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LinkedIn Saved Searches: The Lead Gen Magnet You Never Knew You Had

Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing, works lead generation miracles with LinkedIn saved searches. He just sets alerts for the right saved searches and then delivers a daily set of personalized messages to everyone who ran them - driving 15-20 quality leads (25% response rate!) per day. Tune into this podcast to learn exactly how he did it - and start adding more zeroes to your bottom line!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Episode Summary Introduction:

MH: Taking LinkedIn “save searches” and converting that into a daily set of contextual qualified conversations with new leads. I’m adding at least 15-20 new contacts a day to our database. I’m getting replies from about 25% of those and in the last year that we are really going to ramp up doing now. We’re not given specific numbers. It’s been material, not just a new pipeline, but we’ve gotten a significant new deal from it as well.

Adam O’Donnell: Boom, welcome to The One Growth Show brought to you by Growth Marketing Conference. We are the only podcast in the world that breaks down a growth experiment or delivers an actionable growth strategy.
No fluff no nonsense so you can get back to your day and start making a real difference to your bottom line.

We’re your hosts. I’m Jorge Soto.

I’m Adam O’Donnell, here we go.

AO: Matt explains how he takes LinkedIn “save searches” and turns them into this daily set of personalized messages with new leads using a few simple tools. I was excited to hear about the

15 to 20 new contacts that he’s generating each day. And of course the 25% response rate, but most importantly he’s about to share exactly how he’s doing it, all the tools, all the details so you can start doing it with your business.

Here’s Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing.  

MH: We’ve got a bunch of them, sort of set up, in a different context. But I will give you a sort of ABM example. So a company that’s doing ABM is a good target for us, if they’re thinking about doing it they’re not doing it very well. They’re trying to figure out a scale it that context is usually pretty good for us.

So I set up a “saved search” on LinkedIn. It says “show me anybody that is a member of a LinkedIn group around ABM” and I’m not a huge fan of all LinkedIn groups. People don’t really use it very often, but people do join them. Any given day I can go back to that same search and say oh, there are six new people that have joined the ABM group. And so I can see that search result it will show me who’s in that, you know who newly joined the ABM group and then with a sidebar to my browser from LeadIQ, I can see which of those people I’m already connected to, I could see it which of them are already in my database, I can see which of them I have mail address for or don’t and if I don’t have them in my email address yet.

I’ll capture that contact and by capturing it with some filters on that LeadIQ dashboard I can immediately add them to an ABM Prospect warm-up sequence in Outreach. So now in one click, I found someone related to the topic. I’ve added them to my database and I’ve automatically put them onto a new sales engagement Outreach sequence.

AO: Very cool. So I want to start at the top. What made you realize that this was the right type of person? This is the right indication activity joining an ABM group. Is there anything you can tell us? Or was that just kind of obvious? I mean, obviously we know that that shows some kind of intent.

MH: Well it wasn’t, I mean, I wouldn’t say it was completely obvious. I think there are some associations people make that really aren’t, don’t mean that they are actively engaged in something. We found over time that people that were joining ABM groups tended to be those that were new to ABM and therefore ABM wasn’t something they really understood very well.

And these are big companies and small companies. This is people within a big company that was another group may be done ABM, but their group hasn’t so we just learned by trial and error that the context and quality of that audience were good and we were able to because we knew a lot of people that were doing that activity on LinkedIn weren’t very well versed in a company’s marketing yet.

The sequence in Outreach is all about giving them tools and messages and content that help make them better. So we offer them a copy of our “ABM getting started workbook”. We offer them access to our content around “why ABM programs stall” and so it’s all “give”, right? And then at the end of that sequence, we ask them if there’s other content they need or if they want to take advantage of our B2B office hours and talk about their program.

Of course, not everybody takes advantage of that. But by giving them something of value, you know holding hopefully building up a case that we’ve got some credibility and then offering some customized personalized feedback. We were able to get a pretty nice response rate.

AO: I love it. Can you help me with exactly how you select? How you’re doing the technical piece of the ABM group selection? Is that Sales Navigator?

MH: It is linked in Sales Navigator, right. We’ve got some sales enablement searches set up. We’ve got some searches just based on people that meet our target account and target contact criteria that are new in their role. And also if you’re looking for new CMOs, you can set up a search of “show me all the people in a certain market or certain category that are C-Level in marketing, who have had that job for less than a year”. And of course, the first set of criteria is going to be massive. But if you leave that search set up like every time someone new qualifies, it means that they literally just change their profile to CMO of a new company.

AO: Got it, but how are you knowing that they just added to a new group?

MH: Well, I mean this is basically what Linkedin search criteria lets you do that. What you do is say “show me in any given time”. So when I do the search today people that are in this, in that, these companies of certain size, it has this title that is in this role and shows me anybody that is a member of either specific LinkedIn groups or groups with names that include AMB. So in our case, we went and we found a bunch of ABM groups and just said, okay, we’ll just show us anyone that’s in those groups and then keep this search alive so that you can that anytime you go back to LinkedIn you can if you go to your search results, it will say it will have a little red number that red number it says 13. It means since the last time you were here thirteen new people qualify on this list, which means 13 people now have added themselves as contacts in those ABM groups.

AO: I love it. This is brilliant. It’s so basic but so good. You get those 13 people, now help us a little bit more with the LeadIQ. So I’m sure you’re not doing it but what is getting those searching people and then getting using LeadIQ. Can you paint a little bit more of a picture of that?

MH: Yeah. So there’s a LeadIQ the way we use there’s a sidebar on the side of our browser and it basically once we get into that list, so like I click on that 13, it’s going to show me in a sort of list view search results in LinkedIn who has 13 people are what lead IQ the sidebar it when it recognizes you’re looking at actual people within LeadIQ, it’s gonna go actually pull those people into the sidebar. So you’re looking at 13 people and in the LinkedIn search result and on the sidebar you’re looking at those same 13 people, in summary, so you can see their picture. You can see their name, you can see their title. And then we got something really crazy, really smart. They actually have it connected with my Salesforce. I have it connected with Outreach and I have it connected with Marketo. So it will actually hang all of those groups with an API and say do you recognize this person, is this person in your system? And these little icons will show up underneath their picture and so I can have those 13 people I can see. Okay, these people are having Salesforce, these people I don’t have in Outreach sequence these people I don’t and if there are no icons it means that they don’t recognize them at all.

And so I can click a little plus button then next to their profile in LeadIQ and add them to our database and at the top of that sidebar you can say Okay, add these people to certain LeadIQ lead lists, but then you can also say also add them to the ABM Prospect warm-up campaign within Outreach. And so if you click that plus it will add it to the LeadIQ list if you want it can automatically add it in Salesforce, but we’ll also initiate a sequence of your choosing within some. So one of the reasons I love the LeadIQ side of this is one click all that stuff just happens.

AO: That is so cool. So tell us about when it goes to Lead IQ, it goes into Outreach and using that to do the nurture? 

