In this podcast series, Gin interviews some of our very own WP Elevation members, discovering the secret to their business success. It’s an inspiring series, full of useful tips and strategies for running your own WP business, so be sure to tune in!
This week Gin speaks with Jurgen Strauss, founder of Innovabiz. Jurgen is a community mentor which means he is a long-standing member who gives advice to our newer members. This guy knows everything there is to know about marketing from years in corporate and then starting his own successful digital marketing and web development company. Find out the secret to Jurgen’s success from podcasting to creating processes, to building big lead generating websites.
Jurgen’s journey is quite an interesting one. He started off with 27 years of experience in corporate marketing and enjoyed both the challenges and being able to work his way up. However, in the last few years, things changed – he is driven by serving his clients and the company that he was working for wasn’t putting an emphasis on relationships and he didn’t want to be a part of something that wasn’t in line with his values.
Jurgen went off on his own and started a business which he initially thought would be a marketing and business consultancy (because that was his background). However, he soon came to realise that his marketing was based on corporate experience which didn’t work well with small business. The Global Financial Crises also got in the way at the time and people were cutting back on marketing expenses. Jurgen realised that in those meetings people would often tell him that they needed websites. Aha! Lightbulb moment!
Jurgen decided to figure out how to make websites and discovered WordPress. He built a website for a client who was impressed that they were able to get leads pretty quickly. It was then that he decided to change his company focus to building websites as a marketing tool.
Jurgen taught himself how to use WordPress with some courses along the way. He isn’t great at coding so he has people to help him. He decided that it wasn’t a good use of his time to learn something that he wasn’t interested in. He was better off focussing on his strengths.
He has niched his business down in the last 12-18 months to focus more on targeting business coaches. He had a range of different clients but his marketing is focussed towards business coaches now as they are the people who respond well to his message. There is no point in trying to get your message across to the wrong audience!
The key thing for Jurgen was setting up good systems. He developed a transformational marketing map with the stages that he uses in his own business and the businesses that he works with:
The revelation for him was to get clear with his target audience – getting really clear about who they are to the point where you can give them a name, an image and a story that you can attach a whole lot of information to (a tip he learned from the WP Elevation Blueprint!).
Ask yourself – what are their needs, behaviours, hobbies, beliefs, values, frustrations and aspirations. That way you can communicate with them. Find out where they hang out. Such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or in real life are they in a Chamber of Commerce. You can even attend those meetings, or find where their meetups are.
You can build trust quite quickly by giving away free information or services and creating clear processes such as Jurgen’s transformational marketing map (download the detailed map on his website).
Jurgen also blogs and has a podcast series which helps position himself as an expert. The content is on social media, with a lot of it automated to get his blogs and articles posted and shared easily. However, he also spends time engaging with people and sharing other people’s content.
Innovabiz also has a weekly newsletter. Typically they include a variety of relevant articles in there, two of which will be their own, the rest are written by other people. This shows the client that they care about their success, even if it is to share another person’s knowledge with them.
Jurgen’s advice is that if you are thinking of doing a podcast- just do it! If you want help, there is a lot of support within the WP Community.
Jurgen had some personal coaching with Troy and one of the things Troy suggested was to start a podcast. He isn’t afraid to get on camera and talk to people so he found the idea of simply having a conversation with someone not daunting at all.
When Jurgen was in corporate, he had made many international contacts which weren’t helpful for him when he was trying to get local business. However, he realised with a podcast he could leverage these relationships and speak to some really successful people doing innovative things. Hence the theme – innovation.
At the end of interviewing someone on a podcast be sure to ask the person “who else would you like me to interview?” Then you are introduced to complete strangers who are more likely to come on the show due to the introduction.
Jurgen’s advice – forget about yourself and think about the audience. You have a gift and something to contribute to the audience. So get over yourself, get out there and make it about the audience and how you can help them.
It is hard to quantify but the reason they did it was for positioning. They an opportunity to land a large corporate client due to the fact that the CEO of that business was a guest on the podcast. So the podcast was the critical factor in that.
A number of small business clients also told him that they had a number of options, but the fact that they had listened to his podcast swayed them his way!
Jurgen says that cash flow has made it stressful at times. You get to a point where you spend a lot of money, put out a lot of proposals and you’re counting on getting a lot of money coming in, but client’s delay. However, when it rains, it pours and sometimes you can take on too many clients!
A few years ago he changed his business model from building websites as a single service, to monthly retainer payments from most of his clients which definitely helps with the cash flow situation and building long-term relationships.
Jurgen tells the client up front that if they want a website build with him that they need to go onto a care plan. That usually works pretty well. With the bigger projects, he tends to do it over a 12 month period so it gives them the chance to scale it and show them how it is working. The idea then of course, is that they continue on.
How does Jurgen stay positive? He says that you have good and bad days but he tries to remind himself that at any given time in this world there is someone out there that is desperate for the magic that only you can provide and you can transform their lives. So you need to find a way to get out there and find those people, get in front of them and build your business in a way that feels good for you and makes you profit and growth.
Understand that there might be people that you think are doing things better than you, but that there are clients who will be a better fit for you and what you do. So there is no need to compare!
Jurgen takes time to get out on his bike for an hour or so first thing in the morning. When he is on his own a lot of good ideas come to him. If he skips a day then he doesn’t feel right.
He says to do whatever you’re passionate about to get away from work and switch off a bit.
He had an interesting conversation with guest Dr Fiona Kerr on his podcast recently who is a neuroscientist and talked about how when we switch off the mind we actually become more creative and it helps you develop new ideas. Find the link to this in the links section below.
Beaver Builder especially now with the themer
Day to day Tools:
Ryver, which is a Slack alternative, where they do all their communication
Zoom link for live chats
Zapier for integration
Paperform which is similar to Gravity Forms
Listen in at the end to find out where his business is going and his exciting upcoming plans. Including a joint venture which will include training programs and his annual business planning retreat with the next one being in Vanuatu. So Stay tuned for that one!
And that’s a wrap! Jurgen is a wealth of knowledge, so please feel free to ask him any questions in the comments section below and he will get back to you.
Start winning better projects with bigger budgets now.