Building an Agency, Coaching & Crushing it on LinkedIn with Mod Girl

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Mandy is the Founder and CEO of Mod Girl Marketing, an inbound marketing consultancy based in California. Recognized as a Top 8 SEO Expert by Search Engine Journal and a content marketing influencer by BuzzSumo, she has helped thousands of marketing entrepreneurs and business owners exceed their goals by sharing the lessons she’s learned in over 10 years in the industry.

In addition to successfully scaling her own 100% remote digital agency, Mandy has developed premium digital programs to help fellow marketing entrepreneurs find dozens of qualified leads a week, land 6-figure dream clients, scale their business through modern outsourcing, and more.

In her newest membership, Remote Agency Society, Mandy shares her personal insights and systems to help smaller agencies scale faster.

She also operates one of the top digital agency groups on Facebook, Mod Agency Insiders.

Learn more about Mandy McEwen


How Mandy McEwen Got Started

Phil Singleton: Welcome to the show, Mandy.

Mandy McEwen: Thanks so much for having me.

Phil Singleton: I’d love to hear a little bit about your story, about how … I know you’re on the west coast right now, I know you’ve started, or at some point had some business experience here in Kansas City.

Mandy McEwen: Yep.

Phil Singleton: Would love to hear about kind of your entrepreneurial journey and what brought you to digital marketing.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah, sure thing. Like you mentioned, I did start my business in Kansas City. I’m from Kansas, from an area in Wichita, Kansas actually.

Phil Singleton: Yay.

Speaker 1: Thank you.

Mandy McEwen: I know right.

Phil Singleton: Kansas represent. Yeah.

Mandy McEwen: That’s right. Rock Chalk all the way.

After graduating college, moved to Overland Park, still have a home there actually. Yeah, that’s kind of where … I got a job like everyone else after graduating and quickly realized that that world and the life of having a boss was not really for me. And so quickly … I think it took me about like, oh, three to six months after I graduated college and got my first actual job, that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I just had this drive to do my own thing and be my own boss.

I started researching a million trillion ways. Even like the distributor, things like Amway, stuff like that though, like the Amway sales, the direct sales. Literally I dabbled in everything, just trying to find what the heck can I do that isn’t going to cost a ton of money to start, but where I can be my own boss and make a decent living, right?

Obviously, those direct marketing things did not work out. I learned a lot and met some cool people in Kansas City from them, but I eventually kind of ended up doing what I love, which is anything with computers.

I’ve always kind of been a computer nerd, even growing up, so I kind of started just researching how to make money online, like everyone. That keyword, how to make money online, where you have all the … all the gurus that show up in their Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s.

Phil Singleton: Right, right. The lifestyle stuff.

Mandy McEwen: Yes.

Phil Singleton: Yeah.

Mandy McEwen: Exactly. So I was totally a victim of that, but at least I was smart about it, and I did a lot of free courses and stuff back in the day. But long story short, I ended up teaching myself SEO and bought some courses, but yeah, I didn’t really spend a ton of money investing and falling for all the guru’s schemes, if you will, luckily, but it did take a bit longer.

I ended up just watching a bunch of free courses and whatnot, and taught myself HTML before I discovered WordPress, and taught myself SEO. Signed up for some affiliate programs, all sorts of random stuff from like dog training to health pills, and just random stuff, and I got it ranked in Google and I was making these measly commissions. This is all while having a full-time job, okay? So I was doing this on the side, and then I realized…

Phil Singleton: Did your full-time job have anything to do with digital or marketing, or was it something traditional?

Mandy McEwen: No, nothing.

Phil Singleton: Okay.

Mandy McEwen: It was in the home improvement.

Phil Singleton: Got you.

Mandy McEwen: So sales is about … That’s the only direct correlation from my real jobs to what I do now, is just sales. And I majored in psychology, so I guess you could say I’ve had the psychology sales aspect for a very long time, but I did not even major in marketing. But as you know, psychology has a lot to do with sales and marketing, so it helped.

Phil Singleton: Right, no that’s awesome.

Mandy McEwen: Definitely. Yeah, then I realized that I wasn’t going to make a living off of $2 Amazon commissions. I was like, hmm. This really isn’t going to work out for me. I’m not going-

Phil Singleton: Was there one piece, when you were doing all this stuff that really … you felt kind of lit the fire, and you were like, okay, I gotta figure … this is so cool a deal, or was it … What kind of got you really fired up about it?

