Melanie McMurrain has a unique insight into the mindset triggers and needs of an audience—while understanding the techy details and limitations of ESPs and CRM databases. As a former teacher turned digital marketer, Melanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. Over the last five years, she’s put these skills to good use in the trenches of the online business world, designing and managing multiple seven-figure launches on behalf of countless entrepreneurs, authors, course creators, teachers and thought leaders, a former professional Arena League football player and one of the original sharks from the first season of Shark Tank.
- CEO Hack: Having the right team
- CEO Nugget: Be open to learning, build relationships and stay relevant by showing up for people
- CEO Defined: Freedom
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:30
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. Melanie McMurrain of rise marketing. Melanie, it's awesome. have you on the show?
Melanie McMurrain 0:39
Yeah, it's so great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Gresham Harkless 0:41
No problem. Super excited to have you on before we jumped in. I want to read a little bit more about Melanie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Melanie has a unique insight into the mindset triggers and needs of an audience while understanding the techie details and limitations of ESP s and CRM databases. As a former teacher turned digital marketer, Melanie holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in instructional technology. Over the last five years, she's put these skills to good use in the trenches of the online business world. Designing and managing multiple seven-figure launches on behalf of countless entrepreneurs, authors, course creators, teachers, and thought leaders. She's a former professional arena league football player and one of their original sharks from the first season of shark tank. Well, you're ready to speak to the IAM CEO community.
Melanie McMurrain 1:22
I am I am. It sounds like there was a slight typo in the bio that you had, however. So my clients were former football arena league players and on Shark Tank not me. That would be like really cool, though. If I could be like, Oh, yeah, I do education. I do marketing. I play football and I are on TV.
Gresham Harkless 1:45
Yes, I apologize for that. You're absolutely right. You, you I just misread that. And you're absolutely right. And who's to say you can't do that anyway, so I
Melanie McMurrain 1:53
make it a goal.
Gresham Harkless 1:54
Exactly. I like I say if you're able to manage and balance the techie details and the limitations, and he does the psychology and all those things. I wouldn't put anything past you. So my money's definitely on you.
Melanie McMurrain 2:02
Yeah, yeah, I'll get started on that as soon as soon as this calls over.
Gresham Harkless 2:06
Yeah, well, um, so I wanted to kick everything off with what I call your CEO story and kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more how you get started with all the awesome things you're working on?
Melanie McMurrain 2:15
Well, what what I really love to share with people who, you know, any of your listeners who are maybe working a nine to five, maybe in an industry that is changing, or adjusting the way you work with after the covid 19 pandemic and everything that you know, there is hope and there is a silver lining, because back in 2014, I was actually the general manager of a nonprofit children's music. And I you know, when you're a manager of a nonprofit, you kind of wear all the hats. You do it all right. So I was doing the marketing, I was doing the fundraising, I was doing everything. And it consumed. Every part of me it was my passion. It was the charities that I supported all of my friends, all of my connections were fully involved and can at the source of that museum. And if it's a run by boards of directors, so a large number of people kind of determine your fate. And I was let go in 2014. And at that moment, I realized that every part of my life and who I was, was in that job, and I had no idea what I was going to do. And so I did what everybody does, when that happens is I posted it on Facebook, especially back in 2014. So I posted them on Facebook, and within an hour a friend of mine, Gary Henderson reached out to me and said, Hey, I know you don't really know much about marketing, per se. But I think that if you could sit down at a desk for nine hours a day that you would actually love this. So I wrote back to him. I said, Well, I don't have anything else to do so sure. And I and I started working with him. And you know, we went right into the trenches of digital marketing and anybody listening that's familiar with email marketing, and funnels and websites and Facebook ads, I was learning it all, you know, Infusionsoft was confusions off. You know, a funnel was what you use to change oil in the car, not to build a website online. I had no idea what I was doing. And honestly, 2014 wasn't that long ago. And so very quickly, I learned and I grew. And by 2018, I started my own agency and became my own CEO. And that was, you know, a journey, but it was a journey, like filled with, you know who I am. So now I am not my business. And that was the big shift that I made in me that when your business changes, it doesn't have to change who you are.
Gresham Harkless 4:48
That's extremely powerful.
Melanie McMurrain 4:49
Yeah, yeah. It was really, really eye opening for me to kind of realize how a big change like that can set you back when it's actually happening for you. And it's an opportunity to move ahead instead of holding yourself back.
Gresham Harkless 5:05
Yeah, you're absolutely right. And so funny, I have this thing, which is right along the lines of what you just said is, a lot of times I tell myself, things are not happening to me, they're happening for me. And I think when you're able to kind of make that mindset shift, as you're trying to talk about, I have myself I've been laid off as well. And it's definitely not an exciting time, I should have maybe posted on Facebook notes itself. And that may be a bit better, but I absolutely love how you were able to approach it and how you were able to kind of learn and definitely, you know, in create that opportunity to kind of help out so many organizations and businesses and, and let me know, too, that that Infusionsoft Infusionsoft, that should definitely be like a T-shirt or something as well. So I love that you were able to kind of translate and move towards that and really do a lot of stuff to help so many businesses and organizations. And I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. And could you take us through what you're doing with Rize marketing, could you take us through how you work with your clients and the services that you provide?
Melanie McMurrain 5:55
So rise marketing started out as a done for you Digital Marketing Service, we run Facebook ads for influencer brands, we run email marketing campaigns, and we build lead generation funnels, a lot of webinar promotions, info products, digital courses, and memberships that are 100% sold online. So my clients have been everywhere, anywhere from Australia, Bali, New Zealand, South Africa, all over the United States, Canada, UK, you know, my I only have two clients, actually now three clients that I've worked with local to my area. So it's definitely a worldwide business that serves, you know, high level entrepreneurs who sell digital products. But I found myself being pulled into that world. And when you live in that world of launches and digital marketing, you're basically working 24/7, and this year, my husband and I actually adopted our 12 year old son. And yeah, it's been really, really awesome. But I realized I don't want to be stuck, you know, like, in this 24/7 work. So I've been building my team. And I've been expanding my services. So I'm really starting to market myself as a expert, and helping people rather than helping the influencers that already have seven and eight figure businesses, I've been helping people who are just getting businesses build out their email marketing, funnel, lead generation, and how they can really maximize their email marketing strategies to increase revenue and make sales online.
Gresham Harkless 7:39
Yeah, I absolutely love that. And you kind of touched on that as well, when we're going through your story, I think so many times that we forget, you know, our businesses as we evolve as people and as we grow, and changes happen, and you know, circumstances happen and things like that. Also, our businesses can grow too. But we have kind of like the power to direct the ship, so to speak, and figure out how exactly we want to make an impact. And that can be in so many different ways. Where you know, digital marketing, again, you can focus on so many different aspects, but being able to kind of had that arm and again, as you mentioned, grow your team so that you're able to spend time and spend your energy and the place that you want and would be leading you to what success would be for you is exactly what you've been able to do. It sounds like definitely. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now when it asks you for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for you, or your business or combination of both, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Melanie McMurrain 8:27
So I think there's probably a lot of things that that set me apart my business up until I started marketing myself as 100% referral. And that is because I am constantly connecting and learning. So when you're connecting and learning, you are going through every bit of opportunity of seeing what's out there and what's working. So I funnel hack a lot. And that's, you know, in the Russell Brunson world, right, the funnel, the Click Funnels, like funnel hacking, but but it's not necessarily that level. It's watching what's working, but also watching what's not working. As a CEO of your own business and my entrepreneur clients, and everybody does this. You're always watching what other people are doing. And one of my gifts, and I think that what sets me apart is I'm able to look at what other people are doing, and determine if what they're doing does it is it a shiny object? Does it look cool, feel cool and exciting. But is it actually effective and working? So there's ways that you can test and watch for things that are being implemented, and know if it's an effective strategy or if it's an ineffective strategy, because that's what everybody said, I saw so and so do this, we should do that. Right? Like what can be our thing. And a lot of times, they're just shiny objects, that just because it's something that you can do doesn't necessarily mean it's something that you should do. So that that really is I feel like kind of sets me apart, in addition to, you know, not falling into that trap. But also knowing when a client is a right fit and when they're not a right fit. And I definitely protect myself and my time to, you know, work with the right people that are going to make me happy, make my team happy, make my family happy. And always, you know, thinking of that first.
Gresham Harkless 10:24
Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?
Melanie McMurrain 10:35
So definitely having the right team is is the key to this. And I know that that sounds kind of bland, and something that you know, isn't, it's not rocket science, right. But when you know, you have the right team, there's there several levels to building the right team. And what you can do is you can find, if you have one person that you have worked with really well, you can have them go through personality tests, whether it's Myers Briggs, I use Myers Briggs, there's the other names of the other ones that I've used, my mind just went blank on them. But there's many several, you know, popular tests that you can take the people that you work well with, have them go ahead and take that test and find out what their results are. And then when you need to hire more people like them, when you're interviewing, have them take the same personality tests. And it will give you insight into who you're finding. Because one of the things about personality tests that a lot of people take for granted, is when you're answering a personality test about yourself. A lot of times you're not giving your true north answer, you're not you're telling the truth that you believe about yourself. So I may look at a personality test and say, Oh, I'm looking for somebody who's a one. But that person who is a one may not answer the questions in that way. Or they may answer the questions to get that result. Because you're looking at it from different lenses. So if you have people that you like and love working with your clients that you like and love working with, see the results that they get through their filter, you're more likely to get a real outcome and response.
Gresham Harkless 12:16
Okay, perfect. And we'll definitely have that in the show notes as well. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, it can be around marketing. Or if you were to happen to a time machine, you might tell a client or tell your younger business self.
Melanie McMurrain 12:30
So I think what I would tell my younger business self, the scary thing for me when I lost that job that that museum job was that I felt like, you know, I have a master's degree in education, I went to school for forever to get and you know, studying, I did all of these networking, I did TV, all of this local business. And now I'm working on a global scale, all digital. And you know, you always feel like something doesn't resonate or some part of your life was a waste of time, or I shouldn't have done that. Everything that happened to me on my path has contributed to where I am today. So networking and connections are the key whether no matter what business, you're in it, it's critical to build relationships with people, if you own a restaurant, build relationships with the other stores and business owners in your area. If you are running a digital marketing business, connect with other people who are running digital marketing businesses, and so having memberships in masterminds, working with mentors, contributing and being present in Facebook groups and in social media, being out there open to learn and open to give is the key to continuing to excel yourself ahead, staying Top of Mind and relevant, and never needing to hustle for clients or customers. Because when you show up for people, when you need people, they'll be there for you.
Gresham Harkless 14:03
So now what have asked you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Melanie, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Melanie McMurrain 14:12
a CEO, to me means freedom, which again, I feel like that's kind of like a generic and kind of broad answer. But when you're working for a company, a corporation, you have all of the rules and guidelines and mandates set out for you. And you're forced to conform to that certain set of rules. And when you're a CEO, you get to make those decisions, and even the government can try to rule that they can tell you what you can do and you can't do but I'm in the power to make the decision if I want to do that. And if there's a mandate or a rule out there that I don't want to follow, I can make a choice to not operate my business. I can make a choice to start some something new, I can have as many side hustles as I want, I can, you know, take vacations and set parameters for myself and make those decisions for myself. So that's the freedom that it's brought me which I think in the long term is going to make me a better wife, a better mom, and a better CEO for my team.
Gresham Harkless 15:19
That's awesome. I appreciate your time even more. And what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.
Melanie McMurrain 15:31
The best way to reach out to me would be to on my website, which is rise marketing.com slash I am CEO. So I have that link for you that you can share if anybody is interested in learning more about how they can build up their digital marketing on their own, how they can build that email list, that that opportunity is there for them and they'll be able to reach out to me directly.
Gresham Harkless 15:58
Awesome, awesome, awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes. But I definitely appreciate that reminder as well too about those own assets, and making sure that we leverage those and make sure that we're communicating connecting with our tribe and those people that will go to bat for us is extremely important, especially during less than ideal times and definitely uncertain and disruptive times as well. So truly appreciate that. Melanie appreciate you and all the awesome work you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal day.
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