Ep 48. Four Lessons To Reach A Billion Dollars In ARR And How To Create The Catalyst For Business Sustainability & Growth Scalability!

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ep 48. Four Lessons To Reach A Billion Dollars In ARR And How To Create The Catalyst For Business Sustainability & Growth Scalability!. The summary for this episode is: <p>Let's be honest, scaling a business is not for the faint of heart.</p><p>It's incredibly challenging and involves a lot of risk, sacrifice, patience, poise, and persistence.</p><p>In order for your business to scale effectively, you must have a clear path on what you need to do to make that leap in growth.</p><p>On this episode, I cover the four lessons Kieran Flanagan, SVP of Marketing at HubSpot, reflects on that attributed to HubSpot reaching one billion ARR. I also talk about the business, marketing, and mental approach necessary to start achieving disruptive growth in your specific marketplace as well as how to onboard clients faster using evergreen content to close more deals.</p><p><strong>Beyond The Episode Gems:</strong></p><p>Free tool to give your website a professional audit and improve your organic traffic courtesy of Ahrefs: <a href="ahrefs.com/awt" target="_blank">ahrefs.com/awt</a></p><p>See what the HubSpot CRM can do for your business at <a href="HubSpot.com" target="_blank">HubSpot.com</a></p><p>Kieran Flanagan's <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6902250397554335744/" target="_blank">four lessons that scaled HubSpot to a billion dollars in ARR</a></p><p>Kieran Flanagan's newsletter: <a href="https://www.kieranflanagan.io/" target="_blank">KieranFlanagan.io</a></p><p>Listen to Agorapulse's <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-onboard-clients-faster-to-save-time-close-more-deals/id1586369196?i=1000551929433" target="_blank">Agency Accelerated  Podcast Episode with Stephanie Liu and Paddy McGill</a></p><p>See the <a href="https://blog.feedspot.com/marketing_podcasts/" target="_blank">Top 80 Marketing Podcats by FeedSpot</a></p><p>Get Two Free Months of Agorapulse on me: <a href="https://social.agorapulse.com/findtroy" target="_blank">Social.Agorapulse.com/FindTroy</a></p><p><strong>#####</strong></p><p><strong>Support The Podcast & Connect With Troy:</strong></p><p>• Rate & Review iDigress: <a href="https://ratethispodcast.com/iDigress" target="_blank">RateThisPodcast.com/iDigress</a></p><p>• Get Strategy Solutions & Services: <a href="https://findtroy.com" target="_blank">FindTroy.com</a></p><p>•  Buy Troy's Book, Strategize Up: <a href="https://FindTroy.com/Strategize-Up" target="_blank">FindTroy.com/Strategize-Up</a></p><p>•  Follow Troy on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/findtroy" target="_blank">Twitter.com/FindTroy</a></p><p>•  Follow Troy on LinkedIn: <a href="https://linkedIn.com/in/FindTroy" target="_blank">LinkedIn.com/in/FindTroy</a></p>

Speaker 1: If you're looking for a new podcast, the Female Startup Club shares tips, tactics and strategies from the world's most successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and women in business to inspire you to take action and get what you want out of your career. The Female Startup Club hosted by Dooen Roisin, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now, you know how much I love breaking down the barriers and walls to have very diverse conversations in the podcast space. And the Female Startup Club does just that, doing interviews of various dynamic individuals to give you the insight, the knowledge and information you need to be a better business person for yourself. Some episodes that come to mind are the five steps to building an impactful community in 2022 with tips from ex Glossier community lead Kim Johnson, six quick questions with Amy Yang, founder of Better Brand and the Better Bagel interviewing people like Sarah Paiji Yoo, founder and CEO of Blueland and so many others. Listen to the Female Startup Club, wherever you get your podcast. You can get in where you fit in, or you can make room, again, you can get in where you fit in or you can make room. Let me take you back. I remember sitting in a VIP room after digital marketing summit in Raleigh, where I spoke on," Don't be offended, your brand is meaningless without culture." And I remember after that, I was invited to this dinner. It was with quite a few amazing individuals who I respect and highly admire, and I distinctly remember we go to the VIP and there to the left of me was inaudible in front oof was Carlos Gill and to the right of me Joe Man's. Now I won't tell all the details of the conversation, but I'll tell you how I felt. I felt the call when they told me," Hey, you should come on in. You should stop by. You should have dinner." And at that moment, I felt unworthy, I felt unsure I felt I probably shouldn't go, because I'm probably not qualified to be in that space. When opportunity knocks, especially for people of color, marginalized communities and those who have been impressed have never had the opportunity or access to prove themselves to be their best self and to reach their goals. There comes a point where you have to make a decision. Yes, you could get in where you fit in, but that's only going to get you so far or you can make room. I chose to make room. I chose to answer the call. I choose instead of opportunity knocking, I just made my own door and went through it. Some people call that courageous, but sometimes I would refer that to simply being aware of your greatness, living in that greatness and answering the call for your business, for yourself, that your greatness requires to do what you are meant to do.

