The Keys To Automating Your Marketing with Kronda Adair

“Marketing automation is simply taking the manual processes of your marketing and giving those tasks over to technology.” – Kronda Adair


In this episode of The Widest Net Podcast, Pam welcomes Kronda Adair, the founder of Karvel Digital and a marketing automation expert for service-based businesses. Starting with small-scale web development, Kronda discovered her passion for digital marketing and now helps clients maximize their email marketing content and streamline their sales processes. 

Certified in marketing automation services, she emphasizes the importance of keeping automation human and adaptable, particularly during challenging times. Her expertise and practical approach to automation make her a valuable resource for businesses seeking to enhance their marketing strategies.


Here’s what you can expect from this episode: 

    • Discover steps to building a predictable sales pipeline with marketing automation
    • Learn how the art of writing effective email welcome sequences can engage and convert your audience
    • Is there power in utilizing AI in your digital marketing strategies 
    • How to construct a reliable and predictable sales pipeline using advanced automation techniques
    • Learn the secrets to choosing the right tech stack for marketing automation that suits your service-based business


Here are the Show Notes.


Here’s the transcript:


Welcome to another episode of The Widest Net Podcast. I’m your host, Pamela Slim, and I am joined today by my guest, Kronda Adair. Kronda is a founder of Karvel Digital, an agency that provides marketing automation for mission driven, service based businesses that want to create a predictable sales pipeline. From her humble beginnings, building $500 WordPress websites.        


Oh my God. Didn’t everybody? I think everybody has done that at some point in their career. Yeah. Kronda found a passion for digital marketing and marketing automation.        


Today, she’s a digital marketer and certified automation service provider who helps her clients make sure that no lead slips through the cracks and that every piece of email marketing content you create is used to its fullest potential. She created CRM To Sales, which we’ll talk about a little bit later to help. Overwhelmed and overworked teams use marketing automation as the foundation for building a system that helps you save time and increase revenue. When she’s not working, she can be found enjoying time at home with her wife, cat, hiking or doing dog sports with her two…       


Is it vizslas? Vizslas. Vizslas? What type of creature is that? Is that a dog?        


Yes. Okay. Hungarian hunting dog. Oh my God. I learned something new.        


That’s so cool. She loves reading dead-tree books, cooking delicious food, or enjoying the postcard vistas of the state of Oregon. I’m so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for having me. I know we kind of went through to get here and I’m just excited that we made it happen.        


And ironically, why is it always that whatever expert I’m talking to, there’s something that happens in the middle? We had some operational snafus in order to get on the way. And it’s like, my sister is an editor and a writer. My dad was a photojournalist, a writer and editor. So I would sweat to write emails to them sometimes just knowing that they couldn’t help but edit.        


I always sweat when talking to operational people, when they experience our operations. So in a good way, I’m always down to learn. Well, I am far from perfect. And we were just talking about the messy middle. And it’s awkward as a service provider of automation because I had a big pivot in my business and so I had all this automation for this old offer, but then I have to recreate everything for the new offer.        


And when you’re in the middle of that, it’s like, oh, everybody expects things to be automated because I’m the automation person. So I’m like an anti-perfectionist. And I think around mid 2020, I wrote to all my clients and introduced something called pandemic rules. Because can we just take a moment to acknowledge the collective trauma that we’re all experiencing and that maybe we’re just not at our best? Yeah.        


So even though I’m an automation person, I’m all about keeping it human and just allowing for grace. I love that. And it is a really important thing to recognize when we come into automation that for me, it’s a huge part of the overall Widest Net circle. It’s chapter ten, actually. But it very much fits with clients that I work with where if you’ve been around me at all, you know, I’m constantly harping about Tiny Marketing Actions, how we can be doing these tiny little connections, planting seeds, connecting with people that at first can start as a rather individual driven activity.        


When you’re reaching out to real people with real emails or whatever the activity is over time, as you look at really building strength within your marketing operations, then I think automation is a really critical part of that. So I want to start with just a definition of what is marketing automation. Yeah, that’s a great place to start. And marketing automation is simply taking the manual processes of your marketing and giving those tasks over to technology. And so one of the big mistakes I see people make with automation is they want to automate too soon because sometimes they’ll start asking about their process and it’ll be clear they don’t really have a process.        


So it’s really there to help you take what’s working. So I say you want to take what’s effective and make it efficient. So if you’re doing something and you’re like, oh, this is working. Like some of our best clients are people that they have a proven offer and they’re making sales, but they’re just working a little too hard for it, or they can’t even fathom scaling because they’re like, oh, if this is how much I have to work to be at this level, I don’t want anymore. And it’s like, no, that is the time when you want to come in and say, you know what, 70% of this you can just hand off to technology.        


And what are some specific examples of that? What are some of the areas of marketing that you would be able to automate using technology?        


Well, the most basic that people have probably heard of is just like a simple email welcome sequence. So hopefully if you’re in business, you have an email list, and if you have an email list, hopefully you have a welcome sequence. And I always like to make analogies about this because I think people relate to it a little better. And so if you invited someone over to your house for a party, the welcome sequence is like the lobby. It’s like they come in, they get comfortable, you show them around, you tell them where everything is.        


You show them the food table, you show them where they can get drinks. And so that’s really like someone’s brand new to your business. They are interested enough that they’ve given you their email address, and so you really want to welcome them in and say, hey, here’s what we do here. Here’s who we help. Here’s how we do it.        


Here’s why it’s good for you. Here’s the next step you can take. If you really want to solve this problem, it’s really your opportunity. It’s the coffee date of the email marketing world, and it’s astonishing to me how many people still just don’t have that. So if you don’t have it, that is definitely the first place to start.        


If you do have it, make sure you go back and look at it every six months or so, because I just revamped mine, and I was like, oh, my God, I can’t believe I’m still saying this. This is totally out of date. Your offers change, your focus changes. Change is inevitable. So it’s something you just go back to again and again.        


So that would be the basics. And then after that, a sales sequence for your signature offer, because most people stop at the welcome sequence, but you really are in business to make sales. And so the next part of that is the sales sequence. And making sure, not that you don’t want to just kind of vomit your offer over people in one email. You really want to take your time over five or six emails and make a case for, hey, if you have this particular issue, this is our bread and butter.        


We do this all day. This is how it works. And answer their questions, deal with objections, all that kind of stuff, and just invite them to take the next step. That’s really the way we got connected was actually Sonia Simone, who’s a past guest on the whitest night podcast, and we were talking at length about email nurture sequences and content and so forth. It has been the bane of my own existence.        


It will not be forever, because I actually will be working with Sonia to be building them. It’s one example. I know in my own business, even though I am a writer, I actually do enjoy writing. I love writing emails. For whatever reason.        


I never seem to get it together enough to write an updated sequence. So I have learned that it’s helpful to be working with somebody else to put that in place. And as you’re describing that given different focus areas, sometimes, I know for authors that I work with, there can be different books or maybe different things that you’re highlighting, it’s really important to keep that fresh, because when you add that part of automation which can be so wonderful when it’s done and fresh and contemporary, if we take sort of the welcome lobby metaphor, it would be like inviting people through this wonderful lobby, and then you open the door and they drop off into the abyss because the house has been moved. And they’re like, what just happened? That seemed like a great thing, but all of a sudden, where am I?        


And that’s the customer experience. I think that’s probably something people fear about automation. Is all this stuff happening that I’m not aware of that will make me look like a fool? What do you say to people about that? Yeah, so a couple of things.        


One, I think it’s so great that even though you’re a writer, you don’t have so much ego that you’re like, no, I have to do this because I’m a writer, because I have so many clients who are writers, some who are even copywriters, who are just like, I just need a me for me, or I just need someone to handle the tech. And I’ve had things on my list like, oh, I need to create a sales page. And after two months of saying that, I was like, I haven’t done it. That means I need to hire, because not getting the thing done is so much more expensive than just keeping it on the back burner. So kudos to you for that.        


I think there is a lot of fear, overwhelm, trepidation from people who are really successful in what they do, but they’re not necessarily familiar with tech. And so then when you go in and you want to hire somebody to kind of, it can be a big jump. I have a client now that is really great in person, speaks on stages, has all these corporate contracts, but just hasn’t been utilizing digital marketing. And so it’s a big lift. And one of the things that we do to mitigate that actually just posted a reel about this, is people don’t like change.        


They don’t like change. And so even though you say things like, oh, I’m tired of being on the social media treadmill, I have people in my world who’ve been saying that to me for two, three years. But they don’t hire us. And it’s because somewhere in their brain they’ve got some mental stuff going on where it’s like, that’s too big a change for my brain to handle. And so one of the ways we mitigate that is just through education, we have a resource vault for our clients that’s specifically client only.        


And I’ve just been growing it and growing it because every time I have a conversation where someone’s like, oh, explain that to me, or, I don’t understand this, or I know that once we do something on our side, it’s going to require a change on how the client operates in order to actually make that useful. So let me give a specific example. One of the things we do is we want to be able to track where leads come from. I think you mentioned you’re about to go do a talk, right? And there’s a lot of clients who are speakers, they go to events, they do all these things.        


You have opt-ins. And so one of the things we do is we set up opt-in forms and we make sure there are hidden fields that can capture UTMs, and UTMs. If you’ve ever clicked on a Facebook link and seen the URL and then all this gobbledygook that happens. Right. All that’s just tracking stuff.        


Like cool marketer tracking stuff, right. And so they’re not that hard to set up, and we make sure that you’re able to capture those. But then on the client side, you have to actually use the UTMs. You have to stop sending out those naked links and send out the one that has all that cool tracking stuff in it. So I have a lesson.        


