The Growth Equation

How to Increase Your Traffic by 500% with CMO of Autoklose, Vedran Rasic

December 21, 2019 Rahul Goel & Greg Leach Season 1 Episode 4
The Growth Equation
How to Increase Your Traffic by 500% with CMO of Autoklose, Vedran Rasic
Chapters
The Growth Equation
How to Increase Your Traffic by 500% with CMO of Autoklose, Vedran Rasic
Dec 21, 2019 Season 1 Episode 4
Rahul Goel & Greg Leach

Building a successfully marketing engine is key to scaling any company. People tend to only think paid marketing is the key to generating traffic to your product. Products are built for channels and if you don't do this in the right way then you become to reliant on paid marketing channels, which are increasing getting more and more expensive.  That is why it is becoming more and more important to find a channel that is cost effective for you to have proper unit economics as you scale your business.   


In this episode you will learn from Vedran Rasic the CMO of Autoklose

  • How you find the right marketing channels early on to scale 
  • How to build up your content strategy in a really fast way 
  • How to build a remote first company 
Show Notes Transcript

Building a successfully marketing engine is key to scaling any company. People tend to only think paid marketing is the key to generating traffic to your product. Products are built for channels and if you don't do this in the right way then you become to reliant on paid marketing channels, which are increasing getting more and more expensive.  That is why it is becoming more and more important to find a channel that is cost effective for you to have proper unit economics as you scale your business.   


In this episode you will learn from Vedran Rasic the CMO of Autoklose

  • How you find the right marketing channels early on to scale 
  • How to build up your content strategy in a really fast way 
  • How to build a remote first company 
Speaker 1:

Hey everyone. Welcome to episode number four of the growth equation. My name is Rob [inaudible] and I'm Greg and uh, we're here sitting across from vet. Actually this is the first episode where we actually have our guests here in person and it's really an honor bed is the COO, the chief marketing officer , uh , for a Toronto based company called auto close . And the reason we wanted fed on is cause , uh , we've just seen autoclose and his personal brand explode online. They've been doing so much incredible work, especially on LinkedIn. We talk a lot about LinkedIn, we talk a lot about the Toronto startup ecosystem, you know, that has some really important ideas and calls to action for everybody in the tech community here. And it's really important to hear him out here. So I'm really excited to hear about that from him. And then also he talks a lot about how to build your workforce for your startup, especially in a remote sense. How do you collaborate, how do you use Slack effectively and how do you set up campaigns that actually help your company grow by leveraging talent around the world. Some really interesting stuff, some tea tips for startup entrepreneurs and coworkers in general. So let's dive right in and see what Ben has to say.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

welcome to the growth equation podcast, episode number four. Is there a first podcast with a guest in person? It's really great privilege and an event is a really good friend of mine and Greg . So I'm excited to have you here. Thanks for being here.

Speaker 4:

Thanks man. It's awesome to be here. It's awesome to be here in person. So , uh, looking forward to it . Amazing. Before this episode , uh , VAT and I were briefly joking about how unpleasant sometimes a question about, tell me about yourself as a , I'm going to put you on the spot and uh , and throw that exact question out. You tell me about yourself then . A regular guy who came to Canada two years ago. Currently I'm acting as CMO , um , marketing director at autoclose B to B, a SAS company that you know, helps you with your email outreach and sales contacts. But you know, I spent a lot of time in Europe. That's where I was born and uh , worked around Europe managing like big teams, small teams, and I'm just fascinated by people and fascinated by software businesses and automation that you can build with it. And so basically I enjoy building products, shipping new things , uh , enjoy solving problems. So you know, that sent above me.

Speaker 3:

There's way more to unpack there, but we'll get through it. One of the things that before our conversation we were talking about was just like how much business, how much work you can do without needing to be in person. But I got to tell you that being in person for this podcast, it's a very different experience. You've built a lot of systems, done a lot with autoclose and beyond remotely without being in person. A lot of business these days is done that way. Can you tell us a little bit about how autoclose the structure just as a company and kind of how your perception of business and especially it remotely