MH: Yeah, so the nurture happening in Outreach, right and you can and LeadIQ works with both Outreach and Salesloft so you can sell it. You can create those sequences in your sales enablement tool for your sales engagement tool and just tell just LeadIQ which you want to set them up for. So I’ve got another one where you know, I can look at people that have liked my content on LinkedIn do the same kind of search and I’ve got a short sequence of content that goes out to people that have some time on LinkedIn to say, Hey, thanks for engaging with my content. Appreciate it. Let me know if it’s other stuff you’d like to see, us right moving forward. So, you know, there could be multiple sequences with different contexts of search results you use. They can ultimately turn into drip campaigns out to those prospects.

AO: Got it. What would you do when one of these 13 people were added to this new ABM group? They’re all new people to you. What happens is some of them don’t have the first connections to someone. How are you approaching that?  

MH: Well, LeadIQ is also getting us their contact information. So the drip campaign isn’t happening within LinkedIn. It’s going to them directly.  

AO: That’s amazing. This is so good. Could you tell us a little bit more about that first message for that specific one? I know you mentioned the other messages “I know you’re trying to learn in the community. We would love to help you.” Is there anything else you can tell us about that first message?

MH: Yeah. The key to making this work, it is not saying “hey, I noticed someone is potentially new trying ABM in the organization. Let me sell them something”, right? I think the key for us in our sequences is to intentionally don’t sell anything. We don’t offer anything. We don’t even talk about what our services are. If someone we think we believe is new to ABM it’s all about helping them discover content. We have things to make the program better. As I said, we’ve got an “ABM for beginners” workbook. It will offer them. No strings attached. We’ve got a handful of content. It really sorts of summarizes our experience for why AMBs fail and why AMB’s stall and how to get around. We’ve got one it talks about just the critical nature of sales and marketing alignment as it relates to sustainable account-based marketing and so basically the drip campaign just progressively offers and highlights access to these pieces of content and then it usually ends with what other ABM challenges you’re facing. We’ve got 11 years’ worth of content here. What else can we share or what else can we create for you that’s customized to your needs? So it still an offer but it’s still entirely focused on just helping make them smart.

JS: How are your response rates now compared to other campaigns. Are you seeing this as a consistent leader and how are you thinking in terms of omnichannel engagement here?  

MH: Well, yeah, I mean, so if we were to go out and just buy a list of people that may or may not be doing ABM or if I said, hey, here’re the companies that we think would be the good target was just in discriminately email them about ABM, email about sales enablement or whatever topic. I don’t think it would be as likely to hit the mark. I also think that it’s not just the context in which we found them but the way that we engage them across those campaigns. One thing we’ve been testing lately is going back to some of those individuals that haven’t yet engaged with the email campaign and sending them a LinkedIn request. And I felt like this was a little more aggressive. I see what happens, these people who clearly they’re opening an email, they’re not responding. So if I send them a LinkedIn request from me, because the emails are coming from me, they were responding initially to get content from me. Could I get them at least to accept an invite to start a conversation that way? And we’re at like 90% of acceptance rate on those LinkedIn invites.

So trying to think about how we do this across multiple channels. How do we do this with good content as the primary sort of offer and to a certain extent not really worried about getting them to convert it into a business or sales conversation until they’re ready, until today in this year?

AO: So the only other question I had, Jorge unless you have anything else which is roadblocks.

MH: Yeah. Um, so this is not a completely automated process. This is something that you have to do, once you find someone on LeadIQ and you have your settings set up and it can automate integration across those platforms.

But you know, you still have to manually go in and review those LinkedIn search results. There’s a manual effort required and I think you have to know enough about the subject matter. You have to know about the audience to know okay, occasionally, there are people you don’t want to add to that sequence. Occasionally, there are people doing the number of the right title or not throwing company or you know, maybe have other interests in mind.
So I think you know the roadblock is we’ve you know, we’ve talked to other companies by doing this is just creating a consistent habit of going in and setting up an optimizing and searching those search results. And I also think about the other roadblock for companies implementing this, I think has been trying to treat those prospects as sales-ready prospects too early just because they want the white paper doesn’t mean they’re ready for a demo. So I think continuing to engage people with value will keep them engaged, keep them wanting to hear more from you will make it so that when they are ready to engage when they’re ready to buy they’re coming back to you.

AO: Matt, thank you so much for your time. We learned so much

That’s it. Another great episode The One Growth Show the official podcast of Growth Marketing Conference to learn more about upcoming events visit growthmarketingconf.com and subscribe to the newsletter. If you enjoy this episode, let us know. We’d really appreciate if you give us a 5-star rating, it’s super easy, just click the last star on iTunes and also share this episode on social media after all you want your network to know you’re the person they can always turn to for the best growth and marketing content, don’t you?

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From $800K to 4M in 24 Months: Tony Yang’s Special Trade Association Strategy That Will 5X Your ARR.

Take it from Tony Yang, the high-flying VP of Marketing at Qordoba (the extraordinarily successful “Grammarly for Enterprise)! He researched accounting trade associations of every kind - studying how they operate, what they’re really looking for - to create affinity programs. He even gave their members free single-user accounts as a lead gen strategy. By sacrificing profit early, they raked in more than they ever thought possible later. Tune into this podcast to hear it all! Your bottom line will thank you!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Episode Summary Introduction:

Tony Yang: I think a key part of it is really understanding what’s in it for them, the association as well as the accountants and the CPAs.

Obviously, we knew the value of proposition to accountants but understanding how the associations operate, the reasons why they exist, help us to understand “all right, how do we structure some sort of partnership program that benefits them?”

Adam O’Donnell: Boom, welcome to The One Growth Show brought to you by Growth Marketing Conference. We are the only podcast in the world that breaks down a growth experiment or delivers an actionable growth strategy.

No fluff no nonsense so you can get back to your day and start making a real difference to your bottom line.

We’re your hosts. I’m Jorge Soto.

I’m Adam O’Donnell, here we go.

AO: Tony explains how he partnered with trade associations, created an offering that was unique for their members, and then the association sent it out on their behalf. I love how this is literally little to no cost on there in the way that they set it up. They were able to grow their business from 800,000 ARR to 4 million in two years. And Tony said this is one of their primary strategies. I learned a lot from this episode. You’re going to love it.

Here’s Tony Yang, VP of Marketing at Qordoba.

TY: The one that comes to mind a company that I was at a start-up with an outgoing call to detail. It was a file transfer service. So we compete against companies as YouSendIt with Trent rebranded to high tail and then it was also in the early days of cloud storage. We competed against Dropbox and Box before, you know, they explode and got really big. And the company that I was with was his bootstraps startup so we had no money. We had to be very creative. So long story short, after talking to some of our customers and noticing weird usage patterns. I noticed that a lot of CPA firms use their service, but we’re sending small files because the valley probably time sent large files that you can’t email and attach your email and business users on a setup FTP server, right?

