The Virtual CMO

Why it's Time to Digitize Your Business with Tracy Sheen

June 28, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Tracy Sheen Season 5 Episode 15
The Virtual CMO
Why it's Time to Digitize Your Business with Tracy Sheen
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 81, host Eric Dickmann interviews Tracy Sheen. Tracy is a digital marketer, business strategist, speaker, and author of- The End of Technophobia:  A practical guide to digitizing your business. She is also known as "The Digital Guide," who has been working in the marketing and sales space relating to small business technology adaptation for the past 30 years. Tracy is a pioneer in the Australian podcast movement she launched, called the globally successful "Not Another Business Show," and is a regular judge for the Australian Podcast Awards, the Australian Business Book Awards, and The Australian Web Awards.

Recognized by her profession as a 'Certified Practising Marketer' (CPM), Sheen has recently authored her first book, "The End of Technophobia: A practical guide to digitizing your business." This book teaches business owners how to run their business better by allowing them to actually use the digital platforms wisely.

She is a regular commentator, speaker, and trainer in the areas of digital marketing and small business technology. Tracy Sheen has worked with numerous startups, small and large enterprises, and government institutions such as-  Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Stanthorpe & Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce, YBG Business Group, Toowoomba Region, and City of Ipswich.

For show notes and a  list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit: https://fiveechelon.com/why-its-time-to-digitize-your-business-s5e15/ 

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. This week, I'm excited to welcome Tracy Sheen to the podcast. Tracy is a digital marketer, business strategist, speaker, and author of the End of Technophobia, a practical guide to digitizing your business. She is also known as The Digital Guide who has been working in the marketing and sales space relating to small business technology adoption for the past 30 years. Tracy is a pioneer in the Australian podcast movement where she launched the globally successful, Not Another Business Show and is a regular judge for The Australian Podcast Awards, The Australian Business Book Awards, and The Australian Web Awards. Today, we're going to discuss the benefits of digitizing your business. Please help me welcome Tracy to the program. Hey, Tracy. Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm so glad you could join us today.

Tracy Sheen:

Good day, Eric, how's it going?

Eric Dickmann:

It's going great. Yeah, honestly, it is. I'm very optimistic. People finally seem to be looking forward uh where there may have been some hesitancy around uh marketing expenditures, people are looking and saying let's get back on track. The economy is starting to really heat up and they want to be part of it and that's why I'm so glad to have you on the show today, because we're going to get to talk a little bit about technology. You know first of all can you just give us a few minutes on your background and how you came to this love of technology and small businesses?

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah sure look you might want to make a cuppa. I started with tech back in 1990, so mobile phones had launched in Australia a couple of years before, so everything was still very fresh and I was in the retail space, so I basically spent the first 20 years of my career playing around in the retail marketing tech space. So everything I was doing was around small business technology. So I introduced office automation which is what we called the department that held fax machines and laptops and things when they were still the size of a desktop computer now. And you know did all of that and that was great fun, and then worked for a couple of the major telcos in Australia and piloted SMS technology or texting which we bought into Australia to support the deaf community so that was a lot of fun, launched the iPhone as part of that. And then got a little bit burnt out and went out on my own and then launched a podcast uh which became the world's first panel style podcast. So you know then I kind of switched into realizing the newer forms of tech and how they could support small businesses around their marketing and sales briefs, and then just the two worlds kind of merged. So the last kind of five to ten years, I've really been focusing on really helping bridge that that divide that's kind of happened. So you know dare I say that I'm over 40 if you did your maths and I started in 1990, so tech happened to my generation, to Gen X. It wasn't something we grew up with, it was something that we've been forced to learn. Social media kind of hit us like a tsunami, all of the digital marketing stuff. So now I find that I work in that space of helping folks just like me kind of pick up the best of the tools and run with them to create great businesses.

