Josh Fechter Autopilot

Why I Chose Autopilot Over Uber & Facebook

Company

If you could work for any company which one would it be?

Facebook? Uber? TechCrunch?

I’m an entrepreneur living in the tech mecca of the world, Silicon Valley, and have a high-demand skill set: growth marketing.

Today, it’s easier than ever for me to land clients, build a business, and create an incredible product. Just in the last couple of months, I’ve had several hundred inbound messages asking to work with me on some basis, including opportunities with TechCrunch to starting an agency.

It took five years of working with startups to get here. In no way was it easy.

I’ve learned opportunities are nice, but they can be distracting. In parallel, your most powerful weapon to push your career forward is your ability to say “no.” So, I needed to buckle down and focus on my options.

What would I do?

For the last several months, I’ve been talking to Guy Marion, CMO of Autopilot. I interviewed him one-on-one for a blog post. A couple of weeks later, I hosted a fireside chat with him in front of eighty people. Here’s the recap:

During this time, I learned a lot about Guy and his passion for growth marketing. I was impressed by his vision of better software for customer journeys. He already knows the next ten steps he should take to improve the market and spark growth. This helps him execute ridiculously fast.

As I continued to learn more about Guy and Autopilot’s mission, I found myself gravitating towards their team’s culture. Granted, it helped that I was already friends with several of their employees. Eventually, when the time came for me to partner with a new company, they were first of mind.

Here’s the truth: Little of what I just explained went into my decision of finally choosing Autopilot.

Yes, working with friends and a great team is important, but you don’t just choose a company over Uber and Facebook for one or two reasons.

Here’s everything that went into my decision:

A product worth a great story is a product worth selling

Marketers have a difficult time sharing the technical aspects of what they do. As a result, founders and managers take credit from their technical marketers who create remarkable onboarding journeys.

Not too long ago when people thought of an onboarding journey, they couldn’t comprehend what it even looked like. With visual journeys, now they can.

Journey example

I had my aha moment when my friend excitedly shared his visual journey with me.

Here’s why:

Several years ago, I worked as a copywriter for a video editing software company, NewBlueFX. Our job was to make video editors look cool. After all, movies would be nothing without them, right?

Similar to technical marketing, most people don’t realize the value of video editing. They give all the credit to the producer, director, and actors. For awhile I wondered why a video editor would bother to work if they didn’t feel appreciated. Then, I noticed out of all the content NewBlueFX posted, the images of edits would always receive the most engagement.

I started researching and discovered a strong video editing community that encouraged the display of edits. This is how video editors would judge each other and it gave them a strong source of work validation.

It hit me: Visual workflows for technical marketers are similar to displaying edits. It’s the key piece to bringing together a strong community of technical marketers because they now have content to share, which helps them judge each other’s expertise while sourcing validation.

A space primed for innovation

You acquire a lead or a customer, then what?

Today, most onboarding software is garbage. There’s been little innovation in this market making it ripe for an entrepreneur to make a splash. Because of low-quality software and bad marketing, this is the average founder’s thought process about onboarding:

“I’ll set up a drip sequence that links to tutorials, how-to blog posts, and another offer.”

This drives me crazy because you can integrate hundreds of different products into your onboarding flow. Moreover, nobody has even touched social onboarding.  For example, not one software has a feature to automatically follow high-value prospects on social media once they become a lead or customer.

Transparent culture

Transparency is one of Autopilot’s core values. I love transparency because it helps you innovate faster and provides room for creative freedom. Rather than spending time trying to protect your secrets, you let them go, then build something new and better. This is perfect for a heavy content producer such as myself because my career relies on the speed I can produce value for other people.

High-growth startup

It’s an incredible feeling seeing everything around you improve. Autopilot has raised $20.5M in six rounds from nine investors to help foster more growth. Moreover, they only hire the best talent—no exceptions.

Over the next several years, I expect many new roles, responsibilities, and opportunities to open up. While the company expands, so will everyone’s ability to impact the company’s culture and product.

Similar mission

My mission is to help purpose-driven creators get traction for their startups. I’ve worked tirelessly to help them do that by teaching them various ways to generate leads on almost all social channels. Now, I can help them with onboarding.

To do this, I’m putting the best how-to content in the hands of marketers and founders through conferences and online communities.

The best part: Partnering with Autopilot enables me to hold more conferences and grow my community faster. In turn, I help more people.

Community

If I worked for Uber or Facebook (I interviewed with both), it’d be difficult to continue growing my community of 7,000+ members. I can’t imagine letting all of this hard work go down the drain.

It’s not possible to do both. It takes a lot of work to manage a community, especially if you want to interview forty people and organize over thirty events in the next twelve months.

I need to double-down on my best skills: community building and content creation. I worked hard to build industry relationships and give out epic value over the last several years. It’s an investment that will only continue to pay bigger dividends.

Plus, I can’t stop creating value. I think about it all the time 🙂

A big impact with the right fit

I learned from five-time selling founder and top-20 salesperson of 2016, Sean Sheppard, the importance of not selling to people, but seeking fit. So, I asked myself:

“What companies have the same demographic of people in my community?”

I came up with a big list. Then, I narrowed it down based on growth rate.

“What companies have the same values as I do?”

I narrowed it down some more.

“What companies would love what I do?”

I ended up with seven companies.

Emotion

The product needs to require a strong investment from its customers without sacrificing usability. The more a customer invests, the more likely they’ll become an avid community member and provide word-of-mouth referrals.

This is why Zendesk and Salesforce have die-hard fans. It’s also why Hello Bar doesn’t.

With Autopilot, I have a unique opportunity to help facilitate a community of people who are already avid supporters looking for a better way to connect. Now that’s fun!

What’s next?

I’ll continue doing what I love: providing epic value to as many marketers and founders as possible. To do so, I’ll be working harder than ever to grow my communities to ensure the best content lands in the hands of the many people ready to grow their company.

It’s time for takeoff.

Special offer: I’m giving 99.9% of all my growth hacks to anyone who signs for an Autopilot free trial. Get all the details in the Marketers & Founders Facebook group.

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