Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at AccountsBalance.
My name is Connor Gillivan. I’m the CMO and an Owner of AccountsBalance.
We’re on a mission to help 1,000+ businesses better understand their numbers, and industry partnerships is a big way that we’re able to make it happen.
We’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the agency, SAAS, and online space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Michael Borgelt from 51Blocks.
Michael started his career as a computer programmer, moved into database administration, and found a perfect match for his technical skills with internet marketing. Michael has been doing search engine optimization since… well… before it was search engine optimization. Michael was a key player in the marketing strategies behind Mortgage101.com which surged to the #1 position for the keyword “mortgage.” Here are some additional highlights!
- Computer Science background
- Coaches agency owners on growing to 7 figures
- Passionate about site speed
- Author of 4 digital marketing books
- Hosts The Digital Marketers’ Playground
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an agency business owner.
Connor: Hey Michael, thanks for taking the time to chat with us here. We love getting to know our partners better so that our community can benefit from what our partners are offering and doing in the industry. To get started, can you give us a high level overview of 51Blocks and how it got started?
Michael: 51Blocks.com is a white label digital marketing agency based in Denver, Colorado. The company was founded in 2009 by Michael Borgelt who recognized a need in the market for effective digital marketing services for agency owners who only wanted to focus on selling and not all the headaches of fulfillment or client management.
Fast forward to 2023, and 51Blocks is now the only premium white label solution that offers The Just Sell Method™, which not only includes the traditional fulfillment model, but an all encompassing client facing service under your brand name that takes care of everything from onboarding to daily communication. It also helps partners keep customers by giving them marketing tools like case studies, sales support, sales coaching, and a whole management team.
Connor: That’s awesome! Can you dive a bit more into The Just Sell Method for agencies that you offer? I’m sure our audience would love to know exactly what problems you could solve for them.
Michael: The Just Sell Method™ is a sales and marketing strategy developed by 51Blocks to help agencies focus on sales and worry less about operations and fulfillment.
The Just Sell Method™ consists of several key elements, including:
- Onboarding – We onboard your client for you under your brand. No longer do you need to chase login information, with our virtual video onboarding and follow up team in place, this process is streamlined.
- Operations – We take the people management out of your hands and focus on scalable SOPs to ensure your agency gets a reputation for dialed in processes and excellent customer service.
- Fulfillment – Our team of experts executes our tested strategies for your clients all under your brand.
- Marketing – We provide you case studies, lead magnets, and scope breakdowns to help land clients with clear expectations. Everything is built for you in Canva so it’s simple to rebrand and take as your own.
- Sales – We provide a CRM to track your leads and also provide free sales training monthly for digital marketers who are running into issues getting past the gatekeepers or closing deals. If you need any help closing, our team of experts can also assist on a closing call for bigger deals.
Connor: Jumping off of that…if there was one problem you’d say that 51Blocks solves best for your clients, what would it be? Why?
Michael: We take all the stress of managing clients and an agency off their plates so they can focus on sales. We have partners who have scaled to 7 figures using our model and remain a “one man show”, which becomes a profitable way to grow a digital marketing agency without any of the stress of client & people (internal team) management.
Connor: As the company continues to grow over the next year, what are your plans for expansion? Any new products or offerings or enhancements to your current products?
Michael: We are in the process of launching our new sales coaching program. We are super excited about this as we believe this will just be another resource that our partners can use and best of all, it’s FREE!
Connor: And how specifically would you say that 51Blocks and your team is different from other similar businesses in the industry?
Michael: We are client facing, no other white label does client facing white label management like we do. We will get on the phone with your clients and respond to their questions via email all under our partners brand. This has been game changing for a lot of agency owners.
Connor: What made you decide to get involved in the agency sales space? What’s your starting online business story? From what we’ve found, a lot of business owners in the agency sales have fun stories of how they first started…
Michael: We first started out as a direct to business SEO company, but because we are not really salespeople and much better at fulfillment, we decided to focus on our strengths.
Connor: Love it! Talking more about the online business industry, where do you see it going in the next 1-2 years? Any unique predictions that you could share?
Michael: Wow! A big question here. In the last 3-4 months, there has been a ton of change in our industry. It has been crazy to see ChatGPT come along and disrupt a lot of things. Also, AI in general has really taken off.
I think as digital marketers, our focus will shift to how we can leverage AI as a resource for easier research and local information. Areas like content generation will get easier as well (lucky for me!).
Connor: Giving you an open mic for a minute, what is something you’d want the AccountsBalance audience to hear?
Michael: We love talking to agency owners, and if anyone has questions about running an agency, let us know. We have a ton of free resources in our partner center. There are 12 hours of videos of Brittany and I discussing how to run an agency and how we feel is the best way to sell.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Michael: To be honest, I was recently going through my books for the last 13 years, and the number of different bookkeepers I have had is astonishing. I would say this is one area of your business you want to keep consistent, so once you find a great bookkeeping service, stick with it! It’s also not worth going after the cheapest option in this space.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Michael: We have a Facebook group where we like to share what’s going on in our business as well as support other agency owners in their journey. You can join it here!
You can also keep up with us for all our latest service offerings!