Infusionsoft Tutorial: How to Automate Birthday Reminders

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One of the many ways that you can build relationships with your customers and prospects is to send them an email or a card to extend them a birthday wish.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideThe challenge with this is that, as your list of customers and prospects increases in size, sending out birthday cards or emails can become a significant resource drain – unless you have a means of automating it.

There are plenty of ways to do this, of course. However, unless you like adding complexity to your business, the most effective ways will not require you to add yet another “system” for you or your staff to maintain.

Infusionsoft: A Much More Efficient Solution

If you are an Infusionsoft user, there is there is a much more effective way to achieve greater results with less effort (and frustration).

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: How Blue Cow Creative Doubled Revenue in 12 months with Marketing Automation

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Shaun Whynacht 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FC

Do you run a small marketing agency and struggle to attract enough new clients to meet your growth goals?

Would you like to discover a way to put client attraction on autopilot?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, my guest on the show is Shaun Whynacht, founder of Blue Cow Creative, a small marketing agency based in Nova Scotia, Canada. I learned of Shaun at the last Infusioncon and when I heard that he’d doubled his revenue in just a year, I asked him to come on the show to share his story.

When you listen to this fascinating and informative interview, you are going to hear Shaun and I talk about:

  • (02:13) Who he is and what his company is all about
  • (04:13) The results they’ve achieved (doubling their revenue!)
  • (04:58) What they did prior to what they’re doing now
  • (06:13) A big investment they made, and the cost of signing up
  • (08:13) How they capture leads
  • (10:53) Specific tactics they use for lead magnets
  • (11:53) Their focus on educating prospects
  • (13:13) How they segment their list
  • (15:49) The type of lead magnets they use
  • (18:43) Which social networks are working for them
  • (19:58) How they drive traffic
  • (21:13) A description of their lead nurture process
  • (22:58) How they are using the phone to follow up
  • (25:03) How they are converting prospects
  • (26:43) How they qualify leads
  • (31:13) How they are using testimonials
  • (33:53) How Infusionsoft has exponentially improved their nurturing
  • (38:13) How they are using Infusionsoft for operations
  • (39:46) Lightning round

Links

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

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Transcript

Trent
Dyrsmid: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome to the ‘Bright Ideas’
podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast for
marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover how to use
content marketing and marketing automation to massively boost their
business.On the show with me today is a fellow by the name of Shaun Whynacht,
who is the founder of a company called Blue Cow Creative, a small marketing
agency. I learned of Shaun by way of attending InfusionCon this past year.
Shaun started to use InfusionSoft, and in the year following his using it,
he was able to double the revenue of his firm. Being as he’s got a
relatively small firm, just two people, I wanted to get him on to tell his
story because that’ll be a great story of significant results with someone
who maybe doesn’t have a huge pile of resources to work with Shaun’s story
is exactly that.Before we get to the interview, I want to give you my tool tip for
this episode, and that is something called JobChangeAlerts.com. If you want
to know when someone who you are connected to on LinkedIn changes their job
description or profile, which might be an opportune time for you to get in
touch with them to sell them your services, JobChangeAlerts.com will do
that for you. Will actually send you an email, so it’s a super-cool little
tool and it’s totally free.The other announcement is, my next life cycle marketing webinar,
which you can register for at BrightIdeas.co/webinar. If you are not yet
getting as many leads as you would like, or you’re not doing a good enough
job converting those leads to customers, or you’re not getting enough
referrals from your existing customers, this webinar will definitely help
you to improve your results. So, BrightIdeas.co/webinar, to register.So, with that said, please join me in welcoming Shaun to the show.
Hey, Shaun, welcome to the show.Shaun
Whynacht: Thanks for having me.Trent: It’s a pleasure to have you on. I think you’re the first
Canadian that I’ve actually had on my show, which is significant for those
in the audience who don’t know, because I’m Canadian.Shaun: Excellent. It’s a pleasure to be on, and be the first.Trent: Go, Canada, go. [laughs] All right. For the folks who do not
know who you are or what you do, please take a moment and introduce
yourself and your company.Shaun: I consider myself an entrepreneur of life. I’ve had a business
since the age of 17, and a couple since; but most recently, what I’ve been
doing is a company called Blue Cow Creative Design and Productions, Ltd. We
do a lot of content creation for clients, including social media marketing
and lead capture, drip marketing, those kind of things.Trent: Okay. So, very much a marketing expert in the marketing agency
space, which is ideal because a lot of the people who are listening to this
show either run a firm like yours, aspire to run a firm like yours, or
could use the services of a firm like yours.You came to my attention because InfusionSoft profiled you for some
of the success that you’d been having since starting to use their
application. I want to talk a bit about that because obviously I’m a big
InfusionSoft fan. I use it myself and I think that there are people who are
considering using it, or could be using it, and I’d really love them to
hear from people who are having success with it.

With that said, you run a two-person agency?

Shaun: Yes.

Trent: Okay. Let’s jump to the conclusion first, So the people who are
wondering, ‘Why do I want to listen to this interview?’ Since starting to
use InfusionSoft, can you tell us a little bit about the results that
you’ve been able to achieve?

Shaun: We’ve been using it almost two years now. After the first year
of using it, we’ve noticed that our revenue has doubled from the previous
years. It wasn’t just a banner year just because of the economy, it was
actually what we have proven to be attributed to the benefit of using
InfusionSoft through educating our prospects before they actually decide to
work with us. And then the service after the sale, that it’s allowed us to
do. That’s really what it has done for us and it’s almost like having two
other people working 24/7 for us when people are inquiring online.

Trent: Yeah. That’s pretty significant. Doubling your revenue and the
work of two other people.

Before InfusionSoft, how did you used to do what it is that you’re
doing now? Or did you even do it?

Shaun: If anybody listening is familiar with the old show MacGyver, I
say that we’ve MacGyvered a system together, where we had multiple
different systems out there running, one for invoicing, one for emailing,
one for contacts, and none of them really worked together. It wasn’t that
we looked at them as systems that didn’t work together. We just didn’t know
that there was a solution out there that would do it all in one.

When we heard about InfusionSoft and did the online demo, we were
hesitant that there was a claim that there was a service out there, that we
could subscribe to and use their software, and do all that. It took
probably six months for me to convince myself to take that leap and
actually try it, but it was the best decision we’ve done since then.

Trent: What you just said there is not uncommon. It’s a reasonably
good-sized investment up-front, a couple thousand dollars, and then it’s a
couple hundred dollars per month. I’ve had people email me who’ve listened
to the show, to ask about the pricing, and then right away, ‘Oh no, that’s
too much money.’ Did you think the same thing when you were looking at it
to begin with? Was that one of the things that was causing you to not pull
the trigger right away?

Shaun: Definitely. It wasn’t because I saw it as I didn’t have the
money to invest in it, it was just a big investment, especially for a small
business, a young entrepreneur who was just trying to make ends meet month-
to-month. Then, actually doing it, and looking at the other systems we used
where commonly they were considerably less per month, but you get what you
pay for. The time it saved us to not have to go between all those, it
actually works out cheaper if you figure out the time you’ve wasted with
the other services, by using their all-in-one solution.

Trent: Was there subcontractors that you used to use for various
manual processes, that now you’ve been able to automate and so you don’t
require those subcontractors, or even just your own time?

Shaun: It was my own time. It was replying to people’s inquiries about
common questions and those kind of things. For us, for what we do, because
a lot of the work is in creating a project and training our clients to use
it and be able to pedal on after the sale and use those solutions. To
educate them after, and have that resource there that they can come back
to, and currently drip information out to them after the fact to enhance
that service, was something that I would have had to spend a lot of time,
for one with a calendar and figure out, when do I send all this stuff, and
then actually physically have to do it. InfusionSoft just makes it all
simple for us.

Trent: Indeed it does. There’s three main pieces to InfusionSoft.
There’s the CRM component, there is the online shopping cart so you can
receive payments for whatever you would like, and then there’s the whole
marketing automation/email/autoresponder, however you would like to
describe that. I just call it the marketing automation piece. Are you using
all three pieces?

Shaun: I use all three. I use, more so, the campaign manager and the
campaign builder for a lot of the stuff. Probably about 80 percent of the
function we use it for, is for that. We have a lot of free resources on our
website where people can come in and request to download a free eBook or
free report, and then they get into a campaign where they’re getting drip
information about that, to convert them down the road, about when they want
to make that decision to move with a company like us, that they’re already
educated about what we do. We do that before the sale.

Then, after the sale, we use a lot of follow up through that, getting
people into education sequences, going out. We use the CRM, obviously, to
keep track of all the contact information, but also keep track of a lot of
the pertinent information regarding that client’s account, whether that’s
passwords, and things of that nature.

When it comes to the online payment and the eCommerce side, we don’t
use it as much. We don’t have an online store, but we do have certain
products. We do workshops where we get people to register and it processes
through that and puts them in the sequence for those workshops.

We wrote a book last year on marketing for small business and we sell
that through there, as well. There’s definitely a lot of power there on the
shopping side that we don’t use, but a lot of clients in different
industries could use it a lot more to their advantage than we do.

Trent: Yeah. Good segue into my next bit of questions. You started to
talk about free reports and capturing leads and so forth. I want to shift
to that because I think lead generation is a big problem for a lot of
people, especially when they are first starting out, or even when they’re
thinking about starting out. That’s probably the biggest fear I find in
people: How am I going to get my customers? In the next bit of the
interview, we’re going to talk specifically about what’s working for you
for lead generation, what you’re doing to nurture and educate those leads,
and then how you’re converting them to customers. Then, if we have time,
because I want to keep this under an hour, for sure, We’ll talk maybe a bit
about some of what you’re doing for up-sells and cross-sells and referrals.

Shaun: What we do for lead generation: when we started doing this kind
of thing, it was looking at people that were similar in our field and
seeing those mass numbers of contacts. Whether it was social media and
looking at their Facebook pages, to hearing about their email lists and
hearing about the thousands of people that they have, and being overwhelmed
by that and wondering how you can do it.

We’re looking to build quality connections as opposed to quantity. We
do it a lot through offering free webinars. We do a lot of them live, and
then we’re getting into more writing little white papers, two or three
pages, on things like permission marketing and Facebook advertising and
those kind of things.

In our industry here, most of the business community are owners over
45 years of age and up. So a lot of them haven’t grown up with the social
media side. They haven’t grown up with the technology. A big part of it
based around education. We don’t base it around, if you do this, you’re
going to make X amount of dollars, you’re going to bring X amount of
clients through your door. It’s education first. Then, they try it for a
bit, and then they want to take it to the next step. That’s usually the
point where they get in contact with us.

We do a really good job. We give them maximum information with
minimum commitment to begin, and that’s the key to lead generation. If you
want somebody to download something, if you want to email them something,
all you really need to give them, or for them to give you, is their email
address. You don’t need their address, you don’t need their phone number,
all that stuff. The more you ask for, the less you’re going to get. As you
get them through that whole sequence, and educating them, and building that
trust that you know what you’re talking about, then they’re going to be
more willing to give you that information down the road. That’s what we’ve
seen. It’s what we heard about first, and we tried it, and we see that it
works, so that’s what we’re doing.

Trent: Let me ask a follow-on question for that. You, like me and
probably everybody else, when you get that email address from an
individual, we really don’t know anything about them. In the case of Bright
Ideas, they could be a small business owner, they could be a marketing
consultant, they could be the CEO of a marketing agency, they could be
somebody thinking of starting a marketing agency. The way that I would want
to nurture and educate, because I have products across a couple of
different spectrums. Some products would be applicable to more than one of
those four categories, and other products wouldn’t. I don’t want to just
start sending out all my stuff to everybody, so I start to segment.

What is it that you do? You must segment somehow, because it’s not so
difficult to do. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re doing to make
sure that you get your list segmented in the right way?

Shaun: The information they’ve put out there for those lead generation
tools are very specific to that certain area. For example, we have one
where it’s a ten-video series on how to use Facebook, how to set it up, how
to do the very basics of it. We know that the people that are signing up
for that are very basic users. You’ll have the odd person that’ll sign up
because there’s something for free, but the majority of them are that way.
They’ll go through those ten videos, and then at the end we’ll make them an
offer to go to a more advanced phase, or they just sit there for a bit and
they just get periodic emails.

If they make the step up, then we know that they’re looking to go a
little further. The key is not, get an email and send them everything but
the dog’s lunch, it’s very segmented and making sure that you make them the
ones that control when they want the next bit of information. We find that
it works really well. Every webinar that we do, we do them for free, we get
a couple of really good leads that turn into clients, so it does pay back
itself multiple times after the fact. A lot of our clients that we try to
teach this to haven’t really grasped the concept of giving away something
for free. It’s like, ‘Why should I spend my time doing that if I’m not
getting paid for it?’ Well, you nurture them now, they’re going to pay you
back later if you do a good job at it.

Trent: Absolutely. It’s not as though you’re restricted to giving away
this information to one person at a time. The beauty, obviously, of a
webinar is that you can leverage your time by giving one bit of information
to many people at one time.

Shaun: The key that I’ve found with using InfusionSoft specifically
for this is that you’re not set to a start and end time. You spend the time
to create these products, create these sequences, and depending on when
people come into the funnel, whether it’s today or three weeks down the
road, they’re in the program. They’re getting the information based on the
time that they went in. It’s not like somebody’s going to miss some
information, and I think that’s what’s key to that. It allows us to
leverage the power of InfusionSoft above and beyond doing it manually, like
we had before.

Trent: Going back to what you were talking about with the lead
magnets. A lead magnet, by the way, in case people are unfamiliar with that
term, is what you are giving away to get the email address. It sounds like,
Shaun, that you have more than one lead magnet. How many different ones do
you have?

Shaun: We’ve done the webinars. We’ve recorded them, so those are now
available. People can go on there, sign up, then they get the link to the
videos. There’s probably two or three of those right now. We’ve got our
Facebook video series, we’ve got our book that we wrote, that’s now
available in eBook format and audiobook format for free as well. We’re
working on one right now, that’ll come out in probably the next couple of
weeks, on permission marketing.

Trent: Cool. Of those three, which one works the best for you?

Shaun: The videos. People like to be able to watch a video. The way
that we do them is solely with screencast for the trainings. People
actually get to see what we’re talking about, as opposed to giving them a
printed report. The printed report does all right, but not as well as
video, especially if you have some information to give out, just turning
the camera on and talking to the person will have a higher engagement, we
found.

Trent: I also think it goes a long way to build more trust, as well,
because they’re hearing your voice, and I think that we form a lot of our
opinions about how we feel about another person when we can either hear or
see them on our screen, versus just reading some text that they’ve written.

Shaun. Yes. You get to hear their voice, you get to see them. It’s all
those things that you would have if you were in front of that person. My
background is in video, so I’m a big fan of it. I think people are using
video more and I think they can use it even more as we move forward.

Trent: Speaking of video, I’m actually right in the process of
creating a new lead magnet myself, called The Conversion Tactics Toolkit.
If you’re listening to this on iTunes and you have not yet been to Bright
Ideas, go to BrightIdeas.co and you’ll be able to have an opportunity to
opt in to The Conversion Tactics Toolkit. It is an entirely video series.

All right. Is there anything that, in terms of capturing email
addresses, that’s working particularly well for you that I’ve not yet asked
you about, that you would tell somebody if you were sitting in a coffee
shop having this conversation?

Shaun: What I tell people is that if you’re doing this kind of thing,
and you’re on different platforms like social media, Twitter and Facebook,
is you need to have all your lead capturing/lead generation tools available
in all those different platforms. That’s worked really well for us. When we
create something new, we send it out to our existing email newsletter list
that we’ve gained over the years. We also put it on Facebook and do some
promotion there. We put it on Twitter and LinkedIn. The more relevant that
the information is to the networks that we’re doing, then we find we’re
getting some really good engagement that way.

Trent: Do you find that there is one social network that tends to work
better with the business audience than the others?

Shaun: Not really better, it depends on what we’re doing. Depending on
whether it’s a video series, or if it’s-, specifically let’s talk about the
Facebook one, because we had a higher engagement promoted out on Facebook
because they were in that medium when we were doing it. Whether it’s doing
that there, or sending it out by email, I think it’s relevant to what
you’re offering.

Trent: That makes a lot of sense. People hanging on Facebook would
obviously want to know how to use Facebook for marketing.

Shaun: Time of day, too, when you’re posting things. If you’re
targeting a business owner, which in most of the cases we are, we find a
higher engagement when it’s near the end of the day, as opposed to the
middle of the day because most people are engaged in their business. Even
on the weekends, surprisingly enough. At least here, we have a high
engagement of business owners that will subscribe to stuff on the weekends
because it’s low cost, in most cases free, for them to opt into it. That’s
when they’ve got some time to be online.

Trent: What are some things you’re doing to drive traffic to all these
offers? Are you getting traffic to your blog because you’re blogging, or
are you doing paid Facebook ads?

Shaun: We’ve done a little bit of paid Facebook ads, and they do
convert quite well for us. The majority of the stuff that we’re getting for
new leads is through our existing emails and through referrals. Most of our
new business, probably about 85% to 90% of it, is all referral-based. We
don’t do too much advertising. A lot of it comes through other people
sharing the content, being on our Facebook page, and those kinds of things.

Trent: Do you think there’s anything that you’re doing specifically
that’s stimulating those referrals, or is it just people who are genuinely
happy with the services you’re providing them?

Shaun: I think it’s the fact that we’re very real in the way we
present ourselves. We’re not making any false claims. We’re not giving them
the ‘This is the be-all solution to all your financial freedom.’ We make it
known that these are steps that you need to take to learn and know this
technology and we’re here if you want to take it to the next level. People
really appreciate that we’re not leading them in and making them sink or
swim.

Trent: Yeah. All right, let’s transition to nurturing now. You’ve
talked a bit about it. You’ve talked about the importance of educating
people, but I want to get a little bit more specific now, if we can. Let’s
use your video series, ‘Lead Capture,’ as the example of the guinea pig for
this part of the conversation.

Someone, they see your lead magnet, they give you their email
address, they hit the submit button, or the sign-me-up button, whatever
you’ve called it. What happens in that campaign builder? What have you
built, and what’s going to happen to that new subscriber? Walk us through
that.

Shaun: Once they sign up, they’ll initially get an email welcoming
them to the series, explaining what each of the videos are going to be
doing, and giving them the realistic expectation that they come out every
three days on a weekday and they spend whatever the length is there. In the
videos at the end, they’re then given a link to them. So that if for some
reason they can’t watch one, they’re going to get that in the end for that.

Throughout the process, then about a quarter of the way through,
we’re prompted to mail them out a letter just to introduce the company. No
sales or anything is in that letter. Just excited to have them going
through the series. Just introduce our website and those kind of things a
little bit more. Then, near the end, once they’ve finished, we’re prompted
to give them a call and see what they thought about it. See if they had any
further questions. They can talk to me personally about their journey
through Facebook.

We’re promoting it also as education, to use it on a personal level,
so we’re getting both sides of the fence there. Because I truly believe
that even though somebody might not be in a business and might not use it
for a business purpose, they know somebody that could. We’re not
eliminating educating those people that want to know how to use it for a
personal reason, too.

Trent: I’m very happy you mentioned that there was a call in your
sequence. I think that some people are needlessly scared of the telephone.
When you say call, they think cold call, and they think, ‘Ugh, I don’t ever
want to do that. That would be horrible.’ But, you’re not making a cold
call.

Shaun: No. That’s the key with putting the call near the end of the
sequence, as opposed to initially, at the beginning. If we put it right
when they signed up, we would technically be cold-calling them. Whereas at
the end, we’ve provided them ten videos, ten contact points of information
where we’re helping them every time. We’re never asking for the sale. Even
the call is not sales-oriented. It’s not, ‘Here we have a paid program’, or
anything like that. It’s ‘Just wanted to thank you for going through that.
Do you have any questions? If you ever want to take it to the next level,
this is who we are.’ We thank them for doing that. In most cases, we get
thank-yous back. Other times, we even get people saying that they’ve never
actually had a call that wasn’t pushy sales.

Trent: When you’re making these calls, do you find that people…
‘Hey, this is Shaun from Blue Cow,’ they’re like, ‘Oh hey, Shaun’. What’s
the response that you get, the vast majority of the time when they answer
the phone?

Shaun: They know who I am, even if I’ve never met them, because
they’ve heard me. Each of the videos are probably 15-20 minutes in length.
Some are shorter. They hear my voice throughout those videos. They know my
name. I introduce myself at the beginning, so it’s kind of like they
already know me when I call. It’s a familiar voice on the phone, as opposed
to getting somebody else to call.

Trent: Definitely it’s an easy phone call for you to make and it’s an
easy phone call for them to receive.

Shaun: That’s right.

Trent: How many times, even though you say it’s not a call to ‘be
pushy’ or ask for business, how, in your experience, are you finding that
some people are volunteering, ‘Hey, actually I would like to work with you
to do blah, blah,blah.’ or if that never happens, how are we starting to
convert some of these prospects to clients?

Shaun: Probably I have just over 50% of those people openly, as soon
as I thank them for that and I ask them if there’s anything else they might
need education on, they’ll openly tell me what it is. The rest of them, you
have to dig a little bit about that. I’ll ask, ‘How are you using
Facebook?’ first, if you have a business, and then I’ll ask, ‘How are you
using Facebook in your business?’ and they’re hoping to do some advertising
and that kind of stuff, so I lead them to one of our webinars on Facebook
advertising. Or, we have a report that goes with that and I tell them about
that. But probably more times than not, they want to schedule a time to
talk on the phone, and then, if we do a good job and convert them, then we
end up working with them.

We’re not scared to admit that the relationship is not a fit, if
that’s the case. A lot of people will not do that. They’ll just push and
push for the sale, whereas we want to work with a certain demographic of
business owners. If it doesn’t fit for us, and it doesn’t fit for them,
then we thank them and we both go our separate ways.

Trent: That’s a really, really important point, that you’ve brought
up. Because a lot of small business owners, they get a few years in, and
then they realize they have this hodge-podge of customers, 20% of which are
generating 80% of the revenue. The other 80% are, kind of, a pain in their
butt because they took them maybe out of desperation in the early years. Or
they just took them for reasons that weren’t really solid reasons. Does
that sound familiar to you? Did you go through that experience, or were you
very choosy from the beginning?

Shaun: No, I was not very choosy. Starting out, any hook that came
into the water, I was biting at it. Using the InfusionSoft system, it’s has
allowed us to qualify those people and see, when they receive emails, what
are they clicking on? What are they doing? To see how interested they are,
so that when we talk to them, we can tell now if they’re really going to be
a key client. If we can’t help them, there’s no point in even going through
that process.

Even if the money’s there, we’d still do this work if we didn’t have
to get paid. We just enjoy doing it, especially if it’s helping people. But
also, that need to help people led us, in the early years, to jump at those
early leads because we feel that people were needing our help. We would
just do stuff. We’d discount some services just so they could use what
we’re doing. But in the end, like you said, that’s probably that 80 % that
just takes up more valuable time than you have, when really, they’re just a
one-off project whereas we’re trying to build long-term relationships.

Trent: You mentioned qualifying. I want to dig a little deeper into
that, if we can. In InfusionSoft, there’s something called lead scoring?

Shaun: Yes.

Trent: I apologize to the audience for all the frogs in my throat
today. I don’t really know why I’m having such a problem here, but I’m
doing my best. Are you using lead scoring, and if so, how are you using it
to help qualify the prospects that are in your funnel so that the people
who deserve the attention, be it the phone call and so forth, are getting
it?

Shaun: We currently don’t use lead scoring. I know the power of it. I
just don’t think that where I’m currently at with the business, that it
works for us the way we’d want it to. We do a lot of our qualifications by
the initial phone call and talking with people. We make it known that this
is what we hope to get out of this call and this initial consultation and
get them to commit to that first. Then we sit down. Just talking to people,
we find, is the best way to do it.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t go in and look at the back history to
see how many times they’ve been checking out our website, what they’ve been
looking at, before we sit down, so I can see how interested they are; or,
if they just decided to come to our website and call right away.

The lead scoring is a powerful tool, especially if you’re in a
business where you might even have a sales force or a sales team where it
can figure out if they’re a hot lead based on their interaction and those
kind of things.

Trent: When you are interviewing a prospective client, do you always
meet with them face-to-face before they become a client? Or, are you
sometimes getting clients who aren’t in your town?

Shaun: It depends on the situation. I prefer to meet face-to-face
whenever possible, but I realize sometimes that time restraints, distance,
and weather don’t allow that. We do a few phone calls for this kind of
thing, but in most cases we try to sit down. I think one of the key things
is to not come across as selling them something. But them identifying what
their needs are, what their goals are, and realizing that what we could
offer will be a solution to that. We find that’s really good.

One of the first things I ask somebody is, ‘What do you hope to get
out of working with us?’ They tell you right away. ‘This is what my problem
is and this is where I’d like to go with it.’ Now it gives us a target to
work towards. In some cases, that goal is something we can’t attain for
them, so it’s either try to get them to a realistic level, or just say,
‘Maybe there’s somebody else better suited for that.’

Trent: That’s a very powerful thing to be able to do. I know that when
I was running my last technology company, and this was in the early 2000s,
before any of this fancy-schmancy marketing automation stuff, that I was
aware of it maybe it existed. One of the first questions we would ask when
we would get a meeting with a new prospect is, ‘Why’d you take the
meeting?’ That was a really terrific way for someone to tell you their
agenda right at the beginning, so that you knew the points that you needed
to speak to so you’d have a chance of converting them into a good client.

Shaun: Yeah, for sure.

Trent: We’ve talked about how you’re capturing leads. We’ve talked
about how you’re nurturing leads. I think we’ve covered how you’re
converting your leads to customers as well, unless there’s anything else
there. Is there anything that’s major in your process on the conversion
part of it that we haven’t talked about?

Shaun: Because a lot of our new business and new leads comes from
referrals, it’s using the power of asking for testimonials. I’m a big fan
of testimonials and people telling their story of why they chose to work
with us. What they liked working with us, so we can use that on our
website, on our blog, on our social media, to promote that experience.
Because I think working with a company should be a positive experience as
opposed to just hiring somebody, and then not really understanding what it
is that we do. That talks back to what we do in the early stages with the
education. It’s not really a lot about educating them about what’s out
there. But educating them about the process we take with them, in the early
stages. So that they know they’re involved in that process and they don’t
feel left out.

One of the things we’ve heard a lot is that they’ve worked with other
companies and they don’t hear from them for a few days and they don’t
really know what it is that they’re doing. Then, they get a bill in the end
and hopefully the project is good, or not. That’s key to what we do.

Trent: How do you ask for testimonials? Do you just call them up and
ask them? Or do you have a process, campaign, something?

Shaun: Yeah, we just have a little note campaign that we add to that
contact at the end. Just thanking them that the project has completed and
we’ve successfully launched, depending on what it is. And just ask them to
go to our Facebook page and write their testimonial, as opposed to just
emailing it to us.

Trent: Wow, that’s cool.

Shaun: In most cases, but if they’re not on Facebook, then obviously
we take it by email, but we want it to come authentic from them and not
seem like we’ve reformatted it and pushed it out after the fact.

Trent: Then, you can take a screen shot of it on Facebook and reuse
that particular image wherever you like.

Shaun: That’s right. Plus, immediately, all their friends see that
they’ve posted something on our wall, and it helps that way.

Trent: Golden nugget, there it is. I’ve got to write that down –
testimonials on Facebook.

Shaun: You can always copy and paste it and use it in other things
after, but at least the original source is authentic.

Trent: Yeah. Okay. This nurturing process that we’ve been talking
about obviously is working very, very well for you. And you’d mentioned,
before InfusionSoft that this was not so easy. Did you nurture, in any way,
shape, or form, like you do now, only you did it manually and it took a lot
of work? Or, were you like maybe a lot of people out there who would get a
prospect, call them three or four times, ‘Nah, they don’t want to take the
meeting’, and then just give up?

Shaun: Yeah, the last one there, that was pretty much me. A lot of the
process of using InfusionSoft was learning the keys to nurturing and that
that was actually a key point to doing business. The benefit with
InfusionSoft is not just that they’re a software, but there’s a whole team
of people there that are invested in your growth and the well-being of your
company.

So if you have any questions about, ‘How could I use this element?’
It’s not just the p’s and q’s, and click here and do this. It’s ‘Here’s how
you take it offline, here’s how you use it.’ So I think that they’re really
great that way.

I’ve also been down to both InfusionCons in the last two years.
That’s a huge event that really helped me focus my business, learn what I
needed to do, and realize that I didn’t have all the answers, but I could
learn them down the road.

Trent: That is such an incredibly good point. I’m wondering if you do
this: back when I was running my technology company, I participated in a
couple of mastermind groups where, in one case, one of them was called True
Profit, and another one was called Vistage. We would meet, I think one of
them was four times a year, and the other one, I can’t remember. I think
also four times a year. You’d sit down in a room with other people who are
running companies exactly like what you’re running, just in a different
marketplace. And we would openly share a huge amount of detail in every
area, from marketing to operations, so that we could all learn from each
other.

I can’t emphasize how valuable that was, because you’re learning from
people who are doing exactly what you’re doing, and they’re running their
own businesses. Do you participate in anything like that?

Shaun: I currently don’t. I’m currently looking for something like
that. I do see the extreme value in a mastermind group, but just in the
area that we’re in, we haven’t found that kind of thing. We do a lot of
networking and talking to businesses in other areas that cover a lot of the
key basics of bookkeeping and all that other kind of things that we need to
talk about. But when it comes to specifics, we currently haven’t done
anything like that.

Trent: Okay. Well, I’m going to introduce you to something like that.
Bright Ideas does have a mastermind group. If you go to
BrightIdeas.co/mastermind, you can learn more about it. It is specifically
targeted to people who are marketing consultants and marketing agencies.
However, with that said, because that’s what, when you read the page,
actually by the time this is published, there will be a full page
explaining everything, Shaun. If you go there right now, it’s just what I
call the pre-launch page, where you can register for updates and so forth.

Even though, on the full page, which, people when they’re listening
to this will see it, I want them to understand that the principles and the
things that we talk about, and it starts off with a two day workshop, two
day online workshop. The principles that we talk about are going to be
highly applicable to whatever industry you’re in, but most of the people in
the group probably will be running marketing agencies. With that said, one
of my facilitators, and you probably know him, his name is Dustin Burleson.
That name ring a bell with you?

Shaun: No, it doesn’t.

Trent: Oh, okay. He was one of the Ultimate Marketer finalists at
InfusionCon this year. He’s the guy that has the orthodontics clinic
that…

Shaun: Okay, yes, now I know.

Trent: Four clinics now, because he’s using, it just blew up once he
started using InfusionSoft. He’s going to be inviting a number of the
people who attend, other orthodontists who attend his seminars. This first
one that we’re going to do, I’m not exactly sure of the mix of the people.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a mastermind group, just head over to
BrightIdeas.co/mastermind and there will be information there for you to
check out.

All right. Sorry, again, for all the frogs in my throat. I don’t know
why. What do I want to ask you about next? We were going to make a
transition, how are we doing for time? We’ve still got a bit of time.

Are you still – got a few minutes left?

Shaun: Yes, certainly.

Trent: I know. I know what it was. This wasn’t on my list of
questions, but you talked about this early on. We’ve talked a lot about how
InfusionSoft and the campaign builder is helping you with marketing, but I
want to talk about how it’s helping you with operations, and stuff that
happens after people become a client.

Can you speak to, because the campaign builder, I mean, campaigns
don’t have to be marketing-oriented. Because all a campaign is, is a
sequence of communication and activity, which is more or less any, and
almost every, business process. Can you talk about anything that you’re
doing in that regard?

Shaun: Well use a lot of the CRM side of InfusionSoft, with the custom
fields and and the custom tabs, to tailor it towards the information that
we need to keep about each client’s project. When we’re dealing with people
that we’re building websites for, or setting up online accounts, we keep a
lot of their account details in there; attach their records, so that if I
need to go in, or somebody else needs to go in later to send them that
information, it is there for them.

The other side is, also, using a lot of the tracking of the emails
that we send out. We can send them out through that so we can see when
they’ve opened them and any links that they clicked on. As for using any of
the sequences internally for the actual project building, usually once we
take on the project, when we finish it, a lot of that communication is just
done one-on-one with the client by our team, or any subcontractors that we
use. Then, after the sale, we go back and give them some resources about
using that service or that product that we’ve created for them.

Trent: Okay. All right, Shaun. Well, I want to thank you very much.
Oh, before I go, my lightning round. Can’t forget the lightning round.
Three questions.

Shaun: Okay.

Trent: Question number one: what are you most excited about for 2013?

Shaun: For 2013, what we’re more excited about it we’re launching a
new area to our business called the Seniors Learning Academy. Because here
in Nova Scotia, we have a large contingency of seniors who are using iPads
and a lot of them don’t know how to use them. This whole project is, first,
teaching them how to use these new pieces of technology for their
lifestyle. We’ll be rolling that out in a DVD learning series for them.
That’s what we’re really excited about, coming up.

Trent: Now is that a product you’re going to sell?

Shaun: Yes.

Trent: Okay. I was going to say, because how does that fit in with
lead gen? But now I get it. That’s just a revenue producer in its own
right.

All right. What is your favorite business book?

Shaun: Ooh, well, I’m currently reading, and I’m really liking, Seth
Godin’s ‘Permission Marketing.’ I really like the mindset of that. Anything
that he writes has been stellar, right from ‘The Purple Cow,’ to ‘Meatball
Sundae,’ I think is the latest one that I read before this. Anything Seth
Godin puts out, I think, is golden.

Trent: Finally, for the folks who have been listening to you now and
think, ‘Hey, I might like to do business with Shaun’, what’s the number one
easiest way for them to get in touch with you?

Shaun: The best way is to go to www.BlueCowCreative.ca.

Trent: Terrific. Shaun, thank you so much for making some time to be
on the show. It’s been a pleasure to have you on.

Shaun: It’s been a pleasure being here.

Trent: All right. To get to this show notes from today’s episode, go
to BrightIdeas.co/66. When you’re there, you’ll see all the links that
we’ve talked about today, plus some other valuable information that you can
use to ignite more growth in your business.

If you’re listening to this on your mobile phone, just text TRENT to
585858 and I’ll give you access to the ‘Massive Traffic Toolbox,’ which is
a compilation of all of the very best traffic generation strategies shared
with me by the many proven experts that have been guests here on the show.
As well, you’ll also be able to get a list of, what I feel, are the very
best interviews, thus far, that I have recorded. I can promise you will
discover many bright ideas as a result of those interviews.

Finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please head over to
BrightIdeas.co/love, where you will find a link to leave us a rating in the
iTunes store.

That’s it for this episode. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and I look
forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care and have a wonderful
day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
Check us out on the web at BrightIdeas.co.

About Shaun Whynacht

ShaunWhynacht-PromoShot-SmallAs a leader in social media consulting, Blue Cow is on the leading edge of technology application, combining an up-to-the minute understanding of current tools and trends with proven skills in creative design and video production to offer clients the latest, hippest approach to their business needs. But Blue Cow’s approach dictates that superior customer service and a personalized approach is the hallmark of their operation; here high tech meets down home.

It’s a business acumen that has made converts of business operators who have experienced the philosophy; developed by company President Shaun Whynacht; of educate, engage and accelerate in which clients learn about the options available, buy-in to those concepts, and then, through applying those tools and trends, meet their goals. But it’s a process that is preambled by Blue Cow’s astute understanding of the technologies and deep interest in the needs of the client. There’s no love-‘em and leave-‘em in these relationships – Blue Cow and their clients stay committed to each other for the long haul!

And with that track record, it’s no wonder that the youthful Mr. Whynacht (he’s, amazingly, just 32) has earned the attention of regional business leaders who have featured him and his firm in High Flyers, a showcase of the region’s most promising up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Join the Conversation

One of the things that I love most about hosting my podcast is participating in the conversations they provoke. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this: Question: What part of your business are you struggling with most? Please share your answer by clicking one of the social icons at the top or bottom of this post.

Ask Me a Question

If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, you can share it by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you.

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How to Capture More Leads, Target Them More Effectively, and Sell More Products

,
Brad Martineau 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FC(1)

Do you ever feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done?

Do you feel like you have a crystal clear picture of exactly what success looks like for your business?

Would you like to hear from another small business owner who is successfully making the transition from owner/operator to just owner?

If you are looking for actionable tactics and strategies that you can use to spend more time working “on” your business, as opposed to “in” it, you are going to love listening in on the discussion that we have in this interview.

My guest on the show today is Brad Martineau, founder of Sixth Division – a leading source of coaching, training, and done for you services for Infusionsoft users.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to hear Brad and I talk about:

  • (9:35) Brad’s biggest challenge
  • (12:52) How to transition from Solopreneur to Entrepreneur
  • (18:05) The story of Pardot & what anyone building a business can learn from their strategies
  • (20:05) How to define what success means to you
  • (23:35) How plusthis helps capture more leads, target them more effectively, and sell more products
  • (27:15) How Iron Tribe (a past brightideas guest) uses plusthis with great success
  • (30:05) How to customize thank you pages
  • (30:10) How Laura Roeder (another past BrightIdeas guest) uses plusthis
  • (35:05) What transactional text messaging is and how you can use it to offer a speedy response to your customers
  • (40:05) How to use expiring promotions to offer time-limited discounts
  • (48:05) How to use a Cycler Tool to determine the order in which you deliver content
  • (55:00) Lightning Round

I learned a great deal in this interview, and strongly encourage that you go check it out now.

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent
Dyrsmid: Hey there, Bright Idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid and this is the podcast for marketing
agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover how to use content
marketing and marketing automation to massively boost their business. My
guest on the show today is Brad Martineau, founder of Sixth Division, a
leading source of coaching, training and done-for-you services for
Infusionsoft users. They’re also the founder of a company called PlusThis
which we’re going to talk about in some detail in the interview.I met Brad while attending Infusion Con 13 and I learned of his new
venture which I just mentioned, PlusThis. They were a battle of the apps
finalist. They do some really cool stuff that integrates with Infusionsoft
and that’s why I wanted to give Brad an opportunity and talk about it.Before we get to that we’re going to talk about my technology tool
tip of the week. That is something called ‘Buffer App’. I use Buffer App to
very easily schedule up a bunch of social sharing. whether I want to put it
on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. When I’m reading my RSS feed each morning
and I see stuff that I want to share with my particular audience if you
just hit the tweet button it’s all going to go out automatically right away
and I don’t necessarily want stuff to go that quickly. I like to stagger it
out. Buffer App, which is a free tool to use, you can get it at
BufferApp.com is a super easy way to stagger your distribution and choose
which of your social networks you want to share that traffic on.Lastly I want to make mention of an upcoming webinar that I have.
It’s called the Seven Secrets of Success for Small Businesses. If you want
to attend that webinar you’re going to learn all about something called
‘life cycle marketing’ which is a seven step process that I absolutely
promise you will have a massive impact on your business once you understand
and then embrace these seven steps in the business. If you are not yet a
subscriber and you want to get notified of that webinar just go to
BrightIdeas dot C-O, enter your details and you’ll definitely get emails
from me making you aware of the next webinar date.With all of that said please join me in welcoming Brad to the show.Hey, Brad. Welcome to the show.Brad
Martineau: Thanks. Glad to be here.

Trent: You recently have come out with this new tool, I’ve just
started to use it really early on and that’s why I wanted to have you on
the episode to have you talk a little bit about the tool and how you’re
using it to build your business and how your clients are using it to build
their business. It’s called PlusThis, it was a battle of the apps finalist
at Infusion Con 2013. That’s how I learned about it and I want to talk
about that but before we dive into that for people who don’t know who Brad
Martineau is or what you’re doing maybe just take a quick moment and
introduce yourself.

Brad: Yeah sure. Obviously, my name is Brad Martineau. Funny how I feel
compelled to say that even though you’ve said that several times. But
that’s my name in case anyone missed it the first time around. I’m a co-
founder at Sixth Division which is a company that provides marketing
services and coaching primarily right now our target market is people who
use Infusionsoft but we see ourselves at some point expanding to work with
the small business population at large.

My background very quickly. I was the sixth employee at Infusionsoft.
I believe it was back in 2004 was when I started so I was the entire
support team and then we hired a support team and I moved into
implementation. I was specifically just helping people implement the
software and I ended up in product management which is a fancy way of
saying that for about five and a half to six years I got to work on the
front lines with customers to figure out how they were using Infusionsoft
and quite frankly other tools in their business to run their business,
being able to see what worked, what doesn’t work. My job was to work with
our developers and our executive team to create a product development
pipeline and build features that were powerful and also made sense to
people.

I believe I had the best job that you can possibly have. Being able
to work with end users and customers and then being able to work hand in
hand with the developers. I had my fingerprints over pretty much every
feature that was developed the time that I was there. It was really fun to
see what technology could do and understand, at a level deeper than
probably any business owner ever cares to know and I don’t know that I
really care to still know that, but it was really good to get that deep
dive of, ‘This is what’s possible with technology,’ and have that blended
with, ‘Here’s what people are doing in the real world to build their
businesses.’

I did that for five and half to six years and I got to a point where
the stars aligned, planets aligned got to a point where it made sense for
me to branch off. I was going to solve all the problems in the world and
then reality hit, there was a learning curve like I think everybody goes
through of building and running and growing a business is a little bit
different in theory than it is in practice so there’s a little bit of a
learning curve but after a while I connected with Dave Lee who’s my
business partner. He also worked at Infusionsoft. We worked together for
about six years. He had subsequently left as well. We decided there’s a
need for a practical, down-to-earth yet elite team and service provider to
really help people grasp this concept of marketing automation and really,
as opposed to the tail wagging the dog, put the business owner and make
them be the dog that actually wags the tail. A lot of people get in and
jump on this train ride that is Infusionsoft and they’re holding on for
dear life. We want to put them back in control and really help them
leverage the power that Infusionsoft can bring their business.

That’s the short summary. I was at Infusionsoft and now we’ve got a
company over here where we help people unleash the full power of
Infusionsoft on their business. We’re having a blast, having a good time.
PlusThis was spun off…I don’t know if you follow 37 Signals but they
wrote a book early on and talked about by product and how some of their
products were created because it was just something they needed when they
were initially being a consulting company or building and designing
websites. PlusThis is the exact same thing. It was a, we were working with
clients… and maybe you’re going to ask where PlusThis came from so it’s
going to dovetail into that but we worked with a lot of clients and we
realised very, very quickly that there were almost zero implementations
that we could do, and do the way that we wanted to to really unlock
Infusionsoft without requiring a little bit of custom development. That’s
not to say you can’t make it work. It’s just to say that the way we wanted
to build it we needed some additional tools that weren’t available. We
started contracting a developer to build these little scripts that we
wrote, and we would install it on our customer’s web server and they could
do really cool things. We realized we were building the same things over
and over again.

I had had this idea when I left Infusionsoft to build a library of
scripts so we could put everything in one spot and once we realized we were
actually building the same scripts over and over again and the fact that
business owners don’t want to think about FTP or API or web servers or any
of that, most of them, so we wanted to build something so easy… we like
to joke around the office it had to be so easy that even Clate Mask could
use it, who’s the CEO of Infusionsoft. We set out to build this library of
features, that’s what PlusThis is and we ended up becoming a finalist in
Battle of the Apps. It’s debatable as to who should have won that contest
but we’ll let it go. That’s where we are now. We provide services and then
we have this software tool that we’re continuing to develop and add on to
and again, everything we focus on right now is helping the small business
get more out of Infusionsoft and really leverage the power that’s there
whether it be through services or through software.

Drysmid: For some of the folks who haven’t heard of Sixth Division where
are you located and how many people are coming to work there every day?

Brad: We’re in Chandler, Arizona so we’re ten minutes door to door from
Infusionsoft. Straight down the freeway from Infusionsoft. We have some
employees who are remote and who travel in to do services. We’ve got one in
Ohio, one in San Diego and then there are seven of us that work in the
office. So nine total plus a couple of contractors that do some pretty
regular work for us.

Drysmid: You’ve built a very nice small business. The reason I ask that
question is there are a lot of people listening to this who are a
solopreneur or maybe even a two person or a three person shop. I remember
when I was a solopreneur and I got to two and then I got to three. When I
was at three I was thinking, ‘Man, how do I get to six?’ When I was at six
I was thinking, ‘How do I get to ten? How do I get to twelve?’ I want to
make sure people understand that you’re a small business owner just like
they are and you have the same challenges in attracting new clients and
making sure profits arrive and systematizing and so forth to grow your
business just like they do.

Brad: Just one point on that. Our biggest challenge…and I don’t say
challenge like ‘we don’t know what to do’. It’s the next obstacle. But our
obstacle right now is creating systems and getting everything in place to
where my business partner and I can spend our time building the business
and not doing the work. There’s an interesting gap that you have to get
across, if you had asked me even nine months ago I don’t know that I would
have told you that within the next six to nine months that I would
literally be in a position where I would be building the business and not
doing the work. And quite frankly I don’t know that I would have told you
that I wanted to. I think that probably six months or so ago I wanted to
build a team because we needed more people to provide services but I was
excited about being involved in the work because it was my baby.

The thought process of how we go about doing what we do, a lot of
that was coming from me. My business partner’s more the marketing and the
sales side. The only reason I bring this up is because for the person who’s
sitting at three or even at six, depending on the type of business and
there’s variations, and all different types of business, but there’s a very
strong pull to want to hold tightly to the thing that you do, whether it be
providing a service or you’re building something. Whatever the case may be
there’s a very tight pull, almost magnetic, that you want to keep a grasp
on what it is that your company does. Really for the company to grow I’ve
had to come to realize and to learn that I have to get people that can do
that and empower them to do that because there is so much work that needs
to be done to establish a systematized business and then to create a
marketing plan to continue to bring in the leads. There’s a full time job,
if not multiple full time jobs, just to build a business and it’s what the
business owner should be doing. If there’s anybody listening that’s
struggling with that that’s something I definitely struggled with. There’s
definitely a mental shift that has to take place to go from ‘I’m going to
be doing this work, I’m going to be doing it,’ to get to the point where,
‘I could actually go hire people. If I could find the right people, I could
put the right people in place to be able to get myself to where I’m
building the business and not doing the work.’ But it takes a bit of a
shift of a mind set.

Drysmid: I’m glad you brought that up and I’m going to go down that
rabbit hole for a little bit before we shift and talk about PlusThis
because I think it’s a really importantly rabbit hole. The first thing is,
you talked about something and as you were saying I thought about this. You
can have growth or you can have control. I think that’s part of that big
mind shift. I’m interested in your opinion. Did you feel you had to give up
control to get to growth?

Brad: Absolutely. Infusionsoft offers this thing called ‘Elite Forum’. It’s
Clate and Scott teaching their methodology. Dave, my business partner, and
I were involved in that when we were at Infusionsoft. He made a really
interesting comment the last time I was there which was just a different
way – I’d never thought about it this way. He said, ‘Entrepreneurship is an
exercise in learning to let go.’ If that’s not the truest statement in the
world I’m not sure what is.

I believe 100% that in order for you to be able to grow, and not just
grow revenues, but to grow the business however it needs to grow you’ve got
to have the mentality of finding good people that you can empower to go do
the job. I’ll frame that and this is a critical point. You have to know
what you want out of your business first. There are a lot of people that
want a solopreneur shop and that’s what they want. They want the lifestyle,
they want to run everything and that’s great. What I would say is, know
what you want and then create a plan to get there. If you want the
solopreneur bit then don’t let other people convince you that you should be
hiring to grow. Because if you just want the solopreneur gig then make that
work and completely control your schedule.

What you do is, this is my formula. You start by saying, ‘What do I
want out of my business?’ Whether it’s solopreneur or build the business,
whatever it is create a plan that says, ‘This is what my life will look
like as a result of me building this business.’ For some people it’s going
to be solopreneur. For us, we know how big we want to get. We don’t want
100 coaches in our services business. That’s not what we’re trying to do.
That’s not what we want to build. Infusionsoft on the other hand, they want
the whole built-to-last approach.

I’m not going to sit here and even pretend to try and judge and say
which one is right because it depends on the business owner but the key is
to know what you’re trying to build and then once you know that, then the
next step is to create a business plan that allows you to get there. Once
you define your ideal lifestyle you should end up with a dollar amount and
‘This is what the profit needs to be so I can live this way and this is
what my schedule’s going to be.’ Once you have that defined now you can
create a business plan that says, ‘These are the products and or services
I’m going to offer and this is their price point and I need to be able to
sell X number of each one.’

I don’t want to take this too far down the rabbit hole but for anyone
that is chewing on that create-the-menu business plan I would read a book
by Michael Masterson called ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ where he talks about your
first job is to sell your first product profitably. If you’re not at the
point where you’re into profitability and cranking with the product and
you’ve got five I’d cut four of them out and I’d focus on one. And I would
focus on your most expensive one because it gives you the most profit.
There’s a whole conversation there but first, identify your ideal lifestyle
and how many hours you want to be working and how much money do you want to
be making. Then you want to create a business plan. A business plan is
literally as simple as ‘These are my products and services. This is what I
charge for them. This is my margin. Here are my fixed expenses.’ You just
come up with an equation that will tell you exactly how many units you need
to sell. Once you decide on that you move to the next step which is go
create your marketing plan of how you’re going to get those clients.

I see a lot of people that every time they run into a roadblock they
go back and assume they have to change their business plan, their products,
their services or their pricing. I say, ‘No. Decide on that and move onto
your marketing and get better at marketing. Don’t blow up your business
every month because you don’t hit the numbers you want. Figure out how to
market the right product.’ That’s the formula that works for me. And that’s
what I’ve learned. Identify what you want your ideal lifestyle to look
like, come up with a business plan. What are you going to sell, how many
and at what price point and then go create a marketing plan to make that
happen. Then your energies and effort should be in the marketing plan and
making sure you’re driving that forward.

That forces you to have to let go of everything else because your job
is to then get those units to build the business to match whatever it is
you want your lifestyle to look like but you’ve got to let go of everything
else. You can’t be answering the phone when somebody calls in. You’re never
going to build the business to where you want it to be. Somebody else needs
to do that and you need to find someone you trust to do that. You may not
be able to take all the sales calls. I don’t do any sales calls and I
hardly do any implementation anymore on the services side and it’s a little
bit difficult for me at times. It’s hard to let go of that. But yes, I
agree 100% with your statement. we can either grow or I can have complete
control over everything. I’d rather grow and get to the point where we want
to build our business to because it makes everybody’s life better.

Drysmid: It does. Plus if you’re the solopreneur there’s never anything
that you can sell, you’re never building any equity. Nobody wants to buy a
business that is 100% dependent upon you. If you’re trying to build some
lasting value for yourself and your family and have the opportunity to
transition to retirement or real estate investments or whatever it is you
want to do when you don’t want to do this anymore you cannot be a
soloprenuer and make that happen.

Brad: Yeah, I’ll take thirty seconds. A really quick story to illustrate
that. I met a guy about six or seven years ago at a [inaudible 00:18:01]
Association conference named David Cummings. He’s the guy that founded
ParDot, the email marketing solution for bigger businesses. I don’t know
how many businesses he has but, very interesting, his model as the business
owner is he starts a business and the first thing he does is go out and
finds a president or a CEO to run the business. He builds everything around
systems so literally, he just sold ParDot to, I don’t remember who it was.
Exact Target or Vertical Response or somebody. He sold it. Because none of
the businesses depended on him…normally when you sell it’s going to be
cash less stock and then you’ve got to stay around for a year. He signed,
it was a 95% cash deal, he signed and and then he walked out, literally,
walked out the door the next day, in fact it was that day, and never went
back. Never had to do anything with it. There’s a lot of power and leverage
in having a business that can just run and crank and just go, all by itself
and you’re driving the business so that if somebody else wanted to buy it
they could just drive the business but the systems are already in place.

Trent: Just for my show notes, what was his name again?

Brad: David Cummings. For anyone who wants to follow he’s got an excellent
blog. He blogs everyday and it literally takes you two minutes to read it
and they’re amazing insights, short, bullet pointed stuff, but really,
really good insights. He’s a really good entrepreneur, great mind to
follow.

Trent: What’s his blog?

Brad: That’s a great question. I think it’s 10,000 Hours of
Entrepreneurship. If you just search for David Cummings it’ll come up.

