I just got off the phone with Wayne Booth. He specializes in designing websites for dog trainers and websites for realtors.
Then, there's Findlaw and DocShops, lawyer and cosmetic surgery website designers respectively.
Both Findlaw and DocShops also own directories which drive traffic to their clients' websites. Sorta what I'm doing here. Their just focussed on one vertical and more successful at it.
Wayne is simply well connected to his market because he is a dog trainer and his wife is a realtor. As a result, he understands the needs of the customers in these niches.
I am biased, of course, but none of these service providers have the ability to help clients (who are willing to invest the time) excel at their internet marketing lead generation as well as HubSpot does.
Courtney Tuttle wrote a solid post the other day about different ways to make money online. He talks about starting a service based business after you know how to generate leads for that type of business.
Those who become good at generating leads will often transition into creating their own service businesses.
HubSpot is really good at helping companies generate leads, whether they have internet marketing chops already - or not.
But, we're horizontally focussed. And will continue to be. It's the right decision for a business that wants to be large.
However, that doesn't mean that other companies couldn't create vertically focussed internet marketing businesses that leverage the HubSpot tools and Internet Marketing training.
When I joined HubSpot, I told Brian Halligan, HubSpot's CEO, that I was going to start a website that would create a community out of my clients and I'd guide them with their blogging, link building and social media activities. Certain clients have stepped up. (All are invited.)
Brian's response was, "That'd work well if you were focussed on a vertical".
The reason I do this is two fold:
- To make sure my clients succeed. I believe in Karma and believe that I should only sell things to people who will benefit from them. As a salesguy, I believe it's my job to figure out whether someone is a good fit for us and if we are a good fit for them.
- To aid my own lead generation through my blogging and social media activity.
- To get direct referrals from happy clients.
My sales development clients, Al, Trish, Rick and Dave are all stepping up. They do the following:
I keep them focussed on doing the right things so that all of this supports their SEO and lead generation efforts. I could charge for this. I could do more for them; There's always more opportunity for my clients that I can see. But, it's not my job to do that.
Nonetheless, they all benefit from the network that I'm building. All of them have referred me prospective clients. That's payment enough for me.
The system works.
But, there's a next level to this...
I also have quite a few web design/development/internet marketing firms who are clients and are almost as competent as me.
My intention is to build a critical mass of clients in similar or complimentary businesses. Then, I should be able to take one of my 'web design/development/internet marketing firms' and help them build a vertically focussed internet marketing services business.
However, that's taking more time than I had hoped.
So, if there's anyone out there interested in accelerating this process and building a nicely scalable vertically focussed internet marketing services business, I'm all ears...