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How a Search Marketing Agency Went from $0 to $2,500,000 in Revenue in One Year [Interview]


We recently met with Johnathan Dane to discuss his experience co-founding a PPC agency that went from $0 to $2,500,000 in revenue in a single year. Since that time, he’s gone on to found KlientBoost, a Costa Mesa, CA, based PPC advertising agency.

Since a lot of our readers own search marketing agencies or would someday like to start one, we decided this was a story we couldn’t pass up.

In the interview below, you’ll learn how Johnathan helped his previous agency go from $0 to $2,500,000 in revenue, and why:

  1. It’s important to set the right expectations with clients starting on day one.
  2. You need to get clients to the “sweet spot” as soon as possible.
  3. It’s a good idea to offer both PPC and CRO as complimentary services.
  4. You shouldn’t advertise your price up front so you can negotiate a better rate.
  5. It’s important to hire the right people and create a winning company culture.
  6. You should help clients with their sales, even if that’s not something they ask you to do.
  7. And much, much more.

We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did!

The Interview

Joe: Hey Johnathan, thank you for joining us today. I’ve really been looking forward to this interview for awhile.

To get us started, can you tell us about your background in the PPC industry and how you got to the point where you were ready to start an agency.

Johnathan: In regards to my own background, I haven’t actually been part of internet marketing for that long. I got a job in Newport Beach, California, for a company that hired me as a service rep. They showed me Google AdWords and said, “Have at it. What do you think you can do here?”

In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. There were so many things looking back on it that I did wrong, but again, when you’re brand new at something, you’re learning and you get better at it.

I noticed that Brad Geddes had a two day seminar in Los Angeles. I went to my boss and I said, “Hey, I think it might be a good idea if you send me to this so I can learn some more things to help the company out.” Sure enough, he did.

At that moment is when the light flipped on for me and I thought, “I can do this myself where I have multiple different clients and ultimately make more money.” Long story short, I was still in school at the time, and I decided to post some random ads on Craigslist, put together a basic website and see if anybody would ever call me. Without spending any money on advertising and only using my time, I got multiple different calls and my first client was a cross-fit gym in Newport Beach. I remember when I got that first payment using PayPal, believe it or not, I was ecstatic. I knew that I had made it, even though it was only like $150. I was super excited to be able to say, “This actually worked.” That’s kind of when things started.

That’s the story of my humble beginnings in a nutshell. It was a lot of reading blogs online, understanding what tools are available, and just getting my fingers dirty and messing with things. I guess another thing was just failing fast and learning how to do things better.

Joe: Very cool. Now, what about the rest of story? What brought you to the point where you were ready to start a PPC agency? How did that transpire?

Johnathan: The funny thing is that there was a client, a guy who called me from my Craigslist ad. He called and said, “I spend about $50,000 a month on advertising with Google AdWords,” and I’m thinking, “Nobody does that, nobody spends that much money on AdWords.” We met at Starbucks, and he’s like, “Here’s my log-in information. Go home, check it out, and let me know what you think.” Then he pre-wrote a check for like $2,000. That’s how it got started.

Long story short, he was the guy who introduced me to my future business partner at a conference in San Francisco, and it was instant bromance from that moment on. We were basically forced to work a year together and got to know each other very well. Jake finally said, “You know what, you should come check out Utah.” At the time, I had my girlfriend in Huntington Beach, no kids, no house, nothing. We thought, “Well, if anything were to happen, and this does makes sense, now is the time to do it.” So we took a road trip and drove out to Utah.

The first city that we saw was Spanish Fork, and we said to each other, “This sucks. There’s absolutely nothing going on here.” But then we got to see Salt Lake City and met some really great people. After that, I had a month vacation where I went to in Denmark and considered the idea and realized the numbers made sense to actually make the jump. I said, “You know what, let’s do it and see what happens.” A little over a year ago, back in September 2013, is when we actually started, just my business partner and I. There were no other employees, and we had no idea how we would get to the point where we are now. That’s how it all started.

