Mikael Thuneberg Supermetrics

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Hey everyone! Today, I share the mic with Mikael Thuneberg, CEO of Supermetrics, the number one reporting automation tool for PPC, SEO, social, and web analytics.

Tune in to hear about the rapid growth of the company, how the business has stayed relevant and innovative in such a competitive market plus how Mikael found the right product market fit.


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MIchael Litt Vidyard

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Hey everyone! Today, I share the mic with Michael Litt, Co-Founder and CEO of Vidyard. This is his second time being a guest on Leveling Up podcast! Check out the first episode with him here.

Tune in to hear how Vidyard found their market-fit, find out their current conversion rates and how the Vidyard is growing with collaborations and integrations with other companies.


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Dennis Mortensen

Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Dennis Mortensen, founder of x.ai, a revolutionary AI personal assistant.

Tune in to hear Dennis talk about how having 1,019 meetings in one year led to creating Amy the personal assistant, why they had to raise $44M in funding, the two major challenges of creating a simple concept, and how he effectively (and anally) manages his time.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Why x.ai Had to Raise $44M in Funding for Such a Simple Concept as Amy the Personal AI Assistant TRANSCRIPT

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Dan Reich

Hey everyone, today I share the mic with Dan Reich, Co-founder and CEO of Troops, an artificial intelligence assistance for work.

Tune in to hear Dan discuss his vision behind Troops and how the improving AI capabilities will completely change the way we use CRM software, his struggle with getting Troops on the growth curve and the eventual funding and tie-up they landed with Slack, and his management philosophies and hacks that help him be more productive on a day-to-day basis.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Dan Reich On How Troops Is Building Personal AI Assistants for the Workplace TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

3 Key Points:

  1. As a company, it is important to have the technology in place to help you execute your vision.
  2. With the future being in AI, we are going to be interacting with something much more conversational—not just fields and buttons.
  3. Being involved in a startup is like digging for gold—you never know when you strike gold, so you need to just keep on digging.

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How to Properly Onboard New Hires so They Can Hit the Ground Running

We have two new team members joining us at Single Grain this week, so we’re going to talk about how to properly onboard new team members.

How Do You Onboard a New Hire?

Before new team members even start, we make an onboarding checklist that basically outlines what kind of tools we use, how we communicate and some of the processes we all use internally. For example, we use a tool called 15Five. People fill out how their week went, what they were able to accomplish and give some feedback for the company. We also use Slack to communicate.


We’ll create a new Single Grain email for our new hires and then we’ll subscribe them to an email list that’s specifically geared towards onboarding. If you’re one of our new hires, you’ll get three emails and each email has a couple of notes. It could be how we do goals and OKRs, or it could be another video on how to communicate or how to use a few tools or how to be more efficient.

Learn More: How to Onboard New Hires

This way, every one of our new hires can hit the ground running. If it’s somebody who’s a little more junior that’s starting, I’ll make them a week-by-week plan about what they’re going to do.

Now, if I’m hiring somebody who’s more senior, someone who already has significant marketing experience, I’m going to ask them to craft a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan. Then in response to their plan I’ll craft an agenda for them to get started as fast as possible.

No matter who you’re hiring, you have to realize that onboarding, when done right, takes time. Even for sales people, we’re talking six months sometimes to get them fully prepared, although other people might only need a month or two to get really comfortable.

Whatever the case, it’s on you as the leader of the company to expedite things to reduce the time for onboarding as much as possible without sacrificing quality. Your job is to increase efficiency. We love Google Docs, by the way!

Related Content: How to Conduct Effective Interviews to Get the Best Hire

Free Solutions for Onboarding

Aside from Google Drive folders, we also have DropBox Paper and a bunch of checklists in there. For example, if you’re joining a PPC team, there’s a checklist on how we interact with PPC clients. If you’re joining as an operations person, there are some processes around that, too. There’s also a career ladder so you know where you’re going.

Using tools like Zenefits and Gusto for payroll and HR management make my life a lot easier. I might think about switching to a PEO later, which I can talk about in another post. The way things are set up now, Zenefits does the job.


