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Create Magic PPC Content with Johnathan Dane

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Today we’re talking with Johnathan Dane about creating magic PPC content. Johnathan has some great strategies for how he creates content that’s engaging and sharable, how he promotes that content to get in front of hist target audience, and how it helps grow his business.  Find out how you can do the same.

Take-aways and Actionable insights:

  • There’s a lot more to learn about client management than basic soft skills, but we often miss the opportunity to have deeper conversations about it.
  • Understanding client needs leads to better analysis and better results.
  • Having personality also helps build relationships and close sales, even with large clients.
  • Creating the content isn’t enough, you have to amplify it.
  • Piggybacking off existing audiences help you rapidly grow your own.
  • Investing in content creation makes sense when you’re playing the long game.
  • Being curious and willing to be uncomfortable makes you a better candidate and employee.

Show Notes

Johnathan Dane is the founder of KlientBoost, a no-nonsense, creative PPC and landing page agency that hustles for results and ROI. He doesn’t care much about best practices, he cares about making money. Not to be confused with Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank.

Amy: Confession time – I’m pretty good at paid search, and I am pretty horrible at writing about it. I have a hard time figuring out who my audience is, what they know and what they don’t know – and how to write for them. When I’m finally done with a post, I have no idea how to make it visual. I know that’s important, but I’m at a loss. I’ll add maybe some screen shots – or maybe a stupid meme so that there’s an image. I know a lot of people do that. If you look around the internet, that’s our paid search content.

It’s not great, but we’re all kind of doing it ’cause we don’t really know what else to do. Your content is somehow an exception to this rule of mediocre PPC content. What you’re producing for your company, KlientBoost, and in your guest posts – it really stands out. It’s visually engaging, it brands your work. The images help to tell the story, rather than interrupting it. With that, now that I’ve spilled my guts on my own struggle with creating compelling content, I’m hoping that you can share some of your secrets with us. How did you get to the point where you’re creating magic PPC content?

klientboost-dancing-food

KlientBoost rocks the gifographic

How can you compete in a crowded space?

Johnathan: If we go back, when the whole landing page aspect became very important for the PPC world. I think the PPC universe has been dominated by technicalities and people that are really smart at excel sheets, and knowing where to go find certain things and look at data. In a world that’s overcrowded with PPC agencies, and there is no barrier to entry – of anybody actually saying that they’re an expert. I basically was thinking like, “Well what’s different that we want to bring to the table, ’cause we’re not going to compete with PPC Hero, WordStream and things like that.

The PPC universe has been dominated by technicalities…What’s different that we want to bring to the table?

But I think one thing that we can kill it with is the design and the care, and the focus is on that. I think one of the secrets to us has been, what branding can we do that kind of says that this is from KlientBoost – and not only delivers the actual content that’s valuable, and is a one stop shop for that topic. But also delights in the fact that the visuals help engage with that. It makes it so easy to share too when we actually care about that and focus.

I’ve spoken with a lot of other PPC friends as well. Before that, I think a lot of PPC people – individuals and maybe some companies – are great at marketing others, but they suck at marketing themselves. I think that’s where I saw the opportunity, to want to be caring more about that and taking the time to do that.

Amy: That makes a lot of sense. You saw the opportunity to have this bigger, unique differentiator and really rolled with it. In terms of how you got your specific brand, I think that’s something people struggle with a lot too. “How do I brand my content or my business?” Your brand, is it just a vision, something that you thought, “We can just do it this way.” Or was it the result of testing, like you tried some different–?

I think it’s WordStream that talks about how they had just tested different display ads, and ended up with the little kids that are trying to teach things – as a result of data and testing. Was it along those lines, or was it more of like, “This is how we’re going to approach it?”

Johnathan: I wish I could give you the super sexy answer, “Yeah, we had 19 split tests going on at the time, and we found that the rocket theme was the best one.” It’s kind of funny, ’cause we’re so cliché. We might look like we know what we’re doing. On the inside, we are far from getting good at everything that we’re doing.

I kind of make fun of this, and I hope your audience isn’t PG. But when our designers came up with our branding, I was like, “That rocket’s cool, but it kind of looks like a red dildo.” And they’re like, “Wait, you can’t say that.” And now they couldn’t get that image out of their head. I’m like, “Okay, well that’s just fine, I think I’m the only one seeing this. Maybe that’s just how my mind works, which can be unfortunate in some situations. There was no data behind it. In the first year of running KlientBoost, we had 3 different websites.

