Social Media Lab LIVE!
Social Media Lab LIVE!

Episode · 1 year ago

The Science of Starting a Social Media Agency w/Andrea Jones!


🔥Want to learn the correct way to start a social media agency? Join us for this exciting interview with Andrea Jones on episode #106 of the Social Media Lab LIVE!

🔥🔥 With over 7 years of experience in the game, Andréa hosts the acclaimed podcast Savvy Social Podcast, leads a team providing done-for-you service inside of her marketing agency that was named a Top Digital Marketing Agency in 2021, and serves over 200 students in her membership Savvy Social School.

🔥 Social Media Lab LIVE is hosted by Scott Ayres, the Content Scientist at the Social Media Lab ( ). It's a weekly show where Scott talks about social media marketing with expert guests and is always testing something!!! 

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Hey, welcome to the social media lab live. I am Scott Air's the content scientists here Aut Agora Poles, where we bust the miss the rumors and the stories of social media marketing with science. Today we've got a guest on who's going to talk all about what I'm saying, the science of starting a social media agency. I think a lot of people meet, included. At times I thought, man, I ot to start an agency, but like, what's step one like and what how do I grow, you know, my team? When do I know when the hired people or to you know, contract it out or having pullyees? And how do I get clients? And how do I keep up with things in this digital world that we're going especially you know, you know, I guess we could say kind of post pandemic now at this point, but we're going to talk about some of those different things today on the show. I do want to remind you that you can check out all of our experiments. I put the link in the comments wherever you're watching, but social media lab dot lives should take you over to where our website is. But if not, you can always just go here a Goora post labcom for social media lab. I noticed like I have a forwarding thing going on for that URL, the social media lab dot live, and something keeps happening with go daddy. Sometimes throws off an air, sometimes it done, but should take you there. But anyway you can go to Gorel Pulse and you can find those. But you'll see all our experiments, you'll see all our podcast we have two podcasts now. One of them is just about our experiments and we only publish those once or twice a month and then I take now the interviews from this live show, pull out the audio portion of the interview, try to take out most of the stuff. If we're talking to people in the comments, let's it's relevant, and then put on a podcast called social media lab live. So pretty simple there. And there's about forty fifty episodes already, I think, on that one at this point. So you can follow both and listening to either one of them, and so I don't do own to bring on my guess. She's waiting patiently. I would say green room, but using I use restream and you know restreaings. You Know Green Room is really blue, so I can't really call it the Green Room. She's great out to me in the Blue Room. So I will bring her on now and make sure I click that one real fast. This is Andrea Jones. You had the easiest name for me to pronounce after all my guests lately, so I appreciate that. I guess some hard ones sometimes. Well, well, I hate that. There a wrench into the plans. But it's actually and dread, it's Andrea. That's my mom, though, being super fancy. That's you know. See, I'm just when I think I get it right. So Andrea. Yes, Andrea, see it sounds fancier. So yeah, I like that. So, Andrea tones. You can find Andrea at online dreacom is your website, and you do a lot of different things. You own your own agency, you have your own podcast called Savvy Social Podcast, which I love that name, by the way. But what I would love to know before we hop into this, like tell is, like I'm just meeting you at a networking events for the first time. Tell me like your sixty two elevator pitch of what do you do, what services you offer and why should we listen to you when it comes to like starting an ages? I'd love to hear that. Yeah, so I started my business seven years ago. I'm all about social media and one of those people who loved social media, but a lot of my clients and customers don't. So I take the overwhelm out of it, either by completely taking it over for them or teaching them how to, you know, start using social media in a very simple way that can move the needle forward and help them grow their business. And what do you talk about in your podcasts? It's all about social media. So I interview other business owners talking about their social media journeys just to get different perspectives, because everyone uses it differently. And then I talked about, you know, social media in the fuller scope of thing. So you know, a lot of conversations recently about my groove video content with platforms like Tick Tock and instagram reals and youtube shorts and how business owners can approach this a little bit differently than you know, a con tent Creator would. What do you think about like, you know, linked in now getting rid of their stories and twitter getting rid of stories? Good move, bad move for them? What do you think? I like it. I am not a fan of all of the platforms slowly becoming the same thing. I like to have the different platforms. Otherwise, what's the point in having a linkedin profile versus a twitter account if they're doing the same things right? So I'm happy they got rid of it. I wasn't using it anyways. It was super glitchy. I don't know if he found that to be the same thing. I think I'm maybe posted one or two just to see because you know, I'm always like let's tested,...

...and didn't get much response on it. I did get a lot of viewers. I was like, it's kind of cool, but it's not as yeah, you said, it's not. You don't go there to post that sort of content. So it's weird when, all you know, everybody starts copying one another. Like I wish facebook could get rid of stories and just have Mont let it be an instagram feature for Facebook, you know, global just because, yeah, the eve when you're different, like pinterest, everybody's be different. And even, like you said, youtube shorts, it's copying, ticktock, and instagram stories and reels and yeah, it's so much copying. It's there's no deciphering as someone. You got to be unique, you know, as Laria Pertrucci was safe from live streaming pros. Me Uniquely you and none of them really can figure that hell. So I'm glad linkedin drop stories a week or so, going a list. I appreciate your coming here. I'm a big Fan of your experiments, a big fan to you as well and all the stuff you do in live video. So appreciate you watching. Yeah, so what I would do is I want to just kind of go through some questions here with you and, you know, we might hit not hit all them, but just kind of talk through, you know, what it looks like to start an agency and those sort of things. It's so the first you know, maybe let's let's back up. So the seat of God, a Groan. It like what made you? What was like the Aha moment for you that made you say I got to start an agency? That would be like an interesting thing to start this out with. Yeah, and you know, it's funny, as I did not want an agency, I just wanted to have a business. I was a freelancer and so for me it was all about just making enough money to not have a real job right, a real job, a real job. So I met my husband on Youtube. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Okay, okay, pause, time out. All right. So we'll get back to your agency. Met Your husband on Youtube. How did in the world of that happened? I just I we were watching each other's videos, we were collaborating kind of like with this video, and then I saw one of his other videos and I was just flirting with him. I was like Hey, I like your eyes, I think they're cute, and then the rest is history, real demon. Yeah, so what kind of videos was he doing? He was doing these like ran tea comedy videos and I was vlogging my life, my boring life in Georgia, and so we met and it's actually that's the catalyst for the business, which is why I share this story, because I moved to different countries, so for the US, to Canada, and that's when I started the business. But I wanted to just kind of make money for myself and when I started hiring people was when I tried to go on vacation the first time, and social media doesn't sleep and I needed someone to help like watch my clients accounts while I wasn't there. And so that's really what why I started hiring and building the agency was. I just needed other people so that it wasn't all me. All the time. Yeah, that's that's the hard part. We own your own business is like you never know, like can you sleep? Can you take vacations without feeling guilty or like, you know, stings falling apart? Like so, in the beginning, did you, because a lot of agencies asked me this as well, like did you just freelance to work? Did you contract? It was an employees like what was your mix when you first got started? Yeah, so I was a freelancer for a while and I called myself a freelancer for about five years. So for most of my career, and I would just tell clients I just happen to have people who help me. So you get to for the price of one, or three for the price of one. But they were all contractors. So I would hire contractors to help me with different things like designing, graphics, editing videos, community management, you know, any sort of thing that could go a lot with social media, and just by hiring this team of contractor is allowed me to kind of, you know, take some of the time, but was off and some of the things that I wanted to do. Now I'm curious, like did you got? Are you every everybody you have now in the team. Are they all contractors now or they employees? When did you make any they are. When did you make that transition and why? Yes, I have about half employees half contractors now, so we have fifteen team members in total, and I started making this switch early two thousand and twenty two. So when the pandemic hit two thousand and twenty, you mean twenty? Oh, what did I say? Twenty, so you got in the future. I'm in the future now, early two thousand and twenty. March, two thousand and twenty, the pandemic hit. We saw some of our clients drop off, especially those who were event base so they couldn't host their events, and then by April we saw huge influx and it just the business was growing from there. Everyone needed digital marketing at that point, and so that's when I started bringing on employees, and it actually is a cost savings. If you have employed. Okay, good to hear exist expand on. That's what's the cost savings for you? Yeah,...

...especially if you need you know, for me my employees are the account managers and more of like those full time roles. So if I were to pay a contractor the same amount, I'm they're contracting rates are so much higher than an employee salary. So it's a different risk. Right. So with an employee you have to pay, you know, especially here in Canada, there's a lot of benefits and things like that, but it's still ends up being a cost savings. But with employees you can't just if there's no work, you can't just be like well, I'm not going to give you any work today, right. So there is a little bit of a risk on the side of employees in that, you know, if they're salary, you want to make sure that they're fully topped up or, you know, eighty percent of their workload. But that balance of employees and contractors really works well for me because the employees can take a lot of the admin work, they can take a lot of the client management work and then the contractors can still do things like graphic design, video editing, copywriting, you know, some of those things that may fluctuate over time. Now do you? And I was talking to something within our company actually about this exact question, because she's helping to their head of agencies and one of the questions that comes up a lot in trying to compare it is and the reason to go employee versus contractor, is you can get returned back quicker on you know, like psy graphics. Do you find that internal you get results faster with employees versus contractors. Are Two? Is there a delay? Contractors might have a little more delay versus employees, like what does that look like for you? Yeah, and you know what we what I love about employees is that I can be so selfish with their time. I know that they're a hundred percent dedicated to me and my business and our clients. So if I need something is it's easiest sending a slack message and I know that it's done, whereas with contractors, I have to work with and compete with their other clients, right so if they have another big project on their plates and I get a big project, I have to go to them and say, what do you have time for? What are your available for? Let's work out a timeline, whereas with my employees it's a little bit different and I do have a lot more flexibility with their time, which I prefer, because I love being like completely selfish with their time and not having to worry about anything else. They know that you're selfish with their time. I mean it's yeah, I'm very clear about it, very clear about it, and because of that we do have to set really strong boundaries, even for the contractors where, you know, we have a global team, so some of our contractors are in places like the Philippines and Nigeria, and so we work nine to six. So that has to be our hours, eastern time and no weekend. So even if a contractor is catching up on their work over the weekend, they're not in slack messaging an employee about it. So we have to have very clear boundaries about that, otherwise it could go off the rails right. Yeah, I think that's I think that's where a lot of agencies try to figure out because, like, I can just keep contracting a contract in the contract and it be like, like you said, if you've got an employee will hey, you're not working on this right now, I need you to do this or hey, I need you go hop in and go help Susie or this and that word. You know, you may hire a contractor and they get done with the work super, super fast and then they're just waiting for you to feed them again with something else. So you don't that you don't get to take advantage of that downtime. But I guess the same time you can cut them loose faster if your contractors in most cases anyway. And now Canada might be differently than the US or Europe or other countries, but in the US you could cut them loose, but just a message, see you later, you're done and there's no benefits or anything. That's intrigue. I'm glad you. I'm glad we got into that because that's, like said, that's a hot question. I've been seeing some of our agency discussions. Is when do I know when the move from just, you know, freelancing everything with other people and when do I know it? I've bet a higher couple and put now your employees. Are they local to you or they dispersed? They're just spurs. So they're all in Ontario, which is a problems that I live in, but they're pretty spread out throughout the province and yeah, I love that. You know, we can have that them on the team because they can manage the contractors too. So that's the other thing about having them is with fifteen people, I'm not the only one kind of giving instructions that my employees can also manage the contractors. So my time actually is a lot more free than when I had a team of contractors. Right, and that if they're all in the same areas you, you do have the potential to get together too, which is nice. You know, an easier than you know if you're all over the country, like we're in fifteen different countries, I think like a hundred thirty of us, so trying to get us all together, especially right now, it is impossible. And so, yeah, being closer is probably nice. Now, your employees. Do you specially those who are handling your customers, your clients, do you limit them to like all right, once you've hit let's say they're running social for four or five like do... know, like, okay, what's what's the Max I can load, I can give someone and then you have to go hire somebody else after that, like how do you how did your brain work around that sort of dilemma? Yeah, so we have twenty three clients right now, so and we have four account managers. So it really is about five to seven per account manager. That that they can handle. So we have some space to add on a little bit more right now, but that way they're fully dedicated to those clients, because Social Media Never Sleeps. You kind of have to be on all the time, especially the past couple of months, you like a year and a bit, has taught us that. So about five to seven per account manager is a really good balance. It depends on the size of the client, though, because some of our clients are a lot smaller of a contract than, you know, some clients where we have a larger scope of work. Yeah, yeah, I would imagine if you're working for a global company, you know, that's got millions of followers, that's a whole different ball of wax versus the pizza joint, you know, around the corner. As far as it what's the expectations are and the amount of content that you're producing. The you tend to stick to one niche. Yeah, so I'd tend to work with coaches and thought leaders, so speakers, authors, big personality brands. Essentially. That's our method. Just works really well and we have a really good system for those groups. We have a few outliers, but I find that they actually create more work for the team because, like our strategies, we have to reinvent with, you know, like a e commerce brand versus, you know, a career coach. So yeah, we tend to stick in the the coaching space and they typically are selling group programs or online courses or or something like that. How'd you fall into that, that niche? It was by accident. So I used to work with podcasters because I love podcasting and that was my niche for a while, was working with podcasters, and then I found that it's not just the podcasters that kind of have the best outcomes with our strategies. It's a podcasters who are selling something outside of their podcast and it's not just a hobby or they're not just selling for ad space, and so that typically then is a coach or a thought leader or someone who has an online program and so kind of evolved over the years and really just looking at our favorite clients, the ones we love to work with, and then the types of referrals that we get, we kind of accidentally tripped into this niche of coaches. That's an right. It's and had always is. Is Like it's always accident, like yeah, became an expert in this widget and then now I can help you out. Yeah, that's us. Like how it is if you're just hopping on. We're talking to Andrea Jones with talking all about the science of growing your Social Agency or marketing agency. We've talked a little bit how she got started, how she went from mainly contractors now employees in a mix of it, and kind of what that looks like. Now I'll talk about, you know, how we make money, like how do you get your first client? How do you grow your client list, like what is you know, what was that for you in the beginning? To maybe like what are some of the mistakes she made? The wish you'd could go back. That would be kind of in Arcon to know. Yeah, so I actually started on fiver. Oh wack in the day I was writing ten facebook post for five dollars. I've made so much money own five in the dead back in the day. Yeah, yeah, and I just screw my business from there. So fiver was big for me. In my first year, Tenzeros of my revenue came from fiber alone. And then I use up work at least used to be called Oh desk or elands back in the day. I was using that platform basically going where people were saying, Hey, I need help with this social media thing. I would just show up and say I can help you. I would say some of the mistakes I made in the early days was pricing a little bit too low. When my first client I charged her a hundred dollars a week to do facebook and twitter and I was creating posts every day, which was a lot of work. I was paying myself basically pennies and and just kind of grew from there. So today a lot of my business is referral based. A lot of my clients like one of my biggest value systems is to deliver an amazing product for my clients, because then they become my marketing so they tell their friends and their colleagues about the work that we do, and social media is very public. So if they say, you know, I have this amazing person managing my instagram, somebody's going to go on their instagram and look at it and say, Oh, that's what I want, and so we really dig into that. Outside of that, would do a lot of networking. I do a lot of speaking places like this, a lot of teaching, and then through my podcast I actually get a number of clients who maybe hear about me somewhere and then they go listen to the podcast, because then they can really get a sense of the strategies that...

