He didn’t have a master plan like Elon. Solomon Timothy, Co-Founder of Clickx, shares strategies for scalable growth, focusing on customer acquisition and retention. He emphasizes the importance of removing guesstimates and implementing a scientific approach to scaling a business. Solomon discusses effective customer acquisition strategies in both B2C and B2B contexts, including running ads, capturing demand, and creating demand.

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πŸ“ŒTALKING POINTS

04:12 - Thoughtful Customer Acquisition

06:48 - Customer Acquisition in Real Estate

09:53 - Customer Acquisition in B2B

14:46 - Making Marketing Budget Attractive

19:18 - Understanding Customer Lifetime Value

26:37 - The Importance of Customer Retention

33:35 - Building Sustainable Growth

πŸ”—CONNECT WITH SOLOMON

πŸ”—CONNECT WITH TOM FINN

Tom Finn (00:01.405)

Welcome to the podcast, my friends. Today we're learning from Solomon Thimothy. Solomon, welcome to the show.

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Solomon Thimothy (00:07.362)

Thank you so much for having me, Tom.

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Tom Finn (00:09.961)

Well, if you don't know Solomon, let me take a moment to introduce you to this marketing obsessed entrepreneur with over 17 years of experience in marketing and sales. He is the CEO and co-founder of ClickX. He works with new and developed agency owners to build scalable business models. He's dedicated to helping small business owners scale and achieve significant growth. I am thrilled to have you on the show today. It's a topic that everybody wants to hear more about. So let's start right there, my friend. Help us understand what are some of the strategies that you've found effective in guiding owners toward scalable growth.

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Solomon Thimothy (00:49.622)

Absolutely, I don't know how much time we have, Tom. I'll go over all of them. So the thing that I found, I'm like an accidental entrepreneur, meaning that I didn't have a master plan like Elon on changing the world and RoboTaxi and things like that. It was more like, hey, I had to help my family, right? We gotta make our mortgage, things that are more practical in nature, which I'm sure a lot of entrepreneurs that's listening to us, it's like, hey, I just need to make 10 grand a month so I can do whatever I need to do or 20 or whatever it is. And so the way that I found this sort of thing to work is removing any and all guesstimates in scaling a business because when we started the business, it was a creative agency. It was helping people build a better website. It was very much a, hey, check out the website. Everything's sexy. You know, we're pretty much done, you know, thank you so much, Tom. It was great working with you. Do you know anybody else that we can help build websites? And then and then our customers like, no, it's not. It's not what we really wanted. We needed more customers like that's why we hired you guys. We're like, well, we don't know anything about that. OK, we're creative design people. And we kept hearing that we're like, yeah, listen, guys, if we want to be in this business for the long haul, which we did, we need to build a customer acquisition engine. That's what our customers want. That's what they're saying that they want and that's what they really truly need because they don't know how to market. They don't know how to grow. They know how to do the art that they do, but they don't know anything about growing, you know, their email list. They don't know how to get on the first page of Google. So our company morphed into this, you know, kind of like a growth formula kind of a company. What we, when I preach this, I basically say, if you want to grow a company, it's acquisition plus retention equals growth. They call it the growth formula. And this works in practically anything. So if you want to grow this podcast, right, Tom, we talked about the impact that you're having, having all these amazing guests, is that you want to have an impact. So we got to acquire new people to come to this podcast and we need to retain them so they don't leave and they stay subscribed for the long haul and then they share it with their friend. What do we achieve? We achieve growth.

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Solomon Thimothy (03:07.446)

So I like this scientific approach rather than sort of this guesstimating, well, how do we do that? Do you know what I'm saying? So Google, if it's an algorithm, it's something that you can capture. It's an algorithm. Somebody has the ability to capture it. So in the business world, there is similar kind of like structure. So we call that like top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, still theory, but we measure it so we know what we mean by top of funnel. We measure everything that we did. We measure everything that in terms of outcome so we can have practical decision-making power. And what do we need to do to actually grow the business?

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Tom Finn (03:44.881)

Well, I love that you're going that direction, but I'm going to give you the challenge or question right out of the gate here because acquisition plus retention equals growth. I think all of us could put that formula on a whiteboard and say, I get it. But the details underneath that are meaningful and the details underneath that are difficult for a lot of people, uh, to figure out. So maybe let's start at the beginning of that formula. Let's go into acquisition for a second. How do you frame up being really thoughtful about customer acquisition?