Mandy McEwen: About what? Just the SEO and…

Phil Singleton: Yeah, any of that piece of it. Was it like some particular thing, or were you just like, I know I want to do it, or did you kind of get hooked on the just the SEO?

Mandy McEwen: Honestly, I loved it so much, so I got hooked on I guess it was the ability, like I felt super powerful being able to build something from scratch and get it ranked in Google, and have people click on it and then make a purchase. I was like, this is amazing.

Phil Singleton: Yeah, yeah.

Mandy McEwen: This is so rad. Like I had no clue what I was doing and I just did this myself, and now I have it at the top of Google and people were clicking, and so that is really what got me fired up.

Phil Singleton: Exactly. No turning back after that, man.

Mandy McEwen: Exactly. Yeah, I was kind of hooked. I was sold, if you will.

Then after I realized I couldn’t make a living from affiliate marketing, like all of the gurus out there that I wanted to be like who are making millions of dollars selling other people’s products, I was like maybe I should start talking to business owners.

Because here I am in Kansas City, I’m helping business owners anyway with their home improvement, and so I was talking to business owners on a daily basis, like roofers and contractors and all sorts of things, and we would get talking about websites and SEO, and I would hear them complaining about their horrible SEO companies in Kansas City, and how they were ripping them off, and they weren’t getting results.

It was kind of like a light bulb went off, and I was like, man, I guarantee you if I’m ranking for national keywords right now for like Snuggie’s. I’m not kidding, I was literally promoting Snuggie’s still.

Phil Singleton: That’s awesome. That’s cool.

Mandy McEwen: If I can do that, really I can help these Kansas City business owners. So that’s what I did. I was like, “Hey, give me a shot. I’m going to rank your website for free, and then once I do, you pay me $500. And it worked, right? So I got a couple people and they were like, “Sure,” and it worked. And they were like, “By the way, my website’s pretty crappy. Do you want to redo it for me?” And I’m like, “Of course.”

At this time, I’d been building websites for a couple of years. I was pretty dang good at it, and of course I discovered WordPress. And then I started emailing people. Once I had a few people I knew, I started emailing people on the second page in Google for like Overland Park Chiropractor, right? That’s an example that I did. And I would email these people and be like, “Hey, you’re ranked on page two in Google, I can promise you I can get you on page one and you don’t have to pay me a dime. All you do is pay me $500 when I get you to the top.”

I got one guy that immediately he was like, “Yes, please.” I said, “Okay, sweet.” And guess what? It worked. So just those three little like, let me do this for free, just to kind of dabble, and those worked, and then they told their friends.

I attribute my success quickly to the Kansas City community, because I really did embrace the networking in Kansas City. And the business owners, they talk to each other, they help each other out.  That’s how I was able to get clients so quickly is because the business owners talked to their friends.

-Mandy McEwen

This is what I love about Kansas City, is just the … I attribute my success quickly to the Kansas City community, because I really did embrace the networking in Kansas City. And the business owners, they talk to each other, they help each other out.

That’s how I was able to get clients so quickly is because the business owners talked to their friends. So a roofer was friends with another roofer, even though they were competitors, they were friends and they were like, “Hey, I have no problem you also hiring Mandy, because she does great work and there’s plenty of roofing jobs in Kansas City to go around.”

So it really just led from one thing to another, and I was like, I think I have a business here. I think I need to take this seriously. So I was doing everything myself at first, then I discovered the wonderful world of outsourcing and hiring freelancers, and that’s pretty much history, that that’s how it started, and I hired my first freelancer and we started doing more and more.

Back in the days where you could get away with doing SEO, it was great. But then quickly turned into, oh crap, we gotta have social media now. We can’t just rely on Google. These people need Facebook, and they need Twitter, and they need a Yelp, you know, all of this. So it quickly transpired into me doing SEO services and web design, to really a full service marketing agency.

That’s pretty much, yeah, the short story, and then we branched out obviously to get more national clients, but it really did all start at the local level in Kansas City and it was just word of mouth.
I didn’t even have a website when I first started, it was literally, I’m going to see what happens. I’m going to talk to these people, I’m going to get them results. And thanks to my results, that’s really all it took for them to tell their friends.

Phil Singleton: That’s so awesome. So you started with some national success, brought it here home, hustled, got a couple of clients, then kind of did a little bit of traditional, almost like networking, word of mouth, kind of relied on the community and kind of hustled a little bit there.

Mandy McEwen: Yep.

