A lot of great entrepreneurs start their journey by creating an agency, so the revenue from services can fund the business's software development.
On this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Michael King about his journey from an SEO consultant to an agency owner, and his plans to launch a content strategy tool.
We talk to Mike about:
- How Mike got started in SEO and the advantages that came from developing a personal brand within the industry.
- Why Mike's agency iPullRank has a different pricing model from most other agencies, and how they've managed to attract well-known brands as clients.
- What's Mike's biggest growth constraint for iPullRank, how he plans to solve it, and a sneak peek at their upcoming software product.
Time Stamped Notes
[2:25] - Mike got into SEO because he needed a job to pay his medical bills. After discovering he was good at it and liked it, he ended up working for the Ad Agency Publicis in New York. He moved on to lead marketing for several other large agencies, finally launching his agency iPullRank six years ago.
[7:20] - We talk about the reasons Mike put time into building his brand. He didn't set out to create a personal brand; he enjoyed sharing things he had learned and discovered he was good at presenting.
[8:45] - Mike's background in computing science helped a lot in building a successful career in marketing.
[10:15] - Mike talks about how he applies the first principles methodology to his work. Mike and his team put a lot of time and effort into understanding their audience.
[12:15] - iPullRank's pricing model is different from most agencies. They charge a flat fee based on a strategy they've agreed on with their client. Both the client and iPullRank agree on the strategy as the best method of achieving results. It means the client frames the money spent as acquiring results vs. paying for hours.
[14:15] - iPullRank has a lot of big named clients. Most of their clients have come from inbound leads as a direct result of content Mike has created, or his presentations at conferences.
[16:00] - One of Mike's biggest concerns is the agency iPullRank is an extension of his personal brand. To solve that, Mike has a goal of creating more thought leaders from within his agency.
[18:05] - We talk to Mike about his journey from SEO practitioner, to CEO.
[19:45] - Mike feels the most valuable use of his time is helping to raise awareness of iPullRank and helping close clients.
[21:55] - The thing Mike is world-class at is creating content, and that's what he wants to lean into more to raise awareness for his agency iPullRank.
[23:40] - Organic search isn't a great customer acquisition channel for iPullRank. As a channel, it generally attracts smaller clients. Mike focuses his efforts on creating thought leadership content.
[25:20] - Mike's best promotion channel for his content is to distribute through other people's channels. Content distribution is something Mike wants to focus on more for iPullRank because it's the most critical part of making content marketing successful.
[28:05] - Mike talks about some of the content distribution channels he's thinking about investing in.
[29:15] - Mike's biggest growth constraint right now is marketing, and growing leads for iPullRank. Mike has structured iPullRank's team into pods, so he wants to acquire more revenue so he can create more pods.
[30:40] - Mike's original goal for starting iPullRank was to develop software. He wanted to use the agency revenue to build software because he doesn't like the VC model. Mike talks to us through the software product his team is currently developing.