I think it’s less than ten minutes, and it’s like, here’s what this thing is, here’s why it’s important, here’s how you do it. And here’s an airtable base so that you can easily set them up. You don’t have to manually keep creating these. You can just set some parameters, the link will be created for you and then you can use it. So that’s the kind of thing where it’s like, yes, I can explain that on the onboarding call, but you’re not going to remember.        


Right. And so I want people to have resources to go back to that they can go back to, or maybe it’s someone on your team that needs to go back to it. And so that’s kind of how I handle that. Where we have clients all the way from super non technical to their professional web developers. So we kind of meet people where they’re at and it’s a resource that’s there for them.        


I love that. It reminds me that my friend Susan Baier always talks about being relentlessly helpful in business. So that’s either just in general out there in the Internet, out there in the world, being helpful and also being helpful to your clients by having really specifically curated and designed materials. Because I know my own experience when working on automation, it can feel sometimes like you step into a vortex and it just can be impossible to be getting certain things done. It is why I actually am a huge fan of outsourcing things like that.        


Because while I do find it really interesting and it feels really satisfying sometimes to be creating something, there are a lot of things that can get in the way, like you said, with sometimes the nuance about different technology or getting it tied together. And I have seen many a client basically throw shoes and staplers across the room when trying to do such a thing. So it’s great to have the information. Not everybody always has the resource, which is understandable to be hiring somebody else. You had said earlier that sometimes people start too early or they are not prepared to do marketing automation to begin to automate certain processes.        


What would you consider for a service based business, which is probably the majority of folks that I work with, would be the minimum number of things to have in place to begin some types of marketing automation activities? Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say it’s never too early to have an email welcome sequence. Like from the day whole businesses have been started with just a landing page, an opt in and an email list. And so it’s never too early for that.        


And writing those things helps you kind of clarify your own offer. Writing emails helps you clarify and helps you build relationships. And this is one thing that our approach is a little bit different around email marketing than maybe some people have done in the past, is that I’m really relationship focused when it comes to email. And so a lot of people get stuck in like, oh, I’ve done my weekly newsletter check and I’m like, yeah, we don’t really do that. If somebody’s not going to be excited to receive that in the inbox, then why are we doing it?        


So email welcome sequence. And then the other thing is scheduling, like using something like calendly or there’s other tools out there. But I’d say if it’s day one of your business, it’s never too early to have something that makes it easy to schedule where you’re not going back and forth and doing, what time are you free? What time are you free? And it just kind of elevates you to a professional level to have that in place.        


And it’s really easy to set up. Calendly has a free tier. So I would say those are two things it’s never too early to do. And then just focus on getting those clients. And then as you serve clients, you’ll develop processes and then you can look at automating that.        


Do you ever find that in the work that you’re doing with automation? Is it out of scope of the work that you do to help define what is a good process? Because sometimes people just get stuck, their brain isn’t wired that way, they’re not operational. I’m just curious if you end up having a bit of a hybrid of this is what the process should look like, and then we will automate it. Yeah, so we’re huge on documentation.        


I mean, we really don’t do anything when clients first come in, if they have existing processes, if they have other stuff that they’ve already been doing, the very first thing we do is document everything, both visually and in a database driven kind of way. And so for some of our clients, we’ve done the entire sales process where we interview them and say, tell us what you’re doing now. First, what’s actually happening? And then we look at that process and we say, okay, 70% of this can be automated. And then we’ll take that and we’ll say, here’s what we think the process should be, and here’s the parts that can be automated, and here’s how that will change your flow and save you time.        


And then once the client signs off on that, then we build that out. So. Absolutely. Because the whole point is you have a process, but you want to optimize it and make it more efficient. So we definitely come in and we make those suggestions like, hey, you know what?        


The robots can do this. I remember when I found out that there’s a little plugin that you can add to zoom and it will just send all of your Zoom recordings over to Vimeo. And I was just like, what? I don’t have to have my VA do this. Downloading the video and uploading it, it’s just like, it’ll just send it over there like life changing that one little thing.        


That is amazing. My mind is currently blown in this very moment because, yes, I hate doing those kinds of things myself. What I need is for my fathom recordings to be downloaded and then uploaded into my notion client portal. So I can already see the areas that if we can start to automate, would be so much easier. We’ve talked before about different types of technology.        


Is there a typical and for you favorite tech stack of applications automation software that service business professionals should use? I definitely have strong opinions. I’m a little less bullish than I used to be about it because technology is constantly changing and so things come into favor, they come out of favor. I will say…I’ll talk about some of my favorite tools, but I have a podcast on this. It’s episode 14, I believe, of my podcast begin as you mean to go on.        


