Episode Description

Ep. 78 – If you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes peek of what the journey from freelancer to startup company looks like then this episode is for you. This week Chris is joined by Michael Hunter to discuss the process and various phases that led him from freelancer, to agency and eventually to bootstrapping a software company. Michael is the Co-Founder of Spiffy Checkouts and the founder of PersonalBrand.com. Have a listen to this interview for another inspiring example of growth and endless possibilities.

ASG 078 – From Freelancer to Software Company feat. Michael Hunter of Spiffy


Chris Davis: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the All Systems Go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot, learn how to deploy automated marketing and sales systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of Automation Bridge, Chris Davis.


Chris Davis: [00:00:31] Welcome to the All Systems Go podcast. I’m your host, Chris Davis, the founder and chief automation officer of automation bridge, the place online to learn about small business, marketing and sales automation, where we focus on turning digital marketing professionals into automation service providers. And if that’s you, if you’re a digital marketing professional that would like to become an automation service provider, please visit AutomationBridge.com/ASP. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the process of going from Freelancer to startup company with Michael Hunter, who is the co-founder of Spiffy Checkout’s and the founder of personalbrand.com. I know Mike personally. And over the past decade, Mike has worked with a wide range of online entrepreneurs and has an impressive track record, having helped people make their first dollar online all the way to working with Internet marketing, household names like Brandi Bouchard and just overall household names like Oprah, Larry King and others, he has a unique perspective for what it takes to create successful businesses and a successful life. You’ll see that in the podcast, how he marries the two. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Amanda. And when they aren’t working, they’re exploring the southwest in their jeep. And by foot. You talk about lifestyle design and you’re going to get all of that in more on this episode before we jump into it.


Chris Davis: [00:02:03] If you’re new to the podcast, make sure you listen to this episode in its entirety. Once you’re done, you’ll see the invitation on the bottom at the end, I should say, where I will invite you to subscribe and leave a five star rating and review if you can’t help yourself and you just like I have to do it now, the interest sold me, so be it. But I like for you to at least get a one episode under your belt. So you know what you’re what you’re rating and giving a review for. For those of you who are listeners and haven’t subscribed yet, make sure you do so. The All Systems Go podcast is an Apple podcast, Google podcasts. You can subscribe on YouTube and watch the podcast or listen to the podcast there. So while you’re at it, your five star ratings and reviews are greatly appreciated. If for any reason you’re having some troubles finding out where to leave a five star rating and review, we have you covered. You can go to automation, bridge dotcom for review, will capture it and get it posted to the appropriate platform. All right. With all that being said, let’s jump right into the episode.


Chris Davis: [00:03:07] Mike, welcome to the podcast. I’m glad to have you on. How are you doing, man?


Michael Hunter: [00:03:12] I’m doing great. Thanks for having me, man. It’s always great to chat with you, man.


Chris Davis: [00:03:16] Absolutely, Mike. It’s been it’s been years, man. I’m I’m sitting up here thinking about Icon. I’ve lost track.


Michael Hunter: [00:03:25] Oh, I forgot.


Chris Davis: [00:03:27] Yeah, I’m going to years that is. But it’s it’s been a pleasure to watch your transition, you and Jeremy, your transition to, you know, being a consultant and helping these big brands marketing, you know, and now you’ve you’ve got this software and I know we’re going to talk about it, but, man, it’s it’s just it’s refreshing because you don’t often see people who hang around a long time and stay authentic and, you know, still serve the the market in a high capacity man. So this is going to be fun. So I know about you. I know about you. And Spiffy and I’ve had the pleasure of being integrated at the early stages. And I really like I remember when it was injectable, when the when the I think we were injecting code on the. Yeah. So check out pages of the stories behind the story. So anyways, let me not leave the listeners out there, like what are you talking about. Injecting code. Where what. But my legacy Infusionsoft folks know exactly what we’re talking about already. But yeah, give give the audience some insight about you, your business, your background.


Michael Hunter: [00:04:43] Yeah. So Spiffy Checkout’s is a software product that makes it really easy for small business owners to take payments online through their website. And that’s what that’s the big problem that we’re solving for. Yeah. Currently today it’s twenty, twenty one. And it’s the same thing today as it was four or five years ago. It’s still way too hard for the average business owner, freelancer, online entrepreneur to figure out how do I take a debt and credit card payment for my website, how do I make it look good? How do I bring Amazon style best practices to my small business? Things like offer boss one click up sales, passing sales data back to my CRM, applying tags and training, marketing, automation, having a seamless integration, seeing the data in and performance of my online business without having to export for. Different reports from three different systems, you know, so it’s like all that stuff should be easy. Twenty, twenty one and it wasn’t and we used all of the different tools out there and in our freelance business and our agency over the past decade and realize that the perfect solution didn’t really exist and of like, all right, we’re going to saddle up and and start building it. And so, you know, for we we started as just a very simple Infusionsoft app, and that was a way for us to bootstrap our software company and not have to go out and raise money and, you know, kind of really test and validate the idea first and then make sure it was it was worth pursuing.


Michael Hunter: [00:06:10] And so, yeah, it’s kind of a little bit of a synopsis of where we’re at today, kind of what spiffing does. And just kind of looping back to a little bit of the conversation that you started with, with our humble beginnings, just like starting as an Infusionsoft app. And so, you know, a lot of people saw that like, oh, this is kind of a cool little app company. But from day one, we had a bigger vision and that was just a stepping stone for us to be able to fulfill that vision without being pressured to pivot or to have inorganic growth and and ultimately come more with with VC money or something. You know, you get you get kind of used to having the big amounts of money spent on a bunch of ads when you might have the illusion that you have a successful business when you don’t type of a thing. So we’re huge, huge proponents of bootstrapping of solving a real problem in the marketplace. And everybody is trying to hit Grand Slams on the on the first pitch. And you can go and have these, like, crazy growth trajectories and raise all these money, all this money. And we just decided to carve a different path, actually help customers have the space in our calendars and our team to offer more of a white glove service and really no competitors can offer. And that’s really important to us, I think.


Chris Davis: [00:07:34] You can’t get enough of it, man. I really, really don’t. I’m glad for founders like yourself, you and Jeremy, because I had Ethan Ethan of convert flow on here. And he has he has a very similar approach. It’s just like, look, we could go blast the market just, you know, like growth, growth, growth, hurry up, churn and burn. But to truly serve the industry, I think is what’s needed. Man, there’s so many tools. Thank you, AppSumo. They add to it too. It’s like all the amount of tools that a person can get overwhelmed by is increasing not by the day but by the hour. I mean, as an experienced automation professional, I like it’s my job to know the software that’s available and know the inner workings of it. I there’s no way there’s no way I can keep up with it. So I’ve limited even my view or my time to inspect software until the company has proven like, OK, this is not just a quick I’m in here to get some money, get some users and then I’m out of here. So, man, it’s refreshing. So so tell me about this. As as a marketer, what was your what was your gateway into marketing that eventually led you to Infusionsoft and Spiffy and everything where you did you feel like you were born with the marketing spoon? Like this is what I always want to do. Or did you stumble upon it like like so many others like myself?


Michael Hunter: [00:09:05] Yeah. I mean, it definitely was not in the the game plan that I thought my life would take or the vision I had and definitely kind of stumbled into it in a way. And for a while I didn’t really realize why I liked it so much. And I thought it was kind of like, oh, like going out as ever. Passo I started my first and my first one hundred percent commission direct sales gig when I was 17 years old. And at that time I also had this little part time job at this catering company. And you know, that was a defining moment in my life where I realized, hey, like I’m going to work twice as hard as most other people and I want to make sure that I reap the rewards of the effort that I put in. And so from that point forward, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. At that point, I was really big into architecture and I wanted to own my own architecture firm. At some point I ended up going to college for architecture, ended up graduating with a business degree and fell into marketing and realized that marketing and architecture have a ton in common or a perfect balance of of science and structure, but also creativity.


Michael Hunter: [00:10:15] So now I architect systems architect funnels architect Check-Out Systems to help people make money online. And I found that I’m more passionate about that than I was kind of designing spaces for people to live or work or. And type of a thing, so, yeah, yeah, marketing was definitely something that I fell into, but like have a deep, deep passion for, I think that’s a big differentiating factor when it comes to Spiffy, too, is that and we’re not just a software company like we also have the history of implementing big marketing campaigns. Yes. Jeremy and I were basically outsource CMOs for Brendan Burchard for two full years. We built a whole marketing team for him. Did is open source promotion. His Larry King promotion worked with those teams and had a lot of really cool experiences like offering at the highest end of of of really that kind of the author, speaker, coach, personal brand space. And we built a really great product and and kind of serving and kind of bringing some of those marketing type, I guess, features and benefits and stats and figures and just like making them readily available within our app.


Chris Davis: [00:11:24] And I think it’s important for people to understand who the founders are behind the software, because a lot of times when you get a founder who has such an exhaustive marketing background with results, right. It’s not like you say, hey, I, I sent to email for Brendan Mushahid. Oh, hey, I built a landing page like this one for, you know, Francon, like you’ve actually been very instrumental in the growth. So you can trust the judgment, right. For market. We know we don’t have to explain to you what we need because you still have the scars. You take off your shirt, you’ve got all the marketing moves,


Chris Davis: [00:12:04] You know,


Chris Davis: [00:12:05] On the battlefield for sure. Right. So so is great in what would I really like about your migration through the various phases of your career is you’ve been able to go from freelancer to agency to software company. And I can’t help but imagine there are many people that are aspiring to do the same thing. Right? There’s this freelancer that’s that’s that wants to do more. They’re doing what they need to do right now. Right. Mike, I see this all the time. They are a traditional CEO. They’re the visionary. They’re the connector. You know, they’re the person that can really drive the company, but they’re operating in the capacity of the marketer. You know, the the engineer, I should say, the web developer, the designer, the copywriter. And I get it. I truly get it. But understanding early that, hey, eventually I want to have this. You use the word vision, you know, earlier and just staying true to that. Tell us about that. Let’s let’s go step by step. Tell us about the first transition from freelancer to agency and why you made that instead of just kind of growing your freelance consulting gig or your book of clients bigger. What was what was that what were some of the considerations of decisions going from freelancer to agency?


Michael Hunter: [00:13:35] Yeah. So, you know, I basically built my first website when I was in college for a family friend for two hundred bucks. I did not I knew a little bit html from like the MySpace days and like yeah. Like I can figure this out, like I had no idea how to build a website, but I knew enough that I knew that I could figure it out. And to me I’d rather have somebody pay me and have a little bit of pressure to like learn it quickly and again. It wasn’t like a tight deadline or anything like that. But I don’t get paid to learn than than to just kind of sit there in a vacuum and maybe one day hopefully build a website for somebody type of a thing. So but the evolution really just comes down to like what you’re looking to accomplish. You know, everyone wants to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but like, do you really want that? You know, do you really want that pressure? You really want like all of the responsibility and liability that comes with operating something at that level? I know a lot of people that are just freelancers and they have a good book of clients that make a solid six figure income and they have to like travel and work from wherever they want. Yeah. So you start building a bigger business. There’s a lot more responsibility and cost and risk that that takes on too. So that’s true. I level the conversation. They’re saying that being a freelancer versus an agency versus a software company versus being a billionaire, like there’s no right answer, there’s only a right answer for you. And so ultimately, going from freelancer to agency, the most important thing there is the productize and systemize and an offer product type service.


Michael Hunter: [00:15:05] And so that was the biggest kind of mindset shift going from freelancer, where you’re just like taking any type of business from anybody willing to pay you just to pay the bills to kind of like niching down not only to a specific avatar, but to a smaller subset of services that you can start to produce a predictable result whenever you’re doing everything custom, every single client you’re basically starting from. One, and there’s a learning lesson and there’s like like thunder scope creep, and there’s things that you didn’t account for. So that’s really the biggest I think we could do, like a full, like, four hour workshop just on this topic alone. But there’s one thing, though, to walk away from. If you’re going from freelancer to agency, create systems, create processes, focus down on a specific type of service. It makes it easier to get a predictable result and it makes it easier to hire contractors, team members, employees to your productize process or product service. So just makes everything easier. It makes it easier to sell. It makes it easier to hire to and easier to scale. And I see skill. I don’t necessarily even mean to million dollars or ten million dollars. You might just be able to scale yourself out of doing most of the work so you have a little bit more freedom in your life. So I think it comes down to like what you want as an entrepreneur, what your vision for yourself is, and just making sure that you’re building something that’s going to get you there.


Chris Davis: [00:16:27] Yeah, man. You know, for those of you listening that don’t know what productize services is, it means packaging your services in a way similar to a product. Right. Like when I go to the grocery store and buy something I can read on the box, what’s in it. Right? Like, I don’t I don’t every time I go, it doesn’t change. If I bought Froot Loops today, if I can go and buy that same box tomorrow, it is going to satisfy my sweet tooth. It won’t necessarily satisfy my hunger, but temporarily to give me some something pleasing. Right. So that product is for a specific outcome. And I’m glad you brought it up, because one of the things I caution Freelancer’s from doing is creating your product on the fly, like in this goes into the just trying to close and say yes to anything. I like to insure and I still practice this. I still practice this. Mike, I will define my product on paper, what it does, what it doesn’t do, you know, like the price, the deliverable, the transformation, everything. And when I’m talking to somebody mentally, I have maybe three products which are services in my mind. I’m just trying to see which one of these will be a good fit. And guess what happens if none of them are a good fit? Hey, well, maybe I can find a resource or somebody to refer you to, but I’m not going to go. I am not going to customize my delivery deliverable for every audience. Not only does it introduce all of these variables for myself, but when you talk about one like focus on one thing and one result, do I don’t know that result because I’m always changing stuff like at some point remove the variables and have your constants and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to niche down because you become known in the market for that only you know. Exactly.


Michael Hunter: [00:18:23] And you start to create a magnet. So, you know, people are coming and seeking out your services versus you having to go and scramble to find business. So like, if you are really great at building funnels, like like what does that mean? How can you narrow that down? Maybe there is part of it that you really like and part of it you don’t. Maybe you really love the Facebook ad side of it and the lead generation side of it. Maybe that’s the part that you least like. You just like building out you like more like the copywriting and stuff of the funnels and stuff like whatever it is, whatever you can niche down in or creating a specific type of funnel. Like like I only do webinar funnels, I only create funnels that create it of phone appointments, you know. So if you’re a coach or a consultant, I’m the guy that can get your phone ringing or you can get your calendar full. And so you start to niche now because people want to hire people that they are confident they can get a specific result. And when you have a system or a process or a specialized service that can get that result the people are looking for, you can charge a premium. It’s easier to, like, hone in your own marketing efforts to get in for all the right people. And everything that you said to it just makes everything easier. It’s scary at first, but as quickly as you can get to that point and start to have a filter for who’s a good client, who’s not a good client, the the easier it is going to be to have success, kind of growing a small team and going from there.


Chris Davis: [00:19:46] Yeah, yeah. And I’ll say this, man, you get comfortable with saying no. You know, you you realize you’re more defined by what you say no to than what you say yes to. And the problem with a lot of people is they don’t signal enough. So they they never know who they are because they’re just like, oh, they just find a way to say yes. And and I say that not in a blaming, judging way, but I say that from like a hey, I’ve recovered way like total coins every year. My sobriety coin of saying yes to everything and breaking free from that was so free, you know, and it really helped me find my space in online and. Tribe and my people, man,


Michael Hunter: [00:20:31] And, you know, you want to get to a point where you’re saying no more than you’re saying yes. So that’s like a good like barrier. Like, if you’re saying no, like one out of every ten times, then there might be a sign for you to nip down further maybe. And there’s a season in your business where you have to say yes to everything. Right. Like you have to say yes to put food on the table, but as quickly as possible, like get down to a point where you’re saying no more than you’re saying. Yes. And I also think there’s you know, in you know, this is kind of a bigger picture, you know, I guess like comment or statement or sentiment about entrepreneurship in general is that, you know, there’s also just this kind of stigma that if you’re not working 16 hours a day, then you’re not really trying. And so you don’t want to get in a position where you’re saying yes to OK opportunities and you don’t have the capacity to say yes to good or great opportunities. And so, you know, hustling for the sake of hustling. Again, there’s a season in your business where you need to hustle like mad to to get things up and running. But there’s there’s a point where you do want to have the capability and the capacity to take a step back from a business and work on your business and not in your business and make sure that you’re, you know, considering opportunity cost with every single client that you bring on and then things of that nature.


Chris Davis: [00:21:52] Yeah, spot on man. I person. I personally would not be attracted to somebody who’s been hustling for like ten years. There’s a point in time where I was just like, oh man, no sleep team like team no sleep. We we stay up there. What, who needs a bed. Just a floor for 10 minutes and back at it. And now, you know, I’m looking for people who are balanced. I mean it probably plays into my family, probably plays into that. Right. Like I do not want to be tied to a computer. But overall, man, it like you said, seasons in understanding the season that you should not be in hustle season for your business for ten years. There’s some systems missing. There’s there’s some processes that are not streamlined. There’s some vision that needs to be cast. There’s some clarity, you know, that’s not there. And that’s a stronger indicator that maybe I need to reassess operating. And for you, you had a form of a reassessment, right? You’re you’re having experience. I mean, I should say success. You’re having success with the agency model, right? You’ve productize down, you’ve netsch down and you’re now magnetic. And as you say, you you’ve got eight figure businesses that you’re you’re doing work for. And in that you saw a trend that led you. I’m assuming I’m kind of leading you into this question here. Yes. A trend that led to the next step, which is from agency to software. So not let’s talk about that transition with you having success, by the way. Right. Why? Why why did if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why did it not apply there? You know, and what what drove you to take that next step into software?


Michael Hunter: [00:23:33] Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s a great question. I mean, again, it comes down to to vision. And I hit this point in my life when I was making more money than I really anticipated making at that age. And I still wasn’t happy until some way stressed out, like just not like really enjoying life. And I started not to like what I was doing. Yeah. And it was just kind of a weird moment and just realized that even though the money was good and I was doing things at the highest level of the industry, like, like something was still missing and just realized that in the in the car like, like what we were doing, like we were implementing at the highest level the industry. And we were working with clients that were paying, you know, five, fifteen, thirty thousand dollars retainers and the others comes like I’m just the type of person where somebody is paying that amount of money, like we’re going to deliver no matter what, no matter what time it is. Phone rings two a.m. the morning, like I’m picking it up. I’m hop on my computer. I’m doing whatever I need to do. And so, you know, when you’re in your early to mid 20s, like, you can do that.


Michael Hunter: [00:24:39] But I was like, hey, this just isn’t in the car. I can’t be running like this for the next 15, 20, 30 years. And so it’s like we both me and Jeremy, my business partner, had those conversations and both of us were on the same page. You’re like, yeah, like, OK. Like we’re in this industry, like we all these frustrations with all these different types of software. And both of us wanted to get into building a software app. And that was kind of our our kind of what we thought at that time was kind of our way to transition out of services, into creating a business, you know, going back to, like, hustlin for ten years. Like both Jeremy and I were hustling for ten years. And kind of like a truth bomb or a litmus test is like if you’re hustling for ten years, like you might not be a business owner, you might be just a freelancer. And so there’s like this level of honesty that you need to have with. Yourself and kind of litmus tests is like, OK, if you stepped away from your business for 90 days, if your business revenue doesn’t maintain itself or go up, then you don’t actually have a business.


Michael Hunter: [00:25:40] Right. So I like having some of these realizations like, you know, we had an agency by the end of the day that was still dependent on Jeremy and I kind of product managing. And at the end of the day, like making sure that all the last minute stuff was fixed or making the little tweaks. And so we realized, like, shoot man, like we have we got a team, but we’re just glorified freelancers and, you know, and so it’s like, OK, we got to actually find a way to build a business because we have a business and you have systems and processes and operations that function without you. That’s the ultimate path to freedom. And so that’s kind of the path that we went from kind of freelancer to building a small agency and building a team and operating at a very high level to transitioning into a software company. And we had about 20 different software ideas and kind of it all down to one that we executed against. And that spiffy and that’s all we do today is is focus on building the best Check-Out product in the industry and delivering for our customers.


Chris Davis: [00:26:43] Yeah, and I want to talk about that in a moment. But you said something. Hey, hey, everybody. So usually I’m the one that drops like the truth bombs in the Nuggets. And this is like, oh, my goodness. But did you catch what Mike just said? He said that me this was Mike. He said, if you walk away from your business for 90 days and in, dare we say 30. Right. Let’s just say sometime, OK, you walk away from your business for less than 90 days, but more than 30 listin 90, do you maintain your revenue? Does it go down or does it go up that the answer to that question will tell you the type of business that you have? Right. That Inessa, you talk about some truth serum that is the shot that hey, look, you may not want to take it, but you need it.


Michael Hunter: [00:27:36] Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s a mirror I had to look into. It’s not fun. And like, everybody wants to be successful, have a successful business and like that reality, being able to look at that also helps you figure out, OK, like, how can I simplify things? How can I systemize things? What can I remove from what I’m doing that feels like busy work or like it’s it’s just one of those mirrors that that’s it’s hard to look into, but it’s extremely valuable if you’re able to kind of look at that and then also look how you can improve what you’re doing or change what you’re doing, pivot whatever you need to do to. At the end of the day, it’s all about building systems and processes and products that you can sell, whether it’s through services or digital products or physical products that ultimately just achieve the quality of life that you want to live and the things that you want to do for your family and the experiences you want to provide for your children and stuff like that. And, you know, lots of times entrepreneurs get sucked into. Now running a business and have let those other aspects of life suffer for lack of a better word. And, you know, we’re all building businesses to achieve freedom. And so just make sure that if you’re put in the blood, sweat and tears for an extended period of time, that freedom is going to be at the end of that road.


Chris Davis: [00:29:01] Yes, absolutely. Man. I had Mikael form of the founder of Funnelytics on and we talked about making money versus running a business. Right. And I think that there’s the lust of making money online deceives a lot of people that they have a business. And if any of you are trying to figure out, OK, these people keep talking about business versus hobby, glorified freelancer, this is not what you want to look at for a business has operations. Well, all the areas of a business beyond marketing and sales. OK, there’s other human resources finances. Do you have systems in place for every operational area of your business that do not require you? That is the the most basic way I can frame it for you to identify if you have a business or not, because a business is comprised of all of those systems, accounting, like I said, legal. There are people who are making money online and have no legal protection. Mike, listen to me. You are one false move or somebody stealing your stuff away from being out of, quote unquote business. So it’s more to it. Right is more to it. And I love what you said earlier with being real to I don’t I will be the first to have my hand up. I don’t want to be a Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t want to build the biggest software platform and have all of these people using it and deal with all that comes with it. I’m fine with my pocket of the Internet, you know, with my expertise. And I just think that, you know, it’s appropriate in the context of our conversation to for people to give themselves permission. Right. To be as big or small as they want to be as long as it matches the desired outcome for you in your life, in your family, you know.


Michael Hunter: [00:31:01] Exactly. And, you know, hearing that might like it could be overwhelming for some people like me. And I’m sure there’s so much to do as a business owner. It’s just me, like me and my small team or whatever it is. The important thing going back to making money versus building a business, there’s lots of things that you can do to make six figures. There are very, very few things almost impossible just to do stuff, to make seven figures, utterly impossible to do something that makes eight figures. And so the important aspect of this, like the biggest takeaway is to make sure that the efforts that you’re putting in on a daily, weekly, monthly basis are compounding like they’re they’re building on top of each other, that you’re building something, not doing something. And so it’s not about having all these things in place overnight. It’s just about OK, like this is a direction I’m going I’m you know, I’m doing this type of product type service. And every single client that goes through this process, I’m making that process better. I’m not having to create a new process for every single client because every single project different. Yeah. So, again, it’s not about having this over. I think that’s you know, we live in this microwave society where everybody wants to make a million dollars by next week. But if you make a million dollars within the next five to ten years or ten million dollars within the next twenty, you know, like just having a little bit longer term mindset and understanding, hey, I’m building this engine that twenty years from now is going to make me ten million dollars or whatever it is, whatever your number is. Right. So that’s that’s just how the concept build something. Don’t do something.


Chris Davis: [00:32:32] Yeah, man, that the compounding efforts. Another nugget, by the way, just I just want to make note of this, everybody, because he’s dropping it. I need you to pick up what he’s dropping. Woo! When we look at Spiffy, I’m going to look at it in light of active campaigning. I’ve got a lot of active campaign users who are listeners of the podcast, a lot of active campaign users in my program. And I understand there’s other platforms which you all do integrate with other platforms, by the way. So this is not exclusive. But I just want to give you the the platform to the pedestal. I say to talk about some of the unique features, and I’m going to leave with two of them specific to active campaign. But it’s how you integrate with all tools. And I want to talk about what it allows business owners to do. So you’ve got deep data integration, deep data integration, which means you can pass customer information in terms of the revenue. And the product directly into active campaign. OK, you can create a product in Spiffy and that’s all you have to do when somebody checks out, after you’ve set up the integration, any product that you create is going to send that that data over.


Chris Davis: [00:33:53] You also have a native integration and that will pass over additional information directly into active campaign. and just when It was just like, wow, Spiffy’s really changing a game. I don’t know of any online payment processors that do both. Right. But you guys take it to the next level and allow you to look at revenue so you can see the this is all internal to active campaign. When you’re logged in, you can see the revenue of the last email that you sent that caused somebody to purchase as well as a revenue report. So so I know I’m throwing a lot out there, everybody. But just know everything that I just mentioned is unique. That’s not the standard in the market right now. So. So talk to us a bit about how you were able to differentiate spiffy in that way based on the value that you knew you could provide to marketers.


Michael Hunter: [00:34:53] Yeah, I mean, it comes back to us being practitioners in the space, just being so frustrated with the lack of integration’s, you know, everybody was just doing ZAPORA integrations and Zapier an amazing tool. And then about twenty fifteen, we saw active campaign emerging. We saw Zapier emerging. We’re like, OK, that’s the future marketing stacks. And there’s no tool out there that really specializes in taking payments and like building a really flexible, like checkout process. The payments are always a secondary or tertiary feature. Yeah, you got click funnels, it’s a funnel builder and also kind of sort shortcakes payments, you know, Kajabi website to also sort of context payments, Infusionsoft, CRM marketing automation tool, kind of also sort of take payments like, you know. And so it’s like that’s the most important aspect of an online business. Like why is nobody focusing on this so we can talk about the passion about. Right. So we realize, OK, like nobody is doing this right. All those tools are great, but at some level some sort of limitation. If you’re doing basic stuff, all those tools are amazing. I’m not saying all that, but it’s just like we saw that there was a gap in the marketplace for us to, like, jump in there and just focus on innovating in the checkout space and integrating, like building out the best in class integrations with other tools, because we saw that, you know, building a marketing stack was was really the future. An active campaign was really, I think, the first major company to really plant their flat foot in the grave, put their foot down, put the flag in the ground and really just come out and say, hey, look, this is what we are, or we believe in the marketing stack and this is where we’re going to play.


Michael Hunter: [00:36:22] So, yes, like our spiffy integration deep that integration pass all the sales data over a pass. Custom field data over the way that we pass the sales data over to active campaign makes it available at their data layer. So it’s really like the spiffing is a great tool, active campaigns, a great tool. And the combination of those two creates an insane amount of power for you as a business owner, because you can start to filter segment search and trigger automation’s based off of ecommerce data. So you could, like, run a search in your system, say, OK, who’s spent at least one dollar with me but has not purchased anything from me in the last hundred and eighty days or whatever. The timeframe is irrelevant to what you serve the products or services that you offer. And so now you can see, OK, who are he knows, likes and trust me, you’ve already take out their credit card and bought something for me but hasn’t hasn’t buy anything for me for a while. I can send those people in different campaign than a cold segment of my list is going to talk to those people just a little bit differently. So just one example. Again, you have the the Y based off of the last email that they opened, attributing revenue back to last email. Obviously we apply tag starvations based off of different things. You can see a lot more information if you go to our website, Spivvy, that Kofod slash active campaign, have a landing page, tutorial videos, things like that. Again, spiffy SEO, spiffy dutko, forward slash active campaign. And you guys can go a bit more information about what we’re talking about visually here.


Chris Davis: [00:37:53] Yeah, and as a marketer, I can’t stress the importance of having access to your contact, email and revenue data all in one place. OK, extra if you can take action on it. Right. So you all add that extra step. And I love it, man. I think that I’m biased. I think that engineers make the best entrepreneurs and I think marketers make the best software, you know, prove me wrong, feel a certain way about it. But I just it’s something about walking the walk, man. And we can see it. I can see it. At least I’ll say with how you all are building up the app. What’s next for Spiffy? There’s there’s oh, you’re the visionary man. I know. You see, you’ve got probably like a hundred features that you’re taming yourself so that you don’t get overwhelmed to get ahead of yourself. But if you could share whatever you’d like to share with our audience, what are some upcoming features you guys are looking to launching and releasing, by the way, on top of your already updated drag and drop builder for your payment pages? Order bumps up sales, by the way, everybody. And you can tag appropriately based on the payment like this. There’s a whole bunch of features already in there against Biffy that go you can go and see a list of all of them, as well as everything that they integrate with. What’s next? What what are some of the things that that are getting you excited that that you’ll be able to launch for the remainder of twenty twenty one?


Michael Hunter: [00:39:35] Yeah, I mean, we have a pretty aggressive roadmap. I mean, we’re basically on a three to four week development cycle, so every three weeks are rolling out like a solid update at the bottom of our website in the Futter, there’s a link to our roadmap and we publish our next 90 days worth of development spread there publicly. So you can always kind of keep tabs on what we’ve launched recently and what’s kind of on the next 90 day roadmap. Yeah, and, you know, this year is a big focus for us to continue to innovate in the checkout space. And or we’ll have we just rolled out an integration with KJB and integration with member press. So we’ll have a lot more direct integration with content delivery. Well, in our next update, I think coming out in the next week or so, yeah, we’ll have the ability to embed one click up cells so you can have full control over your upswell process. And, you know, just to more integrations with more tools. We integrate with all the top CRM tools. But right now, the products that are really good place, like you said, offer bumps up, sells options, being able to tag based off of what they select.


Michael Hunter: [00:40:42] Another big initiative for us by the end of the year is being able to build logic or relational, you know, kind of a dynamic checkout process based off of, you know, hey, if they select the offer bumph, don’t show them the up sell. They don’t select the offer, but those types of things. So those are all been on the roadmap since day one. And our goal is to bring that level of sophistication, which currently with other systems either isn’t possible or requires custom code. And a developer just like bring those types of things to the mommy blogger or the non-technical person, the CEO that just retired and just wants to do some consulting. You know, whatever the scenario is that it’s not. It’s a non-technical person in twenty twenty one. Those things should not be difficult. And so that’s kind of the trajectory that we’re on and some of the things that we’re really excited about rolling out this year, there’s obviously a lot more than that that I can’t disclose. But some of the things.


Chris Davis: [00:41:43] Yes. So I know it’s probably straightforward and known by now, but is there anywhere that if somebody wanted to find out more about Spiffy, sign up for an account, is there any particular place you would recommend that they go or preference to go


Michael Hunter: [00:41:59] To check out our website? Spiffy.co There’s a recorded demo. You can schedule a live demo, you’ll hop on a call with me or someone else from our team. And we have a 30 day, one hundred percent money back guarantee. So we don’t really have a free trial. But you can sign up for an account, set up for a monthly account, kick the tires on it for 30 days, ask questions or support team. We can hop on a Zoome call with you to help you get set up and running up and up and running off to the races. And if it’s not a good fit, like we’re in the business of helping people make money. So if it’s not the right tool for you, we’ll help you figure out which one is. And here to play a role in helping you succeed online.


Chris Davis: [00:42:37] Yeah, man. Man. Thank you. Thank you, Mike. And I want to say this to everybody. Take him at his word. Take Mike at his word. Go try it out. My I’ve just been in this space long enough. People ask what I use. They they want I don’t even recommend anything anymore until I know about their process and strategy. I just don’t because I don’t want you to look at me as as the model, because your strategy may require something totally different. And like you mentioned, I may be talking to somebody who’s not as tech savvy as me. I can’t be in the right knowledge. Recommend what I’m using to be like, oh, yeah, just sign up for this. This isn’t that right? So. Right. I don’t know what you all need, but listen to my take. A man is where he is a trusted resource for me. Like I trust my. OK, so try it out. Go go to go to spiffed. Go try it out, see if it fits your marketing strategy. And just like you heard him say, get a call. And if it’s not a good fit, it’s not like he’s going to be like, hey, well, it’s your fault. Just stick with us. You know, it’s all about success. And I love when we have founders like yourself that are committed to increasing conversions in other companies currency more than you are creating more than you are concerned with creating more customers. So, Mike, I can’t thank you enough man for coming on to the podcast. Always good to connect with you, man. Thanks, man.


Michael Hunter: [00:44:13] Absolutely. Thanks for having me. It was


Chris Davis: [00:44:15] Fun. Yes, always in it. What I like about this podcast is people get to see a little bit of like the entrepreneurial day to day conversations that we have. You know, like this is real stuff. It’s not always about conversions, man. It’s a man being about position on. Thinking about moving into software, I need a productize like these are serious questions, and if you don’t have these questions, everybody, I really recommend you getting connected in community or with people who are thinking higher, higher than that if you haven’t asked the questions that we’ve asked today. So with that being said, Mike Man, thank you again, man. I’ll see you online. And best of continued success to you and Jeremy with Spiffy Man.


Michael Hunter: [00:45:05] Thank you so much for having us. We’ll talk again soon.


Chris Davis: [00:45:08] Thank you for listening to this episode. I hope that you’re starting to see a theme just with all of the guests who are founders. And when they start to talk about it’s more than making money, it’s it’s even more than marketing and sales. Right? It’s having that vision and understanding. You’re building a business. OK, it was great to touch those aspects with Mike today on the on the podcast. And I mentioned it. I mentioned it in the podcast. But it’s worth repeating. Make sure that you do a thorough assessment of these tools yourself. Now, we do have the podcast that says that where I document who is good to make these assessments, and it may just work out that you’re not the best to assess technology for your business, but at least you can send this podcast to somebody who can. And speaking of which, who needs to hear this? Who do you know, they’re struggling, taking payments online. Right now, they want to go online and they just don’t know how to how somebody puts their credit card information and it goes into their bank account and it adds them to their CRM. If you’re a marketing consultant, what are you using? Spiffy May spivvy checkout’s may be another tool that you can recommend to your clients for an easier transition or easier integration with what they’re already doing. OK, so share this share this episode with them, help them make the best decision for their business. And for my first time listeners, you just congratulations. You just completed your first your first episode. So now is the time where I invite you to join the family of listeners.


Chris Davis: [00:46:57] All systems go family of savvy business owners, small business entrepreneurs and marketing automation professionals who get this type of training every week. Every Thursday, we release a new episode. So make sure you now go and subscribe and leave your five star rating in review. OK, here at Automation Bridge, we’re dedicated to training digital marketing professionals to become automation service providers and automation. Service provider is somebody that understands strategy just as well as they understand the technical logical landscape available to small businesses right now and can take those to marry them in a way to deploy automated marketing and sales systems in your business for rapid growth. So if that’s you, if that is I just described what you aspire to be, what you are operating now as, and you want to be more intentional with getting some formal training community and just guidance on how to have this career successfully. I want you to go to AutomationBridge.com/ASP ASP for automation service provider. That’s AutomationBridge.com Fortgang AXP to take the next steps to talk to potentially talk to someone on my team or myself to assess if you be a good fit for any of our current program offerings. OK, we’re also accepting guests for the podcast. So if you are are, you know, another SaaS founder like Mike Mike for that has marketing our sales software. We love to discuss their software and their journey. The more software, the more satisfied. As you all can send me on the podcast, the more I can have conversations like this. So you can get to know not just the tool, but the people behind them understand their vision and get some confidence knowing that, OK, this tool is going to be around.


Chris Davis: [00:48:55] And I and I agree with their development cycle. Right. Also, if you’re a marketing automation consultant, experiencing some success, any level success with your clients and you like to share that with the collective audience, we all need to hear about it. OK, learning about success, hearing it creates an environment where you can soon embody it. So if you’re that SAS founder, you know one or if you’re that marketing automation consultant, both go to automationbridge.com/guest, submit your information so that you can be a guest on the All Systems Go podcast. All right. Let me say this. For those of you who are struggling, who just can’t seem to get automation in place, I understand your frustration. I know that the need for for somebody who knows how to do automation has is greater now than it’s ever been. Let me tell you, help is on the way as people listening here are going to automation bridge.com/asp. And those of you who need help are reaching out directly to us here at Automation Bridge. We are doing our best to serve the market. Just just know that you’re not alone and we are on the job. All right. All the show notes and podcasts are accessible at AutomationBridge.com/podcast. You can subscribe there and listen to all the other episodes at your leisure. So until next time I see you online automate responsibly friends.


You'll Learn

  • What conversion-optimization is and how it can help you maximize sales
  • A step-by-step breakdown of Michael’s migration through various phases that transitioned him from freelancer to agency
  • How Michael and Jeremy bootstrapped a software business and what drove them to do so
  • What takes Spiffy Checkouts to the next level and sets it apart from other payment processors
  • A summary of what’s happening in Online Businesses in 2021 as well as new trends

Today's Guest

Michael R. Hunter is Co-founder of Spiffy Checkouts and founder of PersonalBrand.com. Over the past decade, Michael worked with a wide range of online entrepreneurs and has an impressive track record. Having helped people make their first dollar online, all the way to working with house-hold names like Brendon Burchard, Oprah, Larry King, and others; Michael has a unique perspective for what it takes to create a successful business and life.

Resources Mentioned

Want to Be a Guest On the Podcast?

We're currently accepting guests for the podcast that are SaaS owners, marketing automation consultants, and digital professionals that have produced high results with automation.
If that's you, or you'd like to recommend someone, click here to apply to be a guest.

About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant