Booking for session, touring, and event musicians.
There were two things that fueled Ben Marshall as he started his Nottingham-based company, Artist Management Services. He had a long-term love of music and a growing appreciation of marketing. But after three years in business, it was clear they were having issues with generating leads and handling day-to-day administrative tasks.
“Keap, for us, provided a solution to a need at a crucial time. We were looking to scale, and we needed sales and marketing software to do that.”
Ben’s business books musicians for a variety of reasons, from recording sessions to events to touring. But the majority of the business they do is live music at weddings and special events all over the United Kingdom. More than 200,000 weddings are held in the U.K. every year, making it an industry that rewards those with visibility and quality customer service.
“The growth curve we’ve seen, the trajectory, it’s just incredible. Before we knew it, we were generating well over 3 million pounds a year.”
Sure enough, Ben discovered how Keap’s Sales & Marketing Automation allowed him to scale the business in the way he had always dreamed. Within weeks, they were seeing results.
“If you had asked me: Is it possible to generate 3.5 million in revenue in independent music on a 25-hour week—before I understood the concept of automation and what Keap can do—I’d have laughed. I would have thought you were crazy.”
It was clear to Ben and his team that they needed an all-in-one platform that included sales and marketing automation. However, their expectation of how it would shape their customer journey was a revelation.
“The model we had, the customer journey we had—we thought we could just, sort of, translate that into software. And, actually, Keap changed the whole journey. It gave us new horizons.”
Artist Management Services needed an operational makeover. Ben knew it, his staff of 2 knew it, and it was clear that some of their existing customers knew it as well.
“We literally started out with just the Microsoft Office suite—we had Excel, we had Word, we had an Outlook email account. Looking back now, it’s crazy to think we survived three years.”
To this point, Artist Management Services was following up with leads manually, leaving some significant holes in its sales funnel. Follow-up always seemed to lag or fail to address the information a lead was seeking.
They needed to improve the customer experience around booking and put some power behind their lead generation as well. Enter Keap and its game-changing automations.
Using Keap as his new full-time salesperson, Ben was able to nurture, segment, and follow up with leads over a 12- to 18-month period. His automations triggered follow-up sales calls, sent personalized email content, offered upsells, and so much more.
“Without Keap, it simply wouldn't have been possible to generate the amount of email content that we do, and we're talking thousands of emails a day. It removes all the manual elements of our sales process so effectively and so efficiently.”
The company’s whole experience around booking dramatically improved as well, even mastering the post-service customer engagement and referral requests. They were finally getting the customer information they always needed–and acting on it.
“What we're able to do is to automate the whole process of finding out what sort of music they like, what time they would like the band there, all the nuances and the specific details that come with each event.”
With so many new leads coming in, Ben was able to add 5 times the staff, increase his lead list by over 1,000%, lift his conversion rate, and nearly double his customer lifetime value.
Sure, Keap had a huge impact on Ben’s booking numbers and the company’s sales and marketing pipeline. But one of the biggest impacts was the effect it had on the work-life balance of everyone at Artist Management Services.
As a husband and father to two young children, Ben was concerned that his 60-hour work weeks would eliminate a lot of crucial family time. Today, he spends more like 25-30 hours a week on the business, leaving him more time with family than he ever imagined.
“The biggest benefit to me is being able to spend time with them. You ask any entrepreneur what they're short of, and it's rarely cash, it's rarely resources. It's normally time, and that is the most precious thing of all. Having Keap at the heart of our business has given me, as the founder, time back that I never thought I'd get as a business owner.”
Not only is Ben able to be more present for day-to-day activities—he’s able to help with daily drop-offs and picks-ups at school. The family also has the time (and resources) to take extended holidays, like the 6-week trip they recently took to Italy.
“Keap’s given me a lifestyle that, as an entrepreneur 6 years ago, I literally dreamt of.”