How to Podcast and Attract Clients


Wondering how to attract clients with podcasting?

Podcasting is so much easier than taking a regular ‘sales guy’ approach. You get to be a reporter, and most people respond much more positively to a reporter than a salesman. The number of ‘No’s’ you will get to a request to be a podcast guest will be much smaller than those you get asking for a sales to prospect with a podcast

Podcasts can also be an incredible networking tool. People like to connect with industry authorities and as a show host you will be seen as an authority.

Some of the golden nuggets you’ll hear on this video:

  • How to find interesting podcast guests that resonate with your audience.
  • Exactly what to say when you reach out to potential podcast guests.
  • How to determine if this person or their company is a potential lead for your company while you are conducting the pre-interview.
  • How to conduct an interview so that it is attention-grabbing by focusing on company success stories that get your audience saying “I want that result!”

Read more

How to Use the Phone to Dramatically Boost Your Marketing Campaign ROI with Graig Presti


Graig Presti is founder and CEO of the agency, This is Graig and I’s third interview and this time we are talking about something that nobody in the marketing world is talking about … leaving a bunch of money on the table.

What is this missing element? How and when to inject use of the telephone into your marketing and sales sequence. We will talk in detail:

  • When should you call
  • Who should you call
  • Why should you call them
  • What should you say in the first 10 seconds of the call.

We are NOT talking about cold calls.

For higher price point items, there comes a point in life-cycle of a lead when they need to talk to you. When you call your warm leads, there is a very specific way to handle the conversation.  If you don’t have a process you will probably have a high failure rate and kill many great leads.

Looking for warm calling tips, including exactly what to say? This is the episode for you.

Listen now and you’ll hear Graig and I talk about:

(01:00)  Introduction
(09:00)  How does the phone play a role in marketing?
(17:00)  How should your structure a call with a prospect you’ve not talked to before?
(21:00)  How do you ask “trick questions” that make you look like an expert?
(25:00)  Overview of Trent’s first call with a prospect
(32:00)  How do you pre-qualify a prospect prior to making a call?
(34:00)  How can a survey play a role.?
(42:00)  How does silence play a role in closing?
(44:00)  How do you recruit salespeople?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Graig Presti 

GraigPrestiGraig Presti, founder and CEO of, is a foremost advertising authority who operates with dental practices all around the planet, assisting them to leverage the internet so they can generate more telephone calls, reach more new patients, and bring in more revenue. His strategies begin to work immediately and continue to work month after month.

Presti specializes in helping dental practices dominate their nearby location by using confirmed regional Internet dental advertising strategies to help them dominate the top rated regional research engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Presti uses easy to understand stories to help his clients comprehend how they can improve their internet presence. He is a repeated featured speaker at dental conferences and other venues.

Presti has mastered the art of bringing a flood of new patients into dental offices, and has undoubtedly established himself as a top specialist in his field. His considerable accomplishments, and his industry contributions, led him to be showcased as a Newsweek Magazine Champion of Health, Wealth and Success.



How to Build a 7 Figure Virtual Inbound Agency with Rachel Cogar

Rachel Cogar is the CEO of Puma Creative, a 7-figure boutique inbound marketing agency and an evangelist for inbound marketing methodology. In addition to running her business, Rachel juggles Mom duties with three children, including a 6-week-old newborn.

Puma Creative is a 100% virtual agency with a team of 13 people all around the world. They focus on small to mid-size businesses around the world that believe in the power of inbound marketing. Their clients are all on retainers of $4000 – $10,000 per month.

Would you like your business to look like that? When you listen to this episode, you will learn exactly how she did it.

Listen now and you’ll hear Rachel and I talk about:

  • (04:45) Introduction
  • (05:30) What types of customers do you most often attract?
  • (08:30) What size retainer do you charge?
  • (10:30) What research do you rely on?
  • (11:40) Which Healthcare sub-niches do are you having success with?
  • (14:30) How did you get traction in healthcare?
  • (19:00) How are you using LinkedIn in your marketing sales?
  • (21:40) Please explain your process to qualify a lead.
  • (25:00) Do you pass your qualified leads to another application?
  • (28:00) How do I automate the sales process?
  • (35:00) Please explain some of your internal procedures & processes.
  • (48:00) Please tell us about your ROWE(Results Only Work Environment).
  • (54:00) What advice would you give to people looking to build a virtual team?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome back to Episode #140 of the Bright Ideas Podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast where we help entrepreneurs discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase the growth of their business.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for proven tactics and strategies to help you increase traffic, conversions, profits,and ultimately attract more customers of course, well guess what, my friends, you are in the right place. This is exactly what we do on this podcast. The way that we do that is I bring on other entrepreneurs who are walking their talk and getting results and then I get them to share with you and me, exactly what it is they’re doing to achieve all the success that they have, and this episode is exactly that.

In this episode, my guest is a woman by the name of Rachel Cogar. Rachel is the owner of an agency, a seven-figure agency, called Puma Creative. She’s also the mother of three with a brand new newborn just six weeks old at the time of this recording, and she, much like myself, is an absolute evangelist for the inbound marketing methodology. Her agency, by the way, is also 100% virtual. She works out of her house and has a team of 13 people spread all around the world and they are serving clients all around the world, and these clients are paying retainers of anywhere from $4,000 to about $10,000 or $12,000 per month.

Just imagine the lifestyle that she has with a business like that. Would you like to have that kind of life? Would you like your business to look like that? When you listen to this episode, you’re going to hear exactly how she did it.

We’re going to talk about the types of customers that she deals with. We’re going to talk about how she creates content and, most importantly, how she’s using LinkedIn to place that content in front of the exact target customer that she wants to have. Then we’re going to talk about the inbound methodology and how her funnel is built, and how she takes leads from being information qualified through to being marketing qualified, and then ultimately sales qualified. We share some ideas back and forth on how automation plays a role in that, both on the marketing and on the sales side.

If you’re using HubSpot now, but you don’t have a CRM system in place to handle a lead once they become sales qualified, you’re going to get some really valuable, golden nuggets on exactly how to do that.

We talked a lot about how she’s using data to support the claims that she’s making to her prospective clients. We name specifically from HubSpot that she’s using to get that data. Man, oh, man. There is just so much good stuff in this.

Then at the very end we talked about what many people call a results-only work environment. We talk about building a virtual and we talk about how we manage that team and some of the tools that we use. It’s that process that allows her and I to run these businesses where we can literally be anywhere in the world that we want to, so long as we have an internet connection, and it’s just business as usual when we’re doing it.

That’s it. No fluff, no puffery, just real stuff and in this episode you are going to get a ton of it. So in just a moment we’re going to welcome Rachel to the show.

Before we do that, my very quick announcement as always is I get a lot of emails from people saying, “Trent, what are the tools that you use to run your business? How do I create landing pages? What should I use for video hosting? Where should I host my WordPress site? What themes should I use? What should I use for email marketing? What should I use for marketing automation? How should I do content marketing?” and on and on it goes.

I have a list of all of the tools that I use. Some of those links on that list are affiliate links which means that if you click them and you buy the other people’s stuff, they’ll send me a little commission for promoting it.

Now as a thank you to for doing that, if you go to, you will see a list of all the tools and my recommendations for them that I use in my business. If you do choose to use any of those affiliate links to buy lead pages or whatever it is that you want to buy, then you send me your receipt afterwards and I have some free stuff for you, my paid products. I will give you a couple of choices on things that you can get for free and that’s just my way of saying thank you for using my affiliate link.

With that said, please join me in welcoming Rachel to the show. Hey, Rachel. Welcome to the show.

Rachel: Hey, Trent. Thanks for having me today.

Trent: No problem. It’s my pleasure to have you on and come and share with my audience the story of how you have built and are building your agency. I’m really keen to get into all the nitty- gritty of all the things that you’ve done to get the results that you’ve got. But so far I think we need to start off with allowing you to introduce yourself so that the audience knows who they’re listening to. We’ll talk about what some of those results are very early on and then, as I mentioned, we’ll get into the nuts and bolt of how you achieved them.

With that said, please take a moment and introduce yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

Rachel: Well, I am Rachel Cogar. I am the CEO of Puma Creative. We are an inbound marketing consultancy, a boutique agency and we help small- to medium-sized businesses across the globe to get their business and their marketing strategies optimized so that they are following best practice, and really just optimizing the processes of their business in order to grow their business, enlighten their clients, and to continue to expand into their marketplaces.

Trent: So when you say small businesses, can you narrow that down for us a little bit? Is there any particular size or niche or some kind of focus that you’ve chosen to target?

Rachel: That’s an interesting question. We’ve actually tried the informal inbound marketing strategy with various businesses in various industries and verticals and various sizes. What I have found that I enjoy most is we enjoy working with companies that have five or six people that they can dedicate to the marketing effort. We enjoy working with people that understand inbound marketing as a belief system, as a philosophy, as a way of life, I guess, as opposed to that it’s just another arrow in the bag of marketing tricks.

As far as verticals and industries, we’ve worked a lot with healthcare, healthcare consulting, IT technology, and we’ve seen some really great results for those industries. Just recently, I guess a year ago, we brought on our first e-commerce retail client and it’s a completely different ballgame than the business-to-business marketing and the healthcare consulting or technology world. We’re learning those ropes. We’re learning how to apply the principles of inbound marketing to e-commerce and retail and the sales funnel is very different there. As far as the size, we like the small- to mid-sized businesses.

The enterprise is something… We’ve worked with one or two enterprise clients. We’ve found that it’s a lengthier process to go through to capture approvals and to devise a plan and to get it implemented and executed. A lot of times with our small business guys or medium-sized businesses we can devise a plan and start to implement next week and start to see results. If we need to monitor and adjust and change direction, we have the approval to do so and the hands-on experience of the team and the client to jump in and do that with us.

Does that answer your question, Trent?

Trent: It does to a certain degree and as always I’ve got some follow- on questions that I want to ask. Now in the pre-interview you mentioned to me because you’re an inbound agency 100% of your income is retainer income. What’s the average size retainer that you are getting from working with the size of clients that you work with?

Rachel: Our retainers are $4,000 monthly up to $12,000 to $15,000 monthly. Well, I just want to point out that that is really diverse to compare one $10,000 month retainer to another, to compare the two customers. They could look very different.

One could be a small business that doesn’t have a marketing department or doesn’t want to bring one on, so they look to us to be an extension of their team, to be their marketing department. For that sized retainer, they’re getting a copywriter, a graphic designer, a web developer, an inbound marketing strategist, a social media expert. They couldn’t get that for that cost if they went to hire all of those people and those experts into their business.

Then we have another client that might have the same retainer size at $10,000 a month, but they’ve got a couple of marketing people and maybe they’re a larger business as far as their revenue goes, but they’re looking for quicker results.

Our retainer fees are based on frequency. A lot of times we lay out for our clients, when they’re choosing how much money to invest in this, we look at some very key research that shows frequency of blogging and number of cumulative blogs on your website and compare that to lead volume and its impact on lead volume. We look at how many landing pages and there are some magic numbers along the way.

We have some clients that opt for a higher retainer so that they can have more frequency and get there quickly and reach critical mass and reach the momentum with their lead generation. Once they’ve reached that point sometimes they’ll scale back and maintain. Sometimes they bump it up and keep on going because they’re getting some results with that.

Trent: Now you mentioned based upon research and I know in our pre- interview we talked about an MIT report that was done in conjunction with HubSpot. Is that the body of research that you’re most often referring to or are there some other items?

Rachel: There are some others. I really like the MIT study. It’s the ROI of inbound marketing and the ROI of using HubSpot for inbound marketing. But some others that I like are “The State of Inbound Marketing” report and HubSpot has put out a couple of reports also, “7,000 Benchmarks for Businesses Using HubSpot and Inbound Marketing.” We refer to those quite often.

The one specifically I was referring to is there’s a graph in “The State of Inbound Marketing” report that shows that your number of cumulative blogs to the number of your median lead volume coming in. When you reach certain benchmarks in certain numbers your lead volume increases exponentially. We try to hit those magic numbers when we’re blogging and building landing pages, so that we can see the lead volume increase.

Trent: Perfect. Now going back to healthcare, healthcare is a huge niche and there are quite a number of sub-niches within it and I’m not even terribly familiar with it to be honest with you. What areas of healthcare are you working with when you say, “We deal with healthcare”?

Rachel: Healthcare it’s a very interesting subject matter right now just because there’s a lot of change happening. There are a lot of upset in the marketplace and there’s a lot of players. You’ve got your physicians. You’ve got your hospitals, your combo care organizations, your insurers. The clients that we worked with in the healthcare field… I neglected to mention there are also the patients, right? All of us.

The ones that we worked with are the business to business in the healthcare industry. It’s a technology company selling quality software to hospitals to keep up with provider data. Or it’s a healthcare consultant, consulting the hospital CEOs on patient safety and patient satisfaction and quality assurance.

We’ve seen that there’s a lot of movement right now and a lot of uncertainty in the healthcare field. What these hospitals and doctor’s offices are doing is they are having to be very efficient in their spending and in their income and how they generate revenue. That really comes directly back to how they market. Not only their operations and how they run their businesses, but how they market themselves. They have an opportunity here to delight existing patients and to keep their current customers and to grow their business.

There are also a lot of mergers and acquisitions going on in the healthcare space right now. We’re seeing a lot of rebranding and re-juggling of who our experts are and where we have experts and on what topics. So there’s really a lot of movement and the sky’s the limit as to what we can do with healthcare right now.

We’re seeing a lot of interesting moves in healthcare marketing that tend to be a little bit more risky, a little bit more transparent of putting yourself out there, whereas five years ago or 10 years ago, it was a little more conservative marketing. So we’re seeing people take some risks just because of the volatility of the space and do some things differently. “Differentiate or die” is the way we could say this from a marketing perspective in healthcare.

Trent: When it comes to the inbound methodology, of course, you’re creating content and making sure that content gets in front of the right people and that it’s written for the right people. How did you get your traction in the healthcare niche because they don’t strike me as the kind of folks who are reading marketing blogs?

Rachel: It’s interesting that when you devise an inbound marketing, when you decide, “I understand inbound marketing and this is the way we’re going to go with our business.” Inbound marketing is more the belief system. It’s more of a way of doing business. We see inbound marketing as not just marketing. We see inbound as a cultural thing, as inbound operations and on sales, inbound delighting of our clients.

Let me just take a second to explain where I’m coming from with that. This is review of you inbound marketers out there, but we know that the way people buy anything has changed. We know that, Trent, if you’re going to buy a car today or next week and you decide you have $30,000 to spend on a car, you’re not going to drive down to the sales lot. You’re going to go online. You’re going to go online first and you’re going to figure out what you can get in that budget and where in your area that you can find some cars on the lot that you can look at. You’re going to read the customer reviews and you’re going to know everything about that car, pull the Carfax before you go down to the lot and talk to the sales guy.

Because we see that consumers are savvy and they have information at their fingertips, apply that to healthcare. Think about “Oh, I have this rash on my arm and it’s itching.” Before I call my doctor, what am I going to do? I’m going to go online. I’m going to Google it. I’m going to research this myself and come to the table as a more educated contributor to my own health.

When we look at healthcare business to business, it’s the same way. We see these CEOs of multi-facility hospitals going on to LinkedIn, and getting in LinkedIn groups for healthcare executive networking and groups like very highly expert groups, asking questions about software, technologies, processes, mergers, and such.

When it comes to inbound marketing, the idea is to create content the people are already searching for. We know the consumer goes online, consumes information, becomes a more educated buyer or patient or whatever they are. What we want to do is create content that’s going to educate and inform when they go looking for information, so that we position ourselves as the expert.

If we’re targeting a healthcare CEO, a hospital CEO to sell our software, we want to be in the LinkedIn group for our healthcare executives’ network and we want to see what the conversations are.

Then we want to create content that we think answers the questions that those CEOs have or the quality directors, or the director of medical staff services or whoever our personas are. We want to create content based on what they’re asking, their questions are.

We have found that in the business-to-business healthcare marketing, LinkedIn groups are frequented by these top level executives searching out answers for how to maintain and sustain in this constantly shifting space in healthcare right now.

I think the key, at least in our opinion, is to go where your customers are. Sometimes inbound marketing is synonymously misplaced with just blogging or with social media. Really it’s, A, who are your personas, B, what questions do they need answered, C, can we solve their problems, and then, D, getting our content in front of our audience. I don’t think it’s enough to necessarily write a blog and publish it on our website and then wait for the masses to come. I think that’s an immature process.

I think the rest of the process is we go and do our research and development first. We frequent those groups and see what people are asking and what they’re looking for and we figure out how we can solve that. Then we write our content. Then when we go back to promote our content, we go to those groups where we see that the potential prospects are.

We have a client in healthcare consulting and they sell a software for credentialing providers. There’s a group on LinkedIn called Credentialing in Healthcare. It’s a direct fit to who they’re trying reach. That’s a great place to promote their blogs or to promote their landing pages and their whitepapers and things that they’re producing. I think it’s a full strategy in order to get in front of these personas and prospects.

Trent: I agree completely. Brilliant answer. I’m glad that you brought up LinkedIn because it’s a tool that I use as well. I don’t consider myself a super expert on it, but I think I do an okay job. I want to dive a little deeper on LinkedIn for a moment. So let’s say that you’re placing your highly relevant content that is high quality and well-written, we’ll just assume that that’s the case because I know that it is, and you’re getting it in front of the right eyeballs.

Do these folks ever comment on it and then do you reach out and make a connection, and then do you send them an email and say, “Hey, thanks for connecting. Would you like to chat?” Or do they just read it, come to your site, download whatever lead magnet report and go through the funnel or is it some combination of both?

Rachel: That’s a great question and what you’re asking really marries in marketing and sales. A good friend of mine, Dan Tyre at HubSpot, calls this smarketing. It’s sales and marketing in the process. The way that this has been the most successful for some of our clients is that they frequent these groups on LinkedIn.

Let me just back up and start with that going into the LinkedIn groups should be perceived like going to a networking event or a cocktail party. When you go, you don’t want to talk about yourself the whole time. You want to talk to other people, ask them what they do, comment on what they’ve got going on, and build some credibility there and build a relationship.

Our clients will go into the LinkedIn groups and see what people are asking and what people are discussing and they’ll jump in. They’ll give their opinion and answer other people’s questions. When other people see that you’re answering their questions, they’re going to jump in and have a conversation with you when you pose a question.

Generally speaking there are opportunities to reference an article that your CEO has written or reference a blog or reference a whitepaper that may help someone who’s struggling with a certain problem. When you reference that and put that link there, we see that a lot of people will click on that link and go back to the website and read the blog.

As best practice, something we always do, is every time we publish a blog on our website, at the very end of it we put a 600 pixel wide by 200 pixel tall call-to-action that goes onto a landing page for some premium content. We view the blog as the appetizer, the teaser, and they read it and it’s compelling enough to make them want more, so they click on that call to action at the end or within the blog.

They go to the landing page and often download the content. At that point we have a process in place, this bridge between marketing and sales, where we’ve got a lifecycle of the lead. We see that they come in and if they fill out a form on our landing page to get a piece of content, they become a lead. But the lead is really just a holding bucket because we know that just because someone fills out a form doesn’t make them a good lead for our business.

Our next step is to qualify them as a marketing qualified lead, an MQL. We generally have a checklist, and we have a marketing designated person at the client’s office that will see the lead come in. They’ll get the notification that so and so has downloaded this whitepaper and they’ll look that person up on LinkedIn or online and they’ll see, “Is this person in our geographic area that we serve? Are they in the industry of our target audience? Are they our persona? Would this be a good customer for us?”

If the answer is no, because it could be your competitor, it could be somebody in Egypt, it could be somebody doing research for their college graduate research paper, we mark them as a subscriber. We let them consume our content all day long.

If they answer’s yes, that they could potentially be a good client for us, we mark them as a marketing qualified lead which just means that they’re qualified for us to continue marketing to them.

At that point, we have some stuff set up behind the scenes for lead nurturing and with marketing automation where because they’ve downloaded this whitepaper, we think the obvious next step would be to watch this webinar or to read this case study. We try to send them emails and try to guide them down the sales funnel to a phone call, basically, with our client.

If the next stage though, after they’re a marketing qualified lead and we continue marketing, we keep our eye on it. If they come back and download other content, we set up some rules and some alerts and notifications to let us know, “Hey, these guys are more interested.”

We also use lead scoring. The more they do on our site. They come back and they read blogs. They share our blogs. They tweet about us. They post something about us on LinkedIn. They’re increasing their score and the sales team is watching this.

We like to get our sales team involved a little bit earlier than normal in the process. What the sales team does is what’s called an outreach call. They might pick up the phone and call this person at some point of engagement and say, “I saw that you’ve downloaded some of our content regarding patient satisfaction. I’m just calling to see if there’s some particular information that you’re looking for or that we could help you with or I could send you.”

It’s more of an outreach call instead of a sales call, but the goal is to find out three things. Does the company have a budget? Do they have an interest or an initiative for what you’re selling? Number three, is that the decision maker or an influencer that you’re talking to? If the answers yes to those, then we mark them from a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead and start the sales process.

That’s the process, I guess, that we put in place. We work with each client individually to define that process, custom it to their business, to their sales team, and the systems that they already have in place. Does that make sense, Trent?

Trent: It makes perfect sense and boy oh boy, audience, I hope you were taking notes because you heard Marketing 101 brilliance just there. That is the exact process that we use in our own agency as well, so well done. Bravo.

Question for you on that. HubSpot is not… You and I are both HubSpot partners so we know the software quite well. It’s not a CRM though and I have a way that I… I’ve made videos and stuff of how I do it, so I won’t dive into that now. I’ll just put a link in the show notes. When someone becomes either marketing or sales qualified, do you pass them from HubSpot to another application of any kind?

Rachel: Generally yes, and it depends on the size of our clients too. Some of them have one or two salespeople and they send their sales team notifications and they manage it in HubSpot with a limited functionality of the CRM. There’s a note field and they keep track of it themselves. Our clients that do want to manage it with a CRM because they’ve got a sales team and a formal process, we generally connect HubSpot to Salesforce or HubSpot to Autotask or something like that. HubSpot has an open API, so as long as the CRM that they’re using also has an open API, we can automate that and push the leads into their system for their sales teams.

Trent: Have you explored did you know that HubSpot gives you 15 free zaps from Zapier?

Rachel: Yes, and we’ve used Zapier for multiple things with HubSpot and having that process seamless really makes a big difference to how well we can execute on the strategy. The other thing HubSpot has is they’ve recently put in integration to Wistia and to GoToWebinar. Now if you’re going to do a webinar for your prospects, you just go into HubSpot. You turn on the GoToWebinar integration, enter your GoToWebinar password, and then when someone registers on your HubSpot form it automatically pushed them to GoToWebinar, which sends them to a unique link for them to join the webinar. There are lots of integrations and Zapier is something we utilize on a regular basis to tie HubSpot to various softwares.

Trent : For me, I use Infusionsoft because it allows me to do all sorts of really cool automation when I pass both my marketing qualified and my sales qualified leads using Zapier over into Infusionsoft. Folks, if you want to see a video on that, at the end of this episode, I’ll give the link to the show notes and there will be a link to that video.

Rachel: That sounds great. Trent, let me ask you a question. When it comes to the process, I feel like we’re talking about a couple of different things here which is great. We’re talking about a marketing process, an inbound marketing process marrying sales and marketing, having this cohesive, seamless process. I can tell from reading your blogs and seeing your videos that you’re really strong in the marketing automation piece of this.

I’m curious to hear maybe what your thoughts are as to how important that marketing automation piece is to the process. You can do the process manually or you can do it in an automated fashion, but how do you foresee the value of that impacting the end result of the email marketing?

Trent: Thank you for the question. If you’ve ever seen the movie Apollo 13 there’s a scene when all hell is breaking loose and Gary Sinise says something to the effect of, “Hey, do we have a process for that?” and that expression permeates my entire organization. We try to never have something that occurs more than once that we don’t have a documented process for. The thing that’s better than a documented process is an automated process.

The reason that I’m such a staunch believer in this is I don’t want things to fall through the cracks. I know that the human memory is prone to failure. Mine sure is. Dealing with turnover and training issues is another area of ROI when you have automation. When you have those systems, the customer experience will be consistent time in and time out, as well as I am very interested in knowing exactly which parts of my marketing and sales are working. That means I need to be collecting data at all times.

Now sometimes I’m able to easily collect data through analytics and clicks and so forth. What happens if there is some type of interaction where the data is not so easy to collect, so I want to also build automation processes? Actually, I recorded a video about this just the other day. I’m actually experimenting with some direct mail as well because I want to get hyper-targeted on some of the people that I’m going after and my content plays a huge role in the direct mail.

I have very carefully selected 100 individuals that I would really love to have as a customer. When they call, as they have been, it very quickly occurred to me I thought, “Man, I’ve got to have a way that when the phone rings and I handle these conversations, I make sure that document what letter was it that caused them to call and what week was it and where did the lead come from?”

With Infusionsoft, and I’m assuming other applications as well, you can build a web forum and I put checkboxes. When someone calls in, of course I’m filling in their name and their email, and putting in the stuff in the right checkboxes. When I click the submit button when I’m done with that inbound call that I’ve received which happened as a result of my marketing, certain things will happen automatically. Certain tags will get applied tasks will automatically be triggered telling me to send a follow-up email.

The goal is if you employ a sales staff, you would ideally like everybody to handle your prospects in exactly the right way so that they go through your process in exactly the right way. I think that the only way to do that is to create a framework of automation. You can customize it of course, on a per person basis. The task says, “Send the templated follow-up email,” but it doesn’t mean that that person can’t go and amend the templated email a little bit and make some personal comments and they should.

What you don’t want to have happen is them forget to send the email, or critical elements of that follow up email don’t get included. Like one of the things that we get on the table right at the get go is how much it costs to work with us. There’s a certain retainer below which we won’t go. We just don’t the customer because the burden of account management is too high relative to the income and it won’t be a profitable customer. I don’t want to find that out at the end. I want them to know right at the very beginning so that we don’t have to waste each other’s time. Does that answer your question?

Rachel: It does and I heard you say so many really cool things that I tried to write down throughout the process, like documented, automated, do we have a process for that, framework. Some of those words I think are key to a successfully implemented inbound marketing strategy. I look at some of the clients that we’ve worked with and a few of our clients maybe worked with another agency or they tried to do it themselves before they came to us and they didn’t have necessarily a process or a framework. I’ve seen people try to do inbound marketing without the framework, without the backbone, without the structure of it.

It seems like when that’s the case these strategies are more, “Let’s write a blog and throw it up on our website and see who comes to visit.” Having that framework not only on the automation, but on the front end of what are we going to write, who are we writing it to, where are we going to place it, how are we going to promote it? I think that framework on the front end is critical, but if you have that framework on the front end, and then you don’t have the automation after the lead is generated, you have a drop off there. You have a big gap in your marketing.

Trent: Huge drop off.

Rachel: Yes. I would say to the listeners today, to our audience, does your inbound marketing strategy have a very secure framework behind it? Just hearing the words that you’re saying, Trent, as you described your automation process, the framework, the process, the documentation, the automation, the structure for turnover, I think that that’s critical.

A lot of marketers, I’m going to say this about myself as well, are right-brained creative people. But putting the structure in place here is a real left-brain task. Making sure that you’re not out there being too creative and forgetting to have your structure in place, I think, is critical to the success of the strategy, to growing your business, to gaining the leads, and closing the leads.

We see people that can generate tons of leads. They can’t close them. We see people that can’t generate the leads, but you put them in front of someone they can close the deal.

I think this is really a marriage of processes and creativity and being on target with knowing who your audience is, knowing what questions they have that need answered, and how you can solve their problems. There are just a lot of pieces to this. I think when the structure is in place, that’s when you set yourself up for success.

Trent: I agree and we’re going to hang on this for a little bit longer. I think you and I can probably compare notes on a few the processes that we’ve developed internally and I suspect that the audience would really love to hear that.

With that said, I know that I do and I’m happy to explain my process, but when it comes to figuring out what content you’re going to create, creating it, making sure that the checklist of items is never missed for every piece of content that is created, optimized, and promoted, we have a system that we use for that. It’s a spreadsheet. It’s got all these columns and then every task is linked to the corresponding page in our wiki and there are training videos for everybody on the team. We’ve really put a lot of effort into having this process. I’m curious how do you do that kind of stuff?

Rachel: Is that an internal process in documentation for your team or do you share that with the client as well?

Trent: It’s internal.

Rachel: Puma Creative was started just about three years ago, and prior to Puma Creative I had the traditional ad agency for six or seven years. With my traditional ad agency we took on any market. We were full service. We took on any marketing project. We were putting billboards in the Panther’s stadium on the Jumbo- Tron. We were designing logos and print collateral and email campaigns. We did it all.

The problem with that, Trent, was that nothing was repeatable. We didn’t have a process because we didn’t repeat the same thing twice. We would sit at the table with our customers and say, “Well, that was nice. We placed that ad in South Park Magazine. Did you get any phone calls this month?” We had no way to measure it, number one, and they would say, “Well, I think we got one phone call from it.” I’d say, “What are we going to do next month?”

We started to see as early as 2008, 2009, and 2010 that this approach just wasn’t working. When I ended up moving on to starting Puma Creative in 2011, the goal was that we were just going to be an inbound marketing consultancy. Only take on inbound marketing clients and stay focused. We’re not going to do traditional outbound marketing unless it’s part of the integrated plan and we’re not going to do project work.

I’m answering your question the long way here, but because we’re three years old as a company we really spent the first two years building our systems and processes and understanding how we do things within our markets and our niches. We spent the first two years figuring it out and then we spent the last year, this past year, really documenting and putting the framework and the process in place. We use Basecamp for our project management and so we’ve set up Basecamp templates.

Trent: We do as well.

Rachel: Do you use that as well?

Trent: We do, yes. For client interaction, work with Basecamp is where it all lives.

Rachel: Yes. We set up these templates for our client. We’ve got a new client coming on May 1st. We’re having our kickoff meeting tomorrow with him. I’ve already set up his Basecamp project, and it has certain sections and certain documents, and it has the processes that we defined for him in place. As far as the blogging and the social media and the content planning and all of that stuff, we’ve got a very distinct process we use for that that’s documented internally and we share that process through our Basecamp project along the topics of our client.

I’ve got this one-sheeter that I’m very happy to share with you. You can put it in the docket it you’d like. It’s an overview of how do a B2B inbound marketing campaign. I think I call it the B2B Inbound Marketing Campaign Asset Sheet. It’s a one-sheeter and it lays out everything you need to implement one campaign. From the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, all the way down to your landing pages, your content, your headlines, your CTAs, your workflows, your emails for your workflows, your blogs, your social media, everything in one.

We use that as a checklist for the client and we show them this is the big picture, where we’re headed, and these are the content assets that we need and the graphical assets that we need to develop in order to execute this campaign. That matches the Basecamp project that we set up. In Basecamp, we’ve got 10 blogs. We’ll list out a category of blogs and we’ll list out 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, all the way through 10 as placeholders to say, “This is the first month of what this is going to look like that we need to create based on best practice of how to implement this.” I’ll send you that document, Trent, if you want to share it with the group.

Trent: Absolutely. I’d be very happy to do that. It’s a shame. I’d love us to be able to be doing visual right now because I’d love nothing more than to do a screen share and have a look at your Basecamp and compare it to my Basecamp and see how we could both learn from each other and improve. Maybe we’ll have to do that offline and I’ll record it and put it in the show notes as well, if you’re up for it.

Rachel: Absolutely. Like I said, our first two years were figuring out our process and our last year has been documenting it. Sounds like you’re a little bit ahead of us on documenting your internal wiki and all of that, which makes me salivate over what you’ve got in place. Putting those operations in place is critical to growing our business. We’ve gotten a lot of referrals from HubSpot, a lot of referrals from our clients. We’ve got leads that come in, people we’d like to work with, but we have to make sure that operationally we’re set up to handle that. Growing our own business is critical as well, and I think having that framework and process in place for us means that we can help more people.

Trent: Absolutely. You might not know and some of the listeners might not know, on my Bright Ideas blog, each week I publish a post about how I’m building Groove and I go into quite a bit of detail of what we did, what we accomplished that week. A lot of these videos and stuff that I’m referring to I do create and share within my weekly update. If you go Groove and you find… In the categories on the side bar there’s a thing called, I think, the Groove Digital Marketing Project or something like that. If you click that you’ll get to see all of the posts and it’s week by week, everything that we’re doing, lots of detail.

Rachel: I love how you’re so transparent. I’ve read a couple of your blogs on what you’re doing to grow your business and I love the transparency there. That’s something that I’ve really been learning this past year is how valuable the transparency is in not only sharing what you do that works, but in being able to get feedback from other people and enhance the strategies. I commend you for your transparency on that. I think it benefits everybody. Thank you for that, Trent.

Trent: No problem. Those are the most fun posts for me to write. I don’t always have some amazing result to share, but I always have, “Here’s something new that we created,” or, “Here’s a process,” or, “Here’s the results of something that I talked about last week.” The feedback that I get on these posts has been absolutely phenomenal.

My wife was telling me at dinner last night, “None of my family has ever commented on any of your blog posts because I don’t think they read them, until you started to do these weekly updates. Now some of my friends actually send me emails. They actually read your stuff.” People are enjoying it and I enjoy doing it so I will keep on doing that for, well, until I get bored of doing it or until people lose interest, one of the two.

Rachel: I think that what you’re giving there is so valuable to not only how to grow an inbound marketing agency, but how to grow your business in general, how to be entrepreneurial, how to communicate. I love that word. It’s the oldest word, but really what we’re doing with inbound marketing is we are being authentic and real and communicating authenticity to our prospects. I think your blogs are so valuable because you’re letting us see the real deal, the real limitations or problems or successes that you’re having, and that would apply to me growing my inbound marketing agency.

It would apply to a healthcare consultant who’s trying to reach a CEO because you’re giving some very practical hands-on strategies. I think in one of yours that I read you talked about having your VA make a list of the top 100. Here’s how you’re approaching them and here’s what you’re going to do next. It’s very tactical as far as takeaway that I think any of our clients would benefit from as well. I think you’re going to continue to see an upward trend of interest in what you’re doing with that.

Trent: There are some pretty unexpected things that come from this. For example, I’ve had one individual, a fellow by the name of Chris O’Byrne, and gosh, Chris, I wish I could remember your URL off the top of my head, but I will put it in the show notes. He said, “Trent, I really want to help you turn one of your books into a Kindle book and I’ll do it for free. You’ve given me so much value I just want to do this for you.” I said, “Really? Okay.”

My Digital Marketing Handbook is in the process of getting turned into a Kindle book and it’s go onto Amazon. For me, that’s a neat experiment. It’s not something I would have devoted any time or energy to because it wasn’t a priority at this point in time. He said, “I’m really digging that.”

Then Patrick from HubSpot who I’m sure you know quite well, their VP of Sales, he caught wind of these weekly updates that I’m doing and has been all over me on Twitter.

Now he and Greg Fong, our sales guy, we have a three-way call coming up today or tomorrow. He says, “I love what you’re doing. I want to see how I can help you more.”

When you really open the kimono like this, people find it, and then they react in pleasant and unexpected ways. I guess that’s my point in all rambling on like this. It’s go ahead and do stuff like this. Even if you can’t exactly figure out what the immediate benefit will be, trust me, people will find you and they will appreciate you and you will experience benefits that you can’t even predict in advance.

Rachel: I agree with you completely. I go back to I’m working on a book right now that’s supposed to be out in August about the inbound marketing world view about inbound marketing as a belief system, and I think you really are a strong example. You just nailed it on providing value. If you’re providing value, through being real and transparent, you’re showing people the way. You are trying it and then showing people the way to grow their business.

That realness, that being real there is going to get you noticed. Like you said, the benefit of that is growing your business. The benefit of that is beyond growing your business.

I spoke at HubSpot last year at Inbound 2013 and my presentation was called “The $120,000 Close Deck” of how to close a $10,000 a month retainer. I had maybe 150 HubSpot partners in the room and every time I go back to Boston or to any HubSpot event now I have people saying, “Your presentation helped me close my first $10,000 retainer. Thank you for that.”

I had a guy two weeks ago, I was in Boston, and he said, “You’re my hero. You really helped our agency jumpstart.” That’s so rewarding and that’s so fulfilling, but in addition to that, I had a guy in Wilmington from another agency who said to me, “You’ve helped me so much. What can I do to help you? Can I share your content? Can I write a blog for you?”

I think that it makes you feel good of course, and it makes you feel good to know you’re on the right track and that people like you, but it also validates what you’re doing from a marketing perspective. It validates the fact that when you’re being real and authentic and helpful, people need that. People will find that and I think if we apply to that our customers and prospects in the same way and in the same manner, be authentic, be real, be helpful, your prospects will find you too.

I think some people are hesitant with inbound marketing because they want to keep their secrets close to their chest. I think we’re beyond that as a society. We’re beyond that when the consumer knows how to get a move on and find the answers they need in 3.2 seconds. We’re beyond holding your wares into your chest. I think that really hits home with what inbound marketing is. The culture of inbound marketing is giving and sharing and exposing and helping other people.

Trent: Do you have a PDF of the slide deck “How to Close a $10,000 Retainer” that we could also put in the show notes?

Rachel: Oh, I sure do. It was recorded by HubSpot and we’ve got a link to it on their website. I’ll send you that link.

Trent: Awesome. That’d be great. Where are we on time? We’re just about done. One of the things that we haven’t talked about, so we’re going to shift gears here, but I know we did talk about in the pre-interview is what you described as a results-only work environment. Your agency is virtual. My agency is virtual. Many people’s businesses are becoming virtual. I think we would be remiss if we didn’t talk a little bit about how the results-only work environment is working for you. Take it away.

Rachel: Through HubSpot I met these two ladies, Jody and Callie, who’ve written books and they do public speaking engagements about what they call Go ROWE. ROWE stands for results-only work environment. I was very curious, especially the first time I heard them speak. They said that somewhere along the way somebody decided that showing up an office from 8 to 5 equals results. In fact, it does not. The new way of doing business, I guess, is based on, “Did you get the job done? Did we get results from the job that you got done?”

When I started Puma Creative three years ago, I’d had a traditional ad agency before and we had a big office. The name on the walls, we had cubicles and butts in seats, and payroll taxes.

When I exited that business, I was really looking for something more. I spent my entire waking hours at that office and it consumed me. I was really looking for work and life balance or integration of the two. I have small children. I didn’t want to work at that office for the rest of my life.

When we started Puma Creative, I have my home office and started to grow the team and they’re all virtual and we don’t count hours. The rule is “get the job done. Get it done on time. Make the client happy.” Other than that, anything really goes.

I know that for myself I can work from Charlotte, North Carolina, or I can work from India, or I can work from China, Thailand, St. Thomas, or wherever that I want to work, so long as I have my laptop and my cell phone.

I think that that’s how I want to work and my team does as well, so we manage our projects in Basecamp. We use Dropbox to share files. We have entire meetings on GChat and we jump on GoToWebinars with our clients who are spread out all over the world. We get these things done. We make our clients happy. We help them grow their businesses. We have a blast doing it.

Now we’ve evolved through the Go ROWE. We ask ourselves three questions as a business. Number one, are we making an impact? Number two, are we having fun? And number three, are we making money? If the answer is yes to those three, we love what we do. We use that to determine if we’re going to take on a client or not. When we’re interviewing a client or they’re interviewing us, we’re looking too to see, “Hey are we going to make an impact with these people? Are we going to have fun with these people? Are we going to make money with these people?” That’s guided our agency over the past three years, the virtual team and the virtual setting.

One other book, the book “Rework” by Jason Fried from 37signals, the Basecamp developer, was the first introduction I had to the virtual team. He’s extremely profitable with a small team that’s spread out all over the world. That’s what we do and you mentioned that your team is virtual as well.

Trent: Yep, indeed they are. We have two people overseas. We’ve got somebody in northern California who’s just joined our team. She’s our director of operations in the making, starting off with our blog editor. My wife, as many of the people following know, is literally… Well, she’s two day past her due date. We haven’t given birth to our daughter yet, but as you might imagine when that happens, which could be at any moment, her ability to fulfill the role that she’s played will be impaired for a couple of months at least or longer. I really don’t know how long.

We needed to find another individual living in a relatively small town here, Boise, Idaho, the pickings aren’t necessarily exactly as fruitful as what we might have needed. We did try to find someone locally first and couldn’t. Actually we did and we had a false start, so then we just decided… There were certain roles I was very okay with outsourcing and then others where I thought I needed to see faces. After my pre-interview with you, Rachel, I went and I spoke to my wife and I said, “If virtual works for Rachel for key roles, virtual can work for us. Let’s make it happen.”

We had our onboarding interview with Rebecca yesterday and it was my first opportunity actually speaking with her, because Liz generally does the hiring, and I was just absolutely floored at the caliber of talent that we were able to attract to our team. Much like probably many professionals out there, she doesn’t want to work 40 hours a week. She has small kids and wants to be very involved in their lives. She says, “I’ve sure got 30 hours that are available and I have a pretty impressive resume,” which she sure did.

I thought, “Oh, man. What a score,” to be able to have someone who has this level of talent and experience to very affordably add her to the team. The other thing is when you give people the opportunity to work remotely on their own schedule, they’re not nearly so demanding in the salary department.

Rachel: It can be a win/win. It’s really a tradeoff because the value to them is there as well. There’s a lot of research on the productivity and the quality of work you get when you can give these flexibilities. I think that some people aren’t motivated by money as much as they’re motivated by the autonomy or by the freedom or flexibility to be part of their kid’s lives. That’s fantastic. It’s a beautiful relationship when you can find that.

Trent: Let’s close off with this final question then. What tips would you give for people who are looking to attract this type of individual to join their team? How do you do it?

Rachel: Well, that’s a million dollar question, Trent. I think that there are some things that you have to keep in mind. You have to make a list. Maybe start by making a list of what you can live with and what doesn’t matter. For me, personally, the things that matter are, “Is the job done on time to the best of our ability? Is the client happy?” If the answers yes, I don’t care if the person works 10 hours a week or 80 hours a week. Go to the dog park, enjoy the sunshine. See you later, as long as the job is done. We don’t even count hours.

As far as finding those people, we use several resources. Of course we use HubSpot to refer us. People who have experience with inbound marketing, has a new hiring portal on their website. We use oDesk and Freelance.

Although I will say that if we use something like oDesk to find team members, what we like to do is assign them a project and then if it goes well we assign them another project, and we have this trial period.

Our goal in using something like oDesk is to find somebody that can be a permanent part of our team through oDesk, not a one-off outsourced person. We have, let’s see, five or six people through oDesk that we’ve been working with for two years or more and they’re loyal and committed to us for the full term. That’s how we like to work.

My advice would be, A, start with making a list. What do you need? Then when you go to find them, utilize HubSpot, utilize, utilize oDesk, Freelance, LinkedIn, etc. Make sure your offer is motivating from what that person needs as well as what you need. When you can find a win/win, it makes life so much more fun. It makes it fun for both people involved.

Trent: Absolutely. Here’s some irony for you. I’m looking at Amazon as we’re talking about this. One of the little book suggestions along the bottom is a book by an internet friend of mine by the name of Chris Ducker. It’s called “Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business.” You can get that on Amazon for like $9. Props out to you, Chris. I know you probably aren’t going to be listening to this, but if you are, there you go.

Rachel: There you go.

Trent: Well, Rachel, thank you so much for making some time to spend with me here on the show. If people want to get a hold of you, what is the one easiest way to do that?

Rachel: The easiest way to reach me on Twitter @RachelCogar and of course my website is Puma Creative. You can Google me and I’m there. It’s been my pleasure, Trent. Thank you for having me. I’ll send you some documents that we discussed that you can include out to the listeners. If you need me for more conversation or collaboration, please feel free to reach out.

Trent: Oh, I will definitely be doing that. Thank you again so much for making the time today.

Rachel: My pleasure. Have a great week.

Trent: To get to the show notes for this episode go to If you enjoyed this episode, which I sure hope you did because I know I sure did, I’d love it if you help me to spread the word very easily. All you need to do is go to where there’s a prepopulated tweet awaiting of your mouse. It couldn’t be easier, could it?

That’s it for this episode. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. I hope to have you back for another one which will be available in just a day or two. That’s it. Take care. We’ll see you again. Bye-bye.


About Rachel Cogar

Rachel Cogar, the Founder and CEO of Puma Creative, a HubSpot Gold Certified International Consultancy, is a progressive-thinking, profit-driven inbound marketer who isn’t afraid to try something new. Always on the cutting edge of innovation and best practice, Rachel is revered as a thought leader AND a doer in the field of business strategy, communications and inbound marketing. Rachel and her team consult and coach clients across the world to perform at optimal levels for lead generation and demand generation marketing. Rachel is the author of The Inbound Marketing Worldview, the up and coming business book that describes the belief system we have about consumerism and how our worldview affects our behavior as marketers.

Rachel’s ambition and her ability to think “bigger” attracts CEOs and marketing teams who can see past tradition and want to be remarkable. Her passion for remarkability is dynamic and infectious, and continues to guide clients and their marketing teams to great success. Rachel believes that *sometimes* the rules truly do not apply – that is, the rules we’ve always known – but have never questioned. Question the rules; question the norm; and always look for ways to be remarkable.

Additional Resources

Create Content or Prospect via LinkedIn

Create Content or Prospect via LinkedIn: Which is a Better Use of Time?

inbound vs outbound

Inbound vs outbound marketing. Which is a better use of your time?

I had the opportunity recently to interview 2 CEO’s who were both running very successful businesses and taking very different approaches to lead generation.

One CEO focused on inbound marketing, the other on outbound marketing. Which marketing method is a better use of your time if you are just getting started and don’t have the momentum from having an established content marketing strategy in place?

This podcast discusses the pros and cons of each approach as well as a hybrid approach.

  • (01:38) Introduction
  • (02:05) Inbound or Outbound?
  • (03:15) The case for inbound
  • (05:20) The case for outbound
  • (09:35) Our hybrid approach

For more episodes from myself and other successful business professionals, subscribe now and don’t miss out on future shows.

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Content Marketing Strategies That Work with Andrew Gaffney

Content Marketing Strategies Expert Andrew Gaffney Interviewed on the BrightIdeas Podcast

Andrew Gaffney is the founder and CEO of Demand Gen Report, a digital publication covering best practices and engagement strategy for lead generation. Founded seven years ago, Demand Gen Report has experienced continuous growth and ranked on the Inc 5000 last year. Since then, their revenues are up another 70% this year.

Andrew is a walking, talking example of developing content marketing strategies that work. Content marketing has played a pivotal role in his organizational growth. He shares how to figure out your buyer persona and how it affects content marketing strategy, what your marketing funnel should look like, and how to combine traditional outbound with content marketing to get much better results.

Listen to the end, and I share how to get a list of all the tools we use to run BrightIdeas. If you choose to purchase using our affiliate links, you will get a bonus!

Listen now and you’ll hear Andrew and I talk about:

  • (02:30) Introduction
  • (05:16) Please tell me about your company
  • (10:30) How do you help clients understand their buyer persona?
  • (12:50) What advice do you give clients on how to really understand their buyer persona?
  • (15:55) Please tell me about the specific process you use to help clients understand their buyers
  • (18:30) How to better look at marketing opportunities to align with your business goals?
  • (19:50) How does a big piece of content fit in with the content strategy?
  • (22:15) How does the length of the sales cycle affect the value of content marketing?
  • (23:30) Please describe the various stages in a marketing funnel
  • (25:30) How have you combined traditional outbound with inbound?
  • (29:30) How has Linkedin played a part of your outbound?
  • (31:30) How are you helping clients use data to validate their assumptions?
  • (32:30) What is sales enablement?

Resources Mentioned


More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Andrew Gaffney

Andrew Gaffney

Andrew wears many hats at his growing company, Demand Gen Reports, and its many divisions. He works with many leading solution providers to develop programs that position their company as a thought leader in their respective industry.

Andrew’s company specializes in custom content creation such as white papers, E-books, infographics, webinars, videos & social media that positions their clients as a thought leader and generates leads and sales opportunities. They have several online publications with more than 60,000 loyal subscribers providing their clients with a platform to distribute their message and guaranteeing they get to the people they are trying to reach.

Their divisions include:

  • Retail TouchPoints targeted to decision makers in the retail industry.
  • Demand Gen Report targeted to B2B sales and marketing executives with over 28,000 readers. Get your complimentary subscription!
  • Channel Marketer Report targeted to OEMs / manufactures their partner networks.
  • Content4Demand for healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, industrial, IT/Telecom and consumer packaged goods companies.


Dave Kerpen on Reality TV, Building a Successful Marketing Agency, and Launching a SaaS Company


Weddings are expensive. Most couples accept that and budget for it, or try to keep the cost down by limiting the guest list etc.

Not Dave Kerpen. He wanted a big wedding, and at 500 guests he definitely got that. But, he didn’t pay through the nose.

Instead, Dave and his wife used their marketing smarts to raise $100,000 in corporate sponsorship. Now that’s impressive!

But it doesn’t stop there – the wedding was held in a baseball stadium, and ended up getting a ton of media coverage. The couple estimated they received the equivalent of $20 million in earned media coverage, and they used the momentum from this success to launch their successful marketing agency!

Dave’s also had an Inc 500 fastest growing company for 2 years, and when we spoke he held the title as the #1 LinkedIn Influencer in pageviews. You can imagine that he has some great ideas to share.

Listen now and you’ll hear Dave and I talk about:

  • (03:05) Introductions
  • (05:20) What problem does your software solve?
  • (10:45) How did you go about attracting customers?
  • (15:45) How did you get started in business?
  • (18:45) How did you get corporate sponsorship for your wedding?
  • (21:45) How did sponsorship translate into customer attraction?
  • (26:15) How did you launch your agency?
  • (28:45) What would do differently today if you were starting over?
  • (31:45) What advice would you give the solo-preneur on growing beyond just one?
  • (32:45) What is your pricing strategy?
  • (36:15) How did you target your customers?
  • (39:45) How did you continually increase the size of your customers?
  • (42:45) What advice would you give to entrepreneurs to succeed with content marketing?
  • (47:45) How did you become a LinkedIn Influencer?
  • (49:45) What should we be doing on LinkedIn?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


About Dave Kerpen

Dave KerpenDave Kerpen is the Founder and CEO of Likeable Local, and the Co-Founder and Chairman of Likeable Media. Dave is the  NY Times Bestselling author of 3 books and the #1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time in page views, ahead of Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Mark Cuban and President Obama.


Additional Resources

How to Leverage Twitter for Lead Generation with Sarah Goliger


If you are one of the kind of people who think Twitter is just for kids to tell each other they had macaroni for dinner (that used to be me), I think you should really take the time to listen to how effective Twitter can be as a marketing tool. Sarah’s team at Hubspot is focused on Lead Generation, and with her different tools and social media platforms, Hubspot finds about 50,000 new leads a month. Wow.

In this podcast we go over the ways Twitter can be effectively utilized, how important content is for a Twitter campaign, and other winning lead generation strategies. I learned a lot in this interview and I think you will too.

Listen now and you’ll hear Sarah and I talk about:

  • (02:00) Introduction
  • (05:00) Why use Twitter for lead generation?
  • (07:20) How to determine a Twitter-Friendly content strategy
  • (10:20) Has removing the opt-in form ever proved beneficial?
  • (13:20) How do you get started with paid ads?
  • (20:20) How to optimize your campaigns
  • (22:20) What other tips do you have for Twitter campaigns?
  • (24:20) Does using images help?
  • (28:20) What tools are available for keywords?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Trent: Hey there, Bright Idea hunters. Welcome to the “Bright Ideas”

podcast. I am your host,

Trent Dyrsmid. This is the podcast where we feature interviews with

the entrepreneurs behind some of today’s fastest growing companies.If you’re looking for proven tactics and strategies to help you start

a new business or grow an existing one, you are in the right place.The way that we do this is we interview proven experts on the show and

today is no different. My guest today is Sarah Goliger, she is the

head of paid marketing at HubSpot, one of the fastest-growing

marketing software companies on the planet.In this interview, we are going to dive deep into how to use Twitter

and paid traffic on Twitter. Not just paid, but paid and organic, to

generate more leads for your brand.And this was a really enjoyable interview, I learned a whole bunch.

So, in the roughly half hour it takes to listen to it, I guarantee

you, you are going to learn some actionable ideas that you are going

to be able to use in your business.Before we get to that, a quick announcement. If you are looking for

ways to take advantage of digital marketing to attract more interest

to your business, then you’re going to want to check out my recently

published digital marketing handbook. And you get to it and the book, I explain everything that I have done to build my

business up in the very first year to a tribe of 10,000-plus

followers. We’ve had a whole lot of success. Also, I have invited a

number of my past guests to contribute to the book. You’ll get their

ideas in there as well.Again, get that at And you can get even get a

free chapter. So, with that said, please join me in welcoming Sarah to

show. Hey, Sarah, welcome to the show.Sarah: Hi, Trent. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be

here.Trent: I am equally excited to have you here. So, thanks for making

the time. There’s obviously

lots of folks in my audience who don’t yet know who you are.Before we get into the meat of our interview on how to leverage

Twitter as a lead generation machine, let’s have you just take a

moment and please introduce yourself on who you are and what you do.Sarah: Sure. I work at HubSpot and we sell marketing software. I

manage our paid

marketing channel, which basically means that I’m responsible for all

of our PPC efforts and also working with some of our partners in the

marketing industry to coordinate opportunities to work together and to

promote our content to their audiences.The focus of all these efforts is lead generation. So, I work closely

with the other folks on our lead gen team who run our organic

channels; social media, e-mail marketing, landing page optimization.

And together, we generate over 50,000 new leads for our sales team

every month.It’s a pretty incredible place to be. We move really fast here and

we’re always trying to stay a step ahead in our marketing, so that we

can not only do marketing well ourselves and keep innovating, but

also, so that we can teach marketing to our readers and ultimately be

able to sell our software.I’ve been with HubSpot for two and a half years now. And I’ve actually

worked on a lot of different parts of our marketing team. So, right

now, I’m focused on PPC and paid marketing. But I’ve also done some

SEO, some blogging. For a while, I was focused on e-mail marketing and

lead nurturing. I did a bit of sales training.It’s been really helpful for sort of getting that full experience

across the board with marketing. But I would say that PPC has

definitely been one of the most interesting channels.It’s so different from the others and I love that there’s so much

flexibility with it. Really, just a ton of opportunity to do it well

and make it work for your marketing, to sort of play around and

experiment and figure out what works.It’s kind of like a big puzzle in a way. So, I’m definitely excited to

get into some detail here and chat about this stuff with you.Trent: I’m equally excited to get into detail. So, before we jump into

this, I’ve always wanted to

ask this one question to a HubSpotter. What do you guys call

yourselves, anyway? A HubSpotter or…Sarah: Yes. A “HubSpotter.” That’s the correct terminology.Trent: Your company is a content-producing machine. How many staff

writers do you guys have?Sarah: We only have a handful on the content team. I have to say,

they’re all incredibly talented

writers. We have probably four or five on our blogging team and then

another three or four who produce our eBooks. It’s a fairly small

team, but they crank out a ton of content every single month.Trent: Do they ever, all right. That was a total side-distraction from

the interview, but I

wanted to find out anyways. Now, we’re going to talk about Twitter

marketing. First off, the first question is why? Why use Twitter to

generate leads?

Sarah: I think that a lot of people still think about Twitter in the

way that individuals use it for

social purposes. They think “No one needs to know what I’m doing right

now. And I don’t really care about what other people are doing. I

didn’t really need to know that you ate macaroni for dinner. Thanks a


These are kind of the status update kinds of posts that many people

think of when they think of Twitter. But these people are actually

missing out, because Twitter is hugely valuable for businesses.

And much like the other popular social networks–Facebook, LinkedIn–

you can use Twitter to gain a following, to share messages, to connect

and communicate with your fans and your customers.

The beauty of Twitter compared to the other social networks is that

Tweets are, of course, limited to 140 characters each, meaning that

you have to keep your message concise. But you can also share more

updates, more often because this is the nature of the platform.

So, in a given day, you could easily tweet 20 or 30 times without your

followers so much as batting an eyelash. But if you try that on

Facebook, you’re pretty much bound to watch your fan count tick

downward, right?

Trent: Yeah. That would be an understatement.

Sarah: Yeah. The other thing is that Twitter is such a vibrant space.

It’s a real community.

People go to Twitter to learn more about their fields of interest.

They go to Twitter to learn about brands and find out what their

friends think about those brands and have to say about them.

Really, as a marketer, who wouldn’t want to be on Twitter? Who

wouldn’t want to be active in that space? So, I think it’s really an

absolute must for businesses these days to be there, to be on Twitter.

Trent: I want to echo that statement. I used to really think Twitter

was the dumbest invention

ever before I got it, before the light bulb went on. Because, again, I

didn’t want to know when you were eating your macaroni or what movie

you were watching.

I’m happy to say now that Twitter is my number one social referral

source. So, folks, if you’re listening to this and you haven’t yet

embraced Twitter and you think like I used to think, I encourage you

to keep on listening.

I think, by the end of this, my hope is that the light bulb will come

on for you and you’re going to start to use it.

If you’re going to make Twitter work, you also need to have a strong

content strategy. Because you can’t just be Tweeting nothing, you’ve

got to have something that you’re sharing. Can you talk about how

Twitter and the content strategy go together?

Sarah: Absolutely. Yeah, before you really dive into Twitter

advertising or, for that matter,

any sort of promotional campaign, you really need to figure out what

it is you’re going to promote. You have to have some sort of content

to feed your campaign. Like you said, you can’t just tweet nothing.

And so, as obvious as that may sound, a lot of marketers will really

skip right over this step and just sort of say “Oh, I need to be on

Facebook and I want to set up Twitter campaigns. And I should really

start writing those marketing e-mails.”

But they won’t sit down beforehand and map out the content that

they’re going to use in those campaigns. And that’s when things get

really difficult. Because when you get ahead of yourself like that,

your content really is the backbone of nearly every kind of marketing

campaign that you could possibly run.

And so, it’s so important that you sit down and really make that

effort in advance to figure out what it is you’re going to promote.

And also, the content that you choose to promote on a given platform

is likely going to determine your positioning, your copy, your

targeting, your audience. So, you need to have this part figured out

before you can even begin setting up your campaigns.

I won’t get into too much detail about what types of content you

should be using. Because that’s a whole other topic for another time.

But, basically, you want to figure out what the goal of your campaign

is and then choose content that supports that goal.

If your goal is to generate leads for your business like my goal is,

you’ll want to promote lead generation content. That is, content

that’s behind lead capture form. Whether that’s “Hey, we’ve got this

free eBook for you to download. In order to read it, we just ask that

you give us these few pieces of information about yourself.”

Or it may be “Fill out this form to sign up to join us on this webinar

that we’re hosting. Whatever it may be, you want to be capturing

information. You want to be capturing those leads through that


But, conversely, if your objective is more branding and awareness-

focused, you’ll want to promote content about your business. Content

that conveys your brand message.

Or maybe your goal is actually to turn more of your followers into

customers. In which case, you’ll want to promote more content about

your product or your service. Maybe offer a free trial or demo.

Once you’ve identified your goal, you really want to focus in on

creating high-quality content pieces that you can use to help you

achieve that goal, help you get there.

Trent: Have you guys ever tested, done a split test with a piece of

lead gen content that is

behind an opt-in form? Versus just being freely available? I’ve read

some stuff and I’ve never tested this myself. And so, I’m very curious

if you have.

Some people, they land, they click the tweet, they get through to the

landing page and they’re like “Eh. I don’t want to fill in

information.” So, they don’t interact with that piece of content, they

never see it, they never see how good it is.

Whereas if the content was simply available, granted, you don’t get

their information, per se. But so, potentially, so many more people

could see the content because a person who sees that first tweet gets

the content. They interact with it, they think it’s great, they share

it and so on. Have you guys ever done any testing on that?

Sarah: Yeah, I mean, we definitely find that the longer your forms

are, the more friction there

is, right? People don’t want to spend the time to sit there and fill

out all of their information to give to you and people are also

skeptical of giving companies their information.

As little privacy as we all have these days, it’s still something that

makes people inherently uncomfortable.

We have found that the fewer form fields you use or even just taking

out the form entirely will tend to result in more submissions or more

downloads. But the trade-off is that, what you could do, conversely,

is create content that’s really, truly valuable to your readers.

That’s what we focus on here. Every single piece of content that we

put out, every blog post we write, we audit it for quality before it

goes out.

We make sure that this is something that people would be willing to

sit down and fill out a form in order to read. Our blog posts aren’t

gated but our eBooks, we really make sure that they’re enticing enough

and the content is legitimate and it’s valid, and it’s substantial

enough that people would take that time to go through the form process

in order to get it.

Then, of course, that helps our business because we need to be able to

feed our sales team at the same time.

Trent: You guys don’t happen to have an eBook that explains the

process that you go through

to reveal your eBooks before they get published, do you?

Sarah: You know, we actually have an eBook on how to create eBooks,

believe it or not.

Trent: Could you make sure you send me a link to that so I can include

it in the show notes of

this episode?

Sarah: Sure thing.

Trent: Thank you. All right, so, should you be running paid ads on top

of your organic efforts

on Twitter and if you are going to do that, how do you which one to

focus on?

Sarah: You always want to focus on organic promotion first. For no

other reason than the

obvious that that’s the free one. So, you want to make sure, first,

that you have a solid, organic Twitter strategy in place. That you

have a strong number of followers and that you’re regularly tweeting

valuable content to them.

You should already be working toward your goal, whether it’s lead gen

branding, what have you. You should already be working toward it from

an organic perspective before you consider starting with paid ads.

Then, once you have things running smoothly with your organic

strategy, if you have some budget to work with, paid advertising is

actually a really excellent way to supplement your efforts.

And note, that I chose my words very carefully there. You always want

to use paid advertising to supplement your organic efforts, not

replace them. And this is, of course, true across the board. Not just

with Twitter.

Trent: Okay. How do you go about getting started with paid ads? How do

you set up a


Sarah: There are a couple things you need to figure out before you

dive in. So, like I

mentioned earlier, you want to start by deciding what your goal is.

Whether it’s lead gen, brand awareness, lead to customer conversion.

And then, once you have your goal nailed down, the second step is to

decide what type of campaign you want to run. If you’re looking to

increase brand awareness and gain more followers, you can run what’s

called a “promoted account” campaign. Which displays your account in

the “Who to follow” sidebar.

It also allows you to craft messaging about why people should follow

your brand, which is then displayed next to a “follow” button. You

might say something like “Looking to stay updated on the latest

marketing tips and trends? Follow HubSpot to stay in the loop.”

And then, that will appear right next to a “Follow” button so you can

follow the HubSpot account right from there.

Trent: And what did you call that again?

Sarah: That’s promoted accounts. So, that’s better for branding. But

if your goal is lead

generation or really, anything other than brand awareness, you’ll want

to run promoted tweet campaigns.

These put your tweets right in the feeds of the users that you’re

targeting. And if this is the option that you choose, then the next

thing you’re going to want to do is select the content that you’re

going to promote in those tweets. Make sure that the content aligns

with your goals, like we discussed before.

And then, the next step is to choose your targeting. So, this is where

things start to get a little bit complicated, but bear with me. So,

Twitter is actually really good as far as targeting goes. You have a

few different options.

One, is you can target based on keywords, which lets you target users

who search for or tweet about those keywords or engage with them in

some way.

This type of targeting is really great if you’re running an event, if

you’re doing event promotion or if you are running product-specific

campaigns because then you can really zone in on those keywords that

are relevant to that product that you’re promoting.

It’s also really good for going after folks with purchase intent. So,

if you’re looking to sort of narrow in and focus on those people who

are most likely to purchase from you, this is a great option for that

as well.

This option, going based on keywords, will usually give you a

narrower, but more focused and higher-quality audience.

Then, you can also choose to target by interests and followers. And

this option lets you search for interest categories to target. For

example, I can target anyone who’s interested in marketing or home

repair or French cuisine or whatever it is that is most relevant to

you. That’s the interest side of the equation.

And then, it also lets you input any Twitter usernames. And it’ll then

target users who look like those people’s followers. So, for example,

when I run campaigns with this type of targeting, I’ll put in a bunch

of usernames of people who are really well-known in the marketing

industry and have a lot of followers. It’ll find other Twitter users

like those people’s followers.

This option is much better for a less qualified, but much broader

audience. And then, on top of this, you can also target by location,

you can target by gender, you can target by device.

If you only want to reach people who are on desktop or only on mobile,

you can do that, too. To really have a ton of flexibility here to

build an audience based on the criteria that you care the most about.

Then, they also, just last month, actually, released a brand-new

targeting option called “Tailored Audiences,” which lets you directly

target your site visitors. And this option is really great for re-


We did the beta testing when they first rolled this out to the beta

users. So, we’ve been in this for a few months now and we’ve been

collecting some data.

We found in our own efforts that our re-targeting campaigns have had

45 percent higher engagement than our regular promoted tweet

campaigns. So, if you’re looking to convert more of your existing

database into customers and sort of focus more on them, then Tailored

Audiences is a really great option to use here.

Trent: Let’s dive into that one a little deeper for a minute. So, I’ll

just use myself as the guinea

pig. I’ve got my 4,000 or so Twitter followers. When you talk about

the Tailored Audiences, am I tweeting more to the people that already

follow me? I’m not sure that I fully get it yet.

Sarah: You’re basically tweeting to the people who are in your

database or who have visited

your site. You could set it up to say “Anyone who has come to my

website, I want to capture them in this audience.” And then I want

them to be in this group of people to whom we’re displaying these


Trent: When they come to my site, they’re going to get cookied. And

that cookie is then going

to trigger a re-targeting within their Twitter stream.

Sarah: Yes. So, it’ll build the audience for you. It’ll grab everybody

who has visited your site

and then, that will be the audience that you select for the targeting


Trent: Okay, cool. I like that. All right.

Sarah: Just to wrap up here, to finish the building out your campaign,

really, the last thing

that you need to decide on is your budget. And I think this is where a

lot of marketers get stumped or concerned or nervous.

Everyone sort of asks “What’s the right amount to spend on paid

advertising” and “What’s the right amount to start off my campaign”?

The unfortunate fact of the matter is there really is no right amount.

It’s different for everyone, it’s different for every marketer, for

every budget, for every campaign. And if you’re really planning to

spend a lot, I don’t know exactly what the minimum is, but they’ll set

you up with a dedicated account rep who is going to help you on the

best ways to spend that money.

But otherwise, you’ll pretty much have to figure it out on your own.

But I promise, it’s really not as hard as it sounds. So, you want to

just decide how much you’re willing to spend on Twitter ads in a

month. And then break that down, you can divide it out by business

days if you want.

Try spending that much in a day and if it’s too little, if it’s not

working, you’re not seeing any results, you can condense that spend

into maybe a week or two. It’s much better to spend more at once and

see actual results than to drag out your spend in tiny increments.

So as you go, you’ll sort of start to get a feel for how much you need

to spend in order to make your campaigns effective. And that’ll help

you plan your spending going forward. Then, once you have all of this

mapped out, you just set your bids for the campaign. When you choose

your targeting criteria, it’ll give you a recommended bidding range.

I would say go for at least the average of that, if not higher. If you

have more to spend and you can be a little bit more free with your

money, then go ahead and set it maybe even a little bit above the

bidding range.

Once you choose your bid, I think you’ve pretty much filled out the

whole setup process. You just write those tweets and you can go ahead

and launch your campaigns.

Trent: If you had one landing page that was your number one lead

generator that you were

promoting, you could have any number of different tweets that would

all be linking back to that one landing page?

Sarah: Oh, absolutely, yeah. And I would actually recommend that. When

you’re building a

campaign, you want to have more than one tweet running in that

campaign. Because the interface that you’re looking at within the

Twitter ads platform will show you the number of impressions and the

click-through rates by each tweet individually.

You want to be testing more than one so you can figure out what kind

of language resonates the best with your followers and keep optimizing

from there.

Trent: Okay. All right, so far, it’s making sense. So, now, we’ve got

our ads. They’re up and

running. Obviously, they’re not as good yet as they could be. Do we

have to go through some kind of optimization? So, I’m sure you’ve got

some ideas you can share with us on that.

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. It’s kind of like what I was just saying. You

want to be trying different

things, have those different tweets, be looking at the metrics and see

what’s working. But sort of from a more macro perspective, you want to

keep an eye on these campaigns.

You don’t want to just set them up and let them run and leave them

unattended. You should really be constantly optimizing for your

overall metrics.

So, when you’re choosing what metrics to sell for, you want to align

those with your goals. So, if your goal is lead generation, you want

to be maximizing the number of leads that you generate and also,

minimizing your CPL or cost per lead. And so, these are the two main

metrics that I look at for our campaigns.

It’s also important to look at these metrics across all of your

campaigns, but also, on the individual campaign level. So that that

way, you can see which campaigns are performing well and which ones

are bringing down your averages.

What I do is I use a different tracking token in the links for each of

the campaigns I run, so I can see on a campaign level, which content

pieces are generating how many leads.

Since I’m also able to see how much I’m spending on each campaign

through Twitter, I’m able to very easily calculate the cost per lead

of each individual campaign. And then, if it’s too high and the

campaign is either not generating enough leads or costing too much,

then I’ll pause it and shift its budget over to a higher-performing


You want to always be doing this and always be sort of optimizing for

the top performers of the bunch.

Trent: You mentioned the term “tracking token.” Is that using the

Google URL builder, or is

that something that is within the Twitter interface that allows you to

create that?

Sarah: It’s not within the Twitter interface. You can build your own

URL tracking token. I type

ours in myself. It’s fairly simple. You can usually just do little

question mark source equals and type it in. It depends on what sort of

analytics software you’re using to track it.

We use HubSpot. So, I know that I’m able to go into our reporting

tools and very easily see how everything breaks down. And we also run

Salesforce reports, so I’m able to sort of do the campaign by campaign

breakdown there, too.

Trent: Okay. Now, do you guys have any blog posts that you could link

me to that would

provide more information on the tracking tokens and campaign


Sarah: Absolutely, sure.

Trent: Make sure that you get me those links, too, please.

Sarah: Okay, will do.

Trent: All right, what’s next on my list? What other tips do you have

for running an effective

Twitter campaign?

Sarah: In terms of the copy, I would say the biggest tip that I have

is don’t be too sales-y.

Your copy should always focused on providing value to your readers. As

is true, of course, in all marketing contacts, not just on Twitter.

But if your tweets come off as pushy and super product-focused, then

chances are, they’re really not going to get much engagement. You want

to really let your brand personality show through. And talk to your

followers as if they’re real human beings and not just leads in your


Trent: So, have you got some phraseology examples that you could give

us? Is it a lot of how-

to-type [inaudible at 00:23:42]?

Sarah: Yeah. People like “How to,” people like “101 examples of

companies that are rocking

social media.” Any way that you can phrase it that very clearly

conveys the value to the readers. Whether it’s because it’s

interesting or because it is a how to or because it’s just very

relevant to them and their industry. You want to make sure that it’s

enticing content.

Trent: Okay. All right, where do I want to go here?

Sarah: So, other tips.

Trent: Yeah, let’s keep going with tips.

Sarah: Another tip would be to spice it up a bit. I think that text

can be great. But it can also get

kind of boring and can blend in with all the other tweets in your

users’ feeds. And we found that images work really well.

We’ve actually found that using images in tweets increases lead gen by

57 percent, which is huge. So, try some images, try some Vine videos.

It never hurts to give your brand some personality. People love that


So, go for it. Try crazy things. Be enticing, be engaging. Be fun.

Trent: A Vine video. Can’t say I’m familiar with a Vine video. I’m

probably embarrassed to

say that, but what’s a Vine video?

Sarah: It’s quite all right. Vine is a six-second video platform. It’s

tied into Twitter, so you

can record a six-second video. And it also lets you break it up. I

think you can only do it on your iPhone. I’m also not 100 percent on

top of Vine, so we’re in the same boat there.

You can sort of hold your finger down and then let it go, so you can

break up the six seconds. It doesn’t have to be continuous. But

anyway, you can do very fun things and short videos and include those

in your tweets very easily. It’s sort of a quick way to entice people

to watch something.

Trent: Is Vine a platform that’s owned by Twitter?

Sarah: Yes, yes.

Trent: It is? Okay. All right, so when you’re up and running,

obviously you don’t want to just

keep doing the same thing over and over, because that always gets old.

What are some things that you guys have done which you didn’t

necessarily think you were surprised by the results? Surprised to the

upside. I’m looking for the examples of the best and most successful.

Sarah: Sure. So, like I said, the images were probably our most

surprising test. I had no idea

that they would increase lead gen by 57 percent. I mean, when that

stat came out, we had team meetings about it because it was just so

incredible. So, that was really exciting.

We also started doing promoted accounts recently. So, my main focus

has always been lead generation. So, we’ve pretty much strayed away

from the promoted accounts because that’s obviously focused on growing

your follower base.

I decided to give it a test recently and it’s actually been working

very well. We’ve been able to cut the amount that we have to spend to

gain a follower basically in half from what it used to be.

That’s been really effective as well and I would say that if you have

the budget for it, it’s definitely worth a test.

Trent: Hang on, I want to make sure I understood what you just said.

You decreased your cost

of adding followers by using promoted tweets instead of promoted


Sarah: The other way around. So, promoted tweets are what we typically

use for our normal

campaigns. Those are sort of our lead gen tweets, if you will. It’s

where we share our content and we say “Oh, if you want to learn more

about how to use Facebook for marketing, you should download this

eBook.” With better copy, of course, but that’s the general idea.

Whereas promoted accounts, the idea there is that you are just trying

to get more people to follow your account. That’s what I was saying

before about “If you want to stay updated with the latest tips in the

industry, follow Hubspot and we’ll keep you posted on that stuff.”

More of that kind of thing.

So, what you’re paying for is essentially more follower acquisition.

Trent: What did you do that drastically cut the cost of follower


Sarah: Just starting to do that. I’m not actually sure what types of

efforts we were running

before. We may have done promoted accounts in the past before I was

managing this channel. But when I came back to my manager and I said

“Hey, this is the amount we’re paying to acquire a new follower,” he

said “Oh, wow. That’s half of what we used to do.”

So, I’m not sure exactly what we’re comparing apples to apples here.

But it’s been very effective. Not even comparing it, but even just

looking at the numbers as they stand by themselves. It’s been very


Trent: Now, earlier in the interview, you talked about targeting with

keywords. Is there a

keyword research tool within the Twitter campaign builder at all so

that you can figure out search volumes for keywords?

Sarah: Yeah. So, if you enter in a keyword or a few keywords, there’s

a button that allows you

to find similar and related keywords. So, that’s really great for just

sort of thinking of those things that you haven’t thought of.

The other thing is, if you used AdWords, they have a really great

keyword recommendation tool. So, you can always look there. I’m sure

there are other sites that also will find similar keywords. But, yes.

They do have it built in right into Twitter.

Trent: Okay. All right, so let’s wrap up with my lightning round.

These are just a couple of

really quick questions. What’s the most recent business book that

you’ve read?

Sarah: Most recent business book that I read? Well, just this morning,

actually, I was

discussing “Blue Ocean Strategy”. And that is definitely a classic, I

would say, business book. I would definitely recommend that one.

Trent: What’s your favorite blog and you can’t say HubSpot.

Sarah: I can’t say HubSpot. What’s my favorite blog? You know, I

really like Seth Godin. He’s

one of our unsung heroes around here. Or maybe for you, I guess he’s a

sung hero. We definitely love Seth Godin around here and he writes

very short snippets, but they’re great. Very entertaining.

Trent: All right. And if people want to interact with you at all, how

do they do that?

Sarah: I’m on Twitter. @SarahBethGo and you can find me there. Or you

can find me on

my website,

Trent: All right. Sarah, thank you so much for making some time to

come on to the “Bright

Ideas” podcast and share some insight and tips on how we can all use

Twitter to generate more leads for our businesses. Much appreciated.

Sarah: Absolutely. It was my pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

Trent: To get to the show notes for this episode, go to If you enjoyed the

episode, please also take a moment and go to

where you’ll find a link and a video to show you how to leave feedback

for this show in the iTunes store.

And if you take a moment to do that, you have my eternal thanks

because every time someone does, we get a little bit more exposure in

the iTunes store. That draws more listeners and then more listeners

get to benefit from hearing all of the bright ideas that are shared by

my guests here on the show.

That’s it for this episode. I am your host Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so

much for tuning in. And I look forward to producing another episode

for you in the very near future. Take care.

About Sarah Goliger


Sarah Goliger is the Head of Paid Marketing at HubSpot. She is responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns with external vendors and running display and retargeting campaigns through both search and social networks with an ultimate goal of lead generation.
Previously, Sarah managed email marketing and lead nurturing for HubSpot’s mid-sized business segment. Sarah also offers individual email marketing consulting. You can learn more about Sarah on her website and connect with her on Twitter at @sarahbethgo.

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How is Creating a Bridge Between Tea Growers and Tea Drinkers with Elyse Petersen


At Bright Ideas, we’ve talked with some great startups who’ve received support ftom 500 startups. This time it’s, a direct-from-farmers tea company dedicated to the growers around the world. Founder Elyse Peterson has devoted her time to creating a worldwide appreciation for the local farmers across the globe and in other food security campaigns.

From crowd-funding, kickstarter, 500 startups, and more, learn how Elyse used the digital landscape to get her business running. If you’re interested in alternate funding sources for businesses, you’ll want to check out this interview.

Listen now and you’ll hear Elyse and I talk about:

  • (02:00) Introductions
  • (07:00) How did you get the business started?
  • (10:00) How did you use crowd funding?
  • (12:50) How did you bring awareness to that Indiegogo campaign?
  • (16:00) What was in it for the campaign backers?
  • (20:00) What’s it like to get funded by 500 startups?
  • (27:00) What happened after 500 startups?
  • (31:00) What does it mean to be a part of the Las Vegas Downtown Project?
  • (32:30) How has Bitcoin inpacted your business?
  • (37:00) Please tell me about your community

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


About Elyse Petersen

Elyse PetersenElyse Petersen is a Global Tea Ambassador with the International Tea Farms Alliance. She spent time working with tea farmers in Wazuka, Kyoto, Japan, and this experience inspired her to help grow tea culture across the U.S. and around the world. Petersen is an experienced international development worker in the area of food security, natural resource management, and sustainable food preservation; having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa and Antigua and Barbuda, and the Eastern Caribbean. Petersen graduated from Shidler College of Business with a Japan-focused M.B.A, and from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a B.S. in Food Science and Technology.

Additional Resources

How Shopseen Attracted 2200 Customers in Just Six Months


Sometimes, you can’t help but root for the little guy.

Adeel Ahmad was looking for a way to optimize the business end of things for small retailers, and with that idea, Shopseen was born. In this interview Adeel and I talk about how he saw the need for change, created his startup, and drew in a large customer base in a short period of time.

If you’re looking for ideas on startups, especially SaaS startups, you should check out this podcast.

Listen now and you’ll hear Adeel and I talk about:

  • (02:05) Who are you and what do you do?
  • (05:25) How did you got 2200 users in 6 months?
  • (08:25) How did you validate your idea?
  • (16:25) How did you get their first 10 customers?
  • (18:25) How did you determine how to price your product?
  • (22:25) Tell us about a time when an assumption you made was way off
  • (25:15) How has investor funding played out?
  • (30:25) How has your past been of help to you with Shopseen?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


About Adeel Ahmad

AdeelAhmad2Adeel started Shopseen soon after opening a vintage clothing shop in downtown San Francisco. Shopseen was built to solve the problems of operating a small modern retail  business, and soon it was spun off into its own startup. Previously, Adeel was an early software engineer at Context Optional, a pioneering social media management company that built a platform for large brands to reach and engage with a broad audience on social networks.

Additional Resources

How Ethan Anderson is Growing into an Amazon for Local Services Merchants


Co-founder and CEO of a successful startup, Google Product Manager, Harvard Business School graduate, and previously named to the Silicon Valley 100, Ethan Anderson has been making waves in the digital marketplace.

Learn how Ethan came up with the concept for MyTime, an appointment setting website that connects businesses and customers through a simple and timely web interface. Discover how Ethan came up with the idea, how he saw an opportunity in the market, and how he established a well funded campaign to get it off the ground.

This interview is a must-listen for those interested in startups and SaaS development.

Listen now and you’ll hear Ethan and I talk about:

  • (2:00) Introductions
  • (3:10) What is MyTime?
  • (6:00) How did you research the idea?
  • (10:00) How did you attract interest very early on?
  • (12:00) Why did you raise money so early?
  • (14:00) How did you start selling to early adopters?
  • (20:30) How are you using crowd-sourcing?

Resources Mentioned

More About This Episode

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

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

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Ethan Anderson

Ethan Anderson, RedBeaconIMG_0307Ethan is the Founder of MyTime, a startup that allows consumers to instantly purchase services and book appointments from nearby businesses. He was also Cofounder & CEO of Redbeacon, which allowed consumers to request bids for home services. Redbeacon was venture backed and won numerous awards including the Grand Prize at the 2009 TechCrunch50 competition and Business Insider’s Startup 2010 before being acquired by The Home Depot. Prior to Redbeacon, Ethan worked at Google as Product Manager for Image Search and Google Video.  Ethan also worked in a number of internet strategy and marketing roles at The Clorox Company,, and McKinsey & Company. He graduated with Honors from Harvard Business School and Magna Cum Laude from Duke University, where he studied Economics and Public Policy Studies.  He was recently honored to be named to the Silicon Valley 100 and 16 Up-and-Coming Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs You Need to Meet.

Additional Resources