What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How to have a solid strategy which is scalable, predictable, and repeatable
- The result of working with the wrong people or not having the right partner
- How doing simple or going back to basic strategy is still effective
Related Links and Resources:
We do free add account audits and we do free strategy sessions. Go to our website www.pivotcmo.com and sign up. Our Founder stories and case stories are really good, it’s on the site as well.
Shawn Sheikh is a Silicon Valley & Beach serial entrepreneur and Y Combinator alumni. His specialty is helping companies scale from $0 to multi-millions in revenue, through both conventional paid acquisition and non-conventional growth hacks.
After exiting his most recent business, Solve (YC S17), Shawn spent time mentoring and advising companies at several of LA’s top venture capital firms, while incubating a number of SaaS and eCommerce brands. He also spent time at Guthy Renker, a multi-billion dollar direct marketing firm (best known for brands such as Proactiv, Meaningful Beauty, IT Cosmetics and Perricone MD). Apart from Pivot CMO, Shawn loves to work with founders to find creative ways to scale their businesses.
Here are the highlights of this episode:
1:44 Shawn’s ideal Client: It honestly changed overtime. Initially we were working with a lot of start-ups just because I was doing a lot of mentoring or things like that. But it has already morphed across the board, so we have multi-billion companies like Energizer and Armor All. So, it ranges if the ideal company wants to grow. They may or may not have a massive budget, but it doesn't really matter to us, it's more on the growth mindset. We love working with companies who are breaking out from that corporate mentality; like people getting caught up with PowerPoint presentations or stuff like that. We really want to move really fast; we want to help companies scale very quickly.
2:45 Problem Shawn helps solve: It's really scale; it’s scale to paid acquisition. And then put some growth stuff on the side but it's how we get a really scaleable, predictable channel of marketing for us. Either it's Facebook ads, google ads, Pinterest, Tiktok, emails.. like how we can have a solid strategy that's scaleable, predictable, and repeatable. Because I think a lot of people goes "hey, let's send a lot of emails out.. hey, let's post on social media" these are not scalable, not predictable. We want channels that are very straightforward and can live on with the business.
3:41 Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Shawn: Number one, if you are already trying these things or you are already in some of these platforms and you feel like you are unsuccessful or you are not growing enough or you are not moving fast enough. I think speed matters a lot in anything when it comes to marketing. Number two, if you are in some other channels and you feel like "hey, we're not growing fast enough" or "hey, is my business from a marketing perspective isn't predictable?" I think those are some really good things as well. We also have some companies who wants to hit a certain milestone or they are trying to raise funding or whatever the case is, and they need to have the marketing going to show investors that "we are hitting what we need to hit" and that's really predictable. Basically, there's a fire that we can throw gasoline on to continue it to grow and grow.
4:44 What are some of the common mistakes that folks make before finding Shawn and his solution: First thing is just working with the wrong people, just not having the right partner. A lot of these ad platforms are not that easy to use. If you go on cheap with some freelancer abroad or something like that, it's the same as letting money on fire because they may not necessarily know what they're doing. The only thing is just testing, that's like the biggest thing. I think so many companies tried to decide "Ok, this is the platform for us, it has to be this or nothing" for us it's like "here are 3 or 4 platforms that makes sense" how do we quickly test away through these so that the one or two that do work, we double down and scale, and the ones that don't, we cut out immediately. Because being efficient with your time is equally important, as being open to a lot different opportunities is really important, but also being realistic. Because I think where a lot of companies go wrong, they try to go do paid acquisition or just marketing in general, and they don't have the solid core business principle setup.
6:13 Shawn’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): We do free add account audits and we do free strategy sessions. Go to our website pivotcmo.com, sign up for a strategy session. We help through the phone with you, we walk you on what we do and what we would test. Again, we won't charge for anything like that. Even just auditing your current strategies would usually be helpful.
7:00 Shawn’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): I think a lot of our Founder stories and case stories are really good because you can really understand how we thought through the strategies. For a lot of them if you will read the case study, the first couple of things we tried didn't work. They are both encouraging and enlightening. And just hopping through a strategy session with us or brainstorming with us. Visit our website pivotcmo.com.
7:53 How should you think about your marketing? What should you explore? My answer and recommendation to Founders, "C" suite executive of big companies is just be 'very simple'; get an excel sheet or google sheet and write down every single idea that you have, none of them are stupid. In one column, in another column, write down the budget that you need to execute it and another column the time you need to execute it. Then you just do a quick excel and you sort by easiest or least budget and you go down your list. That's my recommendation, because I feel like people are getting caught up in trying to do something really complicated or trying to do what everybody else's doing, just go back to the basics. Get a list of 30 ideas, then prioritize and execute, as simple as that.
Some companies go "hey, we don't have 50,00USD to spend so we kind of did 'X strategy' Well, no one told you to do 'X strategy', you can do 'Y' or so. I think the best thing you can do is brainstorm and go back to the basics.
“Get a list of 30 ideas, then prioritize and execute; as simple as that” – Shawn Sheikh