Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Niching Down Your Agency

Guest: Chris Langille

July 9, 2024
Play Video about Bb Epis31 Langille

Episode 31

This week’s guest is Chris Langille, Founder of Advisor Evolved, a digital marketing agency specifically serving independent insurance agencies (though not exclusively). Tom, Curtis, and Chris discuss the benefits Chris has realized by niching down in the digital marketing industry, particularly in the service insurance agencies. They emphasize the importance of focusing on the most profitable lines of business and targeting lower hanging fruit in advertising campaigns. They also highlight the need for a well-functioning sales process and the importance of aligning sales and marketing efforts. The conversation touches on the challenges of working with limited budgets and the need for a comprehensive backend process to maximize the return on investment. Plus: what is the current state and potential future for AI in digital advertising and marketing?

Takeaways:

  • Niching down vertically or horizontally allows for the creation of scalable products and services and enables specialization in a specific industry or vertical.
  • Focusing on the most profitable lines of business and targeting lower hanging fruit in advertising campaigns can lead to more effective and efficient marketing efforts.
  • Having a well-functioning sales process and aligning sales and marketing efforts are crucial for maximizing the return on investment in advertising.
  • Working with limited budgets requires careful planning and prioritization of marketing activities, as well as a comprehensive backend process to ensure leads are effectively converted into customers.
  • While AI is an exciting development in the digital marketing industry, it is important to approach it with caution and consider its limitations and potential impact on the industry.

 

Chris’s website: advisorevolved.com

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrislangille119

Tom Nixon (00:01.375)
And we are back with another episode of the Bullhorns and Bulls Eyes podcast. Curtis, it’s good to see some familiar faces around here.

Curtis Hays (00:09.544)
We do have a familiar face today. Yeah, somebody I’ve known for a while.

Tom Nixon (00:14.111)
Yeah, it’s somebody you introduced me to who is now a collaborator of ours, a co -conspirator of ours. And without further ado, I’m going to just welcome him onto the show. And that is none other than Chris Langell, founder of Well, Chris, introduce yourself since you’re part of the team now.

Chris Langille (00:30.702)
Yeah, so by the way, good job on my last name. That was the best I’ve heard in a while. I appreciate it. But no, Chris Langel, founder of Advisor Evolved. We are a digital marketing agency that specializes in insurance marketing. A lot of our clients, majority of our clients are independent insurance agencies. So like local, family -owned, local.

Tom Nixon (00:35.935)
I had practice off air.

Chris Langille (01:00.014)
agencies. We also do some work in the financial services space, as well as a few other sort of what you would call like white collar industries, accounting mortgages, stuff like that. But a majority of our clients are in the insurance space.

Tom Nixon (01:15.647)
interesting. Curtis, you met him. You met Chris online somewhere. Is that what happened?

Curtis Hays (01:19.496)
Yeah, I met him on Facebook. So remember we had a couple episodes back, Nick Swan with SEO testing. So there’s a few people I met out of this, Brian Dean, SEO course. Brian Dean is kind of one of those, I’d say top 10 SEO people in the world. And, you know, had courses we, so we took a course together and there was a Facebook group that went along with that course where you could interact with the other members. And so,

few people we collaborated with and Chris and I got to know each other and have kind of worked together to support each other. Anything from SEO to Google ads and supporting each other’s clients and different things that we’re thinking about and doing. And again, we remember the Franco podcast we were on, we talked about kind of mentorship and, you know, having colleagues and accountability partners, you know, Chris is one of those people like.

Hey, what are you doing with analytics these days? Or how are you showing this data to clients? You know, you got to have those people and do the networking. So Chris has been a great person to network with over the years.

Tom Nixon (02:27.007)
Cool. Well, we’re going to get into a lot of that today. But before we do, I wanted to ask Chris more of a, I don’t know, an existential question about his business. So I am a strong advocate. I work with a lot of B2B companies and I’m a strong advocate for when they can and where it’s appropriate for companies or service professionals to niche down as much as they can without creating a market of, you know, two people. And this is something that Seth Golden preaches as well.

By niching, I mean two ways. One is vertically. So you say you primarily work within the insurance industry, or that would be the horizontal. I guess that would be vertical. And then horizontally, you don’t do everything for everyone. You’re not an advertising agency, right? You’re specifically doing some digital marketing for them. And so people sometimes are resistant to that. If I niche too far down, aren’t I going to miss opportunities, right? It’s like, well, you know, anyone could be our client. That sort of mentality. And for insurance agencies, that might be true. But…

for others like lawyers, accountants, architects, consultants, what is the value that you see? Obviously, you’ve chosen to do just that and you will take some other clients but what are the benefits of niching down for somebody who says, I’m afraid I’m going to miss out on opportunities that way.

Chris Langille (03:41.006)
Yeah, it’s a great question. there’s a lot of benefits to it for both sides, really, you know, us as a service provider and also the end client, I think for, for us, the benefit is, you know, it allows us to create a scalable product ties type of service. So we can very easily, repeat what we’re doing, right? We have these blueprints in place for a number of different products and services right from, you know,

website development, landing page designs and forms and integrations, API level integrations, and all the way down to the services, the type of campaigns that we run for clients. It allows us to create a scalable type of product and service, which for us and really for anybody that’s in this occupation, that’s always a good thing, right? Because you can’t…

It’s very hard to scale your time in life unless you can, you know, replicate yourself a couple of times over, but, it’s, it’s beneficial to us in that way where you you’re able to take on more work, without like, you know, an equally large time investment, if that makes sense, to the, to the end client is beneficial. There’s a lot of, a lot of things really, but.

You know, for them, there’s a, there’s a lot of things, right? So like, for example, we can charge less for our product compared to what an, and, and, and client would pay if they went through, like a generalist type agency or like someone who is doing, you know, $20 ,000 project minimum work, which there’s a lot of those guys out there. They do a great job and they’re working with really big, big clients, but it allows us to have a much more competitive.

price point for what we’re offering. Like we, we think, and I think that we offer a ton of value for what our price point is. I mean, maybe even too much. We’ve had a lot of people that, again, the Curtis’s of the world and some other people that, you know, I’m friends with in the industry who are like, Chris, why are you only charging what you charge? Like, you know, everybody around you is at least half, you know, or 50 % more.

Chris Langille (06:08.078)
And so that’s one benefit to the end user is like the price point, but also like they get to work with a true specialist and that’s not to, to, to toot my own horn. No, no pun intended. you know, bull horns and yeah, to my own bull horn. you like that, but, but it, but it really does, it really does benefit them in that way because right. discovery calls, for example, instead of being three hours.

Tom Nixon (06:20.351)
Tweet your own bullhorn. Yeah. I see what you did there. Yeah.

Curtis Hays (06:25.96)
Tom’s a sucker for puns.

Tom Nixon (06:27.871)
Yeah.

Chris Langille (06:37.23)
now they’re 30 minutes, because we already know ahead of time that the client demographic, their audience, what they’re wanting to do, what they’re wanting to target, what their goals are. You know, it’s funny. It’s like when you’ve been doing this for as long as I’ve been doing it, it’s like you can just do a quick search of the client ahead of time and you already know how that call is going to end, how it’s going to start, how it’s going to end. You can kind of profile prospects very easily. But.

you know, for, for the client, sometimes in a lot of times in our space, the clients don’t know what they don’t know and they don’t know what they want. And they have a hard, very hard time articulating that because these are not people that by trade are designers or, you know, UX or UI, you know, professionals or marketing professionals. Like they don’t really understand how to even explain to us in some circumstances, like what they, what they are wanting. And it’s like,

It’s like, buddy, we know you don’t have to like stress out about it. Like, you know, we have, you know, 2000 clients that are insurance agencies that, you know, are very successful because of our model. So that’s a big relief to a lot of our clients when they’re like, okay, like I don’t have to get you all this content. I don’t have to get you all these like, you know, photos and stuff like that. Like we have all of that ready to go out of the box. So it’s definitely a win -win when you’re able to niche down again for both sides and.

you know, ultimately I think the client really, they’re the big winners, right? Cause you know, from a time and pricing perspective, they don’t really have to lift a finger. I mean, we manage everything for them. So for the business owners that are really not tech savvy, or they don’t have the time or the internal team to manage these things on their own, and most business owners don’t, it’s just a big win for them. So that’s a long answer to a short question by the way.

