In this episode I'm with Gareth Healey from Beyond Noise. Gareth is going to give us some amazing advice on running an agency, selling and what it takes to generate £12 million in revenue. Transcript below.

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Michael: [00:00:00] There we go. Awesome. Hey guys. Hey funnel builders. How you doing Mike here from sell your service. And today I'm with Gareth Healey from beyond noise. Gareth. Thanks for joining me.

Gareth: [00:00:09] Hello? How are you doing?

Michael: [00:00:10] Yeah, I'm good. Thank you, mate. Yeah, pretty good. Yeah. And yourself

Gareth: [00:00:13] I'm okay. I'm okay. We're all learning a bit of a lockdown frenzy at the moment.

Now we booked. Hey.

Michael: [00:00:20] Yeah. And kind of, yeah. And it's interesting because you and I have been having a Friday weekly call with a group of other people for over a year now.

Gareth: [00:00:28] That's right.

Michael: [00:00:30] And it's, it's mad and you've come from essentially the background of having a marketing agency and it was successful and you exited and stuff.

Can you just talk to us what happened with that? Because that's a legitimate, like. Business journey that you've gone on.

Gareth: [00:00:48] Sure. Yeah. Well, I I'm Marcus and agencies is in my blood. So after uni many, many years ago, mid nineties started in the agency sector, uh, client services, account handling, uh, LaVar moved to an agency in Leeds.

I'm in the North, uh, matched originally from agents and leads. And then pretty soon after joining that business, it was a design agency, essentially. Uh, the guy that founded it wanted to retire. So he approached three of us about doing a management biography. We bought the business and MBO back 2002. So for the following 15 years, two, three of us, which became two of us, uh, run that business.

Got it up to about 12 and a half million pound turnover. So looking from design agency to a fully integrated agency, Uh,  175 people really want to get to that many people in 2017. I sold my share to my business partner, so I sort of wanted to change and to do something else. And if we've got time, I'll tell you a bit more about why and then why that came around.

But, um, I exited. Yeah. And, um, so now I'm working as my own consultancy beyond noise. So working with. Well, the, uh, agency owners. So I'm doing the bits, actually. I like, I like talking about agencies and running agencies. I've sort of in a nutshell, the reason why I left sort of got a little bit tired after 20 odd years of, of, uh, working with the clients.

Not that the clients were bad, we were, our clients were fantastic, but you know, there was the agency operational stuff. That was sort of really what I love to talk about and look to do. So that's why I'm here doing this.

Michael: [00:02:26] And it's interesting because, so I you've talked about how. A lot of your purpose at the moment with beyond noise is how agencies now and, and marketing in general has kind of entered a period of untrustworthiness.

Could you talk about that a little bit?

Gareth: [00:02:43] Yeah. You know, sort of Blackstone you and I do worry about sort of having a business that has a vision of course, and that vision can be sort of a. A Beehag or whatever you want to call it. But, uh, and it could be something particular in my mind is I guess, cause I won't, I want my business to at least contribute to, uh, making marks in agencies, um, getting a little bit back to where they were in terms of respect, uh, for, for agencies and, and getting them to a level which, uh, you know, maybe where it comes in, some lawyers are very well-respected and, and, and, but not just in the business community, but in the wider community, I'll say mountain agency's own.

But they certainly know at that level. And I think it's certainly because of the number of them. It certainly didn't when I started out, when I told people I was in an agency, you know, people went, wow, it's amazing to know they don't say about things, but it's not quite got the respect and the credibility and their authority.

It wants out for many reasons, you know, Maybe, but not just because of the number of people in the sector, but of course, technology, you know, technology has taken over a lot of the processes and the creative mode, perhaps even taking on some of the creative side, which used to be sort of the creative. She was sort of the core of certainly what I did when I started or an agency.

So, um, yeah, I want to be when I want to try and sort of build back some of that trust and credibility.

Michael: [00:04:02] And you kind of, again, you and I have spoken and I used to run an agency and, and I reckon I was part of that tail end of where it was like, who cares? Cause I set up an agency because it was the easiest thing I could think to set up.

Frankly, I had a marketing background and fault. That's what I'll go and do.

Gareth: [00:04:20] What is your fault? You have the catalyst

Michael: [00:04:26] side. So in 2012 and then slowly, slowly tanked. Um, yesterday I did a video, funnily enough, a live video on how, how difficult it is to be a full stack agencies. You mentioned 12 million pound turnover, 175. Staff and even then, presumably you couldn't literally do everything that every client ever wanted.

So a lot of the agencies, particularly the guys watching this who are two people, three people they need to focus down because it's almost impossible to. To deliver that type of stuff to that many clients. And with that many deliverables,

Gareth: [00:05:01] absolutely. Totally with you here. I mean, we, um, I, what I do now is sort of working with agent who's is sort of a mentoring and maybe non-exec capacity.

