What started as a simple delinquent invoice collection program (InvoiceSherpa) has evolved into one of the most powerful, and fastest-growing CRM and marketing platforms. Go High Level is a marketing agency-based program that boasts a fixed-price model, with the capability to white-label marketing agency services. Additionally, Go High Level also features a generous affiliate compensation package.
InsiderApps caught co-founder and CEO Shaun Clark at home in Eugene, Oregon, and picked his brain about the history and future of Go High Level.
SC: Absolutely. Can you imagine a board meeting of one of the big-name marketing programs where someone presents the idea to white-label their services? Where their software, which they’ve spent millions developing is going to be packaged for end-users, without their name on it? (laughs)
SC: Yes, directly. I had gotten to a point where I had nowhere else to go with that program. It was a simple way for clients to collect past-due invoices, and would directly integrate with whatever accounting program they were using. But, we took it as far as it could go. So, I called my clients and asked them, “What is it you need the most in your business?” Overwhelmingly, the response was that they needed better customer acquisition tools. So, we had to look at marketing. Like any business, they wanted more customers, and ways to keep their existing customers.
So, we developed a simple two-way text marketing and reputation program. But, we found that customers would use it for a few months, then drop off. It wasn’t providing what they really needed, and their implementation of the program was lacking. The thing that any business owner understands is that tasks like accounting and marketing are better outsourced. So, if we could create something that answered that marketing piece in a new way…
With the help of two other co-founders, Varun Vairavan and Robin Alex, we developed Go High Level, including the white-label aspect. We made it so that a company couldn’t cut out the marketing agency, once that company had figured out that the software package the agency was using cost way less than the agency. By structuring Go High Level the way we did, we made the agency and the software inseparable. We structured everything in order to share revenue; between us, between the agencies, and between our affiliates, so that everyone succeeds in service of the customer.
We came up with a new model, of partnering with our customers and sharing revenue. Our goal is to enable others to be successful. We want to continue to push the model out further and further. The bottom line is that we enable our customers to do a great job for their customers.
SC: Not really. I mean, name me a company that is selling marketing services almost exclusively to agencies, has an affordable fixed-price structure, and white labels its services.
SC: Yes, tons of new enhancements. In the next few quarters, we’ll be launching blogging capabilities, and the ability integrate reserving via Google. Additionally, we’re expanding our in-house affiliate management capabilities, from third-party management.
SC: Honestly, that all felt very natural. As we grew, I moved over. I should also say that as we began to grow, we brought in a private equity investor. Not because we needed the money; we’ve been profitable since day one. But because we needed the expertise. They were operating experts and gave us great advice to grow and scale - to professionalize our organization.
SC: Hire people who are way better than you are, and more importantly hire them before you think you need to. I’ve always been good at hiring people who are smarter than me. That’s easy for me. But I would wait too long, and you know, when you decide you want to hire someone, it’s almost too late. It takes several months to get the right person on board. When you wait until you think you need someone, you’re already under pressure, and you are more likely to make a bad decision. Look around the corner. Keep in mind that today’s tactic isn’t tomorrow’s tactic.