Episode 243 - Featuring Lee Matthew Jackson
December 4, 2019
We are pivoting and I want to tell you all about it. I’ll give you some background, share our experiences and unpack what we plan to do throughout 2020. I will share our hopes and ambitions for the community and how you can get involved. Here’s to 2020.
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Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show it’s you, it’s me, it’s also the roadworks outside. I think that actually tarmacking the road so I can hear them in the background, but hopefully via the magic of technology and editing, this will be clear, crisp, beautiful audio that you can enjoy. Also, I found out as I started talking, little Thalia is kicking away and Larissa’s belly. How cute is that? Folks, if you weren’t aware, our company is growing as is Larissa. So I would love it if you could come and join us in the Facebook group and just show Larissa a little bit of love and Kieran and just let them know that we love them to pieces and we’re so excited for their wonderful news. In fact, there is so much more news to give you. So this podcast is dedicated to telling you what is going on right now in our world and there is a lot of change that has happened and a lot of change that is going to happen. So I want you to sit back and relax, enjoy this update.
So first of all, we’re going to talk about Agency Trailblazer Premium in 2018 at the beginning of 2018 we launched a premium community, which would be a space where we would have regular conversations. We would have a private area to discuss things in and we would build up a library of content. This was all focused around the agency reset roadmap, which would help people to reset agency thinking and allow them to steer their agency in a direction that would allow them to grow; allow them to scale, and also allow them to get some of their time back. Now that has been an amazing journey over the last two years and I’ve enjoyed building that community, building up the friendships within that community and being able to add value and being able to see people’s lives completely change and turn around and that’s been a wonderful experience and we’ve grown as a family unit. We’re all still talking in the Slack group that we’ve got. We’re sharing things beyond just agency life and I feel like we’ve made a group of lifelong friends. Now I have come to the very difficult decision however, to close the premium membership. This has been led really by the fact that we are a small business in our own right. You’ll be aware I’ve got two companies, I’ve got Event Engine which is growing from strength to strength and then we also have the white label agency of Angled Crown over here in Wellingborough.
It’s Angled Crown that actually then funds all of the work that we do with The Agency Trailblazer podcast, the YouTube channel and everything else that we’re involved with. So it became very clear that we’re too small as Angled Crown to be able to scale the Agency Trailblazer a premium model. We want to be able to help more people. We want to be able to create more content. But to do that we have to continue to create our free content and grow that and then also put the necessary time and effort into the premium group as well to make sure that we’re adding value and to keep supporting all the new members that come in. So keep those communications going, get other people involved, et cetera. The fact is there are already some phenomenal groups out there. For example, Troy Dean has created an amazing community over at WP Elevation. They not only provide the premium content, but they also have that community and that support network and they’re also doing the same as well with people who want to scale up into the Digital Mavericks programmes. So having looked around, seeing people like Troy doing the amazing things that they’re doing, you’ve got Brent over at Ugurus as well doing their things. I figured it was about time that I let those people lead in those areas and that I actually focus on what I do best. What I believe I do best is get people together, is connect to the communities and build community. That’s my strength I believe, and it’s certainly something that has happened over the last four years and it was something that was cemented last year in the Agency Transformation Live event when we had the live event, when we saw a full room of people from literally around the world. When we saw new business deals happening, when we saw people connecting, we realised that actually we’ve created something really, really special in our industry. We’ve created a community and we’ve connected multiple communities together in such a way that people can freely share, that people can support each other, that lifelong friendships that can be made and that lives can be absolutely changed. So why don’t I focus all of our efforts as a business on growing that Agency Transformation brand? Can we add more and more value to that event? Can we affect more lives? Can we connect more people together and then put them on the right track? You know, push them to say WP Elevation if that’s what they need for that particular time or push them towards Digital Mavericks if that’s something they are going to need for that particular time in their life or perhaps send them off in a completely different direction just depending on what their needs are.
