Paul Rouke is the founder of PRWD, a leading conversion rate optimisation agency based in Manchester.
In this episode, we talk about the mindset and beliefs required to build a successful agency.
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You are listening to the 10X Your Agency Podcast where everyone is safe for the next 12 weeks you will be learning strategies on how to scale up your agency and grow your client base from successful agency owners who have been, there done it and built a highly successful agency. You will learn how they attract clients, what their biggest causes of client churn were and what there challenges were at different stages of building their agency. My name is Marcus Taylor and I will be your host.
Hey guys welcome to episode 6 of the 10X Your Agency Podcast. Today I’m joined by Paul Rouke who’s the founder of PRWD, one of the leading conversion rate optimization agencies here in the UK. Today I’m going to Paul about mindset. Often as agency owners, the biggest thing that’s holding our agencies back is us, it’s the founder. So we are going to be talking about how important it is to be working on yourself and developing your mindset. We are also going to be looking at conversion rate optimization, what it is that agencies could be doing better on their websites to acquire more leads as well as some of the different tactics that Paul has used to generate leads and new business for PRWD. Paul, it’s a great pleasure having you here on the show, how are you doing?
Paul: Hi, Marcus, very well thank you, yourself?
Marcus: Yes, doing very well. Paul, before we jump in I was just wondering if you could tell us a little bit about PRWD, what it is you guys do and perhaps what makes PRWD different as an agency.
Paul: Yes, so PRWD we are a conversion optimization agency based in the UK. We’ve been around since 2004. We have our roots in user research and behavioural understanding and this stems right away back to 1999 where I had my first job in digital as a Shopdirect’s first web designer. From 1999 I recognized the importance of user research and understanding behaviour and therefore utilizing these insights to help change and improve online experiences. So today we work with a range of large and enterprise businesses across the UK and Europe, delivering their conversion optimization strategy and helping to drive business growth for them.
Marcus: And so do you consult from strategy and research stage all the way down to making the changes on landing pages and running the tests for them or is it really just on the consulting advice part of it.
Paul: It’s on the full spectrum yes so from the very top in terms of strategic and cultural working with businesses to help evolve their strategy and culture and yes as you say, all the way down through to the actual planning, delivery and implementation of tests to help improve and optimise the online experience.
Marcus: Excellent. Okay so Paul when we first met I think it was about half a year ago at Digital Elite Camp in Estonia and you gave a really inspiring talk on-I think it was actually the keynote to the event-the importance of being the change that you want to see in your industry. And I want to touch on that a little bit later and talk about some of the things that you’re doing around that. But one of the things I remember, you were talking about how important it is to develop and work on yourself personally in order to achieve whatever ambitious goals you have for yourself or your company. What was the moment for you that made you realise how important it is for you to work on your mindset and beliefs?
Paul: For me, rather than being a moment it’s been more a progressive realization over the last few years that the greater that I personally be stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself, looking to push my business, looking to make myself more visible in the industry. What that has done for me and maybe for other people it’s made me become even more self-critical because I’m outside of my comfort zone and I’m in this new territory. Particularly in these last 12 months from like 2015, it became really clear for me that I need to work on my self confidence so that I’m not questioning myself and I’m not bringing about kind of imposter syndrome which is that kind of feeling that you’re a fraud and that you are going to get found out. So that’s been very much my kind of personal journey. What I’ve realised the more we’re working with businesses, working with people within these companies that are looking to make a change within their company, then ultimately it’s down to individuals to have the belief in
themself that they can bring about change and inspire and educate other people to help bring about change within business. And conversion optimisation is still very much an immature industry; there’s not too many businesses that understand and appreciate the value and importance of it. So it’s up to people individually working within businesses or working for businesses through agencies to be that change within that company to help change the mindset and the culture to embrace this experimentation methodology.
Marcus: Do you have any examples you can think of of where you’ve done something that has been out of your comfort-zone and you’ve seen a direct benefit or opportunity or difference just come out as a result of that?
