Parallel Profits Launching in January 2019 – We Have The Review and Insights
In a nutshell, Steve and Aidan have been involved in local SEM consulting for about a decade and they have a business in Cape Coral (Florida) that does about $300k/yr in sales, with about 80% profit margin (so it makes about $240k/yr in profit, about the same as what a well optimized $1MM/yr Amazon private label business would give someone).
Building a local SEM business might not sound like the sexiest thing out there at first, but I think what will REALLY excite you is the way they’re approaching it. I’ll have more details about what they’re doing differently in the coming weeks..
They actually launched a program called ‘SEM Business Blueprint’ about 9 years ago which was based on this exact model, and it sold INCREDIBLY well (it had the best conversion rate to our list of anything we’d ever done).
Getting to $100k/yr profit from this kind of business only requires a handful of clients, and it can be done without ever seeing/meeting anyone face to face, so I am excited about what we and you will be able to achieve here.
Reasons to Start Your Own Digital Marketing Agency
Did you ever think about becoming an entrepreneur?
Anyone working in a marketing agency most likely had those thoughts at some stage of their career.
If you think you could do things better running your own agency, you could actually be right! That’s exactly what I was thinking when I was fresh out of college.
That’s why I set out to start my own marketing agency at the beginning of 2013. I had no idea I would soon shift all my focus into SEM in a couple of years.
When I saw the potential of search engine optimization (SEO) and Search engine marketing (SEM), I used it on my target market: e-commerce.
Since then I never looked back. I had a lot of success, I quickly achieved most of my lifelong goals of becoming financially independent and being my own boss.
There are also many other success stories of people who built their business in the digital marketing landscape, starting from scratch.
It does take a lot of courage and determination, this goes for starting any business. However, if you want to go and try with your own local SEM agency, I will be more than happy to help you out with this comprehensive guide.
As with anything, there are benefits as well as drawbacks when starting your own SEM business. So, first, let’s start with of the good things.
Pros of Having Your Own Local SEM Business
- Making More Money
One of my earlier mentors summarized it pretty good: »If you want to make real money these days, you should be an entrepreneur.«
This couldn’t be closer to the truth. If you are not a CEO of some major company, it is very hard to earn the same money as some of the entrepreneurs out there.
However, keep in mind there is a lot of entrepreneurs who didn’t earn anything from their endeavours so there – being an entrepreneur is not risk-free.
- You Know SEM Better Than Your Superiors
If you think about it, you are also the product of the company you are working for. You can provide a lot of value to many customers even outside of your work environment if you decide to do so.
And this is the way almost any agency starts out – by someone, daring to go and apply their knowledge on their own. After this person gets success, he will hire his own employees who will one day learn enough to also go on to be independent. This is the usual development of the agencies.
- You Want Something New
In my college days, when I was working for a company, I realized that our chief of staff was usually never around. I was later told, that it was because he was watching a series in his office for a good part of the day.
There is nothing wrong with TV series, however, I would always pick a challenge and being productive over sitting and watching TV every day.
Having your own agency is a challenge and could be very fruitful for more competitive characters out there.
If you are bored with your job and want a new challenge, starting your own business is a great way to do new things for various clients in many different situations.
- You Have Enough Of Your Current Work Environment
After I quit my college job, I started working for an agency, where its owner would assign interns to make him coffee. He would often yell at them if the coffee was not to make in »the right way«.
This is not a working environment you want to be a part of. We often think we could build a better working environment if we would be running the things. And that’s exactly what you can do when you start your own business.
Even working on your own is more rewarding than being a part of a bad working environment.
- Be Your Own Boss
You shouldn’t get the wrong idea. Even though you don’t have to work for your boss anymore, you will end up having more bosses – your clients.
However, you can still do whatever you like, as long as you are able to pay your bills.
- Enjoy Creating Your Own Environment
Once your business starts to pick up, you will see how fun it is to create your own work environment and put together a team. Together you will go through a lot and in the end, everyone will enjoy the rewards of your teamwork.
Like with most businesses the hardest part is the beginning. After you hit the ground running, it usually becomes much easier.
Drawbacks of Having Your Own SEM Business
There are also some drawbacks to starting out on your own. You will have to be dedicated and prepared to do a lot of hard work.
- There Is No Vacations or Sick Days in The Beginning
In the early days of my SEO agency, I got really sick one day. The sickness stuck with me for a whole month as I simply couldn’t take time off to fully recover. There was simply too much on the line.
It wasn’t easy doing sales and meeting customers, but that’s what I had to do. When you are starting your business, you can forget about sick days or vacation, at least in the beginning.
I met a lot of entrepreneurs who were in doing their full-time job, and they were still putting 4-5 hours of work in the early hours of the day before they would even start doing their job.