So it’s called choosing your tech stack. So I go over all that there. Before I get into specific tools, let me just say sort of my strategy and the criteria business is really about data, like marketing is about data and being able to move your data, access your data. I just did a summit talk about conditional content and personalizing your messaging, which completely relies on actually knowing things about people, right? And so it’s really important to be able to control your data, to be able to export your data, and to be able to move your data around.        


And so that’s what I prioritize when I’m looking at tools, WordPress. But saying WordPress is there’s like 11 million flavors of WordPress, but specifically there’s some better page builders than others. Thrive themes is what we’ve been on for the last nine years. I think it’s specifically marketing focused, has a lot of tools that make our lives easier in that respect. ActiveCampaign for email marketing and CRM, I like that you can kind of combine those things together so that your sales CRM is talking to your email tool and vice versa.        


That makes things a lot easier for us in terms of creating a pipeline and being able to bring that down to the ground. Let’s say you have a typical sales process where somebody submits an application, and so that action creates a deal in your pipeline. And then once somebody books a call in Calendly, Calendly talks to ActiveCampaign so we can automatically move them to that stage of the pipeline where they’ve booked the call. So being able to kind of move those things around based on the software talking to each other is really important. And then form software like how you get information is really important.        


I was a Jotform fan for a long time, still am, still love Jotform. But I recently moved over to fill out, which I heard about recently and it connects to airtable. And airtable is probably one of the foundational tools of our business for managing data and backend processes. And so fill out just makes it easier to connect your Airtable and say, okay, I want to use these fields to create a form and then send that information back to airtable and then you can integrate and send it to other places too. So I love when I can have one form submission and I can just send that out like a web, like, oh, I want this to go to airtable and I want this to go over to ActiveCampaign so I can email them about it.        


Yeah, I definitely have some favorite tools, but when I’m talking to clients, it’s really about what are their goals, what’s their level of technical expertise on their team. And my goal, I do have a power hour where I kind of help people put together their technology stack and my goal is for that stack to last them for at least five years. And I haven’t made significant changes to my stack in the last like eight or nine years. I’m only just now kind of looking at maybe switching some things out. It takes me a really long time too.        


I’ve been a keep infusionsoft user and am moving over, I think, to convertkit. I don’t know if you have any particular points of view about that versus ActiveCampaign. Do you notice a market difference? Just I think, well, ActiveCampaign raised their prices quite a bit last year and so people really mad at them for that. Not so much that they did it because I think they’re kind of on the level of keep and HubSpot and things like that.        


But the way that they did it was not great. I still think it’s a great tool. Convertkit is great. I love them as a company. I love their values.        


I followed the founder for a long time and they do have custom fields. It just doesn’t have the level of things that I need to do. Behavior based modification. But in general, I think ConvertKit works better for a lot of people because they don’t necessarily need all that. It’s like you need to do a little bit of personalization and a little bit of automation and you just need to be able to send emails easily to your segments.        


I’m not mad at convertkit at all. Yeah, I think that’s part of what I learned. And I’ve known and I appreciate and love infusionsoft slash keep because I’ve known them for so long and known the team. They’re here local in Arizona. But it is, I think, the case where there’s so much functionality that I really wasn’t using that it ends up being very laborious.        


And there’s something about just starting fresh when you do get to that point where you just feel like certain things are not working. I have landed in notion land, which I do love Notion very much. It just, for some reason, fits with my way. I see the world and visualize things. And so that’s been something that’s been really helpful to organize things and just have that kind of home base of resources that we’re building out in doing the building.        


Well, actually, before, I had two thoughts at the same time. Let me step back as we’re talking about tech stacks, because before we started recording, you said kind of in an offhand way, like, I’m anti all in one software. And so I just wanted to address that for a second. You were mentioning a number of different software that you have to figure out ways to have them communicate with each other. And there can be certain all in one software that might promise to do everything for your business.        


Why do you not like that idea? Okay, well, for one, those software tools that claim to do everything are lying every single time. Every single time. There’s no way that they might do everything you need for a while, like why you’re a small business or while you’re only focused on this. But at some point, you may grow out of that tool.        


And if you are locked into a singular tool and you grow out of it, now you have a massive job to move to something else or to split those functions amongst different tools. And maybe it’s because I have a developer background. When you learn to code, they teach you about modularity, meaning instead of having a code block that’s like three pages long, just write some little functions that just take care of one specific thing and tie them together. And so that’s the way that I approach software. And so now, ten years into my tech stack, even if I want to make a major change, I’m thinking about changing my payment processor.        


That’s huge, right? But I can do that. I can build on a new tool, and then I can just take that tool and slot it into my stack and connect it with everything I need to connect it with, rather than saying like, oh, the other issue I have with all in ones is the way that they just kind of trap your data.        


I offhandedly made a Facebook post about a year ago, and it just said an escape room. But for people trying to leave Dubsado and it was because I saw all these people who fell out of love and then getting their data out was just a nightmare. And so the first thing I look at when I’m in a tool is like, what if I want to pick up my toys and go home? How hard is it to get that data? And also, what if I just want to export my data so that I can put it into something like an airtable and I can look at the analytics of it all?        


