I love to work, but it’s not what defines me.
What defines me is my relationship with my college sweetheart and wife, Katie, and our kids, Abbie and Griffin.
We currently reside in the Springfield, Illinois area, although the pull to transition to the St. Louis, MO area or the Southwestern U.S. is strong.
We’re keeping our options open and, for the time being, prioritizing travel as often as we can.
I’m a sports dude…bring on St. Louis Cardinals baseball, St. Louis Blues hockey and University of Illinois Fighting Illini athletics.
And, yes, I’m still a homer for Tiger Woods.
I have enjoyed coaching my son’s travel baseball team since 2014. #GoBraves. Those summer nights and weekends at the ballpark are tough to beat.
I’m a health advocate that believes any business owner who wants a healthy business should be prioritizing their own health and wellness first.
While I enjoy being out and about, speaking from the stage or in front of a camera, I’m actually a HUGE introvert.
I enjoy playing golf, but I suuuuck at prioritizing time for it.
I renew my energy with time alone or a chill day, night or weekend at home with the fam.
Last but not least, there’s a 99.6 percent chance I have more Justin Bieber songs on my workout playlist than you. It’s getting insane. I think I’m in double digits.
About My Values
More than anything I value time spent with my wife, daughter, and son.
We enjoy creating amazing family experiences together; whether that comes in a magical Disney moment, or during the 4-minute commute to school.
I’m not motivated by shiny things or titles. Rather, I’m motivated to create a life that works and allows me to prioritize my health and my relationship with my wife and kids.
I enjoy work that challenges me, inspires me and fulfills me.
I value the opportunity to be able to work from my desk at home, or any coffee shop in the world. And I mean anywhere…
I appreciate authenticity and vulnerability. On that note, I feel like I still have a lot to become exceptional at email marketing automation. Lucky for you, I’m going to share. it. all.
I seek continuous learning and self-development and have learned that teaching what I’m learning is the fastest path to mastery.
I believe in and LOVE small businesses. Period. (more on that below)
About this website
My goal here is to help you determine ways to strengthen your relationship with your customer and your bottom line.
I answer questions like:
“How can I improve my customers’ post-purchase experience with my product and my brand?”
“How can I identify my most likely next new customer?” (Yes, that’s totally possible!!!)
“Am I being strategic about creating win-win opportunities with my customers during my post-sale marketing?”
“In what ways can email marketing automation save me time and money when optimized for MY business?”
“I’m sorry…but what the heck is marketing automation and post-sale marketing in the first place?”
Ha. 🙂 ALL are fair questions.
Depending on your current skillset you may visit this site and find actionable ideas that you’ll implement yet today. That’s GREAT!
Or, you may be discovering the power of email marketing automation for the first time and KNOW you need help with implementation. If so, I got your back.
Either way, I’m committed to sharing what I’m learning in working with clients, while continuing to market and grow my own business, too.
About My Content Focus
I want you to know exactly what you’re getting in visiting chadgraue.com. So, I’ve intentionally limited the articles I will be sharing to cover these three areas:
Email Marketing Automation
There are a lot of great teachers and consultants out there. No doubt.
What I believe will make my content unique is a focus on sharing detailed “How To’s” and multiple business use cases for conversion marketing and marketing automation using Drip.
About My Professional Journey
I was fortunate to grow up in a family of small business owners.
More specifically, I was fortunate to be blessed with a dad that chose to make an impact as a small business owner.
He owned four independent pharmacies that at one point employed 22 people in three farm communities in rural Illinois.
The business was a HUGE blessing for the communities, his entire team…and for our family.
While he laid out the vision of what entrepreneurial success could look like as a pharmacist, I initially did not follow in his footsteps.
Instead, I started work as a home infusion and consultant pharmacist for a large nursing home provider pharmacy upon graduating from pharmacy school with my Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2001.
It felt great to consult and advocate for an underserved population. I was a happy new graduate applying my professional education to make evidence-based recommendations.
And…for the first time, I was exposed to software that helped me make decisions.
This was intriguing.
From 2001 to 2003 I learned more about how the software was suggesting recommendations to consultant pharmacists based upon the interaction of medication NDC codes, laboratory values, and disease ICD9 codes.
I turned my inner Nerd level up a tad. 😉
I also started noticing the many shortcomings of the software.
For instance, there was a lack of professional communication, inconsistency in the way that recommendations were structured, minimal (if any) supporting evidence and a limited personalization.