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Solomon Thimothy (04:16.918)

Yeah, absolutely. So once we understand this, A acquisition plus R retention equals growth, we break down acquisition into two different categories and it's very simple. And I promise you, everybody in this, whoever's ever gonna listen, is gonna get an A in this class. The first thing is you and I actually, whatever we're selling, nobody goes into business because there's a product that nobody wants, right? We all know somebody needs this thing.

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It's been proven so we really want to grow it. Eventually, we want to put some gasoline into the fire, make it really big. That's like ads, if that makes sense, right? Like pour money into it, borrow money, do whatever you need to do to grow this company. So first what we want to do is we want to capture the demand in the marketplace for what it is that we do. So if we're just a car wash company, there's plenty of people that have dirty cars, we just need to go and they're looking for a car wash. We want to be found when they're looking for a car wash maybe it means putting it in the corner, right? Like a big, you know, side of the one of the biggest streets, there we are, that's the same as like Google ads, if that makes sense, a billboard. We want to capture as much as our budget can allow as many of those people to come in and buy from us. That's the easiest way to grow, because we're not actually teaching people that the car wash is good for you and it increases your, you know what I mean? We're not teaching people anything that they don't already know.

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All we're saying is, you know, in the Christian world, it's like you baptized the saved, right? Like you don't have to, they already know, you just need to convert them into your business. This is the fastest way. This is like the, in the next 30 days, we can see meaningful change in some people's bottom line or top line, whatever you want to call it. And the way we do that is that if you just simply ran some ads for these very specific bottom-of-funnel searches, because they already know they have a problem.

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They already know they need to fix it. Let's just, you know, is there an example business that you wanna use here, Tom? You tell me and we just go to Google and we do that.

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Tom Finn (06:20.001)

Sure, let's go with an easy one in a highly competitive market and a difficult kind of market with headwinds, which is real estate. So let's say you're a real estate agent, and you're working in the middle of the country somewhere. Let's pick a city like Dallas that we all know. And you are trying to generate in a tough market, in terms of interest rates, more leads, because there's some headwinds. And how would you actually do that with Google Ads?

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Solomon Thimothy (06:48.566)

I love it. Yeah. So, so we, I love it. Cause this is easier than some of the things we're doing. Cause we're doing B2B, which is like, Hey, you got to find this one kind of job. You know what I mean? The CIO in this 500-person company. So like, let's do real estate. I love it. It's B2C. If I wanted to get some leads today to get some people, first of all, I should find out given Dallas is one of those hubs people are moving into, right? There's companies hiring them so I can do ads.

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People are looking to move to Dallas, I can run ads on Facebook, this is where I would go, are people that live in Dallas, but maybe want to sell their house and they want to buy a bigger house for whatever reason. They have more kids or they want more land. So the first ad, and they've done this plenty of times, is the person who's not looking, but they're looking. How do I find these people? Basically, I would run some ads that says, how much is your house worth? Find out how much is your house worth. Not really saying like, buy a house with me. I'm not saying anything like, hey, we have 15 houses that I've listed, here's the best deals in Dallas. No, I want people that want to come in and find out how much is their house worth. The only person that's willing to do that is somebody who I think that I can convert in some point into a listing because they wanna know how much their house worth, maybe they wanna do something with it, they wanna sell it, whatever it is, move out of town. So that would be an easy ad. If I were to… to convert the existing need, I would probably go find five or six houses that slash their prices because it's been in the market long enough. And I'll create a carousel ad saying, I have the list of all the houses that have, I don't know, five to 10% off of their top line to learn, get this exclusive document with all these listings, click the link below. So they're gonna get a download of all the houses that just like slash $100,000 or $50,000. Just for, like you said, it's a tough market. So, what I've done is I've captured the demand of people that are in there, and the second piece of that acquisition is we want to create demand. We want to create demand for our services, because sometimes there may not be, right? Like you want to create, I think the first that I recommend it would be creating demand, which is, hey, how much is my house worth? They may not have been looking for a house right now, but they're probably going to be looking for it in the next six months, maybe in the next one year. So it's my job to nurture.

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Solomon Thimothy (09:13.718)

Does that make sense? Those people that have raised their hands and say, I want to know how much my house is worth. So any angle to capture the demand and any angle to create the demand is literally the A, if that makes sense, the first acquisition of art.

