Seth Flora speaks | What I've learned in 3 years as a business owner.
Would you rather read than listen? If so, great! That's why we included the transcript below.
Hello and welcome to the first episode of Seth Flora Speaks, a podcast where I will cover topics related to business, marketing, self-help, and more. Today I will be talking about what I’ve learned over the past 3 years as LEO Digital Marketing gets ready to celebrate 3 years of operation.
Let’s start with breaking down year one:
On February 1st of 2019 I launched LEO Digital Marketing after working with a business coach to get me ready for my new adventure. Originally all LEO was going to offer was social media management and Facebook ads. After the launch I started reaching out to local businesses about working together to help grow their online presence. Later in the month I got a facebook message from the director of a local non-profit asking to schedule a meeting to talk about working with them on social media. My first meeting as a business owner! I was stoked! I felt on top of the world! After meeting with David, the director I drove home and quickly put together a proposal with some details. Once I finished writing that up I sent him an email to schedule our next meeting. Between that email and our next meeting I was nervous. This could be my first client. I was asking myself all kinds of questions, like: If I didn't get them to sign, did that mean I was a failure? What if my price was too high? What if my price was too low? Well, once we had our sitdown, I went over my proposal with David and told him the price. Scared he would decline. He said that it all looked good and he was excited to get started. I was overwhelmed with excitement and doing everything I could to avoid showing it. But The moment I got in my car I couldn’t control myself anymore. I was shouting and called a bunch of friends and family to let them know I had just closed my first client. I felt like the man! I was untouchable. At that moment I thought that the next 9 months were going to be easy and that I was going to add 50 clients to my portfolio. Well, the next 9 months did not go as great. Because my first client had reached out to me I felt like I didn't need to reach out to other businesses that much or do any work on my site to bring in new clients. I was dead wrong. I was cocky. I was 22. Needless to say my first year in business wasn’t the greatest. After sitting down in December to analyze my business I realized that maybe I need to reach out to potential clients so this thing can work. So, then came 2020.
2020 was my second year in business. For the first month and a half I worked on creating a strategy to reach out to local businesses. My strategy was to send people messages on LinkedIn, email businesses, and even make cold calls. Starting on LEO’s anniversary I started to implement my new strategy. For the first month or so I noticed that this strategy wasn’t working out. My cold calls got me nowhere. My emails never got returned. And the people I was messaging on LinkedIn were not serious about making that investment. I knew I had to shake things up if I wanted more clients. I sat down and got to working on a new strategy after attending a few webinars and trainings. I had crafted a plan of action that I was confident would get me more business. Then, the entire nation shut down because of COVID-19. Well, my new plan was worthless since nearly every business was closed and the ones that were still open were not open to spending any money in such unsure times. What was I to do? I continued to contact potential clients. After a few months without any progress I decided to spend the rest of the year sharpening my skills for when this pandemic was behind us so I could offer more to businesses. I used all the knowledge I had learned from earlier in the year and applied it to other courses and trainings I took.
Now let’s talk about last year. Our best year so far. Since things had gotten back to a more normal since the pandemic started I was able to implement a plan that helped me build my company’s portfolio with new clients and projects. We also brought on a few contracted team members to help lighten the load for certain projects.
So, what have I learned over the past 3 years?
I learned the hard way that clients won’t just magically come to me. I have to put in the work reaching out to them and working on creating content on social media and my website to attract new clients.
I learned how to create and format proposals that help convert sales.
I learned not to get too excited about the small stuff. When I first started, even setting up a meeting with someone would get me up and jumping around. Now I get excited when I close a deal and the check has been cashed.
I learned that to do what I do I needed to be willing to make the investment of both time and money into keeping myself educated. I attend as many webinars and trainings as I can as well as listen to podcasts and watch the greats on YouTube.
I learned how to decide if a target was worth going after and if they were serious about taking the next step to growing their business.
I have learned so much since launching my company in 2019. Since then, we have seen our team grow from just me to 6 total. We have become a top-rated SEO company in the state of Ohio and in multiple industries. We have begun working on opening an office space. I am so excited for the future of LEO Digital Marketing.