How a Digital Agency Increased Their Leads by 30% by Niching

By Jason Swenk on August 26, 2015

Today’s guest, Jake Hare, has tons to share about overcoming struggles in the first year of agency ownership. He got his start developing apps while serving as Lead Intelligence Analyst in the military. Today he is co-founder of Launchpeer, a digital agency serving startups and entrepreneurs in the South. Learn how he generated niche leads for his agency.

Why Start an Agency?

After spending 3 ½ years in 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Jake went on to do government contract work in software development. Once he realized he wasn’t passionate about his work, he started taking on side jobs developing apps. In late 2014 he and his two partners decided it was time to go all in, so they founded Launchpeer. As a husband, father and part-time grad school student this was a giant leap of faith! 

Struggles in Early Agency Days

For Jake and his partners the hardest part of maintaining the agency this first year has been generating leads outside of their personal contacts. After working with friends (who naturally expected special pricing) The 3 co-founders brainstormed ways to drum up new business outside their circle. They tried to white label their services for larger agencies which didn’t work out because other agencies weren’t receptive to the idea. (They had not read my take on white labeling!) They tried networking events, which did bring in some business but takes tons of time and yields little results. They also got some referral business but word of mouth is not a scalable way to grow business.

Finding Ways to Capture and Convert Niche Leads

When they got to a point where they had no new jobs and no new niche leads, Jake did some online searching and discovered my Generate Leads Everyday program. They bought the program and made the decision to niche and focus on marketing to just one type of business — startups and entrepreneurs in the South.  Jake admits it was super scary but the guys were forced to either take action or look at shutting down.

How a 0.3% Opt-In Rate Grew to 32% in 6 Weeks

With a 0.3% opt-in rate, Launchpeer had nowhere to go but up. Jake and his partners got themselves out of the mindset that their website was a showpiece. They scrapped their entire site and changed the content to focus on the prospect and not themselves. They created landing pages focused on the lead and how Launchpeer can solve their problems. They created a Foot In the Door offer to drive traffic to their landing pages and marketed on Facebook.

Jake says there was a lot of testing and tweaking involved in getting everything just right. In fact he laughs about one of the biggest tweaks happened when he was investigating why their Facebook ad click through rate was lower than expected. He realized he had chosen to advertise to “southern based entrepreneurs who speak English-UK”. One silly slip-up and he was aiming his ads at Brits in the the U.S. South! 🙂

Trial and error plays a big role in getting results, too. They did split testing on their Foot In the Door landing pages and discovered a simpler ad converts more than a wordier one…  This analysis and experimenting is what resulted in Launchpeer’s 0.3% opt-in rate to reach 10% and eventually to 32%+ over a 6-week period.

On interview date, Launchpeer was spending $20 per day and getting 6-10 leads per day. The exponential growth and potential opportunity far exceeds their daily cost!

Best Advice from a New Agency Owner

“Don’t be afraid to take action. I know it can be scary,” says Jake. But, if what you’re doing isn’t working then the best thing you can do is something else. And as I always say, action leads to transactions. Being a business owner is tough and scary, no matter who you are… but doing nothing and closing your doors will be tougher and scarier.

Ready to Take Action?

Referrals are not scalable. So, if you are ready to take action that will lead to more leads  everyday, head over to This is the exact system I use, Jake uses and my clients use to grow and scale their businesses.

Want More Advice?

I hope you found this beneficial and it helps you generate niche leads for your agency.

If you have more questions about your agency from the good to the bad like how you can get through hard times in your agency, I can help. Through my many years of experience, I can share advice on topics including how to start an agency from scratch to reasons you should sell.

You can check out all my tips, tricks and everything you need to know in my blogs. I have covered a wide variety of topics as well as answering your questions in more from my Ask Swenk series.

Are videos more your thing?  You can check out my AskSwenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel for advice from myself and other agency experts.

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