Joe: Ok. So you met your business partner, the two of you worked together for awhile, you got some experience, and then you got to the point where you were ready to start an agency. What can you tell us about the next step where you went from two guys running PPC campaigns to $2.5 million in revenue after your first year in business. What was that next step like? Did you use your personal funds to hire your first employee? Did you start managing accounts yourself, and then wait until there was enough revenue to hire somebody else? I’m sure our readers would love to learn more about that process.

Johnathan: Great question. In the beginning it was a lot of our own network kind of thing. I had a few clients that I brought from California that got merged, and my partner had some too. That gave us a start.

Basically, we were merging two companies. They weren’t by any means a great portion of income at all. In the beginning both my partner and I were managing accounts. That’s how we got our start. We were the account managers. We were the ones accountable for our clients’ results. It wasn’t until we were at the breaking point of there being too many emails, too many phone calls, and too many questions not being answered that we started looking for that first hire.

At no point were we too good to get our hands dirty, and even to this day, I still onboard a lot of clients to get them to that sweet spot as fast as possible and then introduce them to their dedicated account manager, knowing that the anxiety portion of the client vendor relationship is over because they got results. That’s the fastest thing you need to make happen to make sure that you’re doing a good job.

Joe: Got it. Basically, you guys waited until you had the revenue and the demand to support other employees before hiring them. Does that summarize it pretty well?

Johnathan: Yes. We were always very, very lean and never took any funding. We also paid a lot of attention to retention. Retention was a big focus. I think a lot of companies don’t have that retention focus where they’re making sure everything helps the client out.

Joe: Why don’t we work our way in that direction. The next question can be this: as you’re growing, you’re hiring someone new when the demand is there—what’s your process been like for getting new clients so that you’ll be able to bring the next new hire on board? Is it mostly word of mouth? How have you grown the client base in order to grow your business?

Disruptive: There’s something in Utah called corporate alliance where a lot of local business owners go and they tell you what they do, things like that, more so to network and to understand what other people are doing.

A lot of the times we found we can get a quick foot in the door and look at a client’s account and say, “Hey, this is where you’ve been messing up, and this is where things aren’t looking good. You’re using broad match keywords, for example, that aren’t producing the kind of things you want to pay for and aren’t sending traffic to the right pages. There’s no clear call to action.” There were simple things like that in the beginning.

At some point, though, you’re plateauing, and you can’t really get traction out of that particular channel. We for the longest time didn’t do PPC ourselves even though that’s what we preach to our clients. Then we started doing PPC and got great results with that. We targeted keywords that you wouldn’t think are necessarily keywords that people are using when looking for a PPC management company. It’s more like early in the buying cycle where they might be researching about keywords or when the enhanced campaign switch came about, helping them out with those kinds of things. We got a lot of people in the door early that way and continue to do so.

To be completely honest, it’s as simple as that sometimes. Understanding that people might not call you right away and you shouldn’t be annoyed with that. There are funnels. There’s a nurturing process involved and you have to understand that and have to be familiar with that because your clients are going to go through the same process. You’re going to do display campaigns with retargeting where it’s more about branding than direct response. You need to be able to help clients with that too.

That’s how we initially started getting clients, and then you know as you get a higher client base there are more opportunities for referrals, and we now have referral programs where clients get a discount on an ongoing basis if a referred client signs up. Things like that are super, super important.

Joe: It totally makes sense that things change as you grow. First, you use networking events and meet people before you start using PPC, and then you move on to word of mouth referrals and incentivizing that process so more people sign up. What have you found works well for retaining your clients since everybody knows finding a new client costs a lot more than keeping a current client around longer. What have you guys learned about client retention?

Johnathan: One of the things we did in the beginning was we were pretty vague as far as not really asking the client what their goals are. A lot of times, and I’m sure a lot of other agencies can attest to this, you get a client and you ask them what they’re lifetime customer value is, and they respond with, “I don’t know.” Then you ask what average cost per acquisition they’d like to target and they respond in the same way: “I don’t know.”

