Ep. 4 Terry Dry
[00:00:04] Terry Dry: Welcome to the Vertical Go-To-Market podcast, where you'll discover new opportunities to grow your business from seven figures to eight, from the world's most successful B2B SaaS and agency owners and executives.
[00:00:16] Corey Quinn: I'm your host, Corey Quinn. Today I'm joined by Terry Dry. Welcome Terry.
[00:00:21] Terry Dry: Thanks. I'm glad to be here. Thanks, Cory.
[00:00:24] Corey Quinn: I'm excited that you're here as well. You have such a, a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to agency growth, business growth. I can't wait, to have our conversation. I know our listeners are in for a treat today. Would you just introduce yourself for the listeners, for those of us who may not be familiar with your background.
[00:00:41] Terry Dry: Sure. Yeah. I'm Terry Dry. I guess I would always say I'm like a serial entrepreneur and kind of a consumer engagement specialist. I. Started my career in the music business. I then turned on to having my own, agency. We were one of the first in social media marketing. Then from there I led a digital agency, and then from there I ran [00:01:00] a SAS business, have had some successful exits, and now I'm spending most of my time advising mid-market and emerging companies now, essentially trying to provide what I wish I had had years ago with my agency.
[00:01:12] Corey Quinn: That's awesome. I want to hear more about the advisory work, but
[00:01:16] Terry Dry: Could you share with us some of the experiences you've had with a vertical approach to growing these business?
[00:01:21] Yeah. I'll start with the, the vertical approach that we took in the very first agency I started, which was. Essentially an online marketing company, and this is about 20 years ago, and I, this was my first entrepreneurial journey. So you have to figure, I'm late in my late twenties, which is the classic, right?
[00:01:36] You think you know everything, but the truth is you don't know anything but you think you know stuff. I quit my cushy record business job, which was going great, and we started our own essentially online marketing agency, specifically tied to music. So I would tell. We weren't so smart to go, oh, we're taking a vertical B2B approach.
[00:01:53] We were just going, who's gonna pay us to do what we do? And then we kind of figured out, oh wait, this is [00:02:00] our vertical. Which our vertical was, we came outta the music business. We knew music, music. This is like the year 2000, 2001. 2002 was li you know, essentially one of the first industries to get totally upended by digital.
[00:02:14] And we, yeah, we knew we were in the right place at the right time. And so we. We are experts at what was then called online marketing, you know, for music. And our B2B focus was record labels are going to hire us to do the online marketing for their bands, period. And that was what it was. And we were very fortunate that we just built and built to one record label and another record label, and that was our B2B vertical approach.
[00:02:40] We were experts in music and we knew exactly who our clients. And that was how we built for the first few years and our happy accident was that then evolved into becoming a social media marketing agency, which we then grew and grew from there.
[00:02:55] Corey Quinn: Was that Fanscape.
[00:02:56] Terry Dry: That was Fanscape.
[00:02:57] Corey Quinn: That's awesome. And you ended up selling Fanscape to [00:03:00] Omnicom?
[00:03:00] Terry Dry: we sure did. Yeah. So we grew and then it diversified, right? So we talk about you have that vertical approach and that vertical. Got you somewhere. And I always use the phrase, what got you here won't get you there. So we kind of grew and grew to the point where then the record labels woke up and they're like, wow, what they're doing is pretty valuable now.
[00:03:19] Now, fast forward 2005, 2006, MySpace, we actually helped launch MySpace. That's how old and dated I am, Corey. But we, you know, all these things happen and then if you're us, you're like, we better diversify. So then we looked at the vertical of entertainment. So we're like, not just music, let's do enter. And that's how we took our next sort of B2B vertical approach.
[00:03:41] And then it grew from there into corporate and we kept pivoting and evolving and looking at what the verticals could be, and that's what helped us grow and grow. And eventually, have an, an exit to Omnicom as where they really needed a social media agency and we fit the bill.
[00:03:58] Corey Quinn: That's awesome.
[00:03:59] Terry Dry: It was, it was [00:04:00] good. My wife liked
[00:04:01] Corey Quinn: Yeah,
[00:04:02] Terry Dry: she was,
[00:04:03] Yeah. Wow. My dad was too. He thought it was cool.
[00:04:07] let's go back to the early days when you were launching this agency. You were in the music industry, you and you co-founded this business. Was it yourself and a, a business partner or, okay, so the two of you was, was your business partner also in the music industry?