And so there’s tools that make that easy to do, and there’s tools that make that hard to do. And by very definition, all in ones do not like to play well with others. They tend not to connect with Zapier so that you can send data to other places. They tend not to want to give you a dashboard where you can see your data. So I just don’t like to be trapped.        


It reminds me, I did an interview in The Widest Net in I think, chapter five of Bob Moore, who’s the CEO of Crossbeam. And they make software that enables tech partners from different software companies to put their customer data in a shared, secure spot where they can see co marketing opportunities, which I think is the coolest thing ever. It’s like really using ecosystem marketing and operationalizing it. He also has a brand new book that came out. I think it’s like I’m looking at it on my desk over here.        


It’s like ecosystem growth marketing or something like that. Bob Moore we’ll link to it in the show notes. In his prior startup, which was also a more data backed based technology business, he said, basically they built something where data went to die. And it was exactly what you said, like the promise of everything being accessible all in one. And part of what he discovered in that much less successful startup, I think his ended up being sold.        


And then the competitor who had not built it to be such a closed system where data goes to die had gotten ten or 20 times the valuation. They sold theirs to Google for like 9 billion, and his was markedly less than whatever that was. So I’ve often thought about that and it really does make a lot of sense. I can understand the promise for the harried business owner who is very often overwhelmed with just so many different tools, and then getting the tools to talk to each other. It can really feel overwhelming.        


But I’d like to think about, well, and. That’S a good point. And I want to be clear that I’m not villainizing people who use those tools. My whole mission is just awareness, right? Because if you make informed decisions.        


I know people, I have other tech experts in my circle that used Dubsado, but they’re like, I just use it for contracts or I just use it for this. So it’s the venus fly trap of it all where they’re like, oh, come in, it’s going to be great. And then they’re in there and they get stuck. And then they’re like, oh, I didn’t know. So I’m just always pounding the pavement for like, you can do whatever you want, but these are the considerations.        


And I just want you to know. Going in, I’m very much that way as well. Because what matters is that it works for the business owner and it works for the business, that it does create something that is functional. Because I think we all can glamorize with a shiny object syndrome, the one solution or the new thing that’s going to fix all the problems. And I remember my dear friend Chris Lee, who’s infusionsoft partner and a longtime tech person would know there’s no magic to any of the tools.        


It’s what you use, what you’re going to keep updated. And yes, there can be certain things that might functionally work better than others, but making that decision, I think is important in the way that you then implement those changes. So you were mentioning before working on one system at a time as an example. Give an example of maybe the steps where somebody says, I have never had a welcome sequence for my email. So how do you begin to organize and automate those processes?        


Well, now we’re getting into talking about content because one of the things people don’t necessarily realize when they’re new to automation is that content is really the blood that runs through the veins of automation. And so if you don’t have content, that’s really where you have to start. So it’s really making sure that people have the resources to write a welcome sequence, whether that’s doing it themselves, using templates, doing body doubling, hiring someone else.        


We won’t let a client half ass their welcome emails because I always say if you automate crap, then you just get automated crap. So we have to start with the content. And I have a tool that I made years ago. I call it the Pot o Gold content marketing database. And the problem I was having was I’m very prolific.        


I’ve been blogging since I started my business and I would have a conversation with somebody and I’d be like, oh, I have a podcast about that. I have an article about that. I have a video and then I would start searching the Internet for my own content.        


I feel like I’m looking in the mirror. You can’t see us looking at each other, but that is the story of my life. I have a global blood bank filled with content is what I have. My problem is not, it’s too much content sometimes, right? And so I was like, this is so, you know, I’ve already expressed my love of Airtable.        


I took to Airtable and I created this tool. And so it houses all of our content goes into that tool. And the reason I love using airtable for it versus, like, Google sheets or something like that, is Airtable is a relational database. It’s very visual. It’s grown miles since I even started using it.        


So not only can you have all these tables that relate to each other, for instance, published content, but you can have an ideas table, and then once your ideas are published, you can kind of link those two together, or social media content. So this is what this tool did for me in 2020 when the government started giving out pandemic money. I was like, oh, I can finally hire some help because I was just so done with Instagram, you couldn’t even make paragraphs at the time. And I was just like, I just want this thing off my plate, but I want it to be in my voice, right? That was my big concern.        


And so I have this content bank. I hired a marketing assistant, and I literally gave her, like, eight years worth of content. And I said, here’s this content. Here’s a theme for the month, and here’s a call to action. I want you to go through and create all the things, and I’ll just review.        


And so that reduced my time on that one task from, like, hours per week to 15 minutes. I just look at what she collected and say, oh, great, that looks good. Change the CTA, edit this paragraph like it’s good to go. And within three weeks, I was like, I was out of that task completely. I didn’t even keep reviewing.        


