This is a follow up story for Grow Your Agency. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name’s Iman Gadzhi and I’m a digital marketing agency owner - IAG Media - and founder of the world’s largest education company for agency owners: Grow Your Agency.
At my digital marketing agency, we offer Facebook and Google advertising to select eCommerce and info-product clients. Over the past few years, we’ve helped household names and new startups including Oura Ring, Kevin James, and AJ &S Smart.
Members of GrowYourAgency.com can choose between Agency Incubator, our program designed to help beginners and entrepreneurs start and scale their digital marketing agencies, and our flagship program: Copy Paste Agency, which helps existing agency owners quickly and radically grow their agencies to multi-six-and-seven figures.
Since its inception, GrowYourAgency.com has served thousands of happy students and created hundreds of successful agency owners who enjoy six-figure profits from their most remote businesses.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
While most of the world was forced to stand still in the last year, we’ve been furiously working to offer the very latest and best information to our students and the wider community, including launching Copy Paste Agency, and on what is still a top-secret project that we’ll be launching later this year.
Eat better, sleep better, think better, and you’ll be able to work harder, for longer, act more decisively and succeed.
This has meant a huge expansion of the GrowYourAgency team: in the last year, we’ve welcomed two student success managers, a full-time support manager, and - without giving too much away - a small team of incredibly talented software engineers.
We’ve also focused on diversifying our marketing techniques for GrowYourAgency: the lack of consistency and unpredictability of Facebook advertising has seen us move to both other paid traffic sources, and to lean more heavily on organic marketing and branding.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
I’ve learned two huge lessons in the last year.
The first is one of legacy.
It’s an accusation that’s often thrown at info-product businesses: they’re set up as a quick cash-grab and allow people to earn more from teaching than doing.
And it’s mostly true. Most people sell a course, hastily put together to great fanfare, and then never do anything to care for their students.
It’s incredibly important to me that GrowYourAgency doesn’t operate like this: and instead of that we offer as much value as possible to students, and do so transparently and reliably.
Whilst the headline numbers of running a business like this appear attractive, I’m amazed at how much it costs to do things ‘properly’.
For example, we hold someone who enrolled in a course two years ago in the same light as someone who enrolled the day before - many of our community members benefit from support from our team, after first enrolling almost three years ago.
Of course, things go wrong. And people are quick to hold us accountable - whilst this is a little stressful, I understand why.
So I’m really proud that GrowYourAgency continues to be so highly regarded and trusted by so many.
The second is software.
It’s one thing building a business using existing tools and systems but building your own is another challenge entirely. Previously, we’ve been able to lean on Teachable.com, Google Sheets, and other piecemeal solutions to provide information and resources to our students.
But as we grow as a company, and we continue to work on our own version of these tools, I’ve been thrown into the deep end when it comes to software. I’m lucky to have a world-class software engineer on my team but I’ve also had to learn the basics of coding, back-and-front end development, and UX/UI quickly to be able to manage projects.
Whilst I still believe that information and content are kings, as the interface becomes more and more important to learning experiences, I urge everyone to develop a basic understanding of the software.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
The biggest challenge in the next year will be to balance ‘doing’ and ‘teaching’. Whilst it excites me to share everything we’re doing at my own digital marketing agency with our students, it’s also important that we’re given the freedom and opportunity to experiment - and occasionally - make mistakes.
So whilst later this year, we’ll be launching something that will shake up the info-product business and provide new levels of service and value to our students, I’ll also be doing something equally revolutionary with my agency.
On a more exciting note, we hope to be able to host another incredible community party for members of the GrowYourAgency community.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (2012) by Dr. Joe Dispenza
2020 was a challenging year for me personally. And whilst I’ve long been an advocate and practitioner of meditation, this book reminded me of its importance and reinvigorated my passion for it.
Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Read this at your peril. The damage done to the productivity and happiness of the individual by formal and institutionalized education is astonishing.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Mindset and discipline.
Whilst I appreciate that might be a frustrating answer to hear, and difficult to act on, it’s something that I’ve found very clearly distinguishes would-be entrepreneurs and those who are truly successful.
A couple of months ago, we surveyed Agency Incubator students and found something truly astonishing: the majority of respondents stated that they found our mindset training most useful in growing their agencies.
Whilst practical tools, education, and information are vital if you’re looking to grow your business, the most important investment you can make is in your mindset. Eat better, sleep better, think better, and you’ll be able to work harder, for longer, act more decisively and succeed.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Always: we’ve just filled the position of a third performance marketer for IAG Media - and we’ll be looking for another soon.
At GrowYourAgency, we’re also looking for more software engineers with a background in education.
Where can we go to learn more?
- The GrowYourAgency free resources section - learn how to start an SMMA, how to sign your first client, and how to improve your email outreach.
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel - and win blue-light blocking glasses from my clothing brand, GADZHI
- Win a free call with me and learn how to start an SMMA in 2021 here.
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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