Trent: I’ll make sure I include it the show notes. At the end of the
episode I’ll announce the link for how to get to show notes. Before we move
off this topic I wanted to offer up a book as well that I just finished
reading. In Canada there’s a company called 1-800-GOT-JUNK. They’re not in
Canada, they’re worldwide now. They’re one of the more phenomenal growth
stories of at least my hometown. Their COO for years, who has left them
now, I don’t remember his name, but his book is called Double Double.
Especially being a COO, he’s a real numbers guy and he talked a lot in
Double Double about pretty much, Brad, what you said.
Figure out what the outcome is that you want and then reverse engineer. His
name is Cameron Herold. Reverse everything you need to do to get there and
then figure out what your key performance indicators are and your job is to
watch those very closely on a weekly, daily, monthly basis to make sure
you’re hitting them. In his book he chapter by chapter breaks down how to
do all this. If it’s growth you want this is probably a book you’re going
to enjoy.

Brad: I don’t think it can be overstated, the importance of ‘decide what
you want and reverse engineer how to get there’. I think there are way too
many people who wake up every day and they go into an office and they feel
comfortable they spent eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve hours in an office
and they go home but they have absolutely zero bearing on whether or not
they are closer or further away from their goal. Usually I see the problem
is people haven’t started by defining what their goal is. They have no idea
what success looks like. And if I can throw out one last little bit on this
and then we can be done with it. It’s not easy to figure that out. I think
some people get into it and they try and write it down and they feel dumb
because they feel it should be easy to figure out. It’s not. It is a pain
in the freaking butt to figure out and really identify what you want.

It takes a lot of thought because you have to balance everything in
your life. If you’ve got kids you’ve got to balance out how it’s going to
work with your family, how much time do you want to spend versus how much
time do you want to spend in the business? I Ultimately it just comes down
to making a decision. It’s not easy. It’s a simple process but it does take
time and it is hard because you’ve got a lot of stuff to balance and
because you’ve never thought about it before.

If you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner and you don’t have a
clear number, meaning dollar amount/time amount, that you’re working
towards, then there’s a certain part of you that is just wasting time every
day when you wake up and go to work. You’ve got to know. If you’re trying
to lose weight it’s easy. You know exactly how much weight you’re trying to
lose and then you work towards that every single day. Same thing in
business. what are you trying to make happen in the business and what are
you working towards? You’ve got to decide that. It pains my soul every time
I talk to someone that doesn’t know. ‘What are you doing then? How do you
know if you’re being successful or not if you have no idea what your goal
is?’

Trent: It’s like going for a drive and not knowing where you
destination is. Or just driving around. At the beginning of Cameron’s book,
that’s what he devotes his first three chapters to. In fact, chapter one is
called Vision/Painted Picture and it’s preparing for fast growth. Very
good. I’m sure you would love it.

That was a cool rabbit hole, I’m glad we went down it and I’m quite
sure we served the audience by doing so.

Now I want to talk about PlusThis. Infusionsoft as you know and I
know and anyone who’s listening to this already knows is an amazingly
powerful tool so much so that people who don’t use it really don’t even
get. They don’t comprehend. I get emails from people every week saying,
‘Could you spend a little bit of time with me showing me why you’re so
excited about Infusionsoft?’ I do a little Skype and screen share and show
them how much of my stuff I’ve automated and usually their jaw is just
hanging open. ‘I had no idea. I thought it was an email program.’ Which
couldn’t be further from the truth.

You build this thing called ‘PlusThis’ which integrates very smoothly
with Infusionsoft because there are all these little problems that you want
to solve that are not necessarily super easy to solve with Infusionsoft.
We’re going to give some specific examples of that in about ten seconds and
how solutions to those problems can benefit the business. Let’s talk about
a couple of the features that you guys have developed early on in PlusThis.
Let’s start off with Stealth Video Tracking. What is it and why should
someone use it?

Brad: Perfect, let me just start. All of these we go through, our approach
to PlusThis. Let me just give the backdrop for that, all those will make
more sense. The end result of using Infusionsoft in our business is we want
to make more money. We can make more money by converting more people. We
can convert more people by getting the right message to the right person.
That requires us to know a couple of things. One, we need to know a heck of
a lot of information about the prospects and customers in our database so
we know if they’re the right person to send a particular message to.

We want to provide tools in PlusThis that allow us to capture and
store more information about our prospects and customers. What are they
doing, who are they? Then we want to build tools that allow us to send more
relevant and more targeted messaging that will lead to increased
conversion. The big picture backdrop is, capture more information so we
can be more targeting and convert more sales and make more money. That’s
the idea.

Stealth Video Tracking. The generic use of this is if you’re using
YouTube, Wistia is a video provider, or Vimeo, anyone of those three, we
can help you track how long people watch any of the videos you use in your
marketing. Probably the two most famous examples of this are Jermaine
Griggs. I’ve got a whole interview with him but but Jermaine Griggs. His
entire model is set up, he’s got four videos that he gives to his new leads
to start his opt in piece. And what he does is, he uses his videos to build
relationships with his customers. Also, on each video, next to each video
he’s got a little mini survey that allows him to capture additional
information. So what he does is, he sends people to go watch his videos. If
they don’t watch them I believe he sends them up to three or four
reminders to try and get them to go back and watch the video. If they watch
the video a couple of things happen. One, he knows they’re engaged in the
content so he knows they’re better likely to get an offer and actually buy
something. Two, he’s able to make jokes in his videos and start to build a
relationship with these people and three, he’s got a higher likelihood that
people will fill out the survey and give him even more information about
who they are and what they’re interested in.

So with the video tracking feature what you are able to do is track
of whether people have watched your videos or not and then you can adjust
your marketing based on that. So, for him, if somebody watches his first
video right away then the next video gets ‘unlocked’ the next day. If they
don’t watch it, then what happens is they get a reminder the next day to
watch video one and they’ll continue to get reminders up to three
reminders. At the end of three he’s like, ‘Fine, if you don’t watch video
one I’m going to try to get you to watch video two’. But because he knows
whether they’ve watched the video or not he’s able to then adjust his
marketing to make sure he’s preparing all his prospects the right way. On
the front end marketing side that’s one way you can use it. If he had a
sales team that was picking up the phone and calling, he doesn’t, but if he
did then they would be able to, when they opened up a contact record, would
be able to look at the contact record and as they’re talking to someone
they would know what that person has watched and what they haven’t watched.

Another example is Iron Track Fitness, they were the Ultimate
Marketer winners in 2012. Jermaine won in 2011. They’re selling franchises
now. They’re a gym out in Alabama but they’ve started franchising and
they’re at like 40 locations or something. Now what they do is, on the
franchise side of it, when they’re selling new franchises, they have their
entire education and basically franchise, onboarding process built into a
membership center and that’s all video based. They have a ton of training
that’s all video based and they take people through classes. What they do
is they use the video tracking feature to track whether or not somebody has
completed a course or not, whether they’re watching the videos. The people
that manage how their new franchisees are moving through the process can go
in and they have a simple little dashboard that tells them whether the
person is watching the videos or not. If they’re not they can pick up the
phone and be like, ‘Hey, look. You really need to watch this video because
it’s going to affect your franchise in this way, this way, and this way.’
It allows them to have better customer service for their franchises.

Whether it’s on the marketing side or whether you have an info
product and you want to be aware of whether people are watching or not. If
you’ve got an info product or a course and somebody’s not watching, that
person is going to be at risk to cancel or request a refund so it’ll let
you highlight who those people are. You can pick up the phone and call
them. On the flip side if it’s any of your marketing content, people that
are watching all your videos are at a higher likelihood that they are going
to be willing to buy. They are more interested. Those are the people you
want to call first or engage with first.

Again, it’s about giving you more information so you can either
change your conversation you’re having in person or automatically adjust
the conversation you’re having through emails or whatever other follow up
you’re doing.

Trent: For the folks who are maybe are not yet using Infusionsoft I
want to make sure there’s no details that are missed here. All of this
stuff happens on auto-pilot. When someone watches a video to a certain
point, which you define, you can then apply a tag within Infusionsoft and
when a tag gets applied you can trigger in the campaign builder all sorts
of actions whether they be phone calls or additional emails or what have
you. When Brad says ‘Germaine adjusts what he does’ it’s not as though he’s
sitting at his desk doing different stuff.

Brad: Quite the opposite actually. I think he literally works an hour a
week on that business that’s cranking out. Because he has it dialled in.
It’s totally 100% automated. All you do is build it once and then it runs
every time like clockwork.

Trent: If you’re interested in hearing more about Forrest Walden I did
interview him. You can get to that interview by going to BrightIdeas dot C-
O slash 3. It was a fascinating interview. Jermaine is actually going to be
on the show soon so if you want to catch that interview make sure you
become a subscriber and you’ll get a notification.

Let’s talk about customized thank-you pages. What’s the big deal
about those?

Brad: Stealth Video Tracking is more about capturing more data so that we
can start to tailor our message. customized thank-you Pages is a tool that
allows you to actually display customized messaging. When you get into
Infusionsoft it’s relatively easy, like you just described, to have
Infusionsoft automatically branch your messaging where if they watch the
video send them this series of emails and if they haven’t continue to send
them this series of emails. You can do all that inside Infusionsoft with
your emails or your voice broadcast or letters. You can have it branch in
terms of what you send out of Infusionsoft to your prospects or customers.
What Infusionsoft doesn’t have the capability to do is let you control the
message that you display immediately after somebody buys a product or fills
out a web form and opts into your website. Or fills out a survey that you
sent them if they opted in previously.

A really good example of this is: Laura Roder is a client of ours.
She teaches people about social media, she talks about Facebook and she
talks about Twitter and she talks about LinkedIn and Google Plus and
there’s a whole bunch of different social media tools. When somebody comes
to her website and they opt in, she’s going to want to ask them ‘What are
you most interested in?’ or ‘What are you having the most problems with?’
It only makes sense that if somebody checks off the box and says, ‘Hey,
Facebook is my biggest challenge right now,’ then it only makes sense that
the next page that shows up would be a page that talks about Facebook as
opposed to having one page. Imagine 100 people filling out this form and
let’s just say they were spread evenly across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
and Google Plus. You have two options. option number one is on the thank
you page you give a generic message that talks about all four of those. Or
you get tailored and based on their biggest problem you take Facebook
people to Facebook, you take Twitter people to Twitter, you take LinkedIn
people to LinkedIn and then you take Google Plus people to Google Plus. The
more you can keep your message 100% on target the higher your conversions
will be.

She’s excited because she’s able to use it increase her profit per
lead because as people are coming in, based on what she knows about them,
she’s able to deliver a very targeted thank you page after somebody fills
out the form. Now, the email messages will most definitely be targeted
because that’s handled inside Infusionsoft but the follow up marketing
starts on the thank you page of a web form. Most people don’t think of
that. I’ll see a lot of people that put up a web form to capture a lead and
all they’ll put on the thank you page is ‘thank you’. Really? They’re at
the peak of their interest. They’re most interested right when they opt in
or right when they fill out the form and the very first message they see is
the thank you page and a lot of people just throw up a generic ‘thank you’.
It’s like ‘No.’ That’s where you either continue to conversation or that’s
where you start selling something.

Another thing Laura will do and several of our other clients is let’s
just say somebody fills out a form to request a new report Seven, whatever.
Seven Secrets of whatever it is. On the thank you page they want to up sell
a particular product, say Product A. If somebody’s already bought Product A
you don’t want to offer them an up sell at a discounted price especially if
they bought at full price. customized thank-you pages also let you
comfortably and confidently put pages out there and allows you to take
anyone that’s already bought that particular product you basically branch
them to a page that is about something else. Maybe it’s an additional piece
of content or Product B. Try to sell them that product. So, customized
thank-you pages let you start creating a completely tailored message not in
your first email but actually on the thank you page when they’re looking
at it right there. You have 100% open rate on that page. Everybody sees it.

Trent: For anyone who would like to hear the interview with Laura
Roder I’ve done that, it’s at BrightIdeas.co/44. She has done a phenomenal
job of transitioning from what used to be just a web design, solopreneur
business, so this kind of dovetails into what Brad and I were talking about
earlier, into a team and a seven figure business with a very healthy profit
margin that she runs from her laptop on the road. Again, BrightIdeas.co/44
if you’d like to hear more about Laura’s story.

Brad: So much so that when we worked with her, which was last year she was
about ten minutes late. She was like, ‘Sorry I’m late. On Monday we decided
to move.’ She was engaged and they are moving to London in the span of a
week and a half. This was inspiring to me that she had her business set up
this way. In the span of a week and a half she decided to move to London,
sold everything in her house, moved to London and it didn’t disrupt
anything in her business. It was really impressive. Anyway, really
interesting story.

Trent: That’s one of the reasons why so many of us are enamoured with
online businesses because it does give you that flexibility. Where are we
time wise? Okay, we’re still good.

Let’s talk about transactional text messaging. Again, what’s the big
deal? Why should I care about this stuff?

Brad: Text messaging. We have a ton of clients that use it for reminders
for webinars, to get people onto webinars. We have a lot of clients that
set up appointments. The way that they sell and the way that we sell set up
appointments to meet with someone and it’s a consultation and then we sell
out of the consultation.

We’ve got a guy, I forget where he is, anyway, Clint Barr. He runs a
fitness business and his whole model is people opt in for free information
and then he drives them to come into the office, sit down and have a
consultation. When you get into the gym world and into the MMA world and
all those they have insanely high close rates, 85% to 90% of the people who
get to an appointment will close. And it’s because, before you walk into a
gym you usually have a pretty good idea whether you’re going to buy or not
so their thing is getting people to come in for the appointments. We set up
a follow up sequence where we would do some email remainders and also a
text message reminder to get the person to come in because text message has
a much higher read rate than email. He was saying that before we
implemented that he would usually have six or seven no shows a month and he
got it down to one no show a month.

If you look at that and it’s like, ‘Well, those numbers aren’t
massive,’ but when you consider he’s setting maybe 20 to 25 appointments a
month. That’s 20% to 25% of the people that are coming in, that are
scheduling appointments don’t show up, and then he gets five more people
to show up, well five more people to show up at an 80% close rate means
he’s adding four new clients. You factor that over the life of the client
because they’re signing up for a three, six or twelve month contract then
all of a sudden it’s a little bit bigger deal. When you multiply those
numbers across any other business with larger margins or higher ticket
items it’s definitely worth it. Small hinges swing big doors. This is a
small hinge that could potentially swing a very large door.

The other potentially slightly different and, I think, maybe more
interesting use of text messaging that he has just recently implemented, in
his business, and I think this is true in a lot of businesses, he’s found
that speed of response is huge. When somebody opts in or somebody requests
an appointment the amount of time that passes between the time they’ve
filled out a form and he gets them on the phone to have a conversation has
a lot to do with whether or not that person’s going to convert. What he did
was he set up his system to where the transactional text message, he gets
one sent to him every time somebody opts in or requests an appointment.
There are some points where the clock starts ticking and whenever that
happens he has a text message go to him. I think he actually has changed it
to go to the assistant that actually makes the calls so the text message
comes in, ‘Heads up. Brad Martineau just filled out the form requesting an
appointment. Here’s the phone number.’ He clicks on the phone number and
can call it right then and literally be connected to the person within a
minute if they pick up. It allows him to cut down on his time of response.

Another interesting idea or use case for text messaging is not to
send it to prospects or customers but to send it to myself as the business
owner or a key employee or potentially even partners. There are a lot of
different ways you can use that once you start to realize, ‘Wait a minute.
I don’t have to send this to the prospect. I can send it to anybody I want
if I have their information.’

Trent: Excuse me, I have a frog in my throat today. I actually built
that feature into my…I have a plug in that generates leads for marketing
consultants and marketing agencies. If you want to check it out go to Mobi,
M-O-B-I, LeadMagnet dot com. I have that feature that built into the plug
in where when someone fills out the form on the landing page if I’m the
vendor, the guy who wants to get the customer, it lights up my phone and
says, ‘Bob just filled out the form two seconds ago.’ On my Smartphone I
just tap the phone number that came in and you can instantly be on the
phone with Bob and say, ‘Bob, I notice you just filled out my form.’ That’s
the moment you want to talk to somebody because they emotionally have made
a purchase decision and you don’t want to lose out on that opportunity.

Brad: Exactly, exactly.

Trent: All right. I’ll try my best to keep the frog out of my throat.
I guess I talked too much over the Memorial Day weekend so apologies to
everybody for me coughing. In Robert Cialdini’s book, I think I pronounced
that properly, on… gosh now I’ve forgotten the title. But it was,
scarcely, where I’m going with this, feebly I might add…

Brad: ‘Influence’ right?

Trent: Yes, ‘Influence’ is the importance of scarcity in marketing.
It’s hardwired into us to be more inclined to act when there’s the
possibility of losing out on something. That transitions us into this thing
called ‘expiring promotions’. What are they, why should I care about them
and how does PlusThis help me make them go?

Brad: Yeah, absolutely. Anytime you’re creating an offer of any kind, one,
your offer needs to be irresistible and amazing in and of itself. In
addition to that, any time I’m creating an offer, and this is whether it’s
an offer on a landing page, an offer for somebody to buy something or
whether I’m presenting something from stage, it doesn’t even matter in
which medium I’m delivering the offer, I’m always considering how do I…
the way s that I make the offer really great are, one, you’ve got to have a
good offer to start. Two, some type of a discount that’s available for a
limited amount of time. I’ll usually throw in bonuses for the first certain
number of people, because the idea of scarcity is so real you’ve got to
make sure you include some element of ‘I need to act now so I can get
this, this, this and this.’ The idea of creating an environment where when
somebody comes into buy…when I was at Infusionsoft the VP of Sales used a
term I’d never heard before and I really liked it. He called it a ‘forcing
function’. He said, ‘You’ve got to have a forcing function. You have to
have something that pushes the person to buy. They can’t just sit around
and say ‘Oh, that’s a cool offer but I know it’ll be there forever. I’ll
buy later.’ It needs to be something that causes the person to sit up in
their chair and say, ‘Wait a minute. I need to consider this right now
because if I don’t right now I’m going to miss out on something.’ That’s
the idea behind expiring promotions. With PlusThis it’s not a single
feature, you use a couple of features together to pull off expiring
promotions but the idea is that when somebody comes and they opt in, they
get you some free piece of information and at some point in the cycle
what’s going to happen is, you need to say, ‘By the way, I have this
product you can buy, product A and I’m going to give you a discount if you
buy it within the next seven days or within the next fourteen days.’ You
get to choose what your cycle is.

One of our clients, Sean Greely runs Net Profit Explosion, he helps
fitness businesses build their businesses up. He uses this concept where
when people opt in he’s trying to get them onto a consultation. Normally
they charge for their consultations. So his offer is that within the first
30 days you can get a free consultation instead of having to pay for it if
you jump. The key elements of creating an expiring promotion are you have
to know when the promotion ends and with it expiring you want it to be
evergreen which means it can work for anybody. We’ll take Sean’s example.
You’re doing a 30 day promotional window. If Jim comes and opts in today
then in 30 days from now his offer needs to expire and I need to be able to
talk to him about his offer expiring in 30 days from today. What’s today?
May, whatever. Anyway, today.

If John comes and opts in next week I need his promotion to expire in
a week and 30 days. It’s got to be built where no matter when somebody
comes into my system I can create this promotion that expires based on when
they’re coming in and on their timetable. What you do is, we have a feature
that allows you to calculate a date, it’s called What’s the Date, but
calculate a date in the future.

So what you would do is you would say, ‘The first thing I want to do
when somebody comes into my system is I need to calculate when does their
promotion expire.’ If it’s a 30 days window we have a feature where you
say, take today’s date, add 30 days and it will create that date and store
it for you inside Infusionsoft. Then we use another feature that’s called
Humanize the Dates, because they’re storing it as a funky computer date. We
want to convert it so it’s readable like a human would read it so that we
can merge it into emails. As soon as somebody opts in PlusThis says, ‘I
know today is May 1 and this guy’s offer needs to expire on June 1.’ So
what it will do is, it will calculate June 1 and then convert it into a
human date so I can put it in an email and say, ‘Thanks for coming and
opting in. I’ve got an offer for you. You can buy this product at half off
plus I’ll throw in this bonus, this bonus and this bonus and you’ve got to
buy before June 1.’

Then I can schedule all of my follow up emails leading up to that
expiration date but it’s specific to each contact so, again, if somebody
comes in on May 1 their expiration date is June 1. If somebody comes in on
May 15 their expiration date is June 15. For every single person that comes
in there is an automatic built in sense of urgency and scarcity because
they’ve only got a certain amount of time to take advantage of that
particular offer. So what it does is, it allows you to create that scarcity
and increase sales and you don’t have to do anything with it. Just like we
talked about with Jermaine’s system before, it’s autopilot. The thing just
runs. Every time they come in you’re cranking out your expiring promotion.
That’s the idea. We have a lot of clients that have used that all over the
board with a lot of great success.

Trent: I want to jump into that one a little deeper because I’m
thinking how I could implement that with my own. I have my info products
which are products within Infusionsoft and then I use an order form. I’m
very familiar with promotional codes and so forth that you could give a
discount. How does your expiring promotions tie into that? How does it
actually work? Would I have to create more than one order form? Do I have
more than one promotional code? Within that 30 day window let’s say, I
wanted, just hypothetically speaking, If you buy in the first week I’m
going to give you 50% off, if you buy before week two the discount goes
down to 25% off and if you wait till the very end it’s only 10% off.

Brad: The most sure-fire way to do this is with either the new order form
or the shopping cart where you can pass promo codes through the link into
the order form or into the shopping cart. And then what you do, here’s the
deal. This is where it gets tricky, right? You’re going to send an email
in week one that says, ‘If you buy within the first week you’re going to
get 50% off,’ they still have that email even when they get into week two.
They can click on the link from that email so it can’t be embedded in that
link that they get a 50% discount because they can go back to it and click
later. The third feature that you use is actually the customized thank-you
page feature. So what you do is you go in and you create a customized thank-
you page that will route to, let’s say you have three different offers.
50%, 25% and full price. You’ll create a customized thank-you page that
says if they have a tag that says I should give them 50% off I’m going to
send them to the 50% off link which adds the same product into the cart but
it includes a 50% off promo code.

If they have a tag that says they should get 25% off we’ll forward
them on to a link that says add the same product but give them a 25% off.
If they have a tag that says no discount then just add to product to the
cart like normal. And then what happens out of PlusThis, is PlusThis gives
you a URL and you plug that into all of your links across any one of the
emails. It doesn’t matter which email it goes in and then throughout your
sequence you’re going to apply and remove tags that control which promotion
they get.

As soon as they opt in this person gets a 50% off promo. That runs
for a week and at the end of that week we take that tag off and we put on
the ‘this person gets a 25% promo’. End of the next week we take off 25%
and put they don’t get any discount. What happens is no matter what email
they get throughout that calendar time frame, those emails will all point
to the PlusThis customized thank-you page URL so when they click on it,
whether they click on it during the first, second or third week, they’ll go
to PlusThis. PlusThis is going to check which promotion or discount they
should get and it will then pass them along to the appropriate URL and
because you’re passing the promo code through the URL when they get to the
shopping cart all they’ll see is your generic shopping cart URL at the top
and they’ll have no idea that a promo code was entered so they have no way
to spoof it unless somehow they figure out what that promo code is.

Trent: Slick. Excuse me, the frogs are back. That is a fantastic tool.

The last one is the ‘Cycler Tool’. I don’t even know what that is
because I haven’t used it yet. Why do I care about that?

Brad: You can do this without PlusThis if you’re really bored and like to
build a bunch of stuff out of Infusionsoft, which I’ve found most people
would rather make money. I think the first time I built this was for Laura
Roder, again she talks about social media concepts. When I opt in I might
say, ‘Facebook is my biggest problem but I’m also interested in learning
about Twitter and LinkedIn. I don’t care about Google Plus.’ Any time you
are marketing to prospects that have a wide variety of interests across
different topics you immediately come across this dilemma of ‘Okay, how am
I going to keep track of what people want and then how am I going to choose
what to send them and in what order?’ So you can get into Infusionsoft.
With her we built something called a ‘Cycler’. Think of it as a wheel
basically. When somebody opts in the first thing we want to try and pitch
them on is Facebook. If I know they’re interested in Facebook and Twitter I
want to try to pitch them on Facebook first.

If I know they’re interested in Twitter and LinkedIn I’m going to try
Twitter first. She’s got four kinds of messages in her library of content.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. When she goes to decide what
she needs to send to somebody first she needs to know what the person is
interested and then second, know if she’s already sent something. Once she
knows those two things, then she needs to have a priority of how she would
normally send things, if somebody was interested in everything what order
would she send all of her content in. So what this tool does, is it allows
you to go into PlusThis and say, ‘My library of content is broken up across
these four topics.’ And I’ll stick with Laura as a specific example.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. ‘If somebody’s interested in
all four I want to market to them, first I want to talk to them about
Facebook. If that doesn’t work I’ll talk about Twitter, if that doesn’t
work or even if it does, then I’ll talk about LinkedIn and then I’ll talk
about Google Plus.’ You go into PlusThis and you set those four up as
pieces of content that you have that you want to send out. You create a tag
for whether the person is interested in each one of those and then you have
a tag that says ‘start this content’, meaning either send this email or
start this entire sequence.

We also set this up for Casey Graham and the Rocket Company. They
were the 2013 Ultimate Marketers. They just came out and we built a similar
thing for them. Where, when somebody opts in, lets say somebody comes in
and says, ‘I’m interested in Facebook and I’m interested in LinkedIn,’
instead of choosing a sequence to start we just run an ACTP post to
PlusThis. PlusThis, say Okay, let me go check and see what this person,
it’ll basically say ‘Number one is Facebook. Let me go see if this person
has a Facebook tag that says they’re interested. If they do then I’m going
to go check and see if I’ve already sent them the Facebook content. If I
haven’t I’m going to start the Facebook content and I’m going to stop.
PlusThis doesn’t do anything else, it starts the Facebook sequence. Once
the Facebook sequence is done, then what I can do is I can run that same
ACTP post again and it will come back to PlusThis. Are they interested in
Facebook? Yes. Have I already sent the content to them? Yes. Okay, let me
move to the next one. Are they interested in Twitter? No, I don’t have a
tag for that. Okay I’m going to move to the next one. Are they interested
in LinkedIn? Yes. Have I sent it before? No. Okay, let me send the LinkedIn
content. It allows you to take this library of content and it allows you to
organize it any way that you want and you plug it into PlusThis and you can
prioritize.

For example, this may be a more specific example. you have a whole
bunch of interviews to talk about whole bunch of different stuff. Let’s say
you went through all your interviews, you’ve got at least 44. Because I’m
counting your numbers as you go up. As you look at all the interviews you
could categorize them and say, ‘This is a marketing interview. This is a
business building interview. This is a leadership interview. This is a
technology interview.’ You could label them all that way. Then what you do
is you say, I’m going to have people opt in and I want to know what they’re
interested in. I’m going to give them options. ‘I’m interested in marketing
and I’m interested in technology. I don’t really care about leadership and
business building.’

Instead of you building out this really intricate fancy campaign
inside Infusionsoft you go into PlusThis and you say, ‘Hey look. I’ve got
interviews for every interview you create a new entry in this cycler tool.
For all the interviews that are marked ‘marketing’ you’ll set it and say,
‘Hey if they’ve got the marketing tag I want to send this interview. Then
you have a tag that will kick off that interview and actually send it. Then
when you’re building out your ongoing [inaudible 00:52:44] you’re deciding
what email or what interview you want to release this week, instead of
putting an email in you put in an ACTP post that goes to PlusThis and says,
‘Hey, go grab the next interview that this person’s interested in that I
haven’t yet sent.’ It will automatically kick if off. It allows you to, you
basically put this library of content up and let PlusThis decide, based on
how you build it, PlusThis decides what to send and who it should be sent
to based on what they’e told you they’re interested in.

So as you add new interviews you might have a really hot interview on
marketing and you want to be sure that’s the next interview anybody gets
who’s interested in marketing. You go into PlusThis and add it to the top
of the Cycler and next time that ACTP post runs to PlusThis, no matter how
far down the list of interviews somebody is the next time it comes back
it’ll take that one first and say ‘Hey, are they interested? Yes, because
they said they were interested in marketing’. Second, ‘have I sent it? No.
It’s a brand new interview.’ And that will go out next to everybody who’s
interested in marketing.

Trent: That is very cool.

Brad: So anyway, what you get to do is, you build the logic of what kind of
content you’re going to produce and then all you have to do is just fill
the library. PlusThis will keep track of who should get what based on what
they’re already received and based on what they’re interested in. It
greatly reduces the complexity of, have I already sent this to somebody? It
allows you to leverage your content better too because you can just create
a library and you don’t have to think through who I should send what to.
PlusThis does it automatically.

Trent: Yeah that’s very cool.

Brad: That one’s a little harder to visualize so I apologize to everybody
on the call, once you see it it’s a little bit easier. It’s extremely
powerful in being able to cycle through different offers and promotions and
stuff like that.

Trent: Okay. Regarding the number of interviews it’s actually much
more than 44. If you want to listen to Casey Graham you can go to
BrightIdeas.co/63. I think we’re up around 70 or so, they’re not all up.
Two a week. I’m cranking them out. All right, so that pretty much sums up
all I wanted to cover.

We just dumped a ton of marketing automation madness on the audience
and I took feverish notes and I will mention like I say at the very end of
this episode what the URL will be to get to these show notes. Actually I
can tell you now. It’s going to be BrightIdeas.co/65. So there you go Brad
you’re number 65.

Brad: Sweet.

Trent: We’ll wrap up with the lightning round. Brad, what are you most
excited about for 2013.

Brad: I am most excited because 2013 is the year I’m going to go from being
an owner-operator to an owner and it will be two businesses. We’re starting
to treat PlusThis as a totally separate business from our services. We’ve
got some other software ideas that are bubbling but I’m excited because
this will be the year where we get our systems in place, we’ve got a killer
team in place that’s cranking and it will allow me to leverage my strengths
in way better ways than I ever could realize before. I’m stoked because I’m
starting to feel the freedom. It’s not the I went through the ‘Oh I’m
excited because I’ve freedom I can go do whatever I want. And then I
realized you know what, it’s not like-, I’m 33, I’m not at the point where
I’m trying to not work for a year. What I want to do is I want to have is a
manageable schedule and make cool stuff happen and starting to get to the
point of tasting the way that we’re going to be able to make really cool
stuff happen is by me not being involved in delivering all of the work, but
actually having the freedom to be able to apply a strategic vision to our
business. And we’ve got two really good product offerings that I think
we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do on both sides. I’m
excited because I’m right at that threshold of being able to get over the
humps, so to speak. And I feel like over the next couple of years we’re
going to be able to explode both PlusThis and the services side and I’ve
got a couple of other software things that that will hopefully be coming
out relatively soon.

Trent: Very cool. Make sure you let me know and if they fit with the
audience that I’ve got, which I’m sure they will, I’ll be happy to have you
back.

Brad: Perfect.

Trent: What is your favorite business book?

Brad: That is a tough question. I saw this when you sent the question over
before when you at least you were nice enough to warn me that you were
going to ask that. It depends, is my answer. It depends on what area of
business, like, business is not like simple things. So there’s a bunch of
different aspects to it.

Trent: Absolutely.

Brad: So I’ll just rattle off a couple that I really, really, really like.
One of them is ‘Ready, Fire Aim’ by Michael Masterson. I jokingly refer to
that as one of my bibles for building my business. It is such a practical
down to earth and logical approach to growing a business and so, there’s a
quick summary and he gives four phases that every business goes through. I
have read the overview of all four and I actually have only read the first
section and a half because that’s all that applies to my business and I had
enough stuff to go run and work with. So, love that one.

I love Verne Harnish, ‘Mastering The Rockefeller Habits’ it’s a great
read. Pretty simple read too but a great read to start to wrap your brain
around metrics and how to track them. The only caution that I would throw
out is depending on where your business is that book may… read it as a
student, not as a follower. Meaning read it to take ideas and then realize
that all the stuff he talks about may not be critical depending on where
your business is, but it’s a great frame of reference. Like, ‘Yes, I need
to be doing metrics. I need to be having reporting in place.’ So that’s a
great book.

Let me think what other like.

Trent: Well lets stop with two.

Brad: Okay, we’ll stop with two.

Trent: Two is good.

Brad: Oh, I got one more. Sorry, one more. This one I think is
awesome. For pricing and sales. It’s ‘No BS Pricing Strategy’ by Dan
Kennedy. Amazing, amazing book to help you understand how to price and how
to sell. Great book. So those three, money.

Trent: Okay. And for people that want to get hold of you, what is the
one easiest way for them to do that?

Brad: Go to sixthdivision.com We do a similar interview approach. We’ve
done a bunch of video interviews with marketers, Jermaine Griggs is one of
them. You can go there, and opt in for the interviews and get access to a
bunch of content there and then.

If you are an Infusionsoft user and are interested in anything else
we have to offer you’ll be prompted to schedule a consultation but as you
go through that process… so sixthdivision.com on the services side,
that’s the best place to find out anything about what we’re doing and then
PlusThis.com on the software side. But that’s pretty much where we are.
That’s where all of our stuff is at.

Trent: All right my friend. Thank you so much for making some time to
come on the show. I really enjoyed this interview and I’m sure the audience
did as well.

Brad: Thanks for having me.

Trent: You’re welcome to come back any time you like.

Brad: All right. Awesome.

Trent: All right. To get to the show notes from today’s episode go to
BrightIdeas.co/65. When you’re there you’ll see all the links that we’ve
talked about today plus some other valuable information you can use to
ignite more growth in your business.

If you’re listening to this on you mobile phone while you’re driving
or doing whatever, just send a text – rather, just text TRENT to 585858 and
I’m going to give you access to the massive traffic toolbox, which is a
compilation of all the very best traffic generation strategies that have
been shared with me by my many proven experts that have been guests here on
the show.

As well, you’ll also be able to get a list of all my favorite
episodes that I’ve published thus far on the blog.

And finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please head over to
BrightIdeas.co/love where you’ll be able to give or rather find the link to
leave us a rating in the iTunes store and I would really appreciate it if
you would take a moment to do that, because it helps the show to build its
audience and the more audience members we have, of course the more people
we can help to massively boost their business.

So that’s it for this episode. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid and I
look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Take care and have a wonderful day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
Check us out on the web at BrightIdeas.co.

About Brad Martineau

bradmug2-copyBrad Martineau, Co-Founder of Sixth Division, serves the small business community as the leading provider of coaching and software tools that help entrepreneurs tap into the power of marketing automation.  He’s consulted thousands of successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and top marketers around the world.  He loves teaching and helping people understand difficult concepts.  Nothing drives him nuts more than seeing someone NOT do something because they don’t know how.

Back in the day, he was the sixth employee at Infusionsoft, and spent over six years leading the product development efforts as a key member of the Infusionsoft leadership team.  He had a blast and learned a ton doing this, all while getting to rub shoulders with many very highly successful entrepreneurs.

Brad is married with five kids, loves playing basketball, is addicted to fitted hats, and is pretty into the whole entrepreneur thing.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: The Story of How Digital Relevance Grew by 3,596% in 3 Years

Aaron Aders 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FC

If you heard about a marketing agency that had increased revenue by 3,596.8% over a 3 year period, do you think that would be a firm you’d want to learn from?

Are you looking for ways to get more attention for your firm (or your clients) from the media?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are in luck!

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, my guest is Aaron Aders, co-founder and Market Research Director of Digital Relevance (formerly Slingshot SEO) which was named the fastest growing private company in Central Indiana with a 3 year growth rate of 3596.8%!

When you listen to this fascinating and informative interview, you are going to hear Aaron and I talk about:

  • (00:00) the service that his firm offers that is in such huge demand
  • (3:00) how they launched their company without any outside funding
  • (4:00) a very ingenious referral strategy that played a pivotal role in their very early days
  • (5:50) how they produced an industry report that literally catapulted them into the spotlight and brought them to the attention of their target market
  • (11:00) how they got their next report, a blog optimization guide, covered by Inc magazine
  • (16:00) an overview of their Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 content production plans that is used to underpin all the media attention they receive
  • (20:00) how they produce their own blog content, how Google authorship plays a role, and how to get credit (from Google) to their writing team
  • (24:00) how they nurture their leads to become qualified prospects that the sales team should talk to
  • (28:00) an explanation of the specific process that a lead goes through in their funnels to become qualified

I learned a great deal in this interview, and strongly encourage that you go check it out now.

Links

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

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If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hey there bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
Broadcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and this is the
broadcast for marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to
discover how to use content marketing and marketing automation
to massively boost their business.On the show with me today is Aaron Aders, co-founder and Market
Research Director of Digital Relevance formerly known as
Slingshot SEO, which was named one of the fastest growing
private companies in central Indiana with a three year growth
rate of, check this, 3596.8%. You are absolutely going to love
this interview with Aaron. Before we get to that I want to go
over my tool tip and I’ve got a special announcement webinar
coming up.So the tool tip for this episode is something called the Fancier
Author Box by ThematoSoup and it’s a free WordPress plug in that
you can download and in this interview you are going to learn
why this is so important. But to basically to boil it down to a
nutshell this allows you to make sure that the author of each
blog post is properly credited in the eyes of Google for the
purposes of Google Authorship, which is an increasingly
important component to SEO, so it allows you to insure that each
writer is properly credited and that will help your SEO efforts.
So you can just Google it Fancier Author Box of course it there
will be a link in and show notes as well.And so the webinar coming up is the webinar on lifecycle marketing
and if this topic you’re not going familiar with I strongly
encourage you to become a subscriber to Bright Ideas just go to
brightideas.co and you will receive notifications of the next
webinar coming up as this has been proven to be a very popular
webinar for folks who to want better learn how to use this
concept called lifecycle marketing to make customer traction oh,
so much easier.So with all of that said, please join me in welcoming Aaron to the
show. Aaron, welcome to the show.Aaron: Hey, thanks for having me here, I really appreciate the
opportunity.Trent: No problem at all. I appreciate you making the time to come and
share with the Bright Ideas audience what’s working for your
firm. So for the folks who don’t yet know who you are or much
really about your business can you just briefly introduce
yourself and your company in your own words?

Aaron: Yeah, no problem, Trent. My name is Aaron Aders and I’m co-
founder of Digital Relevance Inc. and what we do is mostly earn
media online so usually what that means is we work with
companies to create valuable content that target marketing will
find value in and do a visual PR effort to get that out to the
industry influential websites and things of that nature. So the
result from that is a mix of leads and search engines traffic
and the results of those links and the content and a email list
growth, a lot of digital marketing return that really have the
biggest ROI and SEO and such a media and such, so that is
Digital Relevance and I’m one of the co-founders.

Trent: Cool. So we might dive into that a little bit more in a few
minutes, but before we do I just want to kind of give our
readers our listeners as of why I invited you on the show. I was
traveling around the Internet as I always do and I don’t even
remember where off the top of my head now that we discovered you
but what stood out was your growth rate over the past three
years. You grew at 3596.8% over three years. That is a
whopping amount of growth.

You want to know kind of…where were you three years ago in terms of
how big the company was and where are you now and what in the
heck did you do to cause so much growth to happen?

Aaron: Well it was an interesting ride for sure along our growth
there. We took an interesting position beginning that we wanted
to bootstrap this thing and grow organically because I think
that is just a real natural way to grow through. I guess client
referrals and on the back of your work rather some fundraising
effort that just goes out and hires a lot of sales people; not
that that’s bad. It can get a lot of traction from new ideas but
it just wasn’t the idea that we wanted to go by because I
believe being in services is a little bit different then if you
had a product or something like that, it makes sense to a
fundraising for.

So as a service writer . . . well first of all, when we started this
company, I was 26 years old and we didn’t really have a whole
lot of funding between us or anything else, but we did have a
list of people that were interested in our services. So kind of
as when we were starting off a bit of our strategy was, “Okay,
let’s get these clients on board, let’s do great by them,” and
we took some of the first contracts to kind of, not quite a loss
but just about. I mean we were eating beans at the time to give
you an idea there.

When we took this contract we said we’re going to do this for you at
somewhat of a discounted rate and basically all we ask is that
when we make you successful, not if, but when, you tell three
other people about us and we’ll make that pitch at the contract
of signing and hold it back. We never really had anyone turn
that down but it was very effective in growing us. Because we
did hold people to telling other business owners about our
company so that kind of word of mouth marketing was really how
we grew our business in the beginning. The 3,000% growth rate,
that was past. I think you were referring to the Inc. 500
number.

Trent: Probably.

Aaron: I think you have to . . . you can’t say anything to them until
they make over a $100,000 but still, at that point we really had
a pretty small market, inbound marketing team but it was mostly
by word of mouth. We didn’t stop taking projects at losses was
obviously, and grew that way but it was really through clients’
success and really being adamant that when we make you
successful we expect that. When you do right by people and do a
good job for them and especially in marketing, I think that’s
something people like to brag about.

We got our start in SEO and having rankings being number one or
number two or whatever for a certain keywords that people like
to brag about that as well, so I think that also helped us.

Trent: Yeah. No question. So let’s go back then to, because it seems
to me that the growth has really been the byproduct of this,
what you said at the very beginning of the interview, you create
valuable content, combine it with PR campaigns and that ends up
helping the SEO or helping the ranking of your clients for a
given keyword set of keywords.

So if I’m to understand what you’ve explained so far it’s the result
of your work, combined with that referral strategy that caused
all the growth as opposed to doing a lot of webinars or doing a
lot of lead magnets or doing other things, am I correct or is
growth coming from two places?

Aaron: Well, as we scaled when we got larger we had beef up our
marketing department and our marketing efforts just to keep up
that growth rate because doubling every year gets twice as hard
every year as we scale. So we did have to pick up, but again
all of the marketing that we do–I should say the marketing that
we do for our clients–which is webinars, white papers and
research guides.

In fact, probably the most successful marketing campaign that we ever
did was a click through rate study that we released in 2011 and
so that was really significant because unless you are a search
engine or a digital marketing company doing the SEO campaign for
a ton of clients, you really don’t have the data to show real in-
depth and informative click through rates on certain keywords.
So that’s essentially was what it was. The PR study was looking
at top ten results, how much percentage of clicks the number one
position get versus the number two through ten.

So since we had such a large client base of SEO customers, we had the
data to have a very significant sample set and now there was
something in that we put together pretty quickly. We were
already tracking the data, we already had it in there, but we
created this what we call a contribution. A contribution is
something that . . . our target market finds valuable and our
target market is essentially marketing directors, VPs of
marketing. This was something that was very important to them–
understanding click through rates so they can plan their
campaigns.

So when we developed that and we went to market with it, that was
talking to, in our case, Search Engine Land and Search Engine
Journal. Websites like that, these industry, influential, what
Google refers to at hilltops, so these authority basis
essentially. So we went there, they loved it, and they were
in fact fighting over the first rights to release it and we
ended up releasing it on Search Engine Land and then released on
guest articles on a lot of other places that were still willing
to take that even though they didn’t get the first release.

But if you have a contribution that valuable, then you’re going to
see those links and the placements come very naturally but you
have to combine the contribution which is obviously putting
upfront effort to create something quality, very targeted, and
then combine that with an earned media strategy and that is the
effective, again, also targeted outreach. So all of that has to
be in sync and speaking to the same audience.

And if you can put all those pieces together then that’s essentially
what we do at Digital Relevance and that’s what I do. I’m kind
of the digital relevance at Digital Relevance here on a day to
day basis so it’s a really fun job and a great way to grow your
business.

Trent: So this report that you’re speaking of is this called the Tale
of Two Studies: Establishing Google and Bing Click Through
rates?

Aaron: Yeah, you were able to find that pretty quickly. I mean that
study was so effective and driving leads to us, driving links.
We instantly started ranking for everything around click through
rates, but it kind of raised the ship on all fronts because we
suddenly became the center of authority and kind of helped out
on our own right because of so many links from other hilltops in
our industry. That was so powerful and it really kicked off the
discovery of . . . well, earned media and contribution that is
just a way that you have to of SEO and optimizing for search
going forward.

Trent: It’s interesting that you mentioned so much success with this
and I want to make a shout out to a past guest of mine in a past
episode because what you’re describing is what Mike Stelzner of
Social Media Examiner calls Nuclear Fuel in his book, “Launch”.
And I did an interview with Mike. It’s brightideas.co/7. If any
of the audience would like to go and check it out and we go into
a lot of detail on producing what is called or what Mike calls
Nuclear Fuel and your report absolutely falls into that
category.

It’s something that attracts a ton of attention to your firm or your
brand and gets a lot of coverage and ends up on a whole bunch of
links that’s coming into you and that’s exactly what you’ve been
describing.

So now, I see on your site you’ve done a couple of other reports.
There’s an enterprise blog post optimization guide and a
Facebook graph search cheat sheet. Did either of those reports
have the impact for you that the click through rate report did?

Aaron: Yeah. Like I said, the click through rate report was definitely
the biggest but those were also very impactful. For example the
blog optimization guide; that was huge. I released in on
Inc.com’s website and that just trickled down to so many
different . . . but that’s what you get out of a big media
placement.

So if you create something of value for a target audience and you
market it effectively to these outlets and you get these
placements, then you just get this trickle down effect of all
these links coming across from people that just syndicate that
content just straight up. That happens from public libraries,
public institutions, private companies all in your industry and
you get requests get a placement in even magazines and print
publication. This guy has been in both and we’ve gotten
requests for both.

And you can just look . . . one of the easiest way to check that is
select maybe a paragraph of text there and throw in a Google
search and you can see how many people straight syndicate that
and you’re looking at hundreds if not thousands of links
everything time you do that. So yeah, the impact of these things
is really big and that’s what we’re seeing in most of the
releases that we’ve done.

Trent: So a couple questions come to mind, first you said you released
it to Inc. Magazine. Can you describe specifically what you mean
by that?

Aaron: Yes, a digital PR effort, the earned media part is probably the
biggest piece in terms of guarantying that you that you get a
lot of links out of that. It’s pitching to an outlet that is an
authoritative industry hilltop that has a lot of your target
audience members reading that publication so whenever this is
placed there, not only get the search engine rankings, you also
get a ton of leads coming in that download that piece; that
value added piece.

That PR digital effort is pitching to them and trying to first get
that first release to somebody and also marketing articles to
the other ones that might not have gotten first release. But if
the piece is valuable enough, then you’re not going to get . . .
it makes the outreach effort a lot easier, let’s say that. Again
those two strategies, the contribution and the earned media, you
really got to be firing on both sides and they’re going to make
each other most successful.

Trent: Okay, so when you reached out to Inc., it’s not like you paid
them. This wasn’t a media buy. You just said, hey, we’ve
produced what we think is a phenomenally valuable piece of
content and we’re going to give you first dips on putting it in
your magazine, mentioning it, linking it, whatever if you deem
it as valuable as we believe it to be. Do I understand this
correctly?

Aaron: Exactly and in doing so we call that climbing the hilltop. And
when climbing hilltops, it’s kind of a future proof way to build
links because it’s done natural. Now we also tell people that
you can’t buy a ticket to the hilltop. If purchasing the links,
first of all, Inc. and any serious publishing wouldn’t even
consider it but some websites do and that’s a practice some,
well, quite a few, people take in trying to get a guest article
posted. They’ll say, hey, I’ll give you $50 to post this on your
blog. It might be middle of the pack domain, authority website
and Google’s attacking that.

[Mad cats] came out last week and said they’re looking specifically
at in shutting down these networks and so as a result whenever
these companies get penalized using that are using tactic they
have to go in an disavow that link. Being from Indiana, I always
have basketball references so pardon me here. It’s kind of like
using a strategy as like taking the ball down the court and
every shot clock ends in a violation. It’s not worth doing at
all. You’ve got to take the other route. Just create something
of value and then you don’t have to pay for it.

I mean consider the effort of those hundreds and sometimes thousands
of links an Inc. article will place out. How long would it take
you to make that manually, to pitch that many companies and what
would you have to pay them? I mean you can’t pitch. It’s really
the best way to scale, link building. It’s a good contribution
and their immediate combination.

Trent: No kidding. So how often are you producing, and Mike Stelzner
is calling this primary fuel, blog posts versus these bigger
reports because obviously it’s a lot more work to produce the
report, the click through rate report, or the blog post
optimization report. So in addition to those reports, actually,
before I move off, how many per year of six months, or how often
are you trying to produce a new report?

Aaron: So we have tier one, two, and three levels of content, so tier
one would be like an e-book, something of that nature, that blog
put out an optimization guide, would probably be considered tier
one. Maybe tier two [good] as a guide. Tier two would be like
cheat sheets, guides, things of that nature, and then tier three
would be just really great guest articles that say you have an
awesome idea to pitch to an industry public publication in just
a really nice well thought, well researched article.

And so we try and do one tier per quarter and then multiple tier two
and tier threes depending on our cycle of editing schedule and
things like that so that’s kind of a good thing to shoot for.
But it’s really not, especially for enterprise clients, it’s not
like it takes a ton of work to create these in some cases
because even in tier one content pieces.

Because there are so many enterprises in the back of their desk
somewhere or maybe sometimes behind a payroll or maybe somewhere
buried on my website they’ve got these false leading pieces and
guides already and sometimes you can just take that and put it
through a more consumable downloadable format, in an e-book or
something like that and then we dress it a little bit.

But a lot of times these companies have tier one content but they
just don’t know it or don’t know how to promote it so that’s a
really great situation coming into. We get a client takes
thought leadership seriously and is creating this somewhere and
we get our PM on it and fast track it. Like I did with the
[CPR] study, I think we spent maybe two guys and less than two
weeks. I know that because we already had the data and we just
crunched the data and wrote maybe a couple thousand words around
it and that was it.

Trent: For the folks that are listening to his if you’re wondering,
I’m browsing Aaron’s site as I’m going the interview and you can
get free reports from him on all this stuff. How to be the
Topic of Your Industry with Earned Media and there’s a download
for that. How to Write Insanely Popular Blog Posts, there’s a
download for that. So I would really encourage you to go to . .
. it looks like it’s Relevance.com. Is that correct, Aaron?

Aaron: Yeah, our website is Relevance.com. You can check the Resources
section and we’ve got . . . it’s all over the map. How to Pass
the Google Analytics IQ Test. That’ll teach you there,
Beginner’s Guide of Google Analytics. Yes, so many ways that we
try to help our target market. Again it’s VP marketing,
directors of marketing do their jobs better and then whenever it
comes around to making decision around digital PR and SEO and
things like that we’re top of mind.

Trent: You know what’s really doing horrible interviews like this for
me is I realize how much more homework I have to do as a result
of talking to you.

Aaron: Well, it’s all there for free.

Trent: All right, so my question that I never got to was, how often do
you blog? And I didn’t mean like you described tier one, two,
three which looks like it’s all content that’s going on other
people’s properties, and then you have your own blog and it
looks like it’s pretty darn active. Two posts in the 20th, one
in the 17th, one in the 16th, two in the 16th. How many people .
. . I mean are you taking guest posts from other people or do
you just have enough people on your team that you guys are able
to crank out this much content?

Aaron: Yes, we have staff of about 80 people here in Indianapolis and
so a lot of these blog contributors, they are all staff. I know
that we have maybe one or two guest posts here and there from
people outside of our company and we do accept guest posts of
their own topic and valuable, just like any other publisher.

But we try to foster blogging for our company within our organization
and I think that’s an important point I’d like to make,
especially with Google Authorship coming. Or it is here and
it’s coming, it’s probably going to be a big part of ranking out
algorithm here soon, but it’s kind of going to . . . [employees
able to] promote themselves, right. So these employees that are
blogging on our website that’s more coverage for their name and
gives them more credit under their Google Authorship profiles.

We want to promote that because it will help us in the end, and even
if they do move on in some point to another organization and
keep doing the same thing, then their [confidence] our website
just only becomes more valuable, so really it’s in the best
interest of the employee and the employer to encourage this
thought leadership and again it helps them and probably even
more than it helps us.

Trent: And how are you ensuring that for example in the case of Rachel
Brown, I see she has two posts. How are you ensuring that the
content that she has authored that is published on your blog is
in Google’s eyes through the authorship of whatever word you’d
like to use is “credited” to Rachel? Is there a plug in or how
does that happen?

Aaron: Yeah, great question, so if you click on that post and you
scroll down to the bottom there is a plug in and it links to
their biography on the site that links to their Twitter account,
Google+. You can see their latest posts so that plug in, I
don’t remember the name of it. I know we run WordPress. I think
it was called Fanciest Author Box. So it will connect your
Google+. Anything that connects your Google+ [inaudible 24:47]
there’s ways of doing it by hand but pay the $5 or $10, maybe
it’s even free. It’s just one click if you’re using WordPress
and you’ve got a connection.

Trent: Okay, Fanciest, and if you’re listening to this I will be at
the end of this interview I’ll describe a link on how you can
get to the show notes for this episode and anything we’ve talked
about like this will be in the show notes. And you’ll be able
to follow those links to get to it.