Paul: I suppose the thing that comes to mind to me is probably to go back to 2008. My business, we didn’t have a marketing strategy, I was very much in my comfort zone. You know very blinkers on and dealing just with the here and now. And I invited a lady into my business; she was actually a student from university for a summer placement basically with the brief to help come up with our first marketing strategy. And so at the end of the summer placement, this lady came back to me and she presented the short and long term strategic plan for PRWD. And primarily what she was advocating to do was ultimately for me to step outside my comfort zone and to start being a visible and ideally that inspirational thought leader within the industry: to start writing, to start speaking, to start putting myself out there. And I’d never done any of this. The only time I’d ever spoken in front of an audience was at my wedding in front of about 35 people. So this was a really big challenge for me to overcome these fears of
public speaking which many people would probably agree that public speaking is one of life’s big fears. You’re putting yourself in front of others, in front of an audience. So it didn’t happen overnight it was about six months later where I finally did my first talk in front of about a hundred people but if we fast forward from that moment to today, this decision to step outside my comfort zone both personally and then from a business point of view for us to be a visible agency that’s putting ourself out there and trying to help influence the industry and educate; that decision has been probably the most important that I’ve made in the last eight years. It’s fundamentally impacted the business positively.
Marcus: For this industry and I suppose the surrounding digital agencies, it seems to be kind of the thing that needs to be done to be on the map is getting out of the conferences, writing for whether it’s or these kinds of sites. That’s where you sort of see a separation between the agencies that are really respected and, as you say, considered thought leaders from the rest of the agencies out there.
Paul: Yes, I think that’s it and you’ve touched a little bit around content but the big challenge that we are facing right now is the amount of knowledge that is out there online in terms of content marketing with a significant amount of the knowledge coming from the people and the agencies that are effectively just jumping on the bandwagon of conversion optimisation. And describing it is pretty much a list of tips and tricks and tactics and hacks in order to get more people to click the buy button. So yes there’s a big separation there, yes.
Marcus: So some of the 30 hacks to triple your conversion rate and all that stuff. Paul one concept that really resonated with me from your talk was your idea of shifting the definition of hippos; traditionally hippo being the highest paid person’s opinion and redefining how we think of the hippo to mean, I believe, you mentioned was standing for humility and integrity, passion, positivity and openness. I was wondering which of these five areas have you personally found most challenging to develop and how has it helped you to develop it.
Paul: Great yes, so I think, for me, the first one that come to mind here is positivity and this goes back to what I described earlier around what I’ve often been faced with in terms of in my own mind is a lack of self confidence and a lack of self belief because primarily again I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone. I’ve really had to work on that over the last few years and I’ve spent a significant amount of time personally working on myself. Which is on, I suppose, a more of a deeper level; to kind of really understand how my mind works and how different parts of my mind, I suppose, can influence the way I’m thinking about things and whether I have perspective or I’m lacking perspective. So it’s quite a diverse way of thinking in my mind and it’s only when I’m in a positive state of mind where it’s more kind of glass half full rather than glass half empty, that I know I bring the best of me to people that are around me whether it’s in my business or in my home life. So I’ll admit it’s still a challenge now and even yesterday before this call now, I’ve actually basically defined in all different areas of my life the two very different ways that my mind operates when I’m either thinking positively or I’m thinking negatively and I’m lacking confidence. So even about the same things about being an entrepreneur there’s a very positive way of thinking about myself and a very negative way so it’s still a big challenge. I openly admit and I need to continue to work on that.
Marcus: Is there anything that you’ve found particularly helpful in terms of things that you have done to help you improve those areas?
Paul: One of the real major things in the last six months was being recommended a book by one of my very trusted entrepreneurial friends and kind of advises and mentors in some respects. And he recommended that I read the book called The Chimp Paradox. And for me, I’ve not actually read the full book, I’ve read about a third of it but the first third is all about yourself and your mind and your human side of your mind and your chimp side of your mind. And how these different sides compete with each other and influence your life and how you come across in every single day. Reading that book has really helped me to understand and try to separate out the two different parts of my mind so that I can try and maintain as much as possible in the positive human side of my outlook. So I’d highly recommend that book to anyone; particularly people who are stepping out of their comfort zones, entrepreneurs, people that are really looking to stretch themselves in their careers. You really need to understand how your mind works in order to handle it and get the best out of yourself personally.
Marcus: I’ve heard really good things about that. I have to admit it’s still on my to-read list. I’ve heard from a lot of people that have read it that it’s actually quite good for–it’s one of those concepts where you remember for a long time and you’re able to then sort of say, Oops that’s the Chimp speaking and stop yourself a lot.
