What is a protocol?
A protocol is a step-by-step process you follow in order to put specific inputs and get specific outputs.
When you’re working on a service-based business you need to have a clear path to deliver results for your clients.
It’s impossible to deliver good results if you’re freestyling. And even if you get results by luck don’t fucking freestyle because you’ll look like an amateur and your clients will doubt about everything you do.
If you run into issues you won’t know what to do or what route to take you’ll end in this loop where you fail again and again until your client fires you and curses on you.
And if you start doing well, you would want to hire a VA or an employee, and they’ll need to understand what’s the company process.
What would you say if you don’t have a protocol? “Oh, we just send emails and book calls”?
You’re not a freelancer anymore. You need to build a real company if you want to make 10k/mo+ profit.
It won’t be possible to manage 3 or 4 clients at the same time if you don’t have a step-by-step guide.
Also, you’ll change ways of implementing your services every time your client wants something different.
All of this adds complexity to your service and to your “business” and when you realize you’re going bald of stress just with a couple of clients.
So how will you attract 10-15 clients if you cannot deal with 4 of them?
Yeah you always have the option of hiring VAs or employees but being honest, nobody wants to run a 15k/mo agency with 50% profit margins.
Why do I need a protocol?
You need a protocol because you need clarity.
You don’t only need a clear path to deliver results for your clients. You also need to know where to go once you achieve success.
Let’s say you start delivering great results and booking calls for your clients. That’s cool, but what’s next?
Will you just keep sending emails?
You’ll get to a point where your client will say: “Why I’m still paying this little shit to book meetings for me if he has been doing the same thing for 6 months? I just copy what he has done and I do it myself”.
And you might say “yeah that won’t happen because they know they won’t get the same results” and you’re right.
But people are stupid, never forget that.
Companies fire the agency that made them millionaires just to hire a couple of SDRs that don’t even know what a subject line is.
So you need to keep your clients in the loop. You need to bring something new to the table to help them keep scaling. You need to take advantage of other channels, strategies, etc.
And if you add more steps to the process, there are more variables, if they are more variables, there are more possible results, and if you don’t have that clear you’ll get so confused about what to do next.
Another benefit of building a protocol is managing your client’s expectations.
With just recording a loom going over your protocol you can show them step by step what they can expect from the process.
This way, every time they doubt, or every time they don’t understand something they can always go back to your protocol chart or video explanation.
How to build a protocol?
After you’ve read this section go through this video:
You can start simple and small, and keep adding steps over time when your agency grows.
In my case, my agency evolved from running only cold email to booking calls on LinkedIn, to running lead-generation ads for our clients (this is actually in the making).
Why did we keep adding steps or channels? Wrong question.
The right question would be: Why not?.
Once you dominate a channel, if you’re not exploding others you’re just leaving a shit ton of money on the table.
Maybe you’re good at building sales teams, maybe you’re good at organic content creation or Youtube ads.
If you’re in the e-commerce space you can start with email marketing but then help with other things like CRO, etc.
Building a protocol allows you to add all the skills you stacked to your service without going crazy or missing important parts of the process.
And as I mentioned before, all of this goes into your protocol. So what does a protocol look like?
I’ll show you a simple draft, and then I’ll show you my agency protocol (which has more variables).
*I meant 0.5 booking rate but I’m not doing this chart again lol. As you can see, all our channels are mentioned at some step in the protocol. We have email, LinkedIn, and ads. Maybe at some point, we’ll add organic content, who knows?
But hey, this is my way of managing my company, because I’m scaling vertically, not horizontally (meaning with fewer clients, not more).
If you’re just relying on only one service and one angle only then your client’s protocol will be completely different.
Sample 2 (my agency front end protocol example) :
Nothing crazy, uh?
But it’s extremely important. As you can see, in my protocol I have a part of the process that is repeated every three months due to the market sophistication and fast evolution.
Now, if you hadn’t a protocol you wouldn’t know what to change and what not.
You’ll be like “should I change my messaging?”, “Should I change my LinkedIn profile?”, “Should I change my lead list?”.
Now, keep in mind this is made just in the front-end marketing spectrum. There are protocols for internal team tasks, etc.
You need to get in the habit of building these all the time.
They’re your agency’s engine.
Now if you need some help with getting your agency off the ground my dms are open.
If you’re getting started your first protocol might be.
Buy domains -> warm accounts -> Launch campaigns -> Book calls -> Get paid.
But as you evolve you migh add steps like:
Buy domains -> warm accounts -> Launch campaigns -> Book calls? -> Replicate angles and launch linkedin campaigns -> Does it work? -> Create LinkedIn content and generate inbound leads -> Build pre-qualification process -> get paid.
This is how you go from making $2.000 a month per client to making $4.000, $5.000 even $6.000 per client a month.
Now, once you’ve built a protocol you need to make sure every client you choose to work with is open to new ideas and strategies.
The last thing you want is to work with a client you can’t scale (unless you want to work with 25 clients to make 40k/mo).
Trust me you need to build one.
But how do you build it?
Take 3 or 4 main processes. For example “Email campaigns”, “LinkedIn campaigns”, and “ads”.
In between, we will add conditionals and variables. So if we get the expected results we can continue with the protocol, if not, we go back to our previous step and repeat the process until we get the result needed to keep progressing.
Why do we need to keep this loop? If we don’t get results with emails, why would we jump into LinkedIn or ads?
We first use a channel to validate the offer, if feedback is positive, we continue, if not, we go back.
If we don’t follow this frame, nothing we test will work.
Once we have our main processes or “steps” and the conditionals we can connect all the dots and that’s it. We have our protocol.
Keep in mind these are simple protocols because they are a simple example of how a “protocol” should look like.
But if you don’t want to leave anything to luck, you should be as detailed as possible.
I hope this was valuable and gave you a few ideas. If you need extra help with building processes for your agency send me a dm.
Always open to helping other people,
Do you want to learn how to become a MASTER of lead generation?
I just opened my FREE lead generation telegram.
I post daily lead gen secrets, lessons and more.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW 👇
Camilo Lead Gen📤
FREE lead gen sauce every single day 📧 DM for 1 - 1 lead gen coaching 👨🏫 Twitter - https://twitter.com/leadgencamilo