Eric Dickmann:

I think it's such an interesting conversation because you know I'm a tech guy, I love technology, I love automation tools, but even for me at times it can be overwhelming because there are so many out there, and while tools are really designed to make your life easier, they also require that investment of time and energy to begin to understand them, understand what you can do with them, and in the best case scenario is integrate them into the other tools that you've got, so they're not sort of standalone. What do you see when you start to engage with a lot of these small businesses? What typically are the frustrations that they're having that you look and say well technology can help you here.

Tracy Sheen:

Look you hit it on the head, it's that overwhelm. You know where do I start? There's so many different things out here all vying for my attention, where do I even start? Typically a lot of people have been burnt, so their first foray in maybe they've had a website that didn't go so well or they've spent some money on social media and it hasn't gone as well as they expected, so they're a little bit gun shy to move forward again. So it's really kind of stepping them back and saying you don't have to do everything at once That's not what this is about. Let's really kind of figure out where's the big gap in the business you know, is it marketing? Is it sales? Is it productivity? Is it teams? What is it? And if we could close that gap, what would that mean for the business? And helping them just kind of ease into it.

Eric Dickmann:

It sounds like you've seen very similar things to what I've seen which is oftentimes a business may be had and I'm talking generally very small businesses, but they've had a friend of the family, somebody that they knew, develop their website. Now it's been sitting there for a while they don't really know how to do it or maintain it, it's just kind of there. Much of their business is run of Excel spreadsheets, maybe they've got QuickBooks or some accounting platform in there to handle invoicing and payroll and things like that, but it's pretty sparse in terms of real marketing automation.

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah I'm really haphazard I think that's kind of what you identified so a couple of spreadsheets here, you know email,, or we've got a Facebook account you know, if we've got social media, why do we need a website now? Doesn't that do the same thing? So it's really kind of looking at tech as a holistic tool and then saying well you know how do we integrate this to give you back your Fridays or you know to give you back a few hours, or to help you just create some sanity out of the chaos or to find new clients? Like let's be real, marketing at its core and some of these tools done well, that's what it does, it brings the leads in you still got to close them, but it'll bring the leads in and make it a whole lot easier for you.

Eric Dickmann:

I love the approach that you're talking about which is really identifying what problem you're trying to solve and then what the tools can do to help you solve that rather than saying how can I integrate this tool into my business and we'll sort of figure out its value later.

Tracy Sheen:

Hmmm. And there's so many things coming out week to week, right? Even I get overwhelmed, you know? I look at you know the lightest kind of Trello version, at the end of the day, I kind of find if you've got something and it's working for you, keep doing it. Like just keep doing that but what else can we add in? What can we supplement? What could connect with that, that might make things a little easier? So it's not about reinventing the wheel It's not about throwing You know the baby out with the bath water as my mum used to say. It's taking a look at where you're starting from, recognizing that you've had some success clearly if you've survived the last 18 months, and you know you're still standing and still ready to kind of get up and move on with the next round, you got some great wins on the board. So if you start from kind of that angle then I find that understanding the time, and the energy, and everything else that you guys need to put into doing the implementation becomes a little bit easier because you're looking at that long game.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes. You know when I talk with clients, there are a couple of core pieces of technology that I almost always recommend. It's hard to picture a business that couldn't benefit in some way from these, and I'd love to get your thoughts and input, and maybe what you would recommend or any different recommendations. But number one is your website is your digital home, right? And there are very few businesses, even if you don't sell on the web that can't benefit from having a website because your customers are going to search for you at some point and you want to be able to control that message. So what do you advise people for that very basic thing of just creating your digital home on the web.

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, totally. Your website is the only piece of real estate you're going to own digitally. You don't put your business, don't put your livelihood in the hands of the social media giants and more and more ,I'm seeing that they go, Oh it's all right I've got a Facebook page, you know it does really well, we get a lot of likes and engagements. Sure I've had far too many clients that have had their Facebook page shut down or their Insta page shut down for one reason or another, and the business is gone overnight. Don't do that, just don't do that. So the easiest way you know look WordPress, Wix, Square, pick something simple. You don't have to start with a 15, 20 page website. Get a landing page up if it scares you that much, get a one page of this is who we are, this is how we help, here's how you contact us. And then build it out from there, build it out from there, because the other thing about the websites as you'd know Eric better than anyone, it's not a stagnant thing. You can't set and forget you know so you've got to give yourself a reason to keep coming back and keep improving, and you know those minor tweaks. It's I always think about you know when you're on a boat or you're on a long journey. You don't just make one drastic change, it's those little tweaks into the wind, those little tacks into the wind that make the journey a lot smoother. So it's not one major thing, it's how can I tweak this incrementally? I've got 15 minutes, I'm going to go into the website and I'm going to adjust my About Page because somebody didn't understand what I was doing. I've got half an hour, I'm going to go and write a blog, I've got you know an hour I'm going to teach myself a little bit more about SEO so I understand what I should be doing.

Eric Dickmann:

That's such a great point because oftentimes you know we're out there pitching, giving our message to potential customers, and then you go back and you look at your website and it will say well that's not what my website says anymore. My message has evolved or you know you start to look at what are the kinds of questions that my prospects are asking me and can I answer those on the website for them in advance instead of them having to talk to me directly.

Tracy Sheen:

Hmmm totally. You know I love businesses now that every time they're asked a question, they'll go away and create a video, and throw the video about it on their website and on their YouTube channels, so the next time they get asked, they go you know what Eric? That's a great question, I'm just going to shoot you a quick email that's going to answer all of that for you. So what's that do for the prospect, takes them directly to the website, they're gonna watch the video, once they're there hopefully then there'll be taken through to a blog or taken through to something else, and they self-select their way into your business by you know offering them that kind of gentle guidance to begin with.

Eric Dickmann:

I think As we start to establish this idea of a digital home on the internet, it sort of naturally leads to subsequent pieces of the puzzle that you need to build out for your business, so I always say make sure on your website that you give people very clear ways that they can get in touch with you. Whether that's phone number, whether that's a contact form, worst cases, it's just an email link. But some way that you can make it very easy for customers to contact you because just like you want to own your own presence on the internet, you also start to want to own that customer list, right? You want to start build a list of prospects. How do you advise people there?

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, absolutely. Look, I'm starting to think about and I'm doing a website at the moment called- A Website's Not Enough. So now for me, it's this thought about creating an online environment, you know. So it's or as you said all of those jigsaw pieces that fit together. So yes your social media plays into it, yes you've got to have a good CRM, so you've got an email list being built and you're starting to own that data. So for me, when I'm talking with clients or when I'm thinking things through, I'm always playing the long game, you know? It's not a it's not a short I'm not after churn and burn, I'm after relationship with that client. So how can I nurture them? How can I provide them? How can I over-deliver with my content or with what it is that my business does? So if they've asked me a question, can I send them a video that they won't take them to a blog that will give them the next bit, and the next bit, and the next bit? So we've become so used in a society I find, I call it the Game of Thrones thing, where we like to binge our seasons now. So if I can make it easy for you to understand how I'm going to solve that problem for you, you're going to binge on my content because it's just a natural progression of well that was a great video Eric. Oh you've got a blog there? Course I'm going to go on riead that. Oh that takes me to an infographic, sure that makes sense. Oh now you've got an ebook, why wouldn't I download it? You know, and the client doesn't feel like they're becoming a client. You're just helping them out, it's not a sales process, it's not anything other than they have a genuine problem, you have a way to solve that problem, make it easy for your prospective client.

Eric Dickmann:

They call it a buyer's journey for a reason, right?

Tracy Sheen:

Absolutely.

Eric Dickmann:

It is a journey It takes some time. And I think one of the things that often people are surprised about is visitors can come to your website and then disappear for months, and then reappear months later, and that's when they're actually ready to buy. Maybe they were just kicking the tires so to speak or doing some investigation, but oftentimes people feel well they weren't a buyer, they came to the website but they didn't start a transaction. Well sometimes time and you want to provide that information to help them through that decision making process even though it could span months or even years.

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, totally. It's never a straight line, Its more of like that little squiggly kind of snakes and ladders game, you know? They'll type themselves so far on the journey and then life will happen and they'll drop back and it's not a priority, and then a couple of months later as you said, they'll go what was that thing that was oh I know! You know and it always reminds me Google did that amazing piece of research in 2011, the zero moment of truth which I'm sure you have referenced a million times. And it's always so important for me to remind clients of that. You know the 7, 11, 4 unit. You've got to have various pieces of content on different platforms available in different ways, So you can be stumbling across my stuff without even kind of realizing that my name almost becomes a subconscious thing that's just ticking away in the back of your head, that every time you look up that thing, oh there's another blog from that person, there's a my God how many times have I got to hear from The Digital Guide before? You know like so eventually it builds up that welll of course it becomes like a coaching galore or some other kind of major things that's just stuck in your head, that when the client's ready to purchase. Course they're going to go to Eric, Where else would they go?

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. And it's a great moment I think for a lot of businesses when they start to invest in that kind of strategy, they start to put good content out there and they may go through months where it doesn't seem to be paying off. It's like I've invested all this time and energy, but I'm not seeing any results from it. And then suddenly it does. The phone starts ringing, the emails start coming in, and you start to realize that people have found you on that digital home and on the web, and now just as you say, you are a perceived expert and people are contacting you for your products or services.

Tracy Sheen:

And then they're much warmer.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes. they're

Tracy Sheen:

much warmer. No, well maybe God gee what's the price? They're typically just going to look, I've done the research. You know when when can we start this thing? What's the process look like? You know?

Eric Dickmann:

And I love that you mentioned CRM as well. We love to talk CRM on this show That's a lot of my background and I'm a huge fan of HubSpot as a platform, as an example. Great tool. It's a great tool and it's so perfect for a lot of small and medium-sized businesses because you get started for free if that program is sufficient which it is for many very small businesses. But talk a little bit about why you see CRM is such an important part. You know once you've got that website set up, you have to house that contact information that you're getting about those potential customers somewhere. Why is CRM such an important piece of that?

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, totally. I liken it to do you remember the old bumper sticker a few years back? He with the most toys wins?

Eric Dickmann:

Right, right.

Tracy Sheen:

So these days for me it's he with the biggest content contact list wins. You know so if your clients are going to be housed somewhere as you said it's either in an Excel spreadsheet, it's an email, I don't have the brain capacity to go, was I supposed to email Eric again about that thing? Didn't we speak sometime a couple of months ago? I'm sure I should have. I can't remember. If everything is in one location and I've got tasks and notifications, or maybe a drip sequence, I don't have to think. I don't have the brain capacity for that, I just want something that's going to do that stuff for me. And you know a well set up CRM and I'm a HubSpot user as well. and I use that with all of my clients, it just makes total sense to me, you know? To develop that understanding of who my client actually is, to give me insights into well what's Eric actually looked at? You know has he downloaded the same piece of content a couple of times? Has he been to my website in the last 24 hours? Has something happened to trigger that conversation again? I want to know about that. You know that's that's just smart marketing, it's just smart business now.

Eric Dickmann:

It is and I think one of the challenges that we have is that things don't stay top of mind forever So maybe you had an interaction with a prospect, you got some good information, scribbled down some notes on a piece of paper. Well, a month later where are those notes when they you again? You know I do this podcast, I have guests sometimes that are booking out you know one, two, three months in advance. Well when the day comes to record, if I haven't recorded that information about my previous discussions with them in my CRM so that I can go back and look at my notes, I'm like what was this about again? And I think that's the value of it. You know our brains only can hold so much and only keep so much top of mind, and a CRM holds that interaction history, right? Whether it's you scribbling in notes whether it's what they've done on your website or through other channels, it's starting to collect all that in one place so you have that insight.

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, totally. And you're building an asset. Yeah totally, that's your business. So 12 months, 5 years, 10 years time, if you decide you know what I'm done, I'm out. That's the asset that you're selling. Its the CRM and the client list. If I can come to your business and go actually Eric you know what You've got 10,000 people on the database, I can see 7,000 are interacting with the business on a regular basis, I can see you've got a nice retention flow going on there, that's the business that I want to look at. I'm going to have more faith in looking at your CRM than I am and looking at your books quite frankly, because that tells me more about the relationships that you've got going on and how the value structure is between your client and the business. That's what I'm interested in.

Eric Dickmann:

Absolutely. And you know one of the things that I think gets businesses in trouble is that they fail to understand the complexity of some of these things, while these are great tools, I hate Microsoft Excel, hate it hate it. I'm not a power user, don't like the tool. But it's incredibly powerful for those who really know how to exploit its capabilities, right? But if you open up Microsoft Excel and it pops up a blank spreadsheet, that's really not doing anything for you and the same is true with the CRM tool, right? You can log into your HubSpot and there it is. And there's a lot of things that are prebuilt for you, but it's all about how you then configure it to specifically meet the needs of your business, how you capture the kinds of data that are most important for your business to be able to track, that's when the value really starts to materialize. So when you're working with businesses, whether it's building out those websites or setting up a CRM, how do you encourage them in terms of bringing in the expertise to set those things up right the first time?

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah it's a great point. It's for me, it's the investment in the business. So I don't know, let's say we're working with an accountant for an example, they've done five years of study to get to where they are you know? They don't just open up a notepad and bring out the red pen one day and start circling numbers and go, Oh I can now give you tax advice and tell you how to best maximize your money. I don't want to work with that person I want to work with the person who's invested in their career, who has invested time, energy, and money to get to the point where they can look me in the eye and go, Yep that's a solid tax write off. No you can't be doing that. You know let's structure it this way. Next year, you're going to be looking at this blah blah blah blah blah. The same is true for any piece of tech. If you're not prepared to invest the time and energy to set your business up for success in three months, six months, five years time, then don't even start. It is an investment. It is time, it's energy, it's money, and you need that person who gets the system and who gets your business which is just as important for me. So I don't actually do any execution now. I don't set up systems for people, I don't do any of that, because I found that there was a lot of faith lost with a lot of digital marketers and a lot of web builders. So now what I do is I use my 30 years to go, you know what Eric? Totally understand your business, these are the things you need to look at, here's what you need to go away and do, and when you're ready, I'm going to introduce you to the person that is going to fit what you need to do. And then I'm going to coach you on how you need to speak geek to get the best out of that for your business because that's the other thing is a lot of digital marketers can't speak tradie.

Eric Dickmann:

Right.

Tracy Sheen:

So they're talking at this purpose and the plumbers coming in here and both of them are just getting frustrated because they're like, Well you don't understand me and the plumber's guy, I'm never going to use a thing like this. So there needs to be a bridge built between the expert in HubSpot and the plumber or the accountant or the whatever That's what I figured out kind of how to do over the years. And that's where I start to say real runs on the board happening, because it's upskilling the tradie, the accountant, the whatever that they're investing in their business, seeing the value there, but they're also learning a skill that when the next time they need to get a website built or the next time they need to level up their HubSpot subscription and now they want automations, or now they want a service desk or something, they know how to talk to the supplier, they know what to ask for, they know what kind of lead times they should be looking at, they know the expectation because they've learnt to speak supplier.

Eric Dickmann:

I love the way you described that because I feel that that's so much of what I do in my own role as well. It's sort of being a universal translator translating the business needs into what the specialist consultants or freelancers or agencies can then put into place through you know their execution skills. And I would also throw in that I've seen companies out there that offer too much of a cookie cutter service. I saw this specifically with physicians, that there are companies out there that go around to physicians offices and say hey we can build you a very physician focused website, and I started going around the web and noticing all of these websites that looked almost exactly the same, had the same imagery, had the same text, of course they're selling SEO services, so they had a blog, and lo and behold the blog was almost identical in terms of the written That's not doing anything for anyone and other than making this company wealthy. very important to be a little suspect when people offer something that's too cookie cutter as well.

