Agency Success Podcast with Josh Nelson & Chad Kodary from DashClicks
In this Agency Success episode, we flip the script and I’m the one answering rapid-fire questions about Plumbing & HVAC SEO. Chad Kodary (from the Marketing Mindset podcast) and I chat about choosing a niche and pricing. We also talk about how “Google Guarantee” impacted paid ads and the #1 needle mover that we use to generate revenue. If you want to know how Plumbing & HVAC SEO will hit almost $5 million in revenue this year, listen to this episode!
You can watch the full (rapid fire) interview now by clicking below:
Outline of This Episode
[1:00] Why choosing a niche is so important
[2:00] How many team members we have
[3:52] What our pricing model looks like
[6:40] How ‘Google Guarantee’ impacted our agency
[7:48] The #1 needle mover that generated revenue
[8:43] How to niche down and become an influencer
[11:22] Where we find success from paid ads
[14:00] What our sales process look like
[16:36] Our goal for the next 12 months
[17:35] My final piece of advice to new agency owners
Why is choosing a niche so important?
Choosing a niche makes you more attractive to the prospect. Everyone wants to deal with an expert in their type of business. It makes selling a lot easier. Plus, it helps to systemize the fulfillment if everything can have a process built for it that’s the same across the board. So you should choose one niche, position yourself as the expert in that niche, and get your clients to come to you positioned to buy. Clients started to flock to us and it accelerated our growth.
The best thing you can do to get more leads? Get one client in your space and prove results. Document that success. The content that comes out of that is what you can use to create case studies, launch webinars, and write a book. Then you aren’t blowing smoke—you’re pointing to actual results.
What else can you do? Join the association in your industry. I’m not a fan of cold outreach, but you can use that as leverage. Lead with value. Show your case study and results and exactly how you did it. The more you feed valuable information to your space, the more interesting you will be. Give them a call-to-action where they book time with you or your salesperson and walk them through a consultative sales process.
What our pricing model looks like
Our core program is a monthly $2,490 management fee that includes setting up a website, creating pages for services and cities, doing SEO, putting reputation management systems in place, running google ads to generate leads, and tracking those leads. Ad spend is on top of this pricing. We recommend at least $2,000 in ad spend a month to be a good fit. The average CPC varies depending on the market and branding but is around $25–$30 for plumbers and $35-$45 per lead for HVAC. How did the ‘Google Guarantee’ badge impact us? Listen to find out why it’s not such a big deal after all.
How to find success with paid ads
We do a lot of Facebook ads giving away our FREE book. That leads prospects into a funnel where they can schedule a meeting with us. We rotate client success stories through ads as well. Your best prospects are the companies doing at least $1 million in revenue. They need a proactive approach. We are dropping them things in the mail, calling, but also using a selective approach to only connect with the right fit. The way we’ve positioned our agency is that it’s not just SEO or just PPC. It’s a comprehensive approach to maximize your leads.
Our winning sales process
We qualify prospects on the front end and make sure a lead is a good fit (they have to be generating at least half a million in annual revenue). Then we jump on a Zoom session after we’ve done due diligence and have a ranking report. We ask them about their company, what they’ve tried in the past, and what they’re doing currently. We walk them through where they’re currently at. Then if we think we can help, we share what we can do for them and share results. We close the process by asking for their business.
Where do I see the agency going in the next 12 months? What do we have to do to get there? What is some great advice for a new agency? Listen for more actionable tactics for your business!
What’s going on everybody? Today we have Josh Nelson, from plumbing in H vac SEO, all the way out of Miami, Florida local to us, Josh, what is it that you actually do? And how do you generate revenue for your agency plumbing and HVAC SEO.
So we’re a full service digital marketing agency. And we’ve chosen to focus primarily on plumbing and HVDC companies across the country. That’s our, that’s our nice, that’s our vertical. And we’ve got a full service program that we bring to the table. So as opposed to doing piecemeal, usually, we’re coming in new website, SEO, getting them ranked for the most important keywords in their service area, running paid traffic and then helping them track and measure the return on investment. So really just helping them maximize their lead flow in their particular market so they can grow their businesses and take things to the next level. And that’s that’s how we generate revenue.
