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2018 Black Friday Playbook

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Nehal: Hi, this is Nehal Kazim and this is Ad Tips for Ads Pros Podcast where we teach entrepreneurs and marketers how to grow their businesses with direct response advertising. Today we have Kurt Bullock from Produce Department. It’s funny because we did an initial interview with Ad Tips for Ad Pros and in the Facebook group you might have seen his case study that he did for a big peaches campaign that he sold on Facebook. Unfortunately, there were some issues releasing that and that’s why we brought Kurt back on and today we’re going to be talking The Black Friday Playbook so if you’re listening to this, especially as it is launched, you’re going to see that there is still enough time to get ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday. The reason we are doing this podcast is that Kurt is really a good friend of mine and instead of just talking about tactics we’re going to talk about what is the full approach when it comes to your Black Friday strategy Cyber Monday strategy and what you’re gonna do leading up to it and what happens after that cool promotion so that you actually have a sustainable business and not business based on promotion. Thanks for coming on, Kurt.

Kurt: Thanks for having me.

Nehal: First of all, if you can explain what is it that you do when it comes to your agency to give some contexts to anyone who doesn’t know you.

Kurt: We just focus on e-commerce stores, actually Shopify specific because we love the platform and we offer some development services as well so we are a marketing agency for e-commerce brands on Shopify platform.

Nehal: Got it. The type of campaigns that you’re running are primarily e-commerce. Initially, when we were talking there were all these different stages of campaigns, when you were running evergreen campaigns there is an approach to that. When you’re doing launches there is an approach and a strategy to that. Today we’re talking about Black Friday. What is your approach to leading up to Black Friday and how do you look to that overall promotion?

Kurt: I think that there may be a little bit of helpful info. It’s just sort of thinking about what changes during Black Friday as opposed to any other week the one we’ve been running some campaigns. One of the biggest things that changes over is the cost of traffic.I’ve already seen my cost of traffic going up so higher, the number of marketers on the platform is exploding and the number of people is not growing at the same rate. We have come up with a strategy to help us reduce our cost and to get the most bang for our buck during Black Friday Cyber Monday and then lead up to the holidays.

Nehal: When Kurt and I were leading up to this podcast, one of the things that came up was how do you actually change your approach to advertising and this is one of the things that’s not relevant just for this promotion. This will change how you approach advertising to your overall business as you’re doing different promotions, product launches depending on how frequently you’re doing those as well as how you’re doing audience building. A lot of businesses aren’t able to operate the same way that they used to because traffic has just gone higher and more expensive including CPM, CPC going down to the CPA. How do you build your assets in order to get ready for Black Friday? If you can talk about why that’s becoming more important, Kurt.

Kurt: We are preparing our audiences, building a list, a retargeting list, engagement list, our email list and Messenger list so that we’ve got all of these sources of traffic that are not a cold lookalike audience. That’s what we are trying to avoid during that week in particular and in some of the weeks running up to that. Right now, we are sort of changing our outlook. We’re doing get a sales as quickly as possible so that the campaigns are paying for themselves. Right now we’re doing a different play. We’ve still got all of our normal campaigns, generating sales, but we’re allocating more of a budget to audience building. For instance, we’re running PPE ads, engagement ads of the top of our funnel just to really grow that engagement audience. When the time comes, we can pull the switch.

Nehal: I know there are different assets that you’re building. I think it’s important to break down what are the three stages of this campaign you were talking about as it comes to Black Friday.

Kurt: I’m looking at it like and sort of pre Black Friday essentially, the week before Thanksgiving is when I start changing things up and then the week of Thanksgiving, Black Friday all the way up to Cyber Monday and giving Tuesday and that’s game time. The sales are over after that and maybe we have some year end sales and that kind of stuff and a lead up to Christmas. Pre, during and post Black Friday as the main event in this case.

Nehal: If you start any of these strategies and if you don’t change your strategy at this stage and you just go to Black Friday, things aren’t going to be very good and what you’re going to end up doing is probably turning off all of your ads that day because traffic is so expensive that day because everyone else is doing the same thing of going to cold advertising.If you are not building any of the audiences right now or doing it with the intention Kurt has, we’re going to break down the exact steps that you can take here and Kurt has been very generous in giving away a PDF from his company and agency on what are the different types of assets that you can build, the promotion schedule and a lot more of what he’s shared. That’s going to be on You can go there and you’ll get the resource that he’s talking about. Thank you for doing that, Kurt, I appreciate that.

Kurt: Sure.

Nehal: As you were talking about different assets, you mentioned a few different things that you can build and we can talk about how to build those assets. You mentioned email lists, but there is a few more. If a person is listening to this is an e-commerce entrepreneur or a store owner and they’re getting ready for this, but they haven’t considered changing their strategy, what assets would you recommend them to be building right now leading up to the Black Friday promotion?

Kurt: One of the ideas when I talked to other Facebook marketers and the e-commerce space in particular is people are just used to their campaigns, using the conversion objectives, opting for purchase or add to cart or something like that, and that’s kind of a default mindset. People kind of get into that rut. Right now we are sort of broadening our horizons here. We are using different objectives, I’ve mentioned PPE objectives which I don’t run very often. Normally,we go with conversions most of the time. We are also using this as a time to test. For some of my clients I’ve got lots of data. Should we be doing lifestyle or product images, should we be using bright colours or muted colours, video, we’ve gone through all of this. That’s something you want to be doing. If you haven’t done this stuff before Black Friday, you don’t want to be testing during the week of Black Friday. It’s not going to go well for you. You want to have some ads already proven and you want to know what type of messaging is going to work. I just want to interject that. I’m also doing testing during this period while I’m building audiences as far as assets, though. Messenger list is one. What we’re doing right now is pretty simple.We are running ads that are using messaging similar to shortcut the line, be the first to know about optimum promotions, we talked about maybe releasing surprise codes and try to get people on our Messenger list.

Nehal: I know the list that you were talking about, everything from Messenger to engagement audiences, custom audiences, video views and email list. From those, the store owners who are already doing that, but not with the intention of actually building it for Black Friday. What’s the difference in the intention? Because I did the same thing, a lot of marketers did the same thing, we want a return on our advertising. Why would I be doing traffic campaigns or PPC campaigns or video views campaigns when I’m trying to make money today?

Kurt: That’s a great question. It’s all about allocation, having a long view. The idea is that we want to capture as much during the Black Friday, that’s a really important quarter for e-commerce stores and businesses of all types, but e-commerce in particular. It’s more about having that you- we’re gonna switch that allocation, right now we’re spending half or maybe 60- 70% of our budget on building these audiences. We are generating sales as we do it so they’re paying for themselves and more, but it’s just a different focus. We experimented with this last year and what I found is that Instead of just running dry in Black Friday and feeling like I almost have to take a loss in order to keep running my campaigns we had a really profitable Black Friday as we switched to big audiences that we have built up and they had to add the benefit of not being cold, engaged with us, watched some videos, been to our websites,this wasn’t the first time they were hearing about us. We are using this time right now in order to build our video view audiences we’ve got video assets. Sometimes they’re slideshows that we need running to talk about the coming Black Friday sale. Those are going in a couple of weeks as we’re getting closer. It’s more about talking about The Long Game, but if we’re talking about the third phase it’s taking those customers that we captured and convert them into real customers of your brand, repeat customers, converting them from just a sale event customer to somebody who’s actually purchasing from you on a regular basis.

Nehal: Yeah, for sure. From all of these assets that you have built Messenger list, engaged people on your actual page, video views and email lists you are potentially collecting buyers. You’re definitely collecting buyers leading up to Black Friday, but again the point isn’t to get the highest return ad spend, highest return on investment in that moment because what Kurt is really saying here is that you have to be patient. This is not an immediate you know what’s my return on the ad spend on the same day, This is actually a 30-day build up from the time that I’m hoping you’re listening to this which is there is a build up to this point where you are about to make a decision and they are trained over years and decades in order to make a buying decision in that very day. What you’re doing here is lining up all these different pieces and assets In advance that’s ideally paying for themselves and you’re getting some of the money back in the same period of time, but the goal is how to build and create that momentum for Black Friday Cyber Monday and then the whole week promotion. Is there anything else people should be thinking about when it comes to the build up part which is the pre Black Friday segment?

Kurt: What I’ve been finding out is that I have to switch the way that I do things even in just generating sales, maintaining the same CPA. I’m doing things using more placements sometimes using auto placements on my retargeting. At least, you might be someone who runs to the Facebook feed all the time. The Facebook feed gets super expensive even now so I’m trying to be careful and to have at least two, three or more placements selected.I’m trying to get out of my… I use a lot of Carousel ads, And trying things like video slides which I don’t do very often, or trying a little bit more graphic design on our images. We use a lifestyle images, maybe product images, graphic design. Essentially, we’re trying to come up with different ways to reach our audiences and especially when you switch to using those engagement video view audiences. It’s not so much about where they are, it’s about getting in front of them. Audience network if it’s a retargeting campaign one of the times it will work. I had a good experience doing that with my retargeting audiences. I’m just sort of switching things and keeping a mobile perspective. It’s funny, I was reading some Facebook stats last week. Just thinking about this and they were saying that fewer and fewer people are owning laptop and desktop computers except at work which is pretty interesting.You have to be thinking about the whole purchase experience from mobile so I’m using a lot of vertical images, vertical videos where normally I would go with square and on Facebook I was always doing horizontal until recently. What didn’t go well could change a lot in your mind between now and the next year. As far as what we are doing with our campaigns, last year after Black Friday during the holidays we continued to rely on our engagement .

Nehal: So, for anyone who’s doing the traditional dimensions for those videos, it might be horizontal 9 by 16, or if it is one to one ratio of the square, is there one you’re seeing better results with?

Kurt: What I’m using right now is, I think, 4 by 5 aspect ratio because it shows on Facebook and Instagram where some of the more vertical shows only on Instagram and Facebook Stories, these will show in regular news feed as well. I’m doing a lot of these right now because they seem to be working really well.

Nehal: Awesome. What I have seen even with 4 by 5, like I have iPhone 7 plus with that, it’s a pretty big screen and it scales on that as well so when you’re scrolling it’s pretty hard not to see the ad. You’re going to see it, it just matters of how good that thumbnail is and if it’s AutoPlay in that scenario and how good those 3 seconds are to catch your attention or get you to stop. When you’re doing those videos, especially if you’re doing audience building with these assets that you’re talking about is there any trend or anything that you’ve seen worked well?

Kurt: What I’m doing is I’m using this as time to cover maybe the first couple of gaps of your funnel depending on how you slice and dice it, but sort of know, like, trust. We’re talking about whose the business is.We’re throwing in components, if there is a social good component to the business, like they don’t have some portion of funnels and including that and talking of that, they manufacture their products in such a way that they are good for the environment or not detrimental to the environment we’re talking about that. We’re trying to share somebody’s things, maybe the social good components sort of like a reason to believe. That’s the theme of some of these videos where we’re doing engagement. It’s a reason to believe and we’re going to come later knocking when it’s Black Friday with some deals for you to check out.

Nehal: For sure, awesome. The main thing that I got out of that is the mindset and intention of what to do from now leading up to Black Friday which is building your assets. There is a handful to focus on and we are getting at least a trickle of customers to pay for advertising and building those assets for close to free if not free and then once you have those you’re getting closer to Black Friday. Is there a sequence in terms of how you like to structure your promotions and just make sure you have some sort of promotional calendar for those holidays?

Kurt: I do have sort of basic structure and it depends on the individual client, but I will go over that really quickly. I think that one of the most important things that you covered just now is just to have the calendar and to make sure that you have assets plan for all these different segments.The way I like to think about it is the week leading up to the Black Friday, that’s the week of Thanksgiving,that’s the time that I would put on a timer that has a countdown to Black Friday. Sometimes we have like dedicated Black Friday landing pages where people can sign up to get alerts that hypes up the deals a little bit. It’s interesting, I was doing research again last week and target has a landing page. If you look at Target Black Friday, and they haven’t structured yet. They’re doing the same thing, collecting information, but they’ve got underneath little circles almost like Instagram stories that talk to all the different product categories and the things to be happening. Anyway, I thought that was an interesting idea, I’m not doing that, but I’m seeing more of that sort of thing. I’m getting off track here. So, I have a timer and you can choose to have some sort of promotion before Black Friday. I talked to different people and different people have different ideas about this.My wife for one has the idea that she hates when people bust out too early, she likes the company which say they take this time to be with your family and we’ll do Black Friday after. But you do what works for you and that was what my wife told me about this as I was talking about that stuff. A couple of businesses shut down on Black Friday last year and that actually gave a lot of buzz for them. Once Black Friday starts I can reset the canes of my timers and I will be doing nightly timers. There is going to be a countdown that goes till the end of the day on Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday.Often times at that point I’ll run ads Messenger, Facebook, in transparency this is the first year that I’m using Messenger at any scale especially for announcing all these Black Friday deals so I’m planning on doing the hey work standing our Black Friday into Cyber Monday announcement. Again the timer resets for the Cyber Monday deals and then in email you’ve probably got a lot of different messages that are going out through the day. With Facebook ads it’s not that granular. Essentially, I’m running the ad that says hey, this is the last day of the promotion.

Nehal: For someone who hasn’t used the promotional calendar before they might be thinking what are my moving parts and how do I actually go about it so this is what we’re going to send to you at and the thing I’ve heard is what are the different days for promotion and from there, there is different messaging and different ways that you’re going to reach those pros and customers through platform. How you’re getting across what you want to get across, what you’re going to post on paid advertising on different placements because there is going to be things that you’re going to do specifically on Facebook in the newsfeed vs writing hand side vs Instagram stories, whatever the case is. If you look at this as a whole picture, what are the big buckets? The big buckets are there is going to be a timer, like Kurt mentioned, so from there you’re getting people hyped up. By the way, this is what we are doing, either on your email or you want to sign up, click here or go to the Messenger and then you have that, but from there now you have 4 buckets. Do you have four segments or was it 5 in terms of leading up to it and then Black Friday?

Kurt: Lead up, Black Friday, then I do black Friday’s ending and then I do Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is ending typically. I guess that’s 5.

Nehal: If it’s 5, then the different angles and different assets you have built up at this point your Facebook traffic or custom audiences that you’re doing on Facebook or Instagram, there is your email and your Messenger. From managing all of these, have you seen anything to say ok, here is my five segments how do I organise my assets, how do I organise my copy, how do I make sure my links are working. Is there anything that just helps you organise that or is that simply having a big document and double checking everything?

Kurt: That’s the idea, I have a spreadsheet and I make sure that all the pieces are there that there are no big gaps in timing and telling people what’s happening whether the sale is beginning or whether it’s ending or we’re charging in the middle of it. I want to make sure there is continuity there, where do we want to be, if it’s Instagram what are Instagram sizes, if we want to be on Facebook, what is our Facebook size. if we want a video we have to break it down by asset and channel.

Nehal: Something people aren’t considering, yet, when it comes to Messenger campaigns and for some of our clients it’s we are having people who are part time or full time dedicated to just responding to messages depending on how frequent that is, depending on how big your Messenger campaigns are, if you have a live chat on your site, it’s just super important to have all this communication in one place. Just because you’re Media wire and you know your stuff in and out ,the marketing person might not or the owner of the company might not depending on how many people are involved. From an agency standpoint, there is all these parties involved, from people who you are managing versus the actual client. All of this is coming down to communication and making sure that everyone is on the same page because we’ve been in the situation before where we thought that everything is being lined up, everything is good, but there wasn’t enough of that feedback to say I confirmed, I’ve seen this, that exact same length. These are the exact opposite I want to make sure people see, because what happens is that at the end of the day people are messaging you on Facebook or Instagram or whatever the case is, and they’re asking for different offers and there is money sitting in the Messenger and there is no one to claim it. That becomes a huge opportunity and the way to simplify that is just through communication.

Kurt: You don’t want discount codes that don’t work, you don’t want to be selling products that you’ve run out of inventory, things like that. Having those basic channels of communication open with your Media wire and if you’re the media wire with your team.

Nehal: Right. Increasing opportunity, there is so much money that could be made because of all the thinking that you’re already doing in advance, like we’re talking about building these assets and getting ready and then you build all this build up and you’re right there.People are willing to give you money, and it’s completely emotional and irrational on a cool offer that looks good. I know I’m going to have this much money to spend or if I see offers I’m just going to go ahead and buy, and they’re looking for reasons at that point not to. I would send them a message and they didn’t respond or their discount code doesn’t work so that’s when the offer is done. There is a lot of money that can be lost there. Now you have these five segments of Black Friday Cyber Monday, the whole promotion. The dust has settled, what happens after that? Assuming the campaigns went well and then there is the full sense of reality- I am very financially successful, I have money in my bank, everything is great, but then there is a down that comes down from their potential depending on what you do next. How do you make sure that you’re keeping the momentum that you created as a sustainable thing finishing off the year and a new challenge is coming in the first quarter of the following year? Just to finish off the post Black Friday Cyber Monday, how do you keep that momentum?

Kurt: For one thing, as long as we’re talking about teams, I think team debrief is important to talk about what went well and to capture learnings for the next year, because there is a long time stories what went well, what didn’t go well. These things can change a lot between now and the next year. As far as what we’re doing with our campaigns, last year after Black Friday during the holidays we continued to rely on our engagement audiences for much of that time we were running small look alike cold ads, but mostly we were hating our customer lists that either hadn’t purchased or at least had been some amount of time, a couple of weeks. This year we’re going to try more of dub ads, play with those but there are the dynamic audience, dynamic ads for broad audience, that’s what it is.

Nehal: I’ve been seeing them coming in the Facebook groups a lot.

Kurt: Yeah. We’re playing with those as well, I’m going to be running those just to see how they work during the holidays. If they don’t work, I’ll shut them down real fast. During that time, it’s all about activating your customers, I think. A lot of that, in my mind, typically happens in email. Making sure that you get those customers and you’re asking them about the products and you’re kind of giving them that experience- the product’s on the way, great, the product has arrived, how was it, and the other messaging they might need to actually start using your product and become a customer. One interesting thing that a colleague mentioned recently was that he keeps in mind when you’re looking at your CPA that oftentimes people are buying for themselves and other people so you might be getting to customers for the price of one or three customers for the price of one because somebody’s buying for many people. That was an interesting thing to think about in terms of my CPA. It’s all about activation in terms of messaging. At the end of the year,a lot of times we look at New Year like new you messaging, it’s holidays so family messaging, If it shows your product, it shows a bunch of people together outside using your product, that kind of thing, sort of the feelies to help that out. I usually have one last sale at the end of the year like a year end sale and again I’m getting my customer list, my engagement list and my visitor retargeting list.

Nehal: This is very important because what will happen is that from this you will have an expectation on what your return on ad spend is, what your return on investment is, how many sales you should be closing. Obviously, some of those things are going to slow down. For one of the campaigns we’re doing right now it’s a free plus shipping offer that eventually leads to further education, we have a variety of offers from $100 to 50000. The quality of that person who is going to buy all of the follow up offers including Information, in person events and coaching In that specific business model is correlated to how much of the initial products they consume because if they are not consuming the initial product and if they are not implementing any of these, at least get it in relation of some sort of sense of accomplishment from completing that content they are way more likely and prime to continue to consume the rest of your funnel and eventually buying and purchasing more from you. It’s the same concept here. Now you have Black Friday sale, assuming everything goes well from inventory to a bunch of shipping at the right times or a week or two later, they’re actually getting the thing in the worst case, getting the things that they asked for. Now that they’ve got it, this is actually an opportunity to get them to buy something again depending on how quickly you can get something out in their hands..What you’re saying,Kurt, is that once you’re getting a buyer, it’s actually being multiple buyers and depending on your type of product, that’s multiple block buyers or multiples of lifetime value whether it’s coming from that one buyer or from individual buyers.

Kurt: Yeah, absolutely.
Nehal: From your standpoint, once you have this review meeting because I think we really just passed over that especially if you are a larger e-commerce store and this is your core business, you’re going to be running hopefully next year and do another big promotion.Review meetings are so valuable because there are different perceptions of what happened in the promotion. What the owner might think went well versus the marketing person versus the media buyer are usually contradicting at times or they just have different perspectives. What have you seen on your side with that?

Kurt: I definitely experience the different perspectives.When I’m working with a client it’s good to talk about expectations and sort of get this and that conversation. Afterwards I usually create a document where even if the client is not using it, it’s just for me if I’m doing it next year, I take screenshots of my ads that worked well, I take screenshots like notes on my audiences what was the seed audience, if it was lookalike audience, what was all the terms. I take a lot of screenshots and put them in Google Docs so that I have this kind of document on what went down. That’s been really useful for me. I’m opening some of these documents right now that I created last year and I’m happy that I made them. That’s usually what I do, the whole campaign is a sort of a document. Then we do a debriefing with all the different team members to see what went well and what could have been maybe improved upon.

Nehal: Is there any way that you structure that debrief in the sense that there is a pre, Black Friday and post Black Friday from your metrics and how you’re tracking stuff? How much advertising, dollars that you spend and channels, there might be sales numbers, how would you approach that debrief? If you could put something together so that people have some structure.

Kurt: What I have usually done is just gone over our metrics review, we discuss those, some of the metrics that we’re looking at is just the cost per new customer, a return on our ad spend, average order values, how many of our discount codes were used and which ones were there, are we over discounting, did we have to use the 25% or did we get a lift as opposed to the 15% ones. It’s interesting that for some of our campaigns I find that you just need to connect them at that moment they are looking to buy, you just need to put the right steps in front of them and they’ll do it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if the discount is as deep as you think it needs to be. That depends on your industry and the competition so we look at those things as well. I’m usually running multiple discount codes and I like to track the stats on different discount codes to see what they might tell me. Typically, we run those meetings and they’re usually pretty quick, we’ve got the owners, different team leaders and all these kind to do a review of the stats and then we go around and talk about getting each perspective on what went well, what would you guys like to remember to do next year and what we should be telling ourselves that we should be doing next year that we can improve upon. That provides tons of conversation points.

Nehal: I can imagine. For anyone who is looking to make the most of their Black Friday campaign and it might be their first Black Friday campaign, there are so many different moving parts. If there was one thing you want them to understand, what would be that thing?
Kurt: It’s hard to choose, but I would probably say planning. Making sure that you have a plan, map out that spreadsheet whatever works best for your team because things change. You’re switching from promotion to promotion, resetting timers and all that kind of stuff and I think that’s going to be one of the most important things especially if you are a media buyer doing this on behalf of a team.

Nehal: Got you. That’s probably the least sexy answer you’ve given on this podcast so far. The reality is people want to get sizzle and they want the sexy hack of how to make a bunch of money, but the reality is that you have to do the hard work. The hard work is actually doing the planning and figuring out what the 5 segments of the promotion are, what your offers are and how you’re going to communicate that on different platforms that you want to run, what type of retargeting do you want to do, what are your discount codes and how much. You have to do all these questions and no one else is going to do that for you. Kurt’s answer is suck it up and and get your ducks in a row or you’re going to suffer from the consequences. If you’re listening to this, hopefully you’ll have some time leading up to Black Friday and again some of their resources and everything else that we’ve put together that will be on Thank you so much, Kurt. I appreciate coming on, man.

Kurt: I appreciate it.

Nehal: That was awesome. That was very structured methodology on what the heck to do leading up to it.

Kurt: Good, I’m glad that it worked out. Sometimes I blank out on a video for a second after I gather my thoughts.

Nehal: I do the same thing. If you have a PDF or whatever you want to share, let me know. I put questions before, I’ve realised that most guys don’t know how to do workshops and they don’t know how to setup a debrief or they don’t know how to have planning meetings. Not that we are super, super good, but we are better than most. When we are doing that, we’ve seen the quality of those meetings that we record and we take screenshots, make notes and documents and it really helps from the execution standpoint and most people don’t do that.

Kurt: Yeah, that’s cool. That’s what we’re working on this year, we’re going to try and get all of our clients to do a debriefing session with us. If there is anything I didn’t explain, I would love to implement that.

Nehal: For sure. I think that one of the sexier things that we do is I’ve created this for other agency owners initially and what happened was that this works for people who just didn’t know how to have onboarding conversations. This can work for a variety of things. We’re working on ad scorecard methodology. Most people just focus on the advertising, but in reality it’s what’s your offer, what’s your Avatar, what’s your funnel process, what’s your nurturing. Most people are like ok, I’m doing retargeting of the click, I’m doing retargeting of add to cart, but there is actual like you’re saying retargeting engager’s video view, retargeting on post purchase. Most people don’t do that. When you go through here, there is a list of questions. This will make you come off way smarter than you are. That’s my objective in life, how do I do hard thinking so that I come off way smarter next time. Here is a bunch of questions about offers and here is a bunch of questions about avatars. Then we’re working on Avatar scorecards and things like that. Here is a bunch of questions about offers, what worked in our offer, how do we know, what was our conversion rate on a specific offer. I can send you this, you know majority of this, I imagine.

Kurt: I’d like a copy, though. This looks really well done and there is a lot of awesome questions in there.

Nehal: For sure,man. I worked hard on it, but this is one of the most dynamic documents that just keeps improving and so I wonder if I create something like this for Black Friday and then this could be repurposed to any promotion. It is like a promotion debrief. The structure after is what is the agenda, what is a successful meeting, the decisions that we’ve made, notes, actions. If you go through all of them, it’s too much, way too much to consume. At least, I have some questions from which I want to pick.

Kurt: That’s cool. As far as the document, I’m going to work on this tomorrow to wrap it up. I was thinking I would just probably deliver it as a Google Doc. There are some of the big ideas that we’ve talked about, which audiences to be building and that kind of stuff. I’ll send it to you and you can add or do whatever you want to it as well.