Fancy, yeah, something called Fancier Author Box by ThematoSoup. So
we’ll check that out and make sure that’s the right one and if
not, I’ll trade some emails with you here and we’ll make sure we
get the right one.

All right, so I now you have to keep this just a half hour so I think
we have about seven minutes left. So obviously you guys are
doing a killer job in terms of getting attention which is a
first phase of lifecycle marketing of course attracting
interest. Phrase two is capturing leads so lots of people are
coming to your site because of all the exposure and these links
and this is helping your ranking and they’re entering their
contact info to get whatever free report which you have many
that they are interested in.

But the next phase is nurturing because just because they download
from a report doesn’t mean that they are ready to become a
customer. So what are some of the things that you do with
you’re a HubSpot partner, yes?

Aaron: Yeah, we use HubSpot. We are a HubSpot [founder].

Trent: So it doesn’t matter for what we’re going to talk about next,
whether you use HubSpot or Infusionsoft or whatever marketing
optimization tool. It wouldn’t matter because you can accomplish
this in all of them. But what are some of the things that you
do to segment and nurture your list of prospects so that your
sales team focuses on the people they should be focusing on?

Aaron: Well, I think, like you said, a lot of marketing automation
software out there could handle quite a bit. I do think HubSpot
does offer definitely some functionalities that others don’t.
But essentially what you want to do is from the very first
gathering their information on a questionnaire form, you want to
understand what questions, and you can get this data from your
service sales people is get prospect questions basically that
can give them an idea if this is someone we want to target and
as a prospect. So it might be a company size, it might be
revenue levels, or numbers of employees, or things of that
nature. Maybe it’s a more in-depth question, but working these
questions into your form that people have to download, fill out
the download your content can help.

Now lengthening that form too long is going to have diminishing
returns with people getting annoyed filling out giant survey but
if you can keep it to a few questions that’s pretty good
practice, and then probably even better information comes
through the software as you start to funnel users through your
marketing automation workflows. So that’ll gives you an idea,
when you send them more resources and more messaging: are they
opening, are they downloading, are they coming back to your
site, what are they looking at when they come back to your site?
Are they filling out the content form?

A good marketing automation software will have all this information
within the portal and ad leads scores as different interactions
happens so you don’t really have to . . . you can set up these
workflows and say they come in through, in our case a blog
optimization guide. We have a specific workflow just for that
because these people are interested in the writing and
authorship and things like that. So people who work through that
funnel and say you have a prospect and say we’re interested in
and they’ve opened up every analysis and downloaded everything
we sent them and they’ve kind of upped their lead score so now
they know more about our company.

At that point, depending on the content that they read, it might be a
time for outreach someone from business development. Now it’s
not that you can send them ten things about your company and
okay once they’ve read ten, then their qualified. You have to be
very tactical with the content that you send them. You’re
starting off at the very top of the funnel when they first find
you and then you work your way down the funnel. So top of the
funnel stuff might be educating them, then about some market or
industry techniques things like that. And the middle of the
funnel might be educating them about those specifics techniques
that your company provides, and maybe it talks about some
comparisons and things like that.

At the bottom of the funnel directly here’s what we do, here’s some
more data, and if you have somebody, a prospect that works
through all that content and downloads it all, then they’re
clearly interested in you, they have been educated on your
company and then outreaching them at that point is not only a
waste of your sale’s guys time but it’s going to be high
prospect, high percentage they are going to close in the end.

Trent: Absolutely, which makes the sales person job easier, lowers
your cost to your customer acquisition, eliminates the need to
waste tons of cold calling and there’s all sorts of benefits. I
think that it’s reasonably likely that lots of people listening
to this don’t necessarily know what auto marketing automation
is. So I want to feedback on what you just described so I can
make sure folks who aren’t terribly familiar with it really get
a handle on what it is because it’s extremely powerful concept
to embrace and then implement in your business.

So what’s of folks have websites and you can go put in your email
address and you get whatever it is they are offering. But it
sounds to me, Aaron, like what you’re doing of course is you
have not just one lead magnet, but you have many lead magnets
and the follow-up campaigns, which are these sequence of emails
that path down the funnel as it were is going to tailored
obviously to each one of those lead magnets. Am I understanding
this correctly?

Aaron: Exactly.

Trent: Okay. And then at some point down each . . . let’s say if you
have ten lead magnets. Ten different reports, for example, you
would have ten different early stage educational and nurturing
funnels, and then at some point you’re probably have what I call
a catch all product and company specific thick funnel that these
people would eventually make their way into that says “this is
what we do and you can kind of buy our stuff.” Is that correct?
Because I’m thinking of a scale of about how many, of how
manageable that you can make this.

Aaron: Yeah, we have a workflows for every piece that we send out and
all of them in and learning a lot more about our company and
that specific offering that they might have been interested in
more than maybe a different offering we have or different
offering, or different perspective on our offering. Our goal is
to get them to, as what we call, go through the bottom of the
funnel so really what that means is someone again has gone from
leaning about your expertise in the market, to learning about
your company and your offering.

So it doesn’t matter. Like when you sent it to a salesperson and if
you’re like a giant company and you have all these products that
you sell, you obviously want to send people from certain
workflows to the sales guys that handle those. We essentially
sell one thing and that’s the contributions in earned media, so
it’s pretty easy for us because we can export our [inaudible
32:54] through leads and see which workload they are in and get
an idea of what interest drove them to our company and in just
use those as conversation starters and to see if there’s any
interest there. So they all lead to the same thing which is a
high lead score on the bottom of the funnel [website].

Trent: Okay. There’s so much more I could ask you and that I want to
ask you. Excuse me, let make that stop ringing, but you told me
a half hour is all you have, so sadly I’m going to have to cut
this episode off here. I do really want to thank you, Aaron,
for coming and being on the show. Like I say, I’m kind of mad at
your now because I need to read a lot of lead magnets and see
how much better I can do at some of this stuff. For the folks
that are listening who want to get a hold of you, what would be
the easiest way for them to do that?

Aaron: Well, pretty easy: Aaron@revelance.com. That’s my email address
and you can go to relevance.com and see a lot of the guides and
research reports and things of that nature. I think it’s very
helpful for anyone that’s interested in learning more and even
implementing some of these strategies on their team, or their
marketing tam in their company, trying to earn more natural
search engine traffic and leads and social media mentions and
all the great things that earn media contribution provided.

Trent: Absolutely and that’s by the way that’s Aaron with two A’s,
aaron@relevance.com.

Aaron: Yeah. A-A-R-O-N at relevance.com.

Trent: Okay, Aaron, again, thanks you so very much for making the time
to be on the show. It’s been a pleasure to have you on and look
forward to having you back.

Aaron: Yeah, thanks a lot, Trent. It was great fun and I’ll be back
any time.

Trent: Okay, take care.

Aaron: Take care, bye-bye.

Trent: All right, to get to the show notes for today’s episode go to
brightideas.co/64. When you’re there you’ll see all the links
that we’ve talked about today, plus some other valuable
information that you can use to ignite more growth in your
business. If you’re listening to this on your mobile while
you’re driving or doing whatever, just sent a text to, rather
just text Trent to 585858 and I’m going to give you access to
Massive Traffic Toolbox, which is compilation of all the very
best traffic generation strategies that have been shared with me
by my many proven experts and guests here on the show. As well
you’ll be able to get a list of all my favorite episodes that
I’ve published thus far on the blog.

And finally, if you really enjoyed this episode please head over to
brightideas.co/love where we’ll you’ll be able to find a link to
leave us a rating in the iTunes store and I would really
appreciate it if you’d take a moment to do that because it helps
the show to build its audience. And the more audience members
we have, of course, the more people that we can help to
massively boost their business.

So that’s it for this episode. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and I look
forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care and have a
wonderful day.

Announcer: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas Broadcast.
Check us out on the Web at brightideas.co.

About Aaron Aders

AaronAdersAaron is co-founder of digitalrelevance™, a national leader in inbound marketing, planning and execution. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aaron steers the strategic vision behind digitalrelevance™ marketing strategy, research and collateral. Aaron also maintains a weekly tech column at Inc.com and has contributed content to various national publications including Time.com, Businessweek, Money Magazine, and SmartData Collective – where he also serves on the board of advisors.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: How Casey Graham Reached 5,000 customers and $2 Million in Sales in Just 3 Years

,
Casey Graham 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FC

3 years ago, Casey Graham was at rock bottom. He was $80,000 in debt, he’d just missed out on a major family event (because he was on the road making sales calls), and things at home weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders.

For many early-stage entrepreneurs, this is an all too familiar story.

Fast forward 3 years, and Casey’s company has become extremely successful, all thanks to a major realization he made on a trip home from overseas (when we was missing out on that important family event).

While on the plane, Casey realize that the way he was delivering his product was wrong, he sales strategy was wrong, and if he was going to ever realize his dreams of owning a successful business, he was doing to need to do a number of things differently.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Casey Graham, founder of The Rocket Company, and also the winner of Infusionsoft’s 2013 Ultimate Marketer award. Having made some pretty big changes to his business 3 years ago, Casey now generates over $2 million a year (with very high profit margins), is completely debt free, and is having more fun than ever!

When you listen to this interview, here are some of the things that you are going to hear Casey and I talk about:

  • How entering his company in the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketing Finals really helped his team to get ultra focused
  • (10:52) The story of how Casey fired himself from his last job to start his own business (and how awful it turned out)
  • (19:12) How his very first email broadcast from Infusionsoft earned him a few thousand dollars (something that he’d NEVER done before)
  • (20:12) Casey’s traffic generation strategy, and specifically, how Twitter played a pivotal role in growing his list from 832 to over 47,000 in just 3 years
  • (25:12) How Casey sets up automated nurturing campaigns in Infusionsoft
  • (28:16) How Casey warms up his new leads in a very special warm up sequence, which is then followed by a webinar sequence that results in the vast majority of their product sales
  • (32:42) How webinars play a crucial role in Casey’s sales funnel and how he structures them to produce maximum conversions
  • (34:00) How he presents an offer in his webinar so that more sales result
  • (37:30) How Casey generates substantial additional revenue via up-sells and cross-sells
  • (38:30) The 3 types of up-sells that Casey uses and how to replicate what he’s doing in your own business
  • (47:12) How Casey is building “relationship capital” with his customers with specific examples
  • (52:00) How the success of all of this has massively changed Casey’s life
  • (55:10) What he is most excited about for 2013, his favorite business book, and how to reach him
..And so much more!

Links

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

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Transcript

Trent: Hey there bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid and this is the podcast
for marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover
how to use content marketing and marketing automation to
massively boost their business.On the show today is Casey Graham, founder of The Rocket Company. I
first learned of Casey when I was at Infusionsoft’s annual
conference. His company one the annual 2013 Infusionsoft
Ultimate Marketer of the Year award. To do that, he had to beat
out some pretty impressive competition. You’re in for a real
treat with this interview.In the interview, we’re going to talk about how Casey, a couple years
ago, was essentially broke, driving around in a little red
pickup truck, and really trying to make his business a success.
Fast forward three years later – He’s got a mailing list of
47,000 people, he’s doing over $2 million a year, he and his
family are completely debt free, he’s got a wonderful team of
people helping the company continue to grow. He’s actually now
removing himself from all operational roles so he can focus more
on strategy. Like I said, this is going to be a very fantastic
interview.Before we get to that, a couple of special announcements – My tool
tip of the week is a brand new tool called PlusThis. You can
get there, if you’d like to use our affiliate link, by going to
brightideas.co/plusthis. PlusThis is essentially a library of
add on tools for Infusionsoft users. One of the tools there,
for example, is the integration with GoToMeeting. One of the
things, if you’re doing webinars with GoToMeeting, wouldn’t it
be valuable for you to know who attended and who didn’t attend?
You can get that information from GoToMeeting, but you have to
manually export it from GoToMeeting and then import it to
Infusionsoft, and that creates duplicates, labor, and
inefficiencies. That is one of the many things PlusThis can
help you automate.The other announcement I wanted to make is that our next webinar on
life cycle marketing – If you haven’t yet seen one of these
webinars, they’re a huge hit because it really goes into detail.
I show what I do, and what guests on my show have done to
increase the pace at which they are attracting new customers,
which obviously makes our companies more profitable, which
allows us to invest in further growth. If you want to get
registered for one of those, just go to brightideas.co, join up
on the mailing list, and you’ll receive a notification of the
next time I’ve got that webinar running.Please join me in welcoming Casey to the show.Hey Casey, welcome to the show.Casey: Thanks for having me on, I appreciate it.Trent: No problem at all. First off, congratulations on your
recognition as one of the Ultimate Marketer finalists this year
for Infusionsoft, that’s quite an accomplishment to say the
least.Casey: Thank you. I’d never heard about it until a year ago, and then
we went to InfusionCon a year ago, and we saw them on stage and
decided to apply for it this year. Somehow we were able to make
it through the rigorous interview process and the cuts and all
that and be a part of all that. It was awesome. We learned a
bunch from the other guys that were finalists as well, and are
actually continuing to learn from them. I would highly
recommend being a part of the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer
process, just from the relationships that you build.Trent: Yeah, no kidding. Both Dustin and Andy have been on the show
as well.Casey: That’s awesome, you’re getting it done.Trent: I try to make it my effort to get all of the Ultimate Marketers
on the show now. I think you’re being a little too humble here,
you didn’t just make the grade, if I remember correctly, you
won.Casey: Our team won. Me and Michael, and The Rocket Company won the
award. It was awesome to win, and to be a part of that. I
don’t know we won, the other guys were so awesome. Dustin and
the other guys, BlueChip, they were doing so much. It was cool.
Like I said, the process – I don’t know if everybody who
listens to this in an Infusionsoft user or not, but people that
Infusionsoft should be a part of the Ultimate Marketer process,
because it helps you think through your processes, since you
have to present them to people. What it did internally for us
was great. The award was awesome, but what it did internally
was solidify a lot things that needed solidifying. I really
appreciate you giving us a shout out for that.Trent: For the folks who don’t know who you are, and I normally start
my interviews with this, but I kind of skipped it, a little bit
on purpose because I wanted to send you that congratulations.
People don’t necessarily know who you are or what The Rocket
Company is. I want you to introduce yourself in just a moment.

For the folks that are listening, the big why on why you want to
listen to interview, and I think Casey is probably going to get
into it, is he was driving around in his little red truck trying
to find customers, and was not having a real good time at it,
and I’m going to let him tell that story, and then here he is,
some amount of time later, I don’t remember if it’s a year or
two later, he’s the Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer of the Year,
and his business has absolutely blown up, in a good way, as a
result of that. We want to get all of those things out in this
interview, and I think we’re going to do a real good job with
that.

With that said, Casey, thanks for being on the show. Please take a
moment and tell us just a little bit about what your company is
and does, and who you are.

Casey: The Rocket Company is an online learning for pastors and church
leaders. Church leaders get caught a bunch of things in college
or seminary – It’s kind of like us, even as entrepreneurs, you
can go to business school, but then there’s all of this stuff.
People that are actually listening to podcasts now, they’re
going, “That’s great, I learned that in business school, but
what is it really?”

That’s what The Rocket Company for churches, go, “That’s great, you
learned all that stuff, and you learned some theology, you
learned something in school. There is real stuff you have to do
as a pastor, like preach better sermons, and raise money, and
deal with volunteers. The Rocket Company provides online
training, learning and coaching for pastors in that way. It’s a
totally online model, except for some live events that we do.
It’s all digital, it’s all online, and it reaches all across the
world now. We have about 5,000 customers that are connected to
The Rocket Company, and that’s the niche which Rocket Company
serves.

Very simply, why we do it is that we believe in the church and we are
trying to help the church be successful. We’re tired of pastors
preaching boring sermons, we’re tired of cheesy TV pastors
trying to raise money on TV and doing it the wrong way and
turning people off, and we’re tired of volunteers burning out in
churches because there aren’t enough. We’re creating solutions
and coaching in those areas, that’s what we currently do.

Trent: If I was to really shorten that into a super simple
explanation, you help churches become more effective at the
business side of being a church.

Casey: Yes, and no. Yes, I think that’s right in a lot of ways, but
there’s a heavy relational slant on it. It’s not just business
as usual, we help them develop the interpersonal skills to be
able to pull off raising money, volunteering, preaching, and all
that stuff. Yes, you’re right. It’s where the rubber meets the
road. Simply, when people ask us what we do – We help the
church succeed. That’s what we do, and we feel like these are
the areas that make the most impact right now.

Trent: The reason I said that is that I think that probably few, if
any of the listeners right now, are involved in the church
business. I don’t want them to click the stop button, thinking,
“Oh, this is for churches, it wouldn’t be for me,” because that
couldn’t be further from the truth as they’ll learn, as they
keep on listening to this.

Casey: Well, we’re a business that serves churches, so you should
listen because we’re [inaudible 08:55]. 86% of churches are
broke or behind budget this year. The clientele we’re serving
do not have a lot of money, and the other reason, the clientele
we’re serving don’t get a financial benefit from using our
services. If they’re giving [inaudible 09:14] to the church,
they don’t get a percentage of it, they’re not a salesperson,
their salary stays the same.

It’s all on goodwill, so it’s much harder to sell to somebody. If
somebody is buying a product and you’re increasing their income
or business revenue, they’ll keep buying from you because they
get a personal benefit. For us, it’s the complete opposite.
We’ve still been able to find success even with having niche and
as 86% of them are broke or behind budget.

Trent: How much success are you guys having? How much revenue are you
guys doing a year?

Casey: We are over two million last year, for 2012. In 2013, we’re
projected to be 2.4, 2.5.

Trent: That’s a pretty nice growth rate.

Casey: Actually, this year will probably be the slowest one on
purpose. We grew about 832% over the last three years. We went
from about $212,000 in revenue to over two million in three
years. We need to catch our breath, hire the right people, get
the right people, get the systems in place, that kind of thing,
because we just grew [inaudible 10:18] and we’re trying to
organize now.

Trent: I’m so glad you mentioned that, because that’s the story I
really wanted to dig into. Let’s go back to the red truck,
let’s go back to pre-Infusionsoft. Tell us a little about what
your life and your business was like, and how you got into this,
because you had a real struggle. I want people to understand
that anybody can go from a real struggle to where you’re at now.

Casey: Here’s the deal – I was on staff at a church. At 27 years old,
I fired myself from being the CFO of a church, and I hired
myself as the CEO of a startup company, that I was going to go
out and help churches. I had no plan, no strategy, I’d never
started a business before. Here’s what I had – A wife that
wanted to stay home with a one year old baby, that is the
hardest work you can do, but unfortunately, she doesn’t get a
paycheck for staying home. That was that, and then we have
$36,000 saved up in the bank. I said, “We’re going to go after
this, I’ve got $36,000, and I think churches need to have money
for ministry. They need to learn how to raise money better.
I’m going to go out and do it.”

We started, and we did the good old fashioned Casey driving around,
in my 1998 Red Ranger Ford pickup truck that I got as a junior
in high school, and literally going into churches and walking up
to secretaries or assistants, and say, “Hey, I want to talk to
your pastor about our services.” Just doing the old fashioned
cold calling.

Also, cold calling anybody. In fact, I would drive by churches and
see the phone number on the side, and call it. It was cold
calling, driving around doing that. I did that for about two
years, and the strategy was so amazing that second year in,
here’s what the results were – I missed dad’s night at my
daughter’s school. People listening to this may or may not have
kids, or are maybe single or whatever, but the point is this.

I started a business, not only to help people but to create autonomy
where I could be at dad’s nights, and I was missing them. I was
missing family dinners, I was traveling around the southeast to
try to get deals. We ended up being $80,000 in debt in the
business. I had a business partnership I got into. I ended up
the worst, the bottom of the barrel when it comes business is, I
had to lay off three people at one time – Not because of
anything that they did, but I just thought business was all
about sales and growth, and I wasn’t managing the back end of
the business, and it just got away from me honestly. I had to
tell the ladies – I set them down and said, “Hey, in two weeks
we’re not going to have enough money to pay you, so I’m going to
have to let you go.”

Being at the rock bottom, at that point, I literally went around the
world. I went to the Philippines. Only a dumb entrepreneur
would do this, and I said I was going to go to the Philippines
to outsource, we did some outsourcing for churches, and decided
to outsource the outsourcing to try to save money. While I was
there, literally, I can’t get all the story, but a guy climbed
through my window, it was a totally random act of violence, he
came in literally with a knife, bloody, trying to kill me,
randomly. I ended up running down 13 flights of stairs with an
armed guard in the middle of the Philippines with a machine gun,
looking up at this guy hanging off the side of a building on the
13th floor getting in there to kill me. I know this is the
craziest story you’ve ever heard.

Trent: It is a little unusual.

Casey: Here’s the point – I got so low that I was traveling around the
world trying to save a business $80,000 in debt, with a bad
business partnership, and I was rock bottom. I said, “You know
what, something’s got to change.”

In that moment, at being at the bottom, and literally being around
the world and flying back is when I started the process of
realizing the problem’s not the market, the problem’s not the
economy, the problem is not anything – The problem is me. The
way were doing it wasn’t working, and we needed some changes.
That’s what happened in the first two years of our business.

That was probably too many details, but that’s the real story of
where this thing came from.

Trent: I wish we could have got those last two sentences out to the
entire planet, because you said something there that was so
incredibly profound, that entrepreneurs say, but that few others
do – The problem wasn’t the economy or the world, or this or
that or the other thing, the problem was you. That is something
I find is unanimous in entrepreneurs, we are never the victim.
Our success and failures are always our own. As soon as you can
adopt that mindset, in my opinion, you set yourself free,
because then you’re in control and you can choose to change the
outcome, which you did, and we’re going to tell that story.

I do want to offer up one other idea. You mentioned at the beginning
of this, that you were doing it the good old fashioned way, and
then you went on to tell how you were prospecting. It may have
been old fashioned my friend, but I don’t think it was good.

Casey: That’s funny. That’s true, it was terrible.

Trent: There was nothing good about making about making cold calls,
missing your daughter’s event, and being around the world, there
was nothing good about that.

Casey: [inaudible 16:03] everybody I met said this was how to do it –
You go to leads groups, and you pass business cards out, and
this how you do it, it was the old fashioned way to try to do
this deal, and we live in a different time. I just had to learn
the hard way. That’s what the story was.

Trent: You and me both. I have often said to people in conversations,
and maybe even on my show here, that I never get it right the
first time. I always duff it the first time, and then I get it
figured out the second time around.

Let’s get into your discovery of Infusionsoft, when was that?

Casey: That was at that point, right after that trip around the world,
about three years ago, middle of 2010 – I was searching online
and I saw a donate redirect on a website I was on, and it said
Infusionsoft, and I was curious what it was, so I Googled it and
went to their website. I was low with no money, no team, I was
worn out and they’re making these promises on their website like
– Infusionsoft is like having 25 people sell for you while you
sleep. It’s automated, and all this stuff.

I thought, yeah, whatever, but it was worth me putting in my e-mail
address for the demo. I got an e-mail back late at night, and I
thought man, these people are on top of it, they work all hours
of the night. I’d never heard of an auto responder before. They
sent me e-mails, and finally got me on the phone and sold me on
Infusionsoft, and I put money where my mouth was and did things
differently. That’s how we found it.

A big transition happened though – When I used what was called the
Infusionsoft Success Coach, there was Brandon Steinwig, he got
on the phone with me, and said, “Thanks for getting in on the
call today. When are you going to send your first broadcast?”

I said, “What’s a broadcast?”

He said, “Well, that’s why you bought Infusionsoft, right?”

I said, “Well, I bought it because of all these promises.”

He said, “Let me tell you what Infusionsoft actually does. Do you
have an e-mail address?”

I said, “We have 832 e-mail address.”

“Do you have anything you can sell online?”

“I’ve got $80,000 and a red truck if someone wants it.”

He helped me understand that you can sell something online, and that
people would buy stuff that we had done, it was just sitting
around my office. I was like, “I’ve got this old seminar I did,
we just recorded it because there was a machine there, so I
recorded the three hour seminar I did for church leaders.”

He said, “All right, let’s put this on a website, let’s send an e-
mail out to them. I’ll help you write the e-mail and get things
started.”

Within a couple of days, we put it up there and I sent the e-mail out
to the 832 people I’ve never e-mailed before. I said, “Hey, I
just want you to know, I’ve been driving around doing all this
high-end consulting, here’s a $99 product you can buy right
now.”

Within the first couple of days, we sold a few thousand dollars
worth. I was like, “You have got to be kidding me. I have been
doing all this stuff, driving around, missing dad’s nights,
trying to make money, and I just sent out one e-mail and made a
few thousand dollars?”

That was the point when everything started to change, it was an aha
moment for me.

Trent: In three years you go from guy in the truck, no money, to guy
with a $2 million plus business which has a very healthy profit
margin. I hope people who are listening to this get inspired
and fired up, and think man, if this guy can go from broke,
selling to churches that have no money to this wonderfully
successful business, maybe there’s something about this whole
marketing automation stuff that I could use in my own business.
The answer of course is “Yes there is.”

Let’s try to dive into more details, and let’s talk. It all starts
with lead generation, can you tell us about the process that
you’re using for attracting and capturing leads for your
business?

Casey: Yep. Our attraction strategy is very simple. After going
through hell and back, we said, “We can’t do everything, but we
can do something.”

When we learned about attracting traffic to our website, we said,
“Here’s what we’re going to do – Number one, we’re going to have
blog.” Everybody on this call can have a blog, and everybody
can write three times a week. If you say you don’t have enough
time to write a blog three times a week, that isn’t true, unless
you’re incapacitated and almost dying in a hospital.

Every single person can do that and add value to people who could be
their potential customers. That’s the outpost through which all
of our stuff happens. We put stuff on the blog.

Our strategy to attracting traffic is that we know where pastors are,
unlike business people, because a bunch of business people
aren’t on Twitter. Most pastors, when you speak at a
conference, say how many guys are on Twitter, 80%–I don’t know
the exact number–but it would be 8 out of 10 people would raise
their hand. That’s where pastors are, so what we said is we’re
going to dominate one thing. I know there’s Google+, I know
there’s pay per click, I know there’s SEO, I know there’s
Facebook, I know there’s all these other things, but we’re going
to dominate one thing and what we know how to dominate is
Twitter.

