Jonathan Herrick - Co-Founder of Hatchbuck

Stay laser-focused on your radical buyer every day. It drives everything from marketing and sales to development and support. When you intimately know your ideal customers and their DNA, you can build products and services that truly solve their problems.

Jonathan Herrick is co-founder, chief sales officer, chief marketing officer, and chief high-fiver of Hatchbuck , an all-in-one sales and marketing platform. His extensive experience in digital marketing and sales strategies has been a driving factor in growing Hatchbuck’s sales by over 2,000 percent.
Prior to Hatchbuck, Jonathan developed inbound marketing strategies and leveraged marketing automation to grow market share and reach record user growth for SaaS recruiting platform Sendouts.

A purpose-driven leader in all aspects, Jonathan has a passion for cultivating his team’s culture, spending time with his family, and working to make a difference in the St. Louis community.

You can get acquainted with Jonathan’s thought leadership on the Hatchbuck blog and in leading publications including Forbes, Inc., Mashable, and the Huffington Post.

Where did the idea for Hatchbuck come from?

At my last company, we used marketing automation to grow like crazy — 2,000 percent, in fact — without having to scale our team at the same rate. It was an awesome tool but complex to implement and quite expensive.

We knew there was a better way to help smaller businesses that didn’t have a technical resource on hand or an enormous marketing budget pull off marketing automation and scale. That’s when Hatchbuck was born. We put CRM and marketing automation in one app, which eliminated a giant integration roadblock for our customers. We also simplified the functionality that you might find in enterprise tools like Salesforce and Marketo to give small businesses powerful automation that doesn’t get watered down or cluttered with unnecessary features.

Wondering about the name? We spoke to as many small business owners as we could as we developed the product (and still do today), and I kept seeing that first buck (dollar bill) framed on their walls. We’ve never stopped our mission of helping small businesses turn their first buck into a successful, sustainable business — in other words, to hatch more bucks every day.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

In a fast-paced tech company, it’s easy to spend your day in the trenches, especially in the early days. But for startups to grow and scale to their full potential, the founder or co-founders need to let go of control and take a step back, shifting from working in the business to working on it. Today, my time is spent on sales and marketing strategy, growing our culture, and removing roadblocks for the team. That may consist of developing a better internal process, finding the right team members, or possibly getting the right tools to help our team deliver better results.

I get bombarded with emails in my role, and I have a bad habit of letting my inbox get out of control. So at the beginning of this year, I got it down from 58,000 to 20. That’s right — 20. And it’s been a game changer. I touch it once and move on to the next item. I also dedicate blocks of time to check and respond to emails, which helps me spend my time focusing on items that truly move the needle for the business rather than getting sucked into email at all hours of the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Believe or not, I use a composition notebook. It really helps me visualize the problem I’m trying to solve and develop the right solutions and strategies. Another big piece of innovation is collaboration. I am blessed to have amazing teammates with stellar ideas. Getting their input and feedback is invaluable to bringing ideas to life.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning fascinates me. It has the power to change the way businesses interact with data to deliver a better customer experience and drive sales. It will also revolutionize the way marketers communicate with their audience, enabling more one-on-one conversations. AI is nothing new; it has been around for over 50 years. But we’re starting to see it leveraged in more innovative ways. Solutions ranging from virtual assistants to predictive sales and marketing platforms will pave the way for business and consumer productivity growth.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as a CSO, CMO, and co-founder?

Eating healthy. It’s a hard habit to get into, but when I’m fueling my body with good stuff, it gives me more energy and better focus. It’s also tough to lead your team and your business when you’re at less than 100 percent.

What was the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it?

When I was in high school, I worked at a car dealership that sold Mazdas. My job was to prep the cars for sale. At the time, each car was imported from Japan with a film on the car to protect it in transit. I had to use this nasty chemical and wash the entire car to remove the film. It made for long days, but it taught me to work hard and face tough situations head-on.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I don’t have a ton of things I would do differently in starting Hatchbuck. I had the opportunity to skin my knees in our last SaaS business and brought those lessons learned to our new company. Having amazing team members with experience building and growing a startup also helped tremendously. I guess if there were anything I would change, it would be to simplify our platform in the early days.

Hatchbuck is a CRM, email marketing, and marketing automation tool — all in one. Although we pride ourselves on making the software super easy and intuitive, the reality is that it takes a little longer to go to market and build a solution that meets customers’ expectations when you have a broad solution. After four years, we’ve worked really hard to build a great solution, but my advice for other entrepreneurs is to narrow your audience and product offerings so you can gain traction as fast as possible.

As a CSO, CMO, and co-founder, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Stay laser-focused on your radical buyer every day. It drives everything from marketing and sales to development and support. When you intimately know your ideal customers and their DNA, you can build products and services that truly solve their problems.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Focusing on the Hatchbuck culture and core values from day one was key. In the early days of a startup, it’s important to not only have core values, but also live by them daily. It shapes a company’s culture and decision-making process, and it’s vital in building a strong, aligned team.

What is one failure you had as a co-founder, and how did you overcome it?

Not bringing in top talent in the early stages of our last SaaS business. For a founder or co-founder, it’s easy to just roll your sleeves up and go to work every day. A lot falls on your shoulders. However, a startup’s ability to grow and scale is directly correlated with developing a capable team around you — people who bring additional strengths to the business. Thankfully, we learned from our past challenges. When we started Hatchbuck, we identified key team members and brought them aboard, and this has been a big reason for our growth.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The process of posting on social media can be a time-consuming, arduous task. I think there’s a need for a social media platform that uses AI and machine learning to scan a URL and then populate posts and tweets with relevant hashtags optimized for reach and engagement.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

Personally, my family had a chance to provide Christmas for another family this year. A checkout clerk at a local grocery story mentioned she was working two jobs and that her kids wouldn’t have much for Christmas. So my kids, my wife, and I provided them with a Santa bag of wrapped gifts and a gift card that we dropped off anonymously at the store. It was a great reminder that what we have is temporary and that if we just look up, there are opportunities all around us to do good in our communities.

In business, Buffer. It’s a handy tool for social media and a game changer for attracting and connecting with more followers.

What software and web services do you use?

At Hatchbuck, we run a lean ship, so the apps we use are essential in helping us stay agile, nimble, and uber-productive. We love Basecamp for project management; it’s super clean and intuitive, which is perfect for our small team. Kissmetrics helps us track the journey from website visitor to customer. We love extracting detailed insights we can then use to optimize our website. Buffer is another app the whole team uses every day. Not only do we schedule brand posts through Buffer, but I also use it to grow my personal Twitter following and reach new influencers and potential partners.

Finally, we’re super lucky because we get to use our own app, Hatchbuck , to manage the entire sales and marketing process. We use it to capture new prospects from every marketing channel — whether it’s SEO, PPC, social media, or a review site. We’ve completely automated the nurturing process, and when someone raises his or her hand to learn more, Hatchbuck lets our sales team know. It’s the heartbeat of our sales and marketing process.

What is the one book that you recommend the IdeaMensch community should read?

It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For” by Roy Spence. I firmly believe that when you lead with purpose, the revenue will come. Roy does an amazing job of sharing stories of purpose-driven cultures and how chasing purpose over revenue is the key to winning in business.

Jonathan Herrick on LinkedIn:
Jonathan Herrick on Twitter: @JonathanHerrick
Jonathan Herrick on Facebook: