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E146: The Deeper the Niche

In this episode, Brian Mattocks interviews Joe Giovannoli Founder and CEO of 9Sail, an SEO management for service firms. Joe discusses their decision to focus solely on SEO, the challenges of marketing in a competitive space, and the significance of refining their Ideal Customer Profile. They also explore the opportunities and risks in the SEO industry, including the impact of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, they share insights on expanding services and finding the right partnerships. Lastly, the episode delves into the importance of cultivating meaningful connections and how successful relationships can positively impact business growth.

Joe Giovannoli is the Founder and CEO of 9Sail, a thriving digital marketing firm specializing in SEO management for service firms. With over 8 years of dedicated leadership, Joe has fostered an exceptional company culture and fueled remarkable growth, consistently achieving a 40% annual increase in business. His career journey reflects his strategic vision and unwavering commitment to delivering results for clients. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Hard to Market Podcast:

  • 9Sail evolved from a full-service agency to a law firm SEO firm due to the effectiveness and client satisfaction of their SEO services.
  • Narrowing down their ICP to law firms and specific practice areas has improved their focus and profitability.
  • To stay ahead, it’s essential to have efficient processes, satisfied clients, and a sustainable business model.
  • The expansion of services offered includes in-house content creation and digital public relations.
  • Strong relationships help create trust and loyalty with customers, leading to increased brand engagement.
  • Collaborating with influencers and industry professionals can boost brand visibility and credibility.
Resources: Connect with Joe Giovannoli: Connect with our host, Brian Mattocks: Quotables:
  • 11:43 – “By 2017, end of 2017, we had pretty much made the determination that law firms were the direction we were going to go. And it was because I saw an opportunity in the space, I saw a lot of people providing these SEO services to law firms that I was surprised that they were even getting away with it. You think law firms, and a lot of people are afraid to work with lawyers and law firms because they don’t want to get sued. And the level of services that I was seeing that they were receiving, I was like, well, we can do this. So we are already doing this so much better.”
  • 22:17 – “Measure everything. Because if you can’t measure it, it’s a waste of money. That, that’s one big thing that we’ve always, we’ve always told, told our clients, but we’ve learned ourselves is that throwing money at the wall to see what sticks is not purposeful spending. And you could have gotten the same results, potentially spending half the money or a quarter of the money. So tracking is really, really important. I think another thing is to, and I’m going to say this and ruffle some feathers, but if you have somebody offering you a proprietary platform, run the other direction because that means that you can’t hire anybody else to do anything else for you.”
  • 23:28 – “Just really making sure that you’re comfortable with the partners that you choose. And being very open and honest with your communication about what it is that you’re looking for. And I can use us as an example. We’ve had partners over the years where after three or four months, I always book a call with somebody new that we’ve brought on to say, Hey, this is what’s working really great, but here’s a couple of things that we, we need to improve because this part isn’t working for us. And that having that feedback and making sure that the person on the other end is actually receiving that feedback well, and not being defensive about it, proves that we have a really good partner. And it’s that has proven to, to create great relationships in any part of our business, including marketing and, most importantly marketing.”
  • 12:20 – “I like to look for that opportunity in a market where, yeah, sure there may be a lot of competitors and stuff like that, but if you can help make yourself stand out from the quality of service that you provide, as well as have people backing the results that they’re seeing the space starts to open up very quickly. ’cause you do have a lot of companies out there that they’re providing an automated service that most of it is done overseas somewhere. And for some firms that it’s all they can afford and they’re happy with it, right? But for the firms that are experienced and they’re looking for looking to grow, you need to pay somebody that’s going to do that for you.
  • 18:30 – “And then we introduced a digital public relations offering. And what that essentially means is that we’re selling our, backlinking service kind of as a its own service. So anything that we’re going after with digital PR is more focused on only digital publications. We’re not trying to get print media, we’re not trying to do any of that kind of stuff. We, are very much doing things for the intentful purpose of finding subject matter specific locations that we can get our clients mentioned in that will give us a link back to their website to make sure that we’re consistently building that online authority.”

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