I’m on Twitter, our teen is on Twitter, we know Twitter, we know
pastors on Twitter, so that’s what we decided to do. We put all
our eggs in the Twitter basket, and so here’s what we’ve done –
We went out and found celebrity pastors that we can either buy
their time, you can rent anybody’s time, and we get them on an
online event, and we have them tweet out the links to our
landing pages. Part of them being a part of it is that they’ll
promote it, and that drives a tremendous amount of traffic to
our website.

In the last three years, with the Twitter strategy of getting famous
people to tweet to us, and for us using Twitter to generate blog
content, we’ve grown our list from 832 contacts to about 47,000
contacts in a three-year time period. That’s what we did.
That’s it, and that’s all we did. We know there’s other things
we should do, and we’re going to do those in the future, but to
start out and be simple and dominate, that’s where we started.

Trent: Man, that is impressive. 832 to 47,000, wow. I think anybody
could do this in a business, they could find out who the
celebrities are in their space or niche, contact those folks,
because they’re all looking – Did you have to pay them, or did
they come on because they wanted the exposure?

Casey: Most wanted to just help people. Most wanted that, but we paid
them anyway. What I found is that you had to pay some, it’s
just the way it is. The point was, people hear that and go,
“Oh, I don’t have anybody. I’m in the salon business, there
aren’t any salon celebrities.” Yes, there are. There are
absolutely places you can go where there are salon people that
other salon people learning from and listening to.

People say, “I’m in a retail location, what is there to do in a
retail location?”

Well, that’s why smart companies have Justin Bieber as a celebrity
that drives people to their retail locations, because they’re
renting a celebrity at the top end of their of funnel. It
associates them with that person, and that is a lead driver, a
lead attraction, a lead magnet that they can pull people in.
Every single niche has people that people listen to. If you can
align yourself and go as hard as you can to reach those people,
don’t quit because the first one tell you no, you can get
aligned with those people and they’ll help you significantly.

Trent: That’s a very good idea. I want to give a quick shout out to a
resource on this topic of defining your nice, if you got to
brightideas.co and on the navigation bar, you’ll see the life
cycle marketing guide, scroll down through the links, and that
links to a whole bunch of articles, but in the attract interest
category or section, you’ll find an article on how and why to
define your target market. There’s a whole bunch of details
there for you.

Let’s move on. Your strategy worked exceedingly well, your list grew
like mad. Here’s the thing – Just because they’re on your list
doesn’t mean they’re whipping their credit card out and willing
to buy your stuff, right?

Casey: Totally different.

Trent: Correct. So, what happens between getting them on the list,
and getting them buying stuff. There’s something that happens
between those two things, what is that?

Casey: What we found is that–I hate to say this, I probably shouldn’t
say this but I’ll say it anyway. It’s a great way to [inaudible
24:55]. Most people try to treat this like sex on a first date.
They get somebody on their list, and then they try to close to
the deal. It’s like, come on. People do that to me all the
time. I get on a list and they’re trying to close the deal with
me. If that’s how you do real life, I’m sorry, but if you
understand that a healthy relationship is built over time and
built on trust.

Between attracting traffic and converting the sale there’s a whole
thing we call building relationships on the list so what we try
to do is build the relationship. Here’s a couple things that
have worked. I’m giving everybody practical things that you can
do. I like everybody to know that I’ve had a red truck. The
reason why, is that the only thing you remember from my
introduction speech is that I had a red truck. It’s a red
truck.

I like people to know I have a family when they come onto our list.
When we’re e-mailing our list, and we’re sending stuff out, I’m
not only introducing them to stuff that can help them, I’m also
introducing them to my family. The reason why, is that we’ve
found people trust people and have an affinity for them if
they’ve seen their family, and they see they have kids, and what
they look like. Do they look like weirdos? Are they normal
looking? Can I relate with these people? That kind of thing.
The red truck story, like a story of struggle, here’s where
we’ve been, here’s how long we’ve been doing this, that sort of
thing.

The third thing we like to send is connecting us with famous people
in our niche so that we gain credibility. If we’re sending out
e-mails or doing videos and people see you and they associate
you with the leaders. That builds credibility. Inside of that,
we’re building a healthy, what we call like a dating
relationship via e-mail, via video, and warming people up. We
don’t send people directly into a sale unless they ask for it,
if they ask for it or click on a link to buy something, they can
go buy something. For most people, we do what’s called a warm-
up sequence. We are warming them for the point in which we feel
like we can move in to take action and create a purchase, so
that’s what we do.

Trent: Let’s dive into that a little bit. Let’s say I come to your
site, and I get one of your lead magnets, I fill out the form
and give you my name and e-mail address, hit the submit button,
the first e-mail, is it going to give me just what I asked for,
“Here’s the free report,” or whatever it was? Is there going to
be anything else in that first e-mail?

Casey: The first e-mail, we’re just giving them what they ask for, but
we’re also tell them there’s more coming.

Trent: What comes next? When do you introduce the truck, the family,
and the celebrities?

Casey: That’s a great question, and it depends on where they came
from. We have a very complex business now. I’m going to start
where it was really simple. We used to do 10 emails over 30
days as our warm-up sequence. The point of those e-mails was
those different things: likeability, trust and credibility. If
say something about the red truck, it’s, “Hey, I used to drive
around the Southeast in a red truck, and here’s what I learned
about that and learned from pastors.” Then we do something very
helpful.

Again, the whole thing’s not about the red truck, it’s just a mention
in a what we call a by the way moment. We’re mixing those in
throughout the 10 over 30 days, and that’s how, when we first
started, when we were selling just one program and it was a very
simple operation, that’s how we did it and we mixed a little bit
of personality in with a lot a bit of helpful content. It was
about 20% personality, 80% helpful content.

Trent: Okay, excellent. Yep, go ahead.

Brian: Key in that, we would put in the PS, “Oh, by the way, we know
you downloaded this report on church giving, we have a cool
coaching program called Giving Rocket, and you can click here
and you can go check out all of that kind of stuff.” Again, it
was there. If somebody wanted to go get it, they could. During
that first 30 days, we’re building the relationship and
nurturing them and getting them to know us and us to know them.

I’ll tell you a trick – One of the best e-mails we ever do,
especially when you’re small, and you’re trying to get off the
ground or try to grow in Internet business, just do an e-mail
that says, “Would you please reply and let me know?” [inaudible
29:36].

Just ask them a question and the question and the question of what we
found out is a question about either their personal life. I
would send one with a picture of my family in it, and say, hey,
tell me about their family. I’d love to get to know you and who
you have in your family. Again, I ask them to divulge some
information to me, and I divulge some to them, when it’s a two
way street and a conversation starts, those people end up being
low hanging fruit that will buy just about anything from you.

Trent: I do something almost like that now, and you’ve given me an
idea how to improve. Anyone who’s on my list will know that in
one of my first e-mails, I say what they’re struggling with the
most, and I ask them to reply because I want to get a
conversation going with these people, and it does work. Not
everyone replies of course, but the ones that do become your . .
.

Casey: No, but the people that are opening and reading and engaging
do, and those people, man, those are some of the best people.
Some of them are weirdos, but a lot of them are great people.

Trent: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. If you don’t have an e-mail
in your warm-up sequence that says reply, you might want to
consider doing that.

I’d love to dive deeper into what you’re doing with your advanced
strategy, but I’m going to keep on keeping on here, because
we’re going to run out of time, and there’s still some other
categories of life cycle marketing I want to talk about.

Before I move on, you’ve got the 30 day warm-up sequence. What
happens the end of those 30 days?

Casey: We transition them to a webinar sequence after that. A webinar
is where we sell the most, and so after 30 days we put them into
our webinar sequence. It’s built for over a two-week period to
get them on a webinar, and to get them to hear helpful content.
About 80% help, and there’s 20% sales. Sales is woven
throughout the webinar, and that’s where we get the most sales.

What we found is that when we consistently did webinars like that,
every single month per niche topic we have, that’s where the
huge growth came from, was consistently doing new content
webinars. They got everybody on the nurture list, after they go
warmed up to us, then we got them on the nurture sequence, which
is where we’d move people to listen, buy, and hopefully become a
customer.

If they don’t become a customer, they still get helpful content, but
they’ll be invited to the webinar that happens next month. If
they come to that one, we’ll come to different topics to reach
different types of people, so that’s how that works.

Trent: In you webinars, you mentioned you weave in 20% sales
opportunities. Do you make an offer at the end of the webinar
that says, “Hey, if you want more you can go this page and you
can click this buy button and get this thing.”

Casey: Our webinars are very simple in structure. Most of them around
about 45 minutes long, and the beginning of the webinar we
always do success stories. After I introduce myself and success
stories, we tell them that’s why we have Giving Rocket. You’re
going to see a button below as I talk throughout the rest of the
webinar, and you can just click that button, and by the way, you
can click it if you want to right now and see everything that’s
listed for this webinar offer, and my voice will keep playing
because it’ll open in another tab. That’s right within the
first five minutes.

We come back as we’re doing helpful content, so we’ll say that when
it comes to fundraising, here’s something they could do. And
that’s why we did it with Giving Rocket. With Giving Rocket, not
only do we tell you what to do, we’re going to do it for you.
It’s done for you, fundraising resources. If you click the
button below, you’ll see all the stuff you get da-da-da. That’s
what’s called a by the way pitch.

Then, at about the 70% mark of the way through, we turn it and we do
about a ten minute full on explanation of what Giving Rocket is,
why we have this Rocket, how it can help them, special offers
and bonuses if they do it within the next 48 hours, click the
button below, that kind of thing. Then go back to helpful
content at the end. We found that putting it about 3/4 of the
way thorough, with pitching the by the way moment as you lead up
has worked very well for us.

We have a page, and on the page it has one button, and the button is
always below they video, and they can click it, and there’s a
special offer per webinar. That’s how we sell.

Trent: Are these webinars live, or live simulation?

Casey: No. We got away from live webinars a long time ago. I am not
a fan of live webinars. If you want to do a live webinar,
that’s great for you. I don’t like doing them for many reasons.
Ours are prerecorded and pre-done in advance, and that’s how we
do all of them. [inaudible 35:00]

Trent: I would imagine, in you particular niche, these folks have
probably never even heard of a webinar simulation, and I know
that you’re not saying these things are live, but do you say
they’re recorded, or do you just not say?

Casey: We don’t say either. We say we’re going to have a webinar at
this time, and that you can sign up and show up. Here’s what we
do: On the webinar, I’ll say, “Guys, tweet us right now at the
Rocket Co., we’ve got our teams, they’re waiting right now.”

They’re interacting with The Rocket Company on the webinar, not Casey
Graham who’s doing the webinar, or Michael Lukaszewski, my
partner who’s doing the webinar. They’re interacting with the
company, not us as a right to interaction. We still get
interaction, but it’s with the company. We always have somebody
scheduled to be available during those times do all of our
social media interaction during the webinar.

Trent: Brilliant. What software tool are you using for the recorded
webinar?

Casey: I have no idea. I know that the video is on Vimeo, but I don’t
know what the technology piece is. I’m not the technology guy,
so I have no idea for that. I just record the things and send
them to our team, and they do all the technology. I’m sorry, I
hate it that I don’t know that.

Trent: That’s okay. One of the ones that is very popular, it’s by a
guy named Geoff Ronning, it’s called Stealth Seminar. It’s been
around a long time, a lot of people use it, I’ve used it in the
past. There’s another one I’m not as much of a fan of us,
because I tried it and it sucked initially, but apparently it
works quite well now, it’s called Evergreen Business Solutions,
I think what its name is.

There’s more and more of these webinar recording software platforms
that are available, so if you just Google around you’ll find all
sorts. If you type the word review after whatever name, then
you’re looking for, you’ll find people reviewing those products.
Be mindful, when you’re reading those reviews, most people are
an affiliate with that particular software platform, so read
between the lines and make sure it’s as objective as a review as
possible.

Casey: That’s good, good words.

Trent: Now we’ve got some conversions happening, we’ve captured leads
in this discussion so far, we’ve nurtured them, we have
converted them with recorded webinars – Which is brilliant by
the way, because you can put it all on autopilot. Once they buy
something, they probably might by some other stuff. In other
words, would you like fries with that?

Could you talk about what you’re doing to upsell, cross sell, and
generate repeat business?

Casey: Yes. The upsell that we’re working very hard on, which has
worked very well, is something we’re really excited about is, we
sell on CustomerHub. CustomerHub was bought by Infusionsoft.
We use it deliver all of our content.

Let me tell you why we use it deliver all of our content – It’s that,
and I didn’t know this until recently, that’s why we implemented
all of this, this is what we’re currently doing. You can one
click upsells inside of CustomerHub. People that are in there
consuming content of module one of your program, how to be a
better real estate agent or whatever, you can have a little
video on the side or inside CustomerHub, that says click this
button and you can get this da-da-da for free, because you’re
watching module one and we’re going to give you a special offer.

They go to a secondary page in CustomerHub, and it’s a one click
purchase. It says, add this to my account or I agree with this,
or whatever. It’s just one click, and it goes on their credit
card, which is on file. That has been huge, because we’ve taken
all the go get your credit card back out to customers, and we
can just create banners on the side.

Does that make sense? I know I’m beating inside the weeds here, but
one click purchase inside of CustomerHub, and if it’s not
CustomerHub, you need a solution that creates a one click
solution for repeat buyers. It’s the PayPal effect.

What I mean is that people ask me to give money all the time, but
they’re little project fundraiser things they’re going to do.
Anytime there is a PayPal button, I will click the PayPal, and I
can just enter the amount and be done with it. I don’t have to
get my credit out and all that kind of stuff. That’s how your
customers feel.

Don’t make them get their credit card out again, that works really
well. That’s number one of selling inside, it’s where your
customers are consuming content. If you’re not giving them
places to consume content, I would rethink that. I would give
them a portal or a place to consume content that also has
natural upsell opportunity in the same area. That’s just my two
cents, that’s not how we started, that’s where we are now.
That’s number one.

Number two is what we’ve done as well is the good old fashioned build
the sequence out in advance. If somebody buys core coaching
project – Let’s just keep using Giving Rocket, to help increase
church giving – We just go ahead a write a three day sale into
that sequence that happens automated whenever they get to day
78, 79, and 80, whatever those days are, and those e-mails just
go.

It’s a three day sale for everybody in that sequence, and it’s on a
product that is related to the core coaching program of Giving
Rocket. That is the fries that come with it. It can come two
months in, we have some six months in, some 12 months in, that
kind of thing. That works really well. That’s just scheduling
e-mails in advance for people who have currently bought
something.

The third thing we do is we upsell [them the] store. At the point of
purchase, if you’re buying this, we’ll give you 50% off this
systems bundle or whatever, because you’re buying this product.
Hit add this now, and they can just click inside the
Infusionsoft checkout and add it, and we have a lot of people
who do that. It surprises me. A lot of people, and I don’t
know the percentage, click on that and take that offer. Those
are three ways we upsell.

Trent: All right. So I want to dive in those a little bit. Let’s start
at the back, and then we’ll go backwards. The way you just
described on the Infusionsoft order form, you can very easily
put an upsell on there, is that what you’re talking about?

Casey: Not the order form, but in the store. You can’t upsell on the
order form unless there’s something we don’t know about.

Trent: You can.

Casey: You can?

Trent: You can. I do.

Casey: I need a blog post or something, I would love to do that.

Trent: I’ll just send you an example on one of my order forms, and
you’ll see. I put a little video in. My videos are hosted with
Wistia, which is a sponsor of Infusionsoft, a shout out to them,
thank you for that. It says, “Hey, here’s another thing that’s
complementary with what you just bought, if you want to add it
to your order, click the button right below.” They click the
button, it adjusts the total, and they check out.

Casey: That’s great. We want to learn from that. Ours is done in the
store, if they buy a store product, the e-commerce thing
Infusionsoft provides.

Trent: I haven’t messed with the store yet, I’ll make sure I do that.
Maybe your way is better than mine, but I’ll make sure to share
a link with you.

Casey: That’s awesome.

Trent: I’ll also put it in the show notes, this episode, so if you’re
listening to this and you want to see what the heck I’m talking
about, there will be a link in the show notes. I’ll give it to
you at the end of the show, in the post production there will be
a link to that.

One other question I wanted to ask on point number two was – You said
you built the sequence out in advance. Are you, for Giving
Rocket, dripping the content over time?

Casey: Yes.

Trent: Can you talk about little bit?

Casey: It’s 12 module program. They get one module per month. They
can unlock all the modules by paying an upfront fee with a
discount, but we still drip the content out over time. The
reason we do that is that… This is where we’re different from
a lot of Internet marketers that just want the payment and all
that stuff. We found that there is a significant amount of
customers, that if they get all the content at once, they never
do anything with it.

Trent: Yeah, it’s too much.

Casey: What we’re trying to do is to continue to market them to watch
a video, not all the videos. Even if they buy up front, we
still drip out, “Hey, did you know in module two, you can watch
all this.”

We give them benefits to pull out and that kind of thing. They’re
busy, just like us – How many times have we bought a book or a
seminar, or something. With great intentions, you listen to the
first thing and then you don’t ever do anything else with it.
It’s because they didn’t continue to sell to you after the
purchase. We keep continually selling. Go to the content now.
There’s another reason we do this as well. Guess when they go
to the CustomerHub, and they watch a video inside CustomerHub,
guess what they’re seeing on the side?

Trent: An upsell.

Casey: Getting them to consume the content again and again we found
works well for us in all the programs we sell.

Trent: Do you have an e-mail sequence that is reminding them to go
back, saying that there’s more and more content?

Casey: Yes. It drips out. There’s two e-mails a month. One says,
there’s module one, it’s available. Here’s what’s you’re going
to learn, blah, blah, blah. In the second one, we do some kind
of piece that’s helpful. For example, something like a written
version of something helpful. We also do two other e-mails a
month to our customers that we can put in our sequence that are
sales e-mails that are upsells, “Hey, you’re in Giving Rocket
month 2, but did you know that we have something called
Volunteer Rocket, and if you click this link you can just add it
on with one click, and it’s only another $49 per month, and it’s
50% for the next… whatever.” I’m making that up, 90 hours,
whatever the deal is.

You can build that stuff in, build the upselling into your e-mail
sequencing of delivering your content. Most Internet marketers,
actually none I’ve bought stuff from do that.

Trent: Brilliant. Giving Rocket is a monthly pay for 12 months,
correct?

Casey: Yup. $99 a month for 12 months.

Trent: If they want to unlock it, get it all now, what is the discount
they?

Casey: $997. They save about $200, basically two months for free.

Trent: Very good stuff man. You’re giving me lots of what I call
golden nuggets, so love getting those.

How are we doing for time? We’re at 44 minutes. I’ve a got a few
more questions in what I call the lightning round, and I want to
ask you how you’ve changed your life from the red truck to
today. Before I get to that, is there anything I haven’t asked
you, Casey, that you think has been a huge aha for you that you
want to share?

Casey: Here’s the number one I think would say creates the
competitive advantage. If somebody comes to your McDonald’s and
plops down a Burger King, what’s the difference? If somebody
comes and does your exact business, what’s the difference?

Here’s the number one difference is that we spend an inordinate
amount of time and money building relational capital with our
customers. We don’t Infusionsoft the whole customer life cycle
marketing, to me, it’s 50% of it. The other 50% is that it’s a
care software, it’s building – We are caring for our customers
in unique ways using Infusionsoft. We are reaching out to them
and deeply caring about what’s going into their lives, who they
are, who their family is, that stuff isn’t tactics, it’s core to
us.

For anybody in the info business, or anybody that’s trying to sell
something online, or whatever you’re doing, whoever is listening
to this, I would say that your differentiator is not your
marketing, it’s not your product, but it’s the relational
capital you have with your customers. I would build in as much
capital as possible to love, care for, take care of them and
deliver a tremendous – you can sell an average product with
great customer care, and people will love you. A good enough
product.

Everybody tries to have the best product, but they suck at taking
care of people. Take care of people, period. We have great
customer care, great response times, great service, all that
stuff, and that’s where we put our eggs for long term. It’s not
in being a better marketer. We love being the better marketer,
but what we believe is the best is taking care of people and
treating them right.

I know everybody will agree with that, but here’s my question: If I
looked at your business budget, how much are you spending in
customer care? How much are you spending in proactive customer
care? How much are you sending direct mail to them that’s not
asking for a sell, but thanking them? How much time and money
do you spend on referral partners, thanking them for referring,
not just asking for more referrals, and really building that
side of it out? That’s where the gold is.

You see I get real passionate when I talk about that, because most
Internet market people you learn from are just about getting
paid, and getting some money out of people, and selling. Or I
live on the beach, or I’m a guy that’s just on the mountain
somewhere and I just live in my mansion and I have all these
customers that pay me millions of dollars. Well, that’s great,
but we care more about our customers than anything else so
that’s what we spend time doing. Sorry for the long answer, but
that’s my heart.

Trent: That’s okay. Can you give us an example of exactly what you’re
just explained?

Casey: Every customer that buys from us, we send a personal,
handwritten thank you note every time they buy something. When
was the last time you or anybody listening to this has bought
something off an Internet marketing website and gotten a
handwritten thank you note from somebody on the team, that’s
personalized to you and what you bought? It’s rare.

Trent: Let’s go with… never.

Casey: That’s one that everybody listening can do. What people do is
they send that crap on Twitter. They’ll go “I got a thank you
note for The Rocket Company, I just bought a $79 product, and
they sent this.” Here’s the other thing – we ship a box.

In the box, we’re The Rocket Company, so we send a bunch of finger
rockets. They’re things you shoot across the room, and they’re
awesome. We send a coffee mug and a Rocket Company t-shirt
that’s actually a cool, nice looking t-shirt that’s not a piece
of crap. We send that out and tweet that stuff, they put it on
their Facebook pages, and they say, “The Rocket Company is over
the top when it comes to customer service, I just bought this
$99 product, and they sent all this stuff to me.” That’s
practical stuff we do.

The other thing I’d say we do is, we hired Call Ruby. Have you ever
heard of Call Ruby?

Trent: No.

Casey: It’s an outsourcing company that we use that answers our
telephones for us all the time. Nobody knows it’s Call Ruby,
it’s just an answering service. When anybody calls our phone
number, we always have somebody who picks up and answers the
phone, they get routed – They may go to voicemail ultimately, or
they may go to whatever, but when they call, somebody answers.
That’s a $250 a month investment we make, and it is a huge
investment because nobody ever says that they can’t get in
touch with The Rocket Company – They won’t e-mail me back, or
answer the phones, that sort of thing. Those are practical
things we do.

Trent: These finger rockets, the coffee mug and the t-shirt, you don’t
tell them in advance they’re going to get that stuff, do you?
It’s not on the sales page, you didn’t like say hey, if you buy
this, you’re going to get a t-shirt? No.

Casey: No. It’s surprise and delight.

Trent: How has all this good stuff changed your life from the days
back of the red truck?

Casey: We went from $80,000 in debt and then I had about $200,000 in
personal debt from a mortgage. About $300,000 in total, to now
our family is debt free and business is debt free. From a
personal standpoint, we’re all out of debt. That’s huge for us,
and the reason is not so people can go, oh great, you’re out of
debt, because nobody cares if I’m out of debt.

What is cool is now that we can make better decisions, because I’m
not making business decisions on I wish I could get out of debt.
It’s allowed us to then go we can invest more money here, we
can put more money there because we’re really caring about the
business not just about trying to make a rich owner. That’s
huge.

The second thing is from a time off perspective. Obviously, driving
around in a red truck doesn’t promote much time off. You know
what, if I’m your listener – People hate when people talk about
how good their life is, but honestly, selling online and selling
recurring income online – I took four weeks off last week and
went to Belize and went on a Disney cruise, and went to the
mountains with my family for some rest and relaxation. I wasn’t
worried one bit about what was happening because I know that we
have automated processes that work. We have a great team of
people of that are helping people step off. From a time off
perspective, it’s been huge.

The other thing is that we’ve been able to help so many more people
by Casey waking up and realizing that I was the problem, and
that I couldn’t do it one at a time, this is not working, and
being willing to say that I’m going to struggle as a business
owner and I’m the problem. There’s two problems and I’m the
problem and I’m the issue. From that point of saying that it
wasn’t anyone else’s fault but mine, and saying that we’re going
to create this has allowed us to reach so many more people.

Now we have 5000 people we’re serving. I couldn’t serve five
effectively when I was driving around doing it the old way.
We’re able to accomplish our mission, and that’s where the
personal satisfaction comes. It’s not that we created an upsell
opportunity, that doesn’t make me satisfied. What makes me
satisfied is when we get the success stories back in from some
guy in Australia who says “I’ve bought you product, and here’s
what’s happening in my church,” and we get a success story
unsolicited that comes back.

We get, I think the last count was 109 success stories in the last
100 days of people, unsolicited who just come in and say, “This
is working, thank you for what you do.” That’s really the pay
off and the reward, so that’s how my life has changed.

Trent: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. All right, lightning round – Three
questions and then we’re done. What are you most excited about
Casey for what remains of 2013?

Casey: I’m most excited about getting out of all the operational roles
from Rocket Company, and I’m focusing on creating the exact same
thing we did in the church space, I’m doing in the business
space. We’re creating a place for people listening to this, for
you, for anybody who wants to create content for the life cycle
marketing thing, for any piece of it, for attracting traffic,
for building relationship, to converting the sales in webinars,
and we’re creating a high end opportunity for them to come in,
and for me and my team to be content creators and do it for them
in two days by the time they walk out of the room.

We’re excited about doing that content creation machine which is
awesome. We found that that’s a huge thing. I can create a
webinar in fours hours and have people on it in 24, some people
think that’s hard to do. It’s so easy, so we’re just going to do
it for people who need to create content that will be part of
life cycle marketing. I’m super excited about that. That’s
probably the thing I’m most excited about right now.

Trent: What’s your favorite business book?

Casey: My favorite business book is “The Advantage” by Patrick
Lencioni.

Trent: “The Advantage”, okay. Lastly, for anyone who wants to get in
touch with you Casey, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Casey: It’s Casey C-A-S-E-Y@ultimatemarketers.com.

Trent: Okay. All right, man. Thank you so much for being on the show.
It’s been a fantastic interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I
learned some things and I hope the audience has as well. In
just a few moments, when Casey and I sign off, I will announce
on how you can get the show notes. If you have questions for me
or Casey, just go to the bottom of the post where this will all
be help, and just leave your comments there and we’ll be sure to
leave you an answer.

Thanks very much, Casey.

Casey: Thank you.

Trent: To get the show notes for today’s episode, go to
brightideas.co/62. When you’re there, you’ll see all the links
we’ve talking about today, plus some valuable information you
can use to ignite more growth in your business.

If you’re listening to this on your mobile phone while you’re driving
or doing whatever, just send text “Trent” to 585858 and I’m
going to give you access to the Massive Traffic Toolbox, which
is a compilation of all the very best traffic generation
strategies that have been shared with me by my many proven
experts that have been guests here on the show. As well, you’ll
also be able to get a list of all my favorite episodes that I’ve
published thus far on the blog.

And finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please go over to
brightideas.co/love, where you’ll be able to find a link to
leave us a rating in the iTunes store. I’d really appreciate it
if you’d take a moment to do that, because it helps the show
build its audience, and of course the more audience members we
have, the more we can help to massively boost their business.

That’s it for this episode, I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid, and I look
forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care, and have
a wonderful day.

Announcer: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas
podcast. Check us out on the Web at brightideas.co.

About Casey Graham

caseygrahamIn 2008, Casey Graham started The Rocket Company out of a passion to reach church leaders worldwide – to train, speak, coach, consult – all to help the church. With barely any money in the bank, a stay-at-home wife and a one year old daughter, he set out on a dream which almost failed a few times. Five years later, The Rocket Company is reaching thousands of church leaders and expanding its service offerings. In 2013, they won Infusionsoft’s Ultimate Marketer of the Year award and are now helping other business leaders grow their businesses. Casey lives in Atlanta with his wife and kids.

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How to Maximize Email Deliverability

email-hygiene

Email remains one of the most effective tools in the marketers toolbox…unless of course it’s not getting delivered.

What is the worst possible thing that could happen to your email? It gets marked as spam.

How do you know if you’re sending email that is likely to be marked as spam? That might be an unanswered question on your small business’ mind, so Infusionsoft has created an infographic to help you clean up your act and apply proper techniques to your email sending practices.

Keeping your list updated and not letting contacts grow cold is very important in marketing to the right audience, as well as avoiding silent killers like spam traps and becoming black listed. Form healthy habits that can be followed each and every time you email market to your list of customers and prospects and grow your customer base.

Email Marketing Best Practices Infographic Infusionsoft 570px Email Deliverability Health & Hygiene [INFOGRAPHIC]
Email Deliverability Health & Hygiene Infographic by Infusionsoft

Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Maximize Conversions with Content Marketing

, , ,
current_bio_pic_DanN

Building a successful marketing blog is no easy task because there is a LOT of competition. Building a software company that sells software for a monthly fee is even harder.

Have success with on or both of these endeavors and you are on your way to one heck of an exciting entrepreneurial adventure!

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Dan Norris, founder of Inform.ly. Informly provides actionable data to help content marketers engage their audience and create content that grows their business.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to hear Dan and I talk about the following:

  • Why he started Inform.ly and where traditional analytics apps fall short for content marketers
  • How he hired coders to build his app (5:30)
  • A sidebar plugin he’s building that will display your best converting posts (7:30)
  • How he’s attracting customers (9:00)
  • His top 4 tips for building a highly successful blog (15:00)
  • Why conversions are more important than traffic (17:30)
  • How to maximize conversions from your blog (18:10)
  • His biggest screw up and what you should do to avoid repeating this huge mistake (26:05)
  • Why surveys aren’t a good tool for validating your product (31:05)
..And so much more!

Links

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Dan Norris

current_bio_pic_DanNDan Norris is the founder of Informly and helps bloggers and content marketers create content that engages their target audience and drives leads. You can download his free ebook with his top 12 tips here.

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How to Measure Customer Engagement with Infusionsoft

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guide-feature

When it comes to nurturing your prospects, by far the the most important thing you can to is to provide them with valuable educational content and then devote your energy to following up with those that are most engaged.

bi-ultimate-marketing-automation-guideThe challenge is to know which of your prospects are most engaged without having to actually call each and every one of them!

With traditional outbound prospecting techniques, most of our efforts are focused on following up with every prospect to ask some version of “would you like to buy now?”.

As you might guess, the effectiveness of this ‘old-school’ style of prospecting is rapidly deteriorating, because neither sales reps nor customers enjoy this type of phone call.

Worse yet, due to the manual nature of making so many calls to unqualified leads, it’s an extremely inefficient use of time!

A Much More Efficient Solution

If you are an Infusionsoft user, there is there is a much more effective way to achieve greater results with less effort (and frustration).

In the video below, I’m going to show how exactly how this can be done.

As you can see, this is an extremely efficient way to ensure that you are reaching out to your very best prospects for any topic or product that you have for sale.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: The Story of How Infusionsoft Became One of The Fastest Growing Companies in America with Scott Martineau

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Scott Martineau 4 in x 6 in x 300 dpi x FC

Would you like to put customer acquisition on auto-pilot? Just imagine how it would feel to have a steady stream of qualified leads that were all happily buying your products on a regular basis.

Now imagine that they were also telling all their friends to do the same.

Sound too good to be true? Well…you might be surprised to learn that if you embrace something called Lifecycle Marketing in your business, that one day in the not too distant future, the scenario I’ve just described will become the reality of your business.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Scott Martineau Co-founder of Infusionsoft, ranked by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing software companies in America. Infusionsoft is absolutely amazing software and I can’t imagine running my business without it. If I did, I’d have to work far longer hours and my business wouldn’t be nearly as easy to run as it is now.

I recently attended ICON, Infusionsoft’s annual business conference, and while there, I had a chance to meet Scott and ask him to come share his story here on the show.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to hear Scott and I talk about the following:

  • How they first started Infusionsoft back in 2001
  • Why their first idea wasn’t working and the one thing they changed that has allowed them to create a 400+ person company today.
  • Why Goldman Sachs invested $54 million in Infusionsoft and what this means for the future of small business in general
  • The consulting business model vs the product business model and what you need to understand about the massive benefit of one versus the other
  • The importance of picking a target market and how to do it correctly (20:15)
  • An example of some early challenges and how Scott and his partners turned this challenge into a huge opportunity (26:15)
  • Why it is so important for an entrepreneur to have a strong mind and 3 thing you can do to make yours even stronger (33:15)
  • An overview of Lifecycle Marketing and why to embrace it in your business (39:45)
  • What’s next for small business owners (55:15)

Links Mentioned

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

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Transcript

Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and this is the podcast for
marketing agencies and entrepreneurs who want to discover how to
use content marketing and marketing automation to massively
boost their business. On the show with me today is Scott
Martineau, Co-founder of Infusionsoft, ranked by Inc Magazine as
one of the top ten fastest growing software companies in
America. Infusionsoft is absolutely amazing software and I
cannot imagine running my business without it. If I did, I’d
have to work far longer hours and my business wouldn’t be nearly
as easy to run as it is now.

I recently attended iCon, which is Infusionsoft’s annual business
conference and while I was there I had a chance to meet Scott
and I asked him to come, I asked him, rather, to come share his
story on the show. Coming up in this episode, you’re going to
hear Scott and I talk about how he started Infusionsoft, some of
the early challenges that they had to deal with and how they
overcame them. We’re also going to talk about why so many small
business owners aren’t realizing their potential in terms of
profitability and revenue growth and what, some of the things
they can do about.

We’re also going to have an overview of something called lifecycle
marketing and how you can put it to use in your business to help
you solve those problems. If we have time, we’re also going to
get into some success stories and I will also link to those in
the show notes.

Before we get into the interview, I’ve got a couple of special
announcements. My tool tip of the week is something called
Optimizely. If you’re not yet running split tests, you
absolutely are leaving money on the table. A couple of months
ago I interviewed a guy and he told me, he scolded me because I
wasn’t yet running split tests on my main opt-in page. I went
over to Optimizely. I got myself a free account, not a free
account, a $20 a month account and I very quickly set up a split
test. You don’t need to know how to write any HTML at all to do
this and within three days I had doubled my opt-in rate. Just to
put that in, the gravity of that into perspective, I would have
had to of doubled my traffic had I not figured out how to double
my opt-in rate. Definitely go check out Optimizely.com.

The other announcement is I’ve got a webinar coming up on lifecycle
marketing and that is going to be a totally free webinar and
we’re going to be talking about the seven stages of lifecycle
marketing and those stages are how to attract traffic, capture
leads, nurture prospects, convert those prospects to sales, then
deliver and satisfy, increase revenue with upsells and generate
referrals. If you could use more customers in your business,
this is a webinar you definitely would like, or you should want
to attend. With that said, please join me in welcome Scott to
the show. Hey Scott. Welcome to the show.

Scott: Thanks, Trent. It’s good to be here.

Trent: It’s a real privilege to have you on my friend. I’m a big fan
of Infusionsoft. I use it to run my business. Love it. Was
actually just showing a guy this morning, earlier on, and he was
using another company and he said, “I don’t really get it,” and
I screen shared with him for about 15 minutes and at the end he
was like, “Can you get them to call me.”

Scott: That’s good.

Trent: I think there’s a lot of that going around but for the folks
who are listening to this podcast, who don’t have a clue what
I’m talking about, don’t know what Infusionsoft is and don’t
know who you are, let’s kind of set the table for where this
discussion’s going to go by first of all, just please introduce
yourself and a little bit about the company that you co-founded.

Scott: Great. My name is Scott Martineau and I started a company by
the name of Infusionsoft, we started this company about 2001, so
12 years ago or so and Infusionsoft really has one purpose, we
exist to help small businesses succeed and I think we’ll talk
more about how that came about but we’re an all-in-one sales and
marketing software provider that specifically focuses on small
businesses and we’re over in Arizona. We’re down in Chandler,
Arizona. We’ve got about 400 employees at the time of this
recording and we’re just, feel like we’re just barely getting
started with what we want to accomplish in the world but that’s
the little bit about us.

Trent: Thank you for that. Audience members, if you’re listening to
this and you are anything from a solo entrepreneur with a
business that’s generating revenue all the way up to somebody
with maybe 20 or 25 employees doing a few million dollars a year
and you feel like you’re struggling with working too much and
not getting enough of the results that you want to get in terms
of revenue, growth, customer acquisition and profits, I think
that you are going to get a ton of value out of this interview
and we’re going to do our very best to deliver on that.

Scott, you had a really big win recently and I think that this is a
wonderful vote of confidence from some very smart folks on the
future of this whole lifecycle marketing idea and your company
in general and it was a $54 million investment from Goldman
Sachs, so congratulations on that.

Scott: Thank you.

Trent: What I want to talk about is the story of how you got there
because not everybody gets a $54 million investment from Goldman
Sachs so you’ve got to be doing something right. Then, so we’ll
spend a bit of time talking about that and then I really want to
talk about, for the people in the audience who are running that
small business and working really hard, what’s this lifecycle
marketing thing all about and how can I automate all this stuff
and so we’re going to do as much as an hour will allow us to do.

Scott: Great.

Trent: Let’s go right back to the very beginning because I think a lot
of people really love the stories at how super successful
companies get created and it usually starts with a why. People
have a problem, you had a problem that you were trying to solve,
if my research is correct. You want to talk a little bit about
that?

Scott: You bet. We didn’t actually have a very clear why when we
started the company. I’ll kind of give you the evolution, but at
the very core of our founder story was that my brother and I
were working for my dad in the family business that he had
started and it’s kind of a funny business. It was a company that
sent balloon twisters, these are like the clown, people that
make clown balloons, that type of stuff. Not necessarily clowns.
They would send these twisters into restaurants and they’d go
make balloon animals for all the kids while they’re waiting for
their food.

Our dad had built this company up to, in about 15 or 16 different
states in the U.S. here and he had this whole thing going but he
had some really weird things that he, not weird, but some time
consuming things that he had to do to make this business run.
One of those things was that every night he’d have to log in to
this voicemail system and he would literally download and delete
200 or 300 voicemails from these balloon twisters that were
checking into their restaurants and Eric and I, my brother were
like, “Dad, this is so old school. Come on. Let’s get with the
times.”

We ended up building for him a website, basically, that allowed
people to come in and check in. It was a web application, which
these things were just starting to become acceptable at that
time and it was awesome for us because we watched what happened
to, finally dad could not have to go make all those voicemail,
call to voicemail, listen to every one, delete every single one.
Check it off in this little database system. All the people
could just do all these things online.

That was kind of the first glimpse for us that we could finally see
how technology would enable a business owner to do something
that needed to get done without having to spend an hour of their
time or two hours of their time to do it. Around that time we
started having this idea, “Why don’t we go start a company
building technology solutions for people that could help save
them time.” We started this company and we didn’t have a vision
of anything. We just knew we wanted to do our own thing. We
didn’t want to go work for a company. We wanted to be our own
boss and all of the possibility for risk or sorry, for reward,
and that meant we had to take the risk and so we started this
company doing custom software development.

That was kind of where everything started right there in the
beginning was a custom software development shop. It was hard.
It was, that’s a difficult business to be in because here we
were starting and we’re trying to go sell custom development to
people, which usually was made up of an estimate. They’d call up
or we’d spend a bunch of time figuring out what they needed.
We’d go give them an estimate, they’d walk us down on the
estimate and we’d cave in and give it to them for less than we
should and we’d spend twice the amount of time.

It was a difficult business to be in but it really, at the very
beginning of our company, it gave us a couple of things. Number
one, our passion for using technology to solve problems was very
real and it was really kind of the thing that got us into the
business but I think most importantly, from the very beginning,
we knew what it felt like to be a small business ourselves. It
was difficult.

We had two different periods of time where we went for months on end,
one time it was between four and five months that we went with
literally no income and as you can imagine, Trent, that’s hard
to go home and talk to your spouse and say, “Come on, honey.
Just hang in there. We’re going to get this thing figure out.” I
think that that time period for us was critical because it kind
of baked into the DNA of our company and appreciation for the
challenges that small businesses go through.

Trent: So very true. Now I know I have a lot of people in my audience
who are not yet a small business owner or are very early in
their small business career so I want to take a very quick
little sidebar here. Let’s talk about business models for just a
quick second. When you started off your consulting business
model and now you’re a product business model and veteran
entrepreneurs, most of us will agree that the product one is
significantly better as a business model. Can you just very
quickly speak to why that is?

Scott: Well, I remember the very first time we got a stack of orders
when we started to sell software like a product and we actually
sold it with recurring revenue attached as well. I remember the
time when Clay and I walked out in the parking lot with a stack
of new customers who had just bought our product and we looked
at each other and said, ‘”Holy cow. This is nirvana. We got new
customers. We don’t have to go build custom software for them
and they’re just coming on. We don’t have to build from the
ground up. We’ve got what they need out of the gate and it was
just a beautiful thing.”

I think it’s a great point, Trent, that business owners need to
really consider the validity of their model. There’s product
versus custom, which is kind of what you’re talking about and
there’s some clear advantages there obviously with the amount of
time you have to spend to create the product to deliver to the
customer, as well as all the estimating. I think there’s also
just some general profitability things that people should be
aware. Does the unit economic of your, do the unit economics of
what you’re offering actually work?

In other words, if we could deliver to you a sales and marketing
system that would, and I’m not talking about software just if
you could double your sales, is that a good thing or a bad
thing? Frankly, some business owners have a business model that
isn’t worth doubling because the economics just don’t work out.
You’ll end up just working yourself silly and really not having
any profit at the end of the day to think about.

The time to have those considerations and to think about that is
really early on and sometimes it takes a little bit of risk. I
remember when we decided to move from custom development to a
product, we had to take one of our employees specifically,
[Shawn], and said, “Shawn, you own all of our custom development
and we can’t be around having a lot of lose ends here. We’re
going to go 100 percent and focus on this product business.”

That was a really risky thing for us because that was our bread and
butter. It was a pretty measly bread and butter but that was it
and luckily he owned in a great way and we were able to go focus
and convert, in our case, convert our service business, custom
development shop into a product business and I’m really glad
that we did. We wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are today
without that.

Trent: No, you wouldn’t have and I wish somebody would have told me
that back in 2001 when I started my glass tech company because
I, like many new entrepreneurs, I just thought, “Well if I could
go out and do X hundreds of thousands or X millions of dollars a
year in sales, surely there’d be profits leftover,” because I
was very naive. It’s, in a consulting model it’s not that easy.
That’s why I asked you to go down that rabbit hole. I’m hoping
that we’ve provoked some thought in somebody who’s listening to
this who’s maybe in the early stage of their business figuring
out, “Maybe I should be thinking about this business model
thing.”

Scott: A lot of it has to do with intent too because a lot of times
I’ve noticed people are, the first phase of their
entrepreneurial venture is actually just replacing their income,
their salary. If that’s really the only goal, there are some
fairly simple ways to do it but I think if you really want to
build a business that has profit, that can operate without you
being right in the middle of everything, you’ve got to really
think hard about the business model and be clear from the get
go.

Trent: Absolutely. However, if you don’t have the cash to do that
there’s nothing wrong with starting this trading time for money
business model and figuring out how you can add some people to
your team like you did so that you can make that transition
without having to maybe bury yourself in debt or give away three
quarters of your company because it’s so hard to raise money in
the beginning when you don’t really have anything that’s worth
much. People, if they’re going to invest at all they want
everything and you get deluded and you don’t necessarily want to
do that.

I am taking us off on tangents. I’m going to bring us back on course.
Why small business? You hear all these companies and they’re
going to go out and they want to sell to the enterprise, they
want to go for the big guns. Why did you decide that small
business was where the opportunity and the gold lied?

Scott: I think part of it was just that that’s where our history was.
We had a passion for what the entrepreneur had to go through and
so we’re just connected emotionally, I think, to the plight of
the entrepreneur. Interestingly, you mentioned it but it is the
natural magnetic force in our space, at least, in the software
space, that people will, companies will come in and they say
that they serve small businesses but in reality, all they’re
doing is using the small business owners as a stepping stool to
get into bigger accounts and to grow up and serve mid-market
companies.

For us, there’s a very big difference between the S in SMB and the M
in SMB and we like to say we’re for the S in SMB because what
mid-size businesses need and what small businesses need are so
very different.

I think if I had to wrap all that together I’d say the
reason is because small businesses are the life blood of most
economies. We feel like it gives people the ability to go out
and to just own and create which is a beautiful process to be in
the middle of and frankly, it’s a lot funner, I think, to serve
small businesses. When we can go and help a small business owner
grow their business and they go from X to doubling or tripling
that business, the amount of satisfaction and joy that they have
is so much, for some reason, I shouldn’t say for some reason. I
know why, but it is way higher than taking, for example, a
manager in a mid-market company and providing them with software
that helps make their life a little bit easier.

We’re connected to the whole livelihood of the business owners and
for a lot of people that’s scary. They want to run away from
that but I think that’s where all the excitement is. We’ll talk
more later but I think more and more people are starting to
recognize how critical small businesses are to our economy and
are recognizing the tool sets that they need. Small businesses
need a very specific set of tools, not just a watered down
version of what a larger company needs. In a lot of ways, they
need a more powerful solution because they don’t have time to
think about, they’re already wearing five hats. They need
solutions that work for them not cause them to have to go
outside of what they’re already struggling with to go create
success.

Trent: I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been a small business owner myself
for 14 years now and that’s really why I started Bright Ideas
because I learned so much in my first couple of years online,
about online marketing, something I knew really nothing about
when I ran Dyrand, my old company. I thought, “Man, there’s so
many people that need to know about this stuff.” It’s been just
an absolute thrill to have the privilege of being able to have
people like you and all the other smart guests on the show
because I get wonderful emails from business owners all the
time, almost daily, saying, “Thank you.” That puts a big smile
on my face.

Scott: I think it’s funny because most business owners, actually none
are required to have any degrees, per se, to start their company
and I like to say they don’t come out, entrepreneurs don’t come
out of the womb in their business really understanding all of
the concepts. There’s a lot of stuff to figure out. How do I
have enough capital to do what I need to do? How do I hire the
right people? How do I build the sales and marketing plan? What
tools do I need to be able to accomplish this? There’s just a
lot of stuff that you have to figure out.

I love that you’re out educating the small businesses because I think
that’s a critical component. I think, as much as I’d like to
think that software’s the only solution and that solves all the
problems, I don’t think it does. I think it’s actually the
education teaching small business owners that really solves a
need that they have.

Trent: That is a wonderful segue for my next question. One of the
things that I think I did a poor job of back when I started my
old business that I got really focused on when I started Bright
Ideas was defining a target market. Really getting specific
about, “Who am I creating this stuff for?” Because if you’re
just going to try and create for everybody you won’t resonate
enough with anybody and it’s very difficult to get traction. Can
you talk, did you guys in the early days of Infusionsoft, at
some point you must have said, “We really need to define who
we’re going after, at least initially.” Can you talk a little
bit about the importance of that and how you did that?

Scott: You bet. For us this has been one of the most challenging
things to solve. There’s a lot of things going on when you’re
trying to identify your target market. One of those is you’re
fighting your natural tendency to expand what you do to meet
everybody’s needs, which I think you said it accurately, when
you do that you really can’t solve anybody’s needs well. There’s
that going on.

We had some interesting challenges because we’re providing all-in-one
sales and marketing software which, in most business owners’
minds there actually are four or five different software
products that exist out there that we’re trying to combine into
one. Our message, we’ve struggled to keep our message simple and
to keep it accurate for people.

We started and we were kind of, we positioned ourselves as small
business CRM software. A lot of the business owners didn’t even
really know what CRM software was even though that was kind of a
big movement. We’ve toyed around with what are we? Are we
marketing automation software, so there’s, when it comes to
positioning, half of it is trying to be able to describe
yourself to your market and the other half is being clear on who
it is that you’re actually going after.

I think, I just can’t emphasize or add my support to what you’re
saying enough, that as the business owner, you’ve got to be
really clear and the approach that works the best is to get
extremely specific first and I have found that when people get
extremely specifically then their ability to grow their target
market increases over time. When you nail it for one, you’ll
create natural segues for other specific target customers but
when you try to just go for everybody, you sound like everybody
else. You’re a watered down nothing and you’ve got to stay
focused. You’ve got to be very clear.

A good exercise, Trent, that I found is that you need to be really
clear as a business owner about who are these people you’re
targeting and what questions do those people have? What are the
things that keep them up at night?

You’ve taught a lot about lifecycle marketing and it’s a helpful
exercise to ask yourself what questions are going through the
mind of my prospect through each phase of my customer lifecycle?
For example, in my case, I might ask myself the question, “Let’s
think about what are small business owners thinking about as it
relates to software before they ever enter our customer
lifecycle? What are the questions that they have?” That might be
things like, “How can I build a sales and marketing plan that’s
going to work? How do I know when I spend marketing dollars,
that it’s going to be on a marketing program that’s going to
actually deliver customers to me?”

Then once they engage with us in our sales process, there’s a whole
new set of questions that come about. “Can I actually use
software? Maybe I’m not very technical and so,” can you hear me
right now, Trent?

Trent: Yes. I can hear you just fine.

Scott: My machine just said there might be a connection problem.
Anyway, if you can become an expert at the questions that your
target market is asking, you will be able to create really
powerful marketing that just is there when they reach for
questions, you can be there to answer them and to establish
yourself in a position where you’re going to win the business.

Trent: For the folks who maybe are newer to Bright Ideas, I want to
mention another interview that I did that we really go into
depth on this topic and that is an interview with a fellow by
the name of Marcus Sheridan. If you go to BrightIdeas.co/27,
it’ll take you directly to that interview. Marcus has a company
called River Pools and Spas and got really good at figuring out
what questions people were asking and then blogging about the
answers to those. Go check out that interview to learn more on
that.

The other thing I wanted to mention, there’s also an article, if you
go to BrightIdeas.co and on the navigation bar, if you go to the
Lifecycle Marketing Guide, there is, it’s divided into seven
sections, if memory serves me correctly. There is an article in
one of those sections that really goes deep into, again, how to
pick your target, How and Why to Pick Your Audience, is actually
the title of the article. It just makes such a huge difference.

My experience with Bright Ideas, I decided that I wanted to get
really focused on marketing agencies and it took me a little
while to do that but if I didn’t do it, I definitely would not
be experiencing the speed of the traction that I’m experiencing
as a result of that. If you haven’t done that yet in your
business, cannot emphasize enough how important that is for you
to do.

Let me go back to my list of questions here and find out where we
want to go to next. A lot of times early on in a business, not a
lot of times, all the time early on in a business we, the
entrepreneur, experience setbacks. Setbacks can be horrible at
the time but in hindsight they can also turn out to be some of
your most wonderful opportunities for discovery. I’m sure,
Scott, that you have many examples of setbacks. I’m interested,
would you bring one up, speak about it and then I want to ask a
couple of follow up questions.

Scott: You bet. Let me just enter a little point here too. Clayton and
I, Clayt, by the way is one of the other co-founders of the
company. We brought him on shortly after Eric and I started this
software company and he and I wrote a book called “Conquer the
Chaos” and this is, we hit really heavily on the mindset that
entrepreneurs need to have when they start their company.

We talk about emotional capital, which is kind of the emotional bank
account that you have and the need for entrepreneurs to be
always adding to that bank account and be very aware of what’s
going on inside your head and we also talk about the concept of
disciplined optimism which is that you are looking at, you’re
willing to look at the facts that surround your current reality
as ugly as they might be but you’re combing that with a
determination that you’re going to succeed and a lot of people
look at that and they feel like you’re just naive to think that
you can be staring that nasty situation in the face but moving
forward. We found that that is one of the keys to
entrepreneurship.

I’ll go back maybe to one of the early dark days. I’ll start there. I
remember when Clayt, my business partner, his wife, who happens
to be my sister, so we recruited my brother-in-law Clayt to come
be in the company and I guess we weren’t fooling [Cherise] and
one day she said to Clayt, “Clayt, this is it, man. Go out today
and find a real job. We’re done with this whole small business
thing.” Clayt came into work with his tail between his legs and
he said, “I’m so screwed because I’m not going to go out looking
for something but I know that Cherise is expecting that of me.”

The reason is because we had just, this was in one of these really
difficult times where we just weren’t bringing in the income and
it was a really difficult thing. Luckily, when Clayt walked in
that afternoon ready to have a little talking to, Cherise met
him at the door and said, “Clayt, I’ve really spent some time
thinking and praying about this and I feel like everything is
going to be okay.” He said, “Good because I haven’t found a job
and I didn’t even go looking.” I’m really glad that he didn’t
but in that case it was flat out a sales and marketing
challenge. We just weren’t bringing in enough business to
accomplish what we needed to.

