5 “Ninja” Tricks for Using Contactually CRM to Make Money and Get More Clients


Do you ever feel like you can’t keep track of all the critical relationships in your life?

You know… past clients, referral partners, current clients?

Let’s be honest… you’ve probably let more than one relationship get stale. And I’ll bet it’s hurt your business.

I used to feel the same way… until I discovered Contactually.

Contactually is one of the slickest, fastest, easiest-to-use CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) on the market – a CRM you will love to use.

My last review of Contactually’s CRM software was waaaaaay back in 2014, so I was long overdue for an update on how I use Contactually now.

I’m a major power user of Contactually, meaning I use it all the time. And how I use the software now is very different from how I used it when I started.

So I thought it would be helpful to share a few “ninja” tricks for how to use the software.

I also think these ideas can be helpful if you use another CRM software.

To be honest, I don’t care which CRM you use but if you are in business then relationships are critical. And you should have an attitude that “I will spend $500 per year (or whatever it costs) to maintain my relationships.”

During the past few years, I’ve had a lot of people who know I’m a big Contactually power user ask me about how to use Contactually more efficiently.

So I put together a new video explaining a few key ways I use Contactually now.

Here it is:

If you would like to have 10 of my BEST free email templates imported directly in your Contactually account, then sign up for your free trial of Contactually here (referral link).

Here’s 5 key ways I use Contactually now:

  1. Tagging – I tag people by dozens of different categories, including city, hometown, interests, employer, etc.

  1. Pipelines – the Pipelines feature allows you to visually track a sales process through different sequences, and easily drag deals along (very similar to Pipedrive sales CRM but included in Contactually so it’s a great deal)

  1. Programs – Programs allow you to set a series of steps you want to follow for managing relationships. For example, you could have the steps be: Step 1: Follow the person on Twitter, Step 2: Reteet them; Step 3: Record a video reviewing a product of theirs, or mention them in a blog post, etc. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Scalemail (aka “Mailmerge”) – this is a slick and easy way to send dozens to hundreds of emails to people which look like individualized, personalized emails (not like an email newsletter). It’s a huge timesaver.

  1. Buckets – this feature allows you to put contacts into buckets. For example, I used it for the 200+ people who attended our Rise25 VIP reception in San Diego recently, and I used another bucket for people who are members of our Rise25 training programs, or another bucket for people who attended a particular Rise25 retreat.

That’s it for now – if you have any other specific questions about how to use Contactually, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


Year in Review 2016 & Goal Setting for 2017


Further reading: How to Create your 12-month Strategic Plan (and my 2014 Annual Review)

The funny thing about having kids is they make you laser-focused. If you aren’t laser-focused, you’re dead meat.

My wife and I had our 3rd child, another boy, this past April. So for those who keeping score, we now have 3 kids age 6 or younger, two of whom are still in diapers, and any 1 of which is likely to be throwing fistfuls of food across the room in our house at any given moment in time.

What that means is I don’t have as much time to work as I would like.

But big deal, I’ll bet you feel the same way too.

As I write this it’s New year’s eve and I have to be home in 51 minutes but I REALLY want to do a “year in review 2016” / “Goals 2017” blog post so I’ll make this a super quick.

I’m a big believer in the power of setting ambitious and specific goals for yourself.

Four years ago, in November 2012, I wrote a blog post titled My Next Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, where I wrote,

The big goal I am working on now is to build this blog into a platform and a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to grow their businesses.

I plan to do that by writing about my entrepreneurial successes and failures, interviewing successful entrepreneurs (like this interview) and sharing non-boring legal tips for entrepreneurs. In short: by providing as much value as I can.

I want to diversify my business, to move from a model nearly entirely reliant on one-on-one client-based revenue to one which generates revenue from this blog, and from phenomenally useful, helpful information products like Business Profit Academy.

That’s why I dramatically overhauled Smart Business Revolution in May of 2011. And it’s why I continue to seek out opportunities for learning and developing my abilities so that Smart Business Revolution continues to become more valuable to its readers.

The really cool thing is most of this actually happened – thanks to the power of setting big goals, breaking down those larger goals into achievable smaller goals, and using a group to hold you accountable.

Here’s my philosophy about goal setting in a nutshell. You should start by envisioning the larger goals you want to achieve for yourself and your business. This is best done with the help of others who can give you crucial perspective and feedback.

Next: you break down your larger annual goals into quarterly and monthly goals.

Finally, meet with an accountability partner or small mastermind group and set 3 specific goals each week. Rinse and repeat throughout the year.

That’s it.

For bonus points, tell everyone what your annual goals are and join a community of like-minded people who will hold you accountable to achieving these goals.

Now, in this post, I want to first review my goals from 2016 and reflect on which ones I achieved and which I didn’t, and why. Next, I mention a few other things which went well, and what did not go well in the past year.

Then I move on to setting annual goals for 2017.

By the way, this is similar to a process we run through for our Rise25 Inner Circle members (which I mention below).

2016 year in review 

[Read more…]

Stop Going to Conferences. Do This Instead.


Warning: I’m going on a rant here.

There are too many rah-rah conferences for entrepreneurs.

You know what I’m talking about. 2 or 3 days of drinking from a firehose with non-stop speakers back-to-back, spewing too many ideas.

Speaker after speaker telling you how you just need to “hustle more” and wake up early, and if you’re already waking up early, you need to wake up even earlier.

And if you are already waking up earlier, you need to just work straight through the night.

Because sleep is for the weak.  

And you need to pass out more business cards and you need to be on every social media channel and you need to master Facebook ads and don’t forget Instagram.

And Pinterest. And Vine.

Strike that. Twitter just killed Vine.

But you need to be on whatever comes next.

So you fill yourself up with too many ideas, get inspired and excited for 24 or 48 hours like a sugar rush, and then…  nothing.

You go home, and you’re not sure what to do next.

You have no clear plan.

No one holds you accountable.

Thousands of dollars down the drain.

It’s like gorging yourself on all-you-can-eat buffet but the rest of the year you’re still hungry.

Do these events REALLY move the needle in your business?

I see a lot of people spend THOUSANDS of dollars flying around the country going to event after event, while their business limps along.

People go to these conferences because it “feels like” they’re making progress on their business, but if you really look at whether there’s ROI or if you made serious changes and improvements to your business, it’s questionable.  [Read more…]

A letter to All Veterans on Veterans Day


Today is Veterans Day in the U.S…

It’s a day to stop and be grateful for everything we have.

It’s a time to thank all the Veterans who ever served in uniform for their sacrifice and for making our freedoms possible.

For me, it’s a chance to be grateful to every Veteran who made America a place where people can worship in freedom, live and work where they want, and enjoy liberties unprecedented in the course of human history.

In particular, I want to thank the Veterans in my family. Including my father, who served in the US Air Force, and his father (John Sr.), who was a Captain in the Army Air Corps.

(And generations before them, I thank my great-great-great-great-great Uncle Paul Revere, who must have summoned incredible courage during the Revolutionary War to rise in the middle of the night and alert Americans of British forces’ impending arrival. And yes, I really am related to Paul Revere on my mother’s side.)

During WWII, my grandfather was a Captain and pilot for 35 B-17 missions over Germany and western Europe.

He too summoned the courage to rise in the middle of the night and strap himself inside a flying fortress less high-tech than today’s minivan and fly straight into the heart of darkness.

And he did it with 10 other souls whose lives depended on him executing his job.

At the time my grandfather was doing all of this, my father would have been about a year old, or about the same age as my youngest son today.

It’s not lost on me how much he sacrificed so that I would not have to endure what he did as I raise my son living in a country with abundant riches and freedoms he helped protect.

Now here’s the crazy thing … my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, also had a grandfather involved in World War II…

Except his grandfather was in a Concentration Camp… at the same time my grandfather was fighting to liberate those camps from overheard. And ultimately Jeremy’s grandfather’s camp was liberated by U.S. soldiers. Soldiers like my grandfather.

It’s amazing to think how we both wouldn’t be here… and wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing now, if it weren’t for their incredible sacrifices.

Now, we can’t all be researching a cure for cancer, fighting on the front lines of faraway wars to protect our freedoms, caring for the sick, or feeding the poor.

We can’t all teach kids in underfunded inner city schools, fight for clean air or clean drinking water, or care for babies born prematurely in the ICU as they fight for survival.

But we can try to improve the lives of the people around us.

We can all be decent to one another, treat one another with respect and honor our differences, especially in this time of deep divisions and disagreements in the U.S.

You honor the legacy of those who came before us by doing your own small part to make others’ lives better.

For Jeremy and I, it’s about doing what we can to help others through the business we founded, and that’s what you can do too.

In our case, we’ve chosen a group we know we can help. Business owners from the professional services who want freedom in their business so they can get back more time to be with their loved ones.

That’s what inspires me.

What inspires you? What lights you up?

Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. I’d like to help you too. If you are a professional services entrepreneur and you want greater freedom, but you feel stuck in your business, perhaps we can help.

Winners Make It Work

WinnersIn 1973, Stephen King was a struggling writer on the brink of giving up.  

He was living in a doublewide trailer in Hermon, Maine with his wife Tabitha and two little kids.

He was driving a worn-down Buick on its last legs.  

Although he aspired to be an author, he hadn’t published any books. He was teaching English at a prep school – a position which left him little energy and time to write outside of school.

Tabitha didn’t have it any better. She was working at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

To make ends meet, King took on extra jobs during the summers, working at an industrial laundromat and as a janitor and gas pump attendant.

Hard to imagine the “King of Horror” cleaning toilet bowls as a janitor. But it happened.

Frustrated, King reportedly threw early pages from a new novel he was working on into the trash.

“I couldn’t see wasting two weeks, maybe even a month, creating a novella I didn’t like and wouldn’t be able to sell,” King wrote in his memoir On Writing. “So I threw it away … After all, who wanted to read a book about a poor girl with menstrual problems?”

Tabitha came home from work, saw the pages in the trash, and fished them out. She encouraged him to keep going. And he did.

That manuscript racked up 30 rejections from publishers. One of them wrote, “‘We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

But he kept going. Eventually, he found a publisher. Those pages became King’s first published book, Carrie, which sold over 4 million copies in paperback and put him on the map.

 Winners Find a Way

There’s a simple difference between the winners in life and the losers.

The winners make it work. [Click to tweet.]

When faced with a barrier or friction or speed bump, winners find a way to make it work rather than making up excuses for why it won’t.

Stephen King had ample opportunities to give up with his first novel. But he didn’t. [Read more…]

10 Lessons Learned From Throwing Our Second $50k Live Event

10 Lessons Learned

If you don’t absolutely love the idea of throwing a live event, then don’t do it.

That’s what I learned throwing a live event earlier this year.

For the second time in 5 months, I put together with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, a live 2 ½ day event for high level, driven entrepreneurs. And for the second time, the event grossed $50K.

You can read about what we learned from the first event here.

This time around, the event was held in the heart of Napa/Sonoma wine country.

But let me tell you… man, it wasn’t easy. It was a shit ton of work.

(That’s a technical term.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed doing it, even if there were times I wanted to pull my hair out.

But there are better ways to make money which are less stressful and much easier.

So why do I do it?

As I write about here at Smart Business Revolution, there is simply no substitute for bringing people together face-to-face.

There’s no better way to bond and forge strong relationships than hanging out with someone in person. Over the course of a couple of days together, you can create greater movement and momentum than you could during months of working on your own.

And when you are the person who has brought all the other people together – whether it’s organizing a group dinner at a conference you’re attending, or bringing people together for coffee in your local community – then you get a big hand in determining what that group looks like.

And that’s what makes live events so powerful.

So here are 10 lessons I learned from throwing our second $50K live event:

1. Beware of the “Heart Attack Signup Curve”

[Read more…]

A Simple, 4-Step Plan to Get 100 People to Register for Your First Webinar


“I want to do webinars, but I don’t know how to get people to show up.”

I hear this all the time.

And it’s heartbreaking.

Why? Because I know the massive impact doing webinars has had on my business.

In fact, in the past 3 years, webinars have been the #1 best thing I’ve done in my business.

They are the most highly leveraged use of my time.

Webinars have built my reputation as an expert and authority.

Webinars allow me to build relationships with thousands of prospective clients and customers at scale.

And webinars even allowed me to quadruple my email list in 7 months.

Think of all the time you’ve wasted going to “networking events” and cocktail parties.

Think of all the boring conversations, the mind-numbing chit-chat, the business cards you toss in a drawer and never do anything with.

Wouldn’t you like to have that time back?

Guess what? You can.  [Read more…]

How to Personalize Mass Email (Without Sounding Spammy)

Ugh… the brutal “bcc.”

Don’t you hate it when someone sends an email to you and a zillion other people using “bcc?”

It feels so impersonal and lazy.

Kind of like wearing sweatpants to a nightclub.

Or getting everyone in your family the same present at Christmas.

And it certainly doesn’t make you want to take action, right?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like “well, if he couldn’t even be bothered to send me a personal email, why should I do what they are asking me to do?”

But here’s the rub…  it’s also not easy to send individualized, personalized emails to dozens or hundreds of people all at once.

In fact, it’s a pain in the butt.

Which leads me to today’s question, which is “How can I quickly and easily send emails to dozens or hundreds of people without them feeling like I’m spamming them?

Well, I will show you.

But first: why does this matter?

In business, the personal touch makes a big difference.

When you send someone a message that says “I don’t care enough about you to personalize my email message to you,” then you’re likely to get a similar response.

That is… you may get no response at all.

No bueno.

So… here’s a quick video showing you how you can send dozens or hundreds of individualized, personalized emails without having to spend all day crafting individual emails, using a tool called “Scalemail” in Contactually.

By the way, you can see my full review of Contactually here (and do a free 30 day trial so you can try out the Scalemail feature).

Now go send some personal emails.

And whatever you do, please don’t wear sweatpants to a club. That’s just wrong.

Invite to Apply for Napa/Sonoma Entrepreneur’s Retreat

Entrepreneur Retreat Napa title image

Want to hear something crazy?

Just 16 days from now, I’m co-hosting a live retreat at the Fairmont Sonoma in the heart of wine country.  

For 2 ½ days, a small closed door roundtable of 14 entrepreneurs will meet to share what’s working and to push through challenges.

If you’re ready to create breakthroughs in your business, the clock is ticking because the last retreat filled up, and this one will too.  

Now, we’re going to be doing something unheard of…

We’re going to have FOUR 8-figure entrepreneurs join us.

And they’re not just coming to party and then take off.

They’re going to be sitting right next to you, rolling up their sleeves and providing specific advice and feedback on YOUR trials, opportunities and challenges with YOUR business.

That’s not even the crazy part. (Wait for it…) 

We still have openings for the event, and were talking about how we could make this a “slam dunk” … and take out all the risk for you.

So we stayed up two nights straight drinking Monster Energy drinks and brainstormed the craziest “risk free” guarantee.

What we dreamed up is unprecedented in the “live event” space …

[Read more…]

How to Create Automated, Double-Blind Introductions

How to create automated

There are two kinds of people in this world…

The well-connected and the well… not-so-well-connected.

And before you bemoan your lot in life and complain about how everyone else seems to have high-level connections to A-listers in your industry (and you don’t), let me let you in on a little secret.

No one is born with a good network.

Unless your first name is Barron and your last name is Trump…OK, then you are born with a good network.

(And yes, Donald Trump really did name one of his kids “Barron.”)

But for the most part, no one comes out of the womb with a gold-plated Rolodex.

You need to create your network – and you can.

I’ve done this multiple times in my career – from Washington D.C. to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to building my reputation as a thought leader online.

Each time… I knew no one. I built relationships one at a time.

I know it is possible, and I know you can do it too.

[Read more…]