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Martech Stacked Episode 11: Is this the one app to replace them all? - Ashley Monk

Blog Post Author – David
6th August 2020

I’m joined today by a lady who specialises in helping companies get amazing leads with paid ads & social media - so they can make more money. She’s a marketing coach, a social media strategist and an agency owner - welcome to Martech Stacked, Ashley Monk from It Media.

Subscribe for free to listen to Martech Stacked on Apple or Android.

Here are the 3 top tools in Ashley’s current martech stack:

#1: SuperHuman A tool that claims to be the fastest email experience ever made

#2: ClickUp A tool that claims to be the oce app to replace them all

#3: Loom Video messaging for work

Full transcript:

David Bain: I'm joined today by a lady who specializes in helping companies get amazing leads with paid ads and social media so they can make more money. She's a marketing coach, a social media strategists, and an agency owner. Welcome to MarTech Stacked, Ashley Monk.

Ashley Monk: Thank you, David. Great to be here today.

David Bain: Great to have you on, Ashley. You can find Ashley over it So Ashley, explain what your business does and how you use marketing technology to make it better.

Ashley Monk: Absolutely. So the simple version is that we help business owners get their name out on social media. So that of course sounds a lot less complex, so we're able to do that though through organic social media content, paid advertising, in addition to other forms of automation. So our goal is to help companies identify exactly who their target audience is, and then determine a custom plan and strategy to help them get noticed online.

David Bain: And in general, is marketing technology absolutely key in order for you to be a success as a business, or are a lot of your processes are a little bit manual as well?

Ashley Monk: You know, I would say we rely on automation more than anything else. We'll always go in and we like to add personal touches here and there, but we would not be able to scale our company without all the automation tools that we use. So they really do make or break the success of our business.

David Bain: I'm sure there are parts of your business that you're more satisfied with than others from an automation perspective. So what parts of your business would you say are working really efficiently at the moment thanks to marketing technology?

Ashley Monk: Yes, we love it. I would say right now, first and foremost, our project management tool, we use ClickUp for everything, and our team lives inside of ClickUp. It's kind of like... Do you use any project management software yourself?

David Bain: I do, but I've changed tools quite recently, and I use a mix between different free tools, and I don't have one consistent tool that it's my go-to tool, which is possibly a mistake, and I guess you'll agree with me? Ashley Monk:

Yes. You know what? That was one of the biggest changes we've implemented as a company over the last several weeks, and it has been a game changer for us. As we've scaled, it has just simplified our process just to have everything in one place. We were using probably about 25 to 30 different automation tools at any given time, and we started looking at where all of our time was going and we were really spending a lot of time getting fatigued, switching between application to application. So we decided to go ahead and just to see what would happen if we put our CRM, our onboarding processes, and just other tools that we relied on outside into one tool, if that would streamline our productivity. And it did. So as we've brought people on, it has been a far more simple process to keep them in one place than it has been to show them application after application. So that has been going incredibly well for us at this time.

David Bain: Interesting. So I'm just looking at the meta description for that tool, ClickUp. "Our mission is to make the world more productive. To do this, we've built the one app to replace them all." Do you think one app can really replace them all, or do you find yourself using less apps?

Ashley Monk: I love it. So can one app replace everything? No. Actually, I'll take that back. I would say for some industries and some businesses, it can, but based on what we do in the marketing and the tech space, I think it is nice to have some different options to choose from. But we have been able to use ClickUp to replace our CRM, we've been able to use it to replace some of our intake forms and processes, in addition to even storing some of our documents there. We formerly used Google Drive and Dropbox and put a lot of stuff to the cloud, and having it in ClickUp has really made for an efficient process. We also use it for brain boards. We don't use it for our content and automation scheduling, and we don't use it for sending over contracts, but it has been a pretty robust tool for the organization and the project management side of things.

David Bain: How did you discover and decide to use ClickUp?

Ashley Monk: You know, it's funny you ask that. I have worked in so many different project management tools. I'm sure everyone's familiar with Asana or Wrike or Trello and you name it. Monday. We've spent time in pretty much all of them, and ClickUp came out a few years ago and with a calendar feature is really what intrigued us from the other platforms at that time, not many of them, or at least Asana, Trello, and Wrike did not have that calendar feature. And for us, we are huge believers in time blocking. It really makes a difference. So the way that we stay on track as a company is assigning each task an hour of the day. So within ClickUp, you can see your month, your week, and your day view. So I know for my planning process and what ultimately helped me decide to use the platform is on Sunday night, every week, I prep out my entire week where it's going to look. So I do that by identifying what my top three priorities are to accomplish, and then every task goes into a time slot based on those priorities, with the most important being time blocked into my calendar first thing. So ultimately that feature made it very simple for us to combine our Google Calendar and our Calendly with what we were doing in ClickUp so that we could very seamlessly schedule out our priorities.

David Bain: I love discovering tools, platforms that I haven't encountered before. I don't believe I have encountered ClickUp before, and the pricing looks very appealing as well. There's a free level. The initial paid tier is only about $5 a month or something like that. So you're not talking about a huge investment to move into that. So we dived straight into ClickUp as a piece of MarTech that you use. What number is that, though, in your suite of tools that we're talking about here? Is that number one, two, or three?

Ashley Monk: You know what, it's almost up there. I would say for our team as a whole, it's going to be number one, but for me personally, it is number two to an inbox management tool that I use called Superhuman, and Superhuman has revolutionized the way that I use emails. So I find myself being very systematic and innovative. I'm systems oriented, but I am not a detailed oriented business owner. So Superhuman is another tool that I rely heavily on that helps me get to inbox zero at the end of the day, nearly almost every day. It's an amazing tool. Have you ever used that one?

David Bain: I haven't, and I think you going to go for three tools that I haven't heard of before, which is quite impressive, or at least I haven't encountered that in our discussion so far.

Ashley Monk: I love it. Well you'll want to check it out. Superhuman's about 30 bucks a month, but basically it's almost... Do you ever play video games or any of your... Did you ever enjoy...I

David Bain: I did... I don't have a whole lot of time at the moment, so I certainly haven't recently.

Ashley Monk: That's valid. Well, the nice thing about Superhuman is basically, it's almost like a video game for your email, is the way that I put it because everything is based on key controls. So you can very quickly, if you... I write and pitch myself for a lot of podcasts and blogs, so I'll actually create what's called a snippet. So I can very quickly and easily link some of the comment responses that I send in emails within the platform and send them out very rapidly to large groups of people. So I have all of our social links saved as a snippet. I have my own bio saved as a snippet. It's how I got you all the information for this podcast so quickly and efficiently, but it really expedites the process. And also we've really used Superhuman and ClickUp to replace a CRM because of the email reminders and followups that you can do right within there. So for me personally, it helps me to get through my inbox significantly faster, just because of the key controls. I can hit them pretty quick and I've got pretty fast fingers compared to going in a CRM and doing all the other stuff.

David Bain: I'm not sure if you would approve of the way that I use my email because I tend to have lots and lots of unread emails. I just look at a subject if I'm not willing to open it or interact with it, I'll just leave it there in the inbox and use the search functionality to find email in the future.

Ashley Monk: I understand. That used to be me until I started using this app, and my goodness, our chief of operations was going crazy looking at my inbox. And she was like, "Ashley, you've got to fix this." Because I would use my inbox almost as a to do list, and people were just not getting responded to. So that helped me very quickly be able to connect, and it's also helped me close sales just because just like the subject line says, it's fast, it's super human. You get such a fast response that people are like, "Oh my goodness, that was incredibly fast." And it's a personal response as well, so it helps my sales cycle for sure.

David Bain: So is the website address there. Is there an alternative that you considered before moving to Superhuman or are you not aware of another similar service?

Ashley Monk: We used Shift for a while. Shift is like a dashboard. It's a desktop app that houses all of your other apps. It was nice from an application perspective. We had Loom on there. We had FullStory, which is screen analytics. We had some of our social media automation, our project management tools on Shift as well. The one nice thing about Shift was toggling back and forth between email addresses, but it didn't solve the issue of me being slow and not responsive in my email and following up with emails. So for Superhuman's ease of use and the command controls, I have yet to find an alternative that I can get through as quickly and efficiently.

David Bain: So we're going for you personally, having as your number one most important piece of MarTech, followed by number two, ClickUp. So what is your tool number three?

Ashley Monk: It's Loom. Now I feel like you guys do use Loom.

David Bain: Possibly. I don't personally actually.

Ashley Monk: You don't, okay. So that's my third choice. I love communicating. My strongest form of communication is usually video or voice. I tend to be a very quick and concise written communicator when it comes to email, so now that I'm quicker at responding, I'm still very short. So I use Loom a lot whenever I'm prospecting, whenever I'm telling a new client or showing them how to do something, or just trying to onboard somebody. It's another personal way for me to send proposals or to walk them through the process. So I love using it to communicate. It's also nice because when I'm on the go or on my phone, I can do a quick screen share and record how to post something on social media and send it to a client. I just love the ease of the platform. So that's been another great tool for me to just add a personal touch to everything that we do.

David Bain: Okay. You, you win the award. I haven't heard of this tool either. I don't know what award it is!

Ashley Monk: I thought okay, I've got to come up with really creative tools!

David Bain: Exactly. I don't want everyone turning up and saying Google Analytics is my number one piece of MarTech. That's that would be at bit boring.

Ashley Monk: Oh goodness. That's the worst. I agree.

David Bain: I'm not saying that Google Analytics is boring, but for to have the same thing said by everyone, exactly.

Ashley Monk: Over and over again, I agree with you.

David Bain: I'm and it does seem quite different and interesting the way that video appears to be popping up in message format in front of a webpage. Is that the way it actually works?

Ashley Monk: Yeah, it's so handy because you can share the link, but you can also embed the Loom video inside of an email. And then another thing that you can do is you can actually share it as a gif. So sometimes I'll send out mass email campaigns and copy that video as a gif. So people are usually intrigued because they can see me talking about some things. Or I'll even, sometimes on the front of... We use PandaDoc to send a lot of our proposals and contracts. Usually I'll send an email with PandaDoc and put the Loom link in there as well, just to say, "Hey, thank you so much," greet the prospect by name. And I'll even, sometimes if it's a longer proposal, walk them through that proposal in a Loom video, and it's just another great way to set ourselves apart as a company.

David Bain: Does it ever scare anyone when they actually see a video popping up when they're not used to a video?

Ashley Monk: I love it. You know what? I think most people, if it scares them, then they're usually not the right prospect for us. That's the way that I look about it. But case in point, it's one of the ways that I'm here on this podcast talking you today. I use it as a way to connect with people and sometimes to create intrigue, I will send... When it came to coming and trying to talk to you guys and connect with you, I would send over... I basically sent over a Loom video with just a subject line and was like, "Hey, quick question for you." So instead of putting my question in the body of the email, I just dropped the video link so that they had to watch the video to see what I had to say. So if it's an intriguing enough headline, you put the video, it's got that kind of intrigue there, and then I can see when they watch the video, which allows me to be able to respond and be like, "Hey, what'd you think?" Because I know that they watched it.

Ashley Monk: So I would say some people, maybe if they're not used to seeing video content it can be surprising to them, but most of the feedback that I've gotten has been incredibly positive just because it's that personal touch. Once they watch the video, it breaks through the uncomfortable cold pitches that most people get, and you can really see the tone and the actual person through the video content. I have yet to have somebody be like, "Oh, that was super weird." Or if they have, maybe it was, and they just didn't say anything. But usually people are really excited by the creativity of it, and they're just impressed that we took... Whether or not they use us, they're really impressed that we took the time to send it over.

David Bain: And is there another piece of software that is quite similar to Loom that you could have used instead or considered using instead of Loom?

Ashley Monk: There's some other screen recorders, but honestly Loom... I love Chrome extensions. My whole Google Chrome browser is infiltrated by different Chrome extensions and the other ones, the Chrome extensions weren't as easy to use, and they also have a mobile app. So it pretty much sealed the deal for me when it... Whenever a platform is that easy to link with your Google service, in addition to setting up on multiple devices, it's usually a no brainer for me to just stick with that platform consistently.

David Bain: Infiltrated into your browser. I love the use of infiltrated there. I'd like to get a little bit of a better feel of where your marketing technology integrates with your content marketing strategy, where ClickUp, Superhuman, Loom, perhaps other tools really assist you with delivering the content marketing strategy that you have. So this could be for By It Media, or it could be for your personal brand. Could you share a little bit about what your current content marketing strategy is in terms of the type of content you publish, where you content it and where you publish it and what do you want to achieve from that, and the kind of support the marketing technology provides in order for you to deliver that?

Ashley Monk: No, I love that. Our goal, first and foremost, for our content strategy is always to provide value. So I very much operate under the philosophy serve, serve, serve, then sell. So usually our ClickUp really helps us in the overall planning and streamlining of creating our content as a whole. So it helps us identify not only for our own agency, but for our clients, just how often, how frequently we're going to be posting. And we'll typically batch out most of our content usually six weeks in advance. So within ClickUp, we'll plan out how many posts for us, or how many for each client that we'll need, when we'll create them, and we typically use it to outline, "Okay, these are the topics we're going to create." Then we're going to go in and pull images or articles. And then finally after that, we write the copy, and then once the whole team has approved it, then we schedule it.

Ashley Monk: So we use ClickUp for the whole planning process. ClickUp also allows us to create an editorial calendar, but with platforms like ContentCal that already do that for you, we've been able to avoid the editorial calendar process, so it's a lot easier to do that within a platform itself, but for clients sometimes we'll plan in there, just if we have different people working on projects. And as far as the type of content that we push out, right now I would say everything we do is really inbound focused and just focused on how companies can use what we offer, or use our tips, not even what we offer, just strategies better so that they can grow their business or their brand. So I would say the way that we couple other tools like Loom or Superhuman in would be sometimes if we're creating graphics and a tool like Canva, we'll upload that video and maybe embed a scrolling screen share photo of showing somebody how to do something on our website within a really pretty graphic on Canva that just kind of adds a little bit of finesse.

Ashley Monk: Other times, we'll just create the video itself and publish it really quickly from Loom if we just want to do video content, but we could add a frame if we want to and schedule it that way. And then we also use Loom and ClickUp... If we're showing new team members how to do something, it's really quick for us to go in there and upload a quick Loom video and say, "Hey, here's a tutorial on how to do this, and it saves you just from making another 15 minute call." Not that 15 minute calls are the worst thing in the world, but why do a 15 minute call when you could do a 60 second video tutorial and tag them so they can go through on their own time. Eventually it really creates efficiency.

Ashley Monk: And then I would say for my own personal brand right now, we have a membership that we're enrolling for local business owners to teach them a lot of these strategies to incorporate into their marketing. So for Superhuman, we've been able to very, very quickly go through our email list, and one of the ways that we've stood out is I created a thank you personal video for a lot of the people on our email list within Loom, embedded it as a gif inside of a snippet in Superhuman, and was able to very quickly send that out to a lot of individual people, slightly varying the subject line and the content of the email so it wasn't canned, so that it immediately went to the top of their inbox. So that's been another way that we've just been able to stand out instead of sneaking in that promotions folder and them not seeing us, we've just popped the top of their inbox automatically.

David Bain: That is a wonderful selection of different content areas to focus on there. I'd like to just go back to Loom and inserting videos into email there. Obviously you're using gifs, and you talked about the process being rather quick and easy and quite efficient. Is there a way that you can perhaps automate the insertion of a video to a person based upon a field? So all you have to do is take the person's name and maybe company name and automatically insert the video from some database somewhere, or is that a fairly manual process?

Ashley Monk: Absolutely. No, it could be entirely automated. We only did it this way because our email list is rather new and we wanted to make sure since enrollment closes in two days that we added a personal touch. But you could absolutely... If you use a tool like ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, or whatever your email service provider is, you could in theory download an embed and create a conditional drip sequence, and then based on which emails they opened, they would get a certain video embedded in that email at a certain process. So you're exactly right. It could be automated. Normally we would automate that process, but in this case, based on the launch and just wanting to hit the top of their inbox, that's why we're doing it manually.

David Bain: Do you use ActiveCampaign as your email platform?

Ashley Monk: You know, we did for a while, but we switched to MailerLite this year and I love it. So I recommend ActiveCampaign for a lot of my eCommerce clients, just because of the conditions, but for our agency specifically, we've loved MailerLite. It's really served our needs and it's free. And then for my personal brand and membership, we have been living inside of Kajabi just because it's an all in one solution.

David Bain: Okay. And see, those are tools that have been mentioned previously and I'm certainly well aware of. It's interesting. I just had a conversation with Gavin Bell and he said that he's just moved away from ActiveCampaign to ConvertKit. It's, I guess, similar kind of reasons. Active Campaign great, but perhaps all encompassing and maybe you weren't using all the features for that, and you wanted just to focus in on areas you were using.

Ashley Monk: Exactly. It's a fantastic tool, but you're exactly right. It's one of those where you look at the cost and how much you actually use, and we just weren't... I love the capability and the ease of use, but for what we needed, we weren't taking advantage of it.

David Bain: So video is a very important part of your strategy. Does that mean that YouTube is important for you as well?

Ashley Monk: I would like it to be, and that was one of our goals, but our agency, we are a niche agency and I am a huge believer of until you can create quality and consistent content, we don't go to another platform. So YouTube, we do have an account, but we have not invested the time to create a solid content strategy. We've primarily focused on Facebook and LinkedIn right now, and our Q4 goal is to focus on creating a podcast, and YouTube I hope to explore next year. But our philosophy is that until we can truly show up consistently and provide value, we haven't addressed it as a platform. But I would like to. I think that it is an incredible, incredible platform, especially for visual people for sure.

David Bain: That's great. I don't particularly like the advice to be everywhere, especially for people who aren't marketing or social media professionals, because there's only so much time in the day. You can't master every platform that's out there. You need your brand to be perceived positively, and if you're in a platform and don't interact in it and don't get the gist of how you communicate in that platform, then it could potentially be negative for what you're trying to do as a business.

Ashley Monk: Absolutely. Absolutely. I agree.

David Bain: You talked a lot about the type of content being, I think, fairly niche and answering specific questions. Is there a place in your content marketing strategy for what could be described as maybe pillar content? Maybe really extensive blog articles, or... You've said that there isn't a place for long video pieces, but maybe long lengthy written pieces that perhaps could build your brand as an authority in certain areas, or do you find it a better use of your time at the moment to focus on fairly short form content?

Ashley Monk: Yeah, I would say in the short term, the short term content just typically performs better, especially LinkedIn. We're seeing a lot of success on LinkedIn right now, particularly with the longevity of a post that you use on the platform, just because I feel like it's still the ground floor, so to speak, of the users that are on there. But we do see when it comes to long form content and articles, a lot of those are more evergreen and they do tend to show back up over time. We had a university, I think, use us and wanted to feature one of our articles and our website and we've had other people want to use us as a resource as well. So for the longterm and for overall brand recognition, I would say those articles in that long form content can be incredibly effective and great, great back links and referral sources for us, but for the short term, the shorter style engaging content tends to perform better if it comes down to getting somebody to take a quick action.

David Bain: I'm intrigued about the LinkedIn success that you're getting as well. So what specifically do you do for LinkedIn posts? What style of posts do you create and what text do you add? Is it a video post? Do you add captions? Are there any special tricks that you have?

Ashley Monk: I love it. You know what, it's so funny that you ask that. I think we overcomplicate LinkedIn so often. I think in general, we just tend to overcomplicate social media. But when we really think about how simple social media is, the goal is just to be social. People are going on social media to spark authentic conversations. So LinkedIn, that is all I've done. I have found the less curated, which is very nice for us, I mean the less curated a post is the more engagement it typically gets. Some of my best performing posts have just been taking very strong stances in given areas and creating conversations. I had a post that performed incredibly well, and it was just a selfie of me with no makeup on in DC basically on the subway and taking a photo saying that I was taking a client call while I was on it.

Ashley Monk: And I basically took the stance that work life balance is dead, and just started from a very strong stance and said that everyone should be embracing work life integration. And at the end, I said, "Agree or disagree?" And we had a lot of differing opinions, and as a result there was so much engagement that a lot of people were able to see that post. Because on LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, unlike Instagram, anytime somebody comments or likes your posts, it shows to all of their connections as well. So I had quite a bit of conversations happening and it got a lot of exposure just because I started a conversation. So the key is just to get people talking about something that's relevant or important to their world, and the piece will tend to perform very, very well.

David Bain: There certainly seems to be quite a lot of organic reach available on LinkedIn personal profiles at the moment. What about LinkedIn company pages? Have you tried to publish content on there and are you getting the same kind of reach?

Ashley Monk: Yeah, we are not. So we have not found a lot of success on the company pages. The organic and the profiles have done incredibly well, but our page, we focused most of our time on my profile and then LinkedIn advertising, I think, also has the potential in the next several years to be incredibly valuable. But the cost of click is so high right now that we have mostly relied on Facebook and Google at this time for our advertising approaches.

David Bain: Lovely. Okay. So let's steer back into MarTech, and as your business grows, what's an example of a process that you currently do manually that you may wish to automate using marketing technology in the future?

Ashley Monk: I would say right no we still... Most of our processes are automated. I'm trying to think. I would say probably onboarding. Right now, anytime a new team member comes on, we are manually onboarding them. Now we have a lot of resources created in ClickUp and different modules and training to walk them through. But I would say as we scale, it'll make a lot more sense to have a learning hub when somebody gets hired on to immediately go through the modules in our learning hub and to drip them out and unlock each new one and officially start them after that process. But right now we are still guiding them just because our company is scaling so quickly, we are manually guiding them through the process, but it does take more time.

David Bain: Sure. I guess one of the biggest challenges with creating some kind of learning hub is making it as personal as someone actually holding someone's hand, walking them through everything that they've got to experience, because if they have that personal touch to begin with, then I guess that that's going to make your customer more sticky and more likely to stick with you for the longer term.

Ashley Monk: I agree. I agree.

David Bain: Okay. What is something that you have in mind that would be a wonderful piece of marketing technology that perhaps doesn't even exist yet and you would love to see created?

Ashley Monk: I want to see somebody create an all in one robust tool that marries landing pages, social media automation, advertising, and email marketing. If somebody could come up with a tool, there are so many great tools that exist in different places, but I have yet to see any all in one platform hit that level of success. But I would say anybody who could create something like that across different industries would be, goodness, very, very successful.

David Bain: Is the ultimate for you just to have that one piece of marketing technology and not have to use anything else at all?

Ashley Monk: It would. In a perfect world, it really would, and here's why. It just makes the process that much easier for everybody coming on to have everything in one place. I'm a huge believer in just creating simple systems in order to scale, and that is so, so important, I think, as businesses change and evolve so rapidly. So I would love for it to exist. I don't know that it ever will, but in a perfect world, that would be what I would love to see.

David Bain: The thing that scares me about that is I feel that it's difficult for one company to do multiple things exceptionally well and to be world-class at multiple things.

Ashley Monk: That's valid. That's valid.

David Bain: It's not necessarily about... There are pros and cons. The wonderful thing about using one piece of software is you can go in there and you can master that piece of software and you can just focus on that and then you can focus on your business. If you're trying to tie 10 things together, you're never going to master everything. So that's the con of it. But potentially you're getting the best piece of software for every individual iteration, everything that's going on within your business, so I guess you have to, as a business, do the thing that's best for you.

Ashley Monk: That's right. That's right. No, I agree. It's so hard, I know, now that you say that, that is a valid point. I wish there was a way that, whoever the top dogs were, they could have all sorts of very easy integrations or if a few companies that are good at one thing to team up and they can easily integrate with webhooks into the next platform. Man, that would be a beautiful day.

David Bain: Definitely. I think the best companies out there make it easy to integrate and also easy to leave, because if they make it easy to leave, then they're happy with what the offer or they believe the offer is the best thing possible and they believe that customers aren't going to leave because what they deliver is so good.

Ashley Monk: That's right. That's right. I agree. That's a really great point.

David Bain: Ashley, it was great to have a conversation with you today. We've covered an awful lot. You've brought up three wonderful pieces of technology that I'm going to check out further because I wasn't aware of beforehand. But in terms of what we discussed, be it technology, be it something to do with another part of the conversation, what would you say is the key takeaway for the listeners to leave from today's discussion?

Ashley Monk: I love that. That's an excellent question. The key is to... I think it's very simple and I'm very guilty of this, of getting shiny object syndrome when it comes to trying the next platform or the next tool. So my encouragement to myself, because I am guilty of this and to everyone listening is to determine a tool, come up with a system, and stick with it for 90 days until you evaluate if you're going to shift to something else or not. That way, you are really going all in once you've done some research on the front end and just really developing a tool to the capacity that is going to work for you. And I think if you give it that time, you can truly evaluate if it's going to make it or break it. But overall, figure out and come up with a system and just execute, execute, execute. That's how you scale quickly.

David Bain: Wonderful advice. And just to dive in a little bit deeper there, if you're going to go all into a piece of software for 90 days, do you think you should be comparing it against something else? So if I was looking for ActiveCampaign or another piece of software for email marketing, should I use two pieces of software at the same time for 90 days, and then make a decision after that?

Ashley Monk: So I would recommend before you commit to one, that's a really good question, basically evaluating between three to four different competitors, and then really implementing that one to determine if you will use it or if you won't and just trying to make it work and then maybe switching to a new tool. That way you've done your research on the front end. Usually once you kind of do... If you spend a week to research different providers and different platforms and what they have and what they don't have, you can get clear about your systems and processes. Usually if you spend 90 days in the tool, you'll find a workaround or you'll find a way. It's usually not the tool itself, it's usually user error. But ultimately I think within a week period, you can evaluate which of these tools is going to work in which maybe isn't the best fit. The key though, of course, is knowing what your systems are going to be in the first place to best implement the tool. But I think that can be done on the front end. Then over that period, you can really evaluate, based on that criteria, if that tool solves your problem.

David Bain: Got you. So for your final candidates, you want to give them an extensive 90 day interview just to make sure that they're the right candidate for the job and then give them the full job offer after that.

Ashley Monk: Absolutely.

David Bain: Well, thank you so much for your time and your tips today, Ashley. What's the best way for the listener to find out more about you and what you do?

Ashley Monk: Yes, you can visit, if you have any questions for our agency or about marketing automation or Facebook ads, our website is, like written by. So we've got a ton of resources there available to you, whether it be a custom marketing quiz to build your own strategy or great content and articles. There are so many resources on our website for you. And then to get in touch with me, my personal website is, and I've got a wonderful marketing membership and lots of different resources and videos as well from me specifically to help you get better at social media. So if you've got questions, feel free to reach out and connect with us online.

David Bain: Superb stuff. Thanks again.

Ashley Monk: Thank you, David. Great chatting.

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