Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Jake Jorgovan and I am a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Podcaster, and Business Advisor. I have two companies currently, Lead Cookie & Content Allies. But for the focus of this article, I am going to be focusing on Lead Cookie which is a larger and more mature company.
Lead Cookie is a done-for-you Linkedin Lead Generation and Appointment Setting Company. We work with B2B companies to help them schedule appointments with their target customers.
Today Lead Cookie is averaging between $45k-70k every month. As an owner, I only spend 4-8 hours per week on this company while my team runs the business.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I haven’t had a real job since I was 19 years old.
My early days of entrepreneurship involved a home recording studio that evolved into a media production agency. I built up an agency with a partner at a young age and worked with Fortune 500 clients and A-List touring artists. This was my first “real company”.
After I left the agency, I moved onto freelancing for about 4-5 years while traveling the world, but eventually, I decided that I was ready to “start a real company again”.
When I set out to start Lead Cookie I brainstormed a bunch of business ideas on paper, and one of them was “Linkedin Marketing Agency”.
At the time, I researched around and there were only about 7 companies in the market focused on Linkedin at that time. It was an untapped well of opportunity.
Today, there are thousands.
To kick this idea off, I did some market research for about two weeks and began working with my business advisor Alex McClafferty.
I threw up a quick and dirty landing page and then started pitching the service to past consulting and freelancing clients.
Within the first 2 weeks, I had closed $12k of MRR by selling to people within my existing network. That was rapid validation that I had something that was working!
While this sounds like an overnight success, there is more to the story. I had been freelancing as an “outbound consultant” for the past 3 years. I had been running cold email and outreach campaigns to set appointments for companies. I had just been doing this on a very personalized and consultative basis.
Lead Cookie was simply productization of the services I had already been offering.
Also, when I launched this I was still consulting. So I was balancing old consulting clients with the launch and build of this new company. It was a lot to balance at the time but enabled me to reinvest more in the short term as opposed to riding my whole income on this venture.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The process was very raw. I threw up a landing page with a screen share video that was roughly 7 minutes long explaining what we would do for customers. I then started emailing it out to clients.
At first, the product was actually a hobbling together of a few off-the-shelf software tools and a virtual assistant.
We quickly had to kill many of the initial software tools we were using and develop our own internal tool which was a combination of custom code, Zapier, and Airtable.
It was very raw. We didn’t really know exactly what we were doing, we just built as we were going and signing our first customers.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I created a landing page for what was first called Linkedin Panda. I sent that around to a bunch of contacts in my existing network and signed up the first 12 customers within 2 weeks. From there, we just started delivering. We had a lot of issues those first few months, but we also delivered a lot of results.
Some customers churned off, but others were quite happy and became raving case studies. We kept iterating and improving over time.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
For a long time, we ran our own outbound as one of our primary growth channels. Eventually, when there was a surge of copycat lead gen businesses in the space, it became less effective.
Eventually, we built up quite an inbound stream of clients through content marketing, podcasting, and building up my personal brand at jake-jorgovan.com.
At some point, we hit a bit of a “flywheel” with our marketing where we have so many referrals and word of mouth coming in because we do great work. We are continuing to expand our marketing but thought leadership and content marketing went a very long way.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today things are great. As a founder, I am no longer involved in the day-to-day of the business. I have two Partners at the company who run the day-to-day and are building a better business than I ever imagined. They have a relentless focus on quality and setting us apart from all of the low-quality lead gen spammers out there.
The team consists of roughly 20 full-time team members and we have a waitlist of 2-4 months at any given point in time. We are in a great spot and very optimistic about the future.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I’ve learned so many things. This article shares a lot of what I learned from my business advisor Alex McClafferty in the first 6 months. If I had to make some key takeaways.
- Business is simple. Create an offer. Drive people to the offer. Deliver on what you promised. Repeat.
- Know your numbers. (This book is a great read to improve your financial literacy.)
- Your business is a reflection of yourself. Improve yourself and your business will improve.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Airtable - We use this for a lot of our list management and data management of the company. It is an incredibly versatile and powerful tool.
Airborne - This is a great tool that outbound agencies can use to run their outbound.
Process Street - I can’t rave about this tool more. It’s designed to handle the execution of repetitive tasks and systems.
Zapier - Zapier is the glue that holds all of our systems together.
Invoiced.com - I love this invoicing tool. They have phenomenal recurring billing solutions for service companies.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Scalable Services - This is a great community that I am a part of for business owners.
Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits - Most entrepreneurs are not great with finances. This book was the one book that really leveled up my financial understanding which was a key turning point to actually making money in business.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Your business is a reflection of yourself. If you aren’t happy with the results you are getting in your business, look in the mirror. The money in your bank account is a reflection of the value you are creating in the world.
If you aren’t happy with what you have, then consider that you need to level up your skills and mindsets.
Too many entrepreneurs think there is some hack or way to get to riches… It’s about leveling yourself up so you are a person that is capable of producing those.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes. We are consistently hiring at Content Allies for the following positions.
- Content Writer
- Podcast Audio Editor
- Video Editor
- Public Relations Coordinator
- Podcast Strategist
Send an email to [email protected] to learn more
Where can we go to learn more?
- Personal Blog
- Content Allies - We help B2B companies launch revenue-generating podcasts
- Lead Cookie - Your B2B Lead Generation Agency
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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