For Shaun Whynacth, business was always about more than money. He learned the critical lessons of cultivating real and lasting relationships with clients as a young boy helping in his Grandfather’s TV Repair shop.
“We didn’t just drop off a TV. My Grandfather would be invited into people’s homes. We'd spend up to two hours in there talking with them.”
Making a sale is only the beginning. For real growth, you need to become part of your clients’ lives. Building relationships the way Shaun’s Grandfather did, allowed him to stay top of mind in the community. Word of mouth recommendations from happy clients and repeat business comes from this type of relationship building. These are the experiences Shaun leverages when building his customer relationship to this day.
By the time Shaun was 17 (way back in 1997), he’d started his own DJ business. Shaun made side money DJing parties and weddings. It was at this time he saw ways to automate his business. With a $2000 investment from his grandmother, Shaun implemented new technology into his growing DJ business. Clients could now access his music library, choose their favorites, and share the playlist with their guest list. All of this was very high-tech for the late ’90s.
After some time on the east coast, Shaun returned to Coldbrook, Nova Scotia. He started Blue Cow Marketing to build relationships while helping small businesses succeed in digital marketing and day-to-day operations, using the lessons he learned from his Djing days.
“After building relationships for 10 years, We've evolved from website design to digital marketing, and now focus on pay-per-click ads, Facebook ads, and all points in between.”
Shaun wanted to make things easier on small businesses but was still encountering struggles of his own. Working harder didn’t seem to be enough. Why was it so challenging to grow?
Shaun realized he needed something that could carry the day-to-day load. “My goal was to have a business that worked for me. We would hire one or two people, but they all moved on.” Grinding away wasn’t the answer. Neither was hiring more people.
What Shaun needed was a tool that could automatically execute his sales and marketing tasks with ease. That’s when Keap entered the picture.
“I remember the day quite clearly when I got the first call from somebody at Keap, and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, okay, whatever, just follow up with me next week." And he did, right? And he called me back, and he said, "Hey, I'm just following up like you asked.”I said, ’ You know what? I need to find out more about this company.’ And I decided to sign up for it.”
Since then, Shaun’s seen constant and massive business growth.
“Over 10 years of using Keap, my business has grown each year exponentially. It's always been an upward trend. I've grown at least 20% over the last year. And this year, we're looking at 30 to 40%.”
During Blue Cow Marketing’s early days, Shaun found himself overwhelmed. He’d tried his best to do it all himself, which became overwhelming. Next came the typical parade of unconnected software platforms. Contact info was scattered, hard to access, and resulted in crossed wires and unhappy results.
“I had a lot of different systems, and those systems were being organized in my head. That wasn’t scalable. With Keap, I was able to offload all those different processes and organizations. So, when I look back at what life was like before Keap, it was just trying to survive.”
Chaos and confusion were the most apparent barriers Shaun noticed. What were the next steps for relieving the challenges and achieving growth? * Get contact info organized* Optimize work hours* Develop more personalized relationships
After finding Keap, Shaun began using Campaign Builder to automate sales and marketing campaigns and forever eliminate stress and busywork. Fewer headaches, more growth, pretty nice.
“I realized I could grow this business myself with only a couple of freelancers. It wasn't about making a million dollars, it wasn't about having the most clients, it was about being respected in the community, and more importantly, being respected by my son.”
Shaun realized how much time could be freed up and the growth potential of implementing even basic automation from the very beginning.
“We created one opt-in page for it, and I started to promote it out there. I was working in my basement but doubling my business. And I knew right then that there was something to this. That's what led me into becoming certified as a partner with Keap.”
Shaun built simple automations (done in minutes) at first. Then more complex ones to suit emergent needs in his business. Here’s how Shaun put it—“It's so fast, and so easy. I can send off an email, and I don't want to send this email again. I can hop in the app, build an Easy Automation, and it's going to be there for me the next time.”
The ability to build automation on the fly means you have the chance to transform every emergent nuisance into recurring free time you can use to grow in other areas.
Automated campaigns and tasks were only one piece of the puzzle. What about getting organized? Well, Keap’s platform includes the premiere small business CRM, so it’s easy to capture, tag, and segment every incoming lead. From there, businesses can use that data to hyper-target content and campaigns, as well as personalize messaging for greater impact. Use typical industry data or get creative and make it suit your business, like Shaun did— “I had a custom field that asked if they had a pet. That way, I could ask about their pet as an ice breaker.”
Shaun felt that the biggest upside to Keap’s CRM was “Being able to pull out my phone and access my entire database, contact information, email records, being able to apply tags to records, and have follow-ups fly magically through the internet to people, that’s a huge benefit.”
Keap helped Shaun do more on his own and with help from freelancers.
“Keap is like having an employee who works 24/7, 365 in your business. Keap is the natural companion for any entrepreneur.”
Shaun’s consistent growth over the last ten years has been sped along by how quickly he embraced the power of using CRM data and easy-to-build automation. He’s how he put it; “I love Keap’s Campaign Builder. Any idea you can come up with, you can build it in there, and then use CRM data to target it, and personalize everything!”
With Campaign Builder, Shaun creates any custom sales and marketing process he can envision. Plus, Easy Automations has been a massive win for Blue Cow Marketing to eliminate repeat tasks like responding to his affiliates.
“I have quite a few Easy Automation set up for different affiliate systems. I just apply the tag, and it sends a message with the associated content.Message example:‘Hey, [first name field], Here's the link I was telling you about—[link].’I've even got campaigns for following up on podcasts. So, an hour after the recording date, they get a message with access to their recordings. When I use the appointment side, it can do everything from creating the Zoom links that are needed to sending out the invite for the calendar.”
Shaun took Blue Cow Marketing’s growth seriously by acknowledging when he needed a new and different solution to his bandwidth challenges.
“Keap is so scalable that it works for somebody who's just starting or somebody who’s had a business for 30, 40 years.”
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