How Zack Bowlby of ROI Amplified Uses Reverse IP Lookup to Determine If His Content Is Effective. They take a full service approach, understand the goals of the customer, and develop custom programs to meet those goals.
Zack broke free from his day job and started ROI Amplified with his co-founder in 2017.
Check them out here: https://roiamplified.com/
check him out on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/zackreybowlbyseo/
Here’s the video interview:
Here’s the full transcript:
Ryan Shank: Alright guys, welcome back to a, another episode growing your agency. I’m your host Ryan shank today. Super excited. We have Zach Bowlby ROI amplified. Zach, thanks for joining us today. We appreciate it. Yeah, man. So I was on your site, it looks like you guys are doing, you know, full range of marketing services. Tell us a little bit about the company scope of work that you do, why you’re involved with this. Uh, yeah, tell it, tell us about it.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah, so we’re a full service digital marketing agency. We do everything in house, you know what I mean? Uh, essentially kind of ourselves pitch to people is that we act as an internal marketing department for companies that don’t want to, you know, hire that in house. Maybe we can, we fill in the gap for them, you know, um, there’s a lot of APPC experts out there, but maybe they need help with a market automation or something like that. We can come in and kind of help facilitate that. Um, we’ve been around since 2017. Um, the, uh, the main reason, uh, started the agency, uh, was tired of working for other agencies and that, that dreaded question, what are we getting for our money reporting? Right. Um, just the song and dance was just getting kind of, and um, so I knew,
Ryan Shank: right, you’re at another agency, you’re at an agency.
Zack Bowlby: It’s actually a startup, which I learned a lot of lessons from what to do, what not to do. Right. Um, and, and I wouldn’t be where I was, where I am today without them, um, without learning those lessons for sure. Um, but that’s kind of the main reason why we want to start it. Um, transparency, um, number song and dance, educating the client along the way, kind of our big factors.
Ryan Shank: Cool. Awesome. So, so talk to me about that. You’re at the other agency, you know, obviously you’re probably thinking about it for a little bit and I know a lot of people like watching this. They want, they’re kind of probably in those shoes when you were at the other agency or they’re like sort of learning about it. Um, first steps. Like, how do you, like what do you do? Do you, you get a client first? You kind of stay at the agency. Talk to me about like that transition process.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. So I’m not the entrepreneur actually I had a cofounder with me, um, and he was, he was a lifelong entrepreneur shout. And so the, the, you know, I definitely feel most people are filling out their, you know, for me to jump was probably the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life. And I think that’s the word that I, that I’d like to really focus on this job. I mean, if you’re really passionate and believe in what you’re doing, you really can’t do it part time, right? I mean, you got to jump, um, that safety net when you were moving. It’s kind of amazing what happens, the sink or swim kind of mentality and most of you will actually swim, um, you know, instead of seeing, so you definitely got to jump. Um, it is scary, right? Of course.
Ryan Shank: Okay. So you got, you broke, you broke away, you had a cofounder, uh, he was the entrepreneur. Like, how did you get those first? Like what was the first thing you guys did? Like how’d you get the clients? Um, I’m assuming if he was the entrepreneur, maybe he was selling to the clients. Um, yeah, I guess kind of take us through, like just getting it really off the ground. So now you jumped and what do you do next?
Zack Bowlby: Yeah, so we got lucky over and over again and full transparency. Um, he had already had some side clients that we can bring in. So day one we started with a little bit of revenue, which always a good thing.
Ryan Shank: Were you guys at the same agency to have to kind of pulled some clients with you?
Zack Bowlby: Well, not from the agency. Um, he actually got some like clients and the interesting new was there was nothing weird about it or uh, um, by any means. But um, so we started with a little bit of revenue, but really what jumpstarted our agency was a franchise, uh, needed some working automation. And the agency we actually still work with today and in multiple accounts, they, uh, they didn’t have that expertise in house. And so they came to us and said, hey, I know you guys with the permission of the other agency. Uh, do know this thing, you guys are on your way out. Could we speak with you? So we landed one of our biggest contracts around the gate. Um, yeah. Which is really lucky, you know, really, really fortunate. Um,
Ryan Shank: it’s just kind of spread that, was that a whole franchise or deal or was that individual location then may be able to like penetrate into the, the other franchisees
Zack Bowlby: we were actually started at the corporate level, which is way easier. Yeah. So, um, it’s been, it’s been, you know, we’re still, we still have that client today. Um,
Ryan Shank: got it. And were you able to expand the services? Cause I’ve seen that a lot. Right? Um, and you guys, by the way, you know, I worked with a ton of agencies. A lot of them will be a little bit more specialized. Seems like you do kind of full service. Are you, were you able to go in at the marketing automation and then sort of like expand out into other services?
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. So what’s interesting about that is we actually, there’s other agencies in the, in the account already. Um, so that’s kind of awkward, right? You’ve got to learn to play nice in the sandbox. It’s kind of how we arrive at is pretty good about staying in their lane in that. But what it has done is, um, across other contracts, right. If that needs arises, they can outsource to us or we don’t necessarily outsource too much to them and full transparency, but um, you know, you can play Nice.
Ryan Shank: Yeah, absolutely. How do you, um, so talk to me, I guess about, since you are full service right now, how do you price your, your services? I know a lot of people who are doing just, you know, ad spend will be, you know, retainer or percentage of ad spend, but seems like you will do everything from start to finish. So talk to me, I guess about, you know, pricing out the services and what that like proposal process looks like for new clients now.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So, um, uh, retainer based, right? It’s the same. Most visited everybody kind of. I really do believe in that, that when you’re taking a percentage of that and you are incentivizing them, we’re humans too to kind of encourage more spending. I don’t like that. Um, the big thing for us is that we still results, right? So we are retainer base depending on what they want to, what service they need. I will tell you whenever we on a PPC client, there are two things that are nonnegotiable with us. We do take over website management and as well as call tracking, um, non-negotiable with us. What we’ve found over time is that, you know, if we’re going to be held to this standard of how, what are they getting right when we control the click on Google and don’t have any control after that, um, we’re not comfortable taking on that responsibility without them.
Ryan Shank: I don’t under, so I agree 100% and like also in full transparency where you’re not, you’re used not even us so we can talk just like openly about it. But the thing is, it’s like I don’t understand agencies or people who are managing ad spend that are like, yeah, like if the client’s using call tracking or if they’re using that, we’ll just do whatever they’re using. I’m like, how do you not say like, this is our stack that we use. You have to get plugged into our system because it’s like, I don’t understand how you have visibility into what’s happening, right? Like how are you managing ad spend if you’re flying blind on calls or live chats or whatever it is as conversions
Zack Bowlby: in a and W as we both know, right. 90% of the business is done on the phone. Yeah. I mean it’s just, it just how it is. I mean, even I, I run a full service digital marketing agency way more than I’m on the Internet. Right? Yeah. You gotta be able to track that. Actually, what we do as well as, and we have clients that, um, we put tracking numbers on every marketing material. They have tds bus routes, right. Or ushers business cards. So that when we really look at it, a call room for us who we use, you know, um, there’s nowhere to hide,
Ryan Shank: see all the different, all the different, you know, conversions, calls, chat
Zack Bowlby: words sometimes. Right. I mean, you know, we capture that, you know, of course a recording sometimes like I was listening to a podcast where a guy said they actually go back through that you had on them, they actually listened to the calls. Um, you know, we don’t go that far. You know,
Ryan Shank: I think not to kill you. I think the vinet fit of that sometimes with some, some clients, you know, is that like there’s just such huge areas of improvement. Even. I, you know, I was like driving calls just in the paper call model for a client on the side and it’s like I would listen and he was getting all these awesome calls and he wasn’t booking the calls cause he was like, you know, he was asking for like a $300 payment over the phone for them to even come out for the service calls. Even look at it. And I’m like, you know, just switch that up. Or if you look at the calls, maybe you’ll see a call report and it’s like, you’ll notice, you know, 30% of the calls go unanswered or whatever it is, you know. So I just think that like diving into some of that does have value and the content of the call sometimes
Zack Bowlby: definitely does. Um, what we always say and is, you know, a CTO that I work with is kind of famous for saying, you know, marketing’s responsible for making the phones ring in the door swing. Um, and then kinda outside of that, you know, we, we’re not really responsible for the selling. Um, we actually do encourage and almost force our clients to go and listen to the call feedback. So, um, we do have a lot of HIPAA clients where it would make, you know, it just doesn’t make sense for us to put ourselves at risk or the client at risk to listen to those. But I totally believe in, in recording the call, you know, that’s, it’s, it’s something that, uh, you learn a lot about your business from doing that. I think we both really, yeah. From, from listening and seeing what’s that. So in terms of like reporting, so you’re driving them calls, you’re driving them web leads, what does your reporting process, cadence, like what does that look and then also like what are the key, I guess Kinda like the KPIs are deliverables.
