What is up PartnerUp!
We're back. And we just launched PartnerHacker.com - go there RIGHT NOW and signup. Promise, you're gunna love it.
And the "we" is different this time as PartnerUp welcomes our newest co-host, entrepreneur, and friend of Jared since 2009, Isaac Morehouse.
Isaac is the founder of DiscoverPraxis.com and Crash.co, but even more importantly, he's an entrepreneur who's seen the light of ecosystem.
AND he's no stranger to podcasts or content creation, having recorded over FIVE HUNDRED podcast episodes and written over TWO THOUSAND blog posts.
Whoah. I think the PartnerUp game just got leveled the heck up.
So tune in to the next BIG chapter of PartnerUp and PartnerHacker.com - big things are poppin in partner land.
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Jared Fuller 00:11
What is up, partner up? We're back after a delay because everyone in the world has COPD right now. I think I'm on week. Five of sick, better, sick, better, sick better. So it's just been an absolute mess, but on the mend, so hopefully not too many costs today. And today's show, this is where things are going to start to get really crazy with partner up. I'm super excited. And a little bittersweet to where if you hadn't caught the past couple episodes, I'm no longer adrift, I kind of have some secret projects going on. And one of them we'll talk a little bit about today. And introducing, we'll see if we'll see if we can make him last new co host and friend of how long is it going on? 1213 years? I need more help? Yeah, well, all your other coasts have mysteriously disappeared. So I was all that was left in your Rolodex. And here we are, we're partnering up, you know, I, I'm so stoked for this. So Isaac, you've done a lot of content production in your career. I mean, so for the folks that don't know, Isaac, I think we've been customers of each other for like, a decade plus, like I bought stuff from you, you bought stuff for me and businesses you've started or businesses I've worked at. I even saw you with a drift shirt on and an Instagram picture. And then going back to all the way to the website design days. But since then, I've hired Gosh, dozens of people from your company practices to discover discover Praxis comm apprentice program. But during that that's where I saw your like content creation skills, like really take off how much how many like podcasts? And you've done a bunch of, you know, man, I'll tell you lunch. Yeah, I've, I've written over 2000, blog posts, holy smokes published 1010 books, most of those are collections of blog posts that are kind of put together. And then I've done. I've hosted like four different podcasts on my own over the years, but I've done
Isaac Morehouse 02:13
at least at least 500 podcast interviews over the years, you know, where I've been on other people's podcasts, and I've done, you know, several 100 episodes of my own and stuff. So yeah, I mean, I just, honestly, I just do it because I like it, I do. I do it selfishly, because it's fun. And it always turns out that turning on the mic or whipping out the keyboard, and communicating about things that I'm interested in, honestly, on a really consistent basis is a great way to build a community and to create a category and then to be able to build products and services around that. So that's, that's like the only thing that I actually do well, it's create content, I don't really know how to do anything else very well, I find other people for the rest. Well, you might call that a so for me like the content creation side, it's the best way for me to learn. Right? So going out and talking to people and then even trying to formalize my thoughts into something that's cogent and digestible by another person is the best way for me to learn. You might even call it Isaac a hack, right? My call it a hack. And I think this is where we should tease what we're working on. Because there's a reason why we're kind of like testing this out and hopping in together is that partnership is going to be growing a little bit. And where should the folks that are listening today go right now in their web browser on their phone? They need to go to a website, and I hinted at it with hack and sign up for the new newsletter that we're launching. The second this episode is live. The newsletter is live. So where should they go? I'm glad you asked Jared. Partner hacker.com and go sign up. Got a newsletter coming out there as Jared mentioned, you know, this is really interesting for me when Jared reached out and said, Hey, you should check out this podcast I'm doing check out some of this stuff. We can come on and co host with me and you know for a minute I was like, Okay, well, I don't get it. I don't know a lot about partnerships. I'm new to that world. As I started digging in though, and especially I listened to the episode with Jay McBain on the decade of the decade of partnerships and something really just clicked for one it sort of clicked on the philosophical level like the power of partnerships. Because I you know, something I've been thinking about for a long time is how the locus of trust is changing significantly I think in the world. So where people place their trust, you know, early in the information age, oh great informations free, this is amazing. Now I can finally get information about stuff. So it empowers me to make more decisions on my own because I can get the information directly. Well, because information is free now there's so much of it. I'm overwhelmed and I don't trust myself to make decisions on my own. I mean go look up anything I bought a smoker Recently for my wife, a meat smoker, it's like go go try to find information on which meats smoker should I buy? There's too much. And so you you no longer trust yourself to make