In this Agency Success Interview, I chat with Cris Rodriguez from Grow Pro Agency. Listen to discover how she’s grown her agency from $32,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to over $65,000 MRR. Cris will be sharing how she lands + retains clients, how she delivers results, what her packages look like, and what she’s doing to scale the business to the next level.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:53] Cris’s background in digital marketing
  • [7:45] The three mistakes entrepreneurs make
  • [11:02] 4 changes that transformed Grow Pros
  • [23:30] Direct or indirect impact—that is the question
  • [28:45] What Cris implemented that’s a game-changer
  • [34:18] What Grow Pros delivers for their clients
  • [38:47] How Cris obtains new clients
  • [45:09] Cris’s client retention strategy
  • [51:35] Advice + Insight for new agency owners
  • [55:40] How to connect with Cris Rodriguez

Martial arts + digital marketing

Cris has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since 8 years old. She’s also owned a brick-and-mortar martial arts school for nine years. She got it to the point where it was running itself. Other people starting asking how she found success—so she started offering consulting

The #1 question you get when consulting is: “How do I sign up more students?” She had success with FB and Google ads + a phenomenal website. So she decided to start teaching how to run Facebook ads. She created an 8-week marketing mastermind. But she found at the end of the course, the owners would ask her to do the work for them. 

She realized it was silly to keep saying no, so she took on 3 clients. She got them great results. Soon after, she had 10 clients and realized she couldn’t do it on her own. So in March of 2019, Grow Pros was launched.

She knew how to empower an in-house team—so she decided to bring her business in-house. They were growing and producing better systems. She joined SFA and changed her pricing structure. Things were going great—then COVID hit and she lost 30% of her clients,

She was fortunate that the business started exploding once the EIDL and PPP loans started coming in. She now has 130 clients and 9 full-time team members.

The three mistakes entrepreneurs make

The first year Cris ran her martial arts school, she made $346,000. She decided to hire a mentor and the next year she did $522,000. But she didn’t have a mentor for her agency. She found SFA because she read my book. She wanted someone to tell it to her straight and guide her.

She points out that most entrepreneurs make 3 mistakes:

  • Mistake #1: They don’t hire fast enough.
  • Mistake #2: They don’t reinvest their products back into marketing.
  • Mistake #3: They don’t find a mentor.

Cris needed to get on the right path and knew she needed a mentor, so she joined Seven Figure Agency. She recommends finding a mentor and do what they tell you to do. You have to follow the recipe for success. There are many different ways to run a successful agency or martial arts studio. So the goal is to find a mentor that has the same core values as you—and then take massive action.

After joining SFA, Cris did four key things that changed the trajectory of her business. Listen to find out what they were!

Direct or indirect impact—that is the question

Cris points out that agency owners have to wear many different hats, which is why it’s so easy to focus on the wrong things. Cris has learned to ask, “Is this going to have an indirect or direct impact on the bottom line of my business?” If the answer is a direct impact, it needs to go on her to-do list. If it’s indirect, it gets delegated.

Mike Michalowicz—in his book, Clockwork—talks about doing, deciding, delegating, and designing. Cris was always stuck in “doing.” When she thought she was delegating, she was still stuck making the decisions. In January, she committed to offloading her “doing” items. She looked at everything she had to do for each company and the hours it was taking. She bought back 10 hours in January. In that one month, they went from $60,000 to $72,000. Doing that had a direct impact on their bottom line.

What else did she do that had a huge impact on their bottom line? Listen to find out!

What Cris implemented that’s a game-changer

Most people who work in an agency setting sit in front of a computer all day every day. Cris didn’t want her team to come to work and feel like things were monotonous. She thought, “What can we do daily to get people excited to go to a meeting?” One of their core values is creating a modern and fun environment. So every day she implements something to break up the monotony.

  • Monday is “Monday Motivation” where she presents a personal development training. It could be about time-blocking, budgeting, etc.
  • Tuesday is their level-10 meeting (she explains if you were to rate meetings, the goal is for it to be a 10. It shouldn’t be a waste of time).
  • Wednesday they go for a 30-minute walk together to get some sunshine and Vitamin D
  • Thursday they listen to a digital marketing podcast. They listen, pause, and discuss. It’s like a book club.
  • Friday is game day. They play games for 30 minutes and then do a 60-minute training session.

She believes if your team loves where they’re at and what they do, they’ll work super hard for you. Investing in your team is NOT a waste of time.

What does Grow Pros deliver for their clients? What do their packages look like? Listen to hear how Cris prices for her industry!

How Cris gets + retains new clients

Cris offers a webinar each month. She had almost 100 people show up to the last webinar she ran—and it produced 10 clients. It’s been the main focus and driver for their traffic. She recently started shooting footage to run a commercial.

Cris also writes an article every month for Martial Arts Success Magazine, which is huge. Magazines need writers. They need content. If you provide them with an article that provides value, then you’ll get published in a magazine. She notes that building authority is a marathon—not a sprint. It also helps that she is entrenched in the industry. She owns a martial arts business, which builds even more credibility with clients.

To retain clients, Cris teaches a monthly masterclass for all of her clients on a different digital marketing skill that they should implement. Helping clients get better results can help with retention. Another thing Cris does is communicate constantly. Clients want to know if you have their back and if you have a gameplan. If a client isn’t performing well, you have to let them know you see it and share what you’re going to do before the objection comes.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Cris Rodriguez

Connect With Josh Nelson

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