Talkin' Paint Podcast #8 - How To Spot A Bad Agency - There are TONS of them out there

Talkin Paint Podcast Episode #8 – Show Notes

In the podcast, Gabe from Detailing Growth explains how listeners can identify unreliable marketing agencies and choose a partner that will truly support their business growth. He warns about agencies that reel in clients with promises of speedy results and flashy output, but have no scalability or tailored strategies in their operation, making them unable to deliver in the long run. In contrast, Gabe emphasizes the importance of having a ‘radius of protection’ to ward off competitors, transparency of ad spend and actual results, customized website content for higher visibility, balanced strategies beyond pay-per-click advertising, and avoidance of overseas support for language and time-zone convenience. He adds the importance of avoiding ‘runaway’ agencies that practice high client turnover. Instead, he suggests choosing a partner that understands your industry, does custom research on your business, uses diverse and effective growth strategies for your business, assists in simplifying your operations, commits to a long-term relationship, and genuinely cares for your success.


About Detailing Growth

My name is Gabe Fletcher. I operate Ceramic Pro Pottstown aka Total Detailing in Pottstown, PA. I have been one of the fastest-growing Ceramic Pro installers across the US. I have a 20-year website development background. I built my first website when I was 11 and have been enamored by Website Development ever since.

Detailing Growth’s Detailing 3.0 is a program designed for detailers. I took my years of website, SEO, PPC and totally crushed our market. It was my proof of concept that I knew we could do it for other people.

Our company was started to help car detailing businesses scale by providing SEO services, web design, social media campaigns, training, and more! We offer many different packages that are tailored for each business’s requirements. There is no cookie-cutter solution.

Detailing Growth Links​

Episode timeline

00:00 Understanding the DM Scam

01:54 The Dangers of No Protective Radius

03:07 The Myth of Free Services

04:25 Beware of Wrapped Up Ad Spend

05:42 The Hidden Costs of Cheap Websites

07:41 The Risks of Overreliance on Pay-Per-Click Advertising

09:44 The Downside of Overseas Support Staff

10:56 The Pitfalls of Cheap Ad Agencies

11:35 Characteristics of an Ideal Marketing Agency

12:47 The Importance of Custom Research and Solutions

13:26 The Value of a Full-Service Agency

14:44 The Need for Long-Term Partnership

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Episode transcript:

(00:00) Hey everybody it’s Gabe from Detailing Growth and today I wanted to take some time to talk to you about how you can spot a bad marketing agency the goal of this video isn’t to talk bad about anyone else’s business but only to arm you with positive information so that you can become an informed consumer and pick an agency that has your best interests at heart so the first thing we’re going to talk about is the DM scam or the we want to partner with you type of agencies so most of the time these

(00:36) agencies will reach out to you directly either via social media or email they’ll talk about them being Heavy Hitters or they’ve helped dozens of shops while this sounds impressive this is usually a pretty big red flag we’ve coined terms for these agencies they’re called Runaway agencies named after runaway truck ramps these agencies promise you the world claim that they can deliver it super fast they’ll Dazzle you and with big numbers and fast results but the truth is is that they’re setting you up

(01:06) for what we call the 30-day sand pit imagine that you are a truck going downhill and you see a runaway truck ramp up ahead that’s what these agencies do they offer you incredible speed and promise to solve all your problems but in 30 days you find yourself stuck in that sand pit making no forward movement at this point they offer the lowest effort possible with support that’s completely unscalable on on their end they got you hooked and now you’re stuck in the sand going nowhere unable to move forward no protective radius is another

(01:37) big red flag agencies that don’t offer you a radius of protection typically means that they are operating on a lower level of Ethics which typically means they’re willing to on board anybody including your competition I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a competitor sent me a message and want to on board with us with me not realizing that they were a competitor of an existing client only for me to find that out at the beginning of the research phase when an agency takes on multiple clients in one

(02:07) area they can’t give you individualized detention the only thing that you end up doing is competing against somebody else using the same strategies and agencies that don’t offer an exclusive protective radius typically rely on a generic one-size fits-all type of marketing campaign strategy because it’s easier for them to manage versus is managing your custom strategy which is what you should have what you want is an agency that is going to ensure you that if you are on a plan with them and you’re

(02:42) working with them that they’re not going to onboard competitors within a certain radius or populace size free isn’t free a lot of agencies will lure you in under the guise of will do it right or will work for free so let’s talk about expectations when an agency offers to work for free free it usually creates this expectation Gap that they’re going to do amazing things for you because after all they’re willing to work for free so they must be pretty good right in most cases these agencies are setting

(03:11) you up for disappointment they lure you in with a money back or you know no charge guarantee but the level of effort that they give you is usually pretty minimal and it’s not just a theory we’ve tried this as an agency ourself and it is not scalable and it is not something that is going to work on a large scale it may work out for the agency in bringing on multiple clients and large numbers of clients but you can’t service all of them if their expectation Gap is so big that you need to work for free

(03:44) for them that’s just not a good model so when you hear the words we’ll do it for free it’s often a sign that that agency is desperate and probably don’t have the necessary skills to support you be on the lookout for wrapped up ad spend agency I don’t care what agency says that they can provide you with the best top tier advertising or marketing experience if they are wrapping up your ad spend inside of their monthly management fees meaning they’re charging you for their fees and the ad spend in

(04:21) one package one invoice one chart you are being scammed they are skimming your ad spend unequivocally you will never ever ever get true results nor will you ever be given the real metrics in how your ads are performing you can’t measure Roi without seeing analytical data and you can’t see analytical data if you can’t have access to your analytics dashboard to show you how those ads are performing because the agency has them wrapped up in their own ads manager and isn’t sharing the data with you so that way you have nothing to

(05:04) hold them accountable for the smart move is to refuse to work with them and move on to another agency cheap websites always cost you more than just the amount that they’re charging you for it the first thing you want to think is wow a 100 bucks a month that sounds like a great deal I could do that you’re right you could but let’s talk about the implications of that if somebody’s going to charge you $100 for a website templated custom built whatever there is a 99% chance that that website is templated it does not have one

(05:39) unique content and do you know what Google does and other search engines do to websites that don’t have unique content they push them down the list including any assets tied to those websites meaning your Google my business listing also lowered in status so sure you might get a website for $100 a month but you’re not getting anything beneficial out of that the only thing it’s going to do is decrease your Market reach and push you further down the ranks avoid cheap copy and paste templated websites that don’t have

(06:17) one tailored content inside of them because let me assure you if somebody is doing $100 website templates for God knows how many businesses there’s no way that they can customize a 15 16 17 18 19 page website and customize the text on each individual page for $100 a month and not be sinking a total crapshoot of time into that another thing that some agencies will do is that if they’re an adson agency they will create an over Reliance on PPC or payperclick advertising on Google or Facebook focusing too much of your effort with an

(06:56) agency on only pay-per-click advertising creates an imbalance in the way you do business typically you’re going to find that most businesses operate on a 60% new or PPC rate and a 40% existing and referral rate from their own pipeline what happens when you focus in on agencies that want to make ads their only focus which don’t get me wrong there are plenty of them out there that do good work but if you’re only strategy is to pump money into ads then all you do is tip the scale in the incorrect direction and you set yourself up at 90

(07:37) 95% Reliance on pay-per-click advertising and now all of a sudden when search engines make a change and your optins decrease you have nothing to lean on because you’ve been putting all of your effort into one basket and let me tell you that is the worst thing that you could possibly do inside of your business I talk to guys who do this day in and day out and we pull them out of the fire my advice to you is if you’re going to work with an adson agency that’s fine because there’s quite a few of them that are good I have a few on my

(08:11) short list when we can’t help somebody that we send people to if you’re going to work with an adson agency you need to make sure that you’re also pairing that with a good organic strategy content marketing social media marketing SEO website all of those other things matter do not set yourself up to fail and put yourself in a hole for overreliance on paperclick that is a death sentence for growth stay away from agencies that offer you overseas support staff not only are you going to get low effort on

(08:46) your website or on your ad campaigns typically there’s a time delay so you’re not going to get anything done in a timely manner and usually there’s a poor english comprehension related issue so it doesn’t matter how articulate you can get in your requests they usually aren’t going to be able to understand you anyway there are certain agencies that have that dialed in but for the vast majority of them it doesn’t matter if they have 20 30 40 or 50 people working for them the size of the

(09:16) agency doesn’t matter if they can’t understand English and they can’t help you during normal us business hours then what good is that to you as a business I’ll tell you how much zero Z zero help be aware of cheap ad agencies this is another version of runaway agencies that we talked about before they need new people in their pipeline because they’re constantly burning through cash and they’re churning or overturning clients clients are in clients are out they’re seeing High rates of turnover and

(09:53) they’re going to give you a high level of support for 30 days after that 30 days the support on approach typically drops off and they start giving you less and less attention till eventually you end up having to tell them to go to hell or screw off and then pull out of the arrangement these agencies cannot offer you support at scale because let me tell you marketing agencies need to have a high level of Hands-On and support capabilities to support their clients in a proper way especially ones that need help cheap ad
(10:28) agencies and cheap runaway agencies cannot afford to provide you the support that you need So after talking about all these negatives and red flags let’s talk about what should be the ideal Agency for you to work with because after all an agency isn’t just a service that you pay for it should be somebody who wants to be a partner in success for you they want to see you win let me explain so you’re going to want to work with an agency that has industry experience first and foremost the ideal agency has

(11:01) experience inside of your industry they understand clientele market trends demographics customer behaviors and overall language usage this allows agencies to craft strategies and put strategies together that actually work for you in your industry and aren’t just like generic one size fits-all type strategies because one siiz fitall strategies do not work in service-based industry that are niched like ppf coatings detailing and tint generalized strategies do not work in this sector the agency you want to use will have

(11:41) done custom research on you your business the market that you’re in and what your competitors are doing to offer you a customized solution to help you get above your competitors and to provide you with a solution that’s going to deliver results because what works for one shop in another area may not work for yours and it usually doesn’t just because one shop says they get this in this market doesn’t mean you can get that in your Market they’re each different in their own way and they do not cross reference and do the same

(12:16) thing in the same place each of them is different avoid places that want to offer you a cookie cutter solution the ideal agency is going to offer you multiple Avenues to grow your business they’re not going to offer you you just pay-per-click they’re not going to offer you just website they’re not going to offer you just SEO they’re going to have a strategy that’s effective for all areas or they’re going to provide you a full solution One-Stop shop type of mentality and operation to be able to

(12:46) fuel your business and put you firing on all cylinders that’s what we do for our clients that work with us they’ll have tools and systems that are designed to help you and your business grow they should have a way for you to make your life easier every day in your business the ideal agency will be an entire solution for you and not just a solution for little bits and pieces the ideal agency is also going to be a partner for you in long-term success we want to see you grow into a long-term game plan and

(13:24) Achieve Milestones along the way because if you’re only focused on 30 days 60 days 90 days if you’re only focused on just those short-term Windows what are you going to do 6 months to a year from now if you didn’t have a goalpost to begin with right you got to find an agency that’s going to work with you and build a long-term relationship and one that’s willing to go the extra mile if you need help because not every agency is willing to do that and it’s quite possibly the most important thing that

(13:58) you could take away from all of this you want long-term partnership and you want somebody who actually cares and wants to see you win the right agency is going to be the driving force behind your growth and success and offer you a pathway towards developing your cores and your pillars for your business that you truly stand on and they’re not going to offer you a cookie cutter solution

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