We’re back with the first episode of Season 3 of The Lead Generation podcast—a marketing show that reveals the many pathways of entrepreneurship and the skills, strategies, and steps to grow your business online.
In Episode 31, Geni Ramos shares the lessons she’s learned growing her company, La Consultoría Digital, as it supports the efforts of her Spanish-speaking clients around the world. She discusses the key elements of marketing automation and the types of tools to use to create a business that rewards you with an enjoyable life.
- Participate in masterminds at least once a year to get fresh perspectives from outside your business
- Business is more fun (and profitable) when you are a team player instead of a lone wolf.
- Prioritize getting things done instead of constantly planning for perfection.
- Understand that marketing automation is simply the use of technology to perform tasks 24/7 that would otherwise be done by you manually.
- Build a single automation system for your entire customer journey instead of cobbling together dozens of mini automations.
- Use tools like Calendly and Zapier to save yourself hours of time every week.
- Geni Ramos on Instagram
- Case Study: How Geni Ramos Quit Her Job and Built Her Own Digital Marketing Agency
- La Consultoría Digital
- Workaciones - Vacation Masterminds
- Calendly calendar automation
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Get to Know Geni Ramos
Bob Sparkins: Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Lead Generation from Leadpages. I'm your host Bob. And in this episode, I bring you a conversation with Geni Ramos. Geni is a marketing automation consultant and trainer who serves Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs around the world, through her agency La Consultoría Digital. She's also the host of Workaciones, masterminds with the perfect blend of work and vacation to allow rapid growth through magical experiences. Let's dive in.
Hey Geni, it's so great to have you on this episode of the Lead Generation Podcast. Thanks for joining me.
Geni Ramos: Pleasure being here, Bob. Thank you.
Bob: Now, as some will notice from your amazing accent, you are not from the United States. You have spent many years in the UK, but where are you connecting from as we record today?
Geni: So I'm based in a little town north of Barcelona (Spain).
Bob: Excellent. Well, it's certainly a pleasure to connect with you.
For those that don't know Geni's story, we have a really great case study write-up that we did on the Leadpages blog, so we'll be sharing the show notes about that. So I'm going to have you just share a little condensed version of your story, but before we do that, I always like to start this show with this question, which is what is the kind of transformation that you and your team are able to provide with the people that you work for?
Geni: So we are massive fans that digital tools can help business owners to save time on their daily basis and automate processes and use that time for other things or to make more sales.
Bob: That's awesome. And what kind of transformation have you been seeing lately that you get really jazzed up about when a client writes back to you and says, oh my goodness, Geni, this happened in my business and now I'm able to do this instead.
Geni: One of the most amazing answers I get is, Geni, I'm not working 50 hours a week anymore. I'm working like seven hours a day, six hours a day, and I'm more organized. So that for me is a big win.
Bob: That is a big win. So let's talk a little bit about your background so people know this journey it's been. I believe like a seven-year journey from what I can gather from knowing a little bit more about you these days. So take us back in time. You used to be an employee working in an inside agency type of a place. What was that like? And what made you go from that to freelancer, and then to ultimately now an agency owner?
Geni: Yeah, well, I studied advertising and public relationships here in Spain. Back 2000, and I don't know, '12, '13, I don't remember. And after finishing, there was this massive recession going on. I had an internship opportunity in the United Kingdom. I started working in the Southwest of London in a little events company. I then joined the marketing agency, which was great. And there, I discovered the amazing world of digital marketing and all these things. I started working with Leadpages at the time. That was 2014. For some reason, the agency just shifted to a different direction. I wanted to go home to backpack. I've been two years in the UK and I decide starting my own little business and trying to do all these automation services and services dedicated that are more focused to the online tools and start saving time for my clients.
So I started there and it hasn't gone very wrong. Seven years later, I'm here. I have actually grown my business. And now not only I give consulting hours to some clients, and give services about automation, email marketing, and all these funnels, and all these things going on. But also I have an academy where we teach entrepreneurs and business owners how to use this type of online tools and how to save money and save time during this adventure that is being an entrepreneur and creating your own company, which is not easy.
Discovering the Magic of Marketing Automation
Bob: We're going to talk about marketing automation a little bit later on in this episode, but this question comes to mind, when people think about marketing automation, they tend to think, I think, as a very under-the-hood technical thing, pretty much vampire, stay away from it. How did you come to love it as opposed to people who are afraid? Did you just naturally like it, or did something click for you as you went from your professional life into your entrepreneurial life?
