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Creating new lines of business for your agency (featuring Annelise Worn)

Annelise Worn

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Annelise Worn joins Chip on this episode to talk about how she has built a business that meets her unique needs and allows her to maintain a passion for what she does.

She took her agency and created a whole new source of revenue to complement the traditional business.

Annelise takes you along on the path that she followed — and why she made the choices that she did.

If you have ever thought about how to create new revenue streams for your own agency business, you will find a lot to learn from Annelise.

Resources

Transcript

Chip Griffin 

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Chats with Chip. I’m your host Chip Griffin and my guest today is Annalise Warren. She is an agency CEO. Welcome to the show, Annalise.

Annelise Worn 

Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Chip Griffin 

It is great to have you here and I appreciate you accommodating the recording schedule because you’re all the way on the other side of the world for me, you are in Melbourne, Australia, I believe. Correct?

Annelise Worn 

Correct. Yes. The city of lockdown at the moment but yes.

Chip Griffin 

Well, I think most of the world is locked out at this point or at least should be but we’ll we’ll save all that for you know, someone Oh, yeah. So, so So tell me a little bit about yourself. Emily’s?

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, great. So yes. My name is Annalise and I live on the coast of of Melbourne. So my husband and I started a marketing agency about three and a half years ago. We I was we were living in the city and we had two kids and we knew we wanted more I had a busy job that that I liked. But moving down to the coast where we grew up would have meant like a two hour commute each way. And the kids would have been asleep when I left and was like when I got back and that’s not what I wanted. So and also my husband’s is a carpenter was a carpenter. And we wanted him to build a house. So we knew he would have to retrain, because he couldn’t be building someone else’s house at the same time as as building ours. So my background was marketing. And he’s was carpentry. So we started a marketing agency for for home builders and trades about three and a half years ago. And that’s where the journey started.

Chip Griffin 

Well, that that is a great place to start the journey and it ties back neatly to where I’d like to start the conversation because the tagline on your site is discover the profit and freedom you started your business to achieve. And so, just as you’ve gone back to your beginning, it sounds like you go back to the beginning with your clients.

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, we do so then what happened as we build the built the business for the the marketing agency was that I spoke to more and more mothers lac Mae, who wanted what I had created what we had created, which was a successful business that we could work from home around the kids. And at the time, as as we were growing the agency, I was doing some freelancing for the different coaches and things doing Facebook ads. And I knew just from that, that it wasn’t an achievable price point. For a lot of the women I was speaking to who just wanted an extra, you know, thousand bucks a week to help their family kind of thing like those with their with their business model, it wasn’t going to be achievable. And so I started the marketing Mentor Program, which gives give small business owners access to our agency team to help them DIY their own marketing. So now that’s where I split my time. Is the agency which is a full service but only construction and then we have the marketing mental program, which is for all small business owners. And what we find is that when a lot of people are getting started and I guess we could have easily slipped into this trap was that you stop you, you start your business because you want to, you want the profit and you want the freedom and then you end up working like 100 hours. Right? The worst boss in the world which is yourself. And you know, you really lose sight of that. And so we find that with, with our clients, and so through the marketing Mentor Program, try and move them back to that and help them structure their business in a way that is is going to get them the dollars that they need for the lifestyle that they They want without having to kill themselves and like, we know it’s business it doesn’t. It’s not all roses and there’s not some quick formula that’s gonna make it all click into place really quickly. And there’s going to be periods when you’re launching or when you’re doing, you know, like sprints in your business that are going to be crazy peasy. But I think to, to structure things around that in a way that works for you so that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and you know what you’re getting yourself in for and it’s not just hours, like days upon days of, you know, working till 2am, waking up at 6am.

Again, can

Chip Griffin 

get the experience of most entrepreneurs at one point or another in their careers.

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, and sometimes you need like, there’s a time and place for that, but you can’t. That’s not sustainable. And for us, we started the business because I didn’t want my kids didn’t care all the time. So for us that has been really important and it was to be honest, a little Bit disheartening at the start like maybe six months in, when I was when I realized that all the people had started, you know, this journey with we’re kind of going leaps and bounds ahead. But I had a little baby and I was like, oh hang on, that’s okay I need to not compare myself to what everyone else is doing. And if our business grows slower, but we’re living the lifestyle we want which is like, you know, hey, it’s Wednesday afternoon and it’s a beautiful day let’s go down the beach, then that’s okay and be kind of like all but when the business gets to this level, then we’ll do this. I think that’s like it’s a trap in, in business and in life. But to kind of be happy with where we’re at now I’m like, Well, yeah, we like we still have a house isn’t built and yes, but we have three children sleeping in one room while we building our house that’s taking forever.

Chip Griffin 

It always takes longer than you then you imagine whenever you are building or remodeling, right?

Annelise Worn 

Especially when it’s like, you know It’s your husband who’s building it. And he’s trying to help the family build that business and build the house. It’s like, right, it’s, it’s the juggle. But we made the decision to kind of be happy with where we’re at now going well, we’re living where we want to live, like, it doesn’t look exactly like what we wanted. But we have the freedom, we have the flexibility to structure our days how we want. And so we should.

Chip Griffin 

And finding that balance and the freedom and trying to figure out how everything works is something that a lot of agency owners are doing even more so today, given the challenges that that we’re all facing. And, you know, a lot of folks have kids who are not able to physically go to school, they’re doing remote learning here in the United States. And so that creates a whole separate set of challenges. And so I think, you know, your focus on trying to figure out how to make the business work for you is is is really vital.

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, at the moment that that’s like, just out the window really, isn’t it? We’re homeschooling as well. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s a whole In the challenge trying to homeschool a seven year old while you’ve got a five year old and a two year old in the house, right like, it’s like a full full time jobs it’s actually

Chip Griffin 

I’m fortunate I have teenagers so I can teach teenagers bring their own set of challenges, but it’s it is very different from from having the younger kids. You know, one of the things that that that also strikes me about your story and your progression is that you’ve done something a lot of agency owners have at least thought of which is starting another lane to the business so that there’s another revenue stream. And in particular, you know, helping folks who are more on the DIY side so more in an advisory capacity as opposed to the the hands on done for you side of things. So, so talk to me a little bit about how that works and how you balance the two because the way that you do done for you and the advisory is you know, it’s very different and it’s pulling you in different directions I imagine

Annelise Worn 

it it is very different and it is almost like a completely other business. While it is really, it just utilizes the experts from from the agency. So, it, it happened for me. After working a few years in the agency, I was able to put in a business manager. And so then that pretty much runs itself like I like to be client facing because I like to know what we’re doing. And you know, we’re pretty selective about who we bring on board and all of that. So, but really the day to day of that runs itself, and I put my energy into marketing and being the face of the marketing Mentor Program. Gotcha. So it’s

Chip Griffin 

more or less runs itself. Is that is that fair? Or is that too too too much?

Annelise Worn 

runs itself outside of me is so so yes, yeah, the agency runs itself mostly. And a lot of that now is referral based based on like the networks that we have. Set up. So we don’t do a lot of advertising for the agency. But we do do a lot of advertising for the Mentor Program.

Chip Griffin 

Gotcha. And it sounds like the the mentor program serves an entirely different audience. So it doesn’t serve in any ways a feeder to the agency, right?

Annelise Worn 

Yes, and no, sometimes sometimes it actually, it can. Yeah, it can, because sometimes they’ll, they’ll realize that they don’t want to do certain elements. So they’ll DIY the majority, but when they need a new website build, they’ll handle that, or they’ll handle Google ads, and they’ll manage the rest themselves. So So sometimes it can, but that wasn’t the intention. The intention was actually that I didn’t want to hire any more staff, because, like keeping in mind, the balance of what, you know, with the kids and all of that. So I made the decision that we were big enough. And I was like, Well, how could I now grow my revenue with The stuff that I have, right and, and these model really works in line with that. So.

Chip Griffin 

So tell me a little bit more about the mentorship program and how that works.

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, sure. So it’s a 12 month program, but sometimes will we’ll shorten it depending on if we’re just doing a marketing strategy for someone and helping them implement. So there’s a three month option as well sometimes. And but generally, it’s a 12 month program and I follow the Kelly roaches live launch model to get people into that. So it’s a five, you know, five days of live teaching and then we’ll move into a move into selling for that and we do that every few months. And that works. Amazingly. I’ve got a child coming in sorry. Oh, that’s okay. This worked out but she doesn’t know I want to call up You go ahead.

Chip Griffin 

That is very much 2020

little Ladybug head anyway.

Annelise Worn 

Yes, you can. Sorry. Yeah, her father’s upstairs so she kicked out there. So yeah, so we do so we do that in order to get people in and then it’s we’ve got a call every single day of the week. And then they people can log into the calls. And there’s a different focus for each call, like, you know, might be Google ads on one cold Facebook or paid social and, and other branding copywriting on another. And they get the expert from within the team or, you know, other experts that take that phone call. And then they just come with their questions and they log into the back end of the Google Ads account and tell them what they see. And sometimes it’s pretty brutal. And that’s okay, and we’ve got a library of videos That helped them with the technology side, you know, like adding a facebook pixel, kind of, you know, that side of things, right? Yeah, the stuff that’s a really nitty gritty. And so then in the calls, we can make a few changes, we can say, Okay, look like these click through rates, awful. This is what I would do to fix it. This is how or these are the resources you need to go and look at. And then there’s a Facebook group, and they can post questions in between and get answers. So it’s, it’s a, it’s really great. It works really, really well for both for both parties.

Chip Griffin 

And, you know, obviously, you initially had the idea to find a way to generate revenue outside of just the the selling your hours in the agency from from the time that you thought of it to the time that you actually launched. I mean, how long did that take what talk a little bit about the process that went into actually making that launch reality?

Annelise Worn 

Yes, I started really, really initially mentoring moms who just couldn’t afford market. agency, right? Because Yeah, so it was only focused around moms and it was more, like a bit more lovey dovey a bit more like mastermind D. And we would just meet every week and it was just me and I would, you know, talk to them about whatever it is that they needed help with. And then as the business grew, and I realized, Oh, hang on this capacity for this to become something else. So probably, I started in about March by probably by that August, I had swapped then the model from the lovey dovey model sounds really

Chip Griffin 

helpful.

Annelise Worn 

With a group of moms and friends and friends.

Chip Griffin 

It was more informal and it became more structured.

Yeah. And it

Annelise Worn 

was a lot of like, you know, how are you and like the, the mindset side and really like, by tapping into the, you know, just being a group of moms, basically, that are all trying to grow really small businesses. And so then by August, I had flipped this structure and made it more, yeah, to be a longer program and actually put the parameters that were going to, again, get the profit and the freedom that was going to be viable. Because the the other model, the mastermind model that I’d had, and that price point wasn’t with me doing it old was not viable. Whereas, so we flipped it to be more the word is eluding me, but like more financially, more and more scalable. Yeah, more scalable, more business savvy, like actually a strategic service.

Chip Griffin 

Right. So if if an agency owner is listening, and they’re thinking about doing something similar, you know, where they’re offering some sort of, you know, advice or course or mastermind or something like that, you know, what, what would you encourage them to be thinking about before they take that plunge?

Annelise Worn 

I would say be make sure that you’re dedicated to the long term of it, and I think that goes For anything in business really like, No, we need to be committed to doing it long term if we’re going to give it a good go. And that that 12 month model works really well, because then you’re not looking for new clients all of the time. And when they’re in, they’re in and you can really help them save results. Because, you know, we as business owners, as agencies, it’s fast paced, we’re working with a lot of clients, and we’re in it a lot, but these people in their businesses potentially are not. It’s the mentor kind of capacity, maybe it’s a side hustle, maybe it’s something that they’re building over the long term. Maybe they have half a morning a week to focus on marketing. So they’re not going to get potentially as much done as you as you think that they might get done being an agency. And so that that 12 month allows them to go through that testing phase. Also. They’re probably They don’t have as big a budgets to be testing with Facebook ads and Google ads. So it might take longer to get some like the, to do that testing process to get the data. And so that 12 months works well from both from both ends. What else, it’s a really great model because it’s, it’s simple. If you’ve already got the team to do it, we run it via zoom, we have a platform, you know, the videos are housed on ontraport. But you could house them in a Facebook group, if you really want to you it’s it’s just it’s that accountability, and that that, that accessibility that they paying for because that’s what you know, they can do a million courses. But it’s the accessibility pot that a lot of people who are trying to scale online businesses with online programs don’t want to invest the time in because they don’t want the team or they don’t want to have that face to face. Time Does that make sense? It does. A lot of people are avoiding that accessibility, you know, you can actually talk to me kind of thing, right? It’s a little bit different. But if you’ve already got the team so for me, I take two calls awake, which is two hours of my time. Yeah, and the rest is run with, you know, with this, with this with stuff,

Chip Griffin 

right? As you look to the future, do you do you continue to see the two businesses sort of coexisting with each other? Do you see one overtaking the other? You know, are you taking the learnings from the agency to help the the teachings in the DIY program so to talk a little bit what what the future holds? Basically?

Annelise Worn 

Yeah, so the future holds the agency being just at the nice kind of level that it is at the moment because of where we’re at with you know, really young kids I’m expecting again in December last modulations So for a while, and you know, we’re still building a house to use it. So the agency will just stay kind of where it is. And that will become my husband’s baby once the house has been finished. And then we will move that, you know, we’ll focus more on that he will focus more on that. And the mental program can can grow because we’ve got, we’ve got this team, now we’ve got the structure. So even if, you know if there’s 20 people that log into one call, then we’ll just make another call. And it’s not going to. Yeah, it’s very scalable. So that’s where we’ll be. That’s what we’re focusing on at the moment.

Chip Griffin 

Now, obviously, there’s been in recent years an explosion of coaches, mentors, accelerator programs, all those kinds of things. You know, what, how does yours differ from those, you know, how do you how do you stand out, you know, in a crowded marketplace of these types of programs.

Annelise Worn 

I think for us, it does come back to that accessibility. They have access It’s five days a week and we’re in the we’re in the Facebook group. But also, I don’t know of a lot of other programs that are giving people like, you know, being radically transparent and giving people their strategies and helping them DIY. And actually looking at their data. I haven’t come across a lot that that actually do that. And I think a lot for a lot of people getting started or just starting to explore Facebook ads, that’s really appealing because they want to know how to do it themselves, even if in the future, they want to pass it off. And that really hands on high level of support is is hard to find.

Chip Griffin 

Now, you said that you started out as as sort of the informal moms group is the is the focus still on women owned businesses, or is it is it broader than that now?

Annelise Worn 

It’s broader than that. We actually have a lot of husband and wife teams in there more than more than I had before. And we thought we’d only be service based, but we have ECAM in there as well. So we just have had to expand the team so that we can support them and actually, actually helped them properly because that was not my area of expertise. Yeah, so it is broad now. And again, to find those specialists with technology, we can go worldwide, so it’s great.

Chip Griffin 

Well, as we’re sort of coming towards the end of our time here, are there questions that I haven’t asked you that I should have?

Annelise Worn 

Oh, I don’t think so. I think we covered it. That was great.

Chip Griffin 

Excellent. Well, if someone is looking to learn more about you, and either your agency or the program, where should they go?

Annelise Worn 

AnneliseWorn.com is the place to go. Oh, look at that.

Chip Griffin 

Excellent. Well, if you’re if you’re watching on video, you’ll see it on the screen and if you’re listening we will include it in the show notes so that you don’t have to hop off the treadmill or wherever you may be and take a note it will be in the show notes for this episode. So, Annalise, thank you for joining me. This has been a great conversation. You’ve offered a lot of great insights, particularly for agency owners who may be thinking of starting additional lines of business and I really appreciate it and I appreciate your time.

Annelise Worn 

Thank you so much.