We Interviewed Paul About His Journey After Scaling from ZERO to $1M in Revenue

WeAdvertiseYourBusiness.com

Scaled from ZERO to $1M in Revenue

Industry: Growth consulting

WeAdvertiseYourBusiness Growth Curve

Full Interview Transcription

John:
This Artifact is commissioned by WeAdvertiseYourBusiness.com to tell the story of their company, as well as their client's journey towards seven figures in revenue. Hi, I'm John from Artifact. In this episode I spoke with Paul, the CEO of WeAdvertiseYourBusiness.com. He told me about their Million Dollar Business Accelerator Program, how they use their own company as proof of concept, what gets him out of bed in the morning and excited about his work and much more. Enjoy.

Paul:
Hi, I'm Paul, the CEO of WeAdvertiseYourBusiness.com.

John:
So tell me a little bit about your business. What do you guys do for people, other than advertise their business and what services do you guys bring to folks?

Paul:
Our main service offering is we take six figure businesses and we turn them into million dollar cash machines in 12 months or less. And it's a program of growing companies who are stuck at the six figure revenue mark, or, hit that mark, don't want to get stuck, but need to get to seven figures. So anyone who falls into that category of having a decent amount of cash, good product market fit, just needing to scale to become a million dollar business, that's who we go after in terms of who we work with and it's who we work best with as well, and have the most case studies with.

John:
Nice. Without giving away all your secrets, what is it about you guys that helps those kind of companies in particular or people at that stage in their company? What are you guys so good at?

Paul:
Yep. Okay. So here's the saying, there's really no such thing as giving away our secrets because we're not making a battery powered cars, where making it yourself is almost impossible. Everything we do could be replicated, it just comes down to wasting time. So learning how to do it yourself isn't extremely difficult to do as a CEO. Most companies to learn it on their own, we have to hire people and spend money and a lot of time figuring it out. So instead of going through the process of figuring out how they can grow their business to seven million, by wasting two to six years, figuring it out themselves, they hire us and they can immediately start doing it now.

Paul:
So that's the main thing is we don't really have that much fear telling people what we're going to do, because we know that execution over the next 12 months is the hardest part. Not necessarily knowing at a high level what needs to be done. It's the weekly calls that we take with our clients where we help them course correct. And the monthly calls will be take with them to make sure that they're hitting their benchmarks on time and adjusting that strategy. That you really can't replicate, unless you've done that once or twice before and have a good understanding of the formula and system that is needed to get there.

Paul:
So, that to me is a super important factor. I think a lot of clients who are deciding whether or not to hire us are going to ask themselves that question, "Could I hire a chief revenue officer or a head of growth who could figure this out? Would it be more expensive than hiring Paul's company? And could we pull it off?"

Paul:
I think there's probably a number of people who decide they want to do it themselves. And that's just the kind of entrepreneur that they are. And they might go ahead and do it and fail and then come back to us two years later; that happens sometimes. But a lot of the ones who are really aggressive and have to hit goals, either because of personal struggles, where they just want to get seven million as soon as possible, or because they have to get to seven million if they want to raise the funding round, or they have to get seven million if they want to make profit and pay off some of their loans and then start growing. There's various reasons why they might not have the luxury of waiting two or three years to figure it out themselves.

Paul:
And we ran into that on our own. We went from zero to a million in revenue in about two and a half years. And we decided we wanted to figure out how we could help our clients do it in less than half that time. And everything that we did to get to that, we have kind of truncated into a one-year plan, and saving other people what took us a year and a half of extra time to learn. They can now benefit from that. And a lot of the companies that we work with, it would take them a lot longer than two and a half years to scale their business. It might take three to six. And that's a long time to be making less money than you could.

Paul:
And a lot of times when it takes you that long, competitors might come into the place. The economy might change. Your financial situation might tank change. And it's not necessarily always going to be available as an option for you to grow in that timeframe. So, that those are kinds of the ways that I preface most of our conversations with people who are interested in learning more about how our services work.

Paul:
And the way that the system is structured is we create a 12-month plan with a client the day that they sign up. And we make them sign that contract that says, "Here's the number of sales that we want to have by month one, two, three, four, all the way to 12. And here is the exact scope of work that we're going to do."

Paul:
So generally, there's going to be six or seven different pieces involved in that scope. And the first one is just administrative. So getting access to things, meeting different team members that we're going to have to work with. Second one is initiation. So having a weekly onboarding call in the first week, creating flowcharts that help visualize some of the things that are happening in their funnels and finding out where the bottlenecks are. Those are two of our just basic things we do in months one and two.

Paul:
Then we move on to actively working on creating the system that can approve it. So we have a stage where we set up CRM for our clients and create automated email marketing and create analytics. So they have one place where their analytics, their advertising, their sales team, their support team can all work inside of the same software and have a lot of those things that we've identified in their flow chart creation are automated and fixed. So we get rid of bottlenecks using HubSpot there.

Paul:
Then we generally move on to marketing. And this is kind of month two phase, where we've got the CRM set up and we know what we're doing. We know how to improve this business. So we start actively marketing. So, we'll create an email marketing system. We'll create a platform that will help them not necessarily advertise to their clients, but maybe reach them organically with SEO. That's where we start actively working on getting them back links, increasing their site's domain authority, making sure that all of the touch points with the clients that they might be acquiring is seamless.

Paul:
So someone signs up, what happens? Automatically they get an email, they're sent a calendar invite, they show up, they don't show up, they fall on the different web flows and receive email marketing automation to keep them running through sales pipelines. So that's where we create the SEO and the automated email system and actually launch campaigns.

Paul:
And once that's done, then we know that our pipeline has been automated. Our sales team has been trained. We have good analytics on all of our funnels. Then we start working on approaching their advertising. So this is probably six weeks into their 12-month program, where we'll start actively creating or fixing any campaigns that they might have running now, inside of one channel.

Paul:
We try to focus on one channel at a time, get it to the point where it's profitable at the initial sale. So, they make a sale and it was profitable or they make 10 sales and we're making profit now. At that point, we'll scale. So we'll spend instead of $1,000 a month, we'll jump them up to 10,000 a month immediately to try to get them 10 times the sales, since we know it's profitable at that small unit case level.

Paul:
And once that channel's been scaled, we'll look at other channels. So, this is the unique part of most of our work, is we might start with Facebook for one client. We might start with Google ads for another. We might start with YouTube for one. It really depends on who they're trying to hit and where we can hit them. And in an environment that has a lot of inventory and an affordable cost per impression, or cost per click. So we'll address which channels we want to hit first and then which ones we want to go after second, third, and fourth, and try to make a full funnel advertising approach. And usually it does involve channels that drive traffic, channels that can retarget people, and then channels that can go somewhere mid funnel and bottom of funnel. And we try to find networks that can really work together. And then we track their performance using that CRM set up that we did early on.

Paul:
And then the final piece of it, so the sixth part of our 12-month program is milestones. So we start with a start-up interview for every new client. And then we do a monthly interview at the end of each month that asks them, did they hit their sales goal? What caused them to not reach it, if they don't? What they would improve? It's kind of an opportunity for us to really look at that month as an actual milestone. And sometimes people will blow their goal out of the water. Sometimes they'll get really close, but not quite hit it. It's pretty rare that we're really far away. But if we are, again, it's an opportunity to figure out why we hit our goal, why we didn't hit our goal and how we can adjust. Because if you're not hitting your goals, that means the system is broken. So either the CRM is not tracking right, the marketing isn't working or the advertising message is not resonating. So we have to change something in the system because we're not hitting the goals at the rate that we need.

Paul:
So we'll address which of those steps that we did earlier is not working and we'll change it. And I think that part is pretty unique because a lot of advertising agencies just broker services. They don't have a 12-month plan put in place to their clients. And they definitely don't reevaluate that every month in a formal interview to talk about performance, which we do. And that's a big benefit for us. We have a sales forecast of what we need to hit every single month and then we check in once a month and change our strategies with all of the head of departments signing off on that change in our plan. And we'll just reevaluate it.

Paul:
So if they need new campaigns, we literally do this every month. And a lot of ad agencies just don't do this. They're brokering a Google ad campaign or a YouTube ad campaign. They try not to rock the boat. They're definitely not going to produce strategies. A lot of times they just take over what the client was doing before and try to keep it somewhat better in performance, but not really break their back, trying to blow it out of the water, because they just really want to keep the status quo at the lowest cost possible in order for their retainer to stay. And they'll try to get them to sign on for long-term agreements. And then they kind of just set it and forget it. So you're really important to them for the first month, maybe the first three months. But as soon as that's over, the account manager shifts to the new client that they just took on and you just don't hear from them anymore, unless it's their automated weekly report, or if you ask them to schedule a meeting and complain.

Paul:
And I think that's a broken model. So our model approach is extremely different. And the goal for us is not to take on everybody who wants advertising. We only take on people who are willing to let us take on more than just the ads. That is one sixth of the scope of work that we work in. We do everything; administrative CRM, marketing, sales, advertising, project conception, milestones, which really comes down to a full funnel marketing approach for them to hit their goals.

Paul:
And I think for me, at least, that is the big difference between what we're doing and what other advertising agencies are doing. And I'm not saying that other advertising agencies can't make ends meet and can't produce results for their clients. We started as a very traditional advertising agency that just brokered Google ad services. But we learned early on, on our way to our first million in sales, what led to clients canceling. And it was really that if all you're doing is managing ad campaigns, then you're just the middleman. And they're always going to be looking for other middle men that can do it cheaper or to cut you out and just run it on their own, because it is just a commodity service. It's really easy to replace. And there's almost no barriers to entry or ways of qualifying a new service provider being better or worse than you, because it is so hard to know until they take over and run it for three months.

Paul:
So we just found that churn is so unavoidable if all you're doing is providing one type of service and not looking at all of the other factors that lead to the outcome that your clients actually want, which is they want to hit a certain revenue goal it's in their mind, and they have to do it in a reasonable amount of time, which we think is about a year. And if they don't get there, it doesn't matter what your advertising performance says on paper.

Paul:
We used to have clients canceled that tripled their they're converteds from ad campaigns. So we were always so confused why they were canceling. And it was because we never really looked at the other things in the business that were important to that client. And we definitely didn't set 12-month goals and know what we were approaching. So we just said that they were performing better, but we didn't really know what that meant to the client. And this was a couple of years ago and we've changed a lot since then.

Paul:
So now we have real definitions on, are we hitting your goals or not? Are we growing your business? And we stopped looking at reports individually on Facebook or Google. And we started looking at them and HubSpot instead to say, holistically, are we growing your business? Is it profitable? Are we hitting your goals on the right time? And we don't let months go by before we reevaluate that. So I think that probably is a long-winded answer on what makes us unique in this program in particular unique.

John:
Yeah. You really covered a lot of it. Okay. Well, it sounds like you're very milestone focused and goal-oriented. And it sounds like a lot of this program is built off of your company and your guys' experiences. What's a recent milestone that you guys have hit that's been important to you on your path?

Paul:
I think the biggest one that we hit was when we got to $1 million in revenue, because that's when we really analyzed how long it took to get to that revenue goal and how we can shorten it and then create a program for our clients that can really restructure how we grow their businesses. I think that the honest truth is if you, as a business owner, running an advertising agency are not successful and your service is to make other businesses successful, then it doesn't make any sense for them to hire you because you've never hit a million yourself.

Paul:
So before we hit $1 million, we knew we could scale companies, but we couldn't show them screenshots of our financial records saying, "We literally are a seven figure business ourselves because we followed our own strategies to grow our own business. So we know we can do it for you as well." And it's that proof is in the pudding case study, where we're using our own company as a case study to close other companies. And I think that that's super important.

Paul:
If you're working at a company that creates Apple iPhones and all of your staff uses Android phones, it doesn't make any sense for me to buy your iPhone because your own staff, your own company doesn't even use it. So we take that model that we sell our clients, we've applied it to our own business, and we've used it to get to seven figures. And to me, that is much more valuable than anything we could put on our website to talk about why we're different, because we've proven it by doing it ourselves. And it also forced our staff, including our executive team to learn how to grow a business to a million, because we went through the exercise on our own very recently. So that's the big milestone, I think.

John:
Nice. What are you excited about right now with your business?

Paul:
Yep. Once we hit the milestone for about a year, we took on clients and we did a little beta of this program. And that has been completed and we have a series of case studies that we're working on producing, and all of them have gone from six figures to over a million in sales during that 12-month program. And that is for me, one of the big projects that we're working on.

Paul:
And we call this program, The Million Dollar Business Accelerator, and anybody who comes in is going to follow the exact same steps that we just finished with the first year of graduates. And those testimonials are going to go on our site soon. And we're going to use them as a way of creating demand for our second year, which we just opened up. And we have two people that have already joined on our second year program, but we want to really blow this up. We want to get 50 people onto our second year program because the first year was a tremendous success. Everybody that we worked with hit their goal, and some of them blew it out of the water.

Paul:
We have a couple of people in that case study that went from a million to five million in sales. So some of these numbers are really unbelievable. And a couple of them hit these goals in six months and the next six months, we just blew it out of the water. So they went from zero to a million in six months. And now the following six months was about getting them to three or four million. And that was never really expected because we usually do one year plans. But the thing is, when you have a case study that can do it even faster, that just is more evidence that this system can work, but it can also work even better than the way that we're going to promote it, which is a 12-month plan. They could hit their goal sooner.

John:
Nice. What's next for you guys? What's in the future that you're excited about? What are the next goals or milestones you're setting for yourself?

Paul:
Well, now that we've got the case studies, we're going to produce them and post them onto our website. And we're going to really start advertising and selling this service more aggressively, now that we have some official evidence that we could show to people. So we're going to rebrand the whole site. We're going to create a Millionaires Club Award, which every graduate just graduated from is going to be a part of, and we're going to put it on our site. So everybody who does sign up or is interested, can see the people who've already finished this process and have a way of shooting for a goal. And we're going to call it The Millionaires Club.

Paul:
So, I think that our next year is going to be a total restructuring of how we position ourselves with The Million Dollar Business Accelerator being our primary service offering and the goal being to get as many clients as we can to our Millionaires Club, which means that they would have hit their revenue goal after 12 months.

Paul:
And for most of them, that's going to be a seven figure business. A couple people that we take on might be a multi, so multimillion dollar business, not just one million, maybe their goal is to go to 10 million. And we have a few that have gotten that point too. So, that I think is where we're going to spend a tremendous amount of our efforts in 2021, is just growing this program so that we can have a lot more people joining it this year. That way, this time next year, the Millionaires Club is well over 25 members.

John:
So exciting. Okay, tell me about who are the people that you think are a good fit for that? How's it different from what you're doing usually?

Paul:
Yep. It's very different than what we used to do. Kind of circa 2018 timeframe. We used to take on pretty much anyone who wanted advertising services. Now we filter a lot of them. They have to be making six figures in revenue. So that could be 100,000. Doesn't need to be 600,000. As long as they've made enough money for them to have what we call product market fit, we'll consider them a viable candidate.

Paul:
And then the second requirement is they have to have an actual number in mind that's realistic to hit in the next 12 months. So if they're under a million and they have 150K in sales and they know their product or service is really good, they just want to get to a million in a year, that's perfect fit. We'll work with them.

Paul:
Most industries are going to qualify. We have case studies in e-commerce. We have case studies in professional services. We have case studies in hybrid businesses like travel and tourism. So there's a lot of industries that that can apply to, as long as the entrepreneur is open-minded, willing to let us into their business, which is a huge one.

Paul:
The culture fit is an absolute requirement because the thing is, everything I mentioned early on about this program, it involves interdepartmental change. And if the CEO that we work with just wants to box us into this advertising guy, who's running their ads, we're never going to work with that person. And in circa 2018, we would have said, "Yep, sign me up. That's all we want to do." But now, they have to be willing to let us approach their sales team, their CRM, their analytics, their marketing. They've got to be willing to change those things.

Paul:
Because the reality is, if those things were working, they never would have hired us. They never would have reached out to us on our website to ask for a meeting because they'd be hitting their goal, but they're not hitting their goal. So what they have now is broken and needs to be changed. And if they're not going to come to us open-minded and they want us to just run some ad campaign to knock it out of the park and let everything else they're doing just remain status quo, that's not going to fly because there is no such thing as a silver bullet to getting to $1 million in sales.

Paul:
So I think that the main criteria we're going to be looking for is, they have to have a baseline of revenue, which proves product market fit. They have to have a solid goal in mind that's realistic to achieve in a year. And they have to be open-minded enough to let us legitimately take over, or at least change a lot of different parts of their business. And if they can do all three of those things, they're going to be a great fit for our company.

John:
Nice. So you sort of said that's the big picture. Do you guys have new revenue goals for yourself or new programs you guys want to launch?

Paul:
I mean, every time that a client hits their 12-month goal, they usually stay on with us and they want that next 12 months segment to not be one million, they want it to be five million or they don't want it to be three million, they want to be ten million. So for us, our goal now is to try to get between five and ten million in this time next year. So our 12-month goal now is to probably 4 or 5X, our current revenue. And any client who comes in with us is going to have the same exact decision. So the first year is done, we hit our goal. Let's say they hit their goal. At that point in time, you really need to pull the carrot out and do another one year sprint and shoot for the moon again.

Paul:
So honestly, getting from zero to a million is the first big hurdle. Then getting from one to five, I think is probably the next big one. And if you can get to that, getting to 10 becomes your third-year challenge. And each of them has unique, really hard challenges to overcome. But by far, I think the hardest and most time consuming is just that first year leg where you've never been a seven figure business before. You don't know how to scale. You might not have good ways of acquiring customers. You have to accomplish all of those challenge. You've got to overcome all those challenges.

Paul:
Once you get to seven figures, you run into this totally different game, where you are as an extremely profitable company. Then now you need to know how you can reinvest those profits to start capturing market share. And I think that's the goal that we're going after now, is not just doing organic and word of mouth acquisition strategies. We really want to spend a lot of money on advertising, because we want to acquire market share from our competitors with this program.

John:
Nice. What is it that you find most rewarding in what your business does? What are the things that get you out of bed every day and leave you feeling successful at the end of the day?

Paul:
I think if we were having a founder to founder discussion, I would say that in 2018, it was hard to get out of bed, because we had so many clients that we were taking on without a real system in place to keep them happy. And we've never received a single bad review online, but there's always that threat because we didn't have great goal clarity with our client accounts. We had way too many clients. Their budgets were very small and their goals were totally unattainable or not even disclosed to us. So we were kind of just running ad campaigns. And I always felt like the eventual doom was going to come, where they don't want to work with us anymore because they hired someone in-house or they found a cheaper provider. And we were just kind of exposed to a lot of market risk with that business model.

Paul:
And it was hard to get out of bed everyday, because I knew that in order for us to get to a million, it was such a grind. We would have had to have taken on 10 to 15 new clients a month just to keep the company growing because of how often people would cancel. It was tough to run the business that way. But now that we've moved to annual plans and this Million Dollar Business Accelerator Program, the last year has been a lot more exciting because our clients are more engaged with us and they have goals that we can actually feel them achieving. And the system is a lot more rewarding as a service provider because you are helping smaller number of people in a much larger way than in the past, where we were helping a huge amount of people and a very small amount of value being provided for a very small price tag.

Paul:
And it was not as rewarding for us because we barely knew our clients and they barely knew us. And it's a totally different program now. We understand and know personally, every client, every person who works at their company, everything about their business, product and service. And we don't have that many of them. Compared to what we were doing before, we don't need 500 clients a year to hit our revenue goals with this new program. And in the amount of total revenue growth happening in our client's portfolios now, is easily five times more than it was when we had 10 times the clients.

Paul:
And it's not because they're spending more on advertising. It's more so just because the program works so they grow 10X. And the clients in 2018 that we were taking on, they might be doubling in size, but they would lose a lot of business because we just didn't look at all the other things happening. It was purely advertising management, nothing more. So I think that it's a lot more excited for me to get out of bed everyday now, because we know that we're actually providing real value to our clients.

John:
Yeah. That's awesome. Somebody who wants to work with you guys, what would you tell them about your business and this program if they were thinking about signing up with you guys?

Paul:
If your business is at six figures in revenue and you desperately want to get to seven figures and more, look at the case studies on our website. We can do this for you. We've done it for a lot of other businesses and we can absolutely get you onto our program. It works. It works for us. It's worked for dozens of our other clients. We created this program after working with over 500 businesses as our clients with 10 years of experience in this industry. And I personally have spent over $100 million in advertising for our clients to learn how to put this system together.

Paul:
So any company who falls into those categories, six figures in revenue, wants to get seven figures, totally open-minded with how we approach growing their company, this is a perfect fit. This program, this Million Dollar Business Accelerator Program will help you hit that goal. One year from now, you will be extremely happy that you took a discovery call with us.