Revenue UP 22%, but can we continue the trend?

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  • In this month’s AutoGrowth report, I discuss how we were able to increase revenue by 22%.
  • Also in this video is the importance of stopping, reassessing your systems, and making a change if necessary to drive better results.

Matt: Hello. This is the growth report interview for February into March. Let’s get it going. What’s the first question, Mariana?

Mariana: I want to ask you, what were the top wins for this past month?

Matt: Well, I guess I’ll start by saying that revenue growth would be the number one win. We saw sales increase by 22%. In February, we made $2,852, and we increased that by $623. For the month of March, we made $3,475 and had a 22% increase. That would be the biggest win. It’s not as exciting as saying, “well, we tripled revenue,” which is what we did from January into February, but it’s still a nice improvement.

The other wins are that we generated, on average, 44 new email subscribers per day, or about 1,364 subscribers. Traffic was flat, but depending on how you measure it, it either grew by 8% or, if you measure it kind of month-to-month or day-to-day where, you count about 31 days compared to March, traffic shrank by about 3% depending on, again, how you count it. Remember too that February was a shorter month with only 28 days.

Other than that, I would say wins are just getting the Sales Funnel Diagram Pack done, so 29 diagrams were created.

We hired a new editor and made a successful transition from our previous editor, who has gone off to start her own productized agency. She’s really applying a lot of what she learned from working with me and the rest of the team here at AutoGrow, so that’s pretty cool. Maybe she’ll be a case study someday in the near future.

Another huge win is that, if you saw the previous video for February, refund requests have just dropped. We’re getting basically no refund requests now, and that’s a huge win as well because it says that we’re doing something right. Customers are getting more value and we’re getting more of the right customers who want to take action.

Other than that, we’ve gotten some new testimonials. I can read one of them here if you think you’d want to hear it.

Mariana: Yeah, sure.

Matt: Okay. So, this is from Kathi Rabil at the marketing agency Slice Works. She is a student of the Six-Figure Sales Funnel training. Kathi said,

“Investing in your Six-Figure Sales Funnel training program has been a big change for us as a business, giving us a new direction and focus to our business. We’ve gotten our first client out of our new marketing automation service, and are very excited to be getting started.”

So, testimonials like this, she left it in the form of a comment actually, really make my day. It’s wonderful to hear when students of our products are actually getting results. I suspect we’ll be getting many more case studies coming in very soon since we’re setting up some systems to help with that. Other than that, we’re getting some really good compliments and questions from our audience. People are asking questions, and that helps me to make better Matt Hack videos. So those are all the wins.

Mariana: What were some mistakes and lessons learned?

Matt: Okay, mistakes and lessons learned. So, I’ll start with the refund requests and why they dropped to pretty much zero now. I think it’s because we are super clear with our refund policy, where we either have a 30-day or a 60-day money-back guarantee with some terms attached to that. Pretty much all the refund requests were coming in for the $1 one-week trial, which, as you know, I implemented in January and early February because we really wanted to see as much flow coming through our funnel as possible.

Although that was kind of smart in spirit, in practice it wasn’t because it meant that it created an adversarial relationship with some of our customers who would request their money back after the refund period had already expired. We had to kind of figure out what the policy should be for that.

I think that unfortunately—and no offense to any of those students that took up that $1 one-week trial—but I think because it was so cheap, you don’t take it as seriously. Furthermore, I think it was something that was devaluing what the training is actually worth. We just removed it entirely and refunds have dropped to pretty much zero at this point.

It’s a great feeling because that gives us more time to focus on helping our existing students who have questions about the training and making new products. So that would be one really big mistake or lesson learned from that. Creating a quality funnel takes time, and for the last two weeks of March, we spent all of our time really creating and investing our time in this new funnel that we’re basically just starting to slowly roll out now in April.

It was just kind of a nice reminder to see that. Completely recreating the Sales Funnel Checklist lead magnet is just kind of a reminder to me of how much work you really need to put into something if you want it to be high-quality. I’m really proud of it.

We’re going to launch it formally to our email list this month. We’re just polishing a few more things in it. It includes some free video training, so that’s the other thing that took some time to put together and make sure was really solid.

Other than that, I think the final mistake or lesson learned from this month would be the Matt Hacks. I actually I got to a point one Friday where I was honestly just like, “F this.” I’m so frustrated from doing these videos. It felt like I was just forcing them.

I mean, you saw me, I was complaining about them non-stop. I hated the feeling of just banging out these videos like, four in a day, four times a week, as it just felt robotic. I felt like I wasn’t being my best self on camera, and I hate that expression “best self,” but anyway, it didn’t feel natural. I didn’t feel like I was able to connect with the audience on an authentic level and give the best information that I could because I was just trying to rush through to get it done.

One of the three core values I’m building AutoGrow on is continuous self-improvement. The second is honoring your ability to create, and the third is enjoyment. Enjoyment is important for creating a business that’s sustainable, where people love to come to work and they work hard.

So I pulled back. I didn’t do the Matt Hacks for about two and a half weeks. Part of the reason I pulled back was because we originally started making these videos as a “top of the funnel” type of tactic, if you will, to grow the traffic we were getting. That didn’t really happen. When I looked at the numbers, the Matt Hacks only made up about 5% of our total traffic. I then felt that it really didn’t make sense to do them because I wasn’t enjoying the process.

However, it seemed like people are getting value from them. We were getting comments on the videos and on the articles, and people were clicking, but it only made up a very small portion of our traffic. So I stop it them for the time being to kind of reflect a bit.

The next week, when we didn’t have any Matt Hack videos come out, from one week to the next, I learned that at least 66% of our sales were coming from the Matt Hacks videos. The week before when we had the videos running, we were generating $1,600 in revenue versus the week where we did not have them running, we generated a third of that. It went from $1,600 to about $500 or $600.

I was like, whoa. That a “whoa” moment. I finally got the real value of these videos. It further underscores the importance of “big doors swinging on small hinges.” It was kind of a cool lesson, and now I’ve actually restarted the videos and I’m doing about one per day. I’m just kind of going off of audience questions, which I find more enjoyable, and I think the audience is starting to like it more, too. It’s more about feeling good about making them and not trying to rush through them, and really putting quality over quantity in terms of the videos. They’re getting better and better, and it’s exciting.

Mariana: I really like your Matt Hacks videos, by the way.

Matt: Oh, thank you.

Mariana: What’s next this month?

Matt: I think I should trademark that, you know, my name is Matt Ack in the Matt Hat delivering your daily dose of Matt Hacks. I should trademark that. That’s what I say at the end of every Matt Hacks video, in case you haven’t seen it. Anyway, can you repeat your question?

Mariana: I asked you what’s next for this month?

Matt:  I’m actually making a series of training videos to go with each of the funnel diagrams and our Sales Funnel Diagram pack. I’m almost done with those. It’s really kind of cool making these, because for anyone who is going to be investing in the Sales Funnel Diagram Pack, it’s kind of like downloading a nice chunk of all the knowledge that I have for these different funnels and how they work and how they flowed together from one step to the next.

We’re going to finish that, then we’re going to launch that to our email list, which is very exciting. I think it’s a more compelling offer than just offering the diagrams by themselves. With the included video, it just takes the offer to a whole other level. After that, we are also going to be launching our new Sales Funnel Checklist. We’ve created two unique versions of it, which is more compelling as well because we found that our audience falls into really two categories: product-based businesses or service-based businesses.

We created two versions of the funnel checklist, one for products and one for services. When we launch that, we’re going to include some free video training as well, like I mentioned. We’ll be launching that this month.

Other than that, we’re hiring a new developer. I’ll bring a new designer on as well. We’re moving to a more scalable, super-fast server for our website because we have some longer-term plans in the works where we want to be on a really scalable server that can easily handle 10 times more traffic than what we’re getting right now. Other than that, we’re just revamping and continuously polishing our existing survey funnel and other funnels.

Mariana: Last month, you mentioned that managing stress was a factor. What’s the update with that?

Matt: The update is that this month, I feel better. I feel a little less focused this month. I think that’s in part because we’ve had this process from the beginning of the year, where each week we had a focus, for example, traffic one week, email subscribers the next week, sales and upsells the following two weeks. That worked to create a focus, kind of like a forcing mechanism, where you have just one core focus each week. The problem was that some tasks would inevitably just bleed into the next week, and that has gotten to the point where I think we’ve had to kind of pause that system.

More than that, we want to focus on the biggest leaks in our funnel. Getting back to your question in terms of stress, I feel better about it. I feel a little less focused, which I don’t like, but I’ve been taking more breaks during the workday. I stopped drinking coffee, which feels really good. Actually, I feel just better overall. I’m sleeping a bit more. I’ve been pre-planning each day using a dome tasker system.

If anyone is curious about how that works, it kind of “gamifies” your workday. I can talk more about that in a future video or Matt Hack. I’m also going for walks, exploring Colombia, and playing more Zelda. So from last month, I beat Super Mario Odyssey and now I’m playing Zelda, and it’s a great time because it helps me to unwind.

Mariana: Have you been doing anything else for fun here in Medellín?

Matt: I feel like you’re hinting at something that I should know. Well, I mean, my birthday is actually coming up at the end of this month. Avengers: Infinity War is coming out on my birthday. Originally, Infinity War was supposed to come out like March 3rd or something. I think someone at Marvel got the memo that my birthday is on the 27th, so I guess they moved it back. Was there something else that I should be mentioning?

Mariana: No, you are the one who should know.

Matt: Anyway, we’re going exploring at some parks here, walking around a bit. Going to the gym, swimming. What is it? You’re going to tell me after the video finishes, I guess. What have I forgotten?

Mariana: No, nothing.

Matt: Anyway, I’m super pumped for everything happening this month, and stress has definitely gone down several notches for those reasons.

Mariana: Cool. Is there something else that you would like to say? Something that you would like to share with the people that are watching this video?

Matt: Yeah, there’s a Bruce Lee quote that actually I came across. Again, there is this great video on YouTube where it’s like a montage of all of Bruce Lee’s greatest quotes. A lot of people know Bruce Lee as the martial arts guy. He was in some Kung-Fu movies. A lot of people don’t know that he was an avid student of philosophy, and he has these great aphorisms and little nuggets of wisdom and quotes.

I think one of them that I looked at just before we started this—because I used to watch that video religiously the first year that I started the business back in 2010—is super inspirational. His quote is, “Use no way as way, no limitation as limitation.” I really love the first part of that. I feel like that’s very applicable to what we’re doing right now because we were in this system where we had a focus each week. Traffic, email subscribers, sales, and then we would kind of start over again.

Sometimes you can have a system, but you have to be willing to kind of break out of that system to create something new or to get to the next level in your business. I think systems are great, but you want to pay attention to when you plateau and be aware of when perhaps you need to shake things up a bit and use no way as a way, okay?

So that’s it for this month’s growth report. I’m excited to keep sharing the journey with you guys. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this video that you’d like me to answer in future videos, please leave a comment and I will get back to you soon. So until next time, keep hustling, stay focused. Talk to you soon.

Want more sales? Download my 11-Point Perfect Sales Funnel Checklist or invest in our new Rocket Content course, which is currently discounted.

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