And The Journey Continues
Today a post was published at MarketingProfessor.com talking about the importance of evaluating marketing opportunities in the market to propel you along in your career goals, whatever they may be. If you follow me at MarketingProfessor.com you probably aren’t surprised to learn I’m writing from personal experience. Here I thought I’d share more of a personal account of my own career augmentation.
Here we go.
In many ways, this year has been a year of change for me. Other than the passing of a friend from college, I haven’t written much about the changes here. Today, however, is one I must write about, as I am excited to announce that I am continuing my journey by partnering with Infusionsoft to help them establish a local presence here in Denver, Colorado.
What I’ve Done Thus Far
Early on, I worked in primarily consultative technology roles. While finishing up at Arizona State University, I worked in the computer services department helping faculty and grad students dial into the University computer network so they could work remotely.
In the mid 1990s, after moving back to my home state of Ohio, I worked at a local system integration firm, implementing and supporting computer networks for small to medium sized businesses.
I then moved back to Arizona to join forces with Netpro (since acquired by Quest Software) as Product Manager for their flagship enterprise network directory monitoring software.
After two years there, the company went into downsizing mode soon after the effects of pre-Y2K spending had run it’s course. With 9/11 hitting just 6 weeks later, it seemed like a good time to become an entreprenuer. Actually, timing is rarely the reason one becomes an entreprenuer and with a new house and a second child on the way, by anyone’s assessment, this was NOT a good time to become an entreprenuer.
After a period of IT consulting, I decided to get involved in the small business community by offering database management consulting to marketing and sales organizations. The tool of choice is still one of the more popular softwares out there, the Sage ACT database software. This lead me to seek out the best ways to market these services so I might continue working from home. What happened next was pivotal.
I investing $2000 in a training a course, and was introduced to the world of online marketing. In a word, I was fascinated. I knew I had landed on something that hit a sweetspot of skills and intrigue, technology and creativity.
Thus began a period of intense learning of everything online marketing. While my efforts weren’t devoid of lessons, I was seeing success as indicated by customers and prospects who began to prod me just as much for online marketing help as the database management services they originally sought me for.
It was these proddings by customers that planted and watered the seeds that would eventually become MarketingProfessor.com.
So…Who Is Infusionsoft?
One of the tools I discovered as I implemented some of what I was learning was Infusionsoft. I first learned of Infusionsoft in 2006 as an “all-in-one” solution. About a year later they launched their certified consulting program. I signed up for the first class and launched a product using their system that very week.
I’ve been an Infusionsoft user and consultant since 2007. I have found the product and it’s people to be something I can get behind. Infusionsoft takes the frustration of decentralized information common to many online businesses and offers an “all-in-one” central repository for marketing, CRM, and eCommerce. Since that time, I’ve been busy building MarketingProfessor.com as a resource for those exploring online marketing tools and products. As a result I’ve researched and tested many other systems, and have concluded repeatedly that, while not perfect, Infusionsoft is the leading marketing, sales crm, and ecommerce solution for small businesses.
They were looking to bring someone on full time.Over the past several months, I’ve been in conversations with Infusionsoft. What initiallly started as my interest in recruiting them as a partner for local marketing seminars turned out to be something quite diffferent. As it happened they had a local strategy in development with Denver identified as their “starting market” of choice.
As a partner who had experience both the thrill and pain of their growth over the years, I had a lot of questions. They were patient, very patient.
In evaluating this opportunity, one consideration was having MarketingProfessor.com and other sites I manage continuing growing (more on that shortly). This is where I found the opportunity they discussed to be unique. They wanted someone who is entreprenuerial. Someone aquainted with the challenges small businesses have when it comes to marketing in today’s climate. Someone who could provide value to the small business communities in Colorado by delivering educational seminars and events
In the end they made an offer I could not refuse, and I officially started December 1, 2011. There’s even a fancy press release.
What I’ll Be Doing for Infusionsoft?
First, I’ll get to work directly with world-class professionals including Aaron Stead (VP of Sales) of Sage Software fame, Greg Head (CMO) co-founder of the ACT database software , and Kathy Sacks (VP of Communications) serial entreprenuer, and prolific marketer.
Second, I get to continue to network and share marketing related information with businesses right here in Colorado.
Infusionsoft will be hosting marketing education events in Colorado throughout the year, and yours truly has been given the priviledge of helping present the content for those events. More about our event in January 2012 in a moment.
What This Means for My Online Initiatives
With this new role, the question then becomes, “What does this mean for your current online properties, etc.?” This is a fair question. As I alluded to earlier, one of the reasons Infusionsoft wanted to work together was the fact that I’m a small business that has been working with other small businesses for over a decade. This offers a unique perspective of the challenges small businesses have.
MarketingProfessor.com and other sites I operate online will continue, publishing content, reviews, and the like. Any initiatives currently in motion (existing clients or projects) will continue, but I won’t be taking on any new consulting or coaching clients. I will be looking to hire an Editor, and a OBM (Online Business Manager) as I navigate this transitional period. Hit me up on Twitter @travisnow if this is your cup of tea.
For the past 10 years I have been an entreprenuer, given to all the thrills and challenges of “running your own show”. The difference now is I’ll be working with a bunch of professionals who also happen to wax entrepreneur, moving toward a common goal…making me a coopreneur.
How Are Things to Get Started with Infusionsoft?
Over the years I’ve become familiar with ‘scoping’ plans as best one can at the start of a project, and then adjusting as new information comes in. For me, ‘scoping’ a plan or business idea involved deciding what results would need to occur for it to be worth the effort. From there the goals was get data as quickly as possible to validate, adjust, redirect, or halt the project altogether. While it’s true this approach has saved me a lot of time, it is also true that wish I had heard of this approcah years ago.
I’m convinced this is one of the best ways to run a business in the Internet age. I call it anticipation marketing. Move in with your best wisdom and gut on a project and make adjustments as you go. Of course this cannot be done blindly, in the early-term the priority will likely fall in the lines of getting feedback from the marketplace, what they are responding to, and make adjustments accordingly. Once those initial “lessons are learned” it’s important to continue listening while growing your target audience.
This process is the approach that Infusionsoft will use to discover and engage small businesses in Colorado.
Infusionsoft Event in Colorado
We are starting things off with a free event entitled Create Your 2012 Strategic Marketing Blueprint: The Solution to Jumpstart Your Business in 2012. (Register here)
It’s here in Denver, January 27, 2012. I will be assisting attendees discover the greatest opportunities in their businesses by walking them through an exercise outlining their perfect customer lifecycle.
This will be a half day, morning event, and we’ll be including lunch where business owners and stakeholders can network with like minded individuals and local Infusionsoft customers. If this is for you, learn how to claim a seat here.
Enough about change on this end. It’s your turn.
Have you experienced a lot of change in 2011? How do you see 2012?
Chime in below.