[00:00:00] Corey: 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 agency and B2B SaaS executives. I'm your host, Corey Quinn. Let's jump into the show. Today, I'm joined by April and Tyler Roberts.
[00:00:21] April: Hey, thanks so much for having
[00:00:23] Corey: us. I am super excited for our conversation today. Could you please just share with a little bit about who you are, the work you guys do with the audience?
[00:00:31] April: So we're April and Tyler Roberts, and we have a marketing agency specifically in the legal space. It's called Nomos Marketing, and we work with clients all over the country.
We actually have a few outside of the U S and we do all types of digital marketing for our clients.
[00:00:51] Corey: Very cool. And just for context, for listeners, what could you share about the size of the agency? Maybe a number of employees, clients, revenue, anything you're comfortable with sharing.
[00:01:01] Tyler: Sure. So we have 10 employees that are full time.
We also are bi coastal. So we're located in Charleston, South Carolina, but we have partners in San Diego as well. We have a few team members on the West coast, which is really fun. So we kind of span the, span the country, but we do have a dedicated team here in Charleston that come into the office. And this is really kind of like the, like the heart of the agency being located here on the coast.
[00:01:29] April: have about 75 clients. I should probably know that number, but I feel like we're always growing. So roughly that, and we are almost at seven figures this year for the first time. So we're really excited for that. And wonderful, really hard to grow that through COVID and having a baby and all of that. So very, very proud to do that in spite of like.
Crazy life events that are...
[00:01:55] Corey: Oh my goodness. That is amazing. How old's your baby?
[00:01:59] April: He is two, a little older than two, and he is wild. Wild ahead, , like easy as baby. And he turned one and we're like, how is this the same kid you are wonderful, but a wild man. Hey Elise,
[00:02:12] Corey: you got one year of, uh, of, of peaceful Yes.
living with a child, . I didn't get any, so, and then you mentioned you have, uh, about 10 employees now. What is your role from a day-to-day perspective as kind of co-founders of the agency?
[00:02:28] April: Yeah. I mean, it's such a good question. Cause I feel like it's changed so much and it's still changing with each new team member we bring on.
I feel like we are able to refocus in different areas. So we've really tried to split up what we do. I feel like I do what I like to call the unsexy stuff. So I do a lot of behind the scenes stuff, working with like HR and finance and making sure benefits are done, all of that. Like. Keeping the lights on, like, was rent paid, like, just those Things like office management stuff.
My background is also in like client success. So I work with that team pretty closely and there's a few clients that I still work with, but we have client success managers who really manage that relationship. Now I just am able to kind of pop in and help, but Tyler's role has really evolved a lot over the past year too.
[00:03:21] Tyler: Yeah, I'm definitely more of like a technician where I was. Really good at like a lot of random things. So my background is not only in law, like I'm a, I'm a lawyer, but I also worked as a journalist and an editor. So I kind of understood like how big projects come together with like different pieces of creative, whether it's writing or, you know, art or photography, worked a lot on like websites, like understood SEO really well.
So it's kind of like a weird mixture of, of talent. And over time, just learning to be able to let go of that stuff and delegate it and train people has been a huge process. And I would say the last couple of years have been really focused on like creating systems and processes where I can kind of multiply that.
And that's really been, I think, like my main focus, especially the last year has been like, as we onboard more people, like how do we maintain quality control? And like, how do we like maintain like the same level of service that people were experiencing when it was just me and April at our kitchen table doing it?
[00:04:27] Corey: That's awesome. I definitely want to jump into the SOPs and how you've been sort of bringing that methodology into the agency. But first, I want to kind of dive in to the vertical aspect of the agency. Tyler, you mentioned you have a legal background. Is that true for you as well,
[00:04:43] April: April? No, but we were married when Tyler was in law school, so I feel like I earned that degree as well, which I always tell people.
But no, I... Actually had started working for our now business partners in their verticalized agency. So that was kind of my first. Intro into digital marketing. And I worked in the dental world. So they have, you know, verticalized agency, um, Wondrous agency in the dental space. And so Tyler and I had just become really good friends with Laura and Michael, who are the co founders over at Wondrous and also here at Nomos.
And, you know, we just were talking with them. Tyler was kind of freelancing on the side, you know, we were seeing Wondrous. Grow and scale. And, you know, it's just really cool. We were like, Oh, like, you know, Tyler's a lawyer. Like we could always do this, but in the legal space and it just kind of organically came and then it just really took off.
So that's kind of the backstory of how we got into legal. Obviously Tyler's background helped tremendously with that too.
[00:05:53] Corey: Sure. So kind of breaking that down a little bit. So you were over at a digital marketing agency focusing on dentists. It's called Wondrous? Wondrous.