Nehal: That’s perfect. We might repurpose it into a slide so you mentioned Google Docs and I could at least show you one thing that has been helping us a lot in terms of client communication. We weren’t doing this the way that we are now. It’s like reporting deck. It takes some time depending on the client and on what we’re doing.We were sending documents, we were sending KPI sheets and it wasn’t working. The bottom line is we spent this much, we made this much and this is our return on ad spend. Then what’s the status of this campaign, this is more for ongoing campaigns, these things are going well and this is what’s not, specifically we have metrics and what metrics are going well and what are not. Then the next steps for us and next steps for you. Then we just duplicate this sheet over and over and then we have 5 week sheets and then we can go back. With clients stuff you know how it is, some people don’t take responsibility so we’ve been talking about the same things for two weeks- are you going to do it or not, are we going to do it or not, what’s wrong with you, guys? That’s been helping so I’ll lend it to you.

Kurt: I appreciate that. When you’re talking to new clients how do you talk about setting expectations in terms of getting results for them?

Nehal: I don’t really do e-commerce unless they already had momentum or they are super close. I had a call with a guy today, they’re spending $180 a day, they’re getting 400% on ad spend, their agency disappeared and they just don’t message them anymore so they don’t know what to do in terms of scaling because they’re both copywriters and they have no intention of staying in Facebook ads. The conversation was like, we come in, you’re getting 400%. You know you’re not going to stay up 400%.

Kurt: That’s a very good thing to point out.

Nehal: That’s step one because we are taking clients $300 a day 2000 and then in a pretty short period of time when that happens with the results going up and down, they’re still overall pretty happy because the expectation wasn’t that we’re going to get success return at 2000. I asked them what’s more important profitability at the front end or profitability at back end. They had a supplement and with the supplement it’s all about back end profitability, It’s all about LTVS, it’s all about consumption or get them to keep consuming so I don’t care what CPA is. Obviously, I want to be breaking positive. If you’re getting a 4 x that’s phenomenal, but if you’re getting 3 x and if you’re breaking at 2.5, but if you’re getting 3x and you are doing 2000 or 3000 a day that’s a way better conversation to have. What about you?

Kurt: Earlier this year I was still working with some commerce stores so we have to figure out their messaging, their targeting. All of the variables would be there when we are taking them on. I would have these conversations around timelines. I haven’t taken on any new e-commerce stores recently so that’s a lot easier we can at least have some baseline stats to go off of.

Nehal: I rarely take those people on and the ones that we do take on are the biggest pain in the ass.

Kurt: They are. Now that I have a waiting list I’m actually trying to get rid of my remaining service small clients that are causing me the most problems. Even if I get rid of them without getting new clients on, I think I would be ahead. I can pull from this waiting list, I’m starting to improve my client load.

Nehal: It’s just stress, it’s guilt and shame for not executing for something that’s not designed to succeed.

Kurt: I agree.

Nehal: We have a client right now, she hasn’t done anything for two weeks on her funnel, hasn’t provided any assets for 2 weeks and she’s like: ‘’Where are the ads?’’ She didn’t change her landing page so we got to the messaging wrong and she was like: ‘’ I don’t understand why you guys can’t follow the instructions’’. You haven’t sent anything so we’re not behind. Then she lost money because she was targeting the wrong audience for her and then she wants to slow down ad spend, while our management needs 500 she wants to spend 500 on ads. Don’t spend on us, please, do it yourself. It doesn’t make sense.

Kurt: It’s not worth it.

Nehal: I’m changing my business model, I’m going after phones sales teams so essentially it’s glorified affiliate program. What I do you is I know all the numbers in a campaign. What I mean by that is the same way as what you do I know my CPC per ad, add to cart, what CPA need to look like in order for a campaign to be profitable. This is one of our clients for this month, I know all their numbers. For the most people, if they don’t have to do Facebook ads, if they don’t do their funnels, all they do is get five to 20 calls booked on their calendar and you are a God.

Kurt: Would you be doing Facebook ads for them and booking calls and appointments for them or how would that work?

Nehal: What happens is that the funnel is the exact same so people see some sort of a lead magnet and go straight to the webinar. Once we go to the webinar live or replay, all of it is ever green, anyway. From there, there is retargeting sequences, email sequences, Messenger bots as we need Instagram stories all leading back to the application or getting them to consume leads back to the application. From there, they book a call and speak to someone or they don’t. The process is set up the ad, going to the landing page, opting in, going to the webinar, watching the webinar, going to the application page. It’s the exact same every time.

Kurt: You just own a little bit more of the process which probably makes things easier.

Nehal: It does, man, because they don’t take ownership of optimising it.

Kurt: Yeah, it’s true. That’s one thing I hate about e-commerce as well. A client has 40 product pages with their different products and the product pages are all s***. I can either charge them and take on ownership, but how can I really take on ownership of all the product pages? It’s just a difficult situation sometimes.

Nehal: For you, especially, like the click to leads, click to sale ratio, you’re going up like 45% is huge or going down by 0,5% is huge. What we’re going to do, the master plan is if you can look here their cost per applications is $130 so we’re going to sell applications for 150. Some of our clients are at $80, some of them are closer to 130, but all of this goes to our assets.

Kurt: Right on.

Nehal: They’re happy because they don’t do any of the work. They have to be willing to create the videos, they have to be willing to create adjustments to the webinar, they have to be willing to do strategy calls on Avatar and adjustment and provide these numbers and if they don’t, we can’t help them because they’re just negligent. We’re going to do everything else. If it works and when it works then you get 5, 10 calls a day and you want salespeople to handle those. If it works and expectation is I sell you an application for $150, you close and your return on application, your earnings per application are 3-400%.

Kurt: Are you doing set-up cost and stuff or are you purely charging them based on what results come out?

Nehal: What I was thinking I can charge per week, I could charge for application, I could charge per sale. I control the leads, the sale, I control everything including the actual sales people in them showing up and not being losers and training them and it’s too much. I think that the compromise is the app, we’re going to find out. I closed the first deal two days ago and they actually suggested that I get a percentage of the scale. He negotiated for himself and I didn’t even ask for it, to be honest. I’ll give you 10% of the revenue of the sale, you help me fill up this full event and I’ll give you 15%. The average order value is 5000. He already sold 6 of those 20 spots, he has a list of 5000 people, he doesn’t have a funnel. He has just been taking people to an application page. I was like:’’ Man, what are people applying for, how are you getting 20% close rate?’’

Kurt: Right. That’s cool, man. You have to tell me how that all goes as you go deeper into this.It sounds like a good model.

Nehal: It is,I think so. It sounds great I want to see execution wise how it goes. It only works if I have so many offers, an abundance of offers at the back end with people who are willing to be generous so with that free shipping offer, average order value is $40, but our front is 4,99 that people are paying. I ask them:’’Hey, man,you’re in real estate base, what if I were to get your buyers?’’ Everyone has been applying for the 5K program so what if I gave the way to all those people, a USB with 72 hours content, all of that traffic is already paid for. All of that can add up and I work on the strategy for finding better offers. I love doing this kind of stuff so my life becomes a lot simpler and more exciting, I think.

Kurt: Keep me posted, that’s awesome.

Nehal: I will, I will. Let me know when you get the chance to complete the sheet. This will come out on Wednesday next week. It’s going to be intense because I’m committed to getting launched on Monday and then the perpetual traffic podcast is coming on Tuesday and you would come out on Wednesday.

Kurt: Right on. I’ll be working on that tomorrow. If I don’t wrap it up tomorrow, then I’ll have it wrapped up prime by Monday latest.Is that acceptable?

Nehal: That’s perfect. I wouldn’t worry about design stuff, I wouldn’t worry about making it sexy. If you can get your core concepts, that’s perfect.

Kurt: Good, I think I’m 90% there.

Nehal: Awesome, man. I’ve already got your photos ready to go with all your back end stuff.
Kurt: Great. Sounds good.

Nehal: Thank you, man. I’ll speak to you soon.

How Alon Launched A New Offer and Generated $408,000 With 34 Buyers

By | ad, ads, Advertising, advertising campaign, behind-the-campaign, Business, business-growth, case-study, Sales | No Comments

Nehal Kazim: Hi, this is Nehal from “Ad Tips for Ad Pros.” Today we have my good friend Alon Shabo that’s going to come on. We’re gonna be talking about introducing new offers into a market where you already have some sort of list that you’ve been developing, you have a customer list that you’ve been acquiring, and then now you want to provide them a high-ticket offer to [inaudible] attract more value and increase the lifetime value from your overall list. Alon’s going talk about how he did that and how he added $400,000 in revenue from a relatively small list of buyers [inaudible] specifically. Looking forward to it, Alon. Thank you for coming on, man.

Alon Shabo: For sure. I’m excited.

Nehal Kazim: Sweet. If you can tell us what is the offer and what was the end result from the offer that you guys created. Then we can talk about, first of all, how you defined it, how you validated it, and then how you promoted it.

Alon Shabo: Damn, no small talk. I like it.

Nehal Kazim: Not messing around.

Alon Shabo: Let’s get some background so people have context, because I don’t think this is applicable to people selling $7 e-books or something. I work primarily in personal development, a lot of seminars. This specific client had a membership program, probably similar to what you have with your advertising stuff. It was a monthly membership. People paid every month, but people would drop off. The average lifetime value was about three, four months. The problem we were trying to solve is how do we get people to stick. Just based on preliminary discussions, the solution was we need to sell people on a yearly thing.
I actually learned this from Russell Brunson. We had dinner with this specific client. He’s like, “Dude, people don’t want to see their credit card charged every month. That means you have to resell them every month.” It’s much more effective to charge someone 12 grand once when they’re excited versus 1,000 every month. It’s much easier to do it first time and one time. That was the problem we were trying to solve. Should we get into solution, or do you want to talk about more stuff?

Nehal Kazim: Let’s go through that, because there’s a big difference for a lot of people when they’re trying to make even a one-time $1,000 sale. The approach you had was, “We’re just going to go straight to 12K.” With that, is that 12K if they pay upfront, or how does that work?

Alon Shabo: First off to prefix, they’ve already paid money to come to an event. This was a sales letter distributed at a live event, for example. I mean, this kind of offer, you for sure need someone to spend money first just to build that initial trust and to understand that you’re legit and what you give them is good for them. I think it would be quite difficult to convince someone, “Commit to me for a year,” without giving them at least a day of seeing what this is about and what the future may look like.

Nehal Kazim: This is so important for advertisers who are already having momentum in their business. What happens is that majority of advertising campaigns is, “I’m going to spend a dollar. If I can make more than a dollar, I’m super happy.” But there are levels to this. What ends up happening is that if you just have a front-end offer or maybe a secondary offer, there’s still so much money left on the table, because there are people who want to give you more money. If you could talk about even just the psychology of how you approached this when it comes to people wanting to give more because they’ve already invested a little bit, but there wasn’t a high-ticket.

Alon Shabo: Just to prefix what you said about making money on the front-end, that’s incredible, because the e-commerce business I’m involved in right now, we’re losing money on the front-end, but we’re profitable. That’s something to keep in mind as well. A lot of people understand sometimes you can’t profit on the front-end. Anyway, not to get off subject. What was the question again?

Nehal Kazim: Pretty much, there is the approach when it comes to paid advertising, which is, “How do I spend a dollar, make more than a dollar?” That initial transactional mentality only gets you so far as a business owner, because there’s a lot more money to be made after that first purchase, after that first transaction. What was the mindset going into getting more revenue from the existing buyer list?

Alon Shabo: The first purchase is nothing. You don’t have a real business if you don’t have multiple levels and long life cycles and you have a grasp on that. The purpose to solving the problem of how do we get people to stay, why are they leaving after three months, how do we increase this was, why the hell are they here in the first place? We serve people, so we need to figure out how to serve them more. One second. Cut this part out, ’cause my laptop’s being trippy.

Nehal Kazim: That’s all good.

Alon Shabo: Okay, we’re good. We’re in business to serve people, so we figure out what the hell do they want. “They’re here in the first place. What do they love about this?” It’s almost like making your customer a part of your business by really understanding, “How can we make this more valuable for you?” I mean, I have a specific seven questions that I usually do. I don’t want to regurgitate them right here, but I’ll throw a PDF or something after this. You want to understand them. You want to know, “What made you join in the first place?” That’s incredibly insightful. You want to know their biggest doubt about joining. You want to know what they were attempting to solve by enlisting your services. You want to know what they’ve got so far. “How did joining help you overcome that obstacle? What do you like most about this? What’s stopping you from telling your friends?”
With that, you should get enough information if you just have a basic understanding and knowing the biases that are pretty apparent in focus groups and things like that. Maybe read a blog post about how to take a survey properly, because a lot of the time, your customer has a lot of biases. You have to be able to see those and say, “What he really meant by this is this.” You have to have that creativity and foresight to do it successfully.
Nehal Kazim: And have enough experience so you can spot those biases, for sure. Otherwise, you take it at face value.

Alon Shabo: Absolutely. They say the customer’s always right, but I like to say the customer’s full of shit.

Nehal Kazim: That’s a very different approach. If you look at even that process, I think when you say all those questions that you have that you were laying out … we’ll attach a PDF for the people who are listening to find afterwards. With this process of you’re spending money on advertising, whether it’s on Facebook or other channels, you get a customer, and then the goal is, “How do I just get more customers in that same funnel?” What you’re saying is, once you have that customer, are you able to extract information and knowledge or any kind of actionable data that you can use, not only to go back and fix and optimize your cold advertising but also come up with different offers on the backend? How do you know if you’re on the right track when you’re asking those questions?

Alon Shabo: On top of building trust and demonstrating value to your customer, you want to kind of incentivize repeat behavior. It depends on your business model. For example, the e-commerce business I’m involved in right now, we started incentivizing people right off the bat. Immediately after purchase, “Refer your friends. We’ll give you money.” 10 days later, “Leave a review, we’ll give you a discount and we’ll [inaudible]” get into being involved with us and also pushing them to purchase more by incentivizing them. Again, it depends on business models. [inaudible] talk about a certain one, it may be more productive. If you have milestones like customer makes a repeat purchase or customer signs up for a monthly program, how many months are they staying? The more they engage with you, it’s like a relationship. It kind of deepens. You want to form habits with your products.

Nehal Kazim: The offer that you developed and that you were working on is primarily a transformational high-ticket offer?

Alon Shabo: Yeah, you can call it live coaching. That’s basically what it is.

Nehal Kazim: Majority of people who come into that funnel, they see a bunch of education and a bunch of content that eventually they go into a low-ticket product or a high-ticket information product of 1,000 or $2,000 and eventually get to a point where they’re seeing an offer of 5,000 to $25,000.

Alon Shabo: That’s one funnel. We’ve also found it very profitable and more so than the previous value ladder that’s pretty typical. We found it almost more effective to right away gauge the problem and then promise the solution. But it requires good salesmanship and a good sales team and that kind of infrastructure. It’s not really possible through email and content and stuff. It requires hustlers, basically, to take a cold lead Facebook ad and turn them into a thousand a month person and then a month later, turn them into a $12,000 a year customer. We get customers with both, but I think the latter has been more effective, just ’cause it’s a shorter life cycle from lead to customer.

Nehal Kazim: We have clients right now that are going straight from Facebook ad to a webinar funnel and selling a $6,000 program because the pain is so deep and because the solution is so … the gap is so big that it’s pretty obvious that the investment is a no-brainer. For every business or from-

Nehal Kazim: … investment is a no brainer, but for every business or for a lot wider scope of businesses, that’s not always possible. So, assuming that we’re working with an education company or a transformation company where there’s information and coaching involved, how would you go about that first step of defining a potential offer that you can even introduce?

Alon Shabo: Okay. Let’s get creative and actually walk through this. Tell me an example of a business so I can paint a picture for the listeners.

Nehal Kazim: So, I’ll give you example which is I’m one of those people that is in the educational space and then there’s a coaching offer on the backend which is Media Buyer Accelerator, so there’s a bunch of information like this podcast, fast tracks and different smaller information products, but all of it leads to high ticket coaching.

Alon Shabo: Got it. So, your target is media buyer/entrepreneurs who want to use Facebook ads.

Nehal Kazim: Correct.

Alon Shabo: So, that’s always step one is who the hell are we trying to reach? What level are they at? Are you trying to hit up the newbie who wants to launch some ads so he can travel? Does he want to be a consultant? Does he want to build his own business? Getting incredibly specific is a good start and then figuring out what’s the quickest way you can demonstrate value and I think in my experience, the ads that have crushed it are the ones that are just valuable in their own as an advertisement. People read them and they’re like, “Fuck yeah.” Without signing up, without anything. They got value just from reading your stuff. That makes them more curious to see what’s next. What happens if I give this guy money? So, were we talking about just hypothetically starting a funnel for your stuff?

Nehal Kazim: Even for information and coaching programs, if you look at them, the first part is actually defining what is it that I could offer these guys? So, from your standpoint, you’re doing it for this client at that point, how did you start that process? Because you were making an offer to them. So, there’s already momentum in that offer where you were saying we usually charge $1000. Let’s see if we can charge $12,000.

Alon Shabo: Okay yeah. Okay. Got it. I got off track a little bit. So, we surveyed those customers. The client flew me to one of his events and basically my job was to talk to all his customers. I asked him those series of questions. I literally put together a survey and then after I had hundreds of responses from different people and we had an overwhelming thing. It’s like what do people love about this? They love the friendships and brotherhood they develop right? That was more valuable to people than the content [inaudible] and all the million perks that we try to offer to make things Look attractive, nobody really gave a shit. They were like, “These are my friends. I love doing stuff with them.” So, the two things we concluded was okay, these guys like cool experiences and they like the friendship.
So, we created this new tier of membership where it’s like you need to commit to a year if you want to be a part of this. The way we kind of positioned that was this is a brotherhood. We don’t want you to come and dip. Everyone trusts each other. These are deep friendships and we need to know you’re committed. So, that’s the way we structured the offer. It wasn’t like, “Hey, sign up for a year and give us a lot of money.” It was more like we need to know you’re a serious person and you want to be a part of this, so we didn’t really change the offer. We just sold it as a special surprise trip for people who committed to the year. We kind of promoted that, but the main thing was that we created separatism.
It’s like are you seriously invested in this or are you one of those guys that are going to leave after two months? We’re all in it for the long term.

Nehal Kazim: Right. So, when you’re listening and surveying all the people, were there any answers that could potentially take you off track because I know I’ve done these type of surveys and some of them are very seductive and it’s like the siren song where you think that that’s actually what people want, but that’s not the truth. So, how do you make a decision of those are the only two things that mattered and everything else was just a nice to have or cherry on top?

Alon Shabo: So, that requires creativity and foresight and also a little bit of an analytical mind. I think that’s why a good copyright or consultant charge a lot of money because it’s not a thing you can kind of pull out of a book or follow script. It’s more like assumption on human nature and you can be wrong obviously. It’s kind of like being a stock trader almost.

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha. So, at that point, you get all this structure and you’re asking all these questions, but at the end of the day, it’s a guy thing. You know when you have it.

Alon Shabo: A little bit yeah. It’s just a mix of creativity, analytics, foresight, and human nature and your best guess really. I think some of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time are just some guys best gut feeling like, “Fuck it. This will do good.” Beyond all the analytics and research and everything else. That’s always the foundation.

Nehal Kazim: Right. When that happens, you figure out that it’s these two things that they care about so immediately you guys change the offer in terms of just reposition the offer. The actual core offer stayed the exact same.

Alon Shabo: Oh yeah. Absolutely.

Nehal Kazim: Okay.

Alon Shabo: This was a new offer being introduced for the first time.

Nehal Kazim: Okay. So, what did you-

Alon Shabo: [inaudible] upsell.

Nehal Kazim: What did you do differently to actually present the offer because once you’re able to figure out all these other things are cute, they’re nice to have. These two things are what they’re willing to pay for, now what? How did you implement it?

Alon Shabo: We wrote a sales letter. Old school style.

Nehal Kazim: So, what did you change in the sales letter?

Alon Shabo: What did I implement? I made it all about brotherhood. We positioned it as an invite to a special event. So, a good sales letter, it doesn’t read like a pitch. This was positioned as an invite to an event. Any time you are creating some kind of sales letter and it’s salesy, you trigger this alarm in someone’s brain and they get defensive. They’re like, “He’s trying to sell me. What is this guy trying to sell me?” Their brain is trying to just protect them the whole way through. They may buy, but you don’t really want to be up against that. You want it frictionless like, “Oh cool, an invite to an event.” You want it to just kind of glide.
So, yeah. That was the main focus of the sales letter. It was brotherhood event. That’s it. That’s all we talked about. We positioned it as an event invite. Then just in small print at the end it was like, “Oh, by the way this is only available for yearly members. Sign up for your yearly membership below.” We almost made it a no brainer by kind of building the desire for the event and then saying, “Oh, by the way.” In this case it was fucking crushed it. Yeah. It was the first time he presented it was like 75% conversion. Most of the room ended up converting. Similar numbers they run it annually every year now. Similar numbers so it’s held up.

Nehal Kazim: So, to say that brotherhood is important versus actually communicating it, that’s a challenge.

Alon Shabo: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: So, how do you communicate something intangible like brotherhood?

Alon Shabo: Well, we paint the picture in their mind of what an amazing event they’re going to have and the things they’re going to experience and how they’re going to feel after. One of the biggest appeals that I like was you’ll have something you can talk about for years and years to come. So, you want to paint the picture. You don’t want to convince someone why brotherhood. We already know that these guys value that. If we tried to lecture them on the importance of brotherhood and studies show that men with … No. They’d be like, “What the fuck man? Don’t lecture me on this stuff. I already know.”

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Alon Shabo: So, we pretty much positioned it as a pretty awesome event tapping in to their desire for brotherhood and experiences with their brothers.

Nehal Kazim: Right. So are there any triggers or are there any ways that you are able to call that out because with something like brotherhood, it’s very easy to say it like I’m saying, but to actually get emotional reactions from that it sounds a lot more difficult. Is that the case?

Alon Shabo: I’m just looking. I’m skimming this letter. I haven’t seen it in a while. I don’t know. I think the emotion it solicits is basically excitement and exclusivity. I think part of the reason it was successful is people didn’t want to feel left out because they already had these relationships with all these guys. So I think what it created is if some guys join this higher tier and get separated, these guys are going to get left behind.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Alon Shabo: It’s kind of preying on some weird stuff a little bit.

Nehal Kazim: But that’s just almost [inaudible]

Alon Shabo: Oh yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Nehal Kazim: You guys create scarcity out of that too. So, that was one of the elements you were mentioning. One it’s invite only and then I’m assuming everyone doesn’t get accepted. So, why do you think that part of it worked?

Alon Shabo: The scarcity?

Nehal Kazim: Yeah.

Alon Shabo: Well, it’s just like any scarcity. Especially in this which is a come to this event. You can get invited. Nobody wants to be left behind. That’s about it. What ended up happening with this offer because obviously we exceeded the scarcity is we ended up just creating more trips which was kind of determined while we were already planning the whole promotion. Like, what happened …

Alon Shabo: … determined while we were already planning the whole promotion. What happens if 75 people join and we say there’s only 25? Well, shit, I guess we gotta make another trip for the new guys.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Alon Shabo: That’s typically baked into a lot of offers. Some people think it’s kind of unethical or fake “scarcity.” It’s like, there’s levels and it depends what kind of marketer you are and what kind of business person you are.

Nehal Kazim: At that point, this was sold in person, right? So, they got a physical letter at the event?

Alon Shabo: Yup.

Nehal Kazim: Okay, so they got a physical letter, and then how do people actually redeem or claim their spot?

Alon Shabo: We already have their credit card information and payment stuff on file, which is … I’ll just back track, it’s also why sometimes we charge money for webinars, just to attend, because it’s much easier to, if we’re selling something on the webinar, just get the okay from someone on the phone and say, “okay, we’re gonna charge you.” But, we already have their information and the offer just glides them through to a check this box, sign right here, confirm a few details and we bill them.
I think, usually, in those cases, people get swept up in the motions and they may regret it later. We did have a few refunds like that. They were just in the moment, but the majority went well. Just back to a good sales letter, there’s no frickin’ friction, right? If I was like, “Enter all your credit card details here,” that creates friction. It gives people reasons to start doubting things. But, if it flows, it sucks you in, starts painting a picture, all your designs are flowing and then it starts reaffirming your beliefs and letting you know this is legit and just kind of quelling your doubts while you’re reading it, but not directly, because you never want to trigger somebody’s, “Oh shit, someone’s trying the same move.”
The best advertisements don’t look like advertisements.

Nehal Kazim: Right.
Alon Shabo: So, it just flows, check this box, yes I would like to attend, sign some things and that’s it. Yes, I authorize you, please charge me $12,000, that’s about it. I’ll attach it to the PDF. It’s everything. The forms are on it, check box, all that stuff.

Nehal Kazim: Perfect. So, if you’re listening to this, if you go to, we’ll make sure to give access to that in the group and so we’ll put it in there. So, when people are going through this process, so they get a letter and then they are signing a document, or maybe it’s digital, and so they’re saying yes and that’s it, right? There’s not a sales process, per se. They’re already emotionally at a peak. They’re at the event. They see an offer and they just claim it. Is that right?

Alon Shabo: Yeah, pretty much. For live events, you always want to get people at peak excitement, so sometimes we would schedule … this happened during the kind of salesy part, the kind of pitch part of the converse, but right before we scheduled the peak emotionally experience, just so people are feeling good, and you see this at conferences when you have people, “Come on guys, let’s stretch. Come on, let’s jump around.” It to elicit positive emotions, because nobody wants to buy something if they’re bored and tired and dehydrated and hungry.

