That’s the first word that comes to mind when I look back at what we’ve accomplished in just three short months as a team.
Hitting our goals for bringing on fortune 100 clients and growing past 10+ team members.
About two months ago (September, 2018), we hit a few big milestones that many of you have been curious about and following along for on our social media.
Then just 2 months later, we were selected as a top growing startup in Dallas-Fort Worth to be apart of the Rising Tide Initiative.
And then immortalize the memory with cake, celebratory photos, and a shoutout from the coach Jimmy.
The generous shoutout we received from coach Jimmy.
Three months have gone by with the snap of a finger — and this was us just 5 months earlier…
Multitasking on the way to a client meeting while on the phone for a client meeting.
(Not the safest way of getting around)
Now, we of course couldn’t celebrate some of these milestones without getting a few upgrades to our space.
Everyone is within 10 minutes of the office. Talk about convenience right?
This is how I come to the office in the morning because I live across the street.
I can’t even put words behind the unbelievable work that all of our team members have done to get to this point:
But the best part?
From the leadership team to the whole crew who shows up at the office to work are made up of some pretty kick-ass, no excuse, goal-driven people.
And if anyone ever has beef with someone they handle it at the table… that is the ping-pong table.
Settling some office beef at the ping pong table.
Everyone continues to challenge themselves, their clients, and the standards of what an advertising agency should do and what other agencies wish they could do.
In a summary, everyone here is overly obsessed about making progress.
Us coming to the office on Saturday and Sunday for 10 hours straight to finish a presentation.
Before we get into the good stuff of where we are at, you need to know where we came from just little under a year ago (March, 2018).
Everyone used to drive 1 hour to the ‘office’ also known as Chase’s sister's house.
But we soon realized that driving 1 hour and not having a dedicated office was going to be an issue. So we moved to a real office space in Fort Worth and everyone got on a more routine schedule.
Now anymore work done by our team after 5:00 PM is purely up to them.
Here are some quick stats from where we are now.
We now offer more services that will help you increase and take your leads, sales, and business even further.
Our New Services:
Having a strong team to manage client work is one thing. But hiring and building a stronger team is another.
So we now take applications up to 16 weeks in advance to ensure we will be able to grow with the momentum. This leaves us with enough time to train and develop a powerhouse of digital marketers.
Agency Job Opportunities:
But still, the biggest problem we have is keeping up with hiring as fast as we continue to grow. Which I guess is a good problem to have.
We hate when there is a stop in our momentum. We all are pretty much on the same page in terms of growth.
We think we should just “Let It Grow”.
Here is a perfect video that sums up our feelings towards agency growth.
BTW Follow Our New Video Series
We will be launching a video growth series and will be creating other helpful videos on marketing very soon.
So subscribe to us on YouTube for when it launches.
We've had some success with our blogs and social media so we decided to continue on with the success through video and want to create more value for all of you.
We’ve also been documenting as much of the growth and journey we can, our team continues to put up content on our social media stories too.
So that way you can check out the action as it happens to.
We have been contacted a few times by other agencies regarding potential interest in acquiring us or going into a merger. We’re not sure what we would even be valued at with us only really being 3 months into this.
It is still so early for us to consider something like this since we haven’t given much time for our agency growth to play out.
Besides we’re not the best at expense management when it comes to spoiling the team and buying things for the office, like spending a few thousand dollars just on team lunches and outings.
Is it worth it?
Well of course it is because who doesn’t like going out to eat?
And then there is this photo.
We even have office lunches catered in regularly.
But besides all the spending on food everything else, we’re doing a pretty good job.
Recently we built a fully functional website for ourselves that has jumped significantly in search rankings and developed a brand that already has more SEO than many of the bigger agencies out there.
One of our favorite designed pages being the startup case studies.
Within each case study, you can journey what each startup went through with our services. Here is what you can find:
Then there is this image of our traffic over the last 3 months after we launched our new website design.
I’ve promised myself, and the team I work with, that working at and with Chappell Capital needs to be such an enjoyable experience that either:
To achieve that, there is a ton of things we need to do but there are a few things we currently do that helps.
It goes both ways though.
Here is a list of some of the things we don’t like or at least have a hard time accepting.
A big part of what we do to encourage team happiness is by creating growth opportunities for team members, allowing open ideas for improving the culture and team.
For instance, the leadership team does not decide on something alone and then tell the team to then go do it.
What we do is present the problems to everyone, get the feedback as a collective team, and then decide on a solution together.
It’s actually quite simple. And it empowers everyone with a voice which stimulates trust between the entire team.
There is a book that I highly recommend everyone to read called “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything”.
I personally did not find this book on my own it was actually recommended to us by one of the companies that awarded us for being a fast-growing startup.
Here is what Kevin the CEO of Dell Inc had to say about ‘The Speed of Trust’:
“Trust has a bottom-line impact on results and that when trust goes up, speed goes up while costs come down. This principle applies not only in our professional relationships with customers, business partners, and team members but also in our personal relationships, which makes this insightful book all the more valuable." - Kevin Rollins, President and CEO, Dell Inc.
We have received a ton of opportunities and have been able to do a lot of amazing things in the past 3 months.
We were especially proud of the opportunity that some of us had to judge a TCU advertising competition at the Bob Schieffer School of Communication.
