Lead-Generation Mastery For Consulting Firms With Amy Anderson: Podcast #327

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In today’s competitive landscape, mastering lead generation is the lifeblood of any thriving consulting firm. In this episode, host Michael Zipursky talks with Amy Anderson, co-founder of Wild Coffee Marketing, to uncover expert insights and actionable strategies for maximizing lead generation success in the consulting industry. Don’t miss out on a power-packed conversation and skyrocket your consulting firm’s success!

In this episode with Amy, you’ll learn how to:

  • Transform client satisfaction into long-term growth.
  • Evaluate and implement new service offerings as market demands evolve, keeping your firm competitive and relevant.
  • Enhance your team’s effectiveness by carefully selecting the right talent and avoiding common hiring pitfalls.
  • Secure future business by actively developing a robust and continuous pipeline of potential clients.
  • Optimize your daily schedule as a CEO.

Schedule a consultation with Wild Coffee Marketing.

Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Joining Michael on the show is Amy Anderson, who’s a dynamic industry leader known for using creativity to revolutionize brands and organizations across various sectors. Her expertise lies in enhancing client value through innovative brand growth strategies, team design, and marketing approaches. At Wild Coffee, she spearheads business transformation through comprehensive services like brand strategy, digital marketing, PR, and marketing consulting, acting as a de facto CMO.

Before we dive into the episode, are you ready to grow and take your consulting business to the next level? Many of the clients we work with started as an audience like you. A consistent theme they have shared with us is they wished they had reached out sooner about our clarity coaching program, rather than waiting for that perfect time. If you’re interested in learning more about how we help consultants like you, we are offering a free, no-pressure growth session call.

On the call, we will dive deep into your goals, challenges, and situation and outline a plan that is tailor-made just for you. We will also help you identify where you may be making costly and time-consuming mistakes to ensure you’re benefiting from proven methods and strategies to grow your consulting business. Don’t wait years to find clarity. If you’re committed and serious about reaching a new level of success in your consulting business, go ahead and schedule your free growth session call. Visit ConsultingSuccess.com/Grow to book your free call.

Let me tell you a little bit more about what you’re going to learn in this episode with Amy. First is how to transform client satisfaction into long-term growth, how to evaluate and implement new service offerings as market demands evolve, keep your firm competitive and relevant, how to enhance your team’s effectiveness by carefully selecting the right talent and avoiding common hiring pitfalls, secure future business by actively developing robust, continuous potential clients, and how to optimize your daily schedule as a CEO, plus so much more. Here to share with you her story and insight, Amy Anderson. Enjoy.

Growth Of The Firm

Let’s start right away. Your firm got onto the Inc. 5000 list. You can share if you’d like a little bit of background on that. What I’m interested most of all to know from you right away is what you think caused the level of growth that allowed you to get onto the Inc. 5000 list. For those that don’t know, the Inc. 5000 list is about the fastest-growing companies in the US. How’d you get on it? What was the real driver for growth?

Inc. 5000 list is always something I’ve admired from afar, not something I thought was possible for me as I’m starting on my own, creating a little marketing strategy firm, not even thinking about scale. Inc. 5000 looks at a three-year revenue trajectory. When I looked from ‘19 to ‘22 after having survived COVID and then saw this growth rate we’re experiencing, I said, “Let’s throw our hat in the ring here and see where we end up.” We ended up number 4,288 out of 5,000, which is public knowledge. We were thrilled, and we’re going to go for it again.

First of all, congratulations on that because that is a great accomplishment. Tell me a little bit more about that because you’re still top 5000 people who at least submitted for this. That means that there is growth. I don’t know if you remember offhand what the growth levels were across those three years. If you do, I’d love to hear that. What do you think created that growth? What were you doing specifically or focusing on during that period that you believe allowed you to achieve that level of growth?

The growth was over 40% in two of those years. We grew a lot by expanding our agreements and engagements with existing clients and also adding new service areas. We are a marketing consulting firm and are thinking, “Where can we scale with less grind? Where do we have the best margins? Where are the top-line opportunities? Should we focus on a few niches here?”

