1. Hello! Who are you and what is your business?
My name is Jake Jorgovan and I am the founder of Lead Cookie, a done-for-you Linkedin Lead Generation service. I’m originally from St. Louis but now live as a digital nomad who has been homeless for 4+ years.
Lead Cookie started because I had reached a place where consulting started to feel mundane. I knew I had the skills to build a real business again, but I was putting those skills to solving other peoples problems.
When I decided I was ready to start a new business, I brainstormed a handful of ideas. One of the ideas was “Linkedin Marketing Agency”. That was the initial concept that I wrote down.
After that, I decided to go learn everything I possibly could about Linkedin Lead Generation. I read every blog post, guide, and article on the internet. Then I started testing tactics myself, and I took the top tactics and turned those into a done-for-you service.
Getting started was super scrappy. I originally had a website called “Linkedin Panda” where it was pretty much a 7 minute recording of me walking through the tactics and what we would do for people. That got me initial clients as most of our early customers came from my existing network.
Today Lead Cookie is averaging $50k-60k MRR.
We have two plans, a Lite and a Premium. They vary based on the total number of messages sent. We are currently experimenting with some additional offers to help raise our Customer LTV and better serve our customers.
Growth has been steady with Lead Cookie and has resulted from strategic partnerships, content, and outbound as our primary channels.
Most of our strategic partners have come as guests of the Working Without Pants podcast and my personal brand. My personal branding has been a HUGE part of our growth which is why I am now launching a content agency focused on helping consultants build their thought leadership platform.
Another source of leads has been our How to Guide to Linkedin Lead Generation where we simply give away all of our approaches and scripts for free. Nearly anyone who becomes a customer of Lead Cookie reads this first.
We also run Linkedin outreach and cold email as well which helps level out our pipeline as the strategic partner and content leads are not always stable.
Churn is a problem though. I recently wrote an article about the problem with productized marketing services. When your productized service is based on a “marketing tactic” you are going to have a high level of churn baked in. People will simply switch marketing channels to try something new, or the channel will reach saturation so it makes sense for them to naturally churn off.
2. How do you attract and retain your customers?
For customer retention we do a lot. First, we set clear expectations with all customers during the onboarding process.
Second, we hold an onboarding call live with each customer. After that onboarding call, they gain access to a video course that walks them through how our service works, and how to convert Linkedin leads to phone calls.
We hold a 2-week check-in call with every client to make sure things kick off smoothly and make any adjustments up front.
We also go through our entire client roster during weekly standups and run a “Health check” where anyone associated with an account can point out any issues or blockers that may be happening.
Our customer success teams also regularly analyze the clients responses and offer coaching and feedback if we feel like our customers are botching the leads and screwing up the sale.
At Lead Cookie, we provide warm Linkedin conversations, but we do everything we possibly can to help make sure our customers turn those into closed deals.
3. What were your challenges and obstacles of growing your business?
Pulling myself out of the business was probably the hardest. For the first 15 months, I was the key point for all strategy and scripting. This high level strategic decision making was hard to handoff.
I finally overcame it by finding the right person (You rock Rick!) and also compiling all of my strategies into Linkedin outreach frameworks. The key to handing off this role was to not give Rick an open slate, but instead analyze everything we had done and built mental frameworks that he could follow in the future.
The next biggest challenge was handing off sales. I held on to this one for almost 20 months. Eventually I ended up hiring two guys who were running a cold email consultancy. Isaac, who runs our sales today is amazing yet he never would have called himself a salesperson.
Instead, he was basically a freelancer who sold his own customers. He has skills selling already, and he knew and was an expert in outbound. This enabled him to consult our customers on sales calls and weed out the good leads from the bad ones.
4. What has been helpful to help you to grow your business?
In terms of growing the business, working with my business advisor Alex McClafferty has been massively helpful. He leveled me up as an entrepreneur and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.
Other tools we use include the EOS Traction Framework. We use this for all of our meeting cadences and worfklows.
We also hold weekly workshops which has been a game changer and something I recommend for every company.
Also, I will admit that our success is largely built on riding the wave of a marketing trend. I saw the Linkedin trend right in the early stages. When I kicked off Lead Cookie, I could find a total of 4 direct competitors.
Today… there are people selling video courses on how to make money selling Linkedin Lead Gen… That is how fast the online business world moves. In less than 2 years we go from virtually no competition to a rapidly commoditizing market.
While our growth has been great, I am recognizing now that building a business on a short term growth tactic isn’t ideal. Simply put, Lead Cookie probably won’t be relevant 5-10 years from now, or at least not in its current state.
Short term growth tactics are great waves to ride, but recognize that if you build your entire business on them, then your business will come and go along with the marketing trend.
Another massive factor that helps our business is culture. We have been intentional about building a ridiculously fun culture at Lead Cookie that honors work life balance. As a result, our team goes to bat to do whatever they can for us. Everyone is so grateful for their jobs and has a great time.
To show the extent that we have gone with this… Just check out the Lead Cookie 2019 Marble Rally Racing Series… My COO and I literally created an 8 week marble racing series to play during weekly meetings.
There is zero business benefit or strategy behind this… but our team loves it and that’s all that counts for us.
Our culture even extended to the point of our team in the Philippines organizing their own meetup and printing Lead Cookie shirts! I didn’t instigate this or plan this. They did this all on their own!
5. What is your advice for those are starting productized services?
Hire someone else to execute from day one. The biggest mistake most people make is that they start out doing all the work… They say “Once I can afford someone, then I will hire them to replace me.”
That’s a recipe for disaster because eventually people get used to your expertise instead of the service. Instead, hire someone to execute and deliver for your service from day one. You may still manage the client relationships, handle strategic decisions, etc. But get out of the delivery of the service before you even start.
6. What are your plans for the future?
Currently we are experimenting with some new service lines to help open the doors of our service to more people who we would normally turn away.
We are also looking at some upsell service lines that can extend the LTV of a customer who reaches saturation with our tactics but saw good results.
We are testing one new offer at a time and taking it slow and steady. I’m not in a huge hurry with business anymore these days. I’m focused more on long term sustainability as opposed to rapid growth.
7. Where can we learn more about you?
You can read all of my blogging and writing at Jake-Jorgovan.com.
You can find out more about Lead Cookie at LeadCookie.com.
To keep tabs on my next venture, check out ContentAllies.com