You know, I, I, I jokingly said to me a lot of the stuff I talk about, talk about, um, Not necessarily regrets, but certainly my own mistakes or things. I wish I had done differently. You know, learnings from it. You can't buy experience, you know, you can't buy 20 odd years of experience. You've got us. Um, and one of the points that I always, you know, we were very focused as an agency and in terms of our audience actually, Which lots of agencies on which probably another point, but we did have a very targeted, focused target audience, but the skills, yeah, we wanted to become this full service.

We were driven by sort of, we were in leads, emerge, and Bobby come in this sort of, no of and full service, independent agency and a sort of challenge at all the London. Integrated agencies switch, you know, Hey, there's a, there's a purpose. There's a vision there. But what he did was also sort of pull us along in terms of adding services and so on services.

And, and at that one of it's not huge regrets because it is what it is. And it was a great business. It was a great business. It still exists. But, um, The, the, the amount of service is just impossible. I'm totally with you to focus down there. That's what I'm talking to a lot of my clients and contacts about, about sort of being more of a specialist, particularly involved.

Michael: [00:06:24] Yeah. And I'm all about that. I'm constantly telling people like to focus down and specialize. And to me, that's probably one of the number one mistakes. What, what do you see? Common problems or roadblocks that are with agencies and, and kind of digital creatives. Preventing them from getting to where they want to get to.

What do you, what do you repeatedly see?

Gareth: [00:06:45] Yeah. Um, well sort of macro level. I, I was talking about three things. I th I see this in agencies, bus, frankly, as I see it in the same for any. Sure. We're SME business and I'm a semi. So I talk about CVA, not, not, um, company voluntary agreements, although you're not careful, that's where it goes, but CVS, so lack of clarity about who they are, what they do, uh, lack of, uh, visibility about where they're going.

And a lack of accountability. So, so, so that's what I talk about. Sort of clarity, clarity, visibility, and accountability is what I bring to my current clients. And we, we were talking to a friend of ours only last week about his age, his agency he's very successful and he was absolutely clear. And he's absolutely what he's clear about what he's doing, but he's had a few life.

Change has had a baby, isn't it. And therefore, you know, that clarity can the entrepreneurial journey, the clarity over where you're going, who you are, what you're, what you're trying to do can, can ebb and flow. So, uh, you know, I've been there myself, see lots of agencies and particular moments, lots of agency owners, of course, struggling with that clarity as to where they are, what they do.

And if you don't have clarity, you lose motivation. I always think clarity of whatever you're doing, whether you're in the business or. You know, painting the higher. So whatever you're doing, if you're caught, you know exactly what you did and we are motivated to do it, if, and then thinking, I'm not quite sure what to do, then you you're lacking in motivation and visibility is about having a plan, but having direction, which again, sometimes you need some help to have.

And the accountability, sometimes I provide, I don't sell it here today, but I, I. So much value from that in my previous life, in an agency where we use non-execs a series of non-execs to just help me in my business partner. Take off the milestone, you know? So in an agency, particularly to give yourself excuses and give yourself sort of latitudes to not do things, when you know what pressure your business partners have been under, you know, what problems you've had in the business.

So it's so easy to sort of let things slide and the months take by. So the accountability partner, whether it's somebody from Waimea, Uh, uh, uh, non-exec reframe or whoever it is, it doesn't matter, but someday I've signed the business that can just say, Hey, come on guys. You know, we're going to do this. So now we're going to let this slide for another month or we're going to kind of tell him so that that's the sort of three points at a macro level, but then there's some individual, uh, there's some sort of more specific things I see all the time.

If you want me to keep going on,

Michael: [00:09:14] go for it. Honestly, this is great. And this is worth pointing out by the way. Although. So your service, isn't an agency anymore on, on a lot of calls, Gareth picks up on a couple of things about my business and, and brings clarity. And to be fair, everyone doesn't look cool, but there's something about those kind of the way that he breaks things down that I've always found fascinating.

So you mentioned on a more specific micro level, some of the things that people do wrong.

Gareth: [00:09:39] So I think in a, in agency, lung micro level, more specifics, um, I think mindset for any business, but the mindset of a lot of agency owners I talk to is, is, you know, the Stephen Covey book called the principle of sort of start with the end in mind when you pick a day.

And you know, if you're head of a lot great. Book great author. Great principle. I think it's massively overplayed in agency, world. That, that piece I speak to the agency owners who, you know, frankly, a bit might have, there might have been going sort of 12 months, 18 months, but that they're already there.

The end goal is three years. It's I'm I'm out of me and they treat it like a sort of presence where they're taking down the walls and. You know, I'll be honest. I did that to some degree in my own business in the last 15 years, it was really my agency. It was like, it wasn't a quick thing, but, but towards the end, that's where I was in my head.