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Tom Finn (09:27.069)

Yeah, oh, it totally makes sense. And you said something in your intro that was interesting. You said, look, this is B2C, it's a little easier. B2B can be a little harder. So let's try it, let's level up a little bit and go to the harder example on a B2B. Let's say in your example, you said, gosh, sometimes it's hard to find that chief innovation officer or chief technology officer. Let's say we're selling development services to a chief technology officer in a B2B environment. How does that differ?

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Solomon Thimothy (09:53.196)

Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, so this is now we need to pinpoint this kind of a person and we need to add value into their world. So like for instance, just because you mentioned like the B2B, I'm pretty sure this person has a LinkedIn profile. I have a couple of different options here. I can run some ads to this very specific titles in Dallas with this kind of companies, whatever the industry is, some sort of like, hey, here's what the next five years is going to happen for whatever product or service is, thanks to AI, it's all going to get disrupted. If you're at CIO, you don't want to miss out on this information. I'll probably put it out there. So this might be creating demand. If I want to capture the demand, I can obviously do some prospecting on LinkedIn, which is email or in-mail, that person specifically saying, hey, I help with companies of your size, five to 10, whatever, you know what I mean? Million dollars, and this is what we do. The other thing that I would do on the email side, just because acquiring these types of users are very difficult.

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I would create a loom video of sort explaining exactly what they're doing wrong in their organization or could be doing better with whatever information I have available publicly, send a very personalized video to this exact person using some sort of an email-finding tool like Hunter.io. I would personally hand mail that letter saying, hey Tom, congratulations on closing this big round of funding. Here's a quick video that I made. We help companies kind of like yours this specific problem, take a look at it, let me know and then I'll follow up with an email because again, that person might be very busy, they never had a chance to look at my video. So I would start doing very pinpointing the prospect and their pain and sending it if I cannot run it from an ad perspective or do both.

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Tom Finn (11:41.033)

Yeah, so in the business-to-business world, you really layered in not just Google ads, but you layered in LinkedIn. And you sort of said, let's go a different strategy here. Let's go direct to that buyer in LinkedIn to really make sure that we're attacking them. Let's make it personalized and customized for that individual buyer. Let's educate them through the process. And hopefully that buyer comes around and sees your services adding value to them. You have a chat, you have a conversation. Now they're in the funnel. Now they're a sales-qualified lead. Is that the way you're thinking about it?

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Solomon Thimothy (11:45.566)

Correct. Yes. Absolutely. So once our customer understands that I can, you know, Tom's solution is going to change my life from a marketing perspective, it makes no different whether it was inbound, outbound, how we found them. It could have been an X platform, right? Like it doesn't really matter. And there's a lot of like stigma. I don't want to send cold email. I don't want to do that. No. If you truly believe that your solution can change their life.

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You have a moral obligation to reach out to them, let them know that this thing could change their life. Would you wanna keep this to yourself? That's the question we as entrepreneurs need to ask. Are we really trying to just keep all this information to ourselves or this tool, their resource? Obviously not, right? So why do we have, like try to find a certain title in LinkedIn is extremely expensive. That's the reason that I was suggesting some kind of a cold email outreach because LinkedIn doesn't care why you need to find them or you wanna make a quarter million dollars.

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LinkedIn wants ad money. Like once you start understanding what is their intent, their intent is not to get you the leads that you want as much as you think it is. That's how you're gonna stay on the platform. Their intent is to increase their ad dollars. Well, they want you to add more categories. They want you to add more titles. They want you to water it down. Does that make sense? Your offer so that it's attracting more people than you really need, but you're like, hey, I only need 50 people. And that's super hard to really nail down.

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And that's why I said, hey, get that list and email every single one of them. And maybe because they came to your website or something like that, retarget to them through LinkedIn. So when they do go to LinkedIn, they're seeing your stuff. Like you want to do all this multi-level approach. And that's kind of difficult, right? Compared to my real estate, this gets more hard work. Here's kind of what we've been able to do. We've been able to help, you know, agencies, B2B companies do video prospecting at scale so that they don't actually have to do a lot of these things. They can do it through just us figuring out how to do things like they have a video, we take a picture of their website, we layer it together. Do you see what I'm saying? Like we can start doing things even without that one business development manager doing 50, 100 a day. So like our job is to use some growth hacking on top of this so we can scale the follow-up, we can scale, we can automate, we can set an automatic LinkedIn intro and all of these things so that my customer is actually doing way more with less talent, less resources, because we're using tools and automation. That's what I'm trying to say. That's a way to scale it, even though it seems extremely unscalable.

