? Is it partnership stuff or do like what are the mediums that you guys are doing that? It was that blog email podcast that Yeah,
Matthew Strunk 25:03
yeah, so I do better with talking. I don’t like I’m not, you know, I don’t like sitting down and just writing some kind of article. So unfortunately, unfortunately for the beginning, like a lot of the stuffs gonna come from me and some of our, you know, top leadership team, guys, so we’re thinking podcast is what we’ve been working on. So trying to start a podcast, doing some like vlog stuff, like video type of stuff. And, you know, for me, I think the strategy we’re gonna try to employ, and hopefully it works is like, the value prop for working with us outside of the software, which now other agencies can buy. So like, that’s technically not our like, super value prop, it still is, but but the other one is just the IP, right? Like the idea that if Susan, understands car dealerships like really well and understands digital really well, and she knows how to drive down your cost per sale and really knows how to improve your bottom line like you can’t. That’s just invaluable, right? Like, what are you gonna do? Like, you need Susan, right? Because she’s just like, the smartest person there is with that. So, as such, I think we’re gonna really try to just train and educate other people in the field, like, so even if you were at a dealership, great. I’m going to show you all the secrets, we use a bit modal, screw it, you can steal, you know, you don’t need us now. But again, just to build that authority, that we’re the ones teaching you that so that way, it still ends up working, I think,
Gray MacKenzie 26:24
yeah, that makes sense. I think you’ve got the nice podcast. And I’m a big fan of both, like, pure thought leadership, I’m gonna get on I’m gonna do a solo episode, I’m gonna talk for 20 minutes about, here’s how you streamline whatever your internal meetings or your internal scorecards or whatever, agency apps, teaching stuff. But you’ve also got the ability to expand your network, talk to other people who are influencers in that space and pull people in and share their story. And I think you’ve got this whole stair step model where you can take somebody who’s got, you know, got a slightly bigger audience than you and reach that audience. Take that person. Hey, add this person without the next person. Yep. Your way up through these weird artificial social status ranking. Yeah, yeah. Are you mean II five ranking or exactly right? What’s the so service lines with BitMoto? Is everyone come in? When they come into they go straight to a retainer? Are you selling a discovery project first? or What is? What’s that model?
Matthew Strunk 27:21
Yeah, so for BitMoto, straight to retainer. For, for the strong side, we’ve been, we’ve been exploring, like selling the actual strategy session, right, like getting paid to do the proposal before you would just spend all this damn time be like, Yo, check out this strategy. And, alright, cool, thanks. We’re gonna check on what, but I’ve been, I’ve been amazed at how many people will pay for that, you know, like, when you say it’s cost you $7,000 for me to put together this, this blueprint, this roadmap, whatever you can call it, right? And it’s the stuff you would do anyways. But it also kind of think increases the value, like the perception of the value, because it’s like, all this isn’t just some proposal, I think, put together a blueprint for me like this is special, you know, but for BitMoto we’ve really focused on, even though there’s like that human capital that we’re selling, and like the intellectual part of it, we really have streamline that because we only sell a new franchise car dealers, right, the benefit of niching down is you know, what your problem is that you’re solving, right? So you can kind of scale it out more. So we have ABC, like package ABC, pick one. So that way we can really get to discovery call to pick your package to let’s get going on this. And right. It’s pretty streamlined.
Gray MacKenzie 28:32
Well, what’s cool about that, this is one of the things that Todd mentioned, we’re talking about evaluations, is you got from the software side, do they that you guys are building a ton of recurring revenue into the pipeline, and that’s a huge piece. Yeah. Obviously, profit margin growth right now. That’s the factors in but the percentage of that revenue that’s recurring revenue does, okay. There’s some stability here, obviously, as long as churns not not out of control. Yeah. Yep. That’s a pretty, that’s a really valuable asset. That’s Yeah.
Matthew Strunk 29:03
And you know, during the acquisition, yeah, you’re absolutely right. Like, it’s like, Hey, you do x and revenue. But how much of that is Mr. Like, how much of that’s repeated but because that’s like, what you’re gonna keep? And I won’t, but yeah, it’s funny. He calls it a He’s like, you and your damn cell phone bill. What are you talking about? Say you sell a cell phone bill every month, you get paid the same damn amount? How hard is that to run a business? When you know exactly what you’re making every month. It’s like, you know, he’s in construction like carpentry and all that stuff. And the like, I kind of it kind of resonates with me. I’m like, man, so you just hunting for your next lunch every day. Like Yeah, like, Oh, I just finished this kitchen. I made a home run.
Gray MacKenzie 29:39
Right crap. Like jobs lined up, you know, you do have to line it up with how you deliver it. I mean, that’s one of the things in our business where I I’m, you know, our goal for this year is we want to get our recurring revenue to up 30 of our top line revenue. But we’re making a big impact for agencies in a very short period. Time coming down from streamline the processes. Everything is doing the kitchen like you go in that you could put that up in a plan, but it’s like, hey, let’s get paid for the value when we’re delivering the value. Yep. Versus on the agency side where you get deliverables going month after month after month. It makes a lot of sense that it’s not that every agency shouldn’t go to retainer, you have to understand your business and say what business actually in. Yeah, but you also have to look at the reality the marketplace and say, Yeah, well, there’s a reason that recurring revenue businesses go for a higher multiple than all the money comes down on it, everything else was the same.
Matthew Strunk 30:33
Exactly that and you know, contracts, which is, you know, which is also tough. When you when you start out, you’re just like, you know, hey, Gray, give me give me five grand a month. Right, right. And we’re good, like, we’re good. Are you gonna do that? Alright, good. You know, actually, you know, I’ll send you a quick word doc. And I’ll say, like, You promise, and then we’re good, right? That’s a contract. And no, they want you know, when someone’s buying you, they want to see a contract, and then we’ll see a term and they want to see like, you know,
Gray MacKenzie 30:55
and that’s cancellation penalty. And yeah, everything. Exactly, exactly. Outside of you guys have your, your secret weapon that’s not so secret. Now, you’re trying to make the knots a secret? And outside of that, are there any secret tech tools or recent polls that you’ve been? really loving?
Matthew Strunk 31:17
You know? That’s a great question. So not so much. I mean, we do. We probably reinvent the wheel too much like we because we have developers and engineers, software engineers and stuff, like so we’re always like, Oh, we can make that, you know, you’re like, hey, I want to send an email blast out to like, a customer like, that would just build that. And you’re like, dude, just go, there’s like MailChimp and stuff like, stop. You’re like, Oh, yeah, okay. I, we used to, we used to try and build everything, like, Oh, we need analytics stash, you know, like, awesome dashboard, like get API data, this, this and that. And then you realize how hard it is to maintain all those API keys and no loss and stuff in your like, God, I wish there was something like, oh, there is there’s ninjacat or there’s Google Data Studio, like, you know, that’s great. But so I think not so much, you know, what the automotive world specifically, because they have to use the the OEM approved website providers, like you’re kind of limited in hand locked on the tech you can use for your efforts, because you’re kind of like, Hey, here’s the, here’s the schmuck we have make it work, you know, and you kind of just augment it. But we’ve been using, like teamwork, CRM, you know, I think you and I were talking about, like, ClickUp is a pretty, pretty cool one. But those things are invaluable, right? You just try to stay organized and keep up with everything. And then we use Google workplace for you know, all the shared drives and all that stuff. But that’s about it from a tech tech stack perspective. It
Gray MacKenzie 32:33
is simple. And, yeah, it’s easy. Awesome. That’s awesome. Well, I’m excited to watch, especially on the auto saving the sad. I’m excited to watch the tracking that you get there. What are you get? So in terms of staffing right now? Are you guys hiring or recruiting for any positions? Oh, yeah. Yep.
Matthew Strunk 32:57
I mean, it’s it’s a tight market. But for basically every everyone Strunk Media BitMoto AutoSigma, we’re looking for account people, we’re looking for web developers, content writers, graphic designers, you know, you name it, we’ll probably looking for sales reps, even.
Gray MacKenzie 33:14
Just the full Gambit. What’s on the site, right, now you’ve got the careers page. So we can link this up in the show notes. Any other place that you’d point people to learn more or to apply?
Matthew Strunk 33:29
Yeah, so we’ve been using? Yeah, yeah, those career pages we’ve been using. As far as tech stacks, we were using a platform called jazz HR. And that pushes, like via zip recruiter and all that stuff. So we have a bunch of positions listed on like, indeed, and everything else through there. But you know, really, if, if you if you have, you know, any of those skill sets, just drop us a line, you know, even if it’s not posted on there, like if we’re not, it looks like we’re not actively iron. We are like we’re always looking for good team members. Awesome job. We’ll
Gray MacKenzie 34:01
make sure we like that stuff up. Yeah, man. This has been really fun. And I appreciate you coming on and walking us through your process going through acquisitions, how you think about building the agencies. Appreciate you coming on and sharing that man.
Matthew Strunk 34:13
You’re absolutely man. Thanks for having me. It’s always fun. You know, every time I get to pull the mic out, I’m always like, Oh, this is gonna be a good day. Yeah.
Gray MacKenzie 34:22
Well, it’s been a blast. I appreciate it, man.
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