So we’re like, “Oh this is cool, it’s updated to this.” And then, “Let’s do something more.” We had such a thin website, and we still do. You’ll notice that there’s not a lot of pages. It was really just like a cliché, “Let’s take your performance to the moon and back.” And it’s – we don’t know if we’re going to change that in the future again.

Great image, guys. What would Freud say?

Great image, guys. What would Freud say?

 

The answer is no. There wasn’t any data behind knowing that this branding did better than others. You mentioned WordStream. That kids, when they use them more often, have a better response rate. We just saw it like, “Hey, can we just compare our stuff to WordStream, and think – who has the best first impression?” I’m going to be biased, and I still think that we do. But I could be wrong in terms of data. Obviously WordStream is a way bigger company, so they have that advantage.

It was very subjective to begin with, and that’s what design sometimes is. But when you have that focus too, and we might be getting into this more. You are able to establish trust, because you have your visitors know that you care about the design. I think a lot of PPC agencies out there don’t have that first and foremost priority to do that first, and then let everything else follow. ‘Cause otherwise, you go very, very wide – and you don’t go deep, which is what we’ve been focusing on.

Brands with personality are great for business

Amy: That’s a great point. You mentioned you’re comparing your agency to maybe other agencies of how they’re branded. How would you say that being branded the way you are – and really focusing on design in your content and on your site, has helped your brand or your business?

Johnathan:  I think one of the biggest things is – our branding is also in parallel used with our personality as a company. We have a ton of fun – again – cliché, right? I think a lot of agencies say they have a lot of fun. But we really attract the clients and companies right now that we want to work– We have that first conversation, we might be joking around and having a lot of fun with the person. Not even talking necessarily about the PPC results that we can bring. So when we showcase – put our cards out there–

Anybody can go around and flip all our rocks, and see, “Hey do these guys match up? Is their personality matching through all their channels?” Then I think that has a big improvement. Because I feel like when we get people that ask for a proposal from us, the sale’s already halfway done. They’ve read some of my stuff. They might have listened to another podcast, done a webinar – things like that. All that branding and the care for that, I think helps establish that credibility.

When we get people that ask for a proposal from us, the sale’s already halfway done.

Because in the world of online – as of now – I think people make impressions really, really quickly. I don’t have the data to back it up, but I have a sense – because I’ve been part of another agency before. That what we’re doing now, the time to convert anybody to a client is way shorter than it ever was before. And I think it’s because the design aspect and the care for what we’ve done, already helps people – convince that they should work with us pretty early in the process.

Amy: That’s really interesting. A lot of times I think people are a bit afraid of having a voice or a personality. Even if they know it’ll attract people, they don’t want to repel anyone. They don’t want to either risk offending anyone, or risk turning anyone off. And I’m interested to know if you’ve noticed that at all for you? It is a bit cartoony and fun and engaging. Is there a risk of, “Well that’s going to put off enterprise clients?” Or, “Maybe we have a target that it’s not going to hit?” Because they want to be taken more seriously, or they want to take their paid search vendor more seriously than we’re coming across? Is there a risk of that?

Do enterprise agencies like their text ads with 80s headbands? Apparently, yes.

Do enterprise agencies like their text ads with 80s headbands? Apparently, yes.

 

Johnathan: Absolutely. I definitely think there is. On a first impression level, 100%. The funny thing is that we do have a lot of enterprise clients right now that have ad spends of the $500 000, $250 000 and up. Just based off of that, I know that we haven’t changed. My communication style and our account manager’s communication style with our clients – are filled smileys in the emails. We put gifs in the emails. It’s really a reflection of who we are. We’re not different people. From what you see on the website, to when you talk to us – we want to impress you with making the sale, and actually get you as a client. To when we actually start building the relationship with you. It’s all the same.

It’s funny because, the point that a lot of people struggle with – and we did this too before. Before we decided to go this route of the cartoony. Is, “Let’s cater to everybody.” But it’s not going to be that way. If you think about the long term play and how this decision that we made plays into retention of the clients too. You’ve basically made a friend. Like the people that we work with, I’m friends with on Facebook and liking their pictures of their kids and daughters and stuff like that. They do the same with me.