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Tom Finn (14:46.481)

Yeah, I love how you're using sort of an omnichannel approach to marketing. I think the question that everybody's going to ask is, you know, what does this look like in terms of mathematics and how much money do I need to put this into play? And let's, and let's be honest, most entrepreneurs are scratching and clawing through their first couple of years. And that's the good news, right? It could be your first decade that you're scratching and clawing. So how do you make this budget attractive or how do you make this solution in a way approachable for a business owner that doesn't have a lot of free cash flow?

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Solomon Thimothy (15:22.958)

Sure. Yeah, first of all, like I said, we'd like to make things as low cost as possible because we want adoption, we want people to use it, we want people to get value out of it, and so they make the money and they can reinvest it, right? So first of all, things like getting an email address and sending an email is practically free. If you wanna make your own videos on Loom or anything like that, you have a salesperson, make them do that for the first one hour or two hours of their day, like, hey, you need to prospect these people.

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You can do things on LinkedIn, like go engage with their company's content so that you're actually in front of them, you're adding value, because they might be posting content, your prospects are creating content, but nobody's engaging with it. So why not go and help them, right? Help them grow whatever their visibility is, repost. Whatever you need to do so you're actually adding value so that the cost kind of comes in when you're running ads, when you're creating content, when you're creating video content. This is where you do need to get a team or somebody to help you figure out what's the topic that is actually the top, you know, top asked question for my prospects and creating a content that you need to edit, you need to create subtitles. This is where the cost comes, but we teach a lot of this. We have free content on our website for a lot of this. So until they have the budget to invest, we're not necessarily even getting into their business. And I'll also share one more thing, which is the mathematical things. Again, everything is scientific for me, right? Like I want to make sure like, can this work? I need my customers to know the lifetime value of their business.

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That is like a super important, I'm sure, Tom, like everybody's like, is it 5,000 or is it 50,000? 500,000? Because at the end of the day, we all have to have a budget to acquire one customer, whether it's a $5,000 customer, a $50,000 customer. So there's always budget, because I mean, that was an email I asked an entrepreneur that got on a call with me yesterday. I'm like, I have a quick question for you, because we didn't actually get to cover all this. What are you going to make when somebody becomes, their intro offer is like a thousand and then it's like 5,000?

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What does the entire thing look like? The average customer, I'm not saying every customer, there may be $100,000, but your average is 60 or 40. And then using that 40 number, then I need to look at when I run that person's Facebook ads, how many opt-ins and how many webinar views and how many do I need to get to get you those meetings to then convert them to a $40,000 customer? I'm using the lower end.

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Solomon Thimothy (17:44.97)

If I don't do that, then I'll always be making tiny budgets or tiny investments, which will never be enough for me to reach the goals that I'm trying to reach. So like I, right? I empathize with the person that had literally no money. That would be an outbound cold outreach after another grind it out, create content. But there are also businesses that have really solid lifetime value. They really, they have a successful business. They have seriously great business, but they've been growing it organically.

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They've been growing it with that three sales rep team with whatever they do using some simple CRM, you know, email, right? Like some emails that they're sending out about a trade show that nobody cares about. But if they truly care about their clients because of their serious lifetime value, they would have like 10 times growth. That's like, there's no doubt. It's just that they haven't been thinking about it that way. They've been thinking about more like we can only do things that in these four walls. Do you see what I'm saying? They've been limiting themselves because they don't see what we see. Like, we see opportunities everywhere we look. We're like, go ahead.

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Tom Finn (18:49.717)

So when you think about, you're making great points. When you think about customer lifetime value, you wanna think about the amount of money you're gonna make over the period of time. And that's the additional component that you have to consider is the period of time that you make it in. So if you make 40 grand in year one and there is no year two, you made 40 grand. But if you make 40 grand over three years, well now you got 40, now you got 80, now you got 120. So what percentage of 120 do you wanna invest in your marketing?

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Solomon Thimothy (19:07.243)

Yep. That's crap.

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Tom Finn (19:18.645)

To get that $120,000 customer to onboard with you.

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Solomon Thimothy (19:19.118)

That is correct. Absolutely, and so again, the mathematic answer is, a VC, I used to coach these startups in Chicago at basically an incubator called 1871. It's just one of the largest in America, and there's all these kids looking for their $100,000 funding and their million and all of that, and they would come to me for marketing, so they had to make a proof of concept, make sure people need this thing. They're gonna be the next Uber of photography, I don't know, whatever they were building.

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And then some of these business models didn't make any sense. So we would have to kind of make these numbers up. And the numbers always, you could spend, if you go to a big software company, they're always trying to spend up to a third of what that lifetime value looks like. Up to a third, they never go four thirds, right? Like they're not going to do that. That's like you're losing money. A lot of these startups do lose money, but they know that the lifetime value is great. So they're just doubling and quadrupling down because they feel like once they install the CRM into their company,

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It's hard to get out. They're not gonna get out. So don't worry. Let's have a 10,000 people conference. Let's rent out the whole stadium. Why? Because we need to get as many people as possible and grow at any cost. Now, I'm not saying that everybody should market like a SaaS company and so on, but the reason why they do it is because they do their math and they know that the lifetime value is five or 10 years and their products is priced such that every year you get paid more because of per users or per this or per that, right? You keep adding more features as they grow and then you kind of feel like you owe this company more and more money so they're not only they're growing, right, their lifetime value, their actual billing of the same client grows. They're consuming more of your stuff, which means that if you're $1,000 a month in year one, year two you're $1,200 a month, year three you're $1,500 a month. You see how that actually adds up to a pretty big number?

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And that's kind of how they do it. And that's why we work with SaaS companies. And they just give you a lot of money to work with. And the reason is they've really done the math. They can afford an in-house marketing team. They can afford an external resource like us. And a ton of money on ads because they've done this very simple math that all of us can do. Every single business.

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Tom Finn (21:41.225)

Yeah. And I think it doesn't have to be SaaS, right? I think, I think that's a narrow slice of the market that has very deliberate, um, focus in what they're trying to do with marketing because they understand their customer lifetime value. Look, the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is in the early first couple of years. And you don't actually have a customer lifetime value because you only have three or four or 10 or 12, whatever the customer number is. And you have no idea how long they're going to stay because you haven't been in business long enough to know.

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Solomon Thimothy (21:45.431)

Great. Focus in what they're trying to do.

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Tom Finn (22:11.165)

When they're going to cycle out. Right. And so that part, that stage is really hard for people to understand how much to invest in marketing when they don't know what the end result is.

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Solomon Thimothy (22:13.719)

That's correct. And that's the stage that I'm operating for a lot of these businesses, because they don't even have a business when they meet me. And then I'm trying to help them grow to 10K, 50K, 100K, right? So very, very familiar with that because every entrepreneur been there. If you know what I mean, if everybody's been there, right? You can't go out of it. Um, so unless your first deal is a hundred thousand, then you scan it one from zero to a hundred, but that's not every day. So the, the thing that we always talk about is if you don't have money to run ads, even if you only have three clients you can kind of guesstimate how many months that these people are gonna stay in and work with your product, right? Like you're still gonna have some, like six months, and if they pay you 500 bucks, what does that look like? Does that make sense? So like, there's some basic understanding that we have so we can run some ads. The other thing that we do is if you don't have any money to run, we're doing sort of like mass email prospecting with some calling for those people that are opening up the email or engaging with your content or replying because like… I want to be able to help an entrepreneur if they have zero dollars on ad spend. I mean, they are not going to spend a dollar, but whether they want to or not, they just don't have the opportunity to. We've done it in pure outbound. In other words, reaching out to specific businesses that meet the criteria, what they consider a good lead, and then identifying what they could be doing better or different, right, to grow their business. Pure value.

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And those replies, when you get them, they will say, hey, your email just stood out. It didn't look like everybody else that sends me an email. I rarely, does that make sense? I rarely respond to cold, those are the kind of replies that we get because we were very deliberate about what we put into that email and the way that we reached out and it's often with the video because we were very personal.

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Tom Finn (24:06.141)

Yeah, no agreed. And, and look, the pro tip on, uh, cold email marketing is you need to email a lot of people and you also need to come up with some sort of customization and it needs to be short. You cannot give a long, lengthy explanation of your products. Got to be short. And also if you're out there and you're thinking through what's, what should this look like, remove the images and remove the links until you've warmed up. Yeah. Yep. Until you've warmed it up, right? Warmed up that conversation.

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Solomon Thimothy (24:30.514)

Remove the signature.

