Co-founder Sam Chlebowski provides an insider look at what’s happened at Motion.io over the last two months. Sam explains what the team has learned since publicly launching Motion.io at the beginning of September, the powerful new features they’ve added to the product since then, and details some exciting internal company updates.
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[00:00:00] Intro Music Plays
[00:00:09] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday, everybody. And welcome back to designing growth. Sam Chlebowski here, host of this podcast and Co-founder of Motion.io. Joining you again for another episode. I have had the immense pleasure of having some awesome guests on over the last couple of weeks, our last episode 51 with system strategist Cait Potter is a really great one if you are a business owner – or even a system strategist of your own using things like automation and building systems and processes to help you scale and grow your business. And then the episode before that episode, number 50 – as a side note, I can’t believe that I’ve done 52 episodes now after this comes out.
[00:00:52] Sam Chlebowski: But anyways, that episode is a really great one for anybody who does marketing in any capacity. If you are working as a part of a marketing team, or if you are a business owner looking for new ways to attract clients and grow on that episode, we talked a lot about newsletter strategy and social media, how it’s changed, all that stuff.
[00:01:13] Sam Chlebowski: So if you haven’t listened, highly recommend you go back and check that out. On this episode, I’m going to be joining you solo to talk a little bit about what’s been going on here at Motion. io and give you a nice little insider view of what we’ve been up to over the past couple of weeks. The last time I did this, I believe, was back at the beginning of August.
[00:01:33] Sam Chlebowski: I think that was episode number 46. And I talked a little bit about my role here at Motion. io. But for this episode, I want to give you some product updates and really cool stuff we’ve been working on, as well as just zoom out and help you get the whole picture of like, what is our team working on?
[00:01:50] Sam Chlebowski: How are we doing this? How are we building this product? How are we trying to grow this company? So we’re going to get into all of that. This.
[00:01:56] Sam Chlebowski: September was a very, very exciting month [00:02:00] for us because one of the great things that happened is our CTO, our chief technology officer, and the one who is actually building Motion. io, doing the coding. Zach came on full time and he’s been full time for just over about two weeks now. This is really exciting for us because Zach had been working on Motion.
[00:02:19] Sam Chlebowski: io kind of like a nights and weekend type of thing whenever he could. And since coming on full time, the pace of the new features that we’ve been adding to Motion. io and the new things that we are releasing, it has just taken off. And it’s been really, really exciting to be able to push all of these new updates out to everybody.
[00:02:38] Sam Chlebowski: And I’m going to talk about those updates in a little bit.
[00:02:40] Sam Chlebowski: Another exciting update from our team at motion. io is we are getting an office and we move into that office next week. We have been totally remote, the three of us the past year working on Slack, meeting up in person when we can, but primarily day to day we have been virtual. Uh, so we’ve got an office and that’s really exciting.
[00:03:02] Sam Chlebowski: It has been now. Oh gosh. Almost three and a half years coming up on four years since I’ve even stepped foot in an office because at the beginning of 2020, everything started to shut down.
[00:03:16] Sam Chlebowski: And then after that, I went to go work at two different places that were all remote. So it’s been a long time for me since I’ve even had a office to go to, and it’s really exciting. to be able to hang out, talk, product, talk. What we’re seeing is going to be, I think, really beneficial to our team.
[00:03:32] Sam Chlebowski: So we’re all really excited about that.
[00:03:35] Sam Chlebowski: Another exciting thing, and this is where I’ll segue back into kind of what’s going on with the Motion.io product is that we are getting a ton of new people IO, talking to us, sharing their experiences, sharing their feedback and. Signing up to become paying customers of motion dot I O.
[00:03:52] Sam Chlebowski: Along with that, it’s leading us to some realizations and some important features that we’ve decided [00:04:00] to build since Speaking with people and having them use motion. io is a critical part of their business to provide this very professional, very organized client portal that not only makes life easy for clients and provides that premium client experience, but also makes life really easy for business owners and io because it streamlines your communication.
[00:04:23] Sam Chlebowski: Allows you to have one place where all of your clients files, all of the tasks, all of the messages that you’re sharing with each other’s throughout projects can live and is super accessible.
[00:04:34] Sam Chlebowski: You can find everything right away and have easy access to that. Speaking of communication, one of the big things that by the time that this episode releases should be live on motion. io is Chat. In addition to being able to communicate with clients through tasks that you send them, you’ll now be able to have a dedicated chat messenger within all of your client portals.
[00:04:55] Sam Chlebowski: And anybody who is invited to a portal, whether that be clients or team members, is going to be able to communicate through And this is a really big step for us to Deliver on an even bigger feature which is offering more options for recurring work and help desk style exchanges right now.
[00:05:13] Sam Chlebowski: A lot of what motion. io is really great for is. You’re working on a project, whether it be a website, a brand redesign, it could even be things like PR. We have a company who is using us to do, press releases and social media management for the clients that they manage. but it works really great for that.
[00:05:30] Sam Chlebowski: One of the places where We have gotten a lot of requests to build some more functionality is, Hey, what happens after I build this thing or design this thing for a client? And they want to have me update it. our chat feature is really the first step to making that a reality, and it’s going to become more robust over time. So that’s super exciting. That should be out by the time this podcast episode is released.
[00:05:53] Sam Chlebowski: We’ve been testing it all day today. Aside from that new feature, major parts of the motion. [00:06:00] io product itself have gotten complete overhauls.
[00:06:02] Sam Chlebowski: One of those things is a redesign of the client portals themselves.
[00:06:07] Sam Chlebowski: If you use Motion.io, you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you’re familiar with the product at all. You know that one of the most powerful features of motion. io is you’re able to connect hundreds of different apps by embedding them in these integration tabs where you can embed them directly in your client’s portals so they can access all of the tools that your business uses without having to jump around to different links or keep track of all of these different softwares. They can access everything right there through their motion.
[00:06:36] Sam Chlebowski: io client portals.
[00:06:38] Sam Chlebowski: What we started seeing is that people would connect a lot of things within these portals. And if you had a ton of them, it made the organization a little bit funky. We have redesigned the client facing portals themselves. So instead of having a list of tabs, Running horizontally across the client portals, those are now in a vertical sidebar,
[00:06:59] Sam Chlebowski: this is really helpful because before the way that our portals work, it was a little bit disconnected. For example, like previously as a client, if you had a task to schedule a time, you had to kind of navigate away from that task to go to that separate tab where a calendar was embedded. . Now, a client can see that they have to schedule a time to speak with you
[00:07:19] Sam Chlebowski: and while they are scheduling that time, quickly reference that task that they need to complete. big updates that you might have missed a while back that were massive requests. Users the ability to add multiple people to tasks.
[00:07:32] Sam Chlebowski: You can now assign as many folks as you’d like to a task and give them all access to that. And you can also create multiple portals for your clients. So for example, if you have a brand redesign project that has a couple of components, let’s say there is a website redesign component in there, a,
[00:07:49] Sam Chlebowski: Brand strategy component in there And then a official launch for the new brand. You could have three separate portals and your client can now quickly toggle between them. So [00:08:00] that’s really helpful when you want to kind of compartmentalize the different things that you’re working on. So your client doesn’t get overwhelmed or confused by just one massive list of everything related to this project when it’s really like three smaller projects.
[00:08:13] Sam Chlebowski: of the final feature that I will mention that we’ve added that is probably helpful to know about is the ability to share portal links with clients.
[00:08:21] Sam Chlebowski: For a quick refresher, Motion. io’s client portals are completely login less for your clients to use. That means they don’t have to create an account. They never have to log in or you never have to worry about them remembering a password. This was something that we did really early on. I think the very first version of Motion.
[00:08:38] Sam Chlebowski: io that we launched had this magic link technology.
[00:08:41] Sam Chlebowski: Because we heard again and again clients don’t want to log into a tool that they perceive as another tool. That was a big part of the reason why we added custom branding so you can upload your logo.
[00:08:52] Sam Chlebowski: You can customize your portals to reflect your brand identity. But more importantly than that, as it relates to why we did this magic link thing in the first place, is that clients don’t like logging in or creating accounts on other pieces of software. So we’ve had this technology for a while now that basically allows you to just enter a client’s email and it sends them an email with a link to their portals.
[00:09:15] Sam Chlebowski: But one of the things that we had requested is, Hey, you know, sometimes my clients don’t use email. Sometimes Facebook Messenger or text. Is there a way that I can send them the link to their portal? And now in motion. io, you can’t, So all you have to do to send a link to a client now is go into the users tab within a portal and click the button with a little link on it. And you can send that magic link to your clients. However you’d like.
[00:09:42] Sam Chlebowski: Making it quick and easy if you use a different communication platform outside of email, or if clients simply lose track of emails, because let’s face it, despite our best efforts that happens all the time, I don’t think it matters what type of business you’re in, what type of industry, inevitably [00:10:00] emails will get lost or things will go unread, and this ability to share portal links with your clients is a nice way around that when that does happen.
[00:10:08] Sam Chlebowski: Aside from those product updates, one of the things that I know that our team has found really exciting. And honestly, I think the best part of building this product is finding out all of the different ways that people are using it, but also the things that they’re using it for. And oftentimes it’s ways that we don’t expect.
[00:10:27] Sam Chlebowski: My co founder Perry, who’s been on this podcast a handful of times, It’s primarily the one who demos Motion. io for people. So if somebody comes in asking for a demo or if anybody listening in the audience out there wants a demo, it’ll probably be Perry that you speak with.
[00:10:42] Sam Chlebowski: And he runs that sort of sales side of the business. Well, I am primarily on the marketing side and Zach is developing the app.
[00:10:51] Sam Chlebowski: One of the big things that I’ve seen a ton of value in over my course of working in a couple startups whether that is you as an owner or a full team of dedicated salespeople managing that process when there is synergy between what you can also do on a marketing side.
[00:11:06] Sam Chlebowski: And we saw a really great example of that this week. We had someone come in asking how to use Motion. io in their sales process. And Perry had asked me like, Hey, could you think you could make a portal example for what it would look like to maybe run a sales process through Motion. io? And I said, yeah, let’s give it a shot.
[00:11:27] Sam Chlebowski: I haven’t done that yet. Most of the ways that we’d use motion. io were for onboarding. Basically once a client has already fully committed to work with a business, but I said, you know, let’s take a, let’s take a stab at it. Let’s see how it works. And what we did is we worked together to build this client portal example that has a couple of steps.
[00:11:47] Sam Chlebowski: It is a proposal that’s embedded directly into motion. io.
[00:11:51] Sam Chlebowski: A contract And then finally, a invoice for them to pay as well as a calendar for them to schedule a call. So what we did to [00:12:00] create this example sales template that could be reused with this user that we were talking to.
[00:12:05] Sam Chlebowski: Is we created then a to do list in motion dot I O.
[00:12:09] Sam Chlebowski: So if this company brought in a new sales prospect, they would be able to check off to dues of view and sign their proposal, sign the contract, make the payment, schedule your kickoff call. And all of those to do’s were linked to these custom integration tabs that we put in Motion. io and all of these things are kind of working in harmony. But what’s great about that is the sales prospect. You want to remove as much friction as you possibly can there. And I felt that motion. io did a wonderful job at accomplishing that because now this repeatable sales process can be used for any new prospect that’s brought in and any new sales prospects that now come in, they don’t have to jump between, okay, I got to go here to this proposal software to view and sign this proposal. Then I got to click this link, go into the contract Here to go pay this first invoice here to schedule my kickoff call.
[00:13:00] Sam Chlebowski: No, it’s all right there in their portal. They don’t have to go digging through their emails and they can clearly see what they’ve completed and what they haven’t. And I think even more powerful with the way that I look at it is these are all external tools and each one is being used for a different Purpose, but it all works in harmony directly within motion.
[00:13:20] Sam Chlebowski: io. So that was exciting to see. And I feel like we’re stumbling upon new use cases and even new types of business that are using motion. io every day.
[00:13:30] Sam Chlebowski: even outside of the creative space, designers, web developers, digital ad agencies.
[00:13:36] Sam Chlebowski: We’ve had people start using Motion. io who work in things like insurance, and that’s been super, super interesting for us.
[00:13:43] Sam Chlebowski: Our primary focus right now and kind of where we started this product was supporting creative agencies or creative businesses. And that’s where all three of our collective backgrounds are. But I think that that speaks to the flexibility of motion. io is that it can not only slide in seamlessly [00:14:00] two different businesses within the same industry, but can also work in other industries outside of that.
[00:14:05] Sam Chlebowski: And I will admit that that can be something that’s challenging sometimes because it can be tough to build messaging around that and have this very laser focused vision of who you want to target through your messaging and your marketing content.
[00:14:19] Sam Chlebowski: When you’ve seen your product can work with all of these different types of people.
[00:14:24] Sam Chlebowski: And I realized that I probably even sound like a little bit of a hypocrite because I put out a YouTube video based on my experiences working in a web design agency of the top tips for getting clients, and I broke it down into, you know, here’s what you do in your first month. Here’s what you do in months two and three.
[00:14:42] Sam Chlebowski: Here’s what you do in months for up to your first year. One of the big pieces of advice I gave on that was like find a niche. It’s tempting to be everything to everybody, but don’t. And it’s just so funny how that stuff comes back because it’s like now I look at it and io working with all of these types of businesses.
[00:15:00] Sam Chlebowski: It makes me say like, well, do we have to niche down? Do we have to find that specific segment?
[00:15:06] Sam Chlebowski: So it’s something we’ve been thinking about a lot and talking about a lot.
[00:15:10] Sam Chlebowski: But at the end of the day, we want anybody who we want anybody who is looking for a central hub for all of their client communication files.
[00:15:20] Sam Chlebowski: Tasks and third-party software can live and we just want to learn from you. We want to learn what’s working, what’s not, what we need to add to get even more value out of that. And I think that the more of those conversations that we can have from the wider number of businesses and industries, the better it’s going to equip us
[00:15:38] Sam Chlebowski: to build the best piece of software that we possibly can.
[00:15:41] Sam Chlebowski: So with that, if you haven’t tried out Motion.io yet – head to our website, sign up for a free account. Just click the button. Try it for free. It’s plastered all over our website. And let us know what you think. Schedule a call with us. Have us walk you through things.
[00:15:55] Sam Chlebowski: We’ll even build you a portal template because we do have portal [00:16:00] templates now as well, where you can create one portal and then quickly duplicate it and reuse it for as many clients as you’d like. We’ll set it up for you. If you’re willing to spend 15, 20 minutes with us telling us about your business and what you need to succeed and develop these scalable processes that are going to help you grow, help you save time, help you delight each client.[00:16:21]
Sam Chlebowski: With that – Sam Chlebowski Signing off of this episode of Designing Growth. Hope you enjoyed this kind of peak behind the curtain at Motion.io and we’ll be back with another episode next week. Until then, everybody have fun, good luck, and go crush it. Bye bye.
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