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Journey to $100 Million

Author: Erik J. Olson & Kevin Daisey

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Accelerate your entrepreneurial journey by learning from our mistakes instead of making them yourself.

Join Erik J. Olson and Kevin Daisey, the founders of Array Digital, through their ups and downs and lessons learned as they grow their digital marketing agency to $100 million in revenue. In each daily episode they'll discuss what's working now, and what's not. They'll share entrepreneurial and marketing tips and tricks picked up while becoming a dominant player in the ever changing digital marketing industry.
249 Episodes
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When we first started hiring employees at Array Digital, a large part of an employee’s first day was spent on administrivia. In episode 249 of Journey to $100 MIllion, listen in as Erik explains how we streamlined this onboarding process for new employees.On the first day, each employee is introduced to the staffers and clients and also informed on the basics of the company. One of the most time-consuming tasks associated with new hires is filling out forms. Unfortunately, this can be viewed as a waste of an employee’s time, especially when they are just getting started.As a result, Erik decided to start sending these new employees a link to all of these different forms that needed to be filled out. In doing that, the employee already had these forms filled out at the start of their first day, and are able to start work more quickly. With this process, we avoid wasting half of their first day filling these out and being unproductive. If you are hiring employees, send them what they need to fill out in advance. Then, when they walk through the door, they can get right to work!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
In the early days of ID Web, the size of Kevin’s team used to matter so that he would be able to stand out as a company instead of as an individual. In episode 248 of Journey to $100 Million, Kevin explains how having a small team is preferred here at Array Digital.When Kevin ran ID Web, he wanted to let prospects know that his company had way more capabilities than just a one man team. Kevin hoped to show he had a team of experts and wanted to look bigger so that he could land better opportunities.Fast forward to today, and Kevin prefers the small team we have at Array Digital. It is great to have a team to get the job done, but your goal should not be to have as many people as possible. We are growing rapidly, and will need to continuously hire new team members, but the revenue to employee ratio is our main concern. We do not want to just hire people and then not be able to pay our employees the salary they deserve, give good raises, purchase new equipment, etc. The more profitable we are, the more opportunities we will have to grow. With the team we have now we must buckle down, all pitch in where help is needed, and work hard. You do not want to just hire people to hire - you want to ensure you are profitable first. A lot of revenue with a small team is way more impressive and rewarding than a lot of revenue with a huge team.—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
About a month ago, we signed a new client here at Array Digital. In episode 247 of Journey to $100 Million, Erik talks about how we, unfortunately, had to terminate this client’s contract.After we sign a new client, we go through a routine onboarding process. In this process, we have our project manager, Jamal, set up a kickoff meeting with the client and our operations team. With this particular client, Jamal sent out an email to set up this meeting but received no response. He followed up with a second email, even calling the office as well - still no response. We even had Glen, the account manager, go to the client’s office just to find out the point of contact had gone AWOL. At this point, it had been three weeks since the contract had been signed, and we were completely blocked from doing any work. A lot of the times when we get blocked by a client, Erik tells the team to do whatever it takes to get the information/resources needed in order to get the work done. In this case, we were unable to begin with our preparation for this client. If this is how the relationship starts, it ultimately may not be a good fit. Erik made the executive decision to terminate the services, delete our invoices, and cancel the contract. It is important to understand that sometimes you have to fire clients in order to save you time and money.—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
About 5 or 6 years ago, Kevin turned down work from a growing startup that is very well known in our area. In episode 246 of Journey to $100 Million, Kevin explains the reasoning behind this declined offer, and where we stand with this company today.This situation occurred back in the IDWeb Studio days (Kevin’s first company). This startup reached out to IDWeb, and Kevin was excited to work with this company - they had raised millions of dollars, were rapidly growing and seemed like they may go nationwide very soon. They brought Kevin in to design a website in graphic format. They wanted Kevin and his team to build this site, present it, and IF their design was chosen, they would hire Kevin’s company. Kevin was shocked at the fact he would have to work for free, and that he would have to be chosen for the work, so he declined the offer.This was a great client to possibly have, but sounded like a bad client to work for. Kevin had plenty of work at this point and had no need to do any work for free. Fast forward to today at Array Digital, and this company is now our client who pays us around $20k/month. Back when this other offer was on the table, Kevin was doing project work for $2-3k, and now he is getting around $20k a month to do marketing for the same company. This just shows that you should always stick to your guns, and avoiding working for free. The key to success is gaining recurring revenue from the clients you sign!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
When Erik transitioned from being a DOD contractor to starting his own company, he realized the need to let everyone know this transition was taking place. In episode 245 of Journey to $100 Million, Erik talks about the importance of letting your connections know about the work you are doing.When Erik made the switch to commercial work, he created a printed announcement and sent it to all 235 contacts he had an address for. This was more meaningful than an email, and let everyone know what he was doing so they could hire or refer him. You cannot just tell people what you are doing, and expect it to sink in. You have to tell everyone you know, on a frequent basis, what you are doing. Make it crystal clear what you do, put it in writing, and get it in front of everyone you know. It’ll lead to business and referrals!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
The 5 AM Club

The 5 AM Club

2019-09-1600:03:33

For the first decade of running his own business, Kevin would work late into the night to ensure all his work had been completed. In episode 244 of Journey to $100 Million, Kevin shares the reasoning behind making the switch from working late nights, to being an early bird.Back in the day, Kevin would work his normal business hours just like everyone else. In doing so, throughout the day, he felt as if he was always playing catchup with emails, phone calls, one-off tasks, etc. During core business hours, Kevin would have to attend meetings, manage team projects, and ensure his company was running smoothly. After the day's work was over, and Kevin had eaten dinner, he would get back on his laptop and crank out work with Jason, our web developer. During this time there were no distractions, it was quiet, and he could take care of the work he wasn’t able to get to during the day.About two to three years ago, Kevin made the switch to the working early mornings. Now, Kevin wakes up at 5 am and is able to get more done before everyone else wakes up, and the distractions start flowing in. Not only that but waking up early allows Kevin to plan out his day before it even gets started, also allowing him to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Even if you are not an early morning person, Kevin recommends giving it a try and joining what he calls “the 5 am club.” Waking up early allows you to get the most done, and feel good while doing so!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
How do you go about charging your clients for the services you provide? In episode 243 of Journey to $100 Million, listen in to Erik as he explains the different pricing recipes almost every agency owner follows.Most agencies start off charging by the hour for their services, maybe $50-$75/hour. The reality with hourly wages is that you are working your tail off, without gaining all of the monetary value you are expecting. The next step would be to charge by the project. With that, you take on a risk with a fixed price project, having to deal with administrative burden, defining a scope of work, as well as having to deal with change orders. Most agencies like to avoid all the weight that comes along with per-project pricing, so most owners move away from that and go into pricing like retainers and recurring revenue. How do you price recurring revenue? You could price based on the value you are delivering due to your skill set/time, based on what the market says the value is, or you could charge based on what the client believes the value to be. If you can find an offering where the value you give is lower than the value the client believes they are receiving, you can charge more! Most people are starting to see this strategy, thus leading the majority of agencies towards the recurring revenue model.Think about the progression of your company, and where you are at with pricing. If you are not sure how to go about pricing your services, start from the ground up, and move forward as you grow!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
When you are at a business event or meeting, there is a big difference between networking and business dating. In episode 242 of Journey to $100 Million, listen in to Kevin as he shares how to get the most use out of networking events. With Kevin’s previous start-up company, networking became the single most important aspect of growing the company. Networking drove business, got leads, and gained new contacts. Here at Array Digital, Kevin’s network is still what we rely on to this day.When at events and meetings, it is easy to get trapped in your comfort zone and only speak to individuals you already are acquainted with, which ends up being a big waste of your time. When you are at these events you do not want to be business dating: hanging with connections that you already know. The goal should be to have a plan with a purpose when going to these events. You should know who you are going to talk to, who is going to be there, and if you already know someone there, maybe even ask who they can get you in front of! When attending these events, understand you are there to grow your business. Without a strong understanding of your purpose, you can end up wasting a lot of time, and in some cases, money.—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
A little while back, Erik got a phone call from a previous business associate. This individual shared a workspace with Erik about five years ago, where they discussed their businesses, ideas, and strategies on how to grow their companies. In episode 241 of Journey to $100 MIllion, listen in to see what advice Erik gave to this individual.Erik received the call because this individual found a really good employee after having experimented with numerous employees recently. After realizing how good of an employee she hired, she called Erik for advice on whether or not to extend this employee’s hours from only ten a week. Once Erik found out she could afford to pay this employee and needed the employee to meet her work demand, Erik advised to double her employee’s hours.From Erik’s experience, when he got a full-time developer, not only did his supply double, but the demand increased as well. Instead of saying “I can do this work,” he would say “we could do this work.” It changed the dynamic of the conversation, and word got out that his company was growing.Hiring employees is a scary process. But, when you balance that off of the potential inability to do the work without that person, and not being able to grow, it becomes an easy decision. It should not just be a question of if you can afford the employee, but can you afford not to have the employee!—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
Do you share your clients’ personal information as a reference source for new potential clients? In episode 240 of Journey to $100 Million, listen in to Kevin as he shares how we have decided to not share our clients’ direct info in order to give references here at Array Digital.We have plenty of reviews, video testimonials, and case studies all over our numerous online platforms. Kevin and Erik decided to only send out an email/link of our reviews, testimonials, and case studies to potential clients in order to give them a reference for our work before they sign with us. We also let them know that if they feel compelled they are more than welcome to call the office of a client, but we will not supply them with specific contact information.If we send out our clients’ email addresses, phone numbers, or other information that could potentially upset them. If our clients are getting calls on a consistent basis asking about us that could annoy them very easily and potentially make them not want to continue working with us. We want to protect our clients here at Array Digital as we value them tremendously.Before you share clients' information, think about what that might do to the relationship you have formed. The fact that we do not share client information is just one more thing that sets us apart from the competition.—Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.— Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.—For more information on the show, and to check out past episodes, go to journeyto100million.com!
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