Meet Casey Slaughter Stanton,
the Functional Marketer...
If we were meeting face to face and you asked me where I was from, I’d point to my hand and show you.
Northern Michigan, the great Mitten state. The land of perogies and pączki and really nice people. Beautiful sunsets over the Manitou Islands, sand dunes, sweet cherries, pawpaw and birch trees. Some of the few remaining American chestnut trees, spring plots of morel mushrooms and jittery lines of quaking aspen. And terribly, terribly cold winters. I moved away in 2010 for warmer climates and ended up in New Orleans. I met a sage while traveling who told me New Orleans was the place for me. He was a traveling yoga DJ. He was enlightened.
I’m a mediocre musician, but that doesn’t keep me from playing. I still pick at the old Alvarez guitar I bought during finals week my first semester in college. I keep my mountain dulcimer near the couch and my banjo about as far away from people I love as possible.
When I was in eighth grade, I discovered the joy of sleight of hand magic. Tom, the owner of Hocus Pocus in downtown Traverse City, helped me find parties and gigs to perform at.
I think family is a non-negotiable.
Family always trumps work. Every year, Adelaide and I renew our commitment to spend at least 60 days with her parents and another 60 days with mine. We are always looking for ways to maximize our time with family while we’re working. That’s the reason we go to work every day: to make a better life for our family. To me, that means doing something meaningful, making a difference, and helping you to do the same. My favorite clients and my best friends all keep family as their priority.
When I’m not helping my clients with their projects, breaking through the 7-and-8 figure barrier, I am:
- Taking my dog Harlan Peppercorn out on long walks, exploring the cities we’re in. Read more about where we are right now
- Out on a tandem bike ride with the love of my life, Adelaide.
- Loading up some Portra 400 in my Hasselblad 500C/M and shooting portraits
- Mentoring past students in building their businesses into profitable, successful ventures
- Hitting whatever gym we can find, even if it’s just a playground at a church
Regarding my business accomplishments, I’m proud of them, but I’m more proud of the people—and the messages—I’ve served. By helping one client launch her digital information product, grossing over $3M, she was able to create more entrepreneurs, helping families break out of the traditional work slog. This may be the most exciting outcome I’ve had, since she was able to transform the lives of thousands with her message and products.
I helped a business futurist hit and stay on the New York Times Best Seller list. He also asked for help in a crowdfunding effort to raise $1.5M for the first-ever crowd funded space telescope. He’s opening the space frontier and I’m thrilled to have been a part of that.
Another client is on a mission to change the way our leaders lead. He’s an ex-NFL player and his mission is something I really believe in. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to help him and his team automate the boring day-to-day, increase the number of people who hear his message, and help provide a rock-solid experience for those within his mastermind.
Clients from across the globe have welcomed me on their team, either as a trusted marketing advisor, or through the highly talented team at Tech Guys Who Get Marketing. Through Tech Guys, I continue to have the opportunity to help individuals identify exciting business goals and achieve them with a team of the best designers, programmers and project managers. They are a family and I love them all.
The Buddha defined Right Livelihood as a “wealth obtained through rightful means”. Bhikku Basnagoda Rahula asks us how we can use our work to grow our kindness and awareness, making our work more meaningful. I’d love to explore those ideas with you, to help you find where your passion and purpose collide with your unique talents and experience.
Recent Blog Posts by Casey…
I’m often asked by entrepreneurs, or challenged by clients, to answer “how aggressive should my marketing be?” I find this to be an interesting question, and one that has just one simple answer.
If you’re an entrepreneur who sells a product or service, you may have started your business due to a pain in your life. That pain may have been a real pain, like needing to protect your child, or something less tangible, like wanting a better scheduling tool.
There was a moment in your life when you said “The world needs what I offer!”
If you’re selling a tangible product, you had to go through sourcing, design and initial iterations. You had to get your hands on the product; touch it… feel it. Then you went back for another round of upgrades and additions.
If you’re selling a digital product or a service, you knew that there was a need in the market and you intended to fill it. You pulled together pricing sheets; tied in a digital shopping cart. You hired a web designer or did it all yourself.
No matter the type of business you created, you did it for a reason. Either you had felt a level of pain without it, or you perceived others had.
I learned long ago that the most successful businesses are pain killers and not vitamins.
With that pain understood, you worked ardently. Maybe you worked moonlight hours and bought your startup to market after the kids were in bed. Maybe, like me, you just lived on as little as possible in order to maximize your risk runway and you tested and tested and tested.
There was a drive that pushed you. A problem that needed solving. A mission you were set on.
It’s not difficult to be an entrepreneur and to say “I’m going to stay up all night and see if I can get this shopping cart integrated.” Or to say “I think selling my car to finance the development of the website is the right move here.”
We make these decisions in our business because we believe in what we’re doing. We’re going to give it our all, and damn it, it’s going to work.
This mission is noble and just. Our spouses, partners or parents can see our steadfast dedication to our work.
But when it comes to marketing, everyone wipes the war paint off their face and second guesses themselves.
This second-guessing is probably just the fear of public humiliation or maybe just cowardice. Whatever you want to label it, it’s stopping you from fulfilling your greatness. Your timidness in marketing is your Achilles Heel.