Paul: Yes it’s definitely left me with different stories like that and how now I can very quickly notice with other people that I’m spending time with whether it’s the human side of their brain speaking or reacting or the chimp side. So yes, it’s really powerful for that and if you don’t mind if I could just talk about one other of the five new definitions of the hippo-humility- if that’s okay.
Marcus: Absolutely yes.
Paul: I think this is an experience I had back in 2008 which has stayed with me ever since. Basically, I was brought into a housing association in the UK to help them to improve the intranet platform all their different satellite offices using spread across the South of England. A key part of this project was for me to conduct user research with the employees in their different satellite offices to understand the how they do you use an intranet, how it can be improved and what are the opportunities. One of the sessions that I went to conduct in one of their London regional office–I went into this room and there was different people that were going to come in for me to interview them. And one of these sessions there was a lady that came in who I could tell straight away she was very nervous, very apprehensive. The first thing she said to me is, I’m not sure what I’m doing here. I’ve never been asked to do this before so I don’t know if this would be of any value. So I spent the first few minutes just asking her some open questions, helping to build just a little bit of confidence in herself. To know that I was valuing what she was saying. And so this kind of carried on, this session was for about an hour and about half way through this one hour session, when I was asking this lady about, Do you have any ideas of potentially a new addition to the intranet that would really help you and your role and maybe some of your colleagues? And this lady shared with me this idea that none of her other colleagues had shared with me. I couldn’t have come up with this idea myself as an external consultant because you needed to be an end user of this platform to understand what could help streamline processes and make people’s work more efficient. It was such a great idea and I think if a consultant would have come up with it, he would probably label it as a strategic or an innovative idea. In fact it came from this lady who, I suppose, didn’t even think she had it in her. So I said to her to say that was a great idea and she didn’t really know how to take the credit. I was and this new edition ended up getting featured in their new intranet, it was that good. But it was at the end of this one hour session that something that really stuck with me. And just as this lady was getting up which finished the research session, she just stopped and turned round to me and she said, Paul can I just say thank you so much for listening to me today and valuing my ideas. When I’m at home with my husband he tells me don’t bother saying anything because my ideas are worthless. So thank you so much for listening to me today. And for me I think this story stayed with me ever since and it really has underlined the importance of however much that we think that we know ourself , we should never undervalue or disrespect the ideas and opinions and suggestions of other people. And I think this is a story which many businesses and so certainly people within senior positions within businesses need to recognise and understand that we need to be become customer-centric and really listen to our end users rather than basing ideas and changes on egotism and opinion. So yes, humility is the cornerstone of the reinvented hippo.
Marcus: Yes, I really like it. It’s an amazing concept for, you know just kind a bit of a reality check I think. When you’re working in a company just going through those five areas almost sort of saying, Are we doing everything we can to develop humility in a company and with it individually integrity, passion, positivity openness ? Since hearing the talk has stuck with me and really great concept. I want to move on to acquisition because I know PRWD do a lot of really interesting stuff aroundóit’s kind of acquisition I understand that your motives for doing that are also a little bit wider for the general industries. I noticed you’ve got these things like conversion optimisation jargon busters; you’ve got conversion optimisation maturity audits and the app as well which I think is a self-assessment. Can you talk to us a little bit about why you’re creating these content or assets; what’s the thought process behind creating them?