Speaker 2: What's up digital world. You're listening to the inaudible experience with inaudible social media, marketing, storytelling, business culture, coming to you in three, two, one.

Speaker 1: I saw a LinkedIn post from the SVP of marketing at HubSpot, Karen Flanigan. And he broke this down and said that in 2021, HubSpot reached a billion dollars in ARR. And for those who don't know what that means, ARR stands for Annual Recurring Revenue. And so he expresses about four lessons that helped HubSpots billion dollar customer acquisition engine occur. And I would love to break down these four steps and I'm going to make it all make sense by the end of this episode. The first lesson plot, your future path. Much like Google maps, you should always have a clear direction on how you'll meet your future goals. Building predictive models force you to prioritize the spots you believe much of your growth will come from, helps with resourcing and budget decisions and gives you your team focus. Now, you know all about me. I'm all about clarity. Duh! Clover. Clarity is essential to even understanding your potential and even seeing past your potential. The second lesson, tune breaks down, depth versus breath. There are no secrets in how to acquire customers for any business. The sources to grow users at scale are pretty limited; search, virality, paid and partnerships. Who wins usually comes down to tiny details, getting very advanced in a channel and finding repeatable tactics that can give you short to medium term leverage against others. Now I would love to break down breadth versus depth more. And let me be even more clear. I'm not saying breath. I'm saying breadth, as in B- R- E- A- D- T- H versus depth. Now breadth, B- R- E- A- D- T- H, is being broad in scope, carrying items in many different and product categories, business categories, marketing categories, whatever identifiable categories that align with your business, offering several different types, all under one roof. This means that you try to offer everything a customer might want, even if it's only remotely related to your product, your service, your business is offering. Now, if we switch gears and we're thinking of depth is being intense in scope by immersing your business into an industry or specific category or identity. Stocking a focus product mix and specializing specific service offering. Now to take this part to the micro, this is where you take your pen and paper. Being broad means being a source. Being deep means being a resource. Let me say that again. Being broad means being a source, being deep means being a resource. So breadth versus depth, would you rather be A source or B resource? Sources are many, resources are a few. Sources compete on price, resources compete on expertise. It's the battle between wide versus deep. So ask yourself, would you rather have breadth or would you rather have depth. Now at the beginning, most people choose breath, but as you find your audience, as you find where you are, your profit margin is the highest, your resistance is the lowest, your balance rate is the lowest, your sales is the highest, all those combinations of things to find your ideal customers, your ideal experience that makes sense for you to scale is when you transition to depth. If no one knows you exist, if someone Googles you and you don't show up in search, doesn't matter how amazing your product or service is because no one can find your website. No one can find you. This is where our friends at AHRES can in handy, discover optimization opportunities for your website. You'll see which keywords your pages are ranking for, you'll understand how Google sees your content visit AHRES, ahres. com/ awt, sign up for the free tool connected to your website and you're all set. The third lesson that inaudible breaks down in his articulation of the four lessons that help HubSpot scale to a billion dollars in ARR is this, first mover always wins. Consumer habits, change technology changes, meaning that there will always be pivotal moments where companies have the opportunity to adopt new trends. Early. At HubSpot, we were early on inbound marketing, product- led growth and building out a media company for our market. So right now, in this moment, we have Web3, NFT, Crypto, we have Blockchain, we have Community, we have TikTok, we have Social audio, we have all these new players and different mediums of consumption and audiences is in play that you as a business decision maker, whether you're the founder, the CEO or the owner, or you're the marketing lead, you're the sales lead, you're the customer manager or you're a mid- level or whatever place you are in the cycle of your business, is that there's going to come many points where you