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JazzHR on Scaling to $6m ARR With $25 Giftcards For Demo Calls

http://nathanlatka.com/jazzhr-scaling-6m-arr-25-giftcards-demo-calls/

Pete is CEO of JazzHR and is a results-oriented executive with a 25-year history of a strategic, metrics-driven approach to accelerated revenue Focus on the global small business market. Deep experience in B2B high-velocity customer acquisition.

As CEO of JazzHR, responsible for Jazz’s strategic direction, performance, and day-to-day business operations.

Business Model

The company is a software as a service (SaaS) who sell direct and through partners like Namely and PrismHR. As of September 2017, they have 3,000 customers and are doing $600k in MRR.

How much do companies pay you?

Companies pay between $200-400 and will stay with us for over 9 years based on historical data. We focus on the 50-500 employee team size kind of customer. Other people are much better at enterprise and super SMB.

This means they’ll pay JazzHR a total of around $19,000.

How do you get new customers?

Direct and indirect channels. We spend about 1/3 of LTC on CAC, or about $3000-5000 to acquire a new customer who pays $19k over their life. We have less than 1% gross monthly logo churn.

We use $25 gift cards to get “good fit leads” on a product demo. About 6 months post demo the close rates went through the roof. This strategy is working well.

Will you pass $750k MRR by Dec 31 2017?

Yes. We’re growing over 300% quarter over quarter and hope to hit 20,000 paying customers by 2020.

If Linkedin offered you $24m to sell the company, would you sell?

“No”

Famous Five:

Business Book: The Founders Mentality

CEO you follow: Andy Grove

Favorite online tool: Owler

How much sleep? 7

Pete is married with 3 kids, is 54 and wishes his 20-year-old self-knew that he should take more chances and that he was better than he thought he was (confidence important!).

The post JazzHR on Scaling to $6m ARR With $25 Giftcards For Demo Calls appeared first on Nathan Latka.

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Looking Back Over 5 Years Of Bitcoin Trading & Investing

https://chrisdunn.com/looking-back-5-years-bitcoin-trading-investing/

It was October 2015 and I was speaking at an event with over 500 stock market traders and investors. My presentation was all about Bitcoin, and how it was about to be the next big thing and the best market to trade and invest in… And at that time, Bitcoin’s price was $237. Just two […]

The post Looking Back Over 5 Years Of Bitcoin Trading & Investing appeared first on Blog of Chris Dunn – Learn Skills. Grow Income. Invest Profits..

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5 Must-Have Tools to Help Manage Your Digital Marketing Agency

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/12/12/agency-tools

The key to running a successful agency is to utilise relevant tools and software to manage and automate as many areas of the business as possible, enabling you to focus on the needs of each of your clients. Having great tools in place to help you and your senior team manage areas such as operations, resourcing, CRM and reporting will free up your team to focus on adding value for your clients.

In this post, I’ve put together a list of tools and technology to help you out in areas that are essential in ensuring your agency runs smoothly, so that you can stay focused on your customers.

1. File Storage: Google Drive & File Stream

There are multiple ways of managing files within an agency, but the priorities for any agency owner must be ease of access, security and simple file syncing options.

With Google Drive, agencies can rely on a cloud-based method of storing files. Google Drive allows staff to easily sync files saved on various machines via Google Drive File Stream.

Google Drive (and Docs) is built for collaboration, which makes it the perfect fit for agency working. Whenever a change is made to a file on Google Drive, the previous version is automatically updated, so everyone is accessing the latest version no matter whether you’re accessing it from your iPhone or PC:

 digital marketing agency tool google drive

With Google Drive, your entire agency can also share folders internally or with external clients or contacts while maintaining administrative control themselves:

 digital marketing agency tool google sheets

Of course, you will want to ensure you consider adding an extra layer of security as there will no doubt be client-sensitive information contained within some of the files. Google has this covered via a range of options including:

What if something gets changed or deleted by accident?

If you want to revert to a previous version or undelete a file, you can easily do this in Google Drive or in any Google doc:

agency tool google file restore previous versions 

You can also restore deleted files via the Google Drive admin console.

2. CRM & Agency Management: Podio

Customer relationship management is crucial to running a successful agency. As your agency grows, you’ll need a robust system that will help you to manage data relating to previous, existing and potential clients.