I’m gonna come right out of the gate asking the question, because you always hear agencies in the space talking about niching down. And obviously, you’ve done that successfully. Why? Let’s give a piece of advice, because obviously, a lot of agency owners watch our show. Why niche down? Why not? Why not let the doors to Narnia open up and let every single customer come in? Why niche? What’s the reason behind it?
I mean, there’s a lot of reasons. I think, first of all, it makes you a lot more attractive to the prospects, right? Everybody wants to deal with an expert in their type of business. I ran a general agency serving, you know, the plumbers, the roofers, electricians, the dentists and everything in between. And every time I’m sure you guys have all experience every time you get the dentist, he says, Well, what other dentists Have you work with? I talked with one of those clients what you know, and so it makes selling a lot easier. But the other side that a lot of people don’t think about is it really helps to systematize that fulfillment, right? If your objective is to grow a business that provides money and freedom, where you have the flexibility not to have to do it all yourself, you have to build systems, you have to have a program. So what I found is being niche made it easier to sell, but it also made it a lot easier to fulfill. And systematize our offering for our client base.
Make sense? And how many team members do you have today? And what’s just a really quick breakdown of that team?
Yes, we have 30 full time employees all in our office here in Doral in Miami, Florida. And then we’ve got a handful of like freelance internationals as well on the team.
Awesome. And what did it break really quickly in like 30 seconds break down the team? How many sales reps you have? How many guys have doing fulfillment? How many project managers or QA people do you have on staff?
Yeah, so usually, when you hear that kind of number of people automatically assume they’re all salespeople. In our in our world, I have one full time salesperson and all of our leads come in from inbound, the rest of the team is fulfilling, right? It’s web designers, SEO people, content writers, account managers, very critical role the people talking to the clients managing those relationships, pay per click management team. So it’s almost entirely operation fulfillment for the clients that we serve.
Make sense? And how many clients have you servicing today that are active with you paying you monthly?
We’ve got about 176 clients, plumbing HVDC companies across the United States, and a couple international is
great. And obviously plumbing and HVAC, I would assume are your your your two niches that you go after. And it says SEO for those of you guys who can see and watch me YouTube. It says SEO but I’m assuming you do more than just SEO. Right?
Yeah. So we’re full service, it started out as an SEO company, because that’s what we like. That’s what we wanted to do was soon realized SEO is critical. But you have to have other mechanisms to generate leads. So it’s its website, SEO Pay Per Click the whole the whole nine standard
agency services, right? For the most part, yep, awesome
interagency services in a packaged format, right? So it’s not like Oh, you want a website, we’ll do that for you, Oh, you want some pay per click, we’ll do that. Because we want to come in and really help them fully execute and generate the best results possible.
Let’s dive deep into that. What is your pricing model look like? Let’s say I’m a plumbing company. And I’m really looking to grow my eyes. Obviously, for those of you guys who are listening, if you are in the because we in our agency, social agency, we also focused on Home Services. So that was our niche. We didn’t dive super deep into just plumbing or just a track, which I really like your model. Obviously, they have a successful model. And we’re going to go into those metrics here in a minute, but we did Home Services Now guys, these home service businesses, they don’t have storefronts where you can walk in and say, Hey, I need some plumbing done and you walk into a local storefront right? They need to be found online. So what are the actual packages and what is the pricing models look like if I as a plumber, wanted to get some services done? What are you gonna offer? Yeah, so
so our core programs 2490 per month, and that includes setting up a website that’s built to convert we find most of these plumbing HVC companies. The website just doesn’t have the right elements. It doesn’t have the personality. The authenticity, then includes creating pages for each of their services pages reach to their city so we can do the SEO effort to get them ranked organically for their most important keywords. Putting reputation management system in place to help drive online reviews, you know From their true customers in the real service area, and then running Google AdWords predominantly Google ads to generate you know leads from people looking in their service here and then putting putting the tracking in place. I know
people are going to that people are going to be thinking about this that 2040 said it was 2450 or 2490. What was that
number? 2024 9024?
Nine. Okay, so let’s say 2500 bucks. Okay. Is that including ad spent? Or it is the the plumber have to pay outs? But on top of that, and what do you actually require as a minimum for ads? Because home service, CPC campaigns, they’re not cheap.
Yeah, it’s important distinction. So the, that’s our management fee, the spend is completely separate to that on top of that, that amount. And honestly, if they’re not going to spend at least $2,000 in spend, we say it’s probably not a good fit. They’re probably not the right client, they’re not going to generate enough clicks and enough leads to justify doing any of it.
Yep. Now I know, obviously, every campaign is different. Every location is different. What’s what are you seeing average CPC or CPA? And I know obviously, these guys most of them want, I’m assuming phone calls, right? What what’s the average cost to get one of these guys or gals a call?
Yeah, so it really like you said, it depends on market depends upon how well branded they are, on average for plumbing is going to be somewhere between 25 and $30 per lead hva see somewhere between 35 and $45 per lead. And so it’s kind of in that in that territory.
But what about Google guarantee? I know that’s affected that space a lot? has it affected? You guys use Google guarantee? Essentially, they made it in a way where you can almost like operate it as your own, you don’t need to have that maintenance company attached that really affected a lot of agencies. So what’s your what’s your hotel to that?
Yeah, so 100%, it did impact significantly, on the great part is the way we’ve positioned our agency is that it’s not just SEO, it’s not just pay per click, it’s, let’s come in and take a comprehensive approach and figure out how to maximize your lead flow. So what we’re able to say is, look, if you’re able to get these leads from local service ads for $25 per lead, and they’re, they’re high quality, let’s run with that, let’s shift our budget towards that. And we’ll help facilitate. So yes, it is a like a self service platform. But there’s lots of little logistics that have to happen in the background, getting background checked
in process is a headache, because we do that in our agency as well. Sometimes it takes like a month or two just to get somebody through the whole approval process. I know that sometimes they want to do screencasts with you, or, or like phone calls with you, especially if you’re in like some really shady companies out there. I know like a locksmiths or people like that, where it’s hard really, really hard to get those guys approved. So I can definitely understand that. Judge if you can strip away everything in your agency, and how long has he been open for?
Going on nine years,
nine years. Okay, so strip everything away. If you could find the one thing that you did in nine years, that was the biggest needle mover for you that generated you the most revenue got you the most clients really pushed everything forward for you super fast. What would that one thing be?
So one one thing that that’s kind of, you know, it’s it’s Can I kind of kind of get categorizes like choosing one niche, and positioning yourself as the expert at getting clients to come to us pre positioned to buy. So when we shifted from chasing cold calling, chasing people down to positioning yourselves as the best in the space, clients started to flock to us like and really come to us preposition to I think that was the thing that accelerates our growth more than anything else.
Let’s peel the onion back on that really quick What? Obviously, you are in a niche where people probably know of you by now, especially if you’re a plumber, or an H fac person, right? As a starting off as a brand new company, brand new agency? What’s the best way to position myself to niche down? Do I go? And do I start a blog? Do I go and do I write a book do I do I create a podcast? What’s like the best thing that I can do to niche down and become an influencer in my space?
I think the very best thing you could do is get at least one client in that space and prove results. Right? The very first thing is, is that get a client prove results, then document that success. And the content that comes out of that, write the book, do webinars, create case studies, I think that’s the best place to get a client knock out of the park, document it and then you’re not just blowing smoke, but you’re able to point to this is what I’ve done and continue to build more and more case studies and proof.
Okay, that sounds good. Let’s talk about sales really quick. He said inbound leads let’s let’s dive into that really quick. Where are these leads coming from? How are they finding you? I mean, think about the agencies that are watching this, what can they do to to pick up clients? That’s the number one struggle in the agency space? How do I actually sign up clients to want to work with my agency, right? How do I get that monthly retainer on contract? What do I need to do to do that?
