Vandaag het gesprek met Doug McIsaac.
Doug is the founder of several online and offline companies over the last 25 years, including building RMTG, Inc from a 3 person company into a 30 person company.
Doug helps coaches and consultants grow their businesses to six and seven figures. Growing a business takes a small set of very simple principles, that, when applied strategically and in the correct order, create a business sales funnel that brings in customers on autopilot.
Enjoy the insights with Doug!
Let’s get started…
Erno: Welcome Doug. You stood out to me on LinkedIn because of a story you wrote. The story was about your business over the past time. How you developed and implemented a lead generation strategey, which added a lot of customers. That is why I asked you. What was this strategy?
Doug: I provide a variety of service around lead generation for consultants and software companies. I’ve been in marketing for 30 years. Digital marketing become more popular during this time. I love the oppurtunities available. I built an agency and sold it to another company, after that, I was trying to decide what to do with my life.
Erno: Do you still use direct mail? You talked about that in the story.
Doug: Occasionally. I used it for a local print shop which yieled a 39% respond rate and we won a award for our campaign. We spent about 14.000 and generated at least 300.000.
Erno: There are not many campaigns that do the same.
Doug: No not at all, I ususally don’t even use it myself. Adverstising only is starting to catch up, cost wise. You need to get better in things besides ads, but also get better in the ad space. I use ads but my core is LinkedIn.
Erno: 3 years ago, you sold the company. Why did you get out? It was a good running company.
Doug: I was doing everything, after transitioning into another agency, we took on clients that just were not the right fit. There were clients who did not want to implement everything and second guessed our plans. They would re-write campaings. It did not work. I was ready to move on. I was working on starting a software company, which went sideways. I dove back into lead generation using LinkedIn for clients.
Erno: How do you use LinkedIn?
Doug: There are several campaings. The core are LinkedIn messaging campaings and cold e-mail campaings. LinkedIn messaging campaings first identifies the customer. Then we will target that person by rewriting the profile. Most profiles are written as a resume. We don’t want that, we want a salespages. People need to understand why you are better and how they can work with you. For example, I generate leads for B2B consultants and software companies using LinkedIn. We added cold e-mail 2 months ago. Get the profile done, then it is about building your network. I have been testing some stuff out here.
Erno: What are you testing out? Are you doing updates?
Doug: It is updates. I built an outline with some marketeers. Post generally follow this outline. They tested thousends of posts and find out what makes a post go viral. Pulse is LinkedIn’s publicing platform. It differs from an update by being meant for educating. It is meant for sharing information and is used in ranking for SEO. The updates are designed for connecting with your audience. Half the traffic is on your phone. That is why these updates are getting a lot more traffic. These updates need to be readable. LinkeIn has prioritized a long form update for most engagement. The second is a long form text, followed by text with image. 4th is video, which might go into third. After that comes the publicing platform followed by links and 3rd party video, linke Youtube. The reason is that LinkedIn wants you to stay in LinkedIn, here are their ads. Bill Gates believed that the LinkedIn news feed was going to be as famous as the Facebook news feed. Stuff the keeps people on the website, has priority.
Erno: That is so smart.
Doug: Historically, LinedIn has not been relying on ad revenue. Most of their money comes from monthly fees for recruiters and recruiter ads. Their advertising platform was not robust. Ads make up 99% of Facebook’s revenue. LinkedIn wanted to amp this up. They wanted to use items that kept you on the site. Only Google wants you to leave the website. That is their goal.
Erno: So then you post these updates for you clienst?
Doug: We are starting to. I always test stuff myself first. We do messaging campaings for most of our clients. We re-write the profile, find the target and start connecting. We send out a 1000 and hope to get 300 back. We set up a messaging sequence. We do not sell hard in the ”thank you” message. It worked before but it is a numbers game. We share content with them, stuff that these people will be interest in. We make sure that these messages are well done. We can also write content, leverage 3rd party content for authority. After this, we can request a meeting. It is a whole sequence of messaging.
