25 Dec 2020
Have we mentioned before that building meaningful relationships and creating valuable content is our top priority?
And we’re going to repeat it thousand times more.
Copywriting is the key to everything BizzBee Solutions does. Doing outreach through email and LinkedIn has allowed Dancho to be the “go-to” guy for that precise matter.
[00:00:01.290] – Intro – Welcome to the Wise Business Podcast, a show dedicated to making you a better entrepreneur through the latest digital marketing strategies, trends and advice.
[00:00:12.750] – Carmine – Hey, welcome to The Wise Business podcast. I’m your host, Carmine Mastropierro. And today I’m joined by Dancho Dimkov, outbound growth coach and serial entrepreneur. He’s the founder of BizzBee Solutions, a B2B LeadGen company that helps B2B companies fill their pipeline. So welcome to the show, Dancho and thanks for joining me.
[00:00:30.600] – Dancho – Hi, Carmine. Thank you very much for having me on this podcast. I’m so excited to be part of this show.
[00:00:36.450] – Carmine – Yeah, no problem. And just to start things off, how about you tell everybody listening about your background in business and how you got started?
[00:00:44.010] – Dancho – That’s really a long story. Let me try to shorten it out a bit. So, I mean, I was a full time employee as a software development company. And while I was doing that and I was struggling, talking and communicating with software developers, you know, they have a really different frequency of conversating. In my free time, I was actually doing as a freelancer. I mean, I don’t know if, you know, guru.com, freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour, UpWork. And those are like really good platforms that you can start off as a freelancer. I have a strong background in economics, like Master Degree in Entrepreneurship, Executive MBA on Sheffield University. So I really enjoyed working with entrepreneurs. And that’s how the story started. I actually started connecting with a lot of entrepreneurs, helping them building a business plan, identifying the viability of a business idea, and at one point there was a trade-off where I said, okay, I have a full-time job, I don’t really enjoy it. On the other hand, after work, I have a full-time job that I’m actually enjoying it. And I started getting more money from the freelancing than the full time. And it was a tough choice. I mean, just getting rid of a high paying job in the software development. But, on the other hand, doing a more exciting work. It was a tough call, but, yeah, I did. I said, okay, let’s move to the freelancing world and honestly, I don’t regret it. I mean, I started as a digital nomad. I involved my wife, at the time, fiancé. So we started travelling around Europe. So you can experience Germany and the Netherlands. We went to Switzerland, France, Italy. So living the dream, you know, I mean, every freelancer is like, you work a bit, you travel a bit, then you go work a bit and then you travel Europe, or the world in this context. But honestly, it was doing pretty well for like, I don’t know, six to nine months. And at one point I actually got sick for a bit somewhere in the middle of France or in Monte Carlo, I’m not sure. And nothing scary, but it made us realize that if I am sick or if my fiancé is sick, we cannot actually do any work. I mean, as a freelancer, you really need to keep on working. And at that point, we were also considering starting a family. So BizzBee was the only viable option on how we can grow our businesses from freelancers to full-time employees, while, on the other hand, be able to take a step back and, you know, just take care of the family. So it is an interesting story and I’m proud of it because I really enjoyed the freelancing world, the digital nomad and just, you know, going in Barcelona, looking at some fantastic stuff and then just doing some work a bit in the evening with some beer, of course. So it was a really exciting experience.
[00:03:44.770] – Carmine – Yeah, that’s awesome. What was the moment when you realized you want to switch full time from the job to doing freelance? Was it like a specific moment?
[00:03:52.420] – Dancho – Well, the specific momentum was where one morning I actually realized when I woke up, it’s like, I don’t want to go to work out. I mean, you know, you get up and you’re like, I’m exhausted. I don’t want to go to work. Although after work, I’m so excited to keep on five or six hours working with entrepreneurs. At that time, I mean, I have so many clients from Canada, from Australia, from the United States. And then we’re like, we’re introducing an artificial intelligence or something. Or they have some very fancy face recognition mobile app. So it was very exciting to work on. And on the other hand, when you need to go to work, you have bureaucracy, you have administration. And I mean, I still kept on working, but at some point I realized that one particular morning I said, okay, I need to quit my full-time job and I really need to focus on the freelancing. It took me some time. It was not like, I’m going to quit my job and then I’ll start looking for a job. I started building the momentum and at one point I saw that the freelancing is actually not just more exciting, but I saw the opportunity that we can actually grow in that area. And, you know, it takes guts because in Macedonia, where I’m from, it’s not easy to find a very high paying job. And you just say, no, I’m quitting and starting on my own. I mean, my parents are like, you’re probably crazy giving that kind of a job. Well, you know, if it’s not exciting and you want to spend your life doing what you want to do, it’s better to change early.