I feel like, at the core base – we’re all human – we all laugh at similar things. And that’s why we’re not afraid to use the poop emoji’s on our blog pop up. Because people respond well to it. For the enterprise clients – I don’t know how many we didn’t have reach out to us because of that, obviously.

Amy: That’s a hard metric to get to, right?

Johnathan: There could be some truth to it, but so far we’re super happy. As far as the health of the company, this was the right bet for us for sure.

How to attract your audience

Amy: In terms of reaching not just potential clients, but reaching your peers and other people in the paid search industry – how important is that to you and what you’re writing? Are you focused mostly on, “Hey I want a prospect or a new client to see this?”  Or you really focus on helping your fellow paid search people? How important is that to you?

Johnathan: I think it’s very important. I think it’s really important to be respected. I love the community feel, especially of the PPC world. I’m so not a part of that, and I feel really bad. But I’m like, “Oh, I want to be part of that PPC chat every Tuesday.” I like Kirk Williams I like Luke Alley. I like Bryant Garvin. I’m good friends with all of them. But I have so many things on my to do list. I don’t know what they’re focused on as far as their goals and things like that, for what they’re doing.

But I can only tell you from my own perspective is, every time I can do something that pushes a new guest post out there to piggyback off somebody else’s audience – to get leads for, that’s what I love to do. I love building an agency, and we’ve built it really fast – I feel like, so far. It’s important, but I totally write to the people who I want to become our clients. But just from looking at our blog subscribers, I can see there’s a lot of agencies being part of that mix too.

It’s really funny you ask, ’cause yesterday I was speaking to one of our clients who runs a HR software company. I’m like, “We’re getting in trouble right now. We’re not able to find quality people, new PPC people to join our team fast enough with the amount of leads that we have in the pipeline. What should we do?” His recommendation was, “Have a secondary blog,. Where you’re just writing about PPC life. Help them out, give them value.” I’m like, “That’s a great idea.” I just literally don’t have the time right now. But eventually I think that’s something that we should do, let’s do that.

I think a lot of other PPC agencies – you know that there’s a lot of communication back and forth between PPC people, and meeting at conferences and stuff like that. Now I’m just really greedy on getting the clients first, and then appeasing and making relationships with other PPC people after.

Amy:  Your goal is to have your business – not just be popular. But I don’t want to act for a minute that you’re not doing both, or that you’re not succeeding in reaching out to the community. A lot of what you’re publishing is educational, paid search content that is really valuable for other people – either getting started in paid search, or maybe who’ve even been doing it a while. To be able to improve their tactics and strategies. You really focus on how to do AdWords right. It’s not just your clients who benefit from that, because your clients have you running paid search for them already. They don’t really need to learn. They don’t need to get in the weeds of that too much.

Johnathan: I think you’re right. Like I said, with the mix of people that we have that could be our clients – versus other agencies that just want to know what we have to say. It shows that, and it’s cool. To be honest, if I was really, really selfish – I wish I could write on a topic that only would be like the end client focused, and being popular. Getting a lot of social shares and a lot of traction. But it’s not the case, everything overlaps each other, so we’re going to be scratching backs for a lot of other PPC people and agencies. I think that’s good, I think that’s awesome.

Everything overlaps each other, so we’re going to be scratching backs for a lot of other PPC people and agencies.

I think long term play, it’s going to work out, and they’re going to know something as well. ‘Cause as you know, when people come – and because there’s no barrier to entry of starting an SEO agency or PPC agency, many people, many clients get burned. If at least we can help, and anybody else can help – WordStream, PPC Hero.

You guys can help educate anybody doing it the right way. Then everybody’s going to be better off.

Amy: Definitely agree. I have a follow-up question to the discussion on design. Really being so branded, and especially – as you mentioned – having your personality not just be in what you write, but in your visual element as well. Is that something that you are baking into your reporting end client presentations? If so, how much work is that? Do you just have some graphics that you can just reuse, or are you doing everything kind of from scratch – to really reflect your personality and branding?

Johnathan: When it comes to client reporting on what they’re doing, we basically have – and this is very unsexy, and very not on brand. So you just exposed us, thank you very much Amy. We basically have a dashboard that loops everything in. That they can then log into and see anything they want as far as cold tracking information, AdWords, Bing, Facebook – all in one place. It has our colors, that’s about as far as we have. But we don’t have a little loaf of bread dancing in the corner, waving kind of gif style. But it’s something that definitely is something on the priority list, pretty low. But for being holistic and what we want to do eventually, something that we should care about.

