How to Start an Agency Business with Just a Laptop

[Applause] hello guys good morning I’m Jen Burson I’m the founder of generation PR which is a Public Relation social media marketing agency here in Los Angeles and I am the founder of the agency accelerator program where I teach people how to launch grow and scale profitable that’s a keyword profitable PR agencies on their terms ok so one of the questions I get asked all the time is how did I do it how did I go from being a lawyer to starting an agency with no training no experience no contacts for real and I want to share with you just how simple it can be when I say simple I don’t want that to be mistaken as easy because I see that that can be controversial I was running ads and somebody jumped on the comments we had a nice discussion about it and I just want to clarify that when I say simple it is a lot easier to build a successful business when you know what to do what to focus on and you have a framework to follow it doesn’t mean that clients and money and all of that’s gonna fall in your lap you still have to figure out how to build your dream business following a framework and put in the effort and be passionate about it and the way that I approach it the way that I approach my own business is I want to be excited to go to work every day let me know if that sounds good to you give me a thumbs up give me a comment give me a heck yeah um if you are watching this on the replay give me a little shout post in the comments replay I will be checking comments so I can engage with you and today’s topic is how do you start an agency business just a laptop and like I said it can be simple um awesome – thank you um I have notes so if you see me looking down it’s because I want to make sure that I give you guys what I promised and what I promised to deliver in this video is why you need to put more value on your time than money holding on to every dollar feeling like you don’t have the money to grow and scale your business also why a lack of experience doesn’t matter when starting an online business and also scaling an online business now that doesn’t mean I’m trying to attract talentless people I will show you that skills can be acquired now quicker more easily than ever and we’re gonna talk about how to pick a niche that offers high value to your customers so you’re not gonna be trading dollars for hours and so that you are gonna always be in demand because you are going to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your niche and we’ll talk about how and why you want to do that and how to focus on the right things so you don’t waste your time or slow your progress like we want you to build the most profitable business as fast as you can and that’s what I’m here for is to teach you all of that because this is what I’ve done for myself and I’ve worked with dozens of other agency owners and it’s just been amazing to see everybody implementing simple strategies like I said easy and simple are not the same thing I’m not saying it has to be hard but when you know what to do and what to focus on like if you show up every day in your business and you know exactly what you need to be working on you have a framework to follow it can be simple okay so if you have skills and you know could be like I’m very good at sales that’s my area of expertise better than I am at PR and pitching that’s when I’m great at sales figuring out what you’re good at what you love and understanding that in your business you don’t have to do every single thing to run the business if you have Drive and passion and you know you’re going to set out to do something and stick with it you can run a successful business achieving the financial freedom the time freedom um the success and when I say success my

definition of success has changed in my life and now I would say the number one thing that determines whether I feel that I’m successful is being in control of my time and working on doing work I love with clients I believe in that I felt very passionate about to me that is the ultimate definition of success and I don’t want you to let your lack of experience stop you from creating the business of your dreams and I can tell you that it is possible I’m going to share my story with you really quickly if you don’t know who I am there’s been a lot of really awesome new people jumping into our groups and you may have seen an ad and you don’t even know who I am but like I said I’m Jen Barse and I’m the founder of generation PR which is a full-service PR social media marketing agency we specialize in promoting brands particularly beauty and cosmetics baby and kids brands and health and wellness and I have billion-dollar clients in all of those categories billion with Abby and I say that because first of all I can’t even believe it I work from home it’s it’s awesome but billion-dollar companies can work with anybody they can choose to work with anybody and I’m a former lawyer I transitioned into PR 14 years ago I made it my mission to learn everything I could not only about providing the best service but also run the business in a way that I enjoyed running a business that didn’t run me because I’ll tell you something when you work in a career with billable hours you work like crazy and you start to realize that work can be a complete suck a complete drain or you could love it and if you’re gonna take the time to build a business I want you to love it okay so I decided that’s how I wanted to build my business after working in billable hours I put trading dollars for hours in the trash will never look back we base our pricing on retainer pricing based on the value we provide to our clients and I keep this picture right there see that I’m pointing to it actually this is a picture of me getting sworn little baby little baby Jen getting sworn in to the bar in California and I keep it to remind myself of where I was and um you know back then I was so optimistic