This episode features guest Jeremy Gillespie. Jeremy is a direct response marketing expert and the CEO of Built To Scale – a San Francisco-based paid performance company that helps eCommerce businesses scale with Google, YouTube, and Facebook Ads
Are you currently running paid ads or thinking of running paid ads? Then, this episode is not to be missed.
Find out if your business is built to scale. How much traffic can you profitably drive to your business and how should you be doing it? Jeremy answers those questions and more as well as letting giving us predictions on the direction for eCommerce over the next five years.
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You can find more information regarding Jeremy and his agency by visiting https://builttoscale.co
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. And we are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic which is, is your business built to scale. This week's guest is a direct response marketing expert and the CEO of Build To Scale, a San Francisco based performance company that helps ecommerce businesses scale with Google, YouTube and Facebook ads. He is an entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience spending over $100 million running profitable campaigns for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We now welcome Jeremy Gillespie. Hi, Jeremy.
Jeremy Gillespie 1:29
Hi, Andy. Super excited to be here.
Andy Splichal 1:32
We're glad you could join us. Now before we dive into today's topic, which is your business built to scale? Let's first hear your backstory. And what led you to do what you were currently doing now?
Jeremy Gillespie 1:47
Absolutely. So you know, I've been doing digital marketing for I feel like I've been saying 10 years for much longer than 10 years, I think it's about 12 to 14 years now that I've been in the digital marketing space. And so kind of kicked off my career with Startups and helping them build out their growth teams. And for me, I always had a love and passion for paid advertising. I've dipped my toes in pretty much everything marketing related, but for me, paid advertising was just something that I really enjoyed and got a lot of joy out of so you know, flash forward, five or so many, six years. After helping a number of startups, I started to work for LinkedIn, and helping them build out their paid advertising strategy for Google ads. I had a lot of fun just at that time when I came in, they weren't they weren't spending on anything but LinkedIn ads. So that this was their opportunity to expand beyond their own ecosystem. So help them build that out. And then about four years ago, or so I decided I wanted to kind of take all these skills and things I've learned to to help a number of other businesses scale their companies. And so here I am, four years later with built to scale. And, you know, we work with a variety of companies, all shapes and sizes to help them scale with paid media.
Andy Splichal 3:24
Well, let's talk about your services. I took a quick look at your website looks like you're offering Google Ads management, Facebook, Instagram ads management, I guess my question is that a lot of listeners might have if they're just starting out, or we're thinking about getting into paid traffic generating paid traffic, what is the best channel, you believe to start with? Where do you advise clients that are coming in?
Jeremy Gillespie 3:50
Yes, great question. And, you know, I think it definitely depends on the client, kind of where they're where their, their ideal prospect is where they live, things like that. But, you know, for me, I always love to start with Google ads. And the main reason for that is the ability to target and spend, spend dollars based on the intent of, of the prospect. So you can target by their search queries, or, you know, sites that they visited. And it's so it allows you to really hone in on those high intent keywords, whereas, you know, Facebook's a great platform, but they don't always necessarily provide that level of intent that you can get on Google. So I definitely like to start with Google ads.
Andy Splichal 4:39
Now, another thing I saw interesting, even in the name of your website is Built To Scale. How can someone tell if their business is built to scale or maybe they shouldn't quit their day job?
Jeremy Gillespie 4:51
Yeah. Yeah, you know, I think there's it. It depends on if they're like an Ecommerce Business or a coaching and consulting business are kind of like the two buckets we work a ton with, I think the first piece I always like to look at is, is their brand or business able to provide the value that they say they can. So do they have product market fit? Do they have happy current customers? is kind of step number one. And then I also want to understand what is the lifetime value of a customer? Do you have repeat purchases? Are you able to either onboard customers successfully and get them to where they need to be? Where do you go if you're an e-commerce Store, what is your repurchase rate? Are people happy with the product or service that you provide? The reason that I start there is because at the very point where you figure out pay advertising, when you do want to start to scale, those cracks are definitely going to start to show. And so, you know, starting with that foundation and understanding, do I have a good product or service that delivers the value that it should? Is step number one for me.
Andy Splichal 6:10
Yeah, no, that's, that's a great a great point. Now, another big thing, at least with my clients, so we always struggle with it, and always struggle with trying to improve his conversion, because you can always bring the quality traffic, but if they're not converting, it's all for naught. Do you work with your clients to increase their conversion? And, and what are some ways that you do that?
Jeremy Gillespie 6:35
Absolutely. I think you know, right now, it is very important. But I think right now, at least from a paid ads standpoint, there's a lot of talk around creative and just the constant testing and iteration of creatives, and copy and things like that in the ads themselves. And well, you know, that is extremely important. The one of the biggest levers that you have, if you can take your website, converting from say, you know, one, or 2% to three or 4%, that's a massive impact on your business. And so I think, unknowingly a lot of businesses focus on the wrong piece and you ask great, great question here. Because conversion, really, is that high leverage piece that can really make or break your ability to scale your business. And so we help our clients at each stage of the funnel. And I even when I talked about how we build out paid ads for starting with Google, I like to start with the conversion and offer first, because, you know, if we can't craft a good offer that's going to convert that, you know, whatever percent, it needs to for the mass to really work, then nothing's going to work on paid paid advertising. So we help with landing page copy, we help with testing different types of landing pages. You know, there's other things that we do where, you know, maybe will provide pop ups on the site based on the traffic type that they're coming to, just to capture a lead further up the funnel if they're not ready to purchase. So we do a bunch of things that we're not, we're definitely not a, like a Website Design House, we are very, very focused on finding those bottlenecks in the funnel, and in curing those issues.
Andy Splichal 8:32
Now, right behind conversion, I believe is tracking. How do you ensure that you're properly tracking both for Google and Facebook and, and see a little bit of what you think of the importance of proper tracking?
Jeremy Gillespie 8:45
I mean, tracking is, is everything, it's everything, because it's going to provide you the roadmap to understand not only what campaigns or traffic channels are providing the best ROI but also progress providing the best long term customers with the highest lifetime value and things like that. So you know, tracking for you for at least the last you know, few years was fairly straightforward. You can use free tools like Google Analytics in a pen you UTMs on all of your links, so that you can have better tracking there. But there's definitely been a shake up here with iOS and apple. That's that's causing tracking to be a bigger headache than than it was and I think, you know, in it was almost too easy for for tracking and old school marketers, you know, when when we used to have to really set up tracking from you know, creating all different landing pages for everything that you do and really just testing in these silos. Um, to make sure we can get a good signal. Whereas the past few years it's been with pixels. It's been super, super easy to do. But now there's definitely some issues with, you know, once you click outside of Facebook, if you have opted out of tracking, basically advertisers are losing that ability to track people. So the ability to capture first party data, server side of data and use that is becoming a much, much bigger piece and the learning curve for that for some businesses is proven to be difficult.
Andy Splichal 10:37
So are you still using Google Analytics for your clients? Are you recommending something different?
Jeremy Gillespie 10:42
Yeah, so we definitely use Google Analytics across all clients. But you know, we are recommending various solutions based on kind of where they're at in their journey. So there's things like wicked report SegMetrics. Hiero is another popular one right now, that provides a deeper level of tracking across that customer lifecycle so that you can truly measure kind of where they came in from a first click standpoint, and map that journey across their lifetime into a paid customer and ideally, a longtime customer.
Andy Splichal 11:19
You know, and another thing I was cruising around your website earlier. And I saw you offered it was a storytellers package for I think it was around eight, eight grand. What type of clients is this service geared for? And do you have any success stories on your storytellers package?
Jeremy Gillespie 11:38
Yeah, and you know, for me, the storytellers package is really somebody who wants to feel build like, essentially a full funnel type approach where they want to really tell either their brand story across the entire funnel. And, you know, we have, we have a number of clients that use this package, because a lot of times people come to us with one or two creatives or videos that they've deemed successful. But when it comes to truly scaling your paid advertising from a video standpoint, you need to make sure from the unaware prospect through the solution aware and purchaser that you're able to tell our brand story, what is your unique mechanism of your product? How are people being successful with that? And so this is a package that basically brings that all together to say, from unknown through to purchase, we're going to make sure that you have creatives at each step of the funnel. And they're also formatted for, for the different platforms that you're going to be advertising on Facebook, or YouTube and things like that. And so we have a supplement company that we're working with, that we've done this for. And, you know, they're spending upwards of 50k a day on paid ads. And this is a very integral part to their success, because we're able to tweak and test all of these different creative pieces.
Andy Splichal 13:14
Are you able to share any results before or after? What they're seeing since they've implemented this?
Jeremy Gillespie 13:20
Yeah, I mean, you know, but Well, first and foremost, you know, they, this is a YouTube client and they before, before they've, they were never even, they weren't spending on Google or YouTube at all. So this was a company that, you know, by and large, is successful, you know, doing five to 10 million a year. But, you know, we're doing about a million dollars a month on average right now, just from the Google specific ads, and using all of these pieces throughout YouTube, and then putting that into display and nurturing them into customers. And for us, we only run, we only run Google and YouTube for them. But the spillover effect for this is massive. And so you know, they're adding about 12 million to 15 million a year to their bottom line. And that was done within a 90 day period.
Andy Splichal 14:18
Now, were they a startup? They came in already with that kind of sales volume. I'm just thinking, is this for the smaller? Just starting ecommerce stores is for a more established client?
Jeremy Gillespie 14:33
Yeah, great question. I would say you know, this is we have had startups in very small kind of, we're just getting going. brands come through and they have been successful. With that said, I think this is best suited for companies that know their personas. They understand that they have product market fit and they're ready to scale. And so put it beyond that startup phase where they already have proof of concept and are typically spending around, you know, 25 or more $1,000 a month.
Andy Splichal 15:12
Okay. And then I was I was looking around your website to and I saw you offered some lead generation services. Does that mean you're working with professional services as well as E ommerce clients?
Jeremy Gillespie 15:23
Yeah. So we, we, we work with professional services, and whether it's mortgage companies, insurance companies, things like that to provide, basically pay per lead services. And so we will sell them leads on a pay per lead basis, to help them scale their businesses. And so we'll build out our own funnels and drive and have our own ad account to reach drive those leads, and then we sell them to, to our partners, they're on the back end.
Andy Splichal 15:56
Interesting. So they don't have you're not even driving them to the website, you're making your own page with like an unbalanced or something like that. And then, and then sell it on the leads?
Jeremy Gillespie 16:07
Exactly. Yeah, our goal is basically we build assets for ourselves. And certainly, we want to provide them as much value as possible. But when it comes to some of these companies, I would say a lot of companies in this space, they already have a fair amount of ad spend. But they're not as nimble as I would like them to be on. How are you testing new pages? How are you testing new platforms and things like that. And so we take that in house so that we have more control? And then we can provide them a lead at a typically a better cost and are able to generate themselves.
Andy Splichal 16:46
Well, that's it, you know, I haven't heard of anybody doing that's very interesting. Do so let's say you're doing work for a roofer are using the roofers name or or, you know, they're like, I'm Sam's roofer, you get sent, you know, are you just using more of a generic kind of landing page?
Jeremy Gillespie 17:05
Yeah, typically, it's a little bit more generic. Sometimes we'll have dynamic copy on the page, so that it populates based on either their city or because? Well, we have and do work with some local providers, you know, we're looking to spend on a broader scale. And so if we're looking for, say, a roofer in San Francisco, we hit a ceiling pretty quick. So we would rather find national providers that can route those leads to the local providers as needed.
Andy Splichal 17:42
Okay. Okay. Interesting. Now, you said Build To Scale you the agency is about four years old set, right?
Jeremy Gillespie 17:50
Andy Splichal 17:51
Okay. What are some of the struggles that you've gone through trying to get your agency's name out there in the marketplace?
Jeremy Gillespie 18:02
Yeah, you know, I think getting our name out there, for me has always been based on results, I'm definitely not the loudest in the room, or, you know, posting a bunch of things on social media or anything like that. And so for me, it's always come down to two results. And so we really focus in work most of the time on referrals, as well as things like that. And so for us, it comes down to kind of managing our reputation by providing the best results is kind of our core ethos. Yeah, I don't think long term that's going to get us where we want to go. But for where we've gotten so far, and we've done fairly well is based on kind of managing it just providing exceptional results to our clients.
Andy Splichal 18:53
Great. I always like to ask this question of industry experts, but where do you see ecommerce going over the next few years?
Jeremy Gillespie 19:04
Yeah, that's the that's the billion or trillion dollar question. No, I think ecommerce is at a very interesting spot. It's had exceptional growth in the last 12 months. It's had enormous growth in the last kind of 24 months. And so it is really becoming that that household shopping experience that people are used to the majority of the population has already shifted over here. And so you know, the growth potential just continues to go up. And so where I see ecommerce going is I definitely see it going more more brand centric and brand based at the very beginning because it was a newer marketplace. There is a number of dropshippers and I'm of people that were selling a product that was decent. But essentially, they didn't have any brand behind it, it was just, you know, a widget that they were able to get in front of, of people and people would buy it. And, you know, I think as, as the market grows, the ability to really have a brand, that stands to something that has emotional appeal, that's going to make or break econ businesses here in the next next few years, because I think it's a very crowded space. And we need more than just, you know, doing media buying skills, you actually need a brand behind it.
Andy Splichal 20:42
You know, another one of my favorite questions, is, I'm an avid reader. But I always like to ask, are there a personally any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?
Jeremy Gillespie 20:57
You know, I feel like I get this question. A ton. And, you know, certainly, I feel like the broken record for years has been The 4-Hour Workweek, which, you know, was certainly impactful. But, you know, when, when I was starting, my agency, or I made that decision to make the jump. The book that I felt like was fairly monumental in that there's a book called, Relentless by, by Grover, Tim Grover, and he actually just came out with another book called Winning, which isn't, you know, the, they're not necessarily business books, he was the trainer for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. But, you know, for me, that was the mentality that helped me grow from a bi for a business owner.
Andy Splichal 21:51
As a business owner, solving problems is really key, it's really down to what we do in a nutshell, what are some of the problems do you solve for your clients? And how do you have your agency stand stand out from the competitors?
Jeremy Gillespie 22:08
Yeah, you know, problem, I feel like, as an agency owner, sometimes you feel a little bit more like a firefighter than an actual, you know, consultant or service provider, because there's, there's all kinds of, of problems that are popping up. And oftentimes, they're, they're unique to either the client or the platform, the situation they're in. And so, you know, for me, I think of problems in in a few different kind of buckets. There's like, the What's happening bucket, which is like a very straightforward, great, you know, what is the problem that we're facing here is, if it's up from a pain standpoint, do we have a conversion rate issue? Do we have like, what is the current issue? And I think, for a lot of agencies, I think they everyone does a pretty good job at providing like, what is the what is the issue, but where I think we typically excel, or the next few phases of these, these problem, which is, you know, where is this problem happening? Is it a specific channel? Is it a specific traffic sources that have specific, you know, persona, or creative that's causing this issue? And then identifying why and how we're going to solve this. I'm really big on the why and coming up with the actual, if it's a hypothesis, great, but let's get into the meat of why this is currently happening. I think a lot of people will start with those first two. And I think we excel that figuring out why things are happening. And then last one is how, like, how are we going to fix this and providing a solution that's not only sufficient, but done in a fairly quick manner. Because, you know, businesses that are spending $50,000 a day don't have they don't have a week or a month to fix a problem, they need that thing that fix quickly.
Andy Splichal 24:14
Now, what are some common mistakes you've seen, that companies make when when hiring an agency agency such as yours, such as mine, to run their paid marketing campaigns? Where to where do they go wrong?
Jeremy Gillespie 24:26
Um, you know, I think, I think, really understanding what are the agency's core strengths and making sure that those core strengths are aligned to where you're at or where you're going as a business. You know, I know a lot of agencies will or I'm sorry, a lot of companies will hire an agency based on you know, maybe it's a reputation but these are really big agencies that have don't call them Junior media buyers. But you know, they have people in seats that are able to push and pull buttons. But if they're a younger stage company that maybe needs more support on the strategy, and really figuring out how they're really going to tackle channels and grow their business, you know, that might not be the best fit, because they're, they might be a good tactician within the platform, but they don't, they might not have the strategic expertise that you need. And so I think really just figuring out, what do you actually need. And you know, everyone always wants to figure out the right price for their service. But I would certainly make sure that you're not going with sake, the cheapest service provider around, you typically get better quality, better results, faster results, with people who really know what they're doing. And typically, that those translating the price and so I think I've at least auditing and taking over a number of accounts, I've seen very poor management, because they've gone with, you know, people that are either very cheap, or cheaper than say, us.
Andy Splichal 26:17
So they tried to try to get a deal and it didn't work. Exactly. Well, you know, it's been great having you on the show, Jeremy. Before we go, how can an interested listener learn more about working with you?
Jeremy Gillespie 26:30
Yeah, you know, for, for me, certainly builttoscale.co is is where you can learn about, about our agency and, you know, I don't have any shiny object or anything like that. So if there's any questions people have, feel free to reach out to me jeremy at builttoscale.co happy to provide any value that I can to your listeners. I really just appreciate you having me.
Andy Splichal 26:55
Well, great. Well, that is it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding Jeremy or his agency, I will add those links below into the show notes. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business using Google My Business or SEO, check out this month's featured course. Not only can you purchase it for 49 bucks, but you'll also get two months free to Make Each Click Count University. The two month promotion is a limited time so don't delay. In the meantime, remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.