Sarah Watz - Marketing Automation, Open Source, and Network Marketing
Demo: 00:00 Hello and welcome to this week's episode of that BoldGrid BoldLife podcast. I'm your host Mike Demo, joined by my cohost, Jesse.
Jesse: 00:08 Hi everyone. Um, I have been spending most of this week watching last week's guest, Marcel Bootsman, uh, actually on his journey to WordCamp Europe, uh, walking across Europe.
Demo: 00:21 Yeah, it's a month of walking from the Netherlands to Berlin. I'm going to be on a plane and so will you when we go to Berlin, but, uh, you know, we might do a little walk in the city, but not to that extent. Well, this week's guest is Sarah Watz. Uh, she has a lot of titles, but I first met her as a former president of open source matters, Aka the Joomla! project and she's joining us from Sweden. How's it going, Sarah?
Sarah Watz: 00:49 Hi, it's awesome to be on. I've seen so many of this before, so it's a really nice to come on as a guest.
Demo: 00:57 Excellent. Well, we're so happy to have you. Um, obviously we're going to jump right into it. We have a lot to talk about. Uh, let's first kind of talk about marketing automation and, but before we get into that, can you give like a summary of what you do now and what your expertise is in?
Sarah Watz: 01:14 Well, I am, I help small businesses and entrepreneurs to simplify growth with the online trainings and business development advice and smart tools built for small businesses.
Demo: 01:27 Excellent. And do you do a lot of work helping those companies try to figure out how to use software tool sets to simplify their processes and also to be more efficient? Right.
Sarah Watz: 01:39 Yeah, absolutely. It's a big thing because I think that small businesses, the tend to be very ad hoc in their, in their business it's like you get a business card and you sometimes you follow up sometimes to put it down for later and you don't have a way to follow up immediately or after a while after doing it for a few times. So that might actually become a prospect and that can become a customer. But I think that because we don't have as good processes at place, we attend to do the ad hoc method, which is not as profitable.
Demo: 02:10 Excellent. So when you talking to a small business and you're talking about market automation, first of off, how do you explain Markedo animation to someone who maybe doesn't understand it and how do you talk to people when they think that it's maybe not appropriate for their industry or maybe it's too expensive?
Sarah Watz: 02:28 Well, I think that we have to think about marketing automation as a, like a extra employee that will help you as an assistant to do what you decide that the system will do for you. And that looks different in different industries and different sizes of businesses. I think that the business owner and the leadership of the business needs to figure out the processes in place first and then think about how to create a customer journey for their clients and do kind of processes manually first before they think about, hmm. It seems like I'm doing this a lot. It seems like I'm sending out kind of the same templated emails all the time, but I can, it should be better for me too, to actually create a system that the sense this automatically every single time I do this for me. So I don't have to do it and that will keep up some time for you to do other things that this system cannot do for you.
Sarah Watz: 03:27 Like having a conversation like we're having right now. And I think that the, uh, the idea of having a a year marking automation tool, it's really based on doing those kind of followups for you, saving you the time and do it consistently and not being on vacation or having maternity leave or anything else, but really doing it all the time for you, which means that you're not dropping the ball in different cases. You don't forget to follow up on leads. And it doesn't have to be complicated. I think there, most people think it's complicated or something. Woo Hoo that was made by a system somewhere that they don't have control over. Most systems for marketing automation is very visual. So you can see step by step what happens and you can affect and the configure the different kind of followups you would need, uh, in different places. And it's, it's a nice way to actually look at your business in a different way as you do. If you don't have a system in place.
Demo: 04:30 Excellent. So when you talk to companies and you're trying to figure out what makes sense for market animation, do you first have to figure out, have them record their playbooks and what their processes, because I find with a lot of small business owners, you're correct, a lot of it's ad hoc, a lot of it's on memory and they don't have set systems yet. So it was the first step to help small business owners figure out what their playbooks and processes are before you introduce maybe automation into that.