Zack Bowlby: Do they just care about total the cow tool, amount span, cost per lead or your clients looking in for, into deeper metrics? Yeah, it just really depends on the client. So the start off, we have a 24, seven live reporting dashboard, um, where there’s nowhere to hide for us as well. Um, the client can get in there and see down to the penny, you know, keywords we’re going after, what, which ads are performing the best. And that’s custom built. Like they have their own login and your phone. Yeah, it’s actually just a link for them, um, that literally it’s just a button for them. And we, what we do is on the onboarding processes have been look market typically, but we do send an email, automated email as well, uh, once a month, uh, with the login. I mean with the, uh, with a link to attached with some insights from our, from our team, uh, some insights from the report.
Zack Bowlby: Um, cause they’re not experts in reading done obviously. Sure. You know, so, but to answer your question, the big thing that we’re judged on are our customers. To be completely honest with you. Um, we do a sit down with our clients at least once a month, either via phone or in person. Some of the bigger enterprise level clients is by weekly. Yup. Um, and just so they can get a full view of what’s going on, what’s going in, what’s coming out. Um, the KPIs, you know, what’s interesting about that even, um, it’s probably been a really long time since someone’s asked me about cost per acquisition I heard was really weird. The main reason being, um, in our sales process in the beginning, we’ve kind of filter that out. So, um, you know, when we really dig into a client before we onboard them, um, we use, you know, data like everybody else, Google data, um, competitors data to kind of get an idea if, what kind of tools are you using for those like sem rush?
Zack Bowlby: I choose one of my favorite tools to use. And then obviously just the Google keyword planner, you know, Google fashion, um, you know, keyword planner. We’re search volume, um, a really good job at forecasting right now too. And I can give you an example. We have a flooring company that we worked with and um, the data almost always matches up to the search volume. So I recently had a meeting with them and I said, you guys are selling a lot in the carpet recently and we haven’t maybe talked to him probably about a quarter. And, uh, and they said, how’d you know that? And I said, well, I just saw the search volume, you know, we saw the searches coming through that we forecasted it. And we told you guys about that. And they said, you know, from the first time in maybe three years, it finally flatlined as far as carpet sales going down. Um, and so it’s about to rebound and kind of go back up. So we’ve kind of know that in the queue for probably gonna sell a lot of carpet.
Ryan Shank: Yeah. Because it’s trailing, right? Like the sales are gonna be trailing on search volume. So it’s like you’ll have the volume spike or decrease and then it kind of like, it comes a few months later, little bit delayed. That’s interesting.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. Yeah. Use them data, you know, if to kind of coach coach our clients up on that, you know what it’s got.
Ryan Shank: So, so it’s all retainer base. They’re not necessarily looking for cost per lead. Just do you think that’s more so because you are full service versus like, Hey, we’re just managing, you know, ad spend for you guys?
Zack Bowlby: Absolutely. So honestly, it’s that whole internal marketing department that feel that we’re actually making decisions together. Sure. Um, the one thing that we always talk about with our clients is that like, whatever they do, they can’t expect me to be an expert in. Yeah. So I’m never going to be a flooring expert,
Ryan Shank: let’s transfer because that, that happens. I was, um, there’s a ton of like, kind of these niche industries, right? Where it’s like, maybe in flooring, like, you know, there’s certain words that are stated, like how do they tell you kind of like the inside, I guess lingo or maybe it’s even better though, that you’re not because you’re more of like the consumer and you’re not, not saying maybe like these super like, you know, niche keywords. But yeah, I’m curious like, how do you kind of like knowledge transfer from business owner to, you know, marketer or a marketing agency to be able to like, you know, express that.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. So using the actual search terms, right. So what ends up happening is when you actually look at the real search terms coming into the website, whether it be for organic or through ads or whatever, um, it’s really kind of interesting because I’m a prime example. I usually like to give is in our industry, right? This is a little tip for marketing owners out there. Um, you know, I would tell you that I’m a full service digital marketing agency and tell you that most people searched for SEO Agency and call us an SEO agency. [inaudible] they just think is marketing. It’s exactly right. Right? It’s all, it’s interesting. It’s really about the perception outside of the building and that’s what we talk to clients all the time. So another example is we work with a lot of science colleges and the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists is that one can prescribe medicine. Most psychologists obviously would understand that, that people outside don’t, they don’t. So even though they’re searching for psychiatrists, they’re actually sometimes looking for a psychologist. Um, right? So it’s not always what we think we are, but more of what the public thinks we are. Um, and finding those kind of high intent words. Right. Um,
Ryan Shank: I was talking to someone that, uh, that has a bunch of chiropractor clients and they said they had, they put in a bunch of like physical therapy keywords, like, like exercises. And even even like a f, I forget like what the, what the terms were, but a lot of people like, kind of don’t know, like the type of service that they need, you know, like all back hurt, you know, or whatever it is or, and uh, yeah. So they kind of have to cross, you know, like cross reference into those other industries to sort of get those people that like don’t really know exactly what they’re searching for, but the keywords are there.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean that’s, it’s really interesting. I mean, I’m self diagnosis right on the streets. It’s really no different. I mean, most of the Times people type type in like once again, SEO Agency or you know, SEO hell, and then you’ll get on the phone with them and they’ll say, well, we want to do some ads. And so it’s like kind of self like knows, you know what I mean? It’s, it’s, it’s really interesting. Um, it’s across all industries, right? I mean, that’s definitely something that you can kind of see across the board.
Ryan Shank: Yeah, absolutely. Um, all right, so talk to me now. How do you get clients? So back in the day, you guys, you know, spun out and you got the a, you know, you took a couple of side clients with you, you got the, the franchise client, how does it work today? Like how are you getting clients today? Um, and then again, what is that like bidding process once you maybe jump on a call with them to like, from, you know, intro to like actually signing a contract?
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. So omnichannel, right. I know that’s kind of cliche to say, but, um, a healthy mix, you know, um, we do a lot of outreach on linkedin. We run Google ads, we produce a lot of content for SEO purposes. Referrals are probably overall our pests. And I know people hate to hear it, but
Ryan Shank: no, I mean, they know they want it, they want it. That’s what everyone, that’s the dream. But what percentage of new business do you think comes from referrals now?
Zack Bowlby: Over 50%. Okay. Well, yeah, yeah, easily. And honestly, what’s interesting is, um, what I would encourage people to do is incentivize your clients, right? I mean, I mean, we do have champions out there that like don’t ask anything from us. Like they’re out every day. Like I’ll get at least three or four different calls from, I was heard by x and so other kind of the same person. Right. And, and, and they’re amazing for our business, but we’ll give our clients a break on their bill. Right? I mean, you’re going to refer us, um, to three or four people. Like they should, they should fill that too. And so like, that’s a little tip that we’ve recently implemented. It’s made a big difference for us. Um, but of course you’ve got to get results, right? I mean, um, you have to get results. You’ve got to be responsive. Um, they’ve got to really like you. Um, that’s the, that’s how you remember it first. And I will tell you that it probably takes about a good two years.
Ryan Shank: Yeah. Before you are able to, cause then, then they become a true case study. When you’re, when you’re, um, talking to new clients, like, and you’re sending them a proposal or you guys, do you have a template that you use? Do you software like bit it out,
Zack Bowlby: like what are or not to bid it out but to like send the actual proposal? Yeah, so we actually just recently kind of got into some new softwares where we can like a docusign right when people connect remotely. Um, in the past we’ve actually just been doing it, let’s go PDFs, but we’ve recently just kind of done that. Um, usually just, you know, by the time proposal it’s, it’s kind of like semantics at that point. They’re just signing a piece of paper. Yes. You know, I mean, and the main reason being is, um, the data that we give them, the amount of research we do in the front end of the sales process. Like you asked, like when somebody gets in contact with me. So after I got off the phone with you here, like I have a sales call, this person automatically got on my schedule, on our automatic scheduling on my site.
Zack Bowlby: She told me exactly who they are, what exactly they wanted to address. So by the time, you know, I get on the phone with them, I’ve already pulled off her data. Uh, I’ve pulled competitors that uh, you know, and I’ve got audit. So then you’re able to talk to them about yeah. And share that data. Right? I mean you just have a conversation and um, the big thing is, is really identifying the goal cause it’s like, you know, let’s get it self diagnose, right? I mean they might call and say we need SEO and then you get in and you’re like, well, like your SEO is like doing really, really well. Um, I, you know, you got this email list of 500,000 people, but you’re not doing any email marketing. I mean, it just, it just kind of, you want, you want to know more customers.
Zack Bowlby: Right. All right. The low hanging fruit, you know, where can we go that we can knock off, knock off some here and there. Awesome. Just wrapping it up. One of the, a, one of the final things I ask everyone actually before I ask that, what is your favorite, what is your favorite like tool to use? Um, online tool. It can be internal communication tool, external. Like what’s, what’s something that’s kind of like a little secret sauce that you, that you have? I’ll give you two over you get bonus one. The first one is slack. I can tell you that when we implemented slack about a year ago, I would say productivity went up about 300%.
Zack Bowlby: Um, it’s really amazing. Like I can be in this meeting with you right now, right. And still be on my phone getting my team’s direction when they ask me questions and sure. The next one would be, um, and they actually did a case study on this, uh, lead feeder, which is a reverse IP look up. So interesting. Okay. And that’s what you use for leads to, to like capture leads from people that come to your site. Yeah, so, and I actually have that plugged automatically with Xavier into my CRM. What’s really, really cool is, you know, we’re capturing probably 30 to 40% of people that come to our website, right? I mean without even talking on the phone, we get a good amount of people that call that get on my schedule to tell them a form, but maybe an extra 20 to 30%. Um, we still identified, I’m going to check that out.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah, it’s really, really cool. And so the real cool part for me is, um, you know, you can kind of find these people right about who’s on there. I mean it depending on, um, what content they’re actually, you know, um, ingesting. So I’ll tell you that, you know, I had a sneaky suspicion that the content we were producing two years ago was actually reaching college kids and we were just educating digital workers, not reaching the people that I really want to reach then. And sure enough verse it to all these big colleges and what are they reading our guidance. Right. Um, and so we switched that up and that’s kind of what their case study was about with us is that we switched up our content and now I’m seeing, you know, only big companies reading, you know, our blog. Um, now does that, does that turn to a customer today? No, but at least I can try to facilitate a relationship with them. Um, at that point,
Ryan Shank: dude, I am so in agreement with that, I feel like, like even like, you know, cause I’ll do this. We, we used to do videos every single day, almost like vlog style videos and it’s like, everyone’s like, why are you doing that? You probably not reaching the right people. It’s like, yeah, but every single person is like one degree away from someone that could be a customer for you. Like everyone knows someone that could potentially hire a marketing agency if they can’t themselves. Right. And you know, for us, every week everyone knows someone that like needs to like track phone calls or whatever it is. Right? So it’s like, even if you’re not reaching, you know, your direct audience, which you probably are with some of it, you’re, you’re like one degree away from reaching them. You’re staying top of mind and it’s like they’re gonna have a need eventually and they’re going to refer to you, choose you, whatever it is.
Zack Bowlby: Yeah. The one thing that I will say to that too is, you know, don’t spam people guys. Like, you know what I mean? Like, you know, when somebody adds you on linkedin and then you instantly get like the automated message, like, don’t do that.
Ryan Shank: I hate that. I hate linkedin because of that.
Zack Bowlby: You know? And I think what ends up happening is a lot of people expect that from us and then it never comes. Right. So then why didn’t, why didn’t you spam me? And it’s Kinda like, we don’t, we don’t have to, you know, like we work with people that want to work with us. Like, here’s the content, right, that we’re producing in your, from the shows like a case study from industry, like we’re here about when you’re ready to work with us. Um, that’s the right one. Love it. Love it. All right, final question. What is your morning routine? Um, so I sold this from Mark Cuban. I’ll tell you that the first thing that I do in the morning is open up the inbox and knock out any problems that occurred overnight. Right off the top before I’m, even if my dog allows me to do that, which is sometimes kind of what got a dog. Uh, he’s a pit bull boxer mix. He’s a rescue. He’s not an awesome. Um, he’s a lot of work, so, but um, yeah, so, you know, knock that out, hit the gym some days more than others or some weeks more than others. Right. Come back and, and be in the office by eight, so
Ryan Shank: in the office by eight. Awesome man. Awesome. Well thank you so much for, uh, for joining us. Sec Bowlby ROI amplify. Where can we find you?
Zack Bowlby: Yeah, so a couple of places. [inaudible] dot. And um, as well as Linkedin, it’s Zack back slash Zach will be Su. Awesome. All right. Thank you jack. Thanks so much for joining us on growing your agency, Zack. Bowlby ROI amplified.