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Ep. 10 — Marcus Ohanesian, Founder of Perfect Evolution speaks about branding, empathy towards clients, his experience as an entrepreneur, and more.

Digital Agency Owners Podcast
Ep. 10 — Marcus Ohanesian, Founder of Perfect Evolution speaks about branding, empathy towards clients, his experience as an entrepreneur, and more.

On our latest episode of the GoWP Digital Agency Owners Podcast, we welcome Marcus Ohanesian, founder of Perfect Evolution. We talk about branding, showing empathy towards your clients, his experience as an entrepreneur, and much more.

Morayo: [00:00:00] Welcome everyone to the GoWP, digital agency owners podcast, where we talk some shop and life with our colleagues in the WordPress community to find out the truth of their talents and the tricks of their trade I’m Morayo Orija GoWPs, director of creative services.

Joanne: [00:00:19] And I’m Joanne Torres. I am GoWPs marketing manager. And before we get started, I would like to say a couple of words about GoWP in case anyone here isn’t fully familiar with us. At GoWP we create happiness for digital agencies and help them become more profitable. Whether it’s joining in our incredibly valuable weekly happiness calls, or if you’re just looking to grow your team with a developer, a copywriter designer, project manager, we got you covered.

So we also have services like case study services, blogging services, website, maintenance, content edits, or page builds that you can completely outsource to our team.

Morayo: [00:01:00] Joanne. Why don’t you tell the nice listeners where they can learn more about GoWP services.

Joanne: [00:01:05] Absolutely. They can go to gowp.com or any of our social media channels GoWP support on Twitter or, and GoWP everywhere else. So Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and yes, subscribe, follow like so you can get all of the updates on what’s going on with GoWP. Now Morayo let’s welcome our guests today.

Morayo: [00:01:28] Absolutely today.

We are talking to Marcus Ohanesian, and I don’t know, like, how do I describe this man? He’s an accomplished designer, agency owner, expert project manager, drummer, craft beer specialist. He’s nodding along. Yep. Yeah, that’s me. That’s me. Public speaker, prolific public speaker. The list just goes on and on and on.

And most importantly, today he’s our guests. So welcome Marcus.

Marcus: [00:01:55] Thank you so much. That was quite the intro. I did not pay you to say that either, so thank you .

Morayo: [00:02:00] Jay Leno wrote that for you. And he said, yeah, just take this and run

Marcus: [00:02:03] Yeah, Jay’s my buddy.

Joanne: [00:02:05] Welcome Marcus. It’s so good to have you here today and it’s yeah. Your experiences, it varied and fascinating, but right to start, I would really like to hone in on branding and marketing, especially specifically because I’m the marketing person here at GoWP. So this is, I’m a little bit biased on my interests.

So nearly 20 years ago you founded your agency Perfect Evolution, and you started providing branding designs and marketing strategies among other services for clients. So something that I see a lot in all industries, not only our specific niche industry is that people confuse branding and marketing. So why do you think people assume branding and marketing are one and the same?

Marcus: [00:03:57] Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s definitely an industry miss or an industry telltales. The difference there is you can’t market anything without a brand so the branding is the foundation. So, and I don’t say branding, meaning just like I have a cool logo design that I paid someone to do. Branding is a lot more than just the logo design.

There’s tons of branding quotes out there. If you Google it, you know, even Jeff basal said something like branding is what people I’m paraphrasing obviously. But branding is what people say about you when you leave the room or about your company or about your business, something along those lines, you can Google it.

But so yes, branding is everything. It’s the all encompassing package of the experience. So it’s the communication and the storytelling of your company, your business and your overall brand. So yes, your logo is one implementation of that, right? That’s the visual representation of your brand. And you might have a mark, like the Nike symbol.

You know, and then the text associates associated with it, but that’s just the visual representation. So I work in the craft beer space. So when we talk about brand in the craft beer marketing world, It’s not just the logo, but it’s the merchandise. It’s the candle label designs around the actual cans, but it’s also the customer experience.

So it’s how are the employees and the taproom employees talking to the customers? Are they being casual and warm and inviting and friendly? Or are they, Hey, we’re super busy and stressful. Just come, let me take your order. And it’s a very cold experience, right? And that all contributes to the brand. What type of music is playing in the taproom?

Right. Whether it’s live music or over the stereo, if they’re streaming certain songs, like what type of vibe is being created that all contributes to the brand. So in this digital agency owners space, a lot of value that we can deliver as agency owners is really questioning in a positioning, our client’s brands.

So a lot of clients don’t understand branding, nevermind the difference between branding and marketing. So it’s sort of our educational exercise, educate our clients there.

Joanne: [00:04:55] Yeah, that’s super interesting. Because for some entrepreneurs or some agencies, they just get by, by doing a lot of the work themselves, which is awesome. And many digital agencies are bootstrapped. So how can focusing on branding help an agency grow?

Marcus: [00:05:13] Yeah, that’s super important and you’re right. It’s, it’s often overlooked, right? It’s like people just get the logo design and call it a day. I guess one recommendation would be start small and lean and simple and just streamline it. Don’t try to over do it and over commit yourself to trying to get a huge branding package of some sort.

If you knew that you’re doing pitch decks and presentations, you know, make sure your logo translates well to a pitch template or making sure that your designer can provide you with a template of a master slide with the detailed slides and the closing slide look like or stuff like that. That’s obviously just want to implementation.

We’re talking website, we’re talking social media, even down to like email signatures, you know, how does your logo translated to one inch by one inch square, for example.

Joanne: [00:05:54] Yeah. Like even the favorite icon on, on Google Chrome it’s or on your browser. Yeah. Those are very valuable and actionable inserts. Thank you very much for sharing that right at the top of the show.

Marcus: [00:06:07] Yeah, for sure. I think another important piece of that is like, you know, not just like, okay, we need different versions of our logo, horizontal, vertical square, or whatever it may be, but there’s a lot of messaging and tone that is overlooked. So besides having a logo design, it’s more of a, and this kind of ties into website content.

For example, if you’re doing a full build for a website you’re kind of fine tuning and tweaking the language that’s being used to create this proper tone, right? So is your brand a little bit more sleek and professional and more shiny quote unquote? Or is it a little bit more soft and warm and approachable, you know, and obviously there’s different words that tie into each one of those categories right?

So website content is part of your branding as well, even though it’s based more around the text and the images and things like that. But overall that’s part of the experience as the potential customer there or website users, you know, viewing their content in scanning and reading the types of imagery that’s all going to perform a certain type of emotion, a connection and emotional connection.

And it’s going to communicate a certain vibe and tone to the brand and the website that you’re on. So all that’s, it’s an all-inclusive term under brand.

Morayo: [00:07:17] I have to say Marcus, just listening to you. It’s like a masterclass. I feel like this is like, but we’re

Joanne: [00:07:23] Like we’re in a webinar.

Morayo: [00:07:24] Yeah, it really is. We’re not even 10 minutes. And then this conversation and it’s like, oh my gosh, like, this is like, this is some quality high level stuff we’re talking here.

Marcus: [00:07:32] Much. I appreciate that.

Morayo: [00:07:33] And on this topic of branding, you know, many people who know, you know, that you are a man who is serious, you’re serious about branding.

You are, you’re serious about that, but you’re also serious about sandwiches.

Marcus: [00:07:45] Also very, yes.

Morayo: [00:07:47] You actually brand yourself as a sandwich enthusiast. Oops.

Marcus: [00:07:51] Yeah, I’m glad you said branding myself. Like it’s self proclaims, self, self appointed sandwiches gives you there’s no validity or merit behind any of that, except for me.

Morayo: [00:08:02] He thrown himself.

Marcus: [00:08:04] Exactly.

Morayo: [00:08:05] But it’s, I think it’s a great moniker. And so we all know that to have a good sandwich, one should use quality ingredients that helps even if it’s called quality ingredients, but when it comes to branding and business, what, I’m sure there are, must haves quality quality components.

So what one must have ingredients does an agency need for a quality branding strategy, would you say.

Marcus: [00:08:33] A very question. I wasn’t sure if you were going to ask me something about sandwiches or if it was going to be branding or a mix,

Morayo: [00:08:38] Oh, the sandwich it’s coming. It’s coming or you can, you can mix it. You can mix it. Professor, mix it up.