I was thinking, you know, I want to get out and do something differently, different, and there's nothing wrong in that. But I think that mindset from the star is complete. You know, I always tell people, you know, create a business, a journey, and it's a journey to be enjoyed. It's not a journey there. Be. Sort of, you know, from the future and then, uh, I'll do something else.

I lose something more interesting. Um, because we'll just do stuff that easier stuff.

Michael: [00:10:54] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Gareth: [00:10:57] yeah.

Michael: [00:10:58] All the mountains are difficult.

Gareth: [00:10:59] Yeah. I know one guy absolutely is convinced there's something easier than running an SEO agency and, um, you know, what the might be, but it's not, that's a big deal.

Michael: [00:11:11] So, okay, so let's talk about this because there's two things you picked up on there that I see repeatedly the first is that people start up an agency with the idea that in three years they can sell it and I'm like, fine. You probably can sell it. It won't be worth anything, but you probably can sell it.

The reality is that a business. The reality, the most businesses and agencies are, are a buyer's market now like there's so you can get, I'm offered to buy agencies all the time with a client list because people just want to get rid of them, right. Get out of them. So they have to be going for a while and to have a pretty decent revenue and profit margin in order to be able to even be seen as a worthwhile and purchasing business.

So that's one side. And then the other side you mentioned was. People go often. They say, I want to do SEO because I can do SEO. And then they end up hating a same social media, email marketing website, design, graphic design, all of that.

Gareth: [00:12:05] Yeah.

Michael: [00:12:06] On the first point. Ha all right. How would you build a business to 12 million in revenue and 175 staff and then sell it like.

Surely that plan is extremely different from what most people believe I'll do it for three years and then sell. So I don't think the tour even remotely related, I think one is a longer term play, obviously.

Gareth: [00:12:29] Yeah, absolutely. And you're opposite. Right? Of course mine was a longer-term play. Mine was, uh, I was with that business run own the business 15 years, three years previous that's 18 years in that agency and yeah.

You know, the, the revenue, the, um, The, the sort of science and the number of people, uh, the, the size of it was huge and a lot different from a lot of people and eat, but even that business and the most interesting, even that business, uh wasn't at the time I said it doesn't, it still exists that business.

So I'm not here to sort of, um, It's a great business. Great painful. Chris does that in any way, but at the time that business in itself wasn't particularly saleable. They covered how to a lot of reliance on certain clients. It had, it was integrated and full service, uh, at the time, but it was the bulk of the work was still very heavily in design.

Michael: [00:13:23] Yup. And so

Gareth: [00:13:25] it fell between I could go on, but isn't, it's not all negative. It was a great business book. The actual attractiveness in terms of acquisition, why wasn't it commanded having people banging on our doors between it was too big for small agencies to buy. And too small for big agencies to once.

Yep. So it fell between the, the, the sort of crap. It's not always about, you know, the, the, even some of the bigger business. Uh, I'm not saying that it wasn't saleable business, but my business partner was desperate to carry on. So I will say, uh, you know, that, that decision was made really. I couldn't sell it to somebody else.

I needed to sell it to him.

Michael: [00:14:04] Yeah. And, and, and I think that's the most. In some respects, heartbreaking if people are, if people are set on that, but the reality is. I've had a friend who sold his business and it was something like a year or maybe 18 months worth of like due diligence and litigation and negotiation that was before they even reached a price.

Like it was just so much work to get into that. And his bill in his business was, uh, It did about a million over a million really quite decent profit margins and quite a diverse portfolio. So it was a business worth buying, but only because another business wanted to plug the hole that they had, they thought, well, that business will be like

Gareth: [00:14:42] that.

Michael: [00:14:44] I don't, I think people think that. Building and selling a business, because again, I sold my business to a media company, but the media company was essentially acquiring. They knew they had a hole in their offering and my business was able to just fit in perfectly. Everyone was able to transfer. There was almost zero kind of overlay in terms of like, You know, transition or anything, people are doing the same job.

It wasn't a salad, but all of a sudden you get out. I think the idea that people have that these are like these three, four year businesses that are like unicorns. That's what they call isn't. It just, you can access it. And you're just a millionaire, all of a sudden, like it's, it's so rare. And it especially doesn't happen within four years.

Like, it's just, it's just not a, it's not a thing.

Gareth: [00:15:25] No. And, and it's particularly because, and we're talking about traditional agency models with software products, from various other sort of revenue, streams, and assets, and that that's not different, but it's slightly different than that perhaps, but traditionally a model it's built around people, isn't it?

So their assets are the people, the people brilliant. The assets of the people, the people in the client list, but the Sera usually absolutely connected by relationships and relationships. So th the fact that, you know, that the assets sell is as the old saying goes, you know, the assets can walk out, do walk out the door.

Every at five o'clock. So no matter what that can happen when the Tempe that's the same model as team and 50 people that sort of valuation and the numbers are slightly different, but it's the Stella's principles a difficult sell. But if you get to that level and you get to nothing there's interest just to pick up in there and what you said about, um, you know, the, those sort of gaps in, uh, in, uh, acquirers.

Portfolio or business model, they doing this and they are there. What you should have tried to aim for, if you are looking to sell all those gaps are rarely in my experience. Uh, Full service, independence working for any sort of client I've never seen. I don't see many gaps, shit like that. Do you see maybe sort of somebody that's dead absolutely wants in a UX

Michael: [00:16:52] capability,

Gareth: [00:16:54] somebody wants a formal building capability or somebody that wants a SEO, more SEO power or whatever it is, or somebody that wants a client list.

But the client list is Bible the clients to be in tech or in pharma or. Agriculture, whatever it is. Um, that's where that, that can really, nobody's saying here it's impossible to sell if you were a full-service generic. Yeah. Thanks.

Michael: [00:17:19] I know of full service, generic agencies who have been sold and successfully sold and it's worked really well, but again, it's.

I think it's interesting because it leads into that second point that I mentioned it and that you brought up earlier. There's a weird thing of being like, I'll do SEO because I can do SEO. And eventually they're like, I hate doing SEO for clients and I'm sick of it. And I can't wait to get rid of it. I personally like maybe sell something that you love doing then.

Can you talk a little bit about that? Cause I know you've got some experience in that and you and I have got some, some, some similar ideas around choosing what it is that you do and just focusing on it.

Gareth: [00:17:53] So. Again, speaking with a large dose of hindsight and pushing for an integrated Asia, but I'm now, particularly now, you know what, again, when I started out in agencies finding, um, this is not millions of years ago, but it was pre common use of the web, you know, mid nineties web existed, but not it wasn't inside of a bit homes like it is now.

So finding expertise was hard. You know, the, the agencies, the power of agency. When I first started, I was, they have the black book of specialists at that time. Ordinarily SEO is photographers or creatives or whatever, but they have that mind. But whereas now access to that, as we all know, access to that, anybody across the globe, nevermind.

Uh, locally, is there online if you want to. So that's what, you know, obviously changed the dynamics of the market. They really massively. Um, but, but, so I think, you know, rather than the full service, um, they, they sort of trying to sort of push for the dream of being full service, to focus on a skill is absolutely imperative.

And I, it pains me actually. Uh, I do get a bit frustrated about this because. Yeah. I told everybody I wasn't like I wasn't a kind of a humbler by trade. If you, if you can call it great, valuable, but it's not a practitioner. It's not a UX guy or girl. It's not a SEO person or whatever it might be. It's not somebody with practical knowledge.

So therefore when I see somebody with practical knowledge in an agency, Uh, who's, uh, I think a lot of this, actually, I don't know whether you'd agree, but I see a lot of them, they built an agency to maybe sort of 10, 12 people they've stepped back. And, and th that, that, that. Agency principle was a, I'm gonna use SEO was an SEO, but they've got an agency of 10, 12 people have stepped back.

They have to do that some degree, but they've lost the confidence massively because they feel like they're out of the loop now on SEO. Things are happening and they've got people doing it for them, but they're not as confident as they were. And they feel like there's sort of been a bit, a bit more of an man in meetings because they're the MD or whatever.

And, and, but they're not truly sort of on top of it. And, and, and therefore they lose the confidence. And I think that's what is the key to, in my experience, people saying, Oh, I hate SEO. Oh, Oh yeah. I don't, I don't think it's actually cause they do. I think it's because they've lost confidence in what they do in it.

And therefore they don't want to focus on that. And they sort of, rather than double down. Hmm, spread the wings into something else. It's just bizarre because

Michael: [00:20:28] the, the lack of confidence then informs their decision-making and that's where it becomes. Cause I agree. I completely agree. And it upsets me to the point.

I'm like even down to things like pricing. So like, Oh, you know, well, yeah, I don't really know so much about it and we have other people who do it now. And so I feel a bit weird pricing on like the high figures, you know, five figures, six figures and things like this. And I'm like, I'm in my business that teach people how to sell marketing funnels.

I'm not the strongest funnel builder, not by a long shot, but the ability to make the decision about the capabilities of what you want to focus in on. And it's interesting that, that confidence thing, again, it comes back to, these are very. Human fears and emotions about running a business. And this is one of the big roadblocks that I have to get over.

