In the early days of your career, it’s much better to learn from the experience of others than to figure it all out on your own. After a few years, if you’re persistent, you’ll become an expert in your chosen field, and that’s when many people start thinking: “As an expert, I can sell my service on my own behalf instead of working for someone else.”.
Starting your own business, such as a lead generation agency, is a big step in the business world. But maybe it’s worth taking that risk and becoming your own boss.
Meet Kasia and Destina from Growify – a lead generation agency that works with technology and marketing companies and started their journey with Woodpecker a few years ago.
Joanna Jachuła: Tell us about your agency. When did you found it and how did you get the idea to launch such a company? Do you target a specific industry among your clients?
Growify: It all started in November 2019. The idea definitely didn’t show up out of the blue – before Growify we worked in a lead generation start-up (strongly focused on cold emailing and B2B outbound marketing in general). After the company was closed, we just decided to use all the skills and experience we gained to launch our own business.
Speaking about the clients, most of them come from tech and creative/ marketing industries. We’re huge fans of bringing diversity to our projects, though, so other B2B businesses are also very welcome.
JJ: What are the biggest challenges you face in running a lead generation agency, and how do you deal with them?
Growify: Here comes everyone’s favorite answer – it depends. But we can point out a few common ones:
– emerging competition on the market,
– running too many projects at the same time,
– difficulties in reaching satisfying campaign results,
– lack of client engagement in a project.
And how you deal with them? Be patient, try to find something that makes your company or your client stand out on the market – that sounds like a cliché but it’s true. Experiment a lot and run as many A/B tests as possible. Take time to craft a proper outbound strategy before starting a campaign, choose projects wisely, and last but not least – don’t be afraid to quit a cooperation if you feel that for some reason it doesn’t work.
JJ: Today more and more people are recognizing cold emails and not responding to them. Is this type of business future-proof?
Growify: We believe it is, but it’s true that cold emailing is becoming more and more challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to experiment with your approach, try things that are somehow offbeat, listen to prospects even more carefully and mix different marketing channels. And of course – this is nothing new – you need to be specific with your strategy, target groups and communication to attract the right people with a good story to tell.
JJ: What does it take to keep a client satisfied with their campaign?
Growify: Nice results! But not only – for us one of the most important things has always been a very customer-centric approach at every step of the project. What does it mean? Being proactive, sharing ideas that are not only limited to the project but could be used for crafting a broader marketing strategy, staying transparent, admitting our mistakes and using a personal touch in communication. So far it’s been working pretty well.
JJ: How do you deal with managing many customers for whom several campaigns go out at the same time? What tools and functionalities do you see as necessary and what’s the best way to organize the work?
Growify: Everyone may have their own methods and we believe it’s best to build your own project-management recipe. For sure it’s necessary to prioritize your tasks, create doable plans and to-do lists, sort out files and emails, etc. Definitely project management tools such as Asana or Trello could help, as well as Woodpecker’s functionalities that keep campaigns in order (such as folders, tags, etc.).
On top of it, we have one small piece of advice – when speaking with clients about deadlines – try not to overpromise, take into account how much time you REALLY need to prepare this or that. We’ve been there, done that – it’s not worth the stress.
JJ: Do you combine cold emailing with outreach on LinkedIn or other marketing channels? What does synchronize these multichannel activities with each other look like?
Growify: Right now we’re focusing only on cold emailing, but in the past we dealt with LinkedIn outreach as well. However, we always advise clients to combine our activities with content marketing, Google Ads, events, webinars – whatever is possible for them. In such cases we just work hand-in-hand with the internal marketing team to share ideas, insights and coordinate the whole project.
JJ: Why is it better to outsource outreach to a specialized agency than to do it on your own? What mistakes do companies most often make when they decide to do a lead gen campaign themselves?
Growify: If you have an outreach expert on board or you’re the expert yourself – no, then there is no need to outsource. But if not, it’s better to find an external company or a consultant to avoid the following:
– deliverability issues/ lack of technical preparation/ high risk of spam-related problems,
– poor quality of the prospect database,
– not enough skills and/or knowledge to design a proper cold emailing strategy,
– bad cold email copy (salesy, spammy, pushy, not adjusted to the target group, etc.)
– challenges in the outbound pre-sales processes.
JJ: What is your key to success in running a lead generation agency? What would you have advised yourself years ago when you were starting out?
Growify: It’s hard to pick one key thing, but possibly being observant, staying curious and flexible, and constantly learning as the market is changing rapidly. If we could come back to 2019 and choose one tip, it would be: “Some projects just won’t work out, it’s simple math, learn to let them go. And remember – too much multitasking may kill the fun”.
JJ: Are you already seeing the impact of AI on the lead generation industry? What do you think the impact of AI on lead generation will look like in the coming future?
Growify: Yes, we do, actually it can be seen in many different lead generation-related processes, in cold emailing as well. It’s hard to predict the exact impact, as the situation is changing so dynamically and we, as humans, don’t fully understand how AI really works. One thing’s for sure – there will be many new challenges and things we need to adjust to.
It may sound naive, however, we want to believe that people will use AI wisely, more as a supportive companion, than as something that can replace humans. But we will see what the future brings.
This was a short interview with Growify, a lead generation agency that opened in 2019. If you’re thinking about starting your own company, feel free to schedule a virtual coffee with us to find out how we support small businesses.
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