about using my education and my position in law to to do good and I realized that wasn’t the path I was on and I changed direction in my career and literally with zero contact zero training I repeat that so you can see the possibilities for yourself I started my own PR agency and I did that so that I could work with brands I believe in do work that I loved and have a positive impact on companies because all I did in my career was really spend money and try to tear down businesses through expensive long protracted litigation and I said no more that’s not how I want to live my life so I made a 180 and even with no experience I went into it knowing that I was only betting on myself to be successful and I’ll take that bet any day because I’m gonna work hard and I know you will too and it took me a while to really figure out you know how to scale how to have quantum growth in my business and the cool thing now is that through mentorship training programs you can fast-track that and just check into somebody’s expertise like I’m sharing with you now and say I don’t have to go through all that trial and error I can get to the good stuff quickly so one of the things um that I’ll tell you is that you know having I say laptop business because you really can’t work from wherever but that’s like such a buzzword on the internet right the laptop live in the laptop lifestyle and you can run an agency from wherever I choose to run my business from home if I have to be on the go working from a coffee shop I can do that too and the first thing that I’m going to tell you is that working from home does not make you any less qualified capable and I will bring up a story that just happened right now this week with a huge cosmetics company that we just got a signed retainer for yesterday and I’m so excited but one of the things that they said was they wanted to come and visit my team in our office and a lot of the women in my program have asked how do you address this because we instantly think if we

say we work from home a client will think that you are less professional or that you can’t demand top dollar for your services because you don’t have an office and I had a great way that I responded to her and let her know that you know we still provide excellent value I have people on the team that are incredible and we don’t have a huge overhead which we could pass the cost savings on to clients and wasn’t an issue anymore and I tell you all of my billion-dollar clients know we run our business from home so I don’t want you to feel that that makes you any less qualified you can do it from wherever so um if you don’t have any experience kind of doing anything there are courses and things I offer courses there are ways you can check into gaining the skills that you need in order to offer service and also how to run the business and if you are looking for experience what I did yeah awesome love that explanation Thank You Gianni I love that name um you can offer your services below market value or for free I started out I work for one brand for free I got my second paying client working below market I ended up working for that client for 11 years and it helped me establish deep expertise in the baby and kid space where we now represent a three billion dollar publicly-traded company in the baby and kids world my dream client like if I wrote it and put it out into the universe and said this is my absolute dream client what they pay how they treat us uh just everything about them as a dream client um that’s my client skip hop we’ve worked with them for almost four years they’re owned by Carter’s which is a three billion dollar publicly-traded company um that’s what starting small and growing can help you do so you can offer your services below market or free gain expertise leverage those results and know that there are resources online that can help you in your business and the other thing that successful entrepreneurs know is that they bring in help before they feel they’re ready okay um one of my mentors the head of the Entrepreneurship program at USC in the business school the MBA program told me that if I wanted to experience quantum growth in my business I had to hire support before I was ready that doesn’t mean you have to hire full-time help you can bring in a freelancer bring in a virtual assistant for limited amount of hours but free up your time and realize that there are things that you may feel you need to do in your business but you could be spending your time on the wrong things um and and one of the examples I give is like if I feel like I’m gonna jump into canva which is a graphic design platform which I love so much but if I’m gonna design something like for social media graphic or something I’m a pretty crappy graphic design artist and I value my time really at a high dollar value let’s say if I’m just starting out I would value my time at like 150 200 dollars now I look at my time and I value my time at $1,000 an hour full-stop minimum like that’s what it is I’m not gonna spend $1,000 an hour for a crappy graphic designer and waste my time I will bring in somebody who is an expert at what they do who could do it quicker and do it better and save me time in that regard um hi Matthew Oh awesome awesome I went to USC law school Matthew and my husband went to Marshall um and so that’s the connection there I was already I was already done practicing law and my husband started his MBA and he brought me in to Marshall to meet Tom O’Mally let me know if you remember Tom O’Mally he has since passed away um but yeah so the deal is when you are bringing in people to support you you can leverage your time better and focus on revenue generating activities bringing clients into your pipeline serving the clients that you have you want to build a solid foundation of clients we are aiming to get you predictable consistent recurring retainer revenue and retain a revenue that’s based on the value you bring not the amount of hours you work okay I really want you to let that sink in because even if you are calculating your time based on hours and you give the client a rate if it’s based on the number of hours and not the value you bring you will never be able to have quantum growth in your business and you

will never properly scale your business because you only have a finite amount of time and I don’t want you to have to work more in who’s your wife and when did she graduate Matthew’s wife also went to my law school or I went to her law school and so think about that yeah and then also one of the huge things that is going to allow you to scale in a way that brings in more money for you without more time is really honing in on your niches and a lot of people dislike topic really freaks them out because they feel like if they narrow in on when I say niche I mean not only the types of clients you serve whether they’re experts or brands and if they’re brands which categories if you’re a book publicist or whatever your niche is also what services you offer because the more things you offer the more you have to manage and the more clients that are doing different things at different rates of speed different times that they’re you know you want to get uh oh i okay so uh matthew she started right when i left i’m oh one the teller hi so clients need to get into a flow state and one of my students Ashley I’ve been talking coaching with her for a very you know for a year plus she has quadrupled her revenue she is now we had a call last week she is like I get it now I get the flow state I get what you mean by getting everyone in to a state where you are working you get economies of scale and your efforts and your media lists and the services you offer and you can build a solid team of people to support you so you don’t have a hundred different services you’re offering and service providers and then all clients at different tiers of those services so you pick a niche what do you do what do you want to be known for that is how you offer maximum value and you can command higher rates because people will say I’m going to that agency I’m gonna go see Janet generation because they’re the best at promoting baby and kids brands they’re their clients are getting tons of press and I see them everywhere and you know we want to go to them for beauty because they’re cutting through the noise and getting editors to pay attention to their clients and that’s how we get our clients coming to us I don’t advertise our services I don’t do any kind of promotion whatsoever all of our clients come to us through our network through you know referrals and people seeing our work for other clients and that happens when you establish a niche you want to be known for something if you are a generalist you will be known for nothing and no one will ever think to come to you you’ll be scrambling around with small clients ten clients at $2,000 a month rather than two clients for $10,000 a month okay so think about that and you’re gonna invest in your team before you think you need it because you can get that help and leverage your time and by the way make money on the effort that they’re putting in so if you’re paying somebody you know $40 an hour on something that they’re doing you can in your mind have a profit margin on their effort make $100 an hour or whatever it is um and you know so that’s how you can kind of think about growing your team in advance it’s a little scary but it is the key to quantum growth in your business Shantay is asking a great question if you have no experience how do you know what nice you will want to be known for don’t let that overwhelm you that’s a fantastic question we all have interests we all have things we love like what gets you excited where are you spending your time like are you an outdoors person maybe you want to work with you know health and wellness brands or fitness brands do you love cosmetics it’s like how can you cross over things in your personal life that you can understand working in in your professional life and like I’m doing this almost 15 years I still to this day and like I wake up every day and I’m like I love going to work I love Mondays I love my clients I love the industries like one of the industries people tend to gravitate towards us let’s say the bridal industry because they’re getting married and they’re like but I’m about its bridal industry but like in five years are you still gonna want to be so invested in the bridal industry maybe you know you never know so think about what you love doing what you’re interested in where do you just do something and time just

flies by because you are kind of in a zone of genius and the services you offer like if you don’t know Facebook Ads don’t offer Facebook ads as a service that’s not anything you want to get your hands in like what what have you done in your career that you love that feels like so like it’s your zone of genius it feels so easy for you right I’m not even great at pitching I can do it I can do it but I don’t do pitching in my business anymore I am purely growing the business I’m doing sales we do high-level strategy I’m serving clients that’s my role I have elevated myself to the visionary role in the business and that term comes from traction by Gina Wichman you want to elevate yourself to the visionary and have somebody that is in the way that I was exposed explain to me with finders minders and grinders okay if you are doing all of those things in your business grinders burnout minders are managing all of the roles and you know they’re a mid-level person who mid mid-level like meaning they’re they’re managing up there they’re working with you and they’re managing the team down to and they’re responsible for seeing that everything is happening the way that you want it this is a goal that you can ultimately get to and then you are at the top in a visionary role as the the