While SearchMarketMe is not your traditional franchise, I couldn’t resist talking about this unique business opportunity. Because of this blog, Internet marketing is a topic I’ve become obsessed with, so this story got me really excited. SearchMarketMe will appeal to those of you looking at Internet marketing franchises like WSI (“We Simplify the Internet”), but the main difference is that under this business model, you’ll operate your Internet marketing agency under your own business name and you’re free to run your business as you wish. The similarity lies in the amount of training and support you receive, as well as the payment of royalty fees based on revenues.
SearchMarketMe Business Opportunity Overview
SearchMarketMe is a Seattle, Washington-based training and support organization that assists entrepreneurs in opening and operating independently-owned and independently-branded Internet marketing agencies around the world. SearchMarketMe’s 104 Agency Owners are located in North America, the Middle East and Africa.
As an Agency Owner, you’ll receive complete training, cutting-edge software and lifetime support in their Online Marketing 2.0 System. You’ll be able to provide the following high-demand services and products:
- Marketing-Friendly Websites
- Permission Marketing (Mobile/SMS/Text & Corporate Email Marketing)
- Paid Search (Pay-per-Click)
- Free/Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization)
- Content Creation & Revision
- Social Media Marketing & Linking Strategies
These services are not offered independently, but rather as integrated “Marketing Packages” customized for each client. Besides teaching you the technical side of online marketing, SearchMarketMe can teach you how to operate a successful online marketing business, including how to transcend hourly rates and attract larger opportunities via pay-for-performance arrangements. This can put you in the position of being able to choose which clients to work with and build residual revenue streams.
SearchMarketMe is led by President & CEO S. Boyd Karren, an entrepreneur himself who has previously owned three businesses, two of them advertising agencies. His passion for entreprenuership drives his vision to make agency ownership opportunities available to aspiring individuals. Boyd holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana University, and a Master’s degree in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
SearchMarketMe’s Evaluation Board
As part of its unique investigation process, SearchMarketMe requires serious candidates to speak with — and be approved by — at least three existing Agency Owners from its network of 100+ Agency Owners worldwide. These interviews allow prospective Agency Owners to gain an insider’s perspective of the training and support provided by SearchMarketMe, and to discuss with actual Agency Owners the day-to-day experiences of running their own Internet marketing agencies.
Agency Owners serving on the Evaluation Board are paid a flat fee for their written evaluations on prospective candidates, whether they recommend that the candidate be welcomed into the program, or not. There is no financial incentive for the existing Agency Owners to persuade or dissuade a candidate to join.
To speak with members of the Agency Owner Evaluation Board, candidates must have 1) reviewed the new Opportunity Overview and 2) have participated in a Personal Walk-through / Technology Demonstration Webinar with Karren, or with SearchMarketMe’s Director of Education, Will Rak.
Improvements to SearchMarketMe’s Internet Marketing Agency Owner Program in 2011
1. A new two-stage business model that allows “solopreneurs” to enjoy complementary collaboration within the existing network of 100+ Agency Owners as they establish their businesses, and then activate a built-in growth option that provides easy scalability when they are ready to expand.
2. Enhanced interaction between self-identified “Finders” and “Doers” within the Network that can increase production capacity and revenues without increasing overhead.
3. The identification and description of the key characteristics and practices of the network’s most successful Agency Owners, which are shared during the “Accelerated Business Start-up Training Event,” a two-day event designed to get a new Internet marketing agency up and running faster and better than ever. This includes special training in the PREMIER selling system which is helping “non-salespeople” become effective salespeople.
4. New pricing and financing options that make it easier to open an Internet marketing agency, including the Rolling Start (in-house financing) and the industry’s first Pay-for-Performance option in which SearchMarketMe shares the risks with new Agency Owners and creates long-term relationships based on mutual financial success.
5. The elimination of large-group Webinars in favor of personalized, one-on-one “private tours” with the President or the Director of Education. These personal Webinars provide a better opportunity for a prospect to ask all his or her questions and come away with a full understanding of the power of the Internet Marketing Agency Owner program.
SearchMarketMe’s Financing Options and Royalty Payments
These new financing options are intended to help interested parties start their own agencies now (without the hassles and limits of commercial banks). SearchMarketMe will make financing available at reasonable rates and agreeable terms.
You can select from one of the following three options.
- Standard Package — $23,900 training fee (paid upfront) with a 3% royalty ongoing.
- Rolling Start — A minimum of 20% of the standard $23,900 training fee is paid upfront ($4,780) with SearchMarketMe financing up to 80% of the initial fee with monthly payments as low as $387.68 and a 5% royalty ongoing. This option is ideal for buyers who may want to ease into the business without the pressure that can follow a large cash outlay.
- Pay-for-Performance — SearchMarketMe will dramatically reduce the $23,900 initial fee to only $10,000 in exchange for a 10% royalty, ongoing. This makes the Agency Owner Program much easier to get into and is a clear expression of the company’s confidence in their ability to help Agency Owners become financially successful.