Welcome to our founder series. Twice a month we will interview the founders of businesses, NFPs and charities who impress us, and we know will impress you too.
This week we chat with Sabri Suby, founder and Head of Growth at King Kong.
‘Sell like Crazy’
Sabri Suby, the founder of Australia’s fastest growing digital marketing agency, knows about selling. In fact, he is the author of international bestseller Sell Like Crazy.
We ask Sabri about his success and advice for businesses that want to grow – fast.
This post continues our series where we ask business leaders for their insights and lessons learned on their success journey.
Sabri Suby is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Australia’s fastest growing digital marketing agency, King Kong. Having originally founded King Kong in 2014 from his bedroom, Sabri has bootstrapped the company since day one and in under five years has successfully built a team of 61 specialists now achieving $20million+ in total revenue (year to date). As a pioneer in the digital marketing arena, his business has impacted 250,000 businesses in 42 different countries, and has generated in excess of $1.33 billion in sales for him and his clients.
Do you think anyone can be an entrepreneur?
Not everybody is cut out to start their own business. Many people, especially in the last few years, are under the false impression that starting their own business is the only way to succeed. But that’s not the case. Some people don’t like stress and uncertainty and so should stay where they are comfortable. If you are a key player in somebody else’s company and you are being rewarded for the value you add to it, what’s wrong with that?Switch to Block Editor
The truth is, starting a business is not about buying yourself a job, it’s about becoming your own boss. That’s what separates the talented professionals from the entrepreneurs and there is nothing wrong with being either.
Why did you start King Kong?
I had already started a couple of businesses but I recognised the need for a digital marketing agency that was doing things differently. I knew the industry was full of cowboys that only report the metrics that make them look good to their clients. They were not talking about if there was an increase in revenue and, in some cases vanity metrics were being used to cover sub-par work. I wanted to focus on real results – whether or not the campaigns are actually bringing our clients leads. This has allowed us to stand out and attract our growing client-base in a very fragmented market and our success has proved that real Return On Investment (ROI) is what businesses want.
What has been the key to your success?
Many people have heard about the 80/20 Rule, commonly called the Pareto principle. An economist Pareto found a disproportionate relationship between cause and effect. The 80/20 Rule demonstrates you can and should disregard 80% of your business activities. They should either be delegated or outsourced so you can focus on the top 20% that produce revenue. But most people never truly apply this principle to their business let alone other areas of their life.
I’ve found his 80/20 rule to hold true over almost all areas of business, including…
- popularity of services
- sources of incoming leads
- customer service problems
- reasons clients engage your services
- activities in your business that produce revenue!
Once you’ve done this in your business, you need to take it one step further and truly become a high-performance business owner. You should apply the 80/20 Rule to the 80/20 Rule itself. That is to say, 80% of the 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the 20% of your revenue-producing activities.
This is the 4% rule – 4% of your activities create 64% of the revenue in your business. When I looked at my usual daily activities, 96% of them would not generate revenue in the business – they are the small, nit-picky things constantly screaming for attention but that are tasks that do not produce revenues. So, I prioritise and delegate to my capable team, so my work is as efficient, and revenue generating, as possible.
By applying the 4% rule to the way I work, I have honed my productivity and have been able to focus on the tasks that matter, the ones that truly translate to the growth of my business – and then I achieve my goals.
Is it hard to delegate?
Delegating is not always easy but that’s why ensuring you have the right team is so important. Letting go and hiring a world-class management team to manage the day-to-day has been key to King Kong’s sustainable growth.
I quickly came to the realisation that I can’t do this alone and need to invest in building my team and infrastructure. Our mission to become the biggest and the best digital marketing agency in Australia would otherwise be just a pipedream.
How do you attract new customers?
I implement the same strategy that we use for our clients. Typically only 3% of the market are actively buying and all your competition are targeting them. By targeting the 97% of the market that are not yet active buyers you will be building a pipeline of future customers. Businesses need to understand their ideal client – beyond the usual demographics such as age, location, income, and gender.
Our proven method is to use eBooks, videos, training webinars, advice on our social media channels, and free reports to package up a valuable piece of content and then provide it to potential customers to educate them. By giving them value well in advance before ever trying to move on to the sales conversation you are building relationship and trust.
What would your advice be around hiring new staff?
Consider the culture over the qualifications. Look beyond the CV and get to know the candidate. What can they bring to the company? Will they fit in and add to the team? We’re in a service-based business, so our product is the people that we have inside the company building. A bad hire can damage the work culture and your business so it’s important to take the time to get it right. Qualifications and experience are great, but if they are not the right fit, it won’t work.
What do you think of failure?
Everyone will fail at some point, but failure is good if you handle it right. Learn from it and use it to motivate you to do better.
What has PR meant to your business?
PR has been an important part of our growth. It has enabled me to have a voice in the media and increase the awareness of King Kong and what we do. Like our in-house strategies, PR has created opportunities for me to give people free advice on different aspects of business and digital marketing, so they feel they know myself and the agency better. I have also been able to talk about strategies for specific industries within the relevant trade media outlets, which has generated leads.
Note: you can see how Pure Public Relations does King Kong’s PR here
What is a key piece of advice you would give to a small business owner looking to grow?
If you want to see more success than your competitors, then your focus needs to move from doing the everyday work, to producing revenue for your business and steering the ship. Often business owners need to realise that the money in business isn’t in your services, it’s in the selling of your services.
No matter what industry you’re in, once you’ve got a few team members and you’re looking to scale your business, you’re no longer a lawyer, builder, baker, or business consultant. You’re a marketer.
The fate of your business lies in not just in having the best services in your field, but in your ability to market your services. While this might be difficult for you to accept, it’s true.
I’m not saying you don’t want to be delivering the best service in your industry, I’m saying the money is not in that – because if you can’t effectively communicate that to your market, it doesn’t matter.
Thank you Sabri for sharing your business advice.
You can connect with Sabri Suby:
YouTube King Kong