Episode Description

Ep. 86 – In this episode Chris is joined by one of his favorite marketers from the ActiveCampaign community, Kay Peacey. Kay is a Certified ActiveCampaign Consultant and an experienced digital marketer. Sit back and enjoy this conversation, whether you already utilize ActiveCampaign or are just now hearing of it, as Chris and Kay give a holistic perspective to leveraging automation, as well as a few things to be mindful of.

Check Out Our Show Notes

Narrator 0:00
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 sale systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.

Chris Davis 0:32
Welcome to the our systems go podcast. I’m your host Chris L. 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 and automation service providers. And if you would like to become one or find out more what is an automation service provider, I invite you to visit automation bridge comm forward slash a s p. If you’re new to the podcast, make sure that you subscribe and share once you’ve listened to this episode in its entirety. Okay, at the time of recording the All systems go podcast is free to subscribe to. And you can find the show and all of your main podcasting apps like Apple podcast, Google podcast, we’re on YouTube, you can subscribe on YouTube. If you are a listener and you’ve not subscribed, what are you waiting for? Join the family of listeners that receive notifications as soon as a new episode is released every Thursday. So while you’re at it, your five star rating and reviews are greatly appreciated. If for any reason you have any issue, leaving that five star rating and review we’ve got you covered you can go to automation bridge comm forward slash review. Alright, in this episode, I get to nerd out a bit with one of my favorite marketers from the Active Campaign community, kay Peacey, and k is a certified Active Campaign consultant and an experienced digital marketer. 1000s of businesses have relied on her to help them with their Active Campaign. And she knows things that constantly undermine the performance of a business looking to leverage Active Campaign. She’s a lifelong teacher, and her joy. It comes from empowering businesses to fix problems themselves, so they can manage their Active Campaign accounts confidently and successfully. That’s today’s episode. Enjoy the conversation between Kay. Okay, welcome to the podcast. I am excited. I’m glad and I’m looking forward to what you’re about to the value that you’re about to bring to our listeners. And how are you doing?

Kay Peacey 2:59
I am doing great, thank you. I’m thrilled to be talking with you. Because I’ve been following you for a long time. We’ve had this chat before. And we were like I was like tiny germinating baby Automator when when I found your stuff and and it was just immediate connection with the way that you talk about automation and everything that you feel and believe about it. So it’s just great to be hanging out with you on the podcast. Yeah,

Chris Davis 3:29
it’s great to have you equally and listeners. We can I were connecting before it before we started recording. And we were just talking about her evolution. You know how she said she was a baby Automator? And I said yeah, and you’ve really grown up. She said, Well, more so like mutated. That was hilarious to me. Because it really is. It’s It’s It’s this process of becoming this thing that you in the beginning you’re like, I’m gonna start this automation journey, and this is what it’s gonna look like. And somewhere along the lines, it doesn’t quite match that but it’s it ends up being better though, right?

Kay Peacey 4:13
Like, so much so much better. Honestly, I if you’d asked me five years ago, what I would be doing now it would not include ninja Active Campaign queen. There was just no way I didn’t even know. I genuinely did not know that automation was a thing. Yeah, that’s all. Yep. So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s thrilling. I love it.

Chris Davis 4:35
Yes. So this is going to be a treat everybody. For for my Active Campaign community. This you you guys are going to start salivating now and for anybody else that’s just like, oh, what is Active Campaign or Hey, I use that. Just sit back and enjoy this conversation because we’re going to give you the goal here is to give a holistic perspective on automation. Where Active Campaign plays a part in this this complicated landscape, you know, and then give some real life case studies with you being that case study of how you’ve leveraged it, you know, for yourself. So I think that people need to hear that they need to reduce the overwhelm. But before we get into it, I’m already getting ahead of myself, because I’m excited. Tell us a little bit about your background and your business.

Kay Peacey 5:30
Okay, so I am in the UK, you’ve probably guessed that from the accent. I’m right down in the little southwest corner of the UK in a very rural area, called Cornwall is a tourist area. Very pretty, very beautiful. Actually, we have g7. The big summit is being held in court right now. So we’ve had a lot of military helicopter action going on, which is unusual for us. But what we also have a superfast digital broadband now, we didn’t have that when I was growing up here. And I originally trained as a teacher of mathematics. Oh, yeah. And so the thread is run through everything for me is always been teaching. So I started out trading as a math teacher, and I taught teenagers in school. And it turned out the teenagers didn’t like me so much. And it wasn’t a great relationship, you know how some people just have classroom control, and other people just don’t, I was missing that particular pattern. So I came out of schools, and I moved into the very early days of E learning. Open University in the UK, I was working online at the time reaching adults across the country. And so I switched into adult learning and into the really early days of online e learning education for some really big institutions in the UK, like the NHS and the Open University. So that was great adults. Yeah, I can teach adults pretty much anything. If you’re even one step ahead, and the person wants to learn, and you know how to unlock learning for people. That is the thread that’s run through everything I taught. And later on, I ended up leading a community choir and you teach singing, it’s this, it’s all the same principles, right? It’s helping people understand that they can learn how to do this, every you know, so long as you have the right instruction in the right order at the right pace. That education, you want those skills, you have the right person in front of you, and you can make that happen. And that has that’s been a thrill for me for always. Wow,

Chris Davis 7:34

Kay Peacey 7:34
Yeah. So I wound up with this sort of jigsaw career over the years. And then I had kids. And I go, I also got quite disabled for a while. And this is actually relevant, because what that gave me was like a hiatus period in my life of about maybe 10 years, where I really couldn’t work full time, or, you know, I certainly couldn’t have been in a classroom. You know, and I was actually wheelchair using for a time as well. So, and especially with being in a rural area that it really limits what you can do. Yeah. So there was this long period where I was not able to work full time, but I was still doing other things like I was a senior examiner for mathematics exams. And I was leading this community choir from the wheelchair, which is fun. And just that we had some great times along the way. And then I sort of got to the end of that, and then sort of accidentally, completely accidentally fell into the lap of Active Campaign land. thing we’re going to talk about more later on. Yeah. And my, my health problems got fixed, thank you, NHS, I had some major orthopedic surgeries. And that meant that the pain went away, I could walk again, it’s, it’s genuinely it’s transformational, when you’ve been through something like that for such a long period of time. And then you get to a point where you can actually use your brain and work and be productive and connect with people again, and you throw into that superfast digital broadband. And suddenly, from being a stay at home parent who’s a wheelchair user and has no career and very little income, suddenly you can transform from there to to being where I am now. It’s incredible to me that that is possible.

Chris Davis 9:24
I love it. I Oh man. It’s it’s the hero’s journey. Right. And so for you Okay, what was that gateway into Active Campaign? Right? What what I’m realizing is that some of the best automators you know, I like to call them automation service provider, but some of the best automators have some form of technical or scientific background. I’ve had people who are IT professionals. Analysts business And not as a business analyst, but analysts were they just live in spreadsheets. You yourself a mathematician, I had a, what kind of scientists was that? I can’t remember what kind of scientists it was engineers, all the math and science realm, you know, in technology seems to birth, some of the best automators. So what was your gateway?

Kay Peacey 10:24
This is the systems thinkers. It’s my, for me, it comes down to aptitude. Right? And so my background is mathematics and music often go very hand in hand. So if you’re arranging music is the same principles. You’re looking for relationships and patterns, and how to break things down. Teaching also really plays into that, how do I break this down into steps? Teaching is just another process. So for for me, I think it’s people who are systems and process driven. And that’s always been my thing. In every single role I was ever in, I was always the one going like, Oh, we could do this better. We could do this more efficiently. I’m just going to build your custom spreadsheet, I’ll teach you how to use it. Or you know, that filing system is not helping us. Let’s build a better one. And actually, for me, a lot of it comes back to you. I am impatient and lazy. I don’t like daring to do the same thing twice if there’s a better way.

Chris Davis 11:20

Kay Peacey 11:21
efficient. Yeah. efficiency for me is basically driven by laziness, and impatience and frustration with errors as well, if you’re a bit perfectionist, that needs you to seek out reliable robust systems to get this stuff done better, faster, without the errors, right? Yeah,

Chris Davis 11:39
yeah. So you like me, we’re being primed by your professional experience, and just your career and your focus at time for a space that you didn’t even know existed? No, man, I

Kay Peacey 11:53
have no idea that that 10 years in my life, where I’m busy being ouchie, and not going anywhere the world carries on without you. And when I came back into the tech space, I genuinely had no idea that these things existed at all. I just, I knew that stuff had moved on, you know, I had an iPod. I knew that websites had moved on from raw coding into HTML, which I had taught before. So you know, I knew where it had been 10 years ago, but that 10 years, goodness me, what a shift what a shift. And like you said, automation, particularly automation for small business simply did not exist at that time. Yeah,

Chris Davis 12:38
yeah, it was, it was totally new. So for you, you’re coming out of a transition from one career? And then you find yourself in front of Active Campaign. Was that from a client? Was that just from you browsing the interwebs? Like, what was that event?

Kay Peacey 12:57
You’re gonna like? This is so accidental. Honestly, there’s a lot of serendipity in play here. So I live in tiny little Cornish town called Foy. And my kids are at school with some other kids and their mom is Melissa love. And our kids were doing this after school Spanish club together. And Melissa had been banging on to me now and again, about her digital marketing business. I was like, I don’t even know what a web like website template is. I don’t know what you’re talking about. But yeah, it sounds great, Melissa, yeah. Yeah. Anyway, she realized that I was getting better from my hip problems. And I was sort of scared scanning around for something to do. I’m like, I don’t want to substitute teach, I don’t really want to go into the choir leading thing any more than I’m doing. I was looking around for something. And she had been looking really hard for someone to work Active Campaign for her. And she set her BDI on me and literally sitting around the kids are over there. were pretending to be listening to the Spanish lesson, but actually having a gossip. I just said, Hey, why don’t you take a run at this? I can’t find anyone to do this. And you’re a smart person. And I think you can do this. Yeah. And yet at that time, she had no idea that I had been a teacher or that I had been involved in it education or elearning. And literally kids friends on the school run, right. And so she pointed me at Active Campaign and taught me a lot in a really short period of time. Because she knows ever such a lot about marketing. She actually runs a membership now called the marketing fix. And her patients with me in that first six months is extraordinary. Because without that there’s no way that I could have built the knowledge and context of small business marketing world. You know, what, how does it all fit together? And where does automation fit into this? Where do Facebook ads fit into this website, that sort of Holy Trinity almost of things that glue together to make a small business marketing ecosystem? Yeah, that’s it. months was pivotal for me in understanding this. And as part of this, she pointed me to Active Campaign says go figure out how to use this. That’s it. Yeah. That was the brief. Yes. So naturally, I found your podcast at this point. Yes.

Chris Davis 15:16
Yeah, yes. Oh, wow. And, okay. Because this is good. This is good. I hadn’t I hadn’t thought about, I didn’t know we were going to go here. But in that journey, Kay, if you could go back in and think about the fear and the overwhelm of a client, giving you this huge responsibility, because they see something in you that you may not have been aware of yourself, but they’re like, if she could just get this tool, if she could just do this, she would be perfect. And you’re thinking, what is this? What are that? Why are they asking me? Right? Yes. So talk through that a little bit. Like what made you say, you know, what, I am going to conquer this and and go and listen to the podcast and, and immerse yourself in the community and really take that challenge on by the head?

Kay Peacey 16:16
Or it’s such a good question. Because it’s, it’s a sliding doors moment, right? You could go either way, then because Active Campaign, when you look in is frankly terrifying. If you imagine coming into that knowing nothing about business, or marketing, or websites, or any of the tech for the last 10 years, is a big deal. So there’s, there’s a big element of serendipity and sheer gung ho, throw yourself at whatever comes in your path, which has been my guiding star, I’ve had a lot of serendipity through my career, you know, something happens, someone says, Hey, have a go at this. I’m like, Okay, I’ll have a go at that. I like it. I thrive on that. Fun. The curiosity is where I got pinged with Active Campaign, because when I first started using it, and I started to see what it was capable of, and where it fit in. It was just Whoa, total ahead, exploding moment of Oh, my God, this thing’s amazing. And then I got really curious. And that’s when I started really digging into what the community was sharing about Active Campaign and what the potential is, what that what that platform can do. And the creative ideas and the things that you can achieve for a small business. The like the democratization of automation fascinated me, right from there, I was like, Oh, my God, we can do some stuff that the big players are doing these huge global companies that are able to do this incredible joined up synchronized stuff around their ecosystems. I was like, Oh, my God, wait, we can do this. We have the Ferrari right here. And I was like, Melissa, we can we can do this really cool stuff with this. Yeah. And because because I was coming out of the disability, I was still recuperating, at this point, didn’t have a lot of stamina. But what I did have was huge amounts of time. And this genuinely, like my brain had been on muscles, because when you have a lot of pain, you can’t think you just you can’t write doesn’t work that way. It didn’t for me anyway, maybe not everyone, but I my brain didn’t work the same way. And so in this period, it’s like a, like a real rebirth. not to get too hippy, but it is it’s like a rebirth, your brain comes back to life. And it just firing on all cylinders of like, Whoa, I can think again. And look, I can do this cool stuff that no one else seems to be able to do. And that is a huge thrill. And is excitement validating. And suddenly you have this worth and value to someone. And that just once that starts feeding on itself. I mean, I’m not saying that I recognize that immediately. It took me a long time to understand that what I had was valuable. Melissa was telling me that right from the start, she was very clear, she spotted it really early Active Campaign is a killer, good tool. If you learn how to use this. Give it a couple of years and you are going to be in massive demand. And I was sure right. Yep. Whoa, boy did that come.

Chris Davis 19:29
She was spot on. I you know, it’s so funny because I had a similar experience when I was learning ontraport my gateway was through office autopilot when it was called that and I was at entre Palooza and it was Brendon Burchard, you know, and he was on the stage just encouraging everybody. You guys are going to be the future every small business is going to need you. And I was just looking at his first conference. I’ve been to first internet marketer millionaire person who was inspirational from the stage. And I’m trying not to, like feed into all the hype, but I was I just believed I did, I believed it. And we both stand as, as examples in proof that this space is here. And Kate, the beautiful part about it at the time of this recording was We’re in 2021, for anybody listening to this in the far future. At the time of this recording, we’re still getting started. We’re getting exciting.

Kay Peacey 20:33
I get this this great thrill now of bringing other people into automation and saying, Hey, guys, this is really cool thing. So I’ve got my other mums school friends who are returning to work now after raising their kids. I’m like, Hey, he’s quite tacky. Yeah.

Chris Davis 20:52

Kay Peacey 20:54
Get into air table and Active Campaign and integration and zapier, unlike you are going to be gold dust, because there are not many people with these skills. And it’s really interesting to me that women adult return is particularly a really well positioned to just jump in. Yep. Absolutely. I’m always thrilled by the speed with which you can get yourself to a point where you are so skilled. Yes, things if you learn the right things, and you are prepared to be curious, creative, learn from the community and get your get in there and play. Yes, right.

Chris Davis 21:31
Yes, you gotta you have to enjoy the play. Oh, Yeah, it’s in the plane that you figure out. All right. That’s why I can really do, right. Yeah. Oh, I was just you. And here’s the thing, okay. You’ll be sitting, watching TV, walking your dog, maybe you’re doing something totally unrelated. And the idea, the inspiration will hit you. You’re like, I wonder if I can do that. Right?

Kay Peacey 22:00
That’s exactly it. Yeah, that’s what it’s like inside my head. And it’s pretty constant. Actually. I think one of one of my clients referred to was stunned one day where it’s something I figured out how to do. So how did you even think of that? And I said, it just it was genuinely in the middle of the night I woke up and I knew how to do that. Yeah. And she said, You have got the weirdest brain I have ever come across. But oh, my goodness, I’m loving it.

Chris Davis 22:29
And I have to say this. two things. One shameless plug. The reason why I even created the automation service provider program, was because I knew that the next generation was going to go through a similar phase that you’ve gone through that I had to go through with it with the largest startup, where you’re the sole one responsible for the automation, and it’s overwhelming. And sometimes you just need somebody to say, hey, that’s right. Or hey, can’t do it that way. Because you don’t want to go to the CEO with that, right? You don’t want to go the person who put you in place, you need that space.

Kay Peacey 23:08
And you need, you need the security, and you need a lot of trust as well. So for me, I’m just Melissa love again, without her trust, letting me learn in her Active Campaign account, I would not have been able to explore and play and push it as hard as I did. And that’s really how I was able to get here so quickly, is by having that space in which to learn and grow without being judged or when things went wrong, which they did. And they will they do? They do. But I tell you what I love during now is being aunty kay who gets to hold people’s hands when they are learning how to do this stuff, because it is terrifying. And I think especially for business owners, who are these crazy, incredible, talented, wonderful people in their niche, doing their thing driven by their passions, running a whole business, and trying to automate and learn how to use Active Campaign. Yeah, that is a big ask.

Chris Davis 24:08
Absolutely. Absolutely in the arm. The second thing I want to say that’s in line with what you’re saying is, for those of you listening, who have somebody manning your Active Campaign or your your marketing automation platform, or you’re looking listen to how Kay is talking about how her mind works, the things that she’s excited about, you want to tinker if, if you’re not the technical person, you want to tinker you want somebody that’s going to go in and enjoy. You don’t want the person that’s doing it because they have to. Well, they told me to go figure out how to integrate Active Campaign with kajabi. Let me know you want somebody who’s like oh, I wonder what we could do here.

Kay Peacey 24:54
Yes. curiosity. Yes. And then That problem solving creative thinking, which is why engineers I think are really good at it. Because that’s what they do they find a creative way to get this. You know, you lay out a table of kit in front of them, where it’s like come diet and not not come down with me this Ready Steady cook, where they’ve got a table of ingredients, and you got to figure out how to produce a great meal from what you’ve got in front of me.

Chris Davis 25:21

Kay Peacey 25:22
Oh, what can I do with this? How can I put these things together, and you try something and you got to be ready to fail as well. You have to be able to try stuff and know that it’s gonna break nine times. And then you get to the happy game dance when it all comes together. And there it is. It’s done.

Chris Davis 25:39
Yep. Roll it out. Yeah, that’s it. So that That in itself could have been this podcast, but we’ve got more, we got more everybody. I just love, I love where we’re naturally going, Okay, because this is going to be so affirming, and, and, and put people at rest at ease. Who are I come across a lot of people who are taking on the marketing of solopreneurs, enterprises, startups, and the feeling is the same. It’s just like, I just want to make sure I’m doing this right, they see the opportunity, and they want to seize the opportunity. So I think that this, there’s a lot of consolation that there’ll be hearing in this in this episode. So one of the things about you, that I personally enjoy, is your intentionality around education. So your posts on social media, you know, the emails that you send in everything, they’re always contextual. And as an educator, I appreciate that, right? Because I can tell you about tags, I can tell you about it, I can tell you about all these features. But outside of the context, you’re not going to be able to unlock it in your business in the capacity that you need. So your your dedication and intentionality around education is refreshing, right in a line. So we’re definitely aligned there. How would you take your educational approach we need aunty Kay here now to help the small business owners who are listening to this podcast, understand this business automation landscape? And where Active Campaign fits in?

Kay Peacey 27:23
That’s such a good question. It’s a big question. It is a big question. How do we unlock that for the average small business and I have this conversation a lot. A lot with my friends who occasionally see something I post and say, I still don’t get it. What do you do? Yeah, and when I describe it to them, I talk a lot about Active Campaign is like the hub, the centerpiece, and all the spokes are coming off it. But you need some central thing that is like the Bible of your business that shows you everything that a person has done or experienced within your business. And that hub, if it’s connected to the other things that are in your business, because every small business now is made up of multiple little digital bits and bobs, right, like little cogs doing their own thing. If they’re all doing their own thing independently, that is really hard for you to manage as a business person, it’s like literally like spinning plates over here, over here, over here. If they’re all spinning off in different directions, that’s not going to help you, it’s just gonna make your life hard. If you connect all of those things to one central thing, in this case, Active Campaign, and have those things talk to each other automatically. Immediately, it takes away so much of the pain of running a business, and so much of the time drain of running a business. So to me, Active Campaign is pain relief for small business owners, it should feel great to have Active Campaign in your world. And I know it doesn’t feel like that the very first time you get in there. But if you are willing to take the time, literally just half an hour a day for a couple of weeks, to understand the place of the different things that are in there. Like you’ve got tags and contacts and lists and fields. If you are willing, as the business owner to take the time to at least know what these things are, and what they’re meant to do. Then you are in a position then to start to unlock what it can do for your business and get even if it’s not you who’s getting curious about it, but to find the right person to get curious about it. And to start looking at how can this hub that is joined up to all the other things, and it’s super clever. It’s going to keep an eye on everything for you. Right? Yeah, it’s gonna be pain relief for your business. Then you can start to find the pain points and think how can Active Campaign support me to relieve this pain point? Yeah, what can it do so For example, making appointments, loads, people discovered this during COVID. Like it was a new thing, right? Like, we’ve been doing this for years, guys, it’s great. Right? Right. Instead of, you know, playing phone tag with someone, and nobody wants to phone up to make an appointment, it’s horrible. We all hate it as customers and businesses hate it, because it takes a lot of time. You can have a calendar appointment tool, do that for you. You can embed it on your website, you can send people a prefilled link, they don’t even have to type their email address in there. Which means they can’t break it and do it wrong. Yes, okay. Yes. We love the pre fills, right? And actually, it’s not just pain relief for you in the business is paying really for your customer as well. Yeah, yeah. But you can’t start thinking about those things until you are familiar enough with the landscape of what is possible. And one of the best ways to do that I think is hanging out in these wonderful communities where where other people, other businesses are hanging out who are automating stuff, because that’s where you get the ideas from, that’s where you get the the inspiration of like, wow, oh, there’s this cool new tool, or I’ve got that exact problem. And this is how someone has already solved it. Watch the people who’ve already solved it. Don’t be reinventing the wheel.

Chris Davis 31:20
Yes, yes. And I’ll add to it, you know, when you when you’re talking about learning, just how to automate, you got to get exposed to as much as possible, right? There. Our brains, our brains are so unique. And you can ask one person to say, Hey, this is what I’m trying to do. How would you automate that? And you can get 20 different responses from 10 people. Right, like one person to have three different ways. Maybe one person is one way, and it could all work. So yeah, tell me tell me this K. It is overwhelming. Just that alone, maybe that just overwhelms them. I was like, how do you know the right way? I just what to do it right. You know, how do you think of that one? You know, we talked about the position that that that Active Campaign plays. And it’s that that hub, right? That done correctly implemented in your business can attach to all of the other operations in your business, and give you that synchronous operation, where data is being passed to and fro. And the end result is pain relief, right? When you said that I pictured, like, some pills with an Active Campaign label on it, like pain relief for your business free marketing, if they want to take that no, that’s ours. Right. But when you when you look at it, and you know the feeling k when someone unlocks it? You’re like, yes, the results. So tell me what you have seen are some of those stumbling blocks. When someone’s getting started that specific to Active Campaign that you see people make that you have to just kind of course, correct often. Oh, man,

Kay Peacey 33:07
I’m so glad you’ve asked that. Yeah, this is a big part of my first sort of my realizing that I was getting good at this was that I was answering the same questions again and again and again, in the Active Campaign Official Facebook group. Yeah, it’s the same pain points. And I was getting mad about it, not about answering the questions. But I was getting really mad about the fact that people kept having to fall into these holes. And this is not their fault, not their fault at all. You cannot be expected to know this stuff, unless someone actually tells you. I am on a mission, genuinely to tell people about these pins, I call them the bear traps in Active Campaign littered with bear traps and overwhelm unless you’ve got someone to just show you where the safe path is, it’s actually really fast and really easy to keep to the safe path. You just need someone to show you where it is. And it was making me sad that people kept falling into it. So just as a really simple example, the biggest one that I correct people on all the time, and that causes major problems for them if they don’t get a course adjustment early on is having loads of lists. I wouldn’t like a custom gift that says Antti cases no more lists were put out. No in the corner. Go on the naughty step. Do not build another list. And it makes me so cross because still I see people saying Active Campaign support told them to subscribe to a list. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. That’s an easy one and naming stuff. Naming stuff. Oh, I know. I see your eyes on that one. We think alike. I miss naming conventions. I you know, I had to learn all this stuff the hard way and the long way and I as a teacher as a lifelong educator. It’s just like mathematics. Just like teaching. mathematics to teenagers is the same thing. In mathematics, there are millions of ways to get to the answer. Some of them are a heck of a lot more reliable, faster and easier than others. But in most cases, to use the one that is fastest, easiest and most reliable, you have to spend at least a little bit of time learning, watching someone else do it. And understanding why it works. You don’t always have to understand the why. But it comes back to the context, context, almost always results in a stronger educational learning experience the pedagogy. Yeah, it’s also about finding the ways to present information in a way that they understand quite often when you look at the documentation for something like Active Campaign or their onboarding. And I think this is true of all of the big platforms, their onboarding is very technical, very dry. And it’s often completely out of context, because it has to be as their help docs, right? Yeah. And in a way, we shouldn’t be looking to them to teach us how to drive these things. They’re the the sales team and the manufacturers, their job is to build and maintain this incredible thing and tell you this button does this thing. That’s it, that’s the job.

Chris Davis 36:13
Yep, provide you with the manual, they’re not gonna show you how to drive, you get stuck in a ditch, they’re not gonna come out. And if that happens, it’s a bonus. It’s a cherry on top, do not expect it,

Kay Peacey 36:24
you know, expect it. Alright, so my primary mission right now is to get the learner drivers before they start bouncing off the hedge rows, which happens a lot in common, we have very narrow lanes. And I want to get to them before you start bouncing the core of the hedge row, so that you keep it in pristine condition, and you don’t then have to spend a lot of time effort and stress trying to fix it later. Because the problems that come for example, if you have a lot of less than your Active Campaign, you don’t see those problems until much later on. Which time getting the course correction is painful, even for someone with my level of experience, and I’ve untangled some real messy accounts. But it’s hard work. And it’s horrible. And I just would rather you didn’t get there in the first place. Much nicer than for everyone.

Chris Davis 37:14
Yeah, I love I love your analogy of the safe path and not stepping on those bear traps. Right. And as you’re talking, I’m thinking 100% agree, listen, they get out of control. It just is. And let’s be fair to the person who does it. The reason why I’m a firm believer in this case, the reason why it’s twofold. One is because that’s how email marketing works in most people from a MailChimp ConvertKit or, you know, some platform that use lists. So they’re just anchor lists for everything. The second part is more of an Active Campaign thing where lists are just more visible than segments. Yes. Oh, get me started on the visibility of segments. Right. This is, you know, anybody who is still at Active Campaign, when I was there will know of my passion of making segments visible and I wasn’t able to win that battle. But I get it from a user perspective, I can click on lists and see a number four where everyone is at, I cannot see that. With segments, I can see name. If I find it under list and hit the drop down to his segments. I can see him but even then I can’t see the number. Then I click on the segment. And all it does is tell me what condition I remember.

Kay Peacey 38:35
Literally on top of my wish list, I have a lengthy wish list from the use of things that I would change in Active Campaign, a lot of them around consistency of language and things like that there. This is why I call them bear traps. Yes, it does feel like entrapment. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’ve literally had these conversations with Active Campaign who I love and I advocate for and I’m an Active Campaign evangelist in the biggest way. But I also would really love it if we could have a segment manager, like

Chris Davis 39:07
it would take things to the next level, I believe it’s one of those core elements. It’s not like a feature. It’s a core element of automation.

Kay Peacey 39:17
And honestly, the thing that has fascinated me the most about so I made this little course called accelerated Active Campaign. Totally free to fix this issue and help me on my mission of not having to ask the same question a bajillion times. Again, born out of laziness, right. I didn’t want to keep answering the questions. So I made a thing that answered the questions. And people do this course and sometimes it’s really quite really very experienced Active Campaign people will find stuff in it they didn’t know because it’s it’s so well hidden. Guys, can you stop hiding the good stuff, please? Yeah, make our lives easier,

Chris Davis 39:52
right. Like help us help the customer stay with Yeah. Making my life hard here. Yes. And luckily I thrive on making stuff easier for everyone. That is my scale. That’s your embedded educator. And we have in our community, I’ve got a course that I created for resurrecting your list. I call it the list resurrection. And essentially, like, after everybody went through it, they’re like, actually, this is really good. And I’ll shout out Kronda she was the main one that said this, like, this is actually just like an Active Campaign best practices, like how to set up any account, you know, and I was thinking to myself, yeah, you’re right, I guess, you know, dual purpose or whatnot. Because a, the the bear trap that I will add to this conversation is, the most common that I see people make is they sign up for an account, and they go straight to the automations. They go straight to the Hey, I need this automate. And they’re in the automations, not knowing you got to set up a list first, not knowing that in order to set up a list, you got to have an address. You got to go over, you know what, I should probably throw this web tracking on my site. So if somebody does click the link, I can see, like, there’s all these other checks and balances that have to be in place. In case I didn’t even mention, why are you building without mapping out? Which, right, so again, there is I get it, I empathize with the user. And I say, I know I know. No shot, right. No shot toward you. I know. You’re just trying to get it done.

Kay Peacey 41:30
Yeah, I’m very big. no judgment, no tutting, no frowning, it is absolutely not the fault of the individual user. It was not my fault that I built crazy spaghetti automations and 10 lists in my first account and tags that had capital letters and small letters all over the place. And I got into a lot of messes. Which thank you again, Melissa love for being so incredibly forgiving. When I accidentally emailed 8000 people by having this subscribe trigger on automation. Oh,

Chris Davis 42:06
by the way, listeners, use the start trigger subscribes to lists very sparingly. I don’t have a single automation account that uses that. No, I never, you ever. Oh my goodness. I’ve never found a use case for it. Because it’s always a form or a tag or I’m adding from another automation. Yeah, but that subscribes to a list is so dangerous. Oh, trust me, trust me. Danger danger, should have a big warning sign over the top. Share, try write bad traffic. When you select subscribe to a list as a start trigger. That should be a big warning. There are many actions that subscribe people to lists. Yeah, just forms but integrations be sure. That is really

Kay Peacey 42:50
document the documentation is another big one is interesting what you said to me about a course that you’d created that then people were like, but hey, hang on, because this is actually an Active Campaign best practice, guys, because I’ve had exactly that. So I created a course that was on engagement and deliverability and how they fit together. That little the magic flywheel of engagement and deliverability. And you want to get it spinning the right way and, and not go in the vicious circle. Circle. So I created this course on it. And just as an aside, I mentioned in passing this air table thing that I created for documenting Active Campaign. I know you’re an air table guy as well. Love it. Oh, I love you. I think it was from one of your blog posts that I first saw it. Yeah. And then when digging was like, way it had all Antti case Christmases come at once. Anyway, I digress. So I’d created this table. I call it my roadmap, which I know is the wrong name. But that’s what I call it. And I mentioned it in passing, someone said, Hey, can we actually have this because that looks really useful. And it turned out to be one of the main selling points of the course is that that people need this, they need a way to document and hold on to and make notes on the relationships between the different things in Active Campaign. Yeah, because I was using it for years before they know when I developed this ridiculous thing to do to fill that gap isn’t we shouldn’t have to do it right. But we do. Now, as we approach the end that that is a gem, for I believe all of our listeners,