Geni: No one has asked this question to me before. So love it, because the first thing I did was trying to save time on my daily basis in the marketing agency, because as you probably know, social media and marketing tasks are very repetitive. And I was thinking, oh my God, do I need to do this task every day, 10 times? I mean, it's not productive. There's something I'm not doing correctly.
I started investigating on the internet and I find all this really cool tools that could help myself and could help my clients to save time. And then I started, I'm a bit of a geek. So I started in looking on the internet and there were all these marketing gurus talking about funnels and creating automatic sales. And I was like, oh my God, this looks, it's crazy because I was thinking, is this possible? Is this real? And I started applying and I did a couple of courses, which were really good. And I started putting my head to think the right way. And I think that is important to let everyone know that marketing automation doesn't have to be difficult. It's not difficult. It's as difficult as you want to make it. That is the thing.
So if you want to create something very complex, you can do it. But I like to keep things simple and get them working as soon as possible and see the results, today or tomorrow instead of having to wait three months.
Two Obstacles to Overcome
Bob: Yeah, that's amazing. I can't wait to talk more about this in just a few minutes. But I do want to ask another question first, which is when you look back at that transition from stage to stage in your business, I imagine there had to have been at least one or two or 25 obstacles that were in your way. What is one that comes to mind that you still to this day think back to as, in gratitude, that even though it was maybe tough at the time you got through it and you came out the other side really well?
Geni: I think that there's two things. The first one is that we think that we are not enough for our own business. So we think that we are not good enough to sell at the price that you need to sell. That you are scared because I'm good at marketing automation, but I'm not good at selling. No, I'm all these things, it just stopped me from getting better results. So at one point I was like, look, I'm not excellent at everything. I'm good at some things, I'm not as good as other people in other things, but I can do it. No, I need to try. I stop thinking about things and start trying things and doing things because doing is the first step towards seeing that whatever you want to accomplish is easier and it's not as far away as you think that it is. So that's one thing.
And the other thing is like working on your mindset and how you think about things. I have a mentor that says that the biggest obstacle on your business is between the screen and the chair: yourself. So you are, I don't know how to say it in English, but you are whatever is stopping your business to accomplish more sales and dedicating time to yourself and dedicating time to be thinking bigger. It's super important. So that's two big things I can think about now.
Lessons Learned as a Competitive Baton Twirler
Bob: Awesome. Now I notice as we're doing this on video, some of you might be listening on audio obviously, but there is a baton behind your shoulder and I want to have you speak to it for a minute, because you have been a competitive baton twirler for a long time. What are some lessons you learned as an athlete in that sport that you carry forward in your business today?
Geni: Everything. I think that being part of a sport allows you to learn many things. And one of the things I like most, more at that time that I am now is that I've learned to be a team player and that for a business, if you want to grow your business, you cannot be alone. That's for sure. You need to be a team player. You need a team or you need someone that's helping you out with something. And yeah, it's like being determined on whatever you want to accomplish too. So mindset is important. I'm super positive. People sometimes say to me, you're very positive, like too much. It's not real. And I'm like, I know, but you need to be positive. You need to keep thinking where you want to go or what do you want to accomplish, but also be near people that help you out. And that pushes you towards that goal that you want to accomplish. I stopped doing sport for a couple of years because I had a back injury and now I'm again training, because that helps me out and also helps me to disconnect from work.
Bob: That's amazing. So for those of you listening in, go check out some of the videos on YouTube, they're awesome. And I have no ability in that area at all. So I'm always in awe of people that can do that.
The Delivered Promise of Masterminds
Bob: Let's switch gears a little bit over to a recent part of your business that you've done, which is masterminds. I had a chance to see since you used Leadpages to market your masterminds, what you're doing with these Workaciones that you've put on. One of the more recent ones in the Ibiza, Spain. I'm a big fan of electronic music and EDM and I always see these videos of massive parties in Ibiza.
So from a mastermind host and I'm sure you've attended plenty. What is it about masterminds that you think are so valuable to entrepreneurs? Because I know it's not a huge part of your business, but it's definitely a significant part. And I know for me personally, it's been important in my development. So for you though, what's been super valuable to you as a host or as an attendee of masterminds that people should take on?