As an agency, you should be looking to implement a CRM system that offers the following features:

  • Ability to easily store and maintain accurate client information
  • Ability to track and manage client communication
  • Tracking billing information, managing invoicing and billing contacts
  • The ability for people across the agency to view up to date client information and information related to client specific projects

At Hallam, we have utilised a project management tool called Podio to build a customised CRM & Project Management workspace that our entire company can access. This space allows us to manage client data, contacts at each organisation we have on record, track client projects, billable and non-billable hours, request resources from multiple areas of the business and create mailing lists from the data we have on record to hook up with Mailchimp.

 agency management software crm podio

 

As a digital agency, you need to keep a close eye on how you and your team spend, bill, and manage time. Podio allows you to build custom apps to track this data and associate it to other apps via the use of relationship fields and automated workflows. For example, all of our client projects link up with apps such as billable hours, non-billable hours and financial forecasts. This ensures we have everything related to each project accessible in a single place:

agency management software podio 

Like a lot of agencies, we started with an Excel spreadsheet to track hours, which can obviously be quite time-consuming (and often painful) to maintain accurate data, especially as we have grown. For anyone still using this approach I would strongly encourage you to test out customisable tools such as Podio which will enable you to mould a system to the needs of your business.

3. Project Management: Basecamp

Every agency needs to manage client projects, and there are a number of simple project management tools that can significantly increase your employees’ ability to get work done quickly.

basecamp agency project management tool 

Basecamp is an excellent project management tool that makes collaboration really easy both internally and with clients. Basecamp revolves around a few simple functions:

  • To-do lists – These should be time bound and allocated to members of each Basecamp project. Basecamp also allows users to attach files to to-do items and send lists to clients for updates and approval
  • File sharing – Having all files related to a project referenced in a project workspace is hugely useful and avoids having to dig around in file storage platforms to find what you’re looking for. Basecamp allows users to link to files and documents on Google Drive.
  • Chatting (campfire) – This option should be used for informal chats around client projects.
  • Message board – Updates on projects can be posted here instead of being sent via email, keeping an audit trail within the project workspace instead of information being lost within emails.
  • Scheduling – Basecamp has a calendar function which syncs up with most major third-party calendars such as Outlook, iCal and Google Calendar. To-do’s with dates are automatically added to schedules, meaning they can appear in your calendar of choice if synced.
  • Automatic check-in requests – Automatic check-ins allow you to set milestones for each client project and ping reminders to everyone involved at key milestones.

Using Basecamp gives you full transparency, working away from email and in clearly visible workspaces which clients can be added to. That being said, there can be a clear separation between “agency side” and “client side” in Basecamp which enables seamless but safe communication that’s visible to agency managers.

One of the huge benefits of Basecamp is that it’s vastly simpler than most other project management systems. We trialled using Podio for clients by creating individual client workspaces and almost all clients found it hard to understand, including those that are tech savvy. Basecamp essentially means that clients just have to respond to an email for everyone to get visibility over the discussion.

In my experience, it’s an excellent tool for collaborating with clients, getting sign-off on various tasks and tracking client communication. You can even hook Basecamp up with CRM systems (such as Podio) via Zapier, enabling agencies to maintain a single customer view.

4. Resource Planning: Podio & HighCharts

Knowing the capacity of your workforce is at the core of managing your projects and enabling your sales team to successfully bring in new clients.

Beyond just having visibility into projects and their associated billable hours, it’s important for agency owners to understand:

  • Employee utilisation by individual, team, and department
  • Non-billable hours spent on client projects (over-servicing)
  • Non-billable hours put into pre-sales activity and conversion rate of that activity

Your team and their time are your most important assets, so it’s up to you and your project managers to ensure they’re focusing their attention on the right projects and tasks. Finding software that enables you to have a clear view of staff availability and utilisation can help manage workloads and empower recruitment decisions.

In my opinion this information should be captured in any agency CRM system, which for us means it’s captured within Podio. There are then a number of third-party tools which can help extract and visualise data from most popular CRM or agency management systems.

One tool which I can highly recommend for this purpose is Highcharts. Highcharts allows us to extract data from Podio and visualise it in a range of customisable graphs to report on areas such as utilisation and capacity and split it up by individual, team, department across a variety of date ranges.

We also use Highcharts to report on our business KPIs in our monthly senior management team meetings, again extracting the data from our CRM system and visualising it using Highcharts.

If you’re already collecting data in these areas then why not give Highcharts a try to see if it could help you better track performance across your agency?

5. Client Reporting: Google Sheets & Data Studio

We have in the past used Google sheets for all of our client reporting by hooking it up to extract and display our client’s Google Analytics data.

 agency client reporting tools google data studio

This solution delivered huge time savings vs. pulling manual reports, while allowing us to set up highly customisable analytics dashboards for each of our clients, providing them with a concise overview of their performance at all times which is automatically updated each month.

You can read more about how to set this up here.

What are Your Favourite Agency Tools?

This post has covered a few essential tools we use to manage our marketing agency. There are of course plenty of other tools that we use as an agency to help our management team keep the business running smoothly.

We’d love to hear from other agency owners and managers about the tools you’re using to help manage your agency – please use the comments section below.

About the author

Ben Wood is Marketing Services Director at Hallam Internet. Ben has worked in digital marketing for over 8 years and gained client side experience at a blue chip corporation before moving to a high growth digital agency in 2012.

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Does U.S. Postal Service Subsidize China-based Merchants?

https://www.practicalecommerce.com/u-s-postal-service-subsidize-china-based-merchants

Cross-border ecommerce is booming, as is cross-border shipping. But the postage rates among countries for that shipping greatly vary. Merchants in certain countries, such as China, can ship very cheaply …

The post Does U.S. Postal Service Subsidize China-based Merchants? appeared first on Practical Ecommerce.

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Google Rich and Featured Snippets, Structured Data and More: #IMNinjas Marketing Roundup

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WeBuildPages/~3/RZuLif3lLKM/

Internet Marketing NinjasGoogle has continued to focus on rich snippets and featured rich snippets – both in terms of feature releases, spam control, and general trajectory.

Over on Twitter, major discussions included the role of backlinks in ranking and page breadth vs. content depth.

Over on Webmaster World members discuss the likely repeal of Net Neutrality rules and what it may mean for the web and for customers.

Google: A few strong pages are often more valuable than many weak ones

Over on Twitter, speaking on keyword cannibalization John Mueller provided general guidance for content strategy.

Possible role of structured data in understanding your webpages?

View full discussion here.

Reporting on the recent Pubcon conference, Jennifer Slegg, reported on Gary Illyes presentation highlights related to structured data. Slegg highlighted an interesting detail that schema may be used for more than just SERP presentation, nothing the following statement from Illyes,

“But more importantly, add structure data to your pages because during indexing, we will be able to better understand what your site is about.”.

Illyes also cautioned against spammy uses of schema and announced that new snippet types will be added to SERPs, as well, but did not provide a timeline.

Google warns about event markup abuse

View discussion here.

In a recent Webmaster blogpost, Google warned about the misuse of event markup, that is resulting in coupons or vouchers showing up in search instead of events.

Google warned that such practices may result in a manual action. Over on Webmaster World, a member questions if the fact that schema can be so easily gamed, reflects a weaknes in Rankbrain.

FCC Head Plans to Overturn U.S. Net Neutrality Rules

View discussion here.

Reported on Reuters, head of FCC, Ajit Pai, is that several industry officals have reported that they expect Pai to drop legal requirements that limit internet providers from blocking, throttling, or offering fast lanes for some websites, known as paid prioritization. In a press release, according the Washington Post, FCC would move to, “simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices.”

Over on Webmaster World, members discussed various facets of the issue. One of the items discussed was that ISP’s will offer paid packages where users will have to pay for add on services.

Google Adds New Featured Rich Snippet Types

Google has recently added a bunch of new featured rich snippet types, according to a recent announcement. The changes include:

More images for related searches

Related images around a topic, with textual description

Updated knowledge panels to reflect related content

Panels showing related topics with images as part of ‘people also search for’ block

Suggestions for related topics at the top of search result pages

Combines prior searches and shows you related concepts for both, as related to [query] and [query]

SEMRush releases SEO ranking factor study highlighting possible role of direct traffic

View discussion here.

Like several other SEO toolset provides, SEMRush released an SEO ranking factors study. The interesting thing to note is that the study uses random forest algorithm instead of correlation for the study, which is a different approach than other similar studies we have seen in the past.

Some of the more interesting highlight of the study for us was the claim that Direct traffic as being a potentially major ranking factor – we have seen anecdotally that a large proportion of lost referrer data tends to be organic search, so trends tend to track organic search traffic. How this may affect the study was not spoken to directly but speaking this claim, SEMRush team stated the following,

“Hands down, this was probably the most controversial takeaway of our study. When we saw the results of our analysis, we were equally surprised. At the same time, our algorithm was trained on a solid scope of data, so we decided to double-check the facts. We excluded the organic and paid search data, as well as social and referral traffic, and taken into account only the direct traffic, and the results were pretty much the same — the position distribution remained unchanged…

To us, this finding makes perfect sense and confirms that Google prioritizes domains with more authority, as described in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.”

View study methodology here.

Can a website rank without building a single backlink? John Mueller of Google answers

Over on twitter, John Mueller stated that most websites rank without building backlinks

The post Google Rich and Featured Snippets, Structured Data and More: #IMNinjas Marketing Roundup appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

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