a lot of those decisions. You want someone who's already earned your trust through a pre existing relationship, peer group, right? to point you to things and then you'll just say yes, if I have a buddy that says buy this smoker, I won't ask us, I won't even ask a question. I'll just say, Yep, I'll do it. If I know that guy, and I know that he's, you know, into food, or whatever. And so just thinking through the way that this applies to sales and marketing, and in the changes I've seen, so that's kind of the philosophical level. And then at the practical level, I've seen changes in the businesses I've started, I started practice in 2013, best place in the world for entry level talent for your company. And then I started crash in 2019. And it's amazing how much how much things have changed and how difficult it is, I found it through direct sales, or through marketing or through social media, I mean, even the content stuff that I do, it's a constant evolving game, to cut through the noise. And so I kind of I started to get it, I started, okay, I know, Jared is this guy who started a marketing firm, he started a talent company. He's been, you know, built a sales team at Panda doc, because I, and I'm like, partnerships, what is this? This? I don't know anything? What like, Why? Why are you what are you doing partnerships for and like, now I get it, there's something big happening, there's a shift happening in the world at a very high level. And I think anybody who's in partnerships, gets it, they're on the cusp, they're in, they're in the hot space to be in right now. So
Jared Fuller 06:34
I think that's really important for everyone that's listening to understand that like, this isn't just some hype machine. Like, I mean, I'm not monetizing this, I've been doing it for a year and a half for free for nothing, just to give back and learn. And over that period, I have seen a practice a, you know, what, Paul Graham talks about being a T shaped entrepreneur, right. So you know, broad breadth of experience, and then really deep in like one or two kind of functional side by side, you know, practices. And I believe that partnerships, is it. It's a part of the business that's been ignored. But it's a function whose time has come. And I'm not sure that I was looking at it that way, a year and a half ago. I mean, I was honestly looking at the profession, if you will, from the perspective of, it's one of the only things I'm good at just inherently. And no one else is talks about it, there's no books, there's no resources, there's no way to learn. So I kind of became this person that like, it was actually starting the VC world. So some of the VC funds that I'd like advise and help out, they started passing my name around to help help out some of their portfolio companies, because this is how I entered into it. For those of you haven't heard the story, or at least starting the podcast was, I would have a VP of sales that I knew or a CMO that I knew, Intro me to an account executive, or like a CSM that's like, Hey, I just put you know, such and such to lead partnerships, can you have a call with them? And I'm like, okay, 30 minutes, I'm gonna, like unpack the entirety of this profession and how complex it is. In 30, like, from their perspective, it was like, yeah, just talk to Jared and you'll get it. And it's like, no, I, I've talked to like, the best people I know, and partnerships over dozens of episodes. And I'm learning. So I'm excited to be on this learning journey with you, Isaac, I'm still, you know, a little Socratic little platonic in that. I act like I know nothing. And I'm here to learn along with the audience, and I'm excited to watch
Isaac Morehouse 08:37
I actually do know nothing so that, you know, that will be a good comedy, I get to ask all the who was funny, I was listening to some of your back episodes. And I mean, like, this is embarrassing to say, being that I've, you know, I've for almost 10 years now been entrepreneur started a couple companies, whatever. But I had to Google I had to look up a couple things, like some of the acronym. It's like, okay, svi Is it because, you know, I've worked at early stage small companies. And you know, primarily Even the companies that we've worked with in place people within practice have been smaller earlier stage. So a lot of the kind of like, inside jargon industry stuff. A lot of the tools a lot of you know, acronyms and stuff. I'm like, I think I know what that is. Let me just go double check. So anyway, I get to be the, the, you know, the guy who looks silly from time to time. So Jared, I want to ask you just about your own journey because from the outside are we gonna
Jared Fuller 09:36
are we gonna break protocol, Isaac, and I always try to force everything into a topic on this show. And then you're going to try to make me tell my story on this one.
Isaac Morehouse 09:43
Well, you I'm sure you could find a way to weave your story into a topic I'm sure you can.
Jared Fuller 09:49
Well, protocol and it might it might as well it's it's an intro to Isaac new new series. We'll see. Like I'm still friends with everyone by the way. So Kevin, Justin Michelle, like Shout out to all them for CO hosting with me, I think, well, this one, I think, given Isaac and his past history, we're gonna be around for a while I just have a feeling. But, but that being said, we're putting Isaac to the test as well. It's so
Isaac Morehouse 10:14
good start a betting pool on how long I'll survive. Yeah.
Jared Fuller 10:18
Over Under. How many how many shows we do together? I think we'll be around for a bit. This is gonna be a blast. I've already enjoyed the past week of us geeking out in Slack and Google Docs and launching the newsletter. So I interrupted you, Isaac, you were?