Amy: I appreciate you sharing that. My goal is not to expose anything, but just to really get a better understanding of how much time and effort does it take to do this right? For me, I mentioned up at the front of the show that it’s really hard for me to think visually when it comes to PPC content. I have somewhat of a left brain, right brain split there. And I’m focusing on the data, and maybe I’ll even have a metaphor in mind. But I just don’t have pictures in my head of really how to make this visual.

I just wrote this whole post about Pareto principles that applies to different PPC aspects. I’m like, “Pareto’s principle, that’s a pie chart with an 80/20 – I have no idea.” I’m just like banging my head. So I’m really trying to, “Okay, what are your secrets? How do you do this, so that it can be visual?” Because even with a designer’s help, I just feel kind of stuck. I can’t even give you a brief on what the image should be here. I just have no idea.

Google image search is no help in figuring out how to illustrate Pareto's principle.

Google image search is no help in figuring out how to illustrate Pareto’s principle.

 

Johnathan: I think – we struggle with this a lot too. Because we don’t have a steady pipeline of new blog posts coming out. We basically sprint every single week. That’s something that we want to get out of. Because of that, sometimes the visuals can’t catch up. The only thing that we really have is just screenshots in some of blog posts. Like our actual featured image for the post is cool, ’cause it has a baby blue color overlay, and like an icon. But when we get to the gifographic side, or slide share or videos. That’s when it’s like in addition to that.

We were working with a specific designer to talk about what we want this piece to accomplish. That’s pretty much like – that’s it. You basically don’t bake it into any of your regular blog posts. You add it as a little sprinkle teaser once every 2 months or something like that. That’s what we’ve done, and I think that’s what you’re talking about too.

But the other flip side to it is, if you look at our content right now and how we’ve come up and been not known – but now kind of getting traction. Not only do we care about making an exhaustive blog post on some topic, but then caring a ton about the promotion side about it. This is what people just don’t have. We have a guy right now, that we’re paying a pretty good amount of money every month for – all he does is promote our contact.

Not only do we care about making an exhaustive blog post on some topic, but then caring a ton about the promotion side about it.

That’s the reason why people are getting eyeballs. That’s why it looks like it’s very popular. I think we gained that momentum. But if I’m completely being honest with you, there’s so much leg work to begin with. You’ve just got to get over that, plan for it. Then be creative, which is kind of a crap answer. But you have to know what you want to communicate, and how you can communicate it with your brand and how it looks. I think we’ve done a decent job of that so far.

Amy: I definitely see you have. I’m actually surprised at how often your answer has been “caring.” I think to some extent, that speaks to strategy, right? But really being thoughtful and intentional, and really caring about your design. Caring about your content. Caring about what you have to say. That can be just as important as anything else, in really putting together content that is compelling and engaging for people.

It’s not enough to “publish and pray”

Johnathan: Just like content is today, where it’s not just enough to publish and pray. If you want to get people to read it, and get people to come back and subscribe to your blog – and get back links, and see that momentum snowball happen. It’s the same thing that’s happening in the PPC world right now. I don’t think anybody can holistically say without crossing their fingers that a successful PPC person should just be solid, instead of AdWords. No, they need to know about Facebook, they need to know about Twitter, LinkedIn. It depends on where your client’s audience is. Then a big portion of that, is they need to care about the conversion and optimization portion.

I think in the digital marketing world, there’s always been a new bar you have to get to. That’s what we’ve seen with what we’re doing. We’re spending $2000 a gifographic or more, to get that created and launched – and that’s expensive. But if you think about it long term, without any of the quick short term gain – then that stuff is going to work. ‘Cause you’re just building relationships, and you’re building that trust. That’s really what I focus about. That’s what we’re seeing too.

If you look at our Google Analytics, we’re doing the right thing and the right path. Just knowing quickly, to think as well – to pivot with what we’re doing. Is if something isn’t working, but you’re just doing it for the sake of doing it, stop. Stop doing it, do something else. You have to, and see if that works, and just keep going at it.

