Sheena-Leigh Kennerley is a seasoned marketing strategist and business coach who has been a driving force in the digital transformation of businesses. She currently serves as co-founder of Atlas Online Solutions, a marketing and advertising company specializing in lead generation. Based in Saratoga Springs, NY, the company is run by her and her husband Zachary Kennerley, a seasoned marketer with over a decade of experience.
Founded in 2019, Atlas Online Solutions offers a range of digital marketing services, including web design, search engine optimization, Google My Business setup and optimization, and paid advertising.
Over the years, Sheena-Leigh has played a crucial role in providing tailored digital solutions for businesses while consistently achieving exceptional results. Under her leadership, her team ensures that clients receive excellent services that are within their clients’ budgets, combining excellence with affordability.
In addition to her role at Atlas Online Solutions, Sheena-Leigh is the visionary behind the Atlas Agency Launch Lab, an accelerator program for new and established agency owners looking to jumpstart the growth of their businesses. This unique program provides one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and guest speaker sessions, creating a supportive community for aspiring agency owners.
The Atlas Agency Launch Lab is led by Sheena-Leigh, Zachary, and their team of veteran agency owners, all of whom serve as mentors and coaches throughout the12-week program. By the time the program is completed, the students build strong foundations in their agencies, master sales techniques, and create sales funnels that generate more leads and close more customers.
In an industry saturated with false promises, Sheena-Leigh takes pride in knowing her program delivers on its mission. Unlike other programs, Sheena-Leigh and her team don’t offer outdated information or guidance by leaders who have never actually run an agency before. Instead, they provide up-to-date, practical insights based on real-world experience.
After struggling herself in other accelerator programs that didn’t deliver on their promise, and spending thousands of dollars in the process, Sheena-Leigh intentionally designed the Atlas program to be a transformative journey that ultimately led its students to unparalleled success.
Connect with Sheena-Leigh on LinkedIn.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- About Atlas Online Solutions and the services they provide
- How can businesses make money quickly
- Tips and tricks to making an online business (coaches, entrepreneurs, educators, agencies) thrive
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix.
Intro: [00:00:05] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:14] Lee Kantor here, another episode of High Velocity Radio and this is going to be a good one. Today on the show we have Sheena-Leigh Kennerly with Atlas Online Solutions. Welcome. Hi. Hey, I’m so excited to learn what you’re up to. Can you tell us a little bit about Atlas Online Solutions? How you serving folks?
Speaker3: [00:00:34] Um, so we’re a full service marketing agency, so we do a little bit more than what’s traditionally known for advertising and marketing. We do the regular lead generation and things like that. But we also do offer validation coaching, sales training. We help support sales team and upsells and things like that.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:52] So what’s your back story? How did you get involved in this line of work?
Speaker3: [00:00:56] Well, my backstory is actually a little bit different. My background is in disability services, and when I met my husband, he was he was working on Atlas Online Solutions a few hours every evening, and there was actually a few times where I told him it was a bit of a scam, but, um, marketing was not a viable business venture. And then when I was pregnant with our youngest daughter, it made more sense for me to step away from the 9 to 5 and work on the agency because it was growing quite, quite rapidly. And then I threw myself into it and realized it was kind of one of my strengths.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:34] So, yeah. So why why do you think you initially thought it was a scam? You were just skeptical of the power that marketing could, you know, persuade someone to take an action?
Speaker3: [00:01:45] No, I think it was more because when I was trying to understand it, I was looking at the courses and the training that he had done on it. And when I looked into the people that were offering the courses and the training, they weren’t authentic people. And that made me feel like they were selling a scam. Less about marketing being a scam and more about the business model being taught by these people.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:06] So just kind of the people that maybe are attracted and become these kind of gurus, they they might be selling more snake oil than actual solutions.
Speaker3: [00:02:16] Yes, yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:19] So, um, at some point, though, your husband was doing marketing for other people and they must have been getting results or they wouldn’t keep coming back.
Speaker3: [00:02:28] Yeah. No, they definitely, definitely were. Um, and. His experience is more the technical fulfillment and things like that. And he was actually doing really, really well. But it was not so much about the results it produces for a business. I think the results marketing produces for a business is phenomenal, and I wish that everybody was taught this in school, like how to be an entrepreneur, how to grow your business both online and in location and really, really expand that. It’s a skill that everybody needs and it’s definitely fantastic. But starting and running an agency, I found at the time I was quite skeptical about.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:08] Yeah, that part. A lot of people get bogged down and then they get overwhelmed and then they kind of quit, I think.
Speaker3: [00:03:15] Um, yeah, it’s definitely something that can lead to burnout if you’re not doing it properly.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:20] Now. Business. Who are your clients that when you sell the services to, are you selling it to kind of coaches, um, kind of people who are selling online or are you selling kind of to brick and mortar that, you know, the the bakery that’s trying to make more money in your, you know, downtown, like who is your ideal client?
Speaker3: [00:03:40] So we haven’t actually niched down, which is a little surprising. In this industry. We do work with brick and mortar and big firms and down the road mom and pop shops. But I think the majority of what I enjoy to do, and the majority of our business come from online entrepreneurs like coaches and educators.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:02] So let’s kind of help educate some folks and maybe give them some information that you’ve gleaned over the years. If you have an online business, say you’re a coach or maybe an online marketer, what are some of the actionable things you can do today that would positively impact your business?
Speaker3: [00:04:21] Well, one of the first things to do would be to create a database like you need to keep a track of every single person who’s ever been interested in your service, as well as every single client, um, and have that in a secure place. Because the size of your database directly affects the value of your business, whether or not you go to sell it or if you’re looking for a loan or things like that. So it’ll probably be one of the first things I ever did. And then the second thing would be to really dive deep into who your brand is. So, you know, what’s your personality, what’s your tonality, who are you in a brick and mortar situation that’s much simpler to find. I mean, you can walk into a cafe or a restaurant or something, and if you’re going to recommend it to somebody, you usually recommending it because of the ambiance and the service and things like that. If you’re online, it’s much harder to get that. Brand out there. So that would probably be. The second thing I would do is to truly understand what your brand is and then how to express that, because if you don’t have it in place, there’s no point in doing things like running ads and doing social media content and writing newsletters, because it’s not going to be anywhere near as effective. And you could just essentially be flushing money down the drain.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:39] So when you work with clients, are there some exercises you do or some questions you ask to help them kind of get a handle on what their brand is, what their positioning is, who the persona of that ideal client is.
Speaker3: [00:05:54] Oh, yeah. Yeah. So the first thing we would do would be to do an avatar or a buyer persona questionnaire. And we’re going to talk about not just who they are, like where they’re at in life and their demographic and whether or not they’re married and have kids. But we’re also going to talk about their feelings because there’s two things that make somebody buy something from you. One, you’re different. You know, they’re buying you and your point of view, not necessarily your service and your product. Um, and secondly. Whether or not you’re going to solve a pain point. And I know that that’s the word that’s used an awful lot. But if you don’t think that it’s actually valuable for you, then you’re not going to purchase it. So we need to know what’s there Monday morning problem and what’s the feelings around those Monday morning problem and what emotion and stress is that causing in their life? And then what is that secret fear that’s actually driving those emotions. And most of the time, that secret fear is probably, uh, loss of status or respect or something like that. So once you understand that, then we move into the, um, branding. And that’s when we talk about, you know, your taglines and what’s the impact that you have on the world, and what is the experience that people have when they interact with you in your business? What’s their buyer’s journey look like? Um, what what do they feel and what do they come away with and what do they achieve when they work with you?
Lee Kantor: [00:07:19] Can you share a story, uh, maybe of uh, and you don’t have to name the name of the company, but maybe how they came to you and where they were at, and then how after, um, being around you and your team that they were able to get to a new level.
Speaker3: [00:07:34] Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So, um, there was is, um, a woman who has been working as a content creator, I guess, in a way, she has quite a large following, and she’s doing very, very well on that. And her, uh, business coaching was more of a hobby to her at the time. Um, and she really, really wanted to see it as. A viable option for her and her family. And so when we sat down, you know, I was expecting to be able to have a marketing strategy call and actually, didn’t it evolved entirely into a brand and avatar call. And the minute we had, like, completed that, she was able to come back to me like ten days later and she’s like, right, I know exactly how to position my wording and exactly how to create this program, this course that I’m planning to do. And she did it. And then within six weeks of just having that avatar and that branding thing, she was able to make one post on her social media because she already had a large following and fill up her program. It was very, very powerful.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:44] So you’ve seen people, um, take action like that in just take one action and have a kind of real, measurable difference. Is there any advice you can give regarding how a business can make money quickly? Is there some do’s and don’ts?