The students were given a task to develop a strategy to increase Lyft rideshare in the area. We judged the competition along with other executives from Lyft.
But the best part?
We helped prepare students for what a real pitch might be like. Oh and we also got some free ride credits with Lyft. Thanks, Lyft!
Also, I just remembered some of us were invited to judge an advertising competition at Six Flags too.
Then we were selected as a winner out of 100+ startups for an award and given the opportunity of having access to plenty of mentors who can help give insight on ways we can develop the support system for our rapid growth.
Here is how everyone was scored to be selected as a winner:
The Rising Tide Initiative utilized a scoring system that evaluates brand equity, team fit, team quality, time to sustainability, sales pipeline status, and community give back to select the winners.
Can you believe that?
From the very beginning, we’ve always invested in our brand and team. Then we were selected as a winner because of those exact things. It’s an amazing feeling to know that our efforts are working.
Then there is this photo of a few of us at the launch party event.
With joining the Rising Tide Initiative one of the things we agreed to do was help other startups with their social media and digital marketing efforts.
Since we knew we would be giving our services away we chose to partner with one of the startup companies that are team currently loves to go eat at in the mornings - Rollin’ n Bowlin’ which was the first company to introduce Fort Worth to AÇAÍ bowls.
And lastly, we were asked by:
And so many other companies have reached out as well.
In the past three months, agencies have been constantly contacting us for partnerships.
All of these agencies are wanting to partner with us so they can do 1 of these 2 things.
It’s great for all parties too because we get to grow faster, their agency client retention rates go up from us and then the brand (client) gets more results than they ever had before.
This agency submitted a request for proposal and when we realized it was another agency, initially we thought the agency was trying to see what our process looked like.
But that wasn’t the case, they actually were looking to outsource their client work to us!
After all, it is a winning situation for everyone and these are the best kind of partnerships that can be made.
We’ve even had agencies offering to build us an office on their dollar so we can be next door to them.
Which is an amazing opportunity to be offered.
If we do decide to take this offer then it would take place sometime in the middle of next year (2019).
Now if we’re going to hit our next milestone, faster, then we are going to need some more power to be added to the team.
So we have dedicated an entire page to all of the positions we are hiring for.
As for client acquisition, we’re currently not asking for referrals, but our clients are organically giving us them.
Now, what would happen if we were more proactive?
Well, I can say only good things would come.
People constantly reach out and ask about what tools we use on a daily basis.
Here’s the primary list:
Quarterly Business Reviews –– Having high-level views of big wins and losses that the client and agencies go over together as well as setting new goals for the next quarter.
We also found that planning out goals and a timeline of executions a full year ahead of time can help significantly in what everyone can expect to see in the future and alleviate a lot of the uncertainty for what is coming. And asking for feedback from the client on anything we can do better, so we can address their concerns (regardless of how small) to improve the relationship.
30-60-90 Reporting — Our reports cover both (numbers/metrics) and the upcoming executions we will be focusing on for the next month but what we never did was create a custom report for each client.
That soon changed the moment we realized even if some clients might be in the same industry they still have very different ways on how they want to meet goals.
Now we make fully custom reports for each client based on their unique objectives and goals. Every client is different and likes to focus on different things.
Team Member Responsibilities — In agency situations, you’ll often find despite having a clear outline of what your responsibilities are there is still problems or unexpected events that come up outside of each team members individual responsibilities.
Which leaves a question of who is going to take on that ‘extra work’ or who was responsible for that task in the first place.
But despite thinking this would be a big problem, it hasn’t at all.
We’ve found that everyone equally contributes in every way they can when unexpected tasks or events come up because of the culture we have been establishing that revolves around continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement allows us to be super adaptable, face challenges head on and be even more willing to new changes. Which is a recipe for a successful, badass, no excuse team if you ask me.
Content — There are not many things we are promoting since we are currently having such quick growth and all the referrals we are receiving are still driving the momentum.
But when we do create content it is usually all in the form of digital. Which would make sense because we're a digital marketing agency.
The content we do promote is usually the yearly marketing reports we create for anyone who wants to download a copy, and then we have our social media posts, messenger bot, etc.
Also, everyone seems to really like the blogs we put out.
Here are a few of the many things people have said:
People have so many nice things to say.
As for any other content, we may have you will probably find it when you get to the office from the moment you get off the elevator you see a screen with an ‘About us’ section to the business cards we have changed for the 3rd time this month.
Getting Involved Locally — If there had to be one thing that has had the most impact on our agency than it would definitely be supporting local.
The moment we started getting involved as an agency in activities locally is the same moment we started to see incremental growth in our business.
From creating an internship program at our agency for TCU students, to partnering with other local agencies and businesses in Dallas-Fort Worth. We’ve found being active in the local community has tremendous benefits for growth.
Those are just a few of the things that have happened in the last 3 months.
And I’m unbelievably excited to share the news of our growth in the next few months to come.
The next question is: how long will it take us to double our agency size now?
Chase Chappell is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Chappell Capital, a digital marketing agency.
1920 McKinney Ave, Dallas, Floor 33, TX 75201
5049 Edwards Ranch Rd, Floor 4, Fort Worth, TX 76109