Joanne: [00:08:43] Yeah, you can use analogies or metaphors. I know there are a lot of metaphors and analogies about sandwiches in like content marketing and branding. So you can go that route, you know, we’re fluid, we’re open. good.

Marcus: [00:08:58] Yeah, I need some more time on that. We’ll have to do a part two and I’ll come back with some awesome analogies or something sandwiches, you know? But the, the top ingredient I’d say for an agency is a humanistic approach. I guess we can kind of dwindle it down to. I was trying to think. Term or phrase to use, but you know, at the end of the day, we’re all humans and we’re all have other interests other than our jobs here.

And I’m going to get kind of fluffy in the clouds talk here for a second, but you know, like we all have businesses. We all care about the bottom line. We’re all trying to make money. I obviously have a great work-life balance, but you know, even just with us three of the call before we started recording, we were just shooting shit.

I hope I can swear on this podcast.

Morayo: [00:09:36] My mom is listening, but it’s fine. It’s good. It’s all good.

Marcus: [00:09:38] Sorry Morayo’s mom. But yeah, we were just hanging out and talking and getting to know each other more than we already do every week on the, on the happy hour calls. But at the end of the day, like I want to actually get to know everyone that I’m talking with, even if it’s through email,

I like to know if they also like sandwiches and also like craft beer and things like that. So I think approaching your clients get to know them a little bit better, you know, and the most non-creepy way you can, you know, be keeping it professional obviously. But you know, there’s lots of things that you can do to break the ice, basically, you know, especially on client calls.

I actually just yesterday I had like a project retrospective with one of my clients. And it wasn’t going so well with a previous team member that was on the project. So we kind of had to talk a little bit about them and we use the, the sandwich method, the good, bad, good right. Kind of stack or good needs improvement.

Good. So you ended on a good note. And, that was a tough conversation to have with them as it was for them. And we both kind of acknowledged that, but we also kind of started talking about music at the beginning of the call and kind of had some personal things going on, you know, even just how was your weekend?

And that led into other types of conversations. So I think just trying to stay zoomed out of getting in the minutia of the day-to-day of like, okay, there’s an agenda, there’s a task that I have to do. There’s a thing that I have to do and I want to get it done. But talk to the other people and get to know them a little bit more because it’d be able to provide more value in the long-term because you know what interests them.

And you’re sort of reverse engineering. What you can bring to the table more than just your services of logo, design, website, design development, all the straightforward, things like that.

Morayo: [00:11:08] I love that. Connecting to what makes us all human and, and zoning in on what maybe is unique about the individual you’re speaking to, like, if they’re a sandwich enthusiast, what’s your favorite sandwich?

Marcus: [00:11:20] Oh, that’s I get that question a lot. And really when I say a lot, I mean, just like people that were in the GoWP group. I think it was Beth and she asked me that maybe like a couple of months back. And it’s such a tough question because I love all different types of sandwiches.

Live they’re meat, filled sandwiches, like a classic Italian with some hots on it and olive oil, you know, on a, on a good bread. Like that’s a classic go-to, but I also like a good Turkey bacon avocado. But then I’ve started eating some, like non-meat just vegetarian sandwiches, not even just like plain veggies, but you know, even like a solid grilled cheese throw some onions, sauteed caramelized onions in there.

And nice mushy, like winter sandwich, dip it in some tomato soup, maybe, you know? Yeah.

Joanne: [00:12:01] That’s where you’re leaning into, like right now that it’s more like the winter veggies, hot

Marcus: [00:12:06] Yeah. Yeah, winter I’m into like the paninis, basically like to get a hot sandwich, you know, throw a bunch of stuff, get a nice spread or some veggies in there. Not too much, but then you compete, you press it, smush it down and you get this nice warm sandwich, you know?

Morayo: [00:12:20] Warm pocket of goodness. Yeah. I’m like sipping a smoothie with TSC. That’s all I’ve had today. I think I’m having a sandwich for lunch.

Marcus: [00:12:27] Treat yourself. You’re welcome.

