Strategies for Fostering Partnerships To Grow and Scale an Agency

Ben. Fox

Ben Fox is the Co-founder and Managing Director of FP Digital, formerly known as FlowPress, a back-office web support team and web development agency providing long-term care for web properties. At FP Digital, Ben utilizes his 10-plus years of experience in client and project management to oversee client service and project delivery. Ben is a serial entrepreneur and a three-time founder of HTML and WordPress platforms. Before his entrepreneurial pursuits, he worked across various marketing verticals at Vonage and the Match Marketing Group. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Ben Fox discusses FP Digital (formerly FlowPress) and the services they provide
  • Lessons learned from overcoming a challenging year
  • Why it’s essential to nurture relationships in the digital agency industry
  • How to build a partner program for an agency
  • Building growth strategies through trial and error

In this episode…

A strong relationship between an agency and a client is mutually beneficial, allowing both parties to achieve their goals. What are some attainable strategies for building solid client-agency relationships to help agencies grow and scale?

The pandemic tested agency owner Ben Fox in numerous ways, which taught him multiple lessons. But his most significant takeaway was understanding the power of relationships. However, you have to prove your value continuously when forming partnerships. Ben asserts that it’s advantageous to partner with more intelligent individuals than you to leverage the strength and expertise of that existing business. In return, you must be able to follow through on promises to maintain trust and demonstrate your agency’s capabilities with a staff of competent and knowledgeable professionals. Additionally, communication is vital to the relationships you build, so offer transparency regarding processes, fees, and expectations. This clarity not only upholds intentions but also lays the foundation for effective collaboration.

In this episode of the Tailwind Marketing Podcast, Carlos Corredor interviews Ben Fox, Co-founder and Managing Director at FP Digital, about cultivating relationships to grow an agency. Ben discusses the rebranding of FlowPress to FP Digital, the services they provide, the lessons he’s learned from overcoming a challenging year, and the importance of building partnerships.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Condor Marketing & Staffing

Condor is an ROI-driven digital marketing agency built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. 

Our expert team helps clients identify and execute initiatives focused on business growth. We aim to democratize digital marketing with proven strategies and measurements that guarantee a return on investment by leveraging innovative technologies and the support of our Latin American office.

We provide strategic digital marketing advice, website development, content generation, SEO, performance marketing, social media marketing, CRM and email automation, web analytics and BI reporting, video production, and staffing services.

To learn more about our execution of ROI-focused marketing, reach out to us at or email us at

Episode Transcript

Time blockTranscript 
0:14 – 1:09Carlos: This episode is brought to you by Condor Marketing and Staffing 

Are you hiring people to make money or making money to hire people? Most marketing agencies struggle to increase profitability by giving you access to the best talent in Latin America, and no need to commit full time or long term. We help you deliver high-margin work, grow and increase your valuation. 

Our wide-label deliverables also allow you to generate additional revenue by offering new services to your current and future clients. You can learn more at 

And today we want to welcome Ben Fox, who is a co-founder and managing director of FP Digital, formerly Flowpress, who’s a Toronto-based agency that specializes in website development and back-office support for the enterprise. So welcome, Ben, and I’m gonna ask you, please. You know, I’m sure you’re gonna give a better introduction of the agency than me, maybe we can start there
1:12 – 2:36Ben: Sure, yeah. Hi Carlos, it’s great. Thank you for having me. And it’s wonderful. I appreciate the opportunity. Yeah. So FP, digital, formerly FlowPress where we’re we’re like you said a back office, web support team and Web Development Agency for the Enterprise. And you know we started, we got our our feed web with WordPress, high end wordpress back when nobody did. 10 or 11 years ago now. 

And we’ve since expanded to productize our service offering. So we have a a really strong subscription model. Where we offer what we call web Ops, or web operations, which is your sort of your core management, maintenance, consulting connection directly, connect direct connection with your development team, and then we’ve got additional packages. So performance management, accessibility, which is now big legal requirement. SEO, SEM, technical technical side of that as well as UX, UI and design services. 