Erno: What is your conversion percentage on a conversation?
Doug: 1 to 5 people a week, it depends on the industry. 1 client of mine had 8 conversations a week and 1 contract per month, a six figure number. Another client is getting closes of a 1000 dollars each. His customer value is about 36.000, that is a large profit. We work with a variety of clients and industries, it differs. Some work better than others. An update strategy will usually work better for a broader audience. The connection strategy works better when the audience is easily identifiable.
Erno: Right, you also mentioned cold e-mailing, is that also on LinkedIn?
Doug: No, sometimes you reach a point where you have hit every person in the profile on LinkedIn, there are only so much profiles. There are more people than that available. That is why we do cold e-mail, we are not spamming at all. We make sure that they are the right type of client, with the right title. Then we start the sequence. It is not agressive, we just want to chat. The book “Predictive Revenue” enforces this. This is the core of many companies, B2B. If you are extending services that help a company save time and money, then it is not spam. Not everybody will buy it, but the chance will increase if you send it to the right person.
Erno: Getting back to the original question, what did you do to get informants to this new goal?
Doug: It wasn’t looking good. Shocking, I did a LinkedIn messaging campaign and cold e-mail. I did what I sell, before I did not do it. My business had dropped because I was focussing on 1 client. I needed to start implementing lead generation for myself. It was obvious, but I had gotten used to people reaching out to me. It was not consistent, you can not grow a business based on word to mouth. You need a consitent lead generation flow. I implemented these campaigns for myself. I now average 5 tot 6 lead calls per week and close 2 clients a week. It is just a matter of implementing. I am going to build an agency just around lead generation.
Erno: So the plan is to take it to 2 million, the plan was to take it to 1 before.
Doug: My packagesranked from 800 to about 3000, with most around 1500. So I needed about 50 clients, about 1 per week. Now I am closing about 2 per week. I could see that 2 million, maybe higher. I’ve talked to my project manager how the structure should look to help 100 clients. Looking for people to hire. I am going to be slowly growing. The goal is to achieve this with people primarily working from home offices. That is what I have done, I also want to travel. I can work if I have internet.
Erno: Traveling anywhere specific?
Doug: I’ve looked at a number of places, Spain, Belize, Puerto Rico. Any place with good internet so I can do weekend trips to explore. Belize and Spain are at the top. One of my clients just went to spain and the pictures were beautiful
Erno: This all sounds amazing. So you have been doing this work for clients for a long time, but not applying it to yourself. Duh..?
Doug: I spend 10 years in the food industry prior to opening my software company. I knew so many chefs who cooked amazing food during the day but then ate fast food themselves. It’s kind of the same problem. Do for yourself what you do for others. Many marketing agencies fail at lead generation themselves.
Erno: Which of the 2, cold e-mail or LinkedIn messaging, is doing best for you today?
Doug: Cold e-mail scales dramatically. The percentage response is higher on LinkedIn. I get more for e-mail, but only on a volume level. You can send out so many e-mails in a shorter period of time.
Erno: Do you have a paid LinkedIn account?
Doug: I highly recommend it, I have the sales navigator version. You need the right tools if you want to grow, we can get more connections a day. You also get a lot more search capability. We need that. You can make sure that everybody can see all of your profile. You can show much. Connections are just much easier. They have some cool tools for lead generation.
Erno: Thank you Doug!
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Erno is de Business Coach voor ondernemers met 5-25 medewerkers. Ik help ondernemers bij zelfzuchtige beslissingen voor meer vrijheid zodat ze door het groeiplafond breken zonder harder te werken. Mijn unieke eigenschap is vragen stellen vanuit oprechte nieuwsgierigheid en de essentie van de lessen te benoemen. Erno is auteur van 8 boeken, 1000+ artikelen en host van de podcast de Erno Hannink Show. Lees meer over Erno