Morayo: [00:12:31] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We do ask you this question. I feel like every time we see you be like, so what’s your favorite sandwich? I don’t know if we’re trying to trip you up or just trying to see where you, where your pallet is that week, but believe it or not along the lines of quality sandwiches and quality branding strategies. I hear you speak often about value-driven relationships with clients. And I think for the listeners, again, if I can drive this metaphor or example is the term into the ground, going back to ingredients.

 What makes an item really good and it’s quality ingredients. So what one ingredient do you think every agency should bring to their practices or their operations to achieve truly quality value-driven relationships with clients. You talked about it a little bit, but what else would you add to that?

Marcus: [00:13:18] I would add in and know that this is a buzzword now. It’s coming up a lot more, but I would say empathy towards your clients. It’s obviously important in your personal life, right? With your relationships and family and partner and whoever, but more importantly with clients again caring about what’s going on in their world because you’re hopping on client calls or you’re sending things to them in your project management tool for feedback and whatever it is.

And you don’t know what’s going on in your client’s world on that specific day. So a lot of the times where there’s issues and projects, some of that has nothing to do with the actual project or you as a project manager, for example, some of it is just the client’s having a bad day and you have no idea, but if you don’t ask the question.

How are you, what’s going on? Like, oh, cool. You know, and kind of just vibe off of that initial conversation. And I’m not saying, you know, take up the whole meeting, but spend the first couple of minutes of the meeting. You know, in the middle, they may actually, you’d be surprised at how many clients are looking to talk to someone about that stuff.

Maybe they don’t have someone to talk to about things, and I’m not saying, you know, be their therapist at the same time. It really shows that you care about your clients as an actual partnership. Not just, Hey, I’m providing you a service or solution. You’re paying me money. It’s a transactional relationship.

This is the value driven. And I say that from a personal side, right? Like empathy is a very personal conversation and things. But you can apply that to your business and their business and the whole business relationship side of it. Which kind of leads into the whole proactive project management side of things to kind of always be looking out for their best interests.

Like, like you’re working for them as part of their team and they’re paying your salary basically.

Morayo: [00:14:56] And what a way to stand out from the crowd just by empathy and being human and listening to the client as a person. As you try to zero in on how you can be helpful to them. It’s amazing that something so simple can really be a shining characteristic for sure.

Marcus: [00:15:13] Right. And you’d be surprised at how many agency owners or other people that I’ve talked to that are in this world are very transactional and they don’t have those types of conversations. But you know, it’s, it’s good for you as a person and as a business owner to understand your clients more. But also on a little bit of that personal level to get to know them, That’s building trust, just like by completing a successful project for them. That’s also building the trust. And it’s going to be, they’re never going to second guess the bill that they’re going to get from you, they’re never going to second guess while you’re doing certain things.

So yes, you can provide great content and all these things and provide, put yourself as an industry leader, right. And position yourself in that way. But you can also position yourself as a trusted source and a trusted you know, solution provider, I guess you can kind of call it, you know? And it’s a different way because every other agency doesn’t do that, you know? So it’s nice to stand out, like you said.

Morayo: [00:16:05] So this is off script, I’m going off script, but I just wanted to throw this in because there was nowhere to work it in today, but it’s a, it’s a quote of yours actually that I heard you say, and I loved it. And it’s, it goes along the lines of building trust, consistency. Consistency, builds trust.

And I think Yeah. if you can consistently show up for your client as a human being empathetic, that that just endears them endears you to them.

Marcus: [00:16:30] Absolutely. Wow. I’m being quoted in my own podcast episode

Morayo: [00:16:33] Professor, you are, you are.

Joanne: [00:16:36] And there’s also a very big component, which is. Proactivity of it, because if you’re not actively listening, if you’re not proactively looking for those cues, and of course we’re all in this new arena, well, different arena, which is remote we’re really, we have really gone away from gathering like body language cues to just like, have to really proactively Do that self-reflection and look for those cues and, you know, hear remotely which takes me to, you did a webinar a couple of months ago on proactive project management.

So, and you also have an upcoming. Course by the same name, proactive project management, where you’ll teach participants on how to increase their revenue by increasing value in their relationships. So what other topics will you explore during this course? In addition to this, you know, value driven relationships.

