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.

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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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