[June 2018 Growth Report] Revenue, Lessons Learned, & All The Juicy Details…

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  • This month, we crossed the $5,000 mark in our sales and saw a 3% increase in revenue
  • We crossed 34,000 visits, and saw about 1,300 new email subscribers for the month
  • There are some exciting new projects on the horizon, but extra encouragement came this month from my ability to influence a friend with my remote-work lifestyle and overall success story

Mariana: Hi, Matthew. How are you?

Matt: I’m doing well.

Mariana: Good. Do you have a time for us because I want to interview you again for your growth report?

Matt: Absolutely. That’s why we’re here, right?

Mariana: Yeah, for the month of June.

Matt: Right. So, we’re two days into July as of this video, and this is going to be the growth report for last month, June 2018. So, let’s do it.

Mariana: Yeah, let’s start. My first question is, what were your top wins this past month?

Matt: Top wins for this month–let me go ahead and share my screen here. Give people a visual reference. All right. So, I just shared the screen, are you able to see it?

Mariana: Yeah, we can see it.

Matt: Getting a little feedback in the background, all the Colombians are playing. I think they just closed school or something. So, what you see on screen right now is the biggest win that I’m most proud of and one to talk about on this video for the month of June, a small milestone. We crossed the $5,000 mark and, you’re looking at the gross tally of sales of the different days of the month.

We were really busy this month. We had a personal friend who came to visit and, we were going out with her a lot, doing a lot of touristy things which we hadn’t really done since we’ve been here as much. And in the beginning of month two, I was really just working. I was ramping up, getting into a better schedule. It looked very uncertain if we were going to actually be able to cross this mark of $5,000, or actually show growth for this month.

But we were able to do it. Thanks to the fact that we have a solid funnel that gets more and more solid every month. And it’s great to report; it’s not a big growth number like last month with a 27% increase in revenue. This month is only 3%. But, I’m really happy to report that we’re still consistently growing, five months out of the gate from when we officially became a product business.

Mariana: It seems like the more you watch Netflix, the more you hang out with friends, the more you go out, the more time you spend not working… what’s going on there? Because in the past month you were telling us that you were watching a lot of Netflix, playing video games, and you were not working so much. And things really got better…

Matt: Yeah.

Mariana: …with your business. So, what do you think is happening there? I bet people want to know that.

Matt: Yeah. I think it’s two things. The first thing is that, the time when I am working, I’m practicing what we preach here at AutoGrow in terms of a systematic approach to marketing. And because it’s systemic, we’re using our marketing funnel as leverage to actually cause growth that continuously grows.

I think the second thing is that there’s a popular theory that work to expands to the time that you give it. So, for example, I would say that I averaged about two hours of work per day during the week this past month. And so, I worked very little in the beginning of the month and towards the middle, especially when we were hanging out with my close college friend, and we were showing her around the city and doing lots of fun touristy things. We went to Comuna 13 which is this little town, and we got a big history tour of all this graffiti art which is really cool. We went on the Pablo Escobar tour. We tried some new food, which was just awesome. We went to museums and saw some art.

And while we’re doing all this, the funnel was working. And then, after she left, I kind of buckled down and was working more consistently every day. That’s really the power of the funnel framework that we’re using. And it’s also the power of these videos–holding myself and the company accountable to our audience to actually show that we know what we’re talking about, and that what we teach works. We’re always learning. What we do works and it leads to consistent growth.

Speaking of which, you know, another win for this for this past month is that we crossed 34,000 visits–almost 34,500 visits. I want to share my screen quick here so you can see that.

And in other news, while I’m doing that, we also saw a growth in our email list. It was pretty consistent, no big uptick there. There really hasn’t been a lot of focus on growing the email lists recently. But it’s about 1,300 new subscribers added for the month. And that’s all from organic traffic, you can see there are 34,500 visits. I think they were gonna put a much heavier focus on traffic coming up, but we haven’t really put a heavy focus in recent months on growing traffic or growing the email list. But again, that’s just a testament to the power of the funnel.

Most of our focus in recent months has been at the bottom of the funnel in terms of sales conversions, but because it’s a system and we’re working that system, it still pays off at other levels of the funnel, too. We’re still doing the activities and little processes that are running at the different levels of the funnel.

So, those effects are still compounding and they’re still having this effect at the top of the funnel, with traffic for example. Putting out quality content that gets better with time and a promotion process that has gotten better with time, too, for that content. And then, for the email lists–those wins continue to add up to more traffic, and the higher conversion rate that we get from A/B tests that we might be running, for instance.

Mariana: Good. What about the mistakes learned in this past month?

Matt: Mistakes and lessons learned. Well, our server crashed the morning we sent out an important email to our entire email list, I think. We were sending a newsletter for this new piece of content that we had come out with, and every time that happens, we see a nice spike in sales because people are reading the content. New people are coming to the website that way as well, people are sharing it. So, there’s a lot of activity happening at that point.

We also did another relaunch of the Six-Figure Sales Funnel training this month. And we did it manually because we’ve tried to automate it to evergreen, but it wasn’t really authentic. We wanted to make it genuinely an event for our subscribers who are interested in the free training that we put out associated with that.

Also we want to make it genuine by having doors open and doors closed. We want to keep it exclusive–this is our most premium product. But when we sent out our critical email on the same day as that newsletter, the entire server had gone down for a technical reason. We’re currently moving to a new server right now, and that’s going to lay a really solid tech foundation for us for the long term. We’ve got some exciting projects coming up in terms of tools, for example, that were going to be coming out with. But, yeah–don’t work on the server when you have big emails coming out. That was lesson learned, a big lesson learned.

Another thing–interesting anecdote here. We had all of this feedback from previous launches of the Six-Figure Sales Funnel. I paid money for people to do user testing of the sales page for that because I want to figure out, what can we do better? How can we grow it more? And it turned out that every user that actually tested that sales page said, something like, “Woof, it’s too long, you’ve got to shorten it.”

And so we tried that last month, and sales weren’t as high as we expected them to be. We had not only a shorter sales page that was probably about a third of the length. It was still pretty long, 2,000 or 3,000 words still, but it wasn’t the 6,000-word length of the original sales page.

But what happened is that the videos were shorter, too, five- to seven-minute videos leading up to the launch. But that didn’t perform as well, and so this month, we said, “Okay, let’s do it again this month. Let’s do it with a longer video format and the original copy from the longer sales page.” And sales grew by 30%, or 33% actually. So, conventional wisdom would say, you have to always listen to user testing. But in this case, conventional wisdom was wrong. The longer sales page actually converted significantly better. And the longer, more in-depth videos.

Mariana: Okay. What’s next for next month? What are your plans for next month? Any new projects?

Matt: Well, we’re actually going back to New York tomorrow night, so that’s exciting. We have to figure out a new office and working situation. And we really need to get serious as a business, as a product business about recurring revenue now.

Every month these videos help to keep me and the business accountable, because I have to get on here and I have to show like, okay, what are we doing? What have we learned? Have we grown? And that motivates me to actually make sure that we’re growing every month and that we’re practicing what we preach, and that we’re moving forward.

But the scary thing is–I think a lot of other product owners can relate to this if you’re selling info products or services–without recurring revenue aspects, revenue is less predictable. You’re starting from zero, if you will, every month. So, we want to solve that problem. And I’m not sure exactly how we’re going to do it yet. We’re looking at some ideas. We’re considering a membership offer where you get access to everything for a monthly fee. And if you’re interested in that as a customer, as a student of any of our training, I’d love to hear from you. We’ll look to your feedback on that.

The other idea is coming out with tools. That’s a bit more of a long-term play though. And other wins that we had this month–we watched all of the John Hughes movies, which is great. But we did not play as many video games as we would have liked, so I think that we’ll try to prioritize that starting tonight.

Mariana: Yeah. Have you been doing something else for fun?

Matt: Just hanging out with you and just going out a lot. I mean, is there something I’m forgetting?

Mariana: I don’t think so.

Matt: Okay. Yeah.

Mariana: Is there something else that you’re working on right now? Something that’s going to be coming up next? New project?

Matt: No. Really just the tools and figuring out the recurring revenue thing–a big priority. Oh, and we also have a big opportunity. I have a friend here, a fellow entrepreneur, and he has a multi-million dollar online training business. He actually wants to white label all of our products as it relates to sales funnels for his audience. So, we’re actually looking at partnering with him to do that.

I don’t want to lose focus on the progress that we’re making and the momentum that we have. But at the same time, it’s potentially a really great short- and long-term opportunity to learn a lot, to have a new case study that I can teach to our audience. And the revenue that we would gain from that can be reinvested into the business to make us that much better. Bring on new people to the team and perhaps roll out our other products that we’re thinking of faster.

Mariana: Is there something else you want to add, something important about this month?

Matt: Well, I’ll say this. I had my close college friend here visiting, we’ll call her Sam. And I mentioned this in a Matt-Hack video recently too. But the last night that she was here we were talking a lot, we were kind of comparing numbers and I can understand why she was so risk because she wants to leave her job as a lawyer. We met in college, and she went down her path because she knew that she wanted to be a lawyer from the age of 10. And I went my path because I discovered entrepreneurship in college and I knew that that’s where I wanted to go.

But her coming to visit here, she’s kind of seen the effects of being able to work from anywhere, from being able to make your own work schedule, as well as having consistent income, thanks in large part to the marketing funnel that we’ve set up. It’s been an ongoing conversation. She asked me the other day, “How do you get started? Isn’t it scary?” Because we started the business as a service business, we were an agency back in 2010. The US was at the bottom of the Great Recession, as it’s now called. And she was like, “Take me back to then. What was your mindset?”

And I really understood that she was just asking, how do you get over that fear? How do you deal with that? And I think the way that you deal with it is to realize that, number one: there’s no such thing as job security. If you want job security, the best thing that you can do is learn how to sell. Because for me, that changed my life. That made me see the world differently. And it gave me job security in the sense of, I’m able to provide value, and frame that as something to people that is valuable that they’re willing to pay money for. The company will never have to want for income in order to grow. And I think that’s the truth of it. And she said, “Yeah, thanks for that, I really appreciate that.”

Mariana: Thank you, Matt. I hope to see you in a month again to hear more about your business, and all of your revenues, and your new projects. Now from New York.

Matt: Yeah.

Mariana: But looking forward to it.

Matt: Sounds good. Thanks for watching guys. We’ll see you in New York. Have a good month. And we will see you soon.

Mariana: Bye.

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