Isaac Morehouse 10:33
Yeah, so I'm breaking protocols. I'm very good at doing. You know, from the outside, I'm like, okay, you know, from what I know of you, you're a very, you're very entrepreneurial guy, you're very, you know, creative, you're a hustler, you kind of don't let the grass grow under your feet, you're, you're trying a bunch of stuff, you're moving or you're you're connecting, you're doing all kinds of stuff. You're a busy guy, you're a productive guy. And you're kind of a visionary guy. What's What that did you accidentally find yourself in partnerships? Or was this a deliberate move? Did you see? Okay, this is where the action is? Or this is where my skill set fits? This is where I want to be? Or did you just sort of end up there?
Jared Fuller 11:19
Yeah, so there's a, what happened a long time ago. And then what happened in more recent memory? The story that sticks out, in my mind was when I had my marketing agency market aces, you know, we had a couple dozen employees, you know, agency, owning an agency, business is a hard business, you're trading time for money. That's why I've always had a respect for channel partnerships, agency partnerships, trying to, you know, partner as a technology company with service base cup of companies is being on the other side of that table and recognizing the agency that I'm trying to partner with. They trade time for money. Right? Like, there's nothing worse that you can do than trade time for money. I mean, that's, that is like the hardest business to run. Because you're literally placing a value on time intellectual property. So I've ran that business. And you know, one of the reasons that business is so hard is that your your p&l, your cash flow restarts with every new contract, I mean, back then 2010 2011 2012. The recurring revenue and services wasn't the norm. I mean, that's why my mentor for the past two companies has been Pete Buddha, who we've had on the show before Pete was the godfather of modern channel, built hub spots partner program from $0 to 100 million plus, right, the best partner program for agencies of the past decade, hands down, there's not even a close second, I learned a ton from Pete. But having said on the other side of the table, I remember it market aces, going to a conference. One of the those political conferences, we won't go into that too much that Isaac and I used to, you know, roll in those same circles as it was some conference, I bought a booth there, probably with like, my last dollars. And I think I had, I think I had eight sales, like meetings that came out of that conference, and I closed all eight of them. And I was like, Am I in sales? And I was just the business owner. Like I was never thought of myself as a salesperson. I just needed to pay my people I needed business. I was at a conference, people asked, What do you do? It was a nonprofit conference. And then I landed eight clients out of eight conversations that emanated from that in a row. And I was like, apparently, I'm in sales. I know nothing about
Isaac Morehouse 13:35
sales. Yeah, nothing else you figure out if you're good at sales faster than needing to eat, you know.
Jared Fuller 13:41
Totally, totally. And that was like, when I realized that I mean, so sales is a part of partnerships. But what's also a part of partnerships is product, and customer success, and marketing. And it's, it's, it's as interdisciplinary a function as you can get, that's not the title CEO. And that's why I think I made this prediction on a another previous episode with Justin was, I was saying that I think the best entrepreneurs of the next decade are going to be those that are well steeped in partnerships, because you have that breadth of experience. So the next phase of that where I realized, okay, sales was when I had my SAS company, job hype. So we were backed by Foundry Group. That was my first foray into like venture capital. That's definitely a beer story for the implosion of that company, which I will not talk about publicly.
Isaac Morehouse 14:33
I have I wanted to get a little more depth on that story. Someday we'll head well that I just I remember you had one of the coolest interfaces, you were so ahead of the game. We
Jared Fuller 14:44
were way ahead dude so far ahead, so far ahead to problem and I do have my I have my my hand side a little bit long story short, I will not speak ill of X person, but I had to resign as CEO of my own company. I mean, almost killed me. I mean, I put everything I had into it. And that again, so come actually, this is where I'll do the mid roll plug for SAS connect, see, look, I do that every time I'm so good at getting the plug in. So Cloud Software Association, April 27, and 2018. So go to cloud software association.com, which actually just joined the board of directors of so super excited about that. And then Isaac and I are going to be there, April 27 2018, at the conference in person, San Francisco. And guess what, we are going to have the partner up podcast booth. so guests can swing by like hoppin for like a couple minutes, and we're actually gonna do a big aggregate show. I'm super stoked about that. So Cloud Software Association, SAS connect as the conference, it's everyone's going to be there, all the big names that I know, are going to be there, and I can't wait to meet you all. So come out, register join. So back on track with the with the with the episode is at Job hive, this is where I'm moving interdisciplinary from like realizing I was good at sales, to understanding the implications of how marketing and product really went hand in glove with partnerships. So I built partnerships with this his 2013, LinkedIn CareerBuilder monster, indeed. And we aggregated all of the job listings from all of those sites, and built a viral loop to where you could apply to any job on the internet. And with that came me sending applicants into other you know, like in deeds listing, right, so like, I would get an applicant for Monster, they'd end up searching on job higher than they go to indeed, then I could sell that lead to indeed, and then I get jobs. So we had this great viral loop, and built some amazing partnerships that wasn't about sales. It was really about the intersection of product and customer success. And that was the kind of second realization that was like, Oh, this is a, this is a function. And that was so post job hive and beer story for cloud software Association. Wherever you come meet up in person, I'll give you the full story was whenever I joined panda Doc is like the first kind of partnership slash revenue leader with Makita. And Sergei, instead of just hopping into sales, I actually started with partnerships. So like that, that was that's whenever it got real because I was at a company that would soon be you know, a unicorn back then it was literally an apartment that I lived in. Panda docks. I mean, it was early early. But you know, now known unicorn and HubSpot. You know, I think it just gone public 2014 2015 So I think those were like my first two realizations and then the the HubSpot panda dog story is where I started to really geek out and think this is a discipline that is it's so underutilized, understudied, but moaned that like whenever I executed on it, I didn't even realize like at Panda doc, how little support there was for people in roles that like I had. I just was out there geeking out on and having fun with it. So now I'm glad to see that we have a solid podcast effect. Fantastic listener base, I think we're number one, Apple, Spotify, Google, you name it, which is pretty crazy. Number one, I think that a genuine like, I'm talking about like a decade plus, of doing this in a practitioner seat and just learning more and more and the further I go down the rabbit hole, the more Alice in Wonderland gets.
