From Freelancing On Upwork To Constructing A $90K/12 months Electronic mail Advertising and marketing

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Howdy! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

Hey, we’re the Sean’s – Sean Gee and Sean Barnett. We began Electrical Sauce, which is a data-driven, retention-focused, e mail advertising and marketing company. Properly, micro-agency because it’s simply the 2 of us. However we like to think about ourselves because the sauce that companies want to reinforce their income and construct loyal clients. Who doesn’t love some sauce on their meals? We’re the digital sauce.

We’re at the moment making $12,500 a month and can quickly be at $17,500 in income as a micro-agency.


What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the thought?

It’s been a wild experience. We had heard about one another for a number of years via a mutual buddy, however certainly one of us labored offshore more often than not, and the opposite lived in a distinct metropolis so we hadn’t ever met. As soon as SeanB moved again to Houston we lastly acquired to satisfy one another and began speaking about beginning a social media advertising and marketing company and taking programs on that.

We might meet up and share what we’d realized and make plans, however that didn’t ever flesh out right into a full enterprise. I feel this was partly as a result of we had been nonetheless working our full-time jobs throughout that point.

SeanG was working offshore on a tugboat transporting various kinds of oil. “My schedule was 30 day on the boat and 30 days off the boat. Generally I’d keep on the boat even longer. The longest time I stayed was 3 months. Whereas I used to be on I’d work a 12 hour shift, however since I solely wanted 7-8 hours of sleep. I’d get up early to review HTML, CSS, and Javascript. My authentic plan earlier than the company thought was to land a front-end internet developer job at a shopify-specific company. However what this allowed me to do was see the chance within the ecommerce house. Now that I had a very good understanding of selling and a good understanding of the Shopify ecosystem I began to consider what was wanted within the ecom house for advertising and marketing.”

SeanB had been working in gross sales roles throughout varied industries. I had at all times been concerned about Actual Property as an funding automobile. In 2020, I made a decision to maneuver into Industrial Actual Property as a method, I naively thought, to be round different investor mindsets.

As everyone knows, all the pieces shortly got here to a halt in 2020 and I turned to unemployment as many did to remain afloat. I used the time to construct abilities in value-investing, inventory market buying and selling, and front-end growth together with SeanG. The turning level for us was deciding that we each actually needed to have the ability to work remotely and begin having the ability to have extra management over our time and schedules, which I feel lots of people can relate to.

That call was a catalyst for us. We noticed that coding was a rising trade that wasn’t slowing down anytime quickly, and that corporations had been hiring distant employees for a lot of these roles. This led to a sequence of pivots that acquired us to the place we at the moment are.

We acquired collectively in March of 2020 and really began out as Shopify builders. COVID actually created a rise in eCommerce growth, so we had been decided to satisfy these wants and construct on-line shops for companies.

However we shortly realized {that a} majority of those shoppers actually wanted one thing else – they requested e mail advertising and marketing methods that remodeled one-time purchasers into loyal, repetitive clients. Principally, constructing a money register for them (the shop) wasn’t as highly effective as creating robust money circulate (constant purchases).

SeanG: “I had been finding out advertising and marketing for near 10 years by that point and had some hands-on expertise via beginning varied manufacturers, like t-shirt manufacturers. I’ve a ardour for manufacturers and studying via taking programs.”

SeanB: “My background got here from working in startups and seeing the internal workings of how small enterprise concepts can flip into massive operations with the proper product/market match and a fantastic crew to construct it. I used to detest the thought of Gross sales, however was launched to it via a then mentor of mine, and I’d say that studying that skillset and studying books is what acquired me the place I’m as we speak.”

We knew we had been heading in the right direction once we began seeing thought leaders within the e mail advertising and marketing trade saying issues that we had been doing. I’d additionally say that when these thought leaders would say one thing like “you’ll be able to scale to 10k/month with 1 focus and 1 outreach” we listened and that’s how we acquired to the place we’re as we speak.

Take us via the method of designing your companies.

We began different businesses and seeing what they had been charging and what companies they had been offering. Then, we took a have a look at what we may supply and priced our companies the place we thought we may present worth and nonetheless make sufficient to pay our overhead and ourselves. Though the primary few months we had been solely capable of pay our overhead and residing off our particular person financial savings.

You’ll be able to actually turn out to be proficient at something and supply that worth into {the marketplace} for those who dedicate your self to the method and finding out the trade and abilities it is advisable to turn out to be priceless in that house. It’s all about selecting and placing within the work.

We scaled up our outreach program to start speaking to extra enterprise homeowners to see if our product and pricing would work. Our first consumer got here to us via a bigger paid social company that responded to our outreach and contracted us to come back onboard as their white-label “e mail gurus”.

This was HUGE for us as a result of it each solidified our perception that our pricing was in-line with the worth we had been offering in addition to gave us the chance to see how an 8-figure model operates and what their expectations had been.

With our pricing and actually with all the pieces we do, we attempt to hold issues very simple. All of our methods and processes are quite simple. Simplicity is certainly one of our core values. So for pricing it will depend on the model but when they’re making at the least $25,000 a month we cost from $3,500 – $5,000 a month.

We even have a one-off service mannequin for extra startup targeted manufacturers which vary from $1,500 – $2,500 one time cost


Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

We began our outreach in March 2020 on Upwork and shaped our LLC in April 2020. To start with we had been targeted on Shopify retailer growth, however as soon as we noticed the writing on the wall, that almost all of those shops want advertising and marketing, and that the recurring income was there we shortly pivoted and started studying all the pieces we may about e mail advertising and marketing.

Beginning with the free programs Klaviyo has a lot info. It is free so begin there. Subsequent could be Chase Dimond’s course. I feel it is like $800. This course actually helped instill the boldness to get on Upwork and look for easy initiatives. I feel after taking a couple of initiatives I began making use of for an increasing number of troublesome initiatives. After which finally landed the primary consumer that we nonetheless have as we speak.

We additionally seemed on the thought leaders in that house and what they had been saying and doing. The web is such a fantastic free useful resource today and so many individuals are keen to supply and share info.

One of many nice elements about beginning this enterprise is the overhead prices are comparatively low and we may survive the primary few months by residing off our financial savings.We began with simply the fundamentals we would have liked, and really you don’t even want these:

  • An LLC – $500 via Zenbusiness.
  • Enterprise emails via Google Suite – $12 per particular person per 12 months.
  • A web site: We use a platform known as Carrd. It is actually meant for one-page web sites, however we prefer it as a result of it’s easy and it is $19 A YEAR.
  • LOTS of outreach on UpWork – (Professional Tip: report a video of your self so as to add private contact)
  • Taking programs and studying as a lot as you’ll be able to. Most platforms (Klaviyo) have TONS of free sources and even programs on their very own product!
  • A co-working house – $200/month per particular person. We noticed worth in having the ability to work side-by-side with one another for the primary few months. It was such a fantastic expertise!

We developed a web site immediately however that didn’t matter, and nonetheless is just considerably useful. The robust outreach, I consider, is what mattered probably the most and simply being trustworthy with who we had been and being extremely accountable. We haven’t taken any outdoors funding and fortunately haven’t wanted any.

The most important lesson we’ve realized is you can actually turn out to be proficient at something and supply that worth into {the marketplace} for those who dedicate your self to the method and finding out the trade and abilities it is advisable to turn out to be priceless in that house. It’s all about selecting and placing within the work.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain clients?

Man, Upwork was our greatest buddy within the early days and nonetheless is. It is how we discovered our essential consumer who we’ve now been working with for half a 12 months – so the platform set us up for achievement by constructing our clientele basis. And we hit the bottom working. As quickly as we had our consumer, we bought an LLC and had been working across the clock.

We’re lucky to have discovered one another as a result of we’re each extraordinarily diligent and devoted to Electrical Sauce and reliable companions might be arduous to search out. I like to think about our partnership as me (Sean Gee) being the visionary/thinker and Sean Barnett being the implementer/doer. We have now the very best mixture of strengths vs weaknesses.

There are 2 finest occasions to plant a tree, The primary one was 20 years in the past, the second is correct now!

However we needed extra. We didn’t simply need to have a few shoppers on our palms. We missed that connection and relationship-building facet of an in-person workplace, so we bought a co-working house and it was in all probability the very best choice we’ve made thus far.

If Upwork set our clientele basis and expertise, the co-working house helped us take in the entrepreneurial vibe and construct actual relationships.

How are you doing as we speak and what does the long run appear to be?

Thus far as we speak we’re doing nice! As I stated earlier than we’re a “micro-agency.” So we now have 2 excessive ticket shoppers. We’re in communication with an account supervisor to assist steadiness among the workloads. So we will deal with bringing a couple of extra shoppers whereas the AM handles the operational aspect of the corporate. We need to get to a degree the place we will begin a holding firm and purchase a couple of e-commerce manufacturers.

By beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something notably useful or advantageous?

Sure completely! It was extraordinarily useful for us to be frugal in our way of life. We had been each residing off our personal private financial savings in the interim.

As soon as we landed our first massive consumer we paid ourselves very minimally to outlive. The remaining stayed within the enterprise. In the event you can afford it I feel working in a co-working house could be very highly effective and will land you some actually good alternatives and even higher relationships. We work on the WoCo House in Houston,Tx. Matt is the very best “landlord”.

Rent quick however fireplace quicker. It’s generally arduous to see folks’s work ethics to start with so that you want to have the ability to let folks go when issues don’t work out.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for your small business?

We love ClickUp as a mission administration device, however there’s a little little bit of a studying curve with such a strong device. It’s price it although.

Most of our outreach has been on Upwork and I’d encourage folks to begin there to search out clients and shoppers. You’d be stunned on the dimension of the shoppers yow will discover there.

Most of our communication is completed via Gmail and a few on Slack, though you don’t want Slack or ClickUp beginning out. You’ll be able to simply bootstrap like we did and begin with the free sources obtainable to you.

What have been probably the most influential books, podcasts, or different sources?

We love this query as a result of it’s so sensible. This listing is unending haha. The primary takeaway right here is NEVER STOP LEARNING!

Simply study and take in all the data. Learn, learn, and browse I cannot stress this sufficient. Just a few books that come to thoughts



Programs- in case you have the price range don’t maintain again right here. It will pace you up tremendously!

The entire free sources from thought leaders in your house which can be on YouTube

For us, Klaviyo places out a ton of nice sources and any platform you utilize might be doing the identical factor so ensure you dig into these as effectively.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who need to get began or are simply beginning out?

  • It’s important to be relentless
  • It needs to be one thing you take pleasure in or you’ll not keep it up.
  • Have the proper co-founder that’s good at what you’re not.
  • All the time be studying and don’t be afraid to pivot. ( Shopify builders to e mail entrepreneurs)
  • Time administration
  • Get on a contract platform now and construct up your abilities and profile. One among my favourite quotes “There are 2 finest occasions to plant a tree, The primary one was 20 years in the past, the second is correct now!”
  • Keep targeted on one factor at a time.

The place can we go to study extra?

When you have any questions or feedback, drop a remark beneath!


Sean Gee and Sean Barnett
Founding father of Electrical Sauce

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