Phil Singleton: And then that kind of rolled up into its own agency, that’s SEO focused, right, now it’s full service digital. I think all of us now, it’s pretty funny, I’ve been interviewing a lot of folks that started basically on one kind of a tactic. Either it was SEO, Facebook marketing, maybe it’s AdWords or PPC, but everybody almost kind of ends up in the middle at some form of inbound marketing, because it’s like … It’s just so much more now you have to do and kind of flip it.

If you’re going to work with somebody and get a decent engagement or retainer off of them, it’s almost like you got to be doing more than just a single tactic these days. But that sounds like exactly what you’ve kind of rolled into, and as I’m reading through your bio, again here in front of me, that’s kind of what you’re doing and what you’re teaching, actually.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah, certainly, and I still recommend having that specialty. My specialty to this day is still SEO. So I always recommend if people can, you do need to choose a focus. Now that’s not to say that you can’t provide other services on top of that, but you don’t want to be like the, “Hey, we do it all. What do you need?” You want to be able to be like, “We can handle your entire inbound marketing, but here’s our specialty. We are excellent at SEO strategy, SEO research, and content marketing strategy.”

So you have something that you excel in, but at the same time you can put the pieces together, whether you’re outsourcing or you’re joining forces with another agency, or whatever the client needs, you can make it happen. But you’re also not trying to pretend like you’re an amazing expert in every little tiny area. Does that make sense?

Phil Singleton: Totally. One thing I’d like to get your comment on is, and this is I think a really popular thing out in terms of like the digital agency coaches and even just marketing in general. It’s almost like … And I know there’s a lot of truth to this what I’m about to say, but I think I’ve seen, and even my own business, it’s not necessarily true of everybody, and that is, it seems like if you’re not focusing on a specific vertical or a niche, then you’re either doing it wrong or losing a lot of potential.

Now I myself, our whole book is all sorts of different clients, and I think part of that might be what you just touched on is, okay, maybe it isn’t a vertical that you’re specializing, but you still have a specialty.

So if your angle, I guess, maybe is SEO, maybe that is kind of that special unique thing that you have that could still go maybe across different industries, versus somebody that says, no, if you’re not focusing on doctors or lawyers or some kind of specific dentist or something like that, you’re never going to reach your potential. That’s the right way to do marketing or at least marketing services these days. What do you think about that? Tell me where I’m wrong.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. Well, I actually am a big believer in doing just what you said and niching down. And in my programs, my Mod Legion Masters LinkedIn course, my Remote Agency Society membership, and the phase one after … Well, phase one is always setting your goals, of course, financial goals and goals in general. But phase two is always choosing a specific vertical.

Phil Singleton: Got you.

Mandy McEwen: But here’s the thing though, Phil. So I preach to do that, and spend your resources on that, but that is by no means the only clients that you need to take on.
Let me give you an example. It took me forever to find what niche that I wanted to focus on when it comes to Mod Girl’s consulting and service clients, and that was healthcare and kind of B2B technology, primarily healthcare. But when I decided that, I was amazed at how many random leads I would get. Like we’re talking nowhere near healthcare. And guess what? I would still work with those people.

I have awesome financial clients, I have federal clients. I have clients that are nowhere near what you will see on my website, if you go and you see the type of people that Mod Girl targets.
So it’s kind of twofold. I do highly recommend it, especially for people starting out, because there’s so much competition with digital. So if you can focus on a niche and you frame your entire Linked …

Mandy McEwen: If you can focus on a niche and you frame your entire LinkedIn profile around that niche, you put stuff on your website around that industry, and you talk to them and you speak to their pain points and you use their language, you are going to get leads and clients much faster than if you just say you help small business owners, okay?

I do recommend starting out and niching down, but at the same time, you can still take on other clients.

-Mandy McEwen

Phil Singleton: Got you.

Mandy McEwen: However, that is not going to deter other people from contacting you if they see that you do good work and they like your vibe and they like what you stand for. They’re still going to reach out to you. By all means, take them on as a client if they’re a good fit. I do recommend starting out and niching down, but at the same time, you can still take on other clients.

Phil Singleton: Well, one of the things we’ve been trying to do here is, because Kansas City, that’s our biggest market, so it gets really hard to niche down in one geographic area. What we’re trying to do now is pick a vertical nationally. We can go after more and maybe get clients everywhere, but still on the local market, which is our bread and butter, it’s almost like we have to stay somewhat broad.

Mandy McEwen: Yes, and that’s a different beast for sure. When I talk to my members and my students, if you will, it’s mainly they’re going after national clients, because I would never recommend to someone like you to scoop up every single referrer in Kansas City because then they’re competing against each other and that’s not cool. You’re not doing any of your clients a favor, right?

Phil Singleton: Your market gets small real fast.

Mandy McEwen: Exactly, exactly. When we’re talking about local markets, yes, it’s a completely different beast, and going back to what you said about specializing in something specific, a certain type of service to various different industries in a local market, same concept.

Even when we talked to people that are going after certain types of executives, same goes for that, too. You could go across different verticals, but you’re targeting CMOs in Kansas City. As long as you’re somewhat specific about something, it doesn’t have to be in the industry, it could be the local area, it could be the job title, whatever it is, you need to be a little bit specific instead of just saying, “We can help anyone.”

Phil Singleton: How many is too many? Do you recommend people pick one or two or three?

Mandy McEwen: I recommend three tops. Start with one, two. On our LinkedIn and on my training, I recommend you can focus on two tops on your LinkedIn headline and your experience sections. That doesn’t mean that you can’t mention more in your summary, but in terms of the first thing that people see, it should not be more than two industries or services or target markets, however you want to word it.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. All right, so let’s shift it a little bit and tell us about what kind of marketing strategies and tactics you think are working right now, today. I’d like to hear both ways and what you think about what’s working for some of your clients in a specific niche, but also for us agency owners. What do you see guys and gals, agency owners, getting in terms of being able to build their business from a strategy and tactic wise?

Mandy McEwen: Yes, definitely. Good question. I just mentioned one of my courses, so naturally I’m going to say LinkedIn here.

Phil Singleton: Sweet.

Mandy McEwen: With that said, not everyone’s target market’s on LinkedIn. If one of our markets is plastic surgery, I do not recommend anyone go and try to get plastic surgery clients on LinkedIn because you won’t find them there, right? I say LinkedIn with that caveat that it is a goldmine for B2B clients.

Phil Singleton: B2B, okay.

Mandy McEwen: Yes. That is what we have an entire detailed six week program on, exactly how to do that and how to leverage growth tools and automation tools to help really speed up that process and get in front of hundreds of qualified prospects every single day. It’s really, really, really powerful. If you’re going after B2B clients, and this goes for agencies and really any B2B company in general. We apply the same system to larger companies and also super small startup agencies that are going after B2B clients, so LinkedIn 100% for that.

In terms of consumer or maybe B2C, obviously Facebook ads is excellent, and then good old-fashioned cold email marketing, even though let’s keep that in the States, not the EU, with the whole GDPR stuff going on. Please comply with your local laws. That’s my disclaimer there, as we’re actually getting ready to do a lot with compliance and privacy and security. That’s a whole other thing that we can talk about later in a couple months that we’re getting into.

That’s what I would say, Facebook ads for B2C, and then LinkedIn for B2B.

Phil Singleton: Nice. Interesting on the email, which I do think is really good, but the only success that we’ve ever really had on it is super targeted, very personal, and also where the give is pretty high. Again, that’s just us being trial and error, not doing it a whole lot, because when the inbound is working, then you work the inbound, but maybe if there’s a little bit of a lull, there’s time to do a little bit of outbound stuff. Tell me what we’re doing right and wrong there. Any tips and tactics that you can give us in terms of email?

Mandy McEwen: Yes, good point. I say this with the notion that I am a huge inbound person. I’ve been blogging weekly for years, okay? A lot of our leads and stuff that are coming in right now are inbound, but I know that a lot of people, they want leads now, especially startup agencies, and they cannot wait for the inbound to come in. The tactics I’m telling you right now are the quicker tactics.

Obviously I’m an inbound lover, but going back to that, you are exactly right, Phil. How we actually get results with cold email is to be super specific and give them something free right off the bat. Let me give you an example. When we were targeting female plastic surgeons, I made an eBook called The Female Surgeon Advantage and why female plastic surgeons have a huge advantage right now over male plastic surgeons. I wrote an entire eBook on it.

The call to action was get you your free mini marketing audit, so it was just free value after free value after free value, and then I would get them on the phone. That worked like a charm because it’s standing out, it’s speaking directly to them, it’s telling them, “Look, you have an advantage right now that you’re not leveraging. Check this out. Look, I want to help you for free.” Get them on the phone. I’m telling them all these amazing golden nuggets where their mind is like, “Oh.” They can see the light.

It’s just value, value, value, value, and then by that time, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you gave me all this and I haven’t paid you anything. What do I owe you? How do we go from here?” You are 100% spot on with the fact that you either have to be super charming and witty and funny, if that’s your target market to start the conversation, and or you need to be providing value upfront and a lot of it.

Phil Singleton: Did you go out and target and develop a list and then just send an email out?

Mandy McEwen: Yes. I purchased a list from Info USA, actually.

Phil Singleton: Okay, awesome. That’s available to anybody, and then you just drilled down? Was there any rhyme or reason to how you contacted folks?

Mandy McEwen: Yes. I told Info USA, I was like, “Okay, here’s my target market. I want female plastic surgeons in the entire US.” There wasn’t actually an insane amount, which helps me because that’s what I want. I want a specific target market, so it really was super affordable. They basically gave me email addresses, where they graduated from, how long they’ve been an MD, what their contact address was. I was going to send postcards and direct mail too, but I didn’t have to because the email worked.

Phil Singleton: You found the email’s actually … Were they 80%, 90%, 50%?

Mandy McEwen: Well, I would say not all of them are going to be good emails. Some of those surgeons had moved, and so their email address had changed, and so I would say probably like 60%.

Phil Singleton: That’s pretty good.

Mandy McEwen: Yes. No, it wasn’t bad. I was doing it the OG way. I didn’t even have Mail Shake or any of the platforms that exist now or that I would be using now. I was literally just emailing them in Gmail and doing-

Phil Singleton: I think that’s awesome, make it personal to a template or something.

Mandy McEwen: Yes. It was just a template. I was literally emailing them in Gmail and the ones that would respond, I would start personal conversations with and then go from there because-

Phil Singleton: Did you have followup? Was it just the first one that you sent and, “Here’s this,” or did you have, “Here’s this,” and then you drip fed them some stuff?

Mandy McEwen: Yes, there was followup. There was a followup, but I didn’t bombard the people. If they didn’t respond right away, I think I might’ve sent them one more and then that’s it. I only followed up with the people. I put them on drip campaigns for the ones that responded and showed interest and responded and said, “I actually am interested,” or, “Let’s talk,” and then I couldn’t get a hold of them, I would go in my AWeber account, which we don’t use AWeber anymore, but back in the day, that’s really the only email marketing platform I had. That’s what I’d do. I would set them on drip campaigns, the ones that did express interest, and I would give them free value for, I don’t even know, it was four to six weeks I think, and the call to action there was just, “Fill out this form to get your free marketing audit.”

Phil Singleton: At some point, you’d have some of them, probably one or two contacts would contact you, and then other ones maybe a little bit further down the road?

Mandy McEwen: Exactly, yes.

Phil Singleton: Sweet. Yes, I did a lot what you said you did in the beginning, which is direct outreach and just basically in a nice way, “Hey, I see you guys are in advertising. You’re getting your ass kicked online.”

Mandy McEwen: Yes.

Phil Singleton: “Here’s where they are. Here’s where your competitors are. Let me know if we can meet up.” Especially, I did a lot that was like, “Here’s my name. I’m here in Kansas City,” if they’re in Kansas City. “Here’s my cell phone number.” It wasn’t like one of these guys that’s overseas giving the same broken-

Mandy McEwen: Exactly.

Phil Singleton: That’s a huge difference, right?

Mandy McEwen: Yes. No, it makes a huge difference. I think that’s another reason why when I first started out in KC and when I was reaching out to those cold random contacts like the chiropractors, I didn’t know any chiropractors in Kansas City, but when I would cold email them and say, “Hey, I’m actually in Overland Park just like you, right down the street,” that makes a huge difference because these people, you, me, every single business owner is bombarded with offshore LinkedIn messages, emails. It’s constant. When you do say, “I’m actually right here in Kansas City right down the street from you and this is what I can do for you,” of course you’re going to stand out versus the guy from India who just emailed them.

Phil Singleton: Right, right, right. That’s awesome. This is really, really great stuff. Just curious in terms of your package on the consultancy side, then I want to get into what you offer in terms of coaching and teaching people that are trying to grow your agencies, but what does a standard package of yours look like? Is it a web redesign setup? Are you guys doing writing for folks, too? Does it run the gamut?

Mandy McEwen: No, that’s a really good question. Right now, we have our existing clients that we’ve been working with for a while and we are basically their marketing department, so we are doing everything from blogging to website updates to SEO to PPC to Facebook ads, you name it. However, we are not taking on new clients that are full service.

In terms of an engagement now, new clients that we work with starting last year or this year and moving forward, they are mainly consulting, training, strategy type clients. These are bigger companies. I’m not talking huge billion dollar corporations. I’m just talking a big enough company to have at least a couple people on their marketing team to where we come in. We don’t do website redesign anymore either, but we will help plan a website redesign. We’ll do the strategy, the SEO research. We’ll tell you what your titles and meta tags and what content you should be blogging about, and we’ll do all of that, and then we’ll train your team on how to best continue to do that. It’s more of a collaborative consultative approach now is how we look at it.

Phil Singleton: Is that infinite retainer type stuff or is it project-based for a period of time?

Mandy McEwen: It’s both. Yes, it’s both. We’ll do some that are pretty big projects upfront, and then they might not be ready yet for an ongoing analytics consulting package or whatever, and then they’ll come back to us in four months after they’ve implemented everything we’ve told them and then they’re ready, or some of them are immediately after the strategy and the audit and all that, they’re ready to move forward on a monthly engagement. It really just varies.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Well, to give you a little insight and get your feedback on it, so we’ve done different things. We started off at the very beginning. It was like the 375, $500, even $1000 a month. Now, our sweet spot for our agencies is the $2000 to $3000 range on retainers, but we do get some. We still have a couple right now that are maybe in the $5000 to $10000 range.
The problem that I have with those is the more you charge people closer to, I don’t know, once it starts getting like five, six, seven, especially $10000, the time that they want for you is just a killer, where you get a $2000 or $3000 a month very light touch, a lot of value, stuff that maybe you can outsource or have a team for, but it’s literally like, “Here’s the report. Here’s the results. Here’s the bill.”

You can scale that stuff up really nicely, whereas a $10000 client sounds awesome, but they want their pound of flesh. You get a few of those, all of sudden it’s like you’re pulling your hair out. That’s our experience and how we’re doing, but I’m just curious since you work with a lot agencies and stuff, what you’re …

Phil Singleton: I’m just kind of curious since you work with a lot of agencies and stuff what your insight is on that.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. That’s a really good question, Phil. So have you heard of Value-Based Consulting by Alan Weiss.

Phil Singleton: No.

Mandy McEwen: Okay. He has like $1 million consultant, value-based consulting, his name’s Alan Weiss. So that’s pretty much how I model over high paying clients off of is kind of positioning that way and showing the value …

Phil Singleton: Value versus hours and time, stuff like that.

“If they were to complain about your $15,000 a month service, all you have to do is turn around and be like, “you know this campaign we ran last month? How much revenue did that generate for you?” They’re like, “Uh, $2.5 million.”

-Mandy McEwen

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. So they’re not expecting the world from me because all you have to do is turn around and be like, “Okay.” If they were to complain about your $15,000 a month service, all you have to do is turn around and be like, “You know this campaign we ran last month? How much revenue did that generate for you?” They’re like, “Uh, $2.5 million.” Exactly. So you can be quiet now. So that rarely happens to us because we position it correctly up front but it’s all about choosing the right types of clients to where if you’re landing them huge projects on a monthly basis, then it’s not going to mater that they’re paying you $15,000 a month because that is chump change compared to the millions that you’re helping them bring in.

Phil Singleton: Right. Right.

Mandy McEwen: It’s all your selection and your niche selection.

Phil Singleton: Selection, yeah. Setting it up. Getting I guess people to understand, “Hey, you’re paying me for,” like you said, “value versus time.” Because once they start getting into, “Well, how much time are you spending on my …” But it gets tough. Once you’re at like five, six, eight, that 10,000. I mean, you’re basically an employee, an upper level employee, in terms of a fee. So part of that probably has to do with somewhat a size. $1 million a year company just can’t afford that kind of stuff.

Mandy McEwen: Exactly. Exactly.

Phil Singleton: If they’re five or 10 …

Mandy McEwen: Right. Because it’s not just you. You’re providing a various types of services so they have to think of that too, and that’s how we position it. Like, “Look, we’re not just one employee. If you were to try and go out there and hire a full time team with salary and benefits to what we do for you, do you realize how much you’d be paying? They wouldn’t be nearly as good because they’re not experts.”

Phil Singleton: Or they’re shifting between like … Exactly. I was thinking I was talking to a guy in town here that has a much bigger agency than I have. They probably do $50 million a year. So for them a really small account that they’d probably turn and raise $250,000 a year, right? They’re ideal is like $1 million a year budget.

Mandy McEwen: Dang.

Phil Singleton: Yeah, but that’s I think a little bit more of a different agency out of the boutique and you get really a lot bigger clients. I mean, they really do expect probably more of an agency setting, hand holding.

Mandy McEwen: 100%.

Phil Singleton: Hand holding every day contact, everything like that. Just kind of have to do that piece, which, again, is at some point if you get into the small agency stuff, you get big enough, and you kind of get into this where I want to be where we kind of are is that kind of boutique, maybe smaller team, you get some outsourcing help. But I still think there’s probably a revenue range, right? It’s like at some point companies get so big they just want to work with big agencies. That’s my perspective maybe just talking about companies here in Kansas City. Thoughts on that?

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. Again, I think it depends on the industry. There is that kind of, I don’t even know, stigma if you will. This big bad ass agency doesn’t want anything to do with the little guy. They only want the best, biggest agency. You know what I’m saying?

Phil Singleton: Right. Right. Right.

Mandy McEwen: The big brands, of course, they’re going to want to hire big agencies. However, with that said, this is what I tell my members and startup agencies all the time, it’s all about the relationships you build because if you build a relationship with the savvy CMO and this has happened to be personally time and time again. You stay in touch with them, you build out relationship and they move from job to job, and they wound up at this ginormous company. You’ve built that relationship with them and they love. Guess what? They’re going to come to you and hire you. It doesn’t matter how big you are, okay?

So there’s kind of a caveat to that too is it’s all about building relationships with individuals. So if you’re just a little guy and you’re not building these relationships, of course a huge companies going to choose a big agency over you. But if you’ve been building relationships with these executives for the past couple of years and they see your content every day and they wound up at a big company and they like you and you have that rapport, you have a really good shot at gaining that new big business opposed to some random big agency that they don’t know.

Phil Singleton: Right. Right.

Mandy McEwen: This is happening to me right now. Actually just got off a phone call before I got on with you, and the exact same scenario just happened because I’ve been networking with CMOs for the past several years. If they had an ebook and a book that I sold actually and a little course on CMOs and inbound marketing. So things like that can occur often where the little guy does end up landing the big fish, but it’s all based on relationships. It’s not those big fish going to Google and finding your little ole website and contacting you. You know what I’m saying?

Phil Singleton: Right. So two more … I’m going to ask about your remote agency site at the end. But the one thing I want to also ask is I mean you’ve done a really good job developing your own personal brand and influence. I’d like to just hear a little bit about how you think how important that’s been if that’s one of the things you recommend to everybody does and the things that you’ve done that you’ve found that’s kind of helped you maybe fast track or that have been really helpful in terms of helping you build your own influence and your brand because you’ve done such a good job at it.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. Well, thanks so much. Yeah, that has been key in me building credibility and trustworthiness among really the public in general. I mean, I have strangers that I don’t know and they’re like, “I love your stuff. I trust you.” Anything. “We’ll send clients your way.” It’s all because of my personal brand. So these people feel like they know me but they don’t really know me.

They do and I don’t know them, but it’s only because I’ve been pouring my heart out there for years and blogging and my voice comes through. I’m making video. I’m putting my face on my brand so Mod Girl is people think of me. I do have a team but because I’ve leveraged my face and my personality in everything I do, it adds that human element. This is what I tell people all the time too it’s like I cannot stand when I go to an agency website and all I can see are freaking stock photos. There’s not a single image or video of an actual person that works there. That drives me crazy, and it’s probably because I’m the complete opposite of that.

So we live in a world today where it’s hard to trust anyone, okay? There’s so much crap out there. There’s so many scams.

Phil Singleton: Totally.

Mandy McEwen: If you’re not getting personal and letting people know who you are and what you stand for and what you believe in and how you can help them and getting to know you as a person, then you’re doing yourself A, your business a disservice because that’s really how you win business these days is you have to get personal and you have to build those relationships. The only way to do that is to build a personal brand.

Phil Singleton: Is there anything in particular … I mean, has video helped you a lot. You mentioned blogging a number of time. I mean, obviously, that was probably helpful in the beginning.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. If I were to start over, I would have started with video. But mind you I’ve been doing this for 10 years now and blogging was the way to go back then because I could easily get ranked in Google really, really quickly. But people learn your … I know everyone’s different. So I know not everyone likes to get on camera. I get that.

Phil Singleton: You almost have to. Like you said, people have to be able to trust you.

Mandy McEwen: Exactly. It took me years, literally years.

Phil Singleton: It still kills me to this day. I was the classic like SCO. I lived in the bat cave, never have to talk to anybody type of guy.

Mandy McEwen: Yes.

Phil Singleton: Of course then Google chased me out of my cave, and now I’m putting my face everywhere, right?

Mandy McEwen: Totally. Yeah. So I would say if you can start with video. If you’re going to put your resources into something, do video because you can always do SCO friendly videos and you can throw that up on a blog. You can still do blogging while doing videos and building that human element and personal touch.

Phil Singleton: It’s really interesting to me, I just kind of noticed this the other day, is almost like kind of used to like think it was funny that real estate agents would always like put their pictures everywhere, on their signs, on their boards, on their cars. Now it seems like that’s all of marketing has become, especially online. The better your ad is, the better your attaching kind of your face as your brand or your content and stuff, the more people are winning business from that.

Mandy McEwen: 100%. Yeah, you want to know something funny, Phil? So I actually networked with a ton of realtors and still have them this day as good friends in Kansas City. They were the ones that were like, “You need to put your picture on your business cards.” So literally my very first business card was me standing in my living room in Overland Park with like the curtains behind me, and that was literally on my business card. I still have those cards to this day, but I would go to networking events and there was no one else besides realtors with their picture on them. But people would say something about it and remember me by it. It’s hilarious because I would totally take that realtor approach to what I did, but it worked.

Phil Singleton: So awesome. Listen, I want to kind of wrap up here, and I really appreciate because I could probably talk to you, talk shop, pick your brain for hours.

Mandy McEwen: Forever.

Phil Singleton: Exactly. I mean, it’s so awesome to be able to talk to somebody that’s in the same business but also somebody that’s accomplished and as smart as you are. It’s extra special. What I’d like to do is tell us a little bit about the courses and the stuff that you’ve got going on, your new agency society, and then I want to just let our listeners know where are the best places to follow you.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. Definitely. So over the past really 18 months or less, we have been … I’ve been really focused on cranking out a bunch of awesome products for marketing entrepreneurs and startup agencies. So we have everything. We have a high end, Linkedin Lead-Gen course. Then I have like a mini Lead-Gen course. I have an outsourcing course on how to, and I give away my top vetted freelancers and white label agencies. Pretty much anything that I think that agencies would need to scale faster, right? Startup and small agencies. Then I realized I love actually like collaborating and live talking and helping people. I like that human element and the connection. So I was like, “I need some sort of membership where I can do this on an ongoing basis and charge a fee to where I’m still getting paid but I’m helping these people.”

So in April I launched my very first membership remote agency society where every single week I go live in a Facebook group. I answer their questions, I give them feedback on their new website, their email templates, their campaigns, their lead generation strategies. Then I also every single month have a topic of conversation where I give them my templates. So right now we’re talking about email marketing. So I’m bringing in an email marketing expert and we’re talking about cold email and we’re giving them templates. So pretty much anything that I have used to help me scale my agency, I’m giving them thoughts and also going live with them every single week. I also do a hot seat where one lucky member gets an hour live coaching session with me valued at $1,000 every single month.

This is what I love so I absolutely love … This is one of my passions. Of course I love helping business owners. I’m still growing my agency with those high paying clients, but what I really, really love doing every day is helping fellow marketing entrepreneurs and this is a way I get to do that. So that’s pretty much it.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. We’re definitely going to check that out and have it in the show notes. Then tell us where your website or websites are and your favorite places where we can connect with you on social media.

Mandy McEwen: Yeah. So my free Facebook group is really the best. It’s called Mod Agency Insiders, but the URL you can go to is and that will take you directly to the Facebook group. It’s a free Facebook group. All you have to do is request and we’ll get you in there. We’re actually getting ready to release a free membership with a ton of awesome content. So if you are a member of that, you’ll be the first to know about that. So that’s ….

Phil Singleton: Now’s the time, jump on it. All right, cool.

Mandy McEwen: Definitely. Yep. Then, of course, is the website.

Phil Singleton: Awesome. Social media channels? It sounds like for your big print out Facebook and obviously LinkedIn, you mentioned that too.

Mandy McEwen: LinkedIn, Twitter. I’m pretty much everywhere. Pretty much active everywhere. So whatever your choice is, @MandyModGirl is my handle on every channel.

Phil Singleton: We’ll find them all and we’ll put them up in the show notes, but thank you so much for spending this much time with us. You’re awesome. You’ve got great content, and you’re great educational resources I think for all of us that are trying to learn more and help grow our businesses. So thank you for joining us, Mandy, and we hope to talk to you again at some point.

Mandy McEwen: All right. Thanks so much for having me.