One of the things that we did in our company was actually, we had the
really great privilege of, kind of toward the end of our custom
software days we found a marketing coach who became a custom
software client. His name is [Reid Hoisington] and Reid taught
mortgage professionals how to be better marketers. Through the
process of serving him as a custom client, he was actually the
key to helping us transition to a product based business instead
of custom software. Part of it was because he was sick of paying
us custom software fees but he took us to these, he said, “Come
to my marketing seminar and I’ll let you get up on stage, you
can sell your software to all of my customers who need it
because I’m trying to teach them these marketing principles, how
to capture leads and how to follow up and nobody’s doing
anything because they don’t have the right tools.”

We said, “Great. We’ll come.” We went to there and we sold the
software. Well as we started going to these marketing seminars,
Reid ended up suggesting that we go to some other folks
marketing seminars, some other marketing coaches. We would go to
these places. We’d help the marketing coach get their business
in line and then we’d go sell at their events. While were doing
that we’re sitting out in the audience taking notes. We’re just
kind of like dumb software developers and we’re like, “Man, that
is a great idea.” We’re hearing all these speakers at these
marketing seminars stand up and talk about a lot of the stuff we
teach in lifecycle marketing. Here’s how you capture leads. Here
are some examples of how you could follow up with those people.
Here’s how you create a compelling offer. Here’s how you could
close the deal.

We had this bright idea one day that maybe we could actually use some
of these marketing principles on our own business. It was just
like the big duh moment of the century. We started to actually
implement this stuff. I’m giving you the solution to the really
difficult challenge that we had and so what we did is we created
our very first educational lead magnet and it was called Six
Secrets to Your Mortgage Marketing Success, or something like
that. Then there was just this thing we would offer that would
teach people. We taught them about the fundamentals of marketing
in a mortgage business.

It was amazing. I remember the day when Clayt walked into the room
where Eric and I were in there doing programming or taking
customer calls or something and he’s like, Clayt was our sales
person at the time, he’s like, “Guys, we are onto something.
This stuff actually works.” What had happened was he got a
string of calls back from people who we had put on to this
automatic drip nurture sequence. We send out this educational
information. We started following up. “Just following up. Did
you get the free report that we sent you? What did you think? Do
you have any questions I can answer?” Then a few follow-ups.

Clayt would get people calling back and saying, “Thank you so much
for following up. I think I’m ready to go.” These are people he
hadn’t talked to before. These were people that had requested
the information, received the education, and by the way, this
education was answering the questions that were going on in the
heads of these mortgage professionals and he was just on fire.
We call that our Infusionsoft moment and a lot of our customers,
they go through that exact same process where they start sending
out these follow-up things, based on some formulas that we
provide them and stuff happens.

I would say that the key when you have setbacks is number one, that
you’ve got to be emotionally strong and you’ve got to be really
clear and aware about what’s going on inside your head. If you
can’t control your thoughts as an entrepreneur, you are screwed.
If you’re the type of person who comes in and is tossed about by
every little thing that happens and you can’t go to that place
where you ground yourself, you’re going to have a really
difficult time. There is always going to be pressure on you as
the business owner that you have to learn how to accept. You
can’t go and blow up your employees because you’re having a bad
day. You can’t get depressed and get down. The job of the leader
of a small business is to help create the vision and maintain
that vision and that takes stability of mind.

Then, I think you’ve got to just learn. Learn the principles and the
practices that are going to create success. In our case we had a
sales and marketing problem and we learned and then implemented
something and sometimes that implementation can be challenging
because you have so many hats to wear but I would say strong
emotional stability combined with learning and executing the
stuff that you’re learning, that’s one example. Maybe I blabbed
on too much with that example but that’s what came to mind.

Trent: Give us two ways that you think that, two tactics, strategies
for emotional strength. Call it your mind workout. You go to the
gym, you pick up the dumb bells and you work out your muscles.
Your mind is another muscle. You’ve got to keep it strong.
[inaudible 33:04]

Scott: Fantastic. One thing I’ve noticed is that reading, reading is a
phenomenal tool to create raw material in your mind that just
keeps your mind active and alert. I didn’t really read a lot
before I met Clayt and Clayt and Eric and I, we started to read
books at the same time and we would talk about them. I just
think, that gives you the ability both to have the education
coming to you as well as providing you with new insights and
you’re able to hear successes of other people. I would encourage
that. That’s a really important part of mental make up and
develop some opinions. You don’t have to love everything you
read but be aware of what’s out there.

The second thing is I actually find that master mind groups is a
really powerful concept that helped us. When we started to find
like minded people that we could be accountable to, it really
helped. Most business owners, it makes sense. They’re out on
their own, so to speak. Sometimes family members don’t
understand them. The people around them don’t. Their employees
may not understand them and it takes connecting with another
entrepreneur that sometimes can just shake you, grab your
shoulders and look you in the eye and say, “Dude, wake up.
You’re thinking about this the wrong way. You’re acting like a
victim.”

I think those two things are just really critical and I’ll give you a
little third one, just because I think it’s important. That is
as hard as it is, you have to spend time in what I would call
meditating and planning, which is you just, you stop the madness
and you get away and it might start out as a couple of hours but
I think it should grow into maybe a day a quarter where you just
let things, just let the busyness go on. Pretend like you’re
sick. For some reason we’re always okay doing this when we’re
deathly sick but we don’t ever create the time proactively.

I’m suggesting that we intentionally create a space were we can just
stop and think and we’ve developed a strategic planning
methodology here that allows us to, we have seven exercises
where we go through, “What are the accomplishments we’ve made in
the recent period? What are our lessons learned? What are our
strengths? What are we really good at? Or our weaknesses, what
are the opportunities, what are the threats?” We go through
exercises like this just to evaluate what’s going on but do it
from a place where I’m not hurried and I’m not rushed and I can
sit down and create a plan for moving forward that I feel
confidence in.

A lot of times that those emotional challenges come because you just
feel the chaos looming or just crushing in on us and you just
need to just ease that up and go spend some time thinking and
you’ll be amazed at how much insight will come to you when you
think about that in an intentional way.

Trent: That was great. You guys are starting to share what you’re
doing with that strategic planning, are you not? I think you
have a name for that and maybe if you do, maybe you could give a
URL if people want more info.

Scott: That’s great. We have, actually it was something that Clayt and
I talked about wanting to do for a long time. We had kind of the
best practices we had used to build our company and we realize
that most business owners want to have those same, they want to
understand how we do our strategy planning and how we do, how we
build our culture and so we created what we call the Elite Forum
and it’s that exact, it’s with that exact purpose is to help
business owners understand what they need to do. Let’s see, I
should know where that is right off the top of my head. I think
if . . .

Trent: You can get it to me after.

Scott: I think it’s actually just Infusionsoft.com/eliteforum, but let
me, yes. That’s exactly what it is. Infusionsoft.com/eliteforum.

Trent: For those of you who are listening in your cars, don’t worry.
At the end of this episode I’m going to give you a way that you
can just send a text and you’ll get all the information. You’ll
get linked to the show notes for this episode and so forth, so
just stay tuned because everything that we mentioned, books,
links and all that will be in the show notes.

I want to mention a couple of things. There’s a book called “Double,
Double,” which is written by the guy who is COO of a company
called 1-800 Got Junk, which is a very impressive growth story
in itself. It’s a book that I’m going through right now and he
talks a lot about creating this painted picture. If this is
something that, what Scott and I’ve just talked about that
resonates with you, either check out the Elite Forum and/or
check out this book called “Double, Double.”

Bright Ideas actually has a master mind group for marketing agency
consultants and marketing agency owners. If you want more
details on that just email me directly, trent@brightideas.co and
I will get you a link to the page. I just can’t remember it off
the top of my head and if I go searching for it I will get
distracted from leading [sounds like], this interview so I don’t
want to do that.

Those are a couple of very good strategies. One more that I wanted to
add and this is why I’m a podcast producer, listen to podcasts.
I, when I’m having those challenging times, I want to listen to
inspirational stories from other entrepreneurs who have overcome
adversity because it makes me feel like, “The challenge that I’m
dealing with maybe isn’t quite so bad after all,” especially if
I’m able to hear the story of somebody who overcame something
more challenging than I did. The beauty of that is you can
listen while you’re walking, running, exercising, driving, what
have you, which is hard to do with a book.

I want to shift gears now, if we can, Scott because I know we only
have 20 minutes left. Business owners, I think, as a whole, I
don’t think there’s anybody out there who would disagree that
they could always use more customers, more leads and more
customers. You mentioned early in our conversation that you guys
had a sales and marketing problem. I think that that’s probably
the number one problem in almost every small business on the
planet. How does lifecycle marketing, and Infusionsoft is built
to support lifecycle marketing, so let’s talk about lifecycle
marketing. What are some of the things that people should be
doing to overcome that, “I don’t have enough new customers on a
regular enough basis,” problem?

Scott: Well first I’ll totally agree with you. I think sales and
marketing is, it’s interesting how connected it is to, I think,
the core challenge that everybody recognizes and that is, think
about one of the key problems small business owner’s face is
they wear so many hats. You go to start a company, you have
visions of more freedom, more time freedom, more financial
freedom, etc. and what ends up happening is you get into this
business and it feels like the business is owning you. You feel
like you’ve got a job and the job is hard, and I think a lot of
that comes because the business owners don’t have the revenue
that they need to hire the people to do what needs to be done.
It’s always, there’s always a battle.

If I’m going to spend my, some of my profits to go hire an employee,
that’s literally taking away from my take home pay and so I
have found that in most cases the answer is that the sales and
marketing part of the business needs to be amplified. Think
about it this way, is there any problem that a small business
owner has that cant’ be solved with more revenue and more
customers? When you have the revenue and you have the capital
and you have the customers and stability there, you can solve
all the other problems. The one that seems to be most
intimidating is getting the customers. I’m totally with you on
that.

Lifecycle marketing is a concept that I think represents a new
approach for small businesses. Most small businesses, when they
think about their sales, they think about it more like a hunter
where they wake up in the morning and realize, “I’m hungry. I’m
going to go out and I’m going to perform some kind of low
hanging fruit activities that allow me to get a customer.” In
our analogy that might represent the person waking up and going
out and finding the next deer and shooting it and pulling it
back and eating for awhile. Then it all, the cycle just repeats
itself and there’s always the next hunt that you have to go on
and you have to always be out chasing and chasing.

Lifecycle marketing kind of flips that on its head and it celebrates
one of the best inventions that’s known to mankind which is the
fence. It’s this idea that the hunter can go from having to be
out there at the mercy of the herd following that person around
to bringing livestock and plants and so forth into their fence
where they have control over that. They now go into a harvest
mode and yes, it takes planning and it takes work and it takes
foresight but it flips everything around. It creates a stability
of life for a farmer, for example, that just doesn’t exist when
you’re living the hunter lifestyle.

The way that we do that with lifecycle marketing is we take our
business and instead of just thinking about it very
monolithically and just saying, “We either don’t have enough
sales or we do,” we actually break the entire experience that
our customers have with us up into seven distinct phases and
that’s why we call it the lifecycle. Just like a plant or a crop
has a lifecycle, customers in our businesses have a lifecycle,
so our seven phases of customer lifecycle, and I know that you
teach this, Trent, but just for the sake of those who aren’t as
exposed to it, we start out by attracting traffic. When we’ve
got somebody’s attention, maybe they’re on our website or maybe
they’re in our store or at our booth, then we want to make sure
we capture the lead. We’ve got to get the people’s information
in exchange for something that we’re offering to them so that we
have the ability to follow up if we want to.

A lot of people have websites or telephone lines or trade show booths
where you have a lot of people coming up to it, visiting your
site, calling on the phone and if they’re not ready to buy
today, they walk away and they’re gone. Again, it’s more like
we’re at the mercy of, if they come back that would be great but
in reality, most of them won’t come back. We teach people to
capture leads.

Then we have some very systematic ways that people can follow up and
nurture prospects. That’s the third phase where the businesses
reach out and provide valuable information to nurture the
relationship so when that person who wasn’t ready to buy before
is ready to buy, we’re the people that are at the top of mind
for them.

Then we actually go and we have different strategies for converting
the sale, so when people indicate that their interest is high
and that they’re a hot lead, so to speak, then we have the
process in place to convert those leads into customers, whether
you’re doing that online or with sales people or just through,
kind of, promotions that you run in your business, there’s
systematic ways. I won’t go through all the details but after
that we make sure we are delivering and satisfying and really
wowing every single customer that comes through the door so that
we can get upsells and so that we can get referrals from our
customers.

I found that when business owners, when the light clicks on and they
realize how much opportunity is sitting there in the business,
it’s awesome to see. For some people, it can feel a little bit
overwhelming. They’re like, “I have a hard time thinking about
my business as it is. You want me to think about all seven
phases?” Well, the goal is not that you go focus on fixing
every single place of opportunity in your business. I think
lifecycle marketing provides a framework where you can go and
identify the next most important thing. For some people, they
already have traffic coming to their website, they need to focus
on capturing more leads. In other cases, people already have a
decent customer base, they need to focus on upselling their
existing customers, not necessarily going out and trying to get
a bunch more leads to the top of the funnel.

Lifecycle marketing provides this new framework for the business
owner to think about building a harvest based business where the
sales and customers are flowing to them and really it comes down
to them being in control. Infusionsoft, our software solution
exists, it really is the only software solution built for small
businesses to manage the entire lifecycle marketing process all
the way from attracting the interest. We just acquired a company
called Grow Social that lets companies create really cool social
media attraction campaigns. Then we have tools that allow the
business owner to capture leads and put all those leads right
into a database that allows them to be really well organized.
Then from there we can, you can initiate automatic drip follow-
up systems using some of our different formulas and that drip
follow-up gets people to bubble up and we have methods that help
you to convert those sales.

We’ve basically taken all of the different phases of customer
lifecycle, all the way from the very first time you hear about
somebody to the time they become a customer, until after they
become a customer, all the follow-up and nurturing we do there
and the collection of referrals and we’ve, I guess to further
the analogy, we kind of created the John Deere tractor that
allows somebody who wants to go to this new harvest based sales
and marketing to do it without having to spend their energy out
on their hands and knees. We allow it to happen automatically.

Trent: That it does for folks who maybe aren’t terribly familiar with
Bright Ideas just yet, if this is your first exposure, make
sure that you go to BrightIdeas.co and you have a look at the
lifecycle marketing guide because in that guide, and you can see
it right up on the Nav bar, you will see an extensive library of
content for each of those seven phases that Scott just talked
about. I have interviewed almost all, and soon it will be all,
of the Infusionsoft ultimate marketers and these are folks who
run businesses, everything from selling collectible trains to
music training to athletic wear to a bed and breakfast in
Champagne, France and they are all sharing on these interviews
how they embraced lifecycle marketing to achieve unbelievable
results in their businesses.

An interview that was just published with a guy by the name of Dustin
Burleson has built an unbelievably successful orthodontics
clinic as a result of his embracing lifecycle marketing and
Infusionsoft. Make sure, it’s all free. You can download it on
your phone, listen to it in the car. There’s just so many golden
nuggets in all of those interviews that you’re absolutely going
to love it.

I want to, we’re running out of time, so we’ve got a couple of things
here, Scott, that we’re going to talk about before we close out.
Is there, for anyone who hasn’t yet heard any of those success
stories, is there one that stands out in your mind that you
briefly would like to talk about? Maybe three, four minutes,
five minutes.

Scott: That’s a really tough question because we have so many
different, I’m going to actually, I’ll give you a little micro
versions of three of them and I’ll do it, probably in three
minutes [inaudible 49:06]

Trent: Perfect.

Scott: I really have, you mentioned our Ultimate Marketer Contest.
That’s something that we do every year at our annual user
conference which is to celebrate a business that’s kind of gone
above and beyond with their marketing. What I love about
watching that is seeing example after example of people who have
created their own version of success.

One of the gentlemen that won the Ultimate Marketer Award very early
on, Jermaine Griggs with Hear and Play Music, he cared a lot
about creating a business that was just turnkey without him
being in the business. He teaches people how to basically hear
music and play it and so I loved hearing his story where he
talked about all the different elements of places where he was
having to spend time that he could just completely automate and
he kind of built this whole turnkey business model to the point
where now he kind of has to figure out what to do with his time
because the system is on auto pilot, and that was really
important for him.

Another one of the contestants, Jeanette Gleason her story was
awesome for me because she and her husband were spending a lot
of money in these marketing programs that they just didn’t feel
like were producing results. I’m sure some of your listeners
have felt that experience before. In their case they were doing
really expensive dinners to try to woo clients and realized,
“This is stupid. Nobody’s really buying. They’re just coming for
free dinners.” She found out about lifecycle marketing, started
to gradually implement different components of it, and for her
it was really about kind of saving her husband’s business.

She was a stay at home mom and finally he said, “You’ve got to come
in and help me figure this stuff out.” She came in feeling
pretty nervous. Not technical at all and really grasped onto
lifecycle marketing and they put some really cool stuff in place
in their business. For them it was really just about re-
establishing the confidence in their business and in their
business model. Today, Jeanette is actually teaching other
financial planners, that’s the business they’re in, about how to
have successful marketing campaigns.

Trent: Let me, I’m sorry. Let me interrupt real quickly. You can hear
an interview with Jeanette if you go to BrightIdeas.co/#11 and
you’ll see how they cut their spend by 90 percent while they
tripled their revenue.

Scott: Who wouldn’t want to do that. That’s awesome. I love hearing
those stories. Then The Rocket Company, they were one of our
presenters this year and they shared their story about how they
took their business from, I think it was just over a couple
hundred thousand in revenue all the way up to two million in
revenue. For them, that was just, they’re really passionate
about their product. These guys are in the business of helping,
it’s kind of funny, they say, “We help preachers to stop giving
boring sermons.” They’re out servicing the market of churches
and they just shared their passion for the work that they do and
how implementing lifecycle marketing and automation for them is
now enabling them to reach more of their target customers, more
of these churches and just to really change their world.

The cool thing is, regardless of what your version or definition of
success is, whether it’s time you want to reclaim or revenue you
want to create or impact or confidence, when you follow the
principles of lifecycle marketing and specifically, I think,
when you can use Infusionsoft, I think for some of your
listeners Infusionsoft would be a great solution, I feel like
you can create your version of success. That’s what’s exciting
for me is that that vision people have for success can be
realized.

Trent: That’s exactly what I’m trying to do in my own business as well
and I’m using Infusionsoft to help me do that. By the way, in
the Lifecycle Marketing Guide on BrightIdeas.co, I am creating
an every increasing library of videos that show how I’m actually
using Infusionsoft in my business.

Scott: Very cool.

Trent: If you haven’t seen any of that stuff, like the guy that I
talked to this morning that I mentioned very briefly at the
beginning of our interview, he’d never actually, he’d heard
about Infusionsoft but he’d never actually seen it and I said,
“Do you want me to do a screen share with you?” He’s like, “Yes.
If you don’t mind.” I did about ten minutes and I showed him
lead scoring. I showed him my engagement campaign, my sales
funnel, my long term nurture, the automated how I register free
people for webinars and then how people get on my show as a
guest and how that’s all automated and he just, I could see him
just going, “Holy cow.” He says, “I had no idea that you could
do this much stuff.” He says, “I thought it was like an email
program.” I think that that is not entirely uncommon for when
people see it. It’s hard to grasp something, the power of
something until you’ve really seen it. Come and check out those
free videos and hopefully you’ll get as excited as this
individual did.

Scott: I love that you’re doing that and I would just encourage the
listeners, when you’re watching that, the temptation is to say,
“That person’s business, Trent’s business is a little different
than mines. Maybe that doesn’t apply.” If you fight that urge,
you will find application and ask yourself the question, “How
can I apply this to my business? What area of my business can I
use a strategy like this?” I think you’ll find that to be a much
more successful line of thinking.

Trent: I don’t think there’s most any, I mean, I think about this
stuff a lot. If somebody came to me and said, “I have a dry
cleaner, could you make me run better with Infusionsoft?” I’d be
willing to bet I probably could. I’m not even an Infusionsoft
consultant so please don’t email me to, but I can refer you to
one if you’re listening to this and you want one. I don’t think
that there is a business around that could not be improved
through marketing automation and Infusionsoft is a great tool
for that.

Let’s wrap up with a little view into the future. What do you see
coming next for small businesses and then we’ll go into, that’s
my last question before we go into the Lightning Round, which is
just a couple of quick ones that I always like to ask.

Scott: Well I think, the Goldman Sachs investment to me was kind of a
symbol and yes, I think it was significant for us to have
confirmation from a really well established company, but I think
even more importantly is that Goldman Sachs and others are, they
realize that the small business market is massive and that
excites me because we’ve been here with our feet cemented hard
into this small business space, helping small businesses succeed
but a lot of people don’t see the vision. I think they’re just
not willing to really understand small businesses.

You can imagine, a lot of businesses, large companies, who have
executives and so forth that have never been through what it
takes to be a small business, it’s hard for them to really catch
the vision but I think people are starting to catch the vision
for small business and that’s exciting to me. That means there’s
going to be more companies being, more companies who serve small
businesses being funded. More people who care and are willing to
go and create solutions for the small businesses. I think it’s a
really exciting time and I think that the technology
advancements that we can provide small businesses give them an
outsized advantage where they can start to look like a big
company and do the things that in the past were limited to only
big companies with massive budgets. I think it’s a really
exciting time to be a small business owner.

Trent: I couldn’t agree more. A couple of episodes from now I’m going
to be interviewing a guy by the name of Dan Norris, he runs a
site or a company called Inform.ly. He’s put, as you’ll hear in
the interview, only about $10,000 into building his software
application and his results, they’re modest at this point and
time. He only started actually selling this stuff a couple of
months ago and he’s up around $700 a month in recurring revenue
and it’s growing every month. He’s adding customers regularly.
The really cool thing is that business model has so much scale.

My old roommate years ago, I watched him do a similar thing and now
his business generates $100,000 a month and there’s two guys.
Two guys. There’s not even an office. Imagine the profit margins
of that much revenue coming in. It’s so incredibly cheap to
start a business now, 2001 when I started my other company, not
so much. It took a lot more. A lot more. I was many hundreds of
thousands of dollars in debt and that was not a lot of fun. If
you’re thinking about it, there has never been a better time to
go out and create a business and change your life.

Here we are in the lightning round, Scott. What are you most excited
about for 2013?

Scott: I feel like this is a game show. Just kidding. 2013, well one
of the things that we announced at our last user conference was
that we are, we’ve created a marketplace for campaign templates,
so it’s interesting that you brought this up but just as you are
working with the gentleman on the call or your friend, and
helping him to see a really specific concrete example of a
marketing campaign.

I’m excited because we’re unleashing a new round of, kind of a new
era where we provide business owners campaign templates which is
just something that’s already a proven strategy and all they
have to do is install that campaign template, go change it so
that it matches their branding and their company and make sure
that the wording works well and all that, but I’m real excited
about that. I think anything we can do to make life easier for
the small business owners, to me is the way of the future. It’s
really where all of our focus is. Totally pumped about that.

Trent: On that note, if you run, if you’re a marketing consultant or
you run a marketing agency and you’re thinking that you would
like to become an Infusionsoft user, if you use my affiliate
link, and they’re all over, there’s ads on the site, I have
built a specific nurturing funnel, webinar, the whole thing, a
year’s worth of content for your business and you get a copy of
all of those campaigns and all of those emails and everything
for free if you decide to use my Infusion link to become, sorry,
my affiliate link to become an Infusionsoft partner. It will
save you a ton of time and then you can go in and customize it
and tweak it and do whatever you do but there’s a year’s worth
of content there for you. Last question then, what is your
favorite business book?

Scott: That’s not a very fair question. A lot of books out there. I
think, I don’t know if [inaudible 01:00:04] is a business book
but one of my multiple reads that I really love is called “Made
to Stick” and it’s essentially a book about how to create ideas
that can be easily transferred from one person to another. The
reason I bring that up in this context is I think that every
business owner, they’re in the business of persuasion and
whether it’s creating ideas that need to work with your
employees or your vendors or partners or customers, I just think
that’s a really critical element to life and I like the way that
those guys talk about creating ideas that are sticky.

Another one I really like is “Banker to the Poor,” that was one that
Michael Gerber turned me on to. It tells the story of Muhammad
Yunus who created micro-financing and I love just, I love
watching him just intentionally go after his vision and not stop
at anything and just pound and pound until he figured out the
system that would work. Really inspiring.

Trent: Terrific. Thank you for sharing that and Scott, thank you so
much for making the time to be a guest on the show. I have
thoroughly enjoyed the interview and I hope the audience feels
the same. If you have questions for me or for Scott, when you
see the post, there’s comments at the bottom. Go ahead and leave
your comments and questions there and I’ll make sure that both
of us are notified of that.

Scott: Trent, thanks for having me, man. That was fun. I love talking
about this stuff and I appreciate you taking the time to have
the conversation.

Trent: No problem at all. You’re welcome to come back at any time.
Take care.

Scott: Have a good one.

Trent: To get to the show notes from today’s episode, head over to
BrightIdeas.co/60 and when you’re there you’ll see all the links
that we’ve talked about today plus some other valuable goodies
that you can use to ignite more growth in your business. If
you’re listening to this on your mobile phone, just text Trent
to 585858 and I’ll give you access to the massive traffic
toolbox which is a compilation of all of the very best traffic
generation strategies shared with my by my many proven experts
that have been guests here on the show.

As well, you’re going to get a list of what I feel are the very best
interviews that I’ve ever recorded and you’ll also get an invite
to my upcoming webinar on lifecycle marketing that I mentioned.

Finally, if you really enjoyed this episode, please head over to
BrightIdeas.co/love where you’ll find a link to leave us a
rating in iTunes and I would really appreciate it if you would
do that. It helps the show to increase its audience the more
feedback that we get. There’s also a pre-populated tweet there
so all you have to do is click the tweet button if you like what
I’ve written and if you don’t like it you can just click the
tweet button and type something else, if you’d like.

That’s it for this episode. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. I look
forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care and have a
wonderful day.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas Podcast.
Check us out on the web at BrightIdeas.co.

About Scott Martineau

scott-martineau-onScott’s mission is to solve the challenges small businesses face in marketing their products and services. He leads the Demand Generation team and oversees marketing activities that drive new prospects and customers for Infusionsoft. His own entrepreneurial experiences and his understanding of what small businesses need enable him to continually evolve our software in innovative and successful ways.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University.

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