[00:04:24] Yeah. Yeah, we worked together. We met at a and m Records when we, that was like both of our first job right outta college and we kinda grew from there.
[00:04:32] Corey Quinn: what was the things that led up to you deciding to leave that career behind that great job and step into digital marketing?
[00:04:40] Terry Dry: it's sort of the entrepreneurial story, right? It's, it's a weird thing. What happened was I worked at a great famous record company called a and m Records, and we had been sold to Universal Music Group and it was the late nineties and all of a sudden, we hadn't had big hits in the last, you know, year or.
[00:04:58] And the next thing you knew, they were [00:05:00] folding a and m records and Geffen records into Interscope Records. And what happened was, I think there were roughly 200 people that worked at a and m Records and that became 20. And so there were massive layoffs. And what happened with me was I was one of the 20 people and I had this massive survivor's guilt.
[00:05:21] Of the fact that all my friends, all of my mentors, everybody had gotten laid off. And I was now going to the new mothership, which was Interscope, G and a and m I was starting a whole department. Everything was like going well for me and my career, but it really bothered me that some big corporate entity was in charge of my fate and that somebody could just go, Hey you, you no longer have a job here.
[00:05:45] And that's when I kind of learned, oh, I. . I'm sort of an entrepreneur at heart and I want to be in control of my own destiny. and that really shaped me. Meanwhile, InnerScope, it was a great experience. It was awesome. They were great to me, but I always had [00:06:00] this fuel in me of like, no, I wanna own what I'm doing if I'm gonna put so much into it.
[00:06:04] And one of the, one of my mentors said to me at the time, he said, you're gonna make a lot of money for somebody someday. You might as well do it for yourself. And so that kind of shaped me. And, and I wasn't married yet. None of that had happened yet. So I was like, I'm gonna try if I don't try this now. I don't think I'll ever try it.
[00:06:21] So it was the ultimate side hustle. I was still had my job and we started this business. But what I will say to you, Corey, was we started by doing, fan clubs and online merchandise. So it was 1999. And we were driving a lot of business, a lot of revenue through a.com in the music space. So if you remember back to 1999, that would be a very sexy thing.
[00:06:46] So all of a sudden we had venture capitalists and people interested in our company that I was doing as my side hustle. That was. li literally just out of my business partner's garage, you know, like we weren't some like brilliant people, or we weren't growing, but it was enough, [00:07:00] you know, to get people.
[00:07:00] So I think that helped me because in my mind we're like, oh, I might be part of, you know, a.com millionaire, kind of billionaire, whatever. So that helped me go, what the hell? I'll try and, uh, that's what he Did
[00:07:13] Then of course, right after I quit, everything
[00:07:15] Corey Quinn: Uh, yeah, the, the, the bubble
[00:07:16] burst. Uh, I, I was right there with you. Did you end up taking venture capital at that?
[00:07:22] Terry Dry: Never did. In fact, there was an offer to buy our company. That was also what helped me quit cuz it was like, oh, worst case, we'll just sell to these guys. They were already offering a salary more than I was making, but we totally didn't get it. And the funny story was, but they wanted to merge us into a company that they had already, um, bought or were funding.
[00:07:43] And I'll never forget, we're like, so what is the strategy for the company? And they did this whole thing and they. Yeah, it's gonna grow. It's gonna grow. And then, uh, we'll go public and he just knocked on wood, like literally, we'll go public, knock on wood. And I was like, oh my God, I'm gonna stake my career on that.
[00:07:58] And so we [00:08:00] did wind up doing it and that was a good decision, but
[00:08:02] it forced us to learn how to do it.
[00:08:04] Corey Quinn: What led to digital marketing as an agency? Like what was, why did that make sense? as you were stepping into this entrepreneurial world, you were doing e-commerce and then it evolved into digital marketing. So what was
[00:08:17] Terry Dry: Yeah. You know what? It's funny, Corey. I wish I could tell you at that stage in my career that it was because I had this great education or I was an MBA and I was so. Nothing to do with that. It was purely, oh shit, how are we gonna make payroll? And we were doing merchandise and I think we were sort of ignorant.
[00:08:36] We were seeing a lot of revenue come in, but we weren't making profit. And once we got kicked out of my business partner's house and had to get an office and do some other things, then all of a sudden you're like, oh wait, this costs money. And uh, and we weren't taking salaries, we were doing all that stuff.
[00:08:51] So then you sit there going, well, there's. Not much we're doing here as far as merchandise, but what we were was we were really good marketers. We were great at what was called artist [00:09:00] development. We were great at word of mouth marketing, and that was sort of our background in the music. Business and we were building a ton of data.
[00:09:06] So we realized, oh, the money's not in the merchant. Quite frankly, that's not our expertise. Our expertise is in the marketing, in connecting fans and the artists. They loved, back to what I was saying at the opening, consumer engagement really, and fan engagement and activation. So we pivoted, but that pivot wasn't, you know, it was at a necessity of like, oh my God, like we're gonna go broke if we keep doing it this way.
[00:09:29] And the value we were underselling over here. So then that pivoted and that's how we kind of fell into digital marketing. Cuz we went back to record labels and we're like, you know, we have these email lists and you could sell a lot of, you know, it'd be a lot more efficient than running a newspaper ad, you know, or a radio spot because we know who these people are.
[00:09:48] We know, and that's how it started to evolve. And then there were, as, as you probably remember, remember like geo cities and all these, like, you know, that we started messing around with all those kind of communities and [00:10:00] that, that world, when. It was like the wild west and we were just figuring that out.
[00:10:04] And I would tell you, we fell into digital marketing because we were consumer engagement, word of mouth marketers. And so this was just, now that was a, an accelerant of how to do it. So we just embraced it and, uh, we were lucky. A few of our friends in the music business were like, you know, if you can just figure out how to do online marketing, I'll pay you a monthly retainer to do that for our artists.
[00:10:25] And a monthly retainer of like $3,000 a month back then was, That was like a gift from the heavens Corey. That was like a big deal, . So that's, that's what we were doing.
[00:10:34] That's what happened. So, sorry listeners. I'm not, I'm not that smart. I got smarter as I got older.
[00:10:40] Corey Quinn: I think that that is a very common story that a lot of listeners can relate to is that their op, you know, they found an opportunity, they committed themselves and then they continued to iterate until something started working at scale, which is
[00:10:52] Terry Dry: Totally.
[00:10:52] Yeah. .
[00:10:53] Corey Quinn: the other point I want to call out here is that you had a personal relationship or a professional relationship [00:11:00] with the music industry, and it wasn't like you went into medical device sales.
[00:11:04] You leveraged something that you knew. You had existing relationships, professional and personal, that allowed you to kind of scale this up pretty quickly versus choosing another industry that maybe you didn't have that same background in.
[00:11:16] Terry Dry: A hundred. Yeah, that that was a huge, huge advantage for us. It was something that we knew, an area where we were trusted and yeah, I went, when you're looking at the vertical approach, you want to have some kind of credibility, and if you don't have it, you better find it, you know? And that's advice I give people now, or even in my own ventures.
[00:11:35] If it's an area where I don't know people, the first thing I do is go find those people and bring them in to. shore up what maybe we don't have, but you're totally right. The relationship, the trust and a, and a vertical expertise. We certainly had that. No question about it.
[00:11:51] Corey Quinn: Going back to Fanscape and the growth of your agency as you're building, you're building it based on, in part relationships with the [00:12:00] people you had in the music industry. One of the, the. Things that I talk a lot about with my clients and just in general with people who've done this sort of vertical go-to-market approach is that they say that the vertical that they focus in on has an insider language.
[00:12:17] Terry Dry: Yep.
[00:12:17] Corey Quinn: They speak a certain way, and that way signals that either you're in the clan or you're out of the clan. And as a service provider targeting that vertical, how important is it for you to be able to speak that?
[00:12:28] Terry Dry: it's critical because you build credibility that way. But I would also say be careful of training yourself on that language, but you're actually just full of shit, right? That you, you. . You got the dictionary, you got the lingo, but you don't really know it. Right? You're, you're sort of a pretender. And we, I will tell you, as I grew my digital agency and then went on delete a digital agency, we were in a bunch of verticals, right?
[00:12:53] So we had travel, we had entertainment, we had C P G, we had healthcare. And there's [00:13:00] tons of different lingo there, right? So I can remember for travel, like learning heads and beds, right? That was a metric. for the travel industry.
[00:13:09] but what would make me nervous was if somebody just heard me say heads in beds and then they, they didn't even know what they were talking about. right. And then you'd lose all the credibility.
[00:13:17] Corey Quinn: Right?