Amy: That definitely makes a lot of sense. What would you say that someone should be doing in order to do that analysis and pivot? I don’t even want to say, “How do you know it’s working?” Because that could be different for everyone. But how do you know if it’s worth the investment? Should I spend $2000 on a gifographic? How do I know if that is the right approach for me to even consider taking? Obviously that’s going to be an investment. But if I’m just a freelancer, is it, “Well, maybe just write a bunch and don’t care too much about the branding or the design content at that point.” Is there a cut of on where you can decide?

It has to start with traffic

Johnathan: I think you can take the Seth Godin approach, who’s been doing this for years. Because of that long term focus that he’s had. Where he doesn’t really have any – maybe no goals for it, but he just is amassing a following every single day, and it’s continuing to grow. You can take that approach. For me, it’s kind of like a split between short term and long term. Meaning, I know what I’m looking for, especially in the content game as far as what is going to make us a better and bigger agency – and helps us keep growing.

That starts with traffic. It’s not the end goal, but it has to start with traffic that we get back to our site. Then it turns into blog subscribers, and then turns into leads, and then turns into closers. If I can look at certain pieces of blogs that we’ve been writing, and look at the organic traffic and say, “There’s no stickiness to this, what are we doing?” We actually did that for a good 5 months. Again, that might be too short of a time. But I was just looking at the organic traffic. We were paying $300 a post for people to write on our blog. Because, I love writing, but I didn’t have the time to do it.

I was looking at the numbers, “This is not working. We have to do more.” That’s why we’re thinking, “Let’s focus on earning back links. Let’s create those linkable assets, like the gifographics. Use a skyscraper technique on all our posts, so that they’re exhaustive as heck. Let’s have a good strategy when we launch, so that we can be featured on Growth Hackers and inbound.org. Let’s keep promoting it, even months after it’s done. Let’s update it, let’s keep it fresh.” We went from 2 posts a week to 1 post. We might even go to like twice a month now. Because we might want to raise the bar even further.

Let’s keep promoting it, even months after it’s done. Let’s update it, let’s keep it fresh.

To answer your question – where do you know what to look for, before if it’s worth the investment? My perspective is exhaust everything. Do everything you possibly can with any given marketing channel, and see if you can get any stickiness. My belief is, any type of advertising, any type of marketing will work for your company. You just have to have the talent to do it, the creativity – and then the resources.

If you don’t have the talent, meaning the creativity to be visual. Then you need to find somebody that you can trust to help you communicate what you’re thinking into what is visual. It’s like, “Let’s exhaust all options, and if it doesn’t work out for that – cool. At least I can check that off my list and I can go onto the next thing.”

Do everything you possibly can with any given marketing channel, and see if you can get any stickiness.

Amy: That’s great advice. I think it can be hard to know if you’ve exhausted everything. Is there something just around the corner? I think I have, but there’s always someone else who has another idea. Did you truly try everything?

Johnathan: In the PPC world, you get end clients who you’re talking to. “Like hey, we tried PPC, but it didn’t work for us.” And you’re like, “But did you really try? Did you just use broad match to send traffic to your website, is that how you tried? Or did you figure out that maybe there isn’t a demand on the search network for what you do, and you have to create that demand? Maybe all your audience is on LinkedIn?” So it’s hard, right?

Become an authority

Johnathan: Our thinking is, “We’re going to do this for a lot of years, and we want to become an authority. We want to become the thought leader more and more.” But we have to earn that. We have plenty of time to exhaust everything. We’re not just doing blog posts and infographics. I want to get into making more videos. But I want to make some specific videos that nobody else is doing. Because if you’re doing what everybody else is doing, nobody’s going to really care.

We’re getting into the paper crafting and stop motion world right now, which is – if you do it right, then it looks amazing. And you can take a complex PPC subject and make it easy and fun to digest – what we’re trying to do with our brand. Then that can be a whole new thing that we want to keep pushing out. There’s a lot of things, but I think you can exhaust and get results pretty quickly if you have the talent and know how to do it. That’s a tough thing, because that’s very subjective at the same time. How do I quantify that? I don’t know if I have talent for this, or if I’m a personality that’s bubbly enough to have my own SnapChat following for example. There’s a lot of different aspects that you have to think about.

Take a complex PPC subject and make it easy and fun to digest

Amy: Definitely, and I think it’s really interesting that we’re talking about content and how to make your content compelling. A lot of your suggestions have to do with growth hacking and the skyscraper technique, and different techniques. The whole, “If you build it, they will come,” that doesn’t even work – even if you have really pretty and compelling content, you still have to get people to take notice beyond that.

Johnathan: I had somebody ask me, his question was, “If you have $250 to start from scratch, what would you do?” I was thinking really hard and long for that answer. I’m like, “Okay I’ve got it. I would go and find the up and coming blogs–” Because, again, if you think about it – content, not just blog posts. But any content is the only way that I’ve seen so far that you can establish trust with your potential end customers or clients to come back to you.

Content is the only way that I’ve seen so far that you can establish trust with your potential end customers or clients to come back to you.

If you’re a PPC agency that only does PPC for yourself, you have to sell against 10 other PPC agencies that they’re comparing you with. But let’s say if somebody wasn’t really looking for a PPC agency – they came across our gif-o-graphic, they loved it so much. They shared it with their internal team. Now they’re both subscribing to our blog, and now I have the chance to be more fun with them, and give them more value over time – to kind of drip on them. Then all of a sudden, they’re questioning, “Wait, I just read this in your blog post, but our current PPC team isn’t doing this. Let’s talk.”  Now I’ve siloed them, and they’re only caring about us versus them, instead of us versus 10 others.

The content game, you’re absolutely right. The tactics are super important, which is like the Growth Hackers, the inbound. But to get back to my question of what I would do with that $250. Basically, I would want to know what the content promotion tactics are for the blogs that are just catching on fire right now.

Like SumoMe, for example. They’re not the most well known. A lot of people know the Sumo WordPress plugin. But the people Noah Kagen and Nat Ellison are killing it at that. I’m like, “Give me your spreadsheet of the things you check out for every blog post that you write. I want to follow that to a tee, and then see if I can get some stickiness myself.” It is definitely short term wins here and there. But I think it’s going to – when you’re focused on content and the value that it can bring, the long term play is going to be even more important to you.

Give me your spreadsheet of the things you check out for every blog post that you write. I want to follow that to a tee, and then see if I can get some stickiness myself.

Amy: I think that makes a lot of sense. You do different things to promote yourself. But then to make it sticky, to get someone to not just see your posts and then leave – and be like, “Well that was interesting.” They actually want to subscribe and to share it out. And so you can kind of develop that long term relationship. Having that compelling content, I think that’s where it sounds like it’s right for you.

Johnathan: Absolutely. The actual meat on the bone has to be there. Like I said, hire somebody if you don’t have the time. Try it for a couple of months, to just promote it. But know how they’re promoting. And so that should help a lot. It’s kind of like the 80/20 rule. Many people say that the 80/20 rule should apply to content marketing. 20% of your time is literally spent writing, and 80% is promoting. People are like, “Yeah that’s cool.” They agree with it, but nobody really does it. I don’t think a lot of people do.

Amy: I would agree with that. What would you say is the best part of having your job?

Johnathan: Personally I think it’s a lot of the team that we’re able to build, and then feeling like they’re kind of put in awkward positions every week. But it’s because they’re learning, and seeing them learning that way. Actually creating a culture. It’s really addicting. Just building a brand, that’s the best part about having my job. Seeing that grow. In addition to making money, but also seeing it getting bigger and more notoriety and things like that. Just stroking my ego to be honest, that is awesome. It’s very, very fun. It’s really cool when you get opportunities to speak with people like you on a podcast, because of what they’ve seen you do – and get invites to other things. That is the best part of having this right now.

Again, looking at – from the client perspective is – bringing clients in, but keeping them. Because we keep bringing the value every single month – able to grow their business. It’s a lot of fun that way, and it’s kind of humbling too. That you’re able to grow as fast as you are by doing the right things, but actually putting them into practice. Actually seeing all the value out there that people give you, to try out yourself – does work if you actually try it.

Get uncomfortable, learn to swim

Amy: You’re talking about growth and value and branding. Your first answer was, “Having people that are put in – your team is being put in awkward positions.” I have to ask, what did you mean by that?

Johnathan: A lot of times, I am the type of – I would say like, not boss – I hate that word, but technically I am. I’m the person that kind of pushes. Not in a mean way. But pushes our employees out in the water, and I’m like, “Learn how to swim. Figure this out. I can definitely tell you, but everything that I’ve done myself so far – when I first learnt PPC, I was at a Brad Geddes show in LA. But since then, I’ve just done – like calling Google’s AdWords helpline. Everything I’ve just been learning my self, and it was super valuable to me to keep going.” It just empowers people. Because, “Oh, I didn’t know I could do that.” And I just see their smile on their face.

Like a designer talking with a client. ‘Cause designers usually don’t have the communication or the account management that are expected of them that account managers have. So it’s really fun to see them blossoming up. I think when I push them out, or like nudge them I should say – ’cause that’s more friendlier term. Nudge them into something that’s uncomfortable for them. It’s just because they don’t know about it. If they don’t know about it, it’s kind of like playing a sport and learning it. Like go out there, play basketball, scrape your knees. It’s the fastest way you’re going to learn instead of reading the rule book.

Go out there, play basketball, scrape your knees. It’s the fastest way you’re going to learn instead of reading the rule book.

Amy: That makes sense. Do you expect that of your team? Is that something you look for when you’re hiring people? Are you willing to be committed to curiosity, is that high up on your list?

Johnathan: Word for word, what you just said might be in our job posting actually. A lot of people obviously say, “Yes of course I’m curious. I always want to learn, always want to get better.” But do they actually do it? It’s a quick test that if they do come on board, and we do that friendly nudge – and they actually do take it, then it’s awesome. Because it just helps me take my focus away from helping them or needing to be part of that. Where I can focus on the other things that I’m working on as well.

Amy:  You’re talking about a few things that led to where you are. Just how willing you are to take different steps and learn about something in order to be able to implement. If someone wanted to be where you are professionally, what steps should they take to get there?

Johnathan: First of all, I don’t think I’m anywhere professionally that anybody should aspire to be.

Amy: I think owner of a company gets to count for something.

Johnathan: I think confidence is a huge, huge thing. And it doesn’t have to come across as being egotistical or cocky or anything like that. I think that’s one of my biggest benefits of saying, “I’m going to go up against– I know that this client that’s talking to me might be talking to WordStream or Seer Interactive and things like that.” But I’m like, “F that. I want to win this business, and I want to show you.” I think that mindset also attracts the people who want to work with me, to be here. The team members want to be here, they want to see that, and they feed off that energy.

The biggest thing, the biggest quote unquote growth hack – let me give you guys a tactic. This is what you’re looking for. The biggest thing that has helped us grow our agency is piggybacking off another company’s already established audience. I’ve been writing a lot for Unbounce. I got the chance to do a webinar with them, a podcast with them. Now I’m speaking at their event in Vancouver.

The biggest thing that has helped us grow our agency is piggybacking off another company’s already established audience.

It literally has helped us so much. Because so many people read about it. They care about landing pages, but PPC’s a perfect addition to that. So taking taking that approach first, because you don’t have an audience as a brand new business owner – nothing’s been built. Piggybacking off what they’re doing, getting a voice in, tap into their audience. Has been a big, big thing. That will definitely help you get quick and fast to what we’ve done, and being at the same level that we are right now.

Stay tuned for a new KlientBoost course

Amy: You’ve also got a cool AdWords course coming up. Can you tell us how we can sign up for that?

Johnathan: It’s in the works. I basically tried to reach out to the Micheal Jordan’s and the Scotty Pippens and everything in the PPC world. There’s some PPC celebrities that are joining us on this. But basically it’s a 7 day email course that we are calling the AdWords Tool Belt. Every single day, it has a different author and a different topic about PPC. At the end of that, you take a quiz, and if you get all the questions right you earn a sticker that’s a certain tool.

At the end of the 7 day course, we’re physically mailing you all the 7 stickers of the different tools that you’ve mastered. In a little branded envelope that might look like a tool belt, we haven’t really figured that out yet – how that’s possible, but we’re thinking about it. It’s basically like a primer to say, “Hey, you want to get good at PPC relatively quickly?” Which is kind of unheard of. But, “We’ll bring you from like 101 to 501 in that weeks’ time. Then you can always go back and read it yourself. It’s kind of like an email course, but very excited for that launch, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Amy: That sounds really great, when do you expect that to launch?

Johnathan: Sometime in April.

Amy: If someone’s interested in signing up, where would they go?

Johnathan: We will be promoting that everywhere. If you follow us on Twitter @klientboost. If you are part of our email list, subscribe to our blog – it will be on popups on a blog. Like I will get a tattoo of it. Like you come meet me physically, in person. It’ll be everywhere, so you won’t miss it, and there’s going to be ads, so you’re definitely not going to miss it.

 


References & Resources

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