Speaker3: [00:09:02] Uh, yeah, yeah. The first thing to do is to nurture your current database. Um, the fastest way to make money without spending money is referrals, word of mouth and upsells. And so once again, it goes back to that database. Anybody who’s ever interacted with your business is much further along in their buyer’s journey. More likely to make a sale right now. So I would nurture them. Um, any current. Client that you have that is able and willing to make a referral. That referrals are way more likely to turn into a paying customer than if you are just to decide, do I’m going to do SEO or paid ads or things like that. These things are very, very effective, but they don’t make money fast. And yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:49] So let’s kind of drill down on that. Like say you’re just starting out and you don’t have a big database. So your first step would be to build some sort of a database, some sort of an email list or some way to contact people in some manner. Uh, like how would you go about that on day one?
Speaker3: [00:10:07] Um, I would start with, once you’ve done your branding and avatar document, um, I would then start with starting cold email, um, doing LinkedIn outreach. So organic outreach and then funneling them to a place that they can see you and learn about you and your brand, whether that be a YouTube channel, a Facebook group or something like that. Um, we would start with building you a lead magnet and really just getting who you are out there, because it’s the fastest way to get database.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:37] So then you you have now the beginnings of a database, like say you have ten people on the list. Is that enough to start outreach or do you have to have a certain minimum number?
Speaker3: [00:10:50] Um, ten is definitely enough to start. It really depends on your offering, whether or not it’s been market validated, and how much exposure people have had to you as to whether or not they’re going to make a purchase right now. But ten is definitely enough to start getting paying customers out of.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:05] So then you have this ten. Now what is that like? Do you now have kind of a regular rhythm, a cadence of, uh, messaging? Like what would be your first, you know, couple of messages you would send to this list of ten that you’ve just, uh, built.
Speaker3: [00:11:20] Um, so it’s going to depend on how they came into you. Yeah. There’s a Google, um, study that was done. I think it was earlier this year called the 711 four rule. And it says that people need to be exposed to you seven hours of content across 11 different touchpoints, across four different platforms. So it depends on how they’ve come in into you and how much exposure they’ve already had into your brand. But the first thing I would do would be to make a call, just make a call to them and just introduce yourself and say, hey, thanks for showing interest in whatever it was that they bought, you know, brought it into them, wanted to introduce myself and then offer a free cool thing that they think is going to solve one of their problems. And it could be whether or not you’re hosting a masterclass or you are doing a live event somewhere, or you’ve built out a lead magnet that you think could be really helpful to their business, and I would invite them to take action in. The reason we would do that step first is because we don’t know where abouts in their buyer’s journey they are, and if we try and push them to a sale, we’ll probably turn them off you for good. So that would probably be the first thing we would do.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:23] So you would build out some sort of education or provide value first at no charge, and then move them deeper into this funnel to eventually sell them something.
Speaker3: [00:12:35] Yes and no. So the free thing content that I recommend people do is YouTube and live events. Um, if you want them to take on the lead magnet, I suggest you ask them to pay you maybe a dollar or something like that. Once people have paid you something that seems like a no brainer amount of money, then it’s much easier for them to pay you next time.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:55] So, um, let’s pivot a little bit to talk about how your work with agencies and I guess kind of emerging agencies, people who are either plateaued or frustrated. Can you talk a little bit about this Atlas Agency Launch lab service that you are offering?
Speaker3: [00:13:14] Yeah. So, um, Alice agency launch lab is kind of like an agency. Incubator. I’ve heard it been called, um. So as I said, I was really skeptical of the educators and the influencers that are out there in this space. When I first started, and with good reason. You know, we we actually ended up investing a lot of money into programs and into courses and, um. A lot of it either contradicted itself or actually didn’t work. Like, um, they tell you set up a Facebook ad this way and do it exactly this way, and you do it that way, and you end up flopping. And the reason being is that information was old. These people had had not actually run an agency themselves before in the past, or they had had it for a long time, um, and things like that. So, um, I had the skepticism already and then. Once we started actually gaining traction and doing make making this a success, people kind of come to you and they ask you, what’s the secret sauce? I guess. And the truth is, there is really no secret sauce. But, um, there is actionable steps you can take. There is knowing what’s going on in the marketplace right now. And.