Isaac Morehouse 18:33
Yeah, you know, it's funny. So I kind of like to nerd out on economics and, you know, kind of philosophizing about the world in the market, at sort of that higher level of abstraction. And one thing that I've spent a lot of time thinking about over the last decade, because I've worked with young people are, especially in early careers, but sort of the future of careers, the future of work. And I've often looked to the economist Ronald Coase, his seminal paper, the theory of the firm, and kind of, you know, his breakdown of why firms exist. Hold on,
Jared Fuller 19:05
hold on, hold on, I'm gonna pause you there real quick, because that's one of the reasons I want to bring you into this is that like, there's another level a level of intellectualism that I think we're gonna geek out and get into and have some fun with on this podcast, not that we'll go down too deep down those rabbit holes, but I love that drop. So who was the who was the author? Again? What was the paper?
Isaac Morehouse 19:24
Ronald Coase? Yeah, he's a phenomenal account. He only wrote like, two papers, but they're both like the most cited papers ever. The theory of the firm really famous paper and essentially, and I won't go too far down this but essentially he he suggests that, you know, firms come about, because there are transaction costs. There's information costs and transaction costs, search costs in the economy. And so if every time you perform an action, you had to go find somebody, you know, to do it for you to figure out if they were good, perform the trend. And we had to do that repeatedly for these repeated trends. You know, for these things that you Do repeatedly, the costs are really high. So what you do is you form firm, where you just hire the person one time you put them on salary, and now they just do it anytime you need it. But there's a trade off. Because when you have a firm, you have agency costs. And that's why the world hasn't evolved into just one gigantic firm. But the bigger the firm is the principal agent problem. It's called right where the incentives of the principals, the owners of the firm, the board, whoever, are not perfectly aligned with the incentives of the employees. So classic example, an IT director, it's sort of in their interest for there to be lots of IT problems, because then their department, right, or they have an information asymmetry. So they can go and say, Hey, we gotta hire this guy, he's really good. He costs x, and maybe it's their buddy, and they're good. And you can't, because you've hired them to do this for you, you don't know if they have your interest in mind. And so there's always this tension between these two. And information costs and search costs are, you know, the reason firms forum and transaction costs, the internet has brought those down so low, that firms are needed in fewer and fewer places, like more and more people are capable of freelancing or doing contract work, it's easier than ever, so many, you can go out and buy SaaS products instead of having a department in house, right. So I've been thinking about this for a long time at the level of the individual, how gig work and kind of this more free flowing Freelancer combo, some semi employees sort of structure has been emerging, because of information cost, but you have made me start to think about it with this partnership stuff at the level of the organization itself. So like, not only can individuals sort of become their own firm and you know, interact with other individuals almost like each of them has their own company, instead of all needing to come together as on the under the same roof. The company itself doesn't have to attempt to have to be world class at every function. So you like this is what partnerships do, it allows you to say whoever does, whoever does sales best, whoever does content best, whoever does product best, let them do it best. And we can work together to benefit each other. So you don't have to stay in my company has to, we have to be the best at all of these things in this process. If there's another company, I'm just really good at generating demand, but somebody else is better at building a product to service those people. We I can generate demand, and they can build the product. And we can be two separate companies and still work together and still benefit each other and feed each other. Right? It's this kind of like, like you don't need to. I mean, obviously, mergers and acquisitions are always going to happen. But you don't need to have one mega company that does everything best you can kind of specialize at the level of the organization, through these really unique types of partnerships. And you're seeing it with with influence, obviously, with people who are just really good at getting people to like them and listen to them and watch their shows. And like, why would I try to have Why would I try to have somebody in house who was really, really good at being likable when I can partner with someone who's just naturally good at being likeable. You know, and that's not my core competency. Yeah. So
Jared Fuller 23:11
it has the influence, you know, already I mean, yes, you know, route to the word influencer has has influence which was funny, Isaac is in the partner world, there's two comments I have to make about this. Because I was just like, on the edge of my seat, like wanting to jump in, as you were talking about, you just made me realize something that like your realization from where you were to were kind of like I'm, you know, trying to learn was a big one. But when you said influencer, it's like, that's the dirtiest word and partnerships, you know, there's partner influence and partner source, typically at the CFO level, like hey, after pay out like, oh, that that partner just influenced that, you know, in b2b, that is that partner just influenced that right. So they helped out afterward, you had an opportunity, like, why are we paying them out? Like partner influence is the dirtiest phrase in partnerships. But it's like at the same time, you know, if you have an influencer for brand, the likelihood that that influencer is driving net new leaves in instead is not driving further consumption, right, or pushing that person over the edge is very low. Like, I think next time, the comment one is next time someone gives you crap for partner influence. It's like, Do you know what an influencer is? Right? You kind of bring that up as like, influences everywhere. Let's not treat that as a dirty word. Because it's not just about driving net new leads. It's about influencing the peer group, right? So if you have someone that has influence, right, they're an influencer, even in the b2b sense over you know, a customer that you're talking to, they can either be talking positively about you or negatively about you, if they talk positively, I want to reward them. Right, like otherwise, too many other options, they can go be influential to someone else. And then the second thing that you said is that you know, business b2b always lags like b2c, right? The consumer trends are always prior to the business trends. And the way that you were just talking about that and using some like a priori principles, right first principles of like, what is true, and why that shifted in the consumer, our consumer lives, and how the long tail is now shifting and seeping over into our business lives. That goes back to that kind of how we opened up this podcast about, it's a profession whose time has come. And it's not that it wasn't important five years ago, it's just the the asymmetry and b2b was still there. Right? There was an information asymmetry, like the marketing organization, the sales organization, the CS organization had more information than the buyers. And let's be honest, we were all addicted to cheap acquisition cost, right? Throw more ads, send more emails, make more phone calls. And that's not working anymore. Like it's five years ago, it was like, Okay, maybe this is starting to break three years ago. It's like, I think it's breaking and then 2022 Post pandemic, it's like, it don't work at all the same way that it used to.
Isaac Morehouse 26:07
Not you know, you know, that it's, you know, that it's getting bad when, like, every day, I have emails, where I'm like, Okay, what are they going to try to trick me with this time where there are some, there's some, some product or some sales rep, has done something like I noticed, it's foggy where you live today. And like, just trying these crazy tactics to get it's like clickbait has worked its way into the sales, you know, sales emails and things. Yeah. So you know, like, man, their screen is always
Jared Fuller 26:41
raining this morning, and you know, Tennessee or JPS, like, no one I know would like open up, like, when people open up with a whether in a zoom call, it's awkward, much less than a cold email, you know, like, that's the hacks that people are trying to get to.
Isaac Morehouse 26:57
So okay, so I can give you a really short story of crash. So you know, I did practice bootstrap that. And then in 2019, I raise some venture capital to the crash, which is more of a product company, which was a wild ride in and of itself, that's a bigger story as well, which still still still running crash, still involved with practice as well. But we found that, too, too little partnership lessons that I learned. So our main thing that we offer is essentially a custom video pitch builder for people on the job market. So instead of sending a
Jared Fuller 27:30
resume, you got an idea from Isaac, where did you get that idea from? A you know, what was a company called job circa 2020 13.