So really our goal is a website is not a 3-month project, it’s a 3-year project. It goes for any kind of complex web. And you know, complex web properties are even bigger than that. And we’re looking for, you know, we look for specifically those long-term relationships with clients, that – or agency partners that need that back office support. Beyond just launching the site. 
2:36 – 3:13Carlos: Yeah, no, that gives a lot more color about the agency so I appreciate that. And you know, I met Ben in in one of group one of the group sessions and the reason that I wanted to bring him to the podcast is because he was explaining the – not only the growth, but really that is not really a straight line, you know in that growth. And I understand, Ben, you had a – you had a great year a couple of years ago then 2022 was a little humbling. But then things got back on track this year. Thanks – thankfully. So could you walk us through through that time?

3:15 – 6:22
Ben: Do I have to? Yeah, it was humbling, humbling. So you know, we went into 2020 

We went into Covid, like, I think, like everybody else. You know, worried, scared, panicking, whatever you know. We didn’t know where what was going on. You know. So we closed out 2020, with just over, you know, 2 million in revenue, and then we we stepped into 2021 when you with the Covid, the Covid year, really the big Covid year, and we had planned, you know, my Partner Barton, Bart. Barton and I sat down and said, Okay, well, what if we lose half our clients like? What do we do? And we had a – I still, I have this, what if emergency plan, and it turns out that every client we had decided they wanted, you know, just start pouring money into digital so 2021 was a phenomenal year it was. It was a busy year. It wasn’t – It was phenomenal in terms of revenue

That same year, just to be clear, everyone on my team, including myself, had at some point either yelled, cried, or both, and so we explored the limits of what we could do with our team and understood what we were capable of. But we got through it. And we did really well. And we’re really proud. And that was like a 35% lift in revenue, you know, year over year

and then 2022 hit. and it just went the – It went the other way. We actually finished 2022 with less revenue than we finished 2020 with, so we – and and we’ve had a lot of learning since then. And we can explore that if you want. But we we discovered that there’s a there’s a cost to everything, and that astronomical growth – unmanaged astronomical growth does not come without a, without a without a cost, and for every action there’s a reaction. And so, you know, this year was a very stabilizing year for us. We have grown a little bit compared to last year. As far as revenue goes, we optimized expenses, we optimized our team, we put into place all those learnings we had

We’ve started a rebrand which at the time of this recording isn’t live yet, but it will be hopefully as this, you know, within a few weeks, few weeks, we’re basically, you know, the cobblers, kids without shoes. We do our own stuff last right. So FP Digital has been sitting on staging for like 2 months. And, Bart, if you’re listening to this, you know, let me know. But it’s it’s coming into. But we did. We spent the last year really exploring who we want to be. This app also happens to be our 10 year anniversary, like we found it in 2013. So it’s time for a little bit of a change and expansion. And so 2024, I’m really excited about. We’ve already locked, we’ve already locked in growth, had a great call today with a client so we’ve locked in some growth. And we’ve got a plan. And we’ve recently made 2 new hires. And we’re pushing forward. So, but in a much more controlled way, really taking those lessons to heart. 
6:22 – 6:52Carlos: No, I mean, and I definitely wanna get into the learnings right as long as it’s not too painful for you, and 2024. But you know I would love to hear – you mentioned that the team is now optimized. You mentioned that you really stress-tested, maybe a little too much, the bandwidth and the capacity and the morale there, I say of the team, you know, a couple of years ago, and any other learnings, let’s get into that
6:53 – 16:54Ben: Yeah. So first of all, I think learning number one is a global pandemic is going to stress everybody out, you know. So you have to. You have to keep that in mind in context when we talk about this, because I work with a team of phenomenal professionals, and I don’t want to belittle them by saying, you know, everybody had a breakdown but the amount of work we had, and we took on as a team coupled with the fact that the world was was a little bit strange at the time, really

it took a toll, and first and foremost part, and I wanted to build a company, and we built a company that we wanted to work at. So we really look. Your bit, your employer is not your family right? Anyone who says that’s out of their mind. But as much as possible, we wanted to create that environment where, if you, if you needed a day, if you need someone to cover you for you, if if you know whatever you need like within reason, we’re there right. You know things like. We don’t count sick days, and all that 

And so we encourage the team from the start. Take time, take time, you know, days off, and whatever, and the problem with high performers is they don’t listen,  they don’t want to take time off. They’re working constantly and selfishly. We had all this work to do. And who am I to complain if my team wants to continue to do it? you know?