So anyway, I talked to them and found out that look they liked it for the security and audit trail capabilities because they’re sending client confidential documents.

It was like, duh, of course in hindsight it makes a lot of sense. So fast forward, a couple of months after we’ve really honed down understanding this new market that we weren’t specifically addressed.

We went and found that every single state has a state CPA Association.

What we did was we created an affinity program.

This was in the early days where we started using Drupal, you know, some web CMSs but really a database-driven website where we created a basic limp template and customize each of these websites specifically for the California CPA Association, Maryland CPA Association, we did all the work. I had at a time a great copy, compelling value proposition, call to action: for your remembers, we’re going to give you a free account.

We were offering a free trial at the time for businessmen market and businesses, but we were gaming them, single-user, free account and that was a benefit that they provided to their members who joined them based on the membership fee. For us it was a lead gen mechanism, right? And so we started to create all these reaching out to these people at these associations who ran partnership some of them didn’t even have partnership program, but we start to get a little traction in a CPA world because we start to get more visibility.

People started to use a product more because they got free access to this and say look I can use this for my firm across the board and that’s how we started getting more. You know, not quite enterprise because I think the average selling price was like $20-30K annual but you know, it was a great program that we just created, it didn’t really cost us anything other than our investment into the time.  

AO: That’s huge. You know, though. Could you give me something on in terms of the results? Could you give us any more specifics on the actual results?  

TY: When I join, we were a four-person startup, we had, I want to say $800K ARR as a business again, it was a bootstrap startup. And then I was with them for about two years. By the time I left, we were around $4 million. And again, I asked the CEO when I joined, what’s my marking budget and he looked at me and said you’re it, you are the budget.

I mean that’s kind of an exaggeration, but our budget was very small, right? So to grow to that point, I think required a lot of creativity and this was the early days when “growth hacking” wasn’t really an established term and also it wasn’t a misused term as it is today.

And we tried a lot of different things like that, didn’t really require a direct budget to buy ads. For example, now we ran marketing and we ran Google search ads and stuff like that.

But yeah, I can’t remember because we had like I want to say 7 to 10 or so of these established by the time I left and of course some of them had no bearing they all have degrees of success. 

AO: Can we zoom in if I was trying to go do the same approach and I wanted to go and start to select some associations to target, create a good outreach for them and then create this membership strategy that you had. Could you tell us step by step how you went about doing it?

TY: Okay. So what I would say is your mileage may vary, because obviously every business is different. And the main reason why we start to take that approach because we spent time understanding our customers when we started selling as I mentioned the product was focused on large file transfer, and we noticed this anomaly and we started seeing this trend of people using us not sending large files – why? And, really understand your customers is the first step. 

Because once we start to notice this trend we were able to understand a little bit what were the commonalities and obviously for this it was, CPA firms. Understanding the unique needs of accountants and how they handle files was really critical.  

And only then do we realize – Okay, what are interesting ways that can we reach out to this audience? Found out that we didn’t notice at a time every state has a CPA Association. You need to be a member in order to be a certified public accountant, right? And so we thought okay, there’s built-in audiences of people that we feel like we have a very strong story to tell, strong value proposition. How do we get in front of them and tell that story, right?

A key part of it is really understanding what’s in it for them – the association as well for the accountants, the CPAs, obviously, we knew the value proposition to the accountants, but understanding how the associations operate and the reasons why they exist helps us to understand – All right, how do we structure some sort of partnership program that benefits them?

For them, they want to be able to provide benefits to their members that may be paying them an annual fee, right? And you know, some of these benefits can include things like 10% discount to your local Staples to buy office supplies and not a lot of them had access to new at the time software like this to enable them to help them do their jobs.  

And a lot of times they didn’t understand, you know, the technical aspect of setting up an online web portal for file transfer and services and all that stuff.

So, you know, I think the benefit for the association was you can provide this additional benefit to you and your members, we’re going to do it for free. We’re going to give it to you for free. No cost it’s cool-branded with your logo and our site and all you have to do is you know work with us to promote this benefit for your members and we’re upfront, the benefit to us is to be able to get in front of your members so that we can build a business.

AO: Two more questions just before you go. First, what was the title of the person you are reaching out to at the association?

TY: The title is varied and a lot of times these associations are run by very small groups of people and so it wasn’t very difficult. Generally speaking, if you go to these websites you could find contact information for members benefits, someone who manages member benefits or member programs. In some associations, they did have partnership types of business development people and so we would reach out to those people and say, hey, look we’ve already built this site for your association, that was key. We did all the leg work all the hard work ahead of time and said, look, here’s it, these are all ready for you, all you guys need to do is let your members know that this is available to them.

It’s co-branded and all that stuff, right? So now that pointer like wow, this is great. There’s no cost or anything for us? We said, no. And you know, that’s how we began setting up that type of affinity program.

AO: I love it. So who’s in charge of the membership offer? And then what was this offer split for y’all, for your company? Like were you giving them 20% or something like that?

TY: No. No. So for people who actually signed up for the service, it was a free service. We didn’t offer that free service on our own website. It wasn’t widely available at that time.

We were offering a free trial and then business and you know, quote-unquote, enterprise type of subscription plans. And when we reached out and set up this affinity program, we created a special subscription plan, essentially it was a single user and we structure the products so that a single person, individual CPA could use it and find value and gets it aha moment.  

Because there’s plenty of individual CPAs out there, plenty of accountant centers operate their own business and that’s fine. We want them to utilize the product because there’s also that referral built into it.

But again, CPA firms and organizations, they all have to be a part of these member associations as well.

So it was a way for us to really tap into that market. But yeah to answer your question. We basically created a whole new product subscription. The product itself was essentially the same. Of course, it was paired down in terms of features and functionality. But you know, it was made specifically for this type of program and then you know, obviously there’s upsell opportunities.

We got our sales team involved and say hey look, you know this CPA company from this organization signed up, you can proactively try to do some outreach to them.  

Really uncovering a new market that we didn’t know we needed to address or that we had a strong story to tell and certainly that was one area where are also local regional associations that a lot of you know firms were part of that had a different approach, you know more of a traditional approach where we sponsor, you know, a half-day workshop.

You know, we saw because of uncovering that new market and understanding how they operate we did this campaign with the Southern Association, that’s not part of the state. The numbers that I do remember were I spent about $10K to sponsor, which basically meant I sent a couple of sales guys, we had a tabletop booth out there, half-day workshop that they have every once in a while. But we also had the ability to run a webinar where we invited one of their members that were a customer to co-present with me to talk about the business case to talk about how they’re using it and the value, and then we followed up with some, you know, quote-unquote nurture email programs and sales follow-up week.  

I remember specifically $10,000 and direct investment. We won about $150K in terms of annual deals from that one program. And so that was like a 10x ROI for us.

So, you know, obviously, we would try to find other ways to replicate that it’s not always successful.