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Tom Finn (24:35.977)

Got a few opens and then you can start to delve a little deeper. Would you agree, Solomon?

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Solomon Thimothy (24:41.178)

Yeah, no, there's, you know, I love this because like I said, a lot of people do go into it and then, and then, and they sort of like burn their inboxes and their domains and things like that. That's not why I say that. And it's not meant to be tens and thousands of emails from your personal email. There's lots and lots of resources. We've actually tried to do a lot of this in-house so that a business owner can approach us. We can send hundreds of emails without them even buying any domains and stuff like that.

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Why? Because again, we're often working with entrepreneurs that have nothing, right? They don't have anything other than an idea. So I get that perspective of that person who's got three clients or want to go to 30 and they don't know how to market it. So once we build some revenue because of our outbound, you know, sort of like approach, our next job would be to run a small ad campaign so that we're getting some activity coming in every single day. Again, going back to the acquisition side, we want to capture the demand that's already there for what it is that you do.

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It's the easiest way to grow. There are already people, like people always wonder like, is there that much? Yes, there's that and millions more that need what you sell. That's the first thing we need to uncover is like, our mindset. There's millions of people that need it. You probably can't fulfill that much demand is what you need to understand. And that's what we believe in at so much is because it's gonna do the job that I can't. Does that make sense? I can't get in front of everybody's email and feed on LinkedIn and Instagram and everything else and TikTok.

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But the platform can't. That's why they built the platform. They want to sell stuff. And so all you and I have to do is put a really interesting creative that it's going to capture the attention of those people, kind of like a pattern interrupts something different than what they're seeing. Even if it means going from blue color to yellow color or orange color, whatever you wear, whatever you say, to really stand out from that crazy feed, then you're going to have better luck getting in front of the people that you're called to serve so you can help these people out.

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Tom Finn (26:37.789)

Yeah, I love it. And if you're following along, that we are in the acquisition discussion, but I think it's probably time to use the plus sign and head over to the retention side of the business. Because, look, you can acquire and acquire and acquire, but if you are losing customers off the back end of the table, it is a really hard slog to grow a business without customer retention. So let's dive into the retention side, which I think personally, is more important. You can argue and debate me that it's not, but I think personally, customer retention is the most important thing you can do because you prove to your customer that you have a good product. You prove to them that it works for them over a period of time. And so to me, that's the high point of being an entrepreneur is having great customer retention because people love the stuff you're building.

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Solomon Thimothy (27:31.806)

Yes, I 100% agree with you. So that's why we built the boat, because a lot of entrepreneurs just want to focus on one, but we want a holistic growth, and also we want customers that are going to stay with us for five years. Get it? So if I'm going to help somebody for the next five years, or how many ever years it is, I can't just give them a one trick pony saying, here, there's a webinar, we're just going to get you a bunch of customers, but we don't really have any idea what to do after that. But have a great day a lot of sort of like point solution vendors out there, whether it's B2B, B2C, social media management, you name it, they're sort of like doing some spray and prayer approach. Do you get it? And then it's just, and that's it. They don't want to get deep into somebody's organization to truly make a substantial difference or really move the needle. And that's why we were always very different in kind of what we did. We want to know how many leads were produced. Again, I mentioned measuring. We want to know how good those leads were, how many of those turn into a meeting and how many of those actually sent a proposal and did anybody close? And if they close, how much was that deal for? Let's go calculate how much we spent. So I could truly give you a picture that you need to run your business, to make informed decision. So because of that, we really want to understand what does that lifetime value look like so that we can nurture these people to actually get them into a meeting. Because when I opt in for something, it doesn't really mean I'm in need for that right now. Every time I see an offer, I don't always.

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I don't always need it right there. It's that business's job to get me to book a meeting with them or to consume more content or whatever it is. Go ahead.

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Tom Finn (29:01.781)

So I think we're, we're sort of headed back towards acquisition here in the conversation, I want to kind of stay on the retention side. So, so help me with retention. So if I may, let's say, let's say we're, we're a nicely matured business. We're five years down the road. We have a three-year customer lifetime value. Okay. Of gosh, I don't know. Let's use your $40,000 example from earlier. Right? So your one's 40, your two's 40, your three is 40. We're five years down the road. We've got 100 customers. Let's just, that's the dream, right? You got your five years down the road, you got 100 customers, you're doing really well. So how do you and your organization teach the rest of us how to really retain or extend customer lifetime value?

