This episode is our first partner manager + agency founder interview in one episode. This was a huge success. Tim and Rachel have great rapport and are able to riff on each others’ answers to add more clarity. They both came up in different departments at top agency MuteSix, and now Tim has founded his own successful eComm agency, while Rachel has since joined Okendo.io as their partnerships VP and has Tim as one of her partners. I think you’ll really enjoy this discussion.
[00:04:19] The state of the partner program at Okendo
[00:06:42] MuteSix tech stack and partner program
[00:09:44] Rachel’ worldview and experience with partnerships and how it’s changed
[00:12:52] How being a founder of an agency changed Tim’s mentality on sales and partnerships
[00:16:43] What to ask in early conversations with potential partners
[00:20:44] Tactics and strategies to get agencies to start a partnership discussion
[00:24:09] Routines and actions steps that lead to more business sooner
[00:27:07] The importance of keeping things moving forward
[00:30:30] Communication tips and pitfalls to watch for
[00:34:06] What makes effective webinars
[00:40:26] Exploring integrations
[00:42:29] Two types of pushback in partnerships and what to do
[00:47:04] Product led partnerships
Sendoso.com - The leading sending platform.
Partnerstack.com - Partner tracking and payouts.
Sharework.co - A free account mapping solution.
Tim: [00:00:00] I'm leaning on these partners to help me demonstrate the value of agencies to implement things.
[00:00:06] Rachel: [00:00:06] Case studies that are focused on teaching other agencies, how to leverage your product, to drive more revenue into the agency,
[00:00:15] Tim: [00:00:15] all kinds of different backlinks, sharing, blogs, sharing ways of going to market that don't necessarily involve having a day-to-day experience.
[00:00:28] Rachel: [00:00:28] Welcome to make them famous. The podcast about partner enablement,
[00:00:32] Alex: [00:00:32] the only podcast uncover both how partner teams enabled their partners
[00:00:36] Rachel: [00:00:36] and how other department leaders enable their partner teams to achieve success.
[00:00:48] Alex: [00:00:48] welcome back everyone. I'm pretty excited to get you guys into this episode. So try not to delay too long and about that music that you just heard, that is from an old dating game show. So I hope I don't get sued. The reason I played it. Is because this episode is about a partner manager and their partner that used to work together at a mute six.
[00:01:10] So they have a very unique history together. They're very close, of course. And we're able to get some unique perspective on the world of partnerships. So joining me in this episode is Tim keen, former mute six lead of the PPC team there and now founder of loop club and e-commerce agency and Rachel tires, VP of strategic partnerships at OIC Kendo, former VP of strategic partnerships for mute six.
[00:01:36] In this episode, we hear a lot buckle up. It's going to be very actionable. We talk about the weight of co-marketing. We talk about the tools that Tim uses that he chooses to partner with and why we talk about what Rachel does to earn partnerships with non-user agencies. We talk about how Rachel gets new partners deeper into their partner program.
[00:01:56] What partner program, new partner onboarding journey is comprised of when Rachel uses plain text versus newsletter format emails, what Tim likes to receive and be included in when it comes to webinars. Emails, Slack communities, et cetera. We go deeper into webinars and asked him really what resonates, what does he show up for?
[00:02:17] What is he excited about? And then we talk about how to turn case studies into actionable content. That includes your agency partners, that they like to be included in. Of course we can make this podcast famous without our amazing sponsors for sponsorship we aimed for not only great products. But tech use to power some of the top partner programs around we've invited partner stack share work and send DOSO to be those sponsors partner stack.
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[00:04:19] Now let's get back into the episode. Thank you both for joining in today, this is going to be a fun discussion and a unique discussion for this podcast. And I think any other podcasts, we get to talk to two people that worked together at a very large agency, mute six, who are now on separate paths, Tim owner operator.
[00:04:39] Have an awesome e-commerce agency and Rachel internal leading partnerships for Kendo. The first introduction, I want to get introductions aside, but I want to hear from Rachel, what is the state of your partner program? Who are you after and what is going on with the team today at all? Kendo.
[00:04:57] Rachel: [00:04:57] Thanks for having me in terms of the state of our partner program at our kinder, I would definitely say that it's.
[00:05:04] Evolving. I recently joined the team actually just September of 2020 and, straighten got my hands really dirty and started building out this partner program that we have today really happy with where it is right now. But I think if you ever stop evolving your partner program, you're going to get left behind.
[00:05:23] So I am just consistently trying to make it better and better. We're using a few tools at the moment in our stack for the partnerships program. We've got HubSpot where we do most of our tracking and we almost treat our partnerships like a life cycle of a deal like you would as sale with a client.
[00:05:44] So we find HubSpot to be super useful there. We've got a custom built partner portal as well. So we sign each of our agencies and some tech partners up to that partner portal and there they can access resources, submit leads, track payouts, and do other interesting things related to our partner program.
[00:06:04]Another one, that's a bit new up, but I think most of us are across these days, but we love crossbeam. So finding mutual clients without partners and focusing on those different stories for case studies or different co-marketing materials and things. And then love notion for some goal tracking. And of course there are some Google docs and sheets and things that managed to make their way into the stack
[00:06:27] Alex: [00:06:27] some points, too.
[00:06:28] Awesome. And Tim, back to you, buddy, I want you to introduce yourself from your experience at mute six, what you're doing today, and then talk to me a little bit about your tech stack and who you call your technology partners.
[00:06:42] Tim: [00:06:42] Thanks Alex. And thanks Rachel for that intro. I used to work at mid six alongside Rachel.
[00:06:48] We worked together at the same time. I left me at six in about, I think about this time last year, I dabbled around for a bit and I ended up in house at a lodge kind of global musical instrument company running, paid search, but on a global team. So I was the responsible for more kind of enterprise level.
[00:07:07]Marketing after that, I accidentally started a few people from mute. Six accidentally started at one shop and it's been just growing since ever since then. We've had. Quite a good luck with partners so far, I would say that our partnership program is in the earliest stages in that I'm still taking meetings.
[00:07:30] We're still building out who the best relationships are, who is most aligned and getting a sense of what value we get from each other. But it is an exciting time because we are growing fast and partners are excited to talk to us, which hasn't that is a new thing to me. And that's been really exciting.
[00:07:48] In terms of stack, I'm mostly managing the life cycle of the deals myself right now. So I'm in notion for the actual stack. We, I do think that's a great idea, Rachel, moving into HubSpot and that's something that I would like to get to as we increase that load of partners and the activities that we get to, we use HubSpot for the rest of our CRM.
[00:08:08] So there's definitely an opportunity there, but for the most part it's built out in notion and then the occasional. Unstoppable Google sheet in terms of our partnership stack, we're a paid media agency focused on Shopify e-commerce brands. So almost all of our clients are on Shopify and we run Facebook and Google are really the primary channels that we work on.
[00:08:33] We have a great relationship with Klayvio. We run Klaviyo, email marketing, and then the real partners that we work with most on the day-to-day the Shopify plugins that. Up and coming that we all really as people who run Shopify stores. So a Kendo obviously is a great partner and has been a partner for a while.
[00:08:51] We also have a partnership with ricotta tap caught, gorgeous postscript. Gatsby has been a great one. The a lot of these kind of new up and coming plugins that really help people drive revenue and provide value for their clients. It's been really helpful for me in my career to be able to recommend tech partners to clients.
[00:09:12] And it's definitely been a value add even when I was a Google manager. So I've taken that energy and punish chips are quite important to me. So it's been really great
[00:09:20] Alex: [00:09:20] to build this. Thank you very much, Tim. And you and I have talked a little bit about the go-to-market strategy with partners and how we can envision.
[00:09:27] Being more than just a tool that you like and use, but really a go to market partner, and some of the things that you can do, that's more than just, Hey, we use this tool and if a site wants that sort of functionality, we add this app or implement this tool really strategically marketing.
[00:09:44] Co-selling co-marketing all of the good things that can be more of a partnership. So that's what I want to talk about today. Some of the things that you plan to do or have done it, mute six. So think about that for a minute. While I go back to Rachel and get more of the state of the union on your worldview of partnership, what you thought about the word partnerships coming from Ute six and what it meant to you then, and maybe some of the things and ways that it's changed being internal at Ocado
[00:10:11] Rachel: [00:10:11] now.
[00:10:11]It's such an interesting question because I don't think we necessarily put ourselves in the shoes of a partner, the shoes of a partner of a different type until we're actually in those shoes. So I remember when I was at six I would be pushing tech partners quite hard for direct insurers.
[00:10:32] At certain times, and for some partners like that worked out, working with a clave year where they were able to send me a lot of direct intros, but then you'd be working with your other tech partners that don't have that same level of day-to-day interaction as you do as a marketing agency with the client.
[00:10:49] So it's much harder for them to give you a direct intro. And then, these merchants, usually aren't going to their ratings and reviews, provide a to ask who they should go do $150,000 site redesign or all migration with. So there was a real, a bit of a shock coming to the tech side. Although on this side now in tech, we're able to give our agency partners.
[00:11:15] It's a lot more exposure. We have 3000 merchants that are actively using our Kendo. And so that gives us huge reach. So when we're able to do shed case studies or feature in blogs or pillar pieces of content that we do that can really move the needle. Whereas when I was at six on the day-to-day, I was also doing sales as well as partnerships.
[00:11:39] So if I'm having maybe eight client calls a day, I could easily make direct intros to different tech partners or different complimentary agencies. So it's been a real shift in perspective on that side.
[00:11:52] Alex: [00:11:52] Yeah. It's super unique. You actually went from managing. The core partners of mute six. And I know you guys have a lot now.
[00:11:59] I don't know what it was like then, but I'm sure you had more than a few. And then you were the one that actually, like you mentioned, match made with the current clients of mute six and the partners while on the phone. A lot of the bigger agencies today, they don't have that. That ability, which puts you in the shoes of someone that can do the matchmaking internally as an agency.
[00:12:21] Now you're external and you are having to sell to that person or having to figure out some alignment with that person and get into the purview of those phone calls and in the mix. And I want to go back to Tim for a second. Talk a little bit about almost the same question where. You were managing, I believe the PPC team over at mute six or one of the PPC teams, and you probably didn't deal with new partners or deal with the partner sales and go to market or co marketing any of that.
[00:12:52] But tell me if you did, but then I want to hear how this has changed your mentality now that you are the founder of an agency. And you do have to worry about growing the agency. You do have to worry about sales. You do have to worry about marketing and backlinks and all these things while managing client services.
[00:13:08] So what is your interpretation of where partnerships, technology partnerships is going to fit into the strategy of loop? Tech
[00:13:17] Tim: [00:13:17] partnerships for e-commerce are really fundamental in my mind. And I learned this very early at mid six because my thinking was always, I want to do for the client, whatever the most efficient thing is going to be, that will drive growth in the account.
[00:13:31] I don't really care if it is. Happens to be in the account or on their Shopify store. I'm just looking for, what's going to help them the most quickly. And so I was constantly turning to partners because the conversion rate increase you can get from installing. One of these partners is going to be far higher than what you'd see by spending multiple hours in the account or spending doing these kind of granular modifications.
[00:13:54] Sometimes just adding a Kendall or adding Afterpay or some. Some features for the website can make a really significant knock-on impact on revenue. So I always saw them as a tool in my arsenal to, to help my clients succeed. And now that I am on the other side of things, sales has become so important and so central to my day to day and making sure that there's a steady flow of leads through the agency is the most important thing that I do at any time.
[00:14:23]I'm leaning on these partners to help me demonstrate the value of agencies to implement things, not just implementing PPC, but also helping actually build out the, a Kendo integration or build things on the Shopify store. So it provides me a little bit of leverage in pitches when I can say, Oh yeah, do you know this new.
[00:14:45]This new app, have you used a kinder before, it's going to really help your conversion rate on Google shopping that at a high level makes a big difference to my ability to pitch and bringing the partnerships in the sales process has been really effective for me. And then the other piece, which I was absolutely not aware of was the amount of co-marketing that is on the table.
[00:15:06]All these partners are excited to put on co-marketing events and they really is value for both sides. We get exposure to these clients who have an affinity to the brand name who are already using the product, and they get us without experience in the ecosystem. And to really have a third party, to explain the value of these products to people, and they do have value.
[00:15:28] They ha they make a massive difference to people's stores. So co-marketing, and. Building a go to market plan is totally new to me. And that's what I've been working on in the last month. Just finding the best partners or finding the partners that we are going to go out with this time round, trying to schedule as many mutually beneficial activities as possible, and then just knocking them out.
[00:15:49] Alex: [00:15:49] Awesome. Tim and I do want to stick with Tim for one more minute here and get you to elaborate on one thing. So hypothetically Kenda was not in your stack, right? And you did not use Oak Kendo maybe just to make it more fun. You've never heard of Oak Kendo. And Rachel sends you an email and she opens up the communication from, Hey, we'd love to partner with you.
[00:16:09] We saw you have this awesome client case study on your site. And they happened to be someone that we want to work with as well. What can we do together? You and I have talked about this and we've come to some idea of a strategy, right? Where it's going to be more than just, Hey, we have to use you.
[00:16:26] And we have to have you installed in a few of our client's websites before we can even start talking about partnerships. And I believe you're on this page right now, where you would explore a potential partner so long as the product checks out. Good reviews, lots of installs, all that good stuff.
[00:16:43] And you like the partner manager and you know that you need leads. So tell me what in your head go goes on when someone does reach out with the word partnerships in the communication process, what are your sort of first check boxes and what do you maybe plan to ask or at least ask in those early conversations?
[00:17:05] To determine whether it's worth going further. And again, you don't know this product yet. What are some of the things that you think about and do. That's
[00:17:14] Tim: [00:17:14] a great question. I think the point that you're getting at here is that it's not necessary to have an expert knowledge of the product to be able to sell it as an agency partner.
[00:17:23] And that is undoubtedly true. You really don't. There are products that we use every day that I'm very proud and happy to sell, but there are also other partners that are coming into our ecosystem that may not have been ones that I have as much familiarity with. And in those kinds of relationships it's a different kind of excitement because it unlocks a new.
[00:17:47] Potentially a new revenue stream and that it's a different set of clients or a different vertical or a different way of going to market or a different set of backlinks. And you can often build programs with those partners that don't necessarily have anything to do with revenue share or client sharing or us implementing the.
[00:18:06] The partner program. A good example of this for us is catapult. We had never used catapult before actually got this. You sent it over to Alex and we had a great, I had a great call with their partner manager. We're really on the same page. They serve high ticket items. It's a, it's an app that helps make payments easier for high ticket items.
[00:18:26]If you get denied for 'em. From you may still get, you may still be eligible for catapults or there's a big market there, but it's not, we don't really have very many high tickets stores right now. So it's not something that would be immediately implementing for clients on the day to day, but there's still an alignment.
[00:18:45] There's still an affinity. They're willing to sponsor pieces of content and media. We are willing to help clients with implementation, even if we haven't done it before we. No enough about Shopify to be able to effectively implement. And then we'll talk to those clients about paid media as well.
[00:19:00] Obviously there's all kinds of different backlinks sharing, blogs, sharing ways of going to market that don't necessarily involve having a day-to-day experience with the product. And you might even learn and the product as you go. I think as marketers it's really. It's our responsibility to know about the platforms and the ecosystem, and to be able to advise our clients on them, even if it's not something that we're using on that day to day.
[00:19:25] So having that relationship, being able to be like, I know the partner manager there, I can refer you if you like. Even if it's not something that's typically in your wheelhouse, it does give you some more credibility. And it does also just give you another level with that client. There's another way of solving the problem.
[00:19:39] There's another person you can connect them through this. You're building an ecosystem around your agency.
[00:19:44] Alex: [00:19:44] I love it, Tim. Yeah. You hit on everything that I was hoping to get out of that question. So thank you for that. And I'd like to quickly remind all the listeners, we have communities to support you in the growth of your partner programs or finding vetting and going to market with partners.
[00:19:59] If you're an agency for the tech partner teams, if you had to collective. Dot partner programs.io. You can find the partner programs, collective, where there are agency led, round tables, trainings, events, everything that you would need in order to learn how to grow with agency partners. If you're an agency, head to community dot partner programs.io, that's where you'll find more agency led round tables.
[00:20:26] The partner tracks that you need to succeed. And of course the support from everyone here at partner programs. Anyways, I'll let you get back to the episode and Rachel, any comments on Tim's question, and then I'll want to lead into what you do with agencies that are not users of the product that are not actively exploring the product in your pipeline.
[00:20:44] What are some of the tactics strategies that you take to get those agencies to start the partnership discussion?
[00:20:49]Rachel: [00:20:49] One thing that Tim pointed out early in the conversation that I think was. As an agency, you really just want to bring value to that client. And it's definitely not about who's paying you the most rev share or who you're buddy with it is about that client outcome at the end of the day.
[00:21:08]So as an agency, you're acting almost like a full business consultant to this merchant, and I think being able to. Match the merchant up with the different providers that it can add the most value and provide the most ROI that really just reflects on you as an agency and makes you look like the highest level of professionalism.
[00:21:32] So I think that's a really amazing point that Tim highlighted and something that Tim and his agency loop does exceptionally well. In terms of how I would get in front of agencies that maybe haven't heard about us, or may not be actively looking to bring on a reviews partner. I usually would reach out first via LinkedIn.
[00:21:57]If that didn't work, I would get a mutual partner to introduce me directly. And as the Shopify ecosystem is pretty small and tight knit. We all know each other. So it's usually pretty easy to get that introduction. And then once you can secure that first call and you can show. The value of your product.
[00:22:17]That goes a really long way. So I know I had the same experience when I was working at mute six. And this is going back a couple of years ago, but I was at a Shopify unite happened to be working with a few different reviews providers that were in a Kendo. And then I was sitting at a table of Australian deaf agencies and they were all talking about this company or Kendo.
[00:22:40] So I thought, okay, I'll talk to these guys. I'll see what all the thoughts is about. But then as soon as the founders took me through a demo of their platform and showed me their pricing structure straightaway, I was like, all right, this is a significantly better product than what I've currently been recommending.
[00:22:57] And it's at a more affordable price point. So from then on all the mute, sixes recommendations for reviews started going over to a Kendo because we just thought that was going to provide the best outcome for the client. So I think when you have a product that is a leader in its category, it sells itself.
[00:23:16]And if you're looking to continue to build out a partnership where the partner is still at, if it's still not completely sold, I'm not sure if they really want to partner with a new tech provider. If you can build upon that by providing value to them in a few different ways, whether that's.
[00:23:33]A partner spotlight in your newsletter or listing on your directory, whatever you can do to provide value before asking for anything in return that goes along.
[00:23:43] Alex: [00:23:43] No, that was great. And this is where we want to take the conversation. Cause everyone loves actionable. Go here, do this type of strategy.
[00:23:50] So I'd love to know Rachel, if there's anything that works really well. On the partnership enablement topic, when you have, someone like Tim, let's just say, hypothetically is new to the program. He's a busy guys running an agency. He does have a good book of business. You'd like to get a Kendo and more of that business.
[00:24:09]Are there any routines that you've run in the past or had run on you at mute six that you really enjoyed being a part of that really pushed you deeper into the partnership and got. More business sooner, faster. More revenue,
[00:24:24] Rachel: [00:24:24] right? Yeah. No good question. And there are a few things that I like to do within our process with Kendo.
[00:24:31]So after that introductory call, I would invite larger agencies to do some client mapping to figure out if we have or overlap. Sometimes that's an unnecessary with smaller agencies because they have a really good understanding of who every client is using for their ratings and reviews provide a next step.
[00:24:49] I would invite them to be part of our certified partner program and that urgency I certified partner. Listing on our directory. So in order to do that, we've got a 15 level, 15 minute high-level overview course on our Kendo, which we host on teachable. And that's part of our custom built Ponton and portal as well.
[00:25:11] So once the partner goes through that, there's a little bit more buy-in and. Putting them up on our site. And we're also sending the swag pack when they complete that certification program as well. So you're giving them a little bit more if we still aren't able to get a first year client in the door off to a few weeks, do maybe an agency partner.
[00:25:32] Spotlight and we'll swap with the agency and maybe, or Kendra we'll offer the first merchants from agency X. If it's loop say two months discount for, if you sign up before date. February 28th or whatever it may be. If you can secure a few first merchants that way, it really helps to establish a little bit of like trust and credibility and the agency's able to actively learn about your product and see how much better it is than the competitors.
[00:26:05] And from then on it it. It speaks for itself laying that groundwork and having the product be the leader from then on. It seems to be a good flow of leads coming back into a Kendo. And then it's really just about how do we nurture and continue to engage with that partner and make sure that we're providing ongoing value to them.
[00:26:26] So it doesn't just stop it. Okay. We've done it. One case study. And then you've sent us leads and you're keep on sending us leads. It's how can I continue to make sure I'm giving value back to you beyond rep
[00:26:36] Alex: [00:26:36] share? Yeah. And I'm trying to recall who told me this at one point in the last year, but just keeping things moving, it sounds is part of your strategy, just keeping the partner progressing forward.
[00:26:49] Don't let them be done with anything. If that makes sense. That could be just, Hey, we've got a. Cool marketing event. That's happening in two months, we've got some scheduled stuff that we have to do to prep and to promote it. Now, when that's coming up or maybe you've recorded it and it's about to go live.
[00:27:07] What is the next, is it a certification at that point? Is it a case study? Is it co-selling routine? Just keeping things going forward is. Part of the strategy from what I heard, is that correct, Rachel right,
[00:27:21] Rachel: [00:27:21] exactly. And thinking about how you can iterate on the existing programs. So I've had it off without like partner level and then certified partner, but I'm certainly looking to introduce whether it's like bronze, silver, gold, or whatever the next two is, are.
[00:27:36] But they're not introduced right away. Cause I want to be able to introduce those in the future and use that as a point of engagement. We're also looking at implementing like surprise and delight. If you send us this many late, you don't know about it. It's not something that we talk about or advertise.
[00:27:52] For our program, but we send you a bottle of champagne or like some chocolates. It's something as a thank you at those different points of interaction. So hopefully things like that help to make our partners happy and show them how much we appreciate them, because we really do.
[00:28:09] Alex: [00:28:09] I do want to ask you one more question before getting back to Tim to comment on how you like to be communicated with and the cadence and the frequency and the types and all that stuff, Tim.
[00:28:18] So think on that for a minute. But Rachel, what is the cadence of communication? What types of communication are involved in, let's say the first three months of the partnership. If I were to come onto your partner program, what should I expect to happen in those three months? Maybe even how many types of meetings I'm required to be a part of.
[00:28:39] And if there's webinars in there and And then anything on the email side as well?
[00:28:43] Rachel: [00:28:43] Yeah, for sure. So we like to set up a shared Slack channel, so it makes it really easy to ping ideas back and forth or staying in contact or when they do sign up merchants, a lot of our partners will sign up merchants right away.
[00:28:57]So it's nice to make sure that all of their clients are getting the top quality of service and they're all really happy and excited about using a Kendo. I will usually try to email every two weeks for the first few months. It's more difficult to have ongoing calls when you're managing a ton of partners and you've got all of these, conflicting priorities, but I find that if you're able to stay in contact with email, that's usually helpful.
[00:29:24] And on the same side, Tim is so busy managing clients and yeah. HR and marketing freezer and agency, he doesn't always have time to have a monthly call with his Pont is I'm pretty sure. And so that's part of the strategy staying in contact by email and offering different opportunities.
[00:29:42] And then I do also like to have a mixture of automations from HubSpot coming out. And then we have our quarterly partner newsletters, and then I send any integration or launch announcements via plain text email. Cause I just feel like that's more personal. And it can encourage. Agencies to set up time for another call to learn more about that integration, how it can work for their customer base.
[00:30:11] So it's a real mix. At the moment we don't do any webinars in house. We do participate in webinars with other partners, but we're just figuring out where that webinar exhaustion and. Level is sitting at the moment with merchants like our merchant base and other merchant phases of our partners.
[00:30:30] Alex: [00:30:30] that's a perfect segue into Tim's part of this conversation around what works on the communication side of things and what is annoying. I'll just preface with a quick anecdote. I believe I'm not going to say any names, although it wouldn't matter, but bigger CRM relaunched, and they invited a few hundred of their closest partners that they hadn't spoken to in six months to a partner webinar.
[00:30:52] And these partners were excited because they hadn't heard from them in awhile. They showed up to the webinar. And they spent about 30 minutes showing these partners who were avid savvy users, savvy technological tech agencies, how to use this product. And I heard so much bad feedback from it.
[00:31:09]It was one of those things, obviously what not to do, but Tim, I want to hear what does work for you, what are some of the things that you like to be involved in on the communication side of things, Slack types of webinars that have worked, anything that hasn't worked, what is seen as a little bit more.
[00:31:24] Obligatory or even annoying from a partnership standpoint, I'm
[00:31:28] Tim: [00:31:28] going to invite a lot of spam email by saying this, but I really appreciate people following up with me and I think that's completely fine. I am busy and I had. No idea how busy you would be as an agency founder. And I think that is part of the sales process of really putting yourself in your prospect's shoes and understanding like what they're doing and giving them an opportunity to get value out of your product, but also understanding that there's a thousand different things going on.
[00:31:55] So when people who. Trying to build up that partnership program at a product con consistently follow up and help me get meetings on the calendar. Help me do the next thing. I really do. I genuinely appreciate it because this is stuff that adds value to the agency. It has the potential to drive leads and sales.
