TAM 046: Greg Merrilees – Designing For Results
In Episode 46, Greg Merrilees – Director of Studio 1 Design, and I chat about how important design is to your business. We all know that design is the story that represents your brand. But aside from just being pretty to look at, how do you design for results? How do you get people to take that next action.
Listen in as Greg shares the principles of persuasion he uses when creating a design that is focused on getting results.
We chat about:
- 6 Principles of Persuasion
- Trends: To use or not to use
- Call to action structure and design
- How his journey started
- Best ways to communicate with the designer
- What are the common mistakes in designing and what we should do to avoid
- Building trust
- What is working and what's not
If you would like to have a chat about how you could be using marketing automation to grow your business join us in the Automation Nation private Facebook group
Links Mentioned In The Show
- Kevin Rogers / Derek Halpern Podcast
- James Schramko
- Taki Moore
- Ezra Firestone
Greg: That can actually help increase conversions from the point of view that you're taking the focus off the navigation. Put in on the main call-to-action.
Announcer: Welcome to The Active Marketer Podcast where we talk about how to design, automate, and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. You can find out all the tips, tactics, and techniques you need to get more customers and sell more stuff over at theactivemarketer.com. Now, here is your host, Barry Moore.
Barry: Welcome to another episode of The Active Marketer Podcast. This is the podcast that's all about sales funnels and marketing automation, and I am your host Barry Moore, happy you could join us for another episode. This week, we're going to change gears a little bit and we're going to talk about something we haven't really discussed so far on the show. We've covered a lot of technical aspects of marketing automation, the overarching strategies you might want to use and some tips and some tactics, but one of the things we've ignored, kind of, to date is design.
Design is super important in your sales funnel because that's usually the first step of getting somebody into your sales funnel is a well-designed offer. Whether that's on your website or whether it's on a dedicated landing page, someone is going to hit that first page of your funnel and you're going to have to convert them to either buy your product or enter their email address or take that next step, whatever that next step might be. Design plays a very, very important factor in that.
No, I'm not naturally good at it, which is probably why we haven't talked about it so far, so I decided to get an expert on. This week we've got Greg from Studio 1 Design, who is going to talk about specifically about conversion-focused design and how you design around a conversion event. I'm really excited to have him on, but before we get to that, I just want to let you know that if you listen all the way to the end, there's going to be a very, very special offer at the end of this episode that you're not going to want to miss, so don't skip out early. I'll be back later to talk about that, but in the meantime, let's get into this week's episode with Greg from studio1design.com.
I would like to welcome to the show Greg Merrilees from Studio 1 Design. Welcome Greg.
Greg: Hey Barry, thanks for having me buddy.
Barry: I really want to get you on the show for two reasons. One is I really like your work. You do some great designs for some really high-profile internet marketers and we might talk a little bit about that. One, because this is not really my skillset and it's something we haven't really addressed on the podcast so far is that if you're trying to build out a sales funnel for somebody and you don't have a good design at the beginning of that sales funnel, somebody's webpage or somebody's landing page. If that's designed poorly, people are just going to bounce. All that beautiful automation and all that beautiful follow-up sequence you may have built in the back is going to be for nothing if you can't get those people convert on that first step.
Greg: So true.
Barry: I want to get a design guru on like yourself to talk about how, maybe, less design-oriented people like myself can do their best either to find the right designer or to make sure that the right design elements are in place.
Barry: Sounds good?
Greg: Yeah, sounds awesome man, yeah, got heaps of knowledge to share.
Barry: Awesome. Everybody likes good design from an aesthetic point of view. Whenever you see something that's designed beautifully, like "Ooh, I really like that," but on a more visceral level, what does good design communicate or what does it convey to other people about you or your brand?
Greg: Yeah, great question. I think everybody loves good design. There's no doubt about that, but usually only because it looks good. To me, it should be more about getting the results. I guess that ties in nicely with your audience if they're doing, like you said, all that automation. If you don't have a design that converts, then it's pointless. Yeah, even just having a good looking design can actually help covert prospects into paying customers. There's no doubt about it.
For instance, I heard on Kevin Rogers', if that's a word, Rogers' podcast, he interviewed Derek Halpern and he actually said, and he's not a huge fan of design or he wasn't up until recently. He actually put up an ... Sorry, he's had a course that he ran for the last few years, and just recently, he changed the design, just the aesthetics of the actual landing page, and he saw a refund rate cut in half, essentially. He was extremely surprised. He'd never put that much value on design. He said he didn't change anything about the offer. He literally just changed the design, had it designed professionally, and yeah, he was shocked how powerful having a new design could be.
Barry: Yeah, I listened to that episode, I think, as well. I remember going to his site, maybe this is going back a year or two or so. I haven't been there lately, but I'm just remembering it really was in the beginning. It was just white page, black-
Barry: It was just all very, very basic, which was his goal in the first place, but it's interesting to actually go back and check it out. It's interesting to see that he's seen the light and the power of design.
Greg: Yeah, it is, isn't it?
Greg: Yeah, I've been following him for a few years as well, yeah. Yeah, so I guess, to me, the why of having a good design is really to get better results. I mean, we've designed hundreds of websites recently, probably up to 3 or 400, but yeah, we design about 20 or 30 a month at the moment. Yeah, we have designed for some pretty high-level marketers out there like James Schramko, and Taki, and Kevin Rogers, and even Ezra, and Keith Kranc, et cetera, but even recently, we've just designed a website for, wait for it, Frank Kern.
Barry: Nice. Nice.
Greg: Yeah, which is super exciting, he's the king of automation, really, automation funnels. Yeah, so we've just designed his site, which is not released yet, but it might yet by the time this podcast comes out. It's pretty close, I think. Yeah, I guess, in that time, we really have worked out a bit of a formula for what works. I guess what makes us unique is that we really understand marketing and funnels, et cetera.
Barry: All right. Well, I guess that brings me to my next question is when it comes to websites and landing pages that are specifically there for a conversion event, what should you make sure you have on those landing pages of those websites, and what should you make sure you don't have?
Greg: Yeah, sure. Well, I mean, to me, the whole purpose of a webpage or a website is to build trust. It's a little bit harder to build trust than it is if you're with an offline business, where you're face-to-face. We use the principles of persuasion, there are six of them that we use, based on Robert Cialdini book, Influence, but yeah, we like to use them in pretty much every website or landing page that we design. Do you want me to go over those six?
Barry: Yeah, I'd love it.
Greg: Yeah, cool, so the first one is reciprocity. For instance, if you've got a full website that you're offering services, you want to give as much free value as possible, just basically because people will feel more compelled to give back if you're generous with your free content. That might be in the form of a blog post or video or podcast like what you're doing now Barry. Yeah, it just entices people or influences people to give back. Another way you can do that is using a lead magnet, for instance, on a website, which I highly recommend every website should have and that, as you know, could be a short course or a PDF download or a checklist or a free trial, et cetera. Yeah, essentially, reciprocity is the first one that we use.
The second one is authority. Obviously, people will trust credible, knowledgeable experts. There's many ways to show authority on your website from the quality content that you create to position you as the expert through headlines and images, accreditations, you can use transfer of authorities, in other words, you might have photos with other famous people in your nation, you're leveraging off their authority. Yeah, authority is a huge way. I mean, other ways you can use authority, in general, if you've just got a professional design, you're going to look like more of an authority than someone that's just got a website you've slapped together yourself. Yeah, so authority is definitely a huge one.
Consistency is another one. For instance, if you have a website and Facebook and all these different touchpoints, what we'd like to do is be congruent or cross all of them with your branding and the look and feel, essentially. Basically, you want to make sure that people start remembering your brand. If you've got multiple different looks here and there, it's just looks like a mess. If you're consistent with the look and feel, that's going to help influence people as well.
The next one we do is likeability, which is really, obviously, people buy from people they know like and trust. What we try to do on a website is try and get people to like you. I mean, a key element you can use, a design element is video. I mean, a lot of people try to hide behind their website and they're too afraid to put their personality out there. What I suggest is using video or images or having feeds from your ... It might be your Instagram, whatever, on your website, so people can start to see your personality. I believe that people might hate you or like you, but either way, we'll generate more business.
The next one we use is scarcity. This is probably more for the eCommerce websites or landing pages, for instance, but it's basically the ... It's human nature desire more of what there is less of. For instance, if you're doing a live event sales page, you might have a limited amount of seats, et cetera, or if it's a webinar, it's obviously going to be started at a certain time, so there's a limited time offer. Yeah, eCommerce sites, for instance, you could have seasonal offers, which work quite well. You could even have a flash sale as well. It's something that will pop up for about a day, that sort of thing.