To bluntly answer the question of “How aggressive should my marketing be?”, we first must ask “How much do I believe what I am selling will help someone?”
What are you selling? Ask yourself what the direct benefit to your customer is when you sell them successfully.
When our tech implementation team sells custom integration and we know our solution is the only right solution the customer is going to find, we fight hard for the sale. We pull out all the stops. We provide the highest level of detail in our proposals, we list the direct benefits and impact to their business. We discuss on calls what the personal impact would be of the reduced complexity and added revenue. We try to hit every single button we can to ensure the client sees that going with us isn’t just an option, but that it’s the only option if they want the outcomes they’re looking for.
Yes, other development companies do good work; our programmers aren’t the only top notch programmers online. But our entire package, with strategy and focus on the growth of the business’s revenue and decrease in the technological complexity does more than just get the job done. We are actively partnering with our clients to transform the way they operate.
About 18 months ago, a client came to me and said they were going to invest tens of thousands of dollars into a new funnel strategy. I met with them to learn more and within the first 15 minutes, I could see that what was being proposed was the wrong direction. There’s no way around it; the new proposed strategy was too complex, it required too many unnecessary additions to the businesses and likely wouldn’t work.
Here’s where I got aggressive… I laid out why it wouldn’t work. I encouraged the client to challenge their potential vendor and to get case studies. I pleaded to the client to look at these other routes to grow their business. My ideas weren’t as new and shiny, but they were time-tested and guaranteed to work.
Ultimately, I was unable to sway the client. Despite my valiant effort, multitude of calls and long emails, I wasn’t able to convince the client to see things as I saw them.
Fast forward 12 months and they apologized to me for not listening — and then thanked me for my effort in trying to stop them. It took a full year for them to see that my insights were correct and they had made a big mistake. Their new venture was just a cost, with no benefit to the business. No ROI from their year of work.
Since then, our relationship has never been stronger. Their trust in me, for standing up and actively pushing them away from something dangerous and costly, built my credibility.
Why did I fight so long and hard? Because I believe in my client’s product to change lives. When they were thinking of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new strategy, plus untold hours from the chief entrepreneur, I knew that they would not be maximizing their potential. I knew that would-be customers would not get to experience their program.
It’s this steadfast belief in my client’s work that made me fight. It made me aggressive. And it made me win their trust, for life.
To the question of “how aggressive should my marketing be?”, the answer is in reflection to how much you believe in what you and your clients do. If you really believe that you have a solution that will save hours or days or weeks of time… that you will do more good in the world by selling your product, be aggressive.
Take off the kid gloves. Go for the jugular. Be direct. Work your ass off.
You wouldn’t compromise the quality of your deliverable. You shouldn’t compromise the aggressiveness of how you sell it, either.
One of my favorite lines on this topic was told to me at a 10-day meditation retreat in Italy. On the last day, as we broke our vow of silence, Greg, one of the only English speaking instructors, said to me:
“What force would you use to stop a child from touching a hot stove?”
The answer is extreme force. You’d do whatever was necessary.
So let me ask you….
What force would you use to stop your prospect from suffering, when you knew you had the solution to their pain?
Last Thursday, a friend of mine (we’ll call him Ben) launched his online course. He had spent many long days (and sleepless nights) pulling together this course and he was very excited. After a dozen hours of research, he chose his membership platform. Then, he reached out to a few designers to have them reproduce his worksheets. Ben built out a beautiful membership site, full of high quality videos that he shot over the course of a few weeks.
If you’ve built a membership site, or ever launched a digital product, you know just how much work is involved in the process. The amount of small details that are critical to a successful launch are easy to overlook, and Ben did a great job keeping everything on track for the launch. Read more »
Look at all you’ve accomplished… you’re an expert. You’ve been in your trade for years, maybe even decades. You’ve slogged through certifications, board meetings, happy and unhappy clients. You’ve innovated in your niche, creating new ways to deliver value to your customers.
Maybe you’re even an active member in the Chamber of Commerce or the Rotary. You understand the benefit of giving back to the community.
Anyone could see that you are a seasoned expert in your field of work. Nearing or even passing your 10,000 hours of experience, you’re grasping the much-deserved medal of mastery. Read more »
About a week ago, I had lunch with a few friends and one asked me how he could be a better marketer with his Shopify site. He runs his business strictly on Shopify and has employees running ads and social media accounts, all with the desire to sell more — but is he? Are sales being made from his marketing efforts? And if so, which traffic sources are the breadwinners and which are the duds?
I put together this guide for him to take to his team. Read more »
I’ve known Pam Hendrickson since 2011 and she is, without question, the greatest product developer alive. She has an uncanny ability to work with experts whom have years of experience and extract the biggest lessons they’ve learned. Then, she helps them massage those lessons and tips into products that can then be sold digitally. Pam has been doing this for decades and has produced products for Tony Robbins, Jordan “The Wolf of Wall Street” Belfort, and many more leaders. As a content architect, Pam is my favorite resource for learning about how to take something in my head and create a product from it. Her MML product is hands-down the best “how to make and market a product” program in the industry.
Pam and her business partner Mike Koenigs launched “Make Market Launch IT Academy” a month ago, and with it, they included and interview with me. In the 25-minute interview, Read more »