A simple outreach strategy to get a consistent flow of qualified leads to your digital agency

⏰ Read time: 20 minutes
🔥 Shares: 23
📅 Last update: January 19, 2021

I’ve been on the lookout for a way that agencies can get a consistent flow of qualified leads with a repeatable system.

Darren has that.

In this interview, we dig into how that process works, what needs to be done and how to outsource it.
Apply for Darren’s service at http://csnare.com/darren

00:15 Who Darren is
00:30 A consistent source of leads for web designers
01:00 Why outreach is difficult
02:00 Darren’s company is responsible for $2B in sales
03:10 Outreach by providing value first
04:50 Standing out from conventional “lead magnets”
08:10 What’s in a typical audit
10:10 The outreach process plus an awesome trick
14:20 Outsourcing the process to get leads

Apply for Darren’s Outreach Service Here


James: G’day, I’m James Rose from Content Snare, and I’m about to do a video interview with Darren Veerapa. Now I met Darren on Linkedin probably more than a year ago. I’ve been meaning to interview him for so long, so here we go, finally. The reason is because he has a really solid outreach strategy to get a consistent flow of leads.

James: Now this has been something I’ve been looking for to share with you guys for so long because digital agencies, web designers suffer from the classic feast or famine cycle because most leads come from places you don’t control like referrals. You can really have a steady stream there. It works some or most of the time, but it’d be really nice to have a way where you could just get leads when you want them, and I really think Darren’s got a solution to this, so I’m super excited to share this. It’s a great repeatable strategy that I’m hoping that you can implement tomorrow, really.

James: So the thing with outreach is it’s really hard to do properly. If you go really, really personalized and put in a lot of work, a lot of that can just be wasted because people won’t respond. But on the other side, if you don’t put in enough personalization, you just look like every other person doing outreach, so Darren reveals a little trick in this that balances this perfectly, so you can do really good personalization without a lot of work and you’ll see what I mean when we come to it.

James: So that’s enough for me. Enjoy this video and let me know what you think below.

James: Darren! Thanks for joining me man.

Darren: Hey thanks for having me, James. It’s a pleasure to be here.

James: Yeah it’s funny I’ve been speaking with you here on Linkedin for probably more than a year. It’s been kinda ridiculous and backwards and forwards and I’m finally getting the chance to interview you and what you do is super interesting, right? Like, from what I understand your company, Long Hours at Work. I love the name, it’s exactly what [inaudible 00:02:10]. I assume that’s because you’re going to take our long hours off us.

Darren: That’s it. That’s the angle. Whatever.

James: But you guys been responsible for generating like $2 billion in sales over a thousand clients. Holy shit. That’s pretty epic. And you’ve been able to get eight appointments a day for companies looking for web design, web development work. So what the hell man? Tell me more about this!

Darren: Well look, the $2 billion dollars sounds like a lot. It probably is a lot, but you know if you compare to the giants, like you get Jay Abraham that’s probably everybody knows about him, I mean that guy’s around $21 billion now and you’ve got our own Ben Simkin. He’s, I think, around $1.4, $1.6 billion so yeah, it’s a big deal, but it does happen. Like you just hang in there for 20 years, then it’ll happen and the whole … that’s a perfect segue to talk about the web development projects. The whole thing is about providing value first and we’ve always had that approach. The problem with providing value first is it’s time consuming so and who do you provide value to? If they’re not gonna buy anything, you know, it’s like, “Why am I giving these guys free stuff?” So there’s all that that sort of happens.

James: Oh, so that’s what you mean by providing value first in the way you get the work is by reaching out with value first, so like a freebie or something like that.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. In this instance, you’re looking at if you’re doing steps and the first one would be to give them something that otherwise they would have to pay money for, that’s the gist of it, you know? Because there’s so much information, there’s so many lead magnets or downloads, e-books, pdfs and all that kind of stuff out there. Man it’s horrible, right? Like you’ve seen it. It’s saturated with it. “Download my stuff so I can send you 12 emails.” [crosstalk 00:04:05]

James: Yeah, that’s always something like, “Oh, here’s like five plugins you need” or something, like they’re not like the most valuable things. So it kinda sounds like this is a lead magnet on steroids. Like it’s actually a service.