And then I realized that, as in someone in a management leadership position, really, you have to put your foot down and say, No, you are. You’re taking this day off because I can see it in your face. So that was lesson number one, right, was, listen to your instincts and treat your team well, and sometimes you do need to be that leader, and sometimes a leader’s job is to stop them from pushing and pushing and pushing, because again, high performers in anything are just gonna want to keep going. Especially if there’s nothing else to do, you can’t leave the house right, you can’t. So that was a good lesson. 

I think you know that was it. The other next thing we learned, I think, is that every action has an opposite reaction. We know this revenue shot up significantly. We were very excited, and because of the environment. We couldn’t find employees, so we just said, We’ll just take it on and do it ourselves. And now I’m glad we didn’t panic higher, because there are some organizations that did. And the large tech companies did, and all we’re seeing what’s happening. 

But we saw this revenue come in. We kind of assumed in our heads. You know, we took it for granted it came in. We’re all this is gonna continue. And we started, so we didn’t – when it started to go down, we didn’t react fast enough. We didn’t look for we didn’t look into the future and say, well, what’s our pipeline like as much as we should have? We kind of had those conversations, but we were so busy just managing what we had that the business itself took a vaccine

And so keeping an eye around, that was my failure, 100 percent on me. That’s my job, is, you know, managing Director CEO, whatever you wanna call me, Ops guy, is to peek around that corner and see what’s coming up. And I didn’t. I didn’t. It’s not like I was sitting around doing nothing. We were so busy that it didn’t matter. We didn’t have to worry about sales. That’s really my job because I was on. I was taking on account management, project management, whatever had to be done, ordering food for the team, whatever we needed, because we were that busy and celebrating all this amazing revenue that was coming in, right? So that was a lesson learned, and that won’t happen again

Also I won’t say that we got into 2022, and the pipeline wasn’t there. We didn’t want to let anyone go. We have this great team which is valued, by the way, not to reduce people to numbers, but they’re valuable in and to have a team of very talented people is hard to do, and we’re very proud of them, and how long they stayed with us. We didn’t want to let anyone go, and that was cost, and and I think we assumed the work would come back, and it has. It just came back slower, it took us time to find our feet again. so we took a hit 

Revenue, bottom line, everything took a hit and with it morale. And then, of course, this other thing is, we had this massive quick shoot up, and so it snapped back. And so team morale went the other way 

The elation went away and once everyone relaxed, they realized, oh, crap! You know this, there’s very little work on. So then net posited out of that is, we said, you know what we have this extra capacity now, let’s work on our internal tools. And this year we launched what we call Project Backbend, which is our internal dashboard system, which is incredibly fast and amazing, basically, it consolidates all of our tools, teamwork, new relic, all kinds of whatever, I’m not a dev, but all all kinds of development and management tools into one dashboard for the team

And we explored purchasing something off and on. And we’ve realized to build it ourselves. So we had time to do that we had time to talk about a Rebrand. So putting those extra, that extra capacity into positive energy and positive things has really been, again, because we did this, we started doing that middle of 2022, we started pulling out of it. 2023 was a great year, is a good year and 2024 will be phenomenal

What else? What else do we learn? I’m sure we’ll get into what our, what our business development strategy is, but because our development business development strategy is partner-based and which means that we rely on our partners to help feed us a lot of a lot of our work, a lot of our leads, their warm leads, their referrals

And I’m not out there cold calling, it’s not that never been my style that when Covid hit the work shot up, but the new leads dried up right, the the referrals dried up, and I wasn’t traveling anymore

Whereas I used to go and work from my partner’s offices for a week or 2 weeks at a time, more, before I had kids even more. During Covid nobody was going anywhere. And so those handshakes weren’t happening. It’s not like, and you know we try and stay in touch. But everyone was so busy that we – those partnerships, got stale, and I’ve spent much of 2023 reigniting them. At the end of 2022 we did this like  whirlwind. We went to Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas in the course of like 4 weeks, just to start, you know, getting going again. And God getting that engine going again, oh, was that was that tough. And I forgot, and I guess in the beginning, when you’re when you’re really pumping at the beginning as an entrepreneur, and there’s nothing to lose, you don’t feel it as much because it’s fine, because you’re just going, but when the pressure is on you’ve got a team to pay and payroll to make… man were those hard weeks. So I’m glad we did that. But that was another lesson. Was that – and I’m not even not that smart. It’s the old, all of your eggs-in one basket situation. Right? We have these relationships, and they were doing really well, and we were the size we wanted to be. And it went away and it was no one’s fault. And so 2022 snapped back. And then budgets went down. You know, everybody spent what they wanted to spend. All the priorities that were left over that got got eaten up in 2021. We did everything. So when 2022 came around, they’re like, well, you know, we haven’t opened any new stores, or we haven’t done anything, any new initiatives. These are talking about my clients. So we have nothing really new to give you for 2022. There’s no new work, no new websites, no new, no new apps to build, we’ll get back to you. And the lesson there is, and to toot our own horn. But our subscriptions saved us our relationships with our clients. The fact that we, we insist that our clients sign on with us for the long term is what really maintained us 

Now, you know, it’s not just that they were contractually obligated to us. It’s that because we have these contracts, we have built these relationships, these deep relationships with our clients. And so when they said they had no problems, just continuing the status quo, paying their Web OS bills, paying their performance bills, there was still work to do their retainer bills. But we saw it when 2023 came around and everyone found their footing. Now projects started coming back. And we really got a strong look at what we look like, sort of, as when the tide goes out you get to see who’s wearing pants or bathing suit, I guess, and thankfully we weren’t naked, right? We had these contracts, and so we were okay. But the lesson there is really, if I’m talking, anyone’s getting started, it’s in agencies is all relationships

It’s all relationships. Because at some point in that relationship you’re gonna look across at the table, at your client, and you’re gonna look at each other. And you’re just going to agree. They’re going to agree to keep paying you. Not necessarily, because there’s anything to do at this moment, but the value you bring just by being at the table and thankfully I’d say 80% of our clients recognize that we did lose some clients, and we gained some clients that this is what you know, that’s what happens. But thankfully, we’re blessed that with those clients that are at our core and recognize the need for those. That was also a great lesson. Good and bad
16:55 – 18:43Carlos: You know we actually went through not only a same, let’s say roller coaster. but because of some of the similar, some of the similar reasons that you’re mentioning, you know. And I would say just taking growth for granted was one of them, and definitely, when that didn’t happen, as I mentioned before, it was humbling for us, you know it forced us to do much better financial forecasting, put a lot more effort in sales. Unfortunately, you know, we – Or, fortunately for you guys, it sounds like you survived. The swing, the negative swing without having to cut staff. We weren’t able to do so, we had to let some people go, and it’s always, you know, heartbreaking to do. But at the same time, you know, it forces you to start doing things that you were not doing either. And and before we get into those, I wanna ask you about the referral program, because as you mentioned, and I’m sure every agency owner out there would prefer to have multiple channels of leads and clients, and I mean, that’s true, obviously. But there’s also, you know I could also argue that referrals. You cannot ignore. You can actually go better off embracing the fact that referral is a great channel and do it well, right not to say that you shouldn’t start, others at the same time. But don’t forget about your referral, especially when is the most important one you know to you. So could you, could you paint the picture on, on how you were so successful in building that one specifically? 
18:45 – 26:44Ben: Yeah, I appreciate you saying so successful. I don’t really consider it. You know, we’re not. We’re not successful yet. But yeah, it’s working for us. So I’ll say 2 things. First of all. a partner program or referral program doesn’t work if you don’t, if you can’t back up the bullshit, right? So as I have my gift, is talking and sales. But if I didn’t have the team behind me or not more in front of me or beside me the best way possible. There’s no way we would get beyond the second, the second step, because the best partners to work with are smart. You want good, smart partners that know what they’re doing. Any agency owner knows you don’t want the person that doesn’t understand anything because they take the most work and pay the least