[00:06:02] April: Wonders or wondrous, like W O N D E R I S T.
[00:06:08] Corey: Wondrous. Got it. Okay. Thank you. And so what was your role there? I'm curious.
[00:06:13] April: Yeah. So I was head of account management, so account management, client success. We've kind of transitioned the title a little bit, but yeah, I came on as like an account manager and to be completely honest, like. I had interviewed for a project manager role.
And then Laura was like, you know, I think you'd be really great as an account manager. I mean, I had truly no idea what that even meant. I remember Googling it. I'm like, what? There was no job description for an account manager. I was like, I get, yeah, I think I can do that. Like I'm a very organized, detailed person.
Like that seems like it would work. And I just kind of worked my way up through that. I don't want to say first few employees, but probably like, I don't know, first. 10 or 12 employees and really grew with them. And now I think they have like over 60 employees, like gosh, over, I don't even know how many clients, like a few hundred clients actively.
So it's a completely huge operation when it was cool to see it grow from. Much smaller. I wasn't there in the very beginning, but much smaller to where they are now, 11 years in.
[00:07:21] Corey: And when you were, it sounds like at a certain point you and Tyler kind of looked at each other and said, well, Hey, this dentist agency is doing some interesting things.
You have a background, Tyler, in attorneys and as a lawyer yourself, gone through law school and. They need marketing too. So, Hey, let's, you know, maybe we'll jump in and see if we can do something along these lines. Is that fair? Like that, how it kind of happened?
[00:07:47] Tyler: Yeah, I think so. And honestly, like, I didn't know what an agency was.
I kind of pictured in my head being like a general contractor and like finding freelancers and like pulling them all together. I didn't realize that that's actually what an agency is, at least like on a fundamental level. So seeing the business structure with Wunderous kind of like. Opened our eyes to like, okay, well, the things that we've been thinking about as like being a good business opportunity actually exist and you can scale it beyond just yourself.
And I think where I was like initially trying to figure out like where I can get some traction with that skill set, like people said is freelancing, but I was like building cheap websites, you know, writing like blog posts. Do like a little bit of social media, you know, coming up with taglines, like just random stuff here and there.
And so being able to take like a structure that existed and like use that as an example from like another vertical and applying it to, you know, second vertical, it helped us leapfrog and jump over a lot of issues that we would have experienced had we just built it like. Brick by brick with no sort of like roadmap or like North star.
And so for us, it was like, it was kind of that aha moment where it's like, well, rather than like spending this time and this effort writing content for someone else's agency, let's just bring it all underneath one roof and let's just improve the client experience, you know, and improve the product quality.
[00:09:15] Corey: I love that. So just to feed that back, it sounds like you were able to get direct access to a framework where an agency is focusing on a vertical. You were already doing, you had the skills, you're already doing the work. You have a law firm background. What were some of those things that you saw Wondrous doing that helped you to kind of shortcut your learning curve?
[00:09:37] April: I mean, I think that for us, it was the simple things that people will, they're not simple, but people think that they're simple where it's like, Oh my gosh, they had a project management software built out with. You know, kind of templates in there of, you know, social media, here's how we do this or SEO, here's, you know, the tiers that we do when it comes to a proposal.
Like we didn't have to just create that from thin air. It was there and we just duplicated it and made it work for us. Obviously what we started with is not what we're doing now. And we've evolved from there in, in both directions, I think, as you know, we've gotten to know. Legal clients over the last five years versus dental clients.
I mean, we were just talking today where it's like, you know, Wondrous is doing one thing and we're like, that's just not going to work with our clients because of X, Y, and Z. And so I think understanding the differences and then being able to pivot and kind of make it work in your industry has been really helpful.
And then I think. Within dental, I mean, you, you do have a few different types of dentists where, you know, I mean, you could be like an orthodontist or a pediatric dentist or, you know, specialty sort of thing. But with legal, there's so many different types of practices. And so I think for us, we've really had to narrow in on.
Not only is this the type of campaign for say a PPC campaign, but this is the type for like personal injury. And this is the type for criminal defense or whatever it is. Like we have to really narrow in within the legal industry as well.
[00:11:17] Corey: And I'd love to dig into that. So is it when you were getting started and you wanted to kind of lean in, build your own agency, how did you get started?
What is, what the first things you did, how did you land your first couple of clients?
[00:11:30] Tyler: So we did like a working Saturday, right? So we just sat down and we were like, what do we need to do to like get this off the ground? We needed a logo, which we went to a coffee shop and we saw a logo that we liked from the coffee shop and said, all right, let's make it look like that.