Isaac Morehouse 27:39
Only because when I saw job hive, I remember thinking Praxis participants could use this because these are people without college degrees without experience younger than average. And anyway, what practice people ended up doing was making either pitch decks or YouTube videos. So that's kind of where the idea from crash came from. Let's create a platform that lets people self serve and do this. And we found people on the job hunt, it's very, very hard to convince them to do more than click one click apply, if they can go click apply 100 times in a day, even though it gets like a point oh, 4% response rate. That's it's like a, that's easier than going and spending 20 minutes making a video pitch, I'll just stick with that. So getting them to do the additional work is very difficult. But we found boot camps, a couple different boot camps, sales, boot camps, you know, coding boot camps, they have students, and it's on them to place them because many of them have IRSA arrangements where they only get paid if a student gets hired. So now you have the student wants to get hired, and the bootcamp itself who really wants them to get hired. And they're like, oh, video pitches, get an 80% response rate. Great, we're going to automatically make it part of our curriculum, to have them create a video pitch and send it and those customers, it's like, oh, my gosh, this is it. This is the way that these are so much easier, because they already have buy in and they don't crash doesn't need to convince them anything. They don't need to care about crash. Their bootcamp has told them this is the tool. This is just the tool we're going to use to help you go and do this. So that lesson. And then the second one was we created a top of funnel, an email called the daily job hunt, which we just launched in was May or June of 2021. And, you know, using subscribers, right, yeah, we're over 125,000 subscribers now. It's been growing every every month has grown bigger than the month before. And it's really funny because we spent the first couple years we crank out the content, we hundreds of blog posts, 12 career guides, a book, a podcast, like constantly and the returns were just diminishing and it didn't matter if we sponsored if we put money on it, whatever. Putting it into an email format, and then finding some partnerships with what's called co reference stration which is like a new, you know, channel that I was it was new to me with some of these like jobs boards aggregators, where people are going to scan jobs and they have to create an account. And at the account creation process, there's little checkboxes, Hey, would you also like to book a call with this boot camp, join the daily job on email, get information about this. And it's like, at that moment, because the friction of signup is already been done, they already have something that they want and then they can choose, they're not being automatically opted in, that would be a terrible subscriber list. They can choose if they want this additional add on and it's very relevant to where they are, they're looking for a job right now. And they will do the daily job on email. That has been an absolute growth machine like just blown away all the other stuff. So it was like we had all this content but the ways to get value out of it to get it out to people just kept getting harder and harder and harder. SEO is getting noisier the paid stuffs getting noisier. CO registration was like absolute game changer. So I had those experiences myself, and just got like a little taste of where things are going.
Jared Fuller 31:09
Yeah, I mean that that strategy. You know, like, this is why this podcast is important in developing, you know, partner hacker, we're starting it as a newsletter. So check it out, partner hacker.com. Sign up for the newsletter. There's gonna be a lot more to come behind that because you know, you did that 2019 Here's my experience with that. Panda doc and HubSpot. One of the things that I did, I was able to successfully do you know, whenever I started that partnership, we were nobody I mean, a team from Belarus like literally people like Oh, Bella ruse wit. Wait, where's that? Please? No one, no one knew even where it was. Right. And that's where like the company was founded Makita and Sergei, and going all the way to HubSpot CRM in the span of like two years since launch became the number one CRM for SMB. And every single time Isaac, someone signed up for HubSpot CRM, they get a nurture journey. Right? So dedicated emails, right that would be like this nurture journey is pretty standard in SAS today. But back then the whole point was like, you know, they had seven emails that they wanted to send to like help people activate and HubSpot CRM one of them. I could we worked in convince the HubSpot team to be you know, connect your integrations and that the most important integration was whenever they close their first deal. So the retention of someone in HubSpot CRM when they close their first deal was by far the biggest retention metric, there wasn't even a close second. So panda doc being where we were like, I discovered that and I'm like, hey, put panda doc in that email. And that went out to 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people. I mean, I think at one point, like 20,000 cash every other 20,000 a week, every other week, I mean, it was dozens of 1000s a month. And where else were we going to get that kind of distribution to literally someone that was our ideal buyer, they were in CRM, they were going to be sending proposals and quotes and contracts to close deals. And it was like that perfect inflection point. And that, that one thing did more for us that one year than any other paid demand gen hack email, you know, we threw all sorts of stuff at the funnel. And that did more for us than anything else. But I mean, that play, so to speak, how to identify that how to go through that process, like we wrote, arrived at a very similar thing. You know, being at the right, inflection point of the customer journey, either a sign up or an activation or what have you. If you haven't experienced that, how do you how do you find out that that is a play that exists? Yeah, you know, it's funny,
Isaac Morehouse 33:47
like when you found it out. I remember reading Rand Fishkin book, last and founder, which is a really fun, really fun book. And he said something in there that always stuck with me, he said, he said, basically, no matter what you try to do to escape it, every company's DNA is going to be the founders DNA. And so you know, if the founder is wired a certain way, and they're good at certain things, that's always going to be a part of the company culture. And of course, you can see, you know, whatever, Steve Jobs was obsessed with detail, and Apple has that in its DNA, right. And I remember, you know, content is so much in my DNA that I have sort of built content and community to sort of craft a category and build a customer base with my companies. And I remember thinking, my brother is also an entrepreneur, and had a very, very successful FinTech company. And I was like, man, your content game sucks. You guys don't have anything on your blog. And I'm thinking like me, right? And he kept trying, and I kept trying to help him and consulting him and I would send him young people to help run it. He kept trying to have a content game, but it's not in his DNA. That's not the kind of person that he was. And what I love about the partnerships thing is Look, instead of trying to awkwardly, like graft on a part of your business, that's not really in your founding DNA, it's not in your bones, you don't just do it really well and natural and it feels fake. I mean, how many company blogs are just like, just the worst thing ever? Listen to this, that
Jared Fuller 35:19
in b2b partnerships, they're not looking at their blog, right? Like their company publishes blog posts, and they don't read them. Right. Like their employer is like, Oh, God, I don't want to listen, I don't want to read that. Right? Yeah,
Isaac Morehouse 35:28
it's like, so yeah, it's like some intern is just copying and pasting, you know, whatever they find.
