The cavnessHR Podcast can be found at the following places or you can just type in cavnessHR on the respective sites.
iTunes: https://cavnesshr.co/theca54f53 Google Play: https://cavnesshr.co/googl6be3a
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Overcast: https://cavnesshr.co/thecae86ea RadioPublic: https://cavnesshr.co/theca4ba98
Social Media links for Jacob!!!
Disruptive Advertising Instagram: @distruptiveads
Disruptive Advertising Twitter: @distruptiveads
Disruptive Advertising FB: https://www.facebook.com/disruptiveads/
Jacob’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakebaadsgaard/
Resources from Jacob!!!
We have a software that we can push a button and tell people how their campaigns are looking, in terms of how effective they are. We'd love to offer that for free. Just go to disruptiveadvertising.com/audit. We'll run the audit and give you a big beautiful deliverable in a PDF format that says here's exactly what you're doing right. Here's exactly what you're doing wrong. Go fix it, or we can help you. But we'd be glad to offer that with a consultation for free to point people in the right direction that needs some support and getting things off the ground with Google or Facebook or Instagram.
Jason: Hello, and welcome to the cavnessHR Podcast. I'm your host Jason Cavness. Our guest today is Jacob Baadsgaard. Jacob, are you ready to be great today?
Jason: After growing one of his first PPC clients from 25 to 250 employees. Jacob realized he had a gift for using paper click marketing to drive dramatic business results. After helping more companies succeed online. Jacob founded Disruptive Advertising. A PPC and CRO management agency that has helped hundreds of companies realize unprecedented growth and profitability from online advertising. In the four years since its founding, Disruptive Advertising has grown from 2 employees working in Jacob 's basement to a flourishing agency with more than 120 employees and a run rate of over 18 million, putting it number 145 on the 2017 Inc. 500 list. As a business owner and speaker, Jacob Baadsgaard’s really thoughtful and general approach to pay per click advertising makes him a compelling leader in the disruptive marketing arena. Jacob, thank you very much for being here. I really appreciate it.
Jacob: Thanks for having me.
Jason: So Jacob, what's keeping you busy right now? What do you focus on?
Jacob: Well, the things that are definitely keeping me the busiest are finding the right leaders for my organization. I've found that there's not a lot of easy ways to figure that out.
Jason: So Jacob, on a different subject, I looked at your LinkedIn profile, you did an interesting article in 2017 on culture. It is a story about how you had your new job out of college and you told this guy, "Well, no. I'm okay." The guy said, "No, you're not really okay." And he took the time to help you out and you talked about the impact of culture. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Jacob: Yeah, you bet. I'll dive into that story a little bit more, which actually ties into one of our stated core values here at Disruptive Advertising. I think like most of us, after school. We kind of jump into the workforce and we think it's going to be peaches and roses and lots of money and fun all the time. I remember even taking my wife in and being like, "This is my sweet station and my dual monitors. Look at the ping pong tables they've got here and the pool tables and the guitars sitting around and free snacks. Man, this is great. I am so excited to be here." That all changed relatively quickly as the reality hit. I did not know what I was doing. The individual that was in charge of training me was a great person that didn't necessarily have the skillset to be training. If I asked for clarification or asked the same question twice, the response that I would get just made me afraid to ask anything. I didn't feel like I was in a position to ask for help. I wasn't learning what I needed to learn and I thought, this sucks. Like, I'm a fraud. What? I thought it was going to like be successful and stuff. What's going on here?
Jacob: That was when an individual- his name was Jeff, still a good friend to this date- we'd become acquainted with each other. One day, he's walking by my desk and he's like, "How are you, Jacob ?" I said, "I'm fine." He's like, "BS. You're not fine. I can tell. It's oozing out of you." He said, "Let's talk about it." I kind of helped him understand what I was going through and how I was feeling. Then, that man who, mind you, at the time had seven kids. He's had one more since then. Wow. A busy man, successful professional, big family, lots on his plate. Proceeded to take some time out of his busy calendar every day. Sometimes during work hours, sometimes after, to help me progress in the ways that I needed to and to be that mentor for me when I needed it. He didn't have to, I didn't report up through him. There was no real benefit, professionally speaking or financially for him. He just did it because he wanted to do it, because that's the kind of person that he was and that man literally changed my life. He gave me confidence when I had none in myself. He held me accountable and then, didn't let me get away with not putting in the work and was just the right mentor in the right place at the right time for me. It's one of the core values that as I've grown Disruptive that we've really tried to stay true to which is, we call it, get new tires. Which is based on the principle of we care about the individual.