[00:32:13] It aligns with what we want to do. So there is, I do really genuinely appreciate it. I love being Slack as well. Anytime that I can have this shared Slack channel with anyone, I. I prefer that personally. I know a lot of people don't. I think it goes either way. I think some people find it intrusive or that there's like too many Slack notifications, but I just live in there anyway.
[00:32:34] So I'm always happy just to be able to quickly chat people in terms of webinars. I feel like maybe that is a thing right now. Like people are not as willing to go to webinars. There's just been so many. And I think we do need a way of presenting that information in a more novel way that isn't just like the standard.
[00:32:56]Here is a webinar. One thing that we've been working on in how sexually is a. A course, a paid course that includes Patna integrations in your e-commerce store as part of the course. So within the course, it'll be like one section of the cost will be like, how to learn, use this plugin to increase, to allow it, to be able to get Google seller ratings too.
[00:33:17] Google's so you'll see an increase in your conversion rate on your shopping campaigns. The, we explain what all these things mean, and we show it an extra on a real store. And I think there's, there might be some value there. It's still pretty early stages for us. So I'm not sure how it's going to go yet.
[00:33:31] But like you said, previously, I think people do that real store, real numbers situation. So I'm hoping to bring more of that to the table and put that into a webinar or a sharing form, some point in the year.
[00:33:44] Alex: [00:33:44] Awesome. Thank you for that. Yeah. Thanks for being open and discussing some of the things that you like.
[00:33:48] And don't like, that helps a lot. People like to hear really what is working out there. And you mentioned Rachel, something about webinars, ours, whether or not webinars are working. And I hate the term webinars, just like I hate the term newsletter as a marketer and someone that has to deal with all this stuff and has to push and get people to my own webinars.
[00:34:06] They are technically webinars, but we don't call them that sometimes Roundtable sometimes it's a meeting. But but talk to me about that, Tim. You're probably invited to a lot of webinars. I know you've been included in at least the webinar invites to some of ours. What do you like to see and hear and participate in when it comes to these partner webinars that you get invited to?
[00:34:27] Tim: [00:34:27] I think short and actionable is probably the key thing to get me to go to something either short and actionable or an ability at an opportunity to network a little bit. I typically know, I can pretty quickly learn what a piece of software does and how it functions, or at least get a sense of it.
[00:34:46] Being able to get some genuinely actionable information that I can then apply or that I can then, or another angle that I can use to talk to my clients about the product or another feature that I didn't really realize was important or how other people are struggling with the product. That kind of information is really useful to me.
[00:35:04]It helps me, it saves me time in terms of doing the research for myself. I think shorter is better. There's one webinar I went to earlier this year. No, it was last year. That was by demand curve that growth marketing agency. And it was just so actionable. Every second, that was just something that really helped me.
[00:35:23] And I think you may have to really front load the value of those webinars that way. That's what I'm going to show up for the most part.
[00:35:29] Alex: [00:35:29] So it's gotta be actionable. It's gotta be related to new revenue streams or getting that product into more accounts strategies. Again, go here. Do this type stuff is what I like to say.
[00:35:41] Rachel, any comments on the webinar experience what's worked for you? What hasn't
[00:35:45] Rachel: [00:35:45] worked? I totally agree with Tim. If it can't be short, Shop and actionable. It's going to make a huge difference. I think we're all really busy people. We all have somewhat short attention spans. And I have been to a lot of webinars where people like to waffle on.
[00:36:03] I'm not interested. I'm going to lose my attention straight away. And I'm going to be flicking over to Slack and doing something that's a little bit more engaging than watching this person. Talk about their incredible software in very lengthy terms. So if you can show me what it's going to do, show me how to use it, and then show me the metrics of someone who already used this.
[00:36:23] Technique and how it impacted the bottom line, then that's going to be way more compelling.
[00:36:30] Alex: [00:36:30] And that is a perfect time to mention case studies versus more how other agencies are doing it. So this is a question for Rachel first, but then I want to hear Tim's experience absorbing or being attracted to any of these.
[00:36:45] But I see oftentimes SAS companies. Hide the really actionable stuff that agencies can use to learn how to build new services. They hide it in their help desk documents, their help desk, right? Experience this shout out to Brett at Gatsby, great founder, brilliant product. We were poking around on the site and we came across this Klayvio workflow integration, how to set up Gadsby and run this micro-influencer automation inside Gatsby in Klayvio.
[00:37:10] And it was gold and it was buried in, I don't even think it was indexed in search, like help.gasby.ai. I try to encourage my partners to go to the case studies and say, okay a case study is typically how this brand uses a Kendo to do blank, right? And they increase revenue and all this stuff, but you can flip that on its head and say how Tim keen at loop uses Ole Kendo.
[00:37:35] To make retainer, stick your, add, percentages onto his retainers or do something right. Obviously make his clients happy. That's why he's able to sell it. But what is Tim doing on top of a Kendo to build new services? I'd like to hear Rachel, is that something that you guys practice, or do you have any version of that, that you do at Oak Kendo?
[00:37:53] And then also Tim, if there's anything that you've seen that is on that line of thought, that's resonated well, that you've absorbed and. Take an action on it, but first, Rachel, yeah,
[00:38:02] Rachel: [00:38:02] it's actually, it's so intriguing and I love that you have been able to provide value via partner programs already by bringing up that point of, Hey, how are you enabling agencies to make more money?
