Josh Tapp and Jason How Discuss...How to Dominate Your Market with Paid Traffic and Grow Your Business to Multi-million Dollars. Taking Advantage of OPA (Other People's Audiences) You Can Leverage Paid Traffic Sources To Grow Your Business Faster Than Ever
Dive Deeper Into This Episode at theluckytitan.com/jasonhow
Jason How is an entrepreneur and owner of Agency J, a vertically integrated agency helping course creators and high-ticket coaches grow and scale their business to multiple six-figure months. His clients are usually market leaders, like Co-Active Training Institute (pioneers of the coaching industry) and Nutritional Coaching Institute (emerging and disruptive upstart in the nutrition coaching industry).
While Agency J is a profit-driven enterprise, the company aims to partner with purpose-driven entrepreneurs to maximize their impact by delivering high-quality programs to as many customers as possible. Agency J does not take on clients who do not have a clear idea of their purpose or impact, or if they have a low success rate on their programs.
Jason lives in Singapore and manages a fully-remote team, with members in North America, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we're here with Jason How, and this guy is the founder of agency J. and the reason I wanted to bring him on today is this guy has been working with a lot of coaches and course creators, right, where most of you who listened to this show, you have at least one of those services within your product and so we're really want to talk about that today and you know, how he's actually been leveraging his agency to help a lot of these agencies, excuse me, these coaches and course creators to scale their companies so Jason, say what's up to everybody, and let's hop in.
Jason: Hey, guys, Hi, everyone. I'm not sure when he got to the CD or, you know, just hear me, but I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me here.
Josh: They will see you as well. So that's, that's good. So, Jason, I want to ask you this, just to kind of kick it off, what was that pivotal point in your business where you realized I need to, to run an agency? Right, you know, it's kind of that business decision point that all of us have, where we realize there's a need in the market. What was that point?
Jason: Yeah. Well, to be very honest, because I started my journey very early on as a, as a freshman in University, what it really did was just freelance work, just trying to figure out what it is that I wanted in my life but I would say very much after I left the university and finished with my first job. That was, I guess, a turning point in time, at a point in time, I would have done it a lot earlier if I had a choice but because I was at a Fulbright scholarship with the college and there was always going to and I also as part of the free scholarship needed to serve the one of the government agencies for two years, I didn't have an any choice to, you know, kind of just bring him on and decide to hop into this full time, I would recommend that I was actually a few years late because first of all, during my journey, I was actually offered a role to join, not sure whether you guys are familiar with episomal, I was actually given a role or offered a role by Noah Kagan to join him to do paid traffic, then that was back in 2015 and then 2016, he partnered up with a group to run ads for the likes of Golden State Warriors, the economist of all bits, big brains and then after that, I cannot just go into my own after I left the agency so I didn't realize it very early on, I guess, in terms of turning point, but I wasn't really able to act until I finished with my kind of like, distant, you know, every government agency back in 2018 so that's where I really got started with the agency.
Josh: See, and I love that because there's a lot of people who do digital marketing, right, you know, and I'm kind of guilty of this as well, I was in college, I started my first agency and I remember feeling like, you know what, I have to pretend like I know what I'm talking about at the time, I had never run an ad in my life and you know, a lot of a lot of agencies are built that way, you know, in their mom and mom and dad's basement, where you know, with you, you have that corporate experience, it's really intriguing to me to watch, actually a couple different people who've done this, where they, they take their corporate experience running multimillion dollar ad budgets, and they bring it down to people like us who you know, must might have smaller ad budgets, but you know, you're able to convert a lot better right, than most of you Vanquis, you understand how it works at scale so, you know, walk me through kind of your methodology so let's let's I'm just going to give you an example as a coach, right? I have a lot of coaching in the past, I have a group coaching program, it's a $10,000 price point. Where would you start with somebody like that? You know, I've already made some good sales, I've got a decent funnel, but but how would you recommend moving forward?
Jason: Yeah, so we nowadays, the advice I give to a one I speak to is, if you don't have a working funnel with paid ads, that you're spending at least like $100 $200, a day that you are converting profitably, you're not ready to hire an agency, I keep telling coaches, you know, it doesn't matter which agency you hire, like there's nine out of 10 chance you're going if you burn, then it's not exactly going to be the agency sport is purely a matter of timing so I think you need to understand the economics or anyone will look looking to hire an agency or want to work with an agency needs to understand the economics behind hiring agency, you're hiring them, you're definitely going to pay a retainer, which is kind of like an ongoing cost that you're going to incur and you're basically getting back time to work on other things so I would always tell people, you know what it may be 10K 20k. I told them, if you do not have a unicorn, running your clients from the coming from paid traffic, then run your paid traffic yourself first, get it up to a point where you're generating $30 $40,000 worth of sales from paid traffic, you know, across a number of months, you get some sort of consistency there so you know, it's not a one hit wonder and that's when I think you're ready to really explore working with an agency and I find that when I walk in clients like that my success rate with them is close to 100% but when I start accepting clients to add 10k 5k a month, they're like you I've made a ton of organic sales, even our success rates, you know, can be as low as 25% to 30%. So these days, we have a very strict policy, if we come across somebody and they are not ready for x, they're not ready for us, we're not going to rush them, we're simply going to give them advice and tell them, hey, you've got a great offer, you're validated your organic traffic, in fact, we've got clients who came to us where they have one in a million dollars a year in organic sales and they come to us to say, Hey, I'm ready to budge on paid ads, but even for them, because they have never run paid traffic, or never made paid traffic work for their business, it still takes a bit of time for them to do the testing for them to get things working, there's so many iterations that you need to do to your webinar in order to change and tweak the message such that you will work with a completely cold traffic.
Josh: Yeah, yeah and that's, that's a really cool methodology, right because that gives you a benchmark, you know, if you're not at that point, where you're spending $100 a day, you know, you're really not ready to hire an agency and I love that you you bring that to play, because I know for us, you know, we early on, we tried to hire agencies, and we weren't even spending $1 on ads, right and we'd spend all this money getting them, you know, paying them to come work for us and and make our ads and they're like, well, where are your ads, well, that's what you're here for. Right and I don't believe you really need an agency until you've like you said, proven the offer, because once the offer is proven, and the sales happened, the ad agency is gonna blow it up, right, they're not going to be there to make your offer better for you, especially if it's just an ad agency.
Josh: So with with you, you know, with your own company and generating leads for yourself. And I want to ask you this question, because it's always an interesting response. When you ask an ad agency, how do you get business, what's kind of your number one lead source for your company, Jason?
Jason: Yeah. So while we're number one, the thoughts are actually recommendations from our existing clients and secondly, because I started my, when I first started my journey, freelancing and everything I've built, kind of like a personal brand online diary. You know, if you've done a lot of blog posts very early on, I was associated with Social Media Examiner, agora pulse, espresso in all the early kind of influence circle platforms for social media marketing and as a result, people kind of know me, they know me what I do, and how I'm positioned and therefore like, you know, even if they didn't think of working near a point in time, I had people writing to me two or three years later asking me, Hey, you know, you're a guy that I read your book, because I absolutely love it and I've always thought what one thing you woke up one day, and now my business is really, so I would say that my biggest source of sources of, of sales, for ladies comes definitely comes from our assisting clients, as well as organic, kind of like presence on on, you know, on Facebook. Yeah,
Josh: love that. It's funny to watch, because depending on on the business that you have, right, and then the industry, you're in different types of marketing work better, you know, obviously, referral sales, that's just what that's the best and for agencies like ours, you know, where we are a high high ticket agency, same as you, you almost don't need ads as much to scale, because you're getting enough, you're getting almost too many leads to be able to actually convert, you know, you know, saying like, we can't really onboard that many people in any given month so it's really intriguing to me to just see the other ways that you're doing it so let's talk through Jason, how the who, right so in your company, and I'm just going to ask you this kind of a two-fold question right for your company and for, you know, a coaching business or something that's doing half a million in revenue, who is the who who do you hire, what what's the, what's the first thing you outsource, is it your fulfillment? Is it your marketing? Is it your sales? What do you recommend?
Jason: Yeah, so I would say, just be so on my own experience, very early on, the first person I hired was actually close client success manager, someone who will take the load off my mind of having to respond quickly to clients to handle things like any instructions or breach of the clients to follow up with clients are things that we need, for example, questionnaires getting filled out, or customer interviews that we need to do, or getting our ads approved and reviewed, those things, basically, I got a plan Process Manager to do it for us so that's the first person and then we actually experimented with many different people after that many different roles because we kind of restructured our agency several times, I was building my agency based on what I think will work best and, you know, we kind of took several iterations before we found a structure that really worked at scale and there was after talking with many agency owners as well, and we follow that not every agency structure what works for us, because you don't get different as well. Just Just everyone is different so I would say the big biggest kind of like shift that we experienced as an agency was when I hired a skilled copywriter when I brought on you know, an Australian copywriter as well as a Canadian copywriter he got to copywriters at a moment in the team and they were so good like you know they literally came on and not only did I not have to worry anymore about copy but they actually took it to the next level they actually wrote copy that was just like oh wow, I looked at it I was like okay, because I needed to find a really you know, whereas in the past but I you know, kind of hired people who mixed with me buying and copy the copy was like so so any media buying is so so and that created a lot of trouble so yeah, I think like you know, if there's any agency owner listening today, I would say 100% hire someone good, just pay the money and you don't get many false return as for the copywriter however we I personally am intrigued somewhat in coffee so I can distinguish between good and bad coffee so I actually went through like I would say easily 100 applications and only shortlisted three copywriters and this is coming from 100 like so called qualified copywriters because not every copywriter writes good copy both of them are great at positioning themselves because they bought some course and you don't get charged very highly and in a lot of appraiser probably hate me for saying this but I would say a lot of them are more fluff than the material and we were I was just really lucky to be honest to come across this to copywriters, they're just awesome people and do it you just love writing, you're not out there trying to to make a quick buck in your shows in your work, it shows in your attitude, it shows in your work ethic so copywriters that is the second hire, and higher is actually a media manager someone to replace me because I was media buying trade so really letting go of managing client campaigns, you know, it just allows us to grow that much faster, I was just showing my team that compared to two years ago, we have grown three times and compared to last year's is COVID 50, growth about 100%. So going over the growth has been huge for us and you know, without, without passing it on to someone without training them without putting everything that I know into frameworks, processes and steps sure enough, you can never capture 100% on what you do but you can at least capture 80% and just coach the remaining 20% based on case by case scenarios as they come along and that has really created a huge shift for us as an agency and you know, your been your most profitable this year, I am really grateful for that. Well As for clothing businesses. Now the second part of the question, I honestly am not the best person to ask them to the hiring because they don't we have not built a coaching business ourselves from scratch. However, just based off what I've learned from our own clients, definitely getting a admin person to come in and help out with the day to day stuff and also helping out with some of your appointment scheduling follow up. So appointment setting would be really helpful as well and I would see if that role is really hiring coaches to help you fulfill so those three things, I would say are kind of like the reflection of you know, the equivalent of a copywriter, media manager and a collected says manager in an agency. So I feel like, you know, there's almost some things that they could apply and learn in a coaching company as well but I you know, I just think that just based off what my clients have done, those three roles, or roles that I think have the most impact on helping the business grow, for sure.
Josh: That's awesome. When and I love that you mentioned that because it again, it's it's different depending on industry but what most people don't realize when they look at a company, especially in the digital age with these with being a digital entrepreneur, there's only three things you have to fill, there's three roles, you have marketing, sales and fulfillment and so you know what one of those is your biggest roadblock right now and most people say, Oh, it's my sales, when in reality, it's probably not your sales, it's probably you don't have good quality leads or enough leads, that's that's been my experience at least.
Josh: and you're probably not sucking at sales. It's usually just you're in the room with the wrong person.
Jason: I totally agree.
Josh: It's just so funny to watch that you know that that, I guess that miscommunication that people have that misconception where they think oh, it is it's always sales, but it usually isn't that that's usually not the problem.
Jason: Exactly. I think like if I could just share a quick story here of we suffer from a very seems situation, I would say up to the end of last year. What happened was I worked with Joe a waste team so Joe is you know, one of the webinar gurus and he teaches people like the coffee I think the power offer so funny, right as an agency, we have to hire them, you know, to create our webinar funnel but I thought they were the best in business so I walked in and did copywriter, and Brian is, is basically the person that helped us to craft and reposition our offer, like we already do all the right things because our offer is really awesome, like our systems in place and everything's great, but we just didn't know how to sell it really funny, you know, for our market ourselves, we don't really know sell one thing, but you know, it's uncommon. Exactly. So after the consulting session with this copywriter, like, ever since that day, my closing rate on sales has been like 100% and we only this they're not 100% only when we reject clients, returning clients now, in fact, right now, I have four clients that we held off just because we are maxed capacity. And we told them like, you know, if you really want to work with this kind of work, we got to wait until November because we've got to bring on someone in October, and then we need around a month of trading so they all said, Yes. So anyway, coming back to that, I would say, yeah, the copywriter was just great. He looked at our offers, like, no, this is not what you guys should do. Jesus should say, just like, yeah, don't even make sense, you know, like that, that when he told us like, you know, he's worked with so many agencies, and this is the first time he's heard of like, a b c feels like, Oh, are you serious. So like, just just focusing our messaging of the agency around those three points, while like, the quality of the people that have come to us to want to work with us has been amazing and even when I do outbound, for example, I'm part of a couple of memberships, where they also offer their members leads if you pass a certification test, and I've done that a long time ago so I reached out, and often, you know, these leads are kind of get, like people who are gonna get 10 20 different emails, and I have no issues, getting them to respond and I have no issues getting them on a call and no issues closing them purely because of the messaging and the things that took away from that, you know, that that call with the copywriter from from some with agents. So I'm very grateful, even though it costs a ton of money. It was it was money well spent, for sure.
Josh: Yeah. So that seems to be typically what happens. I, I so I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I always watch other entrepreneurs, even in my own family fail, because they're trying to say, how can I do this without spending money? That's just not the case. I don't believe in building a business for free from scratch because I know I tried to do it for three years and never made any significant amount of money until I started saying, Okay, you know what, I'm going to go into debt, and I'm going to make some strategic decisions that cost a lot of money and that's when our business started to take off, because it's just a principle of sacrifice.
Jason: Yeah, I think like, that is one thing, but also just being okay with failing and wasting money so I hired three different coaches, our first coach was like a complete disaster is one of the biggest group coaching program out there and I know if I say the name everyone though it but there were a complete disaster, it was terrible, we paid like $10,000 for almost like nothing in return. We hired a second coach and it was like $5,000, same thing, that I mean, we agreed on deliverables and when I became a client he told you to do deliverables right basically got me to try and change my industry to work on like an industry, I have no interest in. Like, granted, I could have done better due diligence, there's definitely things that I could have done better, I'm not like shirking responsibility but what I'm saying is, despite all the failures, I see you continue investing, and eventually we found really good people, the third one of us that was taught brown and brown really worked out really well he introduced me to the whole idea of messaging and re polling, our agency's messaging and we took that same framework he teaches us to do the messaging for all of our clients has been really useful and then of course, the fourth one was not a coaching program, it was basically working with your way so I will say we have invested over like $40,000 working with coaches, you know, just hiring agencies outside and I refer only to the high ticket ones we have invested a lot of you know, meet ticket or low ticket courses $2,000 $1,000 I'm just not counting those but yeah, I would say once you get used to it like and you know be okay even if you fail to find like someone from your first $5,000 investment you know continue you know keep pushing on as long as you're earning an income you can earn back the money you're getting you're really basket and you know, you will multiply eventually and I'm pretty sure like you know, that's like probably what a lot of people experience a small you're not going to find a right coach from from from the get go.
Josh: Yeah, yeah, I completely agree and it's coaching such an interesting thing because I 100% believe in getting a coach. I think the problem that most people have though is they think that that's going to be their salvation, the road out, but when you hire a coach, they're gonna immediately tell you Sorry, spending more money, that's just how it is and not sometimes it's with them, sometimes it's hiring an agency or buying a product, there's always something they're going to be telling you to do so you have to be prepared with that and come with the capital preparations is my, my personal belief, you know, have have enough lines of credit or something that you can pull from or, you know, maybe your own 401k, or whatever that you can pull from but I think people fall into that same trap, like you said, you have to spend $10,000 on this coaching program, and it's gonna be, you know, the greatest thing that ever happened them. And I mean, I'm, I'm guilty of spending $25,000 on multiple different types of coaching and being like, you know, I probably could have got away with their course, you know, not needing the axe. Yeah, no and I think a lot of people fall in that trap, where it's like, oh, I need to spend money on coaching, where in all reality, you can get a fantastic coach, without even paying for it, if you just find somebody who's more successful than you in the industry, who doesn't have a coaching program, they're usually willing to coach you and be kind of, on your side, right, to be your friend on it and hold you accountable to it. So So Jason, yeah, we've been going for here for about 20 minutes at this point but I just want to ask you, you know, kind of about your motivation, and where you're, you're finding, like what your next goals are for your company and so for you guys, where you're currently at what's kind of the next big target, where are you guys running for right now?
Jason: Yeah, I kind of figured out the entire agency game and found that it's, it's not really that fun, because ultimately, to go agency, you, you hire people, you take on a couple more clients, you hire another people person so it's kind of like just adding headcount getting ready to take on more clients, you know, it's the game is honestly getting boring but our purpose has always been to work with great coaches and cost creators and just putting their programs which we know changes lives into the hands of as many people as possible, I would say, we're incredibly blessed that we have over a dozen clients who are just fantastic. They're just amazing human beings with great programs with just fantastic results, not like any of the coaches that I previously but I would say our goal right now, actually is we are looking to start our own e-commerce brand, we are in the midst of exploring the logistics side of things and working on a packaging and the offer as well, we have actually gotten a sales copy written, we're just looking to create a packaging to, you know, put everything premium prop on a Shopify store and kind of start selling it, just to gauge the demand before we you know, start producing the product so that's where we're headed and as a team, I think we're all getting excited about like, taking our years and years of training into kind of putting into something that we own as a team and I know everyone is like, you know, really hyped up about it, the agency any other day, I would say is going to exist as, as a training ground for new people who want to pick up digital marketing skills, of course, only, you know, those who can catch up to the speed because the pace of agency live is very fast and it's definitely not for everyone, then separately, there's also a place for our more experienced folks who want to give back and we have several people on the team as well who are at a stage in their life where they're like, sitting all done it all and they're like, do you just want to teach the younger folks, you want to share with them what they've learned, you know, I didn't want to be away and it's a great opportunity for them to do that as well, because they're doing a lot internal consulting and then I guess if anyone out there wants to advance their career, hopefully, if the ecommerce brand works out, they can they can join us over in e commerce company and I think that's where we will see a lot more growth and scale with the business as well.
Josh: Remind me after this call, I want to connect to a Steven Summers. He's like the king of e-commerce and he's like a coaching program but as we were just talking with coaching, I would just be that'd be somebody I would work with, are you not even for coaching, but they have a really good business for getting you come out there quick. Awesome, Jason. Well, I appreciate you coming on. So let me let me ask you a couple final questions here. So the first question is, where can people find you and agency J?
Jason: Yeah, the easiest way to look for us is that agencyj.co is co. at the end, we do have an E-tech form, you can fill in the details, currently, honestly, we don't have any color any openings until like late September, because we're not taking any clients until like, you know, I would say all years, it's really November. Just be some projections right now, we do, we are counting already looking for a video buyer and this time around compared to what we did in the past, we are looking only for people with at least two years of experience so they can hit the ground running but of course, we still need to do some internal training and testing and things like that but yeah, so agency.co is the best place look for us.
Josh: Love that. Well then just ask you one final question, Jason. If you could give us one final parting piece of guidance, what would that be?
Jason: Um, yeah, in fact, I think I've shared this with several folks recently, I think the biggest lesson I've learned Is to solve problems in the right sequence, I think what you focus on expense, which is what a lot of people would say, but how do you choose what you focus on a is really just as key, it's really important as an entrepreneur that you are focusing in on solving the right problem at a point in time, if let's say you have a fulfillment issue, and you're trying to solve problems with sales or with lead generation is going to set you back so much more so we ask yourself, what is you know, what is the most pressing and most important problem to solve right now, and kind of like sequence out the entire list of problems that you have and tackle them one at a time and we have found the most growth right after we tackle really problems is sequence and that's basically what we've experienced so far of our agency.