Jeff Pulvino: Company Growth with Boost Media Group

December 24, 2019

Does your website show up first in search engines?

Jeff Pulvino is the founder and CEO of Boost Media Group.

Boost Media Group is a digital marketing agency focused on helping companies become known.

The team at Boost offers SEO services and develops content strategies unique to each company.

They have experience in search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and digital marketing.

“We pride ourselves on delivering compelling, digital marketing solutions. Our winning solutions and experiences help many of our clients interact and engage with their customers in the best possible way.” – Jeff.

Learn more about how Boost Media Group can make your website appear first on Google by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. And with us right now we have Jeff Pulvino. Now, Jeff, you are the founder and CEO of Boost Media Group. Thank you so much for joining us.

Yeah, Josh. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. Yeah. So

Alright, so boost is you guys have gone through a lot of growth. And that's what we want to talk about because there's a lot of other agency owners that listen this program and they want to were like, Man, what are those guys doing? Alright, so I guess to start off if you want to just kind of explain what it is that Boost Media Group does,

yeah Boost Media Group. We are a full service digital marketing agency. So we do just about anything having to do with online digital marketing as of January will be in business for 10 years. And you know, the bulk of our growth has really happened over the last three to four years. For the first six years, close to seven years we were probably just a small boutique agency right around 1012 people and over the last you know, three years we've exploded to we're approaching 60 people now and we we just acquired another marketing company about a month and a half ago so you know, I can't I can't complain things couldn't be better.

Yeah, what so what happened three years ago?

You know, we we got involved with a project by the name of Jeremy Windy it Jeremy Wendy is a Olympian. athlete, Mr. Olympia, a bodybuilder in the physique class and I met him in between his second and third Olympia competitions. And he hired me to do a little website work. I was chasing him around for a couple thousand dollars. And it was like, you know, I became friends with them. And I said, Hey, Jeremy, what's going on? Like, you know, this isn't a lot of money. Like you're, you're the king of bodybuilding. You're, you know, you're at the top of your career, this is nothing for you. And he says, Man, Jeff, I don't make a lot of money. And, and it really hit me because being a marketer, I'm like, witnessing this guy is at the top of his, his career, he can't go any higher. Right? And you know, you're, you're the number one athlete in your division. And you're not making a lot of money. What do you do when you retire three years from now or five years from now? And so I started looking at the industry and looking at him and I said, hey, look, I tell you what, I'll build your funnel for you. Partner with me. And that's really what that like little bit of a risk and committing to that is kind of the momentum that caused the growth because we blew it up for him. We we turn that into a seven figure funnel in two and a half years and changed his life changed our path as an agency. And it kind of catapulted us into this next level of digital marketing, building elaborate funnels and utilizing marketing automation and just getting really good at the core practices of it.

So what exactly did you do for Jeremy Then how did you get so like, I'm looking at your LinkedIn page right now and find out how boost media group took Jeremy when they blend DHEA, India from zero to seven figures in just three years. And then of course, you know, I guess you could just, I don't mean for you to spoil the ending of the free ebook that you give them any way. Tell me.

Yeah, we could tell talk about the end because the E book is really good about laying out the process. Like what what it took to build that. But you know, we, you know, Jeremy was was passionate about bodybuilding. And so we created, you know, ebooks, a membership site. And we did. We're one of the first not the first or one of the first to do online coaching, fitness coaching. So, you know, traditionally when you're coached by somebody, you would go into a gym and you'd have a personal trainer there with you. And we're, we started doing all of that virtually through his mobile app. And so, you know, with those three products as well as like clothing and supplements, you know, they all tied in really well together and we were able to, you know, you know, grow those digital products online. We did six figures, year one we did right around. right between, I believe it was three to 400,000, year two and by year three, we're projecting eight we actually clear million. So it was a phenomenal success stories. And, you know, to be honest, we made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and learn things the hard way. But, you know, it was one of the most rewarding experiences that I've been experiencing as, as an entrepreneur.

Wow. So, you know, obviously, you've been doing this for quite some time. And you have a lot of experience with this, you know, when you get a lot of marketers, let's just program as well. And so, you know, marketers are always really interested in learning from one another about what's working very well. There's been a lot of evolution over the past couple of years, particularly in social and I am hearing that if you thought those changes were big, just hold on to your hats. Particularly, I think if you belong to the club, where you think you're just one funnel away, and you could just sell people directly into a webinar funnel and start selling them a really traditional Short funnels. It's Facebook's not really big on that, like, they're kind of you could tell me your observation. But I think it's, it's going to require a little bit more intelligence and a little bit of a deeper of a funnel a little bit more relationship building, as opposed to just going for the jugular and trying to get people to sign up and give you money right out of the gate.

