Daniel “ Dan” de Witte is a Business Coach, Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur dedicated to sharing his knowledge with small businesses who want to leverage the online market. As a business coach, Dan specializes in tailor business strategies, business development and automation. Working closely with businesses to identify their needs, Dan thinks outside the conventional box to develop easy to implement effective solutions. As the founder of the Outer Space Network, Dan has used his knowledge and experience in rapid growth and brand development to create an original mentoring and support platform. Although bright eyed and bushy tailed, Dan isn’t a stranger when it comes to starting and growing successful businesses, starting his professional career as an internationally published photographer. Daniel knows designs and presentation, his creative flare and instinct for presentation gives him a competitive edge in brand development.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
- Could you explain to our listeners who are thinking of transitioning from brick and mortar to the online space, how it is that they can manage their customer experiences and do you think it’s different in managing that experience face to face versus online? What are some key indicators that need to be considered?
- In your new product Active Relay, could you share with us what are some ways you try to humanize that experience even though it’s automated?
- On a global level, how do you feel about customer service/ customer experience?
- What are some every day solutions that you would recommend to a small business owner to help them improve their customer experience?
- If you have a customer who wants to migrate from their existing email marketing plan with Aweber, Constant Contact etc, – would Active Campaign facilitate that migration?
- Please give us an example of how Zapier works and what does it really mean for a small business?
- How do you stay motivated everyday?
- What are some books that you have read that contributed to your success along your journey?
- What’s the one thing that’s going on in your life that you are really excited about that you are working on develop yourself or your people?
- Where can our listeners find you online?
- What is quote or saying that helps you stay on track and re-focus during times of adversity?
- Dan de Witte stated that he officially launched a brand new tech product called Active Relay. He has moved from his coaching base platform into another SAS (Software as a Service). He stated that he would be where he’s at if the internet didn’t exist and that the crakes of what he does and stated that that’s inspiring, for instance, we’re doing this podcast over Skype when I’m in Jamaica and he’s in Australia and there’s nothing more inspiring and powerful than that. He loves adventure spots and love getting out has much as he can from the computer, although of lately he hasn’t had enough time away from the computer because of the launch of the new product but that’s definitely one of the aspects he enjoys in life because that’s the ultimate goal, creating these digital businesses or businesses that are enabled by the Internet is to give us more time, more freedom so that we can do the things that we love and enjoy doing but also spend time with family and friends that are valuable in our life.
- As an online Entrepreneur, Dan shared that branching into the online space can be overwhelming to start because there’s all the flashy whiz tool and everyone trying to tap the next best thing that you should jump on and use and he’s a big believer of simplicity, so starting with one platform and working your way up from there. To tie that in with the customer experience is humanizing that whole aspect. We can get caught up in creating automations and automated business processes that we end up automating ourselves or working ourselves out of the business which is a blessing and a curse at the same time, it’s a blessing because it gives us more time to and more freedom but a curse on the same token, we lose the one to one connectivity as you would if you were a traditional brick and mortar base business where you can actually build that relationship by a simple hand shake, exchange of a business card. When you go online, it becomes a lot of smoke and mirrors and one of the challenges a lot of businesses faces is making sure that they are messaging what they do in the offline space, the brick and mortar space is the same as what it would be in the online space and as humanizing as possible because at the end of the day, all we want to do is be a part of a community and what you are building in your brick and mortar businesses regardless if it’s Joe’s Tire Shop down the road, he’s got a community of people that come back to him time and time again because they built the relationship and what we want to do is to try and replicate that relationship in the online space.
- Dan shared some background information on his new product Active Relay, it is a payment platform that is designed around a CRM called Active Campaign, so they are the payment platform element of an email marketing CRM. They are selling digital products and digital services and even physical base products online, it’s quite a challenge for you the user to sell something without having to do a lot of configurations, multiple third party tools and at the end of the day it stacks up and become expensive for you the user or the seller of whatever you sell. The whole goal of Active Relay was to simplify and enable people to sell online smarter, better, faster. The second element to that is bridging the customer experience and making that 10 times faster. In the online payment space, which is where Dan is heavily focusing his energy is in that ecommerce space and around how can he bridge the relationship that they have offline and taking that online to becoming what they call a lead in the online space as well or an email prospect is taking that person from being just an email prospect to actually giving you their credit card over the Internet because that’s the next step, getting that credit card information from them. He stated that he is not going to go up to someone random in the street and go, “Will you marry me?”because 9 times out of 10 they are going to say no. There are the people that first move or advantage are the opportunist but 9 times out of 10, if someone walked up to you and asked you to marry them, you more than likely would say no. It’s the exact same in the online space, so what they have done in Active Relay is, they are enabling people to sell things online faster and smarter and simpler but they are also shortening the checkout experience depending on the experiences of people who listen to the podcast, when you purchase things online, you generally have to go find the product, add the product to the cart, confirm that’s the product you want in the cart then go to checkout and go through 2 or 3 steps in the checkout before you get your product. What Active Relay is design to do is put all of that onto the one page, so you clink on the link to buy the product, the product is on the order form, the information you need to fill out is on the order form, you it buy, you then get funneled into the Active campaign CRM and away you go. That’s how they have shortened that experience and taking that journey from being a bit of a barrier. What people have been finding online is that multiple steps or doing more than one thing at once, it becomes a real blocker in the space and everyone’s lazy and if it seems too hard, then we are going to cut away from it. He stated that you can take people on a wild journey and that’s the most exciting thing for him in the online space. You get to control the whole journey, you can do that in the offline space as well but you have a lot more control in the online space because they don’t get to ask you anything back, you get to tell them what they are doing on the next step, you give them the options, “Do you want to do this? Yes or No” you’re not doing “Do you want to do this? Yes or No or Maybe” that “maybe” is a lot of hesitation. So they want to make it as simple as possible for people to purchase your product online or even just be in your community online.
- Dan shared that he just got back from around the world trip and using the brick and mortar, the United States customer experience is phenomenal compared to Australia. He stated that Australia’s customer service is rubbish. He remembers walking into a classic American diner in New York, there was a lunch line waiting to get in and they put their names down on the list and waited to be seated and the head waiter /seater remembered their names and 45 minutes later after they had left and he was like “thanks Daniel and Lauren, I hope you enjoy the rest of your travels and safe travels back to Australia.” In the amount of time that he sat them down, sat 30 or 40 other people in the diner and he still remembers his name. They left the diner saying “that’s really cool”. That whole experience was amazing, just simply by remembering their name and you can do little things like that in the online space where you can send an automated sequence of emails and have someone’s first name in it because it feels more personal, the connection is more genuine and then you go to a café in Australia and it’s like “Good morning, what would you like?” that’s it, there’s no effort to build some form of relationship and then they deliver you the stuff and there’s no “enjoy”. He stated that there are restaurants in Australia that are fantastic but the general consensus of the diners in Australia, the customer experience isn’t there from a personality stand point.
Yanique stated that something as simple as remembering the customer’s name is very important. It’s powerful because regardless of where we are from in the world or what language you speak or what culture we are from, we all have something that is unique to us and that’s what people call us by and so you give someone your name, it’s important to use it and use it properly because it differentiates the experience and it sets that whole experience a part. Looking at what Daniel remembers from his trip, the food could have been good but he didn’t mention that the food was great, he mentioned that the fact that waiter was serving 30 or 40 other tables and he remembered you and your guest names and that’s what stood out in his mind. It is always the little things that separate the really good companies from the ones that doing the bare minimum.
- Daniel shared some everyday solutions for small businesses online to improve their customer experience – being authentic on Facebook and authentically telling the story of you, if you are one that always wear make-up everywhere and you’re all about the make-up and the aesthetics, then you need to genuinely portray that online in Facebook videos and pictures but if you are a person who loves building the relationship around who you are and authentically portraying that, you win as well. It’s like picking your digital persona to resonate what you are in real life because people can smell fake from a mile away. When you look at portraying your image online, you want to make sure that it is as authentic as you are in real life. The way to do that is to test it with your audience, ask your audience, “What do you think of our new website or what do you think of our new eBook or guide that we just release in the market space?” the ones that care will tell you and the ones who don’t care aren’t customers you’re going to have long term.
- He shared that in regards to tools that you must have – Active Campaign which is an email marketing CRM because you want to keep in contact with your people regardless if you own a brick and mortar business or not because at the end of the day we are all playing on out mobile phones, we’re all checking Facebook, so if you can be connected with them by simply sending them a email that is just touching base saying, “Hey, how is your day going?” that speaks wonders to building the relationship and you can do all of that with active campaign and it’s a really simply platform to start out, to get you online you looking at USD $9.00 a month. The other tool that he really loves is called Zapier which is a connectivity tool that connects anything that you can think of to anything you can think of in regards to online tools, it’s the junction box for PowerPoints so you can plug in to anything and it’s a great tool for increasing productivity and fast tracking a lot of internal stuff, for example, if a client does something, you want to be notified or if they email in some content, you want to upload it to something else, if someone schedules an appointment in your calendar and you want them to go into your email CRM to send them an email saying, “Thank you for booking in a time”, there’s so many things you can do with Zapier. WordPress, there are so many free platform out there to get you up and running like getting your website online but if you really want to increase your speed. He stated that why he recommend WordPress is that you can upload themes, you can connect it to any platform and what WordPress is, it’s essentially a CMS and that stands for Content Management System, so you would have a WordPress installation on your website and that would manage your whole system so that things like your homepage, your thank you page, your blogs and all of that gets managed in the WordPress element of your system. If you couple these 3 together and if they are done in the right way, you’re not only saving yourself time but also money in the process on developing your products and infrastructure but also, you’re improving your customer experience because all 3 applications are designed to make life easier and make life more efficient.
- Active Campaign would assist in on boarding – customers would have to do the migration themselves but it’s a very simple process.
- Dan stated he has a Zapier connection that connects an opt in form on his website and it connects to his CRM Active Campaign. He has a pop up on his website and this pop up doesn’t actually connect natively into Active Campaign – so he uses Zapier connection to send the data over. Dan also stated that he uses Slack, which is Facebook Chat for your staff. If a client certain number of actions over a particular time frame for example clicks on 3 emails, reads 4 blogs over the space of two weeks and has not purchased a product from me before. Dan de Witte says he wants Zapier to send a notification to his Slack Team to say, “Hey, can you personally follow up with John Smith because he has done x, y, and z in the last 2 weeks and not purchased a product.” This action shows we have someone on board that is paying attention what is happening and is reaching out to help them have a better experience.
- Dan de Witte states that he’s burning the midnight oil as he’s up by 4:30 am most mornings and not in bed until 11:00 pm most nights just because of the launch of Active Relay. Dan states what motivates him is giving other people the opportunity to be more and do more in the online space. Giving others the flexibility, more time to do things that you really enjoy doing! Dan stated your staff in your business, if you are a Brick and Mortar, are your biggest brand ambassadors – if you are not inspiring and leading them then you are shooting yourself in the foot.
- Dan de Witte stated that he’s not much of book reader as he learns through doing, however, he would recommend Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Dan says anyone who wants to learn who why what you do will sell – this is the best book to read. The Art of the Start by Guy Kiyosaki. Dan further stated he reads a lot online and he learns a lot online.
Yanique shared how learning for her online has been such a remarkable and great experience that she has learned so much from You Tube videos, reading articles, connecting with people in Facebook Groups and so she agreed with Dan that doing is definitely one of the best ways to learn quick.
- Dan de Witte says short answer would be Active Relay. Dan says he is thoroughly enjoying the journey he has been on with Active Relay over the last 6-8 months. He says he’s learning everyday about his users are selling online and how they would want to sell. Dan shared he’s newly married and he is thoroughly enjoying that personally that he’s doing now!
- Dan de Witte says listeners can find him on:
- Dan de Witte shared one quote or saying that really connects with him all the time is “Logic will get you from A to B but creativity will take you anywhere.” Dan says we are all creative in some aspect.
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