Those great enterprise clients that have the internal digital marketing teams that you want to be part of those are smart folks and to work with those folks you’ve also got, you’ve got to have smart team on your side. So one. You’ve got to have the team, and it takes time. So don’t run headlong into a partner program and claim you can do a bunch of things, because you only usually get one shot right if you blow it, you’re out, and I’ve blown a lot, so please go to school on my learning. So that’s that’s first and foremost, you’ve got to have the team. And second of all, It’s all relationships, and what I mean by that is that we’re all friends. Everybody sort of, we started in the WordPress community, a very friendly community. Everyone’s open, welcoming and open. But when you start making money together, your family. So I was fortunate that WP engine, Siteground, Media Temple before they were bought by Godaddy, Godaddy itself, it was the big hosting companies in the beginning, they were friendly, and invited us wordpress entrepreneurs to work from their offices. Literally, I would go to Scottsdale. Then I would go to LA. Then I would go to Austin and I would you know 10 years ago we didn’t have an office, so you know, and I would just work for weeks from there. And I got to know these people, and that’s what it took for them to start trusting this small team from Toronto with these big clients 

So there’s – it’s never, it’s never… there’s no magic to it. You are either Deloitte, and you have a thousand employees, 10,000 employees, or you’re the small team or somewhere in the middle. And you you’ve got these. You just grind away at these relationships. It’s either money or time, right? So that was a good one now. So that said. how do we run our partner program? We want to be the team. We are the team that our partners rely on to get things done for their clients 

So I’ll use Wp Engine as a great example. Wp. Engine is our hosting partner. They have been for 10 years. At this point we have no other, no other, we don’t host with anyone else but them and and we love it. You know they’re a true partner they take us, bring us to the table. When they, when they want to make a change, they ask us our opinions, they bring us down to their offices and talk to us, and they listen, and they’ve got their, I’m not the only one. They’ve got many agency partners. But they’re this amazing sales team which I recognized early on

And I knew that I was never gonna be able to develop my own sales team like that like it’s, you know, it’s crazy and and and what they’ve got going on. So I latched on and said, look, you wanna close these big enterprise deals. if any of these deals get stuck because the Fortune 500 you’re trying to sell doesn’t have the web support they need to push. You know, somebody recognizes the need for new hosting, the website’s garbage, or whatever, call us, we’ll help you, we’ll do whatever we can. We’ll do discoveries. We’ll do evaluations. Because we we’re just as hungry as you are 

And I just kept reminding them. We’re hungry. We’re hungry. We’re hungry. Feed us. Let’s go! And they finally trusted us with one, and we delivered, and that client has been a client of theirs now for 8 years, and is a high-playing client for them. and we have their back, and they have ours right. And so that’s the attitude we take with our partners. It takes time to develop that trust, although I wish it took less time. Because I know they could trust me. But, you know what I tell people. II like to tell new agency partners that we’re like the guest at at dinner that thinks we’re already part of the family, like, we’re gonna come with opinions. We’re gonna tell you about the wallpaper, whether you’re on the bathroom because we’re we live here now, right? We’re a family. and some people are off put by that. So I warn them in advance that my team takes this personally, that we know what we’re talking about. You’re hiring us, because, you know, we know. And we’ve got you right. We’re not gonna screw you over we’re not gonna go and try and feed, you know, your work to someone else. That said, always sign a contract, trust, and verify right? So if clients bringing me, if a partner is bringing us a lead, or we’re bringing one to them. We make sure we put in writing. you know, whatever the share is some partners. it’s a 50-50 split of profit

So, for example, we don’t do salesforce integrations internally, not something we do. But we have a great partner called Cloud Loop, and they do a phenomenal job. And these are people we’ve known for 10 years now. And so we’re okay sharing. We’re open. Here’s what we’re making. Here’s our margin. Here’s our costs. and then all the profit goes into a pool and we split it. and nobody worries because we’re, you know. But that takes time. So that’s that’s the that’s the that’s one approach. Another approach is straight off the top. A percentage of revenue, right? You know, straight. We all know how that works. That’s another one. We also have larger agency partners that will come to us and and have in the in the actually, the last few, few months have said to us, We have a client. They’re only spending 100 grand a year, right? It’s not worth it for the agency to maintain this client. you know, at 500 bucks a month, hoping that they’ll come back to them with the quarter 1 million dollar bill right? So they offload them to us. We get the retainer and the web Ops contract. and the agreement is when said client comes back to us and says, Okay, it’s time to rebuild the site we bring that agency that referred them in and say, okay, well, they’re really their pop up on this, and we’re gonna help where we can and those agencies tend to be branding agencies, design agencies, things that we don’t really do internally are not experts in. And so it works, you know, and we get to be at the table which means we get to. We get to make sure, as anyone who runs a web agency knows you really want to be at the table from concept because you don’t ever want to be handed Figma designs that don’t match the SOW. You agree to the client, and all of a sudden there’s features there that were never supposed to be there and what not. So you really wanna be there, and so that’s what we strive for and and it’s kept us small. not in a bad way. but growing a business like that takes time, and but it what it also does, is it sets a really strong foundation