Paul: Yes so I think the thought process goes back to summer 2008. Where I shared with you the story of the lady coming into the business setting up our first ever marketing strategy and it was all about thought leadership and ultimately becoming a very visible and influential player or agency in this industry. So it was in 2008 when we first got into Twitter, we created our first blog and it was in 2009 where I started training and speaking. So we are going back kind of eight years from when this all started and this idea of getting out there, sharing knowledge, helping to educate and enlighten people, helping to make change within business, has been a core foundation to the business. And this can sometimes be at odds to people within the business who are more commercially focussed. I’ve got a very deep down desire to want to help mature the industry overall and not just run an agency you know run a successful growing agency. Again doing things such as the blog, doing public speaking to kind of get out there and to help educate other people is crucially important for the business and for me personally. And I think two things just to focus on here would be the first book that we published which is The Growth Strategy That’s Being Ignored and this book came from me realising a few years ago just how just a few businesses really understand and appreciate the importance of conversion optimisation. So many companies were doing it but weren’t really getting any impact, the culture wasn’t right in the business, they didn’t have the people in place, they didn’t have processes in place. And I wanted to wonder whether or not these were just my experiences working with the businesses of PRWD clients or actually is this a wider issue and a wider challenge around the industry. So what I did, I went out to the industry’s other kind of thought leaders in growth and optimisation. So everyone from Angie, Brian Eisenberg, Craig Sullivan, Andre Morris, Peep Laja. I went out to 16 other people and I asked them all the same question, What in your experience is holding companies back from growing through optimisation and within a day of sending this message out to people I was getting very passionate and very deep insights from people that kind of lit the blue touch paper and asked a very valid question. And so what potentially what could have just been initially maybe a blog post for instance or a white paper, a paper, I decided to turn this into a book because I felt that the insights I was getting from all these other global thought leaders was far too important to just sit online on a blog post or on something digital. So we actually produced a book called The Growth Strategy That’s Being Ignored. And now this is a book that can potentially act as a wake-up call for many businesses and decision makers to realise that these are the things that we shouldn’t be doing, that we need stop doing in order to grow our business through strategic conversion optimisation. Yes so that’s the book. We don’t make any money from it. Well pretty much we’ve self-published so it’s not a revenue generator for us but it’s more of a book to help mature the industry and help decision makers to think differently about conversion optimisation but also to help practitioners and people on the lower levels within business who really understand conversion optimisation. This can be a tool for their businesses to go to their senior decision makers to say, Please have a read of this, it takes less than an hour. These are the kind of things that we need to be thinking about and looking to change within our business. So that’s our first book and then secondly our conversion optimisation maturity audits. So this has been in development now for about three years and once again it was born out of the fact that so many companies were saying we are doing AB Testing, we’re doing conversion optimisation but actually when you go beneath the surface and you start to ask about what tests have they run what successes have they had, what user research do they do, what are the learnings are they making, everything typically started to fall away and there was no real substance and no real impact behind their optimisation. So what we decided to do is we decided to start developing a maturity model so that we could assess businesses and plot them on the different levels of maturity in different areas of their business. And as we started developing maturity audit it became clear to me that there’s an opportunity here to help have a wider impact on the industry. So rather than just being a tool that we use internally for the clients that we are working with, actually if we make this into a free online assessment tool for any business around the world whether or not we work with them or not, we are giving them key insights into where they are now and what are the biggest opportunities for them to evolve their strategy for conversion optimisation.
Marcus: Excellent, in terms of both the book and the self-assessment mature model, what have you seen in terms of the results from a lead-gen perspective. Are these having influence in terms of potential clients are picking up the book and saying, Yes these guys are thought leaders, we want to have a chat. Or what have you kind of noticed around that side?
Paul: We don’t yet have a fully developed strategy behind the book and the audit because we’ve primarily focused on getting them out there. But yes we’ve certainly seen how they’re starting to influence the right kind of people and its raising interest in ourself as an agency and what we can potentially do for their company. So I wouldn’t say at the moment it’s kind of a run-away success but the maturity model and the app as an example is very much a long term strategic initiative that we’ve put in place. So it’s not just about the immediate impact, it’s about how companies will be using this in 6, 12, 18 months time from now and also the industry bench-marking that we’ll be able to do by gathering these insights from businesses in different sectors in different countries across the world.
Marcus: Where is this motivation coming from do you think- like to develop and mature the industry- what’s driving you to passionately pursue that goal?
Paul: It’s a really interesting question and I suppose I just feel like, for me personally and for my agency, there is just much more to offer and there’s a bigger impact that we can have than just running and growing a successful agency. And there is also the element that’s helping to mature the industry, helping to educate and enlighten decision makers. By helping to therefore mature the industry, it will mean that compared to currently where there is so much education needed within businesses and potential clients that we’re speaking to maybe in 12, 18 months time from now the appreciation and understanding of conversion optimization and how to do it intelligently as the maturity increases within business, ideally there would be less education required. I suppose it’s that but I suppose it’s also, with the maturity audit, it’s also allowing businesses and tools to assess their agency that’s offering conversion optimization to help understand the big difference between what I would say is, BS optimization and intelligent optimization. So it’s overall trying to create a better industry with better appreciation, better awareness and better practices and ultimately fighting back against all the noise and all the bandwagon jumpers that conversion optimization is attracting.
