How to Use Infusionsoft to Increase Business Automation, Double Revenue, and Increase Customer Engagement: A Case Study with Samantha Bennett

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sbennet

Are you constantly thinking about how to grow your business?

Would you like to hear how one entrepreneur has been able to double her revenue without killing herself in the process?

To discover how to get more referrals, increase customer engagement, and improve business efficiency, I interview Samantha Bennett in this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. When you listen, you are going to hear how Samantha used Infusionsoft in her business to achieve a 100% increase in revenue.

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.

In this episode, I interview Samantha Bennett of The Organized Artist Company.

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Transcript

Trent: Hi there idea hunters. Thank you so much for joining me for this
episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this
is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how
to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost
their business.On the show with me today is Samantha Bennett of the Organized Artist
Company and in this episode, she’s going to be sharing with us a couple of
really interesting ideas. The first is how she used a very unique referral
strategy to boost her business by 10% over about a four day period. The
second is her very own customer engagement strategy that results in a very
high level of open rates on her e-mails.And this is something not like anything I’ve ever seen before and finally,
in 2010, Samantha was nominated as one of the Infusionsoft Ultimate
Marketer of the Year. Or ultimate marketers of the year, I should say and
the reason that that’s going to be such an interesting part of the
interview is that Infusionsoft is a tool that she and I both use. Is a
really powerful software tool that you can use to automate all sorts of the
sales and marketing and execution portions of your business and in the
interview you’re going to learn how Samantha is doing that and the results
are pretty astounding. Her growth rate is 100% year over year and she’s
forecasting to do the same year ahead. So, please join me in welcoming
Samantha to the show.Hi, Samantha.Samantha: Hi, Trent.Trent: Thank you so much for making some time to come and do this interview
here with me. Welcome to my show.Samantha: Thank you. My pleasure. I’m happy to be here.Trent: So, I first learned of you in San Diego here where there was very
recently an Infusionsoft marketers day or some kind thing like that and you
were a case study. Or I don’t even know if case study is the right term,
but you had an awful lot of success with your business, your online
business which we’re going to talk about in just a second. And you won an
award as the Infusionsoft Marketer of the Year which is really a big deal.
Because what that demonstrates to folks in the audience don’t know what
that is, you’ve got to be really good at online marketing and sales
automation to win that award.And so when I heard that Samantha had won. I thought, especially how unique
your background and your niche is, I thought, “I really need to get
Samantha on the show.” So, Samantha, give me the. First of all, how much
revenue does your business, is it going to do this year? And how much did
it do last year?Samantha: Last year was about $50,000 or so and well into six figures for
this year. In fact, I just sent one e-mail that I believe is going to
generate $120,000.Trent: Not bad. All right.Samantha: Not bad.Trent: So, now, everyone’s wondering, “Well, what does this woman do?” And
you do some really, what I’m going to call, unusual stuff. Because for me,
like I’m your black white capitalist business kind of guy and you’re more
kind of like this artsy, fluffy, actress on stage, artist. What is it? Tell
me about your business.Samantha: That’s what I am. That’s my background. My background, talk about
anybody can do it. I do not have a background in business. I do not have a
background in computers. I do not have a background in marketing. None of
that. I know nothing about any of it. Or no training in any of it. I’m an
actor and a writer. And, about 15 years ago, I started teaching a course,
called the Get it Done Workshop. Just to help other creative people get
their work done and out there. Because it’s really hard when there’s no
quarterly review on how your novel is going. So, it’s hard to stick with
those projects. So, and then in 2009, you know when God sends you the same
postcard like eight times in a row?Trent: I do.Samantha: Okay. Fine. I had the Organized Artist Company was one of a lot
of things that I was doing and then all of the sudden, sort of everything
else, fell away. I had a bunch of projects come to their natural
conclusion. I had a couple of other things I thought were going to happen
and not happen. And I was thinking, “Oh, I guess I better get another gig.”
And then I thought, “Or I could see if I could do that Organized Artist
Company full-time.” Then I thought, “I guess I better get some business
cards.” And that year, I signed up with Infusionsoft very early, almost
right away. Much, much sooner than my business warranted it. It’s a
complicated and expensive system, and my business was that big and had no
revenue. I needed Infusionsoft to pay for itself before the American
Express bill came. There was no budget. There was nothing. There was no
safety net, nothing.Trent: Wait a minute. You mean you started this with almost no savings as
well?Samantha: Oh yeah. This whole thing has been bootstrapped . . . It’s had to
pay me. I’ve had to make a living wage off of the Organized Artist Company,
almost from day one.Trent: Wow. That’s such an important point. I hope that the people who are
listening to this . . . I have a mixture in my audience of people who are
running businesses and want to get them bigger. I also know that there’s a
meaningful portion of my audience that’s still working for somebody else,
and they have these, “I don’t know if I have enough savings. I don’t know
if I have enough of this, that, and the other thing.” Yours is a fantastic
story that you went into it with that attitude. You had the courage to do
it still. I really take my hat off to you, for that.Samantha: Thank you. Sometimes, I’m at like that event in San Diego, and I
hear other people be like, “Oh yeah. I spent $30,000 on pay per click
advertising. Oh yeah.” I’m like, “Oh. A lot of people invest in their
business? Interesting.” That would be fun. Gosh, having a marketing budget.
I should look into that. It’s true. You can do it. You can absolutely do
it. I work with creatives. I work with artists. Some people who are self-
defined as artists, they’ll say, “I’m a singer. I’m an actor. I’m a dancer.
I’m a writer. I’m a ceramicist. I’m a timpanist.” Other people who would
not say necessarily that they were professionally creative, but that they
want to be feeling more creative in their lives.Trent: Okay.

Samantha: It’s a great demographic. It’s a great group to work with. They
are really fun people.

Trent: What is it that, in case there are some of those people listening to
this and wondering, ‘How? What? What is it? What are you going to help me?’
Just explain the business model real quick. I want to make sure people have
context, because coming up, we are going to talk a lot about marketing and
conversions and opt-in pages and sales funnels, and all this stuff that’s
really important. To give context for that, at the end of the day people
are buying something from you. I don’t even know if I know what they’re
buying yet. What exactly do you sell?

Samantha: My flagship offering up until now has been a 6 week teleclass
called The Get it Done Workshop.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: People come in with a project. They want to finish their
screenplay. They want to get an agent. They want to get back to dancing or
poetry, or whatever. They’ve got 37 projects, and they don’t know what they
want to do. They can’t decide. That’s very common. I have a lot of
questions, worksheets, and exercises because there’s not one way.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: There’s not the way. There’s not a way to be an artist, any more
than there’s a way to be an entrepreneur, or a way to be a good parent or
partner, or a good citizen. There’s just your way. It’s not like I’ve got
some incredible method, and everybody should just do things my way. I have
an incredible method for you to figure out what your incredible method is.

Trent: You have a process.

Samantha: It’s all about process and reconnecting people with their
intuition. Really getting good at listening to those half ideas. Because
especially if you put it into an entrepreneurial context, the amount of
things that you could be doing at any moment in time is endless.

Trent: Absolutely. It’s a big struggle.

Samantha: There’s the things you could be doing, the things you really have
to be doing, the things that really should have been done yesterday, the
things that really should have been taken care of three years ago. A list
is enough to make a person crazy. How do you discern? How do you decide
where am I really going to get the most return on my investment,
personally, creatively, spiritually, financially? What can I do that’s
really going to make a difference? That can be very hard to see when you
are in the middle of it.

Trent: You had to make your business pay, right from the start. You were
your own student. In other words, you created this, I’m guessing to a
certain degree, to scratch your own itch, which is why I created Bright
Ideas. I love talking to people like you, because every time I do, I get a
free hour of consulting. I get a little smarter. Let’s talk a little bit
before we get into all this sales automation stuff, that’s going to be the
bulk of our conversation today. You are there, and you are thinking, “Hey.
I want to do this creative artist company. I want to do it full time. I
need to deploy Infusionsoft. I need to come up with marketing. I need to
create my information product. I got to do a sales pitch. I got to, got to,
got to, etc.” How did you figure it all out?

Samantha: Very slowly and one teeny-tiny step at a time.

Trent: But wait a minute. You’re in a hurry. You got to generate cash flow.
You got to make sales. Panic! Panic! Panic!

Samantha: Yeah. The first thing I did was I chained myself to the desk and
made myself learn Infusionsoft. Like I said, I didn’t have any real
background in this kind of thing and I knew I needed to learn it, and this
is back in 2009 when, frankly, it was a lot harder to learn.

Trent: Yeah. That’s how it earned its nickname, Confusionsoft, perhaps.

Samantha: Yeah. Exactly. I just really buckled down and made myself learn
it. That was step 1, as I sort of dove right into the software right away
and got a sense of what it could do and what could happen with it.

Trent: How long did that take? How long did you dive into that particular
phase? Because, again, I’m still thinking, “Revenue! Revenue! Got to make a
sale! Got to make a sale! Got to get the cash coming in!” So how long did
you allow yourself to dive into that?

Samantha: I spent four straight days learning it, and then it’s an ongoing
and uphill climb since then.

Trent: You’re watching training videos and you’re mucking around and trying
to set stuff up, or what were those four days?

Samantha: There weren’t any training videos.

Trent: Back then there wasn’t any? Okay.

Samantha: There weren’t any training videos. [inaudible 00:11:20]

Trent: There are lots of training videos now.

Samantha: There are lots of training videos now and they are excellent.
Yeah. Yeah. I just made myself do it. Then I just started sending
broadcasts.

Trent: You had a bit of a… That’s right. Because you had done this, you’d
been doing this [part-timers], so you had a little bit of a list. Is that
correct?

Samantha: Yeah. I had about 700 people on my list. A lot of them were
friends and family, like everybody when they are first starting out.

Trent: Yeah, absolutely. They were just there to support you?

Samantha: Yeah. That’s why I had gotten Infusionsoft to begin with because
every time I offered one of these classes, and at that time I was still
offering them live, I wasn’t doing teleclasses yet, I was sort of hand-
sorting my list. I’m going through the marketing thing going, “Okay, I
should send it to that person. I think that person lives in Chicago. Yeah,
I should send it to that person. I think that person already took this. Who
is that person?” My list was outgrowing my brain.

The other thing I’d learned how to figure out how to do right away was put
up a little web form and it honestly said, “Stay in touch with me.” I
didn’t have a lead magnet. I didn’t have anything. It just said, “Stay in
touch” or “Join my list” or something really lame like that. The first time
a total stranger joined my list, I was like, “[inaudible 00:12:38]. It
works!”

So, yeah. I just started the broadcast. I started with a little web form.
It was another year or so before I even added the shopping cart
functionality. I was just going on PayPal [buttons]. Yeah.

Trent: Okay. I love this because I really hope that the people who are
listening to this interview, who maybe haven’t taken the plunge yet, are
going to find inspiration in your story. You thought, “All right, step 1,
forget everything else. I’m just going to learn about Infusionsoft. To the
exclusion of everything else in my consciousness, I’m going to focus on
this one task and thereby eliminating that level of overwhelm that we often
suffer from.” You get a little handle on that, you thought, “Okay. Well,
I’m going to build a web form.”

Samantha: Right.

Trent: “Now I’m going to send an e-mail. One step. One step.”

Samantha: Right.

Trent: So what did the first e-mail say? Did you make revenue off that
first e-mail?

Samantha: I don’t know that I did. Do you know where it really slipped from
me? Honestly, I wrote a poem called “In Praise of the Capable”.

Trent: Yeah. All Internet marketers write poems, definitely.

Samantha: I’m here to tell you. I sent it out. At first I wrote it just for
fun and I sent it out to a couple of friends and they really liked it. I
thought, “Oh, well, this is sort of cute. I’ll send it to the list. Now I
have this list. I should send them something, so I’ll send them this
thing.”

I got this avalanche of response back. People really felt like I had
written it for them. They really wanted to communicate back with me about
how much it had meant to them. That was when it tipped for me that this
thing that could seem cold or mechanical or manipulative was actually a
device to communicate very personally with a lot of people.

Trent: Yes. Yes.

Samantha: So now my initial follow-up sequence, and this is what got me the
ultimate marketer finalist in 2010, is… Right to this day, if you sign up
on TheOrganizedArtistCompany.com, the first bunch of stuff you’ll get is a
bunch of poems. There’s the Praise of the Capable, the Ode to the
Overwhelmed, there’s one for the entrepreneur, There’s one for the grouchy.
And, by the time, people get three or four of these, like they feel like I
am their sister.

And, what I love about this is exactly what you said. There is not a
business book in the world that says, here’s what you do. Write a bunch of
poems. That’s the ticket to profit. But, because of who I am and because of
who my people are, it’s just makes me a welcome guest in their e-mail box.
It makes them feel like I know that, like I understand where they’re at.
And so when I do try and sell them something, which I don’t do that often.
The response is huge.

Every time I do a JV offering, every time I offer something, the response,
I get these calls like, “What is your list? They’re so responsive.” I’m
like, “I know. Because they trust me.” And they get excited. They see
something in their box from me and they’re happy about it.

Trent: And nobody else is doing it.

Samantha: No higher compliment can a marketer get.

Trent: Yeah. Nobody else is doing what you’re doing, either. You’re off
sounding so much different than what everyone else has got to be sounding
like. I’ve got to think that really works for you. Let’s go into a number
here. Do you know what your open rate is on your typical e-mail broadcasts?

Samantha: I don’t know. We all know the open rate is not a reliable number,
right?

Trent: Why?

Samantha: It’s one of the worse metrics we have because when people open
something on their smartphone it doesn’t count as an open. That little one
pixel bing, bing, bing.

Trent: Really?

Samantha: Let’s somebody know that it’s open doesn’t happen.

Trent: I didn’t know that.

Samantha: So this doesn’t count as an open and when people are looking at
something in their Outlook or their Apple.

Trent: Preview.

Samantha: You just scroll through things like delete, delete, delete. That
does count as an open. Even though nobody’s actually looked at it.

Trent: Oh, wow. Okay.

Samantha:. So that number is not a good, not a reliable number. It is
however, the only number we have to start with. So, yeah, my open rates are
usually between 16% and 35%.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Something like that.

Trent: So, that’s still a pretty healthy, for inaccurate number, it’s still
a pretty healthy open rate. Now, by the way, just a little quick, maybe
it’s a take away for you, I use on my sites and I just started to use this.
There’s a plugin called iMember360 which very tightly integrates. Do you
use it?

Samantha: I don’t. I have customer help.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: But I know.

Trent: Very tightly integrated with Infusionsoft and you can apply a tag
just when someone views a page.

Samantha: Well, you know the new.

Trent: Well, hello, kitty cat.

Samantha: The new, the latest version of Infusionsoft, the one from the
spring release, there’s web analytics in Infusionsoft.

Trent: Yeah, there is.

Samantha: So you want to put.

Trent: You’re right.

Samantha: And it will create, it creates a visitor record for everybody who
visits your page and if they then become a contact, it will still have all
the records of every page they visited. You want to get that snippet and
put it on every page you have.

Trent: But do you, where I was going with my comment, is there a better
number for the open rate? Like can you say, “This is how many people viewed
this page from this e-mail.” And I guess there’s lots of different ways to
do this. You can use.

Samantha: Oh, I just track that off of clicks. To make the link to the page
a clickable link and then just track.

Trent: Absolutely.

Samantha: My clicking rates great. My conversion rate is great.

Trent: That’s another way. Okay. So, let’s get into some more marketer’s
nuts and bolts as it were. So, let’s talk a little bit about your sale.
First, let’s talk about how people find you.

Samantha: Right now, they find me almost exclusively by looking for me. My
Google Analytics are all about Samantha Bennett, the Organized Artist
Company. Samantha Bennett, Organized. Samantha Bennett, get organized
artist. Like the people, it’s really people who are looking for me. So, I
have, while I have thesis on my site, so I’m sort of automatically
optimized for SEO, I haven’t done any deliberate SEO activity. It’s on the
list. You know.

Trent: I know when I typed in Samantha Bennett. You come up first. I think
your site the Organized Artist company comes first. So, therefore Google
thinks that you are the most important Samantha Bennett in the entire
world.

Samantha: Well, that’s good because there’s a couple of us out there,
actually. There’s a writer.

Trent: I’m sure there is.

Samantha: There’s a journalist in Pittsburgh. There’s a couple of Samantha
Bennetts out there with a profile but you should always come up first for
your own name. So, that’s another tip for marketers out there. If for some
reason, you are not showing up first for your own name, fix that.

Trent: What if you are John Smith? That’s harder to do.

Samantha: Become John Fabulosity Smith.

Trent: All right. People find you predominantly, it sounds like, word of
mouth. They’ve heard of you in some way, shape, or form, which is the
natural by-product of when you have content that people love. When you have
engagement.

Samantha: That’s it. The e-mails are very formidable to those poems, and
the stuff I write about, creative inspiration, and staying motivated. It’s
content people love to send to their friends or their sisters.

Trent: Let’s jump into another nugget, then. In the Infusionsoft e-mail
builder, there’s a share bar, a social networking share bar. I didn’t learn
this until the day that I met you. I want to know if you do this. If
someone receives an e-mail, and they want to share it on their social
network, Infusionsoft puts that content on an Infusionsoft hosted page, and
to the right of it you can have an opt-in form.

Samantha: That’s right. You have to tell it you want that form. You can
have the form on the right or left of the e-mail, but that’s absolutely
right.

Trent: Is that something that you do?

Samantha: Every time.

Trent: Every time. Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. Yeah. In fact, now I almost don’t send out an e-mail
without a link to a form. It doesn’t get used all that often, but I want
people to have the option if it’s there.

Trent: Okay. I just learned about that, so I haven’t done it a bunch. Is
there an easy way to get analytics on how many opt-ins you are getting, as
a percentage of how many e-mails were shared, or that kind of thing?