Now we saw again over Covid. It hurt. I didn’t have a ton of leads. I didn’t have an outbound sales engine so that we got stuck with. We got got hurt there, and I’ve learned that lesson, and that, you know, with this rebrand we’ve created fix new decks. You know, this outbound sales program we’re gonna do next year is gonna be great

John Morris, right? It’s been wonderful. The Mastermind group are in really trying to to learn from all your expertise and everybody but anyway. But yeah, a partnership. I don’t really call it referral. It’s it’s a partnership program. We’re in it together. We’re family in the way that we’re making money together
26:45 – 27:53Carlos: Yeah, it’s a sounds like. Well, I mean invest to build trust is one of the keys. Transparency is another one, win-win agreements. It’s another one, that is, I think it’s often overlooked

And also thinking about partnerships. Not only to refer you leads, although obviously, that’s, one of the most important things, but also executional partners, irght? that allow you to deliver the work on time and quality. And one of the things that you mentioned, towards the end that I that I’ve heard before is that you don’t, you don’t need a lot of partners, and you wanna focus on a few partners. It’s like you cannot have a hundred best friends. You know a handful of best friends is really what you need, right? And building our best friend is – it doesn’t happen overnight, it requires being at the right feet and putting a lot of building that trust. So it sounds like that’s what has been happening, at least for you
27:53 – 28:58Ben: Yeah and also I’ll warn you in, like in any great relationship, they take time to build, and they’re so easy to kill, right? 1 one dishonest
mistake, 1 one moment of greed, one moment of like you really, it’s it like, speak from experience. Embarrassment, you know, and I won’t won’t go into that now. But over, you know, over drinks. I’ll have to tell anybody I’ll share. I have had my share of screw-ups

They were benevolent they were. They were honest mistakes. But because you’re in Chicago and I’m in Toronto. And we can’t look each other in the eye. You’ve got to be super care, especially in the beginning, you gotta be careful there can’t be. And you know, and and and so you really have to. That transparency is important. It’s also, by the way, easier, telling the truth is just easier, right? You don’t have to keep track of what you quoted to this person and this person, and you know our costs are our costs, and if we’re sharing our costs with you, then there’s the paperwork
29:01 – 30:14Carlos: Thanks for sharing those partnership programs. And the other topic that that I wanted to get into, Ben is now, you know, sometimes we ofte say, as entrepreneurs and in particular agency owners. You know what got us here won’t get us there. You were explaining the great work that you’ve done right, and you know, from what I hear, you know, it sounds like if you’d have to say, the number one key to where you are today is that you created what you do, and over time and also honest while you do it right and over time clients, you know, you build that trust right? And then, clients want to keep you there. Keep you close right? 

However, you also say that again. You know, growth won’t happen by inertia, right? So you have to start trying different things to get to the next level. What are some of those things that you have either tried and they have worked, or they haven’t worked, or some of the things that you have in mind to do, specially next year, you know, to reach that next level?
30:15 – 35:54Ben: It’s a good – good question. I think things that we’ve tried. I think I mentioned and that I will continue to do as much as possible, investing in face-to-face, investing and shaking a hand. So, and I’ll say that 60, 70% of the time I go to meet someone in person, it doesn’t really turn into much other than I have a new friend who’s also an agency owner, right?

But you always come out of those conversations with something. So invest. But that’s the best investment you can make a plane ticket, train ride, a car ride, whatever to go and shake a hand, have a meal.

