How Garrett Smith is Running a Highly Automated Google My Business Management Service
We’ve talked to Garrett Smith from GMB Gorilla on running a Google My Business Management service on SPP and leveraging the power of automations. Check out his insights into the GMB business below.
Finding a niche and launching an MVP
Garrett started his own marketing agency in 2013 with mostly local businesses as clients. He noticed that customers for those services didn’t necessarily have to visit a website to find relevant information about a company.
With that in mind, Garrett started looking into Google Maps and Google My Business, realizing that this service could be delivered at an affordable rate resulting in high ROI.
In 2020, GMB Gorilla was released as a single-page website with Service Provider Pro in the back-end to manage inbound orders. This MVP was not expert-focused on Garrett himself. Instead, with a few PPC ads, leads started coming in and the proof of concept turned into a full-scale business.
Setting yourself apart from the competition
Talking about pricing, Garret mentioned that one thing many U.S. based customers are interested in state-side designers and copywriters. Based on their experience, working with non-native English speakers often resulted in additional editing passes due to difficulties in catching nuances of certain local markets. Since GMB Gorilla’s designers & developers are located in the U.S., which is an instant win for U.S. based customers.
The second thing that sets Garrett’s team apart from the competition is the fact that many companies are multi-location businesses. For them, managing all Google My Business profiles is a major challenge, especially since they often don’t have a dedicated person for this specific job. To make things easier for them, GMB Gorilla takes over the management, and on top of that, gives a discount on any profile besides the first one.
To be able to offer the volume discount, Garrett’s team is running a highly automated business that creates tasks with due dates in Asana from incoming order in SPP via Zapier.
They also noticed that many companies don’t need unique posts for each location. If a business has 100 locations, one post a week can be syndicated across all 100 profiles of that business.
Branding a Google My Business Management Service
Between 2013 and 2018, Garrett’s agency clients were mostly high-end private practices, cosmetic clinics, among others. The focus was to be very serious and professional, which didn’t leave too much room for fun.
That changed when Garrett was thinking about his new business venture, GMB Gorilla. He thought: “Will people buy this without knowing who is behind it?” So he went to namecheap.com and started looking for domains that are brandable. He stumbled over gmbgorilla.com, which just “rolls off the tongue.” Minutes later, Garrett was brainstorming logos to showcase the idea of a blue, digital Gorilla to his colleagues, who fell in love with the banana loving animal.
With the new gorilla brand, Garrett and his team were able to roll out marketing efforts that are much more fun, and less boring. For instance, the welcome email sent via SPP has the subject Welcome to the jungle 🌴 which is a play on an old Guns N’ Roses song. Of course, the word-play doesn’t stop here, there are constant references through-out the portal and email about life in the jungle and even new characters have been introduced. The language has also been optimized to get that jungle feeling across as Garrett’s team swings into action, or slipping on banana peels when making mistakes.
Giving leads the opportunity to test your service
Garrett decided early on that he’d focus on a single recurring service with GMB Gorilla, namely the Google My Business profile management. According to him, offering new services requires hiring new team members, but doesn’t guarantee success.
Going all in on the productized business model, he did realize quickly that some leads were either not sure if they wanted to subscribe to a recurring service, or they simply wanted to test the waters.
This lead to the creation of a three one-time services:
A one-time optimization service that has essentially become a paid trial. GMB Gorilla does the same work they’d do in the first month for their recurring Google My Business Management service. What happens after the service is done is that 95% of the buyers then purchase the recurring management subscription.
Another one-time service GMB Gorilla is offering is a setup service that targets new business owners who just launched their website. They set up the Google My Business profile, optimize and enhance it, upload branded profile images, and more. While the renewal rate according to Garrett is a bit lower at around 50%, it might be explained due to the fact that the business owners themselves are new in the game.
Lastly, GMB Gorilla offers a one-time support service. The Ask a Gorilla section on their website started leading to many inbound calls, which lead to the creation of the support service.
The importance of an automated client portal
Garrett mentions how he wouldn’t have launched his Google My Business management service without being able to rely on a tool such as Service Provider Pro. His team is only able to function and offer their low-priced service thanks to the many automated processes that are in place.
As an agency owner, Garrett knows that most agencies have high retainers because of the account and project management. In most cases, that still requires manual labor by actual people, not automated processes. On top of that, most agencies do not offer packaged, scoped services. Instead, they rely on sales calls, proposals to hook clients in.
For Garrett, that was never an option. Having finally found SPP via a company they were using, and which was running on Service Provider Pro, they began their setup for GMB Gorilla.
Leveraging the reseller module in SPP
About six months into launching the Google My Business management service, Garrett noticed a lot of freelancers, agents, small agencies and consultants asking if they could resell GMB Gorilla. Garrett and his team treat these partners as internal sales people and account managers.
Anyone who is onboarded not only receives a discount on the GMB services, they also get a presentation kit, trainings, ads, outreach templates, and more. This, in combination with the reseller module, makes it easy for both parties: the partners who sell the service, and Garrett and his team who do the fulfillment.