Pick His Brain!
I’d like to introduce one of our members, Herman Pool, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.
Herman is an 8-figure serial entrepreneur who owns Vertical Axion with thousands of clients and other offline ventures.
One of the ways he onboard clients is by offering niche-specific, SEO-optimized microsites using a custom-built CMS.
He has also written a book recently which made the best seller’s list in a sub-niche.
I’ve known him for many years as a friend and he is a truly rare breed and a wonderful human being who also happens to be a great entrepreneur.
If you have any questions related to business growth or systematizing your business, please feel free to pick his brain.
Here are the rules.
1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.
2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s successes and strategies.
3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.
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Can you give us an explanation of your business, are you an seo provider, ie. you build these sites and your clients own them?
Our primary business is creating websites, content, and newsletters for clients in specific verticals.
SEO is an upsell for us.
What’s the biggest mistake agency owners make when attempting to scale their business?
Biggest mistake I made growing my business and that I’ve seen my clients make is not having documented processes in place.
The second biggest problem I’ve seen is neglecting to spend on marketing
It was 15 years into my first business that I realized process is for everything.
I created process for my ISP support early on, but neglected to create process for everything else until 15 years later.
One day I woke up and realized process is what I needed.
I wrote flowcharts and instructions for everything from answering the phone.
To repairing computers, to answering customers questions using
Google, and even how to change the toilet paper roll.
Could you share a template of one of your processes or how you elaborate them?
How about I show you how I went from homeless to very much not homeless, plus how I build marketing campaigns for companies from Main
Street to Fortune 100s.
How are you spending your marketing $$ – purely digital? mix of digital + traditional?
“How are you spending your marketing $$ – purely digital? mix of digital + traditional?”
Most of my money goes into live events. I do use some for magazine advertising.
But that is mainly so I can build relationships that get me treated better at events.
What’s your company structure to manage 10k+ employees?
I have thousands of clients not thousands of employees.
I pull my hair out with 12 employees.
Between all my businesses we have about 30 employees.
Managing thousands of clients is a matter of creating a flowcharted process anyone can follow and making sure people are cross trained to help each other.
How do you explain your SEO services to clients who have little to no idea of how search engines work?
I don’t bother with people that don’t already understand the significance.
We do frequent webinars where we show people results and interview our clients for others to see the result.
You can’t just buy SEO from our site. In fact, our SEO on our site is lousy.
I don’t want people who aren’t pre-educated on our services to call us.
If you buy from me you heard myself or one of my staff speak at an event or webinar or one of our clients presold you on buying from us.
What should be done to increase authority and get clients? However, your process worked well so may I know more about it?
Write a book.
Get published like I did.
Get paid to speak.
Short of that, the faster and cheaper way is to simply create a simple to understand presentation and book speaking gigs.
Provide real actionable content. Be authentic.
Don’t be afraid to pay for a speaking spot if the crowd is a good size and you can make pitch at the end.
Hire star talent @ 3x the price or average talent at normal price?
Create a process and teach your staff how you want things done.
You get lower cost staff at higher performance.
Reward people with frequent raises when you want to keep them.
What is your book title?
What’s your opinion on going into partnerships – and what are you best tips?
Reseller partnerships can be great.
Find people who you align with morally though.
If someone sketches you out, trust that.
How do you pre-qualify clients? Is there a way to do it without investing your own time?
How do you pre-qualify clients?
Webinars and presentations.
Is there a way to do it without investing your own time?
Sure just buy my e-book for .99 that tells you to buy my video course for $99 that tells you to buy my live event for $30k.
Seriously, though. No.
How do you go about creating a pricing structure for services?
I look at my cost.
Pick a profit margin I am happy with.
Then I double the price because I know I don’t value my own services as highly as others do.
How early on did you start with live events as a form of client getting? Hoping to add this to our new niche agency in the next few years, but want to get some good traction first. how did you get your first 10 niche clients?
First day. 0 clients. Webinar.
After webinar 40 Clients. $100,000 annual revenue mark hit in less than 60 days.
Much of this is due to God’s blessing.
I don’t mind where anyone else sits regarding belief, but I will not take credit for everything on my own.
So is running an arcade still fun with all the headaches that come with an offline business?
Yes. Building another offline business isn’t what I meant to do.
I was just helping my wife with a hobby business.
By the way the arcade (and my wife and I) will be on the cover of the Amusement and Arcade industries biggest magazine in a week or so.
I like accomplishing things.
Do you use any software to make sops. Can i see any example?
Just paint.net and word