You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Onboard Someone

When it comes down to it, onboarding is all about preparing people for your processes. And the only way to effectively do that is to have a process for onboarding, too. If you start new hires off and there’s no process and you’re kind of all over the place, that’s not a good first impression for them. And first impressions are everything. You don’t get multiple chances to make another first impression.

This is especially important to consider with virtual onboarding, where you don’t get an in-person connection (or lunch, or happy hours, etc.) with your new hire.

Learn More: How to Recruit Great People to Your Team

Ultimately, it’s your company. You want it to grow quicker, so it’s in your best interest that you’re investing in great people and onboarding them faster and more efficiently. There are a couple other things that we do, but that’s the gist of it.

Just make sure that people follow processes. Make sure that people follow their goals. Check in with them. See how they’re doing over time.

Sometimes people might view you as the leader and hold back information. Well, in that case, maybe you can have your number two, like an operations person, check in with them to see how they’re really doing, because you want to have a pulse on your company in general.

You want to make your company a great place to work so that you can take care of your customers.

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

The Benefits of Joining a Mastermind Group

You’ve probably heard of me talk about groups like Young Entrepreneurs Council or Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Yesterday, I had a really great EO meeting. It was probably one of our most productive meetings in a very long time, and everyone present gave a lot, took a lot, and learned a lot.

It’s the kind of mastermind session that makes me realize I shouldn’t try to figure everything out on my own.

While you may not qualify for EO or YEC yet, you can start your own mastermind groups. If you just Google “mastermind dinners,” you can get a lot of good insights. There are PDFs and checklists that you can steal and you can put like-minded people together. You can throw dinners, for example. Or you don’t even have to host dinners, maybe you guys could get together for drinks and just talk it through.

The Importance of Having a Meeting Agenda

All you need to do is make sure that you set some kind of agenda when you’re doing these meetings. For example, if you’re doing a marketing mastermind, you might start with a three-minute check-in using something like an iPad timer or a phone timer. That way nobody goes overboard talking about themselves.

Maybe the next item on the agenda is to put someone in a hot seat for 20 minutes or so. They talk about one thing that they’re struggling with and everybody can jump in and share their experiences in a tactful manner. EO actually has this protocol called the gestalt protocol. None of us are allowed to share direct advice. Instead, we just share our experiences and the listeners can draw whatever is helpful for them from those experiences.

Finally, it’s a good idea to follow up after the meeting by sending the group everyone’s contact info in a group email, or maybe just invite everyone who attended to a Facebook group or chat.

Learn More: How To Run Masterminds That Actually Bring Business Benefits (Templates & Agendas Included)

Why Masterminds Are Priceless

Joining groups like EO or groups of like-minded entrepreneurs is helpful because they know what challenges you’re going through, they’ve been where you’ve been, they know exactly what’s going on, and they can speak the same language. You might have some competitors there as well, but you’re still sharing knowledge, you’re being open, you understand that there’s a lot of business out there for everyone.

Entrepreneurship, to be quite frank, is a lonely game. When you’re able to get together in a room with 10-20 other entrepreneurs, those are your brothers and sisters.

One guy in my EO forum has a business that does over $200 million per year. So there’s people of all different sizes, and it’s good to hear their perspectives. I learned all sorts of stuff that I didn’t know (like what a cash flow forecast is, for example).

Of course, not anyone can join. There are requirements for mastermind groups like these. For EO and YEC, you have to have a business that does over $1 million per year, and I think for YEC you have to be invited and for EO you go through a interview process. Overall, I’d say YEC’s online forum is probably the strongest one for entrepreneurs and EO is great for in-person stuff.

There are a lot of great events, too, where you can meet people who will change your life.

Often, the people that you surround yourself with are the ones who are going to take you to the next level.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to isolate yourself from your friends or anything like that, but you are the average of the five people you hang out with most, right? So it’s good to be with these people. I see them only once a month, but we also meet up separately and on Slack as well (I definitely recommend putting together a Slack group).