Yeah, I think there's a lot of a lot of changes taking place in the landscape of digital marketing, especially social media and social media advertising. And it's, it's, it's a couple things. It's one, it's gotten extremely, a lot more competitive. Right. So you know, everybody now knows that Facebook ads are the way to go or Instagram ads are the way to go. And LinkedIn is great for b2b and so everybody's flocking to these platforms. And awareness of these platforms is really kind of rising now to where you know, most people are aware and trying to do something on there. So the competitive nature of those platforms is gone through the roof, like just to stand out as a competitive product or brand in those platforms, it's been a lot more difficult. In addition to that, you know, the advertisers, privacy issues with, you know, some of the things that we've seen, you know, with Facebook being involved with, you used to be able to get a lot more data from Facebook or third party data providers in your ad campaigns, they've made a lot of restrictions over the last, you know, 12 months to 18 months, because of some of the things they've gotten their hands slapped for in, you know, data violations. And so you have to be a little bit more creative. And from that perspective, and the ad costs are gone up dramatically over the last 12 to 24 months. And so what used to be affordable, and provide a good ROI, you know, 16 months ago doesn't necessarily work today. So, you know, we all comes down to doing your research. And coming up with a strategy because what I find is that most business owners, they kind of know I should be doing something on Facebook, kind of like how we all knew 10 years ago, we needed to be in the Yellow Pages. At minimum, you had to be listed there, right, like so. Nowadays, you have to least be doing something on Facebook, but they don't know how to do the research or create the strategy. And so they just go there, they spend some money on ads, and it doesn't work well. And then they're like, Oh, this doesn't work for me. But there was like, zero real strategy behind it. And I think that's a great place for most people to start is look at what your competitors are doing. And come up with a strategy before you just go spend $500 a month on Facebook ads?

Yeah. What do you see other marketers or maybe other marketing agencies do that you either don't like or don't agree with and Boost does differently. I'm so glad you asked. That.

By the way,

A softball my friend, right?

And this is something I'll admit is fairly new for us. Um, you know, for been in business almost 10 years I struggled for a long time with how we differentiate ourselves. And even with the success we had with Jeremy, it was like, how are we different than than most other agencies out there. And we came to epiphany about a little over a year, year and a half ago, where all our new clients that come on board, we won't work with them until we've completed a digital marketing strategy workshop. And then that process that we go through over those few weeks, we draft a fully encompassing digital marketing strategy, that they could be their marketing plan on line for the next one to five years. I average two to three. Because what we realized and even with ourselves, that we were going to work with clients in very much a product based Solution mine, hey, we're going to sell you some some Facebook ads, hey, we're going to sell you some SEO, we're going to sell you some pay per click. And we didn't really know what their overall business goals were. And so we said, kind of hit the pause button for a minute. And we started doing these marketing strategy workshops with our, with our new customers. And we went really in depth on what their business goals were in auditing, where they were currently at. And then really in depth on all of their direct competitors, indirect, local national, looking for the outliers of everybody who's doing it right. And then we mapped everything from a digital marketing perspective, every aspect of digital marketing, and then we circle back and tied it into where they were from a budget perspective. And then now we're able to implement what the things that they can afford, they're going to have the biggest impact on their company, not on their marketing, the biggest impact on what their company's goals are and so that is because The Bible of what we do, we start every customer out with a digital marketing workshop. And it's it's changed the way we do things. And it's just changed the relationship we have with our clients. And it's, it gives us a roadmap from day one, so we know how to be successful. So

that's what we do different. For people that haven't been paying attention, other than maybe just the basics when it comes to SEO, how has Google evolved over the past year or so?

Um, it's become tremendously more localized and personalized. So, you know, Google's giving you results based on your location, where you're at right now, and your history and what other types of results that you liked. So it's going to give you know, Josh We're sitting in the in the same Starbucks side by side, and we search for the same thing, it's going to give me a different result than you. And more importantly, if you're in a different Starbucks five miles away, it's going to give you different results based on your location. So it's become very hyper personalized. And, you know, they're looking for much more of the quality of the interaction that you get with your content than just posting content. So the days of just blogging and posting backlinks to kind of improve your ranking isn't going to work near as well as it did before if you're not getting interactions and engagement. Yeah.

