The problem that a lot of people, like Mike, face is not having a sustainable and scalable way to acquire new clients, lacking the right systems to efficiently manage their team, and missing the reassurance and guidance on which direction to take, what actions to undertake, and when.
The goal of this case study
The objective of this case study is to illustrate the step-by-step process Mike followed to overcome these challenges and build a successful Google Ads agency. Through this case study, you will gain insights into the specific strategies and tactics employed by Mike and our team in transitioning his business from confusion to stable growth.
- A very specific offer that speaks to a niche audience and is easy to deliver (because it’s almost the same service every single time)
- An increase from €5K to €30K in monthly recurring revenue within 18 months, while maintaining stable growth
- Gained clarity on all business operations thanks to well-structured internal systems
- Developed a reliable internal team that alleviates the heavy lifting from the CEO’s shoulders
- A generic and oversaturated offer: “I will set up Google ads for you.'”
- An unstable inflow of clients due to the overly generic offer and the lack of effective lead generation funnels
- Anxiety about “being able to pay the bills” stemming from a lack of clear understanding of the company’s internal operations (ex. no revenue prognosis)
- Unreliable team members, causing stress and leading to the loss of clients
How we started
Mike discovered Matt, one of the co-founders of AceMakers, through YouTube and applied to work with us through our website.
How Was Our Consulting Framework Applied
During our consulting collaboration, we conducted weekly one-on-one calls with Mike. This allowed us to jointly develop his business by implementing our proven framework. The figure below illustrates our consulting framework, which functions like a car. To build a working business, each key element must be assembled correctly before the car can drive. For instance, just installing the engine without the wheels won’t make the car operational. We’ll guide you through how each element of our frameworks was applied to construct “Mike’s car”.
Step 1 – Offer: “Who did you bring the best results for in the past?”
In the past, Mike had delivered excellent marketing results for two wheel repair service companies in Canada. Based on this, we formed a hypothesis that this market would be a good audience to test. Instead of fumbling in the dark, we quickly identified this competitive advantage Mike had. During our one-on-one brainstorming sessions, we utilized one of our proprietary frameworks – the AceMakers Business Idea Brainstorming.
We then requested a testimonial video from one of the previous clients, which proved to be a very powerful marketing asset. We hypothesised that our competitive advantage lay in having proven results for nearly identical businesses, just in different locations. Aware that the total addressable market (TAM) for wheel repair services is limited, we simultaneously conducted tests in other related automotive niches.
For the location, we targeted the United States and Canada, leveraging Mike’s native Canadian background and Toronto accent to build trust in this region. Time and again, we’ve seen that native speakers, such as Germans in Germany and Poles in Poland, sell better compared to non-native speakers.
We crafted a compelling offer, backed by a results guarantee, to attract clients and began testing to validate and pivot instead of overthinking.
Below is a more in-depth comparison between the old way of crafting an offer (on the left side) and the AceMakers method (on the right side).
Step 2 – Lead generation: “Send around 10,000 emails per week”
Mike was acquiring some prospective clients through recommendations, but this approach didn’t allow him to control his workload, and he couldn’t predict how many new clients he would acquire, which made it difficult to know how many people to hire for future needs.
At the time, Mike was using UpWork exclusively as a lead generation channel to acquire new clients. However, freelancing platforms like UpWork don’t provide a predictable inflow of clients. Moreover, clients on these platforms tended to view Mike as a freelancer rather than as an agency, leading to varied expectations about his working methods. This situation made it challenging to build the standardized systems necessary for company growth.
During our next one-on-one consulting session, we utilized our AceMakers Business Idea Validation template, which helps in identifying the most relevant client acquisition channels.
We determined that cold email would be the best channel to reach our target audience. While considering other B2B channels like LinkedIn outreach, we concluded that small garage owners are typically not active on LinkedIn.
For the cold email strategy, we needed to find the most effective list-building tool for our audience. Apollo wasn’t suitable as it focuses on identifying specific individuals in larger companies. We needed a tool tailored for small, family-owned garages where the general business email is often used by the owner. Although Google Maps was promising, we needed a scalable solution to send around 10,000 emails per week. We chose scrap.io, a less popular provider specializing in extracting emails from Google Maps, which was exactly what we needed.
To improve our cold email strategy’s effectiveness, we composed a question designed to elicit replies without initially including links, to avoid potential spam issues. We then followed up with two powerful links: a custom Loom video demonstrating how we could help the client and a testimonial video. The Loom video begins with their website to emphasize its tailored nature and showcases our entire process. This approach, featuring a walkthrough of their Google search results and our work for a similar business, made our proposition highly credible.
Below, a figure contrasts the old approach to lead generation with the AceMakers method.
Step 3 – Sales: “As soon as they watch the Loom video, we call them”
As soon as they watch the Loom video, we call them. This approach is effective because garage owners typically don’t schedule calls using tools like Calendly; they are less tech-savvy and unable to predict when they will be available for virtual meetings. If they are unable to talk, we schedule a callback.
Remembering who to call back can be challenging, especially if someone didn’t answer initially, or if they requested a later call. That’s why we implemented a CRM system that ensures no follow-up is forgotten, even with a large volume of leads.
Thanks to this system, Mike consistently followed up with leads, contributing to his success. He closed deals with every lead he conversed with, averaging two new clients per week. The closing process was facilitated by our compelling offer and the relatable testimonial video. By the time they spoke with Mike, prospects clearly understood his services and perceived him as an expert (a status we refer to as “Delta Status”).
Many people attempt to call prospects without a tailored process, an enticing offer, or educating the audience about their service. It’s crucial to guide prospects through the key stages of sales even before the sales call. This includes making them aware of their problems and presenting a solution (not necessarily your solution). For more on this, consider researching “awareness stages in sales”.
Remember, if people don’t understand what you do, they won’t buy. Preparing adequately before your sales calls means you won’t have to hard-sell. So, don’t make your life more difficult than necessary. Below, we compare the old approach to the AceMakers method.
4. Systems: “Can I offer to hire?”
Once the sales process was established, it was time to develop additional systems. We created tracking sheets to monitor what works and what doesn’t. We also applied our CEO tracking sheet to prepare for scaling, which includes managing capacity. This helps Mike determine when to hire new team members and whether he can afford it.
The figure below displays sections of our CEO tracking sheet template, customized for Mike’s company. Now, Mike can see his current earnings and project his earnings for the coming months:
He can also track current and future projected capacity of his team members:
We recognize that delving into the details of other sheets might be too tedious for a case study like this. Sheets might seem boring to most people reading a blog article, so we’ll spare you the details here. However, they will be necessary when we work together.
For simplicity, here’s a comparison of what we think shouldn’t be done (on the left side) and what we believe should be done (on the right side):
Step 5 – Delivery: “Too many clients!”
We needed to address delivery issues due to an influx of clients. We had to temporarily halt our cold email outreach campaigns because we couldn’t handle more clients. We needed 2 things – systems and more people.
We standardized the entire delivery process instead of varying our approach with each service. This involved implementing consistent practices, such as standardized monthly reports. Initially, we identified an in-demand offer and then built a delivery system around it, rather than constructing a delivery system based on our assumptions and then trying to sell that concept. We refer to this approach as “delivery-offer synchronization”. Basically what this means is that we don’t assume what clients want – we figure out what they want and then we build systems to deliver this at scale.
Then, we needed more team members – specifically, there was a need for additional Google Ads media buyers to manage client accounts and a project manager to communicate with new clients.
We utilized our recruitment funnels to hire Ukrainian Google Ads experts through Ukrainian platforms. Additionally, we employed a Filipino project manager via a Filipino platform, helping us keep our back-office payroll expenses lower.
The new team members relieved Mike of some of the heavy lifting, allowing him to focus more on further developing the business.
Mike transitioned from running a business that felt like an intense full-time job to operating a system with teams, along with a clear direction for future growth.
He expressed, “This feels like it’s a legitimate business, not like having multiple bosses.” If you’re interested in discovering how (and if) AceMakers framework might be applied to your business, watch our free training (available via the button on this page). Then, if it still seems like a good fit, you can also book a time to speak with us to make sure if it’s applicable to you.