“The greatest wisdom there is as far as building a great team and a great company is to hire slow and fire fast”.
That’s the biggest takeaway that Matt, the founder of AutoGrow shared with us from this past month.
A designer hired full time that ghosted in her first week of work…
A content writer that simply didn’t follow basic instructions…
And the app launch that we’ve kept postponing… were some of those painful situations that we’ve had to deal with in October.
In this month’s growth report, I’ll tell you more about some of the obstacles and challenges we’ve faced as a team and how we’re already overcoming them.
And I’ll tell you some interesting lessons learned and big wins that I’m sure you’ll relate to.
So let’s start reviewing October’s growth!
HOW WE’VE STRENGTHENED OUR CONTENT MARKETING SYSTEM
Some people simply don’t see the importance of content marketing. Perhaps because they don’t know anything about it.
Some others just aren’t willing to invest in it.
But at AutoGrow, we’ve actually put a lot of focus and effort on strengthening our content system recently.
In the past few months, we (re)started publishing 2 articles in our blog regularly and sending 2 newsletters per week.
There was a gap where we stopped publishing content because Matt was doing it himself and handling the business at the same time. So we paused for a second (well, a second that lasted several months) and started looking for AutoGrow’s dedicated writers.
Luckily, we found them. And now content is a non-stop money-making machine.
Matt’s been having more “free” time to work on other areas of the company like finishing coding AutoGrow’s app—the team’s been finally humming without a ton of input from him.
And while the team has grown and become less dependent on Matt, we’ve been steadily growing our audience and our revenue month after month.
Just in October, we made more than $27,000 in total revenue with $25,500 in MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue).
We’ve been filling out each team role with the right team members. For instance, one of the most important takeaways from this past month is to hire slow and fire fast.
We started looking for new writers that’d help the company generate more great content. So far we have 2 and we’d like to have 3 more.
We interviewed some people and two candidates made it to the end of the process.
We decided to give one of them the opportunity to write their first article for AutoGrow on a trial basis.
It was kind of simple. We told her “here’s the tutorial video and here are our writing checklists. Follow the guidelines, do your best, and submit the article when it is ready for review”.
Well, guidelines weren’t followed (at all!), the article didn’t flow, it was disorganized, and there were no images supporting the chunks of text. So we decided to give her another chance to address our feedback and improve the article. I’m sure you can relate to that!
But after 2 or 3 revisions, the article simply wasn’t where it needed to be so we decided to remove her from the team.
We learned that personality fit or personal like is not a substitute for results. So we fired fast.
After that, we gave the opportunity to the other candidate. Let’s see how that goes!
We hope to keep generating great content to our audience and publishing 5 articles per week as long as we don’t sacrifice quality.
For now, we’ll stick with 2 articles per week.
We’ve already been seeing an increase in our traffic and we want to keep going that way.
Traffic’s already up for about 19% month over month with 35,000 uniques – 42,000 visits. And that has brought 1200-1400 new email subscribers to our list.
And how has that been happening?
Because instead of trying to do many different marketing tactics at the same time, we’ve been focusing on one thing at a time and doing it RIGHT.
Publishing consistently has been KEY to the success of our content marketing process.
GETTING READY TO LAUNCH AUTOGROW’S APP
So, we’re launching AutoGrow’s app in November.
No matter what it takes, it’s happening next month. No more excuses.
Well, there’ve never been excuses honestly, just milestones… and obstacles… and bugs to fixed…
Anyway, launching the app once and for all will help us to 1) centralize, 2) organize, and 3) automate some of our workflows.
When this happens, we’ll finally say goodbye to Trello.
So far, we’ve made a lot of progress adding new features and testing them. The app is right there, almost live!
Matt and Igor, our Web Developer, have been coding and working on having the app ready. Also, they’ve been working on optimizing it so clients don’t have a bad experience.
In case you don’t know, this app will let our clients (you?) request on-demand any funnel tasks they want to be done.
Want a landing page? Click a button.
Want to create a lead magnet? Click a button.
Email copy? Click a button.
Ad campaign? Click a button.
Need to record a demo video? We’ll write the script for you.
Think of this. You want your Thanksgiving dinner to be delicious and cooked by someone else because you just don’t have the time to do it and to do it right.
You want to eat the best turkey, the most delicious gravy, and some mashed potatoes hot from the oven. And you want all that to be done right and on time.
Well, AutoGrow can (and will) cook the whole Thanksgiving dinner for you so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy.
If it’s still unclear to you how the process goes, Matt has compared the app with Aladdin’s magic lamp. I think the analogy is very accurate because you literally click a button (rub the lamp), ask AutoGrow (the genie) what you need, and we’ll make it real for you.
AUTOGROW’S FIRST LIVE VIDEO DEMO WEBINAR
I know that understanding how a simple app we’ll create, optimize, and launch your funnel while you just sit back, relax, and watch the leads come in is kind of hard to believe.
That’s why we’re excited to share with you that from this week on, every Wednesday at 11am EST, Matt (the founder of AutoGrow), and Chris (our Funnel Strategist) will be hosting a LIVE video demo webinar.
This is for anyone interested in our service so they can ask questions and understand how AutoGrow works and how we can create customized funnels that will automate their lead generation.
The first live video demo webinar already happened this last Wednesday and was a complete success!
21 people attended the event and we saw a lot of participation from the audience.
So, this will be a live demo of our Done-For-You sales funnel service. We’ll share everything about our On-Demand, Done-For-You Funnel Marketing Team (a full digital marketing team, at your fingertips, for a flat monthly price).
Attendees will see how a well-constructed sales funnel for your business will give them more free time by automating their lead generation, they’ll see case studies from businesses similar to theirs, and will be able to ask ANY questions they might have regarding our services.
We’re planning on doing this as a weekly thing. So if you’re interested in joining any of the live events, just click here to attend.
MORE CLIENTS JOINING OUR DONE-FOR-YOU SERVICE
This past month we earned 3 more clients for our Done-For-You service. So far we have 15 client accounts and we expect the number to keep growing.
All clients that have signed up with AutoGrow since we started our service 5 months ago have stayed with us and we consider that a very big win.
We recently launched a new version of the homepage and A/B tested a new version of the copy. This resulted in a 34% increase in conversion (95% statistical confidence).
With this, we’ve learned that A/B testing can help you to increase sales.
This month we’ve also activated our LinkedIn Outreach Funnel—and it’s already producing positive results! I’ll tell you more about it next month!
We’ve been onboarding a new Project Manager as our clients’ accounts keep growing.
However, as I mentioned in September’s Growth report, we’re looking to hire two or more team members for each job position soon.
So we’ll keep looking to hire the right people because eventually, the workload will keep growing as more clients come in.
And we want the work to not depend on just one person—which happens to work perfectly for Matt, by the way. He’s finally found some time now to play The Legend of Zelda!
LESSONS LEARNED AND BIG WINS
So one lesson we learned this past month is that our audience loves lead magnets.
As you know, we started publishing content consistently. And we realized that our highest open rate article so far has been one related to lead magnets. It’s a guide on how to create a killer lead magnet and it has performed so well that we’ve been publishing content related to this topic non-stop.
We’ve been giving our audience not what they want, but what they love.
And we’ll keep improving our content and publishing the topics that add more value to our audience.
We also learned that hiring on a trial basis is important.
I already told you how we hired a writer and she simply didn’t meet the standards we set. If we wouldn’t have been picky with her and kept her on a trial basis, we’d probably be stuck with her publishing not-so-great content.
So always hire on a trial basis and remember, “hire slow, fire fast.” If the person shows you that he/she is worth it, then great, welcome the person to the team. If they aren’t, just say goodbye and look for someone better.
Because at the end, your audience and clients deserve the highest quality work.
And speaking of clients, we’ve been learning a lot from our sales process.
It’s been tough to qualify leads and filter the bad ones before even getting on the phone. It’s naturally hard to say “no” to people, but this past month we’ve definitely adopted a stronger position with our clients.
When they get on the phone with Matt or Chris to see if they’re a fit for our Done-For-You service or not, they sort of create their own expectations.
And sometimes, even after they’re already working with our team, some clients may not fully understand what it is that we do because they may not have marketing knowledge—or because they just want to give us a hard time.
In either case, we’re fixing that by hosting AutoGrow’s LIVE Video Demo Webinars weekly so our audience can…
- Understand how a sales funnel can automatically create leads for your business without you having to lift a finger.
- See what AutoGrow does differently from the competition to make building your funnel a snap.
- And find out who’s a good fit for our Done-For-You Service or on-demand packages.
We’re just evolving the business model so FAST that sometimes it’s good to sit down and write this Growth Report to put some things in perspective.
First, we’re launching the app in November come hell or high water.
Second, we’re migrating from a one-to-one “traditional” client sales model to a many-to-one model where we sell from videos and live demo webinars.
And third, we’ve changed the way we’re framing the service from more of a traditional “agency” model to one where AutoGrow is a tool for clients—their instant Done-For-You sales funnel team on-demand. Clients will use our app to get help with strategy, implementation, planning, lead magnet creation, design, ads management, building entire funnels, conversion optimization, quality assurance, and so on…
See? A lot’s been going on for us this past month and we’re already looking forward to the next one.
Luckily we have this space to share the journey with you!
So that’s it for October.
In November we’ll be launching our app and I hope you try it.
The biggest short term value we’ll get from launching the app will be to better productize and package our service.
Remember Aladdin’s lamp? That’s exactly what our app will be for our clients. A tool to have all their wishes (funnel tasks) done without having to lift a finger.
We’ll keep pushing towards launching our clients’ funnels within 20 days instead of 3 months and I hope clients keep seeing more and more leads coming in…
And we hope clients love our app as much as we do.
That’s it for this month’s update.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you got from this growth report that was most beneficial.
And don’t forget, AutoGrow we’ll cook you that delicious Thanksgiving funnel dinner for you!
Keep funnelin’, stay focused.