Darren: Yeah it kinda is, it kinda is, except that the main difference from this and your typical lead magnet is that this is something that people would have to sort of pay for, so in this sense I’m giving them a service that … you all right right there?

James: Yeah, sorry, I was just like knocked the headphones out of my ears. Like I wacked the wire on the way down. I’m all good. Keep going. I’m listening.

Darren: Yeah, that’s all right. That’s all right. It happens. So yeah, the main difference is that if you just give someone a lead magnet then they can … usually that information is readily available on Google, but what I try to invent and what we succeeded in inventing was a way to perform a service that people would have to pay for. So I mean the response was huge. They were telling their friends about it, they were like, yeah, I’ll tell you about that in a sec, but yeah.

James: Yeah, yeah, so let’s get into that. I’d love … what is … what are you doing for free, like this thing that they’d otherwise have to pay for?

Darren: Well a website audit. That sounds simplistic but I’m gonna tell you what we did with it. I think that’s more important than the website audit itself is the activity then how we presented it which actually made this work, ’cause a lot of web designers, web developers out there, they do website audits and we’re not web designers, so I did this to get content and I did this for clients of mine, right, that are looking for web developers because I’m not a web developer myself. What we do is content. But the website audit is part of what many web developers offer out there, so it’s nothing new, it’s nothing by itself and it cost money to produce one of those. It’s not something that you can do 20 a day.

Darren: It’s kinda hard to do something like that unless you got a team behind you that’s actively pumping it out, finding those people that want those audits and need that work done and then producing it on top of that. Before you’re done, you’re looking at four or five people working full-time to produce this thing, so it is a very time consuming exercise which is why people charge for it. So what we did was to innovate a bit and find a different way on how we could do it so we wouldn’t have to charge for it at all and we could do it on a large scale, so we’re doing a whole bunch of them every day and that’s what was during the appointments and the main obstacle …

Darren: I mean anybody could do this, what I’m talking about right now. Anyone listening to this right now, you could just go out there and start looking up websites that look like crap and just do an audit for them, send it in and just go “Hey man, Like what’s going on? Like, yo your customers are running … you’re throwing your customers in your competitor’s arms. You know, you’re pushing them there. That’s why you’re not getting any business,” because that’s the first thing people do, right? They go online. They check out your website. Looks like crap when you’re done. But that’s what’s going on right now. So anybody could do that, however, you could probably do one or two a day. How many are you gonna do? You know, like, how many … you’ve got your job, you’ve got your life. Hopefully you’re not doing long hours at work, you know?

Darren: And you know, we got all this stuff and I tell them that now you’re going to do extra audits. You’ve got all these other things. So that was the main obstacle that differentiated it from others that were trying to do the same thing is I trained people that work in a much lower rate, in Philippines to actually do these audits. Took us awhile to train them up, but once we trained them, then we were getting that work done for a fraction of the cost, and because the cost got down to so low, that we could actually offer those audits for free.

James: So what kind of services … like, what’s in the audit?

Darren: Okay. So we zeroed in on nine to 11 different areas of a website, so it’s looking at UX, it’s looking at how old, how dated the theme looks like, it’s looking at the content, it’s looking at whatever things that they have on the site, what content structure they’ve got. Is it customer centric? Is it talking about their services? Is it not engaging? Is it just bland, like do you feel … and the general feel of it as well, like when you go to it, is the first reaction, “Ah, it’s just like everybody else.” You know? That’s … those are the nine to 11 sort of criteria that we look for and then we grade them and then we give all five different points, four or five different descriptions about those different areas.

Darren: Then the other thing is SEMrush. SEMrush the report, the paid report, that people have to pay to get that, which probably everybody listening today probably know that service. We get one of those for them and we stick that in there as well and then, you know, if you got any testimonials. The client’s got any testimonials or anything like that, stick it underneath that. Then there’s a link in there and there just goes straight to fill out an application if they wanna have a chat.

James: Yeah, so it’s a lot more comprehensive than a typical audit. ‘Cause you know like some people would try to sell … bait … like, not sell, like companies like SEMrush will say, “Oh, all you gotta do is give ’em this paid report,” you know? So I really like that you’ve gone the extra mile, it’s not just dumping some web audit out of some software, you’re actually going through and giving them personalized recommendations.