Gareth: [00:21:19] Yeah, absolutely. The robot, because you lose your confidence. So you're not, you don't focus as much as you might have done or should do on, on sales. You don't want it to be in the front line as the agency owner of sales, because you're worried about, well, some digital monks and managing that you're trained as a prospect.

My ashy. You don't see, you don't focus on that. You don't focus on marketing the business. So your profile as an agency owner people, I see take a step back. And so that they patrol that they usually use the sort of team, which I'm a big fan of team, of course, team ethics and teamwork. And then the principle of team teams and running business teams is what it's all about.

And agencies. Yeah. Both I'll say low bonus. So that's nice about the team and push the team forward when in reality it's because their confidence is like they don't market their business. They don't work on their own profile when it comes to price itself, when it comes to commercial or as you said, they sort of defer to somebody else and all that.

It's not, you know, they're running a business. You're trying to work on the business. I guess that, but fine with that for me. The last thing I think I'm speaking from experience here, sadly, the last things that, yeah. You should relinquish, uh, sales and marketing of the agency. And yet it's often the first thing that people want to get rid of and sort of, we'll get somebody in to do that for us.

And we've got time and time again, and it's because it's hard work and, and the, the big, the hub audio, but he's also through that lack on lack of confidence, they don't have the confidence. They've got the ability and knowledge got the

Michael: [00:22:55] bill.

Gareth: [00:22:57] It sort of, you know, gets into their heads about, I think.

Michael: [00:22:59] That's fascinating.

That's a really interesting, I haven't quite put it together like that. So yeah, that's, that's really interesting. Is this what essentially beyond noises is working on, is that the majority of the framework that you guys are using? So now you've got the book coming out and you've got the scorecard coming out.

So is that what you're mainly working on? Is this, that stuff that we've just done?

Gareth: [00:23:19] Yeah, so I, that, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm a big. Sort of farming and, and I love mentoring. Uh, I call it mentoring rather than coaching actually, because I don't like working with business owners here. I'm not in, I'm not in business myself to tell other business owners what to do or to run their businesses.

You know, they're doing that. That's what they want and they're there to do, but the mentoring, somebody to sort of help and support them in the journey is, is what I love doing, because I love talking about agencies and. Helping people out and helping people with their own sort of business challenges, but personal challenges as well in running the business.

So, so we all know as basic in our work, across those three areas, I mentioned before sort of clarity in who they are, what they do, where they're going to go both personally and. For therefore in the business, uh, visibility in terms of putting a plan together, you know, the days of writing business bonds is real.

No Ryan took down and they're long gone, but I like to sort of put a framework together and three year, you know, three year timeframe sort of map, maybe a sort of outline. So just to put some goals in there and the number of people I work with and sort of, we sort of do a framework three, a plan, and the number of people.

Usually hope. Hopefully they're always grateful, thankfully, but normally people say, you know, I could have done that myself or other opiates now isn't it. And why did I want to notice it that, why didn't I just sit down because you needed somebody to sit with bounce off, you know, you used to enjoy doing that.

And then the, the longer term engagement that I have is around the accountability. Really? So it's mentoring people, not cracking the whip, not, not being there to, you know, be because again, it's their business, but just somebody there that's. I got a massive amount from my NTDs when I worked in my, um, and then, you know, they worked for us.

We employed them ultimately, but, um, you know, engage them. Uh, but just because I respected them. You know, on a monthly basis, you guys came in. I didn't, I didn't want to look for, you know, I don't want to have to send them a meeting on a monthly, but Kevin, uh, and, and, and, and, and say, Kevin, you know, we've not done those things, the actions we had last month, we've done this, we've done that.

I didn't want to look, you know, some things got done by nature of having somebody there so that the mentoring. Yes. But the accountability is. Is is incredibly powerful. If you get a dry person and the reliant, right. And relationship with the person, and you've got to respect them, of course, you've got to respect them for what they've done or not.

Well, they can come from, you know, any sort of a different background. It doesn't have to be agencies, but I always found agency, hello, back. We employed some that didn't have agency experience and they weren't bothered great people, but they just say knowledge is very key. Really.

Michael: [00:26:07] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting that, because the, I think the number one question I'm asked is, well, how could you possibly tell me how to do this when you don't run it anymore?

And I was like having done it twice, although one of them didn't work out, but I haven't done it twice. There are a lot of like key repetitions. And again, you and I have spoken at this focusing down. I remember when you and I went to that pub and you kind of show me your. IOM.

Gareth: [00:26:33] Yes. Yep. Yep.

Michael: [00:26:35] Operation model,

Gareth: [00:26:36] the operation model, we asked about sort of a model, which is seven PS.

So basically enforced sections. So it's, it's um, there's profit. So there's the money there's process. There's the product services. Paying clients, um, promotion marketing proposition, the sort of strategy and in the center sets people and culture. So, uh, but so that, those seven, um, it's the DNA of the agency that really, and again, Hey, most businesses,

Michael: [00:27:06] right?

Gareth: [00:27:07] Essentially this, that little seventies, the agency operates in model. I used to, when I first. Work with my agency clients. Now we have a strategy day where we sort of go through those seven PS and we talk about what they think their performance is and how, um, uh, you know, what strengths and weaknesses go across those areas.

And there's, there's some, usually some common themes, you know, there's usually. Um, and people are always going to be an issue in some way or another. There's always going to be a gap or something happening. And people of course, nature says promotion. The Mo promotion marketing is, is usually the weakness, but the idea with, and why the proposition is usually not very.


Michael: [00:27:54] And that comes back again to that, that, that clarity of vision right at the start, like, what do I want to be known for? What do I want to put out into the future? It all stems from that initial. And it's funny again, you know, cause I did the exercise with you. It was a case of, well, where do you want to be in three years, time, five years time, if you stress now, where do you want to be?

And I have found that a lot of people don't know where they want to be in in three years time. They, they, they don't like where they are now, but actually haven't thought about, well, where do I want to go?

Gareth: [00:28:24] What's the bit that you know, that I don't want to, you know, for some people it is, I don't want to be here, but for other people I don't want to be dealing with, um, You know the processes.

I want somebody to manage the processes cause I love my clients. I love the content creation, the education you do, but I'm not. And I's and crossing T's, um, and, and sort of making everything work, w which is again where you need it. Uh, we were talking last week about having a set of the operational, had this sort of visionary head and that working together that's often with, with people.

Some people can do both rarely, usually you over in one. And so having again, having business partners, but I got through that model and I w I worked with people on that and, um, And that tends to sort of tease out some of the key issues that we then tackle and use it. I mean, we're not certainly focusing down on, on, um, particular strengths and, um, the sort of offer and in terms of it being a focused offer is important.

But of course we can't say, and this call without using the niche. Term, I don't think to, and sort of niching down on so many people. I know it feels towards a bit sort of overused, I think now, but

Michael: [00:29:42] so to me it doesn't cause no one's listening while I've been singing that song for, you know, years now and I'm desperate and I'm like, it's a so much opportunity.

In driving down, who you help and the problem you solve and the result you get for that, who, and even then being more specific. It's crazy to me that people don't see it as an opportunity. They're immediately fearful of it, particularly if they've been brought in the past.

Gareth: [00:30:09] Absolutely. Yeah. When I'm looking at respect, cause we were, Oh wait, it wasn't an absolute nation, but it was retail.

So we were a retail agency. So at that time were going back a few years, we were probably, we were quite well unique really, or certainly unusual in that we have that. And so we, massive value was only when we start to step away from that, but then sort of, I think sides up. Sorry. I have a few poems, but Nisha target audience, I'm writing this book and I put in this book kind of thing.

It's so true. But if any client of yours or mine or whoever's listening, came through the door and said, you know, we asked them, right, you want us to market their business through follows or whatever it might be yet, Greg, we looked at well, who are you trying to target? If any claims, I don't know anybody.

We'd sort of. We go, hang on, hang on. I know. Well, I'm not above to just as long as they would just, you know, throw them out of the office, but we'd sort of our word is we sort of accept that, you know, we sort of accept that and then not having a target. If you don't want to call it a niche, you know, color, target audience.

First thing, one of the first things, Facebook ads and Google ads, Ashley, of course, isn't it. Who

Michael: [00:31:16] do you want to target

Gareth: [00:31:17] or do you want to target? And yet we know lots of people in our sector. Ignore

Michael: [00:31:21] it. Yep. And the, I think as well, people, and again, you mentioned retail right now. I think there's more opportunities than just going after the industry because there's so many different and that's actually not saying that.

Yeah, retail was the wrong one. It's because it, by definition, everything is becoming more split and more opened out. And there are new new industries and new ways of doing stuff. And I'm like, you don't like, yes, a lot of people have gone after industries in the past and it's worked great, but there's loads of other areas for you to go after and.

Just work on every single day and do it really, really well. And that adds to your clarity of where you want to go. And wouldn't, you know, that makes it easy to generate leads and sales. When you start generating sales, start generating more money and all of a sudden the business isn't so appalling to work in anymore because you've got money coming in and you're being rewarded for the work that you're doing.

Gareth: [00:32:18] So you've got the money, but you've, you've got the expertise as well. I think that's it. No, you become an expert in it, but when you're upstate right in the industry. So my business was retail focused. I said, I thought about this in the dash just quickly. We were a retail agency where we came in a lot pressure from our creative teams who wants to work on brands as well, and known as what can read.

