Small Business Lessons From PartnerCon 2017

Lessons from PartnerCon that ALL small business can apply.

I’m sitting at my desk back at home after being away in the US for 3 weeks.

This was the third year I’d attended PartnerCon and even though it’s an event focused on businesses helping Infusionsoft users, there were valuable lessons for ANY business owner that I wanted to share.

So many sessions, but these were some of the highlights I wanted to share.

Building Trust in Your Business

The event kicked off with David Horsager as the keynote, who spoke about trust.  Without trust, we really don’t have anything.  Whether it’s with your prospects, customers, staff or suppliers.  If I consider different interactions I’ve had with people over the years, whether someone decided to do business with me or not, or whether I have chosen to do business with someone or not, it has come down to whether trust existed between two people.  If I don’t trust them or they don’t trust me, then things don’t proceed well.

David shared a very powerful statement that goes a long way in building trust with others.

One of our core values is integrity, therefore I can certainly relate to this statement.  It’s easy to often skip over and not do the right thing, particularly in the world where people want and expect everything instantly.  Personally, I want to sleep well at night knowing I’m doing the right thing, so can appreciate David’s statement on this front.

An analogy that David used to illustrate this point was:

“Eating heaps of ice cream, you feel bad afterwards.  Working out, you will feel good afterwards”

Now, I love ice cream (particularly Honeycomb Magnums!), but I know I always feel bad after I eat one.  However, if I go play volleyball for an hour, I will always feel great!

Think about how you can apply this to your business.  Do you do what’s right over what’s easy?  Are there things you’re doing in business or in your personal life that you feel bad about afterwards?  Are there more things you can do that make you feel good afterwards?

4 Stages Of Membership Sites

Micah Mitchell from Memberium shared the 4 stages of membership sites.  We have a few clients who run a membership model in their business and know that a lot of businesses do consider memberships to generate additional income and serve more people.  Micah discussed the four stages of membership as defined by the number of members in each stage and their key problem at that stage:

A big lesson here, if you’re just starting out with a new membership site, yes you probably want to deliver the bells and whistles, but be mindful not to overcommit with infrastructure, time/resources, until it’s proven.

StageMembersKey Focus
Infancy0-10Basic Site
Childhood10-100Selling Members
Adolescence100-500Retaining Members
Maturity>500New Products


Doing business on Facebook is only going to happen more, as highlighted with Cliff Worley’s presentation.  He spoke about how Facebook is working to integrate with PayPal and stripe later…. Meaning your customers will be able to transact easily directly from the platform…. Eek!!

Another key component that Cliff spoke about was the use of Facebook messaging as a marketing strategy.  Right now the messaging inbox is still fairly quiet, therefore this is something that business owners we can look at ways we can utilize Facebook in our lead generate and nurturing efforts.

Finally, one element that I’m SUPER excited about that Cliff spoke about was a Facebook app that integrates DIRECTLY with your CRM like Infusionsoft.  Can you imagine someone replying to a message with their email address and AUTOMATICALLY being added to your database?!?!  Yep, that’s here RIGHT NOW!!  Ok, in case you didn’t realise, I’m excited about this!  The power is in your own database and yes building your Facebook audience is fantastic, but you don’t control Facebook, so it’s critical that you get your prospects off Facebook into your database.

Stop Wasting Time Getting Clients Ready…

For the service based businesses out there, you’ll love this one.  Brad Martineau from Sixth Division shared many valuable takeaways, but one I really liked that we’ll be taking on board is helping our clients be ready.  As a service-based business, we do a lot of calls with our clients.  A chuck of time can easily be spent helping the client get ready for the call.  Whereas ideally, we want them to get ready before the call.  If you’re a service-based business, can you relate?

What can you do to help your clients be ready before their appointment?

Can you send them information via email that’s easily consumed like a few key steps that you need to take?  Can you record a video that will outline the expectations and structure?  Can you set homework?  Have you got forms/templates/checklists to help your clients get ready?  The list is clearly endless of the possibilities here, but make a point and take action about what you can do to get your clients ready.

Are You Confusing Your Audience?

I’ve written about Don Millar from Story Brand before and this time I finally got to see him J  I think we’ve all struggled at some point to explain what we do or have that killer elevator pitch that people walk away really clear about what it is that you do.  Don highlighted that if it’s too confusing people tune out and at the end of the day you will lose.

Don spoke about the one-liner that all business owners must have that includes:

  1. Problem
  2. Product/Solution
  3. Result

Ours sucked, I’m pretty clear about that, so with the extra detail covered in the workshop, ours is definitely getting better for sure.

Here’s one of ours (I say one as we focus on a few different avatars so this is one of them):

We work with speakers, coaches, and consultants who run events and are bogged down in event admin.  We help automate their events, so they can focus on what they do best and convert more from their events.

Here’s our other one:

You’re wasting money on leads that you’re not following up.  We help automate your follow up so you can nurture and convert more sales with less effort.

Can you tell the one we spent hours on and the other one that we didn’t?!?  I hope our work in progress examples give you some ideas on how you can use this format in your own business.

The Other Sessions….

There were so many other great sessions and learnings from PartnerCon before I get into the biggest one.  I was also incredibly grateful to get the opportunity to contribute to a panel related to using events in your business to generate sales.  We have created several blog posts related to events, that you can check out some of our event resources here.

Follow-Up Failure…

Clate Mask finished off the event with a very inspiring speech.  One topic he spoke about was that the main reason that many businesses fail, is that they fail to follow up.  The reasons why, which I’m sure you can relate to one or maybe all of them are pretty obvious.

  1. No System
  2. No Time
  3. No Expertise

Yes, they might be known, but sometimes not easily solved.  This makes me even more inspired by the work that we get to do every day and help small businesses all around the world fix their follow up.  All the above can be addressed – whether you do it yourself or you can get some help.  But seriously, fixing your follow up can completely transform your business.  It has for us and for our clients.  Even if you’re doing some, I’m sure you can think about a few things on your to-do list to follow up better.  Please take action on this.  This could be the difference between your business surviving over the next 12 months or doubling your business.

To finish off Clate’s speech, he spoke about our shared vision in working together to help fix this problem so more small businesses succeed.  No matter how many times I watch this video, it still gets me.

It makes me think in order to make a bigger difference in the world for small business owners out there who are struggling, I need to play a bigger game.

How can you play a bigger game in your industry?

How can you play a bigger game in your life?

PS For the Infusionsoft Users out there… there are some existing things coming in 2018!  Infusionsoft will be working on the user interface, ecommerce, order forms, split testing and more!  I’m grateful to be a partner with a company that gets the reality of running a small business and is committed to improving a product that will simplify how small business grow.

PartnerCon17 Final Thoughts…

As I conclude my annual post about this event, I am truly humbled and grateful for the amazing colleagues that I get to work and connect with from all over the world.  Yes, the learnings are great from this event and I’ve just given you just a small sample of above.  This is fantastic, but not the reason why I make the journey every year.  It’s the people.  It’s my tribe of switched on entrepreneurs, up to big things and who a genuine people that I enjoy hanging out with.

To everyone that made this year possible – the incredible partners who planned, presented and executed this event, the Infusionsoft staff for all the work that you all do for this event but every single day and everyone who attended.


See you at ICON18!!

(NOTE: Want The Essential Infusionsoft Tag Guide ?  Access the latest version of this tagging framework, see it in action in a real campaign and discover the immediate steps you must take to have tags work effectively in your business. Get your guide here .)

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