BACKGROUND ON SEAN JIMENEZ AND SOULPEPPER
Hi, I am Sean Jimenez.
In my early 20s, I graduated with a degree in Commerce and Business Administration and decided to take a job at one of Canada’s top Martial Arts Schools, Champions Martial Arts Academy in North Vancouver. Having played soccer and being part of the track and field team at university, I was fairly athletic which made it an easy transition into martial arts.
I assumed the role of Program Director at Champions and was responsible for sales and customer relations.
I was naturally good at sales. My father was a travelling chemical salesman in the Caribbean in the 70s, and he taught me a thing or two about sales.
In my first year, I closed $2.3M in business at the academy by myself. That was a new record.
Being young, having early success and not feeling challenged, I was ready to try something new. Sensing this, the owner offered me something I could not refuse. The General Manager had just resigned, so he offered me the position with a brand new 5 series BMW as a signing bonus.
At 23, that offer looked pretty good, so I accepted.
I immediately started to put my business degree to work implementing systems, checklists, and procedures.
Over time, I noticed that walk-in traffic and leads started slowing down (this is what the previous General Manager had been doing). As this was a small business, there was no real training for me on how to do this which resulted in leads and sales slowing down.
I remember my mentor (the owner and headmaster) telling me in his Persian accent, “You need to do marketing!”
So I opened my textbooks on marketing and did what I learned in college, I built a marketing plan.
I drew up a SWOT analysis and started to do target market research, just like my textbooks said….
My marketing plan was starting to look good. I could taste the new sales coming in. It was going to be GREAT!!!!
Once my plan was done I implemented it, and…………
Turns out, a SWOT analysis doesn’t do a damn thing for generating leads for a local business…
I remember feeling so frustrated and confused about what to do.
I felt like giving up….
Then one of my good friends Fabio Leopoldo (a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion) invited me to go to this seminar in LA. I was super skeptical about it, but it was in LA, so I thought at least it would be hot down there.
The seminar was at the Hyatt at LAX hosted by a guy named Lloyd Irvin. He was teaching a blueprint marketing system, where he was layering different online marketing strategies together to form funnels and help martial artists grow multi-million dollar schools.
He talked about things like SEO, blogs, news sites, lead capture, email autoresponders and pay-per-click marketing.
I took frantic notes and literally didn’t sleep for two days full of excitement.
I came back home and implemented that same marketing funnel strategy I learned at the seminar at my school.
I purchased multiple domains about kickboxing, karate, self-defence, and martial arts and started writing content and building links. I optimized all of my websites and bought online ads. I made sure to capture all of those leads and then send them automated email follow-ups.
And……………….. IT WORKED!
We ended up being #1 on Google for all our key terms and the phone started to ring again.
The school grew by 100 new families in one year from these strategies alone.
Because of this, my mentor, who also owned a software company helping other school owners manage their business, asked me to help him and his customers with marketing.
I ended up travelling all across the USA teaching marketing strategies to martial arts school owners.
Many of them were professional UFC fighters.
I can vividly remember taking the Acela Express train from Philadelphia to Boston to teach Kenny Florian marketing. Then hopping back on the train to New York to teach UFC Champion, Matt Serra, the same.
It was a lot of fun and an awesome experience.
After 10 years in martial arts, I was ready to try something new. I wanted to apply what I learned in my martial arts school for other business owners.
I decided to start my own marketing agency, Soulpepper.
One of my first clients was a personal injury lawyer named Harp Nirwan. He was young and hungry like me and said “Sean I trust you, just do what you think works best”.
I threw everything I learned at creating Harp’s funnels, and within 60 days we were literally lining up new clients into his firm. The campaign worked so well, he had to hire other lawyers just to handle the influx of business.
Fast forward to today, and now I help thousands of lawyers and attorneys across North America grow their businesses through funnels. I was so successful at this, my bootstrapped startup competed against venture-backed marketing companies and we earned the 5th fastest growing young company award for marketers in the nation award in 2017.