Some of them will come brand stops on stuff. That's on shelves as well as massive sort of in a strain business, which is another story. But, um, I was thinking where we retail focus. We sent everywhere, but actually we weren't just retail focused. We weren't, I'm not saying this is a niche. We were value retail.

We didn't work with prouder or Louis Vuitton, or it was the, um, PLA Aster. Greg speak was cold. It wasn't always true retail, but, but there were high street. Value focused because there are lots of reasons, but that was our true nature when it came to live or whatever. However, you might not, it wasn't a hard back when we didn't work with those people.

So there was deeper niche, but actually targets and down, you know, when I first met you and you said I worked with funnel builders, I remember thinking, um, fabulous. My, I lost very, how many of them are in the unit, their phone book, but now, because we've worked together a little bit, I think. No. Am I just targets for builders?

That's why doesn't he target in front of builders in

Michael: [00:33:46] Harrison? Yeah. So this is my thing. I now specifically say I just do sales training for funnel builders, right? That's it. And I was like, I'm just going to do sales. It used to be, we had a course on building funnels, delivering them, selling them. I was like, no, no, no.

I'm just going to do sales. We're just going to focus on that. Turns out there's other guys doing that. Yeah. And, um, w w how much more specific have I got to get? And it's interesting, you mentioned about retail because a lot of people say, I want to work with service-based businesses. I'm like, okay, cool accounts for 95% of GDP, but all right.

And like this, there is, if you said, I want to target manufacturing, there's an enormous difference between like 3m and your local, like welding company, both are in manufacturing. What you have targeted there is, I would agree. You actually don't necessarily work with retail. It is it's value-based businesses that have a certain perception about where they are literally physically on the high street, as well as with their, within their customers' mindsets.

And it is a hundred times easier for me to find you clients, if you know who they are.

Gareth: [00:34:46] Yes, that's right.

Michael: [00:34:47] I can find you leads. This is the question I get all the time. Like where do I find more leads? Cool. Who do you want to find? Oh, I don't really know. That's going to be really difficult for me to be able to find you the thing that you don't know what it is.

Yeah. I dunno why people shy away from that?

Gareth: [00:35:03] No, absolutely. No. Another thing I thought of the day, I don't know whether you'd agree with this, but I've often it pains me. The marketing agencies usually terrible about marketing themselves

Michael: [00:35:15] a hundred percent.

Gareth: [00:35:16] No. Why is that? But then I was thinking again, back to my memory bank, something.

Why is that? Well, because what is the focus? Not all of them, but lots of them are focused on

Michael: [00:35:26] B2C. Yep.

Gareth: [00:35:28] So as we were in retail and this is a business relationship and we were marketing our clients to consumers, to people in the high streets. But then, so then actually, is it any wonder that we struggled to market ourselves?

Actually, not really, because we have very little experience in B2B marketing.

Michael: [00:35:45] Yeah. Yeah, yeah,

Gareth: [00:35:46] man. We didn't to pay for anybody. And I know that doesn't get in there a lot of B2B agents, but we didn't know how to market ourselves because we're in marks and we're amongst an agency, but we didn't work in B2B very well.

Very, very rarely the old client here in the,

Michael: [00:36:03] but this is why as well. Like again, when you niche down and you get specific. That builds in my opinion, profit into the business because you do get really good at it. And other people will say, wow, that's pretty much the same thing. I'm like, fill your boots if you want to come in and, and give some, yeah, it's funny because there are a lot of things that are very broad and applicable to all businesses, but the processes you build, the specific skillset and the specific solution for the specific result for the specific group of people, that's your process.

Like no one else is going to be able to do that tool and yeah. That's such a valuable asset to have. Yeah. Um, I think as well, a part of it is this phenomenon where people will treat their dog better than themselves. And I think a lot of agency owners feel that they're in a weird way for whatever weird sick reason, they don't feel they deserve to be successful within a niche.

And so they, they refrain from moving away from it. Again, all mindset. They love their idea of their customers because they go, no, we love what you do. We get what you do. We get your vision and your statement. And we want to help you do that. But internally, they felt, I actually don't deserve that level of success is a very broad term, but.

There's something about, they don't want to do it to themselves because they don't feel they deserve it. I don't know.

Gareth: [00:37:20] Yeah, no, I, I can see that. And I think they had an agency alarm. This is strange alum because it seems to be more competition between agencies rather than be happy or delirious. They're happy with being successful and profitable, but loved by a group of people in.

Yeah, dog food manufacturer. So whatever your plan is, um, people seem to be more worried about being sort of seen brother to pick up sort of plastic awards on in the world tonight campaign. But I wasn't there when we said, well, let's have a value. I have a purpose book. And we sat in those a world. When we used to sit in the woods.