Hundred percent. So the first thing obviously, you need a list of prospects, right? You have to have that list in your space. The second thing I think one of the biggest shortcuts is to join the association. The locksmith Association, the Dental Association, that way you’ve got access to that list and a little bit of affinity. But I’m not a huge fan of cold outreach. But if you’re going to do cold outreach, at least you’re saying, Hey, I’m reaching out to you, because we’re members of this association. And then, like, lead with value, come out with your case study, look, here’s the client in this space, this is what we did. This is the results that they got, this is exactly how we did it. And you do that with a book, you do that with webinars, you do that with case study documentation, the more you’re feeding valuable information to your space to that vertical, the more interesting you’re going to be right. And of course, as you put that content out, the call to action is, hey, look, if you’d like me to do this for you, click here to schedule a time, right? And then bring them into your calendar, take them through a consultative sales process. And then you can really get clients coming to you preposition to Why are you running any paid ads for your for your agency,
and if you know, because you want to be at the point where, especially at the scaling, most agencies, when they start out, they’re trying to get their first handful of clients. But if you’re over 100 clients, you need to be able to turn the dial up and down as the as clients are needed to make sure that you’re building team, right, because it’s, it’s a logistical game, especially if you have a back end fulfillment team, I can definitely relate. We have a dashboard is over 60 employees right now. And a big portion of that is also fulfillment. Right? So it becomes a logistical nightmare if you don’t have it down pat, right. So do you see yourself as you needing more clients throttling up the ad spend, if you’re doing ad spend, where are you spending your money? Facebook ads, Google ads, what are you doing actually pick up new clients from from the paid ads side?
Yeah, so a lot of a lot of Facebook ads predominantly to two different things are free book, right, we’ve got a book The Complete Guide to internet marketing for plumbing hpac contractors, we send that out for free as much as we can, that kind of leads them into a funnel, where they schedule in with us about case studies, we’re constantly rotating our clients successes, opt in for that, watch the case study scheduling on the calendar. And then other than that, it’s and believe it or not a lot of direct mail, like you said, if you’re in a very specific niche, if you’re you can attract prospects through Facebook ads, but the reality is your best prospects, which in our case, are the companies doing 1,000,005 million dollars per year in revenue. Um, they need a little bit more proactive approach. So like we’ve hand selected our dream prospect list, any given month, any given quarter, we’re dropping stuff in the mail to them, we’re calling we’re trying to get them on the calendar. So it’s a little bit of a little bit of Chase, but from a very, very selective approach.
Now, you said over I think you said over 170 clients that you guys are actively servicing today, what is your project manager to client amount look like? Is it one to 51 to 25? How high touch Are you on that?
Yeah, so our account managers in our world, handled between 30 and no more than 35 clients. And their main function is literally just a monthly check in with that client, go through the reports, explain what we’ve done, explain what we’re going to do next answer any questions, and then communicate back and forth with our team that actually does the pay per click campaign? Does the the work behind the scenes, I found that after 35, the quality of service starts. The ability Yeah, the ability to retain the client relationships.
What software do you use to manage your project management system? What are you using? So
we’re big on teamwork? All of our stuff happens in teamwork. And then customer communication, for the most part is happening in in Zoho CRM.
Awesome. And obviously, teamwork chat for the internal for the internal team, right? We,
we should probably use teamwork, check, we use slack. And then we have teamwork for all of the all of the project management team. We’re
chats. Great, we use that internally. Let’s see it. What about CRM? What are you guys using for CRM to get all your inbound leads? Where are they going? How are they being tracked?
So marketing CRM happens predominantly and go high level. I’m a massive fan of that software and the fact that you can do email text message voice drops all within one. One conversation queue.
Yeah, gotcha. Okay, cool. And what is your sales process look like when you’re you got you got a lead in the pipeline? He wants to jump on a phone call. You’re doing a zoom call, you’re doing a phone call. You’re doing discovery? What does that process look like in 30 seconds is walk me through that really quick.
30 seconds we qualify on the front end to make sure they’re a good fit have to be doing at least half a million dollars to qualify even potentially higher services.
How long did it take?
That calls like five minutes or less? Okay, couple questions, goals, you know where you’re at. And then the sales process is very consultative. So we jump on a zoom session, we have done due diligence prior to that, where we’ve run keyword lists, and we’ve looked at their website, we’ve got to rank and report to show where they’re, where they’re not. And it’s very much, you know, initial, tell us about your company, your goals, what you’re doing what you’ve tried, then, hey, this sounds like we can help. Here’s what we found in our due diligence process. Here’s where there’s problems. Here’s what we can do. And then here’s like, examples of the clients we work with the results they’ve gotten, and then ask for the business.