Perfect. And we're still stuck with it till today. Like, very little thought went into it, but people seem to like it. So we've kept it. And then we had to create a proposal. So like April said, we didn't start totally from scratch. We were able to think about like different tiers and different packages. And we did like a little bit of like pricing analysis by doing some competitive research.
You know, we found some proposals from like other. agencies in the legal space and just kind of cross compared that. We also needed a website. So we sat down and we built a website pretty quick. One of the great things about having partners who've done it before, and they were like, you know, six, seven years ahead of us is that You know, we were able to take a nice camera and do a photo shoot and have like professional photos from day one.
I think that was huge. And then also think like just developing the story. So we created like a press release, which we never really like sent out, but it really helped us like frame the brand story. And we were able to use that for like social, for the website, for, you know, blogging, if we're going to send out like a mass email, we can do that as well.
So like, just in terms of like making it look like a, like a company, like that was like kind of step one, obviously there was like the legal side of it, you know, the operating agreement, the LLC, the contracts, you know, our proposal had like terms and conditions we did, you know, hire an attorney, I didn't, I didn't write it, even though I'm an attorney, we had attorneys do all this for us.
So there were some like legal costs that were involved in that. You know, just making sure that we were able to take payments and like process payments, that sort of thing. So, so yeah, quick books.
[00:13:15] April: Our first client was really interesting. Cause like, it's funny. I'll try to go back and find the correspondence with him.
And it's not even in our Nomos email because we hadn't even created the Nomos email first. Like the proposal is a wondrous agency proposal, but it was like funnel through. And I mean, like wondrous team members went with us as we were onboarding the client. And he's still with us today. He's local in San Diego.
So it was a connection that our business partners had, and it was someone who had seen some work and knew someone who knew someone, and that's how we got connected. So truly when Tyler. Tyler was the one who really came on as like the first full time employee. Like I stayed at Wondrous for gosh, like a year and a half, maybe.
So I would do this at night. So really fun to work what felt like 24 seven, probably not the healthiest, but you know, you learn lessons. And that client that we brought on as our first client was really what helped us to like, kind of grow in the beginning. Cause like. It snowballed into two, three. And then I, I mean, I feel like we were probably up to what, like 15 to 20 before I came over full time.
[00:14:32] Tyler: One more thing I'll add to that is we really went like kind of hard on that client, like we, we definitely over delivered, but we didn't short change ourselves in the sense that we like did it for free just to build the portfolio. Like we had the capital to pay for photography and videography. So like the website comes out and it's just like beautiful website that we've built, but we also had great photo assets.
We had like, you know, five different videos on there, including like client testimonial videos. And it was really kind of like something that was aspirational for other people in our market. Like our solo and small law firms to say, this is what your law firm could look like if you work with us. And that just opened the gates for, you know, a lot of conversations for people who.
Maybe you didn't want to take a risk on a new agency, but they could see that we had, you know, a good foundation and we were like really buttoned up in the approach that we took to like onboarding and like fulfilling the product.
[00:15:28] Corey: Would you say, gosh, I've got so many questions. Would you say that your service today is more of a premium offering?
Like, are you selling? High end websites at a premium or what is your sort of brand positioning? Cause you know, the legal agency domain, that whole place is quite busy. I would say, how do you guys position the agency?
[00:15:49] Tyler: What were we saying the other day? It's kind of like, if you're going to compare to like a consumer brand, kind of like West Elm or like, you know, it's kind of like the, like the upper tier, but we create some parity in our products where like we can serve this solo law firm that's just getting started.
That like doesn't have a brand or a website or anything, but then we also have the ability to serve like a much more established client that has a budget of, you know, half a million dollars a year for, for advertising. So we have this clients where, you know, they require higher touch points. April is really involved in a lot of those clients.
They have ad spends, you know, like, like I said, like half a million a year, they're doing TV, they're doing radio, they're doing Google ads. But then we also have clients where we're doing basic SEO, we're hosting their website, and maybe we're doing like a little bit of social media for them. And that's kind of like the higher volume portion of the business.
[00:16:43] Corey: Going back to these early days, did you take on any non lawyer clients in, uh, just to keep the lights on and keep things moving? Or was it all attorneys day from day one all the way forward?
[00:16:54] April: I feel like there were definitely non lawyer clients, but they were in the legal industry, if that makes sense.
Okay. I think
[00:17:03] Corey: that's fair. I think you can call that, you know, law firm industry.
[00:17:07] April: It always like... Made sense, but I, we have really gotten further away from that unless it's someone that we feel like would be a good fit with the way that we've grown. So, you know, if they're just using us for like social media and that's That's it.
Like it may be a little bit harder to really grow with that, but if we have a plan of, you know, here's how we're going to scale it up over time, here are your goals, and here's how we can help. started. I'm sure this is the case for a lot of agency owners. You just don't know what you don't know. And someone asks you to help and you want to help, you want to help everyone.
But I think, you know, over time we really learned that like we, we can't help people if we're spread in so many different directions. And so we definitely narrowed in and I think. The clients that we've brought on more recently that maybe aren't your typical attorneys, but still in the legal space, I feel like they definitely fit that mold a little bit better than maybe once that we've worked with in the past, where it just came to not be a good fit for both parties.
Lots of learning experiences in the beginning, for
[00:18:19] Corey: sure. As you were building out this portfolio of new clients, it sounded like you built this amazing website. It was kind of a really great showpiece of your talent and the things that you could do for these attorney clients. How did you get your next client?
Like, how did, how did that turn into another one? And how did that turn into another one? Like, were you cold calling people? Were you networking? Like, how did you actually like make that happen?
[00:18:42] Tyler: One of the benefits of being an attorney is like knowing other attorneys. So just making those phone calls and like having a short email list, like we definitely got some good referrals.
Like I would say. The first few clients were all personal connections as we were getting started. Um, and then from there we, we started going to some conferences and tabling at those. Um, we sponsored some like local bar associations. We went on flippa. com and purchased a legal directory. Um, and it had 6, 000 attorneys on it with all their contact information.
So like not only did we get the directory, but we got the contact information. So like that was kind of a, a unique way of getting some initial contacts and building a lead list. We also tried something that was fairly short lived, but in hindsight could have been like a really good situation, a good lead magnet, where basically we created like an attorney, like highlight website where.
You would fill out a form answering like five questions about yourself upload, you know Some photos and get added to our website But in order to submit it you had to nominate three other attorneys and then it would trigger the same workflow So that was another way that we were starting to generate some leads or at least like kind of goodwill with People in the legalist space.
[00:19:56] April: I feel like it it really took off when we started To meet clients or just people in the industry who we've really felt like we jived with, with how we view the legal industry and marketing in it. And they connected us to people that I think genuinely like filled our cup where like we loved. What we were doing and, you know, we look at the legal industry a little different.
Like Tyler and I both kind of come from, I mean, we've talked about him being a lawyer and me working at a marketing agency, but, you know, prior to that, like I worked for a nonprofit for five years and. Tyler's, you know, he's a preacher's kid. So we very much have this philanthropic, um, kind of core to us.
And so for us, like, we've always looked at the legal industry as, you know, um, bridging the access to justice gap. And, um, we've been really passionate about that. And I think that as it, that's not like day one, I don't think that's what we would have said, cause I don't think we had the words yet to say that.
And I think we're still. Like developing that to five years in. But, um, I think that we really were able to meet some incredible people who then put us in contact with other people and. Not only did that grow the business, but it grew the business in the way that we wanted it to grow, where it's like, we're talking to people who are like change makers in the legal industry.
And that, that was really powerful and special to see happen.
[00:21:31] Corey: So it sounds like your values and your belief systems. around sort of the legal industry helped you to kind of break through some of the noise potentially in this agency world that we live in and connect you more quickly to people who maybe have a shared value
[00:21:45] Tyler: system.
Yeah. And I would say it goes back to that first day when we're figuring out the story, it's like, why are we doing this when there's so many other agencies out there that do the same thing that we do? Like, what's the difference? And I think. For us, we felt like a lot of people in the legal space who couldn't necessarily afford like a huge, like 10, 000 a month package, like they were missing out on opportunities to market to their, to their communities and their communities were missing out on like their service.
Right. So for us, it's like we get to find people who are really good at what they do. They're really good lawyers and we get to step in and help them with their marketing and help them connect with their community in like a more powerful way. And so I think by like framing it like that, and like April said, connecting with other people who felt the same way or thought there was like the same need, it opened the door to conversations that allowed us to meet our ideal client and really develop a service that, that meets their needs.
Right. And so that's really, when we talk about like narrowing down a little bit more, you know, especially as we're looking forward, we're continuing to find that there is that group of lawyers out there that. Maybe aren't served in the way that the bigger law firms are. Does
[00:23:02] Corey: that correlate to practice area?
Like, do you have a concentration of clients in a specific practice area or does that not really align?
[00:23:11] April: I feel like in the beginning, it didn't really align with that. Like that wasn't really part of it, but I think as we've grown, we've definitely figured out like, what are the practice areas where. We can be really successful in, and how can you measure those results?
I think, you know, we are talking, gosh, I think it was yesterday. And it's like, you know, the Google ads are working great for this client, but they haven't gotten any, they haven't converted any of those into clients. And it's like, well, they're not going to convert them for probably a year. You know, this isn't like, it's not like someone just got in a car wreck and they needed an attorney today.
You know, it's. The sales process is a little bit longer for them. And so I think that we're kind of in that place right now where we're really narrowing in, not to say that we're not going to work with a special type of lawyer, but just kind of figuring out the bread and the butter and like how it, how we're able to provide the best services for our clients.
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OutboundROI. com. Now back to the show. You'd mentioned that growing your team outside of just the two of you was potentially a bit of a growing challenge, like some growing pains there. Who was your first hire?
[00:25:18] April: Gosh. So we hired a, we had just moved to Charleston. So this is a funny story. We had moved, we're from North Carolina, originally got married in Charleston.
Knew we would always end up here. Like that was always part of the plan to move back to Charleston. San Diego was. We just got like wild here and said, let's do it. So we moved in December of 2019. And then obviously COVID happened in March of 2020. And we hired our first employee in probably like August, September of 2020.
And she came to our house, would sit at our dining room table, would ride her bike over and work for a little while, like lived in the neighborhood. And that, it was definitely not like super professional how we. Did it cause we had no option and also like everything was kind of closed. So like it, you know, it, it worked at the time, but we did that for, we hired, gosh, two or three people like that.
And then got an office about a year later, maybe not even a year, maybe shy of a year. Yeah.
[00:26:24] Tyler: And the first, and she was an account manager. So that was like, the first thing was taking. The client communication off of our shoulders, because that was really where we found we were spending a lot of our time.
And that's also what was taking a lot of our energy. So by offloading that, it allowed us to then look at like sales a little bit more aggressively and like look at partnerships a little bit more. You know, if we went to a conference, we weren't missing out on two days of client communication. We had someone who was available to take care of those.
And you know, we were fortunate in that our first hire was definitely like. ambitious and like had a lot of gumption and was able to handle like a lot of like even more technical things that may have arisen. And so it was definitely the right hire at the right time.
[00:27:09] Corey: Did you make any mistakes with regard to your first couple of hires, any advice you'd have for maybe the younger version of the two of you, or you're just the two of you and you're, you knew you need to hire someone, but weren't really sure any.
Any tips you can share?
[00:27:23] April: I mean, so many, gosh, that could be a whole series that you have. Isn't that the whole point of hiring? I feel like you get better each hire
[00:27:31] Tyler: you make. Yeah. I would say like, for me in my mind, I'm like, what am I really bad at? And like, if I was going to fire myself from something, what would I fire myself from and then like, what would I hire someone else to do?
And I think that that's a great place to start because especially if you're like a technician and you're doing everything, there may be something that you don't love doing, or there may be something that could be helpful. I think like an assistant could be really helpful for someone who, you know, doesn't have the value of like a partnership where, I mean, it wasn't just the two of us, there were four of us.
Right. And like, we were able to like handle a lot of different aspects of the business from like day one, but if it's really someone starting from, you know, from scratch on their own, like an assistant could be a great place to start. But I think one of the hardest lessons that like, that we learned was getting people on board with the vision and keeping everyone motivated and aligned with the mission.
And I think that just comes down to like setting clear expectations, having really good training, you know, having ongoing support and like being available on an ongoing basis. You know, and making sure that they know that there's a growth plan for them, right? Like if you're, especially if you're just getting started, it's like, well, where's my, what's my future in two years, three years, four years.
So like making sure that you communicate that with people and like showing them like what this agency is going to look like, you know, in five years and like where, what's their place in it, you know, at that point, I think that's really important for a young team. Yeah.
[00:29:02] Corey: I remember just being a leader in an agency and a young leader from an experience perspective.
It brings me back to that where it's, as a leader, you may intuitively know where that future is, but if, unless you actually articulate it over and over and paint that picture and really, you know, get people involved in that vision. People may not intuitively know it as well as you do.
[00:29:26] April: Yeah. And I think it, you know, was also really hard when we were hiring our first few employees, cause that was, you know, they call it the great resignation.
Like people were job hopping left and right. And it was. We were, our son's adopted and we were in the adoption process. He had just been born and I mean, he's what, four weeks old and I'm hiring two more people as we're growing and scaling and doing all the things. And I'm like, this is so hard. And so I think like.
If that had all hit either a year earlier or a year later, it probably wouldn't have felt so heavy at the time. But definitely was a challenge. I feel like we personally grew the most during that. And I think that's really when we said, okay, here's how we're going to do things in order to Stay sane and, you know, focus on our family, but also grow the business.
And I think we just learned a lot of really great lessons during that time that we still, you know, are learning today. I mean, we. Probably made plenty of mistakes today too. I think that's just part of being a leader is that you're always improving. And I feel like with each hire, like we get a little bit better and the process gets better.
And I think now we have people who have been with us for a couple of years and they're really able to see, Oh, here's what a promotion looks like. Here's what we do at Christmas, you know, or the holiday season, like. Here's all the things. It's hard when you don't have a team member who's seen that, so there's no, like, path.
I mean, they can see, like, our business partners have done with their agency, but we're obviously doing things a little different. And so I think seeing that all happen has definitely been helpful as well. And just hiring the right people for the right roles, I think. That's definitely a huge part
[00:31:15] Corey: of it.
Have you hired a salesperson? Do you have a full time seller on the
[00:31:19] April: team? As of April of this year? Yes. And it's
[00:31:25] Corey: great. That's great. Why, why is it great? Tell us, tell us how that hasn't impacted
[00:31:29] Tyler: your business. I think the biggest thing is that like when you're like an owner founder, you can sometimes like sabotage your own growth because you're like, Oh man, if I sell this next client, like I've got to deliver.
And now I've got to go higher, right? It's so nice to be able to delegate that to someone who like their incentive structure is a little bit different than yours. And like, it just allows them to go out and just execute on the strategy. Um, it allows them to take care of your leads. Like we talk about the client journey, starting with the first contact with our team and like, it's great to have someone that you trust in that place to really deliver a good experience for that person.
So. Whether they become a client or not, like they have a great experience with the agency. And I think just having someone else who is tracking this stuff on a daily basis, because for us, it's like, Oh, it's Tuesday. It's our, it's our time to meet. Like let's scramble these numbers together, as opposed to like having someone who's like accountable to the numbers and like really is watching them.
And that's just been kind of transformative for us.
[00:32:35] Corey: You mentioned that you've been in business, I believe about five years.
[00:32:38] April: Correct. Yeah. We celebrated five years
[00:32:40] Tyler: this year.
[00:32:41] Corey: Congratulations. So, is it fair to say you survived and grew and thrived as an agency for over four years without a salesperson?
Would you have hired a salesperson sooner or was it the right timing and what was happening in the business that made, made the case for, Hey, it's time to actually make this investment?
[00:33:01] April: I feel like we did it at the right point. We actually had accounted for a salesperson to come in, I think a few months after when we actually did it.
So we did it a few months early just because. We just found the right person and just said this, this could be it. And we're just going to make this work. Yeah. I don't know what, what do you think? I
[00:33:23] Tyler: think for us, it was all about laying a foundation that we could scale. Um, if we had hired someone earlier on to do it, then our systems would have broke and our team would have broke.
Like we're at a place now where we can walk in and like, yes, there are still problems that we're fixing. Like I would say like, there's a challenge every day that we're overcoming, but they. We are so small in comparison to the challenges that we had when we were like just getting started, because now we have processes, we have a project management system that's built out, we have a way to communicate, you know, asynchronously with team members, like just that, that foundations there that allows us to grow where like we could add one client or we'd have 10 clients, like it won't make that big of a difference.
Like, we'll obviously need to look at growth and like hiring, you know, because we're like. Filling the right positions, but we have someone who's there to help fulfill each of the services that we have, and we have a process for it. So I think that was critical to have in place before, you know, we brought someone on for sales.
[00:34:29] Corey: So just to reiterate the, the foundation that you're referring to is the operational systems and capacity to be able to. Fulfilling the promises that the new seller was making to the, the clients coming in the door.
[00:34:40] April: Is that Yeah, definitely that and then I think having the right team members. So I think for so long it was, oh, Tyler will build that website and we're up till midnight working and he's doing that and I'm like answering emails to clients and we, we had to make sure that it wasn't reliant on us to do, but we had dedicated team members to send the email marketing campaigns.
Write the SEO content, post the SEO content, manage that website up like We had to make sure that was all in place. So if we would have had a salesperson any earlier, clients would have been upset because then we would have been taking so long to deliver anything because it's us doing it at night and I think we had to make sure it's a balance, you know?
I think. Hindsight. I mean, maybe we could have done it a few months earlier, but I think it really was the perfect timing for us.
[00:35:38] Tyler: I think you could go the inverse where you hire sales and then you just hire on the backend and just try to like, keep up with like the growth. But we've always been like a little bit more conservative.
We've been like completely cashflow from day one, no debt. And. For us, like making sure we're maintaining like clean profit margins, making sure that we're staying within budget, you know, and that we have like a good projection for growth. Like that's really been like, there's not much that you can control and there's not much that gives you like super peace of mind when you're starting a business.
But if you can control those things, like you can go into the next month, knowing you're in a good place and it allows you to grow in a much more confident manner than like. If you think, how am I going to make payroll? Or like, how am I going to fulfill this, you know, this project? Who am I going to hire?
Or if someone just left, you know, now I've got to retrain. And so I think by just having that foundation there and just having a little bit more of a conservative approach has really helped us like grow professionally, but also like, you know, personally, I mean, we've been able to accomplish a lot personally while we're starting the business too.
[00:36:45] Corey: amazing. Uh, that's, that's so great. I can't wait to meet you guys in like five years and see where you've taken us. April, I think it was you mentioned that the more you narrow down as far as your scope, the more you can productize your services and scale. Can you talk about that a little
[00:37:01] Tyler: bit?
[00:37:02] April: Yeah.
I mean, I think we have definitely, it's evolving. We're always narrowing down even more where we're figuring out what works. But I think, you know, personal injury, I feel like it's such an easy one to talk about because you're able to say, okay. Here's what the clients are wanting. Do you do car wrecks? Do you do motorcycle accidents?
Like tractor trailer acts like you have those formulas. And of course you're going to need to edit a little bit based off of the state that they're in. You know what works. And so you're not having to really reinvent the wheel. I think from like a capacity standpoint, you think about how much capacity can team members handle, um, in order to.
And so when you're having to reinvent the wheel, every single campaign that you're working on, that's going to take up so much time. Therefore you're going to have to hire more people and your profit margins aren't going to be as strong. And so for us, it's really been about. How can we templatize things as much as possible and leave enough room for creativity where we can go in and make those updates, but we know the foundation that works.
And so that's really allowed us to scale and really has given us. As we're looking at the rest of this year, and even the beginning of next year, we're already looking at the pro forma for next year, you know, we're figuring out, like, how many clients can we have that have an SEO service before we need to hire someone else?
And I think that's been really important from like a business standpoint, but also just like. Mental capacity. I mean, I like, I mean, you talk about, you know, kind of going back a little bit of working with people who aren't lawyers and it's like, you want to help those people, but it's like, oh my gosh, that you got to figure out how to like, do that.
Like I, like, I don't know how to do marketing for audiology. Like I'd have to figure that out. So I think being confident going in. And then when a client says, oh, I really want to do X, Y, and Z, you can say. No, we don't do that and here's why and feeling confident in that instead of saying, yeah, let me, let me try to do that.
And then learning down the road that it doesn't work. And then you've kind of lost that trust with them. What
[00:39:19] Corey: are the negatives to verticalizing an agency business?
[00:39:23] Tyler: I don't know if there are any negatives. I, I think that, you know, one of the thoughts I had was like, well, what if we just went out and we just did local SEO for a bunch of businesses in my town?
Like we could go to, you know, where you get to Eastern North Carolina, where very few people have Googled my businesses and we could just go through the entire town, knock on doors and You know, set up Google My Business accounts and do basic SEO for hundreds of local clients like that. And so I think there's definitely something there where you could say, well, I want to just.
Talk about like a very specific, but even then you're niching down, right? Like, we're going to work with
[00:40:02] Corey: a small, small group. Yeah, there's, there's, there's, there are, there's a perspective that if you are local based on a specific like footprint of a, of an area, that is a vertical to a certain extent, right?
Because they have a community and they have a language and you know, you can target them in a specific way. So I think there's definitely merit to
[00:40:21] Tyler: that. Yeah, I don't know what the downsides would be.
[00:40:25] April: Yeah, I guess it depends on the industry that you're in. I was trying to think of an example of, like, maybe one that would be harder because there's not as many people, but I think, like, you can think about anything, and, like, you can go outside of the U.
S., you can do Canada, you can do Mexico, you can do Europe, like, you can go everywhere, and so... I mean, I really don't, I can't think of one. I'm sure there are plenty, but I, they're just not coming top of mind right now. Sure,
[00:40:54] Corey: sure. I have to, I have to really work hard to come up with one myself. Two more questions here before we wrap up.
Let's say there's someone listening right now to our voices, uh, and they are a, maybe a generalist agency. They started off doing just kind of business. You know, agency work for local people and, you know, restaurants and CPAs and everything. And there's feeling the pressures of sort of what typically comes with a generalist agency, especially dealing with local businesses.
What would you say to that person or maybe the younger version of yourself that when when you were deciding to focus in on a vertical market, what advice would you have for that young? agency owner who's, who's thinking about going this direction.
[00:41:39] Tyler: I would say find like your points of influence, because if you are thinking about a certain vertical, there's probably a conference, there's probably a Facebook group, there's probably a few podcasts out there, just find those like points of influence and like connect with them.
And I think that's really a good place to start because you can start to see what the market really looks like. You know, if you think that a certain market looks good to you, you could get into like the Facebook groups and just see like, Oh, how, how engaged are these members? What are their problems?