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Marcus: So you’ve spoken at quite a few events in the conversion industry. Obviously we met at Digital Elite camp. I think you’ve spoken at quite a few others, how have you found public speaking as a means of growing the business or what impact have you found as a result of speaking?
Paul: What we continue to find is the impact that public speaking has had potentially like maybe even 12, 18 months previous to when we start working with the business. I suppose is the approach of having an impact from people. So they remember me or they remember one of my colleagues who also speak and when the time’s right for them, we’ll be one of the first companies that they’ll come to speak to because they are now looking for what we offer. So public speaking and the kind of broader thing around thought leadership and just being very visible and trying to be influential and inspirational in the industry, it plays a part in quite a lot of the businesses that we end up working with. It doesn’t typically lead to me doing a public talk and then the week after or a month after we are now working with a company who’ve seen me speak. It’s more of we are putting the foundations in place and we’re planting the seed so that when the time is right PRWD will be in a very good position and front of line for these people.
Marcus: All right, I think what’s nice from what I see is you’ve got that kind of bigger message to talk about. A lot ofóobviously a lot of agencies are out there speaking but on a very tactical strategic level and I get the impression that the things that you’re talking about at a lot of these conferences is very kind of, visionary, bigger picture wider industry. So I think as you have that story, you have that message, it’s so well suited to being on the speaker circus so I can totally see how that makes a lot of sense. Paul I want to switch gears a little bit and talk a little bit about your expertise, obviously in conversion optimization, what is one thing that you’ve seen as a big mistake that a lot of agencies make on their websites that are perhaps harming their conversion potential?
Paul: I would say it’s this idea of jumping on the band wagon and offering and promoting on their websites, conversion optimization as a service but without any real desire or investment in looking to do conversion optimization intelligently. I mentioned a little bit earlier there is this big divide between B.S. and intelligent optimization which I’ve published a detailed blog on the Conversion Excel blog about this. I would just say to any agency that’s looking to offer conversion optimization as an additional service is to take it seriously and to making commitment as an agency to invest in this: to invest in the right people and the right processes and to take it seriously so that you’re enhancing the maturity of the industry rather than damaging business maturity and clients’ appreciation of conversion optimization.
Marcus: Tell me a little bit more about the difference between a somewhat mature agency and a very mature. What does the self assessment differentiate between an immature and a very mature agency that’s doingóor company that’s doing conversion?
been brought by people that are working in this field day in day out. So there’s a big difference behind how hypothesis are developed. And then, I suppose
to pick up on another key area, when we are talking about people and skills, at the bottom end of maturity, thinking about user research, there can be very
little in the way of behavioral understanding thus informing the testing whereas at the top end of maturity, this is companies that are investing in
moderating user research, it’s being done cross-device, it’s being done multi-channel and the behavioral insights are like the core foundation for the
conversion optimization program. And it is having this in place, is when companies have a real deep understanding and a deep investment in behavioral
research, it’s these companies that are actually becoming more customer-centric. So many companies say we are customer-centric yet very few are actually
speaking to their customers in the right kind of way and understanding their behavior. So I suppose a couple of examples are of the two extremes but if I
give you one more in terms of strategy and culture, there’s often a big disconnect between what people on the ground understand and appreciate with conversion optimization and what the CEO and the understand, in terms of very often at the top of the business there’s a lack of understanding and appreciation of conversion optimization and what that does that at some stage it’s going to really hamper
the effectiveness of the team delivering conversion optimization because they’ll hit a road block at some stage or they’ll be faced with the classic hippo
and testing will be driven by egotism and opinion. So again [inaudible00:30:37] businesses at the top end of the spectrum, there’s true appreciation and
understanding of conversion optimization from the very top of the business, from the CEO. This isn’t just a nice to have or some distraction to the bigger picture. Strategic conversion optimization is the growth leader for their business.
Marcus: Got it and so you would recommend that people right at the top of the company would not only agreeing to invest in conversion optimization
but also a key part in coming up with the hypothesis or is that going a little bit too?