Sarah Watz: 04:59 Oh yeah, absolutely. Or if they don't have a playbook as we have discovered, Pete knows people don't have it and they don't know how to set it up. So we have some best practices play books that they can adapt to their own so they don't have to start from scratch.
Demo: 05:14 Excellent. And what type of results, I know it's a general topic and it's gonna depend based on a lot of things, but as a general rule of thumb, what kind of results are you seeing when you help our company? You kind of get set up on some sort of automation, either it be it more simplistic or maybe some of the more complicated uh, options that are out there.
Sarah Watz: 05:37 So I will say the most simple thing is he has to follow up new leads. When you meet them at a networking event or a conference or you are at a fair where you have a boos, those kind of followups are usually something that you are too tired to do at the same time when you come home because you have too much time lag sometimes or you busy. Yes. Getting back to the day to day job than most of the, the offers that we see or the results that we see is those kind of key follow ups that happens immediately after the first kind of meeting you had with them. Um, and it can be a lot of business money. That's actually she has left on the table. Yes. Because we haven't follow up with people because someone else at the fair or any follow up with them and got the business.
Demo: 06:24 Yeah, that's interesting. One of my prior companies, we did the document and Pixel tracking through one of the vendors and we noticed sometimes that are quote we would send out. Maybe that email got reopened a six months later, even after the sales department kind of wrote it off or maybe they were looking at the code again and we would have our sales team phone that lead right when they were looking at that quote, maybe that was months and months old and they're like, oh, that was weird. I was just thinking about you and you're like, yeah, it's funny how that works out. And if it means more business and you can set it up with text messages or emails, and I love stuff like that because I'm one of these people that I'm on the road all the time. Those either follow me on the interwebs, know this, and I meet that hundreds if not thousands of people each year. And some of these systems make it easier for me to follow up. Like Sarah, when I asked you to do this podcast, I'd had my AI assistant, which helped you to find a time. So that I wouldn't have to deal with the back and forth and also some other processes like that. So I'm a big fan of using technology to help make your playbooks and your efficiencies better.
Sarah Watz: 07:42 And I also think that the, when we think about marketing automation, usually my clients say, oh that's for big businesses. It's huge. It's complicated. It's going to take me years to do it and I don't have the time. But yes, it's small things like follow up a quote or yes, sending a quote, actually, Eh, like 70% of all the small business owners that are in the service industry, I actually do not follow up with their clients with their quote. Even if they've been to the, the place to make the measurements or something else to create the quote, they don't actually follow up with a call because they're too busy and that is leaving a lot of money on the table. So making those kind of small nuggets of tasks automated is going to be so much more affective than you sink. So you don't have to think about complex marketing automation system, but just small nuggets that's going to make a huge difference in any business.
Demo: 08:34 Excellent. So one of my sayings, I don't say Rsa and on this podcast is tools or tools don't be one. And I'm a believer and it doesn't matter what set of tools you prefer, WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal, which etc. And I think the same is true for some of these market automation things. There's companies like soft par.by Salesforce, Hubspot, uh, um, you know, modic which just got acquired by [inaudible]. There's all these different options. But what do you tell people when they are asking what's the best tool? Obviously you have the tools that you know and you prefer, but at the end of the day, if they maybe are, have a package through hubspot because they're using it for a different piece of thing. Or maybe they have salesforce and they get part of for free, or maybe they're just starting out. Like what do you tell people when they ask what is the best tool for marketing automation or does it depend on the company? And what they're trying to do.
Sarah Watz: 09:37 So the strategy needs to be in play first before you choose a tool. Uh, and I think that's, that's a key point. What do you want to do with your tool? What is the effect that you want to achieve? What kind of measurements would you like to have in place? And do you want to integrate it with some other tools that is in your toolbox, in your business? So that is the key reasons why you choose one over the other. Um, I will say that no matter what tool you use, it's like you say, it's not the tool that's going to help you. It's how you implement the tool and how you, the strategy behind it and the follow up by testing, learning, adapting, testing, learning, adapting to your marketplace. Because everybody is like, they are looking at your communication and your way of doing things in a different way. So you have to look at how you can adapt your systems and your processes to your ideal target market.
Demo: 10:39 Excellent. And if someone's just starting out and maybe they don't have resources or maybe they don't know a consultant or someone to help them get set up, what would you tell people you know, if they're interested in getting started is the best place to get started. Other free resources out there, um, or playbooks or um, uh, training sessions that people can kind of watch online to kind of get started if they are just like, I know I want to do automation in some sort, but I really don't know even where to begin.
Sarah Watz: 11:11 So I think there is a lot of different presort resources that way you can start just to learn more about what marketing automation can do and like what's the big why about it and how is it done in different systems and what can you achieve with it? A youtube has an accent channel. Ts Look at marketing automation. Yeah, we have free resources on our blog and also playbooks and webinars and live shows where we explain different versions of playbooks and discussions with other entrepreneurs that already been implementing it. Then what the results are. So yes, learn first to get the mindset straight and then look at the different tools and choose one that's is going to be the one for you.
Speaker 3: 11:56 Okay.
Demo: 11:56 Excellent. And I know we'll go over it at the end, but what is your website and blog where people can find some of the resources that you accompanying you or provided?
Sarah Watz: 12:07 So my Company website is called pixpro.net and you can find the blog there.
Speaker 3: 12:13 Okay,
Demo: 12:14 excellent. So I know a lot of people that I talked to really steer away or shy away from marketing automation because it feels impersonal or it loses that human touch. So do you ever get that concern when you talk to people?
Sarah Watz: 12:32 Absolutely. I think that the way we do marketing automation, yes, a year or two ago is actually not working in the more, I think that the conversations need to be personalized and it needs to be engaging a yes, blasting out immensely amount of emails where people are not engaging in your emails and not clicking on your emails.
Sarah Watz: 12:52 Then I'm going to get into the inbox anymore. They are going to go to spam or not even being delivered due to the algorithm themselves, like hotmail or Gmail or any other service provider when it comes to email. So we have to think in a different way to ask for response in our emails. We need to ask for clicks on buttons. We need to say, Hey, what do you think about those? Please reply to this. So people know like the systems, the email systems know that this person really would like to get emails from this provider, from this company and they are interacting with, with the emails. And that's different from just like a year or two ago. And also when you talk about SMS saying or like I had a conversation on many chat, uh, in San Diego on the conference there, we talked about the how to do personalization based on tags or based on a engagement and use that information to be personalized in the way we communicate, but not to be a blasting out emails. I think that's the key point that I, I learned the past year that we need to be in conversation and engaging with our lists store, our prospects or clients.
Demo: 14:09 So, uh, when you said just now that you have to ask for a response, ask for interaction, um, what's your, what's your strategy? Is it literally just to ask them to do it or, or do you have some secret sauce to uh, to engaging, getting engagement?
Sarah Watz: 14:27 Well, I, I like to know more and more about my idea clients, my avatars, the people on my list. So I ask them questions that's gonna feed be added into my Avatar and the like the painting of my ideal clients. So I know what words they use. I don't know what the attracts them. I know what repels them, I know how to use that information into my communication in social media on my website or in if like future emails.
Demo: 14:56 It's very interesting when you talked about the personalization and sometimes it can backfire. So I am on a mailing list for Taylor brands, which is kind of like design software. And I tweeted this just cause I thought it was funny and I got an email inviting me to one of their webinars and it said hi, first name is blank. And I called them out on Twitter and I'm like, come on Taylor brands you can do better. And I know what happened. They were trying to do a merge and I'm grandfather, I'm an old grandfathered plan probably before they had that tag in there. So how do you make sure that fubars like that don't happen when you're trying to do mass communications? Um, are there settings and rules you can do? So like if something's blank and maybe falls back to just a generic weeding or things like that.
Sarah Watz: 15:49 Yeah, and the system that we use, we have generic fallbacks but we usually try to actually do like filters searches before and we sent out something to make sure that the, uh, the fields or the tags that we are using as much fields where as segmentation is actually filled in. Otherwise we would take them out and see that we can get that information before it was sent it out.
Demo: 16:14 Excellent. So shifting gears a little bit, obviously because you're a European based company, how does Gdpr play into this? Because a lot of times market automation involves using third party tools that maybe have the data stored on their systems. You might have data stored on your systems. So how do you make sure that your Gdpr compliant when trying to do marketing automation through some of these different systems, considering you have multiple players? Um, kind of touching the data?
Demo: 17:37 And you actually created a Gdpr, a Joomla! extension that ended up going, uh, going to, uh, OSTP trainings, um, plugging company. Um, so did, when you are creating that, did that help you, um, kind of figure out how to apply Gdpr and your clients when doing mark animation and things?
Demo: 19:18 excellent. And speaking of Joomla!, obviously you served was at one term or two terms as president of Joomla! slash open source matters.
Sarah Watz: 19:28 Yeah, I started for three years.
Demo: 19:30 Three years. Okay. Three years because the terms were, it was over the transition, so. Excellent. Yeah. So why did he decide to run for the board at Joomla! and what do you think about open source ecosystem in general? You know, not just human, not just WordPress, but kind of the open source community and what it provides, uh, the world.
Sarah Watz: 19:54 So two high respond to your first question. Why did I apply to be on the board? I was invited to the board, uh, nominated and I felt like I could come in with the, the uh, experience I have by creating online education and certification programs in the Swedish Higher Snare Academy, uh, system, uh, to help Joomla! Creates the first certification program. So that's why I applied to be on the board and got nominated and selected to be at the word. So that's was my main reason to start serving on that level. And then further on I, I applied to be the precedent.
Demo: 20:37 Excellent. And Are you still involved in open source foundations or any of open source projects currently?
Sarah Watz: 20:46 Yeah. No, I'm, and I think that the, the idea of open source is like excellent. I love that. When I could see the first bloggers come out and we're doing WordPress, that was like young girls at the word count that I joined in Stockholm and then were sitting there opening up code, changing widgets, doing different things and saving their PHP code that they adapted and they made something beautiful. And I was like asking them how much training do you have in in the programming? And they were like, no, nothing, highest open up things. And I can just like, yes, play with it and see if I can change the the way I want. And I asked people in the forums to help me with advice. I go to conferences like this to, to look at it and see what I can do and get inspired.
Sarah Watz: 21:35 And yes, getting that kind of empowerment to people that have, we're not programmers to create really great websites to communicate their, their mission and their idea. It was amazing. And I think that all open source software, like you mentioned them before and there are so many of them out there in so many different levels of users and so many different industries and different tools and all of them have the same kind of mission to empower people to do what they want to do without limitation when it comes to usually money because the licensing arm is so cheap, instead of be paying the big bucks for closed source and especially the them, the possibility to change things and adapt things to be their own. Uh, I think it's so powerful and I think it's been a change in the way we live and breathe and do things today. A sense open source came into play. So I think that the, uh, the idea of open source is one of the biggest thing that we had had in the the tech world. Actually.
Demo: 22:50 You have to stop making fun of me for using Linux on my desktop now.
Sarah Watz: 22:56 Yeah,
Demo: 22:57 I know. I don't make fun of you for using analytics and I just think it's an interesting choice. Although I will say this, that I always thought it was very interesting that every open source conference I go to, the majority of people are using apple products. Right. I always thought that was funny and I mean I was Gil, I've been guilty of it too, but now they have some unix in there, so that's kind of cold. But uh, hey, if it works for you, it works for you. I'm, you know, tools are tools, right?
Sarah Watz: 23:25 Yeah. But like you don't have to be experts in every tool. You can just find one or two tools that you really want to be nerd saveon so you don't have to spend the time on the, maybe the infrastructure or the computer itself. So I think it's a fair game to say that someone wants to have something easy, like a Mac that they know it's gonna, it's gonna work and they can concentrate their efforts in, in other tools.
Demo: 23:49 Oh, I mean, I, I, I completely agree. Like when I do need to do advanced spreadsheet work, I just prefer excel. I know there's open source options out there, but I just know that tool and I can do all the calculations I need very easily. And that's the preference. But I know people that are really good with some of the open source imaging programs like gimp and things when I'm like, I can do Photoshop, but whenever I tried camp I just can't figure it out. So you're completely correct in that. So I know we're kind of run out of time, but I want to talk really quick about networking because I know that you're involved in things like BNI and other local networking groups and this is something that I really have a passion for it. Cause I used to work at a chamber of Commerce when I was in high school and I find a lot of people don't give enough credit to their local networking opportunities. So why are you in being an I and why do you go to all these different networking breakfasts and things locally to you?
Sarah Watz: 24:47 Well, I think that like you, I spent so much time doing online trainings. I spend so much time on doing uh, like yeah, webinars or assume meetings sentence, nice to meet people like face to face and having that connection and you're going to build more trust like and the everything else that you need in your sales and marketing faster when you meet in person and being a in a network. I think that most people think that they, they go there because it's nice and fun. But I go there with a mission. I have a goal. I either is like, I want you to spend time with five people that I didn't spend time with before. I want to know more about them. I might want to have a lunch or a breakfast with them afterwards and get to know their business more and see how I can serve them and help them.
Sarah Watz: 25:35 Because if I do that, I know that it's going to kick back to me. And because they come with leads and they come with prospects and clients to me, yes, because I helped them and I'm not asking them to help me before I help them. And I think that that's the key point in networking to give first, uh, to, to show a case that you can open up your network to other people. Uh, instead of saying, hey, you need to open up your network for me. And I think that that's the key point when it comes to success in networking to give first. Uh, I miss spending a lot of times would be an I am spending time with global women. Uh, I'm spending time with like start up. I'm like, yeah, I'll have to work. So things like that go to a lot of conferences and globally, uh, yes, to meet other people and look at their, their way of looking at the world and looking at business to get inspired as well.
Sarah Watz: 26:27 So yeah, networking for me is, is big business. I am not the one who comes home with a, like a stack of business cards and put that on my table and never follow up with them. I tried to connect with them. I try to have a really good process of how often I will check in with them and ask for, ask them what can I do for them. Yeah. I think that's uh, that's the difference from like a few years ago where how was more lacking in followup? Now I do it, yes. Because I have a like app on my phone, I just take a picture on the business card and there is this followup that happens that I don't have to spend too much time on. But it's really effective.
Demo: 27:07 Yeah. That's my philosophy because when I first started doing networking, I looked at everybody at a networking event as a potential customer but not in a but in a bad way. Like I was always trying to figure out how can I sell this person. And then when I was talking to John Rampton, who I know, you know is a friend of both of ours, he told me that he tries to add value and give back to everyone who comes in contact with and he had no purpose behind it. He's like every five people that come into contact with will equal this. So we tend, people I help will equal this. Every 20 people I help with this and they boil down to like every thousand per person I help will equal this like really big business opportunity. And he'd just quantified it. And that's how I started when I became an evangelist is that was my philosophy is how can I give back and add value to people and maybe they'll have a lead or maybe they'll know somebody. I've already gotten a couple of referrals this week for one of our brands that I'm evangelizing for and that is just cause I'm trying to add value. So I whole heartedly agree. And I think that's where a lot of people miss is they maybe join a chamber at Bni and it's all about what can you give me and I try to flip it. Uh, just like you were saying and how can you add value for other people cause there will pay back in spades over time.
Sarah Watz: 28:27 Oh absolutely. And it might not be the person that you help that's going to give you the business, but they will see and hear that you did something for someone else and how happy they were about that. So they feel like they can trust you.
Demo: 28:39 Exactly. Uh, one quick thing about Bni, cause I talked to a lot of people, at least here in the states that are web developers, they get discouraged. The baby in, I uh, for those of you that don't know, it'd be nice to answer a business network international. It's where you join a group of business owners is only one business on a per industry and you trade leads back and forth. So there might be one plumber, one painter, etc. Uh, a lot of web developers are like, oh well my clients not in the BNI or you know, I'm too, you know, it's not the right type of person. But for me, I found you have to visit a bunch of chapters in the area because there's like a hundred plus chapters within a 50 mile radius of me up here in Minnesota. And I visited like 15 chapters until I found one that I clicked with those people, because not every chapter is right for every person. So just because you maybe had one bad experience doesn't mean you should maybe not try again because you may click really well with the next group. Because I find when I visited other BNI chapters that the vibe is very different from chapter to chapter.
Sarah Watz: 29:40 Yeah. You have to think about the, the people that get the most referrals are usually in the web development's fair because it's so easy to give it to someone saying, Hey, I need a new website. And they can, it's tangible. So you can look how, how the deliverables are. So as a member of the BNI group that you join, it's easy for them to say, Hey, I see that you do good work. I can tell my clients I loving what you do and I will be happy to refer more people. So they are like your sales team, but they are working their butts off to give you referrals every single week by less listening to their network and seeing who is asking for, Hey, do you know anyone that's going to do what really good website for me. I am looking for a new website developer and they're looking online. They're looking in linkedin or Facebook groups or anywhere. So it's not just at the meeting and the people that are at the meeting that they will refer you to, it's actually the people that are outside the meeting that they're going to be more happy to refer you to. Yeah. Here's my BNI pro tip. Make really good friends with the caterer. Um, and then you can just schedule all of your coffee meetings with the caterer and meet other people and just basically never have to pay for lunch ever again.
Sarah Watz: 30:57 Good choice. Yeah, I would say that [inaudible] the best thing would be an I have to, if you invest in it, is to invest in a lot of one to one meetings, which is when you meet other members and explain what you do in your business and you'll listen to what they do in their business. What are they looking for? When is it going to be a good faith, what kind of clients can you refer to them? So the more you know them, the easier it is for for someone to refer someone to you and the same for you to refer to them.
Speaker 4: 31:23 Excellent. Well we're starting to wind down but you have something exciting. It's starting in September. What is happening in September?
Sarah Watz: 31:31 Well, we're opening up our business hero academy in September and it's a membership site that offers entrepreneur, so like an entrepreneur school. And so it's like on the line online on demand trainings. It's a weekly Faq, live video calls in the group, uh, biweekly membership calls and also like a really good community wide. So people that are going through to training in the membership site can also ask questions to each other and share their wins. And a, if you are feeling discouraged as a small business owner, you have a place to go and yes, get some new energy because as small business owners we are kind of alone sometimes. Then we feel like no one, no one gets us and people say, Hey, you should get a job instead or they have employees and you cannot confined in them. So it's a really good and safe environment to, to get training so you get to be a better entrepreneur and also be better at running your business and simplify it and use the right tools and the right strategies for you. So that's a thing that we were launching in September.
Demo: 32:37 Is there a website already that people could um, go to or keep in mind?
Sarah Watz: 32:43 Yeah, they can go to picks pro academy.com and there is a form there. So fair feeling to say, Hey, I want to be on the wait list too to get my information.
Demo: 32:53 Excellent. And how can people follow you on all of the different channels that you were on. So Instagram, Facebook, et cetera.
Sarah Watz: 33:01 so I'm Sarah Watson, one word on all the different networks, so that's pretty simple.
Demo: 33:08 Excellent. And I'm MP Mike on Twitter.
Jesse: 33:12 I am at Jessie's p. O. N. Eh, you can follow up ball grid, Apple Grid, and you can join our growing user community on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/bg team orange.
Demo: 33:27 Please go to [inaudible] dot com for links to all over our new plugins, including Creo, which is a simple theme builder that you can sign up for a demo on for free, as well as the show notes from this episode and every episode of bold life, including a transcript and links to all the resources we talked about. Well, thank you so much, sir. I really appreciate the time that you spent with us today.
Sarah Watz: 33:52 Thank you so much for inviting me. This was really fun. Thank you.