- Tough Competition
You probably received an email from a company, claiming they can get you on the first site of the google search. It doesn’t even matter if that’s true. What is more important is the fact that there is a lot of agencies fighting for their spot in the advertising business.
Any major customer acquisition channel will have a lot of tough competitors trying to establish themselves.
You will have to be going around, making sales calls, explaining why your agency is the right one for the client. In some cases, this means doing more than six pitches to the same customer.
- Intense Workload
Working for as an employee, you usually have one job. Your other co-workers would have their own tasks.
When doing your own business you have to do all of those roles. This means a turbulent work schedule and in the beginning, you will have to work every day of the week for many long hours. There are no shortcuts when starting your own business, so you have to get used to the workload
- You Will Be a Salesman
During college and in my early career, I never considered myself a salesperson.
However, after starting my own agency, I have realized I am a full-fledged professional salesman.
If you want to start your own agency that is exactly what you will have to do. Sell. And you don’t have to be sleazy while you do it. I like selling for my own agency because we deliver exceptional results for our customers and I believe in the quality of our service.
- Nobody Will Give You a Manual
When I was beginning my journey of having an SEM agency, I asked for advice from one of my friends, who owned an IT company. His response? »I have no Idea. Google it.«
And that’s exactly what I did. I went online and tried to figure it out. I had no chance to use a course like Aidan and Steve’s Parallel Profits because at that time there weren’t any.
There actually wasn’t too much information available, on my specific subject. What I ended up doing is reading some good books and combined the information from many different places, to make the plan.
Nowadays, there is much more information available, however, by the time it is published it is most likely outdated.
Running an agency is all about innovation anyways, so even though you can learn a lot online and from books, you still won’t have a manual for your specific situation.
The beginning of your journey can be very stressful. It can be hard on you, your family and even your friendships. Having a hobby that helps you relieve stress is highly recommended. Going to fitness after a hard days work will do a lot of good for your well-being.
Stress has a lot of negative effects and if you think your current job is stressful, wait until you start doing twice the workload with inconsistent income. Now, that is something else.
When life gets tough, just remember – the best things never come easy.
- Unpredictable Income
In the beginning, it is hard for a company to get consistent income through contracts. You are just not established enough.
If you manage to get some contracts early on, that’s great! However, most people will not, meaning their income will be highly unpredictable. That can generate a lot of stress and uncertainty.
When starting a company you should also have enough backup money to last you for at least a couple of months.
Going on your own is a big risk as opposed to having a regular job. You should consider if the risk is worth it for you.The good news is that the digital marketing agencies can be profitable form the get-go, and even the smaller companies generate quite some revenue.
In that sense starting a digital agency is a lot less risky than building a traditional business.
Starting Your Own SEM Agency – Step by Step
The first thing you have to do is research. Look for as much information on the topic as possible, so you will know what you are dealing with.
There are many guides books and online articles on how to start a business. Yet there is no step-by-step manual, so you will have to carve your own way by yourself. You could as well join Aidan and Steve’s Parallel Profit and have all of the information needed at one place.
A word of advice: In the beginning start off by giving away free services. After you get some results, get a testimonial or a recommendation from your customer. Doing so will help you get some leverage and help you get to more customers.
If you will try to find paying customers, in the beginning, it could be very difficult, and in most cases, it could mean you will not be able to start your business successfully.
Taking the Leap
When you consider all the benefits and drawbacks of having a digital marketing agency, you can then make an insightful decision whether you want to do it or not. You can either start small or go for it full-time.
As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to have at least three months of cash flow saved up before starting, before taking the leap.
- Don’t Chase the Next Big Thing
That’s a mistake a lot of people make. Instead of jumping from one attractive opportunity to another, rather focus on the core part of your business and let everything else fade away.
- Focus on Other Things
Do other things in life and don’t let the business suck up all of your personal life. At the beginning that will happen most likely as you are excited while being under a lot of pressure.
- Enjoy the Journey
Have fun, when establishing your business, don’t be too worried about results and the future.
Doing business is like a marathon so just pace yourself.
- Don’t Wait
Don’t wait for anything to start your own agency. Even if you think you will be better prepared in the future, the truth is, you will never be fully prepared for what’s ahead.
The best time to start is always right now.
- Quality over Everything
Be passionate about your service, product, whatever you provide to your customer. Doing so will make it easy to sell whatever you have to as you have full belief in the quality of your service. The good results you will bring to clients will also make you proud and full of joy.
Alway continue developing your product and your service.
All in all, it is not an easy journey but that still doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and fulfilling. I hope the guide helps you out a bit on your way to having the best digital marketing agency there is. There are no right and wrong answers when figuring out the kind of business you will begin with, and there is nothing wrong with not doing it at all. All you need to do is make a decision that is the best for you personally.