Tracy Sheen:

Oh so true. You know my dad used to say if it looks too good to be true you know and so I think there's still a bit of internal wisdom that a business owner needs to bring to something that you know if you're selling me something that is looking too good to be true, my little internal alarms are going off and going, Hang on a minute, you know? There's gotta be something more to this. Um I'm sure you would have would have read or would have heard of Donald Miller and the book Building a Story Brand, so that's one of the first places I say to any client before you even look at the tech, start there If you can't communicate what it is you do in a way that your client is going to get, game over, game over. So you know to me if I can communicate what I do that immediately puts me out of the reach of those cookie cutter website developers or whatever because you're going to come to me and try and pitch me the well we just build websites for physicians, that's great, but I don't pitch myself as just a physician, you know? I know my clients, I know what they need, so thank you but I prefer to go down the story right, because I know what they're looking for.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes. Well and I think that brings up an interesting point as well because there's often a temptation especially when people are implementing automation tools to sort of codify within their automation the way we've always done it without really taking a look at the tools and say well these tools allow you to do things in different ways. Have you tried that? Have you experimented to see if there's a better way? I've heard so often from founders and CEOs, while our customers like to buy this way. Is that really the way they like to buy, or have you even tried selling to them any other way? Uh but they get in their head that this is the way we've always done it so that's what this system needs to do. Have you seen that as well?

Tracy Sheen:

Oh totally. The one thing if I can find a real positive from COVID certainly with the clients I've worked with in Australia is it's knocked a little bit of that out of them. Because clients are no longer buying the way they were five years ago They can't. You know clients are now buying online you know the numbers of people purchasing online for the first time certainly in Australia went through the roof during March and April of last year. I'm sure the States all the same where we're seeing a big influx of you know Gen Xs and think suddenly, Oh my God, I can buy on Amazon? What is this thing? Uh The flip of the coin which was beautiful to watch was that we were saying consumers certainly in Australia, and I hope the cases the same in the States, going well hang on a minute If I can purchase from Amazon, John down the road does the same thing I wonder if I can purchase from him. So then they were going to John's website so they were retraining themselves. Oh okay Well I can't go into the the restaurant but I can now jump on on their website and order a takeaway order, a meal to be delivered now where they hadn't considered that before. So it's forcing the business to go will actually our consumers are doing business differently now and we need to match them where they are, because it's not going to go back to the way it was

Eric Dickmann:

No I agree and I think it's a huge opportunity for many businesses to adapt a little bit more because you know we're going to go through this next wave which is what is the second normal, right? We've had this COVID normal and now what is going to be the normal after that? It's not going to go all the way back to the way it was, there's going to be some high bred. And businesses haven't figured that out yet. You know things are just reopening in many places, people are coming back to work, what's that all going to look like? Is going to be a huge spike in people going out to eat and then that's going to dwindle again, who knows? But there's tremendous opportunity and having flexibility is important. And I think these tools, many of them, that's exactly what they do. They give you that flexibility.

Tracy Sheen:

Absolutely I think now is the perfect opportunity for any of your listeners or anyone that's watching, close that divide. If there's ever been attention for you around, yeah I don't really know about these tech stuff or is it time to update the website or should we go for an e-commerce or you know, any of that kind of stuff. Leaning now's the time to get really uncomfortable and learn what that looks like. Now's the opportunity for you to you know fall forward and you know fall quickly, pick it up and learn because you're right, like we're seeing it in Australia now because things are opening up things up, getting back, people are rushing back out and going back into stores and things like that, but there's this hybrid thing, you know? We're seeing that people want connection, they want to go out and see people again, but they kind of become used to shopping online and doing this after hours kind of thing, so we need to meet our clients where they are, and now the opportunity to you know have a look around, have a chat to some experts, seek out people in the automation space, in the social media space. Whatever it is you know what your gap is in your business. You just know. You know you might not tell anyone but you now is the opportunity for you to connect with someone and go all alright, You know I need to figure this thing out now. Let's have a look at this for the next 12 months, let's really map this out and see where it's going to get us.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah I love the way you put that and I think there's certainly there are some costs to bringing in experts, but in the long run the cost of doing it right, getting the right tools in place is well worth that investment because you can spend a lot of money on tools and a lot of money on the implementation of those tools, and they could affect your business in a very negative way too If they're not implemented correctly. So expertise is worth paying for.