Paul: That’s probably going a bit too far. You can certainly listen to their opinions and ideas but I think more importantly and what we’ve seen to be
proven to be extremely effective in helping to educate and enlighten the chief executive and is for them to observe user research videos
first hand. And what this does is it changes the perception of their online experience and their ideas of how it needs to be improved. They are now seeing
the reality from an end user perspective and it can often be that wake-up call that actually what we think about our experience is very different to our
actual end users. So yes it’s more about enlightenment for the decision makers at the top. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are involved day to day but
the need to grasp and understand the importance of strategic conversion optimization.
Marcus: Okay Paul, so what I want to do is in a moment we are going to into our quick fire questions but before we do that I was just wondering if we can
dig into pillar four of the four pillars you mentioned- the systems and processes. I noticed on your website that PRWD has 77% average test success rate which is incredible. I was wondering what other kind of systems and processes that you use at PRWD to maximize the likelihood the probability of a test idea
Paul: First of all, for the last five years, we’ve developed and refined our growth methodology which is PRWD’s process for both doing the research and the inside work behind testing and then actually how do we deliver tests. That’s been a continuous evolution over the last five years. It’s fundamentally
rooted in user research and behavioral understanding, as I mentioned, since 1999 when I was the first web designer at Shopdirect. That’s when I first
experienced user research. I realized and recognized the important of understanding user behavior so that’s the foundation for our methodology. But then
what also is sometimes often missed when companies are running tests is that they fail to place the right level of importance and emphasis on the actual
design variation. So there’s typically a lack of persuasion and psychology principles applied, there’s a lack of understanding around persuasive copywriting
for example. And often the UX designers, there’s a lot of egotism in place rather than more of the humble user experience designers where they are willing to
test their ideas. So I think it’s a combination of these different facets but first having a really solid insight and hypothesis development process and
ultimately having an intelligent why behind the test. So that’s the foundation but then when it moves into the actual design of the actual experiment,
ensuring that it’s harnessing different techniques and using persuasion principles in order to help influence user behavior more. And I think it’s probably
just worth explaining on this as well with the average test success rate that this isn’t just about the low hanging fruit. We have different streams of
testing, from [inaudible00:34:18] to all the way through to more innovative and strategic tests. So this is an underlying measure of intelligence, I suppose,
behind the test hypothesis.
Marcus: How do you balance that with the speed of the testing because obviosuly if you’re doing less research you can produce more tests? And so how do
you balance, the number of tests you are running versus the amount of research that goes into each test?
Paul: A couple of things here, one is, we have different streams of testing. So we can have the simple quicker [inaudible00:34:48] of testing that’s
going on that’s [inaudible00:34:50] based more on [inaudible00:34:54] and expertise and experiences from years and years of testing with different brands
but I think and what you’ve also touched on there is talking about the volume or the quantity of testing potentially the detriment to quality. And for us,
from our experience, apart from some of the world’s biggest brands that have literally millions and millions of visitors every week or every month who can
afford to run countless tests on a monthly basis, so it’s very much kind of a volume based game and for these huge brands a 0.2% increase in conversion would
have a big impact on the kind of revenue and profitability. But 99% of the businesses out there doing conversion optimization don’t have the traffic levels to
run really quickly to actually run lots of tests. And ultimately every test, if done intelligently, with the right process and with the right people in place
with the right analysis afterwards and the right learnings , every test takes time and resource. So for us we primarily focus with businesses first on
quality then quantity of testing. And I’ve explored this more in an article on consultancy which is looking at the difference between vanity and sanity
metrics in conversion optimization. There’s quite a famous quote by Jeff Bezos of Amazon saying that if you double the number of experiments you run, you
double your innovation levels. Now that sounds good, it almost sounds like let’s just do more and more testing because we are being more innovative but I
would go back to companies that might start thinking like that to say right, What is the why behind the testing? Are you just testing for the sake of it
to get velocity up or is there an actual reason and a why behind that test? So I think that the bigger question first of all is, are we testing the right
things for the right reasons and then we can think about scaling up and running more tests.
Marcus: Interesting, I like it. So Paul first quick fire question I’ve got for you is what is your number one book recommendation at the moment for other
Paul: Yes, it would be, I mentioned it earlier, The Chimp Paradox. It’s perfect for highly achieving people who often chose to work outside their comfort
zone which I know Marcus is something that you’ve talked about and you are very passionate about as well.
Marcus: Definitely, yes, what’s your favorite tool at the moment?
Paul: It is 7geese which is our OKR which is Objective and Key Results platform as well as our employee recognition platform.