Related Content: How to Structure a Mastermind Meeting

What Masterminds Have Done for My Business

Honestly, without EO,  Single Grain probably would have tanked when I took it over because when I started, this business was in the negative and EO helped me get through a lot.

Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why many heads are always better than one.

Keep in mind that I’ve been with EO for three and a half years, and over time your relationship with the group will change. When I started out, I was a new member learning everything I could from the vets. Today, I’m moderating a group, and I’m focused on keeping everyone in my group accountable for their own growth.

If you want to learn more about masterminds, check out Gazelles, which is run by the founder of EO, Verne Harnish. There are a lot of templates and resources that you can use, not just for masterminds, but also for setting goals for your business.

Learn More: EO & Gazelles Founder Verne Harnish Reveals How To Take Your Business From $1M to $100M

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

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Michael Sacca

Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with Michael Sacca. Michael is the president of Crew, a website that connects people with writers or designers for hire.

Listen as Michael delves into the reasons why relationships are key to building your startup, how starting a podcast (Rocketship.fm) helped him successfully grow his new business, how he grew Unsplash by 30% MoM, and the challenges of building a marketplace.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Crew President Michael Sacca Grew A Startup By Leveraging His Podcast TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

3 Key Points:

  1. Look for mentors and find a way to make it a win-win situation for the both of you.
  2. Make people feel valuable and they will gladly help you out.
  3. It is the responsibility of tech people to address the problems of other people.

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Travis Truett Ambition

Hey everyone, on today’s show we have Travis Truett, CEO of Ambition, an enterprise-grade sales productivity platform inspired by Fantasy Football.

We talk about how Ambition was able to triple revenue in just six months, how they use gamification to show the amount of revenue employees are making and increase ROI, how they grew the to a 7-figure company via word of mouth and customer referrals, and what they do to have a negative churn rate.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Here’s How Ambition Tripled their Revenue in just 6 Months and Scaled from a $1M to $10M Run Rate TRANSCRIPT

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Greg Mercer

Hey everybody, today on the show we have Greg Mercer, CEO of Jungle Scout, which helps Amazon FBA sellers find profitable product ideas, get sales data, estimates, and more.

In today’s interview we’ll be talking about how Greg acquired their first 100 customers by leading webinars with other people’s audiences, how they get conversion rates of 20% to 25% for their webinars when most people only get 10%, and how giving away value-packed information and content allowed them to hit $2 million a year in revenue.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: From 100-1,000 – How Jungle Scout CEO Greg Mercer Acquired Those First Customers with Webinars and Content Marketing TRANSCRIPT

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How To Run Masterminds that Actually Bring Business

What’s one of the most effective ways to stay on target for your goals and learn from like-minded people?

Mastermind groups.

But wait… what the heck is a mastermind group? A mastermind is a group of people who have similar interests and aspirations. Napoleon Hill from Think and Grow Rich describes it as ‘the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.’

Having been part of a few masterminds in the last couple of years, I can tell you that they’re incredibly powerful and will bring you business AND personal benefits.

Let’s talk about what some of these benefits are:

In this post, we’ll talk about how to get started with an EFFECTIVE mastermind group.

1. The Different Types of Mastermind Groups

First, there are a few different types of mastermind groups and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Established Organizations

Organizations such as Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), Young President’s Organization (YPO), World President’s Organization (WPO), and Vistage are all popular entrepreneurial groups that have been around for awhile. To qualify for these groups, your business needs to meet each one’s criteria. For example, EO requires businesses to do above $1.5M in annual revenues (or manage a certain amount of assets or have a certain amount of funding if you’re a startup).

Having been a part of Entrepreneur’s Organization for the last few years, I can tell you that the experience has been valuable because of the history of the organization. That history lends itself to well-structured processes and templates, incredible events, a network of over 10,000 entrepreneurs world-wide, and additional benefits.

The biggest benefit is having access to a group of people that you call your ‘forum’. This is essentially your mastermind. A forum can cap out at 11 people but includes individuals from different businesses and doesn’t allow for competitors. If you need more members for your forum, EO will send more people your way to interview them.

I’m a big proponent of structure because without it, most mastermind groups can fall apart. If you happen to meet the qualifications for these groups, I strongly recommend taking a look.

What I love about established organizations:

What I don’t like about established organizations (this is only speaking from EO experience):

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Facebook Groups or Private Forums

Private forums or Facebook groups are another great way to add and extract great value from your peers. For example, The Young Entrepreneur’s Council has a very engaging Facebook group where people willingly share their expertise with other members of the group.

What Is a Mastermind Group(1)

Hear about new events, press opportunities, business opportunities and more from a talented group with over 1,200 members. Here’s what the YEC membership criteria looks like:

Here are a few of my favorite Facebook groups:

As you can see from the above, my favorite groups are tailored to what I’m interested in (digital marketing). Although your taste will vary, just keep one thing in mind: if you aren’t getting value from one group, leave it as soon as you can. It’s VERY easy to get bogged down by the minutiae of noisy groups.

What I like about online groups:

What I dislike about online groups:

Slack Groups

Chat apps such as Slack are growing rapidly and that trend isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. It’s a simple communication tool where individuals can join chatrooms for their workplace or even join groups for subjects that they’re interested in.

Slack Chats are a great way to discover and join private Slack groups. Then there’s Slack List, which is a handpicked selection of the top Slack groups.

In case you’re wondering, it’s free to sign up for Slack (although there are pay-to-join groups too).

What I like about Slack groups:

What I dislike about Slack groups:

Self-organized Mastermind Groups

For me, I found that EO was like my own personal board of directors which was great for pushing my overall life forward but not so great for diving deep into a subject that I know well: growing businesses online. So I set out to create a mastermind group of like-minded individuals who had a solid understanding of digital marketing.

Here’s what I learned about setting a criteria for my own mastermind group (I’d recommend setting criteria for ANY type of mastermind group):

What I like about self-organized mastermind groups:

What I dislike about self-organized mastermind groups:

Bonus: Group Dinners

Back in 2014 at the Traffic & Conversion conference, I hosted a dinner with people from my mastermind plus others such as Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and Rick Mulready. It was a tremendous experience to gather people together for dinner just to build real-life relationships.

Think about it for a second: who wouldn’t want to be able to engage with others who are doing interesting work in the same space AND get a free dinner?

Here are some things to note if you want to host your own dinner:

Free Bonus Download: Get this handy checklist for building your own sales team – more actionable advice for a successful business! Click here to download it free.

2. Examples of Rules to Follow

Each mastermind group is different and has its own set of rules. I’m going to be specifically talking about rules for in-person meetings because forums and chat groups are typically more laid back. Here are a few guidelines to steal:

Here’s a pic of my group:

What Is a Mastermind Group(2)


3. Templates

If you’re like me, you like to just take templates and roll with it. Fear not, here’s a sample agenda template that you can deploy immediately to add structure to your mastermind:

What Is a Mastermind Group

Free Bonus Download: Get this handy checklist for building your own sales team – more actionable advice for a successful business! Click here to download it free.

This schedule is based on a 1-hour mastermind that can be done in-person or on the phone. Let’s go over each activity:

Bonus: Go Hang Out!

After a long meeting, it’s good to decompress with the group. It’s not all business 100% of the time; you’re hanging out with real people. I find talking to my forum mates and learning more about their lives is an incredibly rewarding experience because everyone is so different (the type of business they’re in, the stage of life that they’re at in, etc.).

Setting up a dinner after the meeting has always been effective. What better way to cool down than to break bread and have a few drinks with guys that you open up your heart to? Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

4. Tools To Use

If used efficiently, tools make masterminding A LOT easier. Here are a few from my toolbox in the last few years:


“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Hanging out with like-minded individuals is one of the most effective ways to grow both professionally and on a personal level. The different perspectives and ideas you get just from participating in masterminds is unlike any other. If you’re going to do something great, find a group of people and go do it together. You might just find some lifelong friends and opportunities you would’ve never dreamed of!


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