We started to exploit franchises and dive deeper into running marketing for large franchise brands, figuring out our B2B marketing intellectual property, approach and diving deeper into there. We had several clients who said, “This is working. We trust you. We’re growing. Our top-line revenue is growing. We want more. Let’s expand the scope.” A lot of it came from there.

Take on as much as you can. Learn what you love. Learn what you’re good at. Know what’s profitable. If you’re in an industry where they don’t have the budget to support your consulting, then it might not be a good product market fit. Click To Tweet

There’s a lot that you share that could be its little mini workshop for people. You talked about focusing on existing clients as opposed to new clients. I’m sure there’s a new client acquisition as part of that. Is that something that you feel you folks are more on at that time? What I’m getting at is were you always thinking about this or did something happen that caused you to think, “We should be focusing more on our existing clients as a way to grow the business?”

We’re an outsourced marketing team versus a traditional agency model, so we create more work for ourselves as the nature of what we do. We don’t sign an engagement with a client and say, “This is the scope and we’re doing these creative services and digital services.” We are their outsourced CMO because we believe every company deserves a CMO, not just necessarily full-time due to budgets but that strategy needs to be in there. We are constantly as a team ideating and always looking for new opportunities to drive revenue and growth. By the nature of that and presenting that to clients, you could call it an upsell but it’s built into the nature of how we work.

When you say acting as a fractional CMO or Chief Marketing Officer, that typically is much more on the strategy side, not so much on the tactical doing the work. Does your firm do the actual work as well for clients? How does that get done?

We do. We say often that we are outsourced CMOs and strategists who own our creative services agency in-house. I spent the first 25 years of my career as a client-side marketer. I worked with brands such as Seventeen Magazine, Calvin Klein, and The New York Times. When I got into financial services later, I had big teams and big budgets, and then the mortgage crash happened. I had to reevaluate what direction I was going in. It made sense to me. I said, “Why can’t I do this for multiple companies at the same time? Why am I just contributing to this one when maybe I can diversify and have a little bit more variety and excitement and outsource this way?” That’s how that started.

Adding Value And Services To Clients

Can you give an example? You talked about going in and finding ways to expand the value that you’re providing to clients. You mentioned adding more services, which is interesting because in the early stages of any consulting professional services business, typically real growth comes from having fewer services and doing them well. As you get to that scale level, you’re moving up, looking for ways to grow and in this case, you have twenty full-time people so you have the infrastructure or resources to do that. It makes sense to look at adding more. Walk us through maybe one example of how you find additional value for a client. How did you start thinking about adding service? What did that look like?

We typically do a lot of B2B, and I mentioned franchises. As part of that, we did not do Local Store Marketing or LSM in the franchise space. My business partner, who I co-founded the company with, started his first agency in that space and it’s a grind. He worked with Orangetheory from locations 1 to 300, new franchisees, and getting them new leads and memberships prior to opening. It’s intense. We always stayed away from that side of the business and focused on franchisor strategy, “How are we going to grow this network from 10 franchisees to 100?”

The more franchisor work we started doing, they trusted us to do the local store marketing. We had always outsourced to two or three different independent digital folks that we trusted were on our roster for three years. We said, “Our clients want this from us. They trust us with this.” We need to bring that team in-house and build it from the ground up. Digital is an area that we could very comfortably outsource for a long time with key partners. We have built the function in. It’s a different process, set of values, and financial model than everything that we do on a retainer basis. We had to think through how this works together.

I love that point because that was what was on my mind in terms of follow-up questions. Is there a model that you used or what did you need to consider before doing that? A lot of people reading, maybe in a similar position either now or in the near future where they see an additional service or product that they could potentially start offering to the market but there are risks involved because you have something likely already working and to shift your energy and focus to something else, especially if it requires a lot of resources to support it, it’s a decision that you need to think through. Any tips you would have for somebody who might be at that place where they’re considering offering a new product or service? What should they maybe be considering or looking at?

You need to look at the financial model, the process, and if it’s adjacent and not too far off from what you’re already doing. In a bigger corporate, spinoffs happen when the values, resources, and processes don’t align. They say, “We’re going to spin this part of the business off.” You don’t want to start something that would be considered a spinoff from the beginning. The process is important. Part of the intellectual property that consultants have is, “What process? What’s the product market fit? What are you delivering?” That process piece is critical for us all to look at.