Chris Davis 44:25
that resource that you have that you have created, how can people get access to that? Okay,

Kay Peacey 44:33
well, that that resource is currently included with my better engagement and deliverability with Active Campaign course, that snappy name, but it does what it says on the tin which walks you through literally step by step, everything that you need to have in place and to understand in order to nurture and protect your emails to help them actually get to the inbox because you know, it’s so Important, right. And, again, this arose out of the things I saw people running into the bear trap, the bear trap is that you, you don’t know that you should be doing these things. Nobody tells you, they should be doing these things and build your emails in particular ways to protect and nurture getting to the inbox. And by the time you notice that there is a problem, it’s because you’re getting complaints of emails not landing and your open rates are dropping, and that is late in the day. And I would rather do prevention than cure. Yes, we can also do cure, if you’ve got a an issue with your deliverability, we need to understand or get to grips with the engagement in your account. The course fixes that too. But the idea is more that is prevention. And that air table template is included as a bonus. And I love it in that course.

Chris Davis 45:46
I love it. So make sure well, we’ll while we’re here, go ahead and give people the link because they may have heard that right now. Okay. And they’re like, what did you say? Where do I get it? Yeah, go to get that resource

Kay Peacey 45:58
if they just head to my website, which is slick business.co. And all of the resources are linked from the homepage there. And the course is called better engagement and deliverability for Active Campaign.

Chris Davis 46:12
Yeah, I love it. I love it. I as much of the trips and traps and everything that’s there, once you know, Oh, don’t do this, though. it unlocks a world of possibility. Much I do not know where I would be without the level of flexibility. And of course, the tinkering, right? And the evolution of software. If you’re not in a put if your business is not leveraging the technology that is afforded to us today, you are missing out. Oh, my goodness, I mean, active Active Campaign is centerpiece, as you mentioned, there’s so many other tools like using air table to really organize how things are interrelated. To your point with air table, I’ve created a air table database as well, that’s like, I call it an implementation guy. But it’s, if you use it, it literally plans out all of your automation to so you can hand this over. And it’s almost like automation by numbers. Yeah, right? Just like this, do this do that. I love it. So, Kay, look at all of these tools that we did not have five years ago, six, seven, right. And it is our playground now to figure out for these businesses, how to make them all play in a way that achieves what the business owner is out to get in a highly efficient and proven way.

Kay Peacey 47:48
Yeah. And I love that we have these great tools to play with. It’s exciting to me, and they’re all changing all the time air tables, bringing in automation. Yeah, that’s right. You can do great stuff with that. There’s always a but there’s always another bump in the road that you can smooth out when some new toy comes along. What can I do with this. And just come back to my website on the on the homepage, again, slick business.co. There, you would also find a link to the free course which is accelerated Active Campaign, which is it’s designed so that if you’re a complete newbie to Active Campaign, or you’ve never automated anything before at all ever, and have no idea what automation is, will literally show you how to do that, within that two week trial period. Right? Love it. But it also shows loads of things that are the best cookies in the jar along the way. And it shows you some best practice along the way as well. Someone described it as a little window into into my brain. And that’s, it’s like getting a little glimpse into a really experienced viewpoint of Active Campaign and what it can do. So if if you’re in the position where you don’t have a grip yet on what automation is and what it can do with your to do for your business. You want to get in and see some real examples in practice, get in there and play with a guide.

Chris Davis 49:10
Great. I love it. Thank you for sharing that resource, slick business co everybody. And Kay, I can’t thank you enough for coming on to the podcast. You represented Well, for all of those looking for somebody who can take on Active Campaign for you. Look, K is exemplary. And what are what are the next the next part that I love about it? Is that you’re intentionally educating. Right? It’s not just Hey, do this, do this. Do this. Okay, you’re good. Goodbye. Right? you’re educating to ensure that they own the understanding. Yeah, right. And this can be self sufficient. I love it. Thank you for being another voice out there. They all know me as an educator and they know my passion. And I’ve been, I’ve given myself an A today because I’ve been wanting to jump out my chair, four or five times, and I’ve stayed in my seat. But it’s always good to have another another brother and sister in arms on the battlefront helping the small bit. They’re wounded. They’re these wounded soldiers.

Kay Peacey 50:23
Just gonna look after them all and say it’s okay. You can do this. You just need someone to look after your bit. That’s all. Yes. So thank you for that. Thank

Chris Davis 50:32
you for all of your help in the various communities. And you also have a community of your own. What How does somebody get is that on your homepage? Or what’s what’s that?

Kay Peacey 50:41
It’s linked to from the homepage of my website. It’s called automate your business with Active Campaign, and it’s a Facebook community. And oh, my goodness, I love it. I love it so much. It’s like, it genuinely is having 1000 plus Active Campaign buddies to hang out with. Yep, yeah, we have, we have fun. I know, that probably sounds a bit alien. But we do have a lot of fun talking about automation, and how to relieve the pain of running our businesses and actually make it all feel lovely instead. And we do excited happy geek dances when we figure something out. And everyone looks after each other. So the more experienced hands looking out of newbies, and we kick it on to the next generation, because this is how we build the next generation of automation professionals into this brave new world of ever expanding automation. Absolutely. There are people in there who right now they’re running their own business, or they’re working in someone’s business, and they are getting excited about automation. And they’re the ones who become the next round.