Marcus: Interesting , I’ve not heard of that one. Number three is, what’s one piece of advice that you would give an agency owner who’s looking to scale
up their agency by an order of magnitude, so going from six figures to seven or five to six?
Paul: Yes, I would say, to play the long game. So invest in activities and strategies that will have long-term financial rewards even if they don’t deliver
immediate revenue impact.
Marcus: Perfect, what was your biggest impact of client churn in the early days when you were growing PRWD?
Paul: It was lacking a retainer proposition. So the business revenue month to month were driven by project work.
Marcus: Perfect and finally, what’s next for PRWD? What can we expect over the next few years?
Paul: Yes, our primary focus is building up usage by brands across the U.K. and the world of our conversion optimization maturity audit tool. We’ll also be further developing our global partnership with other conversion optimization agencies in the global optimization group. I think thirdly, we’ll be publishing our second book as the follow-up to The Growth Strategy That’s Being Ignored and the title of that is The Growth Strategy That’s Being Applied which will be highlighting key brands including Expedia who are really embracing conversion optimization and experimentation to help grow their business. And then I think finally, with everything that we are trying to do with other thought leaders trying to mature the industry, in the next few years, we’ll be looking to capitalize on the maturing markets with more and more brands looking to invest actively in strategic conversion optimization to grow their business.
Marcus: Sounds extremely exciting, what we’ll do Paul is we’ll link to the book and the maturity audits in the show notes so people can check those out. A huge thank you Paul, it’s been amazing, lot’s of really great insights. It people want to learn more about you or more about PRWD, what’s the best place for them to learn a little more?
Paul: I suppose I’ll just give you a few links; the agency website, prwd.co.uk and then there’s a bitly link which gives one link access to pretty much all the content that me and my team have delivered and produced over the last eight years and it’s bitly/croresources.
Marcus: Awesome. Again a huge thank you for your time and all of the insights.
Paul: Thanks a lot for inviting me on this call. Thanks Marcus.
Marcus: Cheers Paul.
Thanks for listening to the episode of the 10X Your Agency Podcast. If you are interested in acquiring more leads for your business I’d like to invite you to a free webinar that I’ll be hosting on how to acquire 300% more leads from your website without increasing the traffic. In this webinar, I’ll be sharing how you can turn your website into a lead generation machine, four strategies on how you can boost your form submissions by 300% and much more. So if you are interested, all you need to do is go to Google, type in, Leadformly acquire more leads. That’s Leadformly spelt L-e-a-d-f-o-r-m-l-y acquire more leads and the landing page to register for the webinar should appear at the top. As I said, it’s completely free and we run this webinar every single week. So once again, thanks for listening to this week’s episode and stay tuned for next week’s episode of the 10X Your Agency Podcast.
Episode 1: How I Grew an Agency That Built 8 Online Ventures & Led to a TEDx Talk (Marcus Taylor, Venture Harbour)
Episode 2: How an 18-Person Agency Built 64 Startups With an ROI 10X Higher Than the Average European VC (Tim Morgan, Mint Digital)
Episode 3: How a PPC Agency Reached $250K Monthly Recurring Revenue in Under 2 Years (Johnathan Dane, KlientBoost)
Episode 4: How to Hire a Great Team, Attract Leads on Autopilot, and Scale an Agency (Eric Siu, SingleGrain)
Episode 5: How to Grow Your Niche Agency & Avoid Common Hiring Pitfalls (Danny Ashton, NeoMam Studios)
Episode 6: The Mindset & Beliefs Needed to Build an Agency (Paul Rouke, PRWD)
Episode 7: How an Agency Reached 100,000’s of Marketers by Building Software (Dan Sharp, ScreamingFrog)
Episode 8: From Selling an Agency & Burning Out to Launching SaaS & Giving Away $1M Worth of Free T-Shirts (Sujan Patel, Web Profits)
Episode 9: Agency Culture Hacking: How to Set Values, Work Remotely & Retain A-Players (Jonathan Anderstrom, Creed Interactive)
Episode 10: How to Scale & Sell a Multimillion Dollar Agency (Jason Swenk)
Episode 11: Running an 80-Person Agency After a Multi-Million Dollar Sale (Tim Grice, Branded3)
Episode 12: Building a £4M agency with 270 clients in 2 Years (Mark Wright, ClimbOnline)