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Smart use of content helps agency business development

Some agencies work hard to churn out lots of great content — but then fail to use it as effectively as they could with prospects and clients. Other agencies miss the chance to accelerate sales and drive more effective prospecting by creating the right content.

In this episode of the Small Agency Talk Show, Lee McKnight, Jr. of RSW/US and Chip Griffin of SAGA discuss how agencies can make smarter use of content to improve business development success.

They look at some of the common mistakes and best opportunities for agency leaders to consider, sharing examples from their own experiences.

Lee and Chip also look at some of the overlooked risks of an outreach strategy that focuses less on building relationships with good content and instead depends on sending large amounts of cold email or LinkedIn messages.

Key takeaways

Lee McKnight, Jr: “Whenever you create a piece of content, use it at least five different ways, because that individual that you think might’ve seen that? They didn’t see it.”

Chip Griffin: “You need to invest in the business development tactics that work for you, that you enjoy doing, that you will do consistently, that you can do well.”

Lee McKnight, Jr: “You don’t have to start with a giant number of prospective clients. Target and focus.”

Chip Griffin: “Think about the content, use it smarter. Don’t overinvest in the wrong stuff. Don’t create stuff that just gathers dust. Actually use it.”

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Small Agency Talk Show. I’m your host Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance. And I am delighted to have with me none other than the regular panelist Lima Nightmare. Welcome to the show, Lima.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I love the new nickname and Lima Nightmare, by the way, you just told me to behave myself while the mike was hot. Last time someone told me to do that it didn’t go well.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, actually your real name is Lee McKnight, Jr. For any listener who has not caught you on the show before, you are with RSW/US and now why don’t you give a brief overview – actually, before you do that, let me explain the Lima Nightmare thing, because probably most people have no idea where that comes from. We use an automated transcription service for this show and on a recent episode that you appeared on, it decided that Lee McKnight was Lima Nightmare. And so I’ve just decided that that should be your nickname going forward. So we’re having some fun with it.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. I mean, play out with some guys in a couple of bands, but if I go solo, which everyone is waiting for, it’s Lima Nightmare, for sure.

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. We’re all waiting for that.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: The world is waiting. Yeah.

Chip Griffin: So, so, so who are you really? And what do you do when you’re not fantasizing about being a solo act?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yes, Lee McKnight, Jr. I’m the VP of sales at RSW/US. We’re based out of Cincinnati and we are an outsource business development firm. We solely work with agencies and that does include not the traditional agencies, but things like PR right. Different animal. Digital and small to midsize firms are really our sweet spot.

And so we’re out there to get in at the top of the funnel with a good qualified meeting. And then the key is getting clients closer to close. So it’s taking them a little further down the path, helping them nurture leads, where it makes sense. You know, ultimately help them win more business.

Chip Griffin: And you generously create a lot of free content on the subject, obviously on shows like this, but you also have your own YouTube channel at RSW/US where you create a, what did the, my three things or…

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Three Takeaways.

Chip Griffin: Three Takeaways. I knew it was, it was three things, but I couldn’t remember…

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Three something.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, three something. It’s three useful bits of advice, it is worthwhile to subscribe to. And so you’re, you’re very generously creating content and that is a perfect segue into what we want to talk about today, which is the content that agencies create and how agencies can be smarter about what they’re creating and how they’re using it.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. And you know, I always do this at the end. I want to get the prop out of the way now.

Chip Griffin: Oh boy.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: So there’s Battlestar Galactica, eighties action figure. That’s a Cylon. Love it.

Chip Griffin: That is definitely my era. So I appreciate that when we can do things that I can relate to, and I don’t have to sit there and say, what, what are you talking about? Like, I do it with my kids all the time.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, as you should. Yeah. My kids the same. So I’ve, now that I’ve derailed this entire thing. Yeah, so what I threw out, you know, as a topic potential today, when you talk about agencies and creating content, There were a couple of pieces to it specifically were, where I threw that out was I had a conversation with an agency principal last week.

And, I always like to ask the question when I’m, you know, when I, when I’m prospecting – my prospects, are agency owners, partners, to try to bring them on board. So I’m talking to agencies every day and I’ll always ask that, you know, upfront questions around how, you know, how have you been handling new business?

I mean, why are we, why are you talking to me today? What’s, you know, the challenges in terms of like, is, are there particular hurdles? And, and normally there are three or four that I, I can expect. And one I hadn’t heard in a while but that was just interesting was the fact that this particular agency and I would agree they were doing a solid job creating content. Whether that was, they had a really good blog, nice presence on LinkedIn, on Instagram, and especially on LinkedIn, the principal was doing a particularly good job and they were B2B focused, mostly industrial, which is not always the sexiest topic. Right. But he had done a really great job of in three or four really succinct, like three times a day, which is tough to do and do well thought leadership driven.

Like, man, that would be. Love to have you as a client, because we would want to, you know, totally take advantage of that. He said, well, it’s nice to hear you say that whether we work together or not, because the individual that we just unfortunately had to let go in the new business position was using none of it.

None of it. And it was laid out on a platter for that person in, if nothing else in these three and four little, if you will kind of soundbites, they were written of course, but that were so personable. But at the same time, spoke to their expertise. And anyone in that industrial sector or B2B that a prospect of theirs, a marketer that would see that they’re like, oh God, yeah, they get it.

They’re speaking my language multiple times a day. And it blew me away that, and to be fair, maybe they weren’t trained up. I’m not sure what all the background was on this person. It’s a tough hire. We all know that we’ve talked about that here many times, but that was just that story I wanted to bring up today because it just blew me away that you wouldn’t just see this amazing jewel or jewels that you have.

Prospecting is hard enough and it’s staring you in the face and you’re not even using it. And the agency and the folks they are working hard to produce that content. And this individual is not even touching it. It was crazy.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. And it’s, I mean, you know, we’ve talked previously on this show and elsewhere about the importance of building relationships with your prospects.

When you’re doing agency business development, it’s not a spray and pray approach. It’s not just a volume game. It’s actually building relationships and content is one of the best ways that you can not only create the relationship in the first place by introducing them to you, but it’s also a great way of nurturing them through the process and addressing their pain points, their concerns, maybe their questions that they may have about how you work or what you do.

And so agencies, it behooves them to get smarter about the content they’re creating and how they’re using it. Because too often, like you I’ve seen agencies that are creating content and not using it. They are creating content that doesn’t really have a particular value. They’re doing it either for vanity or because they enjoy creating it.

But they’re not really thinking about where it fits in the business development process or the client retention process, or however they’re going to use it. And so you need to be smart about those things, because particularly for small agencies, the bread and butter of the listenership of this show, they just don’t have the resources to squander. You can’t just create stuff that, that goes and sits out there and never gets utilized. So you need to think about that from the part of the time where you’re thinking about what to create all the way on through to how you’re leveraging that with your prospects and clients.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, excellent point. And I think take it a step further. What’s interesting, and I’ve been guilty of this myself and thank you. We, at RSW create a lot of content as, as do you, well, I’m not sure how you get a night’s sleep.

Chip Griffin: I don’t.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: It’s pretty, if you’re not seeing his other stuff besides this, the other things he’s doing, you should, I mean, it’s valuable content.

Um, and as I said, I’ve been kind of guilty myself of like, we’re doing this right now. It’s a one page, visual guides, kind of like infomatics but quite as detailed as infomatics can be, it’s more like a checklist if you will. And we’re doing a whole series of seven of them. Posted one of those last week and within each one of those are four takeaways essentially.

And I’m racking my brain. I need to post something good. And I’m like, I only posted that whole thing once. There’s four other ways I could post that that’s not retreading. I mean, it’s, there’s that one takeaway that’s valuable and agencies who might be just scanning LinkedIn, that might be following me, that’s going to resonate.

And it’s like, what are you doing? Dummy. And I think just like, yeah, agencies, you get, you’re close to it. You don’t always take a step back and think about, I didn’t coin it, you know, but it’s that, I, I love it though. It’s it’s whenever you create a piece of content, use it at least five different ways, but because that individual that you think might’ve seen that? They didn’t see it.

I mean, don’t be afraid and you don’t post the exact, or even sometimes you can post the same exact thing, two days later, if you will. But, um, that’s another thing agencies maybe don’t always think about is, is once you’ve created that, don’t just use it one time and push it out and think why aren’t people breaking my door down.

Make it easier on yourself after you’ve done the hard work of content creation.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. I think it’s important for you to think through how can you take that, that piece of content and not only be repetitive with it, you know, reuse it, repurpose it, but also how do you put it into different forms of media?

Right? So if you’ve got an infographic, turn it into a LinkedIn post, turn it into a blog post, you know, use that same information in a video or in a podcast because different people consume your content in different places, in different ways. And maybe at different times of the sales cycle. And so the more ways that you can leverage that, that single piece of research that you’ve done, or the efforts you’ve put into creating the content, the better.

So, you know, think about it from those standpoints. And, and it’s the same kind of thing that agencies are thinking about for their clients and the work they’re doing for clients. But too often, the agencies don’t look inward and say, okay, how can I apply these same lessons, strategies, and expertise to ourselves?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Oh my God. Totally. And, and I so many times, excuse me, I know you’ve seen it too in talking to agencies yourself. They don’t apply those same principles and, and I get it with their own client work again, whether you want to call it the cobbler’s children, which is from the 1600’s, I thought about people like agencies will still sometimes say that to me, like, well, we’re just like the cobbler’s children.

I think there’s too many now. They’re like, what are you talking about?

Chip Griffin: What’s a cobbler?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Like, we need to maybe get an updated version of that proverb or fable or whatever it properly is, but it’s because they’re always head down and because they’re busy and they have to be. Clients do come first. They’re not always thinking, not only, they’re not thinking about what they’re doing for their own clients and how they could apply to themselves.

But I think also in terms of the agencies are constantly talking to me – not constantly, but, but they, they mention quite a bit, like you talk about content, how we need to do it. What are we? And this is age old, but what are we, what do we do? What’s going to be interesting to these marketers. I mean, they don’t, they’re not, they don’t care.

I’m like, no, well, no, they, I mean, they do in the sense of, if you can show that you can help them to make it, make it very basic. I mean, I think we’ve dropped this before, when we’ve talked. On our reports, marketers this year, it was like 73% of marketers say we read agency content and we predominantly read it on LinkedIn.

And it’s like, you got to take advantage of that, but it’s all, you can always go back as an agency with the content creation to how do you help your clients? Period. And think about that. Cause you’re living that every day. You just never think about the fact that you could turn that into content, not things that are protected or, you know, you’re not sharing hard figures or things like that.

But man that’s just a gold mine and you know, it’s so well. Tap into that because that’s just going to relate so much better.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, exactly. I mean, your best source of content ideas are the conversations you’re already having with prospects and clients. So if something’s coming up over and over again, you probably ought to have a piece of content that speaks to that so that, you know, instead of writing the same email, you know, to a prospect answering a question over and over again, you can steer them to a piece of content where you explain how you do things or your point of view on something or why you like this tactic and not that one or whatever it is.

And, you know, start thinking through those things. And a lot of it doesn’t have to be fancy. I think this gets a lot of agencies hung up, but I’m glad you mentioned infographics a few moments ago because. I remember when infographics first sort of started to take hold about a decade or so ago. And people just, you know, it became this sort of arms race to create, you know, the fanciest most complex infographics.

And, and so, you know, I see infographics that are effectively two pages long of normal eight and a half by 11 text. And it’s just all crammed in and, and it’s visually very appealing, but there’s so much stuff you don’t really even know what’s going on and you’re not really taking advantage of the format.

It doesn’t need to be that complicated. And I see a lot of agency effort wasted on making something just right. And part of that’s because the agency world wants to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward. And so they’re thinking, geez, I’m going to put out an infographic. It’s got to look tremendously, visually appealing.

The research has got to be spot on. If I’m doing a case study, it’s gotta be super detailed and I gotta have these interviews and I got to have, you know, imagery and quotes and all that kind of stuff. Doesn’t need to be nearly as complex as you think it does. Most people aren’t paying attention to that level of detail.

And they want the, as you say, the key takeaways that you can leverage. And so focus on that first and foremost, and you can create more useful content more frequently than if you’re trying to create, you know, pixel-perfect, research perfect everything, every time.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, we need some kind of a billboard that you and I are now going to procure and on it for only every agency that drives by this mythical highway that we’re on, but really keeping it simple.

We, right before we jumped on, we were talking about case studies. We were guilty of that. And if you went to our site right now, hint, hint, shameless plug. Um, you actually…

Chip Griffin: And where is that website, Lima?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I guess it’s RSWUS.com. I don’t know, maybe. But in all sincerity, we were spending a lot of time on case studies and they look really good.

Our designers, fantastic folks in our ops, you know, and having said that when people go to our site, they’re hitting where you think they would the homepage. And we have a hub about our programs and a lot of content. And they’re going to those three places, how often they just on their own are going to our case study page?

Maybe I shouldn’t say this out loud, but they’re not. Now when I prospect and I drive them to it or they ask me or that, and I do bring it up because I want them to see, then absolutely. Then they’re clicking. They’re going to those links and that’s great. But to your point, some of those that are on there now.

Okay. It looks, it looks pretty, it looks nice. I’m not going to get through all this. How did you help that person? And what was the result? You know, so we are in the process of totally changing it. You know, where we’ve got tiles and we didn’t create this. Other folks, agency world or not do it in this way, but where it’s just, here’s our client. Here’s what type of firm they are. Here’s the client and the business they won. Here’s what type of in their vertical type of company. And here was the, the number here was ultimately, you know, what the value was to them as far as the result. And now we can send that. We’ll have 12 of those blocks at any given time.

And we don’t have to peruse through 15 paragraphs of we, you know, all this because yeah. So…

Chip Griffin: And, I, it holds back a lot of agencies from creating case studies that might actually be useful to them because they sit there and they think, oh my God, it’s going to take me so much time. I’ve got to set up interviews with the client and all that.

Most of the time you can do case studies pretty effectively with just what you already know off the top of your head. And you just sit down and, you know, and, and put it into an easy to digest format. In some cases you may not even need case studies, right? I mean, if you’re in your conversations with prospects, case studies aren’t going to move the ball forward.

Don’t even bother with them. You’ve got to know how your process is working with your prospects and create the content that’s right for them. Not looking at what some other agency is doing or what one of us gurus says, you know, on YouTube or LinkedIn, you need to figure out what works for you and your client base.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, I don’t, I don’t disagree. I lean towards agencies always having even if it’s in their back pocket, some form of case study that can help back up the expertise. But to your point though, but again, that doesn’t mean that there needs to be, I’ve seen, I’m sure you’ve seen it too. Right. They have like 25 case studies.

It’s like, I don’t, like, I don’t even know why, what are you doing there? And, you’re killing yourself and that’s probably not really helping SEO either depending on how you have it set up. So I think it’s just, I mean, obviously it’s being smarter about it, but it is about showing the expertise and if a long-form case study doesn’t do that, then stop doing them, in that way, at least. So, yeah, it’s interesting, but we certainly walk our own walk is what we’re doing now. So we’re usually pretty good about that, but the case studies has always been like, what’s the best way to do this. And I look it’s frustrating, or it can be.

And I think to your point, you’ve got to make it simple and repeatable and have maybe a template. Maybe it’s not a formal template, but if you don’t have a way that you can do it effectively, but simply then, yeah, you’re never going to do any of them because it’s just like oh, this takes so long and I don’t have time for this.

And then it’s three years later, you have a great story. And like you never told it.

Chip Griffin: Right. And at the same time, you know, obviously there’s a lot of content that you’re probably creating or thinking about creating that’s not case studies. And in those cases, you really should turn to those conversations that you’re having with your clients and prospects and, and use it as an opportunity to address

whatever concerns or objections they may have, or answer the questions that they may have. And I, you know, one of, one of my favorite things is, you know, when I’m talking with a prospect or a client who will say, you know, I talked to you about this and that, and I saw you wrote an article about it, or you had it as a subject on your podcast or on the videos.

I’m like, yeah. Cause that’s where the ideas come from. I mean, I want to address the questions that I’m actually getting. I don’t want to sit down and just make up what maybe is on my mind because who knows? My mind is a scary place. I’ll tell you that. And so I I’d rather be in the minds of my clients and prospects and taking advantage of their questions and concerns rather than my own.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. I mean, I, every single prospect conversation I have, I’ve got my notebook out, part of it, just to make sure I’ve taken notes in case they’re throwing out things that might be important to follow up. But the other is to your point, I almost always get some kind of idea for a blog post or a video from something that they’ve said, and you would think it’s like, they probably all just kind of say a lot of the same things and then some kind of do because the problems tend to be similar, but no, every time I get something cool where I’m, and I’ll say, I’m going to steal that from you by the way.

I’ll give you credit if you want. They’re like, no, you can have it. It’s really good. And it’s like, cause you’re not the only one going through this or, you know, and they’re not.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, that’s a great point. I mean, I’ve created a one page, note form that I use for all of my client calls and prospect calls.

And it, you know, the body of it is really just a two column note taking thing is pretty standard. But at the bottom I have two small boxes. One is for to do’s or followups, but the other one is labeled ideas. And it’s ideas that come out of it, either for a topic or a service or a workshop or something that came out of that conversation.

And almost every single meeting I’ve got at least one and often more than one thing in that box that I can then leverage, you know, for future content or other purposes.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I love that. You’re like formalizing the process. That’s great. Yeah.

Chip Griffin: I needed some structure cause my, my hand writing sucks and, you know, I used to just use, you know, my notebooks and just write things and I’d be flipping through and be like, what is this?

And so now, now I just, I created about six months ago, just a standard form. And it’s got, you know, name and date of who I’m talking to, an agenda, you know? And it just, it really helps keep me much more organized and particularly for my regular client coaching calls. It allows me to more easily refer back and review the last couple every time we talk. So I can refresh my recollection because you know, I’m getting old, Lee, and my brain is just not what it used to be.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Well, agencies watching now or in the future take note. I mean, this is a fantastic takeaway. I mean, to formalize that process, especially as you say. Two or three months later, maybe…my handwriting’s also terrible. I can read it well enough, you know, after the fact, but yeah, three months later, I, that looks like an alien symbol. I’m not sure what that was, but yeah. So I like that a lot. That’s cool. Yeah.

Chip Griffin: And so I think if we’re thinking about, you know, how we’re creating the content, you know, now we have to think about how we’re delivering it.

And so I know one of the things we were talking about in the pre show is one of the challenges that agencies have, you know, particularly when they are, they have an internal or external resource who is feeling pressure to create activity of some kind. They often resort to spray and pray emails.

And let’s just put everybody on blast and get whatever content we have out there or request for a meeting or whatever. And, and that then has some potential negative impacts.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: It does. And I definitely wanted to bring that up because I don’t, I’d be interested. We talked to our clients about it. And specifically email deliverability and your sender reputation.

Now I’m certainly not going to tell anyone here that I’m an expert as we go into the technical details of how to do it. If you just Google it, there’s tons of information. Thankfully in our end, we have folks in our marcomm and our operations department who are pretty deep into it. But what ultimately for folks, if you’re not aware of this at this point, and I would think a lot of them, maybe you are, but there’s, there’s some, I mean, I just really started delving into it myself.

Like, what are you, tell me more of what you guys are doing over here. That if you are specifically to your point, just blasting out, which a lot of not only salespeople tend to default to. But you haven’t, you know, I’m not knocking any competitors, but at Legion firms, not even in the agency space, but just, this is what we do.

And they’ll tell you, I mean, we are an email, you know, that that’s how we’re getting these meetings. That’s our main focus. And what that typically probably means is they’re blasting those out. So. If Google, and I’m really making this very basic, but if, you know, Google is seeing that what you’re sending is effectively going into too many spam folders, it’s setting off some of those Google alarms, but you can get into a bad sender reputation and it can really hurt your email efforts to where they’re not getting your emails anymore because you effectively been blasted and you can get out of that, but it is tough.

And so. Agencies also this especially small agencies, mid-size agencies, when they do make an internal hire new business, bless them. But because they’re so busy, the reason they hired that person in the first place, a lot of times they’re not keeping up like they should. Or they’re not having the visibility of these folks, especially if it’s someone that they feel like I don’t need to… they’re good that they’ve been doing this for awhile and that all may be true, but if you aren’t a hundred percent sure the tools that they’re using and if they are just blasting out, because especially after COVID right? I mean, well it changed so many things, but specifically the business development it’s like, okay, people are at home.

Does the phone not really work anymore? When we talked about a little bit this in the past, but what you tend to do is right. Well, I know they’re on email of course, because that’s what they’re doing. So maybe mail, physical mail maybe not, might not be working. Maybe the phone might not be working, which by the way, they both still are very much so, but, it’s so, so now we’re just an email, email, email, and, you know, you’re finding that, are you even sure that they’re getting through? So you can Google and there are tools and Google has a specific tool that postmaster tool that will help you with the sender reputation.

And sometimes you’ll be like, Google’s just pulling all our strings we’re all their puppets, but it is a thing.

Chip Griffin: And, the other problem you have is, is if, if you damage your sender reputation, it doesn’t just impact your ability to do these blast emails. It can impact your ability to just send one-to-one emails to your own actual clients.

I’ve worked with some agencies that use this tactic of just blasting stuff out. And I had a hard time receiving their individual one-to-one emails, where we were actually doing work together. Because their email domain had such a poor reputation from a technical perspective. But let’s, even if you set aside the technical stuff and you figured, okay, well, here’s how I can get around that or work within the systems that Google or LinkedIn or all these folks have.

You have your own actual reputation as a firm, as an agency that you’re damaging. And I got to tell you, my inbox is filled day in and day out, both my email inbox and my LinkedIn inbox with agencies pitching me absolutely irrelevant nonsense services that have no impact on the work that I do. They didn’t spend even five seconds to look at my website.

In some cases, many listeners may know that I rebranded as the Small Agency Growth Alliance about a year and a half ago. I still get people who are reaching out from agencies, calling it Agency Leadership Advisors, and they love the work that agency leadership advisors is doing. Well, you haven’t paid any intention because it hasn’t been named that in a year and a half.

So don’t tell me that you looked and you saw it and it was great. Don’t pitch me to be on a podcast where I don’t have guests. One of the podcasts I do is, is a weekly podcast with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks. We’ve been doing it for four years now. We have had not one single guest. I get pitched every single week for guests.

In fact, I got one just before we got on this show, an agency reached out and said, you know, I loved your episode of this. So kudos to them for actually finding an episode. I’d like to, I’d like to pitch my client as someone who can continue that conversation. Cool. Where? Not on this show cause we’ve never had a guest.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Maybe they want to be the first one. Did they mention that?

Chip Griffin: No, I look, I mean, I would give them at least some props if they said, I know you never have guests, but I wonder if you might consider it.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: At least they’d know that.

Chip Griffin: Because at least they’re then signaling that they know, but most of the stuff is not that way.

And LinkedIn really has just become, you know, a garbage pit of people reaching out with, you know, nonsense connection requests or InMail or those kinds of things. Stop it, stop it. You don’t, and here’s the thing. Agencies do not need lots and lots of new clients. They need a handful every year of good quality clients, assuming they’ve got good retention of their existing clients, you don’t need huge volume.

So don’t look to send out to 5,000 or even 500 people. If you’ve got 50 people that you’re targeting for meaningful conversations, real relationships, you’ll be in much better shape and you won’t run into any of these problems of deliverability. You won’t be creating useless content. You won’t be wasting tons and tons of time on pointless phone calls or zoom calls or emails.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, I, that’s great because it’s interesting when, I always make sure if I’m in a conversation with an agency they’re considering us, I want to get out fairly quickly just what their expectations are on volume. And if, bless them. But if I hear from them that, well, what I’m really kind of looking for is like 10 to 20 meetings a week.

And I’ve heard numbers kind of like that. We’re getting our clients two to three meetings a month because we are targeting as specifically as we can, the right type of clients. And that, that could be a work in progress. But, I will, I will turn around and say, well, first of all, I don’t want to waste your time.

We probably shouldn’t be talking because that’s not the kind of firm we are. There are Legion firms. I think who would say they can do that. How are you going to take 20 meetings a week? Number one, right? Number two. How good do you think those are going to be? Give me just a percentage of what you think is going to be good at it at 20 a week.

And then you say you need, but how many clients do you really need? I mean, how many, to your point? And I think a lot of these, you know, today I give credit, I mean, some of these small and mid-sized firms that they know that. I think, I think those are outliers that want the crazy volume. I hope, but it, but it is such a good point is that when you look at it from that perspective and numbers are important, but you’re right.

You don’t need 5,000 in your database, out of the gate. It’s blasting away at them. Because they’re probably not, they’re probably going to be all over the place in terms of verticals, your messaging is not going to resonate to your point. It looks like you’ve done no homework. It’s, it’s a waste of time, everyone’s time.

But instead, and that’s what we’ll go after about 80 prospects at RSW a month. Because we can personalize the outreach, but it’s still a healthy number. It’s not, we’re not just going after like 10 a month, but baby steps. I always talk about that in our content and hopefully small mid-size agencies who were struggling, maybe they want to restart, or they’re kind of starting to come off all these referrals, which are great, but they know they’ve got to have some kind of an engine to back when those are coming in, maybe as often.

And it’s like, you don’t have to start with a giant number. Target and focus. And then that way you’re not having to do the giant email blast all the time, because you can’t have that focus.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, and I think that that a lot of times agencies have these expectations of volumes set by pitches that they get from lead gen firms that are not thinking about it the same way that you and I are.

And so they’re, they’re coming in and they’re saying, Hey, I can get you, you know, 10 appointments a week or whatever. And so now, now they’ve got it stuck in their head that this is what I should be doing. Or perhaps they’re watching, there’s a bunch of YouTube videos out there from some so-called agency gurus who talk about the importance of just getting tons and tons of calls set up.

That is not the way to do it, but that is just, it is just, I mean, most of you listening to this could not handle even one new client a month. Right? I mean, just think about it the way that most agencies work, the onboarding process would be prohibitive for any agency under say, you know, 25 or 30 people, again, the bread and butter of the listenership here.

So don’t go out there trying to think about this as a volume play. Think about this as quality. And so to, to sort of bring it back to where we started. If you, if you’re thinking about building quality relationships, you can really do that effectively with content if you’re using it smartly. If you’re investing the time to create the right content and deliver it to the right people at the right time.

So that would really be my key takeaway for this. Think about the content, use it smarter. Don’t overinvest in the wrong stuff. Don’t create stuff that just gathers dust. Actually use it.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. That’s amazing. And succinct. And the only other thing I would add to that is also with content in terms of volume, you don’t need that one example I gave where that one principal was posting three or four times a day on LinkedIn.

That’s awesome. But you don’t have to do that to be effective because I’m sure some folks, when I said that earlier might be thinking, oh my God, huh.

Chip Griffin: Right. And you’ve got to do what’s right for you. I mean, you know, we, we talk about this all the time. You need to invest in the business development tactics that work for you, that you enjoy doing, that you will do consistently, that you can do well.

And maybe that’s content, maybe it’s emails, whatever, but just do it smartly. And you’ll be in much better shape than if you’re just following someone else’s playbook and, and working at a crazy volume play.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I agree.

Chip Griffin: So with that, that’s going to bring to an end, this episode of the Small Agency Talk Show, Lima Nightmare, where can people find you? You know, we need to get you like reserved as Lima Nightmare on Twitter or something like that. So people can actually find you there.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I need t-shirts. I know that.

Chip Griffin: T-shirts. T-shirts would be great. Where can they actually find you?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. Uh, well I mentioned the site, RSWUS.com and that’s where all the content lies and our YouTube channel you’ll find on there as well.

We post all the videos that go straight to there. And, you know, we do Three Takeaways, every other week, which is all based on business development. We started up on our sister company RSW Agency Search. Our president Mark Snyder is interviewing marketers every week. And there’s a lot while, while that’s for marketers, so much of it is agency related that we’re like, we’re going to post it on RSW too, because agencies don’t get to hear all their processes are always that we’re ever going to some of the topics that we go into. So we’re on our fifth episode, it’s been pretty well received and it’s been helpful for agencies. So, yeah, it’s all on that site.

Chip Griffin: Excellent. And if you want to see a replay of this episode or any of the previous episodes or any of your podcasts, videos, all kind of stuff, just go to smallagency.tv, and you get the full archive of videos there. If you want to get additional information about SAGA, you can visit smallagencygrowth.com.

And so with that, that brings us to an end of the, oh, see, now you got two props this week. What is the second prop here? I can’t really see.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: The Elvis coffee cup. I’m an Elvis fan.

Chip Griffin: And Elvis will now leave the building, wrap up this episode, and I hope to see you all back here next week. And Lee, I hope to see you back here real soon.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Thanks for having me again. Love it.

Chip Griffin: Thanks.

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