Nehal Kazim: Right, I got you.

Alon Shabo: Nobody likes to buy a negative space, unless you’re selling something to fix their problem.

Nehal Kazim: Right, but even then, if you can paint that pain and the gap and then actually show them that it’s possible and give them an offer at that point, it’s a lot easier.

Alon Shabo: For those kind of offers, I think it’s totally understanding. It’s like, “I understand you. Let me explain this in your shoes so you can be like, ‘oh, you get me, that’s exactly what I’m going through.'” Because, that’s the biggest disconnect, when your ad is not genuine and someone is like, “This guy doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.” I see weight loss … I see ads targeting gym bros and I’m like, “Dude, no gym bro talks like that.” It’s alien to them, you know?

Nehal Kazim: Right. So, can you walk through the numbers, just so it’s clear to people if they were to do an offer like this or just based off the results that you got, how many people were at an event at that point and then how many people took up the offer? I’m just going through the document you sent here as well.

Alon Shabo: Let me pull up the details because this was years ago and I didn’t think we were going to dive that deep into it.

Nehal Kazim: No worries.

Alon Shabo: I think this was 2016.

Nehal Kazim: Yeah, I 45 paying members at an event. Is that right?

Alon Shabo: Okay, got it. Yup. So, there was 45 people and 34 of them ended up accepting the offer, so something like 75% of people. So, that generated 408,000. Just for marketing sake, I would say in an hour, less than an hour, because we handed them out and we said, “If you’re in, please bring them to the front,” which also probably helped the sales process. Kind of like if you’re seeing all these guys excited like, “Yes. I’m in, I’m in.” And you’re sitting in your chair like, “Oh, well,” that’s the best social proof you can have. Every marketer uses social proof.
When you see a stampede of people, that triggers the most Robert Cialdini like influence principal. It’s like, “I want to go where the herd is.”

Nehal Kazim: Right, for sure.

Alon Shabo: “I’m gonna go stand in line with them.”

Nehal Kazim: It’s easier to make a decision, for sure.

Alon Shabo: Absolutely.

Nehal Kazim: So, with this type of offer, you’re mentioning that you can use this over and over again, and so, even from the next event, I don’t know how frequent these events were, but is that something that was easy to implement?

Alon Shabo: Yeah, this letter gets run annually and now the business model [inaudible] changed. So, for example, we understand and the baseline of about 75% conversion, it’s held up as far as I know, but I don’t know from this year because I don’t work with that company any more. But, it just changed the model, because it goes from a front end sales worth 1,000 to front end sales probably worth 12,000 for seven out of 10 leads. So, that kind of planning helped with our ad budgets and we could spend more. It got to the point where I’m like, “Dude, even if we’re spending 1,000 to get a customer to our events,” which was never the case, it was always much cheaper, “even if we break even on that acquisition, some of them are going to convert into annual members.”

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Alon Shabo: It just gave us a much better business model with bigger margins and just more room to operate, which I think every business should have. Like what I’m doing with eCommerce right now, sometimes I pay affiliates so much so we’re losing money on the front end, but I’m like okay, the typical customers spending like $800 with us, so it doesn’t matter if I use $50 to get a customer.

Nehal Kazim: Right. Got it. So, for people who have an information business or coaching business, what would be your recommendation to them when going through this process of adding a new high ticket offer?

Alon Shabo: Understand your customers, talk to them, survey as many as you can. Get in bed with them, really. Just find out how to make it much better for them.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Alon Shabo: [crosstalk] of what they say.

Nehal Kazim: What we’ll do is we’ll add the questions that you had, because I think just going through different types of questions just to pull out the truth, or closest thing to the truth, from them and then reading between the lines, like you were saying, that goes such a long way in actually figuring out who they are in reality.

Alon Shabo: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: Otherwise, you’re just making assumptions off of troll comments on Facebook or random emails that you get instead of a controlled environment where you can filter the input and then decide on what the actual output is.

Alon Shabo: Well, those seven questions will bring you a lot of insight into your business, not just for introducing [inaudible] to give more value, but just to figure out where you may have some issues with your perception, marketplace or positioning.

Nehal Kazim: Perfect. Awesome Alon. Where can people find you if they want to reach out or get in touch with you?

Alon Shabo: Facebook is the best. I don’t do any marketing services work anymore, but I have been playing with the idea of working with one person if they’re fucking awesome, that’s basically the prerequisite. So, just hit me up on Facebook, I’m sure my name will be linked or something. I’m not going to be like, “WWW. …” that’s so 2005, huh?

Nehal Kazim: That’s funny. Yeah, you’re already tagged in the Facebook group and I don’t know how many more Alon Shabo’s there are.

Alon Shabo: There’s one. He’s like a famous chef. He’s kind of ranking on SEO better than me.

Nehal Kazim: We’ll have to fix that. Awesome. Well, I appreciate you jumping on and I will see you guys on the next one.

Alon Shabo: Alright, bye Nehal.

Conversion Lessons From Acquiring 1 Million+ Customers

By | ad, ads, Advertising, advertising campaign, behind-the-campaign, Business, business-growth, Sales | No Comments

Nehal K: Hi, this is Nehal from ‘Ad Tips for Ad Pros’, and today we have my good friend, Andrew Lermsider, and he’s the former CMO of Q-Link Wireless, and the reason I brought him on is because he’s been able to generate over $600 million for himself and other clients that he’s worked with primarily based off of funnel conversion and scaling companies based off of data. A lot of people, when they come into the podcast or even when they’re growing their own businesses, there’s so many different variables and elements in optimizing and scaling a paid advertising campaign and the reason Andrew is on today is because he was talking about how he was able to generate a million unique customers for one of the businesses he’s working with, and then he’s also gonna share some of the strategy on how 1% optimization was critical for him to scale from just a few hundred units a day and a few hundred customers a day all the way up to 5,000+ per day. So, we’re gonna get into all of that, but first of all, thank you so much for doing this, Andrew.

Andrew L: Yeah, man. It’s my pleasure to be here. Thank you so much. I know this is something we’ve talked about doing, so excited to share some good and helpful information to your audience.

Nehal K: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. So, if you can give a background of just what is it that you do, because the scope of how you’re involved in companies, from an actual operation operational standpoint and mentorship coaching standpoint, it’s pretty vast. What is it that you think your core skill set is?

Andrew L: I am really good at understanding how to get an offer to convert and really understanding sort of where those conversion break points are within the funnel and within someone’s business. So, whether it’s a new business starting out or a more established business … Typically on my consulting side, I’m working with businesses that are doing more like seven/eight/nine figures in revenue, but the mentorship side, small businesses. They don’t understand where the points are that they need to focus to kinda be able to scale their business.

Nehal K: Why do you think you’re able to see what the average business owner misses?

Andrew L: Well, first of all, I’ve been doing this since 2001, so I’ve been forced, not because I was looking for it. I’ve been forced to be good at conversion optimization. Many years ago, no one spoke about conversion optimization; it was just something we did, and then there became this fancy term about it, but that’s how we survived and that’s how we really thrived.

Nehal K: Gotcha, and I know there’s a lot of focus … In the industry overall, there’s a lot of focus on just traffic or there’s a lot of focus on funnel hacking, which is code for just looking at other people’s stuff and copying it or learning from it or using it for modeling, whatever the case is. What is the difference, from your perspective, do you think, when it comes to looking at funnels and scaling them or overall just sales processes, whether it’s online or offline? Why do you think that you’re able to look at things a little bit differently? Because the average entrepreneur, the average marketer, hasn’t generated $600 million in revenue or millions of customers. Before we get into working through different businesses that you’ve been involved with, I just want to understand, from your standpoint, what’s the difference? Because there has to be some magic here.

Andrew L: They do too much. They’re trying to do everything, and you and I have spoke just spoke about it.

Nehal K: Yeah.

Andrew L: That book, ‘The ONE Thing’. It’s focusing on one thing and getting that one thing working really, really well, and when I say, let’s say in the conversion optimization process, it’s getting your landing page to convert really well, getting that down and then moving on to the next step in the process and getting that to convert really well. I think what happens is people look at the overall whole and they don’t break down the pieces and it’s really steps, and when you get every step working perfectly and you have the right source … Let’s say you’re in a niche where the traffic is available, so let’s not talk about niches where you can’t get traffic, you can’t find them on Facebook or Google because you’re doing something weird. Let’s talk about general businesses where you can buy traffic on Facebook and Google.
If you get the steps down, you can scale your business, if you get those conversion points working. So, that’s what I focus very hard on. What I look at is: step one, step two, step three. I’m not onto step ten yet and I think most people kinda move past the initial sorta stages of what they need to get working consistently because the ads will come and the traffic will come consistently once you find your target and you find your ads that are working well. It’s up to your website to convert along the way and that can happen consistently and that’s how you grow.

Nehal K: Just before we started talking, what you were mentioning was specifically for a supplement company, on how 1% transformed the whole organization.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Nehal K: So, can you talk a little bit about what is the outcome that you got, and then we’ll start talking about where it all started?

Andrew L: Yeah, I mean … So, the outcome we got is we started our business in the supplement space. We were doing a free trial offer for diet products and different things and we built up a nice little business doing 500 orders a day, but we kinda got stuck and we knew competitors that were doing 6,000/7,000 orders a day, and we finally got an opportunity to work with a giant network to get us the traffic. They were sending about 5,000 orders a day to our competitors. So, we just said, “Run our offer. Run our offer. It looks the same, feels the same.” They ran it and what happened was they sent us 300 sales in an hour and we were like, “Oh my god, this is unbelievable. It’s almost more sales than we do for the entire day.” We called them up after the hour and we thought we did great and they said, “Sorry, your conversions weren’t good enough. You were at 12%. You needed to be at 12.5%.” They said the numbers for the affiliates, which is in EPC, the earnings per click, didn’t back out and they don’t want to run your offer and they said goodbye and we were like, “What the hell?”
What I mean, literally, Nehal, we copied our competitor’s sites, everything, the look, the feel, except the brand was different. We knew we did all the pieces right, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Well, when we finally did figure out what was wrong, we went from 500 orders a day, about three months later, we got to about 8,000 orders a day and the difference was going from 12% conversions, we got the 13% and that made us the number one people in the industry.

Nehal K: So, if we could take one step back, because even getting to 12% is a phenomenal conversion rate. What was the average order value? Is this straight to trial? What was that like? For people who aren’t doing 500 orders a day, to them that’s the dream right now, and so when …

Andrew L: Right.

Nehal K: When they hear, “Man, life is really tough. We’re stuck at 500.” They would love to be in that position, so how did you even get to that point?

Andrew L: Well, first of all, in this business when we did that, and this was a different business that we had a time, it was all affiliate based marketing, so it was all free trials. They were pre-filtered traffic that the affiliates were sending to us through some sort of a jump page or a blog page so that the person was sort of pre-framed already about the product and then they came to our page and they put in their information and then they signed up for a trial for the product. So, certainly an easier type of sell from the standpoint of the commitment level was very low. They only had to put it in a small dollar amount to get the product sent to their door, so when we talk about those high types of conversions in a normal e-commerce business, no, you can’t get that. So, maybe you’re not fighting for one percent; maybe in an e-commerce business, you’re fighting from 2% to 2.5%. That’s still a 25% increase in your business and that could be the difference of your ad campaigns being financially successful and producing an ROI or not.

Nehal K: We’re seeing the same thing right now with manual bidding. We’re seeing it as soon as you have delivery working for your campaigns at a consistent level, and it’s the same thing, CPCs at $2 versus $1.50, or click to sales rates from 2% to 2.5%. We’re seeing exactly that for one of our clients. So just to get to that point, what you were doing is you were already looking at other types of pages that were from free trial offers that were …

Andrew L: Absolutely. Yeah.

Nehal K: I think there’s a lot of ego that goes into that because some people will say, “I don’t want to copy my competitors or it’s not ethical or I’m better than them. I want to innovate instead of just using what already exists.” What do you have to say to them?

Andrew L: Okay, well first off, why reinvent the wheel? It’s insane, right? So, to me, in any industry I get into, no matter what, if I’ve never been in it before, I absolutely do my research to see who are the number one guys that are spending money and driving traffic? Not guys that are driving organic traffic. Guys that are paying for advertising and continue to pay for advertising, and then I look and I try to reverse engineer as much as I can and learn from them. They’ve already spent millions of dollars. They have already figured out what messages the customer wants to hear. Why do I want to try to guess? Create your own look and your own style, but it would be insane, and it’s the amateur thing to do, not to actually dig in and get ideas from your customers. That’s what every smart business does today.
It’s a … Why do you think … Oh, great example: car Manufacturers. When BMW has a new car and they’re testing it around a track and it’s covered with all this special paint because they don’t want anyone to see it. They don’t want their competitors to see it. They don’t want them knowing about the new feature, the new style, the new air dam, whatever it is. Of course they gotta hide that stuff because everyone’s copying everyone on the largest levels. It’s flattering. Look at it this way: it’s a flattering thing. Someday, someone’s gonna copy you.

Nehal K: Right. Got it. So, when you were at this point in the business where you were stuck at 500, what was the actual difference maker when it comes to that conversion? Because 12% is considered relatively high, whether it’s a free trial offer or not. To go from 12 to 13, especially with your approach and how aggressively you guys were testing, I’m sure there was a lot of things that you were testing. How did you know what the missing pieces were to get from 12 to 13?

Andrew L: You know, we … It’s interesting you say the testing thing. So, I’m a firm believer in testing your websites and testing everything all the time because you make changes on your site, you break your site, your developers add some sort of piece of code on there that makes your site heavy and it loads slow, or something changes, so you should be running testing, by the way, every day. Everyone should be doing it on their web properties, checking the file size of their site, the speed that the site loads, using some free tools like Pingdom tools, and then going to Google test my site so they have those
What we found in this business was the website looked great and we were testing it from our office. The problem was our office was in a very high speed environment. We were not testing it from what the real world environment is and what was happening, at the site was loading too slow. While it looked the same and very similar to our competitors and, to be honest with you, better looking than theirs, is the images were too large, the code was a little bit messy, and when we kinda made the page a little bit smaller in file size and the code load a little bit faster, the site loaded faster and what happened was that’s where our conversions went from 12% to 13%. That was literally the difference of everything.

Nehal K: So, what changes in an organization when you go from 500 to 8,000 per day? That’s a significant bump.

Andrew L: At the time, I had a very, very good partner that understands scale and infrastructure and moved extremely vertically integrated in what we did, from … We did customer service in-house, fulfillment in-house, web development in-house. I mean, every single part of the business so we could hold every single piece. So, it wasn’t easy because it was also dealing with manufacturers, that we were now going to them with these large volumes, so now you’re dealing in procurement and projecting what your inventory supplies are gonna be today. Today, I think what’s great is obviously the systems allow you to scale. We built everything ourselves. We didn’t use a Shopify and we don’t use those types of things in some of the other businesses we do. We like to have a little more control, but for the average guy selling online today, he doesn’t have a system issue, which is awesome. That’s really good.
What he’s got is a capital issue, right? It’s typically one part of the scaling thing, a customer service issue is another part of the scaling thing, and then the other part is obviously depending. If you’re selling a physical product, then you’ve got an issue of making sure that you can get your supplies fast enough because you’re gonna blow yourself up. What I do think a lot of times happens is that people blow themselves up. They do get too big for themselves and they aren’t aware and they’re not thinking ahead of what’s gonna happen if they did jump from 50 sales a day to 500 a day and what really is that impact? So, sometimes you have to take it a little bit slower and then really try to sit and think, “What’s gonna happen if I do that much? What’s gonna get affected? What other teams people do I need to help me to grow?”
And don’t just grow because, “I gotta grow, I gotta grow, I gotta do it because the opportunities here.” I’m a firm believer you gotta catch it when it goes because it’s hard if you turn it down, but just be aware if you’re starting to catch that trend and things are starting to move up, you start really preparing and trying to prepare ahead of time as much as possible so you don’t blow up.

Nehal K: So, the people listening would love to have the problems you guys had. It’s new challenges because it helps and supports your growth as an entrepreneur and creates new skills that you’re almost forced to learn.

Andrew L: Yeah.

Nehal K: So for someone who’s getting … Especially … There are so many different types of funnels that we could be talking about and types of businesses. If we were just to focus on e-commerce specifically and people who are already getting sales, whether it’s at breakeven or a little bit of a loss or a little bit of profit, they’re …

Nehal K: … whether it’s a break even or a little bit of a loss or a little bit of profit, if they’re listening to this they’re not happy, they’re not content, even though they might be seeing some growth in their business and things are going well, they are always striving for more.
And so from your standpoint if you’re getting 10-20 sales a day, and you want it 5X, 10X that number, what would be your methodology at a high level when you’re looking at conversion rate optimizations? So, like increase lifetime value or increase average order of values, and of course spend more money.
So, you’re getting 10-20 sales a day and you want to get 200 a day, how would you approach that theoretically in terms of steps to take?

Andrew L: Okay. So, first thing is it’s all like we discussed. It’s all about the data, and the data tells you everything. So, I would make sure you become very very proficient in Google analytics, and you are looking at your numbers inside and looking at them as a whole and seeing where are people going on your website, what products people are going to, and then looking how long people are staying on those pages.
I would pick, let’s say, one or two products to … let’s say, a product page to focus on, and then depending if you’re using Shopify, which is great, you don’t have to worry about the checkout process. But I would certainly look at, let’s say, the homepage, and I would look at a product page and maybe a category page, and then I would set up Hotjar.
Hotjar is a great tool. You can set up a free account to start off, and I think you can do three different tests, and Hotjar does the heatmap testing. It will do a click and scroll testing so that you can then see where are people going on that page. You’d be very surprised sometimes to see where people are clicking and what they’re doing.
It helps to give you a bit of an understanding of, “Where am I losing people?” On top of that, what Hotjar does is they have session recordings. So you can go in and you can actually watch when people come on where they go, what do they do. It’s like standing over someone’s shoulder to be able to watch them.
I look at that and then I get a lot of insight of, “You know what? I wonder if we change the headline here. I wonder if we change the image here. I wonder if we change the copy.” Maybe, you know what? People are clicking this thing because they think it’s a button and it’s not. Maybe it should be a button, or maybe we need to make the button stand out more.
And sometimes there’s just some basic elemental sort of things that are in there that you can change that all of a sudden … Again, those small little pieces, small little tweak here or small little tweak there, it all of a sudden adds up to being able to generate a lot more sales.
That’s a key key thing. You need to know those numbers and really understand them. I literally live with Google analytics on my phone. I have a new business that we’re launching now, and I know the numbers cold. Most people don’t know their numbers cold. I know when someone hits my website, I know my conversion from this page, this page, this page, this page, and I know exactly in 2 seconds that’s my problem page. I know that’s where I need to focus.
If you don’t know that, you don’t know where to focus.

Nehal K: So, what I hear is like the first part of the process is just data collection and awareness.

Andrew L: Yep. Yep.

Nehal K: Because before that, you can’t make any decisions. So you’re not even. Right. You’re not even ready to make any-

Andrew L: Yeah. This isn’t guessing. You don’t need to guess. The data’s there; it’s amazing. Like, you have it all there sitting in Google analytics. It’s screaming at you, telling you where are the places that you could be doing better, and that’s what you need to do.

Nehal K: And I think this is the dilemma with the entrepreneur, with the media buyer, that they have access to all these tools and the data, and it’s so easily or affordable accessible, and that we just don’t take action because it’s so easy.
And so, what would be your recommendation to someone who’s in that state where they might have installed Google analytics … they might have had it on for years, or they have tried Hotjar, or Lucky Orange, or any of the other competitors. Before we move to the next step, just from the data collection standpoint that’s such a simple thing to start, but most people don’t do it. What would be your advice or recommendation to them just to actually start?

Andrew L: So the first thing I would do is I would go in … again, Google analytics is the first thing. You have to go in there, and you don’t have to be an expert but you need to know the basic things, right? I always liked to look. I have the real-time …
There’s a setting inside Google analytics where you can see the real-time people on your site. What’s cool about that is the real time also shows you what pages people are on. If you watch that enough, it’s like anything else. You pick up a pattern, and you watch. You see, “Oh! People go from here. They go to here. And then they kind of just leave.”
If you watch that every day all the time and it’s on your phone … that’s what I’m saying. Put it on your phone, on the app, and go to the real-time traffic thing, you will learn so much and you’ll start to pick up what people are doing.
The next thing that I would do is really going into … I think it’s … it’s not behavior. There’s another section where you can actually see the site pages that … I think it is behavior. You can see the site pages people go to. I go in there and then I look at what the top pages people are going to. Let’s just say the top 10. And I look at it for, let’s say, a week or a two-week period of time. Probably go by a day. But when you look at the data enough, trust me, you can read it off of one day. I can read it off of an hour.
But starting there and looking, you’ll start to get the sense of, “Wow! People really go to this page.” And you can look at the exit rates, the bounce rates of what’s going on. You get a sense of what’s happening to your business, and you can start to feel like, “Oh man, I’m really losing people. As soon as they hit this page, they’re gone.” And that starts to tell the story to you. That then sets you up to say, “You know what? I need to put Hotjar where we can … like I said, we can set up a heatmap test and video testing and clip testing on those specific pages and run and look at three of them at a time.” And then you’ll start to get an idea, “Maybe I need to change this. Maybe I need to change that.” Let the data tell you what to do.
And I will give you one other huge thing and all that that probably trumps everything I’m saying. It’s mobile. It’s all about mobile. It’s mobile first, so put desktop second. Everything you do and everything you’re optimizing for and certainly on this show when we’re talking about Facebook ads and Instagram ads, everything is mobile. You have to reverse your mentality when you’re making changes on your website. Worry about the desktop user secondly, worry about making sure that the experience is right for the mobile user.

Nehal K: And one of the things we talk a lot about in our organization is that, “Are you seeking the truth?” And fundamentally when it comes to data collection, most people don’t want to look at the truth, and we all have it in our lives in different parts of our lives, whether it’s professionally or personally. There’s just truth sitting there right in front of you.
And so do you know what your visitor from your homepage to your product page conversion … click-through rate is? Or do you know what your add-to-cart rate is site wide? Or do you know what the initiate checkout close rate is and the purchase rate? And those are like fundamentals but it’s so easy to ignore that.
So, just want to make sure. So, for people who are listening, easiest thing that you can do while even listening to this, the rest of this interview, you can go and install Google analytics if you haven’t. If you haven’t logged in, now’s the time to do it. If you haven’t installed Hotjar or an equivalent to that, there’s a lot of free trials for a majority of these tools. All you can do is set up the free trial, set up the code, and just even watch the live sessions.
If you’re getting traffic to your site right now, we’ve seen this over and over, especially with e-commerce. We saw conversion rates drop down significantly and we’re stuck on what happened. It was just an issue from the billing address, the shipping address, and the issue was it autofilled some information in the shipping address, and that’s what messed up our conversions. We would have never known unless we were watching and the people on the site.
So, step one: install Google analytics, install Hotjar, and just start watching.
Now that they have that, what’s the next step?

Andrew L: So the next step is there. Once you, let’s say, identified that these are the pages I need to focus on, and you again, because we’ve talked about one thing at a time. I would highly recommend focusing on one page at a time. When you’re doing split testing and everything else, unless you have a ton of traffic, statistically it’s very hard for you to be making multiple changes on multiple pages, so you should focus on one page at a time and really focus hard on that page, make that page work better so that then you can see, “Okay, this is working.”
You almost want to have … Let’s say it was the product page that you know you want to work on, and the checkout page you wanted to work on, and the cart page. I would say the product page first. Leave the cart page unless there’s some glaring thing wrong with it. Leave the checkout page. Don’t mess with those. Mess with that one and really, really focus, optimize and make that better whatever that might be, again: copy, imagery.
What I do a lot of times when I have a page that’s just not working right, I’ll do two things. I’ll do a contest where I’ll get feedback reviews. So there’s a service I used to use called Feedback Army. Feedback Army is gone, but they replaced it with something else. I’ll go in there, and I’ll get reviews from 10 different independent people, and I’ll say, “We’re having a problem on this page. I would like input on what’s wrong, what could we do better, what’s lacking. Whatever it is.” And you will get 10 reviews from independent people that review websites for like 40 bucks, and they will tell you, “Do this, this, this, this, and this.”
So I do that. That’s one of the first steps that I do. And then depending on what your budget is … maybe it’s a page that needs to be redesigned. I usually bring in a copywriter, and I will have the copy rewritten on the page because I believe firmly that copy is everything today, and making sure obviously the images are good on there as well, and then I might look at a redesign on that page.
So I might then go and do a design contest on Designhill or 99designs, and I’ll really try to focus in on that page. And I feel like that makes a huge, huge difference, and now I got all the feedback from these different points, and now I launch a new thing.
So that’s the way I like to do it. That’s my methodology behind. Now if it’s small changes and you’re just trying to split test the headline, then use a split testing tool. Even in Google analytics they have some sort of split testing tool, and you can try small changes like that. But I try to find … there’s probably a bigger problem than just a headline. It’s all great. You read all the stuff that people said: “I changed this headline.” I’m like, “Conversion” … Yeah, it happens. It definitely happens. But it’s probably not what the problem is. There’s probably a little bit more going on to it than that.
And again: mobile. Looking at it on a mobile perspective, not the desktop perspective.

Nehal K: I think one of the seductive nature of testing is that you focus on superficial, high-level or very minute stuff instead of the core issues like fundamental problems, underlying issues with the conversion of a funnel. How do you stay away from not just focusing on a headline test or just like a button color test, and focus on what the real issue is? If we just look at a traditional e-commerce site, and a majority of that traffic is going to a product page. So maybe the four pages that are there … or three pages are your product page, your add-to-cart page, your initiate checkout page, right?

Andrew L: Yep.

Nehal K: With those three pages, how do you actually get to the core fundamental issues instead of, “I just want to test a color. I just want to test one element”?
Andrew L: I mean, listen: you can try to test the headline if it makes you feel happy, and try it and just see if it really makes a difference.
The button testing, just so everyone understands, that’s all a myth. It’s not that it’s a myth, but some people say, “Oh, a red button doesn’t work.” It all depends on context, so what the red button on the site.
One of my clients i just helped, they just sold their company for $30 million and they have red buttons all over their site. So, that’s a farce. It all depends if it makes sense and it fits within the design of the site. So I’m very big, to me, on, “What’s the interface like? What does it feel like for the customers, especially again on the phone where we’re talking about thumb stopping and sliding? Does it feel right and look right? And then, does the design feel professional? And then does the copy and the messaging feel right?”
All of that is tied together. It’s not one little piece, and that’s why I say I typically like to get a designer to come in … go hire a designer on Upwork, go find someone to rewrite the copy on your page. You’ll spend 50 bucks, a hundred bucks. You have to invest in your business to make money. Get the copy back and then see about how you can maybe redesign that page and make it look better. If it’s a product page, redesigning that page and making it better, it’s going to make all your product pages look better.

Nehal K: Right. And so, from what I’m hearing, there’s a big difference between strategy and tactics, right? And so what you’re talking about strategically, how to approach your funnel conversion. And so what you’ve said so far is that first thing is, “I get my data.” Then after that I make sure that I’m looking at what the page … that one page that I actually need to work on.
Once I know that, the thing I’m testing is copy on the page, design on the page, and then getting feedback from other people just so I get different perspectives on tests to run, and bigger tests to run instead of smaller tests.
Is there anything else that really moves the needle? What happens in this situation is you get stuck in small adjustments.

Andrew L: I would absolutely … and this is what we talked about before. I look at my competitors that are doing that really well, and I dissect their product page then, and I look at it and I try to really figure out the details. And then I go, and if I was doing this, I would go and look to see some really smart guys that are out there that provide some great information on best practices to have on my product page.
And then I look and I see, “Oh! Do I have credibility on the page. Yes. Do I have a testimonial? Do I have security? Do I have all the elements that should be on the page?” And that obviously makes you realize, sometimes, like, “Oh wow. I’m missing this key piece. I’m missing this piece. I’m missing that piece.” That becomes super helpful. …

Andrew L: This piece, I’m missing that piece. That becomes super helpful.

Nehal K: Got it. And so, if people are listening to this, they’re going to go in, they’re going to install Google Analytics, and setup Hotjar. Great. Then, they’re going to look at the different pages. And then from there, they’re going to hire the copywriter, graphic designer, run those test, and then go. What happens after that step is usually you lose momentum. None of the tests worked. You lose excitement. The honeymoon phase is done and you’re like well, I gotta go and fix the other fires that I have in my business because they’re fires. They’re more exciting. And so, how do you go back and create a feedback loop and get more consistency in the execution? Because it’s so easy to get excited or get pissed off enough to do something about it. But then, it just all stops and you go back to who you were and do the same things that you were doing.

Andrew L: I look at testing as two things. I like many times when it fails miserably because I know then it was totally off-base. And then it gives me like, okay this is all right. I don’t like when it’s kind of like yeah, they’re pretty close. I kind of like when it’s one way or the other and I’m like, okay I know I can work harder. That’s why I said one page at a time because that’s what happens to entrepreneurs. You do have your businesses to run, and this is hard work.
Conversion optimization is hard work. You have to beat yourself and beat your head against the wall. And you just keep doing it. It’s like your pitch on the phone if you were selling. You keep honing it down. You change a little word, you change a little thing here or there, and it just makes a difference. So the only thing I can say is on that, you have to keep at it. It’s not a myth. It’s real stuff. This is how businesses really grow, and this is what they do. And they test, and they optimize, and they test, and they optimize.
And yeah, you can keep going where it’s too far. Right? There’s a point of diminishing returns, let’s just say. Right? So when that business when we got to 13%. Yeah, could we have gotten to 14%? Sure. It didn’t matter. You know what I mean? I have a business of mine now where I have a 24% opt-in rate on something. It’s great. And I’m sure I can probably squeeze it to 30%, but it’s a little bit … That’s not where I need to focus my attention on. So you gotta make sure you focus your attention on that and keep going on that. If it’s your product page that is not producing the results, you cannot give up.

Nehal K: Right. And one of the things that entrepreneurs and marketers, the trap we all fall in, is the obsession about the outcome instead about the actual activities that get to the outcome. Right?

Andrew L: Yeah.

Nehal K: And so, the activity is I’m going to launch another test on … First of all, I’m going to spend 30 minutes or an hour just analyzing looking at Google Analytics or Hotjar sessions. Or it could be, I’m going to come up with five tests that I could run this week, and then I’m going to implement one of them. And so, if you do those three activities, which is I’m going to study, I’m going to create ideas, and I’m going to implement one, that could be activities that you could be doing weekly, and you get obsessed about that process instead of the outcome. Which is, of course, important, but your energy and your emotions are as much … We don’t normally attach ourselves to something, and you’d much rather be attached to the activity than the outcome. And so, how do you look at the frequency or rotation of test and setting goals for yourself? Because the outcome is, of course, so important, but there’s steps to get there.

Andrew L: I’m really, I’m into it. So for me, it’s very exciting to me. Forgetting about the money on the other side, money’s also super exciting, but it’s very exciting to me. It’s like a math problem. And it’s like when you solve it, it’s like, wow! Look at that! I just got 100 more people to go from this step to this step. That’s so cool. Right? Everyone talks funnels. I got more people to move through my funnel. And when you look at that, try to get excited about that because, again, if those small percent like we spoke about, let’s say you had 10% of the people that went to your product page added it to the cart, let’s just say. If you’ve got that to 11%, it’s not 1%. This is where people, I guess, lose the excitement in conversions. No, that’s 10% more people.
Imagine if you got, let’s say 12%, that’s 20% more people. And if you’re still thinking about it in numbers, think about in numbers like that. Conversions are never 1% and 2%. They’re really, in the end when you multiply it out, I mean it’s different for everything, they’re much larger amounts of numbers. And so if we looked at and said, well I had 200 visitors that came to my site today, and 20 of them went from the product page to the cart page. But now all of a sudden, 24 of them went, that’s a huge difference.

Nehal K: Right.

Andrew L: You know, so that’s the way I try to look at it. I don’t try to look at that single digit number, I actually look at really that end result number. And that end result number gets me very excited because that end-result number’s what actually can really ring the register.

Nehal K: At what point do you say, you know what? This was my one thing for the last 30 days. I’m done. I gotta move on to the next thing. How do you know?

Andrew L: I mean, obviously, every website and everything is different. I don’t know what the effort is that you gave into it. You might have gave a half-ass effort into it, and that’s it. I mean, you gotta look at statistically. Right? What’s the average numbers? And I don’t know whatever the business is, what are the average numbers of people going from a product page to a cart page, and looking at what industry standards are. And if you’re meeting or exceeding those industry standards and you’re trying other things, and it’s just not moving it, you’re probably at that point of diminishing returns.
I had something else we were just recently testing and it was like 80% of the people went to the homepage, went to the next page. That was insane. Right? Could we have gotten 90%? Sure, but that was already an unreasonable number. So you’ve gotta be unreasonable in life, be unreasonable in what you do, but you also have to find that point of like, I tried a bunch of things. Everyone know when they put their energy and effort in. I put my effort in. I think I’ve done good. I did on the copy really well. The design is good. It’s working better. I got it to a better place. Okay. Let me see what’s the next one that I can work on now. Let me see if I can make a difference there.
And like I said, it’s little steps at a time, but when you get each little step down, and then it adds in together, that also becomes your automated cashflow machine. Right? Because it’s just the traffic that you drive comes in, it goes to the site, and the site’s like a conveyor belt. It consistently does what it’s supposed to do. Beside for when your site goes down or little things that happen. It’s just literally a machine. And then it just becomes scaling up the ads and scaling up infrastructure.
Nehal K: And so do you think that it’s possible to delegate conversion optimization on your team? What are your thoughts on that?

Andrew L: You can. You know? I mean, I think depending on the size of the company we’re talking about, they have to. Right? But if you’re a small entrepreneur, that’s very hands-on yourself, I think you need to be an expert in things like that in your business, and certainly, understand it well. And if you are going to delegate it to someone that’s on your team, whether it’s a front-end developer, or designer, or copyright, whatever it is, or it’s someone on your team that just kind of overall runs the business, you need to be involved in that process. Because, again, you have to know everything about your business. You have to be looking in Google Analytics all the time so that you can predict what the moves are.
I think we’ve talked about it, I’m actually really a book by Grant Cardone right now. So, Grant’s obviously a master, master salesperson, and he’s really actually super impressive. And one of the things he talks about is being able to predict the outcome. When I look at traffic on a website, I can predict the outcome because I’m looking at it so much. So much so that let’s say in one of my other business where we were doing very, very big numbers, we would have like 1500 people on a site simultaneously. And I would look at the conversions. We would have up, on charts on the wall, the computer screen showing Google Analytics with live traffic. And I recommend people do that. So they put it up on a screen and you can see the live traffic on your site. It’s a great one because it’s in your face.
I was actually able to notice when things were not working right. Like, say the system slowed down. And I would walk into the CPO and be like, “We have a problem.” And he’d be like, “No we don’t.” I’d be like, “Yes we do.” And because I know, it was like a spidey sense, I was predicting because I saw patterns that were happening of things not working right. And then, he’d say a half an hour later, “Yeah, there was a server that slowed down or a process that slowed down.” I’m like, “I knew it.” So you can’t do that unless you know your data, and you understand it, and you’re watching it. And then, you can become really in a position where you’re predicting where things are and when things are going wrong.

Nehal K: So for people who are listening and they haven’t taken conversion rate optimization seriously, or just like overall energy invested in conversion, are there any tools or education that you’d recommend? Resources that they can check out?
Andrew L: Yeah. So two I would say that are great, Peep Laja, I guess his name is. Or Laja?

Nehal K: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew L: From ConversionXL. I think he does a great job. And I mean, he’s super, super smart and teaches some great things. And then, my buddies over at Traffic & Conversion with DigitalMarketer, Perry, Ryan, and Roland, and their whole team. I mean, those guys are amazing and I think they teach excellent, excellent ways to look at conversion optimizations and have some really good SOP, standard operating procedures.
So I think those guys, if you don’t have a lot of money, you can join like their DM Lab. And I’m not promoting them from the stand of, I believe in what they do. I’ve taken things that they’ve showed me and shown my organization. And I can thoroughly say that there are things that I have learned from them that have taken our businesses from certain levels and brought them to much bigger levels. Those guys know and they have the beat on who else is testing different things. So I just would go to those sources.

Nehal K: Gotcha. If there’s anything in terms of for entrepreneurs when they’re getting started with this process of improving their conversion, most people just focus on traffic or they’ll focus on like let me launch a new product, or let me change my offer. Whatever the case is, conversion usually isn’t like at the highest priority. Just to wrap up, what would be your main advice for people who are getting started with this? Where they know they should be investing time and energy and potentially cash in this process, they just haven’t. So if they’re just getting started, already seeing results from other parts of their business, but conversion hasn’t been the priority, what would your advice be to actually make sure that they’re getting started and doing it right?

Andrew L: I mean, probably going and taking like a little course. Again, it’d be something that Peep offers or one of these other guys, a digital marketer, just to learn the fundamentals. Right, because they’re the fundamentals of conversion optimization. Understanding what it means and, again, really going into Google Analytics and looking at the data. Because if you look at the data in there, it’s going to force yourself to say I need to focus on conversion optimization.
If you ignore that data, and you’re just looking at things like, oh well, my ad is converting. I’m generating some money. And you don’t have the other real back-end data, you’re never going to focus on it, so you have to look at your data. I mean, the data’s everything. Amazon doesn’t grow because Amazon grows based on whims and hopes and prayers. They look at the data and they make very, very educated decisions that are probably very accurate based off of data. You have the data. Look at your data. That’s probably the key thing is, really look at your data. Everyone ignores it. Not everyone. Most entrepreneurs ignore it.

Nehal K: Right. And where can people reach out to you if they want to connect with you if they want to just learn more about what is it that you do? Or potentially-
Andrew L: Yeah, yeah. No. I mean, sorry. You can go to my website, andrew And then, really you can follow me on Instagram @andrewlermsider. I’m being honest, I go through spurts where I’m posting a lot, and I go through spurts where I’m not. It just depends on where I am. If I’m starting a new business or consulting for too many clients, and I’m just not in the mode of producing content from a personal branding standpoint. So you can follow me there, and I think I have some new stuff that’s going to be coming out soon, so.

Nehal K: Perfect. Well, Andrew thank you so much for coming on, Man. I really appreciate your time.

Andrew L: Of course, Man. Pleasure.

Nehal K: All right. See you guys on the next one.

How To Scale To $1MM/Mo By Developing Irresistible Offers

By | ad, ads, Advertising, advertising campaign, behind-the-campaign, Business, business-growth, Sales | No Comments

Nehal Kazim: Hi, this is Nehal Kazim from Ad Tips for Ad Pros, and today I have Clayton Johnson from The HOTH. What’s up, Clayton?

Clayton Johnson: What’s up, dude? Thanks for having me.
Nehal Kazim: There you go. If you’re not watching this video, we’re in person side-by-side in Medellín, Colombia. So also, if you here any kind of noises, that’s because we’re … It’s the authentic

Clayton Johnson: Taxi cabs, dogs yelling, loud bachata music blasting. Reggaeton.

Nehal Kazim: Everything. So the reason I have Clayton on here is because we’ve actually known each other for some time now, and the way we met was very odd. I used to see his ads on Facebook all the time, and they used to have so much text. I’m like “How is he getting away with so much text on his ad?” And then when I moved down here-

Clayton Johnson: It’s a secret.

Nehal Kazim:When I moved down here, we randomly met at a rooftop where we were both living at the time. And so anyways, the reason I got him here is because he went from spending, or making around $5000 a month in his productized SEO agency to the point now that they’re doing consistently over one million dollars a month. And there’s a lot of different things that happen when it comes to that growth, whether it’s with paid advertising, with the overall management of the business personally and professionally of how you’re actually managing that growth and your belief systems, and there’s so many levels to that. Instead of talking about all of that, the thing we’re gonna talk about today’s offer development and the overall dynamic nature of the offers you are making in order to go and scale your business from $5000 a month to a million per month. And so that’s why I have Clayton on.

Clayton Johnson: Nice.

Nehal Kazim: So thank you for doing this.

Clayton Johnson: No problem, dude. Thanks for having me.

Nehal Kazim: Sweet. So tell us about what it took. Like what was the actual first type of offers you guys created and where you started, because then we can go from the journey.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. I think probably the best way to tell this is to kind of work through that history, because there’s so many factors involved. And I know we had a comment on that group that was like “How do we dial the offer in?” Like it’s a singular offer to get to one million bucks a month. So I think if we go through the journey of kind of like how it happened, that can explain a lot, and maybe give some context for where you’re at right now, so you kind of put yourself in the shoes and see what the next couple steps are, and then also plan for the future. You know, like maybe a year, two, three years down the road. Where you’re gonna go next.
So yeah, when we started the business, the business really started very simply. We have … SEO, if you think about it, it’s like extremely complex. There’s lots of different things you could do for SEO. Everything client could be completely different. So we started as a productized service. So we started with just one offer. We had one product, which was a really simple link-building product, and I think the offer point was like at 60 bucks per month. Or not even per month. It was just like a one time thing.

Nehal Kazim: Okay.

Clayton Johnson: And we might have had a second one that was like a couple hundred dollars per month. Or, sorry, couple hundred dollars. And that’s where we started to like … As a lean startup, dude, almost every product, even now, what we try to do is we try to put something out into the marketplace and see if that works before you invest a ton in it.

Nehal Kazim: So a lot of people who start in SEO don’t go that route.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: So they say “I saw a case study from this one dude.” Or “I saw some other guy doing really well and I saw his PayPal transaction, and so I wanna make that same amount of money, so I wanna charge 1000 bucks or like 1500 or whatever.”

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: And so you guys started with $60 or like $200. That makes no sense. Why did you do that?

Clayton Johnson: Because I think our target was a little bit different. Like to actually service a real client and be like “We’re gonna fully manage your SEO,” that can mean a lot of things, and we just didn’t have the capacity at that time. So we just focused on productizing the service.
From my previous experience, I worked in businesses that were also service-based businesses, but they were really difficult to run, and I saw the reason that it’s difficult to run is because you’re doing something custom for everything.

Nehal Kazim: For sure.

Clayton Johnson: Right? When you’re able to productize a service, that makes it so it’s like literally a production assembly line, and it makes it so much better, because the deliverables up-front, I can sell you what the deliverables are gonna be. I can show you what they’re gonna be, and there’s no kind of question. I can produce that consistently every time, and that makes it 1000 times easier.

Nehal Kazim: And for people who are into service businesses, sorry, who have a service business, what we’re gonna do in the group … I’ll make a note here. We’ll makes sure to give an example of what a actual manufacturing line, like actual delivery line looks like from Clayton’s standpoint, because I’ve seen it. And he’s helping me systemize a bunch of our own processes and change my perspective on a bunch of things. And so what we’ll do is we’ll put that in the group. If you’re not already in the group, it’s, and that’s a Facebook group, and so I think that would be super helpful.

Clayton Johnson: Yep.

Nehal Kazim: Cool. And so when it comes to that first offer, I think that changes a lot of things. The decisions you’re making. Because most people when they think of agencies or service businesses, it’s like “How can I get the most amount of money?” And “I’ll hustle in the beginning, I’ll figure things out, and then I can increase my prices or change my offer and go from there.” And so once you guys had those offers, what happened next? How did you even get those people to buy a $60, $200 offer?

Clayton Johnson: I mean this is like the very beginning of the business, and this was kind of back in the day. I mean this was like 2010. So we actually launched on a forum. Like just literally put up an offer on a forum, and it kind of took off and started earning a few thousand dollars a month from there. And then after that, I think there was just like a various myriad of beginning entrepreneur type stuff. Just kind of throw things at the wall.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: So we went to a couple conferences, we tried a couple AdBlasts. You know, just did a handful of different things. In the beginning it wasn’t super strategic, but it was enough. If you’re a hustler … We kind of, I would say it was probably the hustle phase. Right? You just try a bunch of different stuff, and that got us up to 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars a month. Something like that. Just hustling.

Nehal Kazim: But how many offers? Like you go from $5000, or just like surviving. Just running the business and doing alright. In going from even that step, what changed in the offers?

Clayton Johnson: Not that much actually.

Nehal Kazim: Really? Okay.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. Just because we had like a very easy to understand production assembly line offer, and also something that people could order multiple times, because people always need more links. That seemed to work really well for us.

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha. Well I know from the ways that you guys are starting and the way you positioned your business, it was designed to scale. And I think this is a challenge for a lot of businesses, including agencies, where as soon as you try to scale there is actually a lot of different people that you need or systems break very quickly. And so when it comes to even going from 5K to 30K, what had to change operationally just to support that?

Clayton Johnson: Well, what was kind of cool was like when I started doing this, I made a very big point in the beginning to make sure that everything was scalable. From the beginning. So like I said, I came from a business, like service-based business before, where systems were not really implemented that well, and so I read that book, The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. I think that’s what it is.

Nehal Kazim: I think so.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. It’s awesome. It’s all about making systems in your business. And then the second one I read was Built to Sell, which is also about building your business so that it’s actually sellable. So like it’s not just you doing it. And so from the beginning I knew the importance of making systems for everything. So everything that we had, it was totally documented. We could totally piece it out, so from when an order came in to the confirmation to every single step that had to happen after until it got delivered to the client. It was all totally documented and super scalable. We could throw more people in it if we needed to. So that’s what we had designed from the beginning.
Now not everybody has the tools in the beginning to do that. We literally ran off of Google Docs. Like our entire system ran off of Google Docs up-

Nehal Kazim: Wow.

Clayton Johnson: … until like 10, 20, maybe even 30 thousand dollars a month when we made our first big hire, when we hired a developer to build out a custom system for us. So …
Nehal Kazim: Got it. So I know when it comes to scaling the business, you can focus on a lot of different things. Just to even go from that five to 30, was that primarily hustle, or did you guys start doing advertising that was consistent? What allowed you to do that?

Clayton Johnson: To be honest, the consistent growth didn’t happen until much later on.

Nehal Kazim: Okay.

Clayton Johnson: In the beginning, from everything that I can remember, it was just hustling, trying different things. You know what I mean? There was no particular thing that I remember that really significantly grew us. And actually, it became a point in that journey where we actually kind of stalled out because we didn’t have those consistent marketing systems.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: We had good systems for operations, and our product offering was such a good market fit at the time that we were able to scale that, but eventually, if you don’t have the marketing systems in place, you’re gonna stall out and you’re gonna be like “Dude, what went wrong?”

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: And that’s when the real growth really started.

Nehal Kazim: And so when it comes to paid advertising, a lot of the focus of the people in this group, people who are listening to this podcast, for them, the main thing is they’re trying to spend money and make more money than they’re spending that month. But I think that your perspective is very different than the average advertiser’s, because you’re not trying to make money per se on that first month. And the unique nature of your business and the perspective that you have is that you are a master of offers, but then offers that have a very wide variety. Different price points all the way through, where people are spending, like you mentioned, $50, and that’s the only thing that they’ve ever spent with you, versus hundreds of thousands of dollars. And so when you’re looking at paid advertising and growth, what do you think is different to how you look at paid advertising versus the average person?

Clayton Johnson: Well there’s lots of things. The first thing I would say is that the biggest problem I see is people make it hard on themselves. Like, right? They’re like “All right, I got one ad, and I got one offer and one funnel, and I’m one-time, and I gotta make that work. And if that doesn’t work, my business is gonna fall apart.” So what I have as an advantage to me is that we had, by the time we actually started ads, we got a handful of products at different price points, and people were able to go and buy those multiple times. And for the different types of avatars that we had. You know, some people would come in and buy right away. Some people would wait a little while. Some people would purchase over and over and over. So we had a lot of different people coming in the funnel, and we had enough offers that it made it so that if someone came in once and they didn’t purchase immediately, that doesn’t mean I’m dead.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: You know, it’s not like a webinar where I got one shot and I got one product. So my first thing that’s really important, the big benefit that we had is that we’re not making it hard on ourselves. You know what I mean? So think about that. Don’t make it hard on yourself when you’re running those paid ads.

Nehal Kazim: But what does that mean for someone who has like a coaching business, or has an e-commerce business. Like for them, they have one or two offers that are working, and they might even have just Facebook or Instagram as their main traffic source.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: And then you’re telling them to not make it so hard. So how could they use that in their business?

Clayton Johnson: Well with us, what we do is … I mean it’s versus simple. Like internet marketing 101, we put people on the list. Like people might be interested in your front-end lead magnet right now, but who knows when they’re actually going to convert. Right? And so we put people on the email list, and we just continually send them out cool stuff all the time.
Stuff in SEO changes all the time. We come out with new articles every month. New cool stuff happens. We got new offers, we got new products, we got new questions, new trainings, new everything’s always coming out. So we put people on the list, and people sometimes buy right away, and sometimes not.
Nehal Kazim: Could you give a breakdown, or you know, generally, of how many offers you have and what would be the one offer that’s been generating the most amount of revenue?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: Because most people, they’re in e-commerce or service-business. They have maybe one or two offers max, and that’s what they live and die by. And usually it’s one traffic platform as well, and there’s a little bit of nurturing and different ways to close those people, but there’s not that much sophistication. So how many offers, and what would be your best offer? And if you wanna say how much it generates, that’s up to you.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah, sure. So basically, like I said, we started the business with like essentially one offer, and then we expanded that to have like three different types of link-building products. That got us up to a certain point, but our real growth came in the next handful of years when we expanded to like literally 15 offers. We have 15 different SEO products, and sometimes with each one of those there’s multiple different types of packages you can buy. Right?

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha.

Clayton Johnson: So that was awesome, because we could serve way more customers. You know, whoever you are, we probably have a package for you. But it also came with the problem of like “Which one of these do I choose?” Right?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Now you got so many offers. So then we created our best offer ever, which does like four times the revenue of any other product. Four or five times. And that’s basically done for each service, where we take all of our products and we give you the best ones for you.

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: And so for people who are listening, I wanna make sure that becomes super clear, because for most businesses, they don’t actually have, especially if you’re a service-business, you don’t have a productized offer, and then on top of that it usually isn’t a way that you can combine a bunch of your productized offer into a higher offer that’s worth a lot more and is on recurring and people are paying for a relatively long period of time. And so when Clayton says something like that, the first thing is “What are …” If you’re a service business especially, “What are ways that you could productize as many of your offers as you can?” And then from those, package them up in a way that they allow you to scale not only from a delivery of that offer or each individual offers, but then also, when you combine them they have way higher perceived value, and it becomes a no-brainer for them.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. I think, dude, to be honest, if you were running a service-based business and you don’t have productized services, you should have productized services, unless you have these offers that are super, super expensive and super custom. Here’s the reason. You know not even … You don’t even have to offer those as productized services, but you need to have them, because essentially a productized service means you have a check list. If you’re gonna do this process, you’ve got this checklist. So you should be able to offer almost everything you have as a productized service, in my opinion. That allows you to make sure that as you scale, you don’t have to be the person that’s doing everything, and you also be able to sell the business one day. You know what I mean?

Nehal Kazim: So whenever Clayton and I talk, most of our conversations are either about growth, or they’re mostly on like systems and structures and SOPs, things like that. And I would love to potentially bring him on again for like the actual operations side, because that’s one of his specialties. But when it comes to the offer, just going back to that, what was the point where you guys went from a handful of offers to like 15. What happened on how people actually interacted with you? Because how you deal with the new deals and new people who are interested is very different now than I’m assuming you were doing it then.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. I guess it changed quite a bit overtime. I mean for us, a person can hit on almost any one of our products. You know, like our audience is so wide and varied that we don’t know what exactly they’re looking for when they come to the funnel. Our first lead magnet that really killed it was just a simple list of the best tools in our industry.

Nehal Kazim: Got it.

Clayton Johnson: It was just like “Get this list of the 50 best SEO tools.” So that’s super general, right? We don’t know if that person is a local business owner or a magnet. You know? So what we did is we have a simple email funnel that kind of delivered value and pitched each one of the products throughout that sequence. So it’s probably 10 to 20 emails, and we’d be like “Hey, what’s up? Welcome here. Here’s the main strategy we would recommend for most people.” And it kind of pitched each one of the products somewhere through. And then over the course of the next two weeks or so, we’d hit them off with different angles, and we’d be like “Dude, if this is kind of a problem you have, like let’s say you need a reviews for your local business or something, we have a product that helps with reviews. If you are … You need content. You know, for your website, blogs, we have a blog.

Clayton Johnson: for your website because its not on blogs. We have a blog. We pitched that. So basically we fill out that sequence that strategically work people through our entire product offering. Felt where you’re at the time and then also offered people a chance to just get on the phone so we could just straight shot you to where you needed.

Nehal Kazim: And so, when did you guys start adding the phone because as a product size service, you want people to just go and buy your things and then you deliver them and they’re happy and ideally they order again.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: Or not, and that’s the end of the relationship. And so, when was that transition and how did that change how people bought?

Clayton Johnson: Well, we had a salesperson from the beginning, not necessarily from exactly the beginning but very early on we hired a sales person. But for a long time we had that sales person there and were just kinda like do stuff. Like when people sign up, call em or something? We don’t really know and we’re like, if you have somebody there to answer the phone or answer product question that sets a huge next step. Like just to be able to be like yo, this person is dedicated to helping people on the phone because I don’t know, at least in the U.S., people love talkin on the phone.

Nehal Kazim: Right?

Clayton Johnson: Even if it’s just like hey man I just wanted to make sure you’re real.

Nehal Kazim: Right?

Clayton Johnson: Cool. Okay. That works, now you’ll purchase. I think depending on your industry, especially SEO, like SEO a lot of people, there’s a lot of business that painted like a gray picture over the SEO industry. So, for us, gaining that trust and being like real people. That was really important. But, over time as we started ramping up our marketing, what we try to do is really help the sales guys. Instead of being like, we need you comin in and closin deals and hard sellin people, like a lot of businesses do. I don’t like that at all because I think that hurts the customer, it forces products down their throat that they don’t need. So, we just really worked on inbound marketing. In terms of driving leads through marketing, developing a relationship with our content and then giving them the opportunity, when something sparks their interest, to book a call with one of our sales guys and that’s great because the leads are qualified. They’re very interested by the time they get on and the sales guy doesn’t have to like ram something down their throat, they don’t have to sell em because they’re already warmed up with all the content stuff we delivered. So, that was really valuable.

Nehal Kazim: So, I know a lot of people who are listening to this podcast are the type of person and people in the group and I know the majority of these people aren’t doing content marketing.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: So, you’re in the SEO space and you sell content for a living. And so, what is your perspective on content when it comes to growth and having systems with using content?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah man, I put a post up on my Facebook the other day and I think this really capsulates what I think about content. Which is that, every day, people are coming to you and if you’re gonna sell them a product they have questions, right? And you have a pitch that you’re gonna give to them. You have all these different things you wanna say to explain your product, your service and how it fits into the market or whatever. But that only exists in your mind.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Right? So what you need to do is put that out there. You need to write articles that explain these things. Like every facet of your product, every question that someone asks. Because if someone asks, I’m pretty sure most sales people would say, I get asked the same questions every day.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Okay, if you get asked the same questions every day, there’s a better way. Okay? Just write out the answers, okay? So, write out the answers, put it in blog posts, so if somebody has a problem. The way I explain it is like, when people came to us, anything that prevented them from buying we wanted to create resource for them. So they would say, we sell links, okay they come to us be like okay what should the strategy. I’m like okay cool, I’ll write an SEO strategy up. Here’s an SEO strategy and they’re like okay but what about, I don’t know what anchor text to use? How do I do the keyword research before I buy your link? I go okay, here’s how to do keyword research. What about getting penalized? I go, here’s how to build links and not get penalized. So every time that there’s a question, objection, anything like that, write an article about it.
Now, what’s cool, is that becomes an SEO strategy because you can optimize that. If people are asking you on the phone, they’re probably searching it on google too.

Nehal Kazim: Right?

Clayton Johnson: So, it becomes your SEO strategy that way you start getting organic ranking and organic traffic starts flowing in. Then, you can take that and also becomes your pay traffic strategy, right? Because we run Facebook ads to all these posts, right? This is, we take all our retargeting and just run it right there. You can also turn your posts, good ones, into lead magnets. Right? So you lead campaigns with that same content.
Then it also becomes your email marketing strategy because you take that content, all those posts that you wrote are objections and you send an email. You write a little auto response sequence and you go hey, we just put up a new post, and do you ever have this question? Well, we have the answer here.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: So, every time this whole system starts workin out, but it’s all, the content is the core of it.

Nehal Kazim: So, if you’re listening to this, that’s a lot of information. You can actually use this in your business very simply. So, what I heard is that first thing, understand and become aware of what are the actual problems or recurring themes in your business? So, for him, it’s their sales objections. That’s one of the most powerful and the closest thing he can do when it comes to earning money or closing the deal is awareness of what the actual problems are and what are the friction points? If one person’s having it, there’s probably a lot more that are having it, they just haven’t expressed it to you. Maybe, not expressed it verbally, or that you just don’t know yet. So, the fact that you might not even be looking at those opportunities, that is a challenge. It’s the same thing that we’re doing in the Facebook group right now. We asked what are the different standard operating procedures that you would want for your own media buyer and people are responding with what is it that would help them run their Facebook ads better. And so, the first part, in your business, whatever type of business you’re doing, what are the actual objections people have? That’s step one.
Step two is how do you convert that objection into an opportunity and that’s what he was saying was how do you put that into articles or into content, into assets that help you convert people, but add scale. So, instead of having the same conversation over and over, now you’re doing it in a scalable way. So, first is awareness, then you’re actually converting it into assets.
Now that you have assets, the third step is repurposing, because now you’re repurposing that same asset into a lead magnet, into a retargeting piece of content, into an email content and into SEO asset that actually brings in more traffic consistently and so all of these tools and these assets, you only created it once, but now they’re getting repurposed in multiple ways, just to make you money in an automated, systematic way.
So, if you’re looking at the outcome, it sounds like so much work. But, if you actually took this same approach of saying first, I just wanna be aware of what my objections are and what people are saying. If you’re not collecting that or asking that, that’s step one.
Once you know what those objections are, convert them into an opportunity by converting them into an asset. So, that’s what content he’s talking about, and now that you have assets, you can repurpose them into whatever other channels you want, like email, like actual blog post, like retargeting ads or even on the phone, if you’re selling over the phone of direct links.

Clayton Johnson: Yes. Exactly dude. My sales guys, every day, they’re like, I didn’t even know we had these blog posts. They’re like almost every object there is, there’s a blog post on our website that explains it.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: And has it all mapped out and basically they love it, it’s a resource for them. I like to say this, is that it does sound like a lot of work, but there’s two things. One, after you create these pieces of content, they will become your little marketing soldiers that will go on and sell for you like every day for years. There’s blog posts that I wrote four years ago, that are still selling Hoff products.

Nehal Kazim: That’s awesome.

Clayton Johnson: It’s that question as an entrepreneur, you’re trying to train somebody, like dude I should just do this myself instead of making an SOP for it. It’s kind of like that. Yes, just take the time, cause in the long run it will save you a billion hours. Actually, it won’t save you a billion hours, it will actually allow you to grow. You’ll still be the one on the calls saying all those things, but if you set these up, you can use these little market soldiers as little assets and pummel every type of marketing towards them and they’ll just sell for you everyday for years.

Nehal Kazim: So, how do you go from doing hustle marketing to having like consistent systems to drive traffic to your offers predictably? Cause that sounds like, I’m assuming, might be your next big inflection point? Was it or was there something else?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. I think there’s a handful of different things. But, when we started launching Facebook ads and started running pay traffic, I think that was a huge inflection point for us. What I decided to do, which I think, for me personally, there’s a handful of things that happen. You’ve heard like kind of the story a few times, I’ll try not to go too far off scope.

Nehal Kazim: It’s all good.

Clayton Johnson: But, as an entrepreneur, you’re gonna have to wear different hats at different stages of your business, right? One big thing that happened to me is that, SEOs hard, dude. And selling SEO with the constant Google updates, it was really like emotionally draining. There was a time when we, probably like every business, has something like this, like Facebook ads, like Facebook changes the algorithm, or whatever, almost every business has something hard about it. It can be really emotionally draining, but one thing you gotta do, that’s really important to me is like you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens and it’s all on you, you have to take that responsibility and as hard as that is sometimes, its actually like liberating. Because you stop blaming everything else. So, I did that and I was like man we’re not growing, well okay, I’m gonna take that responsibility. So, why is it not growing?
So, at that time I was running ops, like I was an ops guy. Now, I knew a lot about marketing or I thought I knew a lot about marketing. You meet a lot of marketers that talk, like I knew about retargeting, I could talk to you about SEO, I could talk to you about all kinds of different stuff all day.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: But, could I produce a really good system that would consistently drive leads and sales? Still hadn’t done it. So, I took a look at my daily schedule one time and I realized that most of the tasks that I had were operations tasks. I was in meetings, emails, all that kinds of stuff and as an entrepreneur, I think it’s super easy to get busy with busy work and making yourself feel like you’re doing good, right?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: But, I realized that my actions didn’t line up with my goals dude. The goals were to grow and so you have to look at are these actions going to get me more customers? Are they going to help sell more things? And I was like shit, no they’re not. So, I had to actually change my daily schedule and put time in that said this time is only allotted for straight marketing activities. Right? And just as I’d developed systems for operations, I needed to develop systems for marketing that says, when the lead comes in here its gonna go through this system and then at the end predictably we’re gonna get this result and if that does work we’re gonna be able to scale that. So, that’s what I worked on for, a long time to create.

Nehal Kazim: When you’re doing that, it’s usually at a point where you’re at an emotional low.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: And there’s usually that trigger, was there, that trigger was painful enough for you to do it. What was the reason that you actually did something about it?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. There’s a handful of things. I’ve talked to a multiple entrepreneurs about this and they say that like almost always before the best stuff happens, something really terrible happens, right? And I’m thankful that nothing really terrible, terrible happened in my life, it’s just that I hated Chicago winter time right?

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha.

Clayton Johnson: I hated it enough that I was like depressed and I was like oh my God I have to get out of this. So, I sold everything I had and I came down here to [inaudible 00:27:27] where there’s perfect weather every day, if you ever wanna come. That was a painful enough thing where I had to change and I was like really intent on growing and changing at that point. And that’s when I looked at everything I was doing and changed my morning routine, I changed the goals that I had and I started actually really setting goals to be honest. Instead of just showing up and being like I hope this works today. Like setting a real goal, figuring out what I need to do to do it and then set the time to actually execute that stuff.

Nehal Kazim: What was the first like biggest goal that you set? Because I saw your Evernote and I saw your breakdown. So, how did you actually set that goal? And then we can talk about how you got there.

Clayton Johnson: Man, I don’t know if I remember exactly what it was. I think at the time, we were fluctuating between like eighty to a hundred thousand dollars a month. And I think I just set a goal to five exit, just do five hundred thousand dollars a month. I think that was the first goal, cause that was enough to make it like life changing, but I really had no, there was no like real this is exactly what I wanna do with this five hundred k, I just thought that would be a good growth goal, that would change everything.

Nehal Kazim: But, then when you actually scheduled your time, that was based off of like what? Like a two hour block, right?

Clayton Johnson: I think it was like a three hour block.

Nehal Kazim: Okay.

Clayton Johnson: I think what I did is because let’s be realistic, people are like yeah just do marketing all day. As you and your business you probably have lots of responsibilities. So what I did is I just said the morning time was made for marketing and then afternoon was when I could do operations. So, I would get up and I got a morning routine going. I was really good. I got up and went and got grateful for what I had, got my body moving, got to the Tony Robbins move your body thing.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Then, head down to the coffee shop, write what I’m grateful for, hit the gym, come back, then take a shower, then that was only marketing. I didn’t even check my email. Actually, had a program that blocked my email so I could work on these marketing tasks. Setting up that system that I was talking about. Whether it’s like writing these five articles or creating this one lead magnet or setting these up in an auto responser, whatever it was to create that system, I just progressively went through that and for like months I just did that nine to twelve or so, whatever it was, and like aggressively only worked on marketing. Eliminated all distractions, like no phones, no anything, until I had that system created.

Nehal Kazim: Right. I think a lot of this starts with depending on what your intention is and depending on what your goals are and what you actually set those intentions and you know how to operate, and then at that point you can ask yourself a lot better quality questions because until then it’s like I want more money. Or I wanna grow. Grow, what does that mean? What do you actually do today?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: And so, once you actually made that decision, you created a number, five hundred k, what did you do in terms of figuring out what you should be doing? Because what you pretty much did is you said, here’s a goal, here’s times, and then let me figure it out as I go.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. So, initially I had no idea what the numbers would be, right?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: But, I knew that there’s a very simple explanation, or very simple marketing system that I could create. Which is essentially this, essentially let’s run an ad to a lead magnet with an optic, then I’ll put people on an email list and then try to sell them things.

Nehal Kazim: Right. That’s super complicated.

Clayton Johnson: I’ll try to sell them things and if I put a dollar in here and then like we’ll just see what comes out the other end and if it’s more than a dollar that’s good, we’ll just keep doing that and that’s kinda what I did. Like created a series of emails that had our top questions in it and kind of pitched our products throughout, gave people an opportunity to get on the phone.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: And then set up a couple different lead magnets and one of them beat the other ones in terms of cost per lead and then just ran that. We’re like okay man run it to lead magnet, put people on a list, sell that stuff, track it.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: And it actually worked. It worked pretty decent. We didn’t get money back that day because we don’t try to sell, we’re not like hey what’s up, I’ve never met you before, here’s an offer, please marry me. We just said like here’s some cool stuff and that worked out pretty well.

Nehal Kazim: And, Jeremy, who’s in the group right now.

Clayton Johnson: What’s up Jeremy?

Nehal Kazim: He’s a hot customer and he’s saying your onboarding package kicks butt.

Clayton Johnson: Thank you!

Nehal Kazim: So, there you go.

Clayton Johnson: And actually, it’s got a lot better over time. I think this is a good point to make. A lot of times when you’re starting out you’re like oh, I have to do this crazy complex system and actually it can be

Clayton Johnson: … you’re like, “Oh. I have to do this crazy, complex system.” Actually, it can be paralyzing. Especially if you know a lot.
I knew enough about marketing that it’s kind of paralyzing, because you’re like, “Well, if we send people to this page, then we should have retargeting going on it. And then, we should probably have a messenger bot campaign after that.” I’m saying, “Dude, you gotta start somewhere. So, just start super simple.”
It was like, this, to a landing page, to an email series, and that’s it. We used Mail Chimp up until we had 150 thousand people on our list. You know what I mean?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Actually, up until this year.

Nehal Kazim: Clayton and I speak a lot about different marketing campaigns and advertising stuff. I have to hold back, because Clayton actually executes what he says he’s gonna execute. When we’re speaking we decide not to speak about specific types of campaigns, because it just is … You get excited, and then you feel bad that you’re not executing.
The conversations that Clayton and I have are like, “No. No. No. Here’s exactly what I’m gonna work on, here’s the thing that I need help with right now.” And then, the majority of the conversation that we end up having is, “Are you gonna do this now? Do you want to talk about this or do you just do the stuff that you’re already doing?”
Majority of the time it’s like, “No. No. No. Right now is not the time to talk about this, because I’m executing A, B, and C.” The discipline that he has and the type of people that he’s working with on his team are focused on executing right what’s in front of them.
There is no guilt, or shame, or disappointment of not implementing chat bots or not implementing other stuff. There’s always a pursuit for growth, but it’s not paralyzing.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s super important, man. We talk a lot about offers on this and I think I kind of want to bring it back to that, just because … Dude, the best, most complex webinar campaign with the sickest landing pages, and slick retargeting, and weird automation sequences … Nothing can beat having just a dope, amazing offer that actually connects with your audience.
You could literally just have the worst opt in and if the offer is what your customers care about, that’s the most important thing. If you have the best thing ever and you have a shitty offer, then it doesn’t fucking matter anyway.

Nehal Kazim: Leandro, in the group asked, “What was your process of coming up with the offers that you have?” Because, I’m sure they evolved significantly and it’s not just like, “Well, I’m gonna try this offer. Let’s scale it.” How is it that you actually got the offers that are the most successful today?

Clayton Johnson: Well, there’s a lot of points to make about this. What we did is just aggressively put out offers, because you don’t know. We’ve surveyed our customers at different times, we’ve kind of asked them what they wanted. That can sometimes yield good results and sometimes people lie, because what people say and what people do are way different. It’s crazy.
The best thing we can do is … I remember there was a time when we really pushed ourselves, because we were like, “Man, we could come out with one offer per year. That’s about what we can handle.” And then, there was one year where we came out with like three or four offers in that same year.

Nehal Kazim: Nice.

Clayton Johnson: We found out that we could do it if we push ourselves to do that. We push ourselves to put out offers and some of them worked and some of them didn’t. It’s crazy. There’s offers that I was like, “Dude, I don’t even want to do this. This is not a good offer. Ugh.”
I put out there and it explodes. Makes me mad. There’s other offers where I was like, “This is the best offer, this is so sick to design this.” And then, people like, “I don’t know.” You know?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: You don’t know what your market really wants. My best thing is we always start it thinking as MVPs. We try to launch them with putting as least work as we could to launch them and that worked really well for us. That allowed us to test something, snipe it in, and then if it worked, then we can scale it.

Nehal Kazim: Can you talk more about how you’re actually testing that offer in the initial stage? Because, you have assets now which is like an email list. You have a chat bot list, you have retargeting lists, and of course you’re using webinars.
How do you go about that first initial test? And then, you can work on scaling from there.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. Usually what we would do is … Let me try to … The best way to kind of describe it, because it happens different ways, different time periods. But, more or less we always start with … We try to start with the offer. What do we think that our audience would like?
Just being in the industry I know enough to see other offers going out and kind of see what people are talking about or whatever. And then, create the sales page or whatever. And then, we have our custom system and stuff … A custom backing where people order.
But, actually a lot of times what we’ve done just to test things out is we keep it as simple as possible and literally have a Wufoo form, because I couldn’t get dev to do it fast enough. I’d literally take a Wufoo form and put that on our website.
We’ve collected hundreds of thousands of dollars through Wufoo. Okay? Literally, bare minimum. That would go to like a spreadsheet and we would just have somebody fulfilling the orders in a spreadsheet.
We don’t do that anymore. Well, I would still do it if I had too. You know what I mean?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Even at the level that we’re at right now, but I’m just saying we really try to just put up the sales page with a Wufoo form, write a couple emails or even like a little warmup sequence to get them ready for the offer, and then, “Dude, if you guys want to try it, here it is.”
Additionally, if you have a lot of people on the phone or whatever we’ll take a top sales guy and be like, “Okay. You’re the only one that can offer this right now. We’re gonna let you start funneling people into this to get their feedback.” It just depends on where you’re at with the business.

Nehal Kazim: Your business has changed significantly, in the sense of the number of people involved and how much complexity there is for every offer that you have.

Clayton Johnson: Yes.

Nehal Kazim: Can you talk about that? As you stack more offers, how that changes the operations of the business, but also your inability or ability to scale?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. 100%, dude. If you’re a small business, if you’re like … If you’re like a startup or you just have a handful of people on your team … A couple people or 10 people, it allows you to create offers really quickly, because you’re probably in the same room as most of the other people.
It’s pretty simple, so I would take advantage of that. For those couple of years when you grew and you launched 15 offers, or launched 10 new products, or whatever it was it was just that process. It was like, throw up a sales page, show it to the people in the business, and then get it done and see if people like it.
As your business grows you gotta be a little bit more strategic about product offerings now, because now I got a sales team that needs to understand the offering, and understand the complexities of it, and answer questions for customers.
We got a support team that needs to support it, we have a dev team that needs to actually create the process in the back. You have to be a lot more strategic. In the beginning you … But, throughout your whole business you’re always focused on systems. Your systems just to become gangster and more gangster, like all the time. You know?

Nehal Kazim: Right. Can you give an example of your highest converting offer, your most profitable offer in terms of what it does and the price point? Just so people understand what is it that you guys sell and how it works?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. Sure. Well, I don’t know if it’s our most profitable offer … Probably is our most profitable … It’s our top revenue one-

Nehal Kazim: There you go.

Clayton Johnson: … by far. Which, is essentially our done for you SEO service. The pitch is kind of like this. It’s like, “Okay. We have all these different a la carte products and you can take anyone of these and make your own strategy.” Which, is good for a lot of people.
It’s all wholesale, but if you’d like us to do it, what we’ll do is we will dedicate a campaign manager to your account, we’re gonna go through specific research products that we have. It’s gonna get you easy wins, it’s gonna speed up your results, and also have a strategic longterm plan for you.
And then, we’re gonna utilize all of these little products that we have in the best kind of mixture, exactly custom made for your website. Okay? What we did is … Here’s a big question in the service industry. Is like, “Dude, every website is different. Every campaign, every business is totally different. How do you create an offer that makes it easy to buy with all these different types of-”

Nehal Kazim: Sure.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. It can be so different for every campaign. What we did is we go … I’ve seen this a lot of times. This is a big problem with agencies. It’s like it’s so hard to buy from an agency, because you have to apply, and you get the consultation, and 40 years later you get proposals, and then there’s a PDF that needs to get shared around.
What we do is we just say, “Look, whatever your … ” This is the biggest thing. At least in this market where you have between five to a few thousand dollars a month. People’s biggest thing is their budget, dude. You know what I mean? It’d be great if you’re not worried about budgets, but a lot of clients are worried about budgets.
What we did is we took … We said, “Look, we’re gonna sell this thing. This managed SEO service in $500.00 increments.” Right? Our lowest package is like a thousand bucks. Starts at a thousand dollars, and then whatever your budget is … It’s a thousand, or 15 hundred, or two thousand, or 20 thousand, or 30 thousand, or 40 thousand? Whatever your budget is, that’s what you’re gonna get.
For that budget, we’re going to buy all of our … Essentially, buy all of our product and services. You get them at wholesale price and so that offer was bananas, dude. We launched it and it slammed faster than anything else we’ve ever done. So, yeah. That worked really well.

Nehal Kazim: But, do you think that was … It did so well because there’s such a deep level of understanding from the education standpoint with your list, because they’ve already been seeing other offers? Why do you think it did so well?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. Because SEO’s really complicated and finally we just go, “Hey. We’ll do it for you?”

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: So simple.

Nehal Kazim: It’s so hard.

Clayton Johnson: Right?

Nehal Kazim: Who would have thunk?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah.

Nehal Kazim: Got it. Now that you’re at a million a month and … It’s more than that, but as you guys are here how are you looking at growth in the next stage of your business? Because, how you’re looking at it at five thousand a month is a lot different than a million.
How are you guys looking at it now? If you can share what your company looks like today in term of people and how you guys operate.

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. I think there’s … I’ll throw a book recommendation in here. I’ve been studying this, it’s Michael Masterson. It’s called, “Ready, Aim, Fire.” Basically, I love this book. It really talks about the different stages of business that you’ll go through.
I forget what his breakdowns are, but it matched up exactly with what happened with us, because as an entrepreneur you have to change what you do at every section of the business. There’s a point when you’re running a lot of different things and you’re really inside of the mix. You’re creating the offers and all that kind of stuff and you’re doing some of the production. You’re really in it.
And then, next stage of growth you really got to concentrate on having more than one offer. Serving your clients better by having more things. We did that. And then, eventually you’re gonna get a lot of employees. Right? Where we have a lot of different people … We have like an office of 45 right now. To give you kind of an idea.
But, we also have … Because we built our business on systems … For instance, we produce a ton of blog content. We have like 400 writers, but they’re not in the office. They’re just part … They log into our system, they request an article. It strategically goes through that.
The numbers, how many people do you have is a question with a bunch of asterisk on it. We got 45 people in the office and that’s a lot for a core staff. That doesn’t include or dev team, probably like 10 people that are out of the office and stuff like that.
As you grow … We’re in a stage right now, once you get like 20, 30, 40 people your business has to change. If you’ve never done management before, you have to learn management.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: That’s probably been the hardest thing for me, to be honest. Because, I love getting in there, creating product real quick, figuring out the operation, getting stuff done. We turn from a speed boat to like a cruise ship.
Like I said, when you’re a speed boat … Man, you can zoom around, you can change really quick. But, also a speed boat can be sunk by a little puncture wound.

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: We’re like a cruise ship now. It’s really hard to stop a cruise ship, but it’s a lot harder to change directions.

Nehal Kazim: Gotcha.

Clayton Johnson: There’s good and the bad, but you definitely have to change what you do at every section of the business.
Nehal Kazim: Right. I know we’ve been going on here for a little bit. When it comes to offers and how people are looking at it right now, what are some of your … How would you help someone in terms of scaling an offer? Because, I think what you guys did really well is you figured out a couple offers, and then you stacked them as you went.
Of course there’s different challenges operations wise, growth wise, et cetera. But, for a lot of people they might be under the million dollar mark and it might be even less than a few hundred thousand.
Once they’re at that point, for someone who’s in the early stages of their offer development and wants to use paid advertising, what do you tell them about offers to help them scale their business?

Clayton Johnson: There’s too much to say, I think. Maybe you can.

Nehal Kazim: Yeah. When it comes to paid advertising specifically, what would be your recommendation at that point? Because, there’s a lot of ways to look at offers and there’s a lot of ways to look at lifetime values and things like that. How do you look at offers in the early stages of your paid advertising?

Clayton Johnson: Not sure. For offers, I would say … Maybe I’ll take HOTH X as an example. Which, is our number one selling product. We were very confidant in it to be begin with and if you have a good offer you’ll know it from the beginning, usually.
Now, there’s an actual fact and I’ll share that asterisk. With HOTH X, we put a couple people on it and we knew people were gonna love it and stuff like that, but then when we launched the first webinar … Because we already had the list we didn’t really have to spend that much paid traffic on it.
We launched that webinar and it was a smash, so we started doing more webinars and now we can run paid traffic to that webinar. That worked out really well. Now, I said there was an asterisk. Sometimes you do know if it’s a smash.
There was a product that we have, it’s HOTH Blogger. It’s our blog product and that was the product that we launched that I was really excited about and people didn’t buy it right away, but I was really confidant in it. I think there’s something to be said about what your market knows you for.
If you get pigeon hold as one thing … We were kind of pigeon hold as a link building service, so our audience is used to buying links from us. When we came out with blogger they were like, “Oh. You guys do content too? I don’t know about that kind of stuff. I just know you as a link building service.”
I’d say that’s really important to know, because now that service is like our number two service. It just took a while for us to warm up our audience to that kind of stuff. You don’t always know if it’s gonna be a smash. I don’t know if that’s the answer that you’re looking for.

Nehal Kazim: But, there’s part of … A nuance of that is that SEO is growing and evolving as well. Five years ago links were everything. Where now, content is such an important part of it and so you guys are evolving as the market is evolving.

Clayton Johnson: Oh, yeah. I think that every business can kind of do that. People like to buy what’s hot. Right?

Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: Hopefully, your business can move fast enough to be on top of what’s hot. But, yeah. Overtime what we tried to do is just try to fill more of the questions for that market. The best thing that you can do as a business is pay for a customer once, and then be able to sell to them for all time. Right?
Nehal Kazim: Right.

Clayton Johnson: The more offers you have, the more price points, the more you can expand that value ladder the easier you make it on yourself to run that first lead gen campaign.

Nehal Kazim: Right. Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on here
Clayton Johnson: Oh, yeah. For sure.

Nehal Kazim: If people want to reach out to you or learn more about the HOTH, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Clayton Johnson: Yeah. You can hit me on Facebook or you can do, “[email protected]

Nehal Kazim: I wonder if there’s a lot of Clayton Johnsons?

Clayton Johnson: There’s another Clayton Johnson in SEO. Dude, he has “” Oh, man. It’s so bad. Dude.

Nehal Kazim: We gotta hack him. All right. I will see you guys on the next episode of Ad Tips for Ad Pros.

Clayton Johnson: See you guys. “”

Scaling A Coaching Business From 20k to Over 200k A Month (In Less Than 15 months)

By | ad, ad campaign, ads, Advertising, advertising campaign, Business, business-growth, Front End Offer, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nehal: Hi, this is Nehal and today I’m here with Nazim from Regent black belt and today we’re going to talk about a case study of one of the clients that he took from about 20 k a month to over 200 k per month in less than 15 months. How’s it going Nazim?

Nazim: I’m good, man. Real nice talking to you and thanks for having me.

Nehal: It’s funny how all the whole industry works when it comes to Facebook advertising. There is a lot of people who have a scarcity mentality and Nazim and I are working together on client transition and stuff. We started to talk and we said- man, why don’t we just go deeper and I shed about what other cool stuff you’re working on. I believe in abundance and there is a lot of business to go around for all of these agencies and obviously, they’re growing so that’s how Nazim and I got connected, and so here we are and I’m glad we’ve got the chance to do this, man.

Nazim: Also, man. When you send me a friend invite to your page I was expecting the usual stuff and  I said- hey, man this is going breakdown at scores and the scorecard method you explained on the whiteboard and some of the things that you explained that we`re using and I thought – yeah, he’s going deep in the marketing stuff. It was instant respect and I’m really glad we connected.

Nehal: Likewise. So that’s why when you mentioned your case study I said ok, let’s jump in. If you think in the context of what happened in terms of the after, of the overall results, we could go into the initial stages because going from 20K  a month to 100K a month is a big milestone in itself, but that’s where most people get comfortable or settle or don’t want to push further but you guys were able to go from 100 to over 200K per month and there is something to be said about that not only from the technical and tactful standpoint but from the strategic and psychological standpoint, how you guys were approaching the business and why you were doing so. In a nutshell, what is the business and how you were able to scale it?  In a nutshell, then we can go deep.

Nazim: Me and Vanessa, Vanessa’s a consistent client, connected through mutual connections and I was recommended as a Facebook ad person and at the time she was trying to grow her coaching business and she had a product, a 997 product.  Her goal was to really automate her business and make a decent six-figure living out of it. We built a funnel and we ran it and then $997 product didn’t work that well. Also, at that time she was introduced by someone to the world of high-tech coaching. She realised- hey, I’ve been coaching people for all of my life,she has thick skin in the game,  she’s been around, she basically built a high ticket coaching program for her business and she was charging a 5,6, $7,000 for it so we went ahead and built a funnel for that. It’s a webinar funnel where people basically see an add on Facebook, go to a landing page and there is a webinar site on that page, then they watch a webinar, they book a consultation call and then if it’s a good fit for my client  and the lead, they get to work together, all right. They get involved in her high ticket coaching program which has the elements of video coaching in there so like a membership site plus weekly calls, as well. We basically took that from the level where she was making 20K then we kind of grew it to 200K plus now. Obviously, there were specific stages and specific obstacles we had to overcome to really get to that level and that’s what we can discuss.

Nehal: What is that she does for the  N client, what’s the result?

Nazim: She basically works with people like  therapists, healers and people like that. She helps them get their marketing down. She teaches what she does and that is high ticket sales and she helps them enroll their high tickets clients into their programs because a common problem in the marketplace she is serving  is that they’re slaving away at an hourly pay model which sucks and she basically helps them to really look at their gifts and package their results in the way where they can earn a decent living, earn what they deserve by commanding decent prices, commanding what they deserve from their clients.

Nehal: Why do you think people decide to work with her because there are a lot of “high tickets coaches “? There is a lot of different things that people want from those coaches. Some of them want to focus on sales, some of them want to focus on marketing, avatars, psychology…Why do you think people choose her?

Nazim: They choose her because she really has been that person, she has been a massage therapist, she’s been there and the program is really designed in a way where it is very user friendly, we really don’t pretend to be gurus,  we don’t throw geeky words around like we are gonna do… It’s a very common sense way of teaching marketing, very down to earth, in a way. It’s tailored for people who don’t know, who don’t have a deep knowledge of marketing.

Nehal: Perfect. If you could take like a snapshot of where the business was at 20000 a month, what was going on in the business, like how was the business running at that point without giving away any kind sensitive details but essentially how the business was growing. I’m assuming you were still primarily based on ads, what were the offers, things like that, then after that we can go into what changed, what about the scales out.

Nazim:  At that stage we were just getting started building the funnel and launching the ads and obviously, like launching any funnel there is a trial and error process to that so there was a lot of testing different add copies, different creatives and the biggest goal at that stage, it’s called stage one, to really get to know the customer and get to know the language the customer is speaking. We were doing a lot of testing,obviously, marketing is  testing. A lot of things didn’t work but what we can discuss on this call like a few things that we did that allowed us to kind of start speaking customers language. Using them the customers just started loving on the ads and that really is something that got us to that 60- 70K level. And there was another obstacle and then we went to 20K.

Nehal: When you are giving 20K, is it primarily organic, is it a little bit of ads, how was that?

Nazim: That’s a great question. At the 20K level, it was primarily organic for her because she was doing a lot of 1 on 1  coaching but it wasn’t quite packaged in a way we could scale with it so I got on board in we tried to promote it, this $997 which wasn’t quite working. She was making decent money like 15- 20 grand a month with her own coaching. We were selling the 997 product but not at that level where we could scale it profitably and it wasn’t too much in demand. The 20K- 15K she was making, 70% of that was pretty much organically generated clients.

Nehal: That’s a great position to be in. I think it’s a big challenge for a lot of  entrepreneurs, especially, they’re posting in Facebook groups, they’re doing presentations or  they are just being themselves, they are just getting their word out, referrals are coming in, all this organic stuff is happening, but then it gets very tiring and if something happens in the business when you start making 5000 a month,or something like that you start going 20- 30000 a month and then the business starts breaking because you have very inconsistent  months because of going up and down, you can’t control your leads, you can’t control your sales, so that initial stage whether the entrepreneur does it themselves or get their team to do it or hire an agency, it’s a very confusing time, especially when there is I don’t know anything about any of my advertising, I have no idea what’s going to work, I just keep in these Facebook groups everybody else is doing 100Ks  a month, there is something wrong with me. What is it that you guys were doing in the beginning stage with 999, 997 course? How did you make decisions like stop or I should be running away from that?

Nazim: The problem with these group is that, there was a saying, someone said that, I actually overheard on  a Facebook live that’s really good,there are always certain outliers for anything and they kind of perpetuate the myth that this thing is working where in reality it works for 1 out of  a 100 people. The same thing we can notice with, I’m not saying that sales doesn’t work but we both know people and we know that only specific amount of people actually succeed with that, so what can  work for one person doesn’t mean that it’s gonna work for the majority. You have to find whatever fits you.

Nehal: We’re doing primary information products, education companies, application, webinars,  things like that…One of the clients we’re working on is an outlier, from our standpoint not only from our normal clients, but, they have figured out from cold advertising standpoint on how to be 2x profitable on products on cold on day zero so that means they’re going to spend money on a daily basis they’re actually going 2x on their  money upfront. This is a product that you take over and over again so from an advertising and growth standpoint usually people are willing to lose 50% , if they’re spending a dollar they’re happy getting fifty cents, these guys are getting 2x,  $2 and it’s a recurring product. There is work that got them there. It’s a great position to be in but that’s not for most people. From your standpoint, when you’re doing the advertising in the beginning there is so many things that you don’t know, what to look at or what to optimise for. How did you know that now is the time to stop? It’s admirable that we’re trying and we’re investing,but at this point it’s not cute, it’s just where we’re done. How do you make a decision of saying No?

Nazim: Yeah, I wish I had a specific number, amount of money you should lose before starting but I don’t.  It’s very subjective. I think at 2 months point I would say that,you know after trying something for 2 months you’re not getting even remotely that kind of results you want to have in business. More importantly,  if you don’t see how you can improve more,the lack of results you’re getting, if you don’t know how to improve it, if you have no clue. You have consulted the people, you have spoken with people but it’s still not working then probably there is a product to market mismatch. I’m really glad that you’re so honest and so open about the fact that you know the whole 2 times, I don’t wanna whine all that stuff, those are outliers and that’s amazing that they exist. You have to think realistically,be realistic and not compare yourself to people who are doing particularly amazing. You have to be willing to be like them, but you have to be real.

Nehal: Got it. And the other thing is you have to know who’s lying in those groups as well. You have to know people’s intentions. There is a lot of people who are just trying to sell coaching programs. Anyways, once that happens , when you guys are in a place where that it’s not working. What happened at that 2 month mark?  I’m sure you’re spending money,there is like frustration, I’m sure emotionally, internally you’re trying to figure out is it me, what am I doing wrong from their standpoint, trying to figure out what we’re doing next. What was the next step after you guys said we gotta change stuff here?

Nazim: Story time… Let me tell you a little story. I’m going to start telling you the story. When we transitioned from the product to the coaching, it was client-based for  starting the program, high ticket sales. The thing is, even when we started promoting this product we’re doing now, at the beginning stages we were, let’s say, unsuccessful. It was all me, I blamed it all on myself. It was a Sunday morning and I packed  my notebook and I went to the coed space where I would go back at that day and I was thinking to myself like, I looked at the ads and the conversion of the landing page, it wasn’t bad, it was like 15- 18% but the CTR was low on the cost, click was high and I was thinking to myself what am I doing wrong because I wrote the ads and then my client she looked at them and she was like-yeah, it kind of sounds like me. Obviously,  she tailored it to her flavour, to her language, but it was still not working. At the time I was also reading one of the articles and it basically said something along the lines of- if you see a marketer who’s not studying his audience, run away from that marketer. I said alright, cool, I don’t want to be that marketer basically and what came to my head was that all clients we enrolled into the program,we would have them run through a questionnaire. The client she had thick skin in the game and she worked already with   50- 60 clients at the time. She’s been doing it for years now. I open the questionnaire, and I spent no lunch, no nothing, just some lemonade and I spent the next 3 hours or so running through them. As I was running through them I was like -oh, my God, how come we are not running these things in the ad and I literally opened up a Word document and started copy pasting, copy pasting. I copy pasted like 15 pages, worth of literally lines where they talked about their problems, their pains, motivations. Then I started incorporating those in the ad and this is where it was like boom, from 1% to 3% ,like real quick. That was  like the breakthrough.

Nehal: For people who might not  know 1% isn’t very good on a click through rate. Obviously, I’ve seen some of your ads now and they get 10%  click through rates for one of the accounts we were looking at and that’s phenomenal for overall engagement in 3- 4%  on the actual click through and that is because of the some of the nuances that you got really good at in terms of a photo.If the photo of the man,  if it’s a relationship offer for example,of a man looking at the woman, is it the woman looking at the man in terms of aspirationally, is it out of pain, is it out of disgust, is it out of valour,is it out of euphoria, interest, curiosity like there so many different ways that you can take that scene image from stock photo sites or you’re taking it  yourself. How you’re choosing images is so valuable and of course, if people are giving you data in specific instructions, on how to sell them is just priceless.

Nazim: I gotta give you credit for the client,  where she communicated really well with me by saying -hey, Nazim, these are the kind of pictures I noticed that our clients like. I saw that you started promoting, the thing is that we as marketers, you Nehal and me, we   do our job amazingly, but we still have, I believe and I’m sure you’ll agree, to keep close communication with the client and listen to the clients very attentively because they ultimately have the experience of working with their audience so if the client says- hey, I don’t think this image represents my brand or or audience then, obviously, you analyse data because sometimes it might be over exaggerated, but a lot of times also  it’s a very important comment and you should take it and improve the ads.

Nehal: Yeah, sure. I think this is very important from an entrepreneur standpoint as I speak to many of them or even if you are a Marketing manager in a bigger  organisation,if you have a budget, the responsibility isn’t to fix all problems throughout the whole funnel. The best relationships we’ve had with clients, the best relationships we’ve had internally have always been a tag team, have always been that you are a part of a team and if you are in a situation where the expectation is  beneath the media wire, and someone on the team is figuring out and it’s not working and you’ve been trying it for a while it’s now time to take responsibility because they’re not going to solve all of your problems and even though you can provide a lot of coaching (19:19 min) to them they need your support.What we learn from agency standpoint, we are the platform you know ,we have expertise on the platform but  the client always has infinite domain expertise that we just can’t replace. We’re not gonna get that by being on few calls or learning or reading a few books. What they do is after hundreds of hours, thousands of hours of actual implementation in the trenches so we can just speed that up by getting way better at extracting that information at them. I think that’s part of the relationship you have with the client.

Nazim:Yeah, absolutely. I agree with every word you say.

Nehal: Now you made a decision and found this gold that was just sitting there, that just got revealed  to you. I’m sure you had this moment of heavenly music playing in the background, you know feeling like in The Matrix, all this stuff happening. Now it’s clicking,now I’ve got something, I feel I have something, you start testing. What was the main first point when it started connecting from 20K and now  it’s 30-40?

Nazim: Let me give the audience and those who are listening a little pro tip.One combination of the ad copy that made it really work  with the audience was this, I basically looked at the section where they were complaining about their problems and I basically took all of the statements they made there  and then I worked on creating five powerful questions I could open the ad copy with. All of the ad copies we ran were question oriented. We would open that ad copy, that ad with a very powerful painful question that was basically taken out of their mouth and that was really good. That’s what really worked because we ran and still run a lot of traffic on mobile and the first two chapters they see without having to click on more,if those were some powerful questions, if it grabs their attention, they have to click more.

Nehal: I think when people hear about copy frameworks or  copy structures the first thing is like step one-put a question, step two- make an introduction. A lot of times when people see the question they are just asking- are you a healer that just wants to grow their business? That might not even hit a thing  that actually resonates with the audience, so, why do you think your questions worked?

Nazim: Again, because it’s all about speaking the language of the audience and I overheard this thing that says the best copies  are written by your clients. To be fair with you, actually, you almost made me feel bad because- are you healer who wants to grow their business?- that copy actually worked as well,decently, but others as well. You  can’t just run this variation, you have to mix it up. That’s what we also learned by looking at the best marketers they mix things up.

Nehal: With all of my copy, with all we do, we tried very embarrassing stuff that this is just not going to work at all,and ends up working, simple things like that Or we tried very ninja                stuff that were like- trust me, I know my stuff, man, I spent a lot of money, just trust me, I got you, and we got our butts handed by Facebook.

Nazim: Let me ask you,  when you are launching the ads do you ever have a few  ads that you like that you kind of fall in love with? They underperform and you hate to turn them off.

Nehal: Every single time I feel internally like- ok, I created a bunch of ads and the team created a bunch of ads, then I jumped in into a handful of ads, make them a little bit   nicer and almost always they are the ones that bum. At this point I let them run and I try not to get emotionally involved with any of them. At the end of the day I usually have copies  that I am betting on and copy them for sure.

Nazim:  You have to stay cold-blooded in this ads game, man.

Nehal: The thing is, as soon as you fall in love with any of your work, it’s kind of game over because you try to massage the copy or you try to massage an angle or even  triple an offer, lead mega offer but a lot of the times the market just says I don’t care and I think that’s kind of what was happening to you guys at initial stages, until you were making a bunch of decisions and it sounds like even though you guys didn’t change the whole business significantly, what you just did was just  say- Ok, maybe we are just not explaining, communicating or connecting with you guys the way that you want to get and feel connected to, so, what is it that we can say differently and that’s where it sounds like you guys started testing messaging that they provided you on how to sell them.

Nazim: You’re absolutely right. To  touch on the point of being creative and put all those things    analytical, the way I would say that running ads or even doing marketing is a fun game with very serious rules, meaning you got to be creative to really grab your audience attention, but when it comes to actually cutting out what doesn’t work and scaling what works, you have to be very calculated killer,  you have to abide KPI’s and eradicate emotions. I’m making it sound too dramatic but that’s it.

Nehal: For people who might not have experience with that, it sounds maybe over the top, but the reality is different. As soon as you get emotionally involved with any of your casting or decision making process, the whole thing becomes difficult especially if you are manager or  entrepreneur working with your client as emotional or more. I definitely hear you. When it comes to that connection as soon as you started testing the nuances of the advertising what happened next?

Nazim: As soon as we started testing and we started discovering the ads that were  working well, we managed to scale them to a level where now we’re making 50, 60, 70K  a month, a lot of people would stop, but the thing is the client was an A player, still is an A player,  we still work together and I love her dearly, and she says- I don’t care, let’s go 100, 150K, 200, 500K  a month. That’s her goal and we’re still on that journey with no destination just moving up and up, but there was a different problem now. It wasn’t the  ad but the whole funnel started being important now for the success.

Nehal: What was the difference in the advertising and how much money were you spending when it comes to the initial stages when you started testing  and then what happened when you started running into the next problem?

Nazim: To tell you the amount specifically, let’s say we started with a few  $100, $100-$200. They were testing a lot of stuff.We were doing a little targeting and primarily spending money on let’s say 90%   of the ad we were spending on a really trying to: number one- discover the right audiences until we had a very solid look alike, number two- discovering the ad creatives, images,videos, testing those as well, number three- obviously, the copy variations. We are really trying to not overspend until we had a proven ad variation or variations we could scale. As soon as we discovered them,  we scaled to $700- $800 a day level, something around that..

Nehal: Do you remember what your recurrent  on ad spent was before you got to the next challenge which was  the funnel, approximately?

Nazim: Like a monthly figure? I would say like 10 to  15 grand. At the point we were making like 70-75K, roughly speaking.

Nehal:  Got it. It’s important because what happens is just when you initially are starting with advertising I like when you have only $100 a day or $50 a day. It is in the motion of figuring things out, but when it does connect it looks like you guys  started spending money relatively quickly when it comes to spending from $100 a day to $700 a day just so that you could get results faster and see that momentum and then you face the next level of challenges, right?

Nazim: Yeah,  exactly, absolutely. As soon as we hit that milestone of 50-60K  a month or maybe even 70, another set of obstacles came into the picture, and we can talk  about that.

Nehal: I think this is important from like a journey standpoint. As soon as you think all my problems are gone because I figured out copy and I’m so smart,naturally, there is going to be  a next challenge. For you guys, what does it mean that there was a funnel challenge for you?

Nazim: Let me remind you again what I really appreciate about you Nehal. You’re not the guy who thinks only  Facebook ads, even in the video that you recorded and I watched. You clearly talked about the importance of the offer, the landing page conversions, the ad, everything, so you understand the importance of the whole thing coming together for things to work out. I can talk about the specifics of the webinar funnel and maybe I can tell you how I troubleshooted. Basically, like in most funnels, including the webinar funnel ,if this is the  funnel there are certain points where conversions happen, where a person has to go from one page to another, from one stage to another. Usually it’s clicking on the ad, signing up on the landing page, then visiting the thank you page and waiting in that wait room to become an attendee and after that Webinar converting that person into application Then the sales team getting that person actually on the call because surprise, surprise, most of the people who book, not most ,but a good amount, are  either disqualified or they do not show up on calls and then sales team closes them. You can see lots of things you have to stay on top of for a really things to start working out. One of the things we started working on is obviously the landing page. We took the conversion rate from about 12 percentish to 20% and that immediately slashed our CPL, allowed us to have twice as many attendees on the webinar, twice as many eyeballs so more people could apply, so that was the first thing.

Nehal: Was CPL the main issue at this stage of the business?

Nazim: It’s a great question. It was at the point where it was $15 or so, and we basically set a certain amount of money where we wanted to spend everything. Even today we spent two grand on ads and we don’t want to scale above it. We want to squeeze out everything possible from the 2 grand before moving to  let’s say 2500 or 3 grand. At that point, as well, we didn’t want to scale further until we really explored all of our optionso of improvement. CPL stood out the most to me because I knew that we could really reduce it down to below $10 mark. Improving the landing page was really the first time that we overcame the first obstacle.  The second one was making sure that as many people as possible attended the webinar. We started from the point where 50 maybe 55 % attendees, which is still decent ,right, show up rate on an evergreen webinar, but we are at 80- 85% now. There are a few things that we changed on the thank you page and the biggest one was something that not a lot of  people do on a webinar funnels specialist-adding a video, so we have the client get in front of the camera and give a 30 maybe 60 seconds video saying- hey, this is me, thank you for signing up to my webinar and in a couple of minutes you will be directed to a training session where I’ll be showing you how to

x y z  and also I will give you a free pdf if you stay until the end. My client, the  expert appears in front of them, welcomes them and that kind of entices them to  really actually watch the webinar, you know what I mean.

Nehal: I listen to a lot of podcasts, I go through a lot of education and if you’re listening to this or watching this right now, I want you to like stop for a second then think about what he just said especially if you’re doing an evergreen webinar or you are doing a webinar sequence you might have heard to do a video like that,  but what he just explained is-here is the video I’m doing, here’s the exact script or approximately of what I’m implementing, it was a big element of how I went from 55% show up rate to 80%. The reason I’m stopping him now is are you actually doing that? You might have heard about that, you might know the importance of doing that, but are you actually doing that? We were going through one of the accounts of  one of our client`s webinars today, and when we looked through it had the generic ever webinar video in there. Something happened where it didn’t get transferred over and that’s obviously going to Influence people showing up significantly or getting them excited. The reason I want to emphasize this is because it might not sound like a crazy ninja hat or anything like that but if you’re not doing that you’re not going to see the results. So if you’re watching this on YouTube or listen to the audio, go back right down to  the script of that video so you can send it to your client or do it yourself depending on what your role is and let us know what happened with the script.

Nazim: Thanks for the call to action,man. I really appreciate you having me on the podcast and motivating people to make these changes not only to give them this awesome info, but also prompt them to take action. Listen to Nehal and implement because implementation is the only thing that counts. So that was the next step really increasing the  attendance rate and after that it was really improving the Webinar. I can give you a few tips on the webinar as well. Also, I don’t claim to be a copywriting expert or a webinar expert,there are plenty of those out there, but from my experience running dozens of webinar funnels we noticed that adding actual video testimonials in the webinar is super effective like you know how people say- hey, look at  Jenny, picture of Jenny, Jenny is this and that, but actually talking about journey and then right in the middle of the webinar slapping the video of Jenny talking about results,first of all it’s pattern interrupt, interrupts people’s patterns,that’s number one and number two it’s personal.The currency these days is personal. They get to see Jenny`s life and it’s also something that has to do with the audio,  audio-visual that impacts the trust element.