are going to have to move without knowing the outcome but based off what you know about your audience, based off what you see, trends aligning, things dropping off and things, adding on there's going to come a point in every business where you're going to have to move. And if you hesitate, that could cost the loss of significant amount of money or even worse. The business becoming obsolete and closing. Look, everyone would say blockbuster would do it over had they had given another shot, but they didn't. And we all know the story. Netflix became Netflix and blockbuster crickets is not really around except for an Airbnb commodity. You don't want to be another Airbnb commodity, do you? You don't want to be another blockbuster. So sometimes you must move. The person who moves first in some cases, yes, there's more risk, yes there's more things you have to figure out, but guess what? When you're the pioneer, you always have that leverage of being first. When I think of Social audio, most people think of Clubhouse. Do they? inaudible whether you love Clubhouse, whether you don't, whether you've been a Clubhouse OG or you're new at Clubhouse, because now they have all the new features and all the different things. No matter what, we're going to set that Clubhouse was the move that pushed social audio to where it is now. Now you have Twitter spaces, you have Green room, LinkedIn audio, Facebook's getting in the jam, there's more players in the game, but guess what? No one's denying that Clubhouse was that pivotal first player. And so they referenced, oh, you're another Clubhouse, oh, you're another Clubhouse, oh, that's a clubhouse, blah, blah, blah, blah. Even if it's better, they're still referencing what was that started the catalyst for this to become what it is now today. And the same way with your industry and your business and your space. Are you going to be the catalyst for what's to come or are you going to wait your time to test the waters and watch your competitors test all the waters, gain all the clout, make all the leverage, get all the foundation to build their skyscrapers and now you're thinking of moving in when the property value was micro low, and now it's so astronomically high you're, inaudible to the gain, your audience is like," Yo, you're late. You lost out." So back to the point, first mover always wins. And number four, the fourth lesson, scale adds risk. Here is the problem with winning. You need to keep winning and the winning needs to become bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. Everybody wants to be a winner, everybody wants to get the green, everybody wants to scale, but then think about the capacity. I'm chasing the objectivity of winning, but what happens after I win? You don't just want to win one championship. You want to have a dynasty. You want to be a Chicago Bulls dynasty. You hear me shytown represent, and the same way, yes, you got the W one time, but scaling has so much more significant risk and scaling requires you to win consistently. Scaling requires you to have systems and automations and all your things from onboarding to customer maintenance and management and nurturing, all the things in order, in unison, and constantly evolving for you to have your competitive edge to keep getting those W's, The business that provides the best service wins. So how does a HubSpot serum platform help you scale your service? Team email, conversation routing and the HubSpot mobile app. Connect team one email addresses to your shared inbox. Turn incoming emails into tickets or send them straight into your shared inbox. No more questions slipping through the cracks. Conversation routing, automatically assign incoming customer chats and emails to the right member of your team for seamless service at the right time. Work from anywhere with the HubSpot mobile app. Highlights include business, card scanning, caller ID and more, and it is available for iOS and Android. Look, it's all about being better connected in a seamless way so you can provide customer service like never before. The HubSpot CRM platform helps you do that and more. Learn how to grow better by connecting your people, your customers, and your business at hubspot. com. inaudible says, when you already generate hundreds of thousands of new contracts every month, the list of things that will have a meaningful impact on your numbers is small, really small. That means you inherently end up having to take on riskier projects. Risk means you don't have a history of making that thing a success, and you need to invest a sizeable amount of resources to see if it works. In the early stages of growth, you can do more things with a predictable return, and the later stages of growth you need to take on much more risk and make a couple of out sized bets to sustain future growth. He also shares more stuff like this all the time, karenflanigan. io, link will be in the show notes so you can sign up for his newsletter. I also want to give a big shout out to Feedspot for featuring the inaudible podcast as a top 80 marketing podcast. Now please understand, a lot of these things people pay for. They pay for listings and I get it. It's part of the marketing game, authority game, brand and game, all the things, but when you don't pay for things and people put you on a list because they've researched you, they heard your episodes and put all together, it's even the better. And so I appreciate Feedspot for reaching out to me and letting me know I was on the list. Thank you. There's some powerhouse on there and I might just say that even fellow HubSpot podcast network host Amy Porterfield is also on there and she's actually listed as number one on their top 80 marketing podcast. The link is in the show notes if you want to see, the full list of podcasts for you to get your marketing podcast fix. The things people don't talk about in business is yes, I'm all about growth. I'm all about growth, marketing strategies. I'm all about clarity. I'm all about aligning the business to the life that you want to live that you can be happy as you're scaling as you're growing. You can have both. I talk about those things, yes. But even the more, when you really get into deep with the stuff, we want to go beyond the fluff. Being in business, maintaining a successful business is quite frankly extremely difficult, hard, challenging, exhausting and it's very imperative that we align with our mental health, our emotional health, maybe for others, spiritual health, our physical health, all the things to make sure that we are in an optimal state of being in mind and process to handle disruptions when they happen, whether as leaders or as executors or as strategists or wherever you land in the great scheme of the business world to perform at your best when you are needed at your best. Because if a business can perform and provide services at their best when they're needed at their best people remember. And when people remember such things, they may be hesitant to not to go back. And so scaling isn't just in the most optimized software stools, the best marketing stack, all the things to make sure you're built in automation from the internally and externally, if you cannot deliver on the product and the promise that the deliverable brings out to the customer. We have to understand that there's risk in the business always. But we have to rise to the occasion to surpass the fear of the risk and meet the demand where the customer is so they can see this product delivers, this service delivers, that's the biggest selling point. That's the biggest validator is when you, your product, your service, your offering delivers on what it says to a person who needed it most. That person, that business, those series of businesses, those series of customers, whether you're B2C or B2B, or all the things, that's what keeps you in business because they know you're necessity. And when you're positioning your business in a place, in a situation where they need you, and they will always need you because you're reliable, you're a durable and you're scalable, that's when you're dangerous. That's when you're going to move. That's allows you that when the risk happens and when you identify the different changes and trends and culture and all the things at your foundation, at your core, you're in a moveable force that's going to figure out the right process and streamlines and optimization to continue to grow, to continue to scale in a very holistic manner, which is key to ensure that your internal team, your internal system situations are on alignment to scale with you. It does you no good if you invest all your money in your sales and marketing team, but you can't invest in your operations and execution team and you can't handle the capacity. That may be the optimize and updated sales and marketing team brings you. You may us make sure everything is in alignment when you scale. That way, when you take on that extra risk, the risk isn't as heavy because you're ready for it. You have a team in place designed to move like water, to flow through things as the mold shifts and changes, you fit the mold, you don't break, you bend, you don't fall you stretch. You fit what the need of the customer is, you identify it, you amplify it, you deliver it and you repeat it over and over and over again until you get to the next level where you have to optimize again. That is how we as a business have to do in order to scale and be a sustainable business in today's age.

Speaker 4: You could definitely tell when someone is getting bored with their script. Because they're just like, okay, it's all of a sudden you're engaging with them, you're having fun, you're having laughs and they're like," Okay, so tell me about your platform." And then they go robot mode and you're like," Oh, where did you go?"

Speaker 5: Onboarding as well as a big challenge. And I've worked at agencies myself as well and training clients up to just get ready in order to use the service that they're paying for or training up. I've worked at very, very large agencies where you had 20 or 30 new account execs coming in every single month and it all taken the same training. So depending on where you are inaudible watching, depending where you are in your business, there's a lot of ways that you can apply it. An Evergreen webinar and also inaudible and obviously E webinar if you want. But there's a lot of ways you can boost your time and do the things that you're best at. The great thing is with an Evergreen webinar, you can record your very best content, edit it, make it look perfect, and then put it out there and then focus on what else you need to do. If that's fulfilling your client's needs, or if that's doing blood and ghost, whatever it is, you can focus on the things that matter to you.

Speaker 1: This is another strategy accelerator brought to you by Agency Accelerated Podcast with Stephanie Liu, powered by a inaudible On strategy accelerator, let's talk about something we all need and maybe occasionally from time to time always struggle with, client onboarding. It's a combination of selling, accountability, reinforcement, marketing, community connection, conversation, all the things.

Speaker 4: And a lot of agencies are interested in working with influencers or even ambassadors for their programs. And when you think about it, the sales team or whoever the marketing person is, they have to onboard these influencers, talk about the process and whatnot. And this is actually a really good opportunity to onboard X many influencers per month so that way they understand your program, what expectations are, their deliverables, commission rates, all those different things. And then it's also nice because you know like," Okay, they watch the webinar. What questions do they have?" And so when you mentioned Slack earlier in the integration I was like," Aah, that's so smart."

Speaker 5: It's really awesome. And work with like HubSpot, pretty a lot of the larger CRMs, and we've got a great Zappia integration as well. So what you were saying about the influence onboarding is so true because when I was at Restream, obviously we were onboarding people and we were sending a loom video and that was great. But using something like E webinar would've been 10 times better because again we can see when people are actually, if they're not completing the video, we can actually see the exact second when they dropped off. So it's like, did I say something that didn't resonate that they didn't like or left a lot to be desired? That sort of thing, whatever it is. Is there something I can fix? And I think that's always the beauty with prerecorded content, but again, trying to make it scalable, this is the only way to do it for me, this is the only way.

Speaker 1: On this episode of Agency Accelerated Stephanie Liu talks with Patty McGill all about how to onboard clients faster, to save time and close more deals using onboarding automation and the power of webinars to make faster onboarding leads and increase your sales. One thing I want you all to think about as we're reflecting on this particular episode and tying it into what I'm trying to articulate on, I digress is that, in a way I have been using my podcast as an Evergreen webinar tool that doesn't require you to look at a video screen, mind blown. So Troy, where are you going with this? I'm saying again, if you go to Agency Accelerated, search it on YouTube, search on your favorite podcast platform, and look for Stephanie Liu and Patty McGill. You will be able to see the episode on how to onboard clients faster to save time and close more deals. Season three, episode two. So using my podcast as this somewhat Evergreen experience allows me to at my best self give information based off the topic that maybe can bring me more clients, that can maybe open the doors for me for paid speaking opportunities, maybe opportunities to do webinars and one- on- ones and various diverse things. Because it's fashioned in a way that the contents still going to be relevant a year from now. I'm still giving nuggets, I'm still giving gyms, I'm positioned a certain way. Sure, there are certain points that I referenced that are probably only relevant in that moment in that time. But for the most part, most of my episodes are Evergreen. And so the more I put them out, the podcast everyone thinks about only is the downloads. They think about only how many episodes they get? How many people download it? That's the justification of the success of the podcast where I've always from day one thought something completely different. The podcast is going to force me to create consistent content with intent that then I can use as a service tool, as a sales tool, as a marketing tool, as an identity to boost my SEO, to boost my authority, to use an under 30- minute episode that when someone asks me a specific question, there's an episode for that, there's an episode for that, there's an episode for that. They still get to experience me at my best self, my high energy, probably my best version of articulation of thought with entertainment and creativity and just is all the things on their time. And if after listening to an episode, that's 20 minutes, 25 minutes, no more than 30 minutes long, they feel compelled to go further in the conversation after the fact," You know what? I like what he's saying, let me jump out on one- on- one with Troy. I love what he's saying. Let me pay for a strategy accelerator with him. I love what he's saying, let me make him a fractured CMO to help one of my clients out for the next three to six months," Whatever the case might be, now this episode has turned into something so much more that helps reduce the amount of personal time Troy has to do to network and onboard clients because I have soundbites for specific things. My Clover, my dart, my leads, my bay, all the different things, the acronyms and harmonics, all the things that people love that they know about me now, there were episodes for that then that I still use to serve as part of my onboarding. I don't have to do everything from scratch every single time. That's the point of automation and creating systems and processes to do these things. So let's bring this strategy accelerator full circle. A good way to think about it is finding the medium, Patty talks about webinars. I'm clearly on a podcast so I'm going to talk about podcasts, but find the recorded medium that makes sense for you and keep in mind written isn't dead. You can have a set up as a written too. Just find the medium that makes sense for automation to make the onboarding process easier for you internally and better for those prospects externally. But make sure that it's relevant, that it's timely, that it makes sense.], It validates you more and answers the various questions they need to get the answers to move forward in the process. Whether you're an agency, whether you're an SMB, somewhere in between or beyond, automation, onboarding sales strategies, and consistent content that can help you convert are all relevant to making our business thrive and not just survive. Ooh, can we come with it now? Strategies, accelerator complete. Back to my story in Rowling when I talked about making space and accepting opportunities. There comes a point where you have to readjust your mindset to get that optimal amount of momentum so you can optimize your results to get to where you want to be. I have forced myself to be in situations where I felt uncomfortable because I wasn't used to that level of growth. But what I was able to understand is when I get used to being in a space that I have no context of and just learn how to navigate through it, ask a ton of questions, start learning the lingo, and then reusing that lingo to reaffirm that you understand the lingo and show that you have at least an inclining and understanding to want to know more about the subject that you don't know about, and the hopes of the right people come around your path, give you the nuggets, give you gems, connect with you offline, connect with your different channels, and then the networking begins and you expand what you didn't know at day one, day 365 you're not an expert, but you know enough to be dangerous. You know enough to understand the playing field and the game, to make certain moves, to even help your business grow, to help your personal brand, your professional brand expand. And so I challenge you, many times people get comfortable in being in a certain space, a certain level because that's what they know and they feel this feels safe. But there comes a point where safety is not a luxury. Safety is gone and it is disrupted. What do you do when your business is disrupted? And one of the biggest disruptors that has been in play the past two years has been the pandemic has been COVID 19, has been all the subset of things that have taken place, the realities and the aftermath once we went to that initial lockdown and thereafter. Not to mention the state of the audience, the state of your customers, the state of your support, the state of your community, where people have had to deal with so many different things, struggle, deaths, all things that we don't want to take a blindside eye to, we don't want to ignore. You have to understand and be able to acknowledge when the disruptors come about and have a game plan that when the disruptors occur, you know how to lead your team. You know what to do next. Now you may not have all the answers, but you have a process to go seek out information and seeing what the best of course of action is, instead of being lost in the void and panicking and not knowing what in the world to do.

Speaker 6: And that's a wrap. We hope you would enjoyed this episode of I Digress. What was your takeaway? Care to share your thoughts and tag Troy on social media. You can find him on all platforms at findTroy. Don't forget to like, subscribe and leave a review or comment for this episode from wherever you're listening, Looking for a marketing strategist to build the structure, strategies and systems you need to get the success you want and the ROI you desire in your business, book a discovery call to talk with Troy @ findtroy. com and as Troy's philosophy goes," Imagination is the engine. Content is the fuel. Social media is the highway, marketing is the roadmap. Sales is the destination. Culture is the GPS." Thanks for listening.

DESCRIPTION

Let's be honest, scaling a business is not for the faint of heart.

It's incredibly challenging and involves a lot of risk, sacrifice, patience, poise, and persistence.

In order for your business to scale effectively, you must have a clear path on what you need to do to make that leap in growth.

On this episode, I cover the four lessons Kieran Flanagan, SVP of Marketing at HubSpot, reflects on that attributed to HubSpot reaching one billion ARR. I also talk about the business, marketing, and mental approach necessary to start achieving disruptive growth in your specific marketplace as well as how to onboard clients faster using evergreen content to close more deals.