Chris Davis 51:44
I love it. I love it. So by the time you are here, this, I’ll be in that community as well. By this is a good reminder for me to jump in. So drop by say, Hey, Hey, Chris, just listen to the podcast. I’m here to, you know, that would be so cool. Oh, absolutely. So okay. Again, thank you for coming on to the podcast. Thank you for, again, representing those who provide a service of automation the right way you’re not, you know, you’re not out for the money. You know, you’re not just selling tips and tricks and strategies of some guru said and just cloning and porting over automations. But you’re you’re taking the time, you’re taking the time and curing when necessary, but preventing always. Right, yeah. So if nobody has told you that, which I’m sure your community has you heard it from me, I appreciate it, I see the work. And I hope our listeners found immense value in just hearing a different perspective, a different brains approach to automation, and see the alignment and the differences and how you handle it. So greatly appreciate it. Okay, we’ll have all of these links that you’ve mentioned in the show notes. So all of you listening, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, you just click on the link, and we’ll take you to the case homepage where you can get all of these resources as well. So thank you very much, Kay, thank you so much, Chris. Total pleasure. Thank you. All right, thanks. I hope you all enjoyed hearing us talk about not just leveraging how to leverage Active Campaign, but also some of the things to be mindful of, right, and there’s a couple wishlist items in there. As well as with any growing company, my main concern is always losing touch with the users you know, it’s it’s very easy to get focused on growth and making more money arr MRR bigger offices, everything else. But there’s something to be said when a company maintains an ear to the ground to the moat the most important folks who are leveraging their platform for success of multiple businesses. So hopefully, we continue to see that trend across the board, not just with Active Campaign, but with all of the marketing and sales software that you all are using. So do me a favor, share this with whoever you know, either in your business or working in the online space that’s looking to leverage Active Campaign, you may you all may know or may not have known. I was there for three years I built out the entire Education Department created the education culture that exists today and is still growing and blossoming. So there is something to be said. If I was there, I you know, I did put my stamp of approval I use Active Campaign currently at the recording at the time of recording this podcast. And I will say it is a powerful platform, but you have to understand how to yield such power in your favor. Okay, so share this share this with the person who’s doing your Active Campaign account, or is is using Active Campaign for their clients. Here at automation bridge, we’re dedicated to training digital marketing professionals to become automation service providers using platforms like Active Campaign, small businesses, they need that if you can hear now, maybe the picture is clear. After you’ve heard the conversation between Kay and I, as a small business, you need marketers that understand the marketing technology as well as the strategy. Right, very strategic to deploy these automated systems for rapid growth. This is what small businesses need. So if that’s you, and you would like to supply that service of automation for yourself or your clients, I want you to go to automationbridge.com/ASP to take the next steps to explore and potentially talk to myself or someone on my team to assess if you’d be a good fit for any of our current program offering orofferings or packages. Okay, we’re also accepting guest for the podcast. So if you’re a SaaS, founder of technology in the marketing and sales space, okay, I’d love to discuss your software and journey or if you’re a marketing consultant, as K is experiencing success with clients you want to share with the collective audience. Either way, go to automationbridge.com/guest, I have to I have to say,

Chris Davis 56:26
I never I never thought the time that we’re in now would be here so so rapidly, so so much, so much in dire need. so desperate at times are these small businesses looking to leverage technology for their benefit? We need to be matching that demand. Okay, I’m seeing the demand raise and I’m serving it at the greatest capacity I can with my own hands. I would invite you to join me if you’re that digital marketing professional and you’re looking to automate your profitable processes your profitable ways of growing businesses using a proven framework. Definitely go to automationbridge.com/ASP. All of the show notes and podcasts are accessible at automationbridge com/podcast. You can subscribe there to listen to other episodes at your leisure. And again, share and do and get the word out help me get the word out. So until next time, I see you online. automate responsibly, my friends

You'll Learn

  • [5:30] Kay’s background and how she got started with automation
  • [9:24] Which qualities oftentimes produce a highly successful Automation Service Provider™
  • [12:38] How Kay was introduced to ActiveCampaign
  • [15:19] How to say yes and conquer a new system, software or challenge
  • [22:29] The reason the Automation Service Provider™ Program was created
  • [24:08] What to look for in a service provider when you are hiring someone to manage your marketing automation platform
  • [26:21] Kay dissects understanding the business automation landscape for small business owners
  • [31:20] “When you’re learning how to automate, you need to get exposed to as much as possible.”
  • [32:52] A few of the stumbling blocks you may hit when starting with ActiveCampaign
  • [42:06] One ActiveCampaign feature that Chris and Kay warn to use very sparingly
  • [42:50] An example of how to use Airtable in combination with ActiveCampaign for better documentation
  • [55:15] How to become an Automation Service Provider™

Today's Guest

Kay is a Certified ActiveCampaign Consultant and an experienced digital marketer. 1000s of businesses have relied on her for help with ActiveCampaign and she knows the things that consistently undermine the performance of businesses using ActiveCampaign. She is a lifelong teacher, and her joy comes from empowering businesses to fix problems themselves, so they can manage their own ActiveCampaign accounts confidently and successfully.

Resources Mentioned

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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