Now she's still around to see these guys. They give you any money, you know? Yes. You might recruit and work with some people they're not giving you any money. And then now you can. So what, why do you, why do you play so much emphasis on being, you know, how look by them or being applauded by them because they're not really, they're not your customers.

Michael: [00:38:20] Anyway. I wholeheartedly agree. I wholeheartedly agree. Look, guys. I'm going to leave it open for a couple of minutes. If anyone's got any questions, I've got a question. Come in here from Tony. There's about ten second delay. So just quickly on the mention of nations niches, if you had to sell your forward slash 49 niches, all one word, you can actually get a free list.

49 niche examples specifically for funnel agencies to target. It's just a list. So you can go ahead to sell your forward slash 49. Niches of any of this is sunk in again. It's interesting Gareth and I talk regularly. Every call, we seem to be on with colleagues and friends seems to come back to what's your niche.

So it's, it's interesting that it's come back to this as well on this call. So I'm, I'm very happy with that. Um, but yeah, if you've got any questions, put them in, uh, we've got one here from, uh, Tony. Uh, I've never had anyone talk about niching in the way that Mike has. Uh, honestly, I'm still struggling with going that narrow.

Definitely a bit of fear. There you speak to anything about that, that, that getting over that fear to Tony Garth.

Gareth: [00:39:20] Yeah. I mean, it is absolute fear, but I think that the, like any other fear it's just in your head really. And, um, once you go down the path yeah. You, you, you, I'm not saying you'll never go back, but once you start to go down the path, you realize that, um, you get so much more aggravate.

You get so much value, respect. You, listen, people listen to you more, you know what you can get from it. As you mentioned earlier, you just now mind you can get from a to B quicker. So, so you've got your process in place. You don't have to think about how am I going to do this, or who am I? Who is this again?

What target market? You know it, so you can not much more, you can do a better job because you get to be, you know, you get to point B quicker. So the end point, if that's point C you can spend time between B and C, not worrying about how do I do this. So, because you've done it before, you know, you're doing then for the same market and you understand how it works.

And, um, just a quick thing, you know, I, um, my own niche experience with noise when I left my agency, I, um, I wants to work with other businesses and talk about working with other businesses, but I was very, I wanted to I'll leave the agency sector alone behind. Or I'll, I'll want to broaden my, I work with SMEs and I got very little traction out of it.

And as soon as I started talking about agencies again, um, not only did people start to listen, but I started to enjoy it again, because I didn't have to, there was a friend of mine, who's a jeweler. He worked with him for awhile. Got your grade, give him some bite marks in it. Here's some advice. And we were in as a good guy, but, um, I guess Machar because I didn't really understand the jewelry business and then realized pretty quickly.

But once he does that on me. Yeah. So, so yeah, what the start, the walk start the path and, um, you'll turn back.

Michael: [00:41:02] Well, that's interesting. Again, another one quickly from Tony. My hesitation is what have I ended up with a Nisha don't love. My advice would be just pick one that you do love and no one's forcing you to go down a path, right?

Gareth: [00:41:12] No, absolutely not. No, you can, you can trial and you don't, you don't have to come back, but, but I think the experience of, um, and if you want to call it an issue fine, but it's the, it's being an expert in space.

Michael: [00:41:24] What a great way of

Gareth: [00:41:24] putting it. Yeah. That's what it is. You had donor something that only, you know, we think actually, no, I'm not really that passionate about this area.

Well, that's okay. But you'll learn so much. And then you can think a little bit more capable at that that works, but not in that sector. What will the sector, what sector am I passionate about? I'll look, I'll look skiing or whatever it might be. Winter sports is running short every Monday.

Michael: [00:41:48] Awesome. Amazing mate.

How can people find you where I was beyond noise?

Gareth: [00:41:53] Wasn't it. So, uh, yeah, so beyond noise. Um, if you, if you Google beyond noise, uh, I come up. Uh, John Typhon and have a look at the website. And if anybody wants to, yeah. Can answer with me and ask me any further questions. Um, then, then I'm around and, and we'd love to hear from people I've got a score card on there about sort of that the, which is essentially the.

Eh, agency operating model, which gives you a bit of a score online less than four minutes in terms of find your weaknesses and an agency. So it's free. It's just an online thing as a scorecard. Give it a go.

Michael: [00:42:30] Awesome. And that's a beyond hyphen

Gareth: [00:42:32] Hi for Yeah.

Michael: [00:42:34] Fantastic mate. Thank you so much for that massively.

Appreciate it guys again, free list of 49 niche examples. So your forward slash 49 niches. You can go ahead and just get that list sent to you in the meantime. Thank you so much, Gareth. Thank you for joining me for the half hour that we booked in,

Gareth: [00:42:52] could speak to you and I'm enjoying it.


Michael: [00:42:55] No worries. Thank you, mate. Good to speak to you.


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