Inbound Marketing Blog

001: How to turn $70 into a multimillion dollar business using automation, with Jermaine Griggs

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Jermaine started at the age of 17 with $70 and turned it into a 7 figure business. But sales started to decline and he felt like he was stuck. Profit was good but he could see things slowing down and he started searching for answers. That's when he found Infusionsoft. Prior to Infusionsoft he had about 10 different automation tools that delivered emails and didn't talk to each other. Now he has one automated, intelligent and cohesive system sending emails, voice broadcast, offline letters/promos, SMS text, newsletters, tips of the week, etc.

Hear Jermaine tell his story of how he built his business using Infusionsoft and marketing automation.


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Samantha: So I'm so excited today to be interviewing one of my heroes, Jermaine Griggs, from and from Automation Clinic, which I'll tell you about later. But Jermaine started out as a 17 year-old and started a business called Hear and Play, teaching people how to learn music by ear. He then became the Ultimate Marketer of the year for Infusionsoft in 2011. And now runs also Automation Clinic, which is a clinic, and if you like, a home for people who want to get the absolute most out of Infusionsoft on the web.

One of the things I love about Jermaine is that he is the god, the ninja, the ultimate in terms of getting the most out of Infusionsoft. And I really wanted to share his story with you, because there's a lot more to it than what I've just introduced, and also how he gets the most out of Infusionsoft so that you know that you can actually try and learn some of the things that he does and implement those in your business.

So without further delay, I'd like to introduce Jermaine Griggs. And Jermaine, thank you so much for making the time to talk with me today.

Jermaine: Hey, Samantha. The pleasure is all mine. Glad to be here.

Samantha: I did also neglect to mention that such is Jermaine's influence that he's in reach, that he has been to the White House Christmas party twice at the invitation of Michelle and Barack Obama. And he does have photos but we're not sure whether we can show them. I think one of the amazing things though, Jermaine, about what you have done is that you do have so much influence and reach as a result of the work that you've done in this space but also as a leader in this area. So yeah, congratulations and welcome to the show.

Jermaine: Well, thank you, Samantha. And I'm just honored to be in a position to be able to go to the White House or to be able to reach people, because it seems like it was just 15 years ago, a 17 year-old with a dream, and here we are. My grandma says it better, she says, "You're not where you want to be but you've got to be thankful each and every day that you're not where you used to be." And that's my story.

Samantha: Wow. That's amazing. And can you fill in the blanks? I mean, there's a big difference or a big time gap there between starting Hear and Play at 17, and music was a part of your life a lot before that. Can you fill in the blanks around that and how you came to build your business? It was quite successful before Infusionsoft came along, but perhaps take us through that journey.

Jermaine: Absolutely. In fact, this year, this coming August, we will be celebrating 15 years. So happy birthday to us.

Samantha: Happy birthday. In August. All of my audience will have to remember to send you a reminder and a congratulations.

Jermaine: Thank you, thank you. And yes, it was. It was right there at the... Remember Y2K and the millennium changing? This was the year 2000 and I was 17. And these were the years of AOL 2.5, hearing the guys say, "You've got mail," and buddy lists and just the newness of the web. You could barely transact secure transactions with SSL. I don't know what the encryption was back then. We had to keep our videos under a minute. So there truly has been a progression. And I'm so thankful to Michael Gerber. And folks say that nine out of 10 businesses fail within the first, I don't know, five years. And so to have passed that, I'm just so grateful.

But the story begins, really, 22 years ago in my grandma's house. Actually, my mom and grandma, we all shared. Grandma had this piano, and grandma was like this gospel player. She played this piano. And I still admire her on there. Just think of Ray Charles and the gospel choir, and she's singing and all the neighbors know this is the church apartment. And I'd get pots and pans and I'd beat them. And I thought I'd be a drummer as most boys beat on the couch and the drums. And we didn't have much money, so I made up my own drum set.

And one day, I was about seven or eight, I hopped on the piano. And no one taught me, I just started playing every other white key on the piano and it sounded good. And then I started mixing the black notes and those sounded good. And before long, I was playing Disney songs. And whatever I heard my sister listening to, Under the Sea or Little Mermaid or Aladdin, I was playing them. And then I started playing for the church. And it seems like my story is just a progression of just naturally occurring things. Parents then asked me, "Hey you're 12 and playing for church," I mean, the whole church, "Can you teach my sons?" So here I am at 12 with half a dozen students in the community with my own little briefcase.

Samantha: Were you charging students back then, or were you just doing it as a bit of fun?

Jermaine: No, no, I was charging. Napoleon Hill talks about, in Think and Grow Rich, a burning desire. And there's always going to be this discussion of entrepreneurship and do you just have it or you don't, are certain people just gifted with this fire. I don't know, but I know that I had a fire. I was selling Avon at the same time. I looked at the penny savor magazines, the little nickel magazines in the back. It said, "Make money. Make $1,000 a week or whatever." And I called and a lady knocks on the door and says, "I'm looking for your dad, Jermaine, or your mom, Jermaine." I said, "I'm Jermaine. You're looking [inaudible 00:05:59]." Mom signed up under me, grandma signed up under her, grandpa, the church signed up under her, and we were in business.

This list, I can't even see if there was one thing. The piano was one thing, but then it was this Avon thing, then it was school, and then trying to be a mock trial lawyer. So I was just that kid that really wanted to change things around me, and just saw a different future. Not that there wasn't a lot of love and that sort of thing, but I just saw something different beyond the horizon and I just got productive.

And activity and productivity, there's a difference. And maybe in the beginning, I was just active. And that's okay because sometimes it leads you to where you need to be, and that's what it did. Eventually, out of all this activity, Hear and Play would be born four or five years later, morphing these private student gigs into books, leverage.

Samantha: And it wasn't an online venture then. Because as you say, the internet was just really getting started. So how did you actually create a business out of it then?

Jermaine: Right. So we're talking '95 at this point. I'm 12, 13. It's very much offline. It's at churches, I'm teaching students, I'm playing for groups and travelling and stuff like that. And then this internet thing comes and my mom gets it. And we have that AOL card and then she pays for the ongoing payment. And I start seeing opportunities, like in newsgroups and people earning income. And I remember joining an affiliate program back then. I don't tell this story as much, but I remember joining one of the earlier commission junctions or one of those, and actually being able to earn money every time someone clicked to my website. This was before the crash.