Speaker 4:

kind of works? It really comes down to not what's trendy but what's reasonable. And so when we started autoclose , you know, it's a bootstrap business, self-funded and it's really obviously it's important to be cost cautious and to , you know, like really be, be mindful about a business. So because one of the co founders from Europe, specifically from Serbia, we were really comfortable building a team out there as well as in in Toronto, Canada. So currently we have five people here in Toronto and we have 25 and like growing day by day in Serbia. We also have some teammates in Romania, in China, in Austria. So it's just all around the world. And I believe it's part of this global economic opportunity where you can find amazing talent, amazing individuals all around the world. And basically you have a way to pay them. You have a way to communicate, you have a way to organize your business around debt opportunity. It's just, if you think about it often industrial revolution, right? Like this is mind blowing. Like, you know, the , the stage of where as like as , as human beings. And so why limiting yourself to one particular market? It really helps , um, weed hiring. And , uh , it really helps with growing and scaling their business, especially as a bootstrap company. So our engineering team, our support team, even now our sales and , and part of marketing team is actually based in Europe. And you know, as a lot of great examples out there, we want to continue to have practice. Like, you know, Zapier is one of great companies that's fully remote, no office whatsoever total from New York. I think Astonia New York, like it's , it's just insane. Like how much , uh , you know, opportunity there is WordPress. Exactly. WordPress. Yes. What's the name actually had the company automatic. Yes. Yeah, yeah. That's unbelievable. What are the tools, like how do you coordinate? How do you orchestrate, you know, completely or almost in your case, they completely remote sort of workforce . So Slack, one word, Slack and we use, we really utilize that , uh , daily. And um, but it also comes down to kind of business logic and process. So one of the things that we do really well, and I think it's a really good principle , we literally look at the analytics in Slack and see how many personal one-to-one conversations are happening at the moment. Because we try incentivize our people to actually write in public channels so that everything is transparent in public. And that is actually the most important thing because you get so fast with information, even if you are like in a different time zone, you search it, you find it, it's there. If you don't have time to follow a certain conversation, you don't do it. You're just focused on your task and once you have time just go in and check it. Right. And you know, it's not only business talk , it's also like random facts and you know, people chit chatting about things, but we just encourage it and make it like to make it as public as possible. Because like there's nothing, we don't hide anything from our people. They don't hide anything from us. And you know, that's the mentality. That's the beauty of it. Like , because you can, deciding or choosing to fool the remote or, or however you want to phrase it also has some good principles that you have to follow. And one of them is transparency, right? Like, because you don't have the luxury to just go into an open space and talk to someone. Right? Like you have to do it the other way. Right around. And usually I would , my team, I encouraged people to do video calls, right. So we'd have , we have that family RDB right. So that's basically it comes down to that and you know , just a lot of calls, a lot of hanging out and just online you meet them in person too, right? You go down there. That's a good point. Yeah. So yeah, we do have team buildings. Ideally we want to have it once a quarter. We are not there yet, but uh, we do at least once or twice a year. We do like a general deep building. But then, you know, we also travel. I , I spent like three months in Europe meeting with everyone. You know, we do quite a bit of, you know, recruitment activities there , different events, et cetera. So that's also important. And you know, by all means you're not tied to, you know , any particular place. You can just go around and travel and work from different places. And that also helps if you're looking to , to build your teams elsewhere. Like it , it helps to be in their shoes to figure out how, you know, culturally, how people think and , and you know, to bridge that gap because that could be , uh , one thing to really have in mind and that's the cultural background that people are, you know, coming in from.

Speaker 3:

So before you came to Canada and for so many reasons it's mind blowing to me to even realize that it's only been two years. But , um, you said that you are in a role where you were having one on one meetings with people all the time. It was just 15 minutes kind of touchpoints and chats. And could you talk a little bit more about that and then can you contrast it to how you keep a remote team engaged culturally on the same page and just motivated in that same way? Like can you still have those kinds of interactions? The ones that you said were really valuable?

Speaker 4:

