Jordan Slover is the Founder of Neon Ambition, an inbound marketing agency that helps companies grow using the latest online marketing strategies. Before Neon Ambition, he was the Online Marketing Sales Manager at The Web Showroom, responsible for hiring, training, and managing the online marketing consultants team. Jordan also worked for Google and has considerable experience in CRO, SEO, web design, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:07] Jordan Slover talks about why he prefers competitive niches
- [06:16] What lessons did he learn while working for other agencies?
- [09:45] The questions to ask when hiring a marketing agency
- [14:25] Tips for a smooth sales process and the SEO mistakes companies make
- [19:50] Jordan explains what he looks for when hiring an account manager
- [27:12] Jordan shares his thoughts on niching down as an agency
- [30:27] Neon Ambition’s customer success stories and how it differentiates itself from competitors
- [36:59] What to expect after hiring Neon Ambition
In this episode…
Do you want to understand your buyers’ journey better to reach your ideal consumers or get more clients?
The business world is constantly evolving — and to differentiate yourself from competitors and flourish, your marketing strategies also need to be top-notch. Jordan Slover recommends hiring a marketing agency, experts who understand the market to help you maneuver successfully. Having been in the marketing agencies for years, he discovered that many full-service digital agencies out there are not delivering on their promises. Jordan shares his journey of starting and running his agency to help ambitious business owners and marketers grow their companies and achieve their business growth goals.
Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he welcomes Jordan Slover, Founder of Neon Ambition. Jordan talks about Neon Ambition, the questions to ask when hiring a marketing agency, what to look for when hiring an account manager, and his thoughts on niching down as an agency.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Agency Management Institute (AMI)
- “How to Craft a Compensation Plan that Attracts and Motivates the Right People For Your Company With Verne Harnish, Owner Scaling Up”
- Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street
- Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method that Turbocharges Company Performance by Bradford D. Smart
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
- “Building a Great Team and More Helpful Insights with Jason Swenk Host of The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast”
- “[One Question] Building a Platform to Empower Others with Jason Swenk Host of The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast”
- “[Top Agency Series] Growth Through Acquisitions – What is Your KPI and Northstar? With Jason Swenk”
- “[Top Agency Series] Most Valuable Advice When Selling Your Agency With Todd Taskey of Potomac Business Capital”
- “[Top Agency Series] How to Build a Better Agency with Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute (AMI)”
- “How to Hire A-Players and Build a Great Company with Chris Mursau of Topgrading”
Sponsor for this episode
At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution.
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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.
Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Jordan Slover of neonambition.com. And Jordan, I always like to mention other episodes, people should check out before I formally introduce you. And since this is part of the agency series, I had Jason Swenk on he was a great guest. He actually talked about building up his agency to over eight figures and selling it and then how they’re acquiring agencies now. Todd Taskey also has a Second Bite Podcast where he talks about how he matches private equity with an agency. And they sell and sometimes get more on the second bite than they did on the first I also want to give a shout out to Alex. We were talking Jordan, I were talking before we hit record on b2b SaaS as a difficult market in a lot of respects. And Alex has a podcast that revenue engine but he helps b2b SaaS companies with their paid ads, essentially. And he only specializes in that because it’s kind of a tough industry as far as that goes. But this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re actually an easy button for a company to launch and run their podcast we do the Strategy, the accountability and the full execution. And Jordan, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships, I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decades, the profile of people and companies I most admire and profile and share what they’re working on and their expertise. So if you thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, you can go to rise25.com happy to answer anything you throw our way. And I’m excited. We have Jordan Slover he got to start an online marketing working for Google in NYC in London on the Google Analytics team. After a four year stint and agency in Australia, which is one of my goals to visit some jealous Jordan, he moved to Austin and founded Neon Ambition, which is an online marketing agency focused on helping companies in some of the most competitive industries grow online. And when I was reading, you know, some of the niches that you help with Jordan, I was like, why not just make it easier on yourself? Well, I go after competitive niches but I guess you like a challenge. And Jordan’s company actually made the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies. And you can check them out in neonambition.com. And Jordan, thanks for joining me.
Jordan Slover 3:01
Hey, thanks for having me, Jeremy. Happy to be here.
Jeremy Weisz 3:03
So why competitive niches? Why?
Jordan Slover 3:07
Yeah. I mean, it’s not what I set out to do from day one. I’ll say that. But it almost is in the name a little bit. I’m ambitious. I love working with ambitious companies. And that’s really where the name for the business came? I know, that wasn’t a question, but I was gonna name it Ambition Online Marketing. And I realized how boring that was. And so decided to throw neon in front of ambition to kind of jazz it up. And that’s how we got the name. And just over the years, we started working with personal injury attorneys. Some of the highest CPCs out there, really cutthroat industry and started having some success and really liking working in that vertical. We got some clients and insurance going up against GEICO and the Hartford and the big, big boys have spent a lot of money too. They do they do? Yeah. And we started working with a insurance company that was pretty new to the market. And that was the competition. And we just said, giddy up, let’s do it. And I’ve built a team I’m really proud of and they’re all just as competitive as I am. Andwhen we see an SEO client that has keywords that SEMrush say are very hard or very difficult, those are the ones that we get excited about and go after, and we’ve had a lot of success in this industry. So we’ll take the easy one, don’t get me wrong, but you know, we don’t shy away from the difficult stuff either.
Jeremy Weisz 5:05
Talk a little bit I know I give a brief intro but add some color talk about Neon Ambition and what you do there?
Jordan Slover 5:14
Sure. So we are a lead gen focus agency, we’re really trying to get the phone to ring or people to fill out the form and have worked in a wide variety of industries over the years. But in many ways are like a lot of other online marketing agencies, just doing Google ads, social media ads, SEO, web design, content marketing, we’re HubSpot partner as well. So yeah, we kind of focused on lead gen, and just like helping our clients grow, I was pumped to make the Inc 5000 list, but I’m even more excited when our customers make it.
Jeremy Weisz 6:01
Love it. I want to talk, you didn’t start your own agency out of the gate, you actually worked for an agency for almost four years. I love to hear what did you learn from that? And that was in Australia.
Jordan Slover 6:16
Yeah, so after I left, Google, travelled a bit and ran out of money in Australia. And so I got a job working for a web design agency, and was on a sales team selling websites and pretty quickly kind of came to the realization, it’s great that we’re helping these companies with the website, but what are they going to do once we launch it, we need to kind of help them market their websites. And my boss said, can you do that? And I said, well, I certainly can try. And, you know, started the online marketing division for the agency I was working at. And even though I worked at Google, I was on the Google Analytics team. So, it’s not like I was learning about SEO and Google, and I wasn’t on the Google ads team either. So well, of course, I knew about Google ads, but I wasn’t on the ad side of the business there. So really, the agency experience I had in Sydney, it was where I learned a lot about SEO, and pay per click and paid social. And also where I learned, some of the dodgy things that happen in the industry, and it kind of really opened my eyes to just how many bad online marketing agencies there are. And I’m not speaking about the one I was at the one I was at, was not one of these bad apples. But when I was speaking to prospective clients, and they were telling me about the other quotes, they were getting, and hearing about guarantees or on transparent pricing policies, I mean, I could go on and on about some of the dodgy things that I heard, and that just made me think, like, wow, I feel bad for these people that are small, medium sized business owners, not specialists, and online marketing. And some of these companies are trying to pull the wool over their eyes, and I just wanted to start an agency that was the opposite of that, and do everything the right way for our clients. So, we still run into that, even today, I wish I could say that I don’t see that stuff anymore. But when we take clients over from other agencies, I mean, this has happened, probably each of the past three months, where we took over the client from a previous agency, and instead of handing us over all of the WordPress files that we need to transfer their site over, they just dump us some content and some design files. And say, here you go, and they could have just easily given us that little bit extra information to make the transferring the website over easier, but they don’t want to make it easy on anyone to leave. And it’s just, I don’t know why some agencies operate that way.
Jeremy Weisz 9:26
Talk about you know, from you’ve seen things, of what people should watch out for, from a consumer perspective, you mentioned, guarantees, and some other things will be an example of something that you saw that you’re thinking how are they doing that?
Jordan Slover 9:45
Yeah, well, so that website example, I mean, some of these companies will build your website, but you don’t really own the website. It’s built on their proprietary CMS. So I kind of try to help educate people that, you know, proprietary CMS is not WordPress, it’s not something you can just take to any other firm, easily, you know, they’re trying to kind of lock you into their universe there. And that’s going to make it difficult for you in the end. Some other things that I see are, like I said, unclear pricing policies, we have one pretty large competitor who will just say it’s 20 grand a month. And that covers your SEO and your paid search. But what’s their management fee? It’s very unclear like, and even the reporting, they’ll brag about this beautiful dashboard, but you look at the dashboard, and there’s no CPC data, there’s no total spend to Google data. And you don’t actually own your Google Ads account. I mean, that’s a big one that actually tried to work with Google to get this policy reversed. When I was at Google, I was on the Google Analytics partner program. So I was dealing with Google Analytics partners. So then, when I started an agency and joined the Google Ads partner program, I tried working my connections to say, hey, this policy that you have, where if you pay your agency, if a client pays the agency 20 grand a month managed a Google ads campaign, and the agency is the one paying Google, Google views the agency owner, as the owner of the account, because it’s the agency paying the bills. And so if you leave that agency as the customer, you don’t get access to your account, and all that history. And I just think that’s an insane policy.
Jeremy Weisz 11:55
How do you like to structure them?
Jordan Slover 11:58
Well, I think the clients ultimately paying that bill, it’s their account, all of the information in there is about their business. And they’re ultimately paying for it, right? So the way we do it is we always either set up a brand new account or take over someone’s account and make our clients admin and they own the account, and we’re just stewards of it. So, I usually joke like, 17 years from now, when you sell the business and don’t want to work with us anymore, you’re not gonna have to worry about ownership of the campaign. Yeah. We see that with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager where clients don’t even have logins. So their own analytics.
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