Building A Team And Focusing On Franchises

I want to ask you about how you went about building your team of twenty full-time people. Before we get there, you mentioned this focus on franchises and making that a big part of the business. It sounds like it didn’t start that way. I’d love to know how you got to that place where it became apparent that you should focus more on that. I bring this up because we probably see it as being one of the biggest challenges that consultants have especially when they’re at an earlier stage. They bring a lot of experience and expertise that could help a lot of different types of people and different industries.

Consulting Success Podcast | Amy Anderson | Lead Generation

Narrowing in becomes challenging, but even for those that have been in business for quite some time and are successful, you often do an inventory of all their clients, projects, and profitability. You usually start to see that certain ones are performing a lot better than others. They can also benefit from doing this even though people tend to hesitate to narrow and focus. How did you get to that place? Can you share a bit of that journey and what you went through to get there?

In the beginning, we took everything. We didn’t feel that we had a choice. We have some clients we call COVID clients that we took for the cash flow, knowing that the profitability was going to be challenging. There are clients we didn’t think that we had a good fit because we didn’t think that we could go deep enough, but we took them because of the cash flow and our desire to grow. In the beginning, you have to go wide. As we started to go along and grow the business, it became very apparent.

The question that I’d love to know your thoughts on is you mentioned the focus on franchises. Early on, that’s not typically where people find themselves with that level of clarity or focus. They take on a lot of different types of business. I’m interested to know how you got to that place and decided to narrow in and focus on the franchise business specifically.

In the beginning, we took a little bit of everything. We had to go broad. We were figuring out our model. We would have a large volume of clients at a smaller retainer number, and then we would mitigate client concentration risk and things like that. We ended up getting an introduction because almost all of our business was referral-based in the beginning. We did not do any inbound. I had been in the business for a long time, my business partner and people called when they found out what we were doing. We ended up with a client that had 50 locations and found early on that they needed a system that they needed to develop for marketing and marketing support. We figured out from the ground up what that complete system looked like.

As we started to talk to other franchisors, we realized that this specific type of knowledge was instrumental to growth for them. Not just anybody can come in. On the creative side, sure. You can build digital campaigns and branding. We do all of that but it’s the actual strategy that goes into a nuanced franchise network. The same is the case for mortgages. We both came from the financial services industry. We had some previous clients call us and we realized, “When you’re a lone originator, there is a lot of nuance and specialization. Let’s go a little deeper.”

There are probably four or five industries that we can go in and feel confident that we can make a difference very early on from a strategy and execution standpoint. Take on as much as you can, learn what you love, learn what you’re good at, and certainly know what’s profitable. That’s critical too. If you’re in an industry where they don’t have the budget to support your consulting, then it might not be a good product-market fit.

How do you handle the situation where, let’s say, you get approached by somebody who wants to hire you and work with you and your team, but it doesn’t fit into one of those buckets that you have already selected as being your core focus, for example, one of them being franchise?

We immediately ask ourselves, “Can we be successful for them?” We left a meeting where it’s in its early stage, a little bit disorganized, and hadn’t led a team like us before. Founder CEOs are different than professional CEOs. Founder CEOs are nimble, move fast, and bold. Sometimes they haven’t managed a group like us. There are some challenges. We can teach them how to manage and work with us.

The number one thing that we ask ourselves is, “Can we make a difference here? Will they listen to our advice? Do we have the budget to help them grow? Is it a category with some white space in it for us to advance?” If those things can’t happen, we will have a pretty frank conversation and maybe we’ll steer them in a different direction. We keep some other firms in our back pocket to refer to.

The way that you wrote that down I believe will be very helpful for people because as part of the qualification process, people have maybe a sense of who they want to work with but they don’t have set criteria listed that they can go through a mental checklist to see like, “Does this match or not?” You end up taking on clients and projects that you shouldn’t have taken on.

Consulting space is all about looking for opportunities to invest in and grow businesses. Click To Tweet

Even if it’s for the money, you usually end up regretting it unless you’re in a position where you truly need the cash flow. Let’s shift to talk about your team. You’re a team of twenty full-time. Rewind the clock a little bit and share who was the first hire. When you decided you wanted to start building a team, what did that look like? Who was it? What was their role?

The first person we hired was to move the work through a system. We had a series of freelancers, and we were out getting new business, and they were responsible for moving the work through the system. When we started, we hired client-side marketers because we’re an outsourced marketing firm. You need to have a strong marketing background. What we soon learned is that client-side marketers were not as adept at managing multiple engagements at the same time. When we started, we thought it was the marketing expertise. What I have learned since then is it’s the ability to manage multiple projects. It is the client-facing piece that I don’t think is as easy to teach.

I will teach you everything I know about marketing, our approach, how we approach these engagements, the foundational work we do, and branding. All of that is teachable. What I’m looking for is somebody who can change gears quite a bit, who can be incredibly nimble, very confident, and comfortable in front of clients. We’ve shifted more towards hiring from agency and consulting backgrounds versus sheer pure marketing backgrounds.

Is the distinction that the person has experience working in an agency environment where they were likely dealing with multiple projects at once or is there an actual job description difference?

It depends on where in the organization. In more leadership roles, we would be looking for an account director, a head of strategy, and things like that because we are strategy-driven. It’s not just taking an order from a client, putting it into the pipeline, and then bringing it back to them. In many ways, that can be a traditional agency model. With ours, they’re the director of marketing or VP of marketing for five different companies at the same time.

They have to be thinking, “What KPIs am I tracking? How am I helping this client grow?” Doing that five times over. It’s not for everyone in that case. You’re not going to have a single engagement with us and be able to go so deep all the time. That’s the thrill of it. I could never go back client side and be a CMO for a single company because I love working on multiple engagements at the same time.

Fractional CMO Services

What’s the value proposition then for your clients? Take us into their world. Why would they hire a fractional CMO? Oftentimes, people think fractional is only one person but with your firm, it sounds like they’re getting one person but they’re getting a whole team that surrounds that one person. Why would they do that as opposed to what most firms do, which is they’re going to go out and look for and hire the full-time in-house CMO? What’s the value prop there? How do you position that? What does that conversation look like?

Companies of a certain size can afford a full-time CMO and in-house marketing team. There’s this middle market that exists where a full-time CMO is not affordable and not needed because you can do strategy on an annual, quarterly, half-year basis and have that in place. It’s also a huge commitment not only financially but to find the right person to lead your marketing efforts. Typically, CMOs are leaders of people and strategy but not doers so you need to bring your team of doers. In this digital-first environment, there are many skillsets that need to be covered and then you don’t necessarily need those skillsets full-time.

It is much more cost-effective to hire a fractional marketing team. It is advantageous to hire a CMO fractionally to help you get your strategy set and get everything on course. We go into large franchise companies and B2B companies. There may be one person, and that person is so strapped that they can’t cover everything. We typically will report to the CEO and serve as the entire marketing team, lowering cost structures and covering all the skillsets fractionally.

What does that typical client look like in terms of size revenue so people have a sense of how big this organization is bringing you in?

Consulting Success Podcast | Amy Anderson | Lead Generation

20 to 150. That’s a wide range. We’re not an early-stage firm. Typically, they could use maybe a super small agency or set of freelancers in an emerging stage. We work with private equity companies. We have four we have partnered with. They bring us in as the value creation team for their portfolio companies. These companies have been capitalized. They have some market presence. They typically are very niche but there are huge growth opportunities for them. Typically, they’re capitalized at around $30 million with 6 to 10 in EBITDA.

They haven’t had the marketing expertise. They maybe haven’t had budgets. We were brought in as the outsource CMOs for home improvement companies, for example. We’re running RFPs for SEO firms, things like that, getting all of their reporting set up, making recommendations for the brand, and it works. We can put a team in place, whether ours or in-house, and move forward from there.

I want to come back to the PE firm because there’s a lot to talk about there. Before you do that though, take me back to the cost savings or one of the value adds that you bring as opposed to bringing on a full-time CMO and maybe building a team around that person. A lot of people still have this belief, whether right or wrong, that having in-house is much better than having external. There’s a lot of value in your case in going the other direction. What do actual cost savings look like? Compared to, let’s say, bringing on a full-time CMO and maybe some team around them, how much different is that going to be by engaging your team?