But you know, I think the key for me was really uncovering, listening to how or understanding how product users use your product perhaps in ways that you didn’t understand or foresee and

figure out there is a new market that you haven’t been addressing before and that would lead you to the different perhaps new marketing strategy that you haven’t thought of previously.

AO: That’s it. Another great episode The One Grow shows the official podcast of growth marketing conference to learn more about upcoming events.

That’s it. Another great episode The One Growth Show the official podcast of Growth Marketing Conference to learn more about upcoming events visit growthmarketingconf.com and subscribe to the newsletter. If you enjoy this episode, let us know. We’d really appreciate if you give us a 5-star rating, it’s super easy, just click the last star on iTunes and also share this episode on social media after all you want your network to know you’re the person they can always turn to for the best growth and marketing content, don’t you?

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Why Work-Life Balance is Your Ultimate Growth Secret Weapon

Carlos Hidalgo, Chief Strategy Officer at DemandGen and industry legend, came to a crossroads in his life and career. After years of abiding by the hustle-all-the-time creed, he burned out personally and suffered professionally. Fresh off the success of his "The UnAmerican Dream" book, he's here to teach you why establishing a reasonable work-life balance is the key to building and growing a sustainable, profitable, successful business - whatever your product or service might be.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Episode Summary Introduction:

Carlos Hidalgo: When I’m working, yes, I’m hustling but I’m not in this hustle state 24/7. And I actually in the last three years since I’ve been doing this I get more done in less time. Actually I had a client who says to me “you don’t need to turn things around so quickly”.

But I get more done with better quality. I shut down every night knowing how much I’ve accomplished and business-wise business has never been better and I’m not I’m getting more done in 7 to 9 hours a day or seven to eight hours a day than I am when I work 12 to 13 hours a day.

Adam O’Donnell: Boom, welcome to The One Growth Show brought to you by Growth Marketing Conference. We are the only podcast in the world that breaks down a growth experiment or delivers an actionable growth strategy.

No fluff no nonsense so you can get back to your day and start making a real difference to your bottom line.

We’re your hosts. I’m Jorge Soto.

I’m Adam O’Donnell, here we go.

AO: How can work-life boundaries be a growth strategy? Carlos shares how he hit rock bottom with the “hustle-all-the-time” mentality. That was when he realized that there had to be a better way to work, so he shares that approach and just how it’s enabled his business to actually grow faster, more efficient and he’s able to spend better quality time with people that he loves like his wife and his kids. You’re going to love this unconventional growth strategy.

Here’s Carlos Hildago, Chief Strategy Officer at the DemandGen.  

CH: It’s probably counterintuitive to most but my biggest growth strategy that I’ve implemented over the last three years has been really defining work-life boundaries.

As a business owner, you know with so many of us are told, you know the grind, work 24/7, hustle, sleep when you’re dead and I used to buy into that and I can tell you it fundamentally, it’s not scalable, it’s not a long-term strategy because it’s not sustainable and I have found when I started to establish defined work-life boundaries. I am better in all facets of life and surely better in my business because I have a boundary that I have where I know I am working and I’m not going to be distracted, I’m not talking with friends, I’m not engaging other than with my clients and the deliverables that I’ve promised them and my quality of work is better I get more done and in a shorter time and I also believe when you show up the best of yourself to relationships you get energy from that and you bring that energy into the workplace.

So having those defined boundaries for me is one of the biggest changes I’ve made in my 25-year professional career.

AO: Awesome. Tell us when this really was exposed to you. When did that break down for you?

CH: Yeah, 2016 to be exact. Yeah in 2005 I co-founded an agency and really had left a promising career at a software company because at that time my four children were pretty young and I was traveling all over the world. I was bringing work home. I would you know do dinner with the family and I mean, everybody knows the drill you do dinner with family tuck the kids in bed and then sat with the laptop on the couch and you’re trying to catch up on work and I realized after one year, I forget how many miles I traveled that I was literally missing out on my kids growing up and I didn’t want to do that.

So I started a company more as a lifestyle business and then it really started to take off and I bought into and I would say not only I bought into it but I was hook, line, and sinker into the hustle mentality and then on top of it my ego got involved because this one was mine. It wasn’t for somebody else. And if I wasn’t physically in my home office or at our headquarters in Atlanta or at a client site, I was mentally working as well and that really started to break down in and started to show itself in the breakdown of my relationships primarily my marriage and then also with the relationship with my kids because I wasn’t putting the time needed to truly cultivate a true relationship.  

And in 2016 I kind of cratered. I hit rock bottom where I just thought I was going to lose my marriage and lose that connection with my children. And while the business was successful. I wasn’t successful and I left that agency to hit the reset button and start to do things differently.

JS: I remember by the way your talk at the last GMC in December and it made total sense to me and I actually came up to you and said something so I was really touched by it. What do you think that we should do in terms of something like early steps to start to find this balance? 

CH: Yeah, great question, Jorge. What I started with is what are those things that I value the most and to be clear one of those values for me is my work. I love what I do.

I’ve been a B2B marketer for almost my entire career with two pit stops and a nonprofit.

But I literally made a list of what do I value the most so it was for me not a long list because I don’t think your band boundaries have to be grand they just need to be established but it was first and foremost time with my wife so over the last four and a half years I’ve been very fortunate to forge that strong bond and relationship with my wife and with my kids. Now. My kids are all grown and gone except one who’s a senior in high school, so he’ll be gone next year, but I try to maximize that as well.  

And then it was my whole health when I could talk about the whole health. I talk about mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. How do I give time to that then as I mentioned earlier my work? So once I defined those boundaries I then started to say, how do I construct my professional life to map to the life that I want to live and protect those values? And too many times when we do it the opposite way we make our life wrap around our work and the work never going to stop. So that’s something that if we do, we’re going to give more of ourselves to our work and less of our times, to our relationships and our hobbies and our health which are also extremely life-giving. So that’s where I started.

AO: That’s amazing.  

Carlos, I’m just curious about how we can prove the impact of the work that you now have? An hour now at the office compared to an hour with the hustle mentality because that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve found is just justifying to your team. Like “hey man, I don’t work on Sundays. I’d take off Saturdays. I take 24 hours off right? I have these boundaries throughout the weekday. It always seemed like I was letting the team down when I express that because it’s like “man, we got to make this happen” and I couldn’t have an argument like “hey, it’s actually in the best interest of the company” that actually take these boundaries and that we all do that.

So it has many metrics that we can have around the actual improvement – that would be huge.

CH: There’s actual science to back it up. So first and foremost most all of us as human beings have ultradian rhythms that our brain works on so what that really means on but believe me, I am no scientist, but I’ve done enough study to know that our brains are really wired to go all out from a mental capacity standpoint for ninety to a hundred and twenty minutes at a time. And then we reach this law of diminishing returns where we’re not operating at peak efficiency and what we owe it to our brains that ourselves to take a step away and that’s step can you know, it’s literally 15-20 minutes. You can go make a sandwich you can go for a walk around your building if you’re in an office, but you need to step away and let your brain kind of flush out the mental debris that has built up and then come back to whatever tasks you are working on or whatever work needs to be done.

There’s also additional science that shows how efficient we are when it how many hours a week we work and I don’t know the step, but I want to say it’s around 46 hours a week and after that, we literally start as one researcher said we start to work dumber, not smarter.

So when you think about somebody who like myself used to go 60-70, sometimes 80-hour weeks. I can definitely point to the latter half of that time. My work wasn’t as crisp. My quality was poor. I was making stupid mistakes. My decision-making surely was clouded and the only one of the big things that I can tell you is having adopted this boundary approach my business is much more efficient. My decision making is so much better. My creativity is off the chart and I’ve had the best three years in business that I’ve ever had in the past 22 before that.

So there’s some evidence there for you and I would just encourage everybody to just Google ultradian rhythms and you’ll see a wealth of information on it. But this is how we’re wired as human beings. We’re not machines.

AO: Wow, that’s that’s amazing. I mean, I’m just it sinking in.

Yeah, Carlos I mean help us with some roadblocks that we’re going to run into as we start to implement this and yeah, let’s just dive into that.

CH: Well, I think first and foremost of roadblocks are from the evangelist out there of the hustle culture. You’ve got guys like Gary Vee and Grant Cardone and guys who are extremely talented and what they do no doubt, but this idea that you know, Grant talks about work in 95 hours a week. That’s absolutely absurd because where do you find time if you’re going to sleep, you know, you’re given your leftovers to your family and your own self, and if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be good to everybody. So I think that’s roadblock number one.  

Roadblock number two, maybe managers who are saying “No, I’m requiring more of you” and educating them saying “look, you know, I challenge you to a Bake-Off with colleagues who are going to work non-stop and say I actually need to adopt this way because I know that’ll allow me to present the best of myself to the company or to the work that has to be done. 

 And the number three is going to be ourselves because we have all adopted this idea that more is better, harder is better, grinding is better and that mentality, I will tell you, I tell people all the time I’ve not arrived in anything, this is a practice for me and just like any practice you do whether it’s an instrument or sport you’re going to have good days, you’re going to have bad days and I am still sometimes very drawn to 8 o’clock at night – well, maybe I can sneak away and get ahead on these things.

But I’ve brought people into my community who helped me stay accountable to that.

So those are just three obstacles off the top of my head.

AO: That’s amazing. What are some tactics around guarding these boundaries and when we do need to potentially break them at times?

CH: Yeah, so I think first of all just documenting them and literally writing them down and you know, I shared with the audience in December my boundaries actually put them up on a slide. Just writing them down. Like what do you value and then what boundaries? So for instance, my biggest value is time with my wife. So I start every morning when I’m not traveling, at our kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my wife and we start and we have a cup of coffee anywhere from about half an hour to an hour and sometimes we just stare mostly out the window. I will let the caffeine do its work. Other times we have great conversation, but that’s time that I value and I want to start my day each and every day that way so start to write down things. If you value your personal health then what do you have to do to make sure that you’re working out three, four, five, six days a week. Build that into your calendar put work out and treat that like you would a meeting with a client or a meeting and just say I’m unavailable at that time because that’s really really sacred.  

Secondly, is making those boundaries known and I talked about my community, this isn’t something we should do with ourselves. So if you’re married sit down with your spouse and really have a conversation and it’s going to be more than one conversation about what do we value? And what can I do to enable this kind of boundary led life talk with your boss about this and then talk with your colleagues about it and make sure that you’re actually putting it in place and when you fail don’t beat yourself up.

Now. You also, Adam, ask the question about what happens when we need to break those?  

So here’s a great example. Last year I have a boundary that after six o’clock at night I don’t work and that means checking email, doing calls, things like that. I had a client where we had like seven people in multiple time zones we had to manage. So before I committed to that call, which is going to take place from 6:30 to 7:30. I said to my wife hey, do we have anything and are we good with this? It’s not going to be a constant thing. It wasn’t a weekly thing and she was like, yeah, no problem.

I had made a commitment as well to my family that we were going to go out. It was a nice summer day. We’re going to go grab ice cream after my call. So yes, I moved the boundary with the agreement for my community, which is my wife. But I also made sure that call was done right at 7:30 to the point where about halfway through, I told the group, hey guys, I have a hard stop in 30 minutes. Let’s make sure we wrap up and we have the action items that we need. And when I told my client, her response was “I love it. It’s great and also, could you talk to our boss and make sure that we start to do the same?”  

JS: You know, it’s interesting because this is something that I personally have been also really focused on you know, and I think that this is something that right now with the current Global situation is really going to come to the forefront for us as a species. We have to find this balance and we have to implement these things and I don’t know how it ends up shaking out. But I know that you know that this is actually a priority, you know, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about just the Law of Attraction, right, you know, whether without getting into you know, it’s the say I don’t know religious or philosophical but just you know discussions or Focus, but just from most pure energy perspective would you say that like, this is something really helps you attract more success when you’re in a more of a flowing State? And by the way, this is not something new. I know there’s like a lot of new age, quote-unquote new-age content or people talking about this. But if you look at Taoism you look at a lot of these old traditions, you’ll see that. Actually, what’s your take on the kind of like you said in the last three years. You’ve seen a lot of success. What’s your take on that kind of looking at it from that perspective?

CH: Yeah. I think you’re exactly right. I think especially with the current state, that we are in the midst of the Corona pandemic. I got an email over the weekend from a colleague, I shoot him a note “hey just checking in. want to see how you guys are doing” And this is a guy who thought nothing is in his career of staying up till 2 – 3 a.m getting up at 6 am, repeat, rinse, wash and repeat, and he said, “you know, this is really caused me to take a step back and seek perspective and really understand what’s important.”

For me, spirituality does play a part in it. For those people listening, it may not, but I think we are all now at a place with the current world events to say. What really matters, and let me be clear,

it’s not to say your work doesn’t matter, your work does matter, but it’s not where we’re going to find. We should take pride in our work but it’s not what’s going to necessarily feed us at our human core. And one of my friends Brian Kramer has done some writing around the fact that for years with social media and our phones. We’ve been social distancing. We’re content to hide behind a screen or send a text rather than a call. But now that we’re all being sequestered for the common good. Interesting to note that the thing we all want the most right now is human connection and that should come as no surprise because that’s what we’re wired for.

We are wired for meaningful human connection and we are not going to find that through a screen.

AO: Well Carlos, this has been amazing. Do you have any other things, the last words you love to share with us, with our audience?

CH: Yeah, I would just say if your audience wants to talk more about this I would love to. You can find me on Twitter hit me up on LinkedIn. I’m putting a lot of posts on LinkedIn about our current state of things and kind of what I hope our new normal becomes and yeah, I would just encourage everybody go for it, do this because it will allow you to bring the best of yourself to your personal life and your work life and you won’t be sorry.

AO: You made the change. Boom.

That’s it. Another great episode The One Growth Show the official podcast of Growth Marketing Conference to learn more about upcoming events visit growthmarketingconf.com and subscribe to the newsletter. If you enjoy this episode, let us know. We’d really appreciate if you give us a 5-star rating, it’s super easy, just click the last star on iTunes and also share this episode on social media after all you want your network to know you’re the person they can always turn to for the best growth and marketing content, don’t you?

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Thinking Outside the Funnel: How to Keep Your Growth Numbers Up During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this revolutionary, timely podcast, you’ll learn how to stay profitable and productive during these difficult times. Join your One Growth Podcast hosts and SC Moatti, Founder of Products That Count and Manager at Mighty Capital, to discover the 2-part growth strategy that’s driving hard, bottom-line growth at startup and enterprise companies alike - reliably, cost-effectively, and sustainably.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Episode Summary Introduction:

SC: You use a hook. A hook is basically saying “what is the one thing that everybody is going to want to learn about or hear about that’s related to my products”.  When I use that in the past I’ve experienced 5 to 10 x growth.

I think in an environment like today because everybody is so focused on the Coronavirus and the crisis and soon we’ll be moving into how do we get out of it?

What is life going to be after Corona? Right? So you have plenty of different hooks that you’re going to be able to use over the next year.

AO: Boom.

Welcome to The One Grow Show brought to you by growth marketing conference. 

JS: We are the only podcast in the world that breaks down a growth experiment or delivers an actionable growth strategy.

AO: No fluff no-nonsense, so you can get back to your day and start making a real difference to your bottom line.

We’re your hosts. I’m Jorge Soto.

I’m Adam O’Donnell.

Here we go.

AO: Are you thinking outside of the funnel in this post-Corona World? SC Moatti is the founder of Products That Count and Mighty Capital, shares growth strategies that are going to help you to make a big impact.

“The first is the “hook” strategy. So it’s “what one thing that all of my current and future prospects want to learn about all the time. Not just when they’re ready to buy my product.” The second method is the “shortcut”. This is when people can use your product or this feature with zero steps added. An example is just a recommendation that happens on Amazon after you buy a book. They recommend three other books if you buy them all that it four times increases revenue right away.

Here’s SC.

SC: Most people who think about growth strategy, they think about things like a/b testing or growth hacking or federal optimization, which I’m not going to get into that because you probably have a lot of other people who cover this but the essence of it is basically set up your goal metric put everything leading to that metric into a funnel and then optimize the conversion of that funnel.  

In a sense that’s like the 30-second version of all these methodologies. And these methodologies as you know, people who listen to this know very well are actually quite hard to implement and they’re successfully implemented maybe in like 20% of companies out there.

So if you do that, you’re already sort of in the top 20% but the problem you’re noticing when you do that and you’re in that top 20% is that very quickly you actually hit diminishing returns.

And so when you have you know, this goal metric funnel optimization the kind of optimization you get maybe it’s what 20% – 30% if you really push it you can even get 50% which in most cases if you think of oh the kind of optimization, right, that’s really optimized.

But when you’re working for, you know, a growth organization or you’re looking to generate hyper-growth that’s actually very small, what do you want when you’re talking hyper-growth you want 3x you want 5x or 10x?

And so the way that I think about this and the strategies that I apply to get their right to get to that really 3x, 5x or 10x are what I call thinking outside the funnel. And thinking outside the funnel is basically saying: Hey, what if there was no funnel, right? It’s like we’re in The Matrix and there’s no Matrix, right? What if there is no funnel?

So what is the state where there is no funnel and you have to think about it? If you picture for yourself a funnel, no funnel basically means my funnel is infinitely wide, right? So everybody is reached and it’s infinitely flat.

So everybody is reached instantly like there’s no, you know steps in the funnel, there’s no segmentation to reduce who you’re talking to. It’s like “I’m reaching everybody instantly the old of and use my product” and it may sound like wishful thinking but you can get there a lot faster and a lot easier than you think and there are two ways you can do that:

  • One is you use a “hook”. “Hook” is basically saying what is the one thing that everybody is going to want to learn about or hear about that’s related to my product. So let me give you an example – the real estate industry.  

If you’re looking for a place to buy as a homeowner. First of all, you do that once every five years. So it’s not a very frequent use case. It’s not a very high-velocity use case. Second, you know you go through the funnel very slowly and you know, you may drop out of the funnel if you’re in a crisis like we’re at today you may you know, it refinance your house instead of buying a new house, whatever.

So it’s not a very high-velocity business.

However, if I ask you, hey, do you want to know the value of the house you live in today? Probably a lot more people are going to be interested whether you’re on the market or not to buy a house and then if I ask you hey, do you want to know the value of your boss’s house or your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend house. You’ll be like hell yes, and I want to know that it’s going down because I hate that fucker and whatever right and then you’ll not only are going to be interested to look at all these different house prices all over the country or all over your neighborhood. But you’re going to be looking at it like over multiple days and then you’re going to like start putting together a spreadsheet and say like hey is the real estate market going up or down is there some may be Arbitrage Opportunity in that particular neighborhood and your kind of you know, go to OCD on this data.

Well, like when you think about it from under the hood as a growth marketer or a product manager what you’ve just done is you’ve created a hook that basically appeals to everybody on this planet virtually.

All right, everybody can then go and check out the value of the house they live in the value of the house, their boss lives in and so on and so forth and do that all the time and every day so when it comes to time that they’re actually going to be on the market to buy a house, they’re going to go to your service, right?  

So that example is Zillow with the Zestimate write it a slightly inflated value of a house that creates a hook that is relevant to everybody whether they’re a home owner or not. Now how this applies in today’s environment.

Well everybody, literally everybody on the planet is touched by the pandemic that’s going on with the coronavirus. Right? So think of ways that you can link what’s happening in people’s lives today, right? It starts to feel like it’s Groundhog Day every day, right? They are going to need some information.

They’re going to need some novelty. There’s they’re going to need a way to keep entertain and healthy and saying like, how can you leverage that to create something that’s going to appeal to everybody when I use that, you know in the past I’ve experienced 5 to 10 x growth I think in an environment like today because everybody is so focused on the Coronavirus and the crisis and soon we’ll be moving into how do we get out of it? Like what is life going to be after Corona? Right? So you have plenty of different hooks that you’re going to be able to use over the next year. So that’s the first thing the first “Way To Think Outside The Funnel”  

  • The second way to think outside the funnel is to make your funnel completely flat. So your everybody uses your product and instantly like they don’t go through steps and re-engagement and stuff like that. 

And again, you know, it’s not something that you have to reinvent. Let me give you an example. When you’re on Amazon. If you go to Amazon and you tried to buy my book, I wrote a book on “how to build great products” you go as somebody you type like “oh here’s the book by SC” you buy it. Thank you for that. But immediately after you’ll see Amazon recommending three or four other books for you.

And the reason they do that they say like other books you may like right? So it’s saving you so much time it saving you the time to say like hey, it has SC written another book or is there another book on the topic of how to you build great products or our product managers and growth marketers reading other books than SC’s books. You can do all these searches or you could just buy these additional three books, except that if you look under the hood as a growth marketer or a product manager.   

What you’ve done is you’ve basically you quadrupled your revenue. Because instead of buying just one book, if you’re like me and you’re a bookworm, you bought 4 books and you just had to go through one more click or you maybe you don’t even go through one more click.  

So when it when we’ve used that in the past for my various products we’ve also been able to triple revenue. And how this applies to today’s environment with the coronavirus?  

Well, think about it. Think about how you are every morning or throughout the day or in the evening. Right? Most of us have such a hard time concentrating. We’re constantly pulled into the news and our families and you know staying motivated when we work from home. So as a growth marketer, if you don’t think about implementing these shortcuts you’re going to see a dwindling in your conversion and your demand so you have to think at all about creative ways to keep people engaged just long enough that they give you more revenue than they normally would right.

So these shortcuts would actually be very helpful for you in today’s environment.

AO: This has been amazing. I got a quick question on the first strategy. Can we name these: 

SC:  “the hook” and “the shortcut”.  

AO:  When we say “hook”, I know it’s not the exact same meaning is that but what we’re calling it “the hook piece” which you use with the Zillow estimate example. That also is when content marketing solving a similar job right in the way you said it. 

SC: Absolutely. Content marketing is another hook. You’re absolutely correct. To be able to write pieces and it’s even more actually such a great example, right because different people react to different types of content differently, right? So some people love podcasts and some people love to read and some people love watching videos and some people love to be on social media, right?

So when you think about it “hook” strategy that’s content-based you want to think about like all the different media because otherwise, you won’t be able to really fully capture your audience.

AO: I love it. Can you help us with the conversion? How you track conversions from the like the Zestimate to the actual product? Because I’m assuming that the hook you’re suggesting is not a profitable thing. We’re using it as a marketing tactic to help us get down the funnel to the next funnel.

SC: Yes. Oh, absolutely.

So if I think of a hook strategy that’s similar to the Zillow’s Zestimate, right? Frankly, if a real estate industry is able to come up with something like this, and it’s been such a slow conservative boring business. Anywhere, you can come up with a kind of a cool score.

And so the way you’re going to track conversion is this is really like a very top of funnel conversion. So you’re going to look at unique visitors as your top metric there.

AO: I love it. I guess it’s good to just keep in mind as we’re it. Sounds like we could do multiple strategies. Like you said in this like we could be testing how does content marketing convert once we have them, you know using us for a year and that as opposed to this free tool. I interviewed Neil Patel a couple of weeks ago and he said that your Uber Suggest which is their free tool. He said that has a higher engagement rate than any of the articles that they’ve ever written because that that free tool is getting them using and then they’re converting really highly of that.

So I’m I just I was just wondering if there’s any more that we could like how we can best judge the conversions from to this free thing to our actual product and it seems like an easy to forget that.

SC: Yeah, that’s a really good point. And in fact, you know, the unique visitor is sort of the very basic but actually one of the other metrics, especially because these content tools, are so addictive is the number of visitors over the course of one week. Like if you know this metric the L6 over L 7 L7 over 7 L5 / L 7. So what this is is your L.

Let’s say L6 over L7. It’s basically the number of people who visit your site six out of seven days.

And or L5 out of L7, like a number of people who visit your site five out of every seven days right on a rolling basis.

And so if you start thinking about your content strategy or you hooks like these scores and search as like, how do I drive engagement? Then you’ll probably be going to want to look at these metrics like how many people because of my awesome content or my awesome metric come to my side like seven days out of seven six days out of seven five out of seven.

And can I get the L 5 out of 7 to become L 6 out of 7? If you just send them, say, a push notification on that 6th day saying “hey, here’s something new for you.” Maybe they’re going to convert and become L6 out of our seven. So in your cohort analysis, you’re sort of driving your engagement this way.

AO: I love it. Now can we go into the second thing you suggested with the Amazon example? It sounds like you’re basically putting in a funnel within the funnel so you could potentially mess up the original one that you are doing If it’s slow down the purchase of just one book, is there anything that you can tell us about how you picked the second book and how to look at the right part of that funnel to insert this growth strategy?

SC: Yes, and the key shift here is what’s the metric you put at the bottom of the funnel. Because in fact like what you’re thinking about when you’re saying like “hey, I’m buying three or four books on Amazon” and it messes the funnel. That’s because you’re looking at what’s at the bottom of the funnel as I’m buying wine book, but really like what I’m doing is I’m quadrupling my revenue at the bottom of the funnel.

And so if you start looking at your, you know, average transaction size or bottom of the funnel in terms of dollars as opposed to transaction all of a sudden you start thinking like, oh, wait a minute, how do I increase the average transaction amount or how do I increase the average transaction for people who buy more than once a month so you can cut and slice and dice it however you want but moving from your dollars to your number of transaction is probably going to be what makes the difference there.

AO: Awesome SC. Last question.

Are there any roadblocks that you could share with people who are trying to implement one of these strategies? May be engaging with executives, pitching it. Any other roadblocks that you found? 

SC: You know, the main roadblock is how do you get the first test out? Because once you get the first test out and you show your executive or your engineering team that hey on that little tests that are in turn did because you know, he had time or he didn’t you know, obey orders or what have you we got 3x and people are going to be all over you and so really it’s like how do you get that little thing out there that first experiment and use that as a snowball effect.

AO: I love it. I mean it makes so much sense we but it’s just so easy to not actually do the right way of testing it and how fast can we test?

That’s our biggest limiter. 

SC: Yeah, absolutely and what are the right questions to ask in the test, right? Because a lot of people will think inside the funnel. Oh, how do I increase the conversion at that stage?

I’m going to make this button read or I’m going to have two steps instead of three or things like that. But what you want is you want to say? No. No, let’s think outside the funnel guys. Let’s really think it through. What is something that could make our product relevant to everybody and if you go ahead and this way they’re going to be like don’t listen to them, they are a little cuckoo.  But if you have just one small experience that’s based on you know, that Zillow example or that Amazon example, and you should ROI or the 3x of the 5x then all of a sudden everybody’s going to have a mindset change and then you won’t be the only one coming up with these ideas. They will come from everywhere in your organization.

AO: Another great episode The One grow shows the official podcast of growth marketing conference to learn more about upcoming events visit https://growthmarketingconf.com And subscribe to the newsletter. If you enjoy this episode, let us know. We’d really appreciate it if you give us a 5- star rating super easy. Just click the last star on iTunes and also share this episode on social media after all you want your network to know you’re the person they can always turn to for the best growth and marketing content, don’t you?

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Leverage Free Tools for Growth: How This Untapped Growth Tactic Can Increase Your Lead Generation by 500% or More

It’s undeniable that producing content is the go-to method to generate interest and gain leads. But it has also become crowded because everyone is doing it. Therefore, it presents a minor roadblock, although it’s necessary, it shouldn’t be your only approach. In this podcast, Neil reveals how this growth tactic generates 5-10 times more leads than his content and provides the actionable steps for you to implement this strategy in your company. Plus, the resources you need to get started. Press play to learn a winning strategy to bring up in your next marketing meeting.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Episode Summary Introduction:

We all know the power of content marketing, but have you considered releasing free tools, Azure content? Neil shares how his free tool Ubersuggest gets more traffic than all of his other content. 

A big statement for the guy that lands to the top of more searches than anyone I know. He’s going to share exactly how he did it, so you can apply it yourself. 

Here’s Neil Patel, Co-Founder of Neil Patel Digital and Co-founder of Crazy Egg.

Neil Patel:

The best growth tactic that I ever did. Um, I used to believe in SEO. I still do. I used to believe in content marketing. I still do. I’m not saying those channels don’t work, but all channels eventually get crowded and they go to shit. 

As you get more and more people, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them. But what

I found that’s working extremely well as a growth hack right now, instead of producing content, releasing free tools. 

So think about what you’re trying to sell your customers. So let’s say I have an ad agency and I sell SEO services, I may release a free SEO tool, that helps people with their SEO and that’ll help me collect leads. 

And what we’ve found is even if you suck at marketing, when you release free tools, it does like 5 to 10 times better than content because people just like free tools. 

And, you could end up going out there and creating tools and spending a lot of money or you could just go to like a Code Canyon, buy a tool for like five, 10, 20 bucks.

They have tools in literally every single industry. Like they even have SEO tools. Download them, put them on your website and give it away for free. 

Adam O’Donnell:

Man, I love this. So we get the impact. Obviously the problem is super clear. Help us with like deciding the best tool for us to have depending on our business.

Neil Patel:

The tool has to be related to your core product that you’re selling. So like I wouldn’t do, um, a tool that helps you create web apps or websites, when I’m selling SEO services. 

Sure you can say, hey people have web apps and websites that need SEO services, but you want to go very specific, like a free website app or templates, that’d be great if you’re offering design services. 

So you would be the next level. A free SEO tool offering SEO consulting is the next level. So it has to be 100% related, can’t be in similar industries or fields.

Adam O’Donnell:

Awesome. That makes a lot of sense. And so tell us more about the place where you’re finding these tools and then like if that’s not the right fit, maybe some other low barrier ways that we could build a tool like this.

Neil Patel:

Code Canyon. Code Canyon’s a website that sells premade tools. You can just take them, release it for free. They have tools on literally every industry. 

Um, and if you want to go and build a tool cause you don’t have the time and energy or you can’t find what you’re more so looking for free, you can use Upwork.com you can find developers on there.

But to give you an idea, my tool on Neilpatel.com Ubersuggest gets more traffic than my content. It’s that effective.

Adam O’Donnell:

That’s amazing. Could you tell us a little bit about how you’re structuring the post when you’re mentioning the tool to get that traffic to that?

Neil Patel:

Yeah, sure. So if I’m writing a blog post on marketing or SEO and I can use screenshots from the tool, I’ll do that. Or if I can use data from the tool, I’ll do that and I’ll link to it. 

Or if I can just mention the tool, be like, Oh by the way, if you want to a tool to help you do this, check out Ubersuggest and go here and this is what you would have to do. You’d type in your URL and then you get this page and you can say to analyze the data. So you want to go pretty specific in the content.

Adam O’Donnell:

Let’s dive into you actually doing the Ubersuggest tool. And like the process, you went about in first identifying that you know the right type of tool that was going to fit for your customer and then actually going and executing and then, and then sharing that.

Neil Patel:

Sure. So back in February 2017, I bought a tool called Ubersuggest. I didn’t use the approach of building from scratch. I bought something that was already somewhat popular and I made it like literally 10, 20 times more popular. 

Um, but the model I first take is I try to figure out, all right, what do my ideal customers really want? I talked to him on the phone and figure out their pain points. 

And then from there, I go to the drawing board and, uh, have a designer. You can find designers anywhere Upwork or 99designs.com. Have them template out, wireframe, uh, SketchUp, whatever you want to call it, the way you want your app to work and look that you think is usable. 

Then I go to Upwork, get some front end developers, uh, and then the developers start coding it up and then eventually I release it on my website. And throughout the process, I’m continually getting feedback so the developers will never end up creating a tool that’s perfect from day one. 

You’ll have bugs, glitches, whatever it may be. So what I like doing is getting feedback, even if it has glitches and bugs from my ideal customers. Like outreaching, calling them on the phone, seeing what they think and they continue iterating. So that way I’m not waiting till a finished product to find out if they like it or hate it.

Adam O’Donnell:

Just give us a little bit more about the process of launching this. Like when you first do it, is it literally just a blog post? Are you doing the traditional launch, reaching out to social media influencers, that kind of stuff?

Neil Patel:

So let’s say your tool’s on your website, I would do a few things. One blog about it. Two if you have an email list, send out an email blast. Three, if you have a push notification or any chatbot lists like Facebook messenger, send that out in a blast as well. 

Next, reach out to anyone in this space who’s talked about competing tools. Uh, like on Twitter you can do a search for any competing tools and if anyone’s mentioned them. Outreach to them, try to get them to share it. And then look at any other blogs in the space that I’ve mentioned similar and get them to mention it as well.

Adam O’Donnell:

Love it. What kind of costs are you spending on Upwork? If you could give us, I know you told us about like the really cheap tool that we can buy, but in terms of this, um, what would you estimate on that?

Neil Patel:

So I now have a full dev team, so it’s different for me, but you usually can get started for a few grand on Upwork, all the way up to like $5k, $10 grand.

Adam O’Donnell:

It’s amazing cause I mean it’s, it’s so interesting how many, how much people spend on white papers, eBooks, videos. So this is literally just right in line with that.

That’s really cool. So tell us about the conversion funnel after they start to use this free tool. How can you give us a methodology on making sure that you are leading them to actually buy?

Neil Patel:

You have two ways you can do it. One is you can push whatever product or service you’re offering within your tool, like link through it, through banners and all that kind of stuff. Uh, mention it. LinkedIn, the navigation. We found that to be effective. 

The approach we like doing is making users register to use part of the tool or all of the tool and then you collect leads or emails and then you market through them through a drip sequence.

Adam O’Donnell:

One thing. So you mentioned talking to your customers, understand their pain. Can you dive into that process and give us some more light on that so we can select the right kind of tool?

Neil Patel:

That is more so just like customer development, customer research. Um, that isn’t my expertise, but you can find out more about that at Product Habits and they break down how to figure out what your customers are exactly looking for. 

Um, there’s a lot of customer development surveys that you can find when you just Google and go through and it will help you understand the pain points. 

Adam O’Donnell:

Thank you so much for your time. Sounds good. Boom. That’s it.

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Adam O’Donnell:

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