They were paying fifty cents a click, Samantha, for any click. It didn't even matter. I learned how to just drive traffic. I remember my first $800 check as a 16 year-old, even before So I had some exposure. I was that same guy who got the Penny Saver. I found the equivalent of that stuff on the internet and I was like, "Okay, people are earning money." And I figured out how to do it. And then came time to actually start my first, I guess you can say, real business and that was

August 6, 2000, we registered the domain name with $70. And I said, "I'm going to sell these books that I've been using with my private students. I'm just going to sell them online. And I can't process payments, so we're going to use" Do you remember

Samantha: No, I don't. A lot of the other things, but no, I don't remember Is that one of the first payments tools? Was it?

Jermaine: Yeah, it's called PayPal now.

Samantha: Oh, that's amazing.

Jermaine: I can tell you all the initial names. Like, it was called Overture, which is called Yahoo Search Marketing. So there's been this evolution. And so fast forward in college and it finally hits for me. But it takes a while to do that. But yes, it's been a progression. I know you're going to ask me more questions about that part of it, but that's the birth of this whole Hear and Play.

Samantha: Wow. If I remember rightly, you started employing your family members because your business started to grow. And you ended up having to deliver hard copy, wasn't it? You know, tutorials and books and things back then?

Jermaine: Absolutely. In fact, we started all hard copy. It wasn't until 2009 that we actually went digital. So we've shipped millions and millions of dollars in USPS Postage. I'm a great customer of the post office. It was physical over the 15 years, physical.

Samantha: And back then, it was a physical delivery, but how did you attract people to your business back then? Was there an online component of that, even though it was physical delivery?

Jermaine: Yeah, absolutely. Now, the physical part of it offline was just my private students and people that I physically touched in church and places that I was able to deliver. Because there was no growth in that, just a very small circle. It wasn't until we went online in 2000 and we launched our site. And of course, we expected the world to beat down our door and it didn't, but I did manage to get my first sale two to three months after launching.

So we launched in August, by October I had my first sale for 60, 70 bucks with this workbook. It was a five workbook series and it taught you your music chords, your scales, your progressions, and your songs. And we went to work. We went to the office store and we bound them up and we shipped them out. But online, back then, things that you could do were newsgroups, bulletin boards.

Samantha: Yeah.

Jermaine: I was the moderator of a Yahoo group. I didn't even know about mailing lists but I figured if I grow a Yahoo group and I'm the moderator and I get people to join this "Learn the piano by ear" group, moderators can send out email. So that was my first generation email list that I had control over but no ownership.

Samantha: Wow. I'm just curious, because even now for, shall we say, traditional businesses and traditional brick and mortar businesses and those that are not particularly comfortable being paying online, as well as regular employees that go to day jobs in offices and that kind of stuff, aren't particularly familiar with this environment, this online environment. If you were at a barbeque and someone asks you what do you do, what do you tell them? Like in 10 seconds or in two minutes, what do you tell them that you do?

Jermaine: That's a really good question. And that's life. It's weird to tell someone you're in your home all day in your pajamas, which was the case today. I actually had to ask Samantha for a 30 minute delay so I could actually get dressed. That's not every day. I do have an office but this is the lifestyle. I can't lie. So when I'm out in public and I have to explain what do I do, I usually say I'm in online music education and technology.

Samantha: And do they go, "What the . . . ?"

Jermaine: Yeah, they're still like... So I say, "We're like Rosetta Stone for musicians." "Oh, wow. I get it." And even that's a stretch. I mean, we're nowhere close to the Rosetta Stone's size, but in vision, it's an analogy that works. So people say, "Oh, I teach myself a language like at Rosetta Stone. You teach people how to teach themselves music. It's a self-help program." And then that usually starts the conversation. So if I'm at a school, because I do a lot of volunteering at my college, so you meet a lot of academicians. So if I say I'm in the online music education and technology space, that passes their academia filter. And then we can go, "I teach piano online." But if you start that way, sometimes it's, "Oh, you're a piano teacher. Can you teach my son at six o' clock?" "No, I can't. I'm sorry."

Samantha: And because you reach, what, hundreds of thousands, millions of people now?

Jermaine: Yes, yes. Our lists combined are a good half a million people. And just our page views are several million lesson downloads a year. Yeah, we reach a lot of people, we reach a lot of gospel people that would otherwise not be served because there's not a lot of resources for learning church music. So I stay connected to my roots. And that's been one of our more successful genres out of all of the people that we reach.

Samantha: And one of the things I was just thinking about around that, is in terms of generating revenue, so you've got this enormous group of people that you serve but for those that are not familiar with online products and that sort of stuff, how is your revenue generated then?

Jermaine: Right. So we're not a freemium model at all, but because of my value system and an abundance mindset, we give away a lot of stuff. But at the end of the day, grandma says, "If it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense."

Samantha: She's an amazing grandmother.

Jermaine: Yeah. She has a lot to say. But in that sense, we sell stuff, we sell courses, we sell online courses, we sell memberships. You can join the gospel music training center. Or you could pay monthly, you could pay quarterly. We just actually stumbled onto lifetime memberships. In a niche that average transaction size in our music niche is $50 to $70, but we're able to have, on average, nine transactions along the lifecycle of the customer, which makes our customer value upwards of $500, which a lot of people find that impressive in such a small ticket item. I have some customers worth $4,000, $5,000 that have been members for seven, eight years paying. So we just discovered lifetime membership in the thousands. And at first, I was like, "No, no one's going to do that," because I'm just so used to that price. And we've been selling them like hotcakes. I'm almost now saying, "Is this such a great deal?" Because people are coming out of the woodwork. So that's the idea there.

We've got software, we've got video, we've got audio like Rosetta Stone, we've got private. You can actually get a teacher through us. We've got Master courses. So it's just that whole...we've got all the modalities covered in music learning. And we've got a long way to go. So we can expand with instruments. We've only touched piano, a little bit guitar, a little bit of drums. We've got a long way to go.

Samantha: And what amazes me about that, is that that is in just 15 years. And there's a great analogy that someone shared with me a while ago, which was when's the best time to plant a tree? And it was 25 years ago. And when's the second best time? Is today. And you planted that tree 15 years ago and look at what it has built, and yet there is still so much room for growth.