Marcus: [00:17:34] Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great question. So besides the proactive mindset, we’ll call it or the proactive approach you know, at the beginning of the course, we’ll talk a little bit about the core fundamentals that you should already have in place, almost like prerequisites, to be able to, to understand this.

So. There, you know, it’s not a hard prerequisite, but you should already understand the core basics of digital project management. So, you know, typical things like budget, managing budget timeline all the things that go around timeline scopes SRWs deliverables, things like that every digital project manager has in their tool belt to understand.

It’s not necessarily a training course to understand the one-on-ones of project management. It’s more of the side road off of the main road, if you want to think of it that way.

Joanne: [00:18:21] A 201 if you will.

Marcus: [00:18:22] A 2 0 1. Sure. I liked that. And I was talking to Beth Livingston, who has her own WP roadmaps course who’s in our group.

And we had a little sink early this weekend. And I was saying, you know, we’re kind of working together and coinciding together. It’s not a competition thing because I’m not teaching the same things that she’s doing. So it’s like if her students can graduate up to mine, it’s a different philosophy.

It’s a different approach in thinking and mindset. But you’ve got to have the core fundamentals to know how to effectively manage a project. So at the beginning, and we’ll touch upon that and I’ll kind of summarize and just make sure everyone’s kind of aligned on the same page, but then we’ll really dive into the meat and potatoes are the golden nuggets.

If you will, of things that you could do to nurture your client relationships, to you know, start thinking long-term in the short-term world that we’re in and sort of like zooming out of the day to day and really increasing the revenue, but instead of selling you’re sort of just providing that value upfront.

And that does the work for you? I think I’ve mentioned this on maybe even the last webinar I did was Nick Goolik’s sell by helping or helped by selling one of those.

Joanne: [00:19:24] Helping.

Marcus: [00:19:25] So by helping. Yeah, he’s great. I took his course and I love his approach because it’s very similarly aligned to what I’m doing, where you’re not pitching, you know, it’s essentially sales because at the end of the day, you’re trying to get more money out of a client, but you don’t approach it in that way.

You’re coming to the table proactively with ideas that are going to help their business, that’s going to build trust. And ultimately you’re going to end up doing the work that you’ve pitched and they’re going to say, oh great. I didn’t even know that. UI UX audit or an SEO audit or, or these types of audits could could have all these errors and things and what, what client’s going to say no, to just having errors on their website.

You know, of course you want to get it fixed. So you’re going to get paid to do the work, but you’re approaching it in a, Hey we’re on your side, we’re partners with you I know that this meeting wasn’t really a, it wasn’t on the agenda, but we did actually did spent 15 to 30 minutes doing an audit and now we have potentially 10 plus hours of, of tasks and tickets that we can get into the queue.

So it’s a little bit of a different approach. Thinking of the backlog. So website full builds happen, right? You design a site, develop it. You go through QA, you finally launch the site. What happens after a launch? That’s kind of where my course comes in. But initially there’ll be some like light conversations that happen at the beginning of the relationship.

And then once we get closer towards the launch of the full builds for this example that’s when we really dive into, okay, now we’re going to start getting you on a maintenance retainer, a monthly retainer, you know and have GoWP take care of the services. And then we’re going to feed all these tasks over to GoWP because we did these audits and we did these you know, we have these third-party integrations that we can do to increase conversions.

Basically a bunch of ideas that we’ll throw it on the table. But obviously you get through the scope first and as a project manager, you should know those core fundamentals of managing the budget, staying on the timeline client communication, how to run effective meetings, all those things that tie into product management.

Joanne: [00:21:21] Awesome. That all sounds really, really valuable. And where can people sign up to this upcoming course?

Marcus: [00:21:28] Yeah, absolutely. So we’re, we’re finalizing the course. I don’t want to put a date on it yet, but you can stay informed and get notified at proactivepmcourse.com proactive PM course. I’m sure there’ll be in the show notes, but you can sign up there that has a little bit more information about what the objective is of the course.

And you’ll be notified when we launched the course there. I think we’re going to start off at a smaller price or do maybe like a workshop slash teaser type of thing. We’re sort of playing around with how we’re going to roll it out. But the best way is to just sign up there and we’ll let you know

Joanne: [00:21:59] Okay. Yeah. You heard it first here. Sign up to get all of the updates at you. Repeat it again.

Marcus: [00:22:06] Proactive PM course.

Joanne: [00:22:09] Fantastic. Thank you so much, Marcus. That’s so very, very valuable. And I can tell that you have, obviously with over 20 years of experience and entrepreneurship and project management of all that, of what you’ve learned throughout your experience, like what is something that you wish a veteran entrepreneur would have taught you when you were starting out?

Marcus: [00:22:30] Hmm. It’s a really great question. Sometimes you don’t realize any of those things until after, so, you know, like reflecting back on the past couple years something I guess staying flexible. I’m a culprit of this too, but you know, we get caught up in process. A lot of, you know, we get everything written down in a Google doc or we put some structure in place basically.

Right. And this is the process and it’s so rigid. And it’s great to have that template in that framework. To start on, but you can launch off of that and stay flexible. And there’s so many times that I can think of in the past five, 10 plus years where I thought I was doing one thing, but by having conversations with those types of clients or other agencies that are doing that, I ended up.

Going off a side road and doing something else and that becomes successful. And I would never plan for that. So not shooting down ideas and being open to exploring whether it’s new streams of revenue new services you can offer or just different approaches and more philosophy and mindsets to be in.

You know, stay open to that because what you think is probably the best may not be the best until you actually do it. And you may discover something else off of that and being vague in general because it applies to literally everyone’s job, right? Everyone has a process and a template and things that they think is the way to do it, but there’s always another way.

And that other way could potentially be better or save you more time, save, saving money and save the client money. So there’s many other benefits to keeping an open mind while you’re iterating and staying flexible.

Joanne: [00:23:59] Yeah, absolutely. That’s yeah. That’s so, so valuable. And so, so fascinating. And, and the ability to also have that self-reflection and look back and think, oh, It’s interesting how I, maybe I wouldn’t have listened at that point and I would now, so it’s always so interesting to hear where all different entrepreneurs and digital agency owners are in terms of

you know, it’s like experience. So we’re going to flip. Speaking about going on different roads and off, off scripts and off frameworks, et cetera. We’re going to take a hard, hard, right or hard left, or you turn whatever you want to call it. Morayo.

Morayo: [00:24:48] Yeah. This is something that we played around with one episode, but we had so much fun with it that we were just sort of continuing it. And for listeners. are hearing our voices. Marcus was not given this next segment of questions because it’s a lightning round. We want him to be raw and off the cuff.

So you are a drummer, you’re an avid drummer and I believe you’ve played in bands and festivals professionally. Like that’s awesome. I think you’re our first drummer. As far as I know so this round is all about drummers. There, the only rule is you just answer spontaneously. And are you ready for this lightning round Marcus?

Marcus: [00:25:26] I’m ready like any other day, me your best shot?

Morayo: [00:25:28] Well, keeping in mind, you’re more ready about this topic then either Joanne or I so

Joanne: [00:25:33] I have my books.

Morayo: [00:25:37] All right. Lightning round drummers, John Bonham, or Keith Moon

Marcus: [00:25:43] John Bonham

Morayo: [00:25:44] Questlove or Dave Grohl.

Marcus: [00:25:47] Dave Grohl, when I was younger Questlove now.

Morayo: [00:25:50] Huh? Okay. Evolution.

Marcus: [00:25:51] I gave you. Yeah, exactly. I gave you two answers. I don’t know if that was part of the rules,

Joanne: [00:25:55] That’s fantastic. No, no, I, I, that really, I resonate with that.

Morayo: [00:25:59] Yeah, that’s totally fine. In fact, it’s so fine. We’re going to ask you, we’re going to use Dave again. Dave Grohl or Tommy Lee,

Marcus: [00:26:05] Oh, Dave Grohl. Hands down

Morayo: [00:26:08] Hands down. Dave Grohl. Dave for the win. All about the Dave. Max Roach or Buddy Rich.

Marcus: [00:26:17] Buddy Rich

Morayo: [00:26:18] I had to research that when I wasn’t. Okay.

Marcus: [00:26:20] I I’ll say right now, I’m very impressed with these questions and the selection of drummers that you’ve chose. So hats off to both of you for this

Morayo: [00:26:27] Well, professor, you know, we try to try to stay as astute as you professor

Marcus: [00:26:32] You’ve passed the class.

Morayo: [00:26:34] And final question or final lightning round question, high school, marching band, or US Army Fife and drum Corps.

Marcus: [00:26:45] High school marching band. Cause I was in one. So I have more experience with that.

Morayo: [00:26:48] You know, and They they jam. I mean, I they, they break it down,

Joanne: [00:26:53] Hey, drum line.

Marcus: [00:26:54] Yeah.

Joanne: [00:26:55] That movie. Yeah.

Morayo: [00:26:59] Thank you. You did great in the lightning round.

Marcus: [00:27:02] Thanks. I love it.

Joanne: [00:27:05] Back to get on track after taking that hard left. Let’s talk about rehoming clients also known as inspiring clients. This comes from last year because you post a question on our digital agency owners community about a potentially sensitive topic for agency owners, which is you know, firing clients and put it in the most Frank way.

We like to call it rehoming from clients, especially because I cannot take credit for that. That’s Chris Lema mostly because in our community, You know, it’s easier to just give a referral than just stay in a bad relationship. So the consensus in the comment section was that once it’s done the agency owner feels and appreciates the weight being removed from their shoulders.

So in your opinion, is there a right way to rehome or fire a client?

Marcus: [00:28:04] Yeah. I don’t know if there’s a right way because every agency is structured in different ways and every agency owner whoever’s doing the firing and rehoming of the client is going to approach it in different ways. But I think there’s a couple checkboxes, we’ll say that you should probably do. One is just keeping it super professional.

The client may suck. You may hate working with them and it’s an absolute nightmare and you can’t wait to celebrate when they’re finally off your plate, but you have to articulate that differently when you’re emailing the client or hopping on a call. Right? So keeping it professional, always taking the high road, right.

If they’re, if things are really like going off the deep end and the attention, and the tone of the conversation is getting too high, your job is not to combat that and an escalate it, right. It’s the opposite of be escalate it. And staying professional with a calm, demeanor, and tone and just getting through and that should prove your point even more that it’s not the best fit.

I think at the end of the day, you know so one is keeping it keeping it professional with the goal in mind. You know, being open and honest and transparent, Hey, we’re not a good fit. We seem to have some issues in the past, however you want to articulate and phrase it. But then also ending proactively with recommending another agency to take over or freelancer, or even just some website links to other tools and services out there that could help.

So never just kind of kicking them to the curb. And then speeding off since we’re talking about roads and things here on this podcast,

Joanne: [00:29:28] No burning bridges.

Marcus: [00:29:30] Yes. So always like coming back and saying, Hey, we’re not a good fit. We’re going to end the relationship here in 30 days or at the end of the month, whatever it is.

But here’s a couple agencies that we’re partners with that we can refer you to. They’re going to take care of you. They’re a much better fit. And then basically to send up the email intro and you know, get it off your plate basically. And then go celebrate with the adult drink or something.

Morayo: [00:29:55] One of the craft beers that you champion?

Marcus: [00:29:57] Yes.

Joanne: [00:29:58] There you

Morayo: [00:29:58] I meant we didn’t really talk about craft beer. But I next time, because I want to find out more about, I’m not a beer drinker, but I love my cider. Some, I

Marcus: [00:30:07] Oh, there you go.

Morayo: [00:30:07] And so maybe that’s, maybe that’s in your future Marcus and that’s where we want to put, we want to talk about next the future.

You have a lot of wonderful projects on the plate for yourself. What do you look forward to experiencing or accomplishing with perfect evolution or another project? This year?

Marcus: [00:30:25] Well, I think I could probably speak for a lot of agency owners when I say, you know, increasing my MRR, my monthly recurring revenue. I think every agency owner wants to do that every year and keep growing it. Right. So that’s definitely on my high on my goal list. Definitely Working on this proactive PM course.