So Agency Transformation, very much becoming that central source of information and of community where everybody can get together and help each other out. So that’s where we felt we wanted to put all of our energy and all of our efforts. So with that said and done, we made the decision at the latter half of this year, especially with the extra time we’ve had to put in personally as a family to support Ella through her major operation. We realised that it was definitely time that we closed the premium membership, both for the personal family to make sure that we had time as a family, but also for the main mission. Our mission has and will always be to help agencies fall back in love with their business, to give them time back with their family to reduce the stress that running an agency involves. We realised we can do that more effectively with the Agency Transformation brand through the event and also through The Agency Trailblazer podcast and YouTube channel where we can provide free information out there but then connect more and more people.
So if you were considering joining The Agency Trailblazer premium community, I am sorry we are not taking on any new members and we are still looking after our premium members. We’re giving them access to the content indefinitely for now whilst we work out what to do with that. So those guys, feel free to keep rocking in the Slack group. Feel free to keep consuming the content that we put in that we love you. Thank you so much for your support. Again, if you were thinking of joining we are sorry there is no access available to that anymore but I would encourage you check out the show notes. We will be linking off to the WP Elevation programme. If you were looking at joining something like Agency Trailblazer, then that means you were probably looking for a structure for running your agency more effectively and the content that Troy and the team put out there in WP Elevation is extremely helpful in helping you develop your processes and your strategy for establishing and growing your business. If you are kind of already there and you’re looking at the next level that’s scaling, then I would probably recommend you go ahead and have a look at the Digital Mavericks programme. Again that will be in the show notes for you to go ahead and check out.
So let’s talk about our plans now for the next year. We’re gonna be continuing with the Agency Transformation Live event and we are making room for more people. It became very clear that there are a lot of people that regret not hanging out with us in 2019 and really want to be a part of the 2020 event. So this means that we are doing our best to reorganise the room to create a still cosy collaborative atmosphere, but also to allow a few more people in as well so that we can make sure we fill the room and we create the energy that we created in 2019 and so many people are involved as well, which is phenomenal. We have got a few couples that we’ll be speaking because one of the big drivers for the event will be ensuring that people get time back with the people that they love. So being able to get couples on stage who are running businesses together and families together is really, really exciting. We’ve also got some amazing sponsors as well who are putting money in to make sure that we can make this another wonderful and exciting event. What I’m also doing is focusing on some smaller mini events around the UK where I’m partnering with Martin and Lyndsay. We’re doing a content framework for agencies and it’s very much about getting people together. That’s what I want to focus on in 2020. How can I help build communities and how can I do that? Can I do that on my own or can I do that through partnering with other people as well? I know that Lyndsay and Martin are wonderful community builders. They’ve got a great community of entrepreneurs around the UK, in fact around the world who follow them for their content framework. So we’ve partnered together to see how can we continue to add value to our communities. So we’re working on that as well throughout next year.
Now the big news, you’ve probably heard of it inside of the Facebook group is that we are also launching a magazine. So Agency Transformation, the message of that and the idea of transformation has captivated a lot of people and it started a movement and we want to carry on with that and reach out to a bigger and wider audience. To do that, we’re doing it through the vehicle of Agency Transformation and putting out a magazine. It’s starting here in the UK. We’re distributing 6,000 magazines at the beginning of the year for completely free and we’re sending that to established agencies all around the UK.
So we’re super excited about that and we know that a lot of these agencies are pretty much isolated from the digital world. I was talking with James Rose earlier, we were like it’s weird isn’t it, that you have agencies, these are digital agencies and yet that’s so busy with the day to day that they haven’t a clue what’s going on. They don’t know Agency Transformation or Agency Trailblazer exist. So this is our way of reaching out and again, building the community and bringing new people into the community so that we can connect more people. So this magazine is something that’s going to be going out on a regular basis here in the UK. We’re not sure whether it’s going to be quarterly or monthly. Obviously we’re going to have to test the waters with the first magazine and see where that goes. If you’re interested in being a part of that, either submitting content or sponsoring that and getting your business out there in front of 6,000 UK based agencies, then please, please get in touch. There’ll be a link in the show notes for you to connect with me and we can have a conversation about that. So the idea for that will be we’ll start to distribute that magazine and grow that and we are in conversations with our printer about a global delivery mechanism. The magazine will be available digitally for anyone who wants to get access to it and read it on their iPad, et cetera. If you are not based in the UK and you can sign up for that over on any agencytransformation.press, that’s agencytransformation.press fill in the form there and you will get your digital copy when it is released. If you are based in the UK you will be able to sign up for the physical copy and if you are also based in the EU, we’ve got a bit of budget to send some physical EU copies out as well. So I would recommend if you are in the EU pop your address in there and you might be one of the lucky ones who receives the physical copy of the magazine.
So let me tell you a bit about this magazine. This magazine currently is at 58 pages, which is ridiculous for our first magazine. It’s nice and thick. It’s got a gorgeous cover. It’s like a soft touch, laminated cover. It’s gorgeous and it’s using a binding, I forgot what the bindings called, but it’s almost like an outer sheet that wraps around like a perfect sort of binding cover. It’s really, really nice and I’m one of those people who loves to smell the paper. It’s done on litho machine which means it’s got this really nice smell to it as well, which I absolutely love paper that smells good. I don’t know if you’re the same as me. You go into a bookshop or a magazine shop and you pick up the magazine and look around and then just have a sneaky smell of the paper. So it’s going to be one of those sorts of magazines, 58 pages. There’s a whole tonne of content. Obviously there’s going to be some advertisements in there that’s going to help us fund this. This is a very expensive project. Printing, distributing this many magazines is not cheap in the slightest but with the sponsorship that’s gonna help us obviously. There’s going to be a lot of content from a lot of people that you will already know who are writing specific articles for this. Now the focus of the magazine is to bring what’s going on in the digital space to all of these agencies here in the UK and eventually around the world who are very isolated, who don’t know that these communities exist. So we can bring that to them. So we’ll be obviously sharing what’s going on in the digital space, but we’ll also be sharing with them education and ideas to improve their agencies all around the idea of those five stages of transformation that we started to push out in the Agency Transformation Live conference. So if we remind ourselves of those stages, it’s identity, value, platform, output and future, and I’m just going to talk into them a little bit and then I think that might start to build the picture of what I’m trying to achieve and also highlight why it made sense to close the Agency Trailblazer Premium membership.
So first of all, let’s talk about identity. That’s understanding your identity as a business. You need to know, you know what your superpowers are, what the problems are that you’re solving and who you’re doing those for because that’s going to drive absolutely everything else. Your marketing will come from that. How you talk, what you talk about is going to be all driven by your identity. So if you’re an agency that doesn’t really know who you are serving necessarily, you’re just offering a load of services to anyone, you’re going to really struggle with your marketing message and that’s why identity is driven all around. We then have value and that’s recognising that there is immense value in the work that you have, especially when you already know who it is you’re serving and the problems that you’re solving for them. You now understand that what you have has value and this whole section is teaching people A to recognise the value that you have to offer and then also to understand how to price things up. We then have platform if you understand your identity, if you understand the value that you have to offer, so you have all of that, that’s going to feed your messaging, what you talk about, which means you can take all of that to the right platforms. Where are you going to show up so that you can attract the right sorts of clients? Your platform is very much working out your marketing channels, your sales techniques, your strategies, et cetera. We then have output. If you’ve got your identity, your value on your platform, you are naturally going to grow. You are going to become the go to agency in your niche. You’re going to provide the best services, you are going to be out there on the platforms that the people who need you are going to see you on. That means as your company grows, you’re going to have multiple projects going on. You’re going to have things that you want to be able to manage and you want to be able to deliver them to the best of your ability. One of the best ways of growing a business is putting out good work so that other people will refer you. So the whole output channel is helping people, managing multiple projects, improving their processes, et cetera.
Then finally we have the future stage, which is all around scalability. How can you scale something that you’ve built in such a way that it’s going to allow you, your, your team, everybody involved to live a great healthy, balanced life where they’re getting time with friends and family and doing the things they love as well as working within the business. How can you scale that agency and create something that you can all love? So those are those five stages of transformation. The reason why we focused on stages of transformation was so that we could help people understand where they were at so that they could then work on that bit. Very often people will buy a big course that will tell them how to do all sorts of things and frankly that’s overwhelming. Whereas if you can just change a very small part of your business now and then build on that, that will actually have a much better lasting impact. We definitely believe everything starts with identity and then works. You can work your way through. So that’s very much the focus of the event. But again, it’s the focus of the magazine and by having those five categories, we can now start to get the right people involved. We can get the right content that are going to touch on all of those stages, and that’s going to resonate with agencies no matter what stage they are at in their business. Perhaps they know their identity, but they understand the value that they have to offer. Or perhaps they’re just trying to work out where they need to show up to grow their business. They already know their messaging, but they’re struggling with the platform. They’re struggling with the marketing and the sales, et cetera.
So instead of us running Agency Trailblazer premium and trying to be all of those things and trying to teach all of those things to a small group of people, what we can do is based on the platform that we have, we can actually create this magazine. We’ve got this event, we can also do online activities and we can also to other events to help people connect with the right resources. I mentioned earlier that we have WP Elevation and Digital Mavericks out there to help people, but there are also other amazing courses and other amazing people who are leading the way, providing really valuable information or services or products that are gonna help agency owners do that next 20% of change that they need to do in their business. If you divide a hundred by five, I believe it’s 20 because I can math, so if you want to do the next 20% stage of change in your business, then that’s what Agency Transformation is going to be all about.
Now this Agency Trailblazer podcast will stay. There is a very key type of listener to Agency Trailblazer but we’re also going to be pushing the Agency Transformation brand which is going to attract that wider audience of agencies who are not plugged in right now to Agency Trailblazer and they’re perhaps a little more isolated. Also there’s a very clear demographic who are listening to this podcast. Most people who are listening are smaller agencies. There may be more virtualized agencies so they have people who work with them from around the world. They don’t necessarily have a physical office space. So Agency Trailblazers, you guys who are listening, you are very much blazing a trail as it were. You’re doing things very differently. Agency Transformation will be helping those brick and mortar agencies who are not necessarily involved in the digital space as much and helping bring them in and that’s initially physically in the UK as just a UK model that we can do our UK events and the UK magazine. But obviously the plan is to then spread that across the world as much as we possibly can.
And there is more, there is more to tell you about because why not? Because we’re not doing the premium group anymore. We do have a lot more time to focus on some other exciting ideas and we’re actually reigning back as a business, the websites that we work on, we’re only working on a few select clients now that we want to work with who are really nice people that we want to serve. But actually we already have Event Engine that’s running on the side, which is a growing businesses growing agency and it’s all done right, which obviously I’m having to put my energies into there, but we want to just, we want to focus on growing Agency Transformation, Agency Trailblazer and all the things we do around that, which means we are launching a new podcast that’s going to be called, you’ve guessed it yet. It’s the Agency Transformation podcast and that is again, going to be focused on educating the agency. That’s the established brick and mortar agency. Um, and bringing in people who have had those transformative experiences. So you’re going to hear from agency owners who have maybe been in an awful place and then turn things around or maybe they’ve gone after a particular niche and then completely pivoted and this is going to be all around how people have transformed their business, both from huge transformations but also the small transformations. The idea will be is we will want to learn from each one of those episodes, what’s one of those takeaways that we can take away as an agency and apply to our business if it resonates with us, what’s that takeaway from that episode that we can take and then start to make that change. So that we’ll be launching in the first quarter of 2020 a brand new podcast. If you want to be involved in that, you can check that out over on agencytransformation.fm and you will be able to apply it to be on the show. It will have to be an application process. We’ll need to know a little bit about your story et cetera, before we can kind of engage with you and have that conversation. So if you please go check that out, click on the get involved button and fill in the form so that you can be involved in that show and there will be more news on that podcast of very, very soon.
There’s still more. We’re also releasing a book again that will be at the end of quarter one, beginning of quarter two and in time for Agency Transformation Live. So this book is pretty much nearly written where about, just a few days away from the final first draught of the manuscript and then we’ve got to go through the whole editing process. Now if you’ve noticed, I’ve been talking about small change, I’ve been talking about 20% change, what’s the next few things you can do to affect your agency and create the next stage of change? That’s what Agency Transformation was all about and still is all about, is what are those stages of transformation that you can go on? So the book that we are releasing is helping you understand how to make a massive impact by focusing on small steps of change. So focusing on what are those small achievable actions that you can do in your business that are going to have a massive outcome at the end of the day. So if you’re like me a few years, I always wanted to make massive and exciting things happen overnight. I was always going after the big plans and I’ve got a graveyard of failures behind me. Whereas nowadays I just do small achievable actions and that creates big change. I shared in the Facebook group just the other day, a video of me four years ago, a completely different person. I was trying to be someone that I thought people wanted to engage with and I’m a completely different person launching that podcast, practically pleading to my friends to go and give reviews and listen to the show. You’ll know there’s a completely different person who now presents this, a completely different person who stands on that stage and that person is actually the real me. That has all been a result of embracing those small changes is focusing on what are those small things that I can do that are actionable, that are easy enough, that are achievable, that can eventually build up to something massive and 2020 is definitely for me massive. We’ve gone from running two agencies, one’s a white label agency and one is a website as a service agency and now we’re in a position where we have a community of thousands of people.
We’re launching a book, a magazine, another podcast. We’re growing our YouTube channel. Our website as a service platform over there is also growing in the events industry. So much is happening because of those small achievable actions that we’ve just been patiently doing over the last few years and just plugging away, celebrating as we go so that we can keep pushing ourselves along. So that book, I’m not going to tell you the title yet, that might give a bit too much away, but that book will be coming out end of quarter one, beginning of quarter two. If you are coming to Agency Transformation Live, you are getting a free copy of that and Hey, I might even sign it if we want to get awkward. First edition Agency Transformation Live. If you’re coming, you’re getting a free copy of the book that’s. Pretty darn awesome isn’t it?
So that’s coming out as well and wait there’s more. There really is. But I ain’t going to tell you any more because I think I’ve given you a lot to chew on. You’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2020. I want you to be involved. Please, please, please check out the show notes for all the different ways that you can be involved in helping build up this community and helping bring some of those isolated agencies out there in so that they can enjoy the amazing space that has been created by us, but also by all of the other communities out there. Great shout out to people like Kyle over at the Admin bar and his team there. They’ve grown a phenomenal community. You’ve also got James Rose with the Agency Highway. Again, wonderful community. But you’ve also got people who are not necessarily running web agencies but running more specialist areas like Pete Everett as well, who’s got his whole community around SEO and around marketing so another shout out to him. Also Matt Davis who is growing a community of funnel builders, whether they’re providing an amazing service, and like I said, there are so many isolated agencies out there that really could use being a part of one or all of those communities.
So we are here to support you. If you run a community, get in touch. We want to help you. We want to get you out there in front of a wider audience so that we can grow this wonderful space that we’re all honoured and privileged to be a part of. So folks, with that said, again,check out the show notes. Get involved absolutely from the bottom of my heart love you all like crazy and we’ll see you in the next episode.