I was like, you know what? You’ve got this. And so just having all of that content in one place allowed me to just remove that whole thing, give me my time back. I went on to build, like, a team of seven people that year. So getting organized with your content is the first step.        


And the first thing we do with clients is start to document, right? So we give them. So if you’re listening to this and you’re drooling like the Pot o Gold is available, I have the template that you can go and buy and it comes with all the lessons you need of getting your content in there and customizing it for your business and all that good stuff. But yeah, if you’re new to getting that content together because people think, oh, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to email. And it’s like, yeah, you do.        


It’s in the conversations you’ve had, it’s in the interviews you’ve done, it’s in the coaching calls you’ve hosted, your content, it’s all right there. You just need to collect it and realize that it’s valuable and you can use it for your marketing. So I hope that answered the question. It did, because there’s one piece of it, and it does go to implementation because that’s the business coach side of me, where very often I am working with my clients to be breaking down what feels like an overwhelming activity. First, the overwhelming activity is just marketing in general.        


Then maybe we get to Tiny Marketing Actions, which is making smaller bytes but can still feel overwhelming, and then is looking at implementing automation and streamlined operations just exactly in the way that you described it with Instagram, so that you’re not working so hard and you can begin to facilitate either machines or other wonderful people who can be helping you to do that work. And that’s the piece of it that I always like to see personally and professionally with my clients is it can feel overwhelming. I always say I would love an entourage of ten people who are simultaneously automating all my processes, doing my hair.        


I could use a full service team at all times of my life with great joy. But the reality is that few of us have resources to be doing that. So we have to have some discernment about where we start. And then I think from an implementation perspective, look at how we may do one process at a time. And so I’m curious, you have Automation Club, which we’ll make sure that we link to in this podcast show notes, but it’s a monthly membership that you have created.        


I’m really fascinated, from a service perspective, kind of from a service delivery perspective, how this is, but it’s structured so that you can help people to streamline their operations. Absolutely. Am I right in that this can be an example of something that walks along with people as they’re working on a system at a time to streamline 100%. Yeah. And part of it is people don’t know what’s even possible and they don’t know where to start.        


As great as something like podcasts or YouTube is, it doesn’t speak to your specific experience, because I can’t know everybody who’s listening to this. And so I shut down content bootcamp a little over a year ago because I really wanted to focus on our done for you, and I really missed that opportunity to just really show up and serve. Like when I was doing content boot camp, we had weekly coaching calls and people would come with whatever their issues were and then leave with clarity and direction and marching orders, and I really missed that. And it showed in the clients that we were getting that weren’t really aligned values wise. And so 2023 was just kind of a brutal year.        


And so I realized I need that connection with people where I can just show up and help. So Automation Club, it’s $7 a month for just the base level, and I just actually launched the first seven lessons and it’s really kind of the foundation. So all the things we’ve been talking about, like what is automation? Where do you focus? What’s profitable automation?        


What are some of the baseline tools that you need to be familiar with if you’re going to automate? Move data around? So all of those lessons are there, and then I’ll just be continually adding little recipes that you can just go in and spend. My goal is I want people to automate at least one new thing a month. That seems like so small to me, who automates things every day, but if you just automated one new thing a month, it just grows and it becomes like compound interest.        


And so giving those recipes and giving that direction, and then you can upgrade. There’s $100 a month level, and that comes with direct access to me, where I get on for 90 minutes a month and it’s open office hours. You can come and you can ask about strategy, you can ask about tools. We just had our call a couple of weeks ago. I had everything from help me troubleshoot this zap, which then turned out to be a relationship problem.        


I was like, what are you trying to do? And I was like, well, you shouldn’t be using ClickUp as a CRM. And she’s like, well, my husband and I was like, no, now we’re into marriage counseling. Hey, you’re full service. You said you’re full.        


Yeah, no, I stop at that. But everything from that to someone who just is like, how do I automate? Reminding my coaching clients to show up for this group call every week? And literally I get on and I will be like, here’s how you would set that up in ActiveCampaign, or here’s the workflow. And people leave and they feel empowered and they can do stuff and they go and they do it.        


And I get all caps text from my dog trainer. She’s like, I made a customer onboarding form and I just looked at all the stuff on my phone on the way to the consult. I have so missed just getting in there and just being able to help people. So for either level of investment, even the $7, I have a form that’s like, what do you want to automate this month? And that’s what I use to decide, okay, this is the recipe that I’m going to add to that.        


So I just wanted to make it super accessible so that people can just get started and get familiar. And I think the other thing it’s really going to help with is even people who come in and are like, just here, do this for me. Take this off my plate. Do this for me. I think if you don’t have some familiarity with what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, that’s when you end up not getting what you expect or not understanding what the benefit is.        


