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5 Key Takeaways from #ICON that will Skyrocket your Business

Patrick at FuseDesk eventEvery year Infusionsoft holds an annual user conference called ICON (shortened from InfusionCon) where software users, business experts, programmers, and marketing gurus all collaborate for 3 days in sunny Phoenix, AZ.

This year marks our 3rd straight trip to the conference, and I wanted to share my key takeaways that will have the biggest impact on your business.

#1 – Focus on Fundamentals.

As business owners, it’s exciting to gobble up the new strategies, “ninja tricks”, and hottest-off-the-press guru advice on how to grow your business. We’re all addicted to shiny objects.

However, Casey Graham (last year’s Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer) had some great advice on focusing to grow your business. His model is to stick to your “ABC’s”

A = Attract Traffic. How are you letting people know your business exists to solve their problem? Today we have seemingly infinite ways to get the word out there – social media, google ads, social ads, email newsletter placements, print mail, and on and on… but I really liked Casey’s advice: Focus on ONE thing until you’re absolutely crushing it.

For your business maybe that one thing is Facebook ads. Spend your attention on that ONE thing testing and tweaking until it’s really dialed in for your business and producing great results. Put the blinders on and ignore every other way to get traffic for right now, and just focus on making one work really well.

B = Build the List. Even if email marketing isn’t quite as effective as a few years ago, it’s still the fastest way to directly reach your customers without going through a third party. List = Money. How effective are you converting visitors into leads? Focus on improving your sign up conversions. Again, focus on simple — pick one particular lead magnet idea and tweak it until it works, then move on.

C = Convert Sales. How much money did we make today? If you aren’t tracking your revenue on a regular basis, you won’t know which direction the business is heading. How effective is your sales process? Test test test and get this converting so that you know with confidence that if you pay $XX in advertising dollars to acquire a new customer, you’ll see a positive ROI.

Casey’s motto to the team when things seem overwhelming: “When there is too much to do, ABC’s will be my cue.”

#2 – Don’t Neglect Offline Marketing

Gonz Medina and Jason Heslop from Blue Chip Wrestling shared some killer strategies they are using to boost offline marketing efforts. In one particularly effective strategy, they have a process that offers free bumper stickers to new leads after signing up for their 10% off “Takedown Club” membership.

These potential customers LOVE the stickers so much that they post them all over Blue Chip’s social media channels. It’s a great example of built-in virality by giving away some great free stuff. And you can bet that those sticker-wielding prospects are primed to buy from Blue Chip as soon as they see an offer they like.

#3 – Everyone on your List is NOT Created Equal

Jermaine Griggs (Infusionsoft Ultimate Marketer from a few years ago) is a master of “database marketing” – simply put – figuring out which people on your list of prospects and customers are most likely to do business with you again.

“RFM” (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) marketing can sound complicated when trying to wrap your head around the concept, but in essence it’s a matter of figuring out who you should be spending your time, attention, and money on to generate the best business results.

The simple takeaway from this is to spend more of your time calling your customers who have spent the most money with you to see what else you can do for them, and make sure that customers who bought most recently from you don’t go too long between purchases.

A recent customer is one of the most valuable people in your business!

Another key benefit of RFM analysis in your business is knowing WHEN to offer discounts and promotions for your offers. A customer who just bought something from you, or has been steadily buying from you (like a membership site subscriber), probably doesn’t need an extra discount to continue purchasing from you – discounting here may just be leaving money on the table. On the other hand, a customer who hasn’t bought for several months is likely on the way out and can be “saved” by a perfectly timed promotion targeted just to them.

#4 – Solving Problems the RIGHT Way

Simon Sinek gave an incredible talk about true leadership and the power of “WHY” in your business. If you haven’t seen his TED talk, it’s well worth your time.

However my favorite “aha” moment of his talk came from an almost off-the-cuff remark. He gave the analogy of a person trying to get into better shape. If you’ve ever started working out, you probably noticed that one day in the gym provides basically unnoticeable results. Same with day 2, day 5, maybe even day 10. However, if you’re working out consistently and compare your pictures from day 0 to day 90, you’ll likely see a HUGE impact.

How often in business are we “trying to solve a consistency problem with intensity“. This is the equivalent of going to the gym and working out for 12 hours straight – you’ll just end up exhausted and possibly injured. This doesn’t work in business either. True growth requires consistently taking the right actions that move the needle.

#5 – Is the Benefit INCREDIBLY SIMPLE?

JJ Ramberg – host of MSNBC’s weekend business program “Your Business” – talked about quite a few business stories she has encountered in her interviews of small business owners.

My favorite was the story of Zingle – a company that helped sandwich restaurant patrons place order via text message instead of standing in a long line at lunchtime waiting to order.

The value proposition makes so much sense – no one enjoys spending time waiting in line, especially busy office workers who only get a short lunch break.

Zingle was free to use, but for some reason their adoption rate was abysmal. Why? Their ad in the store ordering line was awful – it nearly took a magnifying glass to read and failed to convey what the offer was about.

After a quick re-think, they published a new ad that was SIMPLE, with BIG FONT and took only about 1 second to understand why you should use their service. Like magic, orders immediately started coming in.

As a business owner, it’s easy to get lost in the features of our product and forget that the prospect has no idea we exist or why they should care. Ask yourself “Would my Grandma understand this??” – if you can answer a resounding YES, you’re on the right track.

Putting Ideas into Action

What ONE thing can you take away from this article and apply to your business by the end of this week? I’d love to know – leave your comment below on your action plan!

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Comments

  1. ABStanfield says:

    Love this recap, Patrick, since I wasn’t able to attend. I especially appreciate Simon Sinek’s point. It’s something I tell my clients all of the time. Keep the list warm and, if you neglect it, don’t try to push everything in a single email.

    • PatrickConley says:

      Thanks Alyson! You’re so spot on, you can’t make up for months of radio silence in one email :)

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