Digital marketing without sales funnels, automation and well-thought-out campaigns can work but it’s not sustainable. Random acts of marketing is one way to put it. Future-proofing is more crucial than ever in this economy, so it makes sense to systematize and automate as much as possible.
In this episode, my guest Michelle Nedelec and I dive deep into marketing automation strategies to help your business grow.
Michelle has over 20 years of experience in executive coaching, working with clients ranging from 8 figures to solopreneurs. Michelle runs the creative side of her done-for-you marketing tech services company, helping entrepreneurs set up and maintain their Infusionsoft platform through her company, Awareness Strategies.
In this episode we discuss the myriad ways you can streamline your marketing and business processes. Michelle explains sales funnels, shares best practices in automation, and where to begin.
And now, without further ado, on with the show!
In This Episode
- [01:38] – There are several CRM solutions to select, so what makes Infusionsoft stand out for Michelle?
- [06:03] – Infusionsoft has 80% of its functionality that its users should be using. What is this 80%?
- [07:05] – Stephan and Michelle highlight three tools they used to integrate business systems.
- [11:06] – Is there a time when an alternative to Infusionsoft would be more appropriate? Here, Michelle discusses the elements that businesses must consider when delivering connections.
- [15:29] – How helpful can Infusionsoft be in terms of programming? Michelle describes a sophisticated Infusionsoft approach she employed with a client.
- [22:03] – What were some of the client’s experiences or issues before seeking assistance from Michelle’s team?
- [27:39] – Here’s how thought leaders can grow their markets.
- [32:57] – Discover which types of traffic are most suitable for your business and your target audience.
- [38:42] – Michelle talks about JVology’s program and their campaigns.
- [49:10] – Michelle covers Infusionsoft’s back end on its affiliate programs.
- [51:57] – Visit awarenessstrategies.com/partner to join their affiliate program and start growing your business. Michelle’s social platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Michelle, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
First of all, let’s talk about Infusionsoft. There are a lot of different options out there. I’m curious why you’re focused more on Infusionsoft than any other kind of CRM or platform for doing automation for your marketing.
It’s a great question, because there are a ton of options out there for entrepreneurs. Depending on what they want to build and how they want to build, it depends on what they need in their software, like anything. If you do podcasts, it depends on what kind of software you use, what sounds are going to come out of them.
Obviously, even with podcasting, somebody could just use Zoom, they can go to Streamer, or they can go to Riverside. They can go to a whole lot of different software platforms. All platforms will have their strengths and abilities.
The reason that we went with Infusionsoft is because once upon a time, I was a public speaker. My job was to go out and speak on other people’s stages. We had coaching programs, things like that. We have programs that we’d sell people into. All of it, almost, was based on speaking.
I need some tech support. I got my partner in business and pleasures, we’d like to say, to help me to take care of that side of things. He took care of the audio and the visual. Basically, I was in the front of the room and he took over everything else.
We had got to the point where we created what I love to call Frankenware. Now I had a love-hate relationship with Frank. Unfortunately, at certain times, he’d get a partial update. All of a sudden, he’d lose an eye, he’d lose an arm, or things were starting to happen to him.As you grow your clientele, you want to start adding on other software platforms to add an extra level of sophistication to your services. Click To Tweet
I was getting kind of creeped out. Brad’s like, I’m not sure I like this, because it meant a lot of work for him trying to figure out why it broke, how to get it back up. Obviously, I’m talking about software platforms that I needed in order to be able to run my business.
One day, we went to a seminar and he heard somebody speak. He picked their brain like he does so well for guys on tech support, going, I don’t know, I don’t know, but we’ll find out, we’ll get you answers. Brad was satiated and he goes, okay, I want to move over to this platform, what are you thinking? I’m like, dude, you do whatever you do. I couldn’t care less. If it makes you happy, whatever floats your boat, let’s go.
He moved over to Infusionsoft and he was jazzed. You have to understand something about Brad. He is an engineer through and through, and we love him for that. He was also a special project manager.
Companies like IBM and Halliburton—big oil and gas type companies—would hire him to say, okay, we’ve never done this before, we need a software that does this, what do you need? He would say, we need so many people, we need so many servers, it’s going to cost X million of dollars, and it’s going to take us three years, whatever. Those were the kinds of projects that he worked on.
When he found Infusionsoft and he was jazzed by it, you got to know, it was a pretty robust system. It did whatever I asked him to do.
If I came up with asinine questions like, hey, I want to give this course out, but I want to give it for free to these people, I want a part of a package to these people, I want to charge X amount for this one, and I want to give chapter one as an opt in for this, normally, those kinds of questions, although seemingly innocent by us who speak on stage, when it comes to the tech side of things, it freaks them out completely. They’re losing their cakes. They’re like, how are we going to do this? What do we do?
With Infusionsoft, no matter what kind of clients we get, whatever they ask us to do, it’s capable of doing it. They just put the systems together and made it work.
Whereas with Infusionsoft, I was like, yeah, absolutely, we can do that. They just put the systems together and made it work. That’s been the fun part. No matter what kind of clients we get, and we’ve had clients like I said in the intro from solopreneurs to multibillion dollar corporations, whatever they ask us to do, it’s capable of doing it. You just got to figure out how, and that to Brad is just his happy place.
Give him a beer, Infusionsoft, and a puzzle that hasn’t been solved yet, within moments, you’re like, yes, we can do this. He’s awesome. That was one of the reasons why we loved it so much. That’s why we’ve stuck to it, because most people are super confused by it. They don’t understand it. It does things that they don’t understand.
Most people, even Keap Certified Partners, are probably using about 20% of it. They know their magic sauce, they know what it does and it does it well, and that’s what they kind of stick to. Whereas what we do is we come in as specialists in it and do the other 80% that most people don’t understand.
What would be some examples of the 20% of many of the Infusionsoft users that are already implementing or taking advantage of and the 80% that they’re not and should be?
The 20%, most people use it as an email campaign platform, which is awesome. Some of them will integrate with other campaigns, which is part of the reason it’s there. I don’t really understand why some don’t, but some don’t. And 80% aren’t using its functionality for affiliate marketing and its sales funnels. It has a lot of systems in the back end that allow its logic-based components to be able to integrate with each other.
A company that has a sales team, marketing team, and accounting team, they can all integrate their systems and be talking about the same client at the same time and still have limited access to whatever limitations they need to have. If you have an admin person, obviously, they’re going to have less accessibility than somebody that’s head of accounting. However, when it comes to being able to have a cohesive conversation about one of their clients, they can still articulate that, because they’re all getting the same data. Whereas within almost any other system, that doesn’t happen.
Do you find that there are lots of cases where you have to use a tool like Zapier to connect these systems together, or does it just integrate right out of the box?
A lot of people will use Zapier as duct tape, which is great. Duct tape is awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I love duct tapes. Sometimes they’re not figuring out how to create the components as well as they should. We don’t use Zapier as an implementation as much as other people do, let’s put it that way. What we’re looking for is solid integrations.
There are ones like Memberium, which will be used for the security connection between a video platform. If you have a learning platform that you have your courses on and you want to be able to integrate the logistics with the usernames, passwords, and things I was talking about earlier, we do use Memberium.
The difference between using that and Zapier to be able to integrate the data is that it’s a direct integration, meaning that you’re not getting dirty data transferring information back and forth. Whereas sometimes, if used in the wrong way, you can get dirty data from Zapier if you’re not using it correctly. Nothing against Zapier. It’s fantastic and awesome, but there’s an added level of user error in its utilization, if you want to put it that way.
We use Infusionsoft and we use Memberium as well. We also, other than Memberium, have LearnDash, a learning management system or LMS that adds a lot of additional functionality that we weren’t getting just from Memberium. Things like gamifying, the courses, badges, and all sorts of little things that make it more engaging. I’m curious, do you utilize LearnDash as well or recommend that to your clients? How does that fit in typically?
Yeah, absolutely. Part of the kind of business conundrum, if you will, at what point do you use what kind of software? As somebody grows in their sophistication, in their clientele grows, that’s when they want to start adding on other software platforms like LearnDash that have an extra level of sophistication.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense for a company to go out of the block and start putting things on LearnDash. Most of the time, it does if they have the wherewithal to say, hey, I’m going to make a big business out of this, let’s start now, totally with that. Sometimes people just don’t have that kind of wherewithal. They don’t have the following, they don’t have the confidence, and their ability to do videos, they don’t necessarily have the content that they know people are going to go after, so there’s a little hesitation there.
Let’s assume that somebody’s good on video. They have awesome content. They know that they’re going to build a business absolutely right off the bat. We’ll go, you need a learning platform like LearnDash, where you’re going to keep your clientele engaged, because what we really want them to do is go through the content and all the way through peppering your next program.In a software, the programmers' side is always complex. In contrast, the users' side should be simple and effortless. Click To Tweet
It’s like, hey, if you like this, you’re going to love the next program. You want to build the enticement into your programs so that you’re constantly being able to up-level somebody’s knowledge and their capacity with the impact that you’re trying to create in their lives and the one that they want you to create in their lives. Does that make sense?
Yeah, absolutely. If someone is listening, saying, okay, I tried Infusionsoft and it was really convoluted. I didn’t get what I needed out of it, so I went with something much more simple. Let’s say it was Kartra or something like that, but then they miss out on a lot of the capabilities that Infusionsoft has.
How does Infusionsoft, versus Kartra, versus Ontraport, and all these other solutions, what’s the system look like? And when is it better to use an alternative to Infusionsoft instead?
Great questions. The first part of the question is when people decide to go off and go, hey, the biggest issue I see is my VA doesn’t like using this, so we’re going to change to something else, which to me is a terrible business concept because it just goes right out there. When your VAs are running your company and making business decisions that impact your long term deliverability of your products and services to your clients. That’s not where the decision making needs to happen for starters, but that’s what I’ve seen most often.
Second of all, when it does come to, hey, we really just need to back this down a little bit, we really don’t have that many clients, we really can do all of this stuff manually, it might make sense to be able to downsize it down and go, I’m totally cool with that, there are times when it actually makes sense. That’s fantastic.
Let’s say you’ve gone through that. You’ve built up again and for whatever reasons, you’re back again looking at, okay, we’re either getting dirty data, we’re losing leads, or something is broken in the system and it’s not working yet. Do we look at going back to Infusionsoft again or Keap Max Classic as it’s now called, which is a big business decision and it needs to have somewhere with all behind it. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve set up our business such that Brad can be hired out as a fractional CIO.
Because he has the expertise in software and business programs, we can go in and look at your entire business setup and say, okay, what are we trying to do here? What is the lifestyle you’re trying to create for yourself? Are you looking at this as an exit business? Are you looking at this as a lifestyle business? What are you trying to create here?
Okay, great, what up until now have you been doing to be able to market your business? Is it online? Is it door to door? How are you actually selling your products and services? Then we go through and look at the best practices of what’s going on in the market right now.
Obviously, in the last three years, marketing has changed substantially, everything from Facebook ads, to how people consume information, to how willing people are to give credit cards online. Everything has changed, and it’s going to continue to change.
We want to look at, okay, in this next year, what will your business look like? What are you wanting to put on? Are you wanting to put on live courses? Are you wanting to do group programs? Are you a bricks and mortar? Are you a plumber or a lawyer?
How you market businesses online varies as well. However, there’s still a component to getting your online leads, delivering those connections, and making sense for your business.
How you market all of those businesses online varies as well. However, there’s still a component there to, how are you getting your online leads? How are you delivering those connections? And what makes sense for your business?
Then, Brad gets to go through, take all of that data, analyze it, do his magic, and come back and say, okay, based on what you’re telling me, here’s what we recommend, here’s what your potential kind of cracks in this mentor, and here’s where we think this is going to stick, and this is what could be the best solutions for you.
Sometimes it sticks to exactly what you have. You might want to have another person in here doing customer service that’ll solve all your problems. And here’s how you would utilize that person. It’s not necessarily that we will go in and say, hey, Infusionsoft is the answer for everybody, because we know that’s not true.
If it is the solution, having your internal team take care of it, if they’re not technical, is not going to be recommended, because it is a complex system. It is logic-based, it is programming-based. We have found that if you’re not in that kind of high analytic abstract thinking kind of a personality, you’re probably going to hate it at the end of the day, and we get that.
That’s why we hire those kinds of people and we get them to look after it so that you just say, hey, I want to have this product, hey, I want it to be delivered online. What do I need? We need this, not the other thing. You give it to us, it’s done. It makes everybody’s life a lot easier.
You said programming-based. Can you give some examples of best practice implementation of Infusionsoft in a programming based sort of manner?
Yeah. As simple one is, let’s say you have an event coming up. It can be any kind of event, whether it’s a webinar or a live networking event, an open house, anything where you have an event coming up. When you’re promoting that event, you can say, hey, we have this event coming up, it’s going to be awesome, sign up for this event.
As soon as somebody signs up for that event, they should be taken out of that campaign and put into an upsell campaign. That might look like, hey, we see that you’ve registered for this event. Do you know about our VIP tickets? Our VIP tickets are fantastic. They’re limited to only so many people. You want to be able to highlight that VIP component to somebody, because there’s this concept in digital marketing that people can only make one decision at a time.
It’s not like going to the movies where you get to see the entire menu above, or do you want small, medium, large coke? People don’t make those kinds of decisions online. They make yes, no decisions. Do I want to go to this event or not? Yes, I want to go to this event. Great.
There’s a whole other level of sophistication I can get into with things like newsletters or adding people to certain campaigns.
Once they’ve purchased that ticket, if you keep bombarding them with, hey, we have this event coming up, hey, we have this event coming up, hey, we have this event coming up, they know that you have limited software that you’re promoting this with. It gets kind of annoying, especially if you’re sending out an email every day. Whereas if they’ve already bought the ticket and they move up into a VIP campaign, then that allows them to make another level of decision. They go, yeah, I want the VIP ticket. They buy it, you take them out of that campaign, and put them into a different campaign.
Most systems won’t allow you to do that because it’s based on date delays. There’s a whole other level of sophistication that I can get into with things like newsletters or adding people into certain campaigns based on the date that they arrived and or based on how they’re going in. A newsletter, which is just continuous and you’re just constantly adding people in unless they’ve opted out for that particular thing, you’re just basically going to keep adding people in.
Whereas if you have a course that starts on an annual basis, your intake is going to be based differently depending on when they sign up and join. Do you want them to get all of the past emails that have been sent out in that particular campaign, or do you just want to start them from here on and move on? All of those are very sophisticated decisions when it comes to software.
Can you give an example of a client that you were able to use some sophisticated approaches to or application of Infusionsoft to get an amazing outcome for them?
Do you have any examples of clients that you’ve implemented, a pretty sophisticated system for, and gotten them an amazing outcome, programming based stuff, tags, all that sort of cool stuff?
Absolutely. That one’s going to be hard to narrow down because we do it for all of our clients. I’ll use an example of somebody who is a speaker as well. But if your audience tends to be more of the trades or the professional entrepreneurs, things like that, let me know and I’m happy to give you examples of that as well.
It becomes really obvious in the public speaking realm because they tend to be doing a lot with their audience on a regular basis. Things like they will often have a three-day event three times a year. Oftentimes, those three-day events have a lead in that precedes them. They might have a five-day challenge, they might have webinars leading into it, they might have a series that might go from opt-ins to a five-day challenge that goes to a series of webinars that goes to the three-day event.
When you have all of these things, kind of one added on to the other, obviously, if your ideal client is playing along with you, when they opt in for the first opt in, which is odd to say, but when they first engage with you, you want to be able to take them out of that campaign, and then put them into the next campaign, and say, hey, if you’d like this, you’re going to love our five-day challenge that’s coming out.
Oh, you signed up for a five-day challenge? You know, it’s a lot of fun when you have friends that do it. Here’s your affiliate link. If you invite five people or whatever, we’ll give you a special acknowledgement at the beginning of the five-day challenge. Awesome. Keep engaging with them until the five-day challenge starts.
Once the five day challenge starts, if you have somebody that’s engaging in the process with you, and you want to acknowledge them and give them some extra bonuses, say, hey, we saw that you engaged before noon, we have some special tokens for you, then you gamify that challenge a little bit more. All of these things can only be done in a system that allows for logic-based integration of campaigns. It has to be able to take you out of one campaign, put you into another, and know that based on the clicks that you make, the transactions you make, the purchases you make, that you’re going to be sent into a different series.
One of the examples that we’d like to show is JVology, well, what used to be Mastermind To Millions. They have what we affectionately call the million dollar campaign. It is one of the most complicated campaigns Infusionsoft has ever done. They themselves used to use it as a demo of what can be done with the system.
If you have somebody engaging in the process with you, acknowledge them and give them some extra bonuses.
Basically, from the programmers’ side is a complex yes, absolutely it is. From the users’ side, it’s simple and effortless. It’s like going to an event and getting white glove treatment, because every step of the way, they know what your next move is. They’re anticipating your needs based on the decisions that you’ve made.
Have you ever thrown a wedding or been to a wedding, where when you look at it from the outside as a guest, everything’s gorgeous, it’s beautiful. The colors all match, the bride looks glowing and wonderful. Meanwhile, if you’ve ever run a wedding, behind the scenes is complete and total mayhem. People are running around, decisions are being made, and all that kind of fun thing. It’s kind of like that, except we do it all the time.
Were you ever a wedding planner?
Technically, I wasn’t a professional wedding planner, but I have the opportunity of planning many events, because it’s one of my fortes that I do for fun and not for pay, as odd as that may sound. Nobody does because it’s fun, but I do. Graduations, things like that, my niece’s wedding. Yeah, all sorts of fun things.
It sounds cool. What would be an example of a hot mess, a terrible disaster? It could be something where you came in and saved the day, or it could be something where the client decided to take control, or it was just a story you heard from somebody else in the mastermind. I’m curious to hear, what are some of the cautionary tales?
The biggest one that we have is when you’re looking at hiring one person to do something and like, can you do this? Oh, yeah, absolutely. When the yeah, absolutely comes a little too fast, that’s probably not a sound decision.
Oftentimes, people’s hot messes come to us. We actually love that kind of a referral. When we hear people going, oh, my God, again, this is terrible, this is my worst nightmare come true, that’s when we love to come in and save the day. For us, it’s just a matter of making sense of it again and putting all the pieces back together.
Oftentimes, before our clients come to us, they will have been ghosted by their tech, because they just didn’t have the capacity to understand what needed to be done and the wherewithal to put all of the pieces in place. There are a lot of moving parts going on, and we get that.
When somebody has put systems in place that where the tech owns the commodity instead of the client owning the commodity, they don’t own their own website, they don’t own their own platforms, they don’t own their own databases, they don’t own any of that information, and you know that that’s happening because you’re probably paying your tech directly for those services, those become a nightmare too, because being able to get access to them and to be able to create what the client wants when they want, it, is often a disaster.
There are times when we’ve just had to rebuild everything outside of their traditional systems. Sometimes they’ve had weeks to be able to do it. It’s like, we’re doing a three-day event in three weeks and we need this all done yesterday. We just come in and scramble, get stuff done, and make it happen so that they can go on, because you can’t just stop 200 people that have registered for something to say, oh, no, we’re not going to do it because our tech ghosted us. When you don’t want to say that too, you might not have the business ability to be able to just put that on hold.
When you’re looking at hiring one person to do something and the “yeah, absolutely” comes a little too fast, that’s probably not a sound decision.
When everything is basically gone, in that case, we were scrambling, we’re going back to old Excel sheets, we’re going back to phoneless, we’re going back to everything we could possibly muster together, get it all put back together, and try and make the most of it and say, hey, we’ve had some technical difficulties. If you’ve registered for this and haven’t got your confirmation email, let us know those sorts of things.
There are polite ways of doing it. You just have to be willing to do what you have to do in the moment to get things done, and then make them right in the end, and make sure that everybody knows what’s going on so that they can make logical decisions after that.
Do you do your own events, like your own three-day workshops or have your own mastermind, or anything like that?
I have not since we pivoted over from speaking into doing this as a service. One of the things was, at that time in about 2015 or so, we realized that we had to go online, and there’s a certain way that you have to market online. You have to basically have a message that solves a specific problem for your audience. Because I was doing personal development and success as a concept, we had to figure out what the niche was.
Whether I was choosing to teach people how to speak from stage, how to gain confidence, how to become a therapist, or whatever it was, we had to make a decision on what that was. I said, clearly, people have an issue with this. Clearly, people need some help with this, because we were masterminds with other business owners that were trying to get their businesses online and trying to make sense of the whole Frankenware and everything else.
I said, it just makes sense. If we’re going to pivot, let’s pivot into this Done-For-You service so that people are getting the services they need, and then the speaking and engaging that I’ll do is to promote our services company. Now, all of the speaking that I do is like podcasts and speaking from stage to the Done-For-You services.
In our experience, we want CEOs to understand conceptually what has to be done and to make the logical business decisions that they should be making as far as what software they want and what marketing do they want to lay out for the year, and then we just go and do our thing, and get it done for them. We’re not actually doing the three-day events at this point, although I am contemplating.
People are asking me to go and do the group coaching programs again just to be able to give entrepreneurs the information they need about the business strategies, about how to implement systems, about how to hire people, about what kind of psychology you need in order to create culture within your office, in your business. Clearly, I have an issue with just having too much to bring to the table and finding that one thing that I want to specialize in. That’s been my Achilles heel.
Give me a few examples of funnels that would be appropriate and helpful for a thought leader, whether it’s an author or a speaker, somebody who has a popular blog in their topic space, or if they maybe have a social media account that a lot of folks follow in a particular industry.
They’re thought leaders, but they don’t have any funnels. What sort of funnels other than like an opt-in to get a free book or some sort of lead magnet of some sort. Maybe it’s an old drip sequence. drip campaign, after that for seven days or something. Let’s say that that’s the extent of it. It’s just a newsletter plus an opt-in kind of drip campaign for people who sign up for an ebook or something.
Yeah. For thought leaders, the easiest way for them to be able to transition and grow their business, to me, is if you already have a successful opt-in campaign. People are already opting in. They’re getting anything, that’s fantastic.
I like to help people put into place their letter of ascension.
I like to help people put into place their letter of ascension. It’s basically, what are your products and services that you’re offering in order to be able to help people to get more accessibility to you? As they’re saying, yes, I like this conversation, I want to have more conversations with you, how do I get more of your time? How do I incorporate more of this into my life?
I compare it to a deflated beach ball. If you think of the deflated beach ball, on the bottom is your free opt-in. On the top of the beach ball is your one-on-one time. You can have a perfectly successful business just going from an opt-in, to a discovery call, to your one-on-one coaching. Awesome.
If that’s the lifestyle you want to create, awesome. Do that. I would say do that every day, but don’t do that everyday. Do that once a month or when you’re ready to do it. Get those one-on-one clients so that you’re satiating your income and your life balance. All of those things can work out fantastically.
If, on the other hand, you’re going, hey, I want to build some complexity into my business, then we start to inflate that beach ball. We start to create products and services within that beach ball, but your freebies are always on the bottom, your one-on-one time is always on the top, which is great for people that have issues increasing their fees year after a year, even though they should be, because now you’re giving value within that beach ball that allows somebody to take another step with you, but not necessarily consuming a lot of money on your one-on-one time.
That can be producing video series. You have an opt-in, it works. Great, make a couple of little five-minute videos that extrapolate on each point in that opt-in so that people can get your understanding of what you mean by that.
A lot of times, especially thought leaders, think that, well, because I think this way, everybody thinks this way. That’s totally not true. Because you think that way, you can pretty much guarantee that almost nobody thinks that way. We want to know how you interpret what you meant on that opt-in.
If you have five points on that opt-in, and now you have little mini five-minute videos on that opt-in, now you can package that up. Maybe it’s $49, awesome, and then you can extrapolate more and have maybe 20-minute videos or things like that, where now that I know what’s in those five-minute videos, what’s my next step? What kind of questions am I typically going to have?Marketing has substantially changed in the last several years- everything from Facebook ads, to how people consume information, to how willing people are to give credit cards online, etc. Click To Tweet
Now that you’ve solved this problem and I have a solution, what other problems am I going to have now? People say, well, we’ve solved their problem. No. Even if you’ve solved their problem and they’ve made money, now they have a money issue. Now they have money and they don’t know what to do with it. There’s always a next step as far as somebody who’s transitioned to being able to experience you more fully.
If you have the opt in, then we say, hey, we’d like to opt in. Now, you’re going to love my mini course on this. Hey, you like this? Now you’re going to love that. Each one of those becomes a nurture campaign, it becomes a confirmation campaign, it becomes a reminder campaign, it becomes an upsell campaign, where you’re going, hey, now that you’ve liked the mini course, you want to check out the master course or whatever it is. Those are the money making ones.
If you want to have other ones and engage people, you can have birthday campaigns, you can have anniversary campaigns, you can have how’s your dog campaign. Depending on what your business is, you can have a lot of them. Our goal is to make sure that you’re making money on those things, and then you start to release your feelers, if you will, on to the world, and then bring in and grow your market in other areas.
Do nine-word emails work well in your experience?
Especially now, absolutely. Nine-word emails, especially now, are fantastical. They’re like fairy dust. There are still places for the long email. They’re rare, but there are still places for those. People’s attention spans have trunk down to that of a nap, I mean if they were already at a nap before. I don’t know what they are now.
You’re doing epic if you can write an enticing email in nine words or less. If you can do that in three sentences or less, awesome.
I’m one of these people that I get an email and I will scan it. If you don’t bold the headline so that I can read bold, bold, bold, bold, and get the gist of the email, I don’t read the email. I am my own thermometer on the market, if you want to put it that way. If you can write an enticing email in nine words or less, you’re doing epic. If you can do that in three sentences or less, awesome.
If you can do that in five, maybe short sentences or less, that’s really where you want to be. We want to get to the point and do it. Again, there are times when you want to tell a story, and people are fascinated, and they want to know more of you. But they’re totally different end games, if you want to look at it that way.
Okay. If somebody wanted to drive traffic to a mini course and get some signups or if they wanted to do a five-day challenge and get some participants for that, what in your experience has been the best source of traffic? Is it Facebook ads? Is it Google ads? What traffic sources are really doing the best for your types of clients?
It really depends on what it is and where your audience is looking for. The difference, to me, between Facebook ads and Google ads, is Google tends to be where people are already looking for something. If you solve a problem that they’re looking for, like, how to build the shed, awesome, great. Put your ad on those and say, hey, we have a mini course coming up on how to build sheds. That’s perfect.
People typically scrolling through Facebook aren’t looking to grow a shed, although you might get some. It depends if that’s where your audience is. Personally, I would back up the bus quite a bit, because I find the biggest issue most people have.
They go, hey, I want to do this mini course, and I want to do Facebook ads, and we’re going to sell thousands of them, because I’m going to spend thousands of dollars on Facebook. Well, you’re guaranteed to spend thousands of dollars on Facebook, and that’s the end of that sentence. That’s the end of your guarantees.
What happens after that could be miraculous and things could work out. But more often than not, if you haven’t marketed that thing to your internal market and proven that those words catch people’s attention, that that nuance catches people’s attention, that that graphic catches people’s attention, then you’re not in a position usually to start throwing money at Facebook ads or Google ads.
What you want to do is get some attention, get some traction on it, get some feedback from buying people, not your mom’s opinion, not your brother-in-law’s opinion, not your kids opinion. Opinions are cheap. But when people pay for it and they say, hey, you know what would really get my attention is if you said X, say X, because they’re giving you money. Work on that and massaging those messages so that you know that you have something that works.
What works on Google might not work on Facebook. What works on Facebook might not work on YouTube, et cetera. Know where your audience is.
Just because you sold something that worked in the past and then you change, it doesn’t mean that this new thing is going to have the same impact. Each one needs to start at that level. Once you’ve done what we call an internal campaign and it becomes successful, you know that you have some traction on it, people are interested, they’re clicking on it, they’re buying it, then you can go to an external campaign, which means that you’re going to peers in your network that also connect with that same kind of an audience, and they’re able to get some traction on that as well.
Once you get traction on that external audience, then you can go to a cold audience, which is then your Facebook, your Google, and other advertising sources. Again, what works on Google might not work on Facebook. What works on Facebook might not work on YouTube, et cetera, et cetera. You really want to know where your audience is and what you’re doing.
Something like taking the same video from YouTube and thinking that you’re going to get the same reaction on TikTok is not there. It’s not going to happen. Just because somebody goes for information on YouTube, doesn’t mean that TikTok cares at all. If it’s not exciting, it’s not fun, it’s not 60 seconds worth of my time, if somebody’s looking at that going that 60 seconds, I’m never going to get back again, they’re going to be gone within the first three.
All right. What if our listener is interested in working with you and your team, how do you normally charge? How do you scope this stuff out? What’s a typical monthly spend for one of your clients?
Because this recording is going to be out infinitum, what we will charge today, in 2020, and what we will charge in 2023 or 4040, I don’t know. Assuming, of course, I’m around in 4040. What we want to look out first is where you are and what’s going on in your life. It’s being able to have a conversation with you and figure out where you are in your business. How much work do you want to put into this? How much work have you put into it? What’s been working? What hasn’t?
We have genuine conversations with our people to be able to help them to figure out what their next step is, regardless of whether we’re part of that picture or not. Sometimes that can be, hey, we have a tech assessment, go and check out the tech assessment. It could be, if it’s a larger company, maybe they need to look at our digital adoption roadmap. That’s being able to look at their entire company, what’s going on with that as far as workflow goes, and a whole lot more complexities.
Sometimes people don’t realize that they’re not in a position necessarily to market bigger, better, faster, because there are so many broken pieces after a lead comes in. We want to make sure that the whole system is working so that your leads turn into raving fans. The best place to start with us is to have a conversation with us, so go to awarenessstrategies.com.
We have some assessments on that page dynamic as we come up with more fun opt-ins, assessments, quizzes, things like that, and they’re becoming more and more pertinent. It’s not just a general business, strategy, and structure. It can be, what’s your online fundamentals? What are your tech fundamentals? What’s your branding like? All those sorts of fun things.
The best place to start with us is to have a conversation with us.
Whatever your business challenges right now, we should have some toys on there that you can go in. Check out and you’ll actually get back fundamental information that you can utilize right away, whether it’s giving it to your team or coming to me and having another discovery call and saying, hey, what do I do with this information? I’d love to help you out.
Give us an example of a client that’s done a challenge, like a five-day challenge, seven-day, 21-day challenge, it doesn’t matter. What’s the name of the challenge? What was the result of the challenge in terms of business impact for your clients? What went into the tech, like the tech stack and all the work effort, expense involved. Just kind of break that all down for us.
Do we have six more hours? I love to do an analysis of whatever you got going on. Happy to help, but a quick and easy example is JVology has five partners in five days. They will have JVology Live, which is a live three-day program that helps people to understand that step that I was talking about, about external challenges, memes, or external launches and being able to get other people promoting your software.
By the way, joint venture partners are the best. It’s like having somebody on 100% commission that already knows how to sell your product, they already have an audience, they already have a lot of things, you pay them commission, and it’s fantastic. If you ever get a chance to look at some of the joint venture programs that are out there, they’re awesome.
JVology in particular is the art and science of joint ventures. They also happen to be the perfect mix of people, fun, and profits. It’s a really fun three-day event, where you get to meet a ton of people. The lead into that is the five partners in five days. In this challenge, you’ll actually get to meet five people that will actually have the ability to be able to partner with you. They have your audience, they have everything. The whole challenge goes through who these people are.
The tech challenge with that is bringing people into the challenge, getting them ready. It’s a whole new vernacular. Just because somebody’s an entrepreneur and they’re in business, doesn’t necessarily mean they understand what a joint venture is. They don’t necessarily understand what affiliate is. There are a lot of words that have to be explained first.
What Jay does is before the challenge comes along, he has the lead-in into the challenge so that people get a chance to get some free information and consume that information in order to start understanding the words of what he’s going to be talking about in the challenge, which is super fun.
There’s a winner for people who are engaged.
That in itself is one campaign, then we have the campaign for the actual challenge itself, which then goes into—the involvement of that is every day, there’s a winner for people who are engaged. At the end of the day, those emails get updated for the next day saying, hey, here’s the winner, here’s what’s going on for those.
There are simplified ways of being able to create challenges and then there are more complex ways. The more complex ways usually entail a lot more live connection with people and who’s in that challenge at that particular time. That can then add to the robustness of the challenge that doesn’t necessarily have to be there, but sometimes you want it.
There are also leaderboards in the back end. If other people are promoting it, there’s an entire campaign that goes out to your actual affiliates that are promoting this, because not only are the front end people that are trying to find five partners in five days having their mind, there’s also the affiliates in the back end who are also competing to win against each other to bring in as many people as they can, to have as much fun with it, and to have as much engagement with those people as possible.
There’s a whole lot of moving plates in a more complex five-day challenge. That particular one then goes into a set of master classes to be able to take not only the people who have completed the challenge, now that they have five partners, now, what do you do with them now? Now, how do you keep them connected? Now, how do you work with them? These masterclasses help people move along that line.
Some people aren’t in the challenge and they still want to participate in the masterclasses. Now there’s another promotional campaign that will go out to the rest of the list that wasn’t participating in the five-day challenge, as well as other partners might not have been able to join in the five-day challenge, they’re now able to join in the master classes, and likewise, all the way up to the live event.
I know some of you, I’ve lost you already, and I totally get that. It becomes an issue of, how big is your audience? How many people do you want to involve? How many affiliate partners do you have? It’s okay if those numbers are super small, then we start super small.
The issue is when you start to get bigger and you go, okay, we have some traction here, people obviously love this, how do we keep them engaged more? How do we get them doing the exercises that we want them to do? You want to make that as lively as possible, even though clearly, it’s all digital and on a computer.
The fun part of working with creative people and thought leaders is that they are very creative. We come up with new ideas, like, hey, why don’t we do this? Hey, how do we do that? Our job is to follow them holding on to their codes first and trying to figure out the tech as we go along behind them.
How many clients are you managing at this point in time? How big can you get? Are you doing 100 different clients now and you can scale all the way to 300, or you’re at 15 and you can go to 20, or you’re 50,000 and you could go to 100,000?You have to be willing to do what you have to do to get things done. Make sure that everybody knows what's going on so that they can make logical decisions after that. Click To Tweet
We have three, and we really like to grow them. I’m kidding. Totally depends on the size of our clients. Solopreneurs are obviously easier to manage, because they don’t tend to do a lot less than their business. What I like to call the serialpreneurs that are in the habit of creating seven and eight-figure businesses, they tend to have a lot more going on. However, they tend to have the conversation down path so that they can hand something out, it gets done, and we move forward.
They tend to be as easy to work with as the solopreneurs, just in a different sort of way. Then we have the multimillion dollar corporations. We have full time people in place for them. They tend to look like the Indiana Jones movie. Poor Indiana, he’s just going through the caves, down the gutters, and around trying to avoid boulders. That’s kind of what it’s like holding them.
For those guys, we have a limited capacity to be able to run with them. We have a much greater capacity to be able to run with the solopreneurs in the serialpreneurs. My goal is to have a team of 50 ideally by the end of the year. Obviously, we want to have the clientele to be able to fulfill that.
At this point, we have run large teams before, so our ability to grow and grow those teams is already there, and we have the wherewithal to be able to do so. I’m looking forward to taking on a whole lot more clients and being able to nurture them one on one.
Are you running Facebook ads or Google ads to fill your funnels and get more leads turning into clients on your side?
At this point, we are not. We are filling our connections with things like podcasts and one-on-one referrals right now, because people at this point in our business, are still tending to want that one-on-one conversation. However, by the time somebody listens to this, it makes your face all over the place, which would be wonderful and delightful.
How many podcasts have you guested on so far?
How many have I guested on? I’m going to say it’s probably about 200 at this point. I loved the whole guest side of things. I now run five podcasts myself. It’s one of my favorite things to do to meet people internationally, only five. Needless to say, my team takes care of everything after recording hits stop.
I have a team that does the same, but still, with two podcasts, that’s two hours of recording a week on average. I’m usually ahead at least several months, so I might have three or four hours of recording. Even though I’m not doing anything else, maybe just quickly looking over the options of the titles that my team comes up with, because one of the most critical things to a good podcast is good titles.
Other than that, yeah, it’s been very little time. Just coming up with those hours for the recordings and then the intros and outros to go with it, I can’t imagine doing five. That seems insane. Are you getting the ROI from that?
For starters, mine are a little shorter. Mine are only half. My podcasts are only about half an hour each, so there’s that. I would like to say that I’m a closeted extrovert, but there’s no closets involved. I love talking to people all day.
Basically, we record our conversations. Most of them are all business-related, because I love talking about strategy, I love helping people to be able to wrap their mind around business and how it works, this thing called life, and being able to navigate it well, enjoying the white rapids as they approach, and just being able to take on life. It is really an opportunity for me to be able to meet people internationally, have fantastic and deep conversations, and allow other people around the world to join us.
One of my biggest frustrations as a kid was—I grew up just on the outskirts of a city, so I could see the city, but I didn’t get to go and play in the city as much as I really wanted to. To be podcasting is, even though you could be in the middle of Kansas, in Nowheresville, as long as you have the internet, you can get on a podcast. You can eavesdrop on some phenomenal conversations about phenomenal things, whether it’s about calving, running a business, or supernatural.
Everything is available to you. You have this huge capacity, and that’s the stuff that jazzes me. I just absolutely adore having awesome conversations. The more I can bring in other people, it just gives me goosebumps and I get super excited about it.
Speaking of goosebumps, did you say supernatural a minute ago? Do you know a podcast about the supernatural?
I do not. I’m just saying, in the podcasting world, there isn’t anything you can think of that there isn’t a podcast on. If you can think of something that there are no podcasts on, it’s probably a great opportunity to start a podcast on underwater baskets.
I know we’re running up to time here. Do you have an affiliate program? If so, how did you end up coming up with that or creating that? What was the impetus for it? Give us more details around it.
Absolutely, we do. Our whole thing, especially with Infusionsoft in particular, is using affiliate marketing as a thing because it’s fantastic, awesome, and flexible. If you go to awarenessstrategies.com/partner, you can sign up as a partner to affiliate with us. If you’re already a partner, you can scroll to the bottom of that sheet and there’ll be a link to awarenessstrategies.com/partner login, which will then allow you to access all of your information.
One of the best parts, to us, about Infusionsoft’s back end on its affiliate program is you get to see all of the pages that we have set up as specific affiliate logins. If there’s one of our programs that you’re like, oh, yeah, you guys need to do a tech blueprint, go to this link. We can give you a link specific to you that you can share with your clients, your friends, your peers, whatever, and be able to get commission on those.Just because you sold something that worked in the past doesn't mean that this new thing is going to have the same impact. Click To Tweet
The way we structure it is the first person in is the one that gets paid commission, which is slightly different than some, but our conversations tend to be a little different than most. If you’ve introduced somebody and six months later, they go, hey, that link that you gave me, can I still use that? The answer is yes. They go, if they already went in, they’ll still be tagged as yours.
Basically, whatever interactions they have with us, we pay a 10% commission on. We absolutely love referrals. We love having the right audience and things like this. You should have our affiliate link. Ignore everything I’ve said about links and go use the links in the description, because then, Stephan gets noticed that, hey, I heard your podcast, you got some intention, and that’s awesome.
If nothing else, we’d like to say thank you very much. We appreciate you putting our voice out so that other people could be interested in it. It may not be for the money that some people do it. It’s just the pat on the back or the, hey, people noticed. Great. We’ll keep doing that
The work percentage of your business comes through affiliates.
I would have to say, at this point, 100% of them, because if it hasn’t been from a referral affiliate, it’s been from speaking on stage or from podcasts or from. We always basically find a way to pay somebody that introduced us to whoever we’re working with.
I know that I don’t live on an island. If the people I’m talking to aren’t necessarily interested, somebody is. We figured out a way to make that happen. Even if it’s networking events, we’ll then donate money to that networking event so that they have money for socials or things like that.
Got you. All right, cool. If you could share your website address again and whatever socials you’re most active with so that our listener or viewer can follow you, and learn from you, and potentially work with you.
Absolutely. My name is Michelle Nedelec. I am one of five of us, but I’m the only one that speaks English. If you end up somewhere where they’re speaking French, it’s about me. If I’m speaking English, it is me. You can go to awarenessstrategies.com.
Again, go to awarenessstrategies.com/partner. Sign up as an affiliate just so that you can see how it all works and then go and click on the links. We’ll be sure to connect you with Stephan. We’ll get you all the information that you need to be able to build your business.
What social platform are you most active on?
Most active on Facebook, although, of course, even LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube. We’re starting TikTok. It’s just terrifying for me. I will be honest on that one.
Thank you very much for joining us, Michelle, for sharing your wisdom. Great stories. Listener, I hope you learned a lot, and will apply some of this stuff in your business, and get lots of ROI. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Have strong leadership and decision-making skills. Don’t allow my VAs to make decisions for my business that can impact the long-term deliverability of my products and services to my clients.
Look at the best practices in the market that I can apply to my business. These practices are the best ways to do things and have been worked out through trial and error and are the most sensible way to proceed in business.
Hire the right team for my business. Getting the right employees on board ensures they grow with me – contributing to my overall success as a business and reducing the need to hire again and again for each new leadership position I may develop down the line.
Create a marketing campaign that will highlight the VIP component of my product or service to my clients. This will allow my clients to decide when to upgrade their product or service.
Define my message that will target a specific audience. Targeted messaging speaks directly to a defined audience. It also differentiates my business in the eyes of my audience from my competitors and improves my approach to future campaigns I might launch.
Use a 9-word email to catch the attention of my audience. If done well, a 9-word email works like magic. There are always potential customers among my stale leads. This strategy is a quick path to re-engagement.
Learn to adapt to the changing industry. The strategy that worked for me in my past products and services might not work with my new products and services. Strategize new ways that will capture the attention of my current and potential clients.
Ensure my campaign system is fully working so that leads can become clients. Unfortunately, there are times when a campaign is not working because of some broken pieces in the campaign after the lead comes in.
Get feedback from my clients. Client feedback guides customer experience improvements and can empower positive change in any business.
About Michelle Nedelec
Michelle Nedelec has over 20 years of experience in Executive Coaching, working with clients ranging from 8 figures to solopreneurs. Michelle runs the creative side of her Infusionsoft Done-For-You Marketing Tech services company helping entrepreneurs set up and maintain their Infusionsoft (Keap Max Classic) through her company, Awareness Strategies at AwarenessStrategies.com.