I really value people and , and especially, you know, people I work with and that I selected to be part of my team. And so when I was in Europe, even nowadays I try and do it as much as I can. I have this system where at least once a week I have to talk to my cross functional main team that I'm responsible for. So we'd have like just 15 minutes talks . Sometimes it's longer, sometimes it's less depending on the person. But we'd have like, you know, coaching goals and expectations as the first thing you do. And then we work on these things and we help and improve it. You know, we make it as a measurable as you can, but it's , it was a lot of patients , a lot of lessening . And I think that people appreciate that because it's not only about like, it's if you want to make it about what they can do for your company and your customers who basically definitely as a, as a leader want to provide enough infrastructure and support to your people so they can actually do that. Because we also talked about that thing, you know, are you just creating a job for yourself or you're creating a business, a scalable business, right? And for that you need people, if you want to go further, you, you've got to go with a team, right? Like , and so having those once a week, you know, chats, 15 minutes calls like, you know, coffee times or whatever, but also making a structure so that it happens regularly and under some framework, it really, and people feel way more secure. Um, you can really count on them basic as they can count on you. Right, right, right. So it goes both ways. So that , switching gears a little bit, when we were looking for who our fourth guest could have been, there a lot of amazing people in the city. But I remember when I was just looking through my LinkedIn, I saw a posting made and it wasn't a one off. Like you post something and like two hours later you have like 50 comments, like a hundred likes. I've never seen that. And if I'm not mistaken, like this is a pretty recent kind of personal brand, you know financial growth you've achieved. Here it is. How did you do this? Well I think there are people who are way better at it and going to, what I'm doing is, I'm just trying to, because I believe and we we, we have this book that I called toward with Shawn . Some are amazing people about sales and you know it starts off with a few chapters that I've written. It talks about brushed home brand, right? Like if you are a part of a system and you know that system obviously have a brand off its own, you will also like contributing to dad. Because if I'm talking to a customer, if I'm talking to someone, the first brand, the first connection to a brand that they have is through me. Right? Like , so it's important that your voice sounded like your, you know, thoughts, feelings , uh, practices, process . Like you just put it out for network to work on it and to implement it like an end to use it because otherwise is just not useful. Right. And, and also like when it comes to LinkedIn posts and long formats that I started utilizing, I'm definitely not the first one who does that on LinkedIn. It's really, to me, it's important that I believe in it. It's not just something what's going to create a huge growth. Like, and it's not like, you know, I have to do it every day because if I'm not doing it, the algorithms won't work for me, et cetera. I don't think about it. I just really think about the value that I can provide and do I really believe in this, you know? And sometimes yes, it's great success. You know, network picks it up and they like it, you know, they add comments, dots and you know, it becomes even better. You always get up like a live discussion and sometimes it just doesn't work, but still that's what you believe in. That's you know, and now how it works with LinkedIn, it's important. Like now talking a little bit about the hack, right about a specifics . Obviously you have to have like, because what people see in LinkedIn, they see the first two sentences that you're writing . So it's really important. It's called the hook in marketing, right? Like that it's important that the hook is really good. So that's part of the hacking, you know, that you can have also, it is important that you engage with as many people as you can in the first 2030 minutes and hour and you know that better than myself. It's just how the algorithm works. And by the way, just for the audience, like it's very interesting what LinkedIn is doing. And I think also Facebook, like if you add a link to your post , you'll get at least, you know, 30 50% if not more or less views than you would have gotten. Like if you remove the link. Right. So more views if you don't, if you don't have a link. Yeah. So that's what I mean. On one end. It's very, you know, I would always say like stupid, like it doesn't make sense from the other end grade really does because what LinkedIn is all about and all these social networks is just want to keep you on their network. So if you spend more time that means more business and , and you know it's a better business for them, right? Like, and maybe even there , they can provide more value, but the point is they want your attention, they want you to be there to spend time. And so if I had autoclose link, people just click on that link and they go to autoclose , they're not LinkedIn anymore. So it's like, it's right. It's very simple logic and it , it does make sense from that standpoint. Although I think they, you know, if you're providing valuable links, whatever they are like, I mean why should they penalize you for that? So anyway, but it's really important once you have the post out and you know, people start engaging in writing, do you reply back as soon as possible that you engage with people and all that? Right. And then there are like lots of different tools that you can use to get that initial boost. Like, you know, there are a lot of people do a lot of, you know, paid options and whatnot. I still don't do it. Paid options for their own posts to boost books . Exactly. Like their own personal posts, their own personal. Wow. Yeah. So some people do that and you know, personally of course you should test it as a growth market tier as market . Here in general you should test different tools and options, but also more importantly longterm wise, you know, you definitely want to build a community and that's what you want to have. You want to, you almost want to have a community of people that are interested in that. They consider your post valuable. It basically what I'm trying to say. And you know, you build building that community and even if you don't have a product, if you're just uh , an employee or, or like you're just starting out, you should just build your brand because once you actually do have a product or a service to sell, you will have a good starting point. Right.

Speaker 3:

So here's a question for you, especially as the CMO of auto closed for all the other kind of like marketing leaders out there for a company who are of course doing a lot to build the brand. If the company that they represent that they might've founded, that they worked for whatever capacity you might be, how do you separate kind of your personal brand on a platform like LinkedIn and then the promotion that you want to provide for the company itself? How important should it be to a marketing leader in an organization to use their personal brand to elevate the brand that they represent or is their personal brand just their personal brand and they should stick to using the company's channels to promote the product? Have you seen? In other words, a lot of grills say for auto close because of you leveraging your face and your personal brand on 100%

Speaker 4:

that's exactly what we mentioned before, just live talk. It's extremely important because you are part of the company and your brand is part of the larger brand. In this case, I mean that's your diploma, right? Like autoclose is my diploma. I work at auto close , you know, it's kind of part of my journey and I'm part of our closer journey. So it is with everyone else. I can, the relationship that you're building among employees in business, right? So of course it means a lot because people would then come to my profile and let's be even more specific and practical. I mean in my profile it says , you know, CMOs had all her clothes , we help businesses do this, this and that. Right? And then people when they see that, they're like, Hmm , you're basically on top of their mind right now. The fact like let's talk about other side of things. More and more people are getting active on LinkedIn and all these networks, right? And building their brands and we're still not there yet. Like adoption is quite low. I forgot the numbers, but I know that like half of the LinkedIn network logs in at least once a month. So roughly like 300 million people, 400 million people log in every month, which is pretty cool. But not a lot of people post and engage, right? There's just a lot of noise is what I'm trying to say out there. And now how do you compete with a noise? Ideally you diversify, right? Like you have a good product, you do LinkedIn pose that you believe in like that propel you as a professional, as a thought leader. You also have company updates. When you do a blog, you just don't do it because it's for the sake of the SEO, but you do it because it's valuable to your customers, different theories of your customers, et cetera . So basically you do all these things and you just tried to reason back, is this really valuable? Does this really make sense? And the numbers will prove you right or wrong, but like the old dos like hacks that are just one off hacks or you know, short-lived hacks , it's not serving you well like midterm longterm. And again, it really depends on what business you're in. If you just got your AA around or be around or even seed, you are playing on a timeline and you have to achieve certain things enough fairly short amount of time. So then you know all these hacks and the pressure come into place. But if you're building a business for longevity and you know you want to do good, then basically utilizing all of these platforms helps. Having your employees as brands within a brand also helps because then people want to hang out around those people and that's where the business is and that's when the business talk happens. Right? Right . The worst thing is when you really have to pitch to someone why this product is really good. I mean it's not the worst, it's just the best thing is word of mouth is what I'm trying to say. So that's actually what your personal brand is. How you achieve that? Yeah,

Speaker 3:

without a doubt. I mean when you have your face on something, it's a lot easier to trust them.

Speaker 4:

And mind you, if you think about sales and being proactive in sales development, meaning reaching out to people, et cetera. We know with our data it takes from eight to 15 depending on the niche and the industry, eight to 15 touches for someone to actually buy it , to consider it, you're right across like multiple channels and that's a really good point across multiple channels. And one of them is LinkedIn, one of them is like, Hm , I know this guy, I've seen this photo and it really helps that I have a really like different name, right? So I kind of know this guy from, you know, and he seems legit on all these platforms. His emails are okay, like there's nothing too annoying about the person. Let's hear him out. Like that's basically how the brain operates, like on a subconscious level. Right. So it's super useful, man. It helps.

Speaker 3:

We're the last few months and I remember I was at your, I think I was at your office probably just under a year ago or something around that. One of the challenges that you pose to yourselves as autoclose I believe was something along the lines of you had X number of LinkedIn followers and your was in a certain amount of time. I don't know if it was like 500 you want to become like 2000 or you probably know exactly what it is. And you were describing all these content ideas and hacks that you had implemented and hacked in the most positive way possible. You know, like truly brilliant , uh, pieces of content. I'm always sharing it with my own colleagues. What was that challenge that you kind of post yourselves and how, especially on LinkedIn , this is where I've just seen you all explode. What have you done strategically and content wise, especially to give yourself such a boost?

Speaker 4:

Right? So first thing, considering our resources and our audience and you know, what we can produce and what we good at. Well , we figured that, you know, building really content that's unique, that corresponds again to different tiers of customers because right. You have people who are just juniors starting out like SDR specifically. Then you have people who are a bit more in their career, like you know, mediators and then you have seniors. Like it hasn't got her job. Basically. We positioned our blog to talk to all these different groups of people. And then also we, instead of just building 1500 words blogs, we started building actually tools that are free for to anyone and everyone and people can utilize their businesses. Now with our latest thing that we built, which is a vocabulary like sales vocabulary , 3000 or something like that. Yes . It's like, so we built that and our goal, honestly like just describe it as well. It's just the sales vocabulary. So you have like different, you know, words and items like abbreviations in sales that, you know, some people might not know about. And we ourselves , uh, we had, you know, we struggled with it with our sales development reps. we hired new reps and you know, like we were on a plan and , and all that. And then all of a sudden we figured like that the communication is kind of really slow. And then I asked my people and it seemed that they didn't know a few words. Like, you know, some people even today ask me like, what's the SDR? Like, they don't know that that's a sales development drive , right? And there's just a lot of jargon and a lot of words that people don't understand. So we said, damn, you don't like that. Such a simple thing. So okay, let's go back to, you know, one-on-ones. And so we built a few words and you know, explain what they mean. So we'll build a presentation around it, right? And then one person, one guy, he said like, wait, why if we have this issue, that little problem, like, you know, that's causing us a lot of slow down and this and that. Like, why don't we actually build it and make it, you know , public. And I was like, yeah, that sounds reasonable. You know, we figured out timelines and then we build it. And shipped it and I was expecting that a lot of juniors and a lot of, you know, junior team leaders will come to us and you know, be like this is super useful. But actually a lot of enterprise and C level people came to us and they're like this is really useful to us. They started resharing and I don't want to name, there are a few people who are like really famous in the sales world who reshared in . They were like, this is super useful because they know when you hire all these millennials and people like they're just not like, they don't have this business of vocabulary. Right. So it was really useful to them and you know, this is one of those products that's like really useful. And then we come to LinkedIn and how do you, because building and shipping is one thing, but now how do you spread it, right? Like how do you, how do you get the message across? A few months ago, Sean and I, we figured that , you know, LinkedIn is like becoming huge. It is already huge and people are switching from all these other social media and all of these networks they're switching to actually LinkedIn and yeah, man, we just decided to double down on , on LinkedIn. Like to have content out there that's like unique, that's different. We started engaging our audience, asking our customers to go and follow our page through shared with their folks, friends and professionals that they work with. So basically we scaled it quite organically. And then on the other end , uh , also LinkedIn throughout, which is the lack of luck factor. So LinkedIn throughout the tool where you can invite your connections to like your page. And it was there for like a few days only. It was a test feature. So we, that was the second part of the boost that really helped us a lot that does this anymore. That doesn't exist anymore, which is, it's just the luck factor. Okay. And so just really good content asking our customers and people around us, Hey, this is our little hub. This is where we're going to be publishing a lot of good content. Why don't you follow us out ? And, you know, get the benefits of it. So yeah, we're pretty strong on LinkedIn. Both Sean and I, we don't have any, you know, personal assistants or anything like we do everything ourselves. So sometimes you're super late on messages and replying back, but we always do reply back. And so even if you are an influencer in a space and people can actually reach out to you and have that chat with you, it's, it's encouraging. It's, you know, it helps to that they , you know, figured out that you're just a real person as ordinary as any other person. Right. It's just that you are bold enough to pursue different things. It just, people love it and so many levels and it's easy to build followership in that sense.

Speaker 3:

That's amazing. So LinkedIn is great. Yeah . What I'm really curious about also because you guys are really smart people, your choice of medium for your content. It's almost entirely that I find like written the just written content blogs, you know, detailed LinkedIn posts and things like that. I recall at one point you all were experimenting with video. I remember seeing a couple of , you know, yourself and Sean in the office and, and all of that. What is your perspective on using video or audio as marketing channels? I see a little less of that. Or is it just that I'm missing it?

Speaker 4:

I think you're probably missing it. So yeah, so we do have, you know, LinkedIn lives and we do record a lot of , uh , different videos for our audience. And again, it's very like going from zero to a million as I said, like it's not a rocket science thing , you no , 2019, 20, 20. And so we kind of really know what our audience needs and want to see and we're just giving them that, teaching them about a sales process, teaching them about how sales works. And you know, again, how this is not a rocket science, how, you know, fishing about some principles and things that are really important in sales that also corresponds with our platform. And while we are all about, and so honestly, like I just want the audience to know, like, there's nothing special about it. We just go in and we just do it. There's planning going on a strategic level of, you know, type of content we

Speaker 5:

want to do. You know, what's our audience, you know, what they're interested in. Like I use Intercom to just, I posed those questions from time to time . It's not even like long questionnaires , it's just them like the customer service platform. Yeah. And then like, but not even bad . Like I just don't even simplify it. Even more like just a question, like a pop up question inside the app. Like why would you want to read about like right if people do write from time to time, it's a continuous pop up that you know, if you're using the platform for for some time it just goes up and we're not AB testing. There's nothing special to it. It's just the simple question like why would you want to read about like why do we want to learn about so dos types of things and you know, like people respond and then we also research, we also look at our competition and you know what articles are doing really well there . So on a growth hack end, right. And then we do a lot of media. We don't have like any, any kind of post production there. It's very simple, very intuitive. We do it with a phone, we do it with a laptop like you know, very simple, just pretty much like yourself. Right. And it works like we just hear a lot of people even with podcast , right? We just hear a lot of people, Oh I was just listening to Sean on this podcast . I just listen . You have add on that podcast and people are just like, you know , I like that idea. Tell me more. And then again, remember the previous conversation, like you're replying to people, you respond , you're not being an asshole, right? Like you're just trying to help and that's what the business is up to that point.

