We love to spotlight our successful members who are doing amazing things in their agencies. Austin Houser launched Base Coat Marketing and scaled his agency from startup to reaching over 7 Figures in just 11 months! In this interview, we unpack what led to his extraordinary growth and his unheard-of 100% retention rate.
You can watch the full interview now below:
Outline of This Episode
[1:36] Learn more about Austin’s agency Case Boat Marketing
[4:43] How Austin decided on a niche with painting contractors
[6:44] How Austin structures his packages and programs
[11:48] Austin’s marketing strategies to land his first clients
[14:57] What Austin’s sales process looks like to land contractors
[18:03] The types of pre-qualification questions that they ask
[20:16] What happens during the onboarding process
[21:21] The #1 program that generates results
[24:44] What’s working to propel Austin’s massive growth
[29:35] Developing client case studies and testimonials
[31:27] How Austin build his list via an industry expo
[34:30] The Base Coat Marketing fulfillment process
[38:51] What Austin’s hiring process looks like
[40:51] How Austin is managing the growth of the business
[42:47] How Austin focuses on client retention
[46:38] The day-to-day management of the business
[51:57] The recruiting services that Base Coat Marketing offers
[55:50] Make sure that you invest in yourself
Learn more about Austin’s agency Case Boat Marketing
He follows the “Good, better, best” model with his programs. They offer month-to-month at a steeper price. They also offer one-year and 18-month contracts. The longer the commitment, the cheaper the rate.
They have a program that starts around $2,200 a month, one that’s $2,800, and one that’s $5,000. They also offer an a la carte program for smaller companies. They set expectations on results upfront.
What Austin’s sales process looks like to land contractors
To land his first clients, Austin knew he had to invest in organic growth with SEO. He purchased a brand-new domain and immediately invested in content creation. He created helpful content placing value first. The first clients came from paid search. He believes an effective landing page goes a long way.
When Austin meets with a potential client, he sets expectations immediately. He won’t take their money unless he believes he can put more in their pocket every month. He turns away ⅔ of the calls he takes because they aren’t a good fit.
They do a single 45-minute sales call where they pre-qualify with a few questions upfront. If the client has a poor reputation online, they might not be a good fit. Austin wants to make sure they can afford other marketing strategies as well.
Once they get through that process, they talk about options, numbers, and pricing. They’ll cover the next steps. Austin points out that he doesn’t hard sell, ever. He will even send prospects to their competitor to evaluate them. 99% of the time, they come back and he closes on the follow-up call.
What is their #1 program that generates results? Listen to find out!
What’s working to propel Austin’s massive growth
If you Google “painter marketing” or “painter advertising” Base Coat Marketing is usually positioned in the top three, outranking strong competitors. They take a three-prong approach to organic growth, focusing on:
Helpful content: Austin writes a blog called “The Painter Marketing Playbook.” Every week, they post a new blog post. They get organic rankings from that.
Email Newsletter: The newsletter gets sent out to 4,500 pre-qualified candidates on a list (that they get from their expo, signing up on the website, etc.). The newsletter gets a 55% open rate and 20% CTR.
Posting on social media: They use content from the blog post to create social media posts.
Austin gets on social media and looks at what people in the industry are asking about. He writes articles that help answer the questions his market is looking for. The search volume can be low, but if you’re targeting the right audience you’ll capture them at the right point in the buying cycle.
The bottom line is that you need to write quality content with images, checklists, and videos because it’s what the end reader has come to expect.
The Base Coat Marketing fulfillment process
Case Coat Marketing currently has five full-time content writers, an operations manager, two account managers, and an ads specialist. Most of Austin’s team is young talent. Young people are motivated, driven, and willing to learn. Austin prefers an in-house content and fulfillment team to control his results. His team is completely remote at this time.
Austin believes you need to start by hiring an operations manager to help train employees that you bring on and emphasizes that you need to hire before you need people. Austin has candidates work through three different steps before they get an interview (only 1 out of 100 ends up on his calendar).
They have to complete an application form with an English test and let Austin know their availability.
They get dropped into a skills test for each position. If they pass that, they move on to a “details test.”
The details test sends them to a Google doc that contains their mission statement. On page two, Austin wrote a section that says “Details matter” with a hidden link that says “Click here to submit the key.” If they submit that, they get access to Austin’s calendar.
He turns away about ⅔ of the people interviewed.
How Austin focuses on client retention
Austin hasn’t lost a single client in their 11 months of operating. In the beginning, he obsessed over client results, which slowed their growth upfront. Now, they focus on communication with their clients. They nurture and keep them engaged from the moment they close the sale to the onboarding call.
They call them throughout the first 30 days to start the relationship on a high note. They leave their calendars open to clients to talk about anything. They come in as the expert to build long-term business relationships. Listen to the whole interview to learn more about Austin’s agency and how he’s worked to see quick success.
Let’s discuss how we can help your agency grow to seven figures.
We explore what you’re doing now, and what it takes to move your digital marketing agency from 6 to 7 figures. Click the big red button above to schedule your complimentary session.
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.