In the beginning you’re kind of throwing your hands up in the air because you don’t know what they’re judging the success based off of. There’s no milestone, and that can get super frustrating. Those are the types of clients where, when you get a month into it, they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t see any results; we’re cancelling,” even though they’re the ones who spent three weeks out of that month getting their act together. I think I’m preaching to the choir because this happens quite often.

What we decided to change is this: before we even sign up a client, we help them understand this is a partnership. We’re not just order takers. If you have an idea, great, let us know, but we’re also going to tell you if we think it’s a bad idea. We’re not going to just say yes and do it for you.

It’s not good to give them complete control over the ads because that’s not why they’re hiring you. They’re hiring you because you’re the expert and you know what you need to do. A lot of the time we’ll get clients that say, “Hey, why are you being so careful about the wording. I thought you guys knew what was disruptive. Why aren’t you making it crazy?” Then we have other clients where we think that’s what they want and we do that, and they’re like, “What the heck are you guys doing? Stay within the parameters.” We tell them we’re sorry and change things up to match their expectations.

To get to my point, the thing that we changed up happens on the kickoff call where we help them understand the timeline. We start by saying, “Hey, you shouldn’t work with us unless you’re actually engaged in this and are available to take phone calls from us. You need to be able to answer emails and calls. You need to understand that this is a process. We’re making an engine for you that can bring you leads, sales, and conversions over time, but you have to understand it can take up to three months before you actually have a well-oiled machine and you’re doing more than just breaking even. Even though we personally know we can make it happen a lot sooner, it’s part of under-promising while over-delivering.

On that kickoff call we set milestones with them. We say, “Hey, we need to know what your goal cost really is. If you don’t know that we’re going to set one for you, and that’s what we’re going to measure.” Over time, as you’re working with a client, they’re going to be more and more familiar and better understand what success looks like for them.

Another point is that even if you’re great at getting leads and you’re amazing at hitting cost per conversions, if they’re horrible at selling those leads or are not able to close them, you’re screwed. Nobody’s winning. Understanding that and making it super, super black and white simple that all your communication and all your phone calls and emails that you’re making are about the progress for the next milestone makes it that much better for the client. That’s helped us tremendously on our retention as far as the rates that we have. Does that make sense?

Joe: Yes, that totally makes sense.

Johnathan: At the end of the day, the client is hiring you because of your expertise, and honestly, the dream clients are the ones who’ve already done PPC in the past and know that it works. Whereas the ones that are brand new to PPC advertising are usually the ones that have the shortest-term view, and they don’t have the patience to wait to see the results.

Joe: Got it. Kind of moving on a bit and other than what we’ve talked about so far, what do you think are some of the most important pieces of the puzzle that have contributed to your success? For example, if you were comparing your agency to another agency that might be sputtering for whatever reason, what do you feel like are some of the other factors that contributed to where you guys are at today?

Johnathan: I think one of the main factors that’s really different is from an optimization standpoint. A lot of PPC clients and also companies themselves can figure out how to navigate an AdWords interface and set up a campaign with average keywords they’re bidding on and average ad copy, but what really helps move the needle is when you start taking advantage of where the visitor goes after they click on your ad. By offering that in tandem with regular PPC management has been the best form of retention.

No matter what you do, you have to get results. If you’re an awesome person to talk with on the phone and you have a lot of confidence and have a great relationship with the client, that only lasts so long because people are looking for results.

We view what we do as a three-step process. Step one is that you have to get quality traffic, right? You do that through Google AdWords, Bing ads, or any other channel you’re trying to use. Second, you have to convert that traffic into leads. Third, you have to have your client being able to close those leads. If we can master the first two portions and then help people that are struggling on the selling side, that’s going to be the most successful. We go in and say, “Hey, show us what you’re doing to sell to the leads that are coming in.” We ask them questions about how often they follow up, etc.

A lot of agencies out there that I know of will just do portion one, which is getting the quality traffic, sending that traffic to their website and then crossing their fingers that the person and the client is making money off it. Which is really the laid back approach where you’re not being proactive. That to us has been a major, major difference. I think a lot of companies out there are not doing that. With new clients, we’ll look at the change history report and most of the time it’s just spent on changing bids and trying to figure out a cool bid strategy that can help out really well. Honestly that doesn’t even matter because you’re getting enough traffic, you’re just not good at turning that traffic into conversions.

That’s one. The other thing is just making sure you hire the right people. For us, we made the mistake of prematurely hiring because we were in need. We were like, “Crap, if I don’t hire anybody soon we’re going to have five new clients that we’re about to close, and I’ll have to be the account manager,” which I didn’t want to do. So we had people interviewing, and we were like, “I like this guy’s personality.” At the end of the day they can be your best friend, but if they’re not the kind of people who have the confidence and skills to communicate with a client, it’s not going to work out.

For us, we’ve been very, very confident in our own training ability and with our training program that we put together. We’re confident that we can get somebody within 20 days to completely understand AdWords and pass the exam.

Another thing is that you’ve got to be very proactive in your communication with clients up until the point where you get them results because the day that they sign up to the day you get them results is a bottleneck in regards to getting things done. Getting small wins and sending screen shots here and there of what you’ve done to make a change and just to ask them for the feedback is really important. You can ask them things like, “Are you getting phone calls on your end? How are the leads looking?” Things like that.

You need to be super, super proactive, and a lot of agencies that we’ve heard from and heard about are ones where the client hasn’t heard from them in about a month. The client decides to remove their access or change their password as a test to see if the agency has been in the account, and they find out they haven’t. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s incredible.” The kinds of things where you make sure you have people who are proactive and who are confident is one of the biggest things. They also have to be able to focus on the goals and reach them as quickly as possible while shortening the “on-boarding time” as much as possible because as soon as you get people into the sweet spot, their retention rate goes up dramatically.

Joe: How long does this usually take for you guys? Is it a two month process? A one month process? What does this look like for your clients?

Johnathan: We say it can take up to three months, but honestly we can get them results within the first week with brand new landing pages set up, a brand new AdWords campaign set up, and things like that. This is what we’ve learned.

Internally, we used to have a three week process, but we figured out that clients, even though we explained it very clearly on the kickoff call and the sales call that it takes us three weeks to ramp up, they still wanted to see results early on. It came to the point where they needed to pay for the second month but they wanted to see some kind of result to justify paying for that second month. What we decided to do is this: we continue to tell them that it takes three weeks, but we’ll do what it takes to get everything up and running in a week. Then, hopefully, they’re actually getting new clients in the first week. Basically, we made adjustments to make sure we can on-board a client much faster and get them in that sweet spot to help retain them.

Joe: That completely makes sense, especially since you guys have more expertise when it comes to AdWords which means you should be able to get some type of win one way or the other in the first week and then keep the momentum going after that.

Johnathan: Exactly. Then we come across as having great wins and our account managers have a great relationship with another client. It’s an awesome feeling for them to say, “We said it would take three weeks, but we got you results within the first week. Do you love me?” Then they can spend more time on the relationship. Honestly, the first thing clients judge us on and what they should judge us on are results. After that, it’s how enjoyable is the client to work with. For us, I would never hire a person, a brainiac that couldn’t interface with clients. He’s got to have a personality and be able to interface with clients.

Joe: Got it. My next questions is a pretty basic question, but do you have any advice from a pricing perspective? Let’s say somebody is thinking about starting an agency. Do you have any words of wisdom about pricing structures and how to make sure you’re profitable? What’s worked for you guys?