[00:13:18] Terry Dry: Yeah. Or what, what I'm getting at is somebody who worked for me, you know, and they would be in there and they heard what I said and they maybe didn't.
[00:13:26] The time I had taken to try to learn what does this mean and, and be sincere about it. When I was meeting with clients of like, walk me through this. Educate me on this better. Like, let me spend a day at your office. Let us spend a day with you and, and bring us up to speed. But that was never a good look right?
[00:13:41] For an agency. You wanna be there and you wanna know the lingo and you've gotta be there. So I guess. My cautionary tale is, it's one thing to know it, it's another thing. Or to know the words. It's another thing to really know what this means and what it is. And if you don't know it, find the people who do, that that's a big, you know, there's this [00:14:00] saying of who not how.
[00:14:01] Right? Not how are you gonna do it, but who's gonna do it? And you can go out there and recruit those people and bring them in to legitimize. Yourself if you're going that way. But in theory, if you're building a vertical, you know, go-to-market approach, you damn well should know that industry. And you're right, you want to come in at it with some level of credibility
[00:14:23] Corey Quinn: think the point you're making completely, I think the point you're making is, is a, is an excellent one, which is. The people who are on the inside, you may use their words, but they're still gonna sniff you out and, and you're, you're not gonna be able to build the trust and credibility unless you have a genuine understanding of their world.
[00:14:39] Terry Dry: Yeah. And how dare you go in there? Unless you have that right, you should lose. You should lose the business if you don't know it. And you should be smart enough to say no and go, we don't know that we're gonna get killed. Or worst case, we're gonna get hired and then we're gonna suck. So why would you do that?
[00:14:58] Don't do that to yourself. Don't [00:15:00] do that to your team. And more importantly, don't do that to your. and all of that stuff will repay you. But you know, I'll, I remember this saying Corey, which was when we got to be part of Omnicom, we did this thing where you go on a road show and, and this guy who took us on it, he was great, like an old school agency guy, and he used to say the problem with Omnicom agencies is if their client asks them, Hey, do you pave drive?
[00:15:24] They would go, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, we, we do that too. Like they'd say yes to anything. And the true discipline was, what are you gonna say no to? Like what, when do you really know your lane? And when do you have sort of the guts to just go, I'm gonna narrowly focus and I'm gonna be the very best at this.
[00:15:39] Like back to Fanscape, we're like, we are going to be the number one very best music marketing agency. period. We're gonna just be better than everyone else. We're gonna figure that out. And then we kind of tried to move and try and take that attitude towards something. So you would learn it. But yeah, it's you.
[00:15:56] You better be in there. I, I think it's a really good point you're bringing up. Did you [00:16:00] experience this in your, I mean, you've been in this agency world. Is this the same thing that you've found?
[00:16:05] Corey Quinn: So the business that I stepped into at Scorpion in my last company as a chief marketing officer, they had built the business around attorneys and had built a wonderful business doing 20 million in revenue, great profit margins, great customer retention, over 90% customer attention, which is unheard of in the bus, in the SMB space.
[00:16:24] Like really, really great, business. and the CEO really wanted to grow much bigger than just attorneys. And so what we did is instead of going from attorneys to everybody, we moved into a a, a separate vertical in home services. These are businesses who do sort of residential plumbing and roofing and electricians and those type of things.
[00:16:44] Well, the plumber and the personal injury attorney are completely different buyers, and the way that we approached it is we built a separate business unit at Scorpion. It wasn't the people who were, who are working with the attorneys are now working with the plumbers. No.
[00:16:58] We hired a separate sales team [00:17:00] who had a background in home services. Some of them were previously owners of home service businesses, and all the way through to client success were focused a hundred percent on home service. , and the short answer is you just have to immerse yourself in their world and you have to really care about them.
[00:17:15] And over time, you begin to understand them at a very deep level.
[00:17:19] Terry Dry: Yep. Absolutely. And I'm just saying if you don't do that, like how dare you. Right. And you'll eventually get found out and
[00:17:27] Corey Quinn: the other benefit of being verticalized or being focused on a specific type of buyer or. Is that, and this was our experience at Scorpion. I wonder if it was the same for you. when it came to digital marketing for the attorney, they really didn't care for it.
[00:17:40] They didn't understand it. They needed a good, trusted partner who could help them with that. But because we were specializing in their world, we began, began to understand the aspects of their business that surrounded digital marketing. For instance, we were sending them leads, um, people who were looking for an attorney.
[00:17:55] And it turns out if we would send them a lead from Google, from their website [00:18:00] or whatever, but if they didn't answer the phone in the right way, or didn't answer the phone quickly, or they didn't have a good intake process, well then they would lose that lead, which would make effectively our service not very valuable to them.
[00:18:12] And so we ended up, because we understood marketing for attorneys specifically, and then plumbers and so on and so forth, that we, we extended the scope of what we did into. Not just the lead, but then what happened when they got the lead and how do they nurture that lead? And how do they, how do they actually grow their business without charging more?
[00:18:31] so the value of our service went up without having to be a vendor, sort of, you know, um, arm's length partner. It was much more of a, of an advisor role.
[00:18:41] Terry Dry: Yeah. And that's the ultimate, like for those who run agencies who might be listening to this, the ultimate is when you can pivot from being thought of as a vendor to being thought of as a partner. and that is the ultimate, at least I found transition to be, you know, a real business solutions partner rather than just some [00:19:00] agency vendor.
[00:19:01] It changes the dynamic of the relationship. It should change the way your team treats the business and the client, but more importantly, it becomes a collaboration versus just some kind of execution.
[00:19:12] Corey Quinn: so, so important.
[00:19:14] when you were building the business, was the business mostly built on inbound leads or did you go outbound to other companies, other record labels, or how did you guys grow the
[00:19:23] Terry Dry: Um, I've been really fortunate in pretty much every business we've done our, I've done entrepreneurial to, it's been based on referral and no sort of cold calling, no outbound. campaign or anything like that. It w I would tell you it was referral and lots and lots of sort of markcom, you know, I love this saying, from somebody, you and I both know Corey, which is good, things are attracted, not pursued from, our friend Don Riddell who gave me that one.
[00:19:50] And, that's kind of how we kind of do it, which is, you know, you put it out there, you do great work and usually great things kind of come your. and I always felt that if [00:20:00] we just did great work, then good things would happen. So that was how we'd build it, you know? Now, did we make sure we were networking well?
[00:20:07] Did we make sure we were. Meeting so and so. Yeah. But what you'll find, at least certainly we found there, and I find in every business is people move around every 18 months, you know? So it usually opens new doors at new places. And certainly the music business at the time was relatively like its own fraternity.
[00:20:25] So when people left one record label, they'd go to another record label. And that was always really helpful. Or we worked with a band or a manager who had artists at other labels, and they would tell the label to hire us. It always went that way. It was all referral based.
[00:20:40] Corey Quinn: do you think that you would've had the same level of referrals or word of. if you were focused on many verticals versus just one
[00:20:48] Terry Dry: No, it became harder.when you're launching, it's like you gotta do that. You also wanna build that muscle memory and build that confidence. And swagger a little bit for your own company. You know, it may sound crazy, but [00:21:00] so much of business growth is the psychology of the leader, and people bypass that, or people forget that.
[00:21:07] Right? When, when, when you're doing it. This is something I really try to. Unpack when we're advising companies was, I really try to, we get to know the leadership and the ownership and understand who they are and what their goals are, but also what's making them tick. And they can either have self-limiting beliefs or we're just gonna go for it.
[00:21:26] And, and in our particular case, when we were, as I was giving the story of the vertical building, it was like necessity. It was like, oh my God. Like I don't know how to pay the rent on this building. I better go, you know, be gutsy.
[00:21:38] Right? Like
[00:21:39] Corey Quinn: You burned the ships, right? you
[00:21:41] Terry Dry: Yeah, so we did, we didn't mean to burn the, we're so dumb.
[00:21:44] We didn't even intentionally burn the ships. We just, the ships burned and, uh, so it was just, it was real, you know, and that was part of it. But, but no, I'm a big believer in, in sort of state your claim, stake your claim, say who you are, put it out there, [00:22:00] and hopefully good things happen, but more important than any of it, do a good job, provide value.
[00:22:05] Do great work. You were just talking about your example at Scorpion, like you added. and that usually goes a long way and people will refer you.
[00:22:13] Corey Quinn: we've been talking a lot about, about the positive aspects of verticalizing. What, if any, thinking back through the businesses that you've started and ran and, and advised, are there any negatives to, to verticalizing a.