Jared Fuller 35:34
GPC would be most company blogs right now. So open AI GPT. Three would be most b2b SaaS blogs.
Isaac Morehouse 35:40
And that's why and that's why things like pure media companies like the hustle and the morning brew, and all these have become so valuable and have gotten acquired, because that is their DNA, they're just really good at content. And so whether, you know, it doesn't have to be an acquisition, but in the in the partnership, ecosystem, just being able to recognize, look, I don't want to do something that I'm not super, super good at, that's not baked into who we are as a company, and I kind of try to win in that space, can I find who's winning in that space? And what we do pairs with what they do, and then you get to kind of be true to yourself, you know, you get to be more true to who you are. And like, that's so much better of an experience for everybody, for customers as well. You know, to let the, to let each part of that funnel, you know, it's like the whole the funnel is not owned by a single company anymore. I don't know, I'm thinking, I mean, this is me learning this stuff for the first time. So you tell me if I sound like a fool? No. So here's
Jared Fuller 36:37
the thing. I mean, I have, sometimes it feels like I'm shouting into the void doing the podcast. So thank you, everyone for listening. And then like the comments that come through, and you know, LinkedIn, or slack or what have you. I think the reality is, is that like, if you're, if you're practicing partnerships, it's really hard to not be one of the most curious people in your organization. So So one individual that I follow, and I really love from an entrepreneur standpoint, and I think that's why I really try to bring together partnerships and entrepreneurs like, why I mean, Mark Roberto's of HubSpot. You know, CRO teaches at Harvard saw incredible story, Mark, you know, said in the sales acceleration formula, his book, The best salespeople, the best partner, people are entrepreneurs. He said he would take that profile over everyone else. And like, I think it's important to to drive the distinction that this cute level of curiosity is the thing that can set us apart. So geeking out on this stuff, Isaac, and like showing some frickin passion. Like, I could give two blank curse words. I'll try not to cuss on this show that much about the quality of whatever your company is producing, I need to know that you frickin care. Like, to me, this is a giant chess game. To me, this is a this is a game and it's fun. And I'm playing to win. I am genuinely curious about it's it's complex. It's, I think, a phrase that I've heard is simple, not easy. Partnerships is the opposite. It's complex, not difficult. It's extremely complex, like each individual thing is not that hard. But you know, striking up a co rich deal. Right? Like from a sales perspective, that's the easiest deal in the world to close. Right? executing it with marketing. That's an extremely easy marketing activity, right. But through the complex webs, you might miss that because they both seem easy. So it's complex, not difficult. And going back to curiosity, my one of my favorite founders I follow is Rahul Vora. So he's the founder of superhuman of recent fame. Best thing to take away from him right now content wise is how to measure product market fit. Fantastic post on that it's so good. What he said. Someone asked him recently, you know, Rahul, how are you just like hitting home run after home run? You know, how are you so smart? And he said, I'm not smart. I'm just curious. And, to me, that's what I want to bring out in this podcast. And like why I, I love what you just says that's the point is that we have to be the most curious person in the room in order to influence our peers and marketing in order to influence our peers and sales in product, you know, or the C suite, the CEO. You can't go into their world and try to tell them everything about marketing, because you can't you can't go into their world and try and tell them everything about sales, because you can't. But you can be more curious about their job than they are. Yes. And I think that's the superpower of partnerships. Man. That's crazy.
Isaac Morehouse 39:42
That's crazy. You said because this is I mean, for the past 10 years, this is what I've been hammering down with 1000s of young jobseekers and we tell people crash all the time. A good pitch to for a good pitch for a job starts with them. The first thing you talk about is the company not yourself. Right You show because how many people are like, Hey, I'm so and so I'm good at x, y and z hire me. And you're like, Okay, do you even know what my rant everyone else? Right? Exactly like you wouldn't you wouldn't go looking for a date, I always tell you, you won't go looking for a date by handing out a bullet point list of 10 reasons I'm highly dateable, right? You find somebody that you're that you're genuinely interested in, and you go up to them and you'd say, I'm interested in you, you fascinate me, I want to learn more about you. Let's grab coffee, right? You would express interest in them. It's the same with job seekers. Hey, your company seems fascinating to me. I want your website, I listen to this podcast your founder did. And I love what you do. If you open with that you'll set yourself apart from other job seekers, right. It's no different in this world of partnerships, if you come Okay, I have an offering How can somebody implement my offering in their, you know, in their process? Or in their product? Or whatever? No, no, no, start with them. Wow, I love what you guys are doing. I've noticed the way that this and this, this happens. I'm curious, how what's your conversion rate at this stage? What happens here? And just asking those questions. It's incredible what it does. So this is
Jared Fuller 41:07
this is such a key point that like I've said it again and again and again. And people just don't like it's so hard to do. It's easy to listen to and just let it slip by. So for example, to your point. Before we really took off in the panda cubs bought partnership, and then I'll take it to Marketo and drift. Before we really took off. We helped do an analysis on what the most important metric for churn was why? Because I'm a tiny little company. You know, we just barely raised our Series A they're a public company trying to take on Salesforce now they just took on marketing automation other taking on CRM. I can't bring them new customers, right. So and I can't say oh, we're the best e signature tool. We're the best whatever, like they don't care. What we figured out what was what was the most important retention and activation metric, which was closing a deal in CRM. When we figured that out that we tied everything that we did back to the thing that was most valuable to them, not us to them. And that's why we became the number one partner in less than one year. In panda doc was the first ever company that HubSpot invested in right HubSpot ventures. Panda doc, that's the first investment. Now with I recognize this, and I ran the exact same play with drift and Marketo. It's the exact same play. So no formal partnership, no, nothing. What I realized was, okay, Marketo, you know, was acquired by VISTA owned by VISTA, they're trying to either enter back into the public markets or get acquired, the most important thing to them is net dollar retention at their stage of company, what's their number one lever for net dollar retention? The number of contacts in the database? Well, guess what? Drift on average, doubles the amount of conversion, at least at the time chat was like really novel, then the number of conversions from anonymous website visitor to contact, right, and then that goes into marketing automation. So I don't even have to do revenue share to make Marketo interested, I can just show Hey, look at these 10 customers. And then I built a couple CSMs inside where I'm like, hey, you know, we got inside your customer account, check out what's going to happen to your renewal. And then their renewal Bill doubled in the CSM at Marketo was compensated on what net dollar retention of their customer accounts. They're like, holy cow, you just doubled the value of my account, I had to do nothing. You're my favorite partner. And then I took those CSMs and those stories up to the exec team and said, I'm going to be your number one partner in less than one year. Right? Why? Because I tied myself to their most important metric and their employees most important metric, and I have the proof. That kind of curiosity and leading with them first. That's That's why partnerships, I think is so different than marketing. Marketing is like, think about it. This is this is so much fun to be able to like look at this holistically because I love every department. partnerships to me is just understanding how they all work together. going out and trying to talk to the masses through marketing. I can't speak to all of them. That's why ABM is such a fad right now in b2b I can kind of target and like really speak to my target accounts. But I can't go out and make that same pitch to to everyone, because it's not about them. It's gonna be about me, you know, we've helped companies like you know, and like what you do a vertical specific messaging like we've helped other industrial manufacturers streamline their XYZ by ABC, that's, I get what you're doing. You're trying because you have to, you have no other choice. But what if you could instead go to that note of trust, right, that circle of influence, and build those relationships with what's most important to them? And I think that's where this year this decade, Jay talks about the decade of the ecosystem. My friend Alan Adler, who was on the podcast He talks about go to ecosystem has a fantastic webinar coming up about it. I think February 1, check him out Digital Bridge partners, so shout out Alan, I'm stoked for that webinar, where he's talking about go to ecosystem, not go to market go to ecosystem like this, this stuff has always worked in partner land. But now we're starting to like, unpack it, like make it more digestible and share the learnings and man, Isaac, I think if nothing else, if we didn't teach everyone a bunch of new lessons today, I think they can tell that we genuinely care as much as anyone out there just being entrepreneurs and passionate about the subject matter, man. It's good.
Isaac Morehouse 45:37
It's a it's a lot of fun. I'm excited. I'm excited about the decade of partnerships, the idea of moving from a world where whoever has the loudest bullhorn to whoever is the most genuinely interested in helping solve other people's problems. You know,
Jared Fuller 45:52
bingo, bingo. So with that being said, Go to partner hacker.com or partner at podcast we'll have signups on both for the newsletter. Whenever you hear this, that means it's live. So go do it right now. If you're so kind if you think this is valuable, because I'm bringing a lot more we got some J McBane. Round two is coming up next, which I'm really excited about. That's next week. I got chip from work span we got zoom Laura Purdy around to some awesome guests coming up. I'm so excited. So leave us a review on Apple podcasts, five stars only. If you want to look at Isaac and me and see what we're geeking out on or partaking in and libations or whatever. Check us out on YouTube. Give us a like and subscribe there. And sign up for the newsletter and then we'll see you in person. April 27 to 28th at SAS connects. So Isaac episodes, one new chapter in the books.
Isaac Morehouse 46:46
Absolutely. Had a great time.
Jared Fuller 46:49
All right, well, we'll see you all next time. Peace out