Jacob: The story about this is I love fun-type celebrations, things that are memorable and exciting. One year we hit our revenue goal and to celebrate everybody, got a $200 bonus and $1 bill. So, we all counted to three and we all throw it up in the air at the same time and let it rain down on us. It was just a fun experience, right? Then, the laborious task of then, picking them up one at a time. Then, one team then proceeded to take all their stacks of $200 bills and went and put it on one of their team members' desks. This was a team member that they knew was just in a bit of a difficult situation financially and needed new tires on his car. So they all just let their money on his desk and said, "Hey, go get some new tires."
Jason: That's a great story.
Jacob: Yeah. And then, more recently ... These are the things that literally happen on a regular basis. Our core value is get new tires. Then, we had a newer individual whose husband was doing a residency in some exotic island somewhere. They didn't have the financial means to be visiting each other too often. She had her professional thing going on over here, and he was doing his thing over there. They were seeing each other twice a year. I mean, that'd be hard in any relationship, right? Her team came to me and said, "We'd love to surprise her with tickets to go see her husband for Thanksgiving." And, "Would you be willing to chip in anything ... Chip in on that, Jacob ?" I said, "Well, the company would be glad to chip in. I'll match anything that you guys put in." They surprised her with it and, man, talk about motivation. When we feel cared about as individuals, we will break through walls. We will go to war with people. We will do whatever it takes to succeed when we know that we're with people that care; and they care because they care, not because there's necessarily something in it for them.
Jason: I also noticed in your LinkedIn profile that your Google ads and Bing Ads certified. Should small business owners even be worried about Bing Ads? Is that even a thing anymore?
Jacob: It is and Google has about 75% of the market share. That's definitely worth it. You know, probably 80, 80 plus percent. I don't know if I believe what both of them put out there. But something like that. It certainly reaches a different demographic and it certainly increases the potential reach of the people that you are looking to advertise to. There's certainly a place for it. It's usually not the game changer, but it's usually, "Hey, we've already got it working pretty well on Google. Now, we can go and get about 20% more on Bing." That's more what I'm seeing there.
Jason: What's your take on Snapchat ads and Instagram ads?
Jacob: Well, Snapchat, we haven't done as much with, as an agency. We've done some exploratory things. Instagram, we do a lot with and Instagram is run through the same ad platform as Facebook. We have seen tremendous success with those two avenues. The challenge is most people are doing it wrong, so they spend some money on it and they say, "Well, I just wasted a bunch of money and didn't get what I needed from it." It's not because the platform doesn't work; it's because the strategy is wrong and understanding that people don't go on to Facebook or Instagram to buy something. They go on there to interact with friends and acquaintances and whatever, consume kind of interesting and funny content or whatever that might be. They don't go on there to buy something. There really does have to be a good targeting, good messaging and a good approach to giving them the right message a few times before they're going to make that purchase. There certainly is a way to do that cost effectively.
Jason: So next two part question. Let's say there's a business owner out there. Number one, why shouldn't he just do this himself? Why invest money in outsourcing? Can they just figure it out themselves? Number two, they decide to pick an agency. How do they pick the right agency for themselves? What's the process you would recommend them do that?
Jacob: Yeah, that's a great question. It's kind of the in house. Do we figure it out myself, or do I hire someone to bring internally to figure this out? Or should I use an agency? There are pros and cons to both approaches. I don't know that there is a one size fits all here. I think some people are very naturally inclined to be successful in those areas and others are not. I would say, generally speaking, if you're getting a business off the ground or you're still a smaller business, you have more, more important things to be doing that you can uniquely do for the business that you can't outsource. Marketing, especially specialty marketing like on Google or Bing or Facebook or Instagram are a specialty component. It's typically less expensive, when you think about it, to bring in someone that knows what they're doing because it removes the learning curve. When you think of time value of money, it's typically less expensive to hire an outsourced solution than doing it myself as the business owner, and I get better results. We've developed software that's now audited over 5,000 businesses accounts on Google and Facebook. We've found that 76% of the budgets are completely wasted. That also doesn't even assume that the other 24% is profitable. Chances are if you do it on your own and you figure it out along the way, you're going to waste a lot of money. You don't necessarily need to, if you can engage the right solution.
Jason: So as you know, that's a lot of people that do what you do. How does a business owner find the best one? Because I think a lot of agencies, they'll say, "We do this and we do that." And six months later, there are no results. The agency will say, "Well, you didn't do exactly what we said." How do people work through all that?
Jacob: Yeah. Well, it's a relationship and both people definitely need to do their part to make that work. What I've found is that, sometimes, businesses try to just completely hand it off of with no involvement and expect the agency to be successful. That's actually not a good approach. There does need to be collaboration and mutual effort and working together on that. That being said, everything's measurable. We should be able to know, hey, if it didn't work, at least we know why it didn't work and what not to do next time. So that we can continue to move this needle and get the results that we're looking for. I think that that comes down to more of an expectation standpoint. I think that it's ... There's rarely a silver bullet that solves all problems, right? An agency is not going to be the silver bullet. I think it requires effort and commitment to each other. Then, typically what we see on average, of course, this varies shorter or longer depending on the situation. But on average, within three months, we should have found a few things that are working well enough that we can achieve sustainability with that market and budget.
Jacob: Meaning, hey, we've typically stopped the bleeding. We figured out enough that's working that we're not losing money on the advertising dollars anymore. Then, the next six months is figuring out, okay, how do we make sure that this is sustainable and aligns with our business goals and helps us accomplish those? Then, kind of that 6-12 month period is where we go on and go through the whole process again to figure out, all right. We figured out some things that work. We got them sustainable and profitable for the business. Now, we've got to go through that process again because otherwise, we're going to be stuck where we're at. For me, it's just kind of a six month cycle that way. Sometimes, I see people get a little too antsy in those first one, two or three months. Man, if that return isn't there, they're bailing. They're jumping ship. They're upset. They're emotional and it's pretty common and it's like chasing our tails. It never really gets us anywhere. However, the right agency will demonstrate, yes, the profitability is not there. But these are the campaigns that were profitable.
Jason: Jacob, are you a national company?
Jacob: We are, yeah. We actually even service companies internationally as well.
Jason: How do you market yourself? Is it through word of mouth? Do you have a networking chain or marketing? How do you find your new customers? Or they usually come to you?
Jacob: Yeah, so we're completely inbound. What we do for our clients is what we do for ourselves. We believe in eating our own dog food, so to speak. We're great at advertising on Google and Facebook and Instagram for ourselves. We write a lot of great content and give away the farm in terms of everything that we do and how we do it. We actually have about 5-700 businesses a month reaching out to us for help and seeing if we can help them with their efforts right now. I'm just a big believer in just do it right. Give away the farm as far as this is how we do it. This is how you should be doing it. Chances are you lack the bandwidth or the expertise to actually pull this off. If that's the case, we're a good potential option for you. That's it.
Jason: So Jacob, you have a lot of people coming in? We know the saying every customer is not a good customer. How do you go about disqualifying a customer?
Jacob: Yeah, so of every 100 businesses that reach out to us, we actually disqualify about 80. For us, we just know the situations where we're more or less likely to succeed. Or depending on the size of the business, the budget, the goals, the objectives and the industry that they're in. We actually just go through a questionnaire. Depending on how they answer that "Hey, hey, we're not the right fit for you for reasons X, Y, and Z. Here are some options that we would recommend to you to move you in the right direction." When you're at this point, we would be the right solution for you. Because we work on the paid media side of things, which can be expensive, especially when people are just getting going. So, we may not be the right solution. But what we've found is that a lot of those do come back to us later down the road, because we spent the time to tell them, "Hey, we are or are not the right fit for you." Most of them are not, and they appreciate that. There are very few organizations that will say no to a sale. Those are the organizations that plateau struggle and start to decline. Because at some point, you've got to know what you're good at and what you're not and set both parties up for success.
Jason: Jacob, in our pre-talk, you talked about you're looking for a new HR leader. Can you do a quick recruiting spiel for what you're looking for in the position?
Jacob: I want an HR leader that is like my right-hand person in the company. Our culture, I think, is ultimately our competitive edge in a really saturated industry. I really want someone that aligns with that. We're five and a half years into this. We've had tremendous growth. I think our culture has been a big part of that and just realize that we've kind of outgrown our ability to wing it from an HR standpoint anymore. In the way that we recruit, interview, hire, onboard, train new managers, maintain the culture. Make sure that people have individual growth plans so that they know how to get from point A to point B in their careers while they're with us. There's just a lot of those things that we've just been winging it so far.
Jason: So the person that comes will actually build up the HR from the ground up with your guidance, correct?
Jacob: Ground up. We do not have an HR person in the company and I'm realizing I probably delayed this about a year too long.
Jason: So Jacob, moving on. Can you talk about your success in the past, what you learned from the success, and what we can learn?
Jacob: I would say one of the best successes that I had this past year was, actually, my wife and I were trying to figure out the right way to have a better relationship together. We were actually seeing a marriage counselor and he encouraged us to read a book called Leadership and Self-Deception. After reading that book and in a session that we were having, I can't even tell you. It hit me like a ton of bricks and this is going to sound so dumb. But I realized that the relationship I was hoping for was completely dependent on the changes I was hoping she would make. It became completely apparent to me some of the flaws and baggage that I was bringing to the relationship and it hit me like a ton of bricks. That the sense of superiority that I had had in the relationship, a lot of the challenges that I was bringing. For whatever reason, I had an epiphany and just ... No, I'm not. I'm definitely not perfect here. But just stopped worrying about her and just started working on some of my stuff. Man, it was ... I'd say the last 18 months of our marriage has been the best of our 13 years so far. I'm just excited about where it's going now, rather than being concerned about settling into something that isn't that great long-term. I would say that I just really learned that I needed help to see that about myself in a way that I wasn't capable of doing myself. Wasn't open to hearing that from my spouse because she had certainly told me these things. Just so grateful for someone that could help me see that about myself and make some changes there. It's really changed my life.
Jason: Thanks for sharing that, Jacob. Follow-up question. Talk about a time you failed in the past. What you learned from this or what we can learn.
Jacob: The first visual that came to mind was a scroll, right? That scroll that you open up to look at and you drop it. It's just that endless scroll that keeps going. I feel like that's my ... I'm trying to figure out which of the mistakes or failures that I've had on that list to bring up. I think what comes to mind, as an organization. I think it depends. I'm going to say this one; and I've got plenty, if we want to do anymore. But I would have said no to a lot more clients early upfront. When I was getting the business going, I would've been more selective about the people I hired and the clients that I onboarded. In the effort to be scrappy and get every cent of revenue that we could, which I think in some degree is necessary. But I don't think it's as necessary as we think it is. I would have just been slower in the clients we worked with and the people that we brought on board as employees to make sure that it was the right fit. Because, man, the energy that goes into the wrong fit is just tremendous.
Jason: Jacob, I understand you have something for our listeners.
Jacob: I mentioned before, we've got a software that we can push a button and tell people how their campaigns are looking, in terms of how effective they are. We'd love to offer running that scan for free. You can just go to disruptiveadvertising.com/audit and you can go and fill that out. We'll run the audit and give you a big beautiful deliverable in a PDF format that says here's exactly what you're doing right. Here's exactly what you're doing wrong. Go fix it, or we can help you. But we'd be glad to offer that with a consultation for free to point people in the right direction that needs some support and getting things off the ground with Google or Facebook or Instagram.
Jason: Jacob, is there a certain type of business you like to work with or a certain size, or do you just take all comers?
Jacob: We do have a pretty broad array of clients. Our sweet spot is typically companies that are already spending between about the $5,000 to $50,000 a month on these platforms. They've already been doing it and they just quite haven't found that success. Those are the ones we do a little better with.
Jason: Jacob, can you share yourself and your links for yourself, or your company, so people can reach out to you?
Jacob: Yeah, you bet. So the company is @disruptiveads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I love to connect personally, as well. It's Jacob Baadsgaard. There's four A's in Baadsgaard. I'm really easy to find and I'd love to connect with you on LinkedIn. That's where I'm the most active personally and would love to have a conversation if you've got any questions or want to bounce ideas off each other.
Jason: For our listeners, we'll have the links to social media and everything else in our show notes. You can find the show notes at www.cavnessHRblog.com. Jacob, we're coming to the end of our talk. Can you provide us with any last minute wisdom or advice on any subjects you'd like to talk about?
Jacob: One of the things that have just been impactful for me, over the last year or two of the business, is understanding that my why behind why I'm running a business, why I'm growing it, why I'm even doing these things has changed dramatically. One of the things that I've noticed is that ... That was a painful discovery for me as I often wasn't willing to make the hard decision until I absolutely had to make the hard decision. Because it was so hard to, and that is not needed, right? I don't have to let things get so bad before I'm willing to make a hard decision about personnel, about a budget decision, about I'm delegating, or those types of things. What I've realized is that I've actually just blocked out a half a day a week where I review my vision for myself, my vision for the company. I give myself that time and space to think about what needs to happen. So that I don't have to let things build and build and build and then, make decisions because I have to reactively. But that I can be proactively working on that and giving myself space and time to do that.
Jason: Jacob, thanks for your time today. I know you're a busy person doing a lot of great things and I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Jacob: Thanks for having me.
Jason: To our listeners, thank you for your time, as well.