[00:38:16] Because I think that's a really important thing. In case studies at our Kendo, we loved them or obsessed with case studies. The more data I can get better. We like to do joint case studies where we look at a brand and an agency partner and how that agency partner drove revenues for the brand.
[00:38:35] I'm using our Kendo and get little soundbites from each of the parties involved. And for me, that's a nice way of giving exposure back to the agency and showing that they're a thought leader in the ecosystem. But I think that being able to. Create case studies that are focused on teaching other agents, how to leverage your product to drive more revenue.
[00:39:00] The agency could be really valuable and there are a lot of things that we do it at Kendall, where you can use that attributes from within the reviews to segment your customer base and drive higher revenues per recipient with targeted emails or the implementation of a Kendo are set up in different areas.
[00:39:19]On the side or connecting with Google to add star ratings to your Google product listing ads. There's so much that you can do there that agencies can benefit from and clients will benefit from too. So this is something that I'm really interested in
[00:39:34] Alex: [00:39:34] exploring more. Yeah. And I love that. And I think the question back to Tim is would this be something that's worth exploring for you?
[00:39:42] It's one of those things where it's you read a case study? You will have to, at that point, think how is this going to work in my business? Do I have clients like that? One in the case study? What does that look like on the implementation side? How many hours do I have to spend? What is the thought process?
[00:39:57] What is the learning curve and what am I going to sell it for? Is it a retainer? Is there a setup? You have to think about all those things as an agency, but if Rachel and other partner teams handed you. Hey, here's the actual service. Here's another agency doing it and here's what it did for their brand, but here's, what's involved, here's step one, step two, step three.
[00:40:14] How many hours are involved? And then you can do the quick napkin, math and decide if it's something that's worth your time to get involved with any experience around that type of content from partner teams. Do you not see it at all? What is your
[00:40:26] Tim: [00:40:26] X? I do see it. I think it's really valuable in general, what we're doing for clients with these partnerships.
[00:40:33] Is a lot around integrations. So specifically, so you mentioned Gatsby and its Klayvio integration and how I talked to Brett as well, shout out. And I remember talking to him just after the Klayvio case study came out and it was like a whole new kind of. Tarrant of traffic and it's because there's so many people searching for Klaviyo and Klaviyo integrations on now, a big pot of people's businesses or all these other apps is starting to integrate with other apps in the ecosystem were able to share the zero in the first party data, more cleanly within our own businesses than we used to be able to, but it still takes some expertise.
[00:41:10] It still takes. Either agency know how or a, how to article or some piece of information saying, if you plug this in here, it's going to help you drive X amount, more revenue. So we'd do that right now. And it's an ongoing conversation around how we price it out. And I really it's a great, this is great that we're having this conversation now because as a performance marketing agency, It's always been a value add for us.
[00:41:35] We're making that money off the ad spend the more performance we can drive, the more we can spend out goals are aligned in that way, but it is true that these integrations is getting kind of naughty and complex and there is a lot to them. And there's a lot of work you can do in terms of conversion rate optimization in terms of site experience, in terms of getting all of this stack to talk to each other.
[00:41:56] So there is a conversation about how do we spin this up into a revenue stream? How do we better. Tell clients about the value that we're providing for them by doing this integration, how do they not take it for granted? And we do get some referrals from partners who are looking for implementation partners.
[00:42:14] And that's a great way into thinking about that because we can price that out specifically for someone. But again, we really come back to we're a performance marketing agency. Our goal is to drive more revenue. Really anything that does, that is in our interests. Great
[00:42:27] Alex: [00:42:27] answer, Tim. And we don't have much time.
[00:42:29] So I want to get to this. I get a little pushback from partner teams when I talked to them about, Hey, involve agencies in this content. Two things, two reasons for the pushback, a they don't have alignment with their marketing team. So this is a question for Rachel first and then back to Tim to close it out.
[00:42:47] But the second. Form of pushback is we don't want to bother our partners. We don't want to ask Tim to tell us and our audience how he uses Oquendo and be detailed with it. We feel like that would be asking Tim to give away the farm, give away his secret sauce, whatever that is. So those are the two forms of pushback and we don't have the slots from marketing to be able to involve Tim in content.
[00:43:09] That's one. And then number two is we don't believe Tim would do it. And we think it would be a nuisance for him for us to reach out to Tim and ask him. So any of your experience, Rachel, on involving partners in your content between marketing and partnerships, but also between you and the partners and then any ideas or best practices or experience when it comes to.
[00:43:30] Asking a partner to give away their build, how they did it to your site users, which could be potential competitors of temps. Right? Anything on that?
[00:43:39] Rachel: [00:43:39] Such a great question. And I'm so glad that you brought this up and we can have this conversation and get Tim's expert agencies perspective during this conversation in terms of the marketing side of things Kelsey Herth heads up marketing.
[00:43:52] I brought a Kendo. Blessed. She has a lot on her plate, but she is always super up for trying anything new and pushing hard, fitting more hours into the day to get content out. So that hasn't been something that I have had to come up against just because the team at her Kendo is so simple.
[00:44:10] Fortive of our efforts on the partnership side in terms of the conversation and navigating things with our agency partners, giving away their secret sauce. It's something that I'm still newly exploring, newly navigating. And I've been. Putting it into my intro conversations. Like how do you usually charge out for your implementation of our candor?
[00:44:37]Is that something that, you're offering hours in the retainer or is it a certain fee and. PON, haven't been pushing back on that. They're almost more intrigued that you're going deeper into their agency. You're going deeper into their strategy and how they charge out or price their services.
[00:44:58] So from that regard, it's been really relevant and I think it helps get into a Depot. Conversation with that partner. But that said, I haven't yet asked anyone if I can promote how they price their strategy. So that's new and I'd love to hear what Tim thinks.
[00:45:20] Tim: [00:45:20] Oh yeah. I don't have an answer for that yet.
[00:45:23] It's still a value add for us. It's still something that I like to do that we'll like to do to make sure that our clients win, but there is an evolving conversation around it. It's very interesting. In terms of giving away the secret sauce. I feel like my opinion on this might be changing. I remember when I first started and was really soaking up the information on an agency and being like there's so much to learn.
[00:45:46] There's just so much information here and not wanting to necessarily give that away or hold your expert opinions. And what I'm seeing now in the market is the people who are really succeeding and making a lot of content they're giving away their secrets. They're showing. The process of doing what they do.
[00:46:01] They say here is the exact steps that we've taken. If you want us to do this for you, you can pay us and we'll do it for you or. Feel free to try on your own and people will still pay you to do it. Not only will people pay you to do it, but they think that you came up with it. They think that you're special for coming up with it.
[00:46:19] And they, they feel like they have this personal connection with you because you've given away the secret. So I'm trying to do that more. I'm starting to give away a little more of what we would consider our secrets and using that as a lead generation. Device, and it does seem to be walking. We'll see how that we'll see how it goes.
[00:46:37] We'll see if I hit a wall where I don't want to give anything more away, but in general, The ability to actually execute on this stuff takes so many variables in one place, you need the right team. You need all of the knowledge you need the right client. You need the expertise, you need everything working together in order to be able to actually drive these kinds of results for clients or in my mind, telling someone how I did the thing is it doesn't stop them from wanting to pay me to do it.
[00:47:04] Alex: [00:47:04] a perfect example. And we take this a step further and we talk about product led partnerships, where you can take Tim's actual use case for the product. And build a template around it, allow Tim to brand that template, put it in a template marketplace. This is done by mainly the CMS is like bubble and HubSpot CMS.
[00:47:25] And, but now we're seeing it more and more in things like Databox they're data visualization dashboards. You can. Go and download a dashboard that was designed by one of their top agency partners. They've got hundreds of them. It is highly valuable, I believe strongly for the agency to do this.
[00:47:43] So if you're an agency listening, reach out to your partners, tell them what your use cases for their product, tell them who you're integrating their product with, how you're running it. What sort of stats that you've got and that you're willing to share it with their audience. And I posted in our chat here in our Zencaster chat a link to an example, and I'll try to post in the show notes if I remember.
[00:48:03] But Matt Burke at Zilla, Metro shout out to him, he took the time to create a really awesome case study for smith.ai. One of our other partners, and went into detail, showed screenshots of his analytics account and explained exactly how he sets this up and what it did for him. And that's on their blog getting a ton of traffic right now, he gets a back link.
[00:48:25] It makes Matt look like a thought leader or subject matter expert. So definitely a hundred percent partner managers ask your partners to do this. It is nothing but a benefit for them, in my opinion. Tim you agree that there's definitely a ton of value you're trying to do more of this type of stuff.
[00:48:43] And it's something that we'll hopefully see a blog post on Kendall from Tim about how he uses it.
[00:48:50] Tim: [00:48:50] Absolutely. If that kind of value that you could only get from training or from knowing someone who knows how to do it, that's extremely valuable content and it always performs, sir. I'd love to, I'd love to write that.
[00:49:01] Rachel: [00:49:01] Yeah, I would love that. Thanks Tim.
[00:49:04] Alex: [00:49:04] Awesome. Any final thoughts on the partner program where it's going from here? I think that's a good place to end, but I want to hear where Oh, Kendall's partner program is going from here.
[00:49:13]Rachel: [00:49:13] We're excited. We're growing really quickly with being tripling year on year.
[00:49:18]And we are looking for a few new partner managers. So this is a great time to plug that if you're experienced in e-commerce and looking to move to a fast-growing tech company, let me know, shout out to me on LinkedIn. And I would love to continue the conversation. Thank
[00:49:35] Alex: [00:49:35] you so much, Rachel, Tim, you guys have been awesome.
[00:49:39] And I appreciate the time. I think we learned a ton. Hopefully if you're still listening, you got a ton out of this, a lot of actionable content as we love Tim, where can they find you and what should they look to you for both partnerships and services?
[00:49:52] Tim: [00:49:52] You can find firstname.lastname@example.org. We're a performance marketing agency for high growth Shopify e-commerce stores.
[00:50:00] And you can find us there. Love to talk.
[00:50:03] Alex: [00:50:03] And Rachel I'll post the links, obviously all Kendo fabulous platform. If you're listening and you need the product, check it out, I'll post the links and everything you guys need. If you're interested in exploring more and getting in touch with these two great individuals.
[00:50:17] So thank you both for the time and we'll see you guys in the community. .