Geni: I think that if you organize yourself correctly and you dedicate the time that you need to dedicate, because I mean you can sign up for a mastermind and then never attend or never be enough hours inside the room and do all the exercises. But if you want to make a change in your business, I think you need to be around people that have accomplished whatever you want to accomplish or have accomplished more than what you want to accomplish. Because then your problems are very little next to a person that has, I don't know, imagine that you want to start building a business that's turning over $50,000 a year. You're starting or not, and 50,000 is whatever you want. So if you speak about your problems to a person that is turning over $100 or $200K a year, they are going to be able to see that or show you that the problem is not this big, it's this little.
And masterminds are a great place to just turn around the way you are looking at things, having different points of view, and also getting the right connections, because probably you are looking for someone new in your team, or you want to start building an audience in a different network and you don't know how to do that. It's definitely a must for me. Once a year. At least once a year, you need to get someone else to look at your business and get yourself out of the comfort zone. Being totally up for a little bit of shaking, a little bit of do the things in another way. And that's, I think for me, that's great. And I obviously host the event, but I also am a part of a mastermind group, which helps me on my daily basis.
Bob: Now you mentioned earlier that one of the obstacles you've overcome and you may still face it, because I think that's human nature, is: am I ready? Am I worthy of doing something, right? So what did shift for you where you said, I don't want to just attend masterminds, I do want to run them. Was there anything that you can think back to that triggered that for you?
Geni: I thought that every event that I was attending in Spain was very boring. So all of the events are in hotels with really, like in the 1970s room. It's crazy. I mean all the events are super boring. I was like, oh my God, is no one going to create an event that's a little bit more, I don't know, in an inspirational place.
So nowadays, we go out there and they do a lot of experiences and speak about business at the same time. But back in 2018, this was crazy. A business needs to be in a conference room and if you want to party, you need to go to a hotel where the party is. So both things at the same time were not acceptable and were less acceptable here in Spain, which our way of seeing business and doing things are a little bit different in a cultural way. I thought I needed to create something different. And I also wanted to create a mastermind group that was more accessible to entrepreneurs and small businesses that were in a prior moment of their business. So my client is not a client that is turning over half a million dollars. Or no, it's a person that is starting or that's running their business for two years and creating something more accessible for them was the main purpose of the event. And I think it's going well.
Bob: That's awesome. I love the idea of creating the event you want to attend. Just, it's a really a critical part of that. And I love that you are spending time in the morning with your folks and then in the afternoon and evening, you're just having a ton of fun. I think there's a lot of value in just unplugging too. And being able to take some time out for yourself, not just for your business, right?
Geni: Yeah. And also, if you speak about things in a different place, instead of speaking things in the conference room, I don't know, we were speaking about financial problems. Everyone has financial problems. When you have a business, you need to take care of your finances. It's not the same. Speaking about finances in a conference room with PowerPoint presentation and making things super boring. That being at the bar, I'm having people like having a beer and hey, this is happening to me. Is this happening to you? And chatting around. If anyone out there is doing a task that doesn't like, just change the place where you do that task. I think that helps a lot.
Bob: Yeah, that's a really great little hidden nugget for the tip there. Nice.
Skip the Pursuit of Perfection Phase
Bob: I'd love to shift gears now to your area of entrepreneurial genius, which is marketing and automation. I think it's super valuable to learn from folks who have figured some things out, especially those that may have come to it accidentally. I think it seems like you have, and now you intentionally choose what to share with people instead of having this preconceived notion.
So you mentioned a little bit about this before, but I think it would be worthy of revisiting when it comes to marketing and automation. What do people have as a misconception about it that you just feel like you spent all your time trying to fix, to get rid of this misconception for automation?
Geni: I think people spend too much time on planning and on making the perfect version the first version. That's not going to happen. Whatever you are launching for the first time, it's not terrible in the next one year. I look at what I launched five years ago, the first version, and I look at it I'm like, oh no. I mean, did I write that? Did I design myself that image on Canva? That's terrible. I think that's the feeling. That's a good feeling. I mean, that means that you launched it. You took a step back on your business and better done than perfect. So that's the thing for me, that's the most important. I've worked with people that have been planning their funnel or their launch for three months. And I'm like, but what have you done today? Or what have you done the last three months to accomplish this funnel? And they're like, no. I mean, I'm just planning. Stop planning and start doing. You need to start doing like little steps, but you cannot stop, I mean, you cannot be stopped by paralysis. We say paralysis by analysis, not stopped because you're analyzing that it's the perfect funnel. No, just get your minimum viable product or launch or whatever you are doing out there, we just wait and see what happens. Normally works.
Bob: It usually does, and if it doesn't, guess what? You learned a lot in that process and you can quickly pivot to whatever your next experiment is, right?
Geni: That's right. And if it doesn't work, but you've spent just one week planning that, you haven't thrown to the trash three months of work. It's also a way of trying to search for results quicker. And that's our biggest headache with clients at the moment. I think it's going to be forever.
Bob: Can you dig into that just a little bit more?
Geni: Yeah, sure. So basically with clients, when we have the first conversation with them, they spend too much time trying to figure out what's the perfect way of doing things. And it's like Workaciones website I send to you that we created in Leadpages. We could have done that with an amazing design, spent six months, a massive budget, but I spent four hours of a weekend to create a website and it's okay. I mean, it's not the perfect website, but it works. People can click, pay. It's there working in a weekend instead of stopping and trying to create the best system, or creating the best funnel out there. And I think that, in this case, for example, a system like Leadpages helps a lot because you have templates out there and things that have been proved that they know it works. So just copy, paste, adapt, and launch to send it.
Bob: Yeah. And by the time that your original plan could have come to fruition, you've had opportunities to actually sell, deliver, and remarket the next phase of that same program, right? So, that's beautiful.
Getting Started with Marketing Automation
Bob: All right, for those that are new to automation, haven't really touched it too much. And it sounds like this is a lot of the people that come to you for La Consultoría Digital, what would you say is the first thing or two they should be focusing on for automation?
Geni: So I think that the first important thing is what do you want to accomplish? What is the path? Automation—it's not magic. I mean, that's the important thing to understand. Automation is basically getting a process that already works or that you are doing yourself. You are capable of putting that down on a piece of paper, for example, and saying, step one, for someone, this a website. Step two, someone fills out the form. Step three, someone is contacting them for a proposal. You need to know what's the path, what is the process first, and then search for the right tools.
A lot of people think that automating is only having a landing page system that sends messages or sends the contacts automatically somewhere else. But it's much more than that.
The next level of what we try to accomplish in automation is that, and that's one thing that Leadpages, they haven't paid me by the way for saying this, but here's why we love Leadpages. And it's that Leadpages connects with all the tools that are in our sales pipeline. So we don't need to automate just a little process or a little task. We are automating the whole process. The tools that you put in place for automating the process need to connect. So you cannot use any tool out there. You need to use a software, a piece of software that connects with the right tools. That will allow you to automate. I'm not sure if I'm going into very technical things, Bob, but that would be something very important, because I see really cool systems, funnels and launches out there and then, but are people, then do you know what contact has paid for each product? And they're like, no, we don't know that. It's well then you need to do that manually and doing things manually, it's terrible. It takes you too much time.
Bob: Yeah. It certainly doesn't do scaling for you at all, right?
Graduate to the Next Level of Marketing Automation
Bob: So now let's say that a person's automation journey takes them from one, being completely new, to 10 being like master ninja level automation. You just spoke about the people that are at that level one or two. For someone who's more at that five or six level, they've been doing the rudimentary and the foundational elements of automation for a while. What's that next level for them? What do you find that people need to dig into to take automation to another level?
Geni: So the biggest error I see out there, I don't know if this happens in the English-speaking market, but I'm going to say it out there. People think that in order to scale the results of their company, they need a lot of funnels. Like they need a lot of automated sales systems. Okay? So it's I've got this little one here with a lead magnet about an ebook, and then we're going to do a lead magnet about the master class, and then a lead magnet about the podcast that they can download. What we've seen, or what I've seen that works in the last five years that I've been more active on the consulting side of businesses is that it's important to have one system that sells at the level that you want to sell. Instead of having a lot of little ones is like one that has a longer journey.
So think about automating your customer journey instead of automating a sale, the first sale. So for someone that is more advanced, I would say, okay, where does the journey start? Where are you capturing a lead for the first time? How are you nurturing that lead to create the first sale, then a second sale, and a third sale or whatever the product. And just trying to follow up and see how you can optimize that path. Not that system. And then in order to scale, you don't need more funnels. You need more audience. And where can I find the right audience for my business? That's where you have to think a little bit more, and more now that we are seeing Facebook or Meta now where the systems are changing that much. Not like Facebook was working, really cool five years ago. People could buy a lead for $1, $2 and now pricing is very different. So, your business cannot rely on Facebook 100%. So you need to find different audiences in different places. And that is our task to do as CEOs of our business.
Equip Yourself with Key Tools of Marketing Automation
Bob: Yeah. Fantastic. You mentioned a couple of tools already, and obviously Leadpages is one of those, but what are some of the other important automation tools that you're using that you recommend to your clients that you're using yourself?
Geni: If you are listening to me for the first time, you don't have one single online tool, you need a Calendly account. Leadpages actually connects with Calendly. It's beautiful. It's great. It stops you from having to sending emails back and forth, "Hey Bob, can you meet at 4:00 PM on Friday?" Oh no, but I'm on the Western side of the United States." I'm looking where's that? What's the time back in Spain? I mean all these back and forward emails, they just disappear. You have a link. People can schedule time on your calendar. It works great. And it just, for me and for my business, it brings in really good quality leads because people have to choose the date and time and just go and fill out a form. Whenever I get the phone to answer or I see them in a Zoom call, I already know their needs, what they're looking for, and if I can help them, which is the most important point. So I would say Calendly one of them, and also, for the automation and just listening to the podcast, I'm a massive fan of Zapier. I think that's the right pronunciation.
Bob: I believe it should be Zapier because it has one P but they do claim “Zapier makes you happier.” So, I guess we got to go with the Zapier.
Geni: Okay. I'll say both then Zapier in Spanish is obviously different, completely different. I think that Zapier makes a great work with automating all the systems. So, for example, you're selling through Leadpages and you have your Stripe system automated behind it and you finish a payment, you can then connect Stripe with wherever you are hosting your online course, for example. And it's just automatic and I think it's $20 a month. I mean, it's really good. And whenever you think that, oh, this is not integrating, it's not connecting, Zapier does the work for you. So really good.
Words to Build Your Business By
Bob: That's awesome. All right, so as we come to a close for our interview today, Geni, I would love to know, is there some form of mantra or thought quote, something of that nature that you turn to on a regular basis, or maybe that you've created that just when you get stuck or something you think of that and it brings you to that next side.
Geni: I have to say that I have few sentences that define, or that explains different times of my life and my business. So the first one is “better done than perfect.” That's a super sentence that I love. Just get it out there, get it done as soon as possible. That helped me out at the beginning a lot to get things done quicker.
A few years ago, I was a massive fan of “work smarter, not harder.” I think that in the digital world, you can work in a smarter way instead of having to make or doing plenty of hours in front of the computer. And at the point that I'm now, when I do my conferences, I say to people like, hey, build a business that pays you to party, like the party of life. I don't know if that makes sense in English, but in Spanish, it makes sense. Hey, build up the business that allows you to have your lifestyle, that allows you to, I don't know if Fridays you want to go out, hang out with your friends, do it or go to your yoga classes on Tuesday. Go and do that because the business is our own business. We are able to have a lot of freedom. You have a lot of freedom to do or to organize yourself in a different way. And I think sometimes we don't remember about that. We don't remember as entrepreneurs. We don't remember that. And I think we need to go back, remember that and say, hey, we are doing this for a reason. And it's probably because you want to have that lifestyle, or you want to spend more time with your family. And yeah, so that's my three main sentences that I love.
Bob: Awesome. And it sounds like you don't want people to have to wait for some far distant future to enjoy that lifestyle. It's enjoy some of it, at least in the moment.
Bob: I'd love to hear that last phrase in Spanish.
Geni: “Que tu negocio te paga la fiesta.” That your business pays you for the party.
Bob: I love it. I love it. All right. Well Geni, how can people find out some more about you? I know most of what you do is in Spanish. So for those of you that are listening, that are not Spanish speaking, there are some captions on your YouTube videos, but those that are Spanish speaking, where would you like to have people take a closer look?
Geni: So you can follow my adventures on Instagram @geniramos. And if you want to see a little bit about our agency and how we do things, you can look at laconsultoríadigital.com.
Bob: Awesome. We'll have of course all those references and others in the show notes. So make sure you take a look at those.
Geni, it was a real pleasure to connect with you once again, and I can't wait to see all the great things that are coming from your clients that you're working with and the business that you have in the years to come.
Geni: Thank you Bob. Thank you.