And and as well, I guess along with that, how have things evolved in terms of paid advertising with the the Google property so both Google and YouTube?

Yeah, it's a great question. Obviously. prices keep going up and up, you know, they're they're the, there's not a lot of competition that's relative to Google pay per click or YouTube. I mean, of course, you've got other search engines, but I mean, Google's, you know, 97% plus the search. So, you know, it's a, the prices have gone dramatically up. And, you know, people are turning to other very interesting sources of advertising. Like, we do a lot of device ID targeting where you know, you've got your mobile device, if, if I'm targeting, let's say, boat owners, and I take my phone with me to a boat show, then I can serve up ads to all the mobile devices that went to that boat show. And if I'm mastercraft now I'm able to get ads to all those device IDs that went to that boat show. That's amazing. And so, you know, we're doing a lot of a lot. There's a lot of Interesting, very creative advertising techniques out there that are becoming items to implement in addition to search, like with Google pay per click, that can be a lot more cost effective, and they're a lot more top of funnel, so you're able to get a lot more impressions for a lower dollar amount and convert.

Yeah. And and then I guess one last thing, and just in terms of like marketing trends and strategy, and that would be the importance of content. And if I were a business owner, what content would you advise people focus on?

Um, you know, I give Gary Vaynerchuk the credit because I heard him say it versus, you know, he, he put out an excellent PowerPoint about a year and a half ago on pillar content and we've adopted that terminology and methodology analysis as well. And so what I mean by pillar content is is long form content. This, this interview between Josh between you and I is a great example of killer content like this recording interview will be approximately 30 minutes long. We've got video, we got audio, that pillar content now can be repurposed and turn it into a blog article can be turned into more micro content that can edit up pieces of this video in this podcast. And then and then even little snippets of that to post on Facebook. And the idea is that each of those smaller pieces kind of ladder up like the rungs of a ladder to the larger form content would call to actions along the way. So most people are looking at their content, like on the bottom run, like what am I going to post on social media. And then separately, what I'm going to blog about, what we recommend is look at the long form pillar content, start with the biggest piece you can develop, and then chop that up into smaller bite sized pieces to use all over the place because it links and ladders up to that pillar content. And now people can take the next step on up the ladder and learn more about you and engage with you. So yeah, um, I think that's the best thing I could recommend.

Jeff, one thing that you've done with boost is you've actually grown through acquisitions. What? What gave you the what? What made you think that that was? And I know that that's something that you're looking at in 2020 as well. That that, how do you how do you? I mean, every deal is going to be different. But tell me a little bit more about that strategy.

Yeah, it's, um, it's interesting, because in my, when I had a career, and I worked for, you know, a VC funded company, we acquired other companies through mergers and acquisition. It was our core strategy. And I really never thought of it as a growing agency. until a couple years ago, when a friend of mine who owns an agency by the name of Aaron, and I were at breakfast and he was kind of joking around. He's like, why don't you just buy us? Or why don't we merge the companies and we've been good friends for over 10 years. I hired him a long time ago to do some marketing for me now. And so over the last couple of years, those conversations just progressed. And we started getting serious about it about three, four months ago and close the deal about a month and a half ago. for both of us, being in businesses an agency for he was in business 11 me 10 it's been the best thing we've ever done. And we complemented each other very well. He was highly focused on Pay Per Click in search ads, and we were more focused on funnels and social media. So when you combine the two companies, there's this natural compliment, but you know, I would never have gotten a, I would never been able to hire somebody who's now responsible for what he is responsible for, to have that ownership level commitment like he has as a partner now, so, um, it's something that has gone very well and we're Very excited to try to do it again, and maybe incorporate that into our growth model. You know, aggressively I think we're going to try to do for next year, one a quarter. And if we end up doing two or three, that'll be great. But I think it's going to be something that we want to complement our existing sales process with this with this acquisition process.

So is it I mean, is it kind of just like a one plus one equals three kind of thing? I mean, it's not like you're, you're, I guess, again, the deals are all kind of structured differently. Is it? Is it just kind of an alignment under a single name? Or like, what what would you be looking for in most deals? Would you say?

Um, well, one is, I think you're you're looking for somebody who's probably been in business over five years, right? Like, you know, that they're experienced, they know what they're doing. Um,

yeah, it worked out all the bugs.

Well, yeah. And you know, if you're into it two or three years, you still got a lot of bigger left in you and you meet you kind of like you're still on 0perating off that I'm a new entrepreneur. Yeah, you know, high, if you will, right? So you got it, you got to be in business long enough to realize that you kind of need out right? Where you're not trying to take on the world on your own. So you got to be open to it mentally. And I think it takes somebody in that frame of mind that's been around for five plus years. And I think the sweet spot is probably, you know, they're under a million in revenue and over two 300,000 in revenue, because, you know, from that perspective, they're small enough to where they can't afford the infrastructures that we built. Like, they don't have an HR department. They don't have an IT support department, you know, so they're, they're wearing all the different hats as the entrepreneur, they don't have the infrastructure that we have. And there's a lot of efficiencies that we've been able to build in our company so we can absorb that book of business and revenue in, possibly make it more attracted to them financially. Then would they were Experiencing as a business owner before because of we just a little bit more mature, and we have that infrastructure to support it.

Nice. Nice. Well, great. Well, Jeff, listen, thank you so much for joining us. And again, you're on the web at boost media It just told me about the clients have one last question. So who do you serve? And what is a great way for them to begin to engage with it kind of learn about the work that you're doing? Maybe kind of learn more about your services and not just I guess just get to know you and get your Get to know your philosophy?

Yeah, I think that you know, going to the website and going to our social media profiles is a great like first step, but what I recommend is for you know, business owners that have any questions about marketing, marketing strategy, how do they improve what they're doing online? How do they get more leads more customers, increase their profits, just schedule a free half hour call with me. I mean, I make myself completely available to anyone who wants to talk I don't I don't filter it by opportunity size or company size and and you know hopefully I can continue to do that because I believe connecting with people is the best way to learn and help people um as far as like types of clients that we work with you know we really do work with everything from the small business owner to the companies that are on the Inc 5000 fastest growing company list so it's you know, it's all over the board. We do specialize in you know, the health wellness and fitness industry just because we've done really well there Yeah, we work with a lot of automotive dealer groups boating manufacturers all over the place but b2b businesses you know, just if they need help with their marketing they should just go to Boost Media Group dot comm fill out the contact us form, and request a free call.

What happens on the on the free call is is it a high pressure sales call?

Not at all. So what are we gonna

get you into this car today?

No No, it's totally not. What I like to do in those in those half hour sessions is is kind of like a mini half hour strategy workshop in itself. Like, I want to find out a little bit about the business, their goals, some of the struggles, and, you know, look at some of their competitors and give them some nuggets of information of what I'm seeing in that initial kind of consult, and then talk to them about why, you know, a digital marketing strategy might be a good place to start because, you know, 100% of businesses I talked to, they never put together a marketing plan in writing. You know, they say the stats are like 80% of businesses don't have a marketing plan. But of the smaller businesses, it's, I think it's near 100. And so, you know, it's no wonder you hire an agency and it doesn't go well. So, you know, I try to, if anything, just talk to them about the benefits of that, but I tried to Get a lot of value in that call, so that they're walking away with some some information. You know, I,

I can tell you that just based on experience, you know, if you have a plan, it's like, you have something to measure against in all of your business decisions. You know, it's like, you know, even knowing your, you know, kind of your mission, your purpose and your values, it's like, it makes every day decisions just so much easier and more effective. Similarly, with a marketing plan, you know, even if it's just well, who is our audience? Well, if you don't take the time to really identify who that is, either, you're going to throw a lot of years waste a lot of time throwing a lot of spaghetti on the wall, just to see what sticks. Wouldn't it be nice if if you had some, some just more focus on that, I guess that

that's what you could do with Boost, absolutely. Yeah, and focus where you needed based on your business goals, because so many businesses are spending marketing dollars in buckets that aren't going to map to helping them with their business goal. It helps with their marketing, but it's not mapping to what their business goal is. And so that's where we're able to once we've done all that research, is we're able to map what should be implemented to have the biggest impact on their business goals right away. And so that's the that's the secret sauce.

Yeah, I love it. Well, Jeff Pulvino, you're the founder and CEO of Boost Media Group. You're on the web at Boost Media Group dot com. Thank you so much for joining us.

Yeah. Thanks, Josh. Thanks for having me.

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