What are they coming up against? I can guarantee if you go into any Facebook group for lawyers, 80% of the conversation is about marketing. I mean, without a doubt, like that's their favorite thing to talk about. And so, you know, legal is obviously one place to start, but there's so many other agents or industries out there where you could just do that basic research.
You don't have to book a flight to go somewhere. You could join a, you know, a live conference and just kind of figure out like what the lay of the land is, because if you can figure out those points of influence and kind of like. You know, either make those connections and network or like endear yourself to someone who maybe has like a, another business that's serving that same group, then it opens up that door to allow you to explore that, that vertical earlier on.
And maybe you just take on a few of those clients, you know, develop a product specifically to, to them, you know, whatever they're, they're dealing with or whatever their problems are. Um, and testing the waters out that way.
[00:43:09] Corey: That's great. Any, uh, anything else you want to add to that April?
[00:43:12] April: No, I mean, I completely agree with that.
For us, it was a natural fit in the legal industry, but I mean, that doesn't mean like Laura and Michael, they weren't like dentists when they started Wondrous. I think she, you know, had a friend that was a dentist and was just asking her questions and then it was just a light bulb that came on in her head.
And so I think if someone's. Really wanted to narrow in, I think, look for those opportunities and you'll know. And I think most entrepreneurs are constantly looking for those. I mean, we're always just like, what's going to be next? Like, what are we going to do next? And so I think that's just the way we think now.
And yeah, I think that that just discovering what that would be and what really makes you excited. Cause I mean, you're going to hopefully do this for a long time and you want to be excited when you get up every morning.
[00:43:59] Corey: So important. So my last question is, and you've kind of touched on this a little bit with regard to access to legal, legal services, but what's your motivation?
[00:44:09] April: You know, it's, I feel like it's changed a lot over the years. I think definitely the foundation of, you know, we say making the law more human, making it more accessible. So, you know, reaching as many people as we possibly can and helping in communities is definitely it. I think. Taking it even a step further, you know, I don't feel like either one of us have ever been super motivated by money, which I'm sure is not.
I know that there's other business owners out there that feel the same way, but I think for us. You know, I want to make sure when we go to sleep at night that we feel good about what we did that day and like, if the money comes with it, that's wonderful. I mean, we obviously have a kid in daycare, you know, that's expensive, but, you know, I think that for us, the most important thing is to be able to make a difference in the community and, you know, as a whole.
[00:45:00] Tyler: And I would say too, like, as we're growing, I love the people aspect of it. We get so much energy, like meeting with our team members and like having conversations with them and like investing in their life. Like that's been one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. I think it's also been one of the hardest ones, but it, it forces you to become a better version of yourself every day and you have to constantly learn and constantly invest in yourself development.
And I, I think that that's been a huge part of this. And then, you know, at the end of the day, like we love seeing our clients win. Like when a client's struggling, that's like the worst thing. It's not because we're like scared that we're going to get an upset email. It's because we're upset that they're not getting the results that they need, because we know that they're serving their communities.
We know that they're delivering a great product and a great service. And so for, for us to see our clients succeed and to hear good things about the things that they're doing and like the people they've been able to help. That's one of the things that I think is just like the coolest part about working in the legal space.
Because they're, they're, I mean, these are the most important things that people are dealing with in their life. They're probably hiring an attorney one time if they're lucky, you know, and so it's like the decision they make is so important. So it's like for us to be able to position our, our clients in a way that allows them to serve those people at such a important juncture in their life, I think is one of the coolest things.
[00:46:28] Corey: Wow. I love that. That's awesome. Where can people reach out to connect with you if they have more questions, if they just want to connect or maybe even hire you guys, uh, where, where, where should we send
[00:46:39] April: them? Yeah. So our website is nomosmarketing.com on there. There's chat features and plenty of buttons where you can click to schedule a time with us and get in contact with someone on our team.
We are also going to be at ClioCon in, gosh. Where are we? Like six weeks out now or something like that. So Tyler and I will be speaking there on websites and doing a little workshop as well as some of our team members. So we'll, we'll have a little sponsorship there and swing on by and hopefully we can meet some people if
[00:47:12] Tyler: anyone's there.
Yeah. And if you're in, uh, Charleston, we're in Mount Pleasant across the street from Shim Creek, which is just an awesome place to grab lunch by the water. Or a drink.
[00:47:21] April: You can see where our priorities are.
[00:47:24] Tyler: Yeah, we'd love to meet with you and talk business. It'd be a lot of fun. Wonderful.
[00:47:28] Corey: Thank you so much for joining.
It's been a great conversation and I know it's been I've learned a lot. I'm sure the audience has as well. So thank you so much for coming on. Thanks so much
[00:47:39] April: for having us.
[00:47:40] Corey: 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.
If you receive value from this show, I would love a five star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks, and we'll see you soon.