It was never again talking about advice, right? That question they asked about advice and staying agile and flexible. This was never in my plan to have a course, but as I was going through my career as a project manager an agency owner there was a sort of need for this. So now agency owners and other digital agencies,

I’m sort of working as a niche or, or a potential client of mine, which I never thought, cause I’m always external right. With other clients. So working in developing this course and helping other agency owners with their project management process I’ve done some consulting on the side as well, sort of on zoom calls and stuff like this to really audit and kind of dive into their PM process and help them.

And the proactive project manager, of course it sort of a result and dwindled down version of that. So working on PM consulting and stuff like that for agency owners I’ve also been diving into more of the Shopify space for e-commerce. We work in WordPress a lot for more of the marketing brochure sites, but for e-commerce I’m in the Shopify world, well, a lot.

So looking forward to diving into that and getting more clients on monthly retainers and things like.

Morayo: [00:31:48] So you’ve got a profitable busy year ahead

That sounds awesome.

Marcus: [00:31:52] Absolutely. I hope so.

Joanne: [00:31:55] And our last question for today. I mean, thank you. You’ve we’ve I feel like we’ve talked about so much and a lot of different things. So this is more of a personal question. So how are you creating happiness for yourself?

Marcus: [00:32:09] That’s a great question. I knew that was coming based off who I’m talking to.

Joanne: [00:32:14] We are all about creating happiness.

Marcus: [00:32:17] That’s right.

Morayo: [00:32:18] The brand is consistent.

Marcus: [00:32:19] Yep. Speaking of brand, let’s tie it back full circle. You know, it’s a great question. I think I’m sure you’ve gotten this answer before, but creating time for yourself, you know, period, just in any way that could be for me.

It’s every Monday and Wednesday, I go to my practice space and I play drums for a couple of hours. Try to do it for cabal sometimes only 30 minutes, but I go, I put my phone on, do not disturb. I put in some headphones, I just tune out the world and I get into the drum world. That’s one way going for walks with, or without my dog.

Those help. That’s happiness for me. Spending time away from the screen is probably what it boils down to for me is I’m just always on the screen. So if I can get away, go for hikes with my wife and my dog and just do fun things that aren’t, you know, live life, basically, other than being on the screen, essentially.

That’s what. Yeah. Yeah. I guess get outside, breathe some fresh air, you know, as, as hippy dippy, as that sounds like it actually does wonders. It feels, it feels good after.

Morayo: [00:33:17] Well, I mean, just looking at the ideas that you’re generating, it’s working, you. know, getting away from the screen and touching the grass,

Marcus: [00:33:25] Yeah. Yeah.

Morayo: [00:33:27] Hippy dippy does yield some, some great results from time to time. So you know, Marcus, I wish we could talk longer. But then you’d never be able to implement these great ideas that you’re having.

Because you have to promise us that you’ll come back. This is a great conversation and I know we can go even deeper and especially, it’d be great to talk again after you launch your course. So definitely.

Marcus: [00:33:46] I’d love to, I’d love to.

Morayo: [00:33:48] Thank you. Thank you so much on behalf of everybody at GoWP for joining us today.

And for those of you that are listening, and if you’d like to read more about what Marcus does you can visit him at perfectevolution.xyz, and you can also read more about him and his various projects at mynameismarcus.com. Marcus is M A R C U S. And you can also read more about his proactive project management courses.

ProactivePMcourse.com. So lots of places to find out about Marcus.

Marcus: [00:34:19] Got it. Thank you so much to both of you. This was great. I really enjoyed this.

Morayo: [00:34:23] Awesome.

Joanne: [00:34:24] Awesome. Thank you so much, Marcus, for joining us. It was honestly like I have to come back and listen again, to take more notes for me. There’s , so many good notes to take and thank you to everyone. Who’s listened and don’t forget to like, and subscribe and you can get this podcast and this episode of the digital agency owners podcast, wherever you get your podcasts,

and just a quick reminder at GoWP, we want to help you become more profitable, whether it’s by listening to our podcast or joining in on our weekly happiness hours during informative webinars like we have with Marcus hosted by our friends in the WordPress community. And of course, by growing your team with our skilled developers, copywriters designers or project managers, go to gowp.com and read more about our services to schedule a call Bye!.

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