It’s Saturday so this is normally the day that I take a little bit of time to reflect upon my progress and where we’re at with the business.
We’re not making the money that I want just yet – but that’s because I’m having to rapidly grow and upskill the team on the lead-generation side so they can do what I want them to do.
With all of that being said, it’s been a crazy five-year journey of me figuring out how to build a business successfully with many lessons learnt along the way.
So I’m taking this opportunity to look back upon it.
Back in October 2016 I first registered Purr Traffic with my good friend Nick Ellison. At that time I’d just come back from a 3-month trip to Amsterdam (well I’d got back in August), and was on the lookout for the next steps in my life.
It seemed clear that marketing was a skill I had, and I attempted to navigate that journey with first my friend Ross Derrick, briefly with my friend Katherine, and then with my buddy Nick.
In the end, unsurprisingly – I’d end up going it alone. I’m not the most pleasant person to be in a business relationship with, with the standards that I set for my success.
Although I’m sure others would read that as code for ‘me being anal’ basically lol.
Anyway, Pearl Lemon came about maybe 10 months later (you can read that story here) and so the ‘PL story’ began.
And what a journey it’s been – full of challenges, missteps and everything in between to build an agency I’m proud of.
A brand and business that now some huge companies have decided are potentially worthy of engaging with.
Still feels a little surreal given I started life at Deloitte fresh out of university, that later down the road someone at PWC would call us to submit a tender – and that we’re currently going through that process.
And that’s notwithstanding all of the other companies mentioned in the title have approached us (actually it’s the parent company of Guinness who’ve approached us).
I want to walk through some of the elements that have been critical in that journey:
- Consistent branding
- Extremely strong inbound marketing
- Voluminous content about Pearl Lemon online
- Voluminous content about me online
- All the case studies you could ask for online
And consistent effort on all of these activities over the years.
Well….I think that’s the absolute extent of how ‘self-indulgent’ I can be online. I find it difficult to talk about myself without pointing towards all of the glaring issues there are:
- I didn’t get the right people in the right seats fast enough
- I didn’t train the right people in the right seats fast enough
- I’ve been lazy in the wrong places
Let me break down each of those elements some more:
Our lead-generation and sales team have suffered massively because I’ve not (until recently) been ultra-aggressive with training.
It’s only now the sales team are being sat down every single day and being put through their paces with objection handling, how to close appointments, understanding product knowledge, how to get past gatekeepers, and all of the like.
What’s fascinating to me is that of all of the sales books I’ve read – it’s ultimately all based upon having already acquired a lead.
Not upon the cold prospecting part via the phone – which is where the biggest challenges my team are having come from.
I should have trained my head of outbound sales – Adam, much more aggressively over the last 6 months and we would have seen the benefits of it.
I should have monitored Lydia’s copywriting to help her improve her game significantly over the last 2-months and I haven’t – only now am I reading her content and recognising the vast need to improve.
Pearl Lemon is fundamentally a services business. As we expand into the property and accounting spaces – these too are going to be service-led models which are in the end what I know – and what I enjoy!
I’m not sure ‘how useful’ these are to anyone reading – of late I’ve got more into the space of journaling as I find it to be quite therapeutic – as a means of digging into what’s going on and making sense of it all.
Part of me wonders whether in taking this path I’ve chosen to ‘stay small’…
But that’s definitely not the case – because there’s also ‘Send Koala’ and ‘Serpwizz’ and ‘Plant Sumo’ which are drastically different businesses which I’m excited to grow and develop.
So what’s the expression…..’the future’s bright’
Or something like that 😛