James: That’s a really big point of difference, you know? Like anyone can just dump out a raw report from like, what’s the other one I see … the link assistant guys … Website Auditor. Yeah, very, very original name. So they just dump that report and send it to them. I mean I know that can work, but this is obviously the next level.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah.

James: You get an email like that you’re probably gonna respond to it, so that’s what they’re getting, so how are you getting this in front of people? Like what’s the outreach process look like?

Darren: The outreach process, we’re going by a niche, so most web developers that we work, they actually have a niche, so they wanna work, mid-sized companies that are industry X, you know in construction or mid-sized companies that are in this industry. A couple of them wanted to do corporate. You know? That’s what we’re going for, so once we find that all we have to do is just look up the site. And the thing is this, right? Unless they’ve just done work on their website, the technology that looks up these things, I mean it’s just so … it’s just changing so quickly that 90% of the sites that we’re looking at need work.

Darren: It’s just that no one is approaching them in a different shaded way. Like all these sites need work, like any web developer with minimum of three years of experience, I reckon will look at just about 90% of the sites that we’ll look at and they just go, “Oh yeah, I can make a dramatic change on that site and make it look better. But you know, if that guy is just gonna send them an email and go, “Hey, I’m gonna build you a better website. You know, join the land of another 150 Indians,” or whatever company that they’re sending you messages and just going, “Yeah, I wanna build you a website.” There’s no point of differentiation, but this one it’s … you approach them and you tell them, “Hey, I’ve done this …” The approaches that we tell them that we’ve done a free audit for them already. Do they want to see a copy? And as soon as they say yes, that’s when we go and do it.

James: Ah. That’s awesome.

Darren: Yeah. ‘Cause otherwise it’s just gonna be like hundreds of them and nothing’s gonna happen.

James: Yeah that is a really big point there.

Darren: It’s already done, right. It’s just sitting there. You want me to send this thing to you or not? And they go for it. And once they’re in then you’ve got two types of people, some of them they’re really eager. They’ll respond on the audit itself, but that’s just a really small percentage. The next thing that we do is I’ve trained a caller to actually call up that understands the audit and understands this process and just has been doing it for a while. She calls up and she books the appointment on the phone.

Darren: That’s when you get them, because it’s … part of it you’ve got goodwill, you’ve got a sense of gratitude there and you’ve got reciprocity as well. They’re going all right, “These guys have put all this effort in. I’ll hear them out.” And you’ve got a good case, you know? That there is something that they can actually improve there. These guys have something that’s gonna add value to what they’re trying to do.

Darren: Then you pretty much got a deal because remember, it started with them saying, “Yeah, I want to see it.” ‘Cause obviously it’s something that’s working on their minds. They want to know like what’s going on with their site and all of that. So obviously there is something there that’s not all … ’cause if you were completely happy about something … If somebody’s like “There’s a door behind you there, James …” If I send you an email and say, “Hey, I’ve done audit about your door and how it works, would you want to see it? It’s like a five page report or … I think it said like 12 pages this thing, you know it’s like 12 page report on your door,” you’re going to tell me where to go. You know? “My door? Like dude, what are you talking about?”

James: Yeah.

Darren: But you know, obviously this is something that’s on their mind, ’cause that’s the relevant that this lines up. It’s relevant, because they want to see it. And they know that this is the lead in into a sales process so and they still want to see it. Kind of screen them as well. [crosstalk 00:13:31]

James: Trying to think of ways I can do this to Content Snare now to apply this same thing to our software-

Darren: Why not?

James: It’s really cool man, like this is, you hear this all the time, like leading with value or you know, especially to make outreach work, leading with value, I think this is probably the best example of it that I’ve heard, so far-

Darren: Oh wow. Thanks man!

James: So props to you!

James: So I mean, really it sounds like this is something that pretty much anyone could implement but obviously it’s gonna take a fair bit of time and that’s where your service steps in, so this is a service you provide to people. Yeah?

Darren: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. The whole thing, Long Hours at Work, right? We created that to remove long hours at work from people’s lives. So I’m not talking to you so I can give your listeners more crap to do during the day, like, “Ah, great idea for you. Now you’ve got more stuff to do.” And you’re already started with 12 hours and you, you’re like, “Oh great, thanks Darren, another 13 hours of work to do, thanks to you.” That would defeat the purpose, so yeah we have created a service around this and it’s got a really high conversion rate.

Darren: I mean disclaimers here, it does … ’cause the whole … the way that this thing ends is, you don’t actually send them the report or you could, but you could actually tell them, “Yeah, it’s a presentation. I’d like to present it to you.” And the curiosity factor then you actually get them in the door, you wanna do that so for example if you know this business, it’s a target business $20 million dollars, you know, in turnover and they want $100,000 website built or whatever it is, or even at the lower end $10,000 but it’s a target organization and you really want to get in there, you can actually play the curiosity card. Sorry, english is my third language.

James: Geeze.

Darren: So yeah. So you can actually play that card and just go all right, do you wanna see your report and if you want to see it, I’m happy to come in and present it to you and they’ll find a bit compelled to actually let you in and you can organize marketing managers to be there and everyone to be there and you get all your decision makers in one room and then pound that thing through, but at the front end of that, you know, you don’t want to be doing all that leg work to get to that point and that’s what this service comes in. We take everything off you. We’ll find the sites. You give us the industry. We’ll find the industry. If you don’t have one, we’ll help you find a niche for yourself if you don’t have one.

Darren: Once you got the niche, we look at the company size, we find out who are the decision makers in there. We’ll approach them on Linkedin or we’ll cold email, whichever way … Look, they actually want this stuff, so that the approach itself in some ways it’s just we’re providing scale and previous experience, obviously. We know the words that you need to use to get their attention. But at the end of the day, it’s something that they’re gonna want and they’re gonna like, they’ll love you for doing it.

Darren: Once they get that then you can play that card, either you wanna hang on [inaudible 00:16:25] you’re gonna present it, so just put it into PowerPoint or the actual report. You send it to them or you call on the back of that and just go, “All right, do you guys wanna have a chat about this and I’ll have to walk you through it ’cause it looks a bit technical.” Especially that SEMrush report, that can get pretty technical-

James: Yeah, I’ve seen one of those. They are a bit full one. [crosstalk 00:16:39]

Darren: Yeah, yeah I mean these guys, they’re not … they wouldn’t know html from any other language or whatever right now. You put something like that in front of them it just … So that’s where that service comes in and it actually takes time away because if you have this, you have this as a pipeline, you have this so you have this plugged into your [inaudible 00:17:02] more easily, it’s coming through. ‘Cause it’s [inaudible 00:17:04] appointments than it generates. All that going through, you probably don’t have to do any other marketing so you can just put a bit fat tick next to your marketing and business development and just go, “I’m done.”

James: Yeah, nice.

Darren: Yeah and you can just focus on your job.

James: Yeah, madness. This is, yeah, really exciting for people who are, I guess struggling to get work or even if they just wanna grow, ’cause it can be quite difficult with the economies of scale to like if you’re sort of flat out where you are, to hire another person becomes … like you can’t do that yet ’cause you don’t have enough profit, but this sounds like a really good channel to sort of tap into to grow your business or yeah, like I said, if you’re struggling to get work, so this is really cool. I’d kinda like to share this, actually, this is gonna be awesome.

Darren: Thanks. Thanks man.

James: Well I guess what I’ll do is drop a link either on the video or below the video so you guys can go and find out a bit more. If it’s helped you, please share this around ’cause obviously there’s that process there can be done by anyone, so you know you can feel free to take that and go and do it and share it with people. If you don’t have the time and you don’t want to long hours at work, talk to Darren. Hit the link below and have a chat, ’cause this is really cool, like I’ve been looking for a way, something to recommend to people that is just a channel that gets leads ’cause that’s the hardest thing for web design, right?

James: Like you can do content marketing and you can go and do networking and you’re kinda relying on referrals and this work that comes in here and there, but just a channel that you can switch on? Like people try to say Facebook ads or Google ads are ways you can do that, but it’s … I don’t know many people that are making that work, right? ‘Cause it’s so expensive. Everyone’s trying to do it. It’s very hard to differentiate. This is the next level. Right? So thank you so much for sharing that and for coming on.

Darren: Thank James. Thanks. Absolute pleasure. Love that I was able to contribute value.

James: Nice.

Darren: Thank you.

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James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare and Aktura Technology. Once a web designer, his new priority is to help web designers and developers regain their lives, work less and get better clients.

He does this by writing helpful posts, building software and working with web designers to deliver the complex web development that they don't normally handle.

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