I have literally invited people to have Friday night dinner at my parents house like I’ve had right, but especially back before I was married, and before I had my own home and all that. You know my mom’s a great cook, and so if I really wanted to impress a VP. They came to Friday night dinner at my mom’s and my parents. And it’s it worked, it works, it works, and it’s like, hey, you’re literally, I’m bringing you in because I need you. And you, you know, you need me. So personal relationships to me are number one always

I think, beyond that. don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn. You have a bigger network than you think you do, and they have a bigger

And people on that network have a network. And I love Linkedin because it’s not Facebook. It’s not Twitter Instagram. It’s not full of generally not full of garbage. It’s people talking about their professional careers and what not. So that’s really awesome to that vein. We haven’t had a lot of success with like zoom info, or any of those systems. But I don’t know they exist, so they must work for somebody

We’re – what we’re going to be trying now is over the next, as we group look at our next 10 years and our rebranded FP Digital is expanding our service offering, based on what we know our current clients want, specially what they love. Everyone’s got that set of clients that they love

And if you’re my client, it’s you. It’s definitely you. You’re one of the ones I love for sure. But we listen to them, and they’re they’re pulling us in some directions that we didn’t know they wanted that we should go. And so we’ve listened. We’ve listened and we’ve created sales decks and done our own internal kind of training, and my team’s been training me on how to sell SEO, we can do SEO we can do headless, we can do e-commerce, we can do CR salesforce and Hubspot integrations.
I have to go back to school, though, right? Because if I’m the sales, Guy. I have to learn how to sell these things, and, as we all know, selling is more difficult than just knowing, so creating that we’re going to try for the first time to have really detailed sales materials which may sound funny, but we’ve never had ever

I have a capabilities Deck, that’s I’m embarrassed up at the moment. It’s actually the new one’s great. I love it. But back before, when we when we were FlowPress it was not a pretty sight, and I don’t think that – I think it betrayed our actual potential, having weak sales materials was embarrassing because I knew my team was worth so much more

But we just never had it. We never needed it. And so now we’re doing it. So I’m looking forward to 2024 to really starting that outreach. It’s not going to be cold necessarily. But I’m gonna capitalize on that network that I’ve got that I just never really pay attention to and it’s gonna take some time because there’s some of these people I haven’t spoken to in years, or I’ve never spoken to about business. They just kind of know that I do web stuff, and I know they work for Coca-cola

But, it’s time to get down and take them start taking them for dinner or lunch, or whatever, and reconnecting and being honest about why I’m connecting. So if we’re gonna give that a shot, we’re gonna – we’re looking right now at growing the team through investment. Sorry I should rephrase that, not outside investment, hrough investing in the team growing, growing our savings, growing our body count our head count. So we’re not worried about new business coming in. It sounds silly, maybe, but one of the things that gets in my way is that I worry, we’re gonna brush the team like we did 2 years ago, and I know it’s an excuse. I know it’s an excuse. But it it’s one of the things you know. I joke we have 2 parts right? There’s that we don’t have enough work to do part, and that we have too much work to do part, and there’s no middle

So Tuesday afternoon Bart could be saying to me, Ben, there’s not enough. And then Wednesday morning I can get a message saying you need to stop, like you need to stop selling, we don’t have time. Now, he doesn’t say that anymore. But I remember that feeling. So we’re gonna push through that. I’m no, we’re no longer gonna take our foot off the gas pedal, and you know what if? If we overload the team or if we approach overload again. At least we know how to recognize it, we’ve been through it, and Bart and I have agreed to insulate, so we will take the headache as much as we can, and then we’ll we’ll go from there. So that answers your question. I think so, just having, you know, having an actual outbound sales process. If you’re listening to this, and you get an email from me, that’s why that’s what’s going on. You know, having great materials and not being afraid, trying to not be scared of our own shadow, which again think that out loud it’s been 10 years. What are we afraid of? by most measures we’re successful, but you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t feel that way, do you? I don’t feel that way yet
35:55 – 36:38Carlos: No, I mean I always tell even my team. You know. It’s like, thankfully, we’re not a doctor like if we try something, and it doesn’t work, you know, we won’t kill a person. So I’m always, when in doubt, I’m always okay. Let’s let’s do it. Let’s take it on, you know. But it’s also it’s also, you know, we’ve made the mistake of, you know, going to broad right without being laser-focused on a couple of things so obviously not an easy decision

And I think that’s a challenge, right? I mean, it’s a lot of things that you mentioned. But yeah, I mean as entrepreneurs. It’s like, I don’t wanna not do this right. I wanna give a shot, but that that’s always the – that’s always the challenge, putting new things and initiatives
36:38 – 38:35Ben: It sounds like we’re doing these new initiatives to your point. You know, we’ve got like 4 or 5 new categories that we’re going to start talking about

But it’s all based around that subscription-based productization of our service model. We know that you’re not going to make a serious dent, creating time and materials for money is not going to buy you a house in Toronto, right? But selling subscriptions might. So the the goal was to figure out how to maximize our value right? So, value pricing. That’s where it started. We started with value pricing, which evolved into
one-year contract minimums. Hey, If we’re going to invest in you, then you need to invest in us, which is which is evolved into, you know, different service offerings, different levels of our web operations offering. And now, finally, it’s evolved into: we’re just gonna split it all up

And so that’s another thing we’re gonna try is we’re gonna go out, and we used to say: you have to take Webex right? We used to say, if you’re not going to take web Ops at a core, then you’re not our client

We don’t say that anymore. Now, it’s as long as you’re willing to take a service package and there’s value on both sides. We’ll invest in you and you invest in us

And that could be an SEO only, or a CRM integration and management only client, that’s new for us, a little bit scary. We have to
reorient ourselves around that way of thinking. Right? So it used to be that we built the website, and then we managed the website, it was very efficient

How do we bring all that great efficiency to these new service packages. But the goal is to orient ourselves around these packages, and and deliver really great results for our clients as part of it
38:36 – 39:13Carlos: No, it makes a lot of sense. Sounds like you have, you have the basis for a great 2024. So best of luck implementing those, Ben 

And before we finish, couple of things, one who any mentor or anyone really, that you think we should have in the show that you know that you would recommend? and and another one, anything else, really, that that you think could help the audience that we didn’t get to talk to?
39:15 – 41:25Ben: I don’t know if you get my sixth grade French teacher on, Mr. Specter. He was great. He told me to slow down and suck it up a lot

Anyone else that we can get on the show. Yes, there’s an agency owner, Spencer Saunders from art and science in Toronto. Is an amazing brand. They’re one of our partners, and they’re an amazing brand agency in Toronto and he – he has such a great perspective on agency life. He’s built a big agency. He also experienced a similar roller coaster but at a bigger, at a higher level, right? So his numbers would scale me. Cause theirs is, you know, board is a magnitude more successful than us. But I would talk to him for sure

And I would. I’m trying to think who would wp engine to. Maybe Zane Meeks. I would get the director or the VP Of partners of partnerships at WP Engine on here to talk about how they, I think what they did was they realized that agencies like mine needed a little bit of help, and rather than just expecting agencies to bring them business, they said, no, no, we’re gonna help our agency partners grow. And we’re gonna invest in our agency partners, and where that attitude comes from
must be an amazing story like Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine. Probably kicked that off, and Heather can’t remember the name of their president, CEO. She’s great, too, but they have such a deep love and and passion for agencies, that – and they’ve been successful because of it. When I started working with WP Engine in 8, 9 years ago, they were 20 people

There are 1,200 people now, and they – and I still feel taken care of.
and I am by nowhere anywhere near as big a client as like, you know, anywhere near their top tier. But I’m still taken care of, and somehow they’ve ingrained a love and an understanding for their agency partners into their culture, and you should definitely talk to someone there
41:25 – 41:39Carlos: Dully noted! We will

Well, thank you, Ben 

Ben: My pleasure, my pleasure 

Carlos: It was great having you, and thank you. Thanks a lot for the time again, and for a great 2024
41:39 – 41:41Ben: Thank you, sir. You too

Carlos Corredor

All-business Digital Marketing. 10+ years working in digital strategy, analytics, and measuring the impact of marketing initiatives on actual business outcomes. Founded Condor in 2018 to help business owners and mid-size companies grow profitably and get the maximum ROI out of their digital marketing programs.


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