And so everybody has hired someone who was like, oh, I hired this person and I thought it was going to be so great, and then it wasn’t right. And so I just really want to give people a venue to come in and be like, oh, okay, this is what she’s talking about. It makes sense to me, or it doesn’t. Maybe I want to go deeper. Maybe I want to have a power hour.        


I just want to remove that risk from people who are thinking about working with us, where you can come in and you can actually just talk to me and you can see how we automate, because it’s bad on both sides, right? I want to show up and do good work, but if it’s not a good fit, and I didn’t catch that on the front end, then it’s just bad for everybody.        


I’m really excited about it. We’re just about to kind of do another big launch for it, and we got 100 people in three weeks when I initially launched it, so we got our founding members. That’s so cool. I just signed up today because I had totally, I was like, is that Pam?        


Yeah. Because we had talked about it and I was like, oh, I’m going to sign up. And then I totally spaced it out and I was like, I am not going to forget. I’m going to do it right now because I love it on many different levels. One of the things that I say about The Widest Net method is that it is from a big idea conceptual framework perspective.        


It’s relational, that’s powered by transactional. And so that’s the part that I can see in what you’re describing. It’s always a two way street where you want to be doing your very best work and connected with people who you love working with, and you want them to feel like they’re connected with you and they feel excited to work with you. And it’s hard sometimes if you’re just doing it through the vehicle of a sales page, as you said, for a much higher end service where you just jump all the way in with both feet. It’s really beautiful.        


Noticing that you are using what I’m calling the transactional can be an example of a one to many, an efficient structure. You can have something like a membership where you can be serving multiple people and not just running around with a bunch of one on one clients. You can be deliberate in the way that you have that structure, but it actually does allow people to get to know you, you to get to know them. And then, as you said, it can reduce the risk, I think, for both of you. And it can set a lot of context for how it is that the work is going to happen together.        


And I love it. I see the same thing in my world of somebody might go through the cohort of Tiny Marketing Actions and then they decide they want to jump into another cohort, Productize Your Service Business, and then they might want to do a couple of coaching sessions and then jump into something that’s deeper and it feels really good and very relational to do it that way. Whereas I know sometimes I react negatively to just everything is the high ticket sales and like, great, we love money. We love it when money flows in, but it really has to be coming in the right way where both parties are feeling super good and engaged with the work. Yeah.        


And closing down Content Boot Camp really showed me that I need that vehicle, that community, because especially just the world we live in today. I just can’t be working with people that don’t have aligned values. And I see if there’s not relationship because we’re human and we make mistakes. And the way if you have relationship with people and that happens. I had two different scenarios where we disappointed a client.        


One, we got fired, and one, we just had a really good conversation about where we were both coming from and moved forward. Yeah. So I like the latter because we’re all just trying to do our best. And as someone who’s hired team members too, I learned this from my leadership coaches, it’s like when somebody makes a mistake, they’re never going to do that again. Right.        


So if you get rid of them, then you’ve just lost the value of that learning. Yeah, we talk about it a lot in our agency side as a team, as we’ve iterated on different products and we’ve had so many really thoughtful, wonderful clients where we have early on, as we’re doing the initial prototypes or we’re doing the initial work, that somebody might come back and they’re like, gosh, I really thought I wanted to get this other piece. And part of the way we’ve addressed it is say, well, say more like, what exactly do you need? Let’s add it. We will go back and we will provide that.        


And in doing that, it’s been so helpful to build and develop a kind of product that now where we are with most of the core offerings is where it really is so well dialed in to where people feel like it’s just a huge value. It’s well organized and structured on our side. But as you said, it’s a relational approach that I think some of it is like an affective characteristic. I know it’s a bit binary and simplistic to just say there are relational people in transactional, because again, I think they can work together when you’re automating or streamlining the right things. But I have found in the world of service businesses and especially Internet marketing, that there are some people who literally do not care whatsoever about people they’re working with.        


Everything’s a transaction, everything’s an ROI. Like, you’re not giving me exactly what I need today, forget about you, or let me just pay $0.35 an hour to somebody at a different part of the world that I don’t care if that’s equitable or not. And those are the kind of things that do just end up leaving a sour taste in your mouth. Well, the other thing for me is it’s email marketing. There’s no such thing as an email emergency.        


I’m married to a nurse, so that’s kind of the perspective. No one’s going to die because we sent the wrong email to the wrong…I remember I had a Content Boot Camp coaching call and we had just put in an automation, the reminder automation that one of my club members was just asking about. We had just put that in and we forgot one little thing that caused it to just keep looping. And so my clients got like nine emails in a row and they were like, what’s happening.        


And that was the week I was going to teach them about automation. I was like, yep, you’re in the right place. And we laughed it off and I showed them what happened. I’m like, here’s how you make sure this doesn’t happen to you.        


I got to be with people that understand there’s no marketer. My mentor, Chris Davis, probably one of the top five marketers in the world, there’s nobody who hasn’t done that. He’s worked for ActiveCampaign, LeadPages, know much higher, know where it’s, oh, you messed up the segment, what?!       


When I, I’ve done that, where I’ve sent out an email that was supposed to go to one list and it went to my whole contact database. And of course I sent the email, it’s like, oh, sorry, I did the thing. And you know, what I got back was a bunch of really nice replies like, oh, Kronda, hope you’re doing well. Great to hear from you. How are you, you know?        


And those are the people I like to roll with. I totally agree. I feel that, and it’s, it is true. It’s like if you haven’t done that at least probably five times, then you’re not even beginning to be in the game because it just. Are you even happening?        


Exactly. I did just quickly want to ask you about AI. Is your mind blown? Do you feel like it’s going to change the entire game of things? Are there any practical applications?        


How should service business owners be thinking about AI in the context of, like, tech? Yeah, I mean, it’s so overwhelming. I think it has already changed the game. I think it’s almost like if you’re already overwhelmed by the idea of automation, then adding AI to it is just like piling on. And if it’s going to cause you to just not make a move, then just don’t even.        


Because we’re at a point now where there are people like, here’s how I make 5000 pieces of content in half an hour. And it’s like, but what are you really making?        


And so I think there is absolutely a place for AI. I definitely use it. I use it a lot just for outlining. I spent a year really focused on our YouTube channel. And so I would take my idea for the YouTube channel and I would just kind of go back and forth with ChatGPT and I would definitely get maybe some points that I hadn’t thought about and stuff.        


And then I go and I do my thing, right. So it’s not the amplifier where you’re going to go, put something into ChatGPT that you don’t know anything about and then get something useful. It is useful if you have your own expertise and then you’re using it to kind of enhance and get ideas and get outlines. I think it’s really useful for that. I think there are some people I definitely follow that I trust for giving AI solutions and tips on how to use it.        


But I also think there’s this backlash where there’s so much now, there’s so much content, there’s so much AI generated. Whatever that people are, it’s going to backlash and people are going to want human connection. So Google is prioritizing and rewarding more human articles and more personalization and more personal stories.        


Like anything, I think it’s new and shiny right now and so everybody’s like everything AI. And I think there’s someplace in the middle where you can have a lot more efficiency if you use it well, but you still need to kind of keep your expertise and your thought leadership and all that stuff at the forefront. I appreciate that. Absolutely. We have different articles and things that we share just to stay on top of it.        


Think about use cases. I have fun bringing in little tiny tweaks sometimes that are just fun to apply things and to be playing around with it. But yeah, I had a wonderful, super smart person who is connected to another client who’s basically like, you’re going to be out of business next week, your entire instructional design business. And I was just like, I got scared for a moment and then I just sat back and I thought, there’s probably a lot to be said about 30 years of experience, of discernment and market understanding and thought leadership and things that can’t just be magically whipped up in a course by AI. Like you said, in five minutes, at least I hope so.        


Yeah, I think that’s true. And when I’ve dove in and really tried to, I did a lesson in the community recently that’s like, here’s how you can take your core published content and like airtable added AI. And so I was like, oh, you can take that. And you could say, create my Instagram caption and create my LinkedIn post and playing with things like that. But it just comes out sometimes sounding so robot.        


And then I’m spending more time fixing than I’m like, I could have just written this. That’s kind of where I’m at. I’ve been a writer my whole life, so somebody else might not have that context, but for me it’s easier a lot of times to just kind of use it as an idea back and forth generator. And when it’s time for me to write something, I can just spit it out. I appreciate that.        


Well, thank you so much for sharing your time with us today. Where’s your favorite place for people to be connecting with you and learning about you? I hang out, mostly, on, well, four different places. I’m on Instagram and I’ve been hanging out on Threads. I’ve been really liking threads.        


And then I’ve been more active over on LinkedIn. I started a LinkedIn Newsletter. Of course, just go to my website. I have a quiz. If you’re kind of wondering where to start with your marketing, if you go to my website, you can take my Leaky Bucket marketing quiz and you get a whole personalized sequence on the back end of that for things that you can improve based on the answers that you give.        


So if you’re really like, oh, you want to get into the email community and get connected that way, that’s a great place to start. But yeah, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads, TikTok, I hang out all those places. We can slap those all in the show notes. And I’ve just been trying to have more fun with my marketing. I use my dogs a lot in my marketing.        


I love that I say that’s what Instagram is. Occasionally there’s a business post, but mainly it’s like my kids and my dogs. So if you don’t like that, you’re probably not going to want to connect there. So we will make sure to link to everything on the show notes which you can find at under the podcast link. I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team, La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda, and our award winning narrator, Andia Winslow.        


Until next time, be sure to subscribe and review the show and continue getting inspiration to help grow your world changing work at scale. Bye.  

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