This is a follow up story for Fantôm Agency. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello, my name is Luis Camacho and I am the founder of Fantôm Agency and also the host of the SaaS AdLab podcast, which is a podcast where I interview SaaS founders to learn more about their story. Fantôm is a digital advertising agency that focuses on helping mid-to-late stage SaaS (software as a service) companies scale through paid advertising channels such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
We do this using a four-stage framework we created which allows clients to increase MRR & ARR. To accomplish this, we first identify areas of opportunities and execute a massive number of tests to understand the type of advertising that will resonate best with the client’s target audience while making sure that advertising is contextual and valuable.
Fantôm focuses entirely on paid advertising, I guess you could say that’s the bread and butter, it’s what I’m great at but it’s also what I’m most passionate about. There were attempts to enter different service offerings but did not have as much fun doing so. Now when clients require other types of marketing, say, email marketing, I point them to one of my trusted partners who can execute and over-deliver on such service for them. Now Fantom is currently making around $20-25k per month (up from $8,600) since the last time I wrote for Starter Story.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Since we last talked the business has seen a revenue increase of about 190%. I think one of the reasons the business has grown is because of a couple of different things, which include, authority in the space (mostly achieved because of the podcast I host), as well as connections.
Create meaningful relationships along the way and most importantly enjoy the process, grow, and never stop learning.
I started doing some free mentoring on GrowthMentor which has helped me build more authority as an agency in the startup space as well (and has helped me connect with some amazing individuals in the industry as well).
One place that has also brought in a small increase in traffic is Clutch, a directory of agencies that brings in people who are already looking for an agency to work with.
One thing I noticed when doing some competitor analysis is that most of the very large companies in the space had their content game dialed in, so that made bring on a content writing contractor whose focus was solely on writing new blog posts that were high quality, and thoroughly researched topics that could lead to (1) higher rankings and (2) more quality traffic to our site.
Take a look at the #1 organic for SaaS copywriting:
We’ve been keeping customers happy and coming back by doing what we’re supposed to do, bringing results. Our average retention for our customers is over a year-long, so when we close we’re pretty sure they’re going to be staying on for some time, if they don’t stay on for a min of 12 months there’s usually an issue on our end by not taking on a “perfect” client or overlooking something when the deal was closing.
As far as marketing goes, we’ve not done anything crazy, we typically save that for our clients (I know something almost every marketing agency overlooks). However, we’re in the process of starting to drink our own kool-aid, meaning we’re going to be starting some PPC very soon (in addition to our almost evergreen Facebook retargeting ads, because why wouldn’t we go after our lowest hanging fruit).
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Where to even start with these.
There’s been a lot of things that have happened that lead to new learning, honestly almost everything has some sort of lesson, big or small.
One of the biggest mistakes I believe is giving too much attention to things that seem to be a good idea but then not doing anything with it, for example building something without realizing that there’s already a lot on your plate to even fully execute on it.
By nature, I’m a doer and I want to execute on things very fast, which is good for the most part, but not when there’s a lot on your plate, at least in my opinion. One weekend I got an idea for a new business (productized lead gen service) so I put together a landing page, bought a domain, set up email sequences, started sending out the emails, built out automation to help to onboard, pretty much the entire MVP model was built out over a weekend (when I had time), but when it came down to it, I didn’t have the time to spend any more time actually working on it.
I think focusing on the 3 things you want most is ideal, at least for me, more than that start to pull my attention away from my priorities which is non-negotiable.
A cool personal update is that I got engaged in Cancun over the summer (picture(s) below).
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Currently, there are no plans to expand (Fantom Agency) to other services. When our clients or other people come to us looking for something that we do not offer we typically send them to one of our strategic partners (and we get a kickback). This allows Fantôm to focus on what we're best at while being able to send our clients to someone we trust while also capitalizing on the referral.
However, a friend and I are currently working on a new productized service, which in a sense will complement the offering of Fantom Agency (paid advertising) but can also live on its own. This is a design service, but unlike most out there, we will be focusing on only one deliverable, ad banners, this will be called GetAds.
I’m excited to hit $50k MRR, I’ve set a goal to do it by February 2021. It’s also in the plans to take on bigger consulting deals where the amount of work is low but the amount of value being delivered to bigger clients is highly actionable. An idea that has also run in my head more often than once is a non-profit organization that will help kids in underserved communities get the education needed to become entrepreneurs.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
One of my hobbies is to read so I could type here for a long time, I’ll keep it short for the sake of the readers, however.
One of the best books I’ve read this year is High-Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, earlier this year I was feeling like I was lacking focus and I wasn’t entirely sure where that feeling was coming from. I realized that it was something that happened to many entrepreneurs as we’re constantly going as fast as we can. I realized I needed to find a little more clarity, and this was one of the books that helped me. Not to mention the fact that it brings up the tremendously important power of habits.
Another book that I really enjoyed as well is A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron Gikandi. This book has impacted my life in more ways than one. I’m a firm believer that we become what we think. And this book just brings that point home, in a very mathematical approach (literally talking about quanta and other very interesting topics). Enjoyed it so much that I ended up tattooing a short excerpt that they reference in the book (originally a bible verse) on me.
“As A Man Thinketh, So Shall He Become”
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Surround yourself with like-minded people and find people who are doing better than you or that have already done some of the things you are trying to accomplish. Having a group of people who have similar goals as you will be absolutely crucial to building your business. You can talk about similar things, and hold each other accountable, which is invaluable and will help not only your business grow but it will also take your personal growth and development to different heights.
Be ready to do the work and whatever it takes to achieve your goals. Absolutely nothing will happen overnight. Make sure that you’re doing something that you’re passionate about or you’ll be working towards misery. Create meaningful relationships along the way and most importantly enjoy the process, grow, and never stop learning.
Get a mentor, being able to talk to someone about things you want to do, and they’ve already done that is a literal shortcut in life. Just like books, but being able to talk to someone and get real-life feedback from them is extremely helpful.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Currently, we’re looking for some highly skilled salespeople to come on board part-time, this would be a commission-only role. You’ll have to understand some digital marketing, be a fast learner, and able to work on your own. The earning potential is big with low responsibility after the sale is done. If this is something of interest please be sure to get in touch with us.
Where can we go to learn more?
- Fantôm on Facebook
- Fantôm on Twitter
- Luis on Twitter
- Fantôm on Instagram
- Luis on Instagram
- Luis on LinkedIn
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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