Yep. So it seems like you’re also leveraging a lot of your case studies because you have them You should be doing that right? Does he see that that is a big winner like is that the big thing that pushes people over the edge when they see like, the other local plumber in their, you know two cities away from them, ranking number one or getting their cost per lead at $20 a call or whatever it is. That’s what pushes people over the edge. And
it’s definitely a big a big part of why somebody would choose to do business with us versus somebody else.
Fair enough. Fair enough. In that in your company plumbing an H vac SEO, let’s put I know you have some other stuff that you’re doing as well, some other companies, how much revenue got you guys generate in the last, let’s say 12? months?
What? So we’re going to do like, just shy of 5 million this year?
$5 million? And what are you saying? Is it? Do you have any upsells? Or is like 2450? Like that’s the package that you’re in and there’s nothing up there’s nothing down?
So there’s there’s always going to be you know, a higher package and a slightly lower package depending upon what they’re looking to do what their goals are.
Considered value ladder though, or is it just hey, these are my because most companies what they’ll do is they’ll do to what I’m what I’m seeing trending is if one or two things have, Okay, come into my value ladder, let’s let’s get your website, then we push up, we do some SEO, push up, go to PPC push up, right? Or it’s like, hey, these are my three core offers take the middle one is usually what I’m going in with, or you don’t like that let’s down sell or you need more than that. Let’s upsell where we’re where Yeah, ours is ours is definitely on the ladder of what you said there,
right. It’s more, these are three programs, we’re not going to sell you the little thing, and then the next little thing and then move you up. But we do have upsells as people grow, and they expand locations and things like that.
Gotcha. Awesome. And what what do you think Fast Forward 12 months? Let’s say you’re doing almost $5 million annually? For the most part, if we do an arr or just an annual gross sales? Where do you see yourself in 12 months from today? Where would you like to be? In 12
months? The target is to get to
5.5 9.5? Okay, healthy growth there. And what do you need to do to get there is creating a jump like that you need more clients, bigger team? What are some of the things that you see within your company right now that needs to change?
Yeah, so the big thing is just continuing to be aggressive with our business development process, continuing to expand that dream 100 prospect list. You know, as we grow, we’re really looking to expand our team International. So we’ve got 30 full time employees at our office in Miami, our space is completely maxed out. And so we’re gonna keep our project management, account management local, and then tap into the Philippines and other international resources to keep our costs down as we continue to provide world class service to our clients
have it in for new agencies that are coming into the space? What is the one piece of advice that you can give them to save them the most time? Right? What’s the one thing that they can do to just skip over save a year, two years of just trying this whole thing out? Like what would that be?
Number one thing is get to get to serving clients quicker, right? I think a lot of agencies spend so much time they’re trying to put all their ducks in a row. They’re trying to figure out what their package is going to be. They’re trying to build websites for themselves. They’re trying to write books for themselves. But the first thing you need to do is go on land a couple of clients, right? It’s get results for those clients one way or the other, and then build all the rest of that stuff. Don’t spend a lot of time doing the behind the scenes work that’s just going to delay. It’s going to delay your experience. It’s going to delay your progress. It’s going to delay your cash flow. I love it. Ladies
and gentlemen, you heard it first Josh Nelson on the marketers mindset podcast with plumbing and HVAC SEO all the way out of Miami, Florida, doing close to $5 million in revenue for his agency big wins coming in here. Josh, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate you, brother. And we look forward to having you on another episode here in 12 months as you hit your $5.5 million revenue goal.
Awesome, man. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure.
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I started my local internet marketing agency in 2011. We started with ZERO clients and ZERO revenue. Now, we bill $425,000 per month ($4.5 Million per year), and grow every month. There are three keys to that kind of digital agency growth: ► Choose a niche and focus intensely on serving it. ► Position yourself as THE expert in that niche. ► Serve your niche clients better than any competitor can. In fact, our business is growing so consistently that we have awards to prove it. We have made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing US companies four years in a row—2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. You can watch a video where I explain how we grew our agency to the Inc. 5000 list by clicking here.