finder in the business I’m the one responsible for growing the agency and when in my framework I have sales strategies really good super like ninja high-level sales strategies and when you know what to focus on you can convert all of your conversations into clients you can get top dollar for your services so just know that it’s you know it’s possible for you um you know what’s really exciting to me right now is I can see that there are quite a few of you who’ve been on the entire time and I just want to thank you for staying on and listening to this I love that this topic interests you let me know like Shantae did what questions you have because I’m here for you I’m here to answer your questions I want you to know that this can be simple you know you may not think you have a niche or an area of expertise but think about what people go to you for what is the question that people ask you about all the time like what is the thing you are known for or what do you want to become known for what can you see yourself doing in a year in five years 10-15 years like what do you want to get a deep expertise in that you love because when you think about it when you think about it you need to be building a business that you love I don’t want you sitting here spending the time and effort to build a business that drains the life out of you and I work with a lot of people who come to me and they’re 10 years into their businesses and they’re like I’m ready to just give it all up and there are subtle changes you can make to fall back in love with what you’re doing but let’s build it that way from the start so you love what you’re doing and you know just keep that mindset knowing that there are courses that you can learn to master skills there are people that are sharing their expertise I share everything that I know how to do to grow a profitable agency the other thing too is look to mentors that have a similar similar values to you that are doing they have the kind of business in the kind of life that you’re looking to have for me my mentors that I invest in have balance in their lives not balance in the loaded sense where everything’s like equilibrium but it’s their priorities are in check right it’s not all just about money um it’s about you know building a business that absolutely lights you up every single day and so for me my goals are having a business that I can run that doesn’t run me like this morning I went to a room Parent Orientation for my son’s second grade class because I’m real mom I want to be a present parent for my kids I want to have a wildly profitable business I was able to let my husband not let my husband but give my husband some runway to start his own business and now he’s living out his dreams and he tells me all the time Jen I was inspired by you and seeing how much you love what you’re doing and how well you’re doing on your own to just take that leap and do it myself because I see that it is possible so those are the values that I have yeah awesome those are the values I have in my business and that’s the framework that I teach people how to do in their businesses so think about that and realize that a lot of the things that may be holding you back from

thinking this as possible is a mindset issue it could be um yeah it’s you know it’s about knowing that it is possible and I repeat my path my journey so that you can see that what I did is possible for you and I’m pretty damn proud of what I’ve been able to do I mean I work with really awesome clients great retainers you know full flexibility I’d shut off when my kids get home from school and I am done like I am done and take trips I took a 12-day trip to the Baltic Sea and didn’t even open up my computer one time to figure out what was going on with work it was done it was set clients support us um I teach you also how to know what clients are going to you know be awesome and which ones like the red flag clients you should be running from so Jionni was asking strategy for obtaining new clients and finding that word-of-mouth is the number one number one way of attaining obtaining new clients and if she cold pitches that people that don’t know her it falls flat well I teach strategies for where and how to build your client base and certainly your network is the best opportunity to generate new business and it helps for you I actually have a program five client leaves in five days I offer it as like a bonus so that it a bonus for my agency accelerator program because I want to give you those simple steps that you can be doing in your business and see where clients come from so you can have a consistent healthy pipeline of new business there are ways to quote unquote cold pitch that stand out but it does help when you have somewhat of a connection or like a one-off connection somebody in your network introducing you and kind of vouching for you and the work that you do so maybe gianni think of the types of businesses that you want to work with and look to your network in LinkedIn see where your mutual connections are ask for introductions specifically mentioned to your contacts who you serve and how you serve them you can’t just be like I’m a PR pro do you have any you know buddy that could use my services who do you serve what types of clients do you serve and how can you serve them what can you offer to them what is the value you bring to them and when you present that people are inclined to help you if someone sends me an email that’s really specific like hey Jen this is what I do this is the type of client I’m looking for you know ket do you know anybody who could use my services or can you introduce me to anybody or I see on LinkedIn that you’re connected to someone at this company would you mind making in and truth’ intro the answer is always hell yeah I’ll help you but if you’re like hey I do this thing can you help me no I don’t know how I can help you I don’t know who you benefit I don’t know what