Ep. 232 – Dan McGaw Best Advice: “Focus on generating revenue. Sometimes it’s much easier to sell and get your customers, not only to raise money.”

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Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and the CEO of McGawdotio, an analytics and marketing technology consultancy and SaaS platform, UTM.io.

In addition, Dan also finds time to be a 500 Startups Mentor, and has previously started the first business accelerator in Orlando.

He’s also a thought leader in the MarTech world and CXL instructor on the topic. Having spoken at the leading Marketing conferences and online events, including Traction Conf and Forget The Funnel, his expertise lies in helping businesses extract and interpret the right data to grow their revenue exponentially.

Dan previously served as the Head of Marketing at Kissmetrics and in the past he’s worked as a CMO consultant for a number of high-growth companies, implementing tools, offering support, and analyzing data.

In 2015, Dan was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the United States Department of State, where he had the privilege to advise the government, universities, and private corporations on how to build entrepreneur ecosystems. He even flew out to Mexico to be an entrepreneur ambassador for Tijuana and Mexicali!

Dan lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, 3 sons and two French Bulldogs. He’s a keen runner and a self made millionaire who grew up in the ghetto, fought his way out, and is very grateful for the hardships he had in life as it taught him the persistence and grit required to succeed today.

Most passionate about

  • What I'm most passionate about today, of course, is marketing technology and marketing analytics. This is a big area where I spend a lot of my time.
  • I love building marketing technology and sales technology stacks with our clients and with a lot of different people.

Best advice for entrepreneurs

  • Focus on generating revenue.
  • To do sales, you have to talk to customers, you have to talk to prospects, you have to get out there and sell your product better to generate revenue. That's the fastest way to grow.
  • I'm a big believer in bootstrapping.
  • Sometimes it's much easier to sell and get your customers, and not only to raise money.

The biggest, most critical failure with customers

  • In consulting, I have experienced some fascinating ways that we can fail companies. We just had a client that we worked with and, unfortunately, my team member who was leading the project was not capable of doing the work. So, failure happens.
  • Seven years ago, a team member here stole company intellectual property.
  • Basically, we came up with a business idea. I'm in a meeting. We could build this, but we're not going to build it right now because we have a client that it’s conflicting with. Two months later, all of a sudden, in a meeting, the guy’s doing a demo and accidentally shares his screen. On his screen, he shows a Trello board, which has this product on it.
  • We decided to terminate that employee. Unfortunately, the employee also had access to all of our customers and databases. This team member thought it was appropriate to steal one of our customer's email lists and then promote their product, which is competitive to that customer, to their email list. That was a huge data breach for us. Obviously, we and our client attacked this person with lawyers and all that stuff. But it really changed my perspective on, like, “Hey, listen. People are going to do really, really shitty things and you've got to cover your ass.”

Biggest success with customers

  • One thing that I would say was a super big success for us—I don't know if it was luck or if I'm just smart—but for the first year and a half or two years, we didn't really have a niche. We were just taking clients for digital marketing and marketing and technology. We were flailing about to whoever would give us money.
  • There were agencies that did analytics, there were agencies that did marketing automation, there were agencies that did CRM, all these specialty shops. We said, “Nobody is focusing on building you a tech stack. Nobody is focusing on all the tools and how to integrate them.” So we bit that off and it has been wildly successful for us.

Dan’s recommendation of a tool

  • My favorite tool of all time, which has helped me a lot in my business and has helped a lot of our clients, is a product called Autopilot.
  • It’s a marketing automation platform that helps you send emails, text messages, all that stuff.

Dan’s one key success factor

  • Don't quit. That’s the biggest thing that I would say. Just don't quit. You have to keep trying, you have to keep working, and you have to keep getting better. Don’t quit. There's always an opportunity to move on to a better opportunity. But to me, moving on to a better opportunity is not quitting.

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