We’ll do an analysis in the pitching stage and look at what the budgets are, what the market looks like, and what the skills and services required. We can typically build a team for 30% to 40% less than an in-house team. CEOs have to manage a CMO in a team. If they don’t go deep into digital, it is very difficult for them to assess. They can understand customer acquisition costs and tactics but when you start to get into basis points of performance per area of digital, it’s hard to optimize that. Unless your CMO can manage that and get that done for you at all times, there’s less risk because you can move on. If you outsource it and it’s not working, it’s a huge commitment to bring a senior-level person in like that.

Before we started talking about some marketing and private equity stuff, I got to know about the name Wild Coffee. Where does this come from?

Wild Coffee is a plant native to South Florida, a long way from you. It was growing outside of my window in Miami when I was writing my original business plan. It’s a native plant. I wouldn’t call it a weed. It’s just native. It grows in random places but it kept covering the window and I’d have to cut it back with a machete. It was shiny and had these shiny berries. I thought it was a wonderful metaphor for what I was trying to create for a company and what we were trying to do with our clients. It’s this beautiful self-propelled growth and that’s what we’re trying to unlock.

Lead Generation

I’ll look into that more. I have this little tradition with my girls that every night at dinner, they each get to ask one question and we’ll look up the answer because they usually ask questions I don’t know what the answers are. I’ll try and weave in the wild coffee one into one of those questions because that’s the first that I’ve heard of it. Thank you for that. Let me ask you about marketing. One of the biggest areas that consultants often struggle in is lead generation and building a thriving pipeline of opportunities.

It sounds like you’re at a place where you do have a very solid pipeline. I’d love to know what you’re doing to continue to grow that pipeline and bring in high-value clients and opportunities. What I’d like to know is how that compares to what you were doing a few years ago or at the early stages of the business. How much of the marketing tactics, strategy, and approaches have shifted over the years? What are the differences?

We got into the danger of relying on referrals. We had a lot of them in the beginning. They were smaller engagements. We were willing to take those on. We were growing the company. The scale was much less, and we were very lucky. We came to a point where we had too much client concentration. As consultants, we always need to ask ourselves what percentage of our revenue is concentrated in 1, 2, or 3 clients. That started to get a little bit too high. We knew we had to be intentional if we wanted to continue to grow at the rate that we were.

It was interesting. The private equity route is where I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve always wanted to be at the intersection of McKinsey and marketing, to be doing interesting strategy work that we could dive in, and even from an innovation standpoint, recommend product development in some manufacturing and industrial places.

It’s important to be out there and share what you know, even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s great for SEO when people are vetting you and looking at your work, but they also get a taste of who you are, how you work, and what you think. Click To Tweet

I want CEOs to come to us and say, “We’re trying to grow this business.” We hear our plans, but how marketing owns so much more than pricing and promotion? We own the digital experience. There’s a product element to it. Also, customer experience and all touch points for the brand. We play a more pivotal role in that. I went and looked at scales and strategic partnerships. Private equity is one, and also software partners in our space.

Strategic Partnerships

How early on was it when you saw that light bulb and thought, “I should go down the strategic partnerships, the software, and MP?” How many years into the business was that?

We started a few years ago, and about three years into it, I started to see the space that I wanted to play in, plus I find it interesting. Who wouldn’t want to, in the consulting space, be looking for opportunities to invest in and grow businesses? To me, that’s what all of it is about. Three years in, I saw it, and it wasn’t until about twelve months later that we signed our first agreement with a South Florida-based private equity firm.

We’ve done projects across 5 or 6 of their portfolio companies. We’re with a middle-market industrial value-creator company out of Miami. I counted, and we have eight engagements simultaneously with them. It’s everything from branding and doing that foundational work to consistent lead generation, the outsourcing CMO strategy piece. The work is varied in that. It keeps it interesting.

For many of the clients who work with PE as their clients, it’s such a great opportunity because you land one client, being the PE firm. They can bring you many opportunities that they have because they’re always investing in new companies and looking for opportunities. There’s a lot of leverage there. Can you walk us through it at a high level?

You said it took about twelve months to go from deciding, “Yes, we’re going to go after PE to getting the first deal signed.” Some people might say, “That’s a very long time,” but in the world of bigger sales, twelve months is not necessarily that long. It’s even pretty standard. But what did you do? What did that look like? Was it cold calling? Was it meeting people in person? Was it sending direct mail? How did you go from the initial idea to getting that first deal done?

I was most comfortable with introductions. I was looking at my target list to understand who has longer investment horizons with their portfolio companies and that marketing would matter. “If they’re investing in companies that were too big, they probably already had in-house teams and agencies. I needed this middle market,” and I found that list. I looked and saw that a lot of them in this industry know each other. I looked for, “Do you know someone here at X firm?” I asked for the introduction.

When you say you were asking people, who are you asking?

I have a few friends and acquaintances in the business. I went and said, “Do you know these guys in Fort Lauderdale? Do you know these guys in New York?” I went by industry and said, “Who’s investing in a franchise?” I have experience working with private equity firms and their target portfolio companies. It’s looking for a good fit for you that can give you some scale. Same with these software company strategic platforms. Anytime you’re going after the same end client, there’s an opportunity for you to co-market to go after the same types of targets. We’re doing that as well.

You mentioned that you built or acquired. Somehow, you got a list of who these ideal companies are. Can you share how do you go about building that list?

Consulting Success Podcast | Amy Anderson | Lead Generation

We have a person on our team to whom we gave parameters, and they scraped a lot of LinkedIn and did research there. We did that by trying to data match CEOs of franchises of emerging brands to figure out what that marketing list looks like. When we’re going to the international franchise show, we’re out. That’s what I use to try to get meetings that way. Our approach has very much been belly-to-belly with a very distinct client list in the market. What we’re starting to do is walk our talk with lead generation, inbound, and funnel development. We need to experiment on ourselves if this is the area that we’re also consulting in for our clients.

Is there anything outside of referrals and PE connections that you’ve seen that is working on the marketing side, or is it still too early to tell?

Look at the part of your business that’s easier to scale. For us, it’s the digital piece. Local store marketing for franchises or marketing strategy projects are two areas that we’re targeting both on LinkedIn and Google and trying to see if we can do some inbound. I’m starting to do some more video work and thought leadership. Anytime we’re in a consultative sales approach, and I’m sure that most consultants do, being very active on LinkedIn, publishing, and videos.

It is not my most comfortable place to be, despite being here with you. It’s something I have to force myself to do. It’s important to be out there and share what you know. When people are vetting you and looking, it’s great for SEO, but they also get a taste of who you are, how you work, and what you think. It’s important to be out there even when it’s uncomfortable.

Time Management

I’d love to know how you spend your time. I’m sure there are some differences between how you go about structuring your day, week, and month, as opposed to what it was like years ago when it was you and your co-founder. What does it look like? If there was a pie and you were to say each piece of the pie, maybe its delivery or strategy, what would those elements be for your pie in terms of where you spend your time on a given week? How do you allocate the percentages across?

I have a mentor who is the chairman of a very large shipping company in the US that we all use. I happen to be so lucky to live in the same town as him. He met with me on Saturday and said, “You’re a sales-driven company. If you’re not selling all the time, then you don’t have a business.” It was a very good reminder. Business development is a major part of that. Running the business and looking at our metrics, numbers, and financials is another major piece.

We’re selling time. What is our inventory of time? How much do I have left to sell? How much have we billed? What is an acceptable non-billable percentage? What is our average hourly rate? What is our revenue per employee? What is out in terms of scopes and new business? What’s coming in? When are we going to be able to execute on that?

How often do you review those metrics? It sounds like you probably have a dashboard that you’ve built or some way to track all that. How often do you personally look at that data?

I look at billable data daily. Every day, I know how much the team has built. I know every week, and I know for each client how much we have expended towards our agreement. We use project management software that helps us understand the health and the status of every project that we have. If there are 100 hours that we’ve committed to in a month, by 10 business days into the month, I can see if it’s at 50% or 90% if we’re running hot because then there’s some corrective action that we need to take.

The team will usually come to us and say, “I am running a little hot here. I’m going to prioritize this. I’ve talked to the client about pushing it into the next month,” and that’s how we try to run that there. As far as time, it needs to be daily. The team understands this. It’s as though you’re working in a store and you’re handing the product over the counter not charging for it. Our commodity is our time, wisdom, and creative output. We keep pretty tight handles on those.

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Business development, looking at the metrics, and staying on top of that. Is there anything else that goes into your pie? Are you involved in delivery at all anymore or anything else?

We’ve tried to divide and conquer and not overlap. Especially with mine, I’ve known my business partner for many years. We’ve had this venture for six. We had some weird business codependency because we were going everywhere together in a lot of cases. We said, “We need to distinguish who is the visionary and who’s the integrator in this business.” I am out doing new business and I’m responsible for the quality of the work and our approach to the work from a creative and marketing standpoint.

“This is our intellectual property. This is how we do this. This is the quality of the creative and the strategy. This is the product that we are delivering to clients.” He ensures that everything is moving through and being delivered on time and according to agreements. That division for co-founders is hard when you have a long-term relationship with someone. We had to separate ourselves. That’s 2024. That wasn’t many years ago. We’re used to being together all the time and working in a way that makes sense. It’s worked well for the team. Your team needs to think that distinguished.

It is a great point to bring up. My co-founder is my cousin Sam. We’ve been building this business together for many years and multiple other businesses in the past that we’ve gone through. We’ve had that experience of seeing the overlap and then going, “We’re very similar in many ways. We’re also very different in many ways. Let’s lean into those differences where we can each create a lot of value.”

The coordination with the team is an important point because at times, I’ll say something to the team and then Sam will say something different to the team. “What’s going on here? Let’s stay in our lane. Let’s be very clear about what our roles are and all of that so that we don’t cross signals and create confusion for others on the team.” It’s a great reminder.

Organizational clarity is very key. We use EOS, or Entrepreneurial Operating System, to run the business. I’m sure a lot of people do. It has been instrumental to us scaling the business. There are a couple of reasons for that. You need meeting cadences and planning cadences short-term and long-term. It’s important to dig into issues. We sit in the C-Suite for multiple clients. For two years, I was in the executive meeting of a large client of ours, and the weekly meeting was people round-robin of updates.

Updates are not working. There are other ways to share information other than a weekly meeting with executives. It is time to dig into issues, ideas, and topics and have those discussions. You’re not moving a business forward unless you’re ideating and solving. I love that portion of EOS and Gino Wickman’s book Traction because it’s real substantive conversations internally about the business, “What are your roadblocks? What’s not working? Where are things out of line? There’s this new software in marketing, if we are not learning all the time, then we’re dead in the water.” I believe in digging into the actual ideas and topics facing the business.

AI In The Business

Before we wrap up, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you. What’s your take on AI? How are you handling it? How are you thinking about it? What’s your stance?

It’s good for augmenting what our creative teams are already doing. It helps them structure some of the writing, consider topics they hadn’t considered before, increase their volume of productivity, and give new ideas. It’s a backup idea generator, “Have I considered all points of this? Is there an angle here that I haven’t considered?” It is amazing when researching a vertical in a category.

Consulting Success Podcast | Amy Anderson | Lead Generation

There’s nothing to be scared of as some people are. It helps you to be even better. It’ll make someone more powerful, effective, and productive if they use it. If they don’t, shame on them because they’ll probably be left a little bit in the dust there. Amy, I want to thank you so much for coming on here and sharing a bit of your story and journey. There’s a lot more that people can learn from you. Where’s the best place for them to go and learn more about you and Wild Coffee?

Wild Coffee Marketing. We have a bunch of case studies up there to see what the challenges and solutions were and how we address them. We do consultations for business leaders looking to understand what the marketing opportunities for their business are, what we think about the brand, and what they could be doing from a lead generation and growth standpoint. We enable people to schedule those and those are with me. I love them. It’s the part of the business that keeps things fresh and keeps us on our toes and thinking. We love to do those for people looking for help.

Thank you so much for coming on.

Thank you so much for having me.

There you have it for this episode between Michael and Amy. If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to share this episode with a friend or colleague. A quick reminder, if you want to get your free growth session call, be sure to head over to ConsultingSuccess.com/Grow. That’s the end of the line for us in this episode. We’ll be back next time with another episode. Until next time.

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