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Episode 056 - Growing a 9-Figure Business

Published by: David Garfinkel on 05-14-2018

Today we’ve got another Report from the Field, and our special guest, our returning champion, is Joe Schriefer from Agora Financial. Joe, thanks for coming back!

So here’s what we’re going to talk about today:

Few people will ever get the chance to grow an eight-figure company into a nine-figure company.

And far fewer still will ever do this with a company that’s 100% driven by direct response copy, as Agora Financial is.

I’ve had the privilege of watching up-close, and maybe adding a little fuel to the bonfire. But mainly, I am in so much awe of the growth of this company.

And our special guest today, Joe, is the guy in charge of the company. He doesn’t like titles so we’ll just call him Joe. That’s his name, anyway 

Frankly, I didn’t know if Joe would agree to talk about his philosophy of growth. He was reasonably concerned that it would not be of that much interest to that many listeners on the Copywriters Podcast.

But I suggested that it would be of great interest, and tremendous value, because at the heart of it, Agora Financial is just a grown-up version of what so many copywriters and small info-marketers are doing with their own businesses. That is, coming up with valuable products, keeping the target customer in mind, and promoting those products using direct response copy.

So here we are!

Before we dive in, here are some words of wisdom for you:

Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.

By the way, and this is the first time I’ve said this on the show, Agora Financial is one of the clients who gets a legal review before they publish their copy. So if you’ve been wondering if I just made that part up – no I didn’t.

But let’s talk about something more exciting than getting an opinion on what’s safe to include in your copy and what’s not. Joe, first, thanks for coming back and welcome back to the podcast!

1. So Joe, I’d like to mention that when we met in the fall of 2014 for the first time, you and Ryan McGrath and I had dinner, and you told me you’d be pretty happy if the company doubled in revenues. But it has grown to five times the size in three-and-one-half years.

What’s that been like?

2. What’s the right mindset for growth, from your own experience?

3. I remember when I first met you, you were basically doing three leadership jobs, and you were in the process of training others so you could delegate to them. How important do you think it is for the person who’s ultimately responsible for the business to know every aspect of it inside-out, which I think it is fair to say you do?

4. As I understand it, Agora Financial started out in one niche, financial publishing, and now has expanded into other niches, including health, spy and survival stuff, and even Internet marketing. Could you talk about how you’ve approached this kind of diversification and what lessons you’ve learned?

5. When it comes to growing a company, what should the priorities be? What are mistakes to avoid?

6. Direct response businesses are different in some ways than other, more conventional businesses. I’m not even sure what a conventional business is anymore, but, could you talk about how someone should look at growing a direct-response-based business and what might be different from growing a different kind of business?

7. Finally, since this a podcast about copywriting, I would be derelict in my duties if I didn’t talk about copywriters, specifically. You have helped a lot of copywriters grow in their careers, and with their incomes. Could you tell me, what are the qualities that you’ve found make for success with a copywriter?

8. And once again, in case there are any job openings in the future at Agora Financial, how would you like people to apply for a job there?

Keywords: Joe Schriefer Agora Financial

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