Speaker 6:

Do you find that like investing in content like that took a while to to build out? Like it wasn't something like where you turn on like sometime like pay dies instantly. You can get like some type of traffic heading towards you. Like do you feel like it was an investment that took a while and you have to like you have to really work at it? Yeah, pretty correct. Yes. It would be a short answer on the other end. It doesn't take that long. Right before the conversation we talked about the SEO and optimization and I told you I have a really good managers and people who are amazing at what they do and even after a week of their engagement with the platform and optimizing for different CTRs and whatnot, it received 7% week over week in organic traffic. It's insane

Speaker 5:

and we don't spend money on PPC. Like again, we like to boost posts on Facebook would like to boost posts on LinkedIn,

Speaker 6:

meaning the need to company pages. We don't do any Google or any other ads, so as soon as you start optimizing a week over week, you started like SEO. Usually people think of it as a long tail kind of thing. You said you started seeing 7% week over week, immediate growth, immediate and drove . What was some of the low hanging fruit there? Like, what was your team going up?

Speaker 5:

So first thing like with the own page , uh , optimization. Yeah , for instance, like I didn't pay too much attention to it because you are shipping, you're producing, right? So they were just bleeding around with headers and then optimizing blog post and its own like to have a lesser chunks of content in a paragraph, like adding more info graphs so people spend more time on it, but it's also easier to go and scroll and then optimizing like title tags and amount of descriptions. Right. Simple sense . It's just the , like I told you before, I'm humbled to be here obviously, but on the other end there's nothing too special about it . We just work in it like item after item. And more importantly, I'd love to talk about strategic things. I told you like remote teams work, if you have a really good recruitment process, for instance, for me and marketing team, I did everything through referrals. I have fairly good network. I don't know how applicable that is to our businesses, but I have a good network. I just ask people like I need this, this and that. Very simple, like a few things that I need that I'm looking to find and you know, just help me. So finding that people helps and then Slack being transparent, that works. Also, we organize marketing and sales teams almost as agile tech teams. So we have weekly sprints, we have conversations, we have very simple items that people are pushing forward. It's all based on that. Right . And again, I'm saying like going from one to 10 will be a challenge and we'll have to change and optimize. And one thing that I can share today is where we're optimizing our sales esteem , specifically putting a lot of emphasis on sales development, meaning being proactive as a business, reaching out to people, et cetera. But that model will just take time. We'll take properties like three months to optimize to tweak and then it'll just deliver. Yeah , I think it's as simple as that.

Speaker 3:

Can you talk a little bit about the culture then specifically around sales? So it sounds like, are we inventing some of the things on the sales side? I remember Sean posted that. I think one of the things y'all do is every week you challenge your SDRs and BDRs to try something.

Speaker 5:

Oh yeah, that's, that's brilliant it , you came up with that. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

And so last one was what was it that you were, you created a personalized video message for everybody with the same first name or something like that. One of your BDRs did that.

Speaker 5:

Honestly, I don't recall that but um , it's probably something that he did. We would sales state . Yeah. But I remember we were working on the KPIs and you know what we're going to ask every month they are a sales team to provide starting with the sales development reps as the RS account executives and then customer success team. Right. So what are the things that we want to hear? And then like one last thing that he's like what new have I tried last week? And like there is no if the work or not. Like it's just, you know, why don't you try like what's a new thing? And then when people start their weeks, their Monday, right? Like they, they're like, what am I going to do this week? Because I know as part of my report that's , I need to talk about it . It's not a BS thing. Like we asked that question and here we go buddy. Like, you know, tell me more. What did you do? What'd you try? Right . Because we figured that we like to innovate, we like to try new things. Like just like that, no planning, no strategizing, just try it. Like give it a go. But some of our new hires are not used to think that way. And so yeah, that one question, all of a solid like, because they now have to think about it. Right . Have you guys noticed the difference between like leveraging live video content at that performance level , but better than in the email? Yes . Yes. Oh yeah . Yeah. Two to three times. Just a side story. Like I, sometimes I do a sales demo and I, by the way, I love it. It's just probably w you know, I wouldn't be the guy to do it like every day, but from time to time, I just love it because you talk to a customer, you get to pitch the product. It really feels good, right? And so I like cheese . I'm sounding from time to time and I don't have an ongoing campaign inside articles. I like, what do I want to do? And so we just recently we got a testimonial from one famous North American coach who was like, we didn't even ask him to do it, but he's like, I love older clothes because of this, this and that. They didn't even ask me to do it to Simonian. So I was like, Hmm . So it's a video. So I ended that, this is my second message in a sequence, in an email sequence. The first one was just a personalized video of me talking to other coaches, why order clothes can help them. And then I was like, let's just do the whole email thing with just videos and obviously you can personalize it with a first name and everything, right? It takes some of , uh , you've got to have some advanced kind of B yard product and whatnot . So I just did it like a plain general video, but directed towards coaches in North America up to a certain revenue point and whatnot. And it's insane. I have 95% open rate. 95 it's a direct personalize the email. Right? So it's not, MailChimp does that. So I'm sending direct emails from my personal email to condemn and again guys, my name is bad. It's just not familiar. Right. But it works. And video works in subject line because people usually click into subject line is good. Obviously that open rate has to do more with a subject line and a bit of video. But when people open there's nothing to scroll. There's just like a simple video. You see how long it is.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, I've seen people put like a little GIF animation of the [inaudible] . Does that feel like , that's really cool. That's really cool. What would you say to like any of the, you know , junior level marketers listening right now? Like what would you say to them as like the things that they should work on and focus on to kind of build their, their skill set out and be like a really good marketer?

Speaker 5:

We've talked about a few moments ago and you know, having a mentor, it's so easy. Like, I actually don't recall a time in my career and I started around when I was 19 that I didn't have someone else's help. Right. People that I just went to talk to and you know, cast my questions and you know, just be there and listen. And to me it's a big thing. Even when I came to Canada, you know, I was a fairly like formed professional and uh, but I knew no one and I found a guy at Google who was a really successful at what he does. And I emailed him or actually I messaged him on LinkedIn and I was like, you know, I have a few questions, you know, I'd love to meet up for, you know, I just, I'm , I'm brand new in town. I'd love to have a conversation. And after like one or two conversations , I asked him like, this is what I can provide because it has to be like both ways, relationship in building, like mentorships. And I was like, I work with startups. I have a huge network of people, you know, that are the word for me that worked with me, et cetera. You know, I can give you like the latest news, I can help you out with , uh , you know, who are the hot startups like in town and all that in return, you know, if you could be my mentor had for the next couple of months . And you know, he just said, okay, what's the mentorship for you? What does it mean? And you know , I gave him my definition, how I describe it and he was like, yeah, let's do it. So every once in a while we meet up at Google or around and just talk about different things. And just recently a friend asked me like, has a really successful software agency. And he is like, how do you pick members ? Like how do you pick people, do you want to work with? And you know, sometimes, obviously these are people with at least like 10 years more experienced than yourself, you know, like they are like , uh , successful or achieved something that you want to achieve, et cetera. But not necessarily, it can be a peer, it can be someone like it doesn't, you know, there is no definition. It just do feel that this is right. Do you feel that this person can help you with their advice and and responding answering your question . So that's, that's definitely one thing. So finding a mentor. The other thing is don't be afraid to speak up and to kind of slowly start building your brand mean you have things that you believe in. You have some experiences. So posting online, put it online, like do a blog. Like it really helps to refine your talk process and how you think of certain because one thing is to think and to just be anxious about something and you know, just stress out then for things that you are too young to do it. But the other thing is actually to go and do it because as a young marketeer you might figure out how the work breasts forks and how to build the simplest CSS HTML and then you might figure like a new calling, right? Like can you meet my , become a drought marketeer. That's like really technically, really good, really capable. Or you might figure out that you're really good at writing copy. Just go out there and do things, build a brand for yourself. Right. That's awesome.

Speaker 3:

It'd be great to maybe talk just a little bit more about autoclose. That'd be really great cause it's a, it's a fantastic platform built right here in Toronto. Canada. You guys are a catering company. How can auto close benefit, especially you say you work with a lot of startups , uh , teams that are starting to grow sales. Talk to us a little bit more about how to close the platform. Hold

Speaker 5:

up . Low started. So Sean finder, he started actually a company called exchange leads. It was a pure hustle, a really good product, but you know his side, pure hustle. So basically the idea was as a salesperson, you're just, you have some data in sales contacts that you proactively reach out to and then you kind of got to find new contacts who basically go there. You exchange leads. That's the whole idea. It's very simple. You put your CSV file, you get the new one and you go with it. And believe it or not, after like a lot of grind and hustle. Now Rogers came in like in big companies and they were like, you know, this seems pretty good company and you know what we need at our department's like why do we build a partnership? So Sean and the guy started working for like those B corporations like Microsoft, Roger as they be kind of became referred a supplier of those types of services. And then really the next logical step was, so you have all of these contacts, you have this amazing platforms, what do you do? What it was the next step, like what's the product vision? So literally the next logical step was to build an email automation service that will help sales development reps to, you know, send a better email. And I always like to say here, some folks might disagree, but um , this is like autoclose and all these other great companies out there such as outreach, SalesLoft , right? We are a necessity for, for sales development reps in 2020. It's nothing. Two sec seats. Nothing like huge, you know, I just don't want to put like wrong expectations set of anyone's had like would fake marketing is just, it's a necessity. People send the emails and you don't want to spend time writing each and every email yourself. You want to personalize it, you want to use video, you want to do it properly because there are a ton of customers and people out there who need your service that just won't ever be able to hear from you if you're not using all those automations. Um, so it really helps. It's almost like a commodity. It's something you've got to have it in your stack. So that really helps. On the other end, we have an amazing like product leadership and again, as a bootstrap company, it means a lot that you can, you know , count on a few people inside our company that it can ship and pivot quickly. We also have some product slash leadership slash maturity in, you know, w what our tech leads because they're not just going to build something because it's new, it's sexy, it's trending. They actually think how this fits in our tech stack. They actually think, you know, how hard is this to be built? Does it really make sense financially? It does that. So it's like to build a sustainable business and sustainable production like longterm. You just have to think that way. And I know some of our competitors, obviously I'm not going to name them, the added a lot of new functionalities through their product and shipped a lot of good stuff that actually doesn't work, but they spent a year and a half building. So in our case it's really all about good old simple questionnaires towards customers and surveys. Very simple, very plain. Just a few questions to figure out what's the thing that they need. And then again, good old strategy, you know, just go inside Intercom, see what the tickets are, talk to people. It's very simple, it's all very simple, but you just got to do, it continues and you've got to persist. As I told you, I, you know, duties, things like coaching and I work with a lot of like local businesses here and I really like , one of them is like, Hey man, I don't care. Like I, you know, I just want to do it for six months and see if it works. I have a budget, I, you know, it's properly budgeted and I just want to run with him . The problem that I see with a lot of people and startups and decision makers, they're like, it's, they're very short term thinking. Like they're like, you know, I'm just gonna try this and if you know, email automation doesn't return, doesn't get me a return on investment. Like I'm just going to dump it like, but you can decide in like three weeks, you've got to run it like multiple iterations , right? So at least six months, if you are starting with sales development team in house and depending on how much money you have, at least you need to have six to eight months to ramp them up. And that's if people have a two years in there like experience, right? If they're experienced enough to be able to take it to the next step. And if you're talking about juniors, then it's probably 12 months. So you've got to have those things in mind. You can't just ship things, you can't just hire people and fire people. It's just not good for the business. It's not good for morale. So you have to have people who are actually capable to think strategically. And in my experience, that doesn't necessarily corresponds with the number of years that you have mean . Like you can be a , like a young person like yourself, smart bride that understands the environment, you know, he or she is operating within. So

Speaker 3:

yeah, I mean there's so much more I think we're going to have you on for, of course, more episodes. It'll week. There's one episode does not do justice to everything you have to offer, but that, this has been amazing. Um, it's been a pleasure, you know, for both Greg and I to know you and I'm going to see you assess North and uh , on Tuesday in Ottawa, one of Canada's largest SAS conferences companies will be there

Speaker 5:

close Sean , David and the other guys score who are,

Speaker 3:

yeah, yeah, yeah. Um , yeah, it's going to be great. The Cain ecosystem is awesome. And hopefully the next time we chat you talk a little bit about how you can maybe contrast, you know, the Serbian startup ecosystem. You know a lot about how it's down South as well in Toronto. I know you have some interesting opinions about how we do things here and you're a part of it. You know, you're really an advocate for just building networks, getting people to work together, collaboration. That's, so

Speaker 5:

that's like, just like, you know, quickly on that. I just feel that, you know, we had serotonins here, you just got to share more and meet more in one on one basis and like do a little groups , you know, where we just honestly and openly share about our experiences. And again, if we go back to this episode, like I don't know how many times I've said it's simple, you know, it's this, it's that because like why do we have to make it all so salesy and this and that, right? Like it just works. And let me tell you how we did it. I might be different for your business, for your niche, but let me tell you how we did it and you tell me how you did it. Like what are, they did the hurdles in the way and all that. So, but there are a lot of people here in Toronto and Canada who are, who have a lot of experience and they want to talk. But I just feel that philosophy is really important. Like you just gotta be the first one to give, you know, if you want to get something out of, you know, so just be free, open minded and just speak about your hurdles and you know, because it's not, everything is always good for everyone, right? So it's just, just be honest about it. It'll help propel the whole scene up, which is what's happening in San Fran, Texas and all around.

Speaker 3:

Amazing. Would that call to action for all Canadians out there? I ended up here, but then last question. Um, you said you've had a, you have an interesting name, but I don't think it's that complicated. How do people find you on online LinkedIn? I'm sure

Speaker 5:

LinkedIn for sure. Uh, and you know, let's leave it at that. That also, my email is fat out . autoclose.com you know, people can send me an email. I do always respond. So, yeah, this was a pleasure. Thank you. Good . Thank you.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .