In this episode of Inbound Agency Journey, Gray interviews James Robert Lay from Digital Growth Institute about growing his agency and the unique way they use training with their prospects and clients.
After starting his agency in 2002, James Robert and his team began focusing on the financial services industry and niched down to make a lot of money. Unfortunately, the pursuit of money became the primary motivator and he felt the strain on his internal and personal life.
Jame Robert decided to rebuild his agency from the ground up into one he would enjoy running. So after running his agency for ten years, he started over again. He doubled downed on an industry focus and simplified the process for prospects and clients in financial services.
Here are the main takeaways from the interview:
Have a Client Journey
To address the concerns of individuals in the financial services industry and get them the success they want can be difficult. As a leagcy industry, they need to be guided along the path to modern marketing.
The main concerns that clients have are fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear of failure.
In legacy industries, it can be difficult to overcome these.This is why James Robert and his team have designed their path to address each of these.
The first step is Training and offering education to help the client get over the fear of the unknown.
The second step is Planning which helps a client feel safe in overcoming a fear of change.
The third step is Transformation where James Robert and his team help implement all the strategies so that clients won't have a fear of failure.
Develop A System
Within each step is a rigorous system for how it all works together to deliver results for a client. It becomes your secret formula to take a client to success using your services and getting them the results they desire.
Process is a dirty word for a lot of creative agencies. They feel that it is holding them back from doing what they do best. However, most of your prospects and clients want a system to follow.
They want to know that they just have to follow your roadmap to get to where they want to go. If you want to be able to do this consistently, you need to develop a tight routine and process for how this works so you can do it over and over again. Sales and onboarding are usually a struggle for an agency. Having a well-documented and tightly followed process will help.
Deliver value in incremental steps.
Have an Educational Process
For a lot of business still, they’ve heard terms and buzzwords for what they should be doing and why, but there’s still a disconnect. They don't fully understand what to do, why, and how to get started. Most agencies will jump in and say they need to do x, y, and z, but many businesses need to understand before jumping in.
Their educational process is staggered out and adapted to fit the needs a business has. This includes online training, on-site training, or training at Digital Growth Institute’s offices.
Get a Coach
This is a tip we’ve heard from other agency owners including Brent Weaver from UGURUS. If you want to reduce the learning curve and hit your agency goals, it’s smart to invest in getting a coach or mentor.
Coaches can help you bypass roadblocks and mistakes. They give you a perspective on your business that can help you make smarter decisions.
Have a Plan
Like most agency owners, when getting started and even in the early years, James Robert and his team focused on growth and making more money. But once he had to start all over again, they focused on starting with a foundation they were proud of and building from there.
This is crucial for agencies of any size. It’s easy to get caught up in numbers or how things look from the outside. The goal is to build a business you want that gives you the lifestyle you want. It can be a difficult process, but sometimes you need to shrink where you have to and don’t think about scaling too fast.
It’s important to grow smart and have a solid foundation to build on.
This way in the future, you have an agency you’re happy to be running and not one that crumbles and falls.
James Robert offered valuable insights for owners of agencies of any size. If you want to connect with him, you can reach him on the Digital Growth Institute's website or his Twitter or LinkedIn.