[00:22:24] Terry Dry: Yeah, there definitely are. I mean, there's, the negative could be what if you're in a vertical that's dying, right? Or what if you're in a vertical that's ridiculously competitive and you can pivot? into something else and use that expertise and move it along. So there's absolutely times when if you've got the blinders on and you're too blind and you're not looking ahead, which is actually why we call our company Futureproof Advisors, because the whole idea is.
[00:22:55] the world is changing and everything's changing faster than ever. And the speed of [00:23:00] change, and I guess I'm full of phrases today, Corey, but one of my favorites is change is inevitable. Struggle is optional. So you sit there and go, this change is coming. Um, what's out there in the horizon so that you could keep staying ahead of it.
[00:23:14] And if you're too vertically focused, you might miss the fact that, let me use my record, but why was it easy for me to quit? Interscope Records, we were suing Napster. How stupid is this? The consumer base had said, we want to consume music digitally, and you guys all are still trying to force us to buy a cd, so we're gonna just download it for free.
[00:23:35] No one was saying, if you charged us, we won't pay for it. They just weren't adhering to and listening to their customer. So here's a business that had the blinders on and it was basically like, screw you. You're gonna buy music the way we tell you to buy it. And you just mentioned him earlier. It took Steve Jobs, somebody from totally outside of it to come in there and monetize the business.
[00:23:58] The first one to really monetize [00:24:00] digital.
[00:24:00] Corey Quinn: Sam reminds me of Netflix versus
[00:24:03] Terry Dry: Exactly. Exactly. And so you're so narrow, you're so in your thing and you're so, and then what happens? , I always say there's two things that happen. Delusion meets denial, and these are really scary things, right? You start to just, like, you start to, you know, drink your own Kool-Aid and then, and then you're like, oh no, there are threats, but I'm gonna ignore that threat and just hope it doesn't, hope it passes or hope it goes away and it's not going away.
[00:24:32] and it maybe it takes, you know, three years longer than you think. And the danger of a lot of these companies is whoever's at the helm knows they're not gonna be there in three years, so they don't care. Um, and that's a big danger of it. But yes, I guess this is a long way of saying. Totally. You could, it could be negative if you're so, so focused on the vertical, and I'm a perfect example.
[00:24:55] We used the music vertical to build the muscle and the credibility of [00:25:00] social media marketing. And then we were smart enough to pivot and use, okay. Now our expertise, our expertise was music. Then our expertise became social media marketing and then we were able to pivot into other places and that was a very, very, very useful, helpful thing.
[00:25:17] And quite frankly, the company wouldn't have grown. I don't even know if the company were to survive had we stayed in music. Um, we had to keep evolving and pivoting. And to me that's what's fun in business. But there are others that freak out, um, over change and that's where we try and come in and help 'em, which is like, let's futureproof you cuz whether you like it or.
[00:25:37] Your industry or your vertical or whatever it is, might be threatened, and let's make sure that your, your position for success in the future.
[00:25:44] Corey Quinn: because we're on the topic. What do you think is one of the most disruptive technologies or innovations that is emerging right now that businesses need to care about?
[00:25:53] Terry Dry: Well, the greatest thing is just taken off lately, which is Chat GPT and ai. And this has been brewing [00:26:00] for years. , but it finally hit that tipping point where they've put something out there that's so easy to use, so mainstream, and you've got people like Ryan Reynolds, you know, doing his commercial with it, and it starts to become part of the the society.
[00:26:14] Right. It just
[00:26:15] to happen and,
[00:26:16] right. Exactly. Exactly. And I think it's the most exciting. thing in the world. And it's been one of those where if, if you're me, you're like waiting for it. Like when is everybody gonna wake up to the power of what this is and what it can do and how applicable it is across any industry.
[00:26:32] it's, it's remarkable. And what's scary is people try to defeat it. People try to ignore it. People are scared of it rather than embracing it. Um, so for instance, with my. Um, we're advising people. My whole vision has been for years, I'm gonna have all these experts in, right? All these advisors, the best marketer, the best m and a person, the best lawyer, the, they're gonna be there.
[00:26:55] And then I'm also gonna have this AI engine sitting right with us. So [00:27:00] let's say there's 10 chairs. Now there's an 11th chair for IBM Watson or this computer to sit there and it's gonna help feed us information to make better. . So that's how it can be applicable to my advisory business. But then like the businesses you and I both were in of social media, These things can j just, they can create the content for you, right?