Yeah, and what we like to do is if it is a limited time offer, we'll have a countdown timer, which is actually just a visual element that entices people. It's more attractive to see. Let's say there's a day to go until your webinar starts, just by saying, "It's going to run on this date and time," it's not as attractive if you actually have a countdown timer, counting down how many hours and how many minutes left. It just creates more urgency, essentially.
Yeah, and then the last one is consensus, which is really what we call for website social proof. It's really just letting other people talk about how good your products or services are. You can use that in the form of testimonials or case studies. I guess it's some of those things that are probably not believable, but if you put it into the form a video, it becomes a lot more believable, so definitely have consensus and some other design elements you can use for consensus that's showing logos of websites or businesses that you've helped, et cetera, even just showing people's faces could really help boost the believability of a testimonial.
Barry: Yeah, and I've watched the evolution of your brand as well over time, and I just want to look back to that video a bit.
Barry: That as an element on a website has just exploded, probably, in the last, what, 12, 18 months or something like that, hasn't it?
Barry: It's almost gotten to the point where if there isn't one when you go there, you're like, "Uh."
Greg: Yeah, I've got to read.
Barry: Yeah. It's like, "Uh, I've got to read all this stuff? No, I'll just bounce." Right, so have you seen an increase in conversion or increase in engagement based on the kind of the custom- ... Your own business, number one, and number two, because I notice you've been using a lot of video lately, and number one, with your clients, number two, the difference between those who do it and those who don't?
Greg: Yeah, I mean, look I can't give an exact figure, but I do know that just with my own stuff, using video has increased. We use Wistia, so you get to see the engagement and all that in the analytics of Wistia.com. Yeah, it's incredible, the amount of views that we get on the videos, on the new videos versus the old videos. The new videos of face the camera videos of me, face the camera, and yeah, it really helps build trust. We close a lot more sales mainly because when people get on the phone or, yeah, Skype call, et cetera, a lot of people have said, "I feel like I know you already," and this might be a complete stranger. It's just because of using video. It's using a likeability factor, essentially, but yeah, it definitely does help.
Barry: For sure. For sure. That brings me to another question is you see design trends sweep through at certain times, like a few months, maybe ... I don't know. Last year it was flat design, and then the last few months it's been that one page scrolling website where everything is one page and you scroll through stuff. What do you think of those kind of trends and how do you determine whether it's a good trend to follow or it's just a trendy trend that everyone seems to hop on the bandwagon, you know what I mean?
Greg: Yeah, absolutely.
Barry: It isn't necessarily good for you or your brand.
Greg: Yeah, trendy trend, I love that. Yeah, to me, you have to be cautious because you don't really want to be the leader with trends, in my opinion. I mean, trends are created by designers because they get bored. Obviously, people get bored of the web. It's good to keep evolving and going forward, but yeah, I would be cautious of a lot of trends, but some trends that work well.
There's no doubt clean flat design works well from the point of view that it's more aesthetically pleasing. It's less cluttered. It puts the focus on the right things. For instance, if you've got a call-to-action button, you want a message above it and a call-to-action, and a lot of clear space around it so that it puts more focus ... Not exactly clear space, just lots of space, essentially, with nothing else going on, because it will draw the eye to that call-to-action button. To me, flat clean design serves its purpose well.
There's a few other trends that I'll go through, but in general, I would say, a couple of trends like, say, the parallax effect or video backgrounds, those sort of things will actually decrease conversions from the point of view that they are a distraction. You might have a call-to-action and really nice marketing message over the top of it, but you get distracted by the background. The other thing is if you're scrolling down the page a little bit more but you've got this crazy video at the top of your vision, it's a distraction and it just puts you off reading the rest of the copies.
There's a couple of, I guess, effects or trends that I would use minimally. You don't have to avoid them if you really like them, but just make sure they're not a distraction from the main purpose of the site or the landing page or whatever. Yeah, obviously you mentioned long-scrolling websites. I mean, yeah, they work great for, obviously, sales pages. There's a new trend we've seen which is like a sideways scrolling effect. For instance, you might have a homepage, and then there's a tab on the left that says, "Latest blog posts, tap on the right," it says, "About us," for instance or services, whatever. Then you click on them and then the site scrolls sideways as opposed to vertically. Yeah, it's a trend. I haven't tested if it works or not. It's just something that I've seen very recently.
In general, in other few trends I've seen that I think work really well is just using larger images, and use those images to tell a story that represents your brand or your message or your offer, and try to keep everything above the fold, above the bit that you first see when you land on the page as clean as possible. It obviously needs to have really good compelling copywriting, but yeah, let the image do the talking. Don't have lots of tiny paragraphs of copy. We save that sort of stuff further down the page. We just want to grab their attention, essentially, when they first land on the page, and then as they engage and scroll down the page, there will be more information and more benefits, et cetera.
Barry: Yeah. When someone hits that page for the first time, you've got seconds to keep them there until they decide whether they're going to go somewhere. I guess that's a really great point. If you've got something that conveys more information like an image or a video, a useful video that's going to get them to take that next step which is to scroll down and see what else is in your website or your offer or whatever.
Greg: Exactly. Exactly. A couple other trends would be a hamburger menu, which I've seen on a lot of websites lately. We actually use that as well. It's like instead of having about, testimonial, services, all those sorts of things, contact, et cetera across the top of the page, just have three lines like you would see on a mobile device.
Barry: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Greg: Parallel lines, yeah. Yeah, so that can actually help increase conversions from the point of view that you're taking the focus off the navigation. Put it on the main call-to-action. You should only have one call-to-action above the fold, and especially on the landing page, you should only have one call-to-action, full stop. Yeah, so that hamburger menu can increase conversion, but just be careful though because it has ... If you read reviews on that, there are some examples where it decreases conversions, because people ... It depends what your main offer is on the bit above the fold, but people might want to look at something else in the navigation, so they get annoyed. Some people actually don't even know what a hamburger menu represents, is just be careful with that one.
Another thing I would mention would be like, let's say, an activecampaign.com, I think they do it really well. They have a very slight GIF animated thing, which, for instance, they've got some copy, their main headline and it just changes. It's typing out the next thing and the next thing, and then they have a different image that represents that copy. I think that's nicely done because it's benefit-driven headline. It's showing an image that relates to the headline, and it's just something that changes ever so slightly. It's not a big distraction.
Barry: Very cool. I've never heard it called a hamburger menu before. Now I know. Where does that come from? Do you have any idea?
Greg: I think because it just looks like a hamburger icon. It's like just a meat and a sandwich. It's just three lines essentially.
Barry: I wonder about this, because, I guess, it's a matter of the paradigm people are used to if someone goes to a site, that would be an easily overlooked design element, I would think, rather than a ...
Greg: Yeah, it could be, exactly.
Barry: The blatant menu bar across the top.
Greg: True. True.
Barry: Again, I guess it goes back to the point about designing for how you think your users or visitors are going to engage. If the majority of them are coming on a mobile device, which seems to be the case these days, like an iPad or something.
Barry: Then that would certainly be a way to go, and I can see where that sideways scrolling stuff would really be an interesting thing.
Barry: On an iPad, but on a desktop, maybe not so much.
Barry: Cool, all right, so I'm interested in how you actually come up with your designs when you get a new client on board, how do you go about creating a design? Where do you start?
Greg: Where do you start? Yeah. Well, for me, we have a questionnaire essentially, and that questionnaire brings out a lot of information about the client and their target market and what's the purpose of the site. I guess, yeah, we're trying to get a bit of a framework for what's working, essentially. Originally ... Sorry, already on their site, because we really want to make sure that if we're redesigning a full website that it still gets equally good results if not better than what they currently have.
Doing a complete redesign can actually wreck a site if you don't take into consideration what's already working, so yeah, we've got quite a few questions in that questionnaire, and that's step one. Then step two would be we follow up with a Skype call just to really dig deeper into all the answers to the questionnaire. To me, that's how you're going to get a good result if you start off with someone that has a questionnaire.
Barry: Now I'm sure you've come across this. I think a lot of time when you're working with a client, there's a bit of disconnect. If they don't know how to communicate to you as a designer what they want, they just keep going, "No, it's not that, give me something else," so what can you do as a site owner that will make it easier for you to communicate with a designer or get your ideas across so that there's less of a disconnect between the not so design-oriented people, perhaps, like myself, and the killer designers like you? I mean, what's the best way I can communicate to you if I'm getting you to do my design other than that questionnaire? What mindset do I need to have?
Greg: Look, the thing is you don't need to be a designer. You should do what you're good at and leave the designing to the designer. I guess what I would look for initially is the designer's folio and their portfolio to see if they've got the type of style that you're looking for, and then, just as a starting point, you can let them know, the designer know in their own folio, what you like and you don't like. That would be a good starting point. Also, what I would say is look for a designer that has marketing skills, essentially, because really, there's no point redesigning a website or a landing page if it doesn't get results. Yeah, absolutely look for a marketing-based designer.
I guess another tip would be you can get designer on 99designs or all those other services out there, just be careful that when you do find one, make sure that they're going to be there for the long-term. A lot of clients come to us because they say, "They found a designer, but they were great for logo, but then went back and couldn't find them ever again." Yeah, a couple of tips.
Barry: Fair enough. Fair enough. Just at a personal level, what kind of stuff do you really enjoy about the design process?
Greg: Yeah, sure, so I love getting results, in general. I guess, for me, because I've had my business for 15 years, and we design T-shirts initially. I had to make a pivot about three or four years ago. Honestly, the thing that I love the most about it is connecting with entrepreneurs and people just like yourself that's trying to grow their businesses and they're on the same journey as me. I guess that's the key to it. I've got a team now that takes care of the process for me. I like to build the relationship initially, and then I just like to keep putting the education into my design team to make sure that they understand marketing and they understand how to get a good result, but yeah, as for the designing, I don't do so much of that myself.
Barry: Fair enough. Fair enough. All right, so for those people out there who've decided that their brand or their design needs a bit of a dust off or a bit of a re-engineer, before they go out and find somebody, what common mistakes do you see people make that they should avoid?
Greg: Yeah, sure, so I think there's a lot actually. One, would be I think a lot of people try to sell on hello, right? For instance, as services, business, you might have a link straight to your services. Well, I would argue that you haven't built that trust with people yet. Remember, the purpose of your website is to build trust. I would say, for us, for instance, we just have a link to our folio so people can see what we do, and then we have testimonials on every page. I would say that's definitely one thing. Try not to sell on hello. It's probably a little bit different with an eCommerce site.
Excuse me, but yeah, also trying to have too many call-to-actions on one page. Now, essentially, the homepage of your website is like a gateway to get to other section of your office and social proof, et cetera, or your blog, that sort of thing, so that you can build trust over time. That's the only place where you would use multiple call-to-actions, but still put it in a hierarchy and a way that's not confusing for the visitor. Then, if it's a landing page, you should only have one call-to-action. Don't add a lead magnet on that landing page, for instance. You might put something else throughout a multiset funnel, but essentially, that should just have one call-to-action.
Apart from that, I would say a lot of people don't invest in copywriting. If you're quite new to online marketing, you really want to invest in copywriting because they will talk about the benefits of your products and services, and they'll make it all about your prospects. Where what we see most people make mistakes with is they'll do the cover themselves and it's all about them. It's not going to get people to convert, that's for sure.
Barry: Yeah, for sure I've been trying to improve my copywriting skills and become a better copywriter myself. Man, it's frustrating. It's frustrating.
Barry: You write something. You read it back. You're like, "God, this is just rubbish." Sometimes, it's just better to go find someone who's dramatically better at it than you and just invest instead of trying to do everything yourself.
Greg: Stick with what you're good at.
Greg: Yeah, I mean, a couple other things like we find a lot of people try to do the entire website themselves, the whole design. They'll buy a cheap template from ThemeForest or TemplateMonster, whatever. There's nothing wrong with some of those templates and they're really, really cheap, but over time, they try to customise it themselves and ends up looking terrible, and then that finally gets slower and slower, and there's plug-in conflicts and there's all these updates that need doing.
I don't know. I would say if you're starting out, start there, but if you're serious business, invest in a proper website. It doesn't cost that much, especially if you compare it to bricks and mortar business where you've got a full shop. A website is quite cheap in comparison. It is a place where people go to check you out when they hear about you. Yeah, I would say, because it represents you and your brand, make sure it's as professional as possible.
Barry: Yeah, there's two interesting points there. One is people go and they buy those themes. They're like, "Oh, I like the look of this," and then they get it and they're like, "No, I'm just going to change everything about it."
Greg: Yeah, true. Well, it looks good because the elements all work together. You start changing them, it looks like rubbish.
Barry: Doesn't it?
Barry: The second bit there is I see a lot of startups, I follow the startup community as well, they all pretty much have ... They seem to have the same website. You know what I mean?
Barry: They just grab a theme or a template, which is, as you said, if you're starting out, you got no money, it's not a bad thing to do.
Barry: Then every time you hit one of those type of websites, they all look exactly the same. There's no way for them to differentiate from the guy who I was just looking at two minutes ago.
Barry: It's exactly same. Yeah, there's a lot of things that good design can do for you. All right, so I'm going to go out and get a good design. What's the first step I need to take?
Greg: Well, yeah, I would say, honestly, look for a designer that understands marketing.
Barry: Fair enough. Obviously, Studio 1 Design is a great place to start, but what are indicators to me that this guy understands this design studio or this designer understands marketing?
Greg: Yeah, so I would say make sure they do have questions in their questionnaire, for instance, that ask you what is working currently in your website. I'm scared to redesign a website, because it can decrease conversion unless you really work out what's working. When you can do a lot of background stuff yourself, so you can look at the quantitative data and the qualitative data which are different types of measurements which, for instance, the quantitative is checking your Google Analytics and any type of metrics that can be measured and you can see trends over time. Then the qualitative data is studying user behaviour, so we use an amazing tool called Hotjar. You know that one?
Barry: Yeah, I've heard of it. I haven't played with it yet, but I know of it.
Greg: Oh, it's such good value. It's incredible. Yeah, it has heatmaps. It has user polls. It has video recordings of your users. It's so powerful and it's so cheap. It's 20 or $29 a month, whatever it is. Yeah, that's a good way of working out what's actually working already. Then when you go to a designer, you can let them know what's working. That's where I would start.
Barry: I will loop back to something we maybe glossed over is that let the designer be the designer.
Greg: Yeah, true.
Barry: If you're going to a designer, you go in there for a reason. It's not so when they bring you the design back, don't "Go ahead and change this, move this over here."
Barry: You could've just done it yourself, right.
Greg: That's a good point, yeah. I mean, look, we offer unlimited design revision on everything we do, but yeah, we make sure that when we present the design that it's got all the right conversion elements. That's the most important thing. As far as the look and feel, we let clients give us feedback on what they want changed for the look and feel, and that's totally fair enough. It's their business, but yeah, we do put things in a certain hierarchy for conversions, essentially.
Barry: Just curious, do you go back with multiple designs or you just come back and go right, "We think this is the best one."? You know what I mean?
Greg: Yes. Internally, we have design manager. We have a couple of design managers and 10 designers, whatever, so what we like to do is the design manager may be presented a couple of different options by the designer, but we will just work out what we thing is the best. We'll present one design at a time to the client.
Barry: Fair enough. I think that's an excellent idea. All right, Greg, I really appreciate you taking your time, I want to respect your time today, in sharing all your knowledge and expertise with us. If someone wants to find out more about you and what you guys do, where is the best place to do that?
Greg: Yeah. Well, thanks so much for having me on Barry. It's been a pleasure being here buddy. Yeah, if you go to our website, studio1design.com, it's the number one, or you can email me even at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barry: I would urge everybody to go over there and check it out. Some really great designs there and certainly some names you'll recognise in the portfolio links.
Greg: You got it buddy.
Barry: All right, thanks Greg and we'll see you online.
Greg: Absolutely, thanks Barry.
Barry: I'd like to thank Greg for coming and sharing his knowledge with us, and I'd like to thank you, the listener, for spending time with us here on The Active Marketer podcast. At the beginning of the show, I mentioned a special offer and here it is. I have been talking to a lot of you through email, through Skype calls, and in our Automation Nation private Facebook group. If you're not in there, head over to Facebook right now, type in Automation Nation, click Join. Tell us you heard about it on the podcast, and you're in. We talk about all things, marketing automation, sales funnels, tips, tactics, techniques. We solve problems. People share their experience. It's really an exciting community. There are lots and lots of smart people in there.
Earlier this year, when I started The Active Marketer, I really started it with one key focus in mind, and that was to get marketing automation in the hands of every business owner who wanted to know how to do it. When I started this journey, my own journey, a couple years back, there was zero information. It was really mysterious. It was all backend stuff that only the big guys did, and I learned through tonnes of trial and error and playing around and "Oh, this doesn't work." There is really just nowhere to go for me to learn.
I think a lot of you are having that same experience now, even with The Active Marketer and our private Facebook group and the podcast, a lot of you are still running into snags, a lot of you still haven't had the light come on yet, and you want a little bit more education, a little bit more coaching, and a little bit more guidance. Next year, I think I really need to step up my game in my crusade to get sales and marketing automation into the hands of everyone, to make it approachable to every business owner.
I've got something really exciting planned for the New Year, and that is a private coaching community. I'm really excited about this. It's going to be the community I always wished was around when I started. I don't want you to have to go through all the trials and errors and the mistakes that I went through, and I'm sure a lot of you are experiencing this right now. A lot of you even asked for this inside Automation Nation.
What this is going to be is it's going to be a private coaching community where we can talk to each other, where you can get direct access to me. We'll have shared automations in there that you can download, put straight into your business in a matter of minutes. We're going to have swipe files that you can put to use inside your business. We're going to have funnel blueprints, easily implementable action plans so that you know exactly the steps you need to take to make this all happen.
We're going to have regular coaching calls, because I think that's really the secret sauce. It's great for me to provide you all these training videos and PDFs and stuff, but I think, sometimes, you just really need someone to explain it to you, and that's why I started this whole thing in the first place. I'm really going to pick up my game. We're going to have regular coaching calls where we talk about specific tactics, specific techniques, how you put this to use. You'll have the opportunity to ask me questions, and we're going to do something really exciting which is we're going to have member hot seats, right?
This is a really great way to learn. If you're brave enough to put your hand up, we're going to put you in the hot seat and myself and fellow members are going to grill you on what your tactics are to get you super tight in what your message is, what your product is, what your funnel is. I think it will be great learning experience for everybody involved. We'll also going to talk about how you automate the backend of your business processes as well. It's great that you get everybody funnelling in and buying stuff, but then how do you deliver that? How do you automate the backend of your business so it's efficient as possible and you can deliver as many customers you can and how do you scale that up, and how do you scale out your team?
We're not only going to be talking about the front-end sales and marketing stuff and what you do with people once they're opted in or what they bought, but how you can actually scale your business, right? How you can automate all the processes in your business so that you can put on other team members and maybe spend less time doing the drudgery and more time doing the things you love within your business. I'm really excited about this, and I'll hope you'll join me on this journey.
Here's the special offer. If you head over to the URL I'm going to mention in a minute, you can sign up for early access. It's not going to cost you anything. I'm just gathering a tribe of people who are super interested in this. Head over to the page. Put in your name and your details, and when the community is ready, hopefully, by end of January, when this community is ready, because you guys are putting your hand up early, you'll have early access to special founder rate. If you put your hand up and say you want in to this community, you're going to get locked in at a special founder's rate for taking a chance with me, and I'm going to reward you with that.
The price of this community is going to go up over time, and it's going to go up pretty quickly as we jam more and more resources into this community and we get a lot of momentum going, but you'll be locked in at this special founder's rate forever. If you join us as one of our founding members, that's the rate you're going to pay for the rest of your life. As long as you stay in that community, the cost to you is never going to go up. New members are certainly going to pay more, but you founding members who are taking action are going to be locked in at that special price.
There will be more information on the community coming soon, but in the meantime, if you want to head over to the theactivemarketer.com/specialoffer, put your details in there, and when the community is ready, we get a little bit closer, I'll let you know what that special founder's price is going to be and I'll let you in on the special sneak peek to the community. Also, you founders get to drive the direction of the community. You get to tell me what you want me to build into that community, and we'll go out and do it for you.
I'm really, really super excited about this, and I hope you are as well, so head over to theactivemarketer.com/specialoffer and put your hand up. Until next week, I want you to get out there and design, automate, and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. See you next time everybody.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Active Marketer podcast. You can find the show notes and all the latest marketing automation news over at theactivemarketer.com.