Nehal: I don’t do that with any of our webinars. are you doing that at a specific stage or you’re doing that at the beginning stages are you doing that at the end, what do you suggest?

Nazim: I usually  do one in the middle and then one in the end, closer to the end because I know that a lot of people give show testimonials closer to the end.Whenever you’re showing testimonials you can put those in.

Nehal: How long is that  testimonial usually?

Nazim: A very good question, anywhere from 30 seconds to  60 seconds.People are there to listen to the experts but  30 to 60 seconds. I’m not saying that this is a guarantee to improve the conversions but this is something you could try.

Nehal: This is perfect. I`ll let you know what happens.

Nazim: Cool. Let me see if I have a few more webinar tips. Nothing that comes to my mind specifically, but it was also,  let me tell you actually the most important thing you can do on the webinar. That is to qualify people hard before getting them on the call, to qualify the heck out of people. This was one of the biggest problems where we kind of we  didn’t qualify them enough, we left the gates open and that caused a lot of unqualified people on the call. That’s amazing when you’re getting an application a day through your funnel but not so amazing but not so amazing when you’re getting 15, you have to be ready for those 15,right? You gotta be closing  leads but you can’t because the leads are not of a good quality.Have you had that issue with a client?


Nehal:  Yeah, for sure,  and a big part of that is if we say the  price or not and how we position a price without ever saying it. I’m sure other people who are listening to this are like- I don’t   even know if I’m qualifying or if I’m qualifying hard enough. How do people know if they are not?

Nazim: It’s a good question. An exercise I usually have my clients do is super simple.They’ve got a piece of paper and a pen and  they really write about their ideal client and then try to put bullet points what they need to have in their business or where they need to be in life to qualify.

To be honest here, at the end of the day, 80% comes down to money,the person having financial resources to allow the thing. At least with high ticket coaching stuff, I’ve found that that’s the case, you have to qualify people for the fine power. It is a simple as saying- hey, if you’re just starting out your business and you haven’t had your first few clients then,sorry but this is not for you. You’re very welcome to check out our YouTube page where you’re gonna get amazing tips and advice about how to generate your first solid income business by landing clients but this is a more sophisticated product, of course, for people who are already…You’re trying to be settled, to be nice.

Nehal:  I know from the initial stages this is so counterintuitive, I think this is why some people always get stuck which is when you start in the initial stages I will do anything to get a deal, I will do anything to close my next customer, just so I can pay for my advertising, just so I can keep things going.  It becomes a challenge because you’re not disqualifying them,eventually everyone just disqualifies themselves and says I’m not interested because you’re not saying this is not a lead or this is not exclusive, this is not for everyone or making it very clear that this is something that different.. For what you’re saying is that when you go through the process of what is it that the client actually   wants of their ideal client writing those bullet points that becomes how do I integrate those into the webinar, is that right?

Nazim: Yeah, you  nailed it, absolutely. That’s what it is. Testimonials and just qualifying people,doing the qualifying on the webinar is significantly going to improve the conversion rate as well, the sales team because now they’re getting to qualify people. Their morale, I realised the importance of keeping up the morale of the sales team. The sales team is a huge part of any funnell that is not selling a product on the webinar, a huge part.

Nehal:  Post webinar, when they actually watch the webinar is there anything that helps increase the conversion rate or is there anything  that supported that person to convert to set to a higher level?

Nazim: You mean like in terms of free targeting or…?

Nehal: Just post webinars, after they see the webinar.

Nazim: Got it, cool. First of,  we`re are using self seminar primarily, but I think other apps also have that functionality. Set an automatic redirect at the end of the webinar on the booking page, that’s number one, and number two, obviously, work and master your buyer sequence or  applicant sequence and make sure it only goes out to people who attend the webinar. You can create a tag in your webinar software and integrate it with your email marketing software, so that sequence only goes to the people who have watched the webinar. Otherwise, if it goes to the people who  didn’t watch the webinar. They may end signing up but they will not know what the service is about, they haven’t gone through the qualifying,not a good lead so really the email sequence remarketing. We used to do a lot of Facebook remarketing. I would love to sit with you at some point to really talk remarketing with you as well because I know you do and the products sales, and I think  remarketing there, you guys take it to a whole new level so I would love to learn from you.

Nehal: Got it. Just to make sure I understood what happened in this stage. So 20K is just switching the offer, changing the approach in terms of what’s being sold, how it’s being sold  and then it hit and went from $100 a day to $700 approximately and at that point you’re getting 70K. You’re saying now we have to go deeper into the funnel because things were working but we want to squeeze more out of it. In order to do that we have to optimise the overall cost fairlead, getting people to show up more, getting people to I’m sure there is elements you were doing for people to stay longer when they actually saw the offer testimonials and all of that and then remarketing email segmentation just so you can segment them further to  attract the right people to get their messaging to apply and eventually buy it. I know for people who might be listening that sounds like a lot- I don’t know how to do majority of that and what would be your advice to them because It does sound like a lot of moving parts? You and I know it’s not as much as it sounds, it just takes time and thinking and learning, but from your standpoint how would you say they should focus on first and how they should go about troubleshooting that?

Nazim: First, I  would really focus on figuring out your offer and writing decent ad copy for that and then making your ads worth.  That’s the first step, naturally. The second step is making sure your webinar works. If your ad or ads are decent, which is not so hard to write, people over complicate it. If you know your audience, just write whatever’s on your mind and give them  call to action and add some scarcity there and there you go. 7 out of 10, but it still works, it gets you a lead. You work on the webinar and really educate them there, Provide enough social proof, provide enough content, give enough testimonials so they actually sign up. Once you have these two you’re going to make decent money.Then you can actually start bringing experts on board, sales  team, all those people to help you figure out the other stuff.

Nehal: A good part of this process is just be careful that you’re not biasing yourself. If you are going through these numbers and we haven’t started talking about tracking yet and I know that`s a big part of what you do. When you were going through this, the thing that I was looking for is that is there a chance that I’m lying to myself in this process.  Do I believe in the cost fair play ticket, do I believe in the lead numbers, do I believe in market show apps, do I believe in cost fair applications and their conversion rates? Do I believe in the numbers because I’m going to make all my decisions based off on that? If I don’t believe in those numbers, it’s going to be a little bit challenging. Even now looking at the numbers is like a different challenge, it has nothing to do with Facebook advertising, it has everything to do with how you’re approaching the business, and the potential like past element, you know, experiences in your life.  When it comes to how to make decisions on everything from implementation standpoint like what do I actually focus on, how do I organise, majority are priorities and then go deeper into that. Now you go from 20 to a 100K, what needs to happen to businesses especially as you go from a 100 to 250K?

Nazim: That’s when the tracking comes into play like you said. You start really attentively looking at data every day. The data for the webinar funnel divides into 3 parts: Facebook ad campaigns (and that involves basically leads and cost fair leads,if you’re getting leads for the Facebook ads that’s it, we’re done), number 2 is how the  funnel converts and that basically entails the attendance rate and webinar conversion rate and then there is sales team performance, your sales performance. We also had a tracking sheet that would track our amount spent, how many applications we had, like at what percentage the sales team closed, and what’s the ROI. At each call we would meet every week at a certain time we would calculate everything for the last 7 days  and look at the ROI and then compare it with other weeks ROIs and see if it’s going up or down, we would have our benchmarks.. The ROI I personally go after is 6.0, I’m happy to see in a webinar funnel. If we are shy from reaching the 6.0, we have to look at the stats and sometimes it’s just the sales team performance, sometimes it’s the ads, sometimes it’s the webinar conversion rate. From my experience, to be honest with you, the biggest like Ryan Deiss says you don’t have a sales problem you have a conversions problem so a lot of times its either the webinar that converts not so well  or the sales team performance. You have to keep up their morale. That’s from my experience.

Nehal: From your tracking how frequently are you doing that? I think you are tracking your numbers relatively frequently, you’re doing them on a weekly basis, right?

Nazim: I review  them on a daily basis, but the client reviews them on a weekly basis. There is no reason to do the overall ROI metric on a daily or a weekly basis but as far as registration, cost fairlead, cost fair  acquisition goes, we do that on a daily basis.

Nehal: I know at that point now you’re going through optimising different parts of the funnel process and then of course you’re doing deeper levels of tracking, what in your actions had to change when it comes to from an advertising standpoint,going from 100 to 250 because that’s not just-ok,I’m going to increase budget on my ads. What do you need to change from an entrepreneur or a business standpoint?

Nazim: I’ll start with the  business standpoint. I’m repeating myself but you really have to know your numbers, especially when it goes to 100K level because 100K  that’s great but you will probably start adding more people on payroll, hiring more experts, paying. We managed sometimes 2K-3K a day, but then I think to myself- God, that $60,000 a month through Facebook, right? Taken away from your bank account, that’s a lot of money so you really have to track everything, really be awesome with tracking. I mean, I don’t know investing in a bookkeeper, that`s as far as the business  stuff goes. As far as Facebook ads go, then you should really triple down on your retargeting because at that level where you spend that much money, at that point your marketing funnel is like a hand, your ads like sand, a lot of things goes and pours down, so you really want to put the retargeting hand here as well to retain as much as possible.

Nehal:  Cool.  I knew from some of our clients as soon as they start hitting those type of numbers, what ends up happening is they need to know what their actual cash flow situation is. There is a big difference between like selling 100000 vs collecting 100000. How many of those people are actually going to continue to pay those payments,how many of those people are not going to make another payment again. Is that integrated in your overall revenue, profitability because there is so much of the financial part? I can relate to that from an approach to money and the money mindset. That’s so important when you start  hitting new levels and you start doing actions that are sabotaging you.Unless you have a team around you or you have someone who’s pushing you, giving you feedback or being the soundboard, what ends up happening because it’s happened to one of our clients, they went from about 8000 a month to about 80000, they hovered around 60 to 80000 a month and you just can’t break through. It has nothing to do with advertising like you were saying. We have an idea what the funnel issue is. It’s primarily how we are approaching the business. I don’t know if you’ve seen anything like that before.

Nazim: Oh no,  absolutely, man. This  is great that you’ve brought it up.  Given like credit card issues, I could write a ballad, a song about the credit card issues. You should spend from this card, use the points for Christmas gifts, this card allows us to charge only $500, those things you really have to take care of.

Nehal: For sure. For people who are in this situation where they have a webinar funnel or an application funnel and they might be in those initial stages with just getting started or just figuring out their advertising, what is it that you would recommend them like a final piece of advice, what they should focus on and how they should look at the growth of their business?

Nazim: Two things I would recommend: number one really get to know your customers,  it’s super crucial because I’ve seen people who are not even that technical with Facebook ads get amazing results because  their Facebook ads copy rocks. It’s so important. Dial your contacts, people you work with, create 6-7 simple questions and run your past customers through them. Offer a free lead magnet or just as a sign of goodwill  or good service that you’re providing. Ask them to run through this questionnaire with you for 20 minutes. That’s number one and number 2 is really know your numbers. So easy, like man, I’m going to be honest, about 4-5  months ago I tried to run a campaign for myself,for my agency and I had zero plan, nothing, I didn’t prepare anything. I,literally, just ended up spending $600 and didn’t get anything significant. I’m still burning that I don’t have the Speedmaster, on ads so even for people like me  or like you, I’m not bragging or anything, but who do ads for living, we get people amazing results but if we don’t plan it for ourselves,the success is not going to be achieved. Really know your numbers, it’s crucial.

Nehal: Perfect. Where can people reach out to you if they want to work with you or have any questions?

Nazim: Sure. My website name is and you can also find me on Facebook. My name is Nazim  Aghabayov. It’s written there.

Nehal: Perfect, man. I appreciate your time.

Nazim: Thank you,  man, I really can’t thank you enough  for this great opportunity to talk with you and hopefully we will have another one on one to talk about remarketing and tracking and . so many more topics. I really appreciate your time.

Nehal: I appreciate it, man.

Nazim: Awesome,  thanks.


How To Scale a SaaS From Zero To Over $1MM Revenue With Sales Teams

By | ad, ad campaign, ads, ads campaign, Advertising, advertising campaign, behind-the-campaign, Business, business-growth, Facebook ad campaign, Facebook ads, Front End Offer, Podcast, Sales, Uncategorized | No Comments


Nehal: Today, I’m really excited to get Nick on here because a lot of people, when they’re focusing on Facebook ads and growing their business with advertising, there’s so much focus on how can I decrease my cost per click, my cost per lead. And it’s only front-end conversations. There are very little conversations and strategy and energy invested on the back end. It’s so undervalued and that’s why I wanted to make sure Nick got on here because he’s done something very fascinating with an inside sales team.

He’s essentially gone from zero to over a million dollars in revenue just by optimizing the back end. And so from everything I talked about, from everything a lot of the experts when it comes to advertising talk about is how to get more leads, how to get them cheaper. But then, what happens when those leads come in? And so that’s what Nick is gonna share on how we went from zero to over a million dollars in revenue with that inside sales.

How’s it going, Nick?

Nick: Good.

Nehal: Awesome, man. Thank you for coming.

Nick: Really good. Yeah. No problem. I want to just say that it equally is important to do the front end lead generation properly as it is to do the back end close. If you can’t close, then you’re wasting your money. You’re not gonna make any money and your business gonna fail. But if you cannot generate leads, then you cannot have any opportunities to sell. So they’re both really, really important. The front end and the back end is really, really important.

Nehal: And that’s especially for adit doesn’t matter if you’re in a SAS company, if you’re in a brick-and-mortar if you’re doing coaching and application funnels. At the end of the day, if you do have leads coming in, doesn’t matter if you’re getting that $100 an app or $50 an app or if you’re getting you know 5, 10, 20 leads a day coming in.

All of that is important but once you figure that out, the next logical step is, okay, I’m getting cheap leads. Why aren’t they buying? Why aren’t they converting? And so that’s essentially where you come in. So can you give a background on what is it that you exactly do and then what is it that you did for this company when it comes to the starting page before you started working with them?

Nick: Sure. Really what you’re talking about is called AdvisorStream. We took them from zero to a million dollars annual recurring revenue in twelve months. And I’ll tell you the story but for a background. So my background, I was trained as an engineer in Canada and I started — so when I was in between third and fourth year, I got a job selling door-to-door. I was literally like it was a commission only job. Actually, you had to pay the company money if you didn’t make any sales. So it was a pretty stressful job.

So every morning, we go out 8 in the morning. So I’ll tell you the first day. I go there the first day and they drop me in the middle of a neighborhood. They gave him this 300-pound aerator which pokes holes in people’s lawns. And I had no idea why people wanted this but apparently, it made your grass green. Did it actually work? I don’t know. But that’s what we were told to sell.

SI started knocking doors. I go up three houses, then I cross the street, come back three houses then I push this big machine up three houses and do the thing. So I was out there. I started at 9:00 am. The meeting was at 8:30, I got dropped off at 9:00 am. All the way till 3:00 pm, I didn’t make any sales. So I actually owed the money and I was walking around and hitting all these doors. I didn’t make any money and I was like, what the hell is going on?

And then the manager comes around, and because I took my buddy out to try this out with me, and was Jordan. He goes, “Hey, Jordan made a sale.” And I was pretty competitive. I played hockey with my buddy, Jordan. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna start running. So I started running, still didn’t make any sales for the next hour but I was just running. And then I came across this older Filipino lady and I’m like, “Please just let me do this. It’s gonna make your grass green.” And I charged her like 40 bucks, which is the lowest thing. She’s like, “Yeah, sure.” And then so I got my first sale, and then I did the job, and then I kind of figured it out. So the next house, I was able to close.

The next house, I was able to close. And by the end of the day, I think, I got like eight sales or something like that and they rank you. So first place got a bonus and third place got like $25 bonus. First place got a hundred, third place got 25. So I was able to get $25 bonus. I think I ended up making 150 bucks a day. And it was just good. I didn’t owe them money and it was more than minimum wage.

As a 20-year-old kid, I was pretty happy. So then the next day, it was raining and everyone was kind of dogging it but I slept on it and I was able to figure it out. And so the next day, I got 17 sales and I got first place. I ended up making about 320 bucks. This is like they paid out in cash. So I’m just like, “Okay, sweet. I just made a lot more money than I would have in any other job.” 320 bucks cash a day was pretty good for me as a 20-year-old.

And then I got the attention of the manager. He’s like, “Okay, you’re gonna be good.” And I was just like, okay. I moved to London. I live with my ex-girlfriend. She had this free place or whatever. So I moved to London, completely focused on selling for that summer. It is like 3 and 1/2 months, that summer. And so as I got better and better, I went from like $300 a day, $400 a day, $500 a day. And then I got the attention of the CEO and he kind of took me under his wing and just like, “Hey, you’re gonna be lethal.” And so he flew me out to some of these other markets like in Winnipeg, in North Bay, in BC. I was able to – I eventually got up to 800 bucks, a $1000 a day cash in selling door-to-door.

The people I was knocking doors, I was in these big houses and I was making more money than they were. And they were like, “Oh, poor guy poor.” I was just like, “Ah, I’m so poor.” Poor little me. And anyway, before the summer I had to pay off the size of an engineering school. I was taking engineering and physics. I had like $50,000 in debt. By the end of the summer, I had a line of credit that was eight grand. So it was like 58,000 bucks in debt. By the end of the summer, I was able to pay it off. So that’s how much money I made. And I was able to buy this brand new BMW. I was making some serious cash.

Anyway, I go back to school and I’m sitting in my lecture hall because I’m doing like a Quantum Mechanics, I’m looking at my teacher and I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? I made more money than this guy sitting in front of me, teaching me life lessons.” And I’m like, whatever. Engineering is probably not for me. I would need to do skills.

I ended up finishing my degree because I was already so committed that I might as well finish the degree, plus this good credibility. Did it do me any good? No. Notat all. The degree did not matter at all. So when I graduated school, I started a business called Midnight Detailing which was essentially taking that door-to-door model, the marketing and sales model, and applying it to detailing.

And then here’s what I figured out. Instead of doing the work, you could hire people to do the work for you. So I just hired all these kids off Kijiji. I bought a van and I piled them in this van, and I would just go knock on doors, and they would do the jobs. And then I would go for coffee and I’d make like $1200 in a day. I would make six or seven sales and I make 1200 bucks. And they would be busy and I was able to provide these guys with a good income too. So that evolved.

I basically figured out how to do — instead of me going door-to-door, I figured out how to teach kids, like really inexpensive kids, to go generate leads. And then I figured out how to do inside sales conversions. So we had a call center that did the sales and the dispatching. So that was kind of an inside sales. And I was working. We’re making money hand over fist. We went from zero to about 3,000 customers relatively quickly. And then we ended up selling that business to a company called Go Wrench Auto.

Nehal: There’s so much that you just went through and I want to make sure we stop just for one thing. What is it that you were able to see that all the other people that you were selling across, selling with didn’t see? Because of you kind of, from what it sounds like, you saw the matrix and they just couldn’t see it.

Nick: Okay. So I’ll get to the point of the story. I’ll finish the story. So after Midnight Detailing, I got into selling software because, in detailing, you can only work in Canada, it gets cold. Like right now, it’s wintertime. No one in their right mind is going to be detailing cars in this weather. So I had to find something to do during the winter times.

So I started selling software and it turns out, what I did and how I saw door-to-door was absolutely lethal when you’re selling software. And this is how we — I’m relatively young, in my late 20s now, but to take a business from zero to a million bucks profitably, like we were profitably acquiring customers, something happened.

And the secret was this super aggressive way to sell, I wouldn’t say aggressive, but strategic way to sell. And using software sales and inside sales allowed us to — and it was developed from being up against a wall whereas a commission only sales guy, you had to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. There were no pillows. So you had to scrap all the stuff that wasn’t working because your income depended on it. So you actually figure out how to close deals, how to get people to open up their wallets.

Nehal: It’s no joke.

Nick: It’s no joke. This is real money. And like most software companies, they’re in la-la land and they think that funding is going to carry them and then they’re so scared to go get money and ask for sales and close deals. And they end up like collapsing because they actually haven’t figured it out. Whereas a bootstrap company that’s forced to do it, they actually kind of figured it out.

Turns out, if you teach an 18-year-old kid or a 19-year-old kid or 20-year-old kid what I learned how to sell and apply it to the software world, A, they’re very very very effective closers and, B, instead of paying a rep like $65,000 a year base, plus commission, where you have to pay them over a 100,000 bucks a year, you can pay a rep 35,000 bucks a year base, and then another like 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars in commission. But you totally spread your risk around and you totally de-risk everything, and you have these reps that are just trained properly and they’re able to outsell these fancy salespeople.

And the secret was it came down to the sales process. It was basically every sale, there’s a way to sell. And most people don’t know how to do this. That’s what I teach my sales guys and I drill it in. Every morning meeting, I drill it in. And they’ve become really, really effective very quickly. So the average ramp time for a normal sales rep is like two to three months, whereas my reps, they are ramped in a week. They’re strict. They’re closing in a week which is unheard of.

We did this with a company called AdvisorStream. They basically contracted me to go in and build their sales team. And so the story goes, we had to figure out a way to generate leads and the way that we did that, well I figured, I tried everything. I tried cold calling, I tried cold emailing. And then eventually, I tried LinkedIn ads to a landing page and then Facebook ads to a landing page. And that was the key.

We were able to drive a demo which was like a phone call or an appointment for about like 150 dollars. And then we’d close one in three of them. So we had these kids closing one in three of them. So the cost per acquisition was sitting around like 600, 700 dollars. And then the lifetime value of the customer was like 2, 3000 dollars. So we were able to work profitably.

Nehal: So we’re gonna get into that leads part, first, in a second hear but from a lot of entrepreneurs’ standpoint, they’re working out so much in the business, they don’t get an opportunity on the business. And even when they’re working on the business, it’s primarily based off of experiences that they’ve had instead of reaching out to experts in specific areas where they need help.

So from a lot of the entrepreneurs that might be listening or the person who’s responsible for sales or marketing, if they’re listening to this, how is it that they should even identify if they have a sales problem? Because a lot of the people that I’ve spoken to especially if they’re earlier in their business, whether they’re doing a hundred thousand or five hundred thousand in revenue, they might not actually even know that they have a sales problem.

So instead of getting more leads, instead of increasing lifetime values, instead of working on that, maybe the first problem is actually sales. And so before we go into the sequence that you went into to get more leads, to fix the sales process and overall scale if you’re in their position, what would you do to understand and to analyze and make sure that there’s even a sales problem or not?

Nick: Yeah. It’s a good question. Basically, it comes down to your lead conversion rate. So here’s how you know if you have a sales problem. If you’re getting — you should have a conversion rate, if you’re doing inside sales it should be like 20%. So if you’re generating five leads, you should close one.

If you can’t do that, let’s say — like I have one client that’s generating like thousands and thousands of leads because they optimized for like cost per lead or cost per click, whatever. But none of it is closing. Then something’s off. It means that the targeting is off or your pitch is off. So you want to get to that point where it’s like a 20% lead closed rate. And then you hire a guy like you to go and generate as many leads as you can.

And then if you need help scaling out your sales team or you know getting that process, then you can, that’s if you can engage an expert like me or you can learn how to do it on your own, then that’s kind of how you kind of scale up.

Nehal: And for someone listening, they’re saying, “Dude, did you just generalize all of the business to 20% that you have to convert leads from one in five lead? The reality is that we’re working with gyms where they’re selling $50 to $200 a month and they’re converting at 20%, the ones that are good. We have an information that we’re getting applications for $3000 product that we sell around at $2000 price point if people buy quick and we’re converting those people at 20 to 25%.

So it’s not that every single business will be 20%. But for a lot of businesses, if you’re not at least doing that 10%, something is broken, for sure, most likely, even if it’s just a qualification process or how you’re getting people on that phone. Or, right now, if you don’t actually know those benchmarks in your business of what it takes to convert that lead into a customer profitably, that it might be the first place to start.

So what are your thoughts on someone who’s like, “Man, I don’t even know what 20% conversion rate looks like if you were able to do that from my business my life would change.”

Nick: Right. So this 20% thing it’s for inside sales. So if you’re selling over the phone, then you should be getting around 20%. You don’t want to sell $20 products or $100 products over the phone. The thing will break. You’re not going to make any money. So you want to sell at least $2,000 things using inside sales. Otherwise, use sales page or use VSLs, right?

So inside sales works, if you’re selling something that’s for two grand or above. If you’re selling something like a hundred thousand dollars, you’re probably gonna need outside sales or like steaks and strippers, or a million dollars. If you’re selling something that is like a couple million bucks, then you probably gonna need inside sales – you don’t need it. You need outside sales. But, yeah, anywhere from two to ten thousand dollars is inside sales.

Nehal: So for AdvisorStream, where were they before you started working with them and then what was like the first step in that process?

Nick: Good question. So they had a product they raised a little bit of money. They had a few early customers like just friends in their world and they had like, maybe, 2 or 3 paying people. Literally, they were at zero.

Nehal: What did they do? Just to give people context.

Nick: So it’s common marketing automation for financial advisors. So they basically curated content and then they would send it up to the LinkedIn and email and all that stuff to build relationships, with the goal to drive revenue for a financial advisor. So, yeah, where I came in, I looked at the stripe account because they said they had all this traction. I went into the stripe account, I was like, where the hell are all the customers?

Nehal: That’s a good question.

Nick: Yes. And then they’re like, okay, well we need some help. And I said, okay. So first things first, you need to generate leads. You need appointments. You can’t sell if you don’t have appointments. So first things first, I needed to figure out how to get people to show up for a meeting. And like I said, I tried outbound cold calling. It doesn’t work. Too many secretaries, too many gatekeepers.

I tried cold emailing, doesn’t really work in this space because they got a million emails a day. And then I tried LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads to a landing page that I built, and then to a demo booking page. And that worked. It was like a Eureka moment. It was like, okay, we nailed it. And then we were able to generate appointments.

And the actual story is, I took those appointments and I gave them to the CEO and the management team and I was just like, “Okay, you guys are so good at selling your product, why don’t you go do this demo.” And they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t sell. They were basically throwing up on the customer. They were like, “Oh, here’s our product. Here are the features. Here’s what we built.” And no one cares about how much work you’ve put into your product. They don’t care about that. They want to know what the product is going to do for them and what are the results they are gonna get. So then they didn’t end up closing.

So I hired two salespeople, the first two, and I taught them this really basic sales script, and that’s the key. The key to this is the sales script end process and that’s what I help with. So I wrote a basic sales script that took me an afternoon to write. I trained these guys up. We did a little exam. So they practiced the script with me. Two days later, they did an exam and then we got them on the demos because we were able to generate demos. We could spend 120 bucks and get someone to show up for a phone call. So then they did the demos and the first one, the guy did, he closed.

So imagine this, the guy is reading from a piece of paper and I’m standing over him. I’m standing over him and I’m like, “Don’t you fuck this up sorry.” Sorry for my language. I was like, “You better read these words.” He’s shaking and he’s just going through his script.

Nehal: No pressure.

Nick: No, there was so much pressure on this guy. And he’s just shaking and he’s reading it. And I’m like, “Keep going. Keep going.” I’m like, “Read those words.” And he’s reading, and he’s shaking. And then all of a sudden, the guy is like, “Okay, yeah, let’s try it out.” And he gets a credit card.

And then I was just like, yeah, here’s a guy. He’s a guy that never sold anything his life. I basically forced him to read these words and he didn’t even execute it properly at all. He was shaking, he was stuttering, he was messing up his words. But the script and the process was so tight that it worked. And then, okay, so here’s the thing. We figured out how to generate leads, and then we figured out how to close those leads. And then the next step.

Nehal: Before we go to the next step, a lot of people who are in just that lead generation phase, they don’t have a lot of patience. Especially if they’re hiring an agency, it’s like, okay, we hired you, we have a budget, figure it out, you got one month, go. And it’s like that’s just not how this process works. So from your standpoint, how long did that whole journey take between trying cold calling, trying cold email, and then trying Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads to the point where it actually started generating leads consistently?

Nick: Yeah. Good question. So it took me an afternoon to figure out that cold calling wouldn’t work.

Nehal: That’s it. You gave up so quickly.

Nick: No. I didn’t give up so quickly. I knew how to do it. I called 200 people. I called 200 people, and I use my CRM. The CRM that I use, it’s called Close IO. I just banged out 200 calls. And I was just like, there’s no way this is ever gonna work because there are too many gatekeepers.

Nehal: You have to figure out how to teach us on how to make that decision because 200 calls aren’t gigantic but it’s probably more than what the average person is gonna make to determine if cold calling is gonna work or not, right? So you make 200 calls. How do you decide to like, okay is this gonna work or not?

Nick: Good question. I know from door to door, you can usually tell if it’s gonna work in one day, in one or two days, if you know what you’re doing. With cold calling, I knew that I just couldn’t connect with the people. No matter how many calls I did — I did 200 calls, I probably connected with one person. So I knew that this was not gonna work because I couldn’t connect. It’s not like if I can connect with somebody, then I know the channel works.

This whole channel searching is just, basically, we need to connect with them. So I tried it. I wasn’t able to connect. I was getting gatekeepers, I was getting answering machines. No one was picking up. So I knew this wasn’t gonna work. And it only took me a day to figure that out. And then the next thing I tried was cold emailing. So I did an Amazon SES. I linked that up and I started cold emailing and blasting people. And I can write copy, I can write strong copy.

So I tried to dangle the most irresistible thing in front of them. This is how you do it. This is how you do it in advertising too. You dangle something so shiny in front of them and if they bite, it means that the channel works and if they don’t bite, and it’s the shiniest thing that any rational human being would respond to and they’re not responding to it, that’s how you kind of know the channel doesn’t work.

Then I tried outbound emailing and the thing is, it was so noisy that I think I got a few leads but I was just like, I can’t get the volume that I want. I did get a few leads from outbound emailing but I was just like, this is too hard. It’s not gonna work. And you know because from the door-to-door game, you can go to 20 houses and you should make one sale. And I’m expecting to make sales. I’m expecting to connect with people. And I know the general type of close rate and lead rate. So upon prospecting, I was like, okay, this is okay. We could do it but it’s gonna be really hard.

Then I tried LinkedIn so I wrote some ads for LinkedIn. I dangled something irresistible in front of them. I made a landing page because I knew how to make landing pages. And in one day, as soon as you turn on the ads, it was like in hours, we started generating appointments. So it was like, I knew what the process was, and sometimes you hit it sometimes you don’t. There were a couple ads I wrote that didn’t hit. But in that section or in that in all those ad sets or in all those ads, there was one that hit.

Nick: And you separate it, like this is what you do, so you separate it so that you can tell when one hits. And so it probably took like a few hundred dollars an ads man to figure it out. But the ad was written really well and the landing pages built really well. But here’s the thing, the market was already defined for me. I already knew exactly who I was targeting.

Nehal: What do you mean by that?

Nick: So I knew that I was targeting financial advisors. It was like, you either were a financial adviser or you weren’t. So that made my job so much easier. For somebody who doesn’t know exactly who they’re targeting, then that process can take like a month. So the test, you should be able to collect data for one of your hypotheses in a week. So I give it like a week. Maybe, it takes you five hypothesis to go through, to nail it. So let’s say, in your example, let’s say they’re selling something and they don’t necessarily know exactly who the customer is, then they’re gonna have to work with you to validate either true or false. And if you have passed it, you don’t spend enough money, and you turn it off, then you’re just wasting money because you didn’t get a true or false. You got a false negative. You could have got a false negative. So that’s kind of how it works.

Nehal: In your case, I think you were able to speed that process up because you already knew benchmarks, you already know what this was supposed to feel like. And for people who might be their first time doing cold calling and they might just call 20 people because there are like a few elements to that. Like, you’re either nervous, you’re not actually doing the calls.

The first time I was doing cold calls, I was doing 5 shaking. And then I got to a point where I was doing 50 to 100 a day but that only happened after I overcame that, then I knew my benchmarks of how many people are actually gonna connect with me, how many of them I’m actually gonna be able to pitch, and then how many of those people are interested and continue to the next meeting.

So if you’ve never done that process before, it’s kind of intimidating because you’re like, I don’t actually know what to look for. But from your standpoint, you knew what benchmarks were for each one of those channels are enough to actually make decisions. But then, second, you had the ability to craft the offer and write the copy in a way that you could test and do that litmus test of I have a super sexy offer and no one cares.

So is it the offer or is it the channel? And from your standpoint, you knew what the market was well enough that you knew that the channel what was the problem. Is that right?

Nick: Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah. And I knew like you can tell if someone’s interested. I knocked on probably 20,000 doors and I kind of knew if somebody was interested and perked up or that they were just completely glazed over and they’re just like, get the hell out of here.

So I’ll give you an example. When we started the detailing business, I knew in like 20 minutes that it was gonna work, because me and my buddy, Alex, we went door-to-door and all we did was we went to this random neighborhood in Hamilton which is just outside of Toronto with some middle-class, wasn’t necessarily wealthy, middle-class neighborhood.

But we just went to doors and we’re just like, “Hey, so we’re starting up this door-to-door auto detailing service.” And then people are like, “Oh, so you clean the cars in the driveway?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And they’re like, “Oh, okay. How much?” And they were just like, “Okay.” And then we pitched the price. And they’re like, “Oh, yeah. Okay.” So in 20 minutes, we were able to validate the idea.

That’s the thing. So here’s the job of sales. You don’t want to turn like a no, like a glazed over no into yes. You can’t do that. It’s impossible to do that. You want to turn like, “ha.” You want a “maybe”, you want a “let me think about it”, you want a “let me talk to my wife”, you want to turn those into yeses. So if you’re going out to the market and you’re getting like, “Hmm. Maybe. Yeah, it sounds interesting. Let me think about.” That means you’re not completely on Pluto. But if someone’s like, “Get off my doorstep.” Or they’re like, “No, man. I’m not interested.” Then that’s when you know that something needs to change.

Nehal: You’re a lot further from the sale at that point, for sure. And so with AdvisorStream, as soon as you tried cold calling, then you tried cold email, then you tried Facebook ad and LinkedIn. How many leads were they generating organically and then how many leads were you able to get them in that first initial stage, from like Facebook?

Nick: They were generating none organically. No one cared about their business. Like realist, no one cared. That’s what most people think. I have clients that are like, “Oh, we got to protect the brand.” I’m like, “What brand?” A lot of businesses, they’ll try to generate leads organically first and not spend any money and that, to me, is the stupidest thing you can possibly do because, A, it takes you six months to get good enough content or you have to write really good content to get someone’s attention these days.

Then, even if you get some attention, you have to see if the message resonates with them. So why would you try so hard to drum up a click with your content and then you don’t even know if it’s the right person who’s reading it. And then you try to do some call-to-action and drive them towards an action and it might take six months to bring in somebody. Whereas, you could do it in one day if you spent a hundred bucks.

Nehal: In my perspective on that is how quickly, like how much do you like losing money? Because from my standpoint, as soon as you’re able to spend money and get clicks and get people to go through your funnel, if you’re doing inside sales and speaking to people on the phone, and you don’t know who your market is exactly, you don’t know what offers gonna work, you don’t know what sales pitch is gonna work, you don’t know what closing techniques are gonna work, and what kind of back end is going to be right for you, down sells all that kind of stuff, you have to knock out each one of those to figure out what is it that’s actually going to be working for you.

Even on our side, we recently launched a new part of our business and in that business, we’re trying to get first all the sales process down, then we’re working on fulfillment, and then we’re working on blowing all of that up very quickly. But you can’t talk about fixing fulfillment or fixing sales problems if you don’t have anyone in that funnel.

Organically, there’s only so much you control and with ads, it is the complete opposite. And so you started getting leads on LinkedIn and Facebook, and they started coming in, then it sounds like the next step was how do you actually get those people to come in from a sales standpoint, how did you recruit them and what was that process.

Nick: How do I recruit them? I put up an ad on Indeed or some job site and just say that you’re looking for salespeople and just say how much money they can make. Because in sales, if you’re good, you can make a lot of money. And then typically, you can get some really high-quality candidates. But what I look for is — I just look for recent grads.

When I see your resume, the first thing I look for is the school that they went to. Because you can usually tell if that person went to this school, it’s a pretty rigorous selection process, so I basically know that person’s pretty sharp. If they got into that school, they’re probably pretty sharp. And I don’t really care their degree is. Some people have a social science degree, some people have a philosophy degree, some people have technical degrees. I actually really like hiring people with technical degrees.

Nehal: Why is that?

Nick: Because the sales process is actually just like a step by step thing. It’s very logical. It’s not like they need to be the most charismatic person in the world. That doesn’t matter. It’s just, can they follow instructions? And usually, the technical people are really good at following instructions.

So it’s easier to teach somebody who’s not charismatic, that can follow instructions, how to be charismatic. It’s actually a little bit easier to do this than it is to take some reckless, irresponsible, charismatic person and teach them how to follow instructions. You want to blow your brains out. I don’t hire those cocky persons I look for humility. If you get some cocky person that’s all over the place, loves to party and also to drink alcohol, is just a total nutcase but is really charismatic, fire that person or don’t even think about hiring that person because they’re gonna drive you crazy. They’re gonna show up late. They’re not gonna follow the instructions and it’s not gonna work. Whereas if you have someone tactical, you give them a step-by-step game plan, they’ll just do it.

Nehal: And for people who are listening, if you’re not giving that game play or if you’re not choosing logical people and the salespeople haven’t worked out for you, these might be some things that you can actually implement on the process of hiring and recruiting, and then obviously also, on the onboarding because it shows them what you’re expecting of them and creates that environment so they know, like, listen, this is a logic course or this is a system that I’m looking asking you to follow. Instead of doing whatever or make decisions based on what feels right, there are no feelings in this first.

First, I need to explain to you what the system is then you can add your personality on top of that framework that I’ve provided you.

Nick: In all my experience, the more personality you add to it, the worst you do. I’m not hiring you for your personality. What usually happens with my reps? I hire them, I give them a set of instructions. I say, “Read these words.” They read the words and they start closing deals. And then they think that it’s them. And then they think that they’re sales geniuses. And then they start deviating from the script. Then all of a sudden, they’re closed rate drops. And then I’ll listen to a demo, I’ll be like, “What the hell are you doing? Were is that in the script?” And they’re like, “Oh, well. I’ve been trying this new thing.” I’m like, “Well, how’s it going?” They’re like, “Well” Stick to the script.

There’s a reason why you’ve closed your first demo because you just read it. It’s like straight-up copywriting. So if you hire those creative — sometimes they’re like entrepreneurial types. They have like ADD and they’re like trying to do their own thing and it never works out for them. It never works out. Just stick to the proven system, stick to the script. So I treat it like a sport. When I do my meetings, I’m like, “Imagine you’re LeBron James. You are hired to dribble the ball, pass the ball, shoot the ball, and dunk the ball. That’s it. You’re not hired to make the plays. You’re not hired to make the schedule. You’re not hired to do the advertising. You were hired to basically score baskets.” LeBron James just shoots basketballs all day.

That’s what I’m telling sales guys. I’m just like, read the words all day and the better you get at it — LeBron James does not change his form. It’s the same form. So that’s kind of how I teach my salespeople. And then the ones who adopt that, they come in like a sport. They have the same coffee every morning. They come at the same time. They do the same ritual. They say the same words. And then the better they, it’s just more tightly they stick to the regimen. It’s not anything fancy. It’s just sticking to the regimen.

Nehal: This is kind of difficult for someone who’s not very regimented and they’re the entrepreneur or they’re the person who’s responsible for that sales team. What advice do you have for them? Because if they’re not structured now, you know, their team is a reflection of them to a big extent. So from your standpoint, what would you tell that person who doesn’t have a sales team who has regimens or habits?

Nick: So typically, the CEO or the entrepreneur is not that good at the job. I’ll give you an example. He’s really good at figuring out the offer and how to sell the first one. He’ll be able to get the first couple customers. But he’s really bad at just doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again.

So what I suggest, and I’m kind of like this too, I can figure out how to sell a product very quickly but what I do is I just hire people. I pay them 30 grand, $35,000 a year to do it. They’re better salespeople than I am. They’re the people that actually like it. You give them a system and they just do it over and over and over and over and over and over again.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you have trouble sticking to a regimen, well good. You have taxes to pay, you have developers to hire. You can’t do that. You have to make sure your fund rate, you have money in the bank. Maybe you have kids and a wife, there’s a lot of other things you got to worry about. Why don’t you just get a lethal process, hire someone for $35,000 a year, pay them commission, and all they do is sell it? And then within the first week, they’re gonna be better salespeople than you are, anyway.

Nehal: And if they’re not, you know, that onboarding process is so important. Is there anything that you do differently in that onboarding process that makes you stand out or that helps you be as successful as you are, from a sales standpoint, when you’re bringing on new salespeople?

Nick: Well, when I bring on new salespeople I tell them, “Hey you if you’re really good at this and you follow the instructions, you’ll make a lot of money.” And you don’t need to think. That’s what I tell them. I’m like, “You do not need to think. Just do what you’re told.

Nehal: How does that go over?

Nick: Well, if you think about it, like what? Some kid out of school is gonna know more than the guy that made that process? There’s no way in hell that that will ever happen. So I’m basically saying, do what you’re told and execute as well as you can and if it doesn’t work, you can blame me. That’s what I tell them. I’m like, you don’t want me to blame you. If you’re not making sales, you want to blame me. That’s why the process needs to be tight. So in order for you to blame me, you need to do exactly what I say.

Nehal: That’s super smart. Because a lot of the time, there’s so much pressure in that beginning stages. Especially if they’re commissioned only, they’re freaking out. They want to make sure that they get the sale, they’re making money. They also keep looking for jobs. At the back of their mind, they’re like, there’s that other interview I did. None of that’s happening with your approach here, because you’re saying, “Listen, if you’re not selling, it’s my fault.”

Nick: Yeah. Exactly. And that’s it. That’s why they do exactly what they’re told. I had to fire a girl because I gave her the script and she was going off script. And then I was like, “What the hell?” I’m listening to her demo and I’m like, “Where is that in the script?” So I basically said, all right, it’s not gonna work out. I fired her in a week. I go back to the team, I said, “This person’s name is no longer with us. Is everyone clear why?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” “Does anyone have any questions?” And they’re like, “No.” And then everyone else follows the rules and was able to generate sales.

So it’s kind of giving the salespeople, they don’t have to think and that’s how you ramp someone really quickly. Because if you give them options, then they have to go figure it out. And that’s how you end up wasting 3-4 months. But if you gave them a clear path, then they just do it and then all of a sudden, in a week, they’re ramped and their closing.

Nehal: First, you’re generating leads, you figure that part out so at least there’s flow in the sales process. Then you brought on two people and then you’re training them to be sales machines, to convert those leads into customers. What happens after there are leads after there are people? What does it look like to actually go from that initial attraction to scale to a million dollars and recurring for our business?

Nick: So basically, once you figure it out, then you just hire more reps. You have a team. And then you have to turn up the ad spend. We were spending 30 grand a month just on leads, around there. So you need someone who knows how to do advertising properly because if you do something wrong and you’re spending that much money, then you could be burning like $10,000 a month.

Let’s say there’s a campaign that’s not performing and you don’t even recognize it, then you could be burning like 10 grand a month. You need someone who knows ads to provide you with the lead flow. That’s their job. And then on the sales side, you just need a regimen. Like, I do a morning meeting with my guys. Every morning I do a meeting. I drill in the same crap that we’ve been teaching forever because I know people forget. Don’t ask me why but you leave it a couple days and people forget how to sell.

So you got to motivate them, keep them focused, and basically, yeah, that’s pretty much it. Every morning, you do a meeting. Then in the afternoon, you check in, make sure the leads are flowing. And if someone’s not, here’s the thing, if someone’s not closing or someone’s like, let’s say they break up with a girlfriend or something happens in their life or something like that, you got to fix it right away.

You got to be like, “Hey, snap out of it. Don’t let this drag on. Get back to the script. Get back to the basics.” It’s mostly execution. Like the best sports teams, that’s what they do. They show up to, let’s say, hockey. They show up to the arena, they put on the same equipment, they do the same drills, they just execute. And the winning teams are just very good at skipping regimented and executing. So scaling to a million dollars is actually kind of boring.

It’s not that exciting. It’s basically you have like 5, 6 sales a day. You just see it in Slack, the notifications. A rep might have 3 or 4 demos in a day and close 2 of them. The rest of the time, he’s sitting in his chair. It’s not like a crazy bullpen where there’s so much stuff. You got to be like, “Ah, crap, it’s Thursday. I gotta do this morning meeting.” And then you do that enough, all of a sudden you’re at a million dollars in annual recurring revenue.

Nehal: Can you walk us through the numbers? Like, what is a $30,000 monthly ad spend look like from leads to booked appointments, to all of that? From your standpoint.

Nick: Yeah. So you should get an appointment for between 70 to 200 dollars. That’s kind of how it is.

Nehal: And what were the leads coming in for to get those appointments?

Nick: So we had an opt-in page. We had traffic that went through an opt-in page, we got the lead. And then from that opt-in page, we go to a calendar and then they book a demo. And then the sales guys would catch them in between the opt-in and the calendar, and they would call them and email them and try to book demos. So everyone was booking. Each sales guy’s calendar had like 5 to 7 demos a day.

And then they would close. Like on a good day, they would close 3 out of those 7.

Nehal: Okay. That’s a pretty high conversion rate.

Nick: Yeah. Well, it comes down to the script, right?

Nehal: So how many salespeople did you have, like at the peak, with the $30,000 a month budget?

Nick: So at the peak, it was five, and then we had two supporting people. So we had a team of seven.

Nehal: Got it. Okay, so I have seen and I’ve been part of teams as well that as soon as an offer hits, there’s usually the next level of challenges which are usually mental, or confidence, or whatever the limiting beliefs are. What have you seen when people, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this because a lot of the companies that you’re working with are funded or that you are running them yourselves, but have you seen where sales offers work but they don’t actually bring on more salespeople, they don’t spend more, they don’t want to grow more aggressively? If you have seen that or you’ve witnessed some of that, what advice would you have for people who want to grow more aggressively but there’s some sort of fear there?

Nick: Yeah. So I come from the world of — I don’t really understand that fear because my world is they try to scale way too early. They hire 15 salespeople and they haven’t even made a sale themselves.

Nehal: Got it.

Nick: That’s kind of what some of these companies do which is completely stupid. The whole thing collapses. They blow millions of dollars and no one works out. But if you’re looking to scale, the first thing that I would do is hire a junior person to try and do what you do and try and close the deal that you’re closing. And if the junior can’t do it, that means you need to tweak it. But as soon as the junior does it, then it’s just an easy equation.

It’s like, how much did you spend to get that lead, and what was the close rate, and then how much does it cost per acquisition. And then what you do is you divide the salary of that rep by how many accounts they closed that month and that’s kind of your cost per acquisition. So you add everything up. And let’s say it’s a thousand dollars to acquire a customer with reps, and with the salary, with ads, with lunches, whatever, but then you’re making two grand, that’s really what you’re looking for. You want to see that you can spend 1,000 and make like at least $2,000 back. And it’s not just you.

If you can figure that out, it’s like a proven concept. So if you can figure that out, then it’s time to scale. And then that’s when you can go to an investor and be like, “Hey, look what I did. I spend a thousand, I make $2,000 back.” The investor will write you a check in five seconds. If you can prove that you can do that and that the market is big enough, the investor will be like, “Okay, take my money.

Nehal: So far from this conversation, the thing that has become very clear to me is that, first, you’ve got to figure out how to generate leads. If you’re not generating leads especially if they’re paid — organic is beautiful, but it will run out, it’s inconsistent, figure out a way to generate leads consistently and as low as possible based off of your business model. Based off of that, then build out the team and, for what you were doing with AdvisorStream was you brought in two additional people and worked on training them and figuring out that script.

The first day, the first person was able to close the deal. From there, you go from two people all the way up to seven, you mentioned, including two support. And then at that point, it’s just numbers, it is just rhythm, it’s just habits of like leads come in, leads turn into appointments, appointments turn into those live demos, from those live demos you’re closing between 20 to 50%, and then you just do it again and again and again and then you get to the end outcome.

For someone who wants, who is in this position where they want to grow but they’re just stuck, what would be your biggest advice in terms of like understanding where you are and what you should be doing next? Because what ends up happening is most people throw money at the problem, most people try to figure out, they’ll go to a conference or they’ll buy a course, but still, they’ll be stuck. So what is it that you think would make a big difference and actually change the trajectory and it’s kind of shocking the system?

Nick: Well, it depends where they are. They can work with me if they want to. I do consult and I have a course that actually teaches them exactly how to do this so they can learn from people who already did it. It depends where they are. If they don’t have product-market fit, and first things first find product-market fit, like get someone to pay you for stuff and get results for them. If you are already at that point you have customers, then you need to find a rock-solid way to generate leads and appointments. So figure that problem out first. And you can engage somebody like you to do that. You can try doing your ads on your own, whatever. But you want to get to a point where you can turn on money and you’re getting appointments. That’s the goal.

From there, you should be able to sell your own offer. So if you can’t do that, keep turning on your money. Keep spending money until you figure that out. Because you can be a crap salesperson with a ton of appointments and still do okay. You could be an amazing salesperson with no appointments and you’re gonna fail.

So first things first arend that appointments and then work on your sales. And then if you’re able to close, then hire a junior. See if that junior will do it for you and could actually deliver. So those are the three things. So if you’re not making it rain appointments, you got to solve that problem. And that comes from advertising, and opt-in pages, and that kind of stuff. And then once you figure that out, you need a sales process.

Nehal: Perfect. I know there are people who are stuck and they want to get unstuck, and one of those things that actually helped us as well as there was a sales script that you published online. So we swiped it and we implemented it for some of the agencies that we work with and it works.

People are like, “Man, I feel so confident.” And I didn’t get a chance to pay you for that. First of all, if anyone who wants to swipe the same thing that I swiped that Nick put out there, go to and we’ll give you access to that. But more importantly, there are some people who want more hands-on help or want to pick up the course.

What’s the best way to contact you and continue the conversation if they want to reach out to you personally?

Nick: Yeah. Just go to

Nehal: Cool.

Nick: And that script, I’m gonna take it down. Well, I’m gonna change it. I’ve been getting freaking testimonials and they’re not paying me for that.

Nehal: Not yet.

Nick: I’m pissed off. But here’s the thing. That script will get you like 70%. I didn’t put the goodies in there. I didn’t put the goodies in there. There are some goodies that I teach my salespeople and I didn’t put that in the script. You can use that template if it. I’m gonna take it down or change it a little bit because there is a lot there. But, yeah, there is something that I left out that if you get, you’ll be able to make it rain.

Nehal: Perfect.

Nick: I didn’t put it there.

Nehal: So if you want to work with Nick, go straight to If you want the script that he’s, most likely, gonna remove, go to Ad Tips for Ad Prose and from there, we’ll give you the script. Reach out to him, personally, too. Thank you so much for coming on, man, and sharing everything you’ve done so far.