Jermaine: Oh, absolutely. I mean, we're a seven-figure business. We've done eight figures aggregately, but I've only scratched the surface. I mean, I'm living my own personal dream, but in the big scheme of things, there's so much. There's so much more in potential out there to really be Rosetta Stone. So I keep that in my vision. But in terms of the lifestyle business, it's not every personal dream, every professional dream out of the park for me personally.

Samantha: Yeah. And so one of the things that you mentioned earlier, was around how you define yourself. And that's as a music teacher in some ways, as a simplified terminology for that, but it's obviously all online and distribution online and that sort of thing. One of the things I was interested about, is that you don't define yourself as a marketer, and yet that is obviously one of the absolute critical components of what you do. What I wanted to do was explore how you define digital marketing automation. It's something that we talk about here, and for a lot of people and a lot of listeners that have no idea really what that means and what are the boundaries to that definition to you? What does it mean to you and your business?

Jermaine: Absolutely. And the reason I don't call myself an internet marketer is because someone spoke for me one day. We were travelling together and just having conversation. He says, "We're internet marketers," and I said, "You're an internet marketer." That's like saying, "I'm a Yellow Pages advertiser," or, "I'm a bill boarder."

Samantha: Yes.

Jermaine: One of the things I do is market but there's other things to it.

Samantha: Exactly. It's just a part of the business, isn't it? It's not what defines you in terms of the entire business.

Jermaine: Absolutely. In the same way that I'm not a piano teacher.

Samantha: Yes.

Jermaine: I'm not what I do. So that's one thing. And so I'm very careful about how I look at things. Wayne Dyer says, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." So if you want to be a piano teacher, you're going to command piano teacher money and piano teacher respect. And I'm not saying I haven't got the right wording for it yet, but I if you want to be the Rosetta Stone of musicians, hey, well.

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely. So how does digital marketing or marketing generally, and particularly automation in terms of marketing, fit into your business model? How do you use it? Because you really do take it to the extremes in terms of its capability for your business. And I just wondered if you could share with us. Are there boundaries for that for you? And where does it start and where does it end for you?

Jermaine: Right, absolutely. I mean, just marketing in general is the process of finding targeted people with a need and matching a service or solution to their need. In so many words, that's marketing, right? Digital marketing is doing that process online. Digital marketing automation is figuring out how to systematize and automate that whole process. And it's filling in the gaps; it's not replacing. I know you have a future question about the fear of dehumanization, depersonalization because of the automation. It's not that when you think of it along the lines of my definition. My definition is scaling personal attention. And before I came up with that, I Googled it because I wanted to make sure I didn't take that or I heard that somewhere. And I think that's my term.

Samantha: I think it is, too. When I first heard that from you, the penny dropped for me. And to be able to use that and similar terms for people that don't understand it and thinking that it is a depersonalized medium in terms of marketing and sales and so on. Whereas you're really scaling that personalized attention and therefore allowing time for even more personalized attention, in person personalized attention at much greater value as well.

Jermaine: Absolutely. I mean, there are several ways to look at it. It's freeing you from the mundane so that you can spend time with your top clients or your personal clients. That's one way. Now, that can never work for me just because of the number of people we reach. So it's not a sense of freeing my time for something else. But it's my sense that if I wanted to personally interact with every one of my customers, the exact way I would do it, there's an energy here and there's a way about me of doing things. There is a threshold where I could never do that. And no one would be serviced if it were just a matter all or nothing. So if I can't do it personally, then it can't be done. Well, that's obviously not the approach I want to take. So there has to be some one to mass in there anyway, regardless. And how do you personalize that, is the question.

Samantha: Well, and you do it brilliantly. I mean, I think one of first experiences I had with Automation Clinic. which is your ninja environment for people to really get the most out of Infusionsoft and digital automation tools, I can remember your video came up and it said, "Thanks, Samantha." And I'm like, "What? Get out of here. How did he . . . Surely, he hasn't . . ." And you really do go to the extremes in automation. And I just wondered before we go into those extremes, how did you start with automation? Was it automation then, or was it just systemizing? And where did that first initial spark come from?

Jermaine: Right. So with me and my career at this, it didn't come one day, like, "Wow! I need to automate." That's how it is for people now. I get the sense when they knock on my door at Automation Clinic, a lot of people have no clue what they need to automate. So first, there comes a knowledge of what needs to be systematized. Before you even can automate something, you've got to have something to automate. You've got to understand marketing, communications with customers, life cycles, and sales processes. And there needs to be a manual way of doing it.

There's this guy - and then I'll get back to your question. I'm like a politician. But I was buying this house I'm in now, and there was an air duct cleaner and we were in construction. And he came in and he said, "Oh, you're in construction, so you don't get your air ducts cleaned until the end. You don't want to do it now." And every two weeks, he'd hit me up manually. And I knew it was manually because it had a lot of personal stuff in it that just is very hard to automate, and he wasn't that type. He said, "Hey, Jermaine. Are you done yet?" And I'd say, "No, we got some delays."

Two weeks later, and again, for six months, six to seven months non-stop, he followed up. See, that's the type of person that could knock on my door and say, "How do I automate that?" He's already got a system; the problem is his system is manual. It's very manually intensive but he's doing something. He understands the sales cycle. He understands follow up. You've got to have that first. You can't skip that. It's very easy for me to bring him here, automate that whole system and make it personal by the kind of data he would have collected about me, and then say to him, "Forget that," and move on to the next customer, thus freeing up his time.

So that's the process people have to understand. It's not straight to automation. There's something in between there that you then automate. But for me, it came out of necessity. I was always, even today it feels like, the business has never been the primary thing. When I first got started, it was high school, graduation. Then when the business started flourishing, grandma said, "You better not stop college." So I was always doing midterms. And then I got married before I graduated. Three months before I graduate, I was married. And then a year or two after that, I was a father. So life for me, the business has always been...the question was, "How can I run this thing without being there? I'm in school."

Samantha: Yeah, yeah.

Jermaine: And so those questions naturally lead me to finding answers. And auto response was my first answers, voice follow up in my place. "Let's leave a message on their phone for me, and then when they call back, you guys take the answers. I'm going to school. See you later." Stuff like that. Just natural questions, natural answers.

Samantha: And what were you doing? I know that you're on Infusionsoft now, but what were you doing before Infusionsoft? How were you doing all of that automation?

Jermaine: Like 30 different tools. So we started with A Webber. So we had our email over there. Then we had Freedom Voice for our phone and voice blasting. And then we had easy texting over there with the equivalent, whoever they end up becoming, for our text message. And that wasn't even in the beginning, that came later. People didn't have cell phones as much in 2000. And then we had this program we had to build our fulfillment. And then Endisha [SP] came along and automated that part of it. I can just remember all these different tools, but the tools came about because of Google searches, like, "How do I send mass voice blast?" And then Freedom Voice came up. So it wasn't that I was so ninja; I think I was just willing to ask better questions and ask questions to solve my specific needs that then became a philosophy, that then became the future. We're in it now and not even touching the surface of it. This was 12 years ago.

Samantha: For sure. So you were using a number of different tools? And actually, I just want to ask you a question a bit on notice there. You were talking about using A Webber and others, Mailchimp and other tools. A lot of people that are using those tools for email auto responders think that they're basically the same as Infusionsoft. What is the difference for you between those sorts of email auto responders and Infusionsoft?

Jermaine: Absolutely. The difference is the difference of Copernicus centuries ago coming along and saying, "No, the sun doesn't revolve around the earth. The earth and other planets revolve around the sun." Something like Infusionsoft is the CRM, and the C stands for a client-customer relationship, right? The A Webber, that's just one of those tools, like the sun revolving around... You're putting the focus on something else.

And so with Infusionsoft, when they click, it's not just a click to trigger another email. A Webber can do that. We can trigger that. No, it's a record, it's a doctor's portfolio of your history being marked in there. And not only do I know that Samantha clicked that email about jazz music, but I know that six months from now. I can revisit that. I know that next year I can revisit that. I have a record, a valuable asset of data being built on Samantha. It's not just email centered like that sun and earth analogy.

So really, it's about putting all the emphasis on the customer, and so even people that are quick to go use another shopping cart. And now we don't have the connectivity as easily of, "Did they buy? Did they buy that?" Now we're emailing them about something they already bought because we got the system over here that increased our conversions by 10%. But we don't know. It's not in the customer/doctor profile, so now we're selling the same thing and there's no . . . See, all these different systems, I'm not apprehensive about using a bunch of different systems, but they've got to talk to each other. And that's what we were missing pre-Infusionsoft.

And it's crazy when you do it that way. You cannot bother customers. Customers have, especially in this day and age, the attention economy or whatever. And you've got so many times to mess up and offer them 50% off on something they bought last week for full price, because your systems aren't talking to each other. You've got so many times to do that and . . .

Samantha: And it seems to me, from what you've just said, and this is one of the critical things as well that I'd like to go into, which is how you use that data once it's in there. Because coming back to your definition of scaling personal attention, if you were having an individual conversation with that person, you would remember what you've offered. You would remember what their likes are, what their interests are, and you would customize your conversation with that person based on your recollection.

And you've just crystallized, for me, the key difference between auto responders, email auto responders and Infusionsoft, and that is it's like the recollection. It's the data collection, but then it's the interpretation and use of that data to scale personal attention so that you can, as you say, not offer them something at 50% off that they purchased last week. That you can actually say, "You know what? You purchased that last week and you're probably already getting value from that. You would actually get more value also from this up sale opportunity or cross sale opportunity, but I know that because of the information that's in Infusionsoft and how I use that information."

Jermaine: That's absolutely right.

Samantha: That penny has just completely dropped for me. And so for you, I mean, you really go to extremes in terms of how you use your data. I've got to get the Australian out of it and the US into it. And you automate a lot of your business. Can you give us some of the examples of all of those areas of your business that you automate, and then how you take that data and make that scalable personal attention as a result of that?

Jermaine: Right. Absolutely. So the only problem with my philosophy is you get so many tags in the user's account. And Infusionsoft hasn't figured out how to show those tags. They show them like [inaudible 00:30:04].

Samantha: Yeah. Just tell our listeners what a tag is there, and how you use them.

Jermaine: A tag is a little ounce of a label. It's like a data label that you can put on the customer. And that label can be anything, just like a doctor saying, "I have a condition of this," or "I enjoy this," or "I'm prone to this." It's a label. If they say they like gospel music, they get the gospel tag forever. They say they're a beginner, they get the beginner tag forever. If they click to open the first welcome email ever, I'm going to tag them that they opened that email. Because every tag in their account, or every lack of a tag, creates now an opportunity. Either they have the tag or, "Great, that's information." Just like in real life . . . I'm looking at the mic, I should be looking at you.

But in real life, if you told me something, Samantha, and it was something that I stored in my mind's database, I would remember that. There are some stories we've shared and not to be missed. And I remember things. And it would come across awkward in real life if I just totally asked you something that was totally not in alignment with our prior conversations in history.

And you wouldn't trust your doctor if you went in for a heart condition and he said, "Oh, so your heart's perfectly fine. Let's talk about your lung." You'd be like, "Doctor, I just had surgery last week." You wouldn't trust your doctor. So in the same way, that tag, those are accumulations of data points, and that allows us to then, in Infusionsoft or any tool that's similar - but my choice and your choice is Infusionsoft - now we can divvy and separate people in different places because of that information.

And the great thing about it, is the difference in A Webber, they click a link and you can go send them in that direction. But that's one time. There is no memory there. There's no CRM in the sense six months later I could say, "Hey, Samantha. Remember that video I sent you last year? You probably don't, here's the link to it." But I know that you opened it, and heck, I even know that you watched the whole thing. We can get so deep as to...and some people, privacy and things like that, but we can track video consumption to the end of the video. And I'm not going to say, "Hey, I noticed you watching 99.9% of video."

Samantha: That's the creepy factor. You don't want to become creepy, you just want to be intelligent.

Jermaine: Right. And that's where you have to put a human layer over the automation, because it sounds all ninja. And that's what I told my phone reps. I say, "If you call somebody from the recent activity," which for us, it could be 25,000 actions in a day. They can go to recent and see people opening in real time, people clicking in real time, web forms. And they can call them up right when they do it. And I tell them, "Don't necessarily say, 'Hey, I'm just watching you like a hawk and you just opened this email.' Just call up and the customer is going to naturally say, 'Wow, I was just thinking about you guys.'" And that creates the opening and they talk and what have you.

And the same thing is true with the automation, because it's very powerful. But you just put a human layer over and just say, "Hey, remember this email I sent you?" All the while knowing that, yes, Samantha is very much engaged in that email and that process, because she has all the tags. And now I can move that relationship on. It doesn't matter when in the process, I can do that any time because I have the data forever. So it's a forever thing. And we've got like 1,400 tags now that you could potentially get. And that will determine things about you, and even launches and future emails.

And I was playing basketball with my buddy one day, he said, "Aren't you going to be releasing the jazz tomorrow? How are you able to be playing basketball at midnight at the gym, 24 hour Fitness?" And I said, "That's just for you. You must have picked jazz." He's like, "Yeah, yeah, I did pick. I played jazz back in high school." And I was like, "Yeah, that's just for you, man." And I did that course five years ago. "Please shoot the free throw. Let's continue."

Samantha: And how do you keep track of that? I mean, do you keep track of all of that activity going on, or how do you . . . I mean, you've got 1,400 tags, as you say. I've got no idea; that must be torture going through the Infusionsoft list of all the tags. And you're right, we might have to talk to them about how they display those when you get a bit more advanced. But how do you keep track of all of that activity? Because you've obviously automated so many. Would you even know how many campaigns and sequences and things you have now?

Jermaine: I have a lot. No, I don't. And the same thing with the tags, there are some emails I get from myself and I say, "When did I . . .?" I have no memory of writing them. I don't know if I'm just getting older or something. I said, "That's a great email. I wrote that email?" That's just how many things. And I don't want to scare anyone. Because now there's a risk of, "Oh, my gosh, this is . . ."

Samantha: Yes, yes.

Jermaine: No, it's not. It's I started this several years ago, and it's been one little campaign after another. And look at it this way when you're confused about tags and things like that. Okay, you've got something to share with the world. And that relationship with your potential customers is usually going to start with some type of value device, a report that you write, maybe a video, maybe an interview, but something to introduce them to whatever it is that you've got to share with them. And ask yourself, in scaling personal attention, if this was real life and you could keep up with them and you could call them and ask them about that, what would you do?

And what if you just had the intelligence and technology to know that they actually did it before you asked? But you can't. You can't necessarily say, because you're not psychic. So I pick up the phone and I say, "Hey, Samantha. You know that thing that we talked about last week? I know you did it, but did you do it?" It's this pushing along a straight line, as Bill Ford would say, a sales expert. But with the advantage of actually knowing that they're hot, or cold, or warm, and being able to reply as such.

And you just ask yourself, "What would I do if they did take the action? Where would I push them along next? Is there another piece of value? Should I go for the sale?" And I can't answer that. That will be your business and lifecycle in testing. Is it time to get them on a webinar? Is it time to invite them to a sales strategy call, or whatever it is that we insert the blank? So you just ask yourself questions. Don't go saying, "I've got to copy Jermaine's 180 step sequence." No, no. What's the next step for your customer, your prospect at that juncture point? And that's it.

And soon, if you're addicted to this stuff like me, yeah, you'll take that thing to the mountaintop. And you'll see the results and you'll keep wanting to go. And then you'll say, "Well, I'm focusing on this group," like I did. You'll say, "Well, what if I do it to the jazz people?" And now you have an opportunity to do that same thing you did over here for a whole other group. And then you say, "What if I do that with drummers?" And so you get these sequences because you're just expanding. But it's not something super magical; it's just one little unit at a time.

Samantha: And actually, it's interesting that you say that because I was going to ask you where would you suggest they begin? And I guess that what you're saying there is where would you start in a natural conversation with someone? And how would that process flow and just start to map that out.

Jermaine: Absolutely. Well, yeses or nos. The yeses will tell you what happens next. The nos will say, "We need to slow down and what else can I do?" Is it a reminder, is it a push, is it introducing something else? And just yes no, yes no. And soon you will have built out a process.

Samantha: Yeah. And I noticed that one of the things that you did when you first got Infusionsoft - and I hear a lot of people that get very frustrated and overwhelmed by the technology and perhaps the thinking that goes into the technology. When you first got Infusionsoft, a lot went on for you and you spent a lot of time in the application. And I see a lot of people that after a very short period of time, they want to give up because they're frustrated with it. What would you recommend there? And how do they get started in the application, in using the automation?

Jermaine: Absolutely. And with all things, it's time versus money. There's this pendulum. For me in the beginning, I had time, no money. I have buddies of mines and gurus and names that people would know in this call, and they don't know a thing about Infusionsoft. And they don't need to or feel they don't need to, because they've got people or money to get that stuff done. So first is the question of where you are in your business and your budgeting and things like that. And are you the right person? Do you have the skill sets? I mean, if you don't know the shortcut to copy and paste, there's some questions to ask. So there's an honesty process first, just a technological proficiency, okay?

And then once we're past that... And okay, yes, I don't mind the nuts and bolts, I like that. And yes, I don't want the risk of having to hire people. I do have some time now. Okay, we're past that. And so the first thing you do is go over to their marketplace and pull in a simple campaign. Pull in a simple campaign. They have a basic opt in where whatever you've got to share with the world, that'll be collected via a web form. Pull that out and this doesn't have to be even real. Just make something up, put it in there and see the flow of being able to offer something to some stranger all around the world, and have them request it and in the next minute, get it. And then maybe in the next few hours, another follow. And just let that process happen with you.

And the first time it happens, especially if you're new to this, you've got that new feeling that I long for. I'm used to this stuff, but that new feeling of getting an email from yourself a couple hours after because you clicked on it. And you see that the light bulbs will eventually start hitting, and then you'll say, "Huh, I wonder if I add another one." And literally, it's going to be as easy as just dragging out a timer and adding another email. And just treat it that way. Don't drag out a 100,000 bubbles and then say, "Oh, my gosh." Just in the beginning, just let it be a non-threatening moment of discovery.

I read in a book, you've got learning and you've got discovery. You've got memory and you've got learning. And when memory is up, learning is down, and when learning is up, memory is down. Just get in there without any memory or any expectations, and just put your first campaign together that follows up with you several hours later, a day later, a week later, and watch that process happen and see your customers getting that email. And then ask yourself, "What else would it take? What else of value can I give them?"

Samantha: That's fantastic. Thanks, Jermaine. I think that's excellent advice. And that's where you start. And really, you're just doing more and more and more of that over time in order to be able to automate your business and get the most out of that. If there was one automation campaign that you think every business should have, if you only had a choice of one, what would it be?

Jermaine: Right, right. So for me, this is a hard one because most people think the money is made with new customers. But I will say if it's an existing business and there's money being made, I would say in the back end of the customer or the purchase. And so I would say follow up to orders and customer purchases. Because most will tell you, and if you understand parietal [SP] principle, 80% of your money is generally going to come from 20% of your customers. And when I look in systems, people really drop the ball after the first order. People understand lead generation for the most part. If they hear a guru talk about it in some training, they'll put together a sequence to try to get that sale and follow up, and seven exposures with someone to consider your offer, and Brian Tracy.

But then all of that work, and then you get your first order, and then there's no follow up. There's that order confirmation, but that's when the sale starts. The sale starts when you get a customer. That's not the time to slowdown; that's the time to ramp up. In the book, Drilling Down Here, he would call that's a point of acceleration. When someone chooses to give you money, that's a point of acceleration and a change in the relationship. That's like when I'm first dating, that first kiss. That might be an acceleration from just talking and mingling or whatever. That's an acceleration point. And that's like a guy having a first kiss and then turning around and just walking away, and leaving his prospecting wife or fiancée confused. So I would say that you've got to have that.

Now, in Automation Clinic world, we call that the orbit. So what we do, is we try to... For me, I've got 30, 40 products. So I align my products into this Copernicus orbit because the customer is in the middle and my products are aligned along them. So if they buy this product here at 45 degrees or what have you, there is a progression. I say, "What is the ideal path after that product?" And so if it's 101, jazz 101, the next product would be jazz 201, and so automatically. And if they're in any other circle already, we set it up so they can only be in one place at any time.

I don't care if they're in gospel over here and they buy jazz 101, the next thing we're selling is jazz 201. That's where the advanced automation comes in. But really, if you only had one campaign, please follow up with customers, offer them something after that first order. Wow them, check in to see what they're doing. Tell them to go to page 18 because there is a kick butt chart there that if they don't do anything, just go to page 18. So these are consumption reminders just to make sure they consume, so that they come back. These are offers, one time offers on the complimentary, supplementary material. These are getting started webinars. This is where you get busy and you prove to that person they made the right decision. And not only that, but you've got a whole path for them laid out, that if they're only continuing down that path, you'll take care of them.

Samantha: Yeah. Wow. That's great advice, and I think very helpful for a lot of people here. Because I know that a lot of people that I talk to are all about, "How do I get new people into the door?" But you're right. It's almost like you've kissed them and left them standing on the sidewalk once they have purchased from you. Is there anything you think shouldn't be automated?

Jermaine: Shouldn't be automated? That's a good question. What did I say when I was thinking about that? Shouldn't be automated? It's hard [inaudible 00:45:30].

Samantha: It's hard to think, exactly. Because you know what's possible.

Jermaine: I've almost automated everything. I would say family, but I own, too. I've automated that.

Samantha: Are you kidding? Tell me about Does that actually help you stay in touch with your family? Because I'll probably need that.

Jermaine: No. The domain doesn't exist. It was a defensive move. Because on stage one day, I said, "You could use Infusionsoft to automate every birthday in your life, every anniversary, not only your own but others. You just have the emails go out and save the date fields and stuff. And it's not that you're not going to do it, it's just an insurance plan. You can connect it with send out cards. And I mean, you can have it where you pop out cards in the mail and all kinds of stuff." So I can't even say that because I've spoken about that. I would be hypocritical.

Samantha: And actually, while you're thinking about that, you mentioned send out cards. What are some of the other tools that you integrate with, but also that you use? And I'd love you to touch on some of the tools in Automation Clinic, because there are limitations to Infusionsoft and you've built on those. But some of your favorite, perhaps, tools for getting the most out of Infusionsoft beyond what its role capabilities are?

Jermaine: Right. So absolutely. And the difference in these tools that I'm about to talk about and using disconnected tools, are that Infusionsoft is the engine. So all the tagging and all of the decisions to do this versus that, Infusionsoft is controlling that. It's just that Infusionsoft doesn't send out text messages, but can control the sending of text messages through their, what we call, API, just an advanced way to say connecting to another service. But Infusionsoft is going to control when that happens, based on the data in Samantha's account, all the same.

So I'm using fix your funnel to send out my text messages. I'm using them also to connect with send our cards, to send out gift cards and birthday cards. So I know it's your birthday, Samantha, and you say, "How do I know it's your birthday?" Because when you download a product from me, I ask you to use your birthday as your password. Because I say "People forget passwords but they never forget birthdays, so give us your birthday. And if you don't want to give us your birthday, just put January 1 default."

Samantha: Yes.

Jermaine: And 90% give us their birthday. That goes into our Infusionsoft account, and we cue up a campaign just for your birthday. Ten days, 10 to seven days before your birthday, we pop out a card, through fix your funnel, send out cards. Turbo dial. Turbo dial is a wonderful tool that we actually got from a mutual friend of ours, a flow. And that has just been really helpful in personalizing. Because what it lets you do is send a personal text message. It's not a massive one, so that if you reply, Samantha, it goes to our email box and we can reply back to you. People think that it's a company cell phone just because they're able to go back and forth. And we're getting 80% of our lifetime value sales.

And I just happened to put in the postscript. I said, "Oh, by the way, you can text me if you have any questions about this. Rather than calling, you can just text Brian at this number." And lo and behold, people started texting in and we were able to reply just as if it were one-on-one. So that's been a really cool thing. Turbo dial is so great for that. It lets you record your calls. It lets you automatically leave the right voicemail and it'll hang up the call and leave the voice mail. So that's been a cool one.

We use auto tele-seminar to automate our welcome tele-seminars. So every Wednesday, there's an event going on. So if you join on a Tuesday, you'll be invited to that event. What else do we use?

Samantha: And tell us about some of the tools that you use within Automation Clinic that you provide to members of Automation Clinic, that extend particularly the data reporting and the data intelligence capabilities there and some of the other tools that you have there.

Jermaine: Absolutely. I forgot about [inaudible 00:49:49].

Samantha: Well, they're some of the most amazing, which is why I think I'd love people to know about them. So that when they get to that stage, they know where to get access to those sorts of tools.

Jermaine: Absolutely. So we're on about 40 additions or plug ins, you could say, to InfuseSoft. So one of the really good books is Drilling Down. And this book was written in the early 2000s or '90s. And he was talking about using spreadsheets. But when you get into what we call RFM analysis and database marketing, and you really get into the lifecycle of a customer and started digging into your database and looking at when's the last time these customers bought from you, that's what you call recency. That's the R in the RFM formula. When is the last time they bought? And by the way, that's the most important factor, hands down. If you want to bet on a customer, you've got 100 customers to contact and you want to sort them by likelihood to respond, bet on the most recent. You say, "But they just bought from me yesterday. I have to let them breathe." That's the one that's going to buy again, not the one at the end of the list that bought the least recent.

And then the F is frequency. That's how many times they've done it. The M is monetary. That's how much they've spent. And that's just one thing. And I went to Infusionsoft to find that data, and it does exist. It does exist in the lifetime value customer report. But I wanted to take it a step further, because I'm scaling personal attention. If I knew Samantha was stuck on one purchase three months, six months after buying from me, well, that creates an opportunity. And what would Jermaine say? He'd pick up the phone and he'd say, "Hey, Samantha. What did I do? The course you bought from me, it was the last. And surely I would've known that by now if you started at 101. Surely I would have knocked your socks off so much with knowledge and concepts that you'd be on to the 202 right now. So what is going on, girlfriend?"

So how do I wrap that in an automated way to still be personal with that knowledge that you're stuck at one purchase? So my plugins have made the data active, because it stores it as a field in that doctor's profile, again, versus being in a report somewhere. And the report is good, looking back, but what you want to be able to do is get the data in active places so that in campaign builder or what not, I can say, "Okay, this special offer is going to be for customers with one to two purchases. They really need a push. This special offer is going to be for customers between three and 10 purchases." And then, "You know what? These customers that have bought like 20 times, they don't need as much of a push. So I'm going to give them free shipping or something like that."

But now I'm doing different things based on behavior, and that's just because I have that data stored. So we're able to know, for example, dates since last purchase, with birthday cards. I used to actually send a birthday card to everybody, but that got expensive. So you have to send like 40,000 to 50,000 birthday cards. And not everybody was the same in terms of behavior. So I started saying, "Okay, we can look at monetary, but that could be stale, too. You could have spent $1,000 five years ago." So monetary, there's a reason it's RFM, because monetary is at the end. That by itself, if you were to sort your database by money and you send it out and you spent your last money on that, you might be sorely displeased. But you said, "But I sent it to people worth the most to me." But you didn't look at time. That's where you messed up. You didn't look at time. And that time is everything. Time erodes the best intents.

So monetary alone can't do it. It's a time, it's a recency monetary or recency frequency. And so all we want to do, is so now I only send birthday cards to people who have bought in the last six months. So that cuts my cost by 80% and it hits the people that are active. Because the thought that I will reactivate somebody who's five years gone, is a fallacy. It's hopeful, but it doesn't make for money in the bank. So our tools have just really extended all the data. Just think, I mean, we're one click up selling. We've got tools for that. We've got tools where they pick up the phone and they can order. We've just basically done everything that I've come up across a road block inside of Infusionsoft. We figured out how do we do it?

Even we have our own SMS text message platform in there. We have our own order forms. We can put order forms along the right side of the sales page. We can do custom things like that. We've got integrations that can text you your stats on your cell phone every hour.

Samantha: I have a client, and there's probably numerous of these, but one that every time he sees me, he says, "I have to get rid of Infusionsoft." And I'm like, "Why, what's wrong?" And he says, "It's become an addiction. I'm looking at those stats every minute of the day." He said, "We're with the kids at the playground and my wife is saying, 'Stop looking at your Infusionsoft stats.'" Because he is so addicted to them. And now I could him tell, "Actually get that, and it'll just be sent to you. And don't have to be looking at it all the time."

Jermaine: Yeah, just 9:00 a.m., 12 noon, 3, and 9:00 p.m. And in that way, I'm not logging in. It's just, "Oh, okay. [inaudible 00:55:18] overnight, or call up Brian, or cue up a broadcast or whatever." And it's good. And there's something to be said about that, too. It does become a psychological, "Oh, my God . . ."

Samantha: Well, I think one of the things that you had mentioned to us at what we're calling Greeks Con, this year, 2015, and it was quite profound for me, is that the data tells you the next step. The information that comes out of this system tells you where you need to enhance and where you need to improve. And I think I also remember you saying you're the ninja of split testing and testing different options. You had, I think, 35 different versions of the first two minutes of one of your videos. And the data would tell you where you need to improve and where you don't need to improve and all that stuff. So I think having those tools is critical. Having the information and the knowledge in your head is fine, but if you don't act on it, it's useless. And it's the same in Infusionsoft.

Jermaine: Absolutely. Absolutely. Couldn't have said it better. Yeah, you've got to use the data. They say, "Let the data speak to you, and it will reveal a lot." And there's a lot of data. Even if the data isn't automated the way that we've done it, we've taken it a step further. We've packaged the data in such a way that it can now be used to effect communications. But even if you haven't gotten to that point, just having a period or a week, a day of the week to go in there and really pull the numbers and see where you're headed. What's your average transaction across your whole database? How is that trailing? A trailing twelve month, a trailing quarter, I don't know. How does that compare to the previous period? And just let the data speak to you.

If you send out an e-mail to 10,000 people or 1,000 people and you're not getting a lot of traction, well, is it the open rate? If it's the open rate, you can stop right there and change up your headline. And that data will reveal that your headline sucks. Well, if a bunch open but only 1% click, well, that tells you your call to actions, you've got to test and try some different call to actions. If your open and your click are just out of this world, let's say 25% open and 12%,15% click - which in these days and age, I mean, in the past, you could get more than that - let's just say that's great. But you have no sales, well, something on that conversion, that page is not converting well.

So you look at every juncture. You say, "Does it pass my criteria?" You plan it out in the beginning, but you're willing to go off that road to change some things at each bend. And it's really the discipline to stick with that versus... Because what you've got battling is this other shiny object. While you've got this open rate that sucks, you forgot that it sucks because somebody is coming out with a Facebook course. So you actually forget about that and then you go to the Facebook. It's not really a matter of... Any number of things could do it but most of us, and myself included, we have entrepreneurial ADD. So we can't stick to a simple fix the places where the bucket is leaking. And if you do that alone, you'll probably revolutionize your business. And just close your ears to anything new until those buckets are fixed.

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely.

Jermaine: And the data will reveal where to fix it.

Samantha: That's great. Great advice, Jermaine. I want to ask you one last question. Sorry, two last questions. One is imagine if you had to start all over again. So that 15 years' history is wiped. You wake up tomorrow morning and everything you've built is gone and you know no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge that you currently have. And you have the pressures of everyday life, like a mortgage and feeding a family, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?

Jermaine: Right. So I'm glad that you let me keep my knowledge.

Samantha: Yes.

Jermaine: If I've got to learn the stuff, too, if I have to read a book. If I have my knowledge, which is huge, but I lost everything else, I would immediately create some kind of value device. I would saddle down and in all of my depression of having lost things, I would pull myself together and I would take this automation advice or what have you. And for your case, it's whatever you got special with the world, and I would create that device and I would make sure that device is so filled with value and is so loaded that when someone sees it, they have to call that number to get a strategy session with me.

So because in this case, I really need the money, so I can't rely on a call to action. I want to make sure they pick up the phone. A lot of online people will say, "Oh, it's all online." No. When you need the money and you've got to start all over, get to a real personal place. So let the automation, let the Internet lead to a place where you can have a higher close rate. On the phone, we're at eight out of ten people, nine out of ten people. Unheard of online. So my $500, my brain would be put to generating offline leads that I can get on the phone with but the value that I provide, in whatever it is, is it going to be a report? Is it going to be a webinar? It's going to be my last $500. So when I go to Facebook, that's going to be step two. I go to Facebook and this needs to be a targeted group. So I'm not going to do it for all entrepreneurs, I'm going to pick a very specific group that... By the way, even before I start writing or doing or planning it, I need to go to Facebook's audiences. And in my research, I need to find out that there is a group that I'm going to start writing for.

And matter of fact, I might want to join their groups, because this is my last $500. I might want to join their groups. If they're public, I might want to look at the lingo and discussions. I might want to see what's hot, what's getting the 100 likes in the group versus the one like, what's got the 200 comments? Are they talking about split testing now? I know split testing, okay? So I'm going to figure that out, and then I'm going to go to work. I'm going to create my value, my proposition, my webinar. In fact, you probably don't even have to do the report. You could probably go straight to the webinar. Video is much easier for me than sitting down writing. So don't pressure yourself to do something in a modality that you don't have to do that.

So there's going to be some kind of modality. And then I'm going to launch my Facebook campaign. But I'm going to be watching it like a hawk. I don't have $500 to waste, so I've got to make sure my leads are coming in at a dollar, to two, to three dollars per lead at this point. So that's going to be either 500 leads for $500, 250 leads at $2. Or worst case scenario, 167 leads at $3. I've got to work with that. And then I've got to hammer those leads to get on a webinar with me, or some kind of a device that can then . . .The next step will be a free strategy session with me. And once I got 10, 20, 30 on the phone, I'll make my mortgage. And I will [inaudible 01:02:42].

Samantha: That is gold.

Jermaine: Yeah, $500 to get 30 on the phone, I'll make my mortgage.

Samantha: That is just the most considered and excellent advice I think I can ever say I've heard. That's brilliant. Thank you, Jermaine. It's obvious to see why you are where you are. Because that knowledge, that history, that experience, but also that practical approach, that awareness of what works and what doesn't. And really, that's one of the reasons I'm so excited and I'm so glad that you're able to join us today, because people need to understand. And they now have the benefit of some of that knowledge and experience, and at least where to start on that journey.

My last question is if people do want to contact you, and particularly in relation to Automation Clinic but also, I mean, music is a wonderful thing in life as well, so it would be great for people that are interested in learning, whether they are young or old or whatever else, where should they contact you? Where should they get in touch with you?

Jermaine: Sure. Music world at And right on the homepage, you can self select your style of music, even if you just want to go through the series and see some of the emails you get based on what you do. You can see a lot of the behaviors stuff right there in the front end for free. And then on the Automation Clinic side, Automation Clinic is like my hub. There's some blog articles and video series and things like that. But, that's a four video sequence that will really introduce you to this world of automated marketing, behavioral marketing. That's where you look at what people are doing and not doing, and their customer data and getting people to a certain optimal customer value. It's looking at stuff like that. Really fascinating to people that are ready for that kind of thing.

I can't say it's for everybody. Especially, like I said, that air duct cleaner, you've got to have a system. First, you've got to have a process, a sales process that you're following. Then you systematize it so that everybody does the same way, and then you automate it. So there is a, like I said, progression with it. But yeah,,, and Automation Clinic is where you find me.

And I want to thank you for having me, Samantha. This was awesome, and it got out nuggets that I didn't even plan on. And that's really like the signs of a great interview, where things just happen and things you don't even intend on sharing just happen. So sorry if I went on tangent such as different times.

Samantha: No, that's wonderful. You know me well enough to know that everything you say is gold.

Jermaine: Thanks.

Samantha: And it really is. So I have listened to other interviews that you've done and attended Greeks Con, and a lot of your content and listened to it over and over again. And it's amazing how much you get from listening to things over and over again that you have shared. I really appreciate how much you have shared with us today. It's really great. So thank you so much for joining us, Jermaine. I think you're off to a comedy event tonight. I hope that's good fun. Have lots of fun. And yeah, take it easy.

Jermaine: Absolutely. And the NBA finals tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Samantha: Excellent.

Jermaine: Absolutely my pleasure. Thank you.

Samantha: Thanks, Jermaine. Talk soon.

Jermaine: Bye, bye.

Woman: You can get started with Infusionsoft today, and have access to Get You Digital's extensive library of swipe files of done for you campaigns, email templates and much, much more. Go to to find out more.

Topics: Podcast


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