...we apply to our clients and then go oh, this is for me, or maybe it's not for them. I want to go back a little bit to the five or thing, like I I remember. I'm thinking backsh ten years ago, nineteen years ago, and five or was getting really huge. Of course I did, but I was. I was known as a fan page pimp back in those days. Please forgive me for that very insensitive title that I would give myself, but I would pin people either that pimp. My ride showed that was really hot on MTV, I think, and so I did. I did all my stuff like around that idea. So pimping your fan page out, that's when you can make custom tabs and stuff, and you had the banner image, remember the side banner? Yeah, you know, profile picture. So I would make those on fiver and I did a lot of little stuff and then, you know, I one day I started I bought some package, you know, a shiny object from some marketer I won't name, and it was like a video spinning software where you could put in a video and then it it replicated and spun it out to like twenty something different video site and you got ranked on Google really fast. You know. It's a little bit of black hats short sort of stuff. Ran It is ten years ago, and so I was like I will put this Gig on there and I'll do someone's video. I think I was just charging five bucks each for one video and I started getting some you know, sort of getting some traffic from we started, you know, getting order here and there, you know, three or four days, like it's kind of cool little side money. While I was I had another job full time, you know, doing not even in social media. Actually, I think I just started part time and social media and so had another business and working for a hubsy back then, and I know it's like this one guy kept buying a bunch of them, you know, and I was like man, I'm getting a lot of it from this guy. This is cool. Repeat Business. And then there was a trafficking conversions conference in Austin and I didn't go to it and it's but some friends went to it in the marketing space and all of a sudden I get I get a message from what. I'm like Hey, look, you're on stage and I'm like what like and they had a you know picture. I was wearing a big purple pimp had. That was my, you know, Avatar. And this said, this guy's talking about your fiver, one of the the main people of the of the event who work with Ryan dice and all those other guys. It's like they're talking about you on stage, about, you know, how he used your service to spend videos. It was kind of an interesting way to fastly, you know, he learned he was getting ranked glow, you know, on huge, on page one on Google and stuff, and then I'm like, oh, that's kind of cool ass funny, and then all of a sudden, like I got orders out the ears because he gave her by the link to go to it and I think I ended up doing I want to say I tapped out at probably three thousand gigs making five dollars each, and I was like, I finally said, I can't keep up. You know, there was just I was I remember those nights where I was staying up till zero or five in the morning, sleeping like an hour and start knack back over trying to keep up with all those stupid gigs. And that's when he realized too. Though, and going back to what your part of the thank you said that you don't charge enough in the beginning and then people take advantage of that and they know they can get you for that. So if you try to up your prices that that's kind of hard. So you mentioned that. I'm curious, like, so you knew you weren't charging enough in the very begin a hundred dollars a week to manage someone social wasn't enough. Like did you ever get that person to pay you hire and how do you increase your prices to existing customers? Yeah, this is a challenge that I always have. It. I think every agency owner is looking at this is like how do I make sure that I'm profitable? But in two thousand and eighteen, by this point I had about four or five contractors working with me. I still didn't have my rates quite high enough. I want to say my average client was around eight hundred dollars a month by that point, and but I had two big fish clients, so we're talking like four or five thousand a month that were really kind of floating a lot of our business profit and I think we had about twenty clients at the time. But then I lost the two big fish clients and I actually had to let go of some of the contractors who were with me for a little while at that point and I had to take a hard look at my numbers and this is when I started really focusing it on profitability. So instead of just like guessing, this is how much I'm going to charge, here's what I think my expenses are going to be, I had to get a spreadsheet. I was like throwing up a little bit of my mouth, as spreadsheets give me hives. I live in spreadsheets. Yeah, I did. I was like, you know, at the time I was like, I'm a free spirit, I just want to be a freelancer. I wasn't calling. This is where I made the switch from freelancer and agency. I'm a freelancer, I get to do whatever I want. But that's when I was like, no, this is a real business. I put every client in that spreadsheet, I put every expense in that spreadsheet and I broke it down for software to you know, marketing expenses,... team expenses, and really mapped it out and my goal was thirty percent profitability after paying myself. So paying myself and still having thirty percent left over in the business as cash for a rainy day, which is, you know, we all need that, especially, you know, when things like global pandemics happen, and so that was my goal. I just hit that goal the earlier this year. So it took about two and a half years for me to actually get to thirty percent profitability. But once I was looking at those numbers and once I set up the spreadsheet, I knew that that was kind of the way to go and I was able to adjust my prices from there. So it was clear to me to see which clients weren't profitable and which ones were. The other thing I changed at that time was I started using time tracking internally, which again was another thing. I was like, I'm free, I don't want to count my hours, but by actually looking with data at how much time every single person on the team was spending on a particular project, I was able to guesstimate then more with more data and more education, on how much that project should cost, keeping in mind I'm trying to get to thirty percent profitability after paying myself, and so, though, like by putting in those numbers into a spreadsheet, I was able to then start raising my prices, and the first time I did it I actually had to do it across the board for all of my clients, some of my car some of my clients were only about a five to ten percent increase. Some of my clients were up so like a thirty, thirty five percent increase, which is not fun and I am a little bit of a chicken. So I said emails instead of calling because I wanted to put all the numbers in the email as well. So we did lose some clients because of that. I gave them three months notice. So I said, basically it was October of two thousand and eighteen. So by the New Year, two thousand and nineteen, this has to be the new rate. I gave them all the reasons why. A lot of them saw my team growing at that time. So it was a really great thing to show that, you know, we've increased our quality of work, we've increased our team, we're trying all these new strategies. So we did lose some clients, but in those three months I picked up new clients at the newer rate and so by January we were thriving and it was great. Now I'm curious because you mentioned this in there. You said you know, you want to thirty percent profit per client after you paid everybody, including yourself. Like as an agency owner, how do you figure out what to pay yourself? Like what is I'm not asking for dollars, of course, but like is there a percentage that you're based in that off of the way you know? Okay, I need to make no, already back it out, for I need to make you know, hundred thousand dollars a years than kind of how does how do I get that with eight clients? Or what's what's your process or because I think that's probably the thing where most agencies and start fail out. They don't know what to pay themselves and they've end up paying themselves nothing for a long, long time. Yeah, I mean I started with what I needed to cover my expenses. So I knew, like, based off my husband salary, what I need to contribute for like basic everyday expenses, plus saving a little bit. And I know that, you know, at the end of the year, when you're saving those thirty percent profit every month, you're going to have a little bonus to get yourself right. So I knew I would have, you know, bonus money for you know, bit larger investments or paying down the house or whatever the case may be. So I wasn't counting that, but just what I what I wanted to pay myself every month to be able to afford my lifestyle, essentially, and then I recalculated my numbers based on that. Yeah, I think it's a good way to look at in any know, to like, okay, I've only got five clients, I can't live off this, I need eight clients. You know, were I gotta my prices per client or something like that to to do or hire more people so I can get more, more clients and handle it so that that's probably a smart thing to do. I'm curious because you were talking about we're going to skip over a couple questions and come back to some others. I think this is there's a trust issue with with clients and your want clients for giving you, as an agency, access to their social media, your kind of their brand voice in a lot of ways, especially if you're doing the community management side of it. How do you and then like you're increasing prices on hey, thirty percent, bomb Ya. How do you? How do you build up enough trust with clients that you can have those hard conversations, even they are via email? How do you do that and get clients to really just all right, go and run with it. Yeah, so it starts from the very first conversation. So when I am having that sales conversation with clients, I always talk about my team. My team is awesome, they're amazing. I literally could not do this without them, with twenty three clients...

...and, you know, playing around of platforms like Tick Tock, it would not be possible without them. So I make sure to hype them up during the sales call. In the proposal, I do video proposals for my clients so that I also show my team in that proposal. They're on the about page of the website as well. I introduce them by name. If I know who's going to be working on that project, I'll reference them by name. The kickoff call is the one time where pretty much everyone on that project is going to be on the call with a client, so everyone down to an admin assistant who's doing something simple like, you know, uploading emails and convert Kiit or whatever the case may be. So that kickoff call they meet everyone and then we do have monthly calls with our clients, so strategy calls where their account manager and either the strategist or assistant is also on that call. So they get to know us over time and then we embed things into that process to like every new client gets a gift. We remember their birthdays, their wedding anniversaries, we send them flowers, we sent chocolates, like we really get to know our clients and show that we care so that we can have those tough conversations to and then we also make sure that we're completely transparent with everything we do. So an example of sharing passwords for a platform like Instagram, you kind of have to have the password to log in on the mobile account to be able to upload something like an instagram real right like. You can't. There's no way to schedule that. So it requires a high level of trust. So we spend a lot of money on things like last past for instance, where I'm the only person who sees that password and then I share it with the necessary team members. We pay for the premium version so that nobody physically sees that password and it's really easy to remove in case, you know, team members move on or doesn't work out or something like that. And we always recommend like really healthy a password hygiene with a client. So I don't want a client who their password was like hello, one, two, three, where we first started working as like as like before even log in. We're going to change this. Passwords, like I need you to come up with something stronger so that we can, you know, keep the safe, and so a lot of things like that help us build trust with our clients over time so we can have the tough conversations of you know, this is outside of the scope, or even you know, this isn't working, we've got to try something new. Right. Yeah, I'd love that. You mentioned you did video conferencing before, like your sales fish, and you can let them see everybody. You said you did months meetings. Are Those via zoom or or a video or Google meet? You'll do those, facetoface, but be a camera. Yeah, we use zoom. I was using zoom. It's so funny. When the pandemic hit, my mom was like, have you heard of zoo? Like yes, yeah, zoom became a verb and all kinds of stuff. I meant something different than moving fast. Yeah, but that's probably important. I think. You know, I think. I think a lot of agencies may have the tendency of just, you know, emailing a report and then, you know, here you go, give me your give me, pay me this month. But yeah, having that time to sit down with him and go over it and find out, because you were, you you can tell more by the face if they're really, you know, into what you're doing, your strategy, or they've got an answer problem. And that's building that trust. And I love the fact, and this is like, if you're watching this or listen to the podcast later, like putting the personal touch on it. Good. Your niches a little bit different. You said Niche, I say niche, but the same thing. Tata, Patata, Andrea, Andrea. You know. Yes, to come back to that, but that personal touch when your niche is a little easier, probably because you're in individual entrepreneurs. But you know, if you got a business owner of you know, let's say it's a real auteur, find out that stuff, you know, and yeah, bring them, you know, go take them or send them, you know, birthday gift or anniversary gift or you know, those sort of personals and and cost you much. But that personal touch, though, isn't Aha, you know, and builds that trust factor. Big Tom, I bet you a lot of agencies don't do that. Yeah, and when we're charging something like three thousand five hundred to five thousand a month for clients. Those little touches go a long way to kind of almost like illustrate the luxury service, because we do provide a lot of high touch content and strategy for our clients. And if they have a team, the whole team gets the same treatment, right, like we we have one client right now is a like a group of CO founders. There's five of them, I mean we're all of them get the same level in the same experience. Yeah, and there's somebody cool, like websites now where you can send people treats and from Bob, you know, the buy a coffee by a pizza. That there's some cool one. Like we had somebody our team that we did when we're you got to show choose your own candy that you were going to get as your thing, and there was something exciting about that, like I get to pick... and it came in a cute little box. And Yeah, I think that's that's a way to build trust with your clients on top of delivering whatever you promise you would deliver to them. But you little things like that, I think are great. Now, because you mentioned your team is all virtual, you know, even though you are all in Ontario. How do you how do you manage on boarding, you know, virtual team members, when you or an agency the size that you are? Yes, so when I was a lot small, smaller of an agency, I would do calls every single day with a new person for about two weeks. We would check in for fifteen and thirty minutes and just kind of get a sense of where they are. Now that we are larger, we have systems in place for this that stem from those calls. So you know questions we would always get in the first week or sticking points that people typically had. So we now have videos talking about this. I'm a huge video person anyway, so I I have a welcome video. We have a video for you know how to use last pass, how do you slack, how to use the sauna, and so we have all of those things in place for that new person and typically they have a person they're paired with that they can then lean on. So either myself or one of my account managers will be their got person and one of our rules no matter where you are in the business. You know, one of my team members has been with me for five years or the person we just hired this week. There's no such thing as a stupid question or around question like we don't there's no space for that. Just ask. We'd rather you ask than sit there staring at your screen for, you know, hours, wondering how do I do this thing? The questions also help us. So if we keep getting the same questions, we know that we need to tighten up our training there and this is actually where my my training program started. So I have the sappy social school. It's started off as me making videos for my team members, like here's how you add a post to instagram stories, here's how you know, Here's how you updated instagram profiler, here's how you do a threaded tweet, or whatever the case may be. Those started off as videos. That I mean for my team, just literally sharing my screen and walking through how I do what I do every day. You Stop Toping, but I'm hyping. They'd Savvy Social School website in the comments and I'll bring myself back on. I didn't know you. I haven't seen that website. You that that's really cool. That and that's what happens a lot of times. You you start doing something out of necessity and it becomes its own little thing. They like, Hey, I could, I could sell this to somebody else and they can learn from it. Yeah. So, yeah, y'all, chase savvy's with two V's, right. Yeah, yes, savvy social SCHOOLCOM. You can learn a lot about the ultimate Social Media Marketing Membership Program for passion led business owners, way to make a difference in the world. Yeah, so that's that's a really cool resource to look at if you're interested in the yeah, and I think that you know, I've been virtual for Gosh. I've worked remotely before remote working was cool, like eleven years, twelve years, I don't even know. So if I were to go to an office now, like, granted with people, I'm in an office away from my home when I when I work anyway, because Internet issues and stuff, but if I had, like said, people in a cubicle next to me, I don't know if I could function because I'm so used to just everything being via Google meet or slack or a song, like you mentioned all those things in right, Yep, Yep, Ye, Saana, we got Trello, we've got this, we've got that, we got all these different things, and I think that's it's new for a lot of people now in the last year and a half, but it's kind of the thing that I think we're going to see more and more of, and so buttoning that up and figuring that out is important. How do you delegate? You said you did all of it yourself. Still do you do you are you out of phase with you know, a lot of employees, or at some point you'll delegate the HR kind of stuff on boarding to somebody else as an agency. Like when's that tipping point? Yes, we're there right now. So a lot of my account managers are creating content. So my job now is different than it used to be. I don't do a lot of the day to day work with our clients. So you know, for instance, instagram stories, you can't swipe up anymore. It's a sticker right. My team saw that before I did because they still have the update. By the way, I don't either. Some people do, some people don't. So if I'm not logging into all of our clients accounts, I don't see the updates like that. I may see the you know article, but I don't see the update. And so if they see it before me, they're now the ones recording the video. That that's like, here's how you do this thing, and so I really helps to have other people into the mix keeping up with all of the updates and also on boarding and training new team members as well. And you know the things that I say all the time, they're repeating it now to you. So there's no such thing... a stupid question or around question. They know to say that now to other team members, which is just a beautiful thing to see. Now you brought up an interesting point. Like you started out, you know, you were the Free Spirit, freelancing, you know, person doing social media and you were in the in the in the trenches, doing all the stuff and you knew the strategies. You you're the one doing it. Now you've got employees and now, as an agency owner, your work Mayna is probably as much in the middle of it. Now now you're like managing people. Is that transition a tough one for you? I'm just curious to you're I think you'd be honest with me. You like, what did that like? Do you want to get back in there and do this stuff, like, what is it? Has that been for you? It was hard, like, I love social media. That's why I started a business in this industries that I actually like it. You know, thinking about things like meeting my husband on Youtube, just through youtube comment. I met so many other people on social media, like some of my closest friends are because of, you know, an instagram DM or a tweet I sent once, or you know those sorts of things. So I really like it and I did find myself at one point not living in it every day. I was, you know, recording s SOPs, I was hiring and firing, which I hate that whole process. That that, you know, I'm looking at my numbers every day, and so I did feel like I was moving away from that a little bit and I recommitted earlier this year to carving out more space to just play on social media, because to me that's a huge piece of the business. I don't ever want to be the type of person who is, you know, sharing the strategies that I don't see every day, maybe just like hypotheses or things like that. I want to actually do it, I want to actually get in there and figure it out. And so right now, for instance, I'm all about Tick Tock. I am studying it inside it out. I am I want to build out a course for it for my program and so that means I'm in Tick Tock every day. I'm creating videos, I'm commenting, I'm watching a ton of videos, not dancing, but it's away from that quite a bit though the last year. or so. Yeah, yeah, but really just figuring out that edge too, because a lot of my clients and customers don't want to dance. So right, it is kind of figuring out. Okay, what is the difference between, you know, that that seventeen year old content creator who's just making videos about their life, and the you know, three thousand and forty something business owner who's trying to make a connection with the right people in their audience? So it's it does take a lot of experimenting, but I get to have fun, which is why I love what you do as well, because it does. We get to be the people who try it out and then bring our results to our audience, like here's what I tried. We don't have to dance on Tick Tock, we could do this instead, you know. Yeah, and that's now. It's kind of funny you mentioned Tick Tock because, you know, I got real into it multiple times and deleted the APP. Like free time come like okay, I'm in my s and I don't really need to see these young women dancing around, you know, like no, it's not the content I want to consume and no, it's not me. And so that deleted that I'd come back and the deleted and come back in. The last time I came back, you know, I just made sure I train the algorithm really fast. Say No, I don't want to see that. No, I don't want to see that. No, I want to see that, and then to start to following marketers and Comedians and that's all I see when I go on there. My wife, who's a kindergarten teacher, try to do that via zoom. By the way, she had to do that for a little while stuff. It was fun to watch from the other side of the camera. But it's a she her co workers are always sending her tick tock videos and so she finally the other day to decide to sign up for an account just to be a lurker. She's not going to make video and I think a lot of people just go and watch and all she doesn't see any of what I would call the booty shaking videos. You know, it's it's just she is just seeing the funny people as she's followed or similar, or people giving tips on teaching, you know, and teacher tips, because that's who she followed. And I love the tick Tock Algorithm and how how fast you can change it. Really, really quiet. She's like I've she's like everything, always talking about these dances such. I don't see this, like what are you looking at? I'm like, okay, there's what I say, you know, and so it is intriguing how that works and that, yeah, you don't have to get on there in days, and now with like so much, they're giving longer time to tick tock videos. That's going to change. Sick Tock lives are so intriguing to me, even though you can't do it from platform. So I'm not a guy who likes to use his phone for everything, so that's kind of a bother something. Yeah, I love that you're still trying to get in there because you what you don't want to do is get caught off guard in your situation, especially like not knowing the latest trend. You know, in an employee ask you or somebody else in the space or you're on a podcast, it's something... ask you a question. You're like deer and ahead lights like I don't know. So you gotta kind of you. I think it is an agwner. You got to stay real that. Maybe that's just your own stuff you play around with, you know, or maybe you get you do the companies Social Yep, I do a lot of our own social and I still read every single post that we create for our clients. So I see all of that. I read all of every single report. I'm on all of the strategy calls, so I'm still very hands on with the client work. But when it comes to content creation my own accounts, I create a lot of that content with the support of my team and then always coming up with new things, like, you know, with tick tock being the new thing. It's not just creating content for myself. It's how do we create a system so that maybe our clients just record the video and we edit it, or, you know, being on top of a trend fast enough to where we can then flip it over to our clients, have them do something, then have us do something and post that content piece before the trend is over. So it does it does take some time and DAB watches Frenchy videos. I'm out to see what a Frenchy video is. I don't know what that is. I love Frenchies. Any dog, basically that ows it a dog video. Yeah, super cute, like a squish face que Geez. I could see that could be fun though. Yeah, it's. I mean there's so many new things that come around. I think, especially these coaches that you're working with, they could leverage tick tock, I think, and in a way, you know, a small local business struggles, maybe because they can give out their thoughts and snippets of their thoughts and things like that do some fun without having a dance around. I told you how to go off camera once while I'm taking a yeah, and on that now professional story. Hey, dude, you how to do yeah, live video, right, what are you gonna do? I love it, but, you know, on that note, there are a lot of local businesses who are doing great as well. Like I have a local boutique that I follow and they're posting their their items on Tick Tock. Sometimes they'll just do a montage video using a popular sound. Sometimes they'll have one of this people in their store, maybe the cashier or someone showing off a piece. They'll talk about how to style their different pieces. I'll talk about accessory. So there's a lot of things that you can do as a local business, even more so, I think, than online business, because you've got a store that you can show in a video, and so I'm really excited for the creativity there. I'm loving it on that platform. I'm with you. The Algorithm is one of the best that I've seen in a while on social media. So I think there's a lot of potential. I mean, I think some of the other algorithm are starting to copy the little bit. I mean I but it tends to be, you know, way facebook and instagram work. You know, it's mainly you mainly see what you interact with the most, where it's not subject matter per se, where tick tock is they figured out the subject matter in the category. So if you're falling a lot of people in one category, that's what you're going to see more and more of on the on the for you page anyway. And I love that I can switch. Is like it reminds me of old school days of facebook where, you know, I could look at just my friends or that could go look and look for new stuff. So if I just want to look at what I follow, I just make sure I follow the right stuff. I don't have to see all the other jump maybe that I don't want to see, which is something I love. Now we're about the end of the time here. I mean, is there anything else that you would give advice for to a social media agency that's either starting or are struggling that they should be thinking about as a move, you know, into a New Year and a couple months? Yeah, so one of the things I talked about with my students all the time is keeping that pipeline hot. So, especially if you're in social media, our client retention is about twelve months right now. So that means we probably want to bring on a one or two clients every month if we have twenty three clients and it last about twelve months. So that is a challenge for a lot of agency owners. It's very easy to get caught up in the weeds of running the business and not looking at generating new business consistently. So that's something that you want to do. Up Work is still a great place to find some golden nuggets of clients. There's a lot, I mean there's a lot of like not so great clients on there, of course, but because of that. If you know your stuff, your application will stand out amongst everyone else. So I find that that's a really great place that some of my students are seeing some sit some success, and just going where your clients are and hanging out and showing your expertise there could be a really great, great way to keep that pipeline hot. It's very easy to like run out of leads and run out of clients. So that's a huge focus that I recommend for agencies. Yeah, wouldn't that's a good idea with up work because, well, I get worried about there's, you know, because I did stuff. They're trying to find graphic designers a while back and you know, you...

...get some as as somebody providing services, you could get out bids so fast. There's some people willing to do stuff for pennies. But you said, you stand out and you know your stuff and it's it could be a cool place to find people. Then I wouldn't thought about that. Yeah, that's that's an interesting want to go to. Yeah, and you can sort it like you can sort by minimum amount that you want to work right, and you can sort for people, especially if you're in North America. So Canada or the US. There's a lot of people who want that. They want people who understand, you know, the nuance of like what Netflix and chill means right so like, especially with social media. So you want if you can show up in that way. And again, I do video pitches. So for me that's already is standing out from what everyone else is saying. And then with the videos I use looms, so I show my screen. Here are my clients that I'm working on. And so you know, if you have you ten that you pitch, probably one of them at least will reach out to you and talk to you if you know your stuff and you can prove your stuff. So I think there's a lot of potential out there for clients, especially now a lot of people are looking for digital marketing services. So there's a lot of business to go around right now. Very true. I'll make sure you check out Andrea Andrea, excuse me, at it Agin Andre at online dreya thought calm. You can see all our stuff their podcast, Savvy Social School.

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