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Solomon Thimothy (29:46.966)

Absolutely. So typically we call it nurturing your leads and nurturing your customers. So there's two sides, right? So the nurturing leads, it makes sense because you need to get them to this other side. The nurturing of the customer is often forgotten because what happens is when you have a customer, you give them a dedicated rep, an account manager, whatever we call it. There's a million different terms in the business where all our customers use all kinds of words. They're technically like a salesperson. They just take orders but they're not having strategic conversations about what that customer might need. Are their problems growing? Do they have other opportunities in their organization that they can tap in? So we recommend something like a quarterly business review with our customers to have it with their customers. And we facilitate that quarterly review. So that means that we now need to send out emails and make landing pages and create webinar content, whatever it is, to keep those customers paying and also expand those accounts because guess what? Your customers are somebody else's prospects.

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Tom Finn (30:55.081)

Yeah, don't let that fall on deaf ears. Your customers are somebody else's prospects.

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Solomon Thimothy (31:02.114)

I know. It's definitely it. So that retention side is, like you said, equally important, and just because they converted, they can go back to a lead again because they cancel service. So it's like constant nurturing, nurture, and how do we do that without making them feel like, oh my gosh, all they do is Tom sends me an email every day. There's so many different ways to do it. It could be done through retargeting. It could be done through, hey, you should follow us on our YouTube channel because we create this.

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Tom Finn (31:02.149)

Interesting way of thinking about it, right?

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Solomon Thimothy (31:30.17)

It could be a box, you mail them a box, right? Like here's a kit. There's all these different ways to build a relationship, right, that's nurturing, right? You could call them, say hey, I'm reaching out to you, it's been a couple months since we last talked. It's all of these things that somebody else have to design for you to help you execute so that you are, as a business, are not stuck because most of business owners, what do they do? They go to the acquire mode. Just like wake up and says how many people can I get?

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Rarely are they living in the R mode, right? They rarely are living in the, oh my gosh, I gotta keep this thing. Because they assume that Joe, the account manager, has got this, do you agree? Because that's kind of like a delegating. I delegated it, he's responsible for it, he's incentivized to keep these customer, but Joe does not have the business acumen to ask the customer to talk to the decision maker, like a salesperson, to say, hey, what else are you guys trying to make this quarter in your company? Are you trying to make an airplane engine? Because we're contracted to help you with the car engine, but you guys probably make a lot more things than what I'm helping you with. Do you agree? Like these conversations have to happen and you can't do that on every call on every Mondays or every Tuesdays. So you got to make an opportunity for that person to go bring their manager, boss, whoever, to have these conversations with you so that your team can assess what they could be doing better, right? Maybe having a breakthrough for them, so making some sort of improvement in their process.

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Those are additional services that you can sell to them, kind of like that SaaS thing where you're growing that customer and also retaining them, which is ultimately what you want. Like that is the best business, right? I would invest in that business.

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Tom Finn (33:07.709)

Yeah, I'm with you, man. So it's about acquisition, it's about retention. And then your last piece is it equals growth. So help us understand, whether it's business to business or business to consumer, what should our growth trajectory look like? And scratch the Bay Area and, you know, a $10 million investment and VC money and, you know, scratch all that. Let's go to our core fundamental business leaders that are trying to build strategic companies that have infrastructure and are long term plays for them and their family, which is kind of where we started today. How do you build that growth model in a smart, sustainable way?

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Solomon Thimothy (33:51.49)

100%. So the first thing that we typically talk about is the things that our customers are doing to grow their business. Let's see if they did that every year at 10%, 20% growth, is that the business that they want to be in? A lot of times, my entrepreneurs that we're working with, they would say things like, hey, Solomon, this is great, but we're gonna get disrupted, or this is not gonna be around for the next five years. Our customers are changing they're planned and this is not gonna work because we deal with a lot more B2B companies. So there's always a worry that they're gonna get thrown out at some point because things are going to change. So we always look at what do we need to be selling or what do we need to be doing to 10x the business? That's kind of like the number that we're going for, why? Because then we're looking at it from a very different perspective of what we should market, what kind of customers should we get, what's our average sale needs to be. Do you see what I'm saying? Like how much should our investment be?

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And this model allows us to have these long-term conversations, not just make the next quarter, the next year, because everything that they're doing, if they had some extra help, I'm sure they can grow at 10, 20%. I'm sure because they have a great product, they have the best customers, but what happens is in a year down, what if international providers are coming in and they're slashing the price? Can you still be in business? These are the areas where they're innovating or creating new things. And that's where a lot of our creating the demand comes in, because there's no demand for this thing. You're now going AI, or you're doing this. Nobody knows that you could do this super cool thing. And most of the time, engineers do not have any marketing. Like they don't, like all of us are engineers. We're all business people. We can create things. We enjoy creating, but we don't do a good enough job getting a big mic and saying, hey, I got this, I got this. Do you need this? Does that make sense? We're not that good at it. So most of these amazing inventions stays in their lab. Or… they do get disrupted, they start losing money, and they start frantically panicking and says, well, what do we gotta do? So we always use this long-term lens to really figure out what do we need to do to grow them like 50%. And I'm not saying that's reality, it's what products and services should we focus on this quarter, the entire quarter, that's actually gonna make a great impact a year from now. Because a year from now, this thing is gonna be huge, and I want you to be a big player in it.

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Solomon Thimothy (36:07.842)

So we're often not worried about the quarter, like last quarter or this quarter, we're often worried about what do we need to do so that we can have a really meaningful impact 18 months from now. And if you start thinking like that with your strategic partners, it's your marketing company, your marketing consultant, your coach, whoever it is, you don't make these short-term decisions because you're looking at acquisition plus retention, you're also making long-term decisions, and you're also measuring everything so you'll get sleep better at night.

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Tom Finn (36:34.361)

Well, and every entrepreneur wants to sleep better at night, Solomon, for sure. I think we all do. So let me, let me see if I can sum this up. So when we think about acquisition, we want to focus on ads. We want to focus on nurturing. We want to make sure we have a streamlined process. When we think about retention, we want to focus on something that is meaningful in building long-term relationships. I love your idea of boxes or taking an online company offline with something like a gift that's in person.

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Solomon Thimothy (36:38.753)

I agree. Yes.

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Tom Finn (37:03.605)

But really you can do it inexpensively as you mentioned, as simple as quarterly business reviews, where you get into the strategic approach of your customer's needs. And then last and certainly not least, that your strategic planning for growth needs to be a longer term view, not quarter to quarter, not month to month. Let's focus on a growth plan that puts us in position next year or next 18 months. And if we look at the business that way, we can build effective strategies that really drives sustainable growth in a small and middle market company.

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Solomon Thimothy (37:37.474)

Absolutely. And this means that the only thing small business has is the small business in the label and they're not small. And I hate it. Yeah.

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Tom Finn (37:44.833)

That's right. Look, look, the heartbeat of America is small and medium-sized businesses, right? They make up slightly more than the enterprise space, but They are the heartbeat of what makes this country So so successful and so wonderful to be in Solomon. I appreciate your man. Thank you for the great work that you are doing we spent a lot of time on business today and really getting into the nuts and bolts and I'm grateful for your perspective and the great work you're doing at Cliquex.

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Solomon Thimothy (38:17.59)

Absolutely, my pleasure. Like I said, I do this all day and I like to share as much as I got, right? Like if we can impact as many business owners, as many entrepreneurs, even employees that are listening that might be in marketing and they wanna help their business grow because if they employ you, you're gonna get a bigger paycheck if you help them grow. Use what you learn here, I promise, it'll pay off.

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Tom Finn (38:37.521)

Yeah, for sure brother. Look, if people want to get in touch with you, Solomon, reach out to you, connect. What is the best way for somebody to make contact?

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Solomon Thimothy (38:47.754)

Absolutely. Again, it's my last name. timothy.com is T-H-I-M-O-T-H-Y.com. I'm on social media, just ask Timothy. You can find me on LinkedIn. Pretty accessible because like I said, a lot of people do reach out, ask questions, and I'm all here to help you guys get the real growth that you're looking for.

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Tom Finn (39:07.241)

Yeah, I appreciate it. We'll put that in the show notes, my friends. So if you are driving, do not take that down. We will put it in the notes and make it clickable, make it really easy for you to find Solomon. Solomon, thank you so much for being on the show. We are grateful for your talent and the empowerment you're giving to all of us today. Appreciate you, my friend.

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Solomon Thimothy (39:12.856)

Yes. Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

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Tom Finn
Podcaster & Co-Founder

Tom Finn (he/him) is an InsurTech strategist, host of the Talent Empowerment podcast, and co-founder and CEO of an inclusive people development platform.

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