So, I started being the “squeaky wheel” who submitted change request, after change request, after change request.
Then, in December 2003, a position was created to overhaul the existing content and oversee the review process for the entire clinical knowledge base and recommendation logic moving forward.
Guess who got the job — > The squeaky wheel. 🙂
This was important for me because for the first time I saw the power that automation and personalization can have when it’s done right.
I also learned the pivotal role that communication style and communication presentation have when you’re trying to educate and influence someone to act in their best interest or the best interest of others.
I remained in this unique pharmacist position for 6 years.
During that time my team and I re-wrote the entire clinical recommendation library that was used by 400+ pharmacists nationwide to deliver evidence-based, personalized recommendations to physicians and nursing home administration.
I enjoyed much of the experience but became frustrated by the culture in the company and the pace at which change happens in a Fortune 200 company.
…and the entrepreneurial bug began to bite more, year after year. So, I started evaluating my exit strategy options within the pharmacy/health care field.
I traveled to Atlanta, GA in 2009 seeking opportunities at a diabetes educator conference when I stumbled upon the Team Beachbody Coaching Business.
I was already LOVING P90X and openly advocating that others should do it. So, in 2010, while still a full-time pharmacist, I started my side hustle as an online health coach.
This one decision transformed my life and led me to where I am today.
I transformed my health, felt the pride of owning my own business for the first time, met some AMAZING friends, and I was introduced to some incredible mentors.
It’s where I learned everything that goes into earning a new customer and retaining customers. It’s where I learned the importance of disciplined, persistent, personalized and timely follow-up.
It’s where I identified the commonalities between customers who were experiencing a transformation with our product.
It’s where I learned about the importance of community, growing a team, leading a team…and the many blessings and challenges that come with leadership.
It’s where I cut my business teeth and wore the CFO hat for the first time in my life.
And, 6 years after starting, my wife and I had built a successful small business of our own, having grown an AMAZING 1,000 person organization that twice had annual sales of over $2,000,000.
That number primarily serves as an indicator of the number of people we helped throughout the year.
In the end, that translates into A LOT of life-changing health and wellness products being used to create meaningful results while being coached by life-changing people from our team.
It was also during this time that I was introduced to conversion marketing and email marketing automation and was able to demonstrate success in applying both to our business.
It’s what gave me the confidence to see the value I can bring to other small business owners in teaching and implementing conversion marketing and marketing automation.
Being a Coach is still a big part of who I am because it makes me a better person.
But, I feel compelled to give birth to my own business growth consulting and the content on this blog to beat the drum for conversion and email marketing automation…because it works.
I made the decision in October 2016 to get specialized training in conversion marketing while attending Converted, Leadpages’ annual Conversion Marketing Conference held in Minneapolis, MN.
I earned my Conversion Marketing Certification after completing the intense curriculum and practicum in 2016. And, in 2017, I participated in the inaugural Drip Consultant Certification program, earning my Drip Certified Consultant status.
A match made in heaven for my business growth consulting is the online retailer of sports-related digital or physical products.
About 5 Star Follow Up
My first online eCourse, 5 Star Follow up is coming…
BUT, here’s the deal. At the current time, I only have a ROUGH outline of what I expect to deliver. Over the course of the next year, I am going to take what I learn through building an online community and working on client engagements to create an EPIC course.
I think I know what message will resonate and provide enormous value, but I want to confirm that through LOTS of conversations.
The idea for this course came to be after evaluating many of my past experiences as a happy customer and successful business owner.
Specifically, I plan to call on these experiences in creating this course with you:
I will reflect on the instances that I have been WOW’ed as a customer.
- I will identify ways I have been influenced in making purchases online.
- I will evaluate the impact that an intentional follow-up system had on growing my online health coaching business.
- I will recognize the powerful role that marketing automation can have in simplifying the post-purchase customer welcoming process for overwhelmed business owners.
Rarely do awesome customer experiences just happen.
In fact, awesome customer experiences take a PLAN.
They take 1:1 follow-up, actionable advice, and built-in accountability, among many other things that I go into detail with throughout the course.
I’m excited to deliver the course and see the impact it has on business owners and their customers. I hope you’ll agree to contribute to making it awesome.
Thanks for taking the time to read this page.
Lastly, please make sure to join my email community to get access to my FREE 5 lesson eCourse, and so that I can have the opportunity to learn about you (…and from you), too.