Speaker3: [00:14:30] There is, you know, basically, you know, the five things you really just need 5 or 6 things you just need to have in place, and then that’s it. Like the rest of it is fluff and noise and it gets. It gets a little bit crazy. So we started helping people out. And then beginning of this year I realized, you know, I love helping people out, but I need an onboarding and an onboarding process. So we found out that this agency launch lab and once a month we take in a few agency owners, and we put them through our program. And we don’t just, you know, teach them with courses. We have a lot of one on one coaching. We have group coaching. We have some done for you services. Um, we have our we have our lovely brain spotter on staff with us, who’s also an agency owner. And she sits there and she helps them with every block they’ve ever had or the process. Emotions teach them how to take work and then leave work and walk away. Do you go to your family and things like that, which is really important when you’re an entrepreneur and we get businesses up and running within 90 days.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:30] Now, is this, um, is the ideal client for this somebody who is brand new to having their own agency? Or is this somebody who maybe have had an agency and are getting frustrated and they’re plateaued? Maybe, um, like, who is that persona or avatar for that ideal client for you?
Speaker3: [00:15:49] So for me, if somebody had exposure to some form of marketing in the past, um, be that, you know, they have a background in copywriting or a background in PR or a background in like they have to have had exposure to something before in the past for this to work, because I’m not teaching people to be button pushers. Otherwise I’d be changing my course curriculum every five minutes because algorithms change. I’m teaching people to be SEOs, and so if they already have a very small knowledge at least of something, then we can take them and go. And we’ve had a lot of success with people who are brand new and haven’t done anything and coming to us, and we’re getting them up and running. And we’ve also had a lot of success with people who are at, you know, six, seven, eight clients and they’re feeling stalled because they don’t know how to get from being a one man show to being a full on entrepreneur like enterprise. So we have two very unique avatars.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:50] And then, um, has that’s only been going on for a short time.
Speaker3: [00:16:56] So the launch time was actually only officially released in August. Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:02] So just a few months. Um, and, uh, have you had any success stories from there yet, or is it too early?
Speaker3: [00:17:10] Had quite a few success stories and it’s quite it’s quite inspiring. If you check out our YouTube channel and our, um, and our websites, you’ll find that some of our students then alumni have gone and shared their experience there. Um, for example, we have Philip who came in. He’s a high ticket closer with a background in copywriting. By the time he finished, he has five high power, massive name clients, and he’s doing very, very well. And he’ll tell you his story. He’d been trying to start and be an entrepreneur for a long time before he came to us, and he’d done a few courses, and it wasn’t until he, you know, basically walked into our Atlas Agency launch lab family that he was, you know, able to get himself going.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:56] So now, in your journey, um, is this work as rewarding as the work at the beginning?
Speaker3: [00:18:04] For me, it’s much more rewarding. Um. The thing I love most about running an agency is seeing massive change in people’s lives, and knowing that I’m helping my avatar business owners to not be burned and churned, to be able to trust marketers out there because I’m training them myself, and then knowing that I’m helping the people who will like my husband and I. When we first started and really, really desperately wanted this to work for our family, get what they need. It’s it’s fulfilling a need for me by doing this, and I love it.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:45] So if somebody wants to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you, your husband or somebody on the team, what is the coordinates?
Speaker3: [00:18:53] Um, you can reach out to us at the launch lab. Um, you can give us a call on (518) 851-8887. Or you can look on our YouTube channel where you’ll find out more information, or join our Facebook group.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:08] And Atlas Online Solutions. That’s kind of the parent company of all this.
Speaker3: [00:19:14] Yes. Atlas Online Solutions, the parent company. Atlas Agency Launch Lab, however, does have its own website, Facebook group and YouTube channel.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:22] Well, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing such important work and we appreciate you.
Speaker3: [00:19:27] Thank you. Thank you very much.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:28] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on High Velocity Radio.