[00:27:19] So it's just becoming so much more commoditized. So what I would say to anybody is don't be scared of it. Embrace it. Learn it. Learn what it can do and how it can help you. And it's doesn't mean it's replacing everybody or replacing everything. It is something that can make you better and make your company more efficient.
[00:27:38] And that's a huge thing for anyone leading a.
[00:27:42] Corey Quinn: So two more questions as we wrap up here. The first one is, what would you say to someone maybe who has an agency maybe doing about a million dollars a year, maybe has been stuck a little bit? Maybe they've said yes to too many different types of customers. Maybe they're just thinking about verticalizing their [00:28:00] business.
[00:28:00] What advice would you have to them in this moment?
[00:28:02] Terry Dry: The first piece of advice is what's your north star? What's your goal? And not just for your business, for you. Start with you. If you are the one leading the business, what do you care about? And it's fascinating, Corey, because you know, a lot of people think, oh, they just want money. They just want, that's not necessarily the case.
[00:28:17] And typically people who go on the entrepreneurial journey, they're like, I'm gonna set up a business to support the lifestyle I want, and then they quickly become a slave to the business they just set up, right? And that's just sort of this weird paradox that happens. And so I would say start with where do you want this thing to be in three. in five years and where do you want to be as a human being, you know, and what, what is important to you in your life? And then how can this vehicle, this business support you? So I would start there. Then when you get a little bit more tactical, it's what is, you know, do the kind of classic SWAT analysis, right?
[00:28:56] What is out there in this, in my vertical, in [00:29:00] my industry? Where's the opportu? , where can I add the most value? And can, can my company be the most helpful to others? Not where can I make the most money? Where can you know I can get charged the most for my service? Screw that. Where can I, bring the most value to my clients, to whoever's coming?
[00:29:19] How can I be of help? How can I be of service? How can this vehicle, where is our best ability to help? And then the money will follow. . So I would start there too. And, and what are we good at and what do we suck at? And that's really hard. And then when you identify the what you suck at, we always call it the go.
[00:29:38] No-go, right? You literally create a scorecard and you define, what am I gonna say no to today? Because what does saying no make possible for what's right in my business? And so that's maybe several things I do. But I wanted to just give the sort of the macro and.
[00:29:56] Corey Quinn: I love all that and it reminds me of a quote. I'm not sure if [00:30:00] it's Joe Polish or someone who says it. Money follows value.
[00:30:03] Terry Dry: That's right.
[00:30:04] Corey Quinn: Start with the value.
[00:30:05] Terry Dry: Yeah.
[00:30:05] Corey Quinn: Last question, Terry, what's your motivation?
[00:30:09] Terry Dry: I love two things. I love building things and I love helping people. And so I got to this place, Corey, where I was very fortunate I had success in my career and now it's like, I'm really excited to kind of help others be successful. And I also wanna use technology to like help people live better lives, you know?
[00:30:28] And so that's where I've been. So my motivation is I, I said I help help people and I build things like with future-proof advisors and what I'm doing. I'm building something that helps people, you know, and that's what's really fun for me. I've got this advisory business that helps other c. , um, have shortcuts, overcome things, get the outcomes they want.
[00:30:49] And it's essentially, I've created this thing that I wish I had 15 years ago when I had my agency Fanscape and what we were trying to do because I would've gotten further, faster, and more importantly, [00:31:00] my quality of life would've been so much better. There've been less stress cuz I would've surrounded myself.
[00:31:05] I was call like with the superheroes, like I jokingly say, it's like the Justice League of America, right? And I'd have those people that helped me and that's my motivation. Helping others get what they want out of their career, but more importantly, out of their life and out of their business. And that's, I wake up each day like I, it's a privilege to be able to help some of these great companies that, that we help.
[00:31:26] It's fun.
[00:31:27] Corey Quinn: What a gift. Thank you so much, Terry. You've been, uh, very helpful to me in this episode, my listeners. I'm sure I've gotten a ton of value out of this, so
[00:31:36] thank you so
[00:31:37] Terry Dry: Corey. No, thanks so much for having me. I hope it's helpful and useful for people. Thank
[00:31:42] Corey Quinn: It. It has been. All right folks. That's it for today. I'm Corey Quinn, and I hope you join me again next time for the Vertical Go To Market podcast. And if you received value from this show, I would love a five star rating and review on Apple Podcast. Thank you so much and we'll talk to you soon.[00:32:00]