[00:05:29.800] – Carmine – For sure, yeah. And then how did you go from freelancing to starting BizzBee and actually like hiring, making it into like a real company?
[00:05:37.950] – Dancho – Well, it’s interesting because I didn’t had money, it was bootstrapped agency, I mean, I just bought an apartment, it’s not rent, but it’s a mortgage that I need to pay. And on the other hand, we started with just four interns. I mean, I took my credit card, bought a few computers, bought a printer because, you know, when you start a business, you need to have a printer. I don’t know why that was our thinking like five, six years ago. But you start a business, you rent an apartment, you buy a printer because that’s the only way you can print invoices.
[00:06:17.900] – Carmine – Yeah.
[00:06:18.630] – Dancho – And I mean, when we started with the interns, I had a very simple goal. I mean, I was driven from the digital nomad and I said, look, I don’t need a business that would be fully dependent on me. I actually need a business that can be completely independent. And with that vision, I’ve started with my company, but also with everybody that I hired, because when we started, you know, with four interns at the beginning, it was very interesting because the first thing I said to them, it was like, the moment when I don’t need you anymore, you’re hired. Because my goal is to have a company that will be self-sustainable. And I mean, I love the job that I do, but I really want to be able to just get away for three weeks, go to Dubai or go to Sri Lanka or different exotic location and just take it easy. Think about what we’re doing. And that really helped me because from the start, people were like how can we become self-sustainable so we won’t need Dancho. And that was a really good thing because some of the people didn’t made it. I mean, I had to let people go, but some of the people were really like proactive. Okay, Dancho, what else can we take from you? And I was like, thank God that there are people like “I can give you this, I can give you that”. And quickly, we made a culture where people become self-sustainable. I mean, at this point we have a sales team. We have a marketing team, that is bringing prospects. We have a sales team that is closing. We have project management managers that are actually doing the kick-offs, and we have a execution team that is actually doing the projects. I still want to be involved, but I can easily just take a step back and relax for a bit.
[00:08:02.430] – Carmine – That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s really important to build a team, use automation or anything like that, because I remember one time reading that if you can’t step away from your business and it runs itself, you pretty much created a job, right?
[00:08:14.020] – Dancho – Yeah, but it’s not a full-time job, it is a two folded job because if it is a job, you get up early in the morning and you get back at midnight, which I’ve seen that cycle of entrepreneurs that just say if I work more, I’ll grow more. But at the end of the day, yeah, it is automation, but it is also delegating. I know that we as an entrepreneurs, I know that I would do that better. I would know I would do that better. But at the end of the day, delegating part of your activities is the only way that you can move from an entrepreneur to a business owner in order to start managing things, rather than doing everything on your own.
[00:08:53.470] – Carmine – Yeah, that’s super important. And did you do anything and do you do anything currently for finding the right talent and kind of getting the right candidates?
[00:09:01.030] – Dancho – Well, at the beginning, I was very cautious on who we hire. After a while, no longer, honestly. I mean, what we started doing is like, okay, if there are several people, potential good as an employee, hire them all. I mean, on interviews, I realize people can be deceptive and they can like, you know, I’m very team building, open to communication. And in my head is like, yeah, you can spend a lot of time in planning with the right employee. But since I’m coming from a software development background and we come with the agile software development, instead of planning who is the ideal candidate, bring on board several, time will show who is actually a good candidate and who is actually not. And that’s really helped me because with the agile approach that we started doing, not just in HR but in development of the company, in handling clients, with daily meetings, with weekly meetings, it helps us being very flexible and adjustable to the market rather than I don’t care what’s going on. We have a 12-month business plan. That’s how we are going to grow. And that’s it. Okay, everything is fluid. I mean, you start working on something, you get some feedback from the clients, okay, if 10 or 20 required something else, you have an opportunity for a second service. So adjusting was the something that I realized that as a startup it is a key. If you’re a corporation, you cannot really switch that fast. But as a startup, actually, that’s the advantage. You see an opportunity and you think from tomorrow we are capturing this opportunity because you don’t need a board of directors and anyone telling you.
[00:10:44.620] – Carmine – Absolutely. I got to be kind of nimble and ready to change really fast. And what do you think about kind of being a niche agency versus kind of having a lot of services and why do you think one is better than the other?
[00:10:57.400] – Dancho – Always, one is always better. And I had this battle with myself for like five years. When we started BizzBee Solutions, we were jack of all trades. We offered market research, product validation, business plan, product sourcing, Lead Generation, email marketing, LinkedIn. We offered “rent a bee”, so you can actually rent a person. And yeah, we did like that for like more than three years. And then we realized that it’s not the right way to do it. And I think that every agency or software development company, they need to go over that. It’s not a value ladder, but it’s like a growth ladder, maturity ladder. When you’re starting like, okay, I’m just going to do everything that brings me money. So there is a drop here. There is a drop here, some money, some money from here. You do everything. Slowly, you think, okay, let me re-evaluate. You know, the Pareto law. 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the services. So, you think, well let me actually focus on the 20% of the services and then we removed all the services. It was really painful process. I mean as an entrepreneur, it’s like I don’t want to give up from the service. There is still some clients from time to time. But no, we had to do a surgical change, where we’re saying, look, we are good at B2B Outreach. We are good at B2B Lead Generation. So this is what we should focus on and remove everything else from our website. And once we did that, we even did a step further. It’s like, okay, but B2B is also big world. We really need to niche out who we want to reach out to. And that we didn’t really look at the market. We actually went back inside because we have like more than 350 clients so far. Just said, okay, who did we really enjoyed serving? Who did really got the best value from our service? So instead of looking at the market demand, we think, well, we had a manufacturer in China, we had a Taiwan company, we work with an Australian service provider. And we said, look, in B2B service providers, when it comes to business consultants, coaches, a marketing agency, software as a service, software developers, those are the companies that it’s not just that we enjoyed helping them. They got the best result that we can offer.
[00:13:19.520] – Carmine – Absolutely.
[00:13:20.920] – Dancho – That was a switching point for us, Carmine, because, you know, it’s interesting, when you specialize in one thing, you’re becoming the “go-to” guy for that service. And that changed our future. I mean, when I talked, I’m part of an association of management consultants. What kind of services are you offering? Well, we do market research, business plan, lead generation. Okay, what about you? Well, we also do market research, business planning. And now when we’re saying we do B2B Outreach for high-ticket service providers, even on events, even digital events, people like okay, we know now who are BizzBee Solutions. Interesting after six months, people are like, well, I need B2B, you know, I have a go-to guy for that particular thing, it’s Dancho from BizzBee Solutions. You should check them out. And, you know, we have an internal joke, like who gets better, a general doctor or a surgeon? Because the general doctor, you know, it’s a generalist and has a high volume, while on the other hand is brain surgeon, does one surgery a week and he still earns much more money because the knowledge that he has is far different than the general doctor.
[00:14:36.980] – Carmine – Absolutely. Yeah. It’s really important to niche down and just find that service. And even like the industry, like you said, they like working with. And I had that exact same experience where I used to do web design and all these different things. And then after a while I realized 80% of my work was copywriting. That’s what I enjoy the most. It’s what I help businesses with the most. So I just niched down to that and then it simplifies your services, who you’re targeting, everything. And then in terms of actually growing BizzBee, what have been some of the good strategies or channels? Well, it’s interesting because you mentioned copywriting and I’ve realized that copywriting is actually the key to everything that we do. I mean, we do Outreach through email and LinkedIn, but beyond understanding who is the laser target and some automation that we utilize, the messages are actually the key to get people like in their heart so they can start engaging. And I know, in 21st century, marketing agencies are really abusing the Outreach by just sending spam messages like “Hi would you like to buy?” “No, thank you very much.” “Hi, would you like to buy?” “No, thank you very much.” Well, on the other hand, a bit smarter approach would be to start building a relationship with your ideal target. And by relationship, I mean you need to be start being perceived as a credibility and total authority. So not just the messages that you’re sending that there shouldn’t be any sales, there should be more like a conversation starter. So we started with spamming. I mean, that was our learning curve probably, where like, “Hi, my name is Dancho. We offer this, would you like to buy?” And then we realized that B2B, especially when it is a more complex sell cycle and are more people involved, it doesn’t work like that. If I need a website, an expensive one, I wouldn’t just Google it – “I need a website.” I’ll just start looking in my network. Who do I know that is good at website? And even if he’s not the right person, he’s going to recommend me who should I go to. Because that’s the guy. And then have instant credibility to that guy because it was recommended. When we realized that we switched our strategy. Our outreach is not to generate leads. Our strategy is to actually build a relationship and authority so you can actually become the go-to guy in that area. And it’s funny, it’s really a different perspective. When we approach on email or LinkedIn, you know, when you reach someone as a cold prospect, people are like, okay, what do you want from me? Why do you contact me? Exactly. And but when you think, okay, I mean, you’re an agency, I’m sure you have problems. How is business? How is the Corona affecting you? And people are like, okay, this person are generally interested in conversation with me rather than just “Hi, would you like to connect? Hi, my name is Dancho, I want to tell you something.” And that was really refreshing because people got really engaged in the conversation. Like, okay, let’s jump on a call. I don’t need to sell you anything because, at the end of the day, relationship is key. And one less thing, I mean, Carmine, we’re usually doing the allegory of going out in a bar. So you meet a girl, you’re not like just “Hi would you marry me?” I mean, it’s more like “Hi, let’s chit-chat, start building a relationship. And if there is an opportunity to start deepening the relationship. It’s not like “Hi, would you like to marry me?” And of course, people will be with a high guard and just more defensive. I think, as we discussed earlier with the inbound is not actually approaching to girl, “hi, would you like to marry me?” But actually, the girl should be actually recognize your brand and you’re the go-to guy. So when they are interested, they should start approaching you.
[00:18:33.930] – Carmine – Absolutely. Yeah. And as well, when it comes to getting high-ticket clients, what do you think people can do by using outbound or LinkedIn? Is that like a good channel to get the high-ticket clients?
[00:18:45.920] – Dancho – Well, since we started specializing with B2B, high-ticket service providers, we’ve realized a few things. I mean, when it comes to ads, it doesn’t really work unless you’re moving them toward free asset, an ebook or something and then start moving them to the value ladder. And I haven’t seen a company that does like a flashy Facebook ads, with “Buy here” and it is like 50.000 euros, and you just, okay, it’s 50,000 euros and just swipe your card. I mean, that really works in the B2C world. When it comes to B2B, business to business, there are multiple people. The sales cycle is a bit more complex. There are people that they need to ask their boss and they need the boards to authorize the transaction. And it is not an easy one. And when it comes to BizzBee and B2B, we’ve tried Facebook ads. It didn’t work. We’ve tried LinkedIn ads. Really expensive. I was surprised how expensive are the LinkedIn ads. And we said, okay, if ad does not work, we have two ways. One is the inbound. So we should really start bringing high-ticket service providers towards us. Now, here it comes, the content creation, whether it’s on a blog or on a podcast or on a video or whatever, to start bringing your ideal clients towards you. And second, while waiting for the phone to ring, you need to start proactively reaching out to prospects. And when it comes to B2B, LinkedIn is the only viable platform out there. We’ve tried scraping database, like you can scrape a database of five thousand relevant leads, but within six months it becomes obsolete. I mean, people switch jobs, people get promoted, they are fired. So they are no longer in the same company. While on LinkedIn, people are really proud to say, okay, I got a new job, let me tell on LinkedIn now I’m currently in a different company. And we realized that for a B2B company, LinkedIn is really the best B2B platform. On the one end, it’s for proactively reaching out, connecting to people, but also from the other hand, is for content creation and copywriting. I mean, if you want to position yourself, you should start doing some posting. It’s not just like I’m going to reach five thousand people on LinkedIn and that’s it, because people will start looking you up. I mean, who is this Carmine? Let me go on LinkedIn, let me see his profile. Let me see what kind of posts or conversations he has. And if everything is empty, feels fake. Like something is wrong.
[00:21:19.140] – Carmine – Yeah, for sure. You need to build up your personal brand, publishing content. That’s a big mistake a lot of businesses make, even if they’re doing just purely outbound maybe, that they’re not producing any kind of content, not showing off their authority and credibility, and definitely something have to do.
[00:21:33.260] – Dancho – Yeah, Carmine, I think that outreach only is a curse. You’re really gambling because as much as we are outbound people, we really believe there should be some inbound to supplement the outbound balance. I mean, corporations don’t do a lot of just outbound or just inbound. They’re saying we need to all. And they really do because within inbound, if you have some social proof or case studies or testimonials or content that are industry-specific with the outbound, when you reach to that companies, it’s like, look, I feel you, I understand your problem. We actually have a similar plan that has exactly the problems like yourself. And this is the results that we’ve delivered to the client. And then you hit the jackpot. I mean, it’s really engaging because it’s not that you know how to solve a problem you’ve already did to someone similar to them. And outbound without inbound is nothing. I mean, it’s just a spammy world. And that’s why we also promote that relationship is king. But the relationship is not a one-way direction. You just, “Him give me this or give me that.” You start sharing copy, content. It’s like if you’re in the copywriting, you should start a post and thought-provoking thoughts that are positioning yourself smartly that, okay, I’m not just an execution guy. I actually have a mind of my own. And I can think clearly and I can actually help you. That’s the law.
[00:22:59.860] – Carmine – Absolutely. I need a balance, definitely. And I think a lot of businesses don’t do that. But if things start moving towards that, it will definitely kind of beat each other. And you also mentioned Covid and Corona. How is that actually affected your business?
[00:23:12.420] – Dancho – Well. I think it’s a duality. I mean, on the one hand, we lost a few clients that were geographically related because we had an English learning center in Ireland that they were bringing 500 employees in Ireland to learn English. And we also had another client from Norway that was physically participating in B2B events. And of course, when the Corona hit, those kind of projects were shut down. While on the other hand, we really got the boost on all the other B2B world. I mean, previously B2B companies were used that, you know, you’re going to go on a B2B event or on a conference, or on a matchmaking. And now with the Corona, everything was shut down and they were pushed toward digitalization. I know that this digitalization word is overused. It’s like companies needs to digitalize and everything. But it was going slowly and now with the Corona people were forced to figure out a way how to find leads online. Whether they could start building really quality websites. Because before that, you have a website. Well, I have something. Is it content wise? It is a website. I at least have a digital presence. And then they realize with the Corona, is that, first, they really need to have a digital presence, with SEO, with unique content. I don’t mean just like, “3 tips to grow your business”, but it’s more like based on your niche, how medical companies can actually benefit from using this kind of software, which is very specific and very unique. It’s not just a copy-paste. You really need to do a research. And on the other hand, with the digitalization, most of the companies come to us for help. It’s like we need leads fast. And of course, it’s not a pill that you can just swallow and immediately get the results. It is a process, but many of the companies not having any other alternatives were actually pushed to, okay, we’re going to do the SEO. But everybody know that SEO is mid-to-long term strategy. Is not a quick win that you just put a blog and tomorrow 50 leads will come in and like, yeah, we saw your blog. It’s really mid-to-long term strategy. While waiting for the blog to kick in, our services, which was email and LinkedIn outreach, was more faster and shorter. It’s like, okay, we need to start getting leads within 30 days. And we were like, okay, fast track, building the profile to be really friendly to their target, SEO, then creating a copywriting that is not pitchy, salesy or with a hidden agenda. But it’s more conversation starters, to get people engaging. And once people start engaging, we actually manually keep on the conversation. I really believe in automation, but at the top of the funnel. I mean, really just starting the conversation. And you can do some assumption on an industry or position level. I mean, if this is a funnel, on that top level, you can do some automation. You should start doing the nurturing and one on one communication, no assumption. Just start listening to the people and build the relationship rather than well, I’m assuming that since you’re a copywriter, you probably need this, this and this. I mean, it could work in marketing world, but when you’re communicating one on one, you shouldn’t have any assumptions.
[00:26:42.790] – Carmine – No, no, you can’t automate a relationship. Like you said, exactly, at the top of the funnel. But when you’re actually engaging with somebody has to be one on one and human. I think that’s missing a lot these days.
[00:26:52.240] – Dancho – Honestly, I mean, there are some bots that are existing Facebook bots or LinkedIn bots, but the technology is not there yet. I mean, when I’m working on LinkedIn and someone is chit-chatting with me.
[00:27:05.020] – Carmine – You can always tell.
[00:27:07.300] – Dancho – Yeah, you can feel it, but it’s not listening to you. It’s like, yeah, I had a bad day and it was hard at work and he’s like, okay, would you like me to tell you more about our services. Like, okay, am I talking to a wall or. I mean I assume that within three to five years, the bots will catch up with the artificial intelligence. But at this stage you really need to feel with your market. I mean, just chit-chatting in terms of “I’m sorry to hear that. That’s horrible to hear or I’m so excited”. I mean, if things are doing good, but trying to be a bit emotional because you’re at the end of the day B2B is still people to people. It’s not like you’re talking to corporation. I mean, we’re talking with a chief executive officer, chief marketing officer, with Fortune 500. And at the end of the day, we still have a normal bar conversation. It’s like, what’s up? How is life? That’s the only way you can actually start building the relationship.
[00:28:06.910] – Carmine – For sure. Yeah, I know. I’ve talked about this with the previous guest. That sometimes for some reason we lose our social skill. When we get into business, exactly like you’re talking about the bar analogy, you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you, but then that kind of people forget that. And then suddenly when they’re doing outbound or whatever it is, they’re just always asking and asking. And they’re not just having like an everyday conversation like, you would if you met somebody at a networking event or whatever it might be.
[00:28:32.590] – Dancho – Carmine, I’m really surprised why people behave differently offline versus online.
[00:28:37.570] – Carmine – Exactly.
[00:28:38.380] – Dancho – When you go, okay, let’s leave the bar. But even if you go on a B2B event, it’s like, “hi, how are you? What do you do? Let me tell you what I do!” And people because now in online, there is an automation started abusing that. Well, why should I do all that? Put the one million emails to reach out with a success rate of 0.00001. I’m still going to get a few clients without the effort. And we are saying, well, you’ve lost 99.9999 of your potential clients, because at the end of the day, we didn’t invent hot water. We just said why digital marketing agencies are not using the same tips that were invented centuries in the physical world.
[00:29:20.440] – Carmine – Absolutely.
[00:29:21.100] – Dancho – You know, you have a sales guy on physical events. He does everything right, feels to the people, engage with the conversation, really connects, builds a report and then pitch. The same guy goes to a digital world, puts an automation. “Hi, my name is Dancho. I want to show you this. I really want to sell you this and I want to sell you this”. And we’re saying, well, it is an email marketing. It’s not the email sales. Or it is a LinkedIn marketing. The goal of marketing is to bring them on a call where you can do the pitch. Email sales is like, hey, I want to tell you this, this, this and this. And it’s weird, the same person acting differently in digital and offline world. And that’s why I said, I find it very refreshing that we’re saying, well, you need to start building a relationship and everyone is like, yeah, we know that. But there is an automation that you can just send message one, message two, and message three. If they don’t respond, ask them to come on a call. And I’m like, just think for a second. If they ignored your message one, if they ignored your message two, they are definitely not coming on a call. I mean, coming on a call should be somewhere at the bottom of the funnel, rather than at the top, if they are not really engaging with your campaign.
[00:30:34.060] – Carmine – For sure. Yeah, yeah. And that’s a big mistake, I think a lot of entrepreneurs make and hopefully they start moving away from that with what we’re talking about. But also on that note, what are some mistakes you’ve made in your own business?
[00:30:47.100] – Dancho – We’ve done a lot of mistakes. I started as a freelancer and the first three years we had zero marketing, no content, no nothing. I mean, I did have a website, built by freelancer, but my biggest problem was that I wasn’t thinking about marketing or anything. You’re going on UpWork. I mean, I had a team of people that were going on UpWork. You know, you can put an RSS feed that is actually going to feed you with all the relevant job ads, or you can go on UpWork with different filters. And it was a simple process. I apply of 100, 200 job ads per month. From there, I had a pretty clear funnel. I mean, I have a 30% conversion rate. So from 300, 400 people will respond. From those, all of them I will take them on a call. From them, I had like 50 new clients that I can actually convert, and it was working pretty good. I mean, you have a funnel.
[00:31:44.590] – Carmine – Sure.
[00:31:45.120] – Dancho – And at some point we’re saying, you know what, on freelancing platform, you are fighting internationally, even with third world countries, you’re also competing against price. I mean, what is your copywriting service x value of dollars. He offered me 10% cheaper. I’m just going to continue with that. And here was the painful part, because after three years, we realized about the relationship building, about the authority and about the go-to guy. And we are three years behind, honestly, because now we are experiencing the value of building a relationship and now it’s much easier. We really think I would still see some jobs on UpWork and we’re like triple the price of your most expensive. And you’re like, wow, that’s expensive. We don’t fight on price anymore. If you really want the quality, we shouldn’t talk about the quality, but the value that you’re going to receive, because at the end of the day, I know many clients from personal experience, they’re like we found a cheaper alternative. And then after one month, you know what? That didn’t work out. Let’s try again with you. So what I realized that I should have started building the relationship from day one. Maybe I was too busy in the freelancing world, too many interviews, you know, and they’re like, why should I choose you instead of someone else? And that was usually a price war. It’s . But now I realize that building the authority and I really enjoy in the B2B Outreach and we really want to position ourselves as a as a go-to guy. I mean, we’re currently doing a video series of software automations for marketing and sales, and I’m actually interviewing five or six marketing automation tools and how they can actually help the outreach and that let us position on the market.
[00:33:38.370] – Carmine – For sure, yeah. Yeah. And also whit your pricing that also changes who you work with. Like if you have cheap rates then you’re going to get those people that are looking for cheap services and everything, but as soon as you up your rates, which can be a tough thing, right? A lot of freelancers and agencies, they can be a little bit scared of charging more, but I think it’s a really good thing. Because then you end up working with the bigger companies that have bigger budgets and they’re more professional. That’s been a big thing in my experience, too.
[00:34:04.440] – Dancho – Yeah, it is a very scary process. I mean, every time I increase my price, I’m like, okay, will it work, will it work. But what I’ve realized before that when we were in the freelance world, it’s like, okay, this is the price. If we have too many interested people, we’re increasing the price. Otherwise, we’re reducing the price. And I was really adjusting the price in real-time. But as we started growing, you start investing in marketing. It’s not just the cost. You don’t spend just one thousand dollars, you spend fifty hundred thousand of dollars in marketing and you’re saying, look, this is our pricing, this is our worth. And I know the particular target group, we can deliver triple or multiple, five multiplayer on the value. And when you start thinking about that, you’re really right. I mean, when you increase the price, you’re discouraging all the unserious people and you think, okay, let’s move to more serious people. I’m talking from personal experience because when I started as a management consultant, I was working with entrepreneurs. Very hard target to work with because they wake up, I have an idea. In three months, I’m going to be a billionaire. And you’re like, good luck with that, I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s not going to work like that. This is your first idea. And then we moved to SMEs, because when we worked with entrepreneurs, they just had an idea and have 50 to 60 different problems. Don’t know pricing, don’t know product, don’t know market, don’t know product market fit, not have a website, don’t have SEO, don’t have content. Too many things missing. When we started working with startups and SMEs, at least they have an accountant, they have a sales team, they have a product and their only concern is how to grow faster, and they have one particular problem that we can help and are more willing to pay, because that’s the one problem that they have. While, when we were working with entrepreneurs, it’s not one problem. It’s like I want to start a business, but I don’t know anything on how to do it. And that really helped me that, you know, when we raised our price, entrepreneurs started disappearing and then SMEs started showing up. But also, I think it’s also perception, the psychology behind the pricing. It’s not just to, you know, trick people into paying you more, but the commitment that they’re making when the prices are higher, they’re a bit more involved. When you’re selling a copywriting of 50 dollars, They’re like let’s give it a try. If it works, it works. If doesn’t, it doesn’t. And you’re putting your blood and sweat on that copy and they still don’t get it. When you put it into thousands of euros, it’s like, okay, we’re going to pay this guy, but we really going to give him every information that he needs, every feedback, any history or references or testimonial, because they really want things to succeed. So just by sorting out the pricing, now, I’ve seen some really bad experience where people are like pricing far below the value. I mean, even we’ve burned because we’ve hired agencies to work with and then we’ve realized, okay, they’ve probably saw a guru that says you should put 10 multiplier on your price and you’re going to work. And from our perspective, if it’s expensive, it’s probably worth it. Then you realize that, yeah, we’re not really valuing those.
[00:37:26.030] – Carmine – Yeah, exactly, like you deliver the ROI. I think value-based pricing is the way to go. Just charge based on exactly what you’re delivering and also the ROI, you can generate for them, for the client. That’s really important. And also outside of business, in terms of like actually learning it, like do you read a lot of books or anything, like are there any good resources you would recommend?
[00:37:46.340] – Dancho – Yeah, yeah, I mean, what I’ve learned is that continual, probably Kaizen, I think it was the continuous improvement from Japanese, but in software development, one of my master thesis was in software agile software development methodologies. Where they’re like, you don’t need huge jumps in improvement. You need small incremental improvements daily. And I really took that to my heart because if we say this is what we do and stick to it for a few years, it becomes obsolete. So continuous improvement, continuous reading, continuous webinars. I mean, for new people that are into the outbound world, I’m always recommending it. It’s not my book, it’s Aaron Ross. He’s the father of outbound outreach, which is Predictable Revenue. I don’t know if you heard about him.
[00:38:39.070] – Carmine – Yeah, I have definitely seen that book. He joins sales force, right?
[00:38:42.460] – Dancho – Yeah, he actually built sales force into like 100 million best practice for sales force.com.
[00:38:48.850] – Carmine – That’s amazing.
[00:38:50.980] – Dancho – No but for me, it was a game-changer because he said, look with inbound, of course, the more you have mid to long term, more and more and more clients will come in. But you cannot predict and you cannot measure. With the outreach, just as a simple example, you do 100, 100 emails on LinkedIn or call. And then you know that you get one interested and then you think, okay, so every hundred it’s one. So if I need ten, I should hire 5 SDR to do, I don’t know, 1000 to actually get the ten meetings that I want. The only problem there is always that Aaron Ross is really focused on corporations where companies can afford 20, 30 SDR people, you know, and they’re all picking their phones and just emailing and stuff. And as much as I liked it, I realize it’s not for the small businesses. Small businesses cannot afford 50 people in their SDR team, honestly. And here probably the automation kicks in at the top, because when we work with high-ticket service providers, especially consultants, marketing agencies, software development software as a service – SaaS, I mean, they usually have one, two, three people in their sales team, one to zero people in their marketing. And it’s not like they can do a really high skill outreach. And then here comes the automation that at least can help them at that high-level overview.
[00:40:15.490] – Carmine – Yeah, that’s a really good book, actually. Any other books on outbound?
[00:40:20.620] – Dancho – Well, the one beyond that, it’s Predictable Prospecting. It’s not from Aaron Ross, but it was done from the co-author of the previous book. But these two I mean, if I can personally recommend I really enjoyed The Five a.m. Club, because I’m trying to get up at five a.m. every morning and I realized that there are two or three hours that it’s calm. Everybody is sleeping. I have a three-year baby boy at home. So those three hours I can do work that I cannot do in eight hours.
[00:40:52.930] – Carmine – Yeah, no, I love waking up early too. I find it to get the most energy. When early mornings I get the most done. So I definitely recommend that for everyone listening as well. Try to wake up earlier, get more done in the day. How was the book?
[00:41:09.140] – Dancho – Yeah, there is a book, which is named Five a.m. Club, and it is sharing what you should do between five and six a.m. in brackets of 15 minutes in order to boost your knowledge, to learn, to read, to exercise and nurture your spirit. And it was very interesting because I don’t follow it up to the, but it gives me a very interesting perspective.
[00:41:35.300] – Carmine – Oh, yeah. Definitely a good foundation. I think another one was called “The Miracle Morning”. That was supposed to be another good one for waking up early and starting off your day really good, because I think how you start your day is also how you end your day.
[00:41:46.830] – Dancho – Yeah, yeah, indeed. I haven’t seen that one, so I should actually look it up.
[00:41:52.170] – Carmine – Yeah, look it up. No, apparently it’s like really good. A really famous book on starting your mornings off well. And if people want to get in touch with you, learn more about BizzBee. How should they do that?
[00:42:01.370] – Dancho – Well, if you would look on my back, we have the BizzBee Solutions logo. I mean, if you go to www.bizzbeesolutions.com, I mean, our website is quite refreshing. We are hard-working bees, it’s not that we are hiding our knowledge. If you go around Academy, we have all the knowledge laid out for you. I mean, I had a lot of meetings where like, yeah, but can we do it ourselves? And we’re like, you’re welcome. I mean, we have the ebooks on how to fine-tune your niche, how to actually build a database, how to create an outreach messaging, how to create LinkedIn campaign, email campaign, when people start responding, how to create and nurture. And each of them are separate ebooks with 40 to 50 pages. And we use that for free, because knowledge shouldn’t be expensive, people should be able to figure it out. What we’re trying to charge for the value is the insight and the experience from doing that. And as we learn new things, we’re going to build some new online courses. I’m writing a book at the moment, trying to mix all the ebooks into a book. But at the end of the day, we do every two week newsletter, which is not just, hi, we are the best and you should use our services. It’s like you put it, pretty good authority and thought leadership. We just want to give value, share value to our audience. And of course, many of them will start on their own and they will do some mistakes. Some of them will leave and figure it out, but others that don’t really have the time or they just want to keep it to the front line and like, okay, I just need all the insights, I can just move forward. Then we provide the value. So for anybody interested, I mean, BizzBee Solutions.com is the website. I mean, we have the academy, we have the blog, which is full of insight and knowledge. And from 1st of January, we are launching a video interviews, with B2B marketing and sales automation, where we interview people on how high-ticket service providers can use different automations in order to grow quicker. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s easy if you have five million dollars in funding and then you say, okay, I can have 20 SDRs and 30 BDRs. But as a bootstrap companies, we know all the pain that you need to grow.
[00:44:28.940] – Carmine – Definitely. And I love that. And I’ll make sure to put all the links of your website and everything. But that does wrap up today’s episode. So Dancho, thank you so much again for joining us. That was awesome.
[00:44:39.050] – Dancho – Yeah Carmine, it was really a pleasure for me joining on this podcast. I truly hope that all the entrepreneurs that are listening will find their way to really start a business, succeed, because as much as there are a lot of challenges, it is quite an exciting growth.
[00:44:56.120] – Carmine – A lot of fun.
[00:44:57.410] – Dancho – Yeah, exactly.
[00:44:58.550] – Carmine – Okay, talk soon.
[00:45:00.320] – Dancho – Thank you.
[00:45:03.670] – Outro – Thank you for listening to The Wise Business podcast. Share this episode with a friend and reach out to Carmine if you need copywriting services to grow your business.
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.