you want for me right people are inclined to help you and you make it really clear so definitely starting within your network is the best way to generate new business cold pitching does work though I’ve gotten clients from it back in the day when I first started honestly that’s one of the ways I got my first few clients and it’s all how you approach it it has to be personal it has to be really specific to that company and why you’re reaching out to them you can also engage with the business ahead of time on social media so they start to see you they pay attention they see that stuff so you’re not kind of coming out of thin air so it’s there for you so the benefits um good I’m glad that makes sense awesome great question so know that building a business like mine or what you ultimately want for yourself set your dreams big like think big dream big because when you aim high you will overshoot on your efforts and you will you know get more in your business and you ever thought possible but it doesn’t just happen overnight but when you plan you strategize you know what to focus on and you’re committed if you’re committed then you can cut through the noise when things get hard that’s when people give up but not you and not me I don’t give up I just keep going and if it gets hard I figure out how to overcome that small thing or know that it’s a temporary hurdle and it makes me better and it makes me stronger and it makes me able to handle what comes next so the benefits an opportunity is possible for you with this laptop lifestyle being able to set up your agency from home and know that it is possible to work with major companies with nice juicy budgets with international recognition publicly

traded companies I’m telling you it’s possible for you because it was possible for me and if you haven’t downloaded my ten reasons why you want to turn your business into an agency I’m gonna post this link for you right here and it’s just a checklist that kind of lets you know why you can think of the opportunity now like everybody talks about online digital businesses and course businesses and I have that sign in my business and I will tell you this passive income side of my business is the least passive income I’ve ever made in my life it has been a major major major time investment and I love it like love it so much but it’s not like you create an asset and it just like money falls from the sky like a cash register it is a lot easier to build a business like an agency where you need like two clients to be profitable versus a digital business where you have to have building a huge audience selling them things you know marketing funnels advertising all of that you can tap your network like we talked about with Gianni and you can have two clients and you could be wildly profitable you could have sixty to a hundred thousand dollars a year as a base line in your business following my framework that’s what I teach that’s my goal for everybody that comes into my program so anyway grab that checklist and keep your eyes peeled in September we are gonna be doing a three-part training series and it’s me really awesome and we’re working on that for you now but I love that you guys have been here sticking around there’s a lot of you who’ve been on the whole time and I love that this topic interests you I’m so passionate about it and just knowing where I started and what life look would have looked like for me had I gone down this path of working crazy long hours working for someone else in a draining job as an attorney and math you tell your wife that I showed a picture of myself getting sworn in to the bar at USC just know that there’s a better way and you can love your business every day and make more money than you ever possibly dreamed I’m not China is not a get-rich-quick scheme this is like reality hi Nicole Nicole’s in the program hi you didn’t miss it it’s all here for you um you can watch this recording and also you know I love that you invested in the program but yeah this is this is what I’m so passionate about because I realize that this is not a way for a woman to have it all I want to have it all I want to have a business I love bringing great revenue to support my family and have time with my husband and my kids be the best like be an exceptional wife and mother and I try everyday I just do what I can every single day just to try my best and love my work love my work Nicole best program ever Nicole’s in the agency accelerator that is my framework for launching growing and scaling a profitable agency yeah and again like I said it is simple um it is simple when you have a framework to follow and again that is not me saying it’s easy join my program and clients fall in your lap and money falls from the sky it’s not like that but when you know what to focus on in your business and the steps to take the actions to take every day you show up at work on Monday morning and you’re like I got this I know exactly what I’m doing I know what I need to work on I’m excited about it because I’m working with clients I believe in I’m working in areas that I love that light me up then it can be simple it can be simple and shantay I’m so glad you’re interested in the program um sign up I put the link here for the ten reasons if you get on that list um you’ll see an announcement for the three part live training series we’re going to do it’s starting September 12th and you can get on that list and then we’re gonna open enrollment and we have an open enrollment in the program since May tactical practical and the best insider info so worth it Cole this is where I’m not even paying her thank you guys so much for being here it means so much to me to come on live and know that there are people you know engaging with me and interested in this topic and I love it so much and if you have any other questions let me know Shante we will get you information it’s coming um yeah so see you guys soon thanks again