Samantha: You just tag off the form, submissions on the form.

Trent: Yeah. I guess you could. That would be a unique tag. You could
create a tag for that particular e-mail and that particular form. Then, you
would know. Okay.

Samantha: Yeah. Speaking of tagging, whatever your tagging protocol is,
have a tagging protocol. Have a way that you do it every time. For me, I
put dates on everything.

Trent: How about you give us an example?

Samantha: If I sent out an e-mail today about a beautiful sun shiny day, it
would say, “Beautiful day.” It might say, “Content only.” If it was in
regards to a class, I might have something else in there about the class.
Then, it would have today’s date at the end.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: I tag everything. If people do something, I want to know about
it.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: I’ve got tags from when I first started that say, “Workshop.”

Trent: In hindsight, it means nothing.

Samantha: Try 700 workshops that I have no idea what that’s about. It says
, “Workshop. February 2009,” I’m like, okay. I had some idea that that’s
the last time somebody clicked, they’re not that interested.

Trent: Did you learn that, by chance, from Jermaine Griggs? Or did you just
think, “Hey. This tagging stuff is the coolest thing ever. I’m going to go
nuts”?

Samantha: It was the tagging thing is the coolest thing ever, I might as
well go nuts. Jermaine makes me look like a child, in terms of tagging.
Jermaine’s system is so beautiful and precise. The man is a twisted,
twisted genius. I love it.

Trent: Yeah. I want to get him on the show, definitely.

Samantha: Yeah. He’s brilliant.

Trent: For people who are not using Infusionsoft yet and don’t know what we
are talking about, can you just please tell us what this tagging thing is
all about?

Samantha: Yeah. Infusionsoft is an e-mail marketing machine, like MailChimp
or Constant Contact or iContact, any of those things that you might be
using. It’s also a customer database management system. They talk to each
other. You can create an e-mail, and in each e-mail you can say, “Click
here to read my blog. Click here to find out more about this workshop.
Click here to get the free PDF.” Whatever it is that you are offering. In
Infusionsoft, you can tell that link not only where it goes, but you can
tell the system to apply a tag anytime somebody clicks that link. I can
see. It’s a great way to measure engagement.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You really want to get people used to clicking on your e-mails,
partly for sales purposes. You just want them in the habit of clicking, so
then when you’re selling them something, they are in the habit of clicking.
It doesn’t feel weird to them to click and be taken to a page. Also, for
the Internet service providers, that’s one of the ways they gauge whether
or not your stuff goes in the spam box or not. It’s not just does it get
opened, but is there engagement. Are people clicking on it? Are they
forwarding it? Are they saving it? Are they flagging it? Are they putting
it in a file? That’s one of the ways that you stay out of the trash bin.

Trent: Yes. I didn’t think of that. Very good. Again, just in case folks
still don’t get this clearly, tagging is just a means of categorizing
people, or making a notation on their file as it were, based upon an action
that they took that you asked them to take.

Samantha: That’s exactly right; just slapping a post-it on somebody. They
did this; they did that; they did this; they’re interested in that. So that
then you can really target your marketing. And, again, this is a great way
to get a really high response rate. You don’t want to be selling cat food
to the dog people or dog food to the cat people. You want them to segment
themselves a little bit so you know who is interested in what. Then you can
really be sending specific stuff to specific people.

One of my favorite ways to use Infusionsoft is this; if I send out a
broadcast for example, about a class, and there’s a certain number of
people who open and click, and there’s a certain number of people who
register, the people who click but don’t register, I send them another e-
mail almost right away. Because I don’t want to pester the people who
haven’t opened and haven’t clicked because they’re not interested. I might
send them a second one in a couple of days but I don’t want to be all up in
their grill about it.

But the people who have clicked but not registered, they’re interested.
They’re warm, they’re ready and they just need a little nudge. So I send
them a little nudge.

Trent: Give me an example of a nudge. What does a nudge look like?

Samantha: Just a little, “Hey, I forgot to say, there’s going to be a
special something on this teleclass” or “Wait until you hear me talk about
thus and such . . .”

Trent: So you don’t write them and say, “Hey, I noticed you clicked my link
but you didn’t buy.”

Samantha: No, because I think that’s creepy.

Trent: And especially in the artist’s community; they’re not going to know
anything about this stuff so they’re not going to know that we have this
level of visibility into their mouse clicks.

Samantha: Right. That’s right. But you can say, “I think you’re interested
in . . .” or “I really think you might be interested in this course.”

Trent: I love what you said though: “Oh, I forgot to mention . . .” and
throw in another benefit. I think that’s brilliant. It’s authentic because
you can plan to forget something and that’s just good marketing.

Samantha: In the same way, if you were trying to talk somebody into going
to the movies with you; you’d say, “Oh no, it’s a good movie. You should
come with me. You know what, I didn’t even tell you this, and I’ll give you
a ride. How about that?”

Trent: Great metaphor. So they’re like, “Yeah, all right, I’ll come.” Then
they go to the movie and say, “Hey, you know what Sam. Thanks so much for
getting me to that movie. I had a really great time. That was awesome. It
was a good movie.”

Samantha: But be careful because it is your reputation. If you take someone
to a bad movie, they will never let you forget it.

Trent: I was just going to say, and it feeds right in to what you just
said, if you really believe in your stuff, like you really believe in a
movie, you almost have the obligation to do everything that you can to get
them there, because you know that they’re going to have a positive
experience. Why would you not want to have people do that?

Samantha: Exactly.

Trent: Let’s go back to your sales funnel. So they find you, they come to
your site. It all starts with a lead magnet. I’m looking at your site right
now. The side bar, is that the primary place where people opt in?

Samantha: Yep. You want to have it above the fold, right there in the upper-
right. That’s where most people look for it these days. So you want to have
it right there, very easy and visible. Right now, mine’s usually a free
recording, a free webinar. I think the one that is up right now is called
Ready Set Um. It’s about moving from having a great idea to actually being
in action around your great ideas.

Then they hear from me quite a bit in those first couple of days. This is
all Infusionsoft doing this for me automatically – I am at the beach. It
automatically sends a double opt-in e-mail. It automatically sends them a
welcome e-mail. It sends them that free thing that they’ve signed up for,
whatever that is. It sends them a poem; the next day it sends them
something else. Three days later it sends them something else.

These are almost all content e-mails. There might be a little Johnson Box
or something in them that says, “Oh, they got it done. Home study kits
available,” or “You can buy the book of poems, if you feel like it.” But
it’s very low-key. And it’s actually one of things that I’m trying to work
on; I tend to have the selling style that’s a little like, “Um, you know,
there’s a thing, if you want . . . you could . . .” I think, sometimes, I
need to be a little more aggressive in my selling. But initially not.

It’s a lot of content; it’s a lot of feel-good stuff. I’ve had people ask
me, “Do you worry about turning people off by sending them so much stuff in
the first couple of days?” I don’t worry about that for a couple of
reasons. One, I figure you have about 36 hours before somebody forgets that
they have ever heard of you, been to your website, signed up for anything,
seen you, ever had any interest in anything you ever did. So I really want
them to know right away, like, “Hi! Hi! Sam Bennett, you signed up! Hi!
Remember me the day you signed? You were there, I’m typing in your name,
I’m not spam, swear to God!”

So that’s one reason, is I really want to cement for them that this is
something they’ve requested. But also, I’m kind of an overcommunicator, you
know? You’re going to hear from me, and if that bothers you, you should get
off my list sooner rather than later. God bless the unsubscribes. Go find
your people.

Trent: That’s such an important point. I interviewed a gal by the name of
[Jamie Tardy] a couple of days ago, and we talked so much about that, and
then we talked about a guy by the name of [Derrick Halpern], who I had a
very nice conversation with on Friday…

Samantha: Yeah, he’s a smart guy, that guy.

Trent: Both of whom are super, super smart marketers, and they’re, they,
much like me, believe that you need to figure out who your audience really,
really is, and to heck with everybody else. Trying to please, trying to
please everybody is insane.

Samantha: It’s, first of all, it would be creepy.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: If everybody liked what you did, that would be weird.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You don’t want that. You want a small, passionate group.

Trent: Yep. I heard, and I don’t remember where I heard it, but it was in
the music scene, and it was basically, if you can have an audience of rabid
followers, you only need a thousand people, and as a band, you could make a
living off of that. Only a thousand.

Samantha: Absolutely.

Trent: And so many people are focused on, I need 50,000 or 100,000 or 5
million or whatever, and they’re trying to be, trying to appease everybody,
and in doing so, they’re appealing to nobody.

Samantha: Well, exactly. And, you hear a lot of this, you know, my list
size poker, well, my list is this big, and my list is that big. It’s like,
okay. I’m sure it is. But again, I’m much more interested in clicks and
engagements.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: I don’t want to know how big your list is. I want to know how
many of those people are clicking, forwarding, signing up.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Just another fun little metric, and this is something, again,
that if your Infusionsoft people aren’t doing, they should be, and if
people who aren’t Infusionsoft people, you can probably do this without
Infusionsoft if you have a little bit of JavaScripting.

There’s a function on the, in the lists, in the link filter in Infusionsoft
where you say wanted the link to link to this webpage, or this in this case
a form, web form that says, “Hey, sign up for a free class,” and then
there’s a little box of “other” and it opens up a few more options, and one
of those options is “Pass this person’s information along at the end of the
link,” then it says, “For Techies.”

And what that means is that it takes the person’s first name and e-mail
address, and passes it to the web form. So they go to a web form that is
pre-filled out for them. I have had conversion rates of over 100% for a pre-
class.

Trent: How is that possible?

Samantha: Because… Yeah, I know. I did the math a couple of times.
Because if people go to the form, it’s already, they don’t have to type
their name and e-mail, it’s already filled out for them. All you have to do
is press the big red button that says, “Sure, sign me up,” and they go
sure, sign me up, and then they forward it to a friend.

Trent: Oh. That’s how you got over 100%.

Samantha: That’s how you get over 100%.

Trent: Okay. Fantastic. That is a brilliant idea. So people come to your
site, they enter into the sales funnel, you communicate a lot in the first
36 hours. You’ve not generated any revenue yet. You’ve built some
credibility, relationship, and trust.

Samantha: Yep.

Trent: Now what happens?

Samantha: Well that’s, that’s 90% of the game. I mean, that’s 90% of what I
do it’s just keep them warm. Keep them supported, keep them feeling
connected to me. I write articles, I answer advice columns and then a
couple times a year I offer a class, and so a couple times a year I do
affiliate offers, and I’m just really straightforward about it. I say I’m
offering this class, and if you’re the kind and if you’re thinking that you
should do it, then you should do it.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: And then I offer a satisfaction guarantee or your money
cheerfully refunded. Most of my stuff is very low-cost. The only thing
that’s not low-cost is working with me one-on-one, working privately, but I
have a membership site that’s really cheap. I have these home study kits
that aren’t very expensive. When I do affiliate mailings, I’m very straight
forward about that. I’m like, “This is my friend. They are offering a thing
that I think is really cool.” They are actually my friend. I don’t do it
for people I don’t know.

Trent: That you don’t know. Yeah.

Samantha: The sort of recurrent thing that we keep coming back to here is
treat your list like they’re your friends.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: There’s all kinds of tricks and strategies and stuff. There’s
tricks and strategies to friendship too. If you gave me a necklace, and I
knew we were going to dinner, I might where the necklace you gave me.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: So that you could go, “Oh. I gave you that necklace.” I go,
“Yeah. I know. I love you. We have this thing together.” Is that
manipulative? Maybe a little bit.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: But it’s also a warm, loving, and considerate thing to do.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: That’s really what I think about, when I think about marketing.
There’s a lot of tricks and strategies and games, and things you can do.
The fact of the matter is that people are going to do what they are going
to do, when they’re going to do it, and not one second sooner. Not for love
or money, same as you. Nobody can make you buy anything. Nobody can make
you interested in something you are not interested in.

All you can do as a marketer is just stand there in as genuine a way as
possible, just going, “Hi. I’m doing that thing. That thing that I said I
was doing. I’m still doing that. You know anybody who needs the thing, I’m
the one doing that.” When you put out this clear, authentic and consistent
message about the truth of who you are, and what you do, you become like
the whistle only dogs can hear. Your people start to find you.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Again, those people who are not interested in you, who are not
good clients for you, who are not good customers for you, will not find
you. That’s almost as important.

Trent: Wise words. Very, very wise words. A couple more things I want to
cover off before we finish up this interview. One of them is you ran this
referral strategy. We are going to save that for last, because that was
pretty awesome.

Samantha: That was pretty cool.

Trent: I think you said you grew your list by 10% in a week, or something
like that.

Samantha: 4 days. Yep.

Trent: 4 days. We are going to get into a little bit more detail on that
one. I want to go back to your product for a minute, for a little bit. For
the folks who are listening to this and just want to get organized, let’s
give them something. What do you see as the number one mistake that people
make? When they have that pile of all the things that they need to do to
accomplish whatever their project is, screenplay, book, business, whatever
it is, what’s the number one thing, hopefully there is a number one thing,
that you see most commonly as the big mistake?

Samantha: The big mistake is thinking about everything all at once and
getting overwhelmed, and quitting before you even start because you feel so
overwhelmed. The number one strategy I have, and listen carefully to me
when I say this because the clients and students I have who employ this
strategy, see amazing results, sort of jaw-dropping miraculous results. The
clients and students I have who do not employ this strategy, some have
amazing results, and some don’t.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Here it is. This is not unique to me. I didn’t make this strategy
up, but I’m a big proponent of it. 15 minutes every day, before you check
your e-mail, before you check your e-mail, before you check your e-mail.

Trent: So after my e-mail?

Samantha: Spend a few minutes on the projects that matter most to you.

Trent: Sorry. I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said anything. Please say that
again.

Samantha: Spend 15 minutes a day on the projects that matter most to you.

Trent: Okay. Focus. Really, that boils down to focus.

Samantha: Daily chipping away at it.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: You sort of feel like 15 minutes, that’s not going to help. It’s
amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes. It’s amazing what happens when
you spend 15 minutes every day for a week, a month, a year, 2 years, 10
years. There’s something about claiming that time and space for yourself,
and for the work that matters most to you, that has a really lovely effect
on your life. It’s a little like when you go to work out in the morning.
You spend the rest of the day like, “I’m so awesome. I went to the gym
today.”

Trent: Yep. Yep.

Samantha: It’s a little bit of the moral high ground like that. You just
feel great. We know it’s true. If you spend 15 minutes a day practicing
guitar, it wouldn’t be very much time before you were a much better guitar
player. 15 minutes a day to work on your novel, 15 minutes a day
strengthening your core, 15 minutes a day looking for the perfect life
partner, whatever it is that you’re thinking, “Wow, if this were
accomplished, I think my life [inaudible 00:40:19]. You have that control.
I know we don’t control everything about our lives, and there’s a lot of
other people’s fingerprints all over us, I get that, but you have 15
minutes.

Trent: Yes, you do. And I want to just jump on the piggy-back on that, and
say that that’s the strategy that I try and do. I try to not check my e-
mail till around four in the afternoon, because you know what? It’ll still
be there waiting for me. If I get sucked into e-mail early, the whole day
is maybe one-third or less as productive as if I can maintain what’s
supposed to be my daily routine, plan my day the night before, think about
what are the key drivers to move me closer to this project’s completion,
and then to the exclusion of everything else, I focus on just those things.

Samantha: Yeah.

Trent: It makes a huge difference.

Samantha: It makes a huge difference, and this is why we created our own
businesses, right?

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: So that we could be the boss, so that we could determine how we
spend our time, and to give up that control is mind-boggling to me. Why
would you create your own business and then work yourself harder and
stupider than any boss ever would?

Trent: I’ll tell you why. Because people aren’t organized, and they don’t
prioritize. They get overwhelmed. There’s all, there’s a lot of noise.

Samantha: And it’s hard. I mean, it’s really, really hard. It’s no joke,
man, it’s a lot of hard work, it’s a lot of time, and particularly writing
and I think copywriting, good copy, is the key to success, something you
certainly need in marketing, certainly in Internet marketing, I think you
can make videos, you can make audios, there’s other ways to communicate
with people, but predominantly, we use the written word, and to get really
good at that takes a lot of time. To find your authentic voice takes a lot
of time. To really target in on your niche audience takes time. But then
when you’ve built it, it’s yours.

Trent: Absolutely. Here, here. And then some of us will get to the level of
somebody like Jermaine Griggs, who, and I have not met or spoken to
Jermaine, perhaps you probably have, but I know in his messaging videos and
so forth, he at least tells the story, that he has a fair amount of free
time because he was willing to invest the time to learn how to run
Infusionsoft so that the level of automation in his business if phenomenal.

Samantha: It’s jaw-dropping, what he’s created. I mean, it’s beautiful.
It’s really beautiful.

Trent: I think he’s doing, like, 10 million bucks a year, somewhere around
that range.

Samantha: Yeah, and he really does. He works four works a week.

Trent: Wow. Very nice. So, for those of you who are listening and you’re
wondering what’s all the fuss about. Hopefully, that will give you some
idea of what all the fuss is about. That’s where we’re all trying to get
to.

Samantha: And become a hundredaire. Don’t start trying to work four hours a
week and make ten million dollars. Start trying to make an extra hundred
bucks this month.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Well, see what happens.

Trent: So let’s get into, let’s close up on this, because I know we’re even
closing in on an hour now, and I want to try and keep this as close to an
hour as we can. Tell us about this super-duper referral strategy, the thing
that you did that got you, what, 10% or 11% risk growth, like another, I
mean, that’s a big number. If you can take however many subscribers you
got, and grow it by 10% in four days, clearly you did something that worked
well. Tell us about that.

Samantha: Yeah, and this was, I have to actually give a lot of the credit
to Mr. Jordan Hatch, who’s the Head of Training for Infusionsoft and, like,
another sick, twisted genius, and a very lovable person. He’s the
mastermind of webinars for Infusionsoft, and he and I were talking. He had
an idea he wanted to test out, and I had an idea I wanted to test out, so
we got together, and I could never have done this without Jordan, because I
don’t have the technical . . . I wouldn’t have known how to do it.

But what happened was this. I had a project I was launching called the
Procrastination Domination Starter Kit, right, it’s a $47 webinar, great
little product, very tight. So I sent an e-mail to my list that said, “Big
News! Launching the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit, $47. If you
want to buy it right now, $27. Special Introductory offer, $27, click here
to buy now.” That just took them to an order form to buy it, and a lot of
people did that.

If you would like to get this for free, refer three friends. You’ll get the
Procrastination Domination Starter Kit for free. They get an e-book that I
wrote called 365 Reasons to Write, and I get to triple my list. Fun for
everybody. So the people who selected that, they clicked on it, that click,
the first thing I did in Infusionsoft was make everybody, everybody on my
list a referral partner for a program I called Refer-A-Friend. Now this was
a referral program with no commission payout, no nothing. I just needed to
be able to track who came from whom.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: Okay, so that was the thing that happened, was everybody became a
referral partner without even them knowing it, and then in everybody’s e-
mail, their link was personalized with their affiliate code. Again, this is
part of the magic of Infusion software. It can do this for you.

So, they click on that, it takes them to a web form that pre-fills in their
name and e-mail address, and asks for their friend’s name and e-mail
address. And then the, okay, yes, please send this to my friend, this
person. Takes them to, normally you fill out the web form and it takes them
to a success page that says “Thanks so much for filling out our form” or
something like that.

The success page, however, was a second web form, almost a clone of the
first one, that said, “Please tell us friend number two’s name and e-mail
address,” submit. Please tell us friend number three’s name and e-mail
address. Submit. The final page had, “Here’s your free, here’s where to go
to get your free thing. Thank you so much.” I also sent them an e-mail that
said, “Here’s your free thing, just in case you didn’t get it from the
success page.”

Now, each of those three friends got an e-mail that said, “Hello, contact
first name, your friend, referring affiliate’s first name, thought you
might like this.” So, “Hey, Trent, your friend Samantha thought you might
like this information from the organized artist company,” and then they got
a little e-mail that said, “Hi, I’m Samantha Bennett, your friend so-and-so
put you on this thing, if you would like to join my list, you can get this
free, 365 Reasons to Write, just click here. If you don’t want to be on my
list, no pressure, you’ll never hear from me again. Don’t worry about it.

Trent: Very, very cool. Did those new people also go through the refer-a-
friend process?

Samantha: They didn’t. They could, I could put it on some kind of a loop. I
wouldn’t want to do it to them right away. I would probably want to keep
them on my list for a little while.

Trent: Yeah. Because I thought about that after I talked to you, after I
heard you explain this. I thought, well, why not make the same offer to
everyone that drops into your list? Why not say, “Hey, if you want to refer
one more person, I have an extra special prize for you, or reward, or
whatever, a piece of content, something.

Samantha: Yeah. You could absolutely, and there is actually two other
things that sort of kept it, kind of speak to what you’re saying. The, I
got e-mails from the people who were referring, the people who were already
on my list, saying well, I want a copy of the 365 Reasons to Write e-book,
too. Can I have what they’re getting? So, I included that for them as well.
So they got that bonus as well.

And at the end of the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit webinar, I
give them a link to a survey, a little three-second, three-question survey
that says, “What three words would you use to describe this webinar? Are
you very satisfied, satisfied, not that satisfied, Sam I hate you?” and
anything else you want to say, just an open text thing in case they want to
say anything else. And that, but their prize for filling out, so it’s take
this three-second survey and get another webinar called “I love money and
money loves me” that’s about creatives and making money.

So that also had, had two important things. One, it gave me feedback and
testimonials right away on a brand-new product. So I can say here’s what
people are saying about the Procrastination Domination Starter Kit,
illuminating, inspiring, fun, helpful, warm, intriguing, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah. It gave them a second thing, which I’m happy to do, and again,
it gives me some idea about the level of engagement, and that was really,
in some ways, everything about that referral program, the thing that meant
the most to me was that people would do it at all.

I sort of haven’t thought about it until all of a sudden, these referrals
started coming in. I thought, how lovely. How sweet of them. Take the time
out of their lives, we were just talking about how an e-mail can just eat
your life. To take the time to actually think of three friends who might
like it, and send this out. It was really moving to me.

Trent: How much revenue did you generate from the referees, the people that
were referred to you? There’s approximately 650 of those people.

Samantha: There was 600 people referred, and about 150 of them ended up
joining my list.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Permanently. The rest of them, I deleted because I don’t have
permission to e-mail them. I have no idea what that number is.

Trent: Really? I would have thought you would have known that. All right.
There’s some portion?

Samantha: I’m sure some of them have bought something at some point. Yes.

Trent: Okay.

Samantha: Or if they haven’t, they will.

Trent: Yes. Absolutely. The point is that those leads were very easy for
you to acquire. You now have them, and have a relationship, or building a
relationship.

Samantha: Right. The statistic I hear is that a referred client is 70% more
likely to close and will spend about 70% more with you.

Trent: Absolutely.

Samantha: That’s what the numbers I’ve heard out in the universe. I don’t
know if that’s true of those 120 people or not.

Trent: In my old business, absolutely that was true. I had an offline
business. I always met with the people. I knew that data pretty accurately.
Our biggest customer ever, they were a referral from another customer. That
particular customer paid us more than two times per month of our previously
bigger customer. Without the referral, never would have gotten them. Not a
chance.

Samantha: Never would have had them. Again, it’s just like all
relationships. To make a new friend, to have a blind date, I’m so much more
interested if you say, ‘Oh my gosh. Wait until you meet my friend Trent.
You are going to love him. He’s so smart and funny and charming. You are
just going . . . ” Okay. Great. That sounds great.

Trent: Yeah.

Samantha: As opposed to somebody that comes cold. It takes time. This
organic search thing takes time. This building a dedicated list takes time.
I would rather have something that takes longer and goes deeper, than
something fast that burns out. That’s me.

Trent: Samantha, you have been an absolutely fascinating guest to have on
my show. I want to thank you so much for making the time and sharing all
this with us. I never want to put anyone on the spot while I’m recording
the interview, but I sure hope . . .

Samantha: I’ll do it. I’ll do it.

Trent: All right. Awesome. There you go. There is a master class soon to be
available. We will schedule that as soon as we hang up.

Thank you everyone for listening. It’s my privilege to have the opportunity
to interview so many really smart people like Samantha, and get a free
education myself. I hope that you find inspiration in these. If you do, and
you have feedback that you’d like to give, please do get in touch with me.
You can find me on Twitter or the comments under the forum. It’s not hard
at all to get a hold of me. Use the contact form on any of my sites.

We will see you again soon. I guess you will see me again soon, because I
can’t see you, here on Bright Ideas. We will have some more. I’ve got just
some amazing guests coming up, founders. I’ve got this one guy coming up.
He’s got this hot sauce company, does $7 million a year in sales. This is
like the world record hot sauce. I got another guy coming up who’s the
founder of V-worker. He’s doing $11 million a year with his show. Not his
show, his site. It’s just awesome. I love doing this stuff.

Thanks everyone for tuning in. I look forward to having you back soon. Take
care.

If you want to get the show notes for today’s episode, just go to
brightideas.co/11. The other thing I want to tell you about is if you go to
brighideas.co/massivetraffic, you are going to get access to my massive
traffic tool kit. This tool kit is chalked full of the very best traffic
generation ideas that have been shared with me by previous guests on the
show. The great thing about all the ideas that have been shared in the tool
kit is that you don’t have to be some kind of SEO guru to be able to do
this stuff.

Go check it out. Just enter your e-mail on the page. It’s
brightideas.co/massivetraffic. That’s it for this episode. I’m your host,
Trent Dyrsmid. Want to ask you a small favor, if I can. If you love this
episode, please head over to iTunes, and give it a 5 star rating. Also,
leave a little feedback comment. Every time you do that, the show gets a
little higher in the rankings on the iTunes store. More and more people
find the show. Therefore, we can spread all these great bright ideas with
even more and more entrepreneurs out there in the business community.

Thank you so much. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this episode:

How to Increase Web Traffic with Marketing and Sales Automation via Infusionsoft

Samantha Bennett, an artist by nature, has created an online business that has gained her recognition in the world of online marketing. She was a finalist for the Infusion Ultimate Marketer Award in 2010. Her unique referral strategy has allowed her to boost her business by more than 10% in just four days. This level of growth for any business is almost unheard of, until now that is.

Listen to this episode to learn just what Samantha did to grow her business phenomenally in four days.

365-blue-coverEmails are very much ingrained in the marketing strategies of any business. Your online business will either thrive or perish with how you manage to engage your customers through email. Samantha has developed her very own customer engagement strategy that has allowed her to achieve high levels of “open rates” on the emails that she sends.

Listen to the show to learn what Samantha wrote in her emails and just what she does to compel people to open them.

With the strategies that she has developed and employed herself, Samantha has managed to grow her earnings from $50,000 the previous year to well over 6 figures this year. She has even sent a single email that has generated $120,000 in revenue. These numbers are impressive. If you want to find out more about how Samantha increased her earnings, listen to the show and hear her explain her methods and her strategies.

Before her success as an online marketer and entrepreneur, she was predominantly an artist (writer, actress) with no real background on business and computers. Since she discovered that she had the knack for helping other artists out with their works, she has spent most of her time working on that aspect of her business. It is inspiring to hear what she has done to build her business with nothing but Infusionsoft and a strong desire to succeed.

Listen to the show to find out how Samantha started out with no savings and no training to create a thriving business one tiny step at a time.

Customer engagement and response is really crucial to the success and development of a brand or business. When you send out emails to your target customers, you want them to respond positively by having them click to your site or sales page, having them forward the email to their friends or even having them refer your site or offers to their friends. Listen to the show to find out how Samantha got an avalanche of response to her emails.

If you are running and marketing an online business, it goes without saying that you need to market to people who are interested or who will be interested in what you are offering. Samantha has successfully done this with the help of a customer database management system, in her case Infusionsoft. Listen to the show and learn just how she automated a system that kept her emails out of the trash bin allowing her to get a high open rate and response rate.

With all the distractions in today’s modern world, a typical person or potential customer will usually forget your business in 36 hours. Your goal as an entrepreneur then is to maintain your potential customers’ attention long enough to create a relationship.

Listen to this episode to learn what Samantha does in this crucial time period to create a lasting relationship with her potential customers.

It's all already been said. Just not by you.

It’s all already been said. Just not by you.

Many online entrepreneurs think that it is mainly a numbers game. They think that the size of the mailing list alone is enough to ensure success. Samantha knows through experience that this is not the case. She has found a way to gain more targeted potential customers and increase her conversion rate by over 100%.

Business is a relationship between the entrepreneur and the clientele. It is your responsibility as business owner to keep a relationship going with your clientele. Samantha shares her views on this relationship and her thoughts on just what it takes to be a successful marketer and communicator.

Samantha is a great communicator and artist. In the interview, she shares how she acquires leads easily and build lasting relationships in ways that encourage referrals. Listen to the show to learn more about her highly effective super referral strategy that allowed her to grow her business by 10% in 4 days.

As a bonus, Samantha also generously shares a piece of advice that has allowed her and many of her students to achieve jaw-dropping results with their art and other projects.

Listen to the episode to learn Samantha’s best secrets.

About Samantha Bennett

49kb-BennettOriginally from Chicago, Samantha Bennett is a writer, actor, teacher and creativity/productivity specialist who has counseled hundreds of artists on their way to success.

The author of the surprisingly popular book of poems, “By The Way, You Look Really Great Today,” Samantha is currently writing “The Organized Artist Book: A Success Book For Creative People Who Want To Be More Organized And Organized People Who’d Like To Be More Creative.”

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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