Johnathan: I would recommend never to show your pricing. Granted you can get a lot of people who are tight-fisted and honestly the first question that new clients ask is, “How much do you guys charge?” The problem with that is that they’re thinking that you’re only doing PPC management, which is again one portion of a three step process. The fact is that since we do landing pages, we also do conversion rate optimization by improving the conversions for the checkout funnel, which, in my opinion, provides so much more value than just a regular PPC management company that does AdWords.

So we don’t show pricing. We explain it over the phone, but it also allows us to handle objections when they come up. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s way too expensive.” We’re much more expensive than the average PPC company, but we’re the ones that offer landing pages and conversion rate optimization.

The thing is you don’t really know how much you can charge until you’ve tried it. Even our sales guys are afraid to start high and then come down lower. I remember when I started out I charged like $300 a month for PPC management and right now we’re charging 10x that. This also happens to bring in a better clientele. As a lot of people can probably agree on when it comes to agency life, the clients that pay the least are usually the biggest headaches.

The way you’re going to figure it out is when you’re on the phone with a potential client, and they ask, “How much do you guys charge?” You turn the question back on them, and ask what they’re looking to pay. They might respond by saying, “$2,000,” to which you reply, “That’s perfect; let’s get started.” Then you’re jumping in the background without them seeing it. You’re just so excited that it actually worked.

That would be my advice as far as charge pricing goes. Help them understand the value you provide and show them too because they’ll price shop you against other agencies. Make sure you give them a demo and show them exactly what kind of work you do—PPC management, retargeting, remarketing, call tracking, landing page creation, etc.

When you paint that kind of picture for them and actually show them how much is involved, they’re much more likely to decide they want you as their agency. You also need to explain why they need all of the extra services. Eventually, they won’t be interested in the companies that they price-shopped because they don’t offer all of the services you provide. That’s my biggest tip for pricing.

Joe: That’s great and also answers all the questions I have. Is there anything you feel like we missed or you’d like to add?

Johnathan: There are a few other hacks we’ve learned work really well. The first of which you’ve probably heard a million times. The people you hire as you scale are really important. You can’t be involved with every single client. You can’t know what happens all the time. You have to hire people that you trust. You have to hire people that are, I hate to say it, but “go-getters”. They’re the ones that come back to you privately and say, “Hey, here’s my work. I did this, but then I also did this and this and this to help get the client to the sweet spot.” Those are the people that we’re looking for.

I think it actually comes down to problem solving. You want someone who takes a look at an AdWords account and comes up with their own ideas for improving it versus always coming in for suggestions. That’s a red flag in my opinion because you want people to be problem solvers.

The other thing, too, that actually was an eye-opener is that we started an Instagram profile for an inside view of the company. In the beginning, the main focus was just to attract talent, but people could go on and see more about how the agency works on the inside.

“Oh, you guys have a foosball table and a ping pong table and you’re…juggling? You’re juggling while you’re working?” We actually just hired a guy as our developer who, believe it or not, decided to challenge himself to write a book in a month with around 50,000 words. Little things like that which might not seem impressive for the average person is really cool because they have a sense of curiosity and a sense of improving themselves. Not just on the business side or PPC side, but themselves as well. Those are the kinds of qualities that we’re after.

Giving people an inside view or scoop of this type of agency life from the inside attracts a lot of people. Sometimes they’re complete flukes and you don’t really want to hire them, and sometimes they’re great and they’re kind of like that diamond in the rough that you would never find because they’re already hired at a good spot somewhere else. They’re not actively looking for a job, but then they come across your Instagram profile and are like, “Oh gosh, you’re cool, and you guys are having fun. That’s the kind of environment and culture I want to be a part of.”

For us, culture has been a huge, huge part of our success. We have loud music playing. We have couches and bean bags. Our employees have ergonomic desks that go up and down so if you’re getting tired of sitting you can stand up. We’re just making life easier and getting everybody their own laptops and things like that so they can work from home if they need to. Doing what it takes to help productivity stay high. That’s what we’ve been focusing on and keeping the fundamentals really, really strong and the people we hire are the people we want to hang out with outside of work as well.

Joe: That’s really cool. I wouldn’t have thought of Instagram as a way to attract talent.

Johnathan: It’s been pretty awesome for us, and a lot of people have emailed in and said, “Hey, I saw your Instagram account. That’s the place I want to be.” Literally, that’s what they’ve written.

That’s really cool, but we’re going to be cautious about that approach and respond by saying, “Let’s talk.” Next, we set up a phone interview, and we can quickly tell a person’s personality over the phone. This makes sure you’re not wasting a ton of time having them in for an actual sit-down interview.

If you both like each other and you want to take it to the next level, you have them come in. At this point we have team interviews. The entire team ends up interviewing and most of the time we’re kind of lollygagging, just getting to know the person with a lot of laughing and a lot of smiling faces.

It’s more about making sure everybody understands this is a family effort. We aren’t just in it to make money; we’re in it to help people grow their businesses while also knowing that spending eight hours a day of your life is a big portion of what you do, so let’s make it fun. Let’s make it enjoyable.

Joe: Wow, this is the best part of the interview. I was mostly thinking about the PPC side of things, winning new clients, client retention, things like that. Now I’m starting to realize that hiring the right talent and having a culture in place where your employees are happy and sticking around is a very important part of an agency being successful.

Johnathan: Absolutely. Another thing I think will be a great hidden gem is that we have a customer appreciation program where as soon as they sign up, we have created these little postcards that are hand written. Then, at the three month, six month, and the year mark, we have little fun gifts that we send out.

It’s not necessary for the gift to be valuable or expensive. What happens is that it’s a touch-point, right? It’s a thing that other agencies they’ve worked with in the past didn’t do. Something that the agency they might work with after us isn’t doing. Just knowing that there’s a personal touch with account managers sending them pictures, etc. We even make these odd action photos in front of the computer. There’s an account manager on the right, there’s me on the left and in the middle and we’re pointing at their website. Even though it has nothing to do with account work and the clients know that, it’s funny. It’s a way so show that we’re thinking about the client, and we’re super grateful and appreciative for their business. Those little things are super inexpensive and can mean a whole lot to a client that has been with five other agencies in the past.

Ever if it’s just me as a co-founder saying, “I’m there if you need anything.” They might have read a blog post that I put up for someone else that got them to know us and then they signed up. If I know that from a sales process, I’ll usually wait a week or two, then send them an email saying, “Hey, my name is Johnathan. I’m super thankful and grateful that you’re on board as a client with us. I just want to let you know that you have my eyes and attention on your account to make sure we get you to the next level.”

It’s not just knowing that they have one contact person. We actually try to create multiple hooks. If they have a secretary or if they have a multiple managers in a department, we try to create relationships with all of them and visa versa. It’s our hope that we can introduce them to our team, to the designer who’s working on their landing page, to myself, and to other people. Those little touch points are what we call GLUE (we actually stole it from another company called HelpScout). It’s an acronym for getting little unexpected extras and those little things help with the long-term outcome.

Joe: I really like this approach, and it matches what I’ve read in Buzzmarketing, my favorite marketing book. It also matches your brand very well. I also love the fact that it’s not a super high cost. There’s a lot of benefit in surprising and delighting someone with something small, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.

Johnathan: Like you said earlier too, it’s so much cheaper and more effective to keep a client for multiple months instead of having to find new clients. Everybody knows that, right? But very, very few people take the time to figure it out, and honestly it has to come across as being genuine. I think a lot of account managers or agencies out there have a really hard time connecting with their clients and having fun with them too. I think just spending the first couple minutes on the phone shooting the breeze and having fun or joking is a cool thing. Taking the time to do that and having that as a focus is going to be big, after of course, you give them results, since that’s the first thing they judge you on.

That’s the formula. Be confident in how you speak with clients, listen, and also be proactive. If Google comes out with something they’re changing, be the first one to notify the client. Ask for their OK to try the new feature. It’s not even that you have to get their OK for it because you know that they’ll probably give the a green light no matter what. It’s the fact that you asked them and having them know that you’re thinking of them on an on-going basis.

Joe: That totally makes sense that what really matters is getting results so you want to get to that point as fast as possible and make sure you continue to do that. That’s what it comes down to, but I like these extra touch points that maintain the relationship. You keep people happy, you surprise them, you delight them with something small here and there or with an email or whatever it is. You know better than I would, but it seems like eventually it comes to the point where you have a relationship and if you enjoy working with them and they enjoy working with you then that’s going to be a good thing for both of you. At that point, if someone tries to poach them and sells them on the fact that they’re cheaper, the client won’t switch because they’re getting results and they like you guys.

Johnathan: Another thing, and you don’t ever want to say this to clients, but there’s a vested interest in continuing to work with them because you’ve learned so much from them about what works and what doesn’t. For them to automatically just switch to a competitor that’s cheaper, you then have to not be upset about that. You have to look at yourself and say, “What did I do wrong?” Are you recording your account manager’s conversations with the client? Are you figuring out if they’re being submissive too quickly?

We’ve had the issue where a client comes up with questions or they come up with ideas and the account manager’s not really feeling it, not wanting to do it because it’s just extra work. Those are huge red flags where you have to say, “You know what, that’s a great idea, but if you look at it from this angle, I don’t think it makes sense with what we’re doing right now because of x, y, and z.” It’s OK to disagree in the right way. You can’t just be a yes-person or a robot.

A lot of people just default to that because they think it makes people happy, but it’s not in the client’s best interest to change bids or ad groups based on their recommendations when it actually will hurt the average ad position. You just have to be very good at saying no, a lot of times. That’s a skill that people have to develop. Learning to say, “That doesn’t make sense right now. We can put if off and do it later, but right now we’re focused on x, y, and z.”

Joe: That’s really helpful. Do you have any parting comments for anyone who’s thinking about starting an agency or else wants to take their agency to the next level?

Johnathan: In a nutshell, the last thing I’ll say, I know I’ve spoken a lot and people are like, “Oh my gosh, this guy won’t shut up.” The last thing I’ll say is this: Be OK with transition. If we knew everything that we were about to embark on, the first year of being alive, we would have probably gotten so scared and not started anything because it’s a nightmare sometimes. It’s not all fun stuff. I’ll be honest with you.

There are some nights when we have to meet up all of a sudden to figure out what we’re going to do. Issues with clients, things like that, with employees. You’ve got to make sure you’re not set in your ways.

Again, with getting clients too. There are PPC companies that don’t just do PPC. You should do email marketing or try LinkedIn, try Reddit, try Facebook. Things like that. Try to do as many channels as you can to have a steady flow of new leads coming through so you know that when rainy days happen, you’re going to be in an OK spot. Because those days will happen. It’s not going to be growth on growth on growth all the time.

Those are really hard things to solve and be OK with, but again it’s all about perseverance. Be quick to change your approach. Be quick to change your training program, the way you go about things internally. Be quick to change those things for the better. If you’re not sure if it’s going to make a difference, test it. See what happens. Then readjust after that.

Joe: I’ve learned a lot from this interview. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Johnathan: For sure. I’m excited. I hope that the readers, if they have any questions specifically about any point that we didn’t go far deep enough into, even though I talked for an hour, will feel free to ask me. If the readers have any questions, I’m happy to answer them and help out.

Joe: Along those lines, where is a good place to get in touch with you if they do have questions?

Johnathan: The best way to get in touch is to visit

Joe: Great. Thanks again. We really appreciate your taking the time to join us today.


Joe Putnam HeadshotJoe Putnam (@josephputnam) is the Director of Marketing at iSpionage—the only competitive intelligence tool that captures the entire conversion funnel—from keywords to ad copy to landing pages. Click here to take iSpionage for a spin and to spy on your PPC competitors for free!