Tom Nixon (08:29.439)
I think that’s a good question for sure. Yeah. No, I think the question was long too. So, I’ll allow it. but Curtis, I’m going to let you tee up. Yeah. Well, no, I was going to let you tee up the topic for today because he mentioned being at an accessible budget point and that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about but go ahead and add and then segue into that.

Chris Langille (08:34.862)
Hahaha.

Curtis Hays (08:36.04)
Well, if I could add real quick to that, unless you had a question for me, Tom, relates to this.

Curtis Hays (08:46.152)
Yeah, no. Okay. So we’ll segue to that. I think that’s a good segue. I’ll say that, you know, Tom, we’ve had an opportunity to work with Chris with one of our insurance clients. And I think the value Chris that you bring is the domain expertise in that industry, which can have some, any industry can have its own nuances, complexities.

especially when it comes to the technologies that those people are using. And in insurance, there are some specifics where they’re maybe not using a Salesforce or HubSpot, just CRMs, for example, that exist across multiple industries, right? Those tools can be kind of industry agnostic where insurance has some very specific tools that go along with them. And you have that domain knowledge that those especially smaller independent

agents now have access to the historical information and experience that you have, which I would go to those people who tell you, you should be charging 50 % more. That knowledge that you have is worth that 50 % more just in knowing that. And I’ve watched, you know, you, you talk in meetings and sharing that information. There’s, I think value around that information, which I think goes to this when you are able to.

niche down in a specific industry, you now in working in the industry, gain domain expertise in that industry that becomes extremely valuable. The challenge. no. Yeah. So yeah.

Tom Nixon (10:19.871)
Yeah, I think that’s go ahead. No, I was just going to say. Yeah, that’s a great point and what we should have made is that it does and Chris didn’t make it because he doesn’t do this, which is you’re allowed to charge a premium for being that specialist like a brain surgeon over the you know, as opposed to a family doctor, but we are not talking about charging premiums today. So go ahead, Curtis. The challenge you said.

Chris Langille (10:20.782)
Yeah, I appreciate it.

Chris Langille (10:35.598)
Right.

Curtis Hays (10:38.952)
No, we’re not. Right. So the, the challenge when you, when you do niche down in some cases, and we just got a prospect here recently, Tom, where I had to turn the prospect down who is working in an industry that another client works in, but where they’re located in the same area that that client serves. And we had to turn the business.

down because they would be directly competing, competing against each other. And where that really became an issue was in the advertising side of things. And I think that’s what we want to talk today about is, is advertising. And so in that specific case, and I don’t know how you treat this, Chris, you know, if you have two insurance agents that are in the exact same location, say Metro location, it has become a little bit difficult because…

Chris Langille (11:28.142)
Mm -hmm.

Curtis Hays (11:31.304)
We kind of have some levers that we can pull in the platforms as far as what we set bids at, what we set budgets at, and those types of things. We’re almost competing against ourselves if we’re inside these, inside these platforms. Like I got an ads for this client, ads for this client who are showing to the same people. Who is almost kind of a, I guess, an ethical question of which one do I make a higher bid? So.

Chris Langille (11:36.366)
Mm -hmm.

Chris Langille (11:54.158)
Right, right.

Curtis Hays (11:56.936)
but oftentimes, and I know this happens in your industry where we say independent insurance agents, these are smaller companies. Right. So you’ve niched down and you’re focusing in these, these aren’t huge insurance groups with multiple locations, or servicing maybe a whole entire state. They might have one office with three or four salespeople and a customer, a couple of customer support people and maybe owned by one person or partnership or something like that. So.

They’re coming to us oftentimes to help them, but they don’t have an open ended budget. They don’t have a lot of money to spend in the platform. So I think just initially, how, how do you typically approach them? Or maybe initially like, what are some of those qualifying questions that I think would help maybe prepare somebody who’s going to talk to you? Like, gosh, I only have two, $3 ,000 a month to spend at max. Is that going to work?

Chris Langille (12:52.11)
Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a good question. I mean, what we normally start off with is we asked the client, what is your most profitable product? Or in this case, what is your most profitable line of business? Let’s focus on that primarily if we can, depending on what the cost is. But, you know, we want to make sure that we are focused on the lower hanging fruit. So like, for example,

within like say Google ads campaign. Let’s focus on purchase intent keywords and not very broad keywords. Like let’s focus on people that are lower in the funnel that have already, they’re already problem aware and they already realize they need a solution and in most cases for insurance, it’s so price driven, right? So people get their renewal, their renewal is 60 % higher than it was.

six months ago or a year ago and they don’t understand why and they’re frustrated, putting it nicely, they’re frustrated and they want to get their rate back in line. So in the insurance ecosystem, we’re focusing a lot on that because it is very price -driven. That’s at the end of the day, service matters, but price typically is that…

that’s where people feel pain and that’s when people react. But I think focusing on the most profitable lines of business so that we’re allocating their budget to that and nothing else. And the lower hanging purchase intent type of keywords. And then obviously talking about other ad platforms, right? There’s Facebook and Instagram, there’s AdRoll, there’s now TikTok is becoming more and more of a player. You have Google Display. There’s a lot of different…

ways you can spend someone’s budget. But you know, if somebody has a limited budget or a very small budget, it’s like, all right, let’s start at the top and kind of whittle it down to, you know, you know, no fat on the bone, right? Maybe we reduce the size of the campaign. So like one mistake that we see a lot of people do when they’re trying to do this themselves is like, you know, they’ll run their ad in the entire state of like California and their daily budget’s like $25 a day. You know, it’s like,

Chris Langille (15:14.542)
you’re trying to cover a massive area and you have a lot of keywords in your ad campaign, but your budget’s so low that you’re only gonna get maybe one click a day. So like 30 clicks a month, when you talk about the law of averages, like how many of those are actually turning into leads, like you’d probably be lucky to get maybe one or two. So the average person looks at that and says, well, I’m spending $25 a day and I’m not really like, this isn’t working. You guys don’t know what you’re doing. And it’s like, no, no.

Like you have some, and this is, I say this nicely, but you’ve heard the phrase like you have champagne taste on a beer budget, right? And I think that the average business owner is kind of in that sort of description, but not necessarily on purpose. Like they don’t want to be like that. They just don’t know any better and don’t have a knowledge of how the platforms work. And everybody wants to get.

as many leads or as many customers as possible for the least amount of money. I mean, that there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s definitely, you know, that conversation can be a very short one and sometimes a very long one. We’ve had to talk some people off some some cliffs before with like, you know, wanting to conquer the world. But, you know, their budget is five hundred dollars a month. And, you know, we have to politely tell them, like, look, you know, you’re only going to be able to really run one very small campaign based on the keywords that you want to.

you know, you’re trying to get leads for so, yeah.

Tom Nixon (16:41.727)
That’s a delicate dance too, because it’s funny you mentioned 500 as a random number, but I was thinking of the client that wants to start really small. So think of the client that’s never done this before. So it’s still relatively new, especially working in an industry like insurance where slow to adopt anything new, right? They’re risk averse by nature. That’s what they do. So is there a point at which a client will come to you and say, we just want to test this out in?

Can we try $500 a month? Is there a point at which you’re better off steering them? Not because they’re too small for you, but because that budget is not going to be effective and they’re probably better off spending that somewhere else. So how do you dance that delicate dance?

Chris Langille (17:23.406)
100%. a hundred percent. And there was a point in time when we first started doing this, you know, six or seven years ago on the digital marketing side where, you know, you take on, you take on any client that you can get at that point, you know, you’re starting out, you’re trying to get your feet wet. You’re trying to get some real world experience. And like now, you know, fast forward to where I’m at now, like we turn a lot of people away, for a very, for a lot of reasons, not just budget, but,

I can go on and on about, but you know, definitely it’s a conversation that we have to have because it’s like, look, like I already know because I’ve done this for several hundred other agencies, how this story is going to end when your budget’s $500 a month. Like you’re going to spend enough money to take yourself off, but you’re probably not going to get a ton of results, especially like if you’re like going to it with the mindset of I’m just want to test this out for like a month or two months and.

As Curtis knows, like with these ad platforms, like there’s a learning phase, especially in new ad accounts that could be anywhere from 30 to 120 days, right? Depending on the size of the campaigns and what all they’re trying to target, bidding strategies, budget, et cetera. So yeah, when we come across folks like that, like we politely tell them, look, you know.

do something else, like it’s not, if you only wanna do it for 30 days, like it’s not gonna work. It takes time for these campaigns to really, for us to be able to optimize them. That’s just the nature of how it works. I wish it, I think if it worked overnight, everybody would be doing it, but there’s definitely, when you’re working with a professional marketing agency, like hopefully, they’ll be honest about that and say, look, like there’s a ramp up period.

Here are some things that you can be doing in the meantime to prepare for a higher volume of leads, you know, having automation set up for follow -up, you know, having somebody who can pick up the phone, you know, within a couple of minutes of getting that lead, those kinds of things. So, yeah, it’s definitely, sometimes it can be a hard conversation, you know, and nobody wants to turn away business, but I think ultimately those clients, you know, they don’t realize it in the moment, but like a year from now after they went to another marketing agency who did take their money.

Chris Langille (19:41.166)
You know, they look back at us and say, Chris was right. Like, you know, we shouldn’t have done that, you know.

Curtis Hays (19:46.568)
Yeah. So, well, let’s, let’s talk about some of those additional costs. If you have a $500 budget, what maybe the client isn’t also considering is there’s the management fee. There’s creative, whether it’s a landing page, whether it’s a form and integration, whether it’s, the creative, the images, a video or whatever is going on in social media. There’s writing ad copy. I think there’s the part that’s.

Oftentimes not considered which you alluded to earlier, which is your expertise Tom, which is if you want to do this appropriately or effectively Know who your customer is know where your customer is know your business. What’s your best -selling product? What are people most likely to purchase? What what is the most profitable? Product you can bring in understand your competition You know, what’s everybody else doing? Can I?

Tom Nixon (20:42.879)
Mm -hmm.

Curtis Hays (20:44.2)
make a space for myself instead of just doing everything that everybody else is doing. so I, and I, so I think, yeah, it’s almost like the client sometimes thinks that’s all just included. And it, you know, and it’s not, we have to account for those in the work that we’re doing. And in the beginning and initial setup, it could be kind of extensive, especially if we’re going to do a lot of that research. Now, once it’s running.

Chris Langille (20:58.446)
Mm -hmm.

Tom Nixon (20:59.391)
Right.

Curtis Hays (21:14.92)
your management fees plus your spend, but that initial setup, there’s time and effort. And again, your, we didn’t even talk about your domain expertise, which helps accelerate and improve what happens during that discovery. And that’s something the client needs to consider as well.

Chris Langille (21:19.374)
Mm -hmm.

Chris Langille (21:23.278)
Absolutely.

Chris Langille (21:34.702)
Yeah.

Tom Nixon (21:34.975)
Yeah, I think there’s a like a base level myth that needs to be dispelled that any of this is easy. Big budget, little budget, right? There’s so much work as we know that goes into having an effective campaign that generates results someplace down the road. And you mentioned all the like the the ramp up costs. Let’s just call them costs. Wrap up investments in brand and creative and all this stuff, knowing your customer, because it’s really it is really easy to throw five hundred dollars into a machine.

Curtis Hays (21:45.928)
Yeah.

Tom Nixon (22:04.991)
it wait for something to happen. That’s easy. Super easy. It never works, but it’s super easy. So, right.

Curtis Hays (22:08.684)
And the platforms automated for you. Like they’ve made it now dummy proof that you can build an ad very easily. Nothing may come out the other end, but it’s very easy to put money in the slot machine and pull the lever. Like Google would make that super easy.

Tom Nixon (22:21.407)
Exactly. It just like the. Just like the slot machine will automatically roll the wheels for you, right? You don’t have to turn him yourself, right? Everything happens for you. Just sit there and watch and then seven, seven lemon. I mean, you need to know. Here’s my advice to the people who want to just test it is you need to know that there’s a lot of expertise that goes into this. And I watch you guys do it and I just marvel at it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. So you mentioned optimizing campaigns. It’s not just a matter of letting the algorithm do the learning for you and figure it out. It’s like.

All the stuff goes into it. So how do you now maybe we go back to how do you have that conversation with the client that it’s all right. We were to the point now where they’re willing to advertise for two or $3 ,000 a month, which is a bare minimum, but we have to have the conversation about what’s going to go into the cost of building the campaigns, managing the campaigns, tracking leads, doing all the everything that goes into it. How do you have that conversation, Chris?

Curtis Hays (23:14.952)
And this is where Chris, you were alluding to, you have built a process for this in your industries, your verticals, the insurance agencies, so that your costs can be lower because you can replicate it very easily. So yeah, talk about that.

Chris Langille (23:21.806)
Mm -hmm.

Chris Langille (23:33.806)
Yeah, no, it’s been beneficial because we don’t have to recreate the wheel with each and every client, right? Like we don’t have to do, you know, we don’t have to start the research phase from ground zero, right? We’ve already done a lot of it. We have, you know, a long list of like negative keywords that we know are going to be put into each and every campaign. And so we don’t have to do a lot of that front end legwork.

like maybe a generalist agency would if they were taking on like a new vertical. So that definitely, that allows us to charge a lower maintenance fee. I mean, significantly lower than what a lot of marketing agencies charge. But for the client too, I mean, if they’re new and a lot of independent insurance agencies specifically are, they’re new at advertising to begin with, much less digital advertising. Like,

These are folks that have really survived on word of mouth referrals solely their entire existence, like real estate agents, loan officers, clients, family, what have you. Like that’s how they’ve built and sustained their business over the years. And they’re not used to spending $1 a month on, you know, marketing, much less, you know, two or 3000. And like what you just said a couple of minutes ago, I think Curtis is, is very true about like the casino analogy.

You know, I have a neighbor, a good friend of mine. he likes to gamble. He, he gambles. He has this like app on his phone and. You know, I’ll know when he had a bad weekend because I’ll see him the next Monday or Tuesday. And it’s like, he’s just quiet. And I’m like, you know, probably, probably lost a couple of bucks over the weekend. Right. but there’s that, there’s that mentality of, of someone who, who places bets.

that I think is very important, which is if you’re constantly afraid to lose, you’re never going to win. And I think that’s really sort of an abundance mentality that a lot of small business owners don’t have. They’re afraid to lose a thousand bucks a month. But the upside to that is, well, yeah, you spent, let’s say you spent $3 ,000, but…

Chris Langille (25:58.35)
your lifetime customer value for just one new customer might be $4 ,500. And if you’re getting referrals from that client, if you have a good backend process in your business where you can multiply the commission per customer, your lifetime value per customer is now even higher. So like the $3 ,000 you broke even on that.

with one new customer and you’re also in insurance, they get paid renewal commissions every year. So it’s not like an e -commerce, you know, where you’re selling like a bag of whey protein for $60 and it costs you $35 in ad spend to make that sale. There’s recurring revenue. So it allows the client to really recoup their costs a lot quicker than a lot of other industries.

Curtis Hays (26:50.632)
You bring up a great point, Chris, which you, you’re what you’re, what you’re basically saying is, here’s, here’s the advice I get out of it. If you want to do this, make sure you have the process on the backend to make the most of it. Talked about aligning sales and marketing a lot on this podcast. And what we’re basically saying is you, you go to make that investment into marketing. You’re going to put some money out there.

Chris Langille (27:05.166)
100%.

Tom Nixon (27:09.247)
All right.

Curtis Hays (27:17.16)
To maximize that, as leads come in, you wanna not only make sure that they close, but that they have a good experience once they close, that you retain them as clients. And if you have the opportunity like you do in your industry, you turn that new prospect into a referral source for you.

So that good experience that they just had with you now translates to that person going out and telling three or four friends or family members who then come in. And when you look at that big picture and you make sure that you have a process internally, it has nothing to do really with us. I mean, there’s a connection to it. We should understand that process and what that looks like, but that’s up to you, your salespeople, your customer service people to make sure that you make the most out of every dollar that’s spent, which is going to.

What every customer I think wants is if I go and give you a thousand dollars a month, what am I going to get out of it? And there’s a huge variable in that, which is, well, what are you going to do to make sure you get the most out of it? I’m going to try to load you with some leads, but then you’ve got to be able to close those leads and turn those leads into lifetime clients who then become referral sources for you.

Chris Langille (28:30.446)
Yeah, you have to have that machine. We call it the machine. That machine has to be there on the back end before you can take on, you know, new opportunities. And like going back to what I said a minute ago, like, you know, we have those conversations with, with prospects all the time. Like, you know, listen, John, like who, if someone were to call your agency right now, would they hit a phone tree or would a human pick up the phone? Because if we’re running mobile click to call ads and they’re hitting a phone tree, they’re not going to convert.

you know, do you have an automation on the back end of your web form that is sending out a text message when someone fills out your form on a Saturday morning and nobody’s in the office? you know, there’s a lot of components that need to be in place on the back end before you can spend a dollar on, on marketing and advertising. And you know, at the end of the day, you have to be a sales focused organization. And I think that’s another, you know, another area where a lot of businesses struggle, especially with insurance, right? Like the reality is,

in most states, it’s a law that you have to have insurance. Like people have to buy insurance. So like this, this, the sales process of selling insurance is not nearly, as aggressive as it is in other, in other industries. I mean, you know, I remember going through the mall as a kid and people would, you know, those little kiosks, right? Like there would be like a lady selling perfume or cologne and like she’s up in your face, like spraying the cologne and, and.

she doesn’t let you walk away until you buy a $30 bottle of cologne. And like that’s borderline harassment to some people, but it’s that sales, right? Like you, sometimes you have to be aggressive. You got to go out and get the business. and that’s a challenge in a lot of different industries where like people just have to come to you. and, and so you can kind of, some people have that mentality of like, I’m going to pick and choose like cherry pick the best prospects. And that’s not.

you know, that’s not always possible in other verticals, but you definitely have to have the machine and you have to have a sales mentality to really get the most out of any advertising, whether it’s, you know, online or offline.

Tom Nixon (30:41.119)
Yeah, that was going to be actually my final thought on this whole thing is that even if you’re doing digital marketing, it’s very likely that the sale is going to happen offline. So don’t just think of this again as that gumball machine where you put the coin in and out comes a gumball. You’re going to have to in your case, too, because you’re not representing Geico and Progressive and fill out a form online and get your instant quote. Right. So a lot of times these people need to talk to a person. Right. So if you don’t have that mechanism, I had a client confer.

Chris Langille (31:05.902)
Absolutely. All the time.

Tom Nixon (31:09.951)
confessed to me this week said, well, historically, we’ve never been good at following up on leads. And I’m thinking, but you’re hiring a Legion firm to give you more leads. What good is it going to do if you’re not going to follow the leads? Anyway,

Chris Langille (31:18.798)
Yep.

Curtis Hays (31:22.184)
Don’t you think you should fix that issue before you go and… Right. You’re gonna compound the issue, really, is what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna make it worse.

Chris Langille (31:25.358)
Yeah, well, it.

Tom Nixon (31:26.175)
Yeah.

Tom Nixon (31:30.751)
Well, now you’re spending money on it and you’re still seeing no results, right? So, yeah, I just wanted to make sure because we are getting low on time here. So Curtis, did you have a final thought or did you want to invite Chris to give us his final thoughts?

Curtis Hays (31:32.328)
Yes. Right.

Chris Langille (31:39.342)
Yeah, no worries.

Curtis Hays (31:45.)
I don’t have a final thought. No, I think this has been a great, great conversation so far. Chris, anything to put a bow in it?

Chris Langille (31:51.95)
Yeah, I would just say going back to the original topic, right? Advertising on a budget, you know, make sure you have the machine, make sure that your sales focused, you have your processes in place and you’re focused on the lowest hanging fruit possible. And yet it does help to work with a specialist who knows your vertical, your ecosystem, your industry inside and out so they can reduce the learning curve. They can speak your language and really they can, at the end of the day,

you know, give you a better experience, probably a lower cost as well. That’s definitely a big, a big part of having success. So yeah, it’s a great episode. I appreciate you guys having me on.

Curtis Hays (32:29.992)
Yeah. So what’s, what’s kind of on your mind recently, like lots of changing the digital space. AI is a big thing. Everybody’s asking about, there’s been a lot of changes with, with analytics recently GA four. We’ve got performance max campaigns and Google ads. I mean, you know, there’s constant change, but what’s on, what’s on your mind these days, Chris, or what what’s been on your clients minds that they’ve been asking you about?

Tom Nixon (32:30.623)
All right.

Chris Langille (32:40.334)
Yeah.

Chris Langille (32:45.71)
Crockies. Mm -hmm.

Chris Langille (32:57.006)
Yeah, we get a lot of questions about AI, you know, and naturally, right? It’s like such a big thing right now. And I’m, I’m surprised to see how fast it’s taken off. I mean, you know, Google it’s just, it’s integrated into everything. Now it seems like, but I think as much as things change, they stay the same, you know, in our industry specifically, like the word automation has been like a big buzzword for the last couple of years.

and you have all these new technologies, like at the end of the day, it’s funny, like the telephone is still the most important sales weapon, you know, revenue generating, like, especially in a relationship business, like insurance, like you’re going to need to get on the phone at some point. And that’s how policies are typically bound and relationships are forged. But AI definitely has been at the forefront of a lot of questions in our industry.

There’s been a lot of advancements with technology over the last several years, but in the grand scheme, 30 ,000 foot view of things, there’s still a lot of fragmentation. And so what I’ve been telling people is like, you know, let, let’s make sure that like the agency management systems can like connect to a CRM or a website first. Let’s cross that bridge before we get to, you know, AI. and there’s also two like,

people may have seen the AI overlays in Google search results that were telling people to put glue on pizza and telling pregnant women to smoke cigarettes. Like AI is not, it’s not a perfect thing. It might sound cool and it might work cool when you try it, but it’s by no means, is it in my opinion out of beta, you know, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, even the latest version of ChatGPT,

will sometimes give you weird results. And that’s considered to be the most advanced AI model in existence, at least at the time of this recording. So it’s interesting to see how it might play out, but I’ve been telling our clients kind of stay pat and kind of wait for it to develop, especially within the insurance, economy of insurance. So that’s definitely been like the hot topic though, the last couple of months, people just emailing out of the blue.

Chris Langille (35:18.414)
Hey, do you guys work with AI? And it’s like, they don’t even know how to ask like properly about it. And it’s like, AI, yeah, we, what is, would it be more specific? Like, what are you trying to accomplish here? You know, but people are just excited about it. And rightfully so, it’s exciting.

Tom Nixon (35:24.447)
Ha ha.

Curtis Hays (35:35.048)
Well, Chris, where can people learn more about you or Advisor Evolved?

Chris Langille (35:38.894)
Yeah. So advisor evolved .com. we also have a, what you would call sister brand, which is local traffic marketing .com. check out our, our websites. We actually just had our main website property relaunched, which I’m very happy with. It took a lot longer than expected, but, yeah, check us out online and you know, Facebook, Instagram. I haven’t dug too deep into the Tik TOK, universe yet, but my kids are my teenage kids are. Yeah. So,

Curtis Hays (36:08.456)
Yep, we’re gonna have to eventually. Yeah.

Chris Langille (36:08.91)
But I’m getting there, but we’re gonna have to, yeah.

Tom Nixon (36:13.983)
cool. Alright, well, we will link to all of that in the show notes, of course, not your TikTok. We won’t link to that just yet. We want to vet that a bit first, but thanks, Chris. It was like I said, great to have some familiar faces around here and I’ll tell you what I tell all of our listeners. Don’t be a stranger to bull horns and bullseyes. See you next time.

Chris Langille (36:18.83)
Hahaha.

Chris Langille (36:25.198)
Yeah, man.

 

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