Tracy Sheen:

Oh totally I mean look there's no doubt that you can do it yourself, no doubt .But if you got the 10 years, have you got the you know 40 hours a week, for the next 10 years to be figuring it out, because that's how long it's taken the people that you're about to pay a few thousand dollars to do it for you in a matter of a couple of weeks or a couple of months You know you're paying for the hours and the years of blood, sweat, and tears they've put into their career, just like you've built up your business, now's not the time to be nickel and diming these things.

Eric Dickmann:

I couldn't agree more. You know I'm sure I could change the oil in my car but I'd much rather take it into a service station and have them do it In 10 minutes or a half an hour, or whatever it takes.

Tracy Sheen:

You know my hubby says he can't play a violin but he knows when one's played well.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes, that's exactly it. That's exactly it. Tracy as we're sort of wrapping up our discussion here today, any other words that you'd like to share about technology and how businesses can make the best investments for their business?

Tracy Sheen:

Start small, find your one thing. Don't try and tackle everything at once, it's the quickest way to fall into overwhelm and it's the quickest way to just go backwards and go this whole thing was never going to work. So you know sit down with a cuppa, with your team, and just have a heart to heart what's working, what's not working, you know? Where are you wasting time? Where are you chewing up your time? What are the clients saying to us right now? And figure out that one thing. What's that one thing that if we just put a little bit of time, money, energy, expertise into could make a big difference? It might be an it mightn't be in dollars, It might be in clients, It might be in hours, It might be in productivity or efficiencies. But you'll know what that thing is, then once you've identified that thing, start your research you know? Then start to reach out to Eric, to people within the industry that have a good reputation and just started having some conversations. What would it look like if? How can I? How long will it take? What's the expectations? And cut yourself some slack, you know? You've built your business over a period of time, you're not just going to switch HubSpot on and notice in a week's time that the fines ringing off the hook, these things take time, particularly when you building relationships. So you know, be realistic, give yourself till the end of the year perhaps, and kind of say all right well it's May now what's it going to look like in December? Because I guarantee you those six months are going to happen anyway.

Eric Dickmann:

That's very true. I think that's great advice. Ask these tough questions, figure out what it is that you really need and what the areas are where if there was improvement in those areas would really make a dramatic difference from your business, and then you can start to talk about the tools and what technology is needed, but the technology doesn't need to lead the discussion.

Tracy Sheen:

No

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah

Tracy Sheen:

Human first. You know, human first, because at the end of the day, you know, it's a cliche, but people buy from people. So we've got to keep the customer and our people at the center of the conversation, and if we're keeping them at the center, then the tools will supplement and compliment the human connection. It's not the other way around.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, that's a great way to put it. Tracy, this has been a great discussion. As we kind of wrap up here today, I'd love it if you could just share a little bit with the audience about where they can find more about you and your podcast on the internet. And we'll also link that up in the show notes.

Tracy Sheen:

Yeah, sure. Thank you. So my book is out, The End of Technophobia. So you can get that on Amazon, jump on there and have a search for that, my website, thedigitalguide.com.au. I'm all over social media, so if you just Google thedigitalguide.com.au, you'll find me YouTube, everywhere.Mty podcast is called Not Another Business Show, and it's in the middle of a relaunch, so stay tuned for that. It's a panel style show, a lot of fun. Eric, we're going to have to have a chat because I'd love to get you on there. But yeah, just Google The Digital Guide Australia, and you'll find me. I'm pretty much everywhere.

Eric Dickmann:

I've really appreciated your time today in this conversation. I think you've added a lot of value to the audience and I'll make sure that we have those links in the show notes so that people can find the